A Summer Smith Mountain Lake Wedding

June 3, 2022

This summer lake wedding at Smith Mountain Lake is full of sweet first looks, a wedding full of traditions, and a surprise exit into the sunset!


Alex & Tess’ Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center Wedding | Smith Mountain Lake Wedding Photographer

It took us so long to get back to Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia for a wedding but it was worth the wait!! In our first year of photographing weddings, James and I worked a wedding at the Smith Mountain Lake Marina and the views at the lake were so inspiring. So we were really looking forward to capturing portraits at this unique spot at Smith Mountain Lake. Alex and Tess had so many fun things in store for their wedding day including an exit I won’t soon forget!

We started out the day capturing the sweetest details including a few family heirlooms! I think my favorite bridal detail to photograph was Tess’ cross necklace that her mama gave her! It had her new initials as well as their wedding date on the charm. I love the simplicity and elegance it brought to her details as well as the meaning behind the necklace! We love working with couples who have the same beliefs and respect for marriage! And these two were very intentional with incorporating scripture and their fun personalities throughout their details!

Before the ceremony Tess also wanted to share a few sneak peeks with family while also sticking to tradition with not seeing Alex. And when I say that all the reactions she received brought the biggest smile and some tears I really mean it! With every first look moment, you could tell just how much Tess meant to her family (new & old). Her new mother & father in law had the sweetest reaction to seeing her!! It’s a first look I won’t soon forget!

Their ceremony was everything a Smith Mountain Lake wedding couple ever wants!! The views of the lake under the shade of trees, the gentle breeze on a hot summer day, the sounds of the waves crashing and boaters jamming to “Break your heart” by Taio Cruze, you know the classic Smith Mountain Lake things. But all of this didn’t distract from seeing Alex weep over his beautiful bride walking down the aisle! Their ceremony was so beautiful and we luckily missed the rain that was headed our way!!

Their exit though is probably one of my top 3 favorite exits we’ve ever photographed!! These two changed into swim suits, ran through their tunnel of guests and hundreds of bubbles, and then jumped in a tube in the lake!! Tess’ mom proceeded to pull them away hitting all the bumpy water as they rode into the sunset- literally! James was able to hop on the boat and grab some photos from there while I stayed at the point with our amazing wedding day assistant, Sami (a fellow EH Bride getting married this summer!).

If you are wanting a Smith Mountain Lake wedding I highly recommend doing a send off or exit like this!! It’s iconic and seriously so much fun!!! I cannot wait to share more Reels & TikTok video content from this day that Sami grabbed for us!! If you’re not already following me on Instagram, you’ll wanna do that to see those videos!!! I hope you enjoy reliving this Smith Mountain Lake wedding celebrating Alex and Tess!!

Here are the wedding vendors, unique details, and shops this couple invested in for their Smith Mountain Lake wedding day:

Wedding Colors: Blues, Yellows, & White Wedding Colors

Wedding Theme: Smith Mountain Lake Wedding

Hair & Makeup Artist: Kaytlyn Highberger

Ring Shop: Henebry’s Jewelers 

Invitation Suite: Ann’s Bridal Bargains

Bridal Accessories: Bryan Anthony’s Jewelry, & David’s Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Wedding Dress Shop: Newfangled Bride

Seamstress for Wedding Dress: MaryLou’s Alterations

Florist: Kroger

Ceremony Venue: Skelton 4H Center

Ceremony Musicians: Melissa Hepler

Officiant: Pastor Joshua Cunningham of Lighthouse Bible Church

Catering: Skelton 4H Center

Cake: Sam’s Club

DJ: Isaac Hepler

First Dance Song: “I am yours” by Andy Grammar

Open Dance Floor Props: Amazon

Wedding Favors: Smith Mountain Lake Postcards designed by Lisa Floyd

If you are a photographer, a wedding vendor, or a couple getting married soon and have questions about this wedding day please feel free to DM me on Instagram, I’d love to help!! 🙂 I would also love to work with another Smith Mountain Lake wedding couple in the future!! If you are getting married at the lake and need a photographer, please reach out HERE! I hope you enjoyed the recap of this Smith Mountain Lake wedding!

Until next time,


Emily Hancock Photography is based in Central Virginia. This husband and wife photography team specializes in wedding photography for couples who are classy but also like to have fun. They preserve those candid moments on one of the biggest days of your life so you can relive your day through timeless images. Please reach out HERE if you’d like to learn more about their wedding photography services. They offer wedding day coverage as well as weekend packages! While you’re here, be sure to look at other Virginia and Destination weddings featured on the blog.




A Summer Smith Mountain Lake Wedding

A Summer Smith Mountain Lake Wedding

A Summer Smith Mountain Lake Wedding

A Summer Smith Mountain Lake Wedding