Creating a Sense of Community Throughout The Appalachian Highlands

Jake & Jessi Jones: July 8, 2017

Our love story has a fun beginning. We met on September 6th, 2014 at the Museum of Appalachia where I was photographing a wedding (I’m a wedding photographer by trade). Jake was a groomsman and I couldn’t help but notice how cute he was. (The groom also happens to be one of my longest friends who I met in Kindergarten and Jake is his best friend. I don’t know how we hadn’t met each other before we did). We barely talked that day but the following day, he followed me on Instagram so I knew he had noticed me too. We didn’t reconnect until November 1st when I had the wedding photos ready for the bride and groom. I messaged the bride, my friend Casey, and told her we could meet up that night since she would be in town. She told me that her and the groom, Chris, were going out to dinner with friends and the cute, single, groomsman, Jake, would be there. I was so giddy that I decided I should go, not thinking we would end up starting to talk that night. That was all it took for us, and we have been inseparable ever since.

We got engaged on April 27th, 2016. For the proposal, Jake made a design of our house layout out of hay bales and proposed to me in the center of it where our house would be standing and where we currently live now. We live on our dairy farm and plan to stay here as long as we live, so for Jake to ask me to be his wife here, in this place, was so special to us. Our proposal was so perfectly simple.

As a wedding photographer, I have a lot of experience with weddings so picking vendors and making decisions was easy for me. We chose to have a summer wedding in July and chose to do a pretty big wedding since we have a lot of family and friends. The venue we picked for our ceremony and reception was at a local venue; a horse barn converted in a wedding venue, Painted Acres Farm in Piney Flats. I wanted to get married somewhere in the Tri-Cities at a rustic location and Painted Acres was exactly that. Getting married here allowed us to have a gorgeous outdoor ceremony in the middle of the horse ring and our reception was split between a tent and inside the barn which is filled with twinkly lights and tobacco cloth swaths in the top. I tried to choose décor for our wedding that was true to us. I used a lot of antiques and some doilies and mason jars for our tables since we are a farm couple. I also tried to pick things that would be fun for our guests. We had corn hole boards set up outside and did hors d’oeuvres so our guests could socialize while eating. We even chose to have a snow cone truck at the reception since we knew it would be a warm summer day and what’s better than a snow cone?!

Our wedding day was wonderful. The forecast was calling for rain most of the day and when the day arrived, the sun was out all day and not a drop of rain was in sight. It was perfect. Most of the day was a blur, but the most important part that I remember was our wedding ceremony. I will never forget the covenant we made that day and the unbreakable bond we solidified when we said our vows. My life with this man is exciting and wonderful and, even though every moment may not be perfect, we have vowed to love each other through the hills AND the valleys. Marriage is a weird, wonderful, life-altering experience, and I’m so glad I get to share it with my best friend.

Venue: Painted Acres Farm

Photographers: Andrew & Erin Photography

Florals: Aunt Willie’s Wildflowers

Rental for farmhouse tables, ladder back chairs, and mantle: Southern Knot Weddings

Rental for ceremony chairs and reception tent: Celebrate Rentals

Catering: Lost Mountain Catering

DJ (ceremony & reception): J&D Productions

Cake: Petite Sweets

Cupcakes: Little Cake

Dress: BHLDN Atlanta

Hair: Tasja Thomas

Makeup: Beauty by MC

Bridesmaid dresses: Show Me Your Mumu

Groom and groomsmen tuxedos: Men’s Wearhouse Johnson City

Snow cone truck: Kona Ice of East Sullivan/Carter

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