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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Grace

Arboretum Picnic Elopement Announcement

These two eloped privately but wanted to take photos together to commemorate that elopement and for their announcements. When she asked if we could set up a picnic area for the two of them, I was on board immediately. I knew The North Carolina Arboretum would be the perfect setting for a romantic picnic.

They showed up with fresh fruits, cheeses, and the sweetest bouquet of daisies. For the longest time, daisies were my favorite flowers and they are still very much at the top of the list. If you're planning a picnic photo shoot I highly recommend grabbing a bouquet of your most favorite flowers because to really added to the romantic vibes.

These two were so sweet together and you could tell they were so happy to be getting ready to share the news with the world (their immediate family and closest loved ones already knew).

There are so many beautiful places in Asheville and within all of those places are pretty corners and secret spots that I am always so excited to stumble upon, like this one tucked between a rock wall and the edge of the forest.

Another piece of advice I would give you before doing a picnic session is to choose a blanket that doesn't match your outfit, but compliments it. If she had brought a solid white blanket her dress would have blended in to it. The color and texture of the blanket they picked to sit on was perfect for what they were wearing and gave them a comfortable (and clean) place to sit without distracting from them. Spring in North Carolina can be unpredictable, and if it had rained before this session and the ground would have been wet we would have laid trash bags under the blanket to keep them dry (and the bags would have been hidden). So while planning, throw a couple of them in the basket you plan to bring to your picnic session.

Just know. I am ALWAYS happy to have champagne poppin' happen at sessions and weddings. At this point in my career I'm pretty well prepared to instruct my clients and couples on the best way to pop said champagne.

Step 1: Take all of the wrappers off

Step 2: Shake the bottle

Step 3: Know what pose you'll be ending up in and get ready to get in place the moment the bottle is popped

Step 4: Pop it *away from your photographer* and IMMEDIATELY place your thumb over the opening

Step 5: Get back into position as you shake the bottle around

I mean. Magical, right??!! The champagne popping was my favorite part of the picnic. The next best part? They brought more than one bottle so we got to use another later on the parkway.

If you do a picnic engagement session or a picnic style photoshoot make sure you wear something you can move around comfortable in since you'll be sitting for most of the session and cuddling up for a bit of it.

Tip for photographers; ring shots on the flowers they bring or on the champagne bottle, the blanket, or the basket are going to tie into their galleries so much more nicely than taking them on random things. Since daisies were an option - that's what I went with.

Then we cleaned up and headed toward some beautiful blooming trees before we headed down the road to an overlook (about a ten minute drive from The Arboretum). Remember everyone - leave no trace. That means no food, no bottle corks, no plastic. In Asheville and Western Carolina we are so blessed with beautiful places that allow photography, and I always want to encourage photographers to leave places in better shape than they are when we arrive when possible.

Nothing beats spring blooms in WNC.

Truly. Look how perfectly the white blooms complimented their entire aesthetic.

TJust know, future clients, that I will 100% encourage you to do a twirl during your engagement sessions, elopements, and weddings. You will probably feel silly. Then you will see the back of my camera and say things like, "Oh my gosh how romantic looking is this!" The answer? It is SO romantic looking.

I always encourage my couples and clients to take a moment when we are on The Blue Ridge Parkway to stop and take a moment to really soak in the views. I would love to own a home one day that I could see from a parkway overlook like these in the background. Retirement goals, for sure.

Remember those champagne popping skills? They were pros by the end of the session (and I will forever encourage couples to bring multiple bottles).

There was a time when a sunny day on the parkway was intimidating to me as a photographer, but over the years I've learned to really embrace a bright and sunny day. There's really nothing like blue skies on green mountains. I especially love this time of year when the mountains are "greening up" and you can see them getting more and more green from the bottom up in the springtime.

Forever thankful for my clients being willing to explore Asheville, the East Coast, and the world with me. Because of them I am constantly being reminded that the world is a beautiful place. Especially the part of my world my kids are lucky enough to call home here in The Blue Ridge Mountains.

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