As we made our way to Claire and Chris’ Blackberry Farm wedding in Tennessee, a pastoral 4,200-acre estate nestled at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains where Claire Coffee and Chris Thile were going to be married. We first met Claire in the summer of 2008 at the wedding of her childhood friend Julia Hart-Horowitz and she’s the main subject in one of our favorite images from Julia and Jordan’s wedding (5th image down). Chris is extremely passionate about music. And is is so good at playing and writing it that he earned the 2012 MacArthur “Genius” Grant. Wow! As I assembled a playlist for my long flight, I included a lot of his music and got to know him well in that way; some of the haunting sounds off the Goat Rodeo Sessions album were so good that I couldn’t get them out of my head for days after leaving Tennessee. I also learned Claire is an actress, among many other things. Claire spends a lot of time shooting on location in Portland where she stars on Grimm. Their combined schedules don’t allow for long spells of time spent together and in fact, the three weeks they would be spending together centering around the wedding would be the longest in their relationship. Rustic luxury perfectly describes the craftsman-style structure on the grounds of Blackberry Farm. On this particular day, it provided just the right amount of shelter and warmth (the heat lamps and hot, spiked cider helped as well) for the intimate ceremony. As Claire appeared at the footpath leading up to the ceremony in a gorgeous vintage 1930’s lace dress, there was an audible response from every guest there; she was simply a vision. Chris didn’t want any music played during ceremony – perhaps so he could maintain complete presence – but Claire convinced him to have their good friend and fellow musician Rob Moose perform a bit of Bach on the violin and it was just incredible. The two have performed together in all manner of settings and he couldn’t have been a more perfect addition to their day. The ceremony concluded and guests made their way back to the main barn as we golf-carted around the property stopping to take photos at every bend in the road. Despite a crisp wind and snowflakes disguised as raindrops, the dark beauty and tranquility of the farm kept our spirits warm. As the sleet turned to snow and the last of the light was gone, it was a perfect time to head back to the house and freshen up for dinner. The bride and groom along with their guests, migrated to the wine cellar in the main barn where dinner was served, each course accompanied by a wine hand-picked by Blackberry’s resident sommelier. As we said our goodbyes, we were sad to be leaving after only 24 hours but such is the life for destination wedding photographers… we are looking forward to our arrival home just in time to stuff our boys’ stockings on Christmas eve. Feliz!