Author: High Country Wedding Guide

Imagine a couple whose devotion to one another rivals the commitment and dedication you have to your own country. Cue entry of today’s super cool couple, Shannon and Luke who occupations are, wait for it, an Emergency Medicine Physician for the US Navy (her), and  a Marine Special Operations (him). Talk about a serious power couple. Now there are plenty of fish in the sea, but these water warriors found their one and only in each other. The couple aimed for the High Country for their September nuptials, as it was their sweet escape when were both stationed at Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina (five hours away from Boone), during their first year of dating. Being a benevolent and adventurous couple, like you think they would be knowing their jobs, they surprised their bridal party with welcome boxes that encouraged exploring all the beauty to be had in the Blue Ridge. Cured beef sticks, apples, popcorn, Lara Bars, Tylenol, water, and fudge … everything you need to soak up a a view or relax under a waterfall. Let’s take a look at what Shannon has to say about the whole shebang … and as a special treat, we included a few snaps from their rehearsal dinner, all courtesy of Brian Schindler.

High Country Wedding Guide: How and when did you two cuties meet?

Shannon: I had recently returned from a deployment and went out with one of my good girlfriends to a wine bar. There one of our old friends, Luke, showed up and garnered the attention of the whole crowd. Luke and I immediately began to verbally spar. Luke thought it was odd when I followed “the guys” to the beer house next door instead of staying at the wine bar. We rode together to an after-party where he forewarned me that it would seem like he was taking me to a remote field. After that night, we didn’t speak again for a couple months until the girlfriend who introduced us stole Luke’s phone and texted me from it. I insisted on seeing a picture of Luke shirtless, but never did get that photo as the friends around Luke refused to send it because of his hairy chest. Fortunately, when we met again, it was love at first hairy chest.

HCWG: Thankfully it turned into a marriage! You guys must have had an interesting courtship … and proposal, yes?

Shannon: We dated for three years before we were engaged. Luke proposed on my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. I had come home late from working a shift at the ER on Thanksgiving Day and was in a hurry to get ready to go to a friends for dinner. Luke, already being dressed and armed with a dozen roses, was ready for me. He had to physically sit me down to get me to pay attention long enough to tell me he had another accessory for me to wear to dinner. I had no idea what he was talking about until he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

HCWG: We always knew food was the way to a woman’s heart. How did you guys decide on the High Country to host your wedding?

Shannon: My grandparents are from the area and my mother owns a home where we would vacation with our two fur babies. Luke also grew up in the rolling hills of Upstate New York. We had been planning to hold the wedding in the Catskills to facilitate Luke’s father to be able to attend. Unfortunately, Luke’s father—who loved the mountains—passed away before the wedding planning began. But, no longer being constrained to Upstate New York, we were free to look in the North Carolina High Country. Being that the High Country was one of our favorite slices of earth, away from the busy world and with familial significance to me, it was the obvious choice. It simplified the planning, reflected the likes of both Luke and me, and was a fitting tribute to our family members who are no longer with us.

                

And here’s a little peek into their cutie-pa-tootie rehearsal dinner :

VENUE Sky Retreat

PHOTOGRAPHER Brian Schindler

PLANNER Events by Elizabeth Ashley

FLORIST Millefleurs

CATERING Reid’s Cafe & Catering Co.

CAKE Ugga Mugga Bakery (wedding cake); Hallmark Cakes (groom’s cake)

LINENS BBJ Linens (“Siler Nova,” “Mercury Sequins); party tables

STATIONARY, SIGNAGE Snow in July Designs

CALLIGRAPHY Hello Margaux

BRIDE’S GOWN Jenny Packham

BEAUTY Clynda Down (hair); Sharla Bance Makeup Artistry (makeup)

MUSIC Deans’ Duet (ceremony); Party Patrol (reception)

RENTALS Classic Event Rental

FIREWORKS JECO Pyrotechnics

REHEARSAL DINNER The Cardinal Boone

 

Two things working in Jordan Fuller’s favor … one, he nails a job right after graduation. Two, the eventual love of his life happens to be the daughter of his boss’s best friend. Are the stars aligning? We think so. Jordan met Landis Elam at a Wells Fargo Golf party and needless to say, he hit a hole in one with this blonde beauty. A few dates later, the couple took their first trip together with family and friends. Landis, smitten with Jordan from the get-go, couldn’t contain those three very special little words … “I love you,” and uttered them just one month in. Girls making the first move? Heck yaasssss. After a tropical proposal of epic proportions, Landis and Jordan knew that the mountains, not the beach, was the way to go.The pair secured Linville Ridge Country Club for their nuptials and incorporated tributes to their loved ones that will make you melt. Hear more from this Charlotte, North Carolina, couple below and feel free to grab a tissue. Lots of happy tears ahead.

Asheville Wedding Guide: Tell us where it all started.

Landis: We met during the Wells Fargo golf tournament in May of 2014. Jordan had just graduated college and landed his first job and he was entertaining clients all week at his boss’s house. His boss just happened to be one of my dad’s best friends. I was just there for the party. My dad’s friends introduced us. We went on a date a week later and have been inseparable since.

AWG: Looks like it. Now tell us, how did your man pop the question?

Landis: I was on what was supposed to be a girl’s trip with my stepmom and sisters in St. Maarten until my dad decided to tag along on. We were lying on the beach and a huge storm was coming but there was no urgency to leave. I was so confused! It was the hottest day we had there so I was not into getting fancy and instead, just put my hair in a ponytail. My sisters came in offering to fix my hair and makeup, and I was just thinking to myself, “What in the world is going on?” They made up some story about how we needed to take some family pictures before my dad left and I just went with it because we did need actually need some updated family pictures. A few minutes after we were posing for these pictures, Jordan walks out from the other side of the house and gets down on one knee. I was in complete shock. He was so nervous and just utters, “Will you marry me?” And of course, I said yes!

AWG: After an unimaginable proposal, where did you all head from there?

Landis: We both wanted the wedding to be personal. We tried to keep it small enough to where everyone could enjoy each other. We both come from big families so it was important to incorporate everyone. My mom passed away in 2014 and since her passing, I knew I wanted her to still be a part of our day. I wanted to have big, beautiful blooms during the ceremony in memory of her. Before my mom passed away she wrote me a letter for my sisters to give to me on my wedding day. It is the most cherished element of our wedding. I also really wanted her memory to be present at the reception so I did a huge table of photographs just of her. I had a lot of fun doing that.

VENUE, CATERING Linville Ridge Country Club

IMAGES Kristin Byrum Photography

PLANNER The bride

FLORALS Callista Designs

CAKE Hallmark Cakes

STATIONARY, SIGNAGE Red Stone Press (invitations); The Adorned Fox (signage)

CALLIGRAPHY Proper Prints

RENTALS Chair & Equipment Rentals (linens, stage, tent)

BRIDE’S ATTIRE Hayley Paige (gown); Teal House Collection (jewelry)

BRIDESMAIDS’ ATTIRE Alfred Sung

BEAUTY Be Pretty

GROOM’S SUIT JoS. A. Bank

MUSIC Summit Strings (ceremony); Martha Bartz (soloist); EastCoast Entertainment (reception)

LIVE PAINTER Lindsay Barnes Fine Art  

This couple, Brit and Chris, for sure have a bright future ahead of them. And we will let you  in on why we think so. If you haven’t already read about this gorgeous pair in the 2019 edition well then you need to know their special day at Grandfather Golf & Country Club started out like anyone other (mimosas, hair + makeup, giggles, anticipation, Brit’s amazing cheetah print sneakers!). However, as soon as ceremony began, the sky opened up and pelted all with heavy drops of rain (spy the raindrops in some of the images below). But, what’s missing are people looking miserable. Seriously. Brit and Chris have HUGE smiles on their faces and you can tell how much of a “roll with it” attitude they have and how they know that a little rain couldn’t dampen their day. Extra bonus? You do know that rain on your wedding day is crazy good luck. Oh AND … as they recessed back down the aisle as “Here Comes the Sun” was playing, a double rainbow appeared. Now, is that fate or what? Scroll on to see all the stunning shots by Anne Rhett from this Linville, North Carolina day!

 

The time has come to share with you all our editorial cover photo shoot at Westglow Resort & Spa. Now, we know you have seen images in the new guide (whoop!) but here, you will see some behind-the-scenes action and get to know some of the amazing vendors involved in making this a success. And to let you all in on a secret, it poured the ENTIRE DAY. Actually an editor’s worst nightmare but you know what? It turned out better than I imagined and I am not just saying that to sugarcoat things. I adored how the misty conditions added a bit of magic to the background and how the rain and hilarity of it all brought real, genuine interaction between our models, Perry and McKenzie. It was one heck of a day and Nicole with Boonetown Story along with all of the other boss babes involved, were serious troopers. Get ready for all the pretty!

Venue: Westglow Resort & Spa

Images: Boonetown Story

Planning: The Whole Shebang Events

Design: The Laurel Collective

Florals: Golden Thistle Design

Cake: Stick Boy Bread Co.

Gown: Ladies of Lineage

Jewelry: The Stone Jewelers

Beauty: Shear Shakti

Stationery: Champagne Maker with Kristen Henderson Calligraphy

Rentals: Ceramics by Lina LaV + Curiosity

 

 

May we begin with … Happy New Year, darlings! We are so excited about what 2019 will bring and what 2018 brought (ummm, our new HCWG edition!). If you haven’t already gotten your hands on a copy then do not fear, they are being distributed as we speak and you will have your chance to peruse the glossy pages all you want. Oh, and another thing to note. We have updated the edition with a fancy matte cover. It is so chic, so smooth, and just soooo cool. Wait until you see.

OK, so starting this new year with another cutie of an engagement session on our beloved BRP. Erika El Photography sent me this gallery a few weeks back and as soon as I opened it, I knew it was a keeper. Bride-to-be Kaitlin’s smile is so infectious and I couldn’t get enough of these two smitten kittens. Their love for each other is so evident and plain and simple, it makes you happy just to witness it. Now, a bit from the star couple.

High Country Wedding Guide: Let’s hear about your beginning.

Kaitlin: Seth and I are both from Salisbury, North Carolina, and have known each other since we were 12. We both ended up at Appalachian State for college and continued our friendship. One night we were out at dinner and I just looked at Seth across the table. I realized the cute little blue-eyed, curly-headed goofball I’d had a crush on for all those years had grown into a cute, blue-eyed, curly-headed man (still a goofball). We have always had something special between us and sitting there I decided it was time to see where that might lead. Here we are 5 years later, about to begin a new chapter in our story.

HCWG: It was meant to be! Can you tell us some about the proposal?

Kaitlin: I had come home from work on a random Wednesday evening to find that Seth had cleaned my apartment and had a picnic dinner ready to go. We had planned to head to the parkway that night to catch the meteor shower, but the picnic was a surprise. I thought it was a little odd because it was January and the parkway was covered in snow, but I can’t say no to homemade mac & cheese! I got dressed in my comfy clothes, complete with my old sweatshirt and my not so attractive Ugg boots. We headed to Parkway and made a stop at Price Lake to enjoy the snow. Seth insisted we walk down by the water. Just as I was ready to turn and head back up to the car, Seth started acting a little funny. I looked at him to find he was headed down to his knee with a ring in hand. After I finally found the words to say yes, I just remember standing there with my tears freezing on my checks and just thinking “Oh, my gosh!” Then I fussed at Seth for letting me wear that outfit!

HCWG: Hey! No matter what anyway says, Ugg boots will always rule. Any details nailed down for the Big Day?

Kaitlin: Our wedding will be in June at Fussell Farm, in Millers Creek, North Carolina. Overall, our biggest goal is to be surrounded by love and make the day feel like it reflects who we are.

HCWG: Woo! Sounds like it will be a good time. Now, cheerwine?

Kaitlin: Seth and I have had lots of picnic dates on the Parkway, so I thought a picnic would be the perfect activity for our session. I found the picnic basket on King Street at my favorite antique store. The Cheerwine was Seth’s request and represents our hometown of Salisbury, North Carolina, where Cheerwine was created. It turns out our photographer, Erika, had never tried Cheerwine before so we were excited to share with her. The rest of the picnic was just food we thought wouldn’t be too embarrassing to eat in front of the camera!

 

 

Get ready for some giggles, as this wedding at The Barn on New River Southfork was nothing short of fun! (Really.) If you can’t tell by some of the duo’s facial expressions or their tussle with Erin’s veil (ha!) then you’ll be able to note right off the bat from their questions below. Their nuptials were timeless, beautiful, and perfectly unique. We love how every aspect of Erin and Tanner’s Big Day was truly theirs. There were gorgeous table numbers handmade by the bride’s mother from pieces of scrapbook paper, a ceremony officiated by the couple’s best friendvows that were written together by the bride and groom, fellow comedians, and donuts galore. Flowers by Golden Thistle Design provided a gorgeous atmosphere for family and friends to relax, laugh, and enjoy the night in the new venue and make the most of a truly magical time. Now, let’s get the scoop from Erin. Enjoy these lovely snaps by the folks at Three Region Photography.

High Country Wedding Guide: How did you meet your new hubby? We heard through the grapevine it had something to do with your chosen profession?

Erin: We were both living in New York City pursuing a career in comedy while working at a restaurant when we met, seven years ago. One day, we were working a lunch shift together and I was going to an open house the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater (a comedy school and theater here in NYC) was hosting and thought it would be fun if we went together. We’ve been together ever since. We both perform at that theater now, too.

HCWG: Being comedians I bet your proposal was a hoot. Spill.


Erin: I went for a run and I came home and Tanner started to ask me all these questions that I had to say yes to (“Are you going to shower?” “Do you want to eat dinner tonight?” “Do you like pictures of puppies and kitties?”). I asked him, “What are you doing?” and he said, “Warming you up to say yes” and then he asked me in our kitchen. It was very us and very funny. I laughed so hard and smiled so much my face hurt. We were engaged a little less than a year before we got married.

HCWG:  Any funny moments from the wedding that you look back on at laugh at?

Erin: On the Big Day I was doing great. I was feeling really relaxed, very at peace, with maybe some waves of nerves, but overall so happy. Well, it all hit me as I was standing between my Mom and Dad getting ready to go down the aisle and as the barn doors started started to open ever so slightly, I started to ugly cry – we are talking like uncontrollable sobbing. My Mom tried cracking jokes and my Dad kept telling me to be strong but I couldn’t stop. Then I started to freak out because I knew everyone was waiting for me on the other side of the doors so I just started to curse and my mom was shushing me and then Abby our planner said “No, say it!” I dropped the F bomb a few more times and got my stuff together. I have the mouth of a sailor (gotta work on that). I walked out all smiles! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the servers who were standing there patiently holding the doors closed while I cried like a maniac. The things vendors see working weddings!

HCWG: Welp, we can’t blame you. Weddings can be so emotional. Lastly, if you could give your wedding a “theme” what would it be?

Erin: Funny elegance. Hannah and her team at Golden Thistle was the florist and made it look so elegant and then we filled up the venue with lots of laughter. Our best friend married us who is also a comedian and Tanner and I wrote our own vows together. Between the three of us the ceremony was filled with a lot of jokes and laughter but it still felt grounded and very special. It felt so special – it was my favorite part of the day.

 

Images by Three Region Photography

Planner/Coordinator – 13 Cedar Events 
Venue – The Barn on New River 
Caterer – Roots Catering 
Floral Design – Golden Thistle 
Vintage Rentals – Evermore Event Co 
Linens – Elegant and Classy Events 
Videography – Caravan 
Dessert – Ugga Mugga Bakery 
Donut Favors – Local Lion 
Musicians – The Moon and You 
DJ – Chandler Brewer 
Transport – High Country Tours 
Officiant – Jessica Morgan

Harry and Meghan have nothing on Emily and Kenneth. This wedding was romantic and chic from beginning to end. From the black bridesmaids dresses to the bride’s stunningly subtle gown, to the freakin’ amazing popcorn bar (Oh-em- gee), every detail has us hooked for sure. Brackish bow ties gave a pop of the couple’s personalities to the nuptials, all while keeping the quintessential traditional vibes. The simplicity in this celebration was notable and in fantastic way, leaving the real stars of the show to stand out; the bride and groom, of course. This lovely day was filled with tender embraces, friends, family, and the couple’s precious pooch! We’ll let Emily reveal more.

High Country Wedding Guide: Alright. So, spill on the proposal details.

Emily: Kenneth and I decided to run a half marathon together. As part of our training, we reserved every Friday for our “long run.” Training can be exhausting and monotonous, so each Friday, we tried to pick a new location to run. On this particular Friday, we chose the Old Village in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Kenneth was adamant we start by running on Pitt Street Bridge (my favorite place in Charleston). Although I wanted to end our run on the Bridge, he persisted, and I gave in. About 200 meters in, Kenneth stopped and asked to take a picture of Dolly and me with the incredible Charleston sunset in the background. As only a female would, I declined, and said I’d take his picture instead—after all, I was in running clothes! Little did I know I set him up for the most epic proposal.

As I held up my phone to snap the picture, Kenneth got down on one knee next to Dolly. I assumed he was getting down to be next to her, and snapped the picture. But as I looked closer at the photo, I realized he was holding a ring in his hand. I looked up, and sure enough, I had just captured the beginning of his proposal to me. It’s a moment, and a photo, I will always cherish.

HCWG: Presh! Describe what you were envisioning for the Big Day. Was there a color palette or theme in mind? 

Emily: There were two things that were important to me on my wedding day. The first was that we enjoyed the process, and the second was that we would look back at our photos in 50 years and not regret a single decision. The only way to achieve both was to keep our wedding as simple and as classic as we could. I knew that if I had too many details, it would become overwhelming—and honestly, no one would remember them. I wanted to keep my focus on the things people would remember: venue, food, and music. As far as the bridesmaids dresses…well, can you get any more classic than black? I wanted my sisters, nieces, and best friend to feel great, without breaking the bank. Everyone chose their own dress – even the groomsmen wore their black suit of choice, which most already had hanging in their closet. The florals just added the right touch of romanticism to our overall décor. Fuschia Moss went beyond my wildest dreams and created the most gorgeous arrangements using just greenery and a few florals. I think the use of greenery was more stunning than even a full floral arrangement could offer.

HCWG: Emily, tell us all about the gown shopping experience. How did you know it was “the one?”

Emily: I had actually dreaded the dress shopping experience because I had no clue what I wanted! All I knew was that I wanted simple and classic—but was that lace? Was it strapless? Was it satin or fitted? I had my bridesmaids, maid of honor, mother, and mother-in-law spend a day in Charleston with me, trying on dozens of dresses at three locations. At the second spot, I thought I had actually found a dress that was it—I even considered cancelling my third appointment, but then decided I had nothing to lose. Exhausted, we went to our last appointment of the day at Verita Bridal. The owner, Jessica Kiss, had opened up her own boutique earlier that year after working in the industry her entire career. Jessica knew what she was doing—she closed the store to focus just on us. She chose a dress that was so simple that it was probably often overlooked on the rack. But when I put it on, everyone gasped. When I looked in the mirror, a wave of emotions hit me and I immediately began to cry. The first thing I said was, “This is the dress Kenneth will love.” And that was it for me. I wanted a dress that I felt beautiful in, but that my husband would find me to beautiful in too.

HCWG: That sweet pup!  Did she have a role in the wedding and your relationship?

Emily: Our wedding day wouldn’t have been complete without our sweet Dolly (named after the great Dolly Parton). In fact, I had already made arrangements to get Dolly before I met Kenneth. Just three months into our relationship, she was ready to be picked up, and Kenneth and I went together, and chose her name together. She’s been the single most important person in our life together. She was there when we began dating, she was there when we got engaged, so it was only fitting she was there for our wedding. She walked down the aisle, and truthfully, stole more of the spotlight than the bride!

 

Venue: Twickenham House

Bride’s Gown: Verita Bridal

Florals: Fuschia Moss

Bow ties and feather bouts: Brackish

Band: Patt McNabb Band

Catering: Earthworks

Photography: Candi Leonard Photography

You guys . . . get ready for some Friday goodness. This wedding, captured by the talented Dani Nicole Photography is a prime example of a Big Day done right, from beginning to end. It’s a May wedding, yes, but it has us feeling all of those fall feels with the saturated colors, that golden sunset, and the donuts (because you eat a lot of those in the fall, duh). Sarah and Matt are a dream of a couple, if it wasn’t evident from sweet smooches and tender embraces, but wait until you hear more from the bride about the details galore. So much meaning and significance in this wedding and so many unique and personal touches that have us hashtagging #sohighcountry. And if you ask us our absolute fave moment of this whole shebang, it has to be that darling kiss between Sarah and Matt immediately following their ceremony, just the two of them, tucked away. See if you can spot it among the lovely images below. Now, enough from us. Let’s hear from the newbie Mrs.

High Country Wedding Guide: Alright, kiddos. How did you meet?

Sarah: Matt and I met the summer before our sophomore year in college. I saw him sitting at a table on the first floor of Gardner, a dorm on campus and instantly knew I had to go over and talk to him. We hit it off and four months later he traveled to Spain for a semester abroad. We skyped, he sent me postcards and letters, and seven years later, here we are today.

HCWG. We love how you made the first move. And what about the proposal?

Sarah: Matt proposed to me at Beacon Heights on the Blue Ridge Parkway at sunset. I had planned a weekend to the mountains with my mom and sister to go shopping, hiking, and to hit up some wineries. Little did I know that they were in on the plan! When the three of us ladies hiked up to the top of the trail, Matt came up behind me, totally unannounced, and got down on one knee. I will never forget that moment because I was completely shocked. He had a photographer and champagne and my mom and sister were there to celebrate, too. After that, he and I went back to a cabin in the woods he had rented and he cooked dinner and we celebrated the beginning of the rest of our lives together.

HCWG: A man that can cook? We like Matt already. You had a spring wedding but we notice deeper, moodier color tones.

Sarah: The only vision I had for my wedding was for it to be relaxed, nice, casual, and include colors that coordinated but not match. I didn’t want to do the cliché spring pastels but wanted to incorporate bright colors in some way for May. We did the charcoal bridesmaid dresses and I had the mauve ribbon around my dress. I chose champagne colored ties for the guys to keep it neutral but not boring and we did bright white flowers to bring it all together. I also added Panda Anemones, which are the white flowers with charcoal centers, to change it up a little bit and break up some of the white.

HCWG: Nice. Now, let’s hear about these patterned socks the dudes are donning.

Sarah: Matt got each of his groomsmen socks to wear on our wedding day with some sort of inside joke he had with each of them. A few years back, Matt and I went to Divine Llama Vineyards outside of Winston Salem. It is a winery that has Llamas walking around while you stroll and sip your vino. That was one of our most fun days together where we laughed from sunrise to sunset so he found some Llama socks to wear to honor one of the best days.

HCWG: Matt’s a thoughtful man. We want to hear about details. The donuts and the neat signage.

Sarah: We had donuts as our dessert and even cut into a donut instead of cake! For the longest time, the closest Krispy Kreme to Boone was in Hickory. On my way from Charlotte back to App State, I would stop at the Krispy Kreme and pick up donuts to bring back to Matt. Anyone who knows him, knows how much he loves KK Donuts with a side of chocolate milk. Neither of us are cake fans so we decided to do the donuts. “The Art of Marriage” sign I actually found  in a store one day and wanted to incorporate it somehow. We set it up so that was the first thing we saw when we walked into our reception venue. We have it hanging in our home today. The words are such a sweet reminder that “it’s not about marrying the right person, but being the right partner.”

HCWG: And we’ve never heard anything truer. Last question, what was your first dance to?

Sarah: Our first dance was to “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. It was perfect and the words are the best reminder to just give each other love, lots and lots of love!

         

Reception Venue - Blowing Rock Country Club
Ceremony Site - St. Mary of The Hills Episcopal Church
Dress - Ladies of Lineage
Bride's Shoes - Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaid Dresses - Sorella Vita 
Groomsmen Jackets - Ole Mason Jar
Band - EastCoast Entertainment
Flowers - Park Place Florist
Hair + Makeup - Studio M Salon
Donuts - Krispy Kreme
Rings - David's LTD Jewelers
Invitation Suite - Shine
Rentals - Boone Party Rentals

 

 

Needless to say but we adore couples who are head-over-heels for one another. And Abby & Jake, these two sweethearts below, are definitely one of those couples where it is clearly apparent they are in L-O-V-E. The genuine smiles, the tender embraces, and how you can tell how at ease they are with one another . . . this is relationship gold, people. We can’t forget to mention our favorite part about this entire shoot, of course. The Chaco sandals, duh. Two thumbs way up to couples who aren’t afraid of a little adventure, who are true to themselves, and who go all in. Now, a little more from these smitten kittens. And shout out to Flightless Bird Photography for these breathtaking images.

High Country Wedding Guide: Alright lovebirds, tell us how you met.

Abby: We first met in 2009 at our high school’s soccer camp. I was in 8th grade preparing to start high school in the upcoming fall, and Jake was a 9th grader on the men’s soccer team. On the last day of camp, we talked for the very first time. A few months later, we realized we were in the same biology class when our teacher paired us up for a stem cell research project. We exchanged phone numbers, and haven’t stopped talking since.

HCWG: Wow! So you guys have know each other a long time. We are betting the proposal must have been good.

Abby: We were on a vacation with my family in Jackson, Wyoming, when Jake proposed. My entire life I had dreamed of visiting The Chapel of the Transfiguration in Grand Teton National Park. So, on July 5th of 2016, Jake and my family took me there. We were expecting the chapel to be crowded with people during visiting hours, but we got incredibly lucky and were all alone. When posing for a picture in front of the church’s panoramic window, my little brother suddenly stepped out of the way as Jake got down on one knee. Having my family there with us was so incredibly special, and they even managed to take a few spur of the moment pictures through all of the tears.

HCWG: Aw, all the feels. Now, for those images where you dipped your feet in the creek. Was it super cold?

Abby: Yes! The creek was exceptionally cold, but it was a creek that we have explored before, so we knew what we were getting ourselves into. The only difference was that these photos were taken in the fall as opposed to the summer, which is when we normally creek walk. We thought it would be fun to take photos in a place we have visited throughout the entire duration of our relationship. 

HCWG: We definitely agree. Any funny moments you’d like to share from this engagement session?

Abby: In one of the images from the creek you can see me flinch from the aftermath of Jake licking my nose in an attempt to make me smile. This is especially funny looking back now because one of my bridesmaids did the exact same thing during my wedding party photos! 

HCWG: You’ll have to share those photos with us one day. Last question, we want to hear about wardrobe choice, including the shoes.

Abby: The Chacos were a selection specifically for our photos in the creek. As soon as we finished our photos in the water, we changed into boots that were much warmer and more suitable for the chilly weather. As for our other casual attire, we wanted to make sure our engagement photos reminded us of our relationship on a daily basis. Looking back, we are actually very glad that our Chacos made a cameo. They were a perfect choice, as we spent about 3/4 of our time in Boone wearing them! 

After celebrating their one month anniversary sleeping in a hammock, roughing it on top of Grandfather Mountain, Jordan knew that Meghan was one in a million. Grandfather Mountain thus became a cornerstone in their courtship, and the backdrop of a most epic proposal (there’s a drone and a school bus of kids involved, people!). Three years almost to the exact day of their anniversary, Jordan schemed his way through work schedules and weather fiascos in order to recreate the couple’s first hike together atop their favorite spot in the High Country. “We had talked about getting married several times over the previous months and on the day of the proposal she even joked to not forget the ring, something she had said many times before,” says Jordan. After making it to the top, surviving the hike (and a swinging bridge with numerous ladders and ropes), Jordan got to capturing the “Big Ask” by setting his drone on a flight pattern that encircled the couple. For a closer look at his beloved’s reaction, a phone was strategically placed and set to record—nice move, Jordan—as he popped the monumental question. After a moment of disbelief, and a hearty thump on the chest, Meghan happily replied “Yes!” And how’s this for serendipitous timing? Once the two mountaineers made their way down the rock, a very large group of college kids met them at the bottom and explained that their bus was fifteen minutes late to the site, ensuring that the couple got their  “picture perfect” proposal, sans the rowdy coeds. Fate, I tell ya.  After such an incredible ask, it was time to create a wedding at the Linville Ridge Country Club that was just as fantastic and thrilling. Evoking whimsical garden party vibes, Meghan crafted a night of fun that included scenic mountain views, florals galore in, majestic maids in purple, and dancing the night away under an array of twinkly lights. Raise your glasses to these two cuties and to Megan Sheppard Photography for capturing the nuptials from beginning to end.

Venue, catering: Linville Ridge Country Club

Images: Megan Sheppard Photography

Florals: Millefleurs

Stationery: The bride’s sister

Cake: Ugga Mugga Bakery

Bride’s attire: LaceBridal (Etsy)

Jewelry: The Stone Jewelers

Bridesmaid attire: Weddingdec (Etsy)

Beauty: Shear Shakti (hair); Shauna Godwin (makeup)

Men’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Music: DJ Dave Blanks 

Officiant: High Country Ministers