Emily & Justin's Relaxed Mountain Wedding | Round Knob Lodge, Old Fort

Sometimes, life introduces you to vibrant people who are just so full of joy. You know what I'm talking about - when you meet them, a smile is instantly on your face and you feel like you've known them forever. Well, Emily & Justin are those people - contagiously happy and unforgettable. Their day was crafted around their family and friends, and the best word I can think to describe it was genuine.  


It's always hard going through a wedding and narrowing down the photos we get to deliver to each client, but choosing out favorites for the blog is just plain difficult. There are so many moments and behind-the-scenes look at every wedding that I wish there was endless room to show you (and time, because that would be a long read!), but for now here are just some of our favorites from their wedding. 


Emily & Justin tied the knot at Round Knob Lodge in Old Fort, North Carolina. Although currently living in Houston, the mountains is what they consider home. "We loved the idea of getting married in the mountains, the intimacy of renting a vacation home, and the ability to provide accommodations for our family and friends," Emily wrote to me. "Round Knob Lodge more than delivered and gave us an entire weekend of perfection!" 


We especially love these invitations, crafted by the groom himself! Justin created each and every detail you see in these photos and printed them to be sent to family and friends. We adore it when brides + grooms take what they are passionate about and incorporate them into their wedding day! Let's be honest, it's not every day a groom is THIS talented!

The day of their wedding was an especially rainy July. We crossed our fingers that the rain would stay away, but it didn't! Although that would put a damper on any wedding day (pun intended), Emily took it all in stride. I don't think she could have been any happier heading to her first look in the rain! 

Isn't Justin's reaction just the best!? These first few moments were his favorite from the day. "Seeing Emily in her dress for the first time...it made the whole thing feel real."

Sometimes the sweetest of love stories have the simplest of beginnings. Every though they met in the most ordinary of circumstances, to Emily it was anything but. They met "randomly and serendipitously" at the Finnegan's in Winston-Salem. "We both knew that there was something special between us."

By the time wedding party photos were scheduled, it had started to rain. We took shelter under a large and relatively umbrella-like tree, hoping to get as many photos done before it started to downpour! 

Let's talk about Emily's 'bouquet'. Instead of choosing traditional flowers, Emily opted to create an experience with her bridesmaids and carry something a bit more sentimental. Together, the girls thrifted these book covers and then transformed them into small purses to keep with them on the wedding day. Each one choose a book or cover that meant something special to them.

Emily's book, Pride & Prejudice, had this quote on the back, which seems fitting for the occasion of a wedding; 

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." - Jane Austen

Near the middle of snagging portraits, the rain started to come down harder. Everyone started gathering under the tree not just for photos, but to stay dry. We broke out the umbrellas and took a few more shots as the Bride, Groom, and their closest friends celebrated together. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the ceremony was Emily's favorite part of their big day. After nearly a hour of rain, everyone started to fear the worst. Her words say it best; "It had been pouring rain, and we thought we would have to move the location. But then the sun came out and we had beautiful blue sky," she shared.

"I loved Brandon's ceremony, it was the perfect mix of funny and sweet. Our string quartet played two of my favorite pieces. The whole thing was so intimate and I felt surrounded by love. Having Justin standing next to me made it perfect." 

One of the main inspirations for Justin & Emily's day were the family and friends who choose to travel for their wedding. To incorporate these special people into their ceremony, the couple choose to nail together a box filled with letters to each other as well as some from family and friends. Each member of the wedding party had a turn nailing it shut. Watching their closest friends play such a sentimental part of their wedding was beautiful. 

After the ceremony, Emily & Justin ran together for a moment alone to celebrate. This is one of my favorite moments from their day- completely unplanned but absolutely perfect.


Following this sweet moment (and of course a toast and lots of happy laughter and conversation), was family photos. Although we don't share the traditional photos on our blog, I wanted to share this magic moment between Emily, Justin, and her brother Oliver. 


Emily & Justin's engagement story is no-fuss. Really, the decision was simple. "We decided we should finally just get married already! Only half kidding...we already knew we wanted to spend our lives together, and then decided we really wanted a marriage. The wedding was an opportunity for us to celebrate this decision with our family and friends, most of whom we rarely get to see," They wrote to us. "But ultimately, we really cared about getting to be married to each other."

Getting the couples alone in golden light is always our favorite part of the day. In this space, we get to hear their stories and see them together. We watch them interact and show love to each other. It's funny, we have a lot of brides & grooms tell us the they are 'so awkward' in front of the camera, but we've found the best photos happen when we leave some space for them to just be themselves. 

Has there ever been a reception that wasn't a load of fun? Justin & Emily's friends knew how to party, and nearly everybody made it to the dance floor at least once. Shout out to Bright Lights Entertainment for keeping it fresh! 


At dusk, Emily & Justin joined their friend and officiant, Brandon, to sign the marriage license. This moment felt intimate and sincere, and being a part of this important piece of their story was an honor. Justin and Emily, officially wed. 

Emily & Justin, it was such a joy being a part of your wedding day. So grateful to have been a part of this piece of your story! 

Emily and Justin's wedding was planned and coordinated by their "wonderful family and friends!" Many thanks to all of the incredible people who made this day so special! 

venue: Round Knob Lodge 
hair and makeup artist: Flawless: Airbush Makeup Artistry
cupcakes: 50/fifty
dj: Sam with Bright Lights Entertainment
tuxes: Jos. A Banks 
bridal gown: Ti Adore by JLM from Blush Bridal Lounge
officiant: Friend Brandon Gaskins
invitations and calligraphy: The groom himself, Justin Icenhour