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Dara's Garden, Knoxville, TN

Thursday, May 27, 2010
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Kristy and Kegan are currently living in on a military base in Germany, but they were able to come back to Tennessee for a wedding at Dara's Garden this past weekend. The roses are in bloom at Dara's, and we had beautiful, clear skies for their outdoor ceremony. Kristy and Kegan are so in love, and the day was very emotional for everyone.

Kristy may be surprised to see this, but her dress took a little trip outside while we waited on her and the girls to arrive.

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

Kristy and Kegan chose to have a private meeting in the gardens and spent a few moments together laughing, hugging, kissing, and crying.

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

Lisa Foster did a great job designing the flowers, and the girls wore canary yellow dresses. Everything was light and summery - perfect for a garden wedding.

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

The couple entered their tented reception through an arch of sabers where Kristy was ceremoniously spanked with a saber and welcomed into the army.

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

I've seen a lot of touching father/daughter dances, but this one was very special. The DJ (who did a fantastic job all night) used a full-length-version of Butterfly Kisses, and I know that at least some of the guests were crying through the whole song.

Part of what made this wedding so wonderful is that the couple and guests were really able to just relax,  enjoy themselves, and be "in the moment".

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

Want to guess who went home with the bouquet?

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

White / Reilly Wedding May 22, 2010

Special thanks to some of the other vendors that helped make Kristy and Kegan's wedding day so memorable:
Dara at Dara's Garden
Bob Kerr at Hightech Video
Peggy Love at Plan it with Love
Salon Visage on Market Square
Drew Holloway with Ogle Entertainment
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Whitestone Country Inn, Kingston, TN

Tuesday, May 18, 2010
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I was SO glad that it didn't rain until late on Saturday so that Melissa and Ross could have their ceremony outdoors at Whitestone Country Inn in Kingston. They exchanged vows in front of the gazebo overlooking Watts Bar Lake and then moved indoors for a sit-down dinner and dancing. As always, the wedding director Deneise was great to work with, and the food was delicious. It was a perfect beginning for a very sweet couple.

I hope to post more photos later, but they're returning from their Caribbean honeymoon soon so here's a sneak peek - one candid shot from their first dance and my favorite photo from their couple time together.


Rose / Bunker Wedding May 15

Rose / Bunker Wedding May 15

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Downtown, Knoxville, TN

Monday, April 19, 2010
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I'm always surprised at how two people so obviously perfect for each other can be brought together. Afia and Paul have a great story. They met in high school in Senegal even though neither one of them is from Senegal. Years later, here they are about to be married in Tennessee, but neither is from Tennessee.

Paul may be the funniest engineer I've ever met, and he kept us all laughing as we traveled around searching for photography locations. Afia is a natural in front of the camera, and has great style. Isn't this yellow dress adorable?  I'm so excited for their wedding in July!

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session

Afia & Paul's Engagement Session
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The Sunsphere World's Fair Park, Knoxville, TN

Monday, April 12, 2010
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I recently photographed a bridal session at a new venue in north Knoxville, The Sterchi Mansion. Unfortunately, I can't share any of the photos until after the bride's wedding in July, but I wanted to go ahead and thank the owners for being so welcoming and accommodating. It's a gorgeous, historic home, and anyone interested in an outdoor ceremony should definitely contact Linda and check it out. It would be especially beautiful in the fall.

Now for some photographs from a wedding reception that I photographed back in February. Natalie and James had a destination wedding in Jamaica (lucky ducks!) and then celebrated here in Knoxville with a reception at Southern Graces atop the Sunsphere. It was surprisingly warm for February, and we shot a few quick portraits around the base before heading up for the party.

I really love beautiful portraits so most of my favorite images that end up on the blog are semi-posed. However, I do photograph the majority of the day with a more photojournalistic style so I'm going to try to remember to post more candid wedding photographs this year.

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Brown / Bolt Wedding Reception

Natalie had once heard about a celebrity serenading his bride on their wedding day and mentioned to James that she thought it was romantic. The idea stuck, and James had a special surprise for Natalie near the end of the reception. It would have been super sweet regardless, but he's a really good singer!
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The Old City downtown, Knoxville, TN

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
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We originally scheduled this photography session for two weeks from now, but then I saw that the Dogwood Arts Festival will be on Market Square that weekend. Not wanting to compete with the crowd, we switched dates. Unfortunately, there is apparently always something going on in downtown Knoxville these days. On Saturday, there was a Red Bull chariot race AND a marathon. We had beautiful weather though, and I had fun traipsing around downtown and shooting urban engagement photos with Matt and Molly.


Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

Molly and Matt's Engagement Session

I'm looking forward to the wedding in July and hoping that the weather will be just as gorgeous for their outdoor ceremony.
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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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