Knoxville Same Sex Friendly Wedding Vendors

It’s been a little over a year since the Supreme Court ruling made marriage equality a right for all same sex couples across the country. June 26, 2015 changed the lives of so many couples, families, and LGBTQ allies. It also changed the lives of many wedding vendors, specifically those of us that live in the Bible Belt.

I committed to happily & openly photographing same sex couples, families, and weddings many years ago.  The June 26, 2015 ruling gave me the opportunity to photograph even more same sex weddings because local couples were no longer forced to leave Tennessee to be legally wed. For many wedding vendors who had no previously worked with same sex couples, it was time to make a decision.

In a perfect world, a directory of same sex friendly wedding vendors would be pointless. Being in the wedding industry, it’s been impossible to avoid stories of bakers refusing to bake cakes or venues backing out of wedding contracts. Over & over again when I chat with my clients, they tell me about the awkward interactions or upsetting situations they find themselves in. I can’t imagine what it would be like to navigate the stresses of wedding planning while trying to figure out if a vendor might refuse you service. I sincerely can’t wait for a time when all couples feel welcome everywhere.

To combat a little bit of the stress, I’ve created a list of Knoxville same sex friendly wedding vendors. These vendors have expressed desire to serve same sex clients openly & happily. They are ready for you to inquire with them.

This is in no way a comprehensive list. If someone isn’t on this list, it does not mean they don’t serve the LGBTQ community. I am not compiling a list of vendors who do not serve gay couples either. I prefer to share & celebrate those who do.

If you are a wedding professional in the Knoxville area who would like to be added to this list of Knoxville same sex friendly wedding vendors, please contact me. If you are on the fence on whether or not you should publicly serve same sex clients, I would love to share my experiences with you. Check out this wonderful list of ways you can become a better LGBTQ allied vendor by the incredible Kelly Prizel.

All photos provided by yours truly. Special thanks to Shaun Cox of a DIY Wedding Affair for compiling a list for Chattanooga weddings & inspiring me to create one for Knoxville.

Happy wedding planning!


knoxville same sex wedding


Heartland Meadows – Knoxville –
The Knoxville Zoo – Knoxville-
Dara’s Garden – Knoxville –
Club Leconte – Knoxville –
The Historic Bleak House – Knoxville –
The Hilton – Knoxville –
Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame – Knoxville –
The Volunteer Princess – Knoxville –
Elizabeth Claire’s – Clinton –
Smith Event Centers – Maryville –
Idle Hour Farm & Retreat – Rogersville – 
Bluff Mountain Inn – Sevierville –

Knoxville gay wedding vendors


Celebrations by Celeste –
Sevier County Weddings –
Universal Wedding Officiants –
Judith Douglas –


Patrick Michael Weddings –
Good Sounds Entertainment –
Side-by-Side Entertainment –
Brian S. Graham Entertainment –

gay weddings knoxville


Casey & Kristin –
Ryan’s Production –
Midnight Magic Studios –
NuWave Productions –


Alex Bee Photo – 

Erin Morrison Photography –
Break the Mold Photo –


Beauty by Blair –


Southern Bliss Weddings –
Absolute Wedding Perfection
Premiere Events –

knoxville gay wedding photographer


Melissa Timm Designs –
Flower Shop, Inc. –
The Fleurella –


Holly’s Gourmet Market  –


Sugarbuzz Bakers –
Art of Cakes –


Unique Setting Rentals – Mismatched China & Tabletop Rentals –
Sarah Brobst Designs – Custom Brooch Bouquets and Wedding Jewelry –
Sweven Vintage & Rustic Rentals –
Wallace Paper Company – Invitations & Other Paper Goods –
Robyn James Ensembles – Musician –

Memories In A Flash Photo Booth –
Regal Carriages – Vintage Car Transportation –

knoxville same sex wedding photography

If you are a wedding professional in the Knoxville area who would like to be added to this list of Knoxville same sex friendly wedding vendors, please contact me.

All photographs by Alex Bee Photo

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5 Reasons For a Post-Wedding Session


Everyone knows about engagement or bridal sessions, but post-wedding sessions? Nah, they aren’t that well-known. I’m here to tell you all about them & give you the knowledge to decide if having one is right for your wedding.

So what the heck is a post-wedding session? Post-wedding sessions are just like an engagement session but you’ve got your fancy wedding day attire on. There are so many reasons why post-wedding sessions rock. Continue on for my top 5 reasons for a post-wedding session!

post-wedding session

You want lots of wedding portraits but you’d rather spend your wedding day with friends & family

One of the best things about a wedding is seeing all the people you love in one spot. You get to hug, dance, drink, & cheers to your favorite people! It’s truly a unique time in your life & you will probably never see all those people together again.

That’s why I completely understand when some clients want to skimp on the portrait time so they have more time to spend with their family. You want to go to the cocktail hour & visit with guests? Heck yeah, I’m all for it! But if you value your wedding portraits, you should definitely make time for them. With a post-wedding session, you make time days, weeks, or even months after your wedding!

Spend most of your wedding day with friends & family and get a large amount of wedding portraits? Yes! You can have your cake & eat it too.

day after session

You don’t have to worry about getting your wedding outfits dirty. And you can let your hair down!

The worst thing about bridal sessions before the wedding is that everyone freaks out about getting the dress dirty. Let’s just admit it, being in your dress just means it’s going to be dirty. Walking on clean floors, sidewalk, anything, is probably going to affect the bottom of your dress. You might surprise yourself by how much you care about this.

After the wedding is over? Who cares, right? The dress is already dirty from your day & if you plan on preserving it you’ll have to get it cleaned anyway. So let’s go make some beautiful portraits in a dirty field or alleyway.

When I say you can let your hair down, I mean it literally & figuratively. Post-wedding sessions are much more relaxed because you don’t have anywhere to be or a schedule to follow. Lots of brides opt for wedding day hairstyles that can withstand the heat, rain, and dancing to the YMCA at the reception. Many clients opt for a more natural look for their post wedding sessions because they can! No worries about making sure your hair & makeup last 10+ hours.


post-wedding portrait session

You can go to great locations you could never fit into your wedding day logistics

Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Biltmore? That little state park you visited when you first started dating? The options are endless. Maybe you are getting married at a church but you prefer lots of greenery in your photos. Or maybe you are getting married out in a barn but want to celebrate the downtown where you went on your first date together.

We have so much time & freedom to go anywhere for the session.


You’ve planned a destination wedding & want to take advantage of the location

If you are planning a wedding in a spectacular location, post-wedding sessions are great ways to take advantage & get great photos. If you’re flying me somewhere or you’re flying here, you might as well get lots out of it! Just make sure that book your post-wedding session as soon as possible so we can schedule it within our travel dates & make sure we have accommodations.

You couldn’t take many portraits on your wedding day for a variety of reasons

There are many things that might affect the amount & type of wedding photos you receive from your wedding day. For example, maybe you plan a wedding after dark. That is common for fall & winter weddings. Maybe it’s freezing outside or hot as hades. Maybe it rains cats & dogs.

I’m always able to find ways to take portraits even during the craziest of circumstances, but they might not be the type of photos you imagined if you love my outdoor portraits. With a post-wedding session, we can control the season, weather, and schedule. We can postpone the session if it calls for rain. We can mold the post-wedding session to fit our wants & needs*!

* Unless you are planning a destination wedding with travel. We will have less flexibility then but we’ll still rock it.

5 Reasons For a Post-Wedding Session

Are you ready for your rad post-wedding session now? Let’s plan it! Even if I didn’t take your wedding photos, I bet we can make some magic.

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7 Tips for a Heartfelt Wedding

heartfelt wedding

If you’re looking for ways to make your wedding more genuine & heartfelt, this post is for you. As a professional wedding photographer, I’ve been witness to many weddings. My favorites are always the personal weddings where everyone is so present & excited to be there. I’d love to share my advice to those hoping to have their own heartfelt wedding.

I definitely don’t think that you should do random things just to make your wedding more sentimental, but I’ve picked up on a few ways to inject a little authenticity & love into your wedding. Here are my absolute favorite ways to make your wedding more personal & heartfelt.

1 – Surround yourself with love

bride with bridesmaids

Your wedding day is about you & your loved ones. It’s a time you should be feeling oh-so-happy & not stressed out because your mom forced you to include your annoying cousin in your bridal party.

Avoid feeling obligated to include people. If you have a friend who you love, but is overdramatic and stresses you out, you should really consider if you want to have her around you for the entire day. You want your wedding attendants to be excited, helpful, and present in the moment. You shouldn’t be putting out fires on your wedding. It can be tough to make these decisions, but it’s for the best. Surrounding yourself with only your favorite people is a great way to reduce the drama and create a positive space for you to get married.

2 – Personalize your ceremony

personalize your ceremony

Work with your officiant to create a ceremony that really represents you as a couple. You can have readings from books and poems that are important to you both or have someone play a song you both love. If you aren’t a very serious couple, include some funny bits to lighten the mood. Your friends and family should leave the ceremony thinking “That was SO them!”

It’s always a shame when a wedding officiant includes a sentiment or philosophy that the couple doesn’t agree with. Even if you don’t want to personalize your ceremony, always check to make sure your officiant’s general vibe is the way you want to begin your marriage. I’ve seen couples STUNNED by something their officiant said without their prior knowledge.

3 – Avoid the traditions you want to avoid

be unique at your wedding

Not looking forward to a bouquet toss? Ditch it! I encourage couples to only follow the traditions that appeal to them. By taking out the traditions you don’t like, you will make your wedding more personal & authentic. Don’t feel pressured by family or wedding planners.

You don’t have to have a garter toss. You can see each other before the ceremony if you want. I’ve been to wonderful weddings where they follow every tradition under the sun. I’ve also been to weddings where they follow no traditions. They both were great because they were doing exactly what they wanted to do. Figure out what appeals to you & what doesn’t.

4 – Get ready with loved ones

get ready with loved ones

One of my favorite parts of the day is the getting ready. Everyone is so excited! Getting your hair and make-up done surrounded by friends and family is much more fun than getting ready alone. It can be meaningful to have your bridesmaids help you into your dress or to have your mom put on your veil, etc. You shouldn’t push or fake sentimental moments during your wedding day, but if you are surrounded by loved ones, it will happen naturally. Your friends will also be able to help calm your nerves. This goes for the guys too!

5 – Write your own vows

write your vows

If you are looking for heartfelt, writing your own vows is the way to go. Handwritten vows are beautiful & moving. There’s no better time to be open & vulnerable. If you are nervous to say your personal vows in front of your guests, there are ways to get around it. You can say them softly to each other or even walk away from the ceremony for a few minutes to exchange your vows. I love A Practical Wedding’s guide to writing your own vows.

6 – Thank everyone

thank your guests

So many people have impacted your wedding. You’ve received help and emotional support from family & friends. For those that have gone above & beyond, consider giving them a small gift or thank you letter to express your gratitude.

Your wedding is important to everyone close to you & they will really appreciate your thankfulness. At the reception, it can be really sweet to thank your guests for coming & being involved in your life. Your guests are taking a day (or more!) to celebrate your marriage. Appreciate that! And don’t forget to send thank you cards for the gifts after the wedding.

7 – Ask your family to ditch the cameras

sweet photo of the groom's parents

You want your family to be present during your wedding day. They should be celebrating with you & taking in the day. It’s important for them too.

Encourage your family members to be obligation free during the ceremony. You shouldn’t rely on a close family member videotape the ceremony. You’ve hired people for that. Seriously, do you want your dad fiddling around with camera settings during these special moments? Ask them to witness your ceremony camera-free. If you need someone to take video, find someone outside of your closest family.


There you have it! My best advice for couples seeking a personal, heartfelt wedding. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below. Feel free to pin this post or share with friends!

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