Echoes of a Blue Ridge Mountain Wedding

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“Pink sunsets over blue mountains,” are one of the calls to the world to visit Western North Carolina and see their majesty. This line from Glenda Barrett’s poem Echoes immediately conjured up a memory of a stunning mountaintop wedding I captured last year in the dying embers of a summer day.

Blue Ridge Mountain Sunset Wedding
Blue Ridge Mountain Sunset Wedding

Echoes by Glenda Barrett

I cannot silence
the talk of war,
a rising drug market
or the cries of the homeless.
Yet, sheltered in the Appalachians,
I can be grateful for simple pleasures:
the surprise of the first snowflake,
a newborn colt on wobbly legs,
wild violets in the spring,
pink sunsets over blue mountains,
bales of hay in green pastures,
and a freshly plowed garden patch.

Yes, I am only one,
but I can follow in the footsteps
of my faithful ancestors,
people who were truthful,
who said what they meant
and meant what they said,
who held firm to their beliefs
and rose above their hardships.
People whose voices still echo
across these Blue Ridge Mountains,
I was born here, and I’ll die here!

Leah & Joseph Walking a ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Leah & Joseph Walking a ridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Weddings Follow in the Footsteps of our Ancestors

I love to capture the love stories of couples through my photography.  All are different, but there is something inexpressible about having your ceremony on top of a mountain. Maybe I am biased by having grown up among these hills, but going with a couple to the mountaintop to witness their vows of love feels sacred.

Bride Dancing on a Mountain Range
Bride Dancing on a Mountain Range

Witnessing the vows of a couple on a mountain ridge leads me to reflect on my heritage and marriage. The hike to the summit is much like the words Barret says in her poem,

“I can follow in the footsteps
of my faithful ancestors,
people who were truthful,
who said what they meant,
and meant what they said”

First Kiss Bride & Groom

When we get married, that is what we are doing! We are following in the footsteps of those who have gone before us, and we say truthful words, and we mean them to the one we love.

I know that my reading of Glenda’s poem Echoes through the context of marital love may not have been her intended meaning, but I can see how it relates. Her love of the mountains of Western North Carolina is parallel to the quiet moments of the love between a man and woman like Leah and Joseph.

Looking at a Blue Ridge Mountain Sunset
Looking at a Blue Ridge Mountain Sunset

The Couple-Leah & Joseph

Leah and Joseph both have ties to the Southern Appalachian Mountains through Bryson City, NC. They come here every summer from their home in middle Tennessee to visit.

Leah says, “I’ve fallen in love with the mountains! I have loved them for as long as I can remember, the way everything feels so calm, the mountain air, and the views that take your breath away!”

Getting Married in the Mountains
Getting Married in the Mountains

Leah would agree with this line from Echoes,

“Yet, sheltered in the Appalachians,
I can be grateful for simple pleasures.”

The simple pleasures of the mountains drew Leah and Joseph back for their ceremony, and I am delighted that it did!

Although she had initially planned to have her wedding at her family farm, she said that she became overwhelmed with all the planning. Both she and Joseph were in school full time at Middle Tennessee University, so they decided to elope. That is when they contacted Destination Elopements of WNC to help them plan their ceremony.

Rev. Allison officiated their ceremony, and my husband JJ and I were their witnesses. It was evident that they were hopelessly in love with one another.

Rev. Allision officiated their ceremony, and my husband JJ and I were their witnesses. It was evident that they were hopelessly in love with one another.

Joseph and Leah met in high school when their classes were next to each other. Leah was a sophomore, and Joe a senior, and they met over playing a game of cards near the end of the school year.

Wedding Rings Against the Sunset
Wedding Rings Against the Sunset

“They asked me to play cards, and I wasn’t going to decline the offer when a super cute guy was playing. It became a normal thing we did during the last few weeks before he graduated, and I fell fast for him.”

Leah said a few days after graduation, she seen Joe again at a local festival, and they walked the town square several times then exchanged numbers.

Bride Relaxed in a Meadow
Bride Relaxed in a Meadow in the Blue Ridge Mountains

“That was the start of a whole new journey,” and indeed, it did. A journey that led them back to the mountains to say their vows and let them echo across the hills just as others who have come before them and will follow after.

What echoes do you intend to leave in the Blue Ridge Mountains?

Wedding Photography

I hope you have enjoyed this post and reading of Echoes by Glenda Barrett. If you are looking to get married in Western North Carolina, I would love to talk to you about being your wedding photographer and even helping you select a reading that reflects your unique story. You can always contact me here for more information.

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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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