Dereck + Samantha-Black Balsam Knob Elopement

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Black Balsam Knob Destination Elopements

If I have not said it yet I thoroughly enjoy working with Katrina at Destination Elopements! She sends me the sweetest and most unique couples to photograph on their wedding days! Dereck and Samantha recently were one of those couples I had the pleasure of being chosen to be their wedding photographer. On March 16 we all traveled to Black Balsam Knob in the Pisgah National Forest for their wedding ceremony.

A Ceremony on Top of the World

Let me say this, IT WAS COLD, but it was also worth it! They chose to have their ceremony with close friends and family under the canopy of the winter trees as the sun began to set. The sun cast a glowing light around everyone that reminded me of an evening fire.

Dereck & Samantha’s Love Story

Dereck, Samantha, and their family traveled to Western North Carolina from West Virginia to get married in the Great Smoky Mountains. And I found their family to be warm and welcoming. It makes my job so much easier when the family is as cheerful and happy as the couple.

In fact, I enjoy getting to know the family as much as I do the couple. Remember I am a lover and keeper of stories. So, with that said I asked Dereck and Samantha to share their love story with us.

How did you two meet, your first date?

Dereck said that he and Samantha met through the Tinder App.

“Our first meeting happened on tinder, and after about a week of chatting, we decided to meet in person. We had our first date at Samantha’s favorite Mexican restaurant. She was so shy she spoke maybe all of three sentences while I told her my whole life story, and then some.”

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Can you share when you knew that she was “the one?”

I fell in love with what Dereck had to say about his beloved Samantha when I asked him this question.

“After our first date, a few days later, Samantha asked me to go with her to get breakfast at the local IHOP. I met her there around 9:00 am and after eating our meal we sat in her truck for hours! We sat there just having one conversation after another until around 5:00 pm. At which point she told me she was hungry again, so we went to the Burger King just up the street. We sat at the table in the middle of the restaurant and the sun just gleamed over her face in such a way, I can’t really describe it. I was mesmerized.”

It just goes hand in hand with their sunset ceremony. It just gives you all the “feels,” doesn’t it? I know it did me.

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Tell me about your proposal!

Samantha shared that Dereck’s proposal was a complete surprise to her.

“Dereck and I went to Lake Erie for a long weekend in September. After wandering around I ended up laying on the beach and falling asleep in the sun when I opened my eyes there, he was lying next to me with a ring. He had been trying to propose to me the entire morning through the afternoon, but I kept rushing around the beach doing various things and then fell asleep. I was completely surprised when I opened my eyes and seen the ring!” 

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What is one thing you love most about each other?

When I asked Dereck what he loved most about Samantha he said, “The thing I love most about her is her personality. She is quick-witted, not afraid to be goofy which she is most of the time and has a unique sense of humor. That’s what I love most just being goofy together and having fun pretty much all the time.”

Samantha said that what she loves most about Dereck is his kindness, “I’ve never met anyone who is more friendly to be around.”

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What do you enjoy doing together the most? Do you share hobbies?

Dereck and Samantha said that they both enjoy hiking, traveling, and thrift store shopping together. When they are not doing that, they enjoy snuggling up on the couch with their dog Cosmo.

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What inspired your wedding?

Samantha said, “Our love of thrifting and vintage styled weddings inspired us. I took inspiration from the 50-60s style. I knew I wanted our wedding to have a relaxed feel, so we went with warmer neutral and primary colors.”

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What do you feel is the most unique thing about your wedding?

“We decided to elope with just our families, which made it that much more special to us. My veil was purchased used, it’s from the 60s and it just felt very cool to be able to incorporate something so unique into our wedding.”

And I can tell you this I LOVED HER VEIL! How distinctive to have a veil that already has a history with it? I am a fan of fascinators anyway, but Samantha’s was to die for.

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Do you have a “song” as a couple?

Samantha said, “We don’t technically have a song, but Dereck always makes me dance around the house to ‘You & Me’ by Lifehouse.”

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What’s one thing you wish you would have known earlier regarding planning?

I always ask my couples this so I can offer advice to other couples in their own planning process. Samantha had this to share, “Planning a large wedding, even one with 75 guests is a lot of stress. And stress is not fun! I am so glad we changed our minds and eloped instead!”

It was a pleasure capturing Dereck and Samantha’s love story visually and in words. They are a unique couple and I love that they have their own style. Never be afraid to be who you are and show that off!

Along the lines of what Samantha said I too believe smaller weddings are wonderful! You don’t have to have a huge one for it to be memorable and unique.

Congratulations to this happy couple! I believe eloping on top of Black Balsam Knob was the perfect choice for both of you! May you have a lifetime of happiness and share in adventures daily, along with Cosmo!

For more information on booking with myself and Destination Elopements click HERE!

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About Me

Sabrina is an experienced photographer and Photoshop artist of many years. She fell in love with the art of photography and photo manipulation in 2009 while in college at Mars Hill University. She holds a BA in English with minors in both Regional and Women’s Studies. With an appreciation for all the arts her love of reading is what influences her artwork the most.

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