You would never know it to look at Kristen and David, but these two have been through some very hard times together. What you see on their faces here is not only love and happiness, but deep and abiding commitment to each other and to the life they are resolutely building together. They have the kind of love that has been hardened like steel in the trials of life and they know as a result that they can count on each other - no matter what Life sends their way.
All the photos used here are by their wedding and engagement photographers, Brian and Kessie, of Brian and Kessie Photography. In their post about the engagement photos, I found these gems that capture the many sides of Kristen and David’s personalities perfectly;
So does this thoughtful wedding gift from Kristen to David… just in case he got cold feet.
Kristen and David wanted to have a fun, casual wedding celebration and they chose a perfect place for it - Shady Wagon Farm in New Hill, NC. It is a unique wedding venue, complete with a barn, a pond with a deck on it, a quaint old Country Store that sells all kinds of traditional Southern snacks and drinks - with the old screen door that has seen generations of people going in and out of it. Caring owners who go out of their way to make each couple and their wedding party feel welcome and special embody the charm of this venue. I can recommend it highly.
Also on hand to make sure the wedding went off exactly as Kristen and David had imagined was Lynn of Happily Ever After, a full service, skilled and knowledgeable wedding team of mother and daughter - a duo extroardinaire. (Lynn is the mom half of the team.) I have never seen Lynn or her daughter, Jessica, without smiles on their faces and they are amazingly good at what they do. They make it look easy and effortless and I can recommend them highly as well!
For the ceremony, Kristen and David wrote their own vows, included a Handfasting Ceremony and an Anniversary Box ceremony, where they wrote secret love letters to each other to be opened and read on their first anniversary. Each coming year would see new letters going into the box to be read on the subsequent anniversary and what a treasure trove of love and memories that will create in time.
It was important to Kristen and David that we reference not just what they had been through together but more importantly, how they were overcoming it all together, creating the foundation for their marriage. Although both are very quiet in their manners, that quiet comes from deep resolve and caring and we included a favorite quote of Kristen’s, from a 1993 speech by Jim Valvano. I could easily see why this resonated so deeply with her. Mr. Valvano was a man who was facing severe trials in his life and yet he was telling others how to treasure their own lives; to see Life in a new way, with a new appreciation and a resolution to make it more rich and happy.
“Firstly, there are three things that you should do each day; laugh, spend time in thought, and have your emotions moved to tears of joy and happiness. If you laugh, think and cry, that’s one heck of a day!
Secondly, think about what is most important in life. Think about where you started, where you are, and where you are going to be. So how do you go from where you are to where you are going? You must have an unquenchable enthusiasm for life, you must have a dream, and you must be willing to work for that dream.”
Kristen and David totally ran with the old-Southern-farm theme and created a fun ambience for their guests.
There were mason jar vases down the aisle, filled with casually placed flowers that reminded me of hand-picked bouquets from a beau.
The Country Store was a big hit with everyone. Love this photo of the dress on the sign.
Note the Grape Crush bottle caps on the bouquet and boutonniere.
They had even used Grape Crush bottle caps on a clever engagement photo!
The dessert table in the barn.
Simple country charm and elegance were in all the decorations.
The rustic barn with lights strung inside and out added a marvelous feel.
The guest favors were coffee packets displayed in an old suitcase, placed by a sign that read;
“We think the greatest adventures begin with your best friend and a cup of coffee.”
The barn also came into play for the Bride, Groom and Bridal Party photos...
as did the old split rail fence near the Country Store.
Kristen’s bouquet was a lovely mix of warm-toned pastel roses that were beautiful with her ivory dress.
One of the things David mentioned to me when we first met was how important to him is the poem, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost. It is a poem about choices and taking the unexpected path. The final three lines read;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Kristen and David, you have indeed chosen the road less traveled - and that truly has made all the difference for you both. It always will... for those with the courage to choose it.
“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up!”
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