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Caitlin and Matt found me through Instagram when they were searching for a photographer for their Roan Mountain wedding. The couple lives in South Carolina, but they planned to get married near family on Roan Mountain in the Cherokee National Forest. They’d been searching for a local photographer but weren’t having much luck. So they expanded their search to all of Tennessee through the hashtag Tennessee wedding photographer and found OkCrowe Weddings!

Matt and Caitlin met when she was bartending during college at USC in Columbia, South Carolina. Matt’s a musician, and he would come to the bar and tell her about the shows he was doing. Later she’d gush to her friends about “hot Matt.” When she stayed in town over spring break to get in some extra work hours, Matt asked her out! From that first date, they’ve been pretty inseparable.

Caitlin says their common sense of adventure, love of exploring, and creative natures (she’s an artist and graphic designer) are just as important to their relationship as the things that make them different.

groom in maroon suit kisses brides cheek in grassy field with hills in the background at their Roan Mountain wedding

 

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

Because she and Matt are both artists (musician and graphic designer), they wanted their wedding to reflect their chosen paths, their relationship, and their authentic selves. Caitlin’s creative touch was involved from start to finish in every detail of the day. You’ll notice her flair for bright, bold, and whimsical details in this gallery. She designed their invitation suite (HOLY WOW) and the plastic cups for their reception (Laissez les bons temps rouler is a Cajun French phrase meaning “Let the good times roll”). She hand painted hangers for her bridesmaids’ dresses and all the signage for the ceremony and reception. Caitlin also ordered all the florals online from Bloominous and designed each piece herself! I’m pretty sure there’s not much this lady can’t do–and I love how incredibly her details came together to reflect a unique sense for their wedding day and relationship.

 

NATIONAL FOREST WEDDING HIDEAWAY

Matt and Caitlin got married at The Barn at Triple J Farms, which is just outside of Roan Mountain State Park near the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Deep in the heart of the Cherokee National Forest, it felt like a little hideaway from the rest of the world. I do so love state park and national park weddings for this reason. 

bright, bold wedding invitation and save-the-date cards draped with bead necklace

sparkly pink ankle boots sit next to lace square laid with emerald ring and floral earrings

floral details on white tulle wedding dress hanging from custom hanger against wooden barn door

bride and bridesmaids in fringe-lined bathrobes hold large balloons

bride crosses her arms in front of her while her mother ties the back of her dress

bride puts on lace-up sparkly boots while her mother helps tie them

bridesmaids in sleeveless blue dresses react with excitement at their first view of the bride

bride opens her arms wide as her father sees her in her wedding dress for the first time

wooden box labeled John sits on a bench next to baseball glove

wooden box with lid hinged open contains a dark tie and small bottle of Makers Mark whisky

man crouches in field with his baseball-gloved hand extended

pocket watch sits on top of gray socks stitched with black dogs. Black mens shoes and black tie nearby.

groom dresses in deep maroon suit with black lapels, black shoes, and black tie

groom's mother pins a simple boutonniere of greens and white flower onto the black lapel of his maroon suit

man grasps the black lapels of his maroon suit. a simple boutonniere of greens and white flower is pinned to his lapel.

bridesmaids in long blue satin dresses walk with bride on a gravel path at her Roan Mountain wedding. one woman carries bride's dress train.

bride and bridesmaids in various blue satin gowns stand with their flowers at their sides

bride and bridesmaids in various blue satin gowns walk while holding their long gowns above the grass

Groom in maroon suit and groomsmen in gray suits walk down a gravel path under tall trees

Groom in maroon suit and groomsmen in gray suits walk down a gravel path under tall trees

Groom in maroon suit and groomsmen in gray suits stand in a V-formation

wooden archway decorated with bright florals

 

ROAN MOUNTAIN WEDDING CEREMONY 

Here’s how you know the world is small. I get hired to shoot a wedding 3 ½ hours away from home in the middle of a huge national forest. In talking to their friend Mel who officiated the ceremony, I realized how many friends we have in common back in Chattanooga. What a wild connection.

So Matt and Caitlin chose not to do a first look ahead of their ceremony. Y’all, Matt’s face when he saw her walk down the aisle–I just can’t. This is the sweetest moment. I love when his dad (also his best man!) leans over and squeezes him around the shoulder. So much tenderness, and these moments get me every time!

Caitlin and Matt have two really sweet dogs that they included throughout their day. I could not get over how their lab stood next to Mel watching his mom and dad exchange vows. 

groom in maroon suit and officiant in tan suit stand on a wooden deck in front of a wooden archway

bride walks through wooden doorway in a field toward wedding guests

groom wipes away his tears

bride and her father stand at the front of the aisle as groom's father hugs him around his shoulder

black labrador stands next to officiant while bride and groom hold hands and exchange vows

groom looks at bride while officiant reads to them

bride smiles at groom while he repeats his vows to her

bride and groom kiss while maid of honor, best man, and officiant smile

bride and groom hug tightly

bride and groom walk down the aisle together with their black lab while guests clap for them

groom kisses bride's cheek as her red hair blows in the breeze

groom holds bride and kisses her at the end of the aisle at their Roan Mountain wedding in Cherokee National Forest

groom holds bride and kisses her at the end of the aisle at their Roan Mountain wedding in Cherokee National Forest

grooms father kisses grooms mother on the hand as he escorts a bridesmaid down the aisle

groom hugs bride and spins her in a grass field

bride and bridesmaids raise their hands in celebration

bride hugs her mother while others look on

bride and groom hold their hands together to show their rings off

bride hugs young girl in blue dress

bride and groom pose with their family members and dogs in front of the wooden arch ceremony structure

bride and groom hug as bridal party comes together for a group hug

 

ROAN MOUNTAIN WEDDING RECEPTION AND SUNSET BRIDE AND GROOM PHOTOS

Matt and Caitlin’s reception was a ton of fun. Their goal was to kick back and celebrate with their family and friends, and they accomplished that to the final moments. Matt’s band played, and he would take breaks between dancing to go play with them. 

Partway through the reception, I grabbed the couple so we could go out to the field for sunset portraits. You guys know these are one of my favorite things to shoot, and I love when my couples make time for them! Later, Matt and Caitlin told me they really enjoyed this session because the stress of the day was totally gone by that point. They were able to feel really relaxed and enjoy being themselves in front of the camera! These two highly recommend doing sunset portraits.

hand painted sign reading Mr. and Mirs. Buck stands against metal candle holders

wedding guest stands at table with hand-painted sign inviting guests to sign guest book

printed signs with beer and wine list and cocktails named after the couple's dogs sits in front of plastic cups

plastic cocktail cups printed with Laissez les bon temps rouler Roan Mountain

bridesmaids sit in large red rocking chairs drinking beer from bottles

man chooses cheese and fruit from a snack table

large, green salad with mixed vegetables in a serving bowl

fresh roast being cut at carving station

interior barn reception hall with exposed rafters and beams strung with white lights and a candelabra

bride and groom share their first dance in a dimly lit barn interior

bride and her father dance under exposed beams and rafters while wedding guests watch

groom and his mother dance under exposed beams and rafters while wedding guests watch

bride and groom hold hands and walk in a grass field at their Roan Mountain wedding in Cherokee National Forest

bride and groom hold hands to show off their wedding bands and her emerald engagement ring

bride runs toward groom and he holds her in his arms as they kiss at their Roan Mountain wedding in Cherokee National Forest

groom hugs bride from behind as she smiles

bride and groom playfully kiss in the sunset at their Roan Mountain wedding

grooms holds his arms wide while bride spreads out the tulle skirt of her wedding gown at their Roan Mountain wedding

bride holds her bold red, white, and green bouquet

table decorated with hand painted signs and mardi gras beads around cinnamon buns, cookings, and cake

bride and groom cut their wedding cake

bride and groom feed each other wedding cake at their reception

two women dance among wedding reception guests

older couple dances under white string lights at wedding reception

young boy and girl dance with other wedding guests

bride and bridesmaids hold drinks and dance together near band stage at her Roan Mountain wedding

bride dances with young boy near band stage

older woman wearing Mardi Gras beads around her neck dances from her wheelchair

groom sings into microphone as his band plays

bride and friends cheer as the band plays at her Roan Mountain wedding reception

wedding guests dance and sing together

wedding guests dance and sing together

wedding guests dance and sing together

bride and groom dance and sing together among their guests at their Roan Mountain wedding reception

bride prepares to toss her bouquet over her head to waiting women

bridesmaid catches bouquet as other woman cheer and laugh

groom and bride start to kiss while wedding guests wave glow sticks around them

bride sits on grooms lap on a golden antique chair as he kisses her

 

WHAT REALLY MATTERS <3

I send out a questionnaire about a month before each wedding I shoot. One question I ask is for advice the couple would give to future couples planning their dream wedding. Caitlin’s answer really resonated with me. And I’ve got to say–Caitlin and Matt really took their own advice to heart and had an incredible day because of it!

“Figure out what’s actually important to you and don’t stress about the things that aren’t really that big of a deal. Also go with your gut, listen to people’s suggestions but don’t let people force you to do things you don’t want to do. In the end all that matters is you’re together (and food, no one wants hangry guests haha!).”

Caitlin and Matt, thank you so much for trusting me with your wedding day! Congratulations, and let the good times roll!

 

Roan Mountain Wedding Vendors for Matt and Caitlin’s big day

Venue: The Barn at Triple J Farms
Florals: Bloominous
Caterer: Gadabouts Catering
Cake & Desserts: Stick Boy Bread Co (Boone,NC)
Musicians: Nick Brewer on keys, Reggie Sullivan on upright bass, and Brendan Bullon on drums
Officiant: Mel Washington
Dress: J. Major’s
Groom’s tux: Brittons
Graphic work (invitations, signage, cups): CVP_Graphics
Cups printer: Totally Promotional
Invitations printer: Mercurio Brothers

 


 

That #TennesseeWeddingPhotographer tag is a powerful tool! I love exploring new corners of my state, and I am consistently floored by our country’s state and national parks/forests. If you’ve thought about having your wedding (or any sort of photoshoot!) in one of these parks, contact me. I’d love to work with you on that!

 

Hi, y’all! I’m Rachael Crowe of OKCrowe Photography. I’m a wedding photographer based in Chattanooga, TN, and I love when my couples choose Tennessee as their destination. I also love to travel for weddings, elopements, and engagements. I hope this blog inspires you. I’ve got tons more wedding and engagement blogs to share!

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COMMENTS Expand -
  1. I love the way you edit your colors! This looks like such a fun wedding that you captured so beautifully.

  2. Oh my gosh these are seriously stunning!!! I love the bride’s hair, and this wedding looked amazing. You did such a good job capturing everything so beautifully.

  3. These are absolutely incredible!! It looks like it was such a fun wedding and I love all the details! I love the mix of fun and romantic- your captured their story perfectly!

  4. This was so gorgeous and what a fun day! I love how they hand did most of their details. And her boots! 😍

  5. Such a sweet couple! I am in love with this couple. I also got a great pleasure by seeing your editing and story telling skills.

  6. These photos are absolutely incredible! You captured their day so perfectly! I loved reading their advice to future engaged couples! Such a great idea to ask them for advice to give to others!

  7. My gosh! Everything about this Roan Mountain wedding was a dream!!! Her dress is one of the most beautiful gowns that I’ve ever seen! Love how you captured so many moments. There is so much life in these images!

  8. Ok this looked like an absolute blast to photograph! I loved the dance floor and the portraits of the two of them – her hair looks so gorgeous too! Amazing job!!