I remember speaking to Haley and Gray during their inquiry call very vividly. I was instantly in love with their personalities and was so ecstatic over how well we got along. I knew photographing their wedding would be an absolute dream, and wow, was this weekend beyond expectations. Every so often I get the opportunity to be present before the wedding day to photograph pre-wedding events. For Gray and Haley’s celebrations, I got to be there on Friday for both the bridal luncheon and the rehearsal dinner. Having opportunities like this is an absolute dream as I adore getting to connect with people’s families and really feel immersed in the celebrations. It leaves me saying goodbye at the end of the wedding weekend not only to the bride and groom, but also to the parents, cousins, friends from college, and everyone in between. Gray and Haley’s families are both the very definition of welcoming and hospitable, and I cannot thank the Wrights and Schochs enough for the absolute joy it was to get to know them all.
Haley kicked off her wedding celebrations with a bridal luncheon at The Greystone Inn in Cashiers, North Carolina. This chilly September morning brought overcast skies, lots of hugs, and of course a few Bellinis. Haley’s mom welcomed everyone in while Haley posed for photos with guests and wrapped them in tight hugs. Lunch began with toasts from Haley’s mom and the bride herself before guests tucked into a delicious meal. Later on that evening, Gray’s parents hosted the rehearsal dinner at The Library Kitchen and Bar. Welcomed in by Chef Johannes Klapdohr, guests were greeted with wine, our d’oeuvres, and gift bags. The bride and groom soon arrived and made their way around greeting their family and friends. Chef Johannes was more than welcoming, showing guests around the restaurant and even offering for me to take photos around the kitchen. Before long the dinner stations were opened and guests sat down to catch up with family and enjoy their meals. Toasts were made by Haley’s maid of honor and Gray’s best man before Gray himself took the mic. I remember Gray getting choked up when speaking about how much he couldn’t wait to marry Haley and it was the kind of touching moment that makes me adore photographing rehearsal dinners. After the amount of love and excitement I had witnessed on Friday, I could not wait for the wedding the next day.
Nestled in Sapphire, North Carolina, you’ll find Lonesome Valley and The Canyon restaurant. This venue offers stunning mountain landscapes, beautiful foliage, and the perfect destination setting for these two Nashville lovebirds. Haley and Gray began their day getting ready at The Greystone Inn before heading over to the venue for finishing touches. Haley’s sister and her mom helped her adorn her jewelry and veil before revealing the final look to her dad for the first time. Dad was all happy tears seeing Haley as a bride and showered her with “I love yous” and compliments on her gown. Haley’s girls and I headed into the valley to capture photos of the bride and her bridal crew before tucking them away to make way for Gray and his groomsmen. These boys were too funny and had nothing but love for the star of the day. Gray and the guys spent time greeting family at the ceremony before their official lineup while other guests posed for photos with the mountain backdrop. Before long, it was time for the big walk down the aisle!
To no ones surprise, Gray was all happy tears when he saw Haley for the first time. Throughout their ceremony, there were laughs, heartfelt vows, and lots of tears from both the bride and groom. Their friends and family looked on with smiles and I can say with full confidence that it is one of the most memorable ceremonies I’ve ever photographed. After having to consider moving the ceremony inside due to threats of rain from a hurricane that was hovering over the coast, Haley and Gray’s ceremony was cushioned with overcast skies that made for absolutely perfect lighting. Having gone through all the uncertainty with the weather, it made the outdoor ceremony all the more special and celebratory. Haley and Gray smiled as they walked up the aisle hand in hand before posing for portraits with family, their bridal party, and of course with each other.
That time with a couple after the ceremony is always fun because couples are always so excited to be married, but when I tell you guys Haley and Gray were giddy, they were giddy. These two are truly so in love and it was one of those moments that makes you step back and say, “If it’s not that, I don’t want it.” The reception kicked off with dinner before venturing out with the bridal party to dig up the bourbon bottle. The drinks kept flowing through emotional toasts before Haley and Gray opened up the dance floor. The Emerald Empire Band kept the party going all night as guests danced, sipped cocktails, and enjoyed s’mores by the fire. Haley and Gray concluded the wedding day with a sparkler exit before heading back to the Greystone for a pajama party with their family and bridal crew. As the night came to a close, family members I’d met over the weekend came over and hugged me, thanked me for a job well done, and honestly were just the sweetest ever. It was already such a joy to know Haley and Gray, but to get to know their family throughout the weekend too was really the absolute best. To Gray and Haley, I could write about you all day and still never say enough kind things. You both light up every room you’re in and your love is an inspiration to us all. I adore you both and can’t wait to see what comes next for you!
To the powerhouse of vendors who made this weekend possible: you are the absolute best!
Luncheon Venue: The Greystone Inn | https://greystoneinn.com/
Rehearsal Dinner Venue: The Library | https://www.librarykitchenandbar.com/
Wedding Venue: Lonesome Valley | https://lonesomevalley.com/cashiers-nc-weddings/
Planning and Design: WNC Weddings and Events | https://wncweddings.net/
Rentals: Professional Party | https://professionalpartyrentals.com/
Hair and Make Up: Flawless Airbrush | https://www.ashevilleairbrushmakeupartistry.com/
Cake: Mrs. Sugar Booger | https://mrssugarbooger.com/
Catering: The Canyon Kitchen Restaurant | https://lonesomevalley.com/canyon-kitchen/
Band: The Emerald Empire Band | https://www.emeraldempireband.com/
Videography: Resolute Wedding Films | https://www.resoluteweddingfilms.com/
Florals: Flourish Flower Farm | https://www.flourishflowerfarm.com/
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