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Brother's Cove Lodge, Sevierville, TN

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
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Kristin Elise and Ben were married in an outdoor ceremony at Brother's Cove Lodge overlooking the Smoky Mountains. Being my first Jewish wedding, I expected a whirlwind day, and I wasn't disappointed. The day was a wonderful mixture of religious symbols, rituals, traditions, and joyous singing, dancing, and celebration. If you've been to a Jewish wedding before then you probably have some idea of how much fun they can be. Even though it was a bit hot that day, the couple and guests were all able to let loose and really enjoy themselves in a way that not many wedding groups do. It was a true celebration of marriage.

Before the actual ceremony, the bride was joined by all the women who danced, sang, and took turns offering her advice and best wishes. This kabbalat panim is really a wonderful ritual in that it allows all of the women to come together and share their love and support with the bride. Meanwhile, Ben was joined by the men at his tish outside where they also sang and danced.

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Once everyone was relaxed and caught up in the happy mood, the men encircled Ben and then sang, danced, and carried him into the lodge to see Kristin Elise for the first time. When the men came in with him and joined the women, the whole building filled with singing and stomping. It was a very exciting moment for everyone, especially the bride as she nervously waited for Ben to make his way across the room to her.

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

During their bedeken ceremony, Ben lowered Kristin Elise's veil over her face, she helped him into a traditional white robe, and they also signed their ketubah. Then it was time for the guests to make their way outside to the tented ceremony site.

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Their Jewish ceremony included many rituals and participants to make the day more meaningful. It was especially nice to see so many of their family and friends involved as they took turns reciting and singing blessings in both English and Hebrew. Their parents also took turns coming forward and offering the couple blessings and words of love and support.

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

I especially loved their ceremony, but I think that the dancing is probably one of the most unique aspects of Jewish weddings. Of course they had a long and jubilant hora at the reception which included a brief period when the guests lifted the couple into the air on chairs. Receptions are usually happy events, but this crowd was especially jubilant. Everyone participated in the laughing, singing, dancing, and general celebration.

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Barber / Weiner Wedding June 14, 2009

Although Marcus was a huge help as always, I also want to especially thank my friend Alecia for coming up from Atlanta to shoot with us. Being in my third trimester now, I couldn't have done it without her help. With the 3 of us shooting, we ended up with many wonderful photos, and I didn't have to worry about getting in the middle of a crowded dance floor where I could have been knocked down or bumped. Check out some of her great shots from the day (including Ben being danced into the bedeken and Kristin Elise being raised on the chair) on the Alecia Lauren Photography blog.
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Hidden Mountain Resort, Sevierville, TN

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
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Saturday was a beautiful Autumn day for the wedding of Diana and Zach. The ceremony was held in the old sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Sevierville. The Lodge at Hidden Mountain Resort was a great reception site and definitely worth checking out. Guests enjoyed all the favorites of a Southern thanksgiving feast: turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, dressing. The band Rough Edges provided live bluegrass music that fit perfectly with a fall, mountain wedding.

Diana was a beautiful bride, and of course I have to show the cute shoes!

Wooten/Pelham Wedding November 10

After getting some photos out of the way before the ceremony, she anxiously waited with her bridesmaids.

Wooten/Pelham Wedding November 10
Wooten/Pelham Wedding November 10
Zach's grandmother baked this amazing cake, transported it to the site, assembled it, and then took it apart and served it. Each layer was a different flavor (pumpkin spice, lemon, red velvet, white etc), AND they had a chocolate grooms cake. I did get better shots, but this one really gives you an appreciation for the size.

Wooten/Pelham Wedding November 10Wooten/Pelham Wedding November 10Wooten/Pelham Wedding November 10
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Hidden Mountain Resort, Sevierville, TN

Tuesday, August 21, 2007
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On Sunday, I photographed an engagement session for Diana & Zach who will be married in November. These two are just adorable. Although the heat can make it more difficult to be affectionate, they did a great job. Diana is a natural in front of the camera, and I'm excited to see what we come up with on their wedding day.

The wedding will take place in Sevierville with a reception at Hidden Mountain Resort Lodge, and that is where they chose to do the engagement photos.

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs

Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
With this last photo, the sun was behind them and hit the front of my lens. Instead of just trashing it, I experimented with some textures and colors. I think it's one of those things you either love or hate, but I like to mix things up once in a while.
Wooten/Pelham Engagement Session Photographs
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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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