Weddings are stressful.

They just are. You can have two of the most laid back people in the world getting hitched, the ceremony be the most simple one ever, with less than a carpool of people attending, and something will cause everyone’s stress level to go into the red zone.

So because weddings are stressful, the job of a wedding photographer is stressful. It’s literally a once-in-a-lifetime shoot. You don’t get do-overs when it comes to weddings. So you plan everything out to the hilt, make sure that you cover all your bases and check off all the lists, and park your spontaneity in your camera bag where it belongs.

That’s why a lot of brides now are opting to do pre or post-wedding bridal sessions. Sometimes it’s a straight formal session with an emphasis on wall portraits. Sometimes it’s just a fun session of portraits in the wedding dress. The new thing is a “trash-the-dress” session where the bride goes swimming or plays in a mudhole in the wedding dress.

We’ve done a few weddings, but haven’t had a chance to do one of these bridal sessions. Our friend Darcy got married to Phil in October of last year, and didn’t opt to do one of these type of sessions at that time. So it was a perfect opportunity for both of us.

Darcy wanted to do something a little different for her session. Not anything radical like a “Trash-the-Dress”, but do fun shots that reflected her personality. So we borrowed the home of our friends Mateo and Cherene. They live in an older section of East Knoxville called Holston Hills, and most the houses there were built in the early part of the last century. Mateo and Cherene’s house is absolutely gorgeous, with hardwood floors, arched doorways and a beautiful backyard garden. There were all kinds of neat spots for us to shoot. And even though her wedding was months ago, Darcy was still sporting that newlywed glow.

Here are a few of the shots from Darcy’s “bridal” shoot. Enjoy.