Kaitlyn + Wes ~ Museum of Appalachia Wedding ~ Knoxville Wedding Photographer


June 16, 2015

Every time I look at these images I tear up. Every time. The way Wes loves Kaitlyn is just precious. It’s everything a girl could ask for and more. I think their first look is my favorite ever.

These two have come a looooong way from meeting in line waiting for coffee on UT campus. First there was a botched attempt at an engagement in Montreal…

“We did not get at GPS with our rental car and all the road signs were in French, so needless to say, we got lost and weren’t able to go to the gardens the first day. So the next day…they were getting ready to close early and didn’t want to let us in with the tickets West had on his phone! Long story short, West had me step aside and somehow he was able to convince them to let us in (I later found out that he showed the lady my ring). So Wes was able to pull of the perfect engagement after all, and he proposed in the Asian gardens…and I said, ‘YES!'” ~ Kaitlyn

…then a long distance relationship that only made them stronger.

“I think I realized just how much Wes loved me when he drove all night from New York (16 hours) just to be there when I woke up the next morning.” ~ Kaitlyn

And Wes. Sweet, sweet, Wes!

“The first time I knew that I loved Kaitlyn was when I slipped and fell on a patch of ice, probably getting a concussion, and she…tended to me all night…set an alarm for every few hours to get up and check on me. I knew that I loved her, and she probably loved me and that very moment.” ~ Wes

* Le sigh! *

Their outdoor wedding in Knoxville was just perfect with sunny skies, vintage rustic decor in mint and coral, and lots of squawking peacocks at the Museum of Appalachia. Kaitlyn wore her mother’s wedding shoes, garter, and jewelry. Guests noshed on local flavors from Sweet P’s BBQ and local country/bluegrass sounds from the band, West Wend. So what’s next?

“We are definitely looking forward to actually living in the same state and house and can’t wait to see what the next 50+ years holds for us!”

Me too, Kaitlyn! xoxo

(More from our bride below)

vintage-rustic-knoxville-wedding-birdcage museum of appalachia, shanell bledsoe photography, kaitlyn duignan, wes bailey

intage-rustic-knoxville-wedding-makeup, shanell bledsoe photography, kaitlyn duignan, wes bailey

Makeup: Candle Kincade

 Candle is absolutely talented in what she does, I thought my makeup looked flawless, and stayed on great the entire night! She also gave me a perfect, natural and romantic look, which was exactly what I asked her for.”

Hair:  Jessica Valentine at Hairpeace

“I loved my hair! Jessica was amazing, and made my hair look even better than the pictures I showed her! It held up perfectly and looked great throughout the whole night.”

vintage-lace-heels-knoxville-wedding-oleg-cassini-dress, vintage-rustic-knoxville-wedding-makeup

Wedding dress & bridesmaid dresses: David’s Bridal

knoxville-wedding-getting-ready-icee, shanell bledsoe photography






Venue: The Museum of Appalachia

“The Museum was a perfect place for us because it is basically a blank canvas…you can decorate any way that you want, and you are free to have your ceremony in any location that you choose on the grounds. It really gave us a chance to plan a unique and personalized wedding that was perfect for our tastes.”


Tux/Suits: Savvi Formalware

“They were the best to work with because we had groomsmen from all different states coming in, so they allowed the groomsmen to just send in their measurements and then they had a tailor on site to fix any issues on the day the guys picked up their suits.”



Florist: Melissa Timm Designs

“I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed working with Melissa! She is amazing…any ideas I gave her, she just ran with it and created the most unique and outstanding arrangements, bouquets and boutonnieres. One of my favorite things about the wedding was the most creative and beautiful cascading bridal bouquet Melissa made for me. I think the flower arrangements really pulled our vintage theme together and made everything more beautiful.”



knoxville-wedding-museum_appalachia_groom-bride_portraits_vintage_rustic, melissa timm florals






Wedding Coordinator: Lindsay Barrows Ruggieri and Brittany – Custom Love Gifts and Events

“These girls basically did it all, the wedding could not have happened without them. They helped with set up, take down, coordinated with all the vendors, and really just went above and beyond to make our day perfect and stress free.”









Rentals: Campbell’s Tent and Party Rentals

“Our tent, chairs, and tables came from Campbell’s. They were very accommodating and set up everything just as we wanted it. They also came back and made sure that all the lights were working properly under our tent.”


Cake: Publix Bakery

“Our cake was half chocolate and half vanilla with a cream cheese hazelnut filling and buttercream frosting. It was delicious, and we had many compliments on how good the cake tasted! I gave Publix a photo of the cake I wanted, and they created it to match perfectly! The flowers for the cake were provided by Melissa Timm Designs, and my wedding coordinators, Lindsay and Brittany arranged the flowers on the cake for me.”







Band: WestWend

“The band was definitely one of the most special parts of our wedding. They were fabulous, and I would recommend them to anyone to use for their event. They were great to plan with before the wedding, and on the day of, they just added to the great atmosphere of the wedding. Wendy and Jonathan (the singers) are so talented and I am so glad we hired them to play at our wedding. They even learned some special songs just to sing for us!”






Photography: (Duh!  me!!)  Shanell Bledsoe Photography

“The best damn photographer you’ll ever find Shanell is truly amazing with her photography talent! We love her and her sister is awesome too!!!”

Awww shucks!

Here’s a little more info from our bride & groom:

Your favorite and least favorite part of planning?

“Favorite: being able to spend time with my Mom and having her there to help me make decisions. We could literally write a wedding book with all the info we know now!  Wes’ favorite part of planning was picking out the food for our reception and for the rehearsal dinner, because he got to taste test everything.  Least favorite: dealing with the last minute issues that occurred the week of the wedding, like vendors saying they needed to come earlier than expected, and vendors who would not return phone calls quickly.”

Most memorable moment of your wedding day?

“Definitely our first look, when Wes saw me for the first time! Also another very memorable moment was when Candle was finishing my makeup and I turned around to see all my bridesmaids gathered around watching me. Oh and who can forget that best man speech and all the packing peanuts in the car!! Wes’ most memorable moment was when we were doing our wedding vows and he said he heard me make a really cute whimpering, crying noise.”

What you would change, if anything?

“The only thing I might change is to have started my hair a little earlier because it took longer than expected and I would have liked to have been a little less rushed with makeup. Wes said he wishes we could have had another hour to spend at the wedding (I agree too, we could have danced more!)”

Where your budget was best spent?

“Definitely on Photography and the florist! And my dad and some family friends built the doors I walked through at the ceremony, and that was one of my most favorite things about the wedding. Wes thinks the Band was were the budget was best spent.”

Any advice for future brides?

“My advice would be to just enjoy the wedding when the time comes, try to take in every moment and remember the reason you are there is to marry your love, not to get caught up in things that might go wrong or things that you might forget. And don’t forget to take your time and walk really slowly down the aisle so that you can see your husband’s reaction. Also hiring a wedding coordinator is key to having a stress free wedding!!!

Advice for grooms, from Wes: eat a big meal the morning of the wedding even if you don’t feel like it (Cracker Barrel, he says!) Also hire a wedding coordinator!”

©2015 Shanell Bledsoe Photography

  1. these are without a doubt the best wedding pictures i have ever seen ,you are wonderful . you caught all the great moments they will remember all their life. i just can not say i n words how awesome the entire wedding was. i know this is just a preview of pictures to come can not wait to see all ,you are great. everyone that had a part in this day was just amazing in what they did. beautiful couple in love and a beautiful wedding so happy for the both of them
    i know they are well pleased and it took perfection to pull this off with such wonderful results.the prettiest wedding i have ever attended, would not have missed it .

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