Tanara and Josh were one of my first weddings booked when I located back to North Carolina, and their fall wedding was as genuine as they are as people. Set in the rolling hills of Maggie Valley, this was just the perfect place to host their heartfelt wedding with closest friends and family in attendance.
One of the best things about North Carolina is that just a short drive from a bustling city like Asheville, you can be out in the middle of the country in some of the prettiest parts of the state. The place they chose for their wedding was just 25 minutes away in Waynesville, but it felt like you were miles from everything.
Waynesville, North Carolina, is a small town in the foothill valley region of the state. The town was formed by Quakers who sought refuge from persecution and built mills on Waughtown Creek. The community became known as “Waynesville” because it was situated at the intersection of two Indian paths, one leading to South Carolina and another leading to Tennessee. The Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs north-south through the town, offers some of the most breathtaking views in the country.
From the minute you pull off of Highway 40 into the Appalachian Farm Wedding property, you start taking in the rolling hills and panoramic views of the mountains. A split rail fence and birchwood arch greet you as you wind up into the valley, and the first thing I thought was, “this place is huge!”. As I came to find out, this is a working farm of over 400 acres and has been in the Leatherwood family for over 175 years. It’s been a dairy farm and a tobacco farm and is now mainly cattle and feed crops.
With so much land, they can totally customize your wedding to the views you want. Josh and Tanara chose a view nestled into the side of the hills showing off the fall colors, with a rustic and straightforward backdrop of old doors and fall-inspired floral. It all was so perfect and understated, and the whole vibe of this day just seemed to come together in an organic and natural way.
See also: 12 Spectacular Wedding Venues for Your North Carolina Wedding
I’ve often said it; only genuine emotion makes for emotional photographs. I loved working with Josh and Tanara because they wore their hearts on their sleeves all day. From the first time they saw each other at the wedding through the ceremony, they didn’t hold back on how they felt for each other and for the moment they got married.
These two were crying (the happy kind of tears) and laughing together all day long. It’s downright impossible to be around them without feeling the love and joy they have for life and each other.
Get vulnerable! It matters in your photos.
See: Why Connections Matter in Your Wedding Photographs
The Rolling Roof Barn is the gem of this Appalachian Farmstead. It’s home to antique farm equipment, tobacco baskets, and cool egg basket lamps! It can seat up to 100 people in an intimate setting or 120 when it’s being used as an auditorium-style theater and has plenty of room on-site with multiple tents available if you need more space.
The minute I walked into the Rolling Roof Barn, I knew I would have some fun playing with light inside. The arched corrugated roof was calling for some cool lighting, so we played with color and light to get some great portraits of the two of them at the end of the night.
Photography: Michael Freas
Venue: Appalachian Farm Weddings + Events
Makeup: Dollbox Beauty
Florals: Flora Asheville
If you’re getting married in Asheville or anywhere else in North Carolina and are looking for a photographer to document the emotion of your day. In that case, I’d love to talk to you more about your plans. My style of photography is best suited for people who are drawn to natural and honest moments and want their day documented unobtrusively. If that sounds like what you are looking for, let’s talk!