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Scenic Colorado Wedding Venues (Part 1 of 2)

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Scenic Colorado Wedding Venues (Part 1 of 2)

I am particularly excited for you to read this blog post! It's been a work in progress (the vision, venue research, actual trip, capturing and editing photos) for over a year and it's finally come to fruition. It all started with Instagram. Little fun side note... the reason I bought my first iPhone, the 4s, was because I wanted to have an Instagram account. Last year, I started noticing a lot of wedding photos with stunning mountains, wild prairies, horse ranches and overlook views. Quite often, I would click on the photo location and Colorado would be the state. It was then and there that I decided to personally visit some of these amazing wedding venue locations I saw. After several months of researching Colorado wedding venues, it was time to select the venues I wanted to visit. In September, I flew from Nashville to Denver, rented a car and drove and drove... and drove. I got the opportunity to meet amazing people, visit gorgeous and unique venues and provide potential bride and grooms with amazing Colorado wedding venue options. In my opinion, these are some of the most beautiful and unique wedding venues Colorado has to offer. 


 

Platte River Fort

Platte River Fort is located in Greeley, Colorado. Their location is about an hour from Denver and/or Cheyenne. This beautiful venue sits on 235 acres with long horns roaming the property. It reminds me of the old west with a ton of character. One of my favorite features about the property is that it sits along the Platte River. You can choose to have your ceremony next to the river, in the big barn or on the lawn in front of the fort. Please promise me we'll do your wedding photos by the river with longhorns in the background.

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Milston Well Farm

Milston Well Farm is located in Longmont, Colorado. My heart swooned the moment I pulled into the driveway because I felt as if I was pulling up to my dream house. The farm is a privately owned residence. The Shutze Family has done a remarkable job renovating this property while keeping the authenticity of the original farm. 2018 will be their second year operating as a wedding venue. The bride and bridesmaids' quarters are in the cutest little house on the property. (pictured below) The groom and groomsmen's quarters are a renovated camper behind the farm house. The original barn can be used for the ceremony or reception. The line of mature trees behind the property creates a wonderful backdrop for bride and groom portraits. Mountains sit off in the distance. Unfortunately, it was extremely overcast and cloudy during my trip, so the mountains weren't visible. One of my favorite features about Milston is that the farm has chickens (can you say farm fresh eggs?), two donkeys, two goats and a dog. It won't be long before this intimate wedding venue is booked years in advance. 

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Wild Basin Lodge

Wild Basin Lodge is a luxurious and secluded mountain wedding venue. The views from the property are breathtaking. I arrived at the peak of fall when the aspen trees were popping with their bright yellow color. The lodge nestles into the Rocky Mountains foothills. Before touring the inside of the property, I had to explore the outside amenities. There are two outside location options for your ceremony. As a photographer, you cannot go wrong with either option. The first is next to the lodge and alongside the river. The bride and groom stand amongst the pines and aspens while their guests sit on tiered-steps sloping upward. The pop of color was so vibrant that I would highly suggest the riverside location for a late summer or fall wedding. The second location is about a ten-minute walk over a bridge and alongside pines and aspens. You and your guests are truly among God's majestic nature. One of my favorite details about Wild Basin Lodge is that there are so many options for photographs. It's a wedding photographer's dream and I would love to capture your wedding there.

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a little trail off the beaten path to get photos captured

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C LAZY U RANCH

I first learned about C Lazy U Ranch from a friend I befriended on Instagram. She lives in Colorado and use to work at the ranch. The Ranch is located in Grandby, Colorado and mainly books spring and fall weddings. The summer is filled with families experiencing the dude ranch first hand. Upon arriving, I was greeted by some beautiful horses which I had to stop to photograph and love on. C Lazy U Ranch is an all inclusive working dude ranch since 1919. Weddings can take place in a number of areas, but my favorite is pictured below overlooking the river and ranch. Photographing your wedding would be the perfect reason for me to return to the ranch.

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my favorite ceremony location overlooking the river

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Are you getting married in Colorado or planning a destination wedding there? Do you need help finding a venue or wedding photographer? I'm here to help and would be honored to capture your wedding. Drop me a line on the 'contact' page at Darcy Ferris Photography.

This is part 1 of 2. Other venues will be featured in part 2.

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Andrew + Hannah's Wedding at Mint Springs Farm by Nashville Wedding Photographer

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Andrew + Hannah's Wedding at Mint Springs Farm by Nashville Wedding Photographer

Andrew + Hannah might be my favorite northern wedding couple I've photographed in a southern setting. Hannah is from my home state of Wisconsin. GO PACKERS! Andrew is from Minnesota. Boo Vikings... j/k. They met at church and the rest is history. They choose one of the prettiest venues just south of Nashville, Mint Springs Farm. Hannah surprised her dad by sewing an inscribed heart on the back of his tie that read "You will always be my first love". 

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I want to thank you Chelsey Somohano for asking me to collaborate on this wedding! 

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The Close Homestead

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The Close Homestead

Paul and I graduated high school together. He married Natalie (a beautiful woman) and they have four precious daughters. I was honored to capture their family one sunny July afternoon. Sierra, the oldest daughter, is the horse whisperer. Britain is the baker. I think if I would have stayed any longer, she would have whipped up a pie. Paige is the farmer. Her current specialities are chickens and collecting eggs. Saylor, the baby, is working on crawling, but I suspect she'll be an interior decorator like her mama. Paul headed out to saddle up the horses while Natalie and the girls finished getting glamoured. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun I had capturing this family and the horses on their beautiful homestead.

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Dalton + Allison's One Year Anniversary Session

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Dalton + Allison's One Year Anniversary Session

I met Allison and Dalton a little over a year ago when I fostered Conrad, the sweetest pit bull. Conrad was adopted by Allison and Dalton because they fell in love him. They truly have the sweetest hearts and are rescue dog people.... a GREAT reason to be friends! I was beyond honored to capture photos celebrating their one year anniversary as husband and wife! Woot! Woot! They are the couple who never stops laughing and their love for one another is so radiant and over flowing! I would learn that Dalton has some mighty fine dance moves that I'm pretty sure he's been busting at the seams to share. =)

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I told Allison to tell Dalton something sexy..... um, kinda wonder what she said!

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Those are some strong dance moves! It was Saturday Night Fever all over.

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Eric + Lauren Say "I Do" at Meadow Hill Farm by Nashville Wedding Photographer

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Eric + Lauren Say "I Do" at Meadow Hill Farm by Nashville Wedding Photographer

Love wins when a man and a woman are perfectly created for one another. That's Eric + Lauren. Any time spent around these two love birds and you'll see two puzzle pieces that fit together perfectly. Their eyes show respect for one another. Love for one another. Compassion for one another. Grace for one another. Gratitude for each other. 

Towards the end of Eric + Lauren's reception celebration, a film crew arrived for taping. Country entertainer, Kelsea Ballerini, needed a real life wedding firework exit to put in her upcoming video, Legends. Eric + Lauren were the lucky couple chosen. Woot! Woot! After three or four exit runs, the video crew had what they needed and so did we as photographers. I cannot thank Chelsey Ssmohano enough for asking me to assist on this beautiful wedding! What a fun time we had together. In case you're interested, at the :30 second mark of the music video, you can see the real wedding exit. You'll see Chelsey running backwards getting photos. I'm kneeling on the ground shooting up towards the couple, so you won't see me. My Hollywood debut will have to wait. =)

When the baby needs a nap, everyone takes a turn until she only wants Mom.

A little first dance practice... 

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Josh + Sharly at Meadow Hill Farm

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Josh + Sharly at Meadow Hill Farm

I was beyond excited when I arrived at Meadow Hill Farm in Columbia, Tennessee. This would be my first time to shoot a wedding there with fellow photographer Laurie Oakes. My wedding photographer friends have been raving about this venue. Upon entering the gravel driveway, it was pretty easy to tell why Meadow Hill Farm is a big hit with brides to be and wedding vendors. Meadow Hill Farm is GORGEOUS! There are gardens of chaotic wild flowers everywhere. Mature trees fill the property making any outdoor lover swoon every time the breeze blows through the leaves. It didn't take this native Wisconsin gal long to figure out that the bride's corridor is an old milk house. LOVE! The groom's corridor is like a cabin. I hadn't parked my car yet and I was thinking to myself, "how long before I can come back and shoot another wedding?"

Josh and Sharly have two beautiful daughters and an inseparable love for one another. They've been together a number of years and you can see it in how comfortable they are with one another. They joked around as if they had been married forty years already. Their intimate wedding was a perfect fit for their personalities. I wish them a happy marriage filled with unending love. 

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George + Lauren at Lofty Hitchins

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George + Lauren at Lofty Hitchins

George and Lauren's wedding day was incredible! These two souls love big! You can literally see the love flow between the two of them when they look at one another. I discovered that when I captured their engagement session. The day started sunny, then partially overcast, which turned into a torrential rain storm right before bridal portraits were to start. The rain didn't dampen any spirits. In fact, it probably added an element of closeness and intimacy to the day.

There wasn't a detail that Lauren left out in the design process. Most elements were DIY projects from "flea markets and 4,000 trips to Goodwill" as Lauren stated. The cake was a family effort lead by George's Mother. It was so good! I may have had more than one piece. The homemade freezer jam (and gift for all attendees) was made by George's grandmother. His grandmother grew up working on a farm as one of nine children. They were taught to raise their own strawberries. She's been making strawberry jam since George was a little boy for family and friends. 

Lauren had her brother as her 'man of honor' and George had his sister as "best sis". Such a modern way for siblings to participate in the wedding party! I am beyond excited to continue to watch George & Lauren's love story grow.

At the end of every aisle was a verse from Corinthians.

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This little fella was the only guy allowed with the bridesmaids. THOSE EYES! 

There wasn't a dry eye during Lauren's 'first look' with her dad.

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George was full of tears as he saw his bride for the first time walking down the aisle.

As one of the groomsmen tells the story of how George & Lauren met and how excited George was that he was dating an 'older woman'.... everyone rolled with laughter. 

At one point the rain almost stopped, so we decided to be adventurous and ventured out. 

Did you know that whoever catches the garter is supposed to put it on his girlfriend's leg? 

When Dad is not a dancer, but he hits the dance floor for some fun awkward moves.

As a "man of honor", it is customary to carry your sister's dress above all the rain and mud.

Venue: Lofty Hitchins in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee

Wedding Cake: Kim Cummins, Cory Scott, Marlana Matheny, Ashton Matheny

Wedding Dress: Bridal Warehouse

Decorations: various flea markets and about 4,000 trips to goodwill :) 

Flowers: Jackson Blume - Columbia, Tennessee

Caterer: Campbell's Station - Culleoka, Tennessee

Hair: Heather Blocker, Michael's Hair Salon, Columbia, Tennessee

Make up: Sara King 

Tuxedos: Penguin 

Photography: Darcy Ferris Photography

Assistant Photographer: Debra Ferris

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Jeri Dawn's Lifestyle Portrait Session in 12 South

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Jeri Dawn's Lifestyle Portrait Session in 12 South

A little confession... I've been completely envious of Jeri Dawn's perfect eyebrows since I met her. I tell her all the time. She's an absolutely gorgeous woman. Jeri Dawn is a make-up artist and a damn good one too. She's a photographer's dream to capture. She has this light inside of her when she smiles and laughs.

Jeri Dawn inquired about doing a photo session for a contest she was entering. The contest required very specific images and I was more than excited to be on board. We decided a sunrise session would be best. We picked a day and time and watched the weather obsessively. The forecast was to be clear. As we drove into the 12 South area of Nashville, the sprinkles began to fall. Thankfully, the rain never progressed into more than heavy sprinkles. We had lots of laughs over the weather. Towards the end of the session, the sun made its appearance. 

Black Dress. Shoes. Pants. Jewelry. Red Jacket. - Charlotte Russe

Gray Hoodie - Bella Ella Boutique

 

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Rich + Alyssa at Ferguson Hall

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Rich + Alyssa at Ferguson Hall

I met Alyssa a few years ago when I photographed a family session at her sister's house. Talk about a welcoming, sweet family. I felt beyond honored when asked to photograph Alyssa + Rich's intimate wedding just a few days before Christmas. They married at the historic Ferguson Hall in Spring Hill, Tennessee. 

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Kristina + Eric's Maternity Shoot at Cumberland Park

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Kristina + Eric's Maternity Shoot at Cumberland Park

There's nothing more beautiful than a mother's pregnant glow. Kristina radiates while baby Alex grows inside of her. Eric + Kristina are first time parents-to-be. They are overjoyed at the thought of raising a little boy! Since they love downtown Nashville so much, they wanted their maternity photos to incorporate some well known areas. We started by Cumberland Park, walked up onto the Shelby Street Walking Bridge and ended up overlooking the Cumberland River. It was a memorable session and I cannot WAIT to meet baby Alex. I know Kristina + Eric are going to be fabulous, first-time parents!

A little Nashville backdrop with the Batman building and the Shelby Street Bridge.

Eric did some reading of Kristina's favorite children's book to baby Alex.

Make Up by Regan Kevan

Maternity Apparel by La Belle Bump

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Austin + Payton at Arrington Vineyards

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Austin + Payton at Arrington Vineyards

I LOVE couples that are so invested in each other that they don't know I'm present! I LOVE photographing couples that are not afraid to show their love and vulnerabilities. That is exactly who Austin + Payton are. They are a couple that have 'love' at the center core of their relationship. Payton's brother is Austin's best friend and that's how Austin + Payton met. They'd been friends for years prior to dating. The sweetest part might be that Austin asked Payton's brother permission before he asked Payton on a date. I don't have to tell you how the date went.

Payton could not be anymore gorgeous as she stepped into her dream dress, while mom assists.

The way they are together and they way he looks at her is everything.

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A Dog Can Change Everything by Darcy Ferris Photography

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A Dog Can Change Everything by Darcy Ferris Photography

Did you know that dogs are really four-legged, furry humans? At least, in my mind they are. I don't think I fully comprehended the love and loyalty of a dog until my dog, Newt, came into my life. He's my rescue, although he actually rescued me. 

Growing up, I was always around animals. My Grandpa had hunting dogs (redbone, blue tick  and black and tan hounds) that were used for bear, coon and coyote hunting. My grandma had a St. Bernard and huskies through the years too. All the dogs were acclimated to Wisconsin's four seasons, so they slept outside year round. Don't be concerned, as they all had dog houses and plenty of straw to keep them warm. Grandma also had birds and a couple aquariums for us grandkids to enjoy. There were plenty of stray farm cats too. I even had a pet raccoon for a while, but that's another blog. =)

I have felt many times in my life that the Lord has given me a gift to be a voice for the voiceless. Maybe that's why he created me to be a bold, courageous and adventurous woman. A couple months back, I was approached by a friend who is part of a dog rescue organization. They were looking for a photographer to do updated photos of the dogs for their website. I don't promote myself a pet photographer, but I figured that if a good photo gave a dog a better chance for adoption, then I'm all in. The organization has told me that I've been a blessing to them. In all honesty, it's the dogs who have blessed me. Dogs awaiting adoption only want someone to love them and to give love in return. I have found that they are the most loyal dogs out there. 

PSA: If you are interested in adopting a dog, please visit your local humane association. If you love dogs and cannot adopt, then go volunteer to play or walk them. Volunteers are always needed! Remember to keep your pet spayed or neutered to help control the pet population.

I caught this on camera and thought you'd get a laugh out of it. I know I did.

I've made some new friends in the process too. This sweet woman is Laura and she's such a blessing to these dogs and animal welfare. She's a true gift from above!

When I finished photographing the dogs, I made my way into the feline area. There were so many cats that needed adopted, so I decided to photograph them as well. They have such beautiful markings!

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Mike and Jessica's winter family session in Wisconsin

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Mike and Jessica's winter family session in Wisconsin

One of the joys of going home to northwestern Wisconsin is getting to reconnect with friends. I got to do that with Jessica's family. I met Jessica in that late 90's as we were serving at the same restaurant up north. Jessica's husband is Mike. His mother was my grade school gym teacher. What a small world!?!? I was so elated that Jessica wanted to do a family shoot. They have three precious children with infectious personalities. With the prospect of the first snow, we crossed our fingers and hoped for a snowy family shoot. WE GOT IT! Our shoot happened the morning after a beautiful majestic snowfall. I say it often and I will continue to say that I feel beyond blessed to do photography for a living. Thank you Jessica and Mike for choosing me to capture your family's memories

Sometimes you have to use dance moves to stay warm.

Whenever kids are involved I always ask for a funny face pose. They all nailed this one, but I think Jessica takes first place. =)

This might have been my favorite part of the photo shoot. I asked Mike and the two little ones to throw snow up in the air. They were all doing so great and then I saw the little pitcher wind up. Before I could say 'boo' the snowball was flying straight at me. PSA.... no camera or photographer was hurt in the end result, but what a great unplanned shot!

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Tim + Rachael at Vanderbilt Midwifery

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Tim + Rachael at Vanderbilt Midwifery

I received a phone call from a local newborn + birth photographer asking if I would like to be the 'on call back up' for her birth clients, Rachael and Tim. The photographer was going out of town the following week and I would only need to cover one day because another photographer was covering the other days. Besides, the chances of anything happening on the one day I was "back up" was slim, right? On the morning of the 'one day', I received a phone call from Rachael and Tim. The doctor decided that their baby boy and momma to be were showing some signs of distress. Their baby boy would be making his appearance and I was more than elated to capture precious memories for the first time parents. 

I was so thankful that Rachel was delivering at the same place that I captured Lisa and Craig's delivery a couple months earlier. I knew right where I was going which helped ease any location confusion. I knocked, entered and met mom and dad to be and both anxious and excited grandmas to be. Rachael was scheduled for a C-section. However, two emergency deliveries arrived pushing hers back two hours. When the docs were ready to wheel her back, I was not allowed to go back in the OR for Rachael's C-section. I was allowed to go the NICU with Tim. Their precious baby boy was almost four pounds. I was told that out of all six babies in the NICU, their baby was by far the biggest. 

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Photographer's Unite at Homestead Manor in Thompson's Station, Tennessee

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Photographer's Unite at Homestead Manor in Thompson's Station, Tennessee

The Nashville, Tennessee area has grown in population over the last ten years at a rate that is almost hard to fathom. Interstates are widening from four lanes to six and the choices of where to eat and shop are endless. Photographers move here almost as often as wanna be country music singers, but with a camera instead of a guitar. One advantage about all the photographers moving here is the networking aspect. I belong to a photography group called "Shoot To Kill". Yes, you heard me right. Please don't contact homeland security, as we are solely talking about capturing the best shots possible. =)

Tennessee has some beautiful country and amazing wedding venues. One of my favorites is Homestead Manor that is literally up the road from where I live. Once a month, the "Shoot To Kill" group meets at a different wedding venue with real life couples and/or professional models. This is a way for us to network with other photographers and work one on one with couples and models. We practice interacting, posing, lighting, guiding and learning new camera techniques. A photographer can choose to work with one couple the whole time or different couples. I personally like to work with different personalities and body types. The couples, models and venues receive the photographs for letting us capture them. 

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The Hoog Maternity + Family Session

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The Hoog Maternity + Family Session

I met Allison about five years ago while we were working together at a local restaurant. Allison has a radiant personality, infectious laughter and just being around her will put any one in a great mood. We would talk about her passion for design and beautiful freckled faced red-headed daughter, McKenna. McKenna is now a beautiful young lady and ready to play the role of big sister, helper and babysitter. Allison eventually left the restaurant, got hired by a design firm and became married. I secretly kept up with her on Facebook. (shhhhhh don't tell her) I was excited when I learned Allison and her husband were expecting a new bundle of joy! I was even more ecstatic when she reached out to me to capture their growing family. 

I've learned another thing about Allison. She has some major baby nursery room design style. I LOVE every little detail that fills their baby's room. They did not find out if it's a boy or a girl, but it's perfect for either gender. I cannot wait to meet their little one!

Allison ordered this absolutely adorable hand-made baby mobile from Etsy. 

I LOVE this sweet moment between mom and daughter.

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Chad + Cara's Wedding in the Rolling Hills of Kentucky

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Chad + Cara's Wedding in the Rolling Hills of Kentucky

Williamsburg is located in southeastern Kentucky. The rolling hills (I call them mountains) and thick forests reminded me of a song Patty Loveless recorded some years ago named "Harlan". I arrived to the family farm and saw the log cabin with a wrap around porch. I fell in love with it!

Before long, it was time for the 'first look' which took place under the old family oak tree that has withstood the sun and storms of life. Chad's reaction to his beautiful bride, Cara, was amazing!  I envision Chad + Cara's marriage much like that tree. With their love for one another rooted in Christ's love, there's nothing they cannot withstand.  

The ceremony took place as the golden sun was starting to set behind the wooded hills. Every direction provided a beautiful backdrop with fall setting in as the reception celebration began. 

I LOVED Chad's reaction during their 'first look'.

The gorgeous sunset behind them was breathtaking.

Every song the band played was chosen by Chad + Cara.

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This jeep was the groom's cake and was detailed perfection.

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Cara's little niece caught the bouquet........

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..... and then her big brother caught the garder. 

Tent, Wooden Chairs, Napkins, and all Dinnerware: All Occasions Party Rentals

Flush Units: East Tennessee Portables

Caterer: Tri-County Catering  - Linda Cales

Wedding Cake: A family friend

Grooms Cake: Janet Logan

Wedding Dress and Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal

Groom Tux and Groomsmen Tux: Geno's Formal Wear

Flowers and Table Decorations: Chase Mosko and Connie Jackson

DJ's: Rick Campbell and Todd Campbell

Band Members: Robert Sulfridge, Carl Meadows, Jonathan Brashear, Jerome Anderson, and Robert Anderson

Photo Booth: Flashing Lights Photo Booth

Wedding Program: Idle Whims

Bride's Makeup: Kat Hoffman

Bride and Bridesmaids Hair Design: Heather Housley

Photography: Darcy Ferris Photography

Photographer's Assistant: Debra Ferris

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