After hearing about their venue and plans for their special day, I was so excited to capture Chelle & Josh's wedding! They both grew up in the South Pacific and find themselves drawn to bodies of water. While Tennessee has some wonderful lakes and rivers, it is, nevertheless a landlocked state. This didn't discourage Chelle when she started planning her perfect "Island meets Country" wedding day.
The setting was Mountain Heights Venue, an off the beaten path wedding venue near Chattanooga, in Soddy Daisy, TN. Mountain Heights is a charming 24-acre venue nestled amongst the hardwood forests of Appalachia with (and this was the most exciting part for Chelle) a gorgeous pond set behind their ceremony space. Perfectly secluded, Mountain Heights offered elevated rustic charm that offered the perfect blend of woodland whimsy and lakeside luxury.
Chelle and Josh's journey goes back to their high school in the South Pacific where they first met. They never dated in high school, but when they reconnected with one another in the States at Southern Adventist University, Chelle knew that he was special. They dated for three years and even endured the trials of long-distance when Josh joined the service.
Then, on a sunny summer day in San Diego, Josh popped the question. Chelle was visiting him in California, and didn't really anticipate anything different from their prior visits; she was just happy to spend time with the man she loves. They went for a walk by the water at one of their favorite parks and Josh surprised her not only by getting down on one knee and presenting a ring to her, but with signage and a photographer- he went all out!
Chelle got to work planning their perfect day! Mountain Heights was a perfect setting for her vision. They had a lot of guests traveling from all over the world and this hidden gem offered a central space for their family and friends to celebrate with them.
The couple shared a first look before the ceremony by the pond, and this was not your run-of-the-mill first look. They were so excited to see each other they were both crying before he even turned around! After they soaked one another in they shared private vows, wherein they each cried a little more. Then we headed down to the pond to grab a couple of fishing poles and finish up their couples session.
The plan was for the ceremony to take place overlooking the pond. However, just as their guests started arriving a rain shower did too. Luckily, we had a rain plan; Mountain Heights has a covered back patio perfect for exchanging vows and keeping everyone comfortable. Still surrounded by the beautiful landscape as well as their closest friends and family Josh and Chelle said their I dos. As disappointing as it was to have to adjust last minute, it was possible! Mountain Heights was very accommodating to the change and with a little help from the groomsmen they had everything flipped very quickly! It goes to show how important it is to discuss a rain plan and when you would need to make that call with any venue you're touring. Many venues require that decision to be made the morning of and sometimes even the day before!
From the moment Chelle and Josh made their grand entrance into the reception the party was ON! Their reception struck the perfect balance between heartwarming moments and celebration. Their first dance was set to the backdrop of the stone fireplace and absolutely beautiful; their photos encapsulate their joy. Their parents and members of the wedding party offered speeches and toasts to the newlyweds, the cake was cut (and NOT smashed) and then finally, to close out their gallery a money dance, island style!
Chelle and Josh's wedding day was beautiful! Their gallery highlighted with laughter and joy from everyone who traveled to support them. A little bit of rain wasn't going to put a damper on the first day of their forever.
A special thanks to all the vendors who helped orchestrate their unforgettable day:
Here's to the newlyweds, Chelle & Josh! May you have a wonderful life together!