Sequoyah Hills Engagement // Spencer & Heather

I'm so happy to finally share a few photos from Heather & Spencer's engagement session because gosh, I just really like them. (: Their friends describe them as the best couple to third wheel with which one, is quite a high compliment if you ask me, and two, makes me even more excited about capturing their wedding this June! 

Sequoyah Hills was the perfect location for their shoot because it was the same spot where Spencer surprised Heather & asked her to be his bride! She had honestly felt a little bummed that day because she was convinced that he was going to propose the night before - but he more than made up for it with arranging his friend to secretly be taking photos of the proposal and planning a surprise party for after they left the park! 

These two are so down to earth, kind, and easy to be with. Heather & Spencer, I can't wait until June 16th!!!

XOXO, Suzy

Gatlinburg Forest Engagement // Justin & Chelsea

I'm so excited to share some favorites from these two's engagement session because... A) They are precious together! B) Chelsea is sharing some of her daily make up tips with us at the bottom of this post! C) Chelsea is quickly becoming a dear friend to me which makes the thought of shooting her and Justin's wedding this June EXTRA happy!

Justin & Chelsea's story goes all the way back to a mission trip in high school. From crushing on each other in 1st period to dating through high school & college to now being engaged, they will have shared 6 1/2 years of absolute sweetness together before they even say I do! I'll just let them do the talking by sharing a few things they had to say when I asked them what drew them to each other. I love their story!

Justin: Chelsea would literally give the shirt off her back to help anyone. I love her because she doesn't want recognition for her good deeds. Her genuineness & love for Jesus are just a couple of the reasons I fall for Chels every single day again and again. I couldn't imagine life without her.

Chelsea: What drew me to Justin was his drive, ambition, goals, and how genuinely kind, smart, & caring he is. He loves me so well. He is the sweetest, most respectful guy you could ever meet & it's refreshing to be around someone so sincerely kind who has such a heart for Jesus & others.

We chose to do their engagement session in Gatlingburg (where they both grew up & met each other) at the Roosevelt Lodge where they will be getting married this summer! I can't wait to be up in the beautiful Smokies with them again soon!

XOXO, Suzy

P.S. During their session, it stood out to me how flawlessly Chelsea's make up was photographing, so I asked her if she would share a few tips from her daily beauty routine for us ladies! After reading them, I realized just how little I know about make up. Maybe this is where growing up with five brothers didn't serve me well. ;) Comment which one of her thirteen tips you are going to try this week!

 13 Beauty Tips from Chelsea Cudak's Daily Beauty Routine

1. Always wash and moisturize before applying makeup – it makes your makeup go on smoother, last longer, and produces less oil throughout the day.

2. Primer is key! It creates a barrier between your skin and the makeup & helps your makeup last all day. Porefessional by Benefit is worth the splurge if you have noticeable pores. It literally makes them disappear!

3. My favorite way to apply foundation is with a damp beauty blender. I don’t use concealer under my foundation, as it tends to move it around and cake up on top of it. Just let your foundation do all the work of covering up any blemishes. I LOVE Urban Decay All Nighter foundation (it’s waterproof, oil-free, mattifying, full-coverage, and longwearing – literally everything I want in a foundation). If you have drier skin, you might like something like Stila Aqua Glow better.

4. A good rule to remember: put light on what you want to stand out and dark on what you want to hide/sink in.

5. Use concealer on top of your foundation to brighten your face. Apply it to the center of your forehead starting between your eyebrows, down the bridge of your nose, right above the center of your upper lip, down your chin, and under your eyes! Don’t just apply it on your dark circles – make an upside down triangle tracing alongside your nose and working toward the outer corner of your eyes. Use a shade that is lighter than your foundation – I always use the lightest color they offer. Then, you can use your damp beauty blender to blend it by pressing lightly.

6. This next tip can get MESSY! If you already have your outfit on, cover up! I use my Coty Airspun powder in translucent full-coverage (a drug-store steal) and a tight bristled brush to set my concealer. Pick up A TON of powder and lightly press it where you put your concealer. This part looks crazy and you will have giant clumps of powder all over your face. Just let it set while you contour.

7. I don’t do anything harsh with contouring. Just use some bronzer on a fluffy brush to buff under your cheek bones, down the jaw line, on your temples (make a 3 on each side of your face), and into your hair line. I always go down the sides of the bridge of my nose to make it look smaller, but if you have a slender nose, skip this step.

8. Take a clean fluffy brush to swipe away all the excess powder that has been setting your concealer, then use the same brush all over your face to make sure there are no harsh lines and everything is blended.

9. Use more blush than you think you need – especially for pictures!

10. Eyeshadow is my favorite part! You can create so many different looks and get creative. In these pictures I used a light color all over, a matte brown in the crease, a darker brown to deepen the outer corners, an orangey-brown on the lid, with a metallic gold in the very center. Using a light-catching color in the center makes your eyes look bigger! If I want a smokier look, I use the same matte color from the crease and buff it under my lower lash line.

11. I use black liquid liner on the upper and lower lash lines. Black tends to make your eyes pop, and liquid doesn’t smudge as much as a pencil. Try to make as thin of a line as possible and only draw your line halfway on the bottom. Too much liner can make your eyes look smaller.

12. Tons of mascara! I always use at least 2 different kinds – one for volume and one for length. (Outrageous Volume from the Sephora brand is incredible.)

13. For lipstick, pick a color that you love. I tend to like nudish pinks. I line my lips a little darker than my lip color, then apply my all over color. To make your lips look bigger, put highlighter in the very center.

Meads Quarry Engagement // Preston & Blythe

These two have such a sweet story, one I'll get to share more of when they get hitched October 7th! Eek! They've had a coast to coast long distance engagement and the saying "absence makes the heart grow fonder" is so true between these two! Not only do they share a love for the Red Sox (as you'll see below) but they share such a level of comfort together that makes it easy to be around them, to sit back and watch them make each other laugh. (: Preston & Blythe, I can't wait for your special day at Tsali Notch this fall and I'm so happy you two will be reunited once again!

XOXO, Suzy

Sequoyah Hills Engagement // Karah & Andrew

I have had way too much fun editing these photos because Andrew & Karah's love is so sweet. You can see it in every image. It's just this quiet peace they both have about them when they're together. There was no rush as we enjoyed the beautiful weather at Sequoyah Hills, they were simply enjoying their time together before heading back to Nashville & Asheville. I'm sure they will be more than happy to trade long distance dating in for waking up together every morning in October!

Karah and Andrew, I am so so happy for you both and I am honored to capture your wedding day & tell your love story through photos. I can already tell - my job is going to be way easy.

XOXO, Suzy

In my experience, it seems to be the ladies that enjoy getting their photos taken the most. And I totally get it. However, when a guy is as taken with his girl as Andrew is with Karah, it almost feels like I'm not even there. He wasn't focused on me or the camera, he was totally just in tune with her joy, her smiles, & her kisses. It's so so refreshing. (:

Can I just take a second to point out all of Karah's outfits? I loved all 3 because they a. fit the setting we were shooting in, b. were diverse in color & style (she rocks a pretty white dress, teal blue velvet romper, & jeans with a rich floral top - perfect mix of looks!), and c. made her feel confident & beautiful! And it shows in the photos! They also did a great job of coordinating what they wore without being matchy-matchy. Way to go you two. (: Andrew, I'm sure you picked it ALL out.

I am so thankful we got to have our engagement session in a beautiful outdoor location because I think it's so reflective of Andrew & Karah's wedding to come in October! They will be getting married at one of my favorite places on earth, Camp Ridgecrest for Boys, in an open field surrounded by the beautiful fall leaves. Already praying that we have the same weather in October as we did during this shoot! I'm sure we will. (: