One of our best pieces of advice for planning the design of your wedding is to work with your venue, not against it–if you try to throw a rustic celebration in a ritzy ballroom, chances are, it’s not going to look quite right. With the help of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Leigh Pearce, Katie and Doug followed this advice to a tee–every detail, color, and even flower at their Adaumont Farm wedding fit their surroundings perfectly. Nothing distracted from the true purpose of the day: Katie and Doug saying their vows and becoming husband and wife. As you can read in their love story that Doug shared below (so sweet, y’all!), these two have approached their entire relationship with prayer and intentionality, and their wedding day was no different!
Thank you so much to Alisandra Photography for sharing this lovely day with us!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Doug: We met at Elon University. It was Katie’s first year at Elon, and I had just started working with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at the university. As a campus minister, dating a student was not exactly encouraged, but it was hard not to notice a special woman like Katie. I remember the first time I really “noticed” her–it was at a retreat to the beach the fall of her junior year. She had coordinated the entire weekend for the 150 students in attendance. Once everyone arrived, Katie got up front to welcome folks and set the tone for the weekend. I don’t even remember the specifics of what she shared, but it was tender and heartfelt and so sincere. I remember thinking to myself that she was a really special woman, and began to notice how attractive she is as well. The rest of that weekend, I tried to subtly end up around Katie so I could spend as much time with her as possible. Over the next year and a half, we had many more opportunities to spend time together and develop a friendship. My attraction to her and feelings for her deepened consistently through that period of waiting. It wasn’t until January of her senior year (at this point, she had finished her leadership role in the ministry) that I was finally able to share my feelings with her. Her response was one of complete shock and surprise. After a week of praying and seeking advice from older women, she decided to spend some time going on dates with me to get to know me outside of our staff and student roles. And, as they say, the rest is history.
My mom, my sister, my now mother-in-law, and I spent a day in Raleigh at two different stores. I had pinned a few dresses on Pinterest to give people an idea of what I liked. At the first place, I tried on four dresses and loved the fourth one. I decided to go with that one, but we still had another appointment. While I was unsure about going, my mom made the point that we only had one opportunity in my life to go wedding dress shopping, so we decided to go. The woman who helped us at the second store was so nice and let me pick out a dress or two that I thought I would like. Since, in my mind, I already had the dress I wanted, I picked a dress that I thought I would never wear, just for fun. Sure enough, I tried that dress on and my mom cried. I totally fell in love with it!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The song I walked down the aisle to was a mix of Trumpet Voluntary and “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. Doug liked the classical-style music more than I did, so we ended up compromising. We were googling “songs for brides to walk down the aisle to” when this mix came up, and we loved it! We had a guitar and violin play at our ceremony, and we asked them to do something along those lines. It turned out great!
During the ceremony, a huge rain cloud was slowly making its way toward us. As we finished the ceremony, the cloud was practically sitting on top of us! Doug and I were rushed out of the ceremony so we didn’t get rained on, and since the ceremony site was a bit of a walk from the reception site, people starting running to get away from the rain that came in as a torrential downpour. All Doug and I could do was laugh from the safety of our car as we watched all of our wedding guests run away. Fortunately, everyone had a great attitude about it and it got everyone’s energy up for the reception!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose our venue mainly based on location. We wanted it to be near where we lived, because that was where the bulk of the people coming to the wedding were coming from. We researched a few other places that allowed us to do the ceremony and the reception in the same place, and we were really blown away by the beauty of Adaumont Farms. Plus, the people there were so friendly!
My bouquet was a mix of peonies, garden roses, lisianthus, ranunculus, veronica, eucalyptus, and amaranthus, just to name a few! We went with a hand-tied look that felt natural but lush. The dinner tables showcased three different stories: low, lush compotes filled with florals and greens; towering urns overflowing with the same mix of florals and greens; and planted runners of greens, blooms, and over a hundred pillar candles.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had our friend Liz Marrota from Elizabeth Ann Pastry make our wedding cakes, and decided to go with three different cakes. The one we cut was pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting, which was styled as a naked cake. The other two were chocolate with buttercream filling and lemon with raspberry filling. They were all so amazing!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Doug: As I started thinking about the ideal proposal for Katie, I knew that what would mean most to her is for her friends and family to be involved. I had a conversation with Katie’s parents in mid-December to ask for their blessing (which they gladly gave!) and talk with them about my plans. I was able to arrange for Katie’s parents, her sister, and three of her best friends to all be a part of the night, along with my parents, too. The day finally arrived, and I suggested to Katie that we go out for a nice dinner. We both dressed up a bit, then as we were about to walk out the door, I told Katie that I had a little surprise for her and handed her the first clue to a scavenger hunt. The eight locations we visited were all significant places in our relationship, and then we arrived at Elon’s campus for the final three clues. It was here that I left Katie to wait for her at the final spot. But Katie wasn’t alone for long–she found her college friends waiting for her! Finally, Katie arrived to the final location, Irazu Coffee Shop. It was where we used to meet each week while she was a student leader in InterVarsity. I had the room decorated with about 60 luminaries, and was waiting for her with a single red rose. She had already cried more than a few tears that evening, but there was really no holding them back at that moment. I dropped down on one knee, told Katie how much I loved her, and asked her to marry me. She said yes! We had about 15 minutes for just the two of us to savor the moment, then I surprised Katie with our families and her friends, all joining us in Irazu. We took a bunch of pictures and Katie showed off her ring. It was such a sweet moment.
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We went with the traditional vows. We thought there was something deeply meaningful and poetic about using vows that have been used for centuries.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a silver bracelet of my grandmother’s that my mom often wears. For my something blue, I wore a sapphire ring of my mom’s, because sapphire is my birthstone. I tied lace from my mom’s and grandmother’s wedding dresses around my bouquet for my something old. And for my something new, I bought plain white canvas TOMS shoes and painted them with verses that were meaningful to me.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Because we were really fortunate to have a wedding planner, Leigh Pearce, we got to spend more time preparing for our marriage! We met with the pastor who married us multiple times for premarital counseling, and we also had a chance to read several books on marriage like The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller, The Mystery of Marriage by Mike Mason, and Intimate Allies by Allender and Longman.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were really concerned about bridesmaids and groomsmen spending a lot on the wedding, so specifically for the bridesmaids, my family and I offered to pay for a portion of the bridesmaid dresses as a gift.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our advice would be to have a talk right after you get engaged about what is important to you both during your engagement time, as well as for your wedding. Remember that you have limited time and resources. Hold each other accountable in pursuing the vision that you have for your time of engagement and your wedding, and don’t get caught up in things that are not the most important to you.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Doug and I recently began working together with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Elon University, where we met. Through InterVarsity, we mentor college students and connect them to a fun, vibrant community, where they form deep friendships and grow in their faith. While we both have different skills in our jobs, we are really looking forward to working together as a team and learning how we complement each other.
Photographer: Ali Williamson / Videographer and DJ: K2 Productions / Planning and Event Design: Leigh Pearce Weddings / Venue: Adaumont Farm / Florist: Just Priceless / Cake Baker: Elizabeth Ann Pastry / Caterer: Painted Plate / Rentals: Party Reflections, Partymakers, La Tavola / Lighting: Kenneth Eller / Ceremony Music: Rob Massengale Entertainment / DJ: Mario of DJ Complex NC / Vintage Car: Fantasy Limo / Bridal Salon: Traditions By Anna / Hair and Makeup: Carla White / Bride’s Shoes: TOMS / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Menswear: J. Crew / Invitations: Smitten on Paper / Day-of Paper: Confetti Grey / Welcome Box Cookies: Details Cake Design
Leigh Pearce Weddings is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!