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Maryville, TN

Sunday, May 13, 2007
On a sunny day in May 2006, Heather Snell married Jonathan Anderson at Ridge Vallery Farms in Maryville. The weather was beautiful for their outdoor ceremony, and the colors (blue sky, green grass, pink dresses & flowers) were so vibrant and happy.

The girls wore pink and carried gorgeous bouquets with tulips, Gerber daisies, and roses. Heather did the flowers herself, and they couldn't have been more beautiful. She even incorporated peonies, my favorite flower, into her bouquet which was tied off with ribbon and a pretty pink brooch. She also had the most beautiful veil that I have seen.

After some hors'devours, cake, and dancing inside, the guests saw the couple off in a cloud of bubbles.  The sun was finally getting low enough in the sky for some nice outdoor photos so Heather and Jon circled around and came back to do a private photo session. Although it wouldn't work with weddings later in the day, doing photos after the reception worked out perfectly for their afternoon wedding. I'm so glad that we had the extra time as we were able to get some great couple photos and really take advantage of the beautiful weather and venue.

Snell/Anderson Wedding Anniversary May 13

Snell/Anderson Wedding Anniversary May 13

Snell/Anderson Wedding Anniversary May 13

Snell/Anderson Wedding Anniversary May 13

Snell/Anderson Wedding Anniversary May 13
Snell/Anderson Wedding Anniversary May 13
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Annabella at Cedar Glen, Huntsville, AL

Sunday, May 6, 2007
Kimberly Daniels and Wilburt Carson had an outdoor ceremony and reception last year at Annabella at Cedar Glen in Huntsville.

Kim could win an award for her wedding details. She thought of absolutely everything: the punch, the flowers, the wishbowl cards, the cake, the bridesmaid dresses, and every possible decoration. It all matched in her happy wedding colors of pink & orange.

The groom looked very handsome in a white suit and pink tie while the groomsmen wore tan suits with orange ties that matched the bridesmaid dresses. I love when couples add a little of their personalities into the wedding, and the attire was very sophisticated but fun, much like Wil & Kim.

The weather was almost perfect (just a few sprinkles near the end of the night), and Annabella has a lovely, open area for the ceremony as well as a large, shaded area for the reception. Once the sun went down, everyone moved indoors for cake and dancing.

The wedding party included 3 precious little flower girls and very cool little ringbearer. I noticed during the ceremony that he seemed to be posing for all of my photos. This little guy could be a model one day. He certainly likes the camera.

Daniels/Carson Wedding Anniversary May 6

Daniels/Carson Wedding Anniversary May 6

Daniels/Carson Wedding Anniversary May 6
Daniels/Carson Wedding Anniversary May 6

Engagement sessions are a lot of fun and a great chance for me to get to know couples before the wedding day. I think it goes a long way in making everyone more comfortable and relaxed for wedding photos once they've been through an engagement session with me.

The engagement session that I did with Kim & Wil was even more rewarding than usual. Wil used the opportunity to surprise Kim with a gorgeous engagement ring.

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St. John-Neumann Catholic Church, Knoxville, TN

Sunday, May 6, 2007
Katherine Lefler & Ethan Lefebvre, a very sweet, young couple, were married in a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. John-Neumann in 2005. After getting ready at a friend's house nearby, Katherine was loaded into a car (not always an easy task in a wedding dress) and driven to the church where she was escorted down the aisle to Ethan.

After the ceremony and some formal photos, it was time to drive to the reception at The Holiday Inn Select Cedar Bluff. The reception featured a sit-down dinner, a live band for dancing, and several toasts that brought both tears and laughs. Everyone had a great time, but eventually it was time to for the couple to make their grand bubble exit and head up to their room.

Not long ago I had an email from Ethan's mom who told me that Ethan & Katherine now have a little boy about to turn 1! I'm pretty sure that they're my first wedding couple to have had a baby, but they live out of state where Ethan is flying for the Air Force. I'm so happy for them and only wish that they lived closer so that I could take photos of them all.

Lefler/Lefebvre Wedding Anniversary May 6
Lefler/Lefebvre Wedding Anniversary May 6
Lefler/Lefebvre Wedding Anniversary May 6
The cake was a beautiful color and had words (joy, peace, love) scrolling around one of the tiers.
Lefler/Lefebvre Wedding Anniversary May 6
Lefler/Lefebvre Wedding Anniversary May 6
Lefler/Lefebvre Wedding Anniversary May 6
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Heritage Park, Townsend, TN

Friday, May 4, 2007

On Saturday afternoon, Lisa Mynatt and Justin Stinnett had their wedding at Heritage Park in Townsend.

Lisa was a very laid back bride. She didn't want a fru-fru dress with a long train and didn't spend long hours worrying over every possible detail. She focused on what was important to her and put together a really beautiful wedding.

Her bouquet from The Flower Pot had blue & white hydrangeas. The bridesmaid wore a sapphire colored dress, and the cake from Village Bakery had matching blue ribbon and hydrangeas around each tier. Her halter dress came from Budget Bridal by Connie.

Although they had planned an afternoon ceremony on the grass with a scenic view of the mountains, the weather didn't cooperate. No worries... they just moved the ceremony into the covered pavilion. However, as is often the case with showers in the mountains, the rain didn't last long. The rest of the day was sunny and beautiful.

After the reception and a few photos with the couple, Lisa & Justin went to Gatlinburg to spend the rest of the weekend with some of their closest family and friends. The couple had rented Mountaintop Mansion in Gatlinburg Falls Resort. It is an awesome place with a theater, game room, 2 hot tubs, and 9 bedrooms. If you're ever planning a family reunion, this is the place to go.

Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28
Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28
Lisa & Justin did see each other before the ceremony. It didn't really help the timetable much because it started raining soon after, and most of the photos had to be done after the ceremony anyway. It did give them more time together though, and I think it's nice to share more of the wedding day together. Otherwise, Lisa would have just been sitting in a room hiding and being nervous for over an hour.
Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28
I like to get some time alone with couples so that we can do a few romantic photos. When you have guests watching the photo session, it's difficult to relax and focus on each other. Obviously these two were having a hard time ignoring the onlookers.
Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28
This was a great moment. In her excitement, Lisa threw the bouquet over everyone's heads and into the field.
Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28
Justin is an avid fisherman and even had a pole along on the wedding day.
Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28
The couple had a bubble exit from the reception.
Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28
Although she has very traditional taste in photography, I did talk Lisa into doing a few not-so-ordinary photos.
Mynatt/Stinnett Wedding April 28

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The Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, TN

Monday, April 30, 2007
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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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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