Photo Essay: Marriaged

By Jacqueline and Sam Ashwell
First posted in May, 2006

As demanded promised, here's a bunch of photographs from our wedding day. It was a gloriously sunny afternoon, and mostly spent under trees, so a lot of 'em came out kind of dappled, but the images are good enough for the web.

The hike out to Whiteoak Sink was quite short and gentle, to accomodate our token non-hiker. There were a scary number of cars at the trailhead (sunny Saturdays bring the tourists to the Smokies in droves) but we saw remarkably few people, and none at all at the falls.

Here we are just after arriving, composing ourselves for the nuptials.

The Right Reverend Claire Ward addresses us.

We didn't really write our vows, exactly; we were too lazy to go through the editing process didn't want to be reciting from a script, so we just agreed on the basic points beforehand and delivered them off the cuff. Since then, we've been refusing to do anything for each other which wasn't specifically mentioned in the vows.

And here are a few post-ceremony photos of man and wife   husband and wife   spouse and spouse II   us:

Is the groom pulling her in close?
Or is the bride being overly aggressive?
Who can say?


Our first orchestrated portrait as a married couple. Again: aw.

And here's us hiking out. There is a ginormous steep hill to exit
the limestone sink, but none of us tumbled down into the cave among the bats.

This is the entire wedding party - we wanted the smallest ceremony possible, and this is pretty much the legal minimum for Tennessee - one witness, one minister. So we each chose someone who was a) a close friend and b) available. The scandalously not-in-black person is Susie Allen, one of Jacq's best friends since age fourteen and our witness. Flower-girl, best man, ringbearer, bridesmaid, photographer and other such roles were assigned equitably among the participants.

We did have one other guest in attendance, who we shall call Friend Bat, but he decided to terrorize the guests prior to the ceremony, sleep on a tree through the first half, and depart midway through. Cute, possibly rabid, very memorable, and conspicuously absent from the group photograph.

Afterwards, we kind of wanted to show Claire some of the high country of the Smokies, but both she and the groom were getting kind of carsick, so we headed home and went up to the very top of Webb Mountain. The view isn't as spectacular as it gets in the park proper, but it was still pretty beautiful.

The wedding was originally planned for Friday, but due to airport weather delays in the Windy City, we settled for Saturday instead. The rescheduling had the added advantage of allowing the bride to consume alcohol because she didn't have to go into work afterward (no, instead she'd worked a full eight-hour shift, from midnight to eight in the morning, the day of the ceremony - just what any good little bride would be expected to do!). Here we are contemplating the finer merits of some excellent champagne Californian imitation sparkling white wine. Claire was off cooking us some delicious satay stir-fry type thing.

The bride forces the groom to sniff the cork, and no one is sure why.

In spite of our cavalier disdain for marital traditions,
we're always eager to entertain any which involve drinking.
Here we are doing the arm-entangly thing.

Nobody has been carried over a threshold yet, either, but we figure that can wait for Skagway. In the meantime the bride will be trying her best to get in the cardio workouts, and the groom will be doing back-strengthening exercises.

Disclaimer:   This post was jointly written by the bride and groom,
and you can probably figure out which bits are his
and which are hers.