Each year, we celebrate the exceptional artistry and talent of our photographers by selecting certain photos that we feel are “magazine worthy.” There is something extra special in the lighting, the angle of the photo, the location, or the set up. Some of these look as though they were carefully staged for a photo shoot. This is always a very challenging process to weed through all of the amazing wedding galleries and narrow it down to just twenty photos. Jill and I go round and round with this process until we agree. We are now ready for the roll out. I will roll out one a day on this blog so you likely will need to refresh your browser to see the updates. The bottom 15 are in random order. Now the countdown to the top 5.
Best of our top 20 – magazine worthy best of 2021 photographs
These sunset photos are just magic – no way around it. The light almost dances with everything it touches. In this photo, you seem to get it all. The light lets the tree limbs and foliage make a beautiful background and then the sun seems to show off every little stem and bud from the hay stalks. The bride and groom are centered which it is all about our couples indeed. The groom seems to effortlessly hold his bride in his arms (whether that is effortless or not) and it doesn’t looked staged which often these poses do. The dress isn’t bunched but it too allows for the light to let it almost glow. A passionate kiss and the profile of our High Point of Lookout Mountain all put great icing on the cake of this amazing photo. It is our essence of sorts; our location, our earthiness and farm vibe, and our couples passionate day. Kudos to Honeyroot.
second place in our top 20
The creek area is also an area that tends to make amazing photos. Part of it is the water element, part is the way the low evening sun hits this area and highlights the foliage and grasses, and part of it is that it feels like you are in the middle of nowhere.
third place in our top 20
This particular shot is of the bride and groom’s first look and it takes place in the ceremony area in the grove. All alone they meet up and spend a few precious moments sharing words with each other as they affirm their love. This photo become amazing mostly because of the perfect timing of the lighting effect that peaks into their private space. It truly looks as though heaven is shining in on them and this moment. The bride in her gown almost glows as she does look angelic. It feels very symbolic that the two of them at this moment are in a world of their own but being blessed from heaven.
Fourth place in our top 20
These sweet almost private moments of the bride and groom in the greenhouse are always special. We have many of these to choose from but we kept coming back to this one as our best.
fifth place in our top 20 Best of 2021
What a “one-of-a-kind” photo! You couldn’t have staged this one if you had tried. After a series of very stunning photos of the bride and groom out in the pasture with the horses in the background, the goats decided that they wanted to join the party. In this bride and groom romantic embrace pic, our little goat thought it way to tempting to have the bouquet dangling just above her head. As if on cue, she stands on her hand legs in hopes of being able to nibble off a few of those delicious greens. A talented photographer learns to click click click a way in times like this in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough. I will also state “kudos to the couple” for being crazy enough, daring enough to just go with the flow and let things happen.
Starting off with a classic bride and groom photo. Many elements in this photo come together to create a stunning effect. The extended and extra long veil is always an asset and when it looks natural – not forced like this one, it helps. The low sun and the filter are perfect.
With a long view of the valley, this photo is both panoramic and symbolic showing the bride and groom’s new journey has begun and it looks bright and beautiful.
The creek is one of those magical spots on the farm that not only has the water-effect going for it, but the way the low evening sun hits it can, if done carefully, can turn a photo into a fairytale setting.
So much right with this photo. The bride, Elena, looks stunning in this amazing dress with those lacey sleeves and the extra long train. This specific angle of the photo incorporates all the best assets from behind the farmhouse; the arbor, the vines, the white picket fence, and the vintage bike. Every inch of this photo is divine.
Spring weddings get this extraordinary neon hue on the grass which creates a stark contrast with the bride and groom’s attire. The tree tunnel contributes this depth for the photo with the lined trees and even the glow at the far end. The extra long bridal gown train and the rich colors in her bouquet all add bonus points. It is the great combination of many subtle details that come together to form a stunning photo.
This photo shows how important the lighting effect is to a great picture. Again, the magic comes from that low light of before sunset. See how the sun highlights each detail of every plant in the garden. Placement of the bride and groom actually “in” the garden was a perfect move too.
Sunset in the hayfield with the bride and groom standing blissfully alone in the tall stalks and High Point (of Lookout Mountain) in the background – there’s just something special about this view.
We love our animals and many of our brides seem to love our animals as much as we do. We knew Ally wanted a picture with a horse but she wanted a candid photo. This means a horse ala carte, no bridal, in the field with the bride – gutsy, huh? Finny is a massive boy – part draft horse but a gentle giant indeed. Ally was not phased a bit and the photo just seems magical and in any other circumstance it would’ve been a staged photo shoot for a magazine layout.
This is our Dancehall. Very few pictures of our dancehall get selected on any year for our “Best of” series mainly because by the time dancing begins, the room is congested with guests and rarely is there any outside lighting still available to influence a photo. In this circumstance, I think it might have been a “first dance” scenario earlier in the evening. Either which of way, the outdoor lighting does help contribute to this amazing photo. This photo is able to not only capture the ambiance of the room, our funky chandelier, and the other couples on the floor, but it allows the bride and grooms sweet dance be front and center of the attention. These first dances are special moments on wedding day and this photo and filter makes us all long to be in the photo dancing slowly with our mates.
The garden are always a photographers favorite location because it adds all of that extra interest behind the bride/groom photo. Even are gardens color and varieties change from season to season. Jill and I both just kept coming back to this photo and knew it had to be included.
This photo has unusual lighting and filters, I imagine. It is actually situated in the yard of the farmhouse yet I don’t know if we have ever had photos taken from this angle. It literally makes the bride seem like she is in her very own Secret Garden. The photographer also submitted a black and white version which was super cool and we debated which we liked more and this one won.
Yes, wedding day is all about the bride and groom, but the friendship and support of the bridesmaids to the bride is an integral part of the day as well. These girls typically love to hang out all day prepping, primping, and celebrating. This iconic pose of the bride and her bridesmaids happens each wedding. This picture is a stand-out because it turned a standard pose into a piece of art. The lighting is just right on the clover field as it highlights each blossom and stem. The bridesmaids are all beautiful, of course, but the variety of hues in their dresses does add to the overall beauty of this photo. One has to agree that the halos on each girl is an added bonus and with all of that backlighting effect, the photographer was still able to capture the expressions on their faces too. Just overall smart photography.
Our garden photographs are always a great place for a photo. Depending on which time of year, the photos give a huge variety of color and flower options. This Spring wedding got these yellows. There are many aspects in this particular photo that make it a stand out; starting with the clouds, the full volume of flowers all around the bride and groom, the sweet temple kiss of the groom, the brides gaze, and then the added blurring sets it off perfectly.
The magic of the sunset photos cannot be understated. It makes everything pop like each blade of grass and even makes her very long veil almost glow. The light coming through the trees gives a beautiful backdrop. Though the bride’s stance is perfect and she has her bouquet held straight down as if on cue but the standout is the way that the groom looks at her.
We love our goats and so many of our brides and their guests seem to love our goats too. It is a unique mix, granted, a bride in her bridal gown all dressed up and holding a baby goat of all things. That said, there is something amazing about the combo. Each year, there seems to be a stand-out photo of this unusual pairing. This one of Hope and “Cedar” is that one. This close-up shows Hope with all of her make-up still in tact (many hours after it was applied), her beautiful bridal gown lace adds interest, and as you can see, she is all in on the snuggles and kisses. We couldn’t have created this stunning photo any better if we had tried.