Where do I even start with Miceala and John Michael? This couple is so sweet you could get diabetes just from looking at them – or knowing them. Tragically, with only a month to go, their entire Colorado mountain mansion wedding plans caved in with the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic that sent thousands of couples scrambling. But these two handled it with such grace and decided nothing could stop them from being married this summer. So they moved the wedding hundreds of miles away to Miceala’s childhood home in the heart of Tennessee, to get married surrounded by the love of their closest friends and immediate family (and dogs!) before these doctors moved to Louisville for residency just ten days later. (They also somehow squeezed in a honeymoon and bought a house that month. I mean, is there anything they can’t do??) I felt so honored to be there for them and to celebrate the only way they do in the south – my god, was I treated like family or what! Moms were practically shoving cupcakes in my mouth before they would let me leave at the end of the night because “you haven’t tried all the flavors yet!” (I am ok with this.) When I rocked up to start photographing the guys get ready at their parent’s house, having never even met John Michael, he asked if he could get me anything..on his own wedding day! I really felt like I’d stepped into the twilight zone with this group of guys. If you’re a wedding vendor, you know a group of groomsmen can be a bit tipsy, rowdy and uncooperative to say the least, so this next paragraph isn’t going to seem real. All the guys calmly and respectfully got dressed, and helped each other out with belts, socks, ties, and jackets, without being asked, within ten minutes -done. This has literally never happened in the history of ever. Since that only took a few minutes, I asked them to kick off the day with a toast but.. they couldn’t find any alcohol. WHAT? Was I dreaming?? Not even a solo cup could be located!! Eventually, some beer was found in the basement, toasts were raised, and the day was off! Now, a moment of realness about Tennessee. The humidity is a force to be reckoned with – hence why the couple had tried to escape here for a Colorado mountain wedding – and the 95 degree day made this the hottest wedding I’ve ever shot in my life. Well, that and the bride. 😉 Though we kept to the shade for the first look, sweat was pouring off all three of us in no time, and I was glad I’d thought to bring a small hand towel with me that they used to mop the sweat from their faces every five minutes. It was exceedingly romantic. However, we were having so much fun that we barely noticed – I’ll never forget the laughs that we shared that day as we breezed through some beautiful portraits of the happy, always-giggling couple down a tree-lined road that I had scouted online before arriving. I also had a ton of fun shooting their group photos with their families and wedding parties, who were there to have fun and show how much the couple meant to them. Miceala’s bridesmaids pulled out all the stops by each taking a moment to tell her something they loved about her during their group photos, and we ALL cried at their kind words. Luckily, there were no photos of me from this event because I’m pretty sure that between my tears and the buckets of sweat, and the humidity I looked like a drowned rat with hair a la 90’s. In the evening when it had “cooled off” to 85 degrees, we gathered in Micaela’s childhood yard, where their pastor filled the yard with love and well wishes, and the couple’s spaniel Knox tinkled in the grass for good luck during their vows at this beautiful backyard wedding. They signed their marriage license next to a huge tank of southern lemonade on the kitchen counter, and had a home cooked dinner on the back porch, where John Michael himself had redone the siding for Miceala’s mom. The entire emphasis of the day was on family, candid and tender moments, and celebrating the reverent love of John Michael and Micaela. Please enjoy these highlights of the best moments from their southern backyard wedding.. but stayed tuned for what happened the very next week, because I invited myself on their honeymoon to shoot them again!