Cassie and Matt gathered their friends and family together in one of my favorite cities in Tennessee; Chattanooga! Matt is originally from Chattanooga and has a big family so they knew they wanted to celebrate there. They chose The Waterhouse Pavilion as their wedding venue because they loved the scenic, garden atmosphere for their ceremony paired with the beautiful brick building draped with string lights. It also had the perfect stage for their reception, since they filled the evening with live music from Caney Creek Company & Danimal Pinson that kept everyone on the dance floor.
I met Cassie and Matt several months before their wedding when I went to visit them in Nashville for their engagement session! Although it gave me a chance to get to know them, being a part of their wedding really gave me the chance to truly get to see their personalities and love for each other.
There was so much of themselves incorporated into their day; from the live music and folksy feel, the decorations, their details, the PZZA (yes, that's right. These two did reception food RIGHT.)
I left feeling so close with these two having had the chance to witness their lovestory in action. Thank you guys so much for letting me document your day and share it from my point of view!
"Seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day left me giddy, excited, emotional. Our first look was a great way to help me focus on what was important instead of worrying about how everything was going to work out as far as the wedding and reception."
"So, the year before I graduated college Matt asked me if I would do this 2,000 mile hike with him. I said yes, not thinking that it would actually happen. He started to plan and plan and about 6 months out I realized that this was actually happening! So I started purchasing all of my gear, reading books and blogs about what we will need to prepare for. And then, about a month from our start date we ended up breaking up. It was a total bummer. I wasn't sure what to do. I tried to jump on board with my best friend on a trip to New Zealand that she had been planning but that just didn't seem right either. So I called Matt and told him I was going to go through with the hike and we could go our separate ways once we got comfortable on the trail. Needless to say, we never separated. Although we didn't get back together just yet either. (I was determined for some reason to finish the trail as a single woman!) We spent day after day walking behind the other. We saw each others incredible strengths and biggest weaknesses. We walked through freezing rain and snow, stomped through swamps, and mosquito infested forests. We shared the most beautiful views, sunrises and sunsets. We thought a lot, talked a lot, and prayed a lot about figuring out who we were and where we were supposed to go next. It soon became clear to both of us that whatever it was we had to do it together. We made too good a team. Everyone told me when I started planning the trip that this trip would either make us or break us. It made us. It brought us together and made our love so incredibly strong. That is why we wanted to highlight the trip in our wedding. It is so much of who we are now as individuals but especially who we are now as a couple. It totally connected us in a way that we had never felt with any other person before."
"So for our table we picked out our 3 favorite days/places on the trail:
Mt. Washington which is in New Hampshire and in the White Mountain Range, This day was perfect. The hike to Mt. Washington summit can be one of the most dangerous hikes in the U.S. because the weather can change so quickly. But we got lucky and caught it on a clear morning! This was the first time we had someone come to visit us too. We met my mom at the top of the mountain and she drove us back down to some warm food and a nice hot shower. We got to sleep in an actual bed that night too. It was heaven!
Then there was Franconia Ridge, also in New Hampshire, It was one of the first times we got above the tree line so it felt like we were on another planet! Once you get up there you walk along the ridge for hours, around each bend catching more and more breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
And then there is Mt. Katahdin! This is the northernmost point of the AT so this is the mountain you dream about reaching, this is your goal, making it to this last mountain! (So, for most it is the end of their journey but in our case we did a "flip flop" so we had to get back to West Virginia and end at the southernmost point Springer Mountain, GA) Regardless, It was another gorgeous day! And was the goal for us for the first 4 months of the trip. The way up the mountain is steep and has lots of boulders that you have to climb your way around and then plateaus off for a while before getting to the summit. Then on the way down we took what they call the knife's edge. It is straight down on both sides of the trail. One misstep and it's all over for ya! From here, we were just walking home! Which, by this point in the trip, we were really REALLY starting to miss."
"This rock came from Mount Washington. We were so inspired on that mountain! There were so many cool rocks and plants. We could have been a bit loopy from the altitude too, to be honest haha.But we kept seeing these rocks that looked like marble and they had gold specks in them too and I just had to have one. So Matt helped me empty my pack into his and we stuffed that rock into my backpack and I carried it to the top where we met my Mom who picked us up and took us to get a fresh meal and showers. Thankfully she drove up so I didn't have to carry it the rest of the way home. "
"Both bands are based out of Chattanooga. But Matt and I went to college with 2 of the guys in Caney Creek Company. We also love bluegrass music so we had planned on having them play our wedding from the very beginning. We knew they would be able to create the mood we wanted for both the ceremony and our first dance, which they pulled off flawlessly! It was both of our favorite parts of the night!
We met Danimal through Matt's sister Anita who was a long time fan of his Sunday brunch sets at The Feed in Chatt. We booked him that day! He can play ANYTHING! And is just a real laid back, fun-loving guy. We knew he would be great for the end of the night when drinks were flowing and everyone was ready to start dancing."
"The song we picked for our first dance was really special. "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's has always been our special song and we actually got engaged at one of their concerts at Cumberland Caverns in my hometown. So we knew we wanted a song by that band but "Carries On" really exemplified the way we feel about each other and the beauty of how love changes and is "carried on" over time. I think it also speaks well to different kinds of love too like the love of a great friend or family member. We wanted our wedding day to be about all of that, about our story as well as those special people in our life who showed us what great love looks like."