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Chattanooga, TN

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
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I don't know if it's more a reflection of the actual wedding or of my particular mood on the day, but for some reason some weddings just stand out. Saturday's wedding was one of those weddings where the love and happiness are contagious, and you leave feeling that everything is good in the world.

Saturday wasn't the driest day for a wedding, but Jessica and Chris didn't let it dampen their spirits. Imagine the exact opposite of a demanding, stressed-out bridezilla, and you would have Jessica. She was so relaxed and sweet the entire day. She was truly a radiant, glowing bride, and I am so excited for her and Chris to have found each other and be starting their life together.

The afternoon ceremony was held at Patten Chapel, a charming old chapel with wooden pews, stained glass, and high ceilings on the University of Tennessee campus in Chattanooga. The people involved were all extremely nice and helpful, and I think it's a great ceremony venue. During the ceremony, the clouds let loose, and you could hear how hard the rain was coming down on the roof. However, just when the ceremony ended, the rain cleared up enough for a fun petal exit outside.

Chris and Jessica did meet before the ceremony and do all of the formal photos. The ceremony featured a sand ceremony and music from the couple's family and friends, some of the best music I've ever heard at a wedding. They really have some talented friends!

The reception was held at Niko's Southside Grill. We didn't try the food, but everything looked wonderful. Afterward, Marcus and I coincidentally stopped for dinner at a Greek restaurant (the Acropolis) outside of town and were told by our server that the two restaurants are run by the same family.        

Jessica's mother helped attach her veil
Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15
some candid moments in the "getting ready" room

Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15

these are hard to really appreciate at this size, but the church was beautiful inside

Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15

the happy couple... just before being pelted by huge rain drops!
Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15
Jessica & Chris had their private meeting in this covered breezeway

Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15

a traditional portrait to show off her gorgeous gown and a fun shot of the exit

Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15

Jessica and some of her school friends... they came prepared for anything

Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15


Woods/Moerman Wedding March 15
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Chattanooga, TN

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
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It's FREEZING outside today (perfect weather to snuggle with your Valentine)! I'm glad that it was warmer last week when I went to Chattanooga for Jessica and Chris's engagement session. We shot around the Bluff View Arts District before heading over to UTC campus to check out their ceremony venue, Patten Chapel. It's a lovely little church with wood, tile, and stained glass. I'm really looking forward to shooting there, and it won't be long before I'm posting photos. Their wedding is just a month away!

Chris met Jessica while here in the US working at her church. He's from Australia so the two of them know a bit about long distance relationships. It's so obvious that she is thrilled to finally have him here to stay. You can just see it in the way she looks at him with so much love and happiness.

Woods/Moerman Engagement Session

Woods/Moerman Engagement Session

Woods/Moerman Engagement Session

Woods/Moerman Engagement Session

Woods/Moerman Engagement Session
Woods/Moerman Engagement Session
Woods/Moerman Engagement Session
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Chattanooga, TN

Monday, November 19, 2007
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I photographed an engagement session this afternoon in a t-shirt. Although it started out cloudy, the day turned out to be pretty nice. This same day two years ago was nice too but a bit cooler as Miller and Nathan said their vows in an outdoor ceremony at sunset. The couple got ready at Chattanooga's historic Read House Hotel before walking across the street for their ceremony in Miller Plaza. The reception was held in the Waterhouse Pavilion on the plaza.



Toon/Foutch Wedding Anniversary November 19

The Krytal Hamburger Eating Championship was held the same day, and we ran into the contest winner Takeru Kobayashi in the hotel lobby. He ate 67 Krystals in 8 minutes!
Toon/Foutch Wedding Anniversary November 19
The plaza and pavilion:

Toon/Foutch Wedding Anniversary November 19

Chili peppers were used in decorations (the theme continued with the food as guests were served an elaborate burrito bar).

Toon/Foutch Wedding Anniversary November 19

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Chattanooga, TN

Tuesday, October 16, 2007
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On Saturday, Marcus and I photographed the wedding of Emily and Clay. Their evening ceremony was held at Broad Street United Methodist Church. Emily and Clay wanted a lot of formal group photos so they did decide to have a private meeting and get most of those out of the way before the ceremony. The first meetings are always different. About half of the time couples just exchange hellos and are then ready to get down to business with the photos. The other half of the time, they're really emotional with the guys crying as often as the girls. Emily and Clay fit into the second group, and it was really touching to see how much they love each other.

After the ceremony, they had a petal toss exit before a horse-drawn carriage ride to their reception at the Old Woolen Mill. Both the church and mill are really unique, historic venues with lots of brickwork and high ceilings.

It was a special wedding in that Clay is the last child in his family to get married , and I photographed all three siblings - Clay, Ben, and Jenni. Also, I think that Ben and his wife Sarah hold the record for being at more of my weddings than anyone else. I've photographed Sarah as a bridesmaid once, a bride once, and a guest twice.

Emily had one of the most beautiful veils ever. It belonged to her mother, but it matched her dress perfectly. She also had really lovely bouquets and floral decorations. Her florist used deep reds characteristic of fall, but they incorporated some uncommon flowers into the mix to make things interesting. The Big Table also did an excellent job with the food. Anyone planning a wedding in the Chattanooga area should check them out, because it really was very good. Marcus tried the carved roast beef and stuffed mushrooms while I tried the jumbo shrimp cocktail and the pasta station. They also had an extensive cheese and fruit display by the bar on the outside patio.

A few photos to tide you over...
Boggs/Kennedy Wedding October 13
Boggs/Kennedy Wedding October 13
Boggs/Kennedy Wedding October 13
Boggs/Kennedy Wedding October 13

Boggs/Kennedy Wedding October 13
Boggs/Kennedy Wedding October 13

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Chattanooga, TN

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
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Nothing stays at the top of the blog for long at this time of year! Yet another couple celebrated an anniversary yesterday. Natalie and Josh were married two years ago at Grandview atop Lookout Mountain.

Grandview truly does have beautiful views. The ceremony was held on a patio overlooking the Chattanooga Valley and the Smoky Mountains. The weather was perfect with a blue sky and fluffy, white clouds. It was an afternoon wedding, but a cool mountain breeze kept everyone comfortable. The whole day was beautiful and stress free.

I could take this second shot at almost every wedding. Guys are always playing with their rings.

Anastasia/Green Wedding Anniversary September 25

Check out the mountain "breeze" picking up Natalie's veil. (OK. It was a bit windy.)

Anastasia/Green Wedding Anniversary September 25

Anastasia/Green Wedding Anniversary September 25

Anastasia/Green Wedding Anniversary September 25
Anastasia/Green Wedding Anniversary September 25
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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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