Meet the Flower Mountain Team
JoAnn R. - Client Coordinator
I’m a true romantic at heart!
I have a very high view of marriage. I believe a healthy marriage is what makes a healthy family and healthy families is what makes a healthy community!
I have been married for over 17 years and we have 3 passionate children! We moved here almost 12 years ago from California and we instantly fell in love with this Mountain Life!
Our family mission is to become life-long learners! Our ultimate goal is to learn how to love God and our neighbors with everything we have.
For fun, we all enjoy watching movies, playing board games and eating!
Client raves about JoAnn:
Most little girls dream of planning their wedding day - not me. I dreaded the very thought of planning such a high-stress event (and I do event planning in my own career!). When my fiancé and I chose to elope, we met JoAnn Rup and all my wedding fears disappeared. I can vouch for how incredible JoAnn is as an event coordinator. With diligence and compassion, JoAnn is able to answer any question and accommodate any request with precision - all while maintaining a positive can-do attitude. She cheers and celebrates alongside her brides as she buttons up the final details that are guaranteed to provide a worry-free experience for her clients. She even texted me the day before my wedding to ask if I needed anything - and to check on my pre-wedding jitters! Whether you are the kind of person who worries about every little detail or the kind of person who doesn’t want to think about a single thing, JoAnn is certain to exceed your expectations on how wedding planning SHOULD feel - simple!
- Lauren & Joel Blake, July 10, 2019
Casie R. - Venue Owner, Lead Photographer & Event Coordinator
I started photographing weddings at a very young age and have now photographed more than 7,000 wedding events. The nature of being a venue owner means I have a direct hand in assisting with planning and event coordination. Over 17 years ago, I began offering wedding ceremony services in the Smoky Mountains and have successfully planned well over 6,000 destination weddings in my career. Do you see my grey hair?!
I truly am a sucker for a good love story and I get to experience so many amazing fairy tales come to life at Flower Mountain! It is a dream come true.
I’m a mom of two sons, a wife to John (love you honey!) and an avid Bulletproof Coffee enthusiast! I have also been working on a committed relationship with Jesus since age 15. Praise is the song in my heart as I go through my day. As I grow older, my desire to lead people in worship to the Lord has only become stronger. I believe we were created to commune with God and connect to our purpose in a deep way.
I became SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) certified because my heart is to see marriages succeed! No one walks down the aisle with failure in mind. I think prevention is powerful and SYMBIS is an intuitive tool that couples can utilize to better their understanding about their fiancee/spouse before problems escalate. I believe your marriage has a 100% chance of success if you follow God’s plan for marriage! Even if you have no interest in the spiritual side of things, SYMBIS is still a great way to learn as much as you can about each other.
John R. - Venue Owner & Senior Christian Officiant
Casie is the talker in our relationship so I’ll just keep this short and sweet.
I am church-ordained and have been performing wedding ceremonies in the Smoky Mountains for over 11 years. I enjoy being able to unite couples in the presence of our Lord.
I have a love of music and play multiple instruments including acoustic, electric and bass guitar.
I love my wife and kids. I have a John Deere tractor that I use to maintain Flower Mountain.
I am also SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) certified to mentor couples who are interested in learning as much about each other as possible.
Sarah R. - Lead Photographer & Event Coordinator
HEY Y’ALL! I’m the loud and obnoxious one! AKA Flower Mountain’s 2nd in command!
My humble beginnings… being my homeschooled self at 15, my summers and autumns were spent volunteering here at Flower Mountain to help setup and cleanup wedding events. After a while, Casie mentored me to help out with photographing those events. Since then, photography has become my life. Nothing brings me more joy than to act like a total fool to get kids (and adults!) to not just smile, but completely let loose in front of my camera!
My only child is a white cat I lovingly call Snow the Grumpy. I’m on fire for Jesus Christ and love to praise and worship Him! I also volunteer my time to local area churches and ministries by designing websites and social media plans for their teams!
Let’s see, what else…
I really, REALLY love a good cup of tea. Yes, I’m that freak in the South who prefers un-sweet iced tea. Other random things I enjoy in no particular order: poetry, painting, death metal, cats, yoga, Taco Tuesday … yeah that pretty much sums it up! #analogsoul
Client raves about Sarah:
I was so nervous to get my wedding photos done. As a penny pincher, I’d never had professional photos taken and we paid for a large photo package. Knowing that Sarah would be taking at least 75 photos, I prayed on the way to our wedding venue that I would like 15 photos - just 15! The moment I met Sarah, all my worries melted away. She jumped right in and quickly got to know us - which allowed her to discover what ‘look’ we wanted and how we wanted our photos to be portrayed. Sarah took my jumbled ideas and streamlined them into a perfect vision. With clarity, confidence, and determination, Sarah gracefully nailed every pose and style of photo we requested, all while adding dozens of looks and positions that hadn’t crossed our minds! She went above and beyond to make sure we felt comfortable and relaxed - she was open and honest about ways we needed to adjust to achieve more flattering photos, and her sense of humor and servant’s heart shined through as she spoke to us in a way that caused real smiles and real laughs - both of which make all the difference in the world when it comes to the perfect photo glow. While my friends have mentioned only loving 5-10 of their wedding photo package, I ended up falling in love with about 95% of the photos I received! I wish I could take Sarah with me to every future life milestone that needs to be photographed - she is the perfect photographer and anyone would be lucky to be shot through her lens!
- Lauren & Joel Blake, July 10, 2019