Korey + Rob Married

October 7, 2017

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The first time I talked to Korey + Rob, I could tell we would be friends. We share a love of the mountains, God, barbecue, Whole 30, and dancing. We started talking wedding logistics and found ourselves laughing and sharing sweet stories instead. Naturally, when their wedding day arrived, I was so excited and honored to be there. At first, the day was full of sunshine and blue skies...as the ceremony drew near, the sky grew gray and a mist settled upon the mountains. Instead of worrying about a little rain, Korey and Rob decided to celebrate their love together outside with an abbreviated ceremony and the most gorgeous autumn backdrop you could imagine! Soggy shoes, rain-splattered pants, and the most contagious laughter and love make Korey + Rob's wedding one of the most incredible events I've been lucky enough to witness. See for yourself!

Kaitlin + Tim Married

June 10, 2017

My heart is still soaring from this easy, breezy, beautiful wedding. Although that phrase is used all too often, it's quite literally exactly how Kaitlin + Tim's wedding day can be described. 

Kaitlin + Tim are some of the kindest, most genuinely laid-back folks I have met. From the moment I met them, I knew their day was more about celebrating being together and having a good time than worrying about tons of details. From the ceremony under the willows to cornhole in the sunshine, their wedding was effortlessly lovely.

It's hard not to gush over Kaitlin's floral Betsy Johnson shoes or the rustic-chic barn chandeliers, but the sweetest of all is the way Kaitlin + Tim embrace one another. Her gorgeous smile and his gentle nature exude such genuine sweetness.

Congratulations, Kaitlin + Tim!!

Brittany + Bryan

May 2, 2017

If I could look up "Perfect spring day for an engagement session," Brittany + Bryan's would be the FIRST to appear!! Brittany and Bryan met studying music at a small college in N.C. called Gardner Webb. They were best friends from the start -- always hanging out together, understanding one another like no one else could. Then one day, Bryan opened up to Brittany and told her he had feelings for her...at first, Brittany could only see him as her friend...but it didn't take too long for her to realize that this precious soul who had stood by her side for years was the perfect match for her.

Through the rest of college, through graduate school and new jobs, Brittany + Bryan remained the adorable lovebirds that they are. Earlier this spring, the perfect day arrived for Bryan to ask Brittany to be hers forever. He surprised her by bringing together her family and friends from all over the U.S., and she cried with a resounding "YES!" Check out their whimsical and light-filled engagement session; from urban chic to golden hour goodness, they are STUNNING!

Tracy + Ron Married

April 29, 2017

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April 29, 2017

Tracy + Ron are two incredible souls who found true love later in life. After experiencing ups and downs and everything in between, the stars aligned in recent years to allow their paths to cross in the quaint mountain town of Hendersonville, North Carolina. They clicked instantly. Tracy has this warm, inviting smile and a laugh that makes you feel like you've been friends for years. Ron is kind and a little quieter, and he carries himself with this gentle, grateful presence that radiates genuine appreciation for life's beauty and the blessings all around him. They're probably the sweetest duo those mountains have ever seen. I'll let their pictures do the talkin':

Kitty + Kyle Engaged

February 25, 2017

Meet my best friend since 7th grade. She's wicked smart, absolutely gorgeous, and makes everything incredibly fun. She finds a way to giggle about almost everything and keeps me sane and grounded when I need a bit of loving honesty. I couldn't possibly imagine someone as wonderful and brilliant as Kitty -- until I met Kyle. 

They met at Clemson University studying microbiology (again, wicked smart) and always noticed each other in the classroom...it wasn't until a huge exam approached that they considered being study partners. It was love at first molecule. You get to know someone pretty darn well when you're always studying together, checking in between classes, and staying up for late-night work sessions. Pretty soon, they were in love.

As I mentioned earlier, Kitty is my best friend -- I'm obviously going to be somewhat protective because she's basically a sister to me. I wanted her to be with someone who cherished everything that makes Kitty so special, who encourages her and supports her and loves her even when things are hard. Kyle is everything like that and more. I'll let the way he looks at her in these pictures speak for themselves, and I'll try not to cry while going through their session again! ;)

I adore you, Kitty + Kyle!! Congratulations!!
 

Irene + George Married

January 14, 2017

Irene + George's day felt like re-reading your favorite book. Imagine cozying up in your snuggliest flannel, drinking a hot cup of coffee, and opening the book to your favorite part..the instant joy that blankets you, the comfort of reliving a happiness that has carried with you ever since you first encountered it.

Irene + George met as camp counselors at Kanuga a few years ago, and it was love at first campout. They endured homesick campers, torrential rain, endless laughter, some tears (usually because of the laughter), and all of the ups and downs that camp brings you. Through it all, they stuck together and grew in their love for one another as well as this place that brought them together: Kanuga.

It only made sense to be married there...cozied up just like I described earlier, returning to this place they had made their home, nestled between the mountains and the friends they love. 

I hope you enjoy the pictures from their day. What an incredible evening of friendship, fellowship, and -- dare I say it? -- flannels :)

Megan + Robby Married

January 7, 2017

Ever wonder what it's like to be in a real-life musical? Megan and Robby's winter wonderland wedding was exactly that  -  a snowy mountain scape full of singing, dancing, and more singing! Talk about Frozen vibes! This sweet singin' duo met in college performing in shows together as the two leads that fall in love; and their musical romance only continues as they dance through life as husband and wife!

Check out their stunning style - blue velvet coupled with fur, paisley, and dried lagurus make for a breath-taking, wildly unique day!
Thank you both for letting me be a part of your fairytale!

Emily + Caleb Married

October 1, 2016

How can I put into words the utter joy, the tangible bliss, the radiant love that embodied this precious day? I can show you with photographs, but Emily and Caleb's love is something out of this world...something that you can't describe because it's something you feel; excitement and contagious belly laughs and utter adoration for one another. A love that covers mountains. 

As we walked through the day, we couldn't help but look outside and gawk at the sky above; crisp blue skies holding tufts of clouds and sunshine to kiss our faces. At first, Emily and Caleb had found a lovely wedding venue in Greenville, SC--but as the year went on, they noticed they found peace somewhere else entirely: on their hikes together in Pisgah Forest in Brevard, NC. I think it almost started out as a joke--they turned to one another on the top of Black Balsam and said, Why don't we just get married here? Moments later, they realized it would be absolutely perfect.

Guests donned their Chacos, fleece jackets, and nicest flannels as they ascended the mountain to reach the peak where Emily and Caleb would be married. From the first moment Caleb saw Emily, to an evening of dancing complete with a totally rad Mac & Cheese Bar, their day was full of happy tears and soul-filling laughter. 

Congratulations, Caleb and Emily Martin! May you dance through life the way you danced at your wedding (to Soulja Boy, of course) and live happily ever after with your mountains and Ophira, the most beautiful mountain kitten ever. 

Margaret + Kyle


Ever wonder what it's like to be in a real-life fairy tale? That's exactly what it felt like to be at Margaret & Kyle's wedding! Everywhere I looked, I found something magical waiting to be discovered--gnomes nestled in fairy homes, twinkly lights laced delicately in trees...It was nothing short of dreamy. Bluegrass music painted the day with the classic appalachian vibes. From the purple flowers woven throughout the mountainside to the bonfire and mason jars, this day was a stunning collage of etherial delight and mountain magic.

Congratulations Kyle & Margaret!

Summer + Phillip - Married!

June 4, 2016 -

It was the quintessential summer day; the wind rustled bright green leaves in trees that reached up to greet a jovial blue sky. I arrived with plenty of time to explore the property, which only seemed to make me smile more and more with each step. Dodgin's Barn served the day with beauty and dignity: A rustic-chic property where expansive, luscious green fields meet a fresh-faced barn. 

After shooting Summer and Phillip's engagement a few months prior, I felt like we had been friends for years. Walking around with these two and seeing their excitement build from their engagement shoot to the wedding made this day special to me as well. 

From the girls getting ready with champagne and early 2000s jams, to the guys piled into an air-conditioned room with beer and laughter to escape the afternoon rays, this group welcomed me into their ultra-relaxed, gorgeous day with ease. 

The sunshine graced us with her presence until the last possible second. Phillip and Summer giggled as the sky darkened during the ceremony, the thunder practically enunciating the "I Do"s. I have never taken post-ceremony pictures so quickly! Drop by drop, the sky began to open up. The second Summer and Phillip stepped inside the reception tent, it monsooned! 

Rain or shine, this group knew how to celebrate life, love, and laughter.

Congratulations Summer & Phillip!

 

Summer + Phillip

Lancaster, SC - it was a delightfully warm day. We had been watching the weather all week with excitement for Saturday, AKA engagement shoot day, which had a giant thundercloud over it on the radar--until the day arrived when I could finally meet Summer and Phillip, and the sun graced us with its presence, peeked its way through the clouds, and blessed us with a dreamy, blissful sky under which we would enjoy the afternoon.

Summer and I had been communicating back-and-forth for months. It's always such a joy to finally put a face behind the kind-worded e-mails and phone calls, and Summer and Phillip were beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. Their kind, easy-going spirits and openness to exploring old barns and overgrown fields made this shoot one of my absolute favorites!

They met years ago, having shared the same circle of friends for years, and their friends had always said they would be perfect for each other. When they met, they knew instantly - their friends were right. Four years, a couple moves, and a new house later--Summer and Phillip are engaged and to be married June 4, 2016!

Congratulations, Summer and Phillip!!

Irene + George


They say that you make the best friends in the world at camp. You work all day (and sometimes all night) to make a life-changing experience for your campers - and in turn, you walk away with a happy heart, a couple bruises, a few more freckles, and memories that last a lifetime. You build a camaraderie with your fellow counselors who are there for you any second you need them: through campouts in the pouring rain, homesick kids, hours of playing in the sunshine, singing at the top of your lungs, and campfires that could tell some stories.  

Irene and George met at Camp Kanuga in the summer of 2014. They were two passionate, excited counselors who had no idea that making food over a campfire would be the first of many meals they would share together. As sweet summer days faded into starry nights, they knew this was something special. They traveled to see each other for two years. George, who lived in North Carolina, and Irene, who lived in Florida, clung to their memories and love for each other - which all began with a campout in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains.

They share a love of coffee, books, mountains, serving others, and of course: adventure. I was thrilled to spend a day with them in Asheville, dodging the ominous rain clouds looming overhead, cozying into coffee shops and breweries, and finding little hidden treasures and nooks along the streets of downtown Asheville. After all, this was where they spent some of their first dates together.

Irene and George will be married at Kanuga in January of 2017. 

Congratulations to my fellow Kanugians!!

 

Woodland Fairy - Natalie

Sometimes, you feel like dressing your friends in woodland fairy princess outfits and going on adventures. Because it seems like a good idea at the time. And...why not?

Natalie is one of my fellow voice friends pursuing her MM in vocal performance. She is an insanely talented mezzo-soprano, and the quintessential Carmen--exotic, gorgeous, clever, and with a wicked awesome voice. But Natalie also has this totally goofy and spunky side--the kind that says, `Sure Rachel--I don't care that it's 20 degrees outside, I'll totally dress up and frolic around a field with you!' And that is exactly what we did. And it was magical:

Kate + Josh - November 7, 2015

On November 7, 2015, Kate & Josh were married in the loveliest chapel in the foothills of Walhalla, SC. 

Kate and I were roommates our freshman year of college. I knew from the start there was something truly remarkable about her; despite the fact that she looks quite literally at times like Galadriel from Lord of the Rings, Kate is one of the kindest, most genuine and loving souls I've ever met. We share a love of kittens, classical music, Old English, and all things ornate. When I was studying art in college, I would often ask Kate to embark upon random photography adventures with me, dressing up and frolicking about. Little did I know that just a few years later, I would photograph Kate for something far more special than a school project--her wedding day!

Kate and Josh met in their high school art class. They had always been friends, sharing the exact same humor, muttering quick and witty remarks to one another in what seems like a language only they understand. It wasn't until years later that the stars finally aligned, and Kate and Josh realized they were perfect for each other.  

Josh, a state trooper, and Kate, a paralegal, make quite the team: they're beautiful, brilliant, and an absolute blast to be around (pardon the alliteration, I just had to.)

Their wedding day was one of the loveliest days I've ever witnessed; the air was calm and balmy after a morning rain. The sky was soft and gray, emanating a white light that intensified the November palette of fallen leaves and rain-soaked trees. It was perfect. 

 

Venue: Old Saint John's Meeting House & The Walhalla Depot || Gown: Designed by Burnadette, Burnadette's Alterations, Greenville, SC || Catering: Black's Smokehouse || Chocolate Stout Cake by Walnut Street Bakery || Veil: Mignonne Handmade-Pépieux, Languedoc-Roussillon, France                             || Headpiece: Beretkah-Berlin, Germany || Maidenhair Ferns by Head Lee Nursery

Megan + Robby


It was love at first show. Megan and Robby met during their undergrad years when they both performed lead roles in Oklahoma. Despite the fact that their characters in the show are not actually together, nothing stopped these two from falling in love--both on and off stage.

Having met in the mountains, Megan asked me if I knew any lovely places to have their engagement shoot...and I knew just the spot. Beauty Spot on the Appalachian Trail is exactly what you'd think: a beautiful bald in the Appalachians offering views of hundreds of miles of rolling mountains and hills, extending in all directions. What a dreamy place to capture these precious people as they begin their lives together.

Photographing Megan and Robby is like living in a real-life musical; there's laughing, singing, skipping, whistling, and of course - romance. The mountains were certainly alive with the sound of their joy and excitement, and I couldn't help but join in the fun, laughing and running in the coolness of the autumn afternoon.

At the end of this crisp fall evening, the sun delighted us and blanketed the fields in a wash of oranges and purples and reds. I could write for days about how magical this moment was - but I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Congratulations, Megan and Robby!

You can view the full shoot at : http://rayphotographyco.pass.us/meganandrobby/

Emily + Caleb - Sunday July 19, 2015


Today I had the honor of photographing Emily and Caleb, two people whose humor and energy and love for one another spread like wildfire to all who meet them. 

Emily is my beautiful, sassy, wicked-smart Beyonce-obsessed friend who I met in college. We lived together our senior year, and man oh man have we been through it all; from tears and heartache to laughing so hard we couldn't breathe. When she first told me about Caleb--her bike-riding, sweet-talking, structural engineer-studying man, Emily's face lit up so much that I almost felt like I knew him. She kept saying, he's real cute and laughed when she told of how they met as zipline and ropes course instructors at the whitewater center. And when I finally met Caleb, she was right. But no one can describe the way Caleb looks at Emily. It's as if she's the only one in the room; he is absolutely enamored by her.

When they are together, it's like watching your favorite romantic comedy. And when they are apart, they are strong-willed, brilliant people who will do incredible things for this world.

Together, they make quite a team.

Caleb and Emily will be married on October 1, 2016 when the fall leaves are at their peak and the air is crisp and full of excitement.

I can't wait to see this beautiful couple walk down the aisle.