I’ve often joked that I wasn’t much of a flower person until we did some foraging at our first team retreat. While I still am as dumb as a box of rocks when it comes to the different flower types, my appreciation for florals has certainly grown, and after seeing Emily’s stunning blooms, I think it might be moving into a full-blown love. Sarah at the White Oaks Barn took Emily’s inspiration and created bouquets full of marsala-hued dahlias, flowing greenery, and even some gold accents that ultimately became one of Emily’s favorite details of the day. I can surely see why! But, when it came to her favorite moment? She and Ben chose “the overwhelming feeling of love and support from everyone that was able to be there with us.”
Big SW hugs to Dash Photography for sharing this sweet day with us!
I wanted our florals to include LOTS of flowing greenery, plus flowers in creams, blush, and marsala. I showed our florist, Sarah Warner, lots of pictures for inspiration and she absolutely nailed it with my bouquet and my bridesmaids’ bouquets. My bouquet had marsala-hued dahlias and ranunculus, muted pink garden roses, dusty pink antique roses, cascading seeded eucalyptus, and amaranthus. She surprised me with some gold accents as well. It was big and beautiful and I could not have loved it more!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. As much as I hate to admit it, I can be quite indecisive when it comes to making certain decisions. My friends joked that I would try on one hundred dresses before actually picking one. You can imagine everyone’s surprise when I picked the first dress I tried on at the first boutique I went to! I think I tried on six dresses total that day. Everyone says to stop looking when you find one you love, so that’s exactly what I did!
Ultimately, we decided to do a first look because not only were we able to take a lot more pictures, but our reception was walking distance from the ceremony, so we wanted our wedding party to be able to enjoy the cocktail hour and reception right away. Wouldn’t want to waste any time getting the party started! Being able to see Ben before the ceremony was really nice and helped calm my nerves.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not. Instead, during out premarital counseling, Ben and I had to answer questions about each other and share our answers with our minister, Charlie. During the ceremony, Charlie surprised us by reading each of our answers to the question “What is the one thing you love the most about Emily/Ben?” It was a sweet, personal touch that meant a lot to us!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My cousin Jessica read Psalm 121, which talks about God and nature. It was perfect for our ceremony venue.
We chose the venue because of the scenery. The mountains are special to both of us and it’s also the place where I feel closest to God, so I always knew I wanted to get married outside. With the leaves all turning colors, the view was so incredible. It’s impossible to not be grateful that God put something so beautiful on the earth for us.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: How can a girl pick just one?! It is a tie between my bouquet and the lounge area on the covered porch. CRUSH event rentals created the most beautiful lounge around a big stone fireplace, providing a stylish, cozy corner for guests to sit down and have a drink while enjoying the outdoors.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The entire day is filled with so many special memories, but my favorite would have to be the overwhelming feeling of love and support from everyone that was able to be there with us. We are lucky to have people in our lives who often tell us they love us, but it is the most amazing feeling to be shown that love by seeing all of your family and friends come from near and far to be there to support you. Ben and I were obviously excited for our wedding day, but seeing everyone else genuinely happy to be there with us was the best wedding gift of all. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, my other favorite memory was getting behind the DJ booth to sing my lungs out to my all time favorite Celine Dion song! I’m a sucker for an open mic!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ben and I met at a mutual friend’s birthday party. Ben was late to the party, straight off of a flight from Vegas, and I will never forget seeing him walk through the front door. For those few seconds, it was like there was no one else in the room! He came up to me later and introduced himself. We hung out all night and, as I like to say, Ben was smitten. After a couple of months, his persistence paid off and we officially became a couple. That was 3 1/2 years ago and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ben’s family has a lake house in the Blue Ridge Mountains and it is one of my favorite places in the whole wide world to be. Not only is it beautiful, but it’s also where I started to fall in love with Ben, so it holds a special place in my heart! Ben and I hadn’t gone up there just the two of us in a while, so when he asked if I wanted to go, I couldn’t wait! In the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping he would propose that weekend, but little things here and there made me doubt that it was going to happen. We got to the lake house on Friday night and Ben told me he had made dinner reservations at a restaurant on the lake. We unpacked the car and then hopped on the boat to make it to dinner on time. On the way, I asked Ben if we could head home during the sunset so we could watch it from the boat (unbeknownst to me at the time, that was his plan all along). We finished dinner and practically ran back to the boat. The sunset was magical, and as I was taking pictures, like I always do, Ben pointed out a particularly pretty view. As soon as I turned around to snap a picture, the boat stopped…and so did my heart! I turned around and Ben was on his knee asking me to marry him! It was perfect. When we turned the corner back to the house, I saw all of our family and friends running outside to greet us. Ben had asked everyone to come to the lake to surprise me! The rest of the night was filled with so much love and joy–there were even fireworks! It was the best weekend ever!!
When did y’all get married? October 24, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was four tiers of vanilla almond and strawberry with a raspberry filling. Natalie from Cake Envy made the most delicious cake. The groom’s cake was a red velvet Georgia bulldog that looked amazing, and tasted great too!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Ben and I did premarital counseling with our wedding officiant, Rev. Charlie Marus. This really helped Ben and I understand one others’ expectations for our marriage, and it was a good way to make sure we were on the same page about things like finances, chores, and children, just to name a few!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My sister, Allison, is extremely creative and talented. She hand-painted all of the signs and decor at the wedding, including the Bible verse sign at the ceremony site, the bride and groom signs that hung on our chairs at dinner, and the “Abernathy” sign that had greenery draped over it. She did everything for free, so that was a huge help. We also ordered our wedding invitations through Minted, which was much more cost effective than hiring someone to design and address them!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take your time to make decisions that are important to you and try not to rush yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff and, if you can, hire a wedding planner!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Ben and I are looking forward to enjoying our first holiday season as husband and wife! We will be spending time with our families, taking care of our precious golden retriever, Cooper, and going on a New Year’s trip cruising the British Virgin Islands!
Photographer: Amanda Coker / Venue, Planner, Caterer, and Florist: White Oaks Barn / Wedding Cake: Natalie Roth / Rentals: CRUSH event rentals / DJ: Kyle MacDonald / Special Details: Allison Brown / Invitations: Minted / Paper Products and Koozie Design: Kristen Polsinelli / Bride’s Gown: “Style 1504” Blush by Hayley Paige / Bride’s Veil: Wedding Angels Boutique / Hair and Makeup: Molly Todd / Bride’s Shoes: “Lyndee” Sandal by Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Angelina Faccenda / Menswear: “Parker” Tuxedo in Black by Ike Behar / Photo Booth: Robot Booth