As a photographer, I occasionally get inquiries from out of town couples for weddings or elopements. This was the case for Brandi and Michael. I emailed back and forth with Brandi several times prior to their wedding, but had not met them. I had not even spoken with them on the phone. From the time Kevin and I pulled up in the drive of the cabin they had rented in the Smoky Mountains for their intimate mountain wedding, we felt like we were with family! Brandi and Michael welcomed us with hugs, and the friends and family that were present were fantastically friendly. There seemed to be no stress.
Brandi and Michael grew up in the same small town and had known each other for years. They both enjoy hiking and the mountains, so they started hiking together, and the rest as they say, is history. On Christmas morning of 2014, Michael had written a note for Brandi and left it on the mantel for her. His proposal wasn’t the traditional “on one knee”, but we knew meeting them they weren’t typical or traditional! Mike had always said he would never get married, so Brandi jokingly sent him photos of rings from time to time. While Brandi was back home in New York, visiting her mom for the holidays, Mike went to Brandi’s computer and found the ring she had sent to him. He ordered it and as Brandi was returning home from her trip, the FedEx guy was delivering it. She never looked in the package and had no idea what was inside.
Brandi and Michael are so laid back and they wanted a small, intimate mountain wedding that would reflect their personalities, including rustic decor and a cabin and mountains as a backdrop. Brandi loves coral and mint, so those were her colors. Mike actually made Brandi’s bouquet and his boutonniere from coral and mint ribbon and burlap. Their wedding cake was made to look like a birch tree with a nest and birds on top. It fit right in to their rustic theme. Brandi and Mike both wanted to be comfy, and chose their attire with that in mind. Brandi wore her cowboy boots with her dress and even slipped on a flannel shirt over her dress at one point. She wore her grandmother’s pearls and a charm bracelet, also from her grandmother. Brandi loved detail photos, and we tried to give her lots of them!
They had a wedding planned in New York but moved it with only a month left before the date because Brandi says it was “getting out of hand”. They decided to downsize and invite the people they loved the most to be there with them. Kevin and I were blessed to be a small part of their day! Their neighbor Dan played a George Strait song on the banjo for them as Brandi waked down her aisle. They wanted a big barbecue dinner and wanted everyone to just chill out and talk. We honestly felt like we were with family all evening and stayed late with them just to hang out and talk. We were blessed to have been a part of Brandi and Mike’s destination mountain wedding in Sevierville!
Hair, makeup, nails | Southern Strandz Sevierville, TN
Bakery | Smoky Mountain Cakes, Sevierville TN
Catering | Bennetts Barbecue, Sevierville TN
Officiant | Reverend Tom Orange