On the day of their wedding, Kimberly and Greg meandered the same farm land without catching a glimpse of each other pre-ceremony. They were equally giddy and pleasant, eager to see each other and say their vows under blue skies. The wedding took place on a family friend’s farm in Linville, Virginia. Kimberly and Greg created a very thoughtful event that was a comforting representation of the two of them. Their day was complete with hand-touched goodies like dried flower bouquets, bow ties made by their friend Morgan, a beautiful painted watercolor tree/guestbook by their friend Marcia, a precious mini wooden bride and groom set painted by the groom and centerpieces made with tree bark collected by the bride and groom on their many hikes together. Even our post-ceremony couples photos included a hillside hike that made them both beam with joy. (Yes, the bride was happy about hiking up her wedding dress and tromping through dirt. That’s because she is awesome.) But it wasn’t just the decor that had personal meaning, they had a ceremony duet by Maggie and Jordan, who both attend their church, a ceremony led by the bride’s step father, a solo by the groom’s father, hand-churned apple cider that turned into team effort, dinner by local favorite A Bowl of Good, a cake baked by the bride’s uncle and iced on the spot and live music by local band Many Nights Ahead to keep the reception lively.
From start to finish, guests smiled and hugged and celebrated their joy. To close the evening, everyone gathered outside while the couple attempted to light a paper lantern as the wind gusts picked up. There on that hill in Linville, we all stood together under millions of stars as the groom’s father began singing “This Little Light of Mine”…and all the guests joined in. It felt very symbolic to hear this beautiful sound coming from their loved ones, surrounding them, in the complete darkness.
And of course….a few of my favorite sillies!
It’s not uncommon for me to tear up when the crowd rises to welcome the bride. It’s emotional. The moment is slowed and you can see clearer, feel the air around you and the sound of a crying baby fades into the distance. When it’s one of my best friends that happens to be in that bridal gown, clasping her Daddy’s arm…well, let’s just say I’m thankful I have a camera to hide behind…as I say a quick prayer that auto-focus is doing it’s job because everything is blurry through the tears. Crystal Folmar was my roommate when she met Brad Fink. After their first date she was long gone in la-la-Fink-land. I knew it was only a matter of time before I would stare at them from behind my camera lens and document their special day. This event couldn’t have been more perfect for the two of them. We’re talkin’ cowboy boots, a barn party, homemade food, the smell of barbecued chicken and pork filling the air, country music, Loretta-style-ruffles, green grass, blue skies, tears of joy, belly toning laughter, endless brew and lots and lots of love. Hit play on your favorite country playlist and enjoy their special day through the photos below.