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  • Joe and Kristen

Intimate North Carolina Mountain Wedding: Kristen + Jesse

This story starts in eight months ago, back in February of this year, when Jenny and I, along with our awesome teammates Jenny and Bryan, were attending the Wedding Festivals at the U.S. Cellular Center for the second year in a row. As usual the day was quite a rush! Between trying to keep up with 400+ brides, handing out literature for those interested, and guest speaking, sometimes as a vendor your head can spin. Despite the whirlwind environment, we treasure events like because it gives us the opportunity to connect face-to-face with brides, couples, and their families. We were blessed to connect with Kristen on this special day! She didn’t tell us this until months later: uneasy about “normal wedding things” she was so overwhelmed at the event, that she was ready to burst into tears as she made one last pass through the photographer section, and saw our booth – picked up one of our photobooks – started an easy conversation with our girls – and left smiling. Jenny and Jenny must have said something magical, because two months later in early April, Kristen reached out to us about documenting her wedding day! What I remember most about our early communications with Kristen is that she had this beautifully unique vision for her big day. It was to be anything but traditional, with a dash of formal thrown in for good mix. To quote Kristen, her vision was "a classy, metaphysical, hippie, get-married-in-the woods beautiful wedding" – instantly, we were intrigued and couldn’t wait to learn more about Kristen and her fiancé Jesse! The next day we were on our way to Florida for a destination beach wedding and we had scheduled a call so we could talk to Kristen and get to know her better as well as the plan for her special day! I want to say an hour and some change later, we were sitting in the parking lot of a BP laughing and feeling like we were talking to an old friend. A few days later, we received the amazing news that Kristen thought we would be the perfect fit, not only for their wedding day, but for her and Jesse as a couple. Soon after, we met them out for Cinco de Mayo in town at Char Bar-7! After getting the opportunity to meet them both, we knew we were going to be in for an amazing journey. Both Kristen and Jesse were modest, but very accomplished individuals; and, together they have this fun, flirty, and playful nature about them that brings out the best in each other.

Now, I’ll have you know, Kristen and Jesse did 90% of their wedding planning, creating, decorating, and executing, themselves – with a little help from their friends! Jesse took care of the heavier manual labor and more tech savvy things, while Kristen planned everything from their astrological wedding chart to the flowers. While Jesse was building a gorgeous arch out of Rhododendron branches, Kristen was making a quartz crystal embellished garter belt! Once the wedding day finally arrived, Jesse was cool and calm! He and I spent the majority of our time checking out the view and exploring a bit with his nephew Jaden! Kristen, who had been locked out of the house they were renting for the wedding, was bit behind schedule and frazzled. As most brides do, she took her sweet time getting ready, finding laughter and joy in the little moments with photographer Jenny - and man, that extra time was so worth it! She shined bright on her wedding day and Jesse couldn’t agree more! (We just love first looks!)

After taking it all in, it was off to their breathtaking ceremony site at the top of a mountain! Kristen and Jesse had envisioned an intimate ceremony: Jesse’s mother was the reverend, and one of his sisters and her son present as sacred supporters. This was such a quiet and beautiful moment in the middle of the mountains, it felt surreal! We both had the freedom to move around and get angles we usually wouldn’t get, as well as get closer than we’d usually get, to capture their intimate ceremonial moments. After a heartfelt exchanging of their vows, these two became one as they sealed their union with a kiss and a butt grab – BUT our story doesn’t end there!

Kristen and Jesse also wanted to have a more traditional ceremony so that all of their friends and family could be a part of this moment with them! After a quick rearranging of the ceremony space, the “I do’s” were complete and the smiles were even bigger! After all the hugs and shaking of hands slowed down, we were able to sneak these lovebirds away for some couples photos and these two were the absolute epitome of happiness. Kristen and Jesse had one last surprise for us, taking us to a covered bridge they had found along the drive…I may have jumped in the river and soaked my feet to the bone, but, we got the shot :) (picture below)

And where was the party? At Jesse’s mom’s house, of course! Backyard games and taco dishes made us feel welcome and relaxed for a fun DIY wedding reception! We may have left at our bedtime, but we heard there was a “glow stick dance-off body art shake down” that left the grass and everyone’s clothes, well…a little brighter!

After this wedding was all said and done, we left with full hearts, full stomachs, wet feet (hahaha) and two new friends! Congratulations you guys, and thank you for letting us be a part of your journey!

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