Emily and Neil Smoot stand on the Walnut Street Bridge during their Chattanooga Wedding in the Bluff View Arts district

Emily & Neil

An outdoor wedding on the Walnut Street Bridge with a 90-percent chance of rain, strong wind gusts and temperatures dropping into the 30's in December?

Most couples wouldn't think twice about relocating their wedding venue indoors with this prediction but Neil and Emily aren't most couples.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about how this day was going to pan out. So in addition to my normal kit I packed an umbrella, two jackets and an arsenal of plastic bags in anticipation of being turned into a soggy

photographer-cicle by the end of the evening. I'm not exactly sure who Emily was texting while setting up the reception hall in a downpour, but an hour before the ceremony all of the clouds passing over the Tennessee valley squeezed out their last bit of precipitation and hovered dormant.

The service was intimate as loved ones, illuminated by the city lights of downtown Chattanooga, huddled around the bride and groom to watch them unite. Gusts of wind and the sound of teeth chattering accompanied the bluegrass trio that played as the couple exchanged their vows. Almost immediately after the Smoots were pronounced man and wife, I heard Neil say to the officiant: "I don't care how cold and windy it is up here, I'm just excited we're getting married on the bridge and it's not raining."

After the ceremony everyone relocated to Lindsay Street Hall where guests quickly warmed up with spinach-artichoke chicken, blackberry cobbler, and the bluegrass music of Slim Pickins. I'm ecstatic that the day went as planned and that these two whitewater kayaking, triathlon racing, nature lovers found each other. If you happen to be visiting the Terminal Brewhouse keep an eye out for the "Smoot Biscuits" and congratulate them as they are frequently spotted enjoying a pint at the site of their first date.

It was a privilege having the opportunity to photograph this special event, and it's awesome that exactly one year after saying hello, Neil and Emily said I do.