Matthews twirls Melissa during their practice wedding dance

A Tennessee wedding on family land

Part of really getting to know a couple I’m going to photograph on their wedding is meeting up for some coffee and conversation. Note… I’m also up for a Margarita too. =) I ask my couples to tell me how they met, what they do for fun, when they knew their other half was ‘the one’ and the music they listen too. Knowing a couple more in-depth is important to me. No, I wouldn’t need to know anything about two people to capture their wedding or elopement, but for me it gives a glimpse inside their love story. It helps me build their day in photographs more than I would if I didn’t know anything about them. Plus, it’s fun to get to socialize and really know a couple.

Matthew and Melissa were in town from Washington, D.C. visiting family and meeting with wedding vendors. They met up with me at the very adorable and tiny Muletown Coffee in Columbia, Tennessee. It was absolutely freezing cold outside that day, but we focused on the warmth that would come during their Tennessee wedding on family land the following September. I connected with Melissa right away. She’s originally from Texas, she has those TX two-step moves you’ll see below and she’s just a down-to-earth sweetheart. Plus, I would find out later that her bohemian wedding style was right up my alley. They were both so genuine. I was shocked to find out that they both work for the Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. Melissa has made quite a few trips to Africa for work. Hearing about her job was so interesting. Prior to their wedding, Melissa flew to Africa for work and when she returned to Tennessee, she gifted me some beautiful and bright, handmade African dinner napkins. A gift I will treasure for years to come.

Their Tennessee wedding had so many handmade touches. Melissa sewed all the dinner napkins herself. She ordered and arranged all the florals too. She LOVES florals. The ceremony and reception took place on family land. The ceremony site had an old church that made for the perfect backdrop. Matthew and Melissa’s favorite band is Great Peacock, so they hired them to play at their wedding. How awesome is that?!?! The night was so full of joy as they surrounded themselves with great music, family, friends and lots of love.

Wedding Planner: Events by Elaine

Hair an Make Up: Jill Brooks Beauty Bar

Engagement and Wedding Ring: Brilliant Earth

Wedding Dress: A and Bae

Invitations: Cordially Creative

Music: Great Peacock

Groom’s Attire: DC Custom Clothier

Florals: Lively Florist and 50 Flowers