I just love winter weddings…
My last wedding of 2017 was at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock where I had the pleasure of photographing Leah and Brian’s big day. I’d never shot a wedding or really spent time at Chetola, so I was excited when Leah reached out to me about photographing her wedding day. There’s just something about getting married close to the holidays that adds a bit of magic to a wedding. Maybe it’s the pine cones or the way colors pop against the brown, red and green. It really gets me feeling sentimental. Add to that a couple who just adore one another and you’ve got me tearing up with love and joy.
The wedding itself was very small with approximately 30 guests total, which I’ve found I really love photographing. With small weddings, the stress level is lower as it’s a lot easier to coordinate 30 people if the timeline runs a little late. It also gives me the opportunity to really get to know the bridal party and guests throughout the day.
The day started off very laid back while I took the opportunity to photograph all the details that Leah and her family had curated. Leah’s father is a woodworker and made the cut-out angel guest gifts by hand along with a beautiful heart-shaped custom centerpiece for Leah & Brian (see the last photo). The bouquets and boutonnieres were STUNNING with deep purple calla lilies, bright green berries and dusty pink and peach roses. Dreamy! With pinecones, green fir branches and exposed wood grain, the details of the day fit perfectly with the rustic mountain lodge feel of Chetola Resort.
Blowing Rock fave Ugga Mugga Bakery designed this delicious cake.
I believe that it takes a village to put on a wedding and Leah & Brian’s wedding is the perfect example of that. Brian’s mother put together these lovely polaroid holders for their guests’ photobooth photos. She also created seed bags that held black-eyed susan seeds as an additional guest gift.
Family is so important to Leah. She made sure to incorporate her very close cousins in the wedding along with her niece and nephew who were also important aspects of her day. Luke (a budding photographer himself) walked Leah down the aisle along with her father.
The ceremony took place under the gazebo overlooking the lake at the Resort. It was the perfect location with a grand entrance by Leah across a small bridge and lawn leading up to the gazebo.
I felt really moved by how much Leah & Brian love one another. They seriously could not stop hugging and just wanted to be close for the entire day. These two sweet souls are just so happy to have found each other, and their wedding day really was a testament to that. I laughed and cried and truly felt a part of their celebration. I am SO grateful to have met and worked with these two <3
Everyone was such a trooper and opted to venture out around the lake with me so we could capture photos with the residual snow from earlier in December. It was COLD, but fur stoles kept these lovely ladies warm. As I said before, it was evident that family is so important to Leah. I related to that deeply as I have two cousins that I grew up with like sisters. If I get married again, my “sister-cousins” will be a huge part of my day!
After photos, guests gathered in Timberlake’s Restaurant inside Chetola Resort. The food was FABULOUS with pimento cheese sliders, peel-and-eat shrimp and a cheese and fruit tray to die for. So good! With such an intimate group, Leah & Brian were able to greet all of their guests.
Brian made his own wedding ring with the help of Leah’s dad. How cool is this?!
Have you ever had a couple do their first dance to “Papa Loves Mambo”? Well, I have! I just love how fun and light-hearted their first dance turned out.
As I said before, I’m so thankful to have been a part of Leah & Brian’s wedding day! I am so happy for the two of them and excited that they get to start the new year off as newlyweds.