Jake and Shanelle's wedding, Belle Meade Plantation

Jake and Shanelle met one February evening on a terrace overlooking the city of Chiangmai, Thailand. They were both teaching English in China and met through their program's conference there. Shanelle told me that when she first saw Jake she thought, "that is the most attractive man I've ever seen... I bet he's married." A mutual friend introduced them and they started talking and realized they were both from Nashville. They instantly connected. I think they saw a bit of "home" in each other, being so far away from their actual home. Over the next few months they kept in touch from afar since they were stationed in different parts of the country. That summer when they were both home in Nashville, Jake asked Shanelle out to lunch. Shortly after, they met each other's families, friends and finally started dating. Back in China, they were able to grow and build their relationship, encourage one another, share their ideas and dreams, and take long train rides to visit each other. That next year, at the same conference where they met, Jake proposed.

Shanelle was the fifth family member to wear her grandmother's dress. I love meaningful details like that! 

I was touched by their personal, meaningful, intentional vows and wanted to share some of the words spoken to each other. 

"I covenant to love God by loving you unconditionally—by providing for you before myself— protecting you—by being kind to you—by honoring you—by loving you even as Christ loves the Church."

May He make our joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, and united in Spirit. I promise to always honor, love, and follow you so that we might with one voice make His name known wherever we go.

Where God leads you, I will follow. Where you serve, I will serve by your side. Jacob, you are my forever partner, and I give you my heart. I give you all that I am and all that God intends me to be."

This wedding was extra special because Jake and I grew up in the same church and our parents are good friends. Therefore, my Mom was there breaking it down on the dance floor and that was awesome.

It was such an honor to be a part this wedding and to witness Jake and Shanelle's love for each other, their family and for the Lord. They're going to great things together, that's for sure.

Venue: Belle Meade Plantation, Planner: Courtney Crew, Florist: Elizabeth Earnest, Ceremony string trio: Eleonore Denig, Videography: Shiloh Film Co., Nashville Wedding Photography: Rachel Moore

Jordan & Ashley

You might remember this couple's winter wonderland Engagement session. They are back, and I couldn't be more thrilled to share their elegant Nashville wedding. See below for the story of their wedding day, with some thoughts from Ashley herself.

Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography

What was your most memorable moment during your wedding day?

For both for us, it was that first look moment. Everything was amazing about our wedding, but nothing can compare to seeing each other for the first time that day. Our decision to do a first look was probably half for the sake of having more time to have fun at the reception and half to be able to settle our nerves and have a few minutes of time together before the hectic day began.

Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography

When searching for a wedding dress, Ashley knew she wanted something "very unique and non-traditional." She definitely succeeded in her search, and the result was simply stunning.

Nashville_Wedding_Photography

While we wanted a formal, elegant wedding, we also really wanted a natural vibe to it as well. Hence, the succulents, the flowers, and the shades of green.

Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography

One of the passages read during the wedding ceremony was from 1 Corinthians 13.

If I have all faith so as to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 
If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, is not pompous, 
 it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Nashville_Wedding_Photography

While finding a beautiful church was important to us, we also wanted it to be the church where we were members. It just so happened that the Cathedral of the Incarnation was the church that we felt most at home with AND it was beautiful!

Nashville_Wedding_Photography

For escort cards, Ashley's mom planted small, individual succulents in miniature containers with the guest's names on them. They doubled as favors!

Nashville_Wedding_Photography

Our first dance song holds a lot of meaning to us. During the very beginning of our relationship it took a lot for me to let my guard down and let Jordan in. "I Won't Give Up" by Jason Mraz always seemed to play at just the right times in our relationship.

Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography
Nashville_Wedding_Photography

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding?

Hiring a wedding planner was the best decision we ever made! We made an attempt to look for a reception venue by ourselves for a day and ended that day completely stressed out and confused. The moment we talked to Helen, we felt completely at ease and actually excited to plan the wedding. 

Photographer: Rachel Moore, 2nd Photographer: Austin Lord, Planner: Helen Morisette, Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of Incarnation, Reception Venue: The University Club, Florist: The English Garden, Videographer: Dallas Wilson Video Productions, Wedding Cakes: Khan's Desserts, Hair Stylist: Ashlea Hunter, Makeup Artist: Katy Moody, Officiant: Fr. Mike Williams, DJ: JD's Music, Bridal Gown: The White Room 

Pulido Wedding, Scarritt Bennett and Belle Meade Plantation

After meeting in Charleston and later getting engaged in the same city, Nicholas and Kristina decided to wed in Nashville where Kristina's family is from. They made it official this April with their ceremony at the beautiful Scarritt Bennett and reception at Belle Meade Plantation. Kristina was an art student in Charleston and enjoys printmaking and painting and Nicholas is an officer in the Navy. After the wedding they headed to Annapolis, MD to make it their new home. 

Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore
Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore

When asked her favorite qualities of her groom: "His strength, determination and love and loyalty for family and friends. His ability to make me laugh."

Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore

When asked his favorite qualities about his bride: "She is always there for me supporting me in every decision, her laughter and joy, her understanding and patience. Her Love for the Lord, her family and friends."

Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore
Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore
Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore
Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore
Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore
Nashville_Wedding_Photographer_Rachel_Moore_9.jpg
Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore
Nashville Wedding Photography Rachel Moore

2nd Photographer: Lauren Stewart, Ceremony: Scarritt Bennett, Reception: Belle Meade Plantation

7 Tips for Beautiful + Meaningful Engagement Photos

1. WHEN: Contact your photographer to book your date for Engagement photos months in advance. Especially if you're wanting popular weddings months like May-June and September-October. Also be willing to book a weekday if needed! If you're getting married in the fall, consider Spring engagement photos to capture a different season.

Rachel Moore Engagement Photography

2. INSPIRATION: Have a vision of the general style/look you're going for. Is there a certain aesthetic that you're drawn to? Try not to look on Pinterest for ideas to duplicate, but share your vision and trust your photographer! Examples from his/her portfolio are welcomed!  I would also recommend to keep it somewhat cohesive with the style of the wedding you're having. For example, if you're having an outdoor wedding, a Save the Date photo out in nature would help set the scene for the type of event. For really well-designed invitations and save the dates, check out paperless post

Rachel Moore Engagement Photography

3. LOCATION:  Choosing a location that's meaningful to you will make your photos even more special and personal to your story.  For example; the place you met, your favorite date spot, the campus where you went to school together, the place he proposed, or somewhere with family history. If you're shy when it comes to PDA, somewhere more secluded like a family friend's private property might make you feel more comfortable being yourself.

Rachel Moore Engagement Photography

4. TIMING: Golden hour is the best time of day for outdoor portraits to get that nice warm glow. Keep that in mind when planning. If sunset is 8pm, I would suggest planning on around 6:00pm-7:30pm. Overcast on the day you have planned to shoot? No worries! Overcast skies can be great for photos because it provides soft, even lighting.

Rachel Moore Engagement Photographer

5. WARDROBE: Think something classic and timeless (verses trendy that will eventually go out of style.) Wear something that you feel great in, that feels like you. For colors, I'm personally partial to neutrals/earth tones (like grey, navy, denim, white, caramel, olive green, etc) that will compliment the environment we shoot in. I would avoid neon/colors that are too bright/bold that will compete instead of compliment. I want your emotions and expressions to be the main focus. Feel free to bring a second outfit to change into to mix it up. 

Rachel Moore Engagement Photography

5. PRIMP: Treat yourself! Consider getting your hair and makeup professionally done as well as your nails to be ready for those close ups! If you have a color palette preference, make sure to let your h/m artist know and show them an inspiration pic. Tip: It's good to have chapstick for him on hand/touch up lip stick for you on hand, water, face powder, etc! Hair/Makeup artist in Nashville I recommend: Stephanie Harrison harrisonstephanie@hotmail.com

Rachel Moore Engagement Photography

6. PROPS: Don't worry about bringing any props! I want the two of you to be the main focus of the photos. Props like "save the date" signs or banners with your wedding date are cute, but are a bit trendy and can be awkward to photograph. Leave the design and date announcement to an awesome save the date card template.

Rachel Moore Engagement Photography

7. RELAX: You'll be in an amazing location with the love of your life, you both will look your best, and your only job is to love on each other! Don't feel pressured to always look at the camera and smile. Actually, it's best if you can interact with each other: talk, laugh, hug, etc. Your images will look much more natural and effortless if you're relaxed and just enjoying each other! 

Rachel Moore Engagement Photography

BONUS TIP:  Show it off!

  Paperless P  ost Save the Date

Paperless Post Save the Date

  Paperless Post Save the Date

Paperless Post Save the Date

Joe and Rebecca, Front Porch Farms

A musician marries a ballerina, and they have a wedding that's not about the decor or anything artificial, but filled with natural beauty, real people, meaningful details and the most important people in their lives in one place.

FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore
FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore

When Rebecca and Joe first visited Front Porch Farms, it was a raining and in the middle of winter. Even still, they knew it was exactly where they wanted to get married. “The atmosphere was so relaxed and comfortable and the views were breathtaking.

FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore

The first look was pretty memorable for both of us. We loved being able to spend time together before the chaos of the evening.

FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore

My engagement ring is actually a ring that my dad gave my mom a long time ago. I've loved it for as long as I can remember. My mom gave it to Joe when he told her he wanted to propose. I love tradition and family heirlooms, so it means a lot that Joe proposed to me with this ring. I hope to pass it to one of my kids or grandkids someday!

FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore
FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore
FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore

Joe grew up in a family full of musicians, he is one of seven and they all play instruments. There's always live music where his family is gathered so we want to incorporate that in to our wedding. His dad and sisters played all of our ceremony music. The song that they played while we took Communion was actually written by Joe's dad. We completely trusted them with the music and we loved having them part of our ceremony in such a unique and special way. 

FrontPorchFarmsWeddingRachelMoore
Front_Porch_Farms_Wedding_Rachel_Moore_9.jpg

When Rebecca initially contacted me she said "We want our wedding to feel as relaxed and fun as possible. Music, drinks, games, and friends and family just hanging out together. We don't require much!"

One of my most memorable moments was listening to the toast that my bridesmaids gave. They each talked about the different areas of life that I knew them from and I love that they were able to share those details with the rest of our guests.

Our next adventure is a Europe trip we have planned with two of our good friends in July! We love to travel and this is our first big trip together...hopefully there will be many more!

--

Photographer: Rachel Moore, Second Photographer: Quyn Duong, Venue: Front Porch Farms, Bride's Dress: Modern Trousseau, Catering: B&C Catering, Officiant: Jon Cavanagh, DJ: Nashville Party Authority, Rentals: Southern Events

Rachel & Gregory

Rachel and Gregory are sweet friends of mine from college.  I photographed their wedding over three years ago, so we both agreed it was time for some updated photos to capture this season of life they're in.  They even shared a bit below about who they are, why they love calling Nashville home and what marriage has taught them. 

Introduce yourselves! 

Rachel – I’m currently a student at Union University working on getting my Bachelor of Science in Nursing.  In my scarce free time, I am a hobbyist photographer and enjoy spending time with my husband, Gregory.  One of our favorite activities is swing dancing – we actually got to know each other when partnered together at a swing dance class in college. 

Gregory – I studied music in college and began playing professionally after I graduated. Along the way I also taught myself to program, and now spend a lot of my working as a freelance software engineer.  In my downtime, I love enjoying fine food and drink with my family and friends. 

Rachel Moore Photography

What do you love about Nashville?

Nashville is very dear to our hearts – it’s where we met, were married, and established a community for ourselves apart from our families.  It’s a wonderfully unique place – I often refer to it as a “little-big town” – because it is a city where you can find a connection to nearly everyone. We love the creativity and many opportunities that are available here, but most of all we love the people that we’ve come to know and call friends.  Though neither of us were raised here, we feel Nashville is home.

Rachel_Moore_Photography_2.jpg

What are your favorites things about each other?

Gregory – I love Rachel’s relentless compassion for other people and her joyful, fun-loving spirit.

Rachel – There are so many things I love about Gregory – he’s just a good man. He loves me so well and constantly points us to Christ.  He is selfless and has supported me unfailingly as I have pursued my dream of becoming a nurse.  Gregory also has a wonderful sense of curiosity – I call him a “life-long learner” – as he’s always excited to share new information that he’s learned.

What has marriage taught you?

We were married when we were fresh out of college at age 22 – we were such babies! In over three years of marriage, we’ve learned a great deal about commitment and selflessness.  Marriage is such a beautiful picture of God’s indelible grace – He brought two broken people together so that He could be glorified and that we could help each other grow to know Him more.  Marriage is such a blessing!

Rachel Moore Photography

What's next for you guys?

Rachel is set to finish nursing school this May, hoping to work in Labor and Delivery in a local hospital.  We are hoping to put down some more permanent roots in Nashville over the next year. 

Allison and Alex | The Bridge Building Nashville

When a family asks you back to photograph their second daughter's wedding a few years after photographing their first daughter's, it's a huge honor. It was so great to connect with Alex and Ali and their family again. With an engagement session as fun as theirs, you know you're in for a treat with their wedding. They had such a light hearted ease and peace about them on their wedding day, and it was a joy to photograph.

Nashville Wedding Photography
Nashville Wedding Photography
Nashville Wedding Photography
Nashville Wedding Photography
Nashville Wedding Photography
Nashville Wedding Photography
Nashville Wedding Photography
Nashville Wedding Photography

2nd Photographer: Austin Lord, Venue: The Bridge Building, Catering: Infinity Restaurant Group, Bride's Dress: Glitz Bridal, Ceremony Musicians: College Grove Strings, Reception band: Pink Cadillac 

Brooke and Caleb Joseph / Maternity

It's always such a nice surprise when past wedding clients get in touch for maternity/baby photos years later! It's an honor and privilege to document more seasons of life for them that will represent their family tree. I love hearing about the adventure of marriage and where it's taken them. Brooke and Caleb did just that, and it was a joy getting to photograph their maternity shoot in Franklin. Brooke is such a beauty! Check out their winter wonderland wedding from a couple years ago, and their baseball themed engagement session that Brooke planned in honor of Caleb, who's a professional baseball catcher for the Baltimore Orioles. Can't wait to meet their baby boy!

Nashville Maternity Photographer

Susan and Bryson / Needle and Grain

We recently spent a day down in Columbia, TN visiting our friends Bryson and Susan of Needle and Grain. We always love spending time with these guys, and it's been so neat to do life together over the past several years since they got engaged, got married, bought a house, added two beagles to their pack and started their business. They took us around some of their favorite spots in their charming little town.

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