By far, elopements are my favorite kind of wedding. To me, it strains it all down to the commitment, the love, and the sharing. But sometimes elopements aren’t just two people in love, they are a small, tight, family unit in love.

Sarah and Wayne brought the support of their loving family with them on October 5th. I can still remember hearing the laughter drifting from the dressing rooms upstairs as I photographed her dress in our willow tree. Her mother and sisters uplifted her as they prepared her for the ceremony. If Sarah was nervous, it never showed any time I visited their dressing area for photographs.

My favorite part of this wedding was the first look. Typically, this is the time the groom sees his bride for the first time. But Sarah, a Daddy’s girl, reserved this special tradition for her father. I could tell he was proud of his baby girl, yet a little hesitant for the moment he’d give her away. I could also tell he wasn’t losing a daughter. He was gaining a son, making this family even closer than ever before.

Sarah’s mother surprised her with a pendant photograph of her late paternal grandmother who battled cancer for over 12 years. Everyone agreed when Sarah told me she was the glue that held the family together. In addition to the pendant she attached her maternal grandmother’s ring to the bouquet, held close to her heart as she walked down the aisle. Something old, something borrowed, and something blue… completion!

After the ceremony the main emphasis was on family photographs. Certainly, we photographed Sarah and Wayne together, too, but she made sure no one was left out. I know her family appreciated this thoughtfulness since they traveled from great distances to be together for her special day.

Our “Family Elopement” wedding package was absolutely perfect, including two hours of time for their ceremony and photography. Afterward they all met for a reception dinner at a local restaurant, and continued to enjoy everything the town of Pigeon Forge has to offer.

I’m feeling a strong urge to organize a family reunion of my own after this wedding! Sarah and Wayne… please bring all the smiles and laughter to visit with us again! We wish you the happiness of a hundred lifetimes!  Start planning your wedding today.