Monthly Archives: August 2014

Wedding – The Hawkesdene House – Andrews, NC

Elisa (aka Cathy or Pie) & Justin’s wedding – The Hawkesdene House

Hawkesdene House, Inspiration & Design Photography

This happy couple started out as arch enemies when they were 9 years old!!  They were both children of pastors and would often debate about bible issues among other things.  Justin would come home from school and complain about how badly Elisa had treated him that day on the bus.  I can’t remember exactly what his mother told him, but it ended with the statement that Justin would someday marry that girl. Now how did she know that? That is one wise mother! Because here they are, 22 years later, husband and wife! How cool is that? Eventually they ironed out their childhood squabbles and became dear friends and then the friendship turned into romance.  I would venture to guess this couple will have few surprises after their wedding.

Elisa says: “Justin and I have known each other since we were 9, we’ve nurtured a  friendship for over 20 years and started dating after we both graduated college.   We’ve been through trials, triumphs, layoffs, law school, career changes, child birth, etc.  Justin truly is my best friend, cliche I know. There’s something to be said when you can watch football, Four Weddings (that’s the only wedding show he will watch with me), and go out dancing with your fiance!  I fell in love with him while helping him raise his son, Noah.  Noah was born about 6 months after we started dating, so I consider him to be my child. Those two are my life!   Finally, after 6 years of dating, Justin and I are blending our already blended families.”

The weather was not good leading up to their wedding and the forecast was for rain the entire week-end. So in preparation, they set up a tent and prayed for good weather.  It was overcast earlier in the day, but the sun was fighting to shine it’s light through the spaces in between. By midday the sun was bright and glorious, however, the humidity was intense and overwhelming.  As everyone felt the wetness and heat that was inescapable, they were probably thinking the same thing I was…thank God it’s not raining!   I guess all those prayers for no rain were heard, because it didn’t start raining until the wedding was over. Like clockwork the skies opened and the rain burst down as if being held back, while accumulating it’s reserve.  As I heard the pounding gushes of rain from inside our cabin, I was thankful for God’s timing.

Elisa & Justin you are a beautiful couple, now a beautiful family. It was clear to see you are blessed by the tremendous love and godly guidance of your family and loving friends. Your wedding was an amazing experience and so beautiful! It was a wonderful weekend that I will cherish. The fun, the music, the dancing talent that was displayed, the ambiance, the food…Oh My Goodness the food!!  I’m still thinking about the berry pie and ice cream!  I have so many images I can’t wait to share with you in your gallery. Until then, I hope you enjoy your sneak peak of your wedding!!  Dee & I were honored to photograph your wedding and be in the presence of such a wonderful group of people!

God bless you!


The Hawkesdene House – Thank you!

I had the pleasure of photographing my first wedding at this location on August 9th, 2014.  The bride & groom had reserved the venue including their on-site cabins for their guests and vendors for the entire week-end.  Me and my assistant Dee, arrived there Friday evening.  Although it was overcast and late in the day, we took advantage of the little time we had to capture the venue as best as we could, since the forecast for Saturday was RAIN!

The location was beautiful and unique with many types of photographic back drops.  Friday evening we had a delicious sit down dinner, cocktails while music played in the background. The ambiance was spectacular! And dessert, don’t even get me started! It was the most amazing cherry, blackberry, strawberry, blueberry pie with ice cream. It was PERFECTION! I think I even moaned from delight.  After dinner the evening was cool and we relaxed on the comfy out door furniture by the large fire burning in the fireplace.  You could hear the sounds of water flowing in the creek next to the property, as well as the serenade of cicadas in the trees. As guests gathered around the fire pit for smores, I thought to myself what a casual, relaxing, fun way to ease into a wedding day!

The entire three days we were there, I was extremely impressed by the staff. They were efficient, kind, helpful, accommodating, friendly and just a pleasure to work with in every way. They all seemed to truly care about doing the best job possible while having a great attitude. This is not always the case at other venues. That’s why I would like to personally thank each and every person at The Hawkesdene House mountain retreat, for making it a wonderful experience  for everyone involved.  You stand out above the rest and I believe that needs recognition.

I also need to mention the FABULOUS CHEF!!!  I’m still thinking about that amazing berry pie and the most incredible coffee I have ever tasted! I have eaten a lot of wedding food in my long career and rarely remember the food. I will remember this food… all of it!  AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!  Thank you for serving us lunch early on Saturday, so that we could eat before we had to start shooting.  It was very much appreciated!!

What a wonderful memory we have of being there and working there! Thank you to each of you and I hope to see you again soon!!

I’m not in the habit of endorsing venues pursea, but I think when you experience something extraordinary you should share it with others.

A special thanks to the owner, Rob Scheiwiller for creating such a wonderful location and special experience for every bride & groom!

Cheers from Tess & Dee!!

Here are some venue photos I wanted to share.  You will see more in the wedding post coming next.

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The Hawkesdene House Mountain Retreat