“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” - The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Nikki and Jason are one of those couples that you immediately want to become best friends with. Their engagement session was definitely one of those sessions that I drooled over while editing, and their wedding did not disappoint. If you could morph me into a thin and beautiful blonde version it would be Nikki. Down to the last details, their wedding exact vision of an organic, bohemian, twinkly-light filled, eucalyptus adorned, mountain, adventure wedding. Ugh, all the feels.
They began the day by getting ready at the REEB Ranch outside of Asheville, NC. Nikki was in a log cabin doing hair and makeup with the help of the ranch care-taker and the sound of a babbling waterfall filled the air. Her invitations alone were magnificent -- but even more so because Nikki not only handmade all of the invitations, but also made her own jewelry for the wedding day and her bouquet. After doing hair in one spot, we continued with makeup inside of the airstream trailer that she and Jason would be staying in later that evening. The airstream was adorable (those of you that know me, know that I have a minor obsession with airstreams) and Nikki sat in the little loveseat making herself even more beautiful. She slipped on her custom, handmade, dress from Etsy with help from her mom before lacing up her hiking boots to head up to their first look spot.
Meanwhile, the boys were above the stable in the men's apartment. Much more rustic in feel, and filled with bunk beds that harken a summer-camp boyscouting vibe, Jason fixed up his tie and did some last touch ups on his hair while telling me about the honeymoon adventure they had after the wedding: backpacking/roadtripping Colorado.
When both of them were ready, we sent Jason up first and then the girl crew followed. Nikki fearlessly forged ahead as her dress flowed in the wind and narrowly missed capture on some overhanging rhododendron bushes. We reached the waterfall spot, and Jason was there waiting with anticipation. If you scroll down to their first look the moment right before she taps him on the shoulder and looked back at me is why I am a photographer. I love people. I love life. I love love. I love capturing the most precious moments of people's lives for them and getting the honor of sharing their day with them. It isn't kool-aid that I tell people to get them to sign on the dotted line, it is what I really feel in my heart and soul . Nikki and Jason shared these moments with me, and I think they are just as special to me as they are to them (well, almost).
Their ceremony took place at Pretty Place, also known as the Fred W. Symmes Chapel in Greenville, SC. Overlooking the Appalachian Mountains they said their vows amongst friends and family. Instead of the traditional unity candle, they made a cairn -- something put in place on hiking trails so adventurers and wanderers alike know the right path and can make it safely. We adventured around the mountains and trails taking pictures as the afternoon sun dwindled away.
For the rest of the evening the crew headed back to REEB Ranch where they danced the evening way under twinkly lights and ate some really good eats. A group of renegade MTB riders joined the fun around the campfire and became fast friends.
Nikki and Jason, thank you. I wish you all the best and pray for a happy and healthy life full of adventures to come <3