The Venue: Hiwassee River Weddings
Located outside of Chattanooga in Delano, Tennessee, Hiwassee River Weddings & Events offers couples a private and nature-forward weddings venue. Serving up breathtaking river views on a wooded peninsula situated on the Hiwassee River, Hiwassee River Weddings give couples two outdoor ceremony location options, at the river or in the forest, as well as an indoor alternative which serves as the reception banquet hall (seating 150 guests) as well. The 19 acre property also offers a cabin rental for an onsite lodging option. .
A family affair, Hiwassee River Weddings has been in the works since 2015 when Collins family patriarch Bill decided to pursue his dream with wife Janet and daughter Kellie. The Collins family has offered a stunning and quintessential Tennessee setting for guests of weddings and events ever since.
For more information about Hiwassee River Weddings & Events or to book this wedding venue, click here.
Venue Note: The “getting ready” rooms are hella gendered, just a heads up for my queer couples who may be venue shopping.
Getting Ready & Pre-Ceremony Bridal Portraits
Taylor made for a stunning bride in a traditional white mermaid gown and elegant veil combination with classic trim detailing. Hair down and an understated earring, the lush and full bridal bouquet by Fox and Fern brought a fun pop of color to the birds ensemble.
Once the bride was ready, in lieu of a ‘first look’ the bridal party and I explored the grounds, grabbing some beautiful bridal portraits and a few pictures with mom and friends.
Love this beautiful black and white image of the girls walking away, showcasing the bridal gown’s moment and the gorgeous setting.
The Wedding Ceremony– Taylor and Brian
Taylor and Brian placed vintage hankies on each person’s seat at the wedding ceremony, which made for a really cute touch and practical touch, while also serving as a unique and fun wedding favor.
The bride’s dad walked her down the aisle. Taylor exited through the big, wooden doors of the reception hall which offered a lot of impact and wow-factor, making the bride’s aisle walk even more impactful.
Tennessee served up some gorgeous weather for Taylor and Brian’s big day, a sunny afternoon in late-August. A close friend did the wedding ceremony amidst the sanctuary offering of the pine trees. The couple opted for the forest ceremony located at Hiwassee River Weddings & Events, which provides a serene backdrop of those rich, darker greens that’s only offered in late-Summer.
Photographer’s Note: Regarding the ring shots during your wedding ceremony– I’m actually pretty far back to try to give the ceremony space “a moment”.
It’s not a photoshoot and I don’t want to interfere or be any memorable part of your exchange of rings and vows! These shots are taken with a telephoto lens, allowing me to still capture the sweet details and loving exchange without being all up in your business.
Hiwassee River Weddings & Events Photographer Portraits
After the wedding ceremony, the couple and I took to the grounds, making our way down to the river to capture some of the glorious lighting and spirit the Hiwassee River brings to the property.
The river makes this venue such a special location to have a wedding because it feels truly a part of nature. The reception hall building is just 100 feet from the water, with a big open patio and stairs that go right down to the Hiwassee River. You really feel close to a “part of it all” out here in Delano, TN– a great representation of the natural beauty of this region.
I’m in love with this series of wedding day portraits by the river, and the “cave lighting” on the bride and groom.
I love capturing a few shots with some motion, it really shows the playful energy and showcases the dress and spirit of the event in a unique way.
Another great spot we grabbed some killer wedding day photos was down this perfect pine grove lane.
The shots of them walking away showcase the bride’s veil and the movement in her dress beautifully.
I am always a sucker for good black and white photography. These wedding day portraits in black and white in particular really offer an intimate glimpse at the couple’s love and individual personalities.
Taylor & Brian’s Hiwassee River Wedding Reception
Wood, indoor interior, lighting against the black metal– really don’t have to decorate a lot. All Taylor and Brian chose to do was put up some greenery, and as you can see it was lovely. (I believe the white draping fabric is up permanently.)
Some unique reception offerings included wine infused cheese and some signature wedding koozies,
They had a really cute cake topper, and a beautiful cake.
The couple entered the reception and went straight into their first dance! Taylor and Brian really utilized these cool wooden doors that were closed during the rest of the reception (Aug 8 = hot) but for the first dance they had them open and they danced outside while all the guests were seated indoors. It made for a really balanced moment of intimacy for the couple while being able to share it with the reception guest; and provided us with a great little frame for our first dance photo ops.
The wooden doors are cool and medieval–one of the venue’s coolest features, in my opinion.
Venue Note: Nice bathrooms– the building is brand new so they have very good facilities.
Then we entered straight into the classic reception event lineup, including:
- Cake Cutting
- First dances
- Crying (tears of joy)
Such sweet moments for Taylor and Brian that I was honored to capture.
The reception hall space at Hiwassee River Weddings & Events has a great “inside and outside” floor plan, allowing guests to flow freely between the spaces and mingle organically, giving guests options on how to enjoy this time.
Guests are able to walk down by the water and enjoy the patio, a beautiful reprieve and moment of reflection from the bust happening inside the reception hall.
The couple set up a cigar bar that guests were able to enjoy– what a great way to enhance the outdoor space, and draw guests to check out that gorgeous river view!
Dancing. Merriment. Celebration.
I love capturing the movement and energy any good reception brings! Guests letting loose, the newlyweds in their bliss states, laughter and funky dance moves– what could be better?!
I love a warm glow-y shot of the space, especially when you know it’s an outward representation of what’s happening inside. We were able to take advantage of the dusk lighting in the sky, set against the warm reception hall lighting, appearing all twinkly at night.
Our exit shots featured the couple atop the cobblestone paver, guests waving celebratory ribbons. (Venue note: no sparklers, folks!)
Planning a Trip to the Hiwassee River Area
A note on accommodations: Guests may need to stay in Cleveland– the nearest non-rural region with more saturated hotel coverage.
Hiwassee River Weddings & Events is pretty far out from more urban accommodation settings, and would make for a decently long drive for those staying in Chattanooga. There’s lots of camping around that region as well, if you have some guests who may be up for the adventure!
The Hiwassee River Weddings & Events is a great venue for nature lovers, or any couple who considers themselves “outdoorsy” because of the serene and private setting.
A tributary of the Hiwassee, the world famous Ocoee River who played host to the 1996 Olympic White Water Competition. SOURCE: click here
This venue really offers a great opportunity for out of town guests to be wow’d by the region’s nature. There are a myriad of activities for locals and visitors to explore before or after the wedding celebrations, ranging from white water rafting or a float down the river to hikes, bikes, and bird watching.
You can explore trip planning opportunities by clicking here.
Taylor and Brian had a beautiful and meaningful gathering with family and friends. The gorgeous property, ceremony spaces, and reception hall at Hiwassee River Weddings & Events made for a gorgeous backdrop, bringing a natural element to a traditional and intimate affair.
The wedding venue was so peaceful and serene, offering up couple’s a lot of really great outdoor wedding ceremony locations with a solid indoor backup should weather take a turn. I loved exploring the manicured property, and know we can discover so much more beauty for unique and timeless images of your big day!
Thinking of booking the Hiwassee River Weddings & Event for your wedding venue? That’s awesome! I’m experienced and familiar with the space and am brimming with new ideas to bring a unique touch to your wedding day images. I’d love to talk, if you think we’d be a good fit. Contact me by clicking here to get the ball rolling!
Hiwassee River Weddings & Events Vendors
Venue- Hiwassee River Weddings
Caterer- Impressions Catering
Florals- Fox and Fern
Dress- Monica’s Bridal
Suit- Monica’s Bridal
Hair- The Strand
Makeup- Elea Blake
Cake- Chatta-Cakes Bakery
Party Favors- Markco Printing
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