Tiny Wedding in the Smoky Mountains: Melanie + Brad

This intimate mountain wedding is the definition of cozy! Nestled on the edge of the Smoky Mountains Melanie and Brad got married on the deck of a cabin surrounded a few family and friends…. and their dogs!

Check out some Q&A with the couple below!

Photography: ST Photography Co

Officiant: Black Hat Missions

Hair Stylist : Fringe Salon

Bride’s Shoes : Badgley Mischka

Cake: Publix Bakery

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal. 

As crazy as it sounds, we actually met on Tinder! He was outside my selected 30-mile radius, so we always said it was meant to be! For the proposal he took me to Little River Canyon in Northeast Alabama under the guise of seeing the Fall foliage color change. We hiked down to a beautiful waterfall in a secluded area. I was admiring the scenery and as I turned around he surprised me by being on one knee. It was the perfect day!

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? 

Family was the inspiration of the day! We wanted this weekend to be all about spending time with our loved ones, with limited work to do to prepare for the ceremony. It was important to us to merge our two families into one by spending time together. We accomplished that goal! All of our guests either stayed at the cabin with us, or on nearby properties so we were able to spend the whole weekend together. My color palette was burgundy, dusty rose, blush, ivory & green. I wanted the palette to compliment both the location and my personality.

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

In an effort to travel with less and in keeping with the theme of simplicity, I studied photos of the interior and exterior of the cabin to plan the ceremony location, and to try to incorporate existing cabin furnishings and décor that could be used in the ceremony. Since we wanted to say our vows outdoors at dusk to the backdrop of the sunset, but needed some lights and height at  the altar, I decided to incorporate large lanterns with the whiskey barrels that lived at the front door of the property. Between the lanterns, barrels and thirty or so flameless candles and lots of florals and greenery we were able to create a simple and beautiful ceremony site. We had a cake and champagne toast at the cabin, and later we all went to the local steakhouse for dinner.

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

We used foam flowers throughout- from the cake, to the bouquet, to the ceremony backdrop. In an effort to keep the day simple and easy I purchased foam roses in a variety of complimentary colors and sizes. We used garlands of eucalyptus and silver dollars, as well as natural greenery we found on the property.

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

Our day was personal to us in that everything about it was really geared toward simplicity in an effort to spend time with our family and friends.  One of my happiest moments of the day was being in my bathroom getting ready, but overhearing the laughter and conversations of everyone. I realized at that moment that our goal of marrying our two families had been accomplished.

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

When I originally started looking at fashion and themes for the wedding, my best friend sent me a photo from Pinterest. It was everything I had envisioned, and that photo served as my inspiration for both our looks. I knew I didn’t want full formal, but I wanted to do a tulle ballgown. Because of the location and time of year, the winter outdoor aesthetic was a perfect fit. I bought about 20 sweaters before I found just the right one to go with my look. My casual-comfy winter look ended up being a blush-colored Swarovski crystal embellished sweater, with an ivory tulle ballgown and pointy-toed crystal-embellished Badgley Mishka flats. My hair was in a low, loose bun, and my makeup look was soft glam.

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

The most anticipated and special moment was looking into each others’ eyes and saying our vows. As cheesy as it sounds, something changed between us when we said those words. Looking at him and seeing the love and commitment in his eyes was one of the most special moments of my life. It was the moment when it was okay to exhale, both literally and figuratively.

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

On wedding planning- don’t get lost in the details. At the end of the day, what matters is you and your love becoming one. It’s easy to obsess over details that don’t really matter. Thankfully, I had my best friend to tell me when I was going overboard. On marriages- I asked my fabulous great-aunt what kept her 60+ year marriage intact and fresh, because her and my great-uncle always seem so happy and in love. She looked at me very seriously and said “Eighty-five percent of it is b**s*** and fifteen percent is bliss. The bliss makes all the bull tolerable, and you just go through it together – forever, because you made that deal” Now, I don’t know how she arrived at the 85/15 stats, but she was so serious and so specific that I will take her at her word.