I can't tell this wedding story, without sharing my backstory with Cassie (the bride). I met Cassie my Freshman year at Belmont (nearly 9 years ago!!) through our mutual friend Amanda. Cassie's confidence and tell-it-like-it-is personality were immediately intriguing to me.
We were Art Department rats. I was an Art Education major (focusing on painting -- photography came later) and Cassie was focusing on Design, Photography, and Entrepreneurship.
Cassie, a photographer herself, has been there for some pivotal moments in my photography journey & career. She was there in the beginning to recommend which photography professor to choose at Belmont for my first photo class. She was there to help me to plan out a schedule & prep for my very first wedding.
We were eventually roommates - we made "study" forts in our living room, we watched Parenthood and cried together, and we encouraged each other as we figured out all things art, business, and boys ;-).
After graduation she moved back to Michigan and I stayed here in Nashville to teach art. For 2 years I taught full time at a local public school (and photographed weddings on the side), but by the end of my second year teaching I started to feel a tug on my heart to take the leap into full time photography.
Suddenly one night I found myself with a job offer to teach at an Art focused school (an Art Teacher's dream, right??), but I was surprised to find that I wasn't excited. I needed to accept or decline the next day and all I could think was --
"Do I want to keep teaching full time? How will I keep up with photography if I do? Do I have what it takes to say no to this job, leave my current job, and actually make a living as a photographer?!!?".
My mind was buzzing. That morning on my drive into work, where within a few hours I'd have to give my answer -- I texted Cassie, "Can you talk?". It was early, she must have sensed my urgency, because like a true friend -- she picked up the phone and called me.
I don't remember our exact words, but the conversation consisted of me asking Cassie (who has been a full time photographer in Michigan for 3 years at that point) "Do you think I have what it takes? Am I crazy? Do you think I could make it?" I probably caught Cassie off guard -- it was early in the morning and my quarter life crisis probably seemed to be coming out of no where but, in her familiar ballsy sassy tone said, "If you want to, of course you can."
That was the last piece of encouragement I needed. I decided to take the leap. I am so blessed by the encouragement Cassie gave me in that moment to trust my gut and dream. I'm so thankful for our friendship ... That despite being states away, we can encourage each other, run new ideas by one another, and dream together. And I was floored and honored when Cassie asked me to photograph her wedding!
Now a bit about Cassie & Andy -- I am thrilled for the partnership between these two! Cassie is a wedding photographer and Andy is a wedding DJ - each never sure they would find love themselves. But since finding each other the joy simply bubbles out of each of them. No moment is wasted on them. They plan adventures big and small and treasure little moments together. Their wedding gifts to each other were handmade books listing moments and things they love about each other -- the realness, the tenderness, the silliness, and the love in those pages brought tears to my eyes.
Cassie & Andy decided to elope here in Nashville and they picked such a cool spot at a Leipers Fork Airbnb! Just look at the awesome wall of books below!!
P.S. - and they brought their 2 dogs along for their elopement --- and the cuteness is overload.