This bride is amazing – one look at her colorful farm wedding and that’s a no-brainer. But read her beautiful description (and equally as awesome love story) and you’ll want to be her new best friend. Because this is a bride that knows a thing or two about throwing a breathtaking wedding… and with the help of her dapper groom + awesome friends and family, she did just that. See it all captured by Ali Caudill right here.
From the Bride….Curt and I are college sweethearts. In some ways I feel like we grew up together. I was 18 when we first met. Those crazy college years were the typical fun-filled nights we’ll never remember with the friends we’ll never forget. We were finding out who we were as individuals; and there’s something sort of beautiful about us finding each other at the same time. The rest was history. We’ve been together, loving life and having an absolute blast ever since!
Our wedding was held on my family’s farm in Markham, Virginia. My Grandmother has lived there for more than 65 years and my parents, brother, and aunt all reside in separate homes on the property. Our ceremony took place in the exact same spot that my parents were married over 34 years ago, overlooking the pond in my Nana’s backyard. Our reception followed afterwards in the cornfield. So many family members and friends chipped in to help in the days leading up, and we were so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful, reliable people. This wedding truly was a full-out family affair. My dad and brother worked hard for months on the reception site, building docks, and doing anything and everything to make the whole thing possible. My mom baked more than 200 mini banana nut bread loaves for guest favors and attended dress fittings, tastings, and ran errands galore! Even my grandmother baked more than 300 rolls for the reception dinner because, well… they are legendary. Curt’s brother even cut wood slabs for our centerpieces that were straight from their family sawmill in southwest Virginia.
When starting the planning process, we knew we wanted our big day to be laid-back. I am no 4-inch heel girl and it’s pretty hard to pry Curt out of his Birkenstocks, so it was a no-brainer that we weren’t going to get fancy. I couldn’t narrow down a color palette, so I decided to run with a handful of favorites, sourcing inspiration from my beloved talavera tiles. Back in 1979 my mom’s bridal party wore different color gingham check dresses, so I put a fun spin on “tradition” by having my girls in different color dresses that were budget friendly (the most expensive being less than $50). I am obsessed with DIY, so I went wild making signs, banners, centerpieces, the flower girl’s sash, and a bow tie for our VIP guest “Donkey.” We even hand-dyed napkins. They were supposed to be blue and ombre, but after a trip through the dryer they ended up looking more like a chambray denim shirt, which low and behold my grandfather wore all the time, allowing them to serve as a tribute to him! Everything was 100 percent “us.” There was meaning in every single detail — right down to the funfetti cake.
We thought we had the weather under control. We even upheld southern tradition and buried a bottle of Bourbon at the ceremony site one month prior. Someone call myth busters, because… it was raining, storming and misting, ALL day. I can tell you that as freaked out as I was before hand, I feel much differently about it now. I certainly never bother to carry an umbrella these days. Who knows! Maybe it was fate that I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” and I had made our photo booth backdrop into a huge sunshine. Sure! There were things that were impossible because of the weather, including our ceremony hay bail seating, but other than a few little details, it did nothing but add to the vivid memories of a very special and truly unique day in our lives. Rain is romantic. We’ve learned this through epic tales like the Notebook, Great Expectations, Pride & Prejudice, Spider Man and heck even Ross and Rachel’s first kiss on Friends was in the rain. Embrace it. We did luck out at the very end and the clouds opened for a remarkable firework send off.. talk about good timing.
My advice to future brides is have no fear. If it rains, it will certainly make for many wonderful stories. Curt and I definitely had some unforgettable laughs as we got soaked. You know the saying, “Those who think only sunshine bring happiness, have never danced in the rain.” We sure did a whole lot of dancing! My hair was a wreck, my wedding dress was 3 inches soaked in mud and it was still the BEST. DAY. EVER.
Photography: Ali Caudill Photography | Event Design: Devin Pilson | Flowers: Everlasting Flowers By Dawn Confer | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: Haute Cakes Pastry Shop | Invitations: Millie Worthington | Groomsmen's Attire: Studio Suits | Bridal Salon: Soliloquy Bridal Couture | Catering & Tent Rental: Six Star Catering & Events | Reception Band: Andre Fox Band