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The Big Finish – A Fun group Picture

Many photos that I take never make it on my blog for one reason or another. After last week’s blog post on Save a Memory, Print a Picture, I decided to continue the Throw Back Thursday trend for a while. So check back each Thursday for a blast from the past. I’ll be sharing pictures that I was just to busy to post when I photographed them, old favorites of mine, and a few photos from my personal archive.

I am going to start this series with the most unique wedding group photo that I have ever made. I’ve had groomsmen pickup the bride before, but not lift her over their head. When you have a bride, groom and bridal party with a background in theatre, just say yes when they come to you with an ideas for a group pose. This one is called “The Big Finish”

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Save a memory, print a picture

knoxville photographer

For Throw Back Thursday, I decided to do a blog post from WAY back.

During my senior year of high school, I was the photographer for our school yearbook and the town newspaper. Back then I used a film camera and almost every picture I shot was turned into a print. A while back I found several boxes labeled pictures. There is something special about being able to hold those prints in my hand and reminisce. I could not help but sit down and go through all of these old memories. Many things I had forgotten, other were just as vivid as the day I took them.

In this digital world that we live in today, pictures are everywhere. We are recording history with some type of cameras all the time. Yet, are we preserving it? Most of these images find a home on social media, a hard drive or just stay on a phone but never get printed. In twenty years, I wonder how many of these digital forms that contain our photos will still be around. Pictures on hard drives become cluttered within thousands of other files, especially after being moved between multiple computers over the years. Not to mention the fact, we all know someone, if not ourselves, that lost everything when their hard drive crashed. Then there is social media. Yes, it is great to share quickly with hundreds and thousands of your friends, maybe even millions if it goes viral. Still just as Facebook took over Myspace, other online outlets will be born. Who knows if any of them will still be around in 5 or 10 years much less 20 plus.

My request is to take time to print a handful of 4×6 pictures just once a month. Then put those pictures in an album or box to flip through at a later date. Then maybe 15-20 years down the road you can lose an afternoon reminiscing about the good ole days.

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Christina & Troy | Knoxville Wedding Photography

Wedding Planner – Kate Nintcheu
CatererRosa’s Catering
FloristHunter Valley Farm
CakePublix
Bridal Shop (gown)White Lace and Promises
FormalwearSavvi Formalwear Knoxville
Ceremony locationFirst United Methodist Church, Oak Ridge, TN
Ceremony Music – Sandi Henry, Andrew Duncan, and Justin Haynes
Officiate/Minister – Dr. Rev. Stella Roberts and Dr. Rev. Sam Roberts
TransportationElite Limos

Videographer – Sam Kemp
Reception locationThe Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm
Reception MusicDueling Pianos International

How did you and your husband meet?
We met through the First United Methodist Church Plagues softball team in 2009 when a mutual friend recommended me as another member of the team.  But it took Troy attempting volleyball in 2012 to win me over.

How did he propose?
Early in the spring of 2013, we purchased Blake Shelton tickets for late September.  I never imagined this would be such a monumental event in my life!  Just prior to the concert, Troy picked me up at my home, gave me flowers, got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him and I, of course, said “Yes!”.

What was the most anticipated moment of your wedding day?
When the sanctuary doors opened and we saw each other for the first time.

What traditions did you follow?
We celebrated our wedding with a traditional worship service with Holy Communion and we refrained from seeing each other prior to the ceremony.

What was the most important thing to you about your wedding?
Celebrating the love that God placed in our hearts and coming together as husband and wife.

Tell us about “the” dress. Who was with you when you found it?
My Mother, Godmother, Sister, and one of my bridesmaids all came from out of town to be with me to pick out the dress.  I thought it was going to take forever to find a dress so I made appointments at several places.  However, I ended up loving the third dress I tried on. It was the perfect dress for my day and my personality.

Did you have input on your engagement ring or was it a total surprise?
I gave Troy some suggestions but he did an amazing job finding the perfect ring all on his own.

How did you choose the rings?
We went together and picked out rings that we would be honored to wear the rest of our lives.

What was your something blue?
I wore a garter that I had custom made with the colors of our alma maters: Duke Blue Devils for Troy and the Florida Gators for me. I kept this a secret from Troy and he was totally surprised when he saw it at the reception.

What was your favorite wedding moment?
I can’t possibly choose one moment from a day that was exactly what I hoped for.  However, I really enjoyed the special song we played at the beginning of the ceremony called Real Good Hands.  This was a song that Troy and I fell in love with and wanted it be part of the day somehow.  I also enjoyed the dueling pianos we had as our reception entertainment.  I danced all night long with all of our friends and family.  I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun!

What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
The blessing of all our family and friends that helped make our wedding possible.

What were you thinking as you walked down the aisle?
My Dad and I were an absolute mess and focusing on Troy made it even worse so I found myself trying to identify our family and friends.  I remember thinking how blessed Troy and I were that so many people came to share this special occasion with us.

Have you been planning your wedding since you were a little girl?
Actually, no.  I always hoped I would find that special guy to share my life with but I wanted the planning to be something we experienced together.

Why did you choose the facility you chose for your wedding and/or reception?
Troy serves as one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church and it just felt like home to us.  The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farm was beautiful inside and out.  I’m originally from Florida and having the Pavilion overlook the water with a little beach section made it feel like I didn’t have to sacrifice any of my wishes.  Both places were just perfect to celebrate with our family and friends.

What was the flavor of your cake?
We had a tiered cake from Publix with a different flavor for each tier including a vanilla cake with guava filling that honored my family’s Caribbean heritage.  This was definitely special to my mother since all of her family that still lives in Tortola, British Virgin Islands were not able to make it.

Did you have a groom’s cake?
Neither of us are huge cake fans but we love chocolate chip cookies so we decided to have two cookie cakes from the Great American Cookie Company.  Troy chose to have one cookie decorated white and blue in honor of the Duke Blue Devils and the other one orange and blue for the Florida Gators.

What was your first dance song?
The Day Before You by Matthew West.

Did you do any DIY projects?
Troy and I enjoy sharing a bottle of wine together with dinner and I kept all the bottles from our special occasions.  I ended up using those bottles to have guests share their marriage advice for our 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, and 25th wedding anniversaries.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We took a cruise with Royal Caribbean to the western Caribbean.  We waited a week after our wedding to go because of other events we had going on but in hindsight it was the best decision we ever made.  Waiting a week allowed us to get everything settled at home and enabled us to really enjoy each other.

What are you most looking forward to about being Mr. & Mrs.?
Sharing all that life will bring with my best friend!

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Sharing a special moment

Earlier this week I posted Sarah and Michael’s wedding for their one year anniversary. I decided to save part of the questionnaire that Sarah filled out for it’s own special post.

wedding moment of silence

A year has passed since we had that beautiful ceremony. There are so many wonderful memories to be cherished from that day. However, there is one memory that I will hold extremely close to my heart. Four months after our wedding, I received some terrible news that one of my bridesmaids, Dani Turner, had passed away. Dani was a childhood friend, my Godsister, and my Maid of Honor. Looking back on the preparation of my wedding, whenever Dani was with me, her main goal was to make me feel so special. She was so happy for me and Michael, and her joy filled presence completely warmed my heart. I was so thankful for time that I had with Dani growing up and the time that I had with her during my engagement and wedding. They are memories to be forever cherished.

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Sarah & Michael’s Wedding | Little Rock, AR | One Year Anniversary

Caterer - Catering to You
Florist – Nila Cassandra and Donna Colbert
Cake – Deborah Brown
InvitationsThe Perfect Gift Shop
Bridal GownLow’s Bridal Shop
Bridesmaids dressesLow’s Bridal Shop
Ceremony LocationChrist the King Catholic Church
Reception LocationAnnunciation Greek Orthodox Church
TransportationArkansas Trolley Company
VideographerPelikan Films (Engagement Video)
Reception MusicCentral Arkansas Entertainment
FormalwearMen’s Warehouse
Minister – Monsignor Francis Malone

How did you and your husband meet?
Michael and I met through school and church.  I went to Mount St. Mary, an all-girls school, and Michael went to Catholic High, an all-boys school.  We had a mutual friends and then began to hang out at our Church’s youth events and through our schools’ track team.  The rest is history!

How did he propose?
       It began as soon as I arrived home from school on Friday afternoon, November 2, 2012.  I was greeted by our friend, Daniel-with camera in hand, as soon as I walked up the steps to my apartment.  He handed me my first clue.  Well aware of what was about to happen, I convinced Daniel to give me five minutes to change out of the t-shirt and jeans I wore to school.  

       The first clue led me to recreate our first date.  I quickly drove to Wendy’s (yes-Wendy’s was our first date) to get frosties for me and Daniel as directed by Michael’s instructions.  Next, I drove to the movie theatre where I found my friend, Taylor, waiting for me.  We drove to the side of the movie theatre where we sat on the sidewalk with Michael’s computer and watched the last scene of the movie  that we watched on our first date (What Happens in Vegas).  At the conclusion of the scene, she gave me my next clue.  

       This one led me to a place where we had a picnic.  Here is where I found my best friend, Sarah Beth, who made a surprise trip in from Dallas, waiting on me in the gazebo.   At first, I couldn’t tell who it was, but when I realized, I took off in a run/gallop/skip mix.  I was so excited, I forgot how to run. This is the girl that I grew up with, and here she is (newly married) helping Michael with my proposal-tears were unavoidable.  After a few hugs and tears of excitement she gave me my next clue.  This one led me to “the cornerstone of our relationship” (as quoted by Michael’s clue)…our Church.  

Upon arriving at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, I found Chris, Michael’s brother, waiting outside for me.  He read me Bible verses that reminded me of the patience required with Michael (he said it-not me).  After that, he reminded me of the bravery required to marry Michael…therefore he thought it would be necessary to test the bravery.   At this point, he turned around, bent over so that his jeans were taut, and made me finagle the clue out of his back pocket. Typical.  This clue took me to play gator golf.  


When I pulled up to the mini-golf course, I found my friend Kevin waiting for me in the parking lot…mustache and all.  Previously, on a date with Michael, (in addition to beating him) I got two holes in one, giving us two free games.  Kevin and I cashed those in for a hilarious round of mini-golf.   We played H.O.R.S.E. -Golf Style…without keeping score.   At the end of the game, Kevin handed me my next clue. This one told me to go to my apartment to have what we call “Family Dinner.”

      On the way to my apartment, Daniel received a phone call.  After hanging up the phone, he said, “You are going to want to take a left here.”  Normally, I am directionally challenged, however I do (typically) know how to get home.  So I responded, “But my apartment is the other way.”  He asked, “Do you trust me?”  After a small debate in my head, I decided he probably knew more than I did at this point, and I took a left.  This took me to campus where I was quickly blindfolded. Taylor walked me across campus to Old Main (my dream proposal spot).  Upon arrival, Taylor took off the blindfold where I laid eyes on my future fiancé.  But before I could get to him, I got to walk through a path of just some of the people that are special to me, including Taylor, Daniel (still filming), Chris, Sarah Beth, Mary Nell, and Dan. Meanwhile, Kevin is serenading me with the proposal song from Scrubs, called, “Question” by Old 97′s.

      My first words to Michael were “Wow! I am impressed!”  After a short conversation about the evening’s happenings, he finally dropped down to one knee and said, “Sarah Mattingly, will you marry me?”  I hesitated and put my finger to my mouth, as to actually have to think about my answer (yeah right!).   After enough torture, I happily said yes!            

     Afterwards, we actually went to my apartment this time for Family Dinner.  They had prepared the same meal that Michael made for me on Valentine’s Day 2011- Chicken Parmesan with Caesar Salad. I couldn’t have asked for a better night. I am so thankful for Michael and all of my friends who had a part in helping him prepare for this joyous day that we will remember forever!  

What is your favorite wedding movie?
Our favorite wedding movie is “What Happens in Vegas.”  This movie also happens to be the movie that we saw on our first date!

What traditions did you follow? 
One of the traditions that I followed was that Michael and I did not see each other before the wedding.  We felt that this traditional aspect made the day a little more fun and exciting. 

 What was the most anticipated moment of your wedding day?
My most anticipated moment was the moment when the doors swung open.  It was like time was frozen while I was waiting for the doors to open.  Once they did open, I kept my eyes on the handsome fellow waiting for me at the end of the isle and felt so incredibly calm. 

What were you thinking as you walked down the aisle?
“Oh. My. Gosh. This is really happening! I can’t believe my wedding day is finally here!”

Tell everyone about “the” dress. Who was with you when you found it?
I went to Low’s Bridal shop in Brinkley, Arkansas for my first stop with my mom, future mother-in-law, and two of my bridesmaids.  I tried on about 15 dresses and fell in love with one of them.  However, I wanted to be sure that it was definitely “the” dress. So, I shopped around for about two more weeks trying on dress after dress, constantly assuring myself that the dress at Low’s was the one! I went back shortly after that and bought it! 

Did you have input on your engagement ring or was it a total surprise?
You could definitely say that I had input on the engagement ring, because I dropped hints the size of bombs. 

How did you choose the rings?
I have always known that I wanted a solitaire diamond with a white gold band.

What was your something blue?
For my something blue, I had a blue rosary wrapped around my bouquet.

What flavor was your cake?
My cake was the classic white wedding cake! It was beautifully designed and decorated.

Did you have a groom’s cake?
Our grooms cake was a replica of Old Main.  It symbolized our love for the University of Arkansas and the place where Michael proposed to me!

Did you do any DIY projects? 
DIY was my middle name throughout my engagement.  I made the bridesmaid invitations that included a wooden initial painted in the wedding colors. I also, designed, printed, and folded the programs, and then glued a gold glitter square and a hand drawn ‘W’ to each program, and stamped the back each one.  I painted wooden trays for the programs. I designed the guest book filled with pictures of Michael and I for the guests to sign.  Last, for our departure, I made paper cones out of scrapbook paper, stamped them, then filled each with biodegradable confetti. I couldn’t not have done it without the help of some wonderful bridesmaids. I enjoyed every bit of it!

What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
My favorite part about planning my wedding was just everything.  While I don’t think I want to ever do that again, I loved planning my wedding.  Now don’t get me wrong, there were a few moments that I wanted to throw my hands up and elope, but I am so glad that I powered through those stressful times because it was all SO worth it.  That being said, I unfollowed every wedding themed pinterest board that I possibly could!

What was the most important thing to you about your wedding?
The most important thing about my wedding was who we celebrated with.  Family is the most important thing to us.  Being able to celebrate the most important day of our live with the most important people to us, is something that we will cherish forever!

What was your first dance song?  
We danced to the, “Book of Love,” by Peter Gabriel.

What was the most important thing to you about your wedding?
The most important thing about my wedding was who we celebrated with.  Family is the most important thing to us.  Being able to celebrate the most important day of our live with the most important people to us, is something that we will cherish forever! 

Have you been planning your wedding since you were a little girl?
I, like most little girls, planned my wedding ever since I was old enough to know what a wedding was.  However, fortunately, my 5 year old little girl wedding plans were nothing like the wedding that I planned.

How did you choose your colors?
I chose the colors navy and gold glitter.  I love how these colors look together.  They are very elegant and regal.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went on a cruise out of New Orleans to Mexico.  It was so much fun! We had an absolute blast.

What are you looking forward to about being Mr. & Mrs.?
What I love the most about being Mr. & Mrs. is that ampersand.  We are one team stuck together forever!

Why did you choose the facility you chose for your wedding and/or reception?
I chose the Church that we got married in because it is the Church that we attend.  Not only that, but Michael went to grade school there and I am now a 5th grade teacher at the same school.  It has become our parish, so there was no doubt in our minds when we were discussing locations to get married in.

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