When I woke up on Tiffany + Andrew’s wedding day, the forecast did not look great. Thunderstorms were a very high chance all throughout the day and that did not bode well for an outdoor wedding at Montgomery State Park. But as any good Tennessean knows, the weather can change at any minute despite the forecast. This would be a big change from their engagement session earlier this year where it was sunny and hot.
When I arrived at The Lodges at the park, I went straight to the bridal suite to find all the bridesmaids steaming dresses or getting their makeup done, including the bride, Tiffany. I quickly grabbed her details to photograph first. Her maid of honor, Marissa, helped me hang Tiffany’s Olia Zavozina wedding dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses for photographing.
As I was working with the bridesmaids, my second shooter, Weatherly, was working with the groomsmen. At this time, the rain has held off and I was praying it would continue. I was able to grab a quick shot of Tiffany and her bridesmaids in their getting-ready robes before she was ready to put on her wedding dress.
Tiffany + Andrew chose to do a first look, so I found a place just outside of the restaurant at The Lodges. I placed Tiffany where she was facing away from the door where Andrew would walk out, after which he called out her name for her to turn around and have such a special moment as they saw and embraced each other for the first time that day.
Since we were still without rain, we started straight away with their portraits, followed by wedding party portraits and bridesmaid portraits. As I was shooting Tiffany with each of her bridesmaids individually, it started to sprinkle, so we ducked under the main deck of the hotel.
Thankfully it was a short shower, so we finished up portraits, as we walked across the bridge to the Lake Acorn Pavilion. Tiffany + Andrew were quickly whisked away to hide from arriving guests.
Thankfully we got to the ceremony space to capture the details there before guests arrived. My favorite detail had to be the koozies with portraits of their three dogs that they wish could be there. We got into place as the clock ticked towards the start time. Andrew and their officiant stood by the hexagonal wedding arch that the two of them made. Her father walked her into the pavilion as their loved ones looked on. She was beaming with happiness to have this day finally come!
Once they kissed, I followed them out of the pavilion to start family portraits. And can you believe it still had not rained! We were able to fit in a few ‘just married’ photos which I always recommend when having a first look.
As we were finishing up the portraits, the rumblings of thunder and rain started. Since the pavilion overlooked a lake, watching the storm was quite dramatic. During cocktail hour, everyone scurried underneath the pavilion and helped to pull in the wedding cake table and gifts table, so they were safe from the downpour of rain.
For many, this would have been a storm worth the tears, but Tiffany + Andrew just rolled with it. Since the rain threw us off schedule, the DJ started playing music as we waited for it to move out so that guests could enjoy a Mexican buffet dinner. Tiffany tied her dress up so that she could just enjoy dancing with her family and friends as some of the kids enjoyed playing in the rain puddles.
Soon enough the rain subsided, and dinner was served. Tiffany + Andrew took to the dancefloor to have their first dance, followed by the father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance. Toasts from the wedding party were next, followed by the cake cutting. The wedding cake was served along with one of the groom’s favorites, St. Louis gooey butter cookies.
The dancefloor opened back up and they enjoyed line dancing until it was time for their grand exit. Guests lined up with glow sticks as they ushered the lovebirds out of the pavilion into married life. And thankfully we were able to get in all the portraits that we wanted and no one got hurt by a tornado!
Venue: Montgomery Bell State Park, Lake Acorn Pavilion
Wedding Dress: Olia Zavozina
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: David’s Bridal, Azazie, and Birdy Grey
Groom & Groomsmen’s Tuxes: Men’s Warehouse
Florist: Holman Florist
Hair Stylist: Betsy Hinkle
Wedding Cake: Jeanny Camren
Groom’s Dessert: Helfner’s Pastries & Deli Cafe
November 4, 2020