A wedding in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Let’s just start this off by saying: I basically sold them on wedding photography over sloppy joes and Kraft mac and cheese. And I like to believe that’s the meal that sealed the deal.

That said, Corey (my husband) and I have known Collin and Danielle for awhile. Corey used to ride bikes with Collin, and Collin actually helped with the construction in the studio (when I had a studio). We’ve all maintained a good friendship over the years, and I’m so grateful we had. In 2020, Corey and I decided to travel to Asheville, North Carolina for a little getaway, and while there, we met up with Collin and Danielle. They gave us a list of places to visit and taught us how to play Catan. Honestly, my favorite memories from that trip were because of them. So naturally, when Collin asked for Corey and I’s address, and Danielle was sharing cake tastings on her Instagram story, I was instantly suspicious that they were planning on getting married. And I knew, if that were the case, that I wanted to take their photos.

Of course, I wasn’t going to beg. But at least I’d throw it out there, you know? A super rad biking couple with style for days, getting married in the mountains and not doing anything traditional? Count me in!

Fast forward to this past spring: I had bought groceries for the week with no intention to have anybody come over. And planned the meals for the week. Again, with no intention of anybody coming over. And I’m making sloppy joes and macaroni and cheese from a box (it’s a great meal that’s super cheap. Don’t judge, okay?) The next thing I know, Corey is calling me saying that Collin is coming over for dinner. So I casually pitched it. And Collin informed me that they had somebody else in mind. But then a few days later, he reached out to Corey and mentioned they may be interested in me doing the photos.

You can say the rest was history. After a week of talking things over, it was decided that I would be taking their wedding photos in Asheville and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Of course, I was so anxious about it all week on whether or not I would book it. Turns out, on the other side of things, Danielle was allegedly telling Collin to convince me to take the photos. It was a no brainer the entire time.

And before we know it, it’s July 3rd. It was a gorgeous day on the Blue Ridge Parkway. They started with an intimate morning ceremony with the mountains as their backdrop, followed by brunch, catching up with family and friends, a delicious southern dinner, and a reception that was unlike anything I’ve ever been to. It was truly one of the most chill wedding days I’ve ever photographed – no schedule, just good food, good company, and good times.

The reception though. Chef’s kiss. It took place at Sweeten Creek Brewing, and the whole environment was a vibe. Cornhole, string lights, good music, better drinks, and a pretty stellar dessert table. Danielle had told me how excited she was for the dessert table and I was not prepared. I’ve never seen such stunning desserts before in my life – black and white chocolates, celestial cookies and cake pops, and one of the most beautiful wedding cakes. And it was all delicious. I definitely indulged. Shoutout to COCO’s Bake Shop and Marble and Steel Chocolates out of Asheville. You guys blew it out of the water!

Their reception was under the full moon, and I definitely felt that energy throughout the whole party. It was actually the main reason they chose July 3rd as their wedding date (made even more special that it was Collin’s mom’s birthday, too!) All of the guests were an absolute blast to be around. I loved getting to party with them, and I really feel like they were one of the most fun wedding crowds I’ve gotten to be apart of. I think a big part of that was how laid back everything was. Additionally, they decided that they didn’t want to have a DJ or a traditional dancing reception. Instead, they opted for karaoke. And I think more people should include karaoke in their reception because it was wild. I don’t think I’ll be able to hear “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” or “This Must Be The Place” without thinking of Asheville now, and honestly, I’m okay with that. Corey and I have included “This Must Be The Place” on all of our playlists since.

Between the views, the people, the food, and the karaoke, I think this was one of the most unique weddings I’ve ever photographed, and it was such an honor. To know them is to love them. They are so cool and fun, and I’m eternally thankful for the friendship and memories they’ve given Corey and I. To Collin and Danielle: Here’s to a lifetime of singing and dancing under the full moon, and for all of the bike riding adventures through the mountains. From the bottom of my heart, I can’t thank the two of you enough for this opportunity.

With all the love and gratitude,

– Taylor

The Journal