July 4, 2020
This Cade’s Cove engagement session turned out to be one of the most incredible introductions to Tennessee. When I found out that I was moving to Knoxville, I was absolutely terrified of what I would find there and what it would be like. I did an engagement session giveaway so that way I could meet awesome brides from Knoxville. Stephanie was someone that instantly helped me out. She FaceTimed with me and we got to have a super long awesome conversation about Tennessee. This is the perfect person to talk to about Tennessee. She actually works in Pigeon Forge and does the Hatfield and McCoy dinner theater. In fact, that is where she met Jeff. He was the sheriff there, which basically was the start of the show.
Their love story is absolutely adorable, and honestly so are they. Since they work in Pigeon Forge, they know all the best spots to go around and take photos. Stephanie had always imagined doing a Cade’s Cove engagement sessions. When we talked about what she imagined, she wanted the rolling hills in the background and a big field. She even chose to wear her wedding colors, a lilac purple, that way it would match all of her invitations. Such a genius idea!
After getting to know Stephanie, I was blown away by how hilarious and outgoing Jeff was. He’s a stuntman and moved here from Pennsylvania. He absolutely loves the Tennessee lifestyle. He had us laughing the entire time, and it was so much fun getting to see him and Stephanie’s personalities around each other. We first got off at one of the cabins. As we walked we stopped several times to take pictures with the gorgeous fields, then hit up the cabin.
Next, we jumped right back into the car and pulled over to an amazingly gorgeous field and then wandered into the forest. As soon as we had exited the forest and we’re starting to walk a few feet up the road a bear literally followed us out! It walked across into the field where we were just shooting. Literally, without knowing it we were in the presence of a bear. Stephanie and Jeff just laughed and we’re so excited while I was freaking out. In fact, here’s a picture of Stephanie pointing at the bear a safe 50 yards away while I screamed internally and wanted to run into the car.
We ended the night in front of one of Cade’s Cove’s famous Baptist churches. It was so beautiful and breathtaking. There was a tour guide there that gave us a little bit of history of the area. I think it’s so crazy that whenever I see beautiful and lush fields, there’s so much history of the people that lived there and what they went through. This picture was where the CCC was gathered during FDR’s program to help during the great depression. Thousands of men gathered to help build back America, right in this spot. I’m honored that we were able to learn about that. He gave me so much perspective.
As we were leaving the park, the sunset was coming in, and thousands of fireflies lit up the night. It honestly just looked like a magical fairyland. If you’re looking to go to Cade’s Cove make sure you go at sunset looking out to the most incredible views. Just be prepared, the people will stop every 10 minutes and it will take you an hour and a half to get out of the park! But it was honestly worth it just to see Cade’s Cove lit up so beautifully at night. I’ve been dreaming of all the elopements and weddings that I will have the opportunity to shoot here!
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