Intimate Wedding at Riverwood Mansion

When Josh and Kim made their intimate wedding plans to tie the knot at Nashville’s historic Riverwood Mansion, they couldn’t have ordered up a more perfect day.

On the cusp of summer yet still cool and springlike, the May air was electric with excitement and love. Josh and Kim arrived at Riverwood, suits in hand, and took their time with all the getting-ready details. They sported perfect blue pocket squares, matching ties, vests, and shoes, initial pins, and stylish light gray suits.

It’s a pleasure to capture the intimacy and care that a couple like Kim and Josh take with each other in the quiet moments before their vows. No detail was rushed; each precious moment was a gift to be enjoyed.

Intimate weddings are my favorite because all the elements are stripped down to what matters most. It’s always an honor to capture the love, emotion, and excitement shared between the couple and the people they are closest to.

Setting the stage

I first worked with Josh and Kim about a month ago when we created some fun and relaxed engagement portraits at Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery. Engagement sessions are such a great way to break the ice with your photographer! We spent a couple of hours leisurely wandering the grounds, getting to know each other, laughing, and setting the stage for a comfortable relationship on their wedding day. By the time the wedding day rolled around, it felt like we were old friends.

The photos below capture just a few of the fabulous highlights from Josh and Kim’s special day. Congrats again to this amazing couple who I have no doubt will enjoy a beautiful life together!

Same sex couple get dressed and ready for their wedding
Same sex couple get dressed and ready for their wedding, image in full length mirror
Same sex couple get dressed and straighten tie for their wedding
Same-sex male couple pose together inside antebellum mansion
Champagne toast - close up of glasses
Same-sex male couple exchange vows inside historic mansion
Male same-sex couple walking in garden
Male same-sex couple portraits under southern Magnolia tree
Same-sex male couple pose together inside antebellum mansion
Male same-sex couple portraits under arbor and twinkle lights
Male same-sex couple portraits outside white southern mansion under floral trellis
Male same-sex couple portraits outdoors in terrace
wedding cake with white flowers
Male same-sex couple portraits
Wedding sendoff with group cheering

For Photographers: Getting-Ready Shots

Photographing an intimate wedding takes experience to get in, get the shots, and keep everything on track with the timeline. I always plan to arrive before the couple so I can be ready when they step in the door to get as many getting-ready shots as possible before the ceremony. In Josh and Kim’s case, I had about 30 minutes; sometimes it’s only five minutes!

I brought my easiest, most lightweight portable off-camera-flash system, since I needed to set up quickly and work within the small getting-ready space. Luckily I have shot numerous intimate weddings at Riverwood Mansion so I am very familiar with the upstairs prep room. One of the challenges in this particular space is that there are mirrors on three of the four walls! Therefore, it takes a little creative maneuvering to compose a frame where I and my light stand are not seen. One of the shots I’m most delighted with shows the couple getting ready as a reflection in the walnut mirror. Off camera flash really lit them up beautifully, and it looks like they are the only ones in the room.

It’s true that I could have gotten away with using natural window light. I choose, however, to use off-camera flash as a matter of style. It allows me to capture better exposures while allowing my subjects to move around naturally, without as much “staging” from me. It also keeps skin colors more natural. Finally controlled flash allows color to “pop” without any dulling or odd color casts from inside or outside.

For most of the getting-ready shots I used my 35mm or my 50mm. This helped me to more easily frame two subjects interacting together. As we stepped outside for portraits, I switched to my 85/50 combo.

Gear specs

Camera: Canon R5

Lens: Canon 50 mm 1.4, Canon 85mm 1.4, and Sigma 35mm 1.4

Light: Godox V860II speedlight

Modifier: Westcott Rapidbox 24” Octabox

Lightstand: Cheetah stand

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Deb Scally Photography

Headshots| Branding | Modern Portraits

Nashville / Franklin, Tennessee

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