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kendra R.PHOTOGRAPHY

fine wedding photography

Formerly kendra's kreations photography

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Hi there! Welcome to Kendra R. blog, a journal about my life, travels, photography and so much more. Stay a while and say hello!

Hi, I'm Kendra.

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Mr. & Mrs. Cardwell | A Special Downtown Knoxville Wedding

May 4, 2022

Sometimes there are days that just feel like a true gift from God– a long awaited answered promise.  Sarah and Dylan’s day was one of those days and being an eye-witness to their love was a true blessing and privilege of my career.  This Knoxville wedding was both elegant and vibrant at the same time!!  It was a true reflection of loving like Jesus and having Him at the center of your marriage.  He was so present; for this reason and others I cried multiple times watching the story of their day and love unfold.

The wedding took place at The Standard, a unique industrial venue in the heart of downtown Knoxville.  Walking up the stairs to the bridal sweet sounds of laughter and gleeful energy floated through the air… along with Sarah’s playlist blasting anything from Hannah Montana, Taylor Swift, and worship music to gangster rap (as she described it)!  We were greeted by the sweetest bridal party including a past bride of mine and some friends.  Familiar faces are always an added bonus and I’m so grateful I met Sarah at this past bride’s wedding in Tennessee!  The bridal suite at the Standard has been meticulously laid out with attention to every detail and the vintage wall with peeling paint forming an almost watercolor effect stole the show, not to mention the light!!!  This paired with Sarah’s bubbly, yet graceful personality truly filled the room with warm, fun-loving energy!!  At one point she was literally jumping on the couch with her bridesmaids and flower girls seemingly without a care in the world!!  Dylan shared the kind, easy-going personality as he got ready with His groomsmen in the Groom’s suite downstairs.  They might have been the most chill group of groomsmen ever and so go-with-the-flow.  As Dylan went through the motions of the final getting ready moments, you could see the sweet anticipation building for the moment he would finally get to see Sarah.  He gave his groomsmen thoughtful gifts and exchanged some laughs with them as they got ready.

In the moments leading up to quite possibly the sweetest first look I’ve ever photographed, letters and other momentos gave us glimpses at Sarah and Dylan’s love.  Both mentioned in their letters and vows to each other, “I love you more than all the cows in Texas”, as they often said that to one another.  We prepared for the first look amidst the downtown city streets of Knoxville.  Finally Sarah made her way down the tree-covered sidewalk and approached her groom and there are no words for the moment after he turned around.  His face said it all and every girl deserves to be looked at like that!  So much was said between their words and it’s like the love was so tangible you could almost see it!! Once they were together their care-free, contagious love and personalities just multiplied, surrounding us all throughout the day.  After the cutest portraits where Dylan kept apologizing for kissing his bride before the ceremony (He couldn’t help himself!) and Sarah willingly obliged, even more tear-filled moments awaited us.  Sarah had lost her Dad in the past year and everyone honored him so sweetly throughout the entire day.  They dedicated a place for Him in the ceremony and there Dylan and Sarah had a moment of prayer, with Dylan knelt humbly at her feet.  This moment left us all speechless as we captured it.  My second shooter looked at me in awe and said Dylan and Sarah were the true definition of love and I couldn’t agree more.  After the prayer, Dylan had arranged for a generous surprise for Sarah… the tears weren’t done flowing just yet.  He took her by the hand and led her to the reception entryway, beside which the amazingly talented live-painting artist, Heather was set up already deep in work on the surprise painting Dylan had arranged.  It would include them as they walked down the aisle and Heather was also painting Sarah’s Dad, Mom, and grandparents into the scene.  Sarah was so genuinely surprised and touched by this most thoughtful gift.  And just when the day couldn’t get any sweeter, it was Dylan’s turn to receive a gift now.  Sarah’s mom handed him a gift, as he opened it to find a scrapbook and they started flipping through the pages, we were all amazed at the contents.  It was letters, journals, and prayers Sarah had been compiling for her future husband since before they met – even more evidence that this moment–and Dylan–was an answered prayer.

The ceremony was nothing short of what you’d expect.  The officiant shed new light on 1 Corinthians 13 and shared such a beautiful message on love.  Sarah and Dylan read their hand-written vows full of more personal messages. And then they took a moment to wash each other’s feet as Jesus did, it was such a sweet joyful moment.   After some more bridal party photos around the Standard venue and downtown Knoxville it was time to end the night with celebrating these too in the gorgeous reception space of the Standard.

We continued seeing more testaments to Sarah and Dylan’s relationship as every speech at the reception made you feel like you had a front row seat to their story.  Their friends and family honored Sarah’s Dad with their words and toasts and shared how Dylan was not only there for Sarah, but the whole family during that difficult time.  Sarah’s sister made a special toast in honor of her Dad and everyone toasted with his favorite drink.  The reception kept getting better and everyone lit up the dance floor matching Sarah and Dylan’s energy by truly celebrating!  Then as if the night couldn’t get any better, someone came looking for the photographers, as another special moment was unfolding outside.  Since her Dad’s passing Sarah has felt her Dad’s presence in bright orange sunsets; she shared with us they kept showing up recently at big events.  So imagine everyone’s amazement as they gathered with Sarah and Dylan on the sidewalk to watch the perfect orange sunset to end this perfect day.  Sarah even texted me the next day to share that they had yet another breathtaking orange sunrise on the plane to their honeymoon.  Words still don’t do their story justice.  I’m speechless at God’s goodness and how He showed up in every part of this wedding.

In our industry the term “ideal clients” is thrown around often and sometimes carelessly but Sarah and Dylan were truly that for me… not because the style or theme was perfect and high-end– although it was!– but because they were my kind of people.  So much so, that I hope to get dinner with them since discovering they literally live on my exit in Nashville!! One wedding day with them simply wasn’t enough and I looked forward to continuing calling them friends.

Sarah and Dylan, thank you for choosing me to capture your day, it was truly an honor!!   Please enjoy a few of my favorites!

This amazing day would not have been possible without this wonderful team of vendors!

Dress Store | White Lace and Promises

Ceremony / Reception Venue | The Standard Knoxville

Florist | Always in bloom

Hair & Makeup | Tori Stewart Jackson

Day of Coordinator | Hannah Landry

DJ | Starr entertainment

Videographer | Mitchell Dyer Productions

Cake | Sabra’s cakes

Catering | Sarah’s family’s restaurant- The Tennessee Tap House

Bridesmaids Dresses | Dessy Group

Groom/ Groomsmen Attire | Mens Warehouse

Live Painter | Heather Wolf Art 

XOXO,

Wedding

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