First off, the primary focus for this blog will be documenting this beautiful engagement session from this couple. But I couldn’t help but put a plug in for considering Red River Gorge as a wedding destination. Many of the spots mentioned in this blog equally apply to weddings as they do engagements! Keep reading for more info!
Red River Gorge is a beautiful area of Kentucky perfect for weddings, elopements, and photo sessions. Natural Bridge state park is also part of the area and should be considered too!
When I start working with couple to plan their engagement session, I get really excited! It’s an opportunity to find a location that represents something they love and an opportunity to capture photos and go on an adventure! So, when working with Nicole and Steven to plan their engagement session, I was pretty pumped. Nicole shared that two of their favorite things to do was hike and visit wineries (hello – also two of my favorite things!) I rattled off a few suggestions for hiking trails, and nothing was really hitting the spot (yet!) as this girl had big dreams of doing an epic mountain shot – ha, not something easily found in Ohio! BUT in our quest for figuring out what could work, I suggested Red River Gorge, down in Kentucky. A bit of a drive from Cincinnati, but so worth it!!
We decided that to make the trip a fun day, we’d also stop at a winery in Lexington. Talon winery is one of my favorites in Kentucky – I used to live in Lexington and it was a fun stop with beautiful open fields. Nicole and I picked the date of April 9th all the way back in the fall of 2021. We pictured warming weather, lots of green, and sunshine! Mother nature did not deliver on that front (but one thing I love about this couple and their optimism – “we’ve paid our weather dues for our engagement session, so our wedding just HAS to be beautiful” – I love that positive thinking!)
So, what happened exactly weather wise? Welp, it snowed, got sunny for a brief second, then rained, then just got really cloudy, very windy, and cold. We met at the winery in the mid-afternoon, and the wind was blowing like crazy!! Nicole and Steven did a tasting and picked out a wine to sip on and walk around with. We went outside and was immediately greeted with a blast of Kentucky wind. Poor Nicole’s beautiful hair immediately got swept all around her face and my fingers started to freeze!! BUT oh my gosh… this couple knows how to laugh! Immediate smiles and giggles and we made the best of it. We might have frozen our booties off, but we also laughed them off too!
After some fun at the winery – which has these amazing wide-open fields and vineyards, we left for Red River Gorge. They made an outfit change, which I thought was such a good choice! We chose the Angel Windows trail, as it was a short .8-mile trail with some nice gorge areas. We figured that it would be fine, but with the weather, it was pretty muddy! (Poor Nicole’s new shoes suffered a bit!) But the trail didn’t disappoint. Also – because we were now hidden among nature in the trees, the brutal wind wasn’t getting to us as much. We managed to fit in a bunch of silly laughs, piggyback rides, lifts, sits, and everything in between.
Then we got to the grand finale – the Sky Bridge trail. It has the overlook with that mountain vibe Nicole was hoping for! We spent the last few minutes of our day here as the sun began to set. Doing an engagement session here really inspired me to hope to find a Red River Gorge Wedding one day too!
All I can say – what a fantastic day in Kentucky, despite the weather! I think their wedding in October will be so much fun!!
Enjoy the photos!
Planning Red River Gorge Weddings? Check out some additional information here.
If you’re looking for a photographer for your Red River Gorge wedding or session, I’d love to chat!