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The Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, TN

Monday, April 30, 2007
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Kelly Powers and Dempsey Parlier had a 2005 destination wedding in Gatlinburg. While helping her daughter plan the wedding, Kelly's mother Cathie heard about me on The Knot message boards and contacted me about photographing the wedding. I'm so glad that she did!

When I arrived and saw the baker transporting the cake up to the ballroom, I knew that it would be a fun wedding. The cake, like the couple, was really fun and quirky.

I began with photos of the girls getting ready in their suite on the top floor of the Clarion. From the large windows in the room, we could see the chapel across the street. The weather was wet, but it didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits.

For destination weddings, the small chapels in Gatlinburg can offer a great value. They often have inclusive packages at reasonable rates which can be perfect for many couples. However, in order to keep the cost low for each couple, much of the business plan is based on performing a large number of weddings and/or selling add-ons (such as photography). Anything that cuts into their profit (such as an outside photographer) may not be welcome, and as a result I have seen a few brides run into problems on the wedding day.

Fortunately, Kelly & Dempsey were married at Sugarland Wedding Chapel. Unlike some chapels that restrict guest photography so that you have to purchase expensive prints from them if you want to have any photos of your own wedding, Sugarland was much more accomodating. They did allow me to take photos as long as I stayed in one place and did not use flash so that I wouldn't disrupt the ceremony or interfere with their photography.

Afterward, everyone walked across the street to a reception in the Clarion hotel ballroom. Kelly's wedding was my first opportunity to work with one of my favorite DJs - Jim Ogle of Special Notes. DJs, like photographers, are not all the same. A good DJ does make a difference and can even make my job much easier, helping me produce the best reception photos possible.

Here are a few favorite photos from the day. Happy second anniversary, guys!
Powers/Parlier Wedding Anniversary April 30

Powers/Parlier Wedding Anniversary April 30

Powers/Parlier Wedding Anniversary April 30
Powers/Parlier Wedding Anniversary April 30
Powers/Parlier Wedding Anniversary April 30
Powers/Parlier Wedding Anniversary April 30
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Riverwood Mansion, Nashville, TN

Sunday, April 29, 2007
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Last year Kathryn Graf and Brandon Eiff said their vows in a garden ceremony at Riverwood Mansion in Nashville. We started off with some photos of the bride getting ready and then headed outside for a few photos of the girls. Luckily, we had great weather and could take advantage of Riverwood's beautiful grounds.

It's always a pleasure to work with couples like Brandon & Kathy. After planning everything perfectly down to the last detail, Kathy was able to relax and really be "in the moment" on her wedding day. They were both so expressive, and their happiness was contagious. Everyone had a blast at the reception. Even after waving goodbye to the couple, many guests stood around for a few more minutes, not wanting the night to end.

Ideas for other brides: Kathy did toss her bouquet, but they had a candy toss for the kids instead of having a garter toss. They also had a classic get-away car.

Graf/Eiff Wedding Anniversary April 29
Graf/Eiff Wedding Anniversary April 29
Graf/Eiff Wedding Anniversary April 29
Graf/Eiff Wedding Anniversary April 29

Graf/Eiff Wedding Anniversary April 29
Graf/Eiff Wedding Anniversary April 29
Graf/Eiff Wedding Anniversary April 29
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Market Square Downtown, Knoxville, TN

Friday, April 27, 2007
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Do you have plans for next Friday? How about heading out for a night on the town and stopping in to see me? On May 4th, Indigo on Union Avenue will be hosting an artist reception for me from 5 to 7 as part of May's First Friday event.

So what is a First Friday event? On the first Friday of every month, the Market Square District, Gay St, and Old City merchants offer something special for all downtown residents and visitors. Participating galleries and shops have promotions, receptions, music, and special food offerings.

KAT will operate a trolley route to connect downtown visitors with the galleries and shops along Gay Street, Market Square and the Old City. The First Friday trolley will travel down Gay Street and through the Old City every 5-7 minutes from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m, and it's free! To catch it, just watch for the sign on the front of the trolley that says "First Fridays."

Participants include Blount Mansion (free tours and wine), Gallery 1010, Art Market Gallery, World Grotto, Vagabondia, The Basement Gallery, UT Downtown Gallery, Three Flights Up Gallery, Abode, Salon Visage and others. Treat yourself to a night out and shop for a creative Mother's Day gift at the same time.

Indigo is a cute little shop with some very hip clothing lines and unique jewelry. It's right around the corner from Market Square so come in, look around, and say hello!

ETA: I just ran across this expanded entry about the First Friday event on the Knoxville 520 blog.
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Holy Family Catholic Church, Brentwood, TN

Sunday, April 22, 2007
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Lindsey Reinhart & Brad Rice were married at the Holy Family Catholic Church of Brentwood last year. It is a nice, modern church with high ceilings, and the priest was kind enough to allow me to shoot from the front of the center aisle during the ceremony. Afterward, the wedding party piled into a stretch Hummer and everyone headed over to the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin for the reception which featured a sit-down dinner and live band. Lindsey's hair was short, and she wore it in really cute ringlets. She also had a cool french bustle on the back of her gown (my favorite style), and the bridesmaid dresses had pick-up skirts to match.

Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
Reinhart/Rice Wedding Anniversary April 22
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The Sunsphere World's Fair Park, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, April 19, 2007
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On Tuesday I had the pleasure of working with one of my 2006 couples again. Kelley & Austin were married last October and wanted to do some casual Spring photos with their families.
It was great to see you again!


      Kelley & Austin
Family Session Photos with Kelley & Austin Womack

      Kelley's niece after we woke her up from her nap
Family Session Photos with Kelley & Austin Womack
Family Session Photos with Kelley & Austin Womack

Family Session Photos with Kelley & Austin Womack

Family Session Photos with Kelley & Austin Womack

Soon they'll have a nephew too. Austin's sister is expecting.
Family Session Photos with Kelley & Austin Womack

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Welcome to the Nancy Hellsten Photography blog! This is the place to be if you’re looking for wedding ideas and photography promotions or if you just want to view some great photos and see what I’ve been up to. If you or someone you know are getting married, having a baby, or just want some relaxed portraits with the family, please visit my website or contact me for more information. I would love to hear from you. Thanks for visiting and check back often to see what’s new.
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