We always love a good elopement, and when it’s in the mountains of North Carolina, who can resist? Kayleigh and Bryson set out to exchange vows on top of a grassy, romantic, elevated location, and picked the exact site for their ceremony only the day before. We have to say it worked out pretty well though, especially thanks to the floral design from Philosophy Flowers and the wonderful images from Boonetown Story!
From the bride, Kayleigh: The more I began looking at wedding styles, the more I realized that I was drawn more towards soft, natural motifs, with bright colors. I always knew I wanted a lace dress, and that I did not want a strapless dress, so I was very excited to see all the beautiful dresses which featured sleeves. In a faux wedding spread I saw a bridal model wearing a gold belt instead of a silver one, and I was completely sold on the idea. I also realized early on that I did not want to wear heels for a mountain wedding. It was actually ridiculously easy to find the perfect pair of blue boots. It took me a full year of organizing my Etsy favorites to actually buy any of my accessories, but my belt (with the gold leaf pattern) and our vow books were one of my favorite buys. The dress that I did my makeup in we found, no lie or exaggeration, for 60% off just a few days before we left for North Carolina. It was so perfect! Finding Bryson’s suit was also really fun. He would tell me things like, “I don’t want to wear black” and I would say, “I agree, I see you in blue”. We had this really fun brainstorming moment, which I think could only happen because our sense of style is so similar. We were both excited to find the perfect tweed tie on Etsy, for texture. I really pushed for his shoes too–when he put them on he was like, “Okay, yes, these are it.”
When Bryson and I envisioned our wedding, all we saw were Bryson and I on top of a mountain, saying our vows. It was quiet, and personal, and meaningful. Everything else–the style of it, was just fun. I’m so happy that it turned out exactly how we planned! I think what really stands out to me about our wedding was that it was just personal. Everything we wore, every place we went, it was all hand picked and hard won. The day before the wedding we had no idea where the service would take place. It was pouring down rain, and so Bryson and I hauled on our hiking boots and our rain gear and set off to hike the mountain trails. It wasn’t until we reached the bottom of the mountain that we started laughing–the perfect spot was only about a minute from the parking lot. It was an expansive mountainscape that, until that day, had been covered in fog. We were soaking wet, muddy, cold, worried about rain and fog for the day of our wedding, but we were just laughing that we had found it. We kept hugging, and kissing, and laughing. That’s personal. We also wrote our vows the day before the wedding, and I actually wrote some of our wedding service. Pastor Ronald Ramsey is such a sweet man, and his wife is wonderful as well. It was understandably pretty hard to find an officiant that would do a secular wedding service in the Carolina Mountains, so I am so thankful to them. By the end we were all crying. Our I do’s were, “With this ring, I pledge to trust you, support you, and laugh with you forever”.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? My advice would be just to stick to your gut. Bryson and I always knew we wanted to elope, but when we got some push back from our families, we tried to make it work at home (in Florida). It was a disaster! We went through so many wedding locations, so many ideas, and all we kept thinking was, “This isn’t the mountains, this can’t even compare”. Finally we settled on a small, formal party at home before we left, and then the elopement by ourselves. It came together so fluidly and kindly once we realized what we wanted. So be honest with yourselves. Make sure your budget is smaller than the money in your savings account. Don’t buy any accessories early because your mind will change a thousand times. Be gracious when accepting money from others, but don’t expect it to happen until it’s in your hand. Utilize organizing websites like pinterest, but don’t get caught up in the rat-race. Be patient with your spouse when they don’t want to talk about wedding planning; but be real when you need them to step up and listen. And above all, take time to step away from all that and realize that the only important part of this wedding is the two of you. The day after, I promise you, you’ll feel as if relief and calmness are flooding through every pore, and when you remember all the stress you put into this wedding, you’ll feel like you finally discovered the punch-line to the longest joke ever told.
We didn’t really have any music, but the day before our wedding we were in the cabin’s kitchen, cooking our wedding dinner (we made most of it early) and I told Bryson, “I have a song that makes me think of how much I love you, and it makes me cry”. We don’t share musical taste, but he laughed and said to put it on. I told him, “It’s called ‘The Devil’s Tears’,” and he laughed again and said, “What kind of love song is that?!” But as it played we started to dance, and as it played, tears streamed down both of our faces. It was a beautiful moment. We call that our First Dance.
“Some call love a curse, some call love a thief,
But she’s my home”
Wedding Location: Ferguson, NC / Photographer: Boonetown Story / Florist and Dinner Table Design: Philosophy Flowers / Venue: Leatherwood Mountains Resort / Cabin: Viewpoint Cabin, Unique Mountain Cabins / Wedding Dress and Veil: Anjolique A251 and Modern Bridal (Orlando, FL) / Bridal Belt: SomethingIvory / Boots: Steve Madden / Engagement Ring: salonpetite / Hair: Shear Shakti / Nail Salon: City Nails / Groom’s Suit: Express and sonofsoren / Groom’s Shoes: ALDO / Vow Books: HappyDappyBits / Secular Officiant: Pastor Ronald Ramsey