Andrea and Mike’s wedding photos at The Quarry Venue in Knoxville, TN were out of a dream. The temperature was delightful. The leaves surrounded us with vibrant yellow and orange decorations. Everyone was happy, excited and fully invested in celebrating with them.

The Quarry Venue is one of the most unique outdoor wedding venues that I’ve ever photographed in the Southeast, let alone anywhere in the U.S. Their property has many different options for the ceremony and for photos. It is a photographer’s dream! But, my favorite part was the large quarry wall that adds incredible texture and a unique backdrop for the ceremony. Not to mention, the Quarry Venue team also offers rentals and design! They slayed A+M’s bohemian vision with stone place settings, dried flowers, and wooden accents that created a whimsical look.

Andrea and Mike are two incredibly special people. They both serve in the Navy, and that is actually how they met! I had the pleasure of spending a weekend with them in Alabama for their engagement photos, and I almost begged them to move back to NC so that we could hang out and be closer friends after the wedding. Their wedding was recently featured on Green Wedding Shoes, and Andrea did a little write up for the feature. I’m going to let her words and memories take it away from here…

“I love to dress up and have a good time. Mike doesn’t so much love to dress up, but he loves to have a good time even more than I do. We both love being outside, especially in the mountains, and we have both been incredibly fortunate to be supported by our family and friends across the globe in our military career. Mike compromised with me on black tie attire, and we both knew we wanted a live band and open bar to make the day a true celebration of our love & the people who had supported us over the years. 

Finding The Quarry with its many beautiful natural outdoor locations was a blessing. We worked with Lindsey and Morgan, the wonderful planner and coordinator team there, to come up with a journey for our guests throughout each location on the property. Aesthetically, I wanted to have simple, natural and dried florals to highlight the surrounding beauty and incorporate as much of our personalities as possible. I specifically wanted dried hydrangeas because Mike’s dad grew them in Mike’s childhood, and we both loved the golden color they turn in the fall. Rose Moss Designs blew all my expectations out of the water with her beautiful florals, and we were able to rent a number of the pieces from her to maximize sustainability. I also knew that I wanted my close & incredibly talented friend, Cole Russell, to play the most important songs and have a live band to dance the night away with under the stars. I am so lucky that all of that came true – as my mom likes to say, the stars aligned.

We welcomed guests with champagne at the entrance before they moved into the Canyon for the ceremony, which was quite short because Mike and I exchanged vows beforehand. One of my favorite moments was walking down the long path with my dad as Cole played the second verse of “Amazing Grace” and seeing Mike next to the arch of golden hydrangeas. After the ceremony, our guests enjoyed our signature cocktails (Paloma for me, Old Fashioned for Mike) on the Canyon’s patio with an acoustic band before walking down a short path which opened up onto the beautiful Carrera and patio for the reception.

Mike and I were introduced for the first time underneath a military sword arch and immediately went into our first dance – “All Your’n” by Tyler Childers played live by Cole. The father/daughter song, “Cowboy in Me” by Tim McGraw, was a surprise for my dad. My sister/MOH, Hannah, and I played soccer together in high school, and my dad was our coach. When we played well and won an away game, he would play it and sing with us on the bus ride home. I was already so excited to surprise my dad with the song, and then Hannah surprised us both by accompanying Cole on the violin. We were overcome with emotion during that song – it was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever been a part of and tears were shed by all of my normally very stoic family. Mike and his mom danced to “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s,” also by Tim McGraw and played by the fantastic band, 4 A Good Time Call, and one of my favorite pictures is of Mike’s brother and sister during that dance.

We then moved inside for dinner and speeches, which were all so wonderful and heartfelt, after which, we moved back outside to cut the cake with my dad’s sword from his time in the Marine Corps, which he has passed down to me. The rest of the night was a blur on the dance floor under the stars!”

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