Elizabeth Nord Photography » Everyone has a story. Let me tell yours.

It’s finally December, my favorite month of the year!  It’s the month of Christmas, my birthday, and the month that leads to the New Year!  I am so excited to decorate this year at our new Chicago home and to feel like we’re really starting to settle in.

Something I’ve started doing this year was saving my normal “junk mail” magazines.  Typically, I take two seconds to look at magazines that come in the mail and then throw them away.  This year, I decided to keep two of my favorite Christmas decor magazines simply for decoration!  I love seeing the color on my coffee table and I’ve even noticed my guests going through them just for fun! Of course, no coffee table is complete without some amazing homemade camera coasters (made by my friend Eileen Hyatt) and a bottle of white wine!

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I found myself reminiscing and looking through old photographs this past week.  I am amazed at the many sweet memories that I’ve made and am so thankful to have photographs to relive these moments!  One in particular that I’d like to share with you is the first time (and only time so far!) that I’ve been a bridesmaid.

As a photographer, this was surprisingly hard for me but, actually, easy at the same time.  Have I lost you yet?  Yeah, I’ll admit that last sentence was a little confusing!  Here…let me elaborate.  As a wedding photographer, I wanted to bring my camera with me to everything: the bachelorette party, getting ready in the morning, the ceremony, the reception, and even outside the venue as they waved goodbye in their limo.  However, I resisted. Like hardcore resisted.  I didn’t bring it at all.  I flat out left it in Florida where I was living at the time and just didn’t even try to bring it.  It was really, really hard, but, honestly, I’m so glad that I did.  I was able to really experience each moment with my best friend (the bride) and her other bridesmaids.

Being a bridesmaid was a really fun and unique experience.  I thought some of you might like to hear about it and hopefully benefit from some of the advice I am going to share!  Comment below if you have any other advice for current or future bridesmaids!

 

1.  Go to as many parties as you can and make memories together.  Unfortunately, part of growing up sometimes means that you won’t always live in the same city as your best friend.  This was true in my case because, at the time, she was living in Tennessee while I was living in Florida.  I couldn’t be there for all of her parties, which broke my heart, but I was able to go to what I thought was the most important one- the Bachelorette party.  This is the one day (or weekend in our case!) where you get to spend tons of time with the bride and her best ladies.  Fortunate for us, the bride’s (have I even mentioned the bride’s name yet? It’s Caroline by the way!!) … sister thought of a truly unique bachelorette party, and we got to experience new things together by going on a trip to St. Louis.  Below shows a few photos of the crazy things we got to do at the City Museum- talk about a rush of adrenaline!!  I am terrified of heights, but this was not the time to be a scaredy cat.  I don’t typically get a ton of time with my best friend, and I wanted to be a part of every second of this trip.  So I did it! I may not have looked cute doing it, and I may have lots years off my life from pure terror, but it was worth it!  We made some incredibly fun memories that weekend, and it made me even closer to my friends!

 

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Kevin and Cara are two incredibly smart and sweet Med school students who are crazy in love.  I don’t always get to talk to the groom as much as the bride before the engagement session, but I was so happy to talk to the both of them over the phone during our initial phone consultation.  They were both so ecstatic and I loved hearing both sides of the proposal story (which was ADORABLE by the way)!  The Osaka Japanese Gardens at Hyde Park was the perfect setting for this couple’s romantic engagement session.

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After their proposal at the Orpheum (Check it out here if you missed it!), we spent some time at Shelby Farms in Memphis, TN for the first part of their engagement session (part II coming next year!)  These two are the goofiest, funniest, and sweetest couples I’ve ever met…although I suppose I’m biased.  The only time we could all three get together this weekend was mid-day- while the timing may not have been ideal, we embraced the harsh light and made it work for us!  I am thrilled at how these turned out! I hope you all enjoy these and don’t forget to leave this cool couple some love in the comment section!

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I’m still in shock. My sister is engaged!

Props to Adam who was a complete gentleman, took her shopping, made her feel special and beautiful, and planned this whole night.  It couldn’t have been more perfect for Lauren.  This was SO her and I couldn’t wait to get down to Memphis, TN to photograph their proposal.

Once arriving, I was given access backstage to put my camera equipment in a locked security closet.  To see all the props, actors, and masks laying around was surreal.  I was escorted to my seat where I watched just about the entire play until I had to go backstage again to set up.  When I went backstage again I experienced the actors singing backstage in their costumes, watched the men pull the large stage curtains up and down, and heard the stage managers call out cues for everyone.  It was so neat and it really took me back to the days when I used to act in school plays!

Special thanks to The Orpheum who made everything go smoothly, gave us no problems, and made this night so incredibly special for the two of them.  I have such a fun and positive experience from this night and it will always be in my memories.  I know it will be for Lauren and Adam!  Congratulations to you guys! I’m so happy for you!

 

Outside The Orpheum

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Eva Mallard

Beautiful pictures Liz. Made Aunt Cookie Cry!!!

Lindsey and Nate are two wonderful, smart, and incredibly sweet people!  After our Starbucks meeting the day before the wedding, I just new the wedding was going to be a blast. We had a great time exploring the Palmer House Hilton hotel where they stayed, laughed our way through as we got lost, went in the wrong elevators, and were escorted through the hotel kitchen, and then took a quick stroll down the streets of Chicago to the Art Institute gardens.  Their pop up elopement wedding was such a fun experience for me.  A low stress elopement with an adorable couple? A photographer’s dream! Seriously, they are amazing.  This wedding at the gardens at The Art Institute of Chicago was sweet, intimate, and so special.  I feel so incredibly lucky to have crossed paths with these two love birds!   Please enjoy this blog post and I hope you feel the carefree moments, love, and romance!

 

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Eileen and Rico probably crossed paths as they went to school at Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana but they never met.  They didn’t meet until they both received jobs from Google! Yep, Google.  These two are not only smart but an amazingly fun and sweet couple!  I was so excited to shoot this amazing wedding alongside JC Carley and to meet this incredible couple.  The getting ready shots were taken at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Chicago while the couple portraits were taken downtown and in Lincoln Park.  Their gorgeous wedding ceremony and reception were held at the Greenhouse Loft.

 

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A little something different on the blog today and I’m SO excited about it! I had an awesome opportunity to photograph Fleur de Lee, a gorgeous new restaurant in Jackson, TN and it’s amazing food.  I LOVE this restaurant. It’s modern decor and bright atmosphere is an inviting place to enjoy your lunch or have a client meeting!  The flat screen television’s, wireless internet, and other amenities make it perfect for corporate events, too! And the best news of all…it’s NOW OPEN!!

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Moving to Chicago was many things: scary, unbelievable, challenging, stressful, but above all EXCITING!  I feel as though everyone dreams of moving from a small town to a big city to make a name for themselves, to experience new things, and to have amazing adventures.  But I actually get to do this? Am I really doing this?  Woah, am I really here?  While I always said, “I would love to live in big city like New York or Chicago,” I never in a million years would have dreamt I’d be here right now.  It was just so unknown and scary to think about leaving my entire family and friends in Tennessee and to move my photography business to start all over in Chicago.  Will I be successful here? Will I make friends?  Will I even fit in?

Thankfully, this isn’t the first time I’ve had to move from my family and move my photography business.  This is my 3rd move now.  I first started photographing in Nashville (in 2009) during my first year of marriage and while attending Belmont University.  While I was still an amateur at this point, it was hard to move to Knoxville a year later where I knew absolutely no one.  During my 3 years there, I officially started my business and grew to love Knoxville and the people in it.  My photography business grew so fast and it was so rewarding to capture so many special moments in these people’s lives.  I made amazing, long lasting relationships that I still keep today.  In 2013, we moved to Gainesville, Florida, and I was terrified.  I cried because I had never lived anywhere outside of Tennessee and again, I knew absolutely no one.  I was a 13 hour drive from home and that was unbelievable to me that I’d ever move that far away from my family.  But again, I made some amazing relationships that I will treasure forever, created unforgettable memories, and got to enjoy the beach, the weather, and season passes to Disney World.  (HELLO AWESOMENESS!)  However, I knew that moving to Gainesville was temporary (10 months to be exact) and I would be moving again.  Truthfully, I thought we’d move back to Nashville, TN.  I was about 90% positive it was going to happen.  Little did I know, God had another plan for me and my husband, Vincent.  We decided that he should take the job opportunity in Chicago and that we should take this leap of faith and just trust that everything will be fine.

So, if it wasn’t obvious by the photo below, we had a yard sale….a BIG one!  Saying bye to more than half of our belongings was difficult, but at the same time liberating.  It feels nice to start from scratch and just keep the items that are truly our style and that will elevate our home instead of clutter it up.  It doesn’t help that we also got a little bit of money for it all!  Chicago is much more expensive to live in than Tennessee.  I also spent the summer spending time with my family and at the end, saying bye to them not knowing the next time I may see them (hopefully Thanksgiving!).  I love this photo of my grandfather and I.  My mom and I took him out of the Veterans home for lunch at a local grill and he enjoyed it so much.  It made my heart happy to see him smile, eat good food, and to just talk to me about life.

 

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While visiting in France this summer, I was privileged with the opportunity to capture an special time in my cousin Maxime’s life.  Maxime was christened in Bretagne at one of the local Catholic churches and I was so excited that the family asked me to take photographs at the ceremony.  This was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and while I probably only understood 10 words during the whole ceremony, it was so moving and so unique!

 

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Jessica and Ryan are an amazing couple that are obviously head over heels in love with one another.  Their love radiates through each photo and it is so inspiring!  I have to admit that I wanted to go hug my husband every second that I was editing this wedding.  Their love and happiness is contagious!

I absolutely loved being a part of the Nicholl wedding.  I hope you all love this wedding as much as I do. I particularly enjoyed the beautiful weather, Jessica’s gorgeous lace dress, amazing scenery, and all their special touches throughout the day!

 

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Where to begin?!

Jackie… I’ve known you for (can you believe it!) nearly 10 years now!  I feel like I’ve watched you grow from your adorable middle school self into the strong, confident, and gorgeous woman that you are today.  You’ve been with me at some of the best moments of my life and you were standing beside me at my wedding.   I cannot wait to stand next to you at yours!

Alex… I’ve only known you for probably a year or so now but I knew that I liked you ever since our 10 second Skype chat on Jackie’s computer that one night. You’ve always been the sweetest and most genuine person.  I truly believe that you would give up your shirt for me if I needed it and I couldn’t ask for more from a future brother-in-law.  Vincent and I are so excited to welcome you into the family soon!

I feel so honored to have been with Jackie and Alex for their Ireland engagement session.  This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I was there! ME! WOW. I’m still in awe.  Now without getting too sappy and long winded, I want to get to the good part! The pictures!! I hope you all enjoy these as much as we do and you feel their love radiating through the photographs!

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Edie McGee

Beautiful work, Elizabeth Nord! So romantic,fun and exciting! Jackie Nord looks stunning! Can’t wait to meet Alex! Love you all dearly!

Traveling Through Ireland (Part II) » Elizabeth Nord Photography

[…] To see the rest of their engagement session, see this blog post!!  […]

lizard

Thank you!! 🙂

I finally have a minute to put together this personal blog about our recent vacation to Ireland! YAY!! Ireland is the most beautiful country I have yet to see.

 

After an 13.5 hour trip, we land in Dublin!  Between its cool architecture, painted front doors, and unique pub scene, Dublin is filled with life and culture!  We were told by a tour guide that the front doors of homes were all painted different colors so that after a long night of drinking, it was easier to distinguish which home was your own.

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Traveling Through Ireland (Part II) » Elizabeth Nord Photography

[…] In case you missed Part 1…CLICK HERE […]

Filled with laughter and love, Olivia and Stephen’s day will be one they’ll never forget.  This gorgeous rustic outdoor wedding is full of pinterest-worthy decorations, a horse & carriage, and twinkle lights. What more could you ask for?2014-04-10_0002This bouquet made of brooches is absolutely stunning!2014-04-10_0006

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Caitlin and I met through Facebook one day last year as I was finding amazing couples to be in my promo video (see it here!).  We automatically clicked and once I met her and DL in person that day of the shoot, I knew we’d always be friends.  Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, but she has the kind of personality that just shines when she enters a room.  DL is a very laid back, sweet southern gentleman that, when you get him to laugh or to look at Caitlin, has one of the sweetest smiles I’ve ever seen.  When they asked me to photograph their wedding a few months later, I was SO excited.  Caitlin and I talked on the phone for nearly an hour about the details of her big day, whether they were going to do a first look or first touch, what her dress looked like, etc.  As the months passed, the excitement grew larger.  I flew from Gainesville, FL to Jackson, TN for the wedding on Saturday, May 3.  The wedding was held at The Barn at Snider Farms in Denmark, TN and as I drove up the graveled driveway, I saw the gorgeous wood barn in front of me.  Cars already lined up along the road and in front of the barn, I knew this was going to be a blast.  EVERYONE was excited and anxious for the day to begin.  Immediately, my assistant John and I began to shoot the details…

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Sherry Binford Collins

Awesome!!! Love them all!!

Donna Watson Marbury

Absolutely beautiful!!!!

Loretta Davis

Wow what a wonderful tribute to the bride and groom. Beautiful!

Delaine Chilcutt

Beautiful!!!

Michelle Turner Eaton

Absolutely beautiful images!

Christy Simmons Hays

Beautiful pictures!!

Beth Dickson Thomas

Very pretty pictures!Caitlin was gorgeous♡♡♡☆☆☆

Terri Lynn DeLoach

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, well you can see the love that they have between them just by the looks they give each other! Also you can tell that they have all the love and support from wonderful,family and friends! These pictures are worth more than a thousand words! Congratulations Sherry to you and your family! I’m so excited for you!!!!!

So you’ve heard of the first touch but what’s the point? What is it exactly?

The first touch is a special moment that you can experience with your soon to be husband or wife before the ceremony begins.  During this time you can get some sweet and often emotional photos of the two of you as you try to get out some of the pre-wedding nerves by talking to one another and holding hands.

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I personally wish this was “a thing” when my husband and I got married. We wanted to stay traditional and not see one another before the wedding, but I would have loved to have touched his hand and talked to him just to know how he was feeling and what all he had done that day.

Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013  It was driving me nuts that I couldn’t text or call him all morning! It was so out of the norm for us.  Talking to him would have given me a breath of fresh air and it would have calmed my nerves about walking down the aisle and everyone’s eyes on me.  That was my biggest stress for some reason.  I had no doubt about marrying Vincent. He was and still is the man of my dreams.

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The best part of this is that for those of you that were like me and want to keep the tradition of not seeing the bride before the wedding, it’s a good half way point between the first look and no contact at all.

Have you had a first look or wish you had done one? I’d love to hear what you thought and your comments on the moment you shared together!

Payne’s Prairie is one of the largest and coolest state parks I’ve ever been to in Florida.  It’s seriously… HUGE!  This unique park is located in Micanopy, Florida and is filled with beautiful landscape, places for camping and a picnic, fishing, nature trails, and wildlife! My husband, my friend Teri, and I went exploring on Sunday to this awesome destination.

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During our nature walks, we saw a deer, vultures, and a wild turkey.  We took the Chacala Trail and along the trail we stopped by the Chacala pond for these neat views!

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Over the years, I’ve noticed that each bridal party I meet is different in their style and personality.  Therefore, no photo is the same!  There are several ways that I have photographed a bridal party. I found that categorizing them and showing a few examples would be the best way to show my brides as well as other photographers how I handle bridal party formals.   Another bit of information that I added was whether they had an indoor or outdoor ceremony and where they decided to do the formals.  I also included approximately what time the portrait was taken and at what month of the year.  This gives you a good idea of the lighting situation at certain times of the year.   Additionally, at the end of this blog post I’ve added a FAQ section where I answer some of the most common questions that brides have asked me about bridal party formals.

I hope you all find this extremely helpful and please comment below to let me know if you have any questions about what you read today! 

 

Traditional formals

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Alyssa and Matthew had one of the most beautiful outdoor weddings.  It was filled with sunshine, romance, and love!  This gorgeous sailor-themed wedding was located in Cedar Key, FL at a local bed and breakfast.  I arrived early to the wedding to explore the surroundings and to breathe in the amazing ocean breeze. What an amazing way to start my day! 🙂  During the ceremony, the bride and groom were surrounded by their family members.  The reception was held later that night in their hometown of Trenton, FL.

 

Vendor Spotlight

Ceremony: The Cedar Key Bed and Breakfast

Reception: The Women’s Club in Trenton, FL

Band: TJ Brown Band

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The groom, Matt, is a fisherman and so we knew this was a must-needed shot with their rings! This is actually one of his fishing lures!

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My gorgeous mother had the opportunity to come spend an entire week with me in Florida and I soaked up every minute of it! One day we went exploring around Gainesville seeing new shops, restaurants, and eating our weight in Gigi’s cupcakes, then the next day we had a pamper day where we got our hair and nails done (MUCH needed!), and on this day we went on a short road trip over to St. Augustine Beach.  It’s she radiant?

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Sometimes I sit in my office and just let my mind wander. I dream of beautiful things and interesting ideas. Like any great artist, some ideas are amazing and some are silly. Often times you’ll find one amazing concept and you’ll roll with it.  This Valentines Day inspired session was that concept.

It was my first time visiting the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens in Gainesville, Florida. Even in February, when its not fully in bloom, there were still some gorgeous scenery to be viewed!  With the right props and a fun couple, amazing images are bound to happen!

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I had the amazing privilege of second shooting with a local Gainesville wedding photographer, Sweet Serendipity, for Lauren & Ricky’s wedding day!  As the main shooter, I am usually photographing the bride and her bridal party so (as the second shooter) it was a fun change of pace for me to concentrate on the groom and his groomsmen!

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The ceremony had an intimate outdoor setting at the Haile Village Plantation.

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When my friend Candice of C. Hill Photography asked me to second shoot a wedding with her, I was super excited!  Being brand new to Gainesville, Florida definitely slowed down my business for a little bit but it’s starting to pick up pace again and I’m excited to see what 2014 has in store for Elizabeth Nord Photography!!  The Infinger wedding was held at Steinhatchee Landing which including the most adorable chapel and a beautiful lake view for the reception.

 

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I had the privilege of meeting Jessica at her mothers wedding in Knoxville, TN.  Little did I know that I would be photographing HER wedding nearly 2 years later! On the day of their engagement session, I got to meet her fiancé Ryan.  Ryan currently attends Vanderbilt University and is studying physics as a graduate student.  While I was in Tennessee for the week, I decided to drive to Nashville and meet them for their session. I’ve been wanting to shoot at this gorgeous location for quite some time and I’m so glad they were up for it!  The weather couldn’t have been better and the sun was shining bright for us!  We met at Percy Warner Park on this amazing day and had so much fun.  You can’t tell in the photos, but there were hundreds of people at the park either walking, attending a wedding, or taking pictures for their prom/formals that day!  Even in front of a crowd, these two had no problem showing their love for one another.

I can’t wait to photograph your wedding Jessica and to see all of your family again! You guys are so good to me! 🙂

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Hannah’s mother, Jill was one of my best friends (and still is) while I was living in Knoxville, TN.  I was so honored when she asked me to be Hannah’s wedding photographer.  The ultimate complement- an experienced wedding photographer asking ME to photograph her daughter’s wedding! AH!

Jill explained to me that ever since Hannah was a little girl, she loved color.  Her wedding definitely showed her love of color and converse!  Her entire wedding radiated pure excitement and happiness!  It was one of the funnest weddings I’ve ever photographed!  Constant smiling, laid-back mentality, Disney music, and dancing…what more could you ask for?

 

Vendor Spotlight:

Hair- Miriam at Salon Aquarius

Makeup- Amanda McKnight with Southern Sirens

Catering- Buddy’s BBQ and The Chef Next Door

Cake- Slice At A Time

Flowers- Lisa Mott

Venue- McKamey property in Clinton, TN

 

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Only a few days remain before I have to move to Gainesville, FL. When I first arrived in Knoxville I was 5 hours away from family, didn’t know anyone, starting at a new school, and creating a new business.  It was overwhelming but after the first few months Knoxville quickly became my new home.  I met some amazing people!  I absolutely love my neighbors, the Miller Family, and the group of photographers that were so encouraging and willing to answer any questions I had when I was first starting up.  You guys made Knoxville feel like home and I can’t thank you enough for that.  I’m so sad to be leaving Knoxville, but I am very excited about the new adventure I’ll have in Gainesville.

I wanted to put together a list of things to do in Knoxville one more time before leaving and here’s my list of MUST-DOs in Knoxville! ENJOY!

1. Go to Market Square. Eat at a restaurant and visit the neat shops

2. Walk down Gay Street and see a show at the Tennessee Theater

3. Get a banana-nutella crepe at The French Market…yum!

4. Eat some good ole Tennessee BBQ at Sweet P’s

5. Take a walk at Ijams Nature Center and Sequoyah Park (my 2 favorites!)

6. Go to a Tennessee football game at Neyland Stadium! GO VOLS!

7. Go inside the Sunsphere 

8. Eat sushi at Nama Sushi

9. Go to Boomsday– Seriously, if you’re in the area during Labor Day, GO!! You won’t be disappointed!

10. If you get some extra time, you should definitely make a trip to the Smoky Mountains and go to Cades Cove! GORGEOUS up there and worth the drive!

 

 

I hope you enjoy this list and maybe find a few favorites of your own while you’re visting! Comment on your favorite things to do! I’d love to hear what they are!

 

Kristy & Grant had a beautiful wedding celebration at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Jackson, TN!  Kristy was one of the calmest and most laid-back brides I’ve ever seen on her wedding day.  They are such a cute couple and their reception was so much fun!

Vendor Spotlight

DJ: Greg Nichols with DJ 5 Productions

Caterer: Elegant Events

Baker: Geri Goethals

Flowers: DIY from friends

Officiant: Father Damian Krawkowski

 

Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013

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Angelique & Michael had a beautiful celebration of love at Crescent Bend House & Gardens in Knoxville, TN.  This intimate ceremony was filled with only their close family and friends.  Their love for one another was evident and the tears that rolled down their faces during the ceremony was so sweet!  Below are some of my favorite images from the wedding!

 

Angelique went to Starbucks that morning where the barista labeled her cup “The Bride”

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Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013

Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013

One of her bridesmaids and best friends helps her into her gorgeous wedding gown.Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013

 

Angelique could barely hold the tears back even before the ceremony started. She was so excited!Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013

The tears started as soon as he saw his gorgeous bride

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Their son meets them at the alter after their “I dos.”

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They watch as the preacher signs their wedding papers

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After a long and super hot wedding day, the girls decide to dip their feet in the pond and cool off 🙂Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013 Elizabeth Nord Photography 2013

Eric & Leah met while attending college at Freed-Hardeman University.  They had one of the sweetest ceremonies I’ve ever seen. I’m pretty sure I cried 4 or 5 different times!  🙂 They had such heartfelt vows and sincere tears of joy.  It was a simple and elegant wedding at the Fourth Street Church of Christ in Selmer, TN.  Everyone at the wedding was wonderful to talk to and be around. There was a smile on everyone’s faces!  I have to say that it was highly contagious… One of the wedding guests came up to me after the wedding to tell me, “I think you’re just adorable!  You had a smile on the whole wedding and you looked like you were having so much fun!”  That’s exactly what it was- FUN!

Without further adieu, I wish you both happiness in your marriage and a blissful future! You guys are a beautiful couple and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the both of you!

 

Hair: Emily’s House of Style

Bakery: Creative Cakery

Ceremony/Reception: Fourth Street Church of Christ

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