A Black and white image of a couple kissing at Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Photo by Mabyn Ludke

Engagement

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Doughton Park

Selecting the right location for your session is way more important than one might think. It adds layers of depth and attachment that don’t happen with the pretty park down the road. We searched and searched for the perfect location for Casey & Andrew’s anniversary session. One night, Andrew told us a story of this amazing park his family visits every year. We knew immediately this was the perfect spot! Not only did it have epic views of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it had immense personal value to these two. We even ran into Andrew’s father & grandmother while we were scoping out the best place to shoot! The love for this place is still strong with the whole family.
 
I got to meet Casey & Andrew for the very first time while visiting Wilksboro, NC this time last year. Daniel & Andrew have been friends & fellow musicians for years. After our encounter last year, I knew we needed to capture their relationship. These two are the perfect blend of silly & sweet and it’s easy to tell why they adore each other. Their photo shoot became a mini reunion where we caught up, told stories, and snag some awesome photos too! What a great way to spend a Sunday evening!

 

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Couple walks hand in hand on top of a mountain at Doughton Park in the Blue Ridge Parkway, NC. Photo by Mabyn Ludke.

When we first arrived at Doughton Park, we hiked up the top of the hillside and were rewarded by this super cool tree. I couldn’t help but want to add his gnarled branches into the background. It’s such a great contrast to these two & their love.

A couple kisses a top the Blue Ridge Parkway near Sparta, NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

The day was so beautiful & clear, the perfect conditions to see mountains for days! Those Appalachian mountains get me every time!

A Black and white image of a couple kissing at Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Photo by Mabyn Ludke

Wind always makes a beautiful photograph epic! Just a little ruffle of the hair and this moment just takes my breath away!

A couple hugs a top Doughton Park overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

At first Casey & Andrew didn’t know how to pose or what to do with their hands. It took a little nudging, but once they realized that all they had to do was be themselves & love each other, well nothing else was needed!

Black and White photo of a couple looking over the Blue Ridge Parkway at Doughton Park in NC. Photography by Mabyn Ludke

Andrew & Daniel use to play in the band Hot Vegas together. I dubbed this shot Casey & Andrew’s album cover for whenever they choose to start up their own band. 😉

Married couple snuggles atop the breathtaking Blue Ridge Parkway near Sparta, NC. Photography by Mabyn Ludke.

Or they may choose just to snuggle each other for life in stead…I guess that’s okay too!

An excited couple celebrate their wedding anniversary at Doughton Park in the Appalachain Mountains of North Carolina. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

This is joy! Just beautiful, loving joy!

This married couple is jumping for joy in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Photography by Mabyn.

I saw this spot of negative space and I couldn’t help myself. I don’t have couples do the jump shot often, but if anywhere was a perfect spot THIS was it!

Mabyn Ludke Photography captured a sweet moment of a couple celebrating their anniversary at Doughton Park in the mountains of NC.

One of the funniest parts of this entire session was that Andrew directed the entire thing and not in the way you might think. He didn’t tell me what to do, but whenever we took our camera’s further away you’d hear him tell Casey things like “Okay now look into my eyes, now look over there and smile, now kiss me!” He did it over and over and the best part was IT WORKED!

A beautiful woman poses in an elegant red dress and floral crown in the woods of Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

Casey brought along this gorgeous red dress that she searched tirelessly for. It was a gorgeous pop of color against the sleeping brown of the woods at Doughton Park.

A beautiful couple embraces in the woods at Doughton Park near Sparta, NC. Photography by Mabyn.

Dark moody woods + gorgeous couple + the perfect light = Mabyn’s happy place! UGH!

An intimate close up of a sweet couple kissing during their anniversary session in the Blue Ridge Parkway of North Carolina. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

Casey has the florist hook up to make her an incredible floral crown! The attention to detail was fantastic and it was the perfect accent to shoot in the woods!

The woods in Doughton Park area beautiful backdrop for this gorgeous couple during their mountain anniversary session in NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

This shot is all Daniel! Isn’t he getting good? Dang! He makes his wifey proud!

Mabyn Ludke Photography stayed till sunset as this adorable couple celebrated their anniversary at Doughton Park in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Parkway.

And of course we had to stick around for that gorgeous sunset! This time it was a vibrant orange, the perfect contrast to those blue mountains in the background. Oi…I love my life!

A black and white of a sweet couple keeping warm on a cold evening in the Blue Ridge Parkway of NC. Mabyn Ludke Photography.

This time around the wind was a little quieter than our last mountain session. However, there was just enough of it to give us a beautiful wind blown tendril or two.

Couple kisses atop a mountain cliff in the Blue Ridge Parkway during their anniversary session by Mabyn Ludke Photography

The wind also obliged to give us a couple of epic dress shots! THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE!

An epic view of the Blue Ridge Parkway during this anniversary session at Doughton Park by Mabyn Ludke Photography

I love the contrast in this shot, the dark moody mountains & the sweet emotion in Casey’s “sleep face” as she likes to call it. I like to call it GORGEOUS!

A beautiful woman watches the sunset over the appalachain mountains at Doughton Park North Carolina. Photo by Mabyn Ludke.

I of course had to get Casey up on that mountain top by herself for an epic dress shot. I love you Andrew, but you’re just not as pretty as your wife. 😉

A sweet embrace atop the Blue Ridge Parkway at Doughton Park by a couple celebrating their anniversary session with photograph by Mabyn Ludke

But we’ll add you back in anyway. 😉

The Appalachian mountains create a stunning backdrop for this couple's anniversary session with Mabyn Ludke Photography

This time I wanted to stay a little longer after the sun was gone to capitalize on that rich vibrant sky. We broke out the flashes and created some super cool night shots!

One last embrace at Doughton Park overlooking the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina during a beautiful anniversary session by Mabyn Ludke Photography.

These two were tired after our epic adventure, looking this good takes a lot of energy! Thanks Casey & Andrew for being completely amazing!

 

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A Doughton Park Anniversary Session I Blue Ridge Parkway I Casey & Andrew

The Swag Waynesville, NC wedding photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Wedding

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I am all for a big wedding with everyone you love surrounding you. It can be such a great celebration of love. But…I may be particularly biased when it comes to the super tiny weddings. When I get asked to shoot a wedding that is 50 people or less I just swoon. Daniel and I only had 30 people at our wedding and it was just so special. Every wedding that I’ve captured that has been 50 people or less has a completely different “vibe” to the day. The intimacy is something incredibly hard to achieve with more than 50 people. I’ve had a few come close, but nothing replaces that familiarity that a small wedding naturally has.

Nicki & Brad decided that they’d like that intimacy and celebrated their wedding with only immediate family. They were wed on top of a mountain at The Swag in Waynesville, NC. I’ve stated many a time before, mountains are my happy place! Those beautiful blue ridge peaks were as far as the eye could see and you couldn’t find a more glorious backdrop! As usual the North Carolina summer threatened a giant rain storm, but it never quite found us. Although I was happy to use those dark ominous clouds to enhance this gorgeous couple! That white dress on dark blue mountains and stormy gray clouds…Please don’t mind my drooling!

Nicki and Brad are two of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. They’re so real and loving, it was hard for me not to jump up and down for joy when they asked us to photograph their sweet elopement! After we left the mountain view (I tried not to cry too hard), we ventured back to The Swag and join in their festivities which included a band, story telling, and a pig roast dinner fit for kings! You’d think that Nicki & Brad had a fancy wedding coordinator with how lovely all the details were, but nope! The Swag is just that awesome!

Daniel and I both got to know Nicki, Brad, and their families that night. It was so special and we were so honored to be let into that world, even for a moment. Thank you Nicki & Brad for your trust in us, we’re so thankful to know you!

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

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Nicki & Brad’s Elopement to The Swag in Waynesville, NC

Mountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

Wedding

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When Jenna reached out to do a bridal session I was thrilled! Not only is she just so lovely inside and out but she wanted mountains! We spent a wonderful afternoon getting to know each other and her sweet sweet mother too at the Nu Wray inn and then the Mountain Air Country Club in Burnsville, NC.

I can’t speak out enough for women to get their portrait taken by themselves. There is a transformation that takes place every single time. Jenna started off unsure of herself and even me. Gradually as we moved from room to room and then eventually the mountains, Jenna went from shy and timid to letting her God given beauty shine brightly! It was incredible to photograph!

This was such a fun afternoon and the anticipation of her wedding was building and building. It’s no surprise to me that David burst into tears at the sight of his gorgeous bride walking down the isle. Jenna was a vision, the perfect bride for her perfect groom.

XOXOXO,
Mabyn

Mountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke PhotographyMountain Air Country Club Bridal Portrait Photographer Mabyn Ludke Photography

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Jenna’s Epic Mountain Air Country Club Bridal Session in Burnsville, NC