Cardwell Manor Wedding

This venue hasn’t been open a long time… a year I think. This was my first Cardwell Manor wedding and therefore, is the first interaction I’ve had with this team. Let me tell you guys… I was impressed. This venue offers an “all inclusive” option. Which means they are doing the rentals, the coordinating, the florals, the setup, the teardown, and the DJing. They also offer a vintage car and a place for the bride & bridesmaids to sleep the night before the wedding, and the bride & groom to sleep the night of the wedding. They’ve pretty much got it all covered. But let’s take it a step further. It was raining on the day of Alanna & Aaron’s wedding. We weren’t quite to portraits yet, but the lead coordinator with Cardwell Manor walked in with 7 white umbrellas in her hands and told me and Alanna that we could use them for bridesmaid’s photos if we wanted. If venues have mass quantity of umbrellas, they are usually the black ones that are not nearly as bridal or photogenic. Then when I was taking detail photos of Alanna’s bridal details, I asked the lead coordinator (whose name is also Amanda coincidentally) if she had any extra lose florals I could use for those pictures. She got so excited and gave me 4 different types of greenery that she knew the bride liked. It was so kind and so generous and I was super grateful because it added just the thing I was looking for to compliment the bridal details. And I just thought of one more thing… they also allow any couple having a Cardwell Manor wedding to take any of their vintage furniture outside. I’ve only shot at one other place that does this (the Historic Westwood), and it is amazing. I didn’t end up doing it because the forecast was SO unpredictable with the rain, but I totally would have if it had been a pretty sunny day! All of these things played a huge factor in the experience that Cardwell Manor was able to provide for the couple, their bridal party, family, guests, and outside vendors. I truly enjoyed working with the team there and would definitely recommend it to future couples!

Tree leaves at this Cardwell Manor Wedding by Knoxville Wedding Photographer, Amanda May Photos.

I am almost speechless as I try to write this blog. How do I describe the beauty of this day when it turned out so much better than what it was suppose to? Let me explain what I mean by that. The week leading up to May 4th, the weather channel app was forecasting 90% chance of rain starting mid morning and lasting all day. Thunderstorms rolling in and out leaving nothing but heavy rain in its path. So I packed my clear umbrellas, brought extra flash batteries, and was prepared to take every single portrait either inside the house or on the porch. Knowing how GORGEOUS a Cardwell Manor wedding could be with their incredible landscaping and beautiful house as the backdrop for their photos… but what can you do? As I parked my car at the manor, my watch alerted me that a rain shower would be starting in 10 minutes. As I unloaded my stuff, I went ahead and photographed the ceremony site (that was set up outside in hopes that maybe, possibly they could have it outside). Then I went in to see Alanna and meet her bridesmaids. As this was happening I heard the rain. The not so drizzly rain, pounding against the windows. Well… here we go… just as they said I thought to myself. As I shot all of the bridal details in the window light and set Alanna up to get dressed in that same window light, the rain never let up. We entered into the time where Alanna and her dad did a first look. I did it on the porch with Cardwell Manor’s gorgeous white doors in the background and the rain got lighter and lighter. Lets pause for a second though.

I want to mention how utterly sweet Alanna’s relationship with her dad is. I was a puddled mess while I was shooting it. I could so quickly tell that Alanna truly is the apple of her daddy’s eye in every sense of the phrase. He cried, she cried, (I cried) and when he said that she would always be his baby girl, it brought me back to my own first look with my dad. I know most dads use the “baby-girl” name for their daughters, but every dad says it in their own way in their own voice. My dad used that phrase every time I saw him and had such a joyful inflection with it. His pitch would get a little higher and the words were almost like a melody rolling off his tongue. I can hear it now just thinking about it and it always brings a smile to my face. It was my favorite thing to hear him say amidst all the car stories and hustle of being a business owner.

Anyways, back to the rain thing. After the first look with dad, we rolled right into bridesmaid photos. I started on the porch and at this point it was just a light sprinkle in the air. Alanna and her girls were brave enough to step out with me to get a few with the amazing house in the background, but then we hopped right back under coverage. Just as I was putting the girls away it stopped raining. I quickly took the girls back out for some more photos around the property, got the guys, did their photos, and then it was time to call the ceremony. To do it outside or inside?? Alanna looked at the radar, was asking everyone’s opinions, but just couldn’t decide. We waited as long as we could and finally she called it to have it in the front yard outside. It was her dream and why she chose to have a Cardwell Manor wedding in the first place, and just to remind people to bring their umbrellas in case! It rained one more time for about 10 minutes right before the ceremony and then it literally did not rain the rest of the evening. What was 90% likely to happen didn’t happen. How. In. The. World???????? AND! AND! Not only did it not happen, but we actually got some GORGEOUS sunshine for the portraits of Alanna and Aaron right after the ceremony. SUNSHINE you guys. When the sky was suppose to be covered in gray storm clouds, we got sunshine. Thank you, Jesus. I’m so utterly grateful that He saw fit to clear the skies around us because this Cardwell Manor wedding was absolutely stunning.

I’m a Knoxville Wedding Photographer that loves to travel…I shoot anywhere! Click here to contact me with any questions you have about pricing or booking! If you liked what you saw above, go ahead and follow me on Facebook or Instagram to see my daily updates of the latest sessions!

Coordinator: Cardwell Manor

Florist: Cardwell Manor

DJ: Cardwell Manor

Venue: Cardwell Manor

Second Photographer: Traci Price

Catering: Buddy’s BBQ

Vintage Car: Cardwell Manor

Wedding Dress Store: Lillian Ruth

Rentals: Cardwell Manor (reception centerpieces, furniture used, etc…)

Hanky Embroidery: Stitching Aint Easy Embroidery, Virginia Lawrence

See more from Amanda May Photos:

Alanna & Aaron Engagement Pictures

Jennifer & Peyton Holston Hills Wedding

The Press Room Wedding


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Knoxville, TN wedding photographer

I'm Amanda May and I'm pretty stoked that you're here. I'm a three on the enneagram, a smiler when things get awkward, and I would love for you to get to know me more over on my about page.


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