Rural Nashville TN Engagement

Karen + Derek: a Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement, Part 1

Karen and Derek knew they were destined for each other when their first date lasted 9 hours. They started off as so many get-to-know-you encounters do: at a local Starbucks. The conversation was going so well that they decided to upgrade their location to a nearby vineyard. They enjoyed wine, tours, and enough personal anecdotes that at the end of the day, they had spent close to 9 hours together.

Their only obstacle in the beginning was that Karen lived in Memphis and Derek in Nashville. They gave the long-distance thing a trial run, and that lasted about a year before Karen decided that Derek was worth the plunge. She picked up her things and moved across the state to be closer to him. It was only fitting that not too long after, Derek asked Karen to be his wife, again among grapes and good wine. Their story began in a vineyard, and a vineyard carried them to the next chapter in their lives when she happily said yes.

When I first met and spoke with Karen, she told me that engagement photos were very important to her. The life she shares with Derek and their dogs is their whole world, and documenting that life was her main concern. Their wedding will be here in Memphis, and while those photos are important too, her life is in Nashville.

Ed and I were more than happy to travel to Nashville to spend a whole day with Karen and Derek, documenting their everyday lives. They wanted more of an editorial approach to their rural Nashville Tennessee engagement shoot, with photos that would show them as they really are, so we worked together to come up with a plan that would include their favorite spots and activities. Since we spent an entire weekend in Nashville, we got TONS of photos, so this shoot will be split into 2 parts. Today’s Part 1 focuses more on Karen and Derek’s new neighborhood.

Karen and Derek made the best hosts and tour guides, and they were both eager to show us around their neighborhood and the beautiful rural areas they call home. The countryside was gorgeous, and the original Natchez Trace runs right behind their new house! Derek drove us by some of it on the way to lunch, and we had to get out and snap a few photos.

There were a couple miniature horses that kept us company as we explored.

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

Karen and Derek were naturals right away!

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

A leisurely stroll down the oldest road in America? Why not!? I love my job.

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

One of Karen and Derek’s favorite things to do is unwind and play pool at a local Franklin pub called the Bunganut Pig. Ed is an avid pool player himself, so he needed no coaxing! It was just after lunch when we got there, and the place was empty. The staff know Karen and Derek well enough that they brought them their usual drinks and were more than happy to let us shoot them playing a couple games.

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

Competition between the two is usually pretty fierce, but they cooperate well together too!

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

I absolutely ADORED this approach to a shoot. We were basically just observers (with a few interjections), while Karen and Derek did their own thing. I love these photos for that reason – it’s totally them! Plus, this whole pool/pub idea was so much fun, and we got to hang out and get to know them both a bit more!

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

Next, we headed back to their house to check on the dogs. Bailey and Riley are Karen and Derek’s pride and joy, and they can’t go long without wanting to spend some time with them. So, naturally, we had to grab a family photo:

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

They both have limitless personalities, and they like to pose for the camera! Derek said playing with them in their backyard is pretty much what they do all day. Who can resist this face?

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

We took some time for a few romantic portraits since the light was so amazing!

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement


Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

As we got closer to sunset, I wanted to get a few photos in the countryside surrounding their home. The sprawling farmland and gorgeous views were more than I could stand! Yes, they live here!

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

Did I mention how much I loved these stone walls?

Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part 2! It gets even better, if you can believe it!

Like this post and want to share? Click here to tweet it!


  • Sarah
    Posted at 07:48h, 26 September

    Such a cute and smart couple! Their story surely comes through in the photos. That countryside is stunning and only enhanced with the adorable couple in it and the sunset behind! Congratulations!

  • Karen + Derek: a Rural Nashville Tennessee Engagement, Part 2
    Posted at 09:49h, 26 September

    […] If you missed Part 1 of our Tennessee adventures, be sure to check that out here! […]

  • Karen + Derek: Joined | a Memphis Hillwood Wedding
    Posted at 10:25h, 05 February

    […] their friends and family could all be present. Ed and I got to know them quite well during our trip to Nashville for their extended engagement session. What we discovered is that they are a no-frills couple full […]