Hayley & Matthew-A Dust Storm Elopement at Duchess Hill


Do you remember when the dust storm from the Saharan Desert covered western North Carolina in June? It wasn’t as massive as what Africa experienced but it was certainly a unique event. Well, I was fortunate enough to have booked a delightful couple, Hayley and Matthew, for an elopement at Duchess Hill during that time.

Saharan Desert Dust Storm

Before I left the house, my husband, JJ, said I should expect an exceptional sunset because he had been watching the news about the dust storm. I expected to see some haze in the distance but I had no idea what I was about to photograph.

When I arrived I met a very bubbly and joyful Hayley! I knew instantly we were going to have a fabulous time together and I was not disappointed. Her personality was infectious and it was obvious that Matthew adored her.


Like many brides, this year due to COVID Matthew and Hayley had to postpone their bigger wedding because of the sanctioned closures. Needless to say, this has been difficult for everyone but I am happy that some couples have chosen to get married regardless. In the end, love will always win out!

As the sun started to dip just a little bit we decided to go ahead and do some pictures before the ceremony because they wanted to get married at true sunset.


Romance at Duchess Hill

I had been dying to photograph a wedding out at Duchess Hill for quite some time but since coronavirus decided to visit us even this venue, like me, had all of their weddings postponed to next year. Ever since I saw the tree swing Michelle, aka “The Duchess,” had placed in a tree near a stone path I could not get it out of my mind.

Hayley and Matthew were all for using it in their pictures and I finally had my wish fulfilled! After I shot the first few images I was about to explode! The colors and haze from the dust storm had me literally jumping up and down with joy! As you can see from the pictures below it looked kind-of like morning but at sunset. It wasn’t exactly like morning because it had its own flair but it is for moments like these I live for as a photographer!

I felt as though I had stepped into a romance novel cover watching these two so happy to be joining together as husband and wife.

Next, we moved out to the old truck that Michelle chose to leave on the property because so many people love the texture of it. It was perfect for the shots Hayley wanted with her denim jacket.

Everything was very close by so I was able to do nearly all of their couples shots within 30 minutes before the ceremony.

As we started back up the hill Katrina from Destination Elopements, said, “Come on Sabrina the sun is setting!” She knows me too well because we chat nearly every day and has worked with me on countless weddings and elopements. I can’t help myself I am in love with my craft and get lost in the art of making images.

A Unique Sunset Elopement

Duchess Hill Wedding Waynesville NC Sabrina L Greene Photography

I just laughed and said, “I know I’m coming!” Once we got settled and ready for the ceremony I looked out over the venue and my jaw dropped. The sunset was truly as my husband said it would be, exceptional.

Matthew & Hayley live-streamed their ceremony to their family back in Atlanta so they could be a part of their ultimate declaration of love. It was heart-warming to hear them send their love and support.

They chose to write their own vows and the sky celebrated with them! At the end of the ceremony and after their first kiss they chose to pop open champagne while Katrina, Michelle, and I cheered them on.

Playing in the Wildflowers

With the dying embers of the sun, I could not resist one more round of pictures out in the open field with wildflowers. Michelle asked me if I was worried about bugs to which I joyfully replied, “Nah my husband works for Terminix! He can debug me anytime!”

Was lying in the field with weeds worth it? You tell me!

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About Sabrina

Sabrina is a photographer located near Asheville, NC who loves to create stories through her lens. She is known for her conceptual photography inspired by literature and her love of books.

Sabrina is also a portrait, wedding, and small business photographer. Her artistic style bridges the line of cinema and paintings.

And when she’s not photographing people, you can find her indulging in journaling, reading traditional fairy and folktales, daydreaming, or spending time with her family and her pampered dog, Pixel.

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