Tennessee Adventures


I had the awesome opportunity of second shooting with Taylor once again. But this time, was different than the others.....it was a destination wedding! We traveled to Gatlinburg, TN for Darci and Ryan's big day.

But rewind a couple of days. Two days before their wedding, Taylor and I decided to turn this trip into a mini-vacay. I had never been to Nashville, which is only 3.5 hours from Gatlinburg. Thankfully, her older brother lives in Nashville and him and his wife let us stay with them for two nights (thanks Rian and Maryann!)

Nashville was an absolute blast! Even though we only had one full day to see Nashville, we covered A LOT of ground. We went to local shops, restaurants, murals and the historic Bluebird Cafe (which happens to be where they also shoot one my favorite shows, Nashville).

We got to Nashville on Wednesday night and went to dinner before the show. We ate at a Lebanese restaurant in the 12 South area called Epice (really really good)! After dinner we headed to the Bluebird where we saw this amazing country-UK duo called The Shires. Alongside them were 3 singer/songwriters who have written with Jason Aldean, Jessica Simpson, and many other artists. It was a lot of fun to hear the stories behind their songs and people they've got to work with in their careers. Now....if any of you have seen the show Nashville, you know they shoot at the Bluebird and you know Juliette Barns played by Hayden Panetierre. Drumroll please, SHE WAS THERE SITTING BEHIND OUR TABLE. This was my first celebrity encounter so I was pretttty excited (even though she wasn't too thrilled for a photo). You could say our first night in Nashville was close to perfect.

The next morning, Taylor and I explored the city. Taylor had been to Nashville before so she kind of knew her way around the city. We went to local shops and restaurants and found as many art murals we could find. We ate lunch at this amazing burger place called The Pharmacy. So if you are ever in Nashville, it's delicious.

As designers and photographers, we were all over the place taking pictures. We found a lot of murals that we wanted to visit online and as we were driving we just kept finding more and more. Nashville has so many murals designed by really talented artists. Near the end of our 8 hour day of adventure, we saw another celebrity! Randy Houser was walking into a guitar store, pretty exciting. On our way back to the house, we stopped at a cute flower truck to get flowers for Rian and Maryann as a thank you. Overall, I was very happy with our Nashville trip and I have always said I want to move to that area so that trip just swayed me even closer to actually doing it.

The next morning we left for Gatlinburg. Taylor has never been to the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area before but when I was younger my family vacationed there every year. A lot of memories came rushing back when we drove through. Once we got to our hotel, we met up with Ryan and Darci for a downtown mini sessions Taylor had gifted them. I'm use to shooting in rural, flat settings but downtown was packed with people so it was interesting to watch everybody basically stare while they were doing their shoot. It was kinda of entertaining. Later that night, Darci had invited us to the rehearsal dinner with all her friends and family (which most traveled from Van Wert for the wedding) so there were some familiar faces.

Saturday came and the weather was gorgeous. We woke up and went to a "famous" breakfast place called the Pancake House. They had the fluffiest pancakes I have ever eaten. After breakfast we headed to the venue. It was beautiful in the mountains with all of the fall trees surrounding. They found the most perfect place (on Pinterest) with the nicest owner. I can't wait for Taylor to post their wedding day.

Sunday morning we walked through downtown and bought some yummy fudge! We toured around downtown a little before we had to leave. It was such a fun four days with Taylor. It never feels like work when I shoot with her!

Tennessee, I will be seeing you again.

iPhone photos (Of course I had to include our low quality picture with Hayden!) And thanks Taylor for all the photos of me!

TravelTeah Rushing