Weddings are always emotional for me, no matter how many I have photographed. So, when it came to the part of my career where friends and family started asking me to photograph their weddings, everything I had read and heard was like DON’T DOOOOO ITTTT! Like most things in life, I followed my heart, and I’ve photographed many for friends and family anyways…LOL. It’s something that I recommend you give a lot of thought to if you are considering photographing someone you love. But I’ll be honest; I can’t imagine having missed photographing this wedding…
Brandon is more than just a close friend, he’s Ryan’s brother, so this wedding was ultra-emotional and intimate for us. We already loved Caitlin like a sister before the wedding! I knew from the fun we had at their engagement session in Atlanta that this wedding was going to be spectacular. To top it off, Ryan was in the wedding party, and he still managed to grab the camera and get some killer photos!
Caitlin and Brandon met at a bar in Atlanta, and while the meeting was random, the love was there from the very start. They went on a date the next day and haven’t been apart since. One day around Christmas, Brandon took her to a Christmas tree farm, and while she was in her words “Being a big southern baby, crying about how cold it was” he got down on one knee and proposed. Her heart warmed right up 😊
When they were planning their wedding, they wanted to theme it around their love for the outdoors and their love of the North Georgia mountains. Nestled in the tall pines of a quiet valley overlooked by Moon Mountain was the perfect wedding venue: Neverland Farms.
I don’t know if I can put into words how beautiful this place is. It starts when you come off the beaten path, traveling down gravel roads with the dense hardwood forest above your head with God’s own light shining down on you. You can tell that years of master gardening and planning have gone into this location. It’s rustic and remote, yet rugged and picturesque at the same time. Hundreds of perennials and annuals complemented the changing leaves, and I kept thinking, “I could photograph here for a year and never see it all” I. WAS.GIDDY.
The owner Suzy has a commitment to the earth and to sustainable and green weddings. She’s assisted by Nora and Pam, some of the best planners I have ever worked with. They are professional, attentive, and are such generous souls. Everywhere you look are animals that they have rescued, which just adds to the magical feeling of love hugging you from every side. I truly felt like we were in a fairytale, and so did Caitlin and Brandon, which made their day absolute perfection.
Caitlin, who admits to being a little type A in real-life, was astonished at how relaxed and confident she was that the day would go perfectly, and that’s thanks in part to the fact that this fantastic venue has it all under control. Besides the millions of places to make incredible photographs, they also provide a horse and carriage for the bride to arrive at the beautiful arbor built into the woods where the ceremony site is. Caitlin is still on cloud nine from that experience, describing the moment she came into Brandon’s sight as “one of the best moments of my life.”
And food. OMG, let’s talk about the FOOD. I’m going to say it y’all; Neverland Farms THROWS DOWN A BEAST OF A FEAST! I mean, I live in Chicago, so I know good food. This place blew me away, and everyone was raving about how it was the best wedding food they’ve ever had (still dreaming about that mac and cheese). Fresh, organic, and prepared the same day as the wedding in the wee hours of the morning, you could taste the love they put into every event.
When I look at the photos from Caitlin and Brandon’s wedding day, I still get a lump in my throat. From the fact that Caitlin so thoughtfully included so many members of her family into the wedding day, to seeing Ryan and his Dad stand proudly by Brandon’s side as he married Caitlin…it was just the best day ever.
Caitlin and Brandon’s love and Neverland Farms were perfectly matched from the start. Thank you so much for entrusting me with your day, for allowing me to be your photographer and for bringing me to this magical place in the mountains.
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