This past Sunday (Sept. 20), I was honored to be a part of the wedding of Shawnnah Sitt and Chad Blake at the Deerpark Restaurant at the Biltmore Estate. It was an extremely wet and rainy day. In fact, it rained from Saturday night to this morning (Tues) pretty constantly here in Asheville! None the less, Shawnnah and Chad had a fabulous wedding day and partied all night long! The motto, according to Shawnnah was "Rain? What Rain?!?!" I love that attitude!
Shawnnah and Chad spend lots of time with their dogs and Chad even used the dogs as an excuse to get Shawnnah outside when he proposed to her, writing "will you marry me" in sidewalk chalk! They really had a storybook wedding and I've never seen such a happy groom!! Chad was beaming the whole day (of course, so was Shawnnah!!) and could not stop grinning (and I have the photos to prove it!).
The day started out with hair and make up at the Crown Plaza hotel in Asheville. The fabulous E. Scott Thompson did Shawnnah's make up and Amanda from Suraj Salon followed up with her hair.
Amanda from Suraj Salon (below), putting the final touch ups on the veil.
While Shawnnah and the girls were getting ready, I snuck into this room to witness Shawnnah's brother and father passed out watching football! (below)
The rings are handed off to the maid of honor (below)
When Shawnnah saw her flowers for the first time, she was overwhelmed with emotion and even shed a few tears. That says a lot about the incredible job that The Bloom Room does for each and every wedding. Below, Shawnnah gives Stacy from the Bloom Room a big hug!
A hug from her dad (below) after he sees his daughter in her wedding dress for the first time.
Before the Ceremony, we took the wedding party up to the house for some photos in the rain (below)
Since Shawnnah and Chad didn't want to see each other beforehand, we were able to coordinate the shuttles to take the women first and then the men to the house. There was a time when both Shawnnah and Chad were at the house, but couldn't see each other, so we staged this photo, having Shawnnah and Chad hold hands, but still not seeing eachother! What a fabulous moment! Thanks to Shawnnah for this great photo idea! (below)
Is this a happy Groom or what!?
After taking the above photo, the men escape the rain and check football scores on their phones! There was a lot of score-checking during the day, Sunday! (below)
Back at the Deerpark, one of the groomsmen stands ready to escort guests to their seats (below)
Shawnnah's Grandfather signs the guestbook (below)
Chad's niece touches her father's flower (below)
What a cute smile! (below)
Chad's brother, Ryan, has a moment with his other daughter before the ceremony (below)
This flower girl changed her mind about walking down the aisle after seeing all the people and cameras starring at her! (below)
Once again, this grin on Chad's face is incredible!! It's so amazing to witness two people so happy and in love!! (below)
Reverend Tim Lolley of Blue Mountain Weddings shows Shawnnah and Chad that everything is official (Below)
This was another one of Chad and Shawnnah's ideas for some creative photos--the men gather around Chad and mourn the loss of his bachelorhood. (below)
After the ceremony, the rain let up for a little bit, allowing us to get up to the house for some photos!
There were many bats (or birds?) circling around the chimney of the Biltmore Estate on Sunday, Giedre was able to snap a shot of them (below).
Chad and Shawnnah enter the reception and make their way to the dance floor for their first dance (below)
This was a fantastic first dance. My assistant, Giedre, made a comment to me, "that was the best first dance I've seen yet!" She's been working with me for well over a year, so this is saying something! I decided to include a bunch of first dance photos!
Obviously, some of the wedding party and guests were caught up in the moment as well (below). Shawnnah's sister-in-law sheds a little tear while watching the first dance.
Giedre created the fabulous photo below by zooming out and using a slow shutter speed (something I taught her to do, by the way!). I'm so proud of you for creating this image, G!
A kiss ends a fabulous first dance! (below)
Shawnnah and Chad organized their dinner tables by dates and had framed photos from different times in their lives to mark the tables (below). I thought this was a fantastic and unique idea!
There were quite a few very thoughtful toasts before dinner
I believe I've said before that it's rare for me to get emotional while shooting weddings, however, it happened again during this moment, below. Chad's brother Ryan gave a very sweet toast, but it was not the toast that caused the tears behind my viewfinder. It was this look that Chad was giving to Shawnnah. These two are so much in love and it really shows!
I think a good response to this photo would be, "AWWW" which I was told earlier in the day by Shawnnah's cousin and mother meant "sentimental approval"! The two decided on this definition after discovering that Webster had not yet defined such an often used sentiment!
Shawnnah and her father share a great dance to "Sweet Child of Mine"
Chad dances with his mother (below)
Shawnnah invites her mother to dance to "You're my best friend"!
There was much celebration and dancing at the Deerpark on Sunday! The fabulous, James Herrick of Celebrity DJs was there to keep the party going!
Chad and Shawnnah head off for Grand Cayman and Cazumel where the two are currently honeymooning! Thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of your wedding day!
And, of course, my special thanks to Giedre for her fabulous job as my assistant Sunday. Below, Giedre escorts Shawnnah to the house for some photos in the rain!