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Clingmans Dome, The Great Smoky Mountains

Monday, September 29, 2008
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When we set out to do Megan and Monte's couple session yesterday, I had plans to do some cool shots with Smoky Mountains in the background. However, you can't really predict what the weather will be like on top of a mountain, and we ended up caught in the middle of a cloud. Although it wasn't what we planned for, I think that the fog was cool... in more ways than one. The temperature was almost 30 degrees colder on the mountain than in Knoxville, but Megan didn't complain. She was a trooper, and we got some beautiful photos including a few sunset shots with the mountains in the background.

I've resisted posting larger blog photos because they take longer to load for everyone and won't show up on all monitors without scrolling. However, I know that it's hard to really appreciate a photo when it's too small so I'm considering switching to a larger size. Let me know what you think.

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

Megan and Monte's Couple Session Photographs

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Maryville, TN

Tuesday, September 16, 2008
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I didn't really plan on blogging this today, but I started looking through the photos and just wanted to go ahead and share. Although she is from Maryville, Rachel and Josh live in Florida so they had a combined wedding/honeymoon here in the Smoky Mountains at The Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend. The ceremony was held in a smaller meeting hall with the reception in the larger lodge and formal photos around the grounds. The reception tables were set up indoors and out with a dance area on the lower deck.

The lodge and cabins are all very nice and modern but retain a rustic charm with many custom touches. The carved doors on the lodge are truly amazing.

Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13

A family friend did the flowers, and I thought Rachel's bouquet was perfect for a mountain wedding. It incorporated irises (my grandmother's favorite flower and the state flower), sunflowers, and daisies.
Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13
The walkway to the ceremony site was lined with these hanging cones of Gerbera daisies. It's a little difficult to convey in a photo, but the effect was simply beautiful. Guests felt like they were walking down a forest path to a little cabin in the woods.

Rachel is an anthropologist and planned much of her wedding while working in South Africa. As favors for her guests, she brought back these creative little keychains that were handmade out of wire and beads by African artisans. VERY cool.

Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13

Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13

I love Rachel's mermaid gown, and it fit her perfectly.

Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13


Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13

Josh watched as Rachel cut the cake. Carrot Cake. My favorite!
Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13

Although it was a very hot and humid day, the guests weren't deterred from dancing into the night to live music by the Swinging Richards.
Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13
Josh's family taught everyone a Lebanese wedding dance, and the couple showed off some of their moves.
Harvey/Toney Wedding September 13

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Dancing Bear Lodge, Townsend, TN

Monday, September 15, 2008
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On Saturday I photographed the wedding of Rachel and Josh at Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend. Now that the wedding is over, I can finally share some of Rachel's bridal photos that we did at the lodge back in July. I'll be back in a few days to post a preview of the wedding.


Rachel's Bridal Session Photographs

Rachel's Bridal Session Photographs

Rachel's Bridal Session Photographs

Rachel's Bridal Session Photographs
Rachel's Bridal Session Photographs
Rachel's Bridal Session Photographs
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Park West Church of God, Knoxville, TN

Tuesday, September 9, 2008
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Dena and Nate were married Saturday at Park West Church of God in Knoxville, but this wasn't your typical church wedding. Although some guests may have missed the fact that the flower girl threw lucky pennies instead of rose petals as she was carried down the aisle, I don't think that anyone will forget the bride's entrance. Dena started down the aisle with traditional music, but the song suddenly changed to an unexpected rock song by one of the couple's favorite bands.

The quirkiness continued with their choice of music for the first dance, and it was obvious that these two were making the day their own by injecting their own personalities into the wedding.

Roberts/Croft Wedding September 6
Roberts/Croft Wedding September 6
Roberts/Croft Wedding September 6

With an afternoon ceremony and reception inside the church, we had plans to do couple photos outdoors after the reception. Some ominous clouds threatened to disrupt our plans, but it quickly dried up after only a brief shower. We shot a bit around a park near the church and then headed out to a field that I had driven by on the way to the church. As some of you may know, I've been wanting to shoot a bride with some hay all year long, and I finally had the bride and the hay to make it work.

Roberts/Croft Wedding September 6

Roberts/Croft Wedding September 6
Roberts/Croft Wedding September 6
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Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
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Megan and Monte had a Friday evening wedding at Valley Grove Baptist. After getting ready, the two met in the sanctuary where they spent some private time together and exchanged cards. We then got all of the formal photos out of the way so that right after the ceremony they could exit straight to the waiting trolley that took them to the reception at Knoxville Museum of Art.

Megan did an excellent job planning the day and surrounding herself with great vendors. One of my former brides, Allison Gaddis, acted as day-of coordinator for the reception. She's started a consulting business called Live, Laugh, Love Weddings. Scott Parker from Light and Life Media was there to video the event. To make the day even easier, I had Tara of Dixie Pixel Photography along second shooting at the church.

Megan's look was elegant and modern with soft, flowing layers on her dress. The bridesmaids wore sage green dresses with white sashes.

Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22
Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22

I never had a chance to taste the cakes, but they looked great.
Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22
Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22
Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22
Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22

Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22

Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22


Montgomery/Miller Wedding August 22

Unfortunately, guests apparently took off with the bubbles as they left so that there weren't enough left for a bubble exit. The getaway car was really cute though.

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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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