Lindsay & Ben’s Fillauer Lake House Wedding in Cleveland, TN

“Once upon a time…” would probably be the most appropriate way to begin this story because the story that ends with Lindsay & Ben getting married at Fillauer Lake House is a lot like a fairytale.

I met Lindsay in 2010 when she booked me to photograph her April 2011 wedding. Sometime in February of 2011 Lindsay called me and I could tell she was upset as she began to tell me that they’d decided to call off the wedding. She was sure it wasn’t right and wanted to let me know as soon as possible. She also wanted to pay her balance.

Typically when someone calls me because they’ve called off, postponed, or moved their wedding date (which is rare, but happens) the first thing they ask is if they can get money back. Never has anyone followed that with “I need to pay my balance,” except for Lindsay. I remember telling her she didn’t have to pay her balance, she didn’t owe it, she’d canceled in time to not owe it. Lindsay said, “I will get married one day, when it’s right. I do want you to photograph my wedding and you have a family to support. I want to pay my balance and I want you to photograph my wedding when I do get married.” The confidence she had that the right man would come along one day was incredible, especially at a time when most people wouldn’t have any. She paid her balance.

As the end of March rolled around I was asked to be Living Art in the Youth Gallery for Palate 2 Palettea huge local charity event that benefits the Craniofacial Foundation. Oddly enough, I had the date open because it was the date that Lindsay had booked for her wedding. The theme that year was Alice in Wonderland. I was to play the part of Alice and also volunteered to cast the rest of the characters as the Living Art was a last minute addition to the gallery. Lindsay was my first thought. I didn’t want her to spend the day she was supposed to get married alone, I didn’t want her to be sad or even have a moment to think about it. She was my first call and was excited to take the part of the White Rabbit. I filled the rest of the cast with friends I knew would be uplifting and fun and we spent that day laughing and having a wonderful time.

(These are iPhone photos from that evening)


Fast forward to 2014. Lindsay and I kept in touch and checked in on each other periodically. When she called me in early 2014 she sounded different… happier, more bubbly, and I knew she’d met the one. As she proceeded to tell me about Ben I knew it wouldn’t be long before I would get to photograph her wedding, and it wasn’t long at all before she called to see what dates I had open for July.

On July 13, 2014 Lindsay married her perfect match in the barn at Fillhauer Lake House, the man she’d waited for, prayed for, and knew would come in to her life. Their story is hilarious and beautiful, she definitely made Ben work for what he wanted – and he did. When they exchanged their vows a tear slid down my cheek, a happy tear, a tear that symbolized the belief that sometimes you have to let something else go in order for something amazing to happen and that I was watching it happen at that very moment.

I’ll let the photos tell the rest of the story – but, if you look, you’ll find something in the details that I photographed which symbolizes a friendship, our friendship, and two days where Lindsay was exactly where she should have been. Let me know when you find it 🙂








And, I have no doubt,  these two will live happily ever after <3

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Melody Hood