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Kadi & Eric’s Smoky Mountain Wedding

Feb 2, 2019

This wedding was such a roller coaster of emotions for a number of reasons.

  1. Kadi and Eric are dear friends to us. Timmy has known Eric since KINDERGARDTEN.
  2. Timmy was a groomsman, so I solo shot this wedding while also tag teaming florals and decor with Gayle from Florist Fire.
  3. We lost our Husky Junah at 2:30 in the morning less than 24 hours before leaving for this trip, but we’ll get to that later.

The first time I ever met Kadi we were at another mutual friends wedding. This wasn’t the first time I’d heard about her, or was introduced to her. I knew she existed but I’d been extremely pregnant I was kind of sitting out of any form of a social life.

This wedding was the first time I’d ever spent any amount of time around her and I liked her instantly. She’s beautiful without being fussy, she’s funny at no one’s expense, and she’s palpably self assured while still being approachable. She the kind of girl you just WANT to like you. The kind of girl that has that something no one can really put their finger on. Like their gravitational pull is just a little stronger than the rest of ours.

We’ve know Eric a long time, but never have we seen him look at a girl like he looks at Kadi.

Being friends with Kadi was easy and natural and after Eric proposed in fall of 2016 we started talking about their wedding but circumstances kind of dictated the need for a long engagement. Kadi was expecting their first son Ronan the following March, they had multiple home renovation projects going to prepare for his arrival, and all of her family and friends would be traveling from Michigan to Florida.

I will never forget the day we hatched the crazy plan that became a real wedding. We were sitting on her new white leather sectional (interesting choice for a couple about to have a baby right? I know thats what I said) and afternoon sun was pouring through the windows behind us making the computer screen a little difficult to see as Kadi showed me a place she’d found in Tennessee between their two families. A resort I was actually very familiar with because I stay there with my family every fall.

We spent the next couple hours calling caterer’s and dj’s and making spread sheets of bridesmaids dresses and then Eric came home and actually said yes to a destination wedding less than a year away.

Our Dog Junah got sick that August. I had a bond with him that was difficult to describe. One I didn’t expect to lose anytime soon. The Sunday before the wedding he laid down in the front yard and couldn’t get back up and I laid with him and cried because I knew when we took him to the vet that night that he wouldn’t come home. By 3 am he was gone. He was only six years old. I packed my families bags leaving behind the bowls, toys, and leashes that normally accompanied us to the mountains. I checked into the pet friendly cabin I forced our friends and fellow vendors to switch to and I smiled through the sad faces I received as the front desk staff waived the pet fee for the pet we no longer had. I wanted to crawl in bed and stay there, and then I went to the rehearsal/welcome dinner and saw Kadi and Eric’s faces. The joy in her eyes and the adoration in his. The glances they’d exchange from time to time across a cabin overflowing with all their loved ones gathered in one of my favorite places in the world to celebrate them and their love. I don’t think anything is really a coincidence. A lifetime of friendship with Eric, an instant bond with Kadi, a chance destination wedding in exactly the right place at exactly the right time. Unbeknownst to them their love shepherded me though one of the greatest loss’s I’ve yet to experience. For every moment of overwhelming sadness and finality, there was another filled with friendship and joy and love and beginnings.

We stayed for days after their wedding. We spent nights around bonfires under the September mountain stars. A cabin that was intended to be filled with the pattering of paws was instead filled with the laughter and euphoria of our newlywed friends. For every quiet moment of crashing realization that the grief was still there, there was the constant reminder that life is so so good. That even in grief there is joy, that even in loss there is so much left to be thankful for. Junah was gone. But we were all still here and it felt good to not be alone. Thats the thing about Kadi and Eric, without saying anything at all they’re the kind of people who make you feel less alone. Their presence is one of comfort, like even if you’d known them for five minutes they’d give you the shirt off their back.

That is the best way I can describe Kadi and Eric’s love. It’s comforting. It’s the hand that reaches out and saves you in stormy waters.

It’s steadfast and safe, and in some small ways that weekend, it saved me.





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