Lindsay and Ridge wanted a destination wedding that was easy for their guests to travel to, and when they visited Grandfather Golf and Country Club and saw the breathtaking backdrop, they simply knew it was the place. Even more special, since they had spent time in the Grandfather Mountain area with Lindsay’s grandparents, it was not only the views that had them hooked, but also the sweet family memories they would be adding to with their wedding day. Lindsay and Ridge worked with their florist, Kelly of Philosophy Flowers, to incorporate combinations of white and green florals that complimented, but didn’t compete with, the natural beauty of the setting. I, for one, am sure glad they did because I adore how the simple color palette makes Mother Nature look all the more amazing! Guests were invited to change into flip flops, walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Anyone else have a bit of wedding guest envy?
Big hugs to Natalie Watson for sharing this dreamy day with us!
I let my bridesmaids choose their own white dresses. I know it’s not typical for anyone other than the bride to wear white to a wedding, but I wanted everything to look simple and natural (and not take away from the beautiful setting). I also wanted the dresses to reflect each girl’s individual style, and for them to be able to wear them again.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had always wanted to wear my mother’s wedding dress from her marriage to my father in 1979–it was my dream cap-sleeved vintage dress! My twin sister had made minor alterations to the dress to wear for her wedding in 2009, and I knew I wanted to continue the tradition. I had my mother’s seamstress cut out the back of the dress to update the design and to make it fit me more comfortably. I tried the dress on for the first time with my mother and my grandmother, and it brought us all to tears!
We decided not to do a first look. This was one detail of our wedding that we both felt was important to stick with tradition. Our reception site was located within walking distance of the ceremony site, so we knew we would have ample time after the ceremony for pictures together, without missing too much time at the reception.
Ridge’s cousin, a local pastor, was our officiant. We both wanted traditional vows and he made a recommendation that we thought was very reflective of our faith, vows, and love for one another.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Ridge and I knew we wanted a destination wedding that was convenient for most of our friends and family. I spent many years in the Grandfather Mountain area with my grandparents and it holds a very special place in my heart. The backdrop at Grandfather Golf and Country Club is breathtaking. There is an amazing view of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains above a lake with a sandy shoreline! We felt it was the best of both worlds: elements of the beach and the mountains in one place. The day we visited the site, we knew it would be perfect for our ceremony and reception.
Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers was amazing! I wanted to incorporate colors that complimented the natural beauty of the setting, so we chose to stick with mostly white and green combinations. She suggested a circle of white petals for us to stand on during the ceremony, as well as vibrant greenery draping the arbor. I wanted to soften the outdoor reception venue with greenery, a combination of whimsical arrangements, and ample candle light and vintage votives. Kelly’s vast botanical knowledge, combined with her creativity and artistic abilities, helped to create the most gorgeous setting!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The setting. We wanted a fun party in a relaxed and unique environment. June 6 was the perfect early summer day in the mountains and Grandfather Golf and Country Club had just completed renovations on their Beach Club Pavilion. People were able to change into flip flops to walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through a mutual friend at a big Christmas party in December 2007. The following night, we ran into each other at our favorite local pub and I re-introduced myself (in case I did not make a big enough impression the night before!). We ended up exchanging numbers and meeting up almost daily over the holiday season. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ridge loves to ski and planned a last-minute trip to Vail, Colorado for the two of us in January. On the last ski day of our trip, my legs were exhausted, so I decided I wanted to head back to the hotel a little early. Ridge asked a photographer to take our picture before I skied down the mountain. I was a little puzzled because it was snowing so hard that you couldn’t see any scenery! As we posed for the picture, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was shocked and it was perfect!
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I spent an afternoon with my mother listening to wedding songs on YouTube and we picked our favorites that would fit with the relaxed, but romantic, setting and sound good played by the cello and violin duet: “Butterfly Waltz” for the seating of mothers/grandmothers, “Ave Maria” for the musical interlude, “Canon in D” for the processional, and “Trumpet Voluntary” for the bride’s processional. Ridge and I chose to dance to “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie. I have been the biggest Lionel Richie fan for most of my life! It reminded me of the past, our goal of sticking together for so many years, and how the wait was worth it!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mother’s diamond earrings, and wore her sapphire and diamond bracelet for my something blue. My wedding dress was old and my shoes were new (they were wedges–my husband is 14″ taller than me!).
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The timeline. We got married three months to the date after picking our reception venue. I had always wanted a summer wedding and was too excited to wait another year! After seven years of dating, we were more than eager to take the next step. The limited time forced us to make big decisions very quickly!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The look on my husband’s face as I walked down the aisle. I’ve never seen him so happy!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently looking for a new house! We look forward to growing our life and family together in the city where we met (Charlotte, North Carolina).
Photographer: Natalie Watson / Venue and Caterer: Grandfather Golf and Country Club / Florist: Philosophy Flowers / Cake Baker: Ugga Mugga Bakery / Band: The Company Band / Hair Stylist: Jacquelyn Buckner of Borealis Salon / Makeup Artist: Bryn Golob of Shear Shakti Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Laura and Jonathan’s Texas wedding is absolutely lovely, as you’ll see below, but what’s most inspiring about this couple is how much they prioritized what matters most during their three-month (yes, only three!) engagement. They left most of the details in the hands of Chrissie Stuntz and Branching Out Floral and Event Design, and spent their time as an engaged couple focusing on preparing for their marriage. Laura described their celebration as “casual and comfortable and good for the soul,” and from the looks of it, that is exactly what they achieved!
Thanks so much to Stephanie Brazzle for sharing this sweet day with us!
Describe your wedding flowers. Oh gosh, to be honest, I don’t have a clue what a single flower in there was called. All I know is that they were stunning! Debby Jewesson brought my dreams to life–beautiful greens and whites in a beautifully imperfect, but still elegant, combination. I remember explaining the vision for our wedding to her as “casual and comfortable and good for the soul.” She brought that to life in the best way.
Planning for our marriage was absolutely the priority for Jon and me. We prayed for our marriage–a lot. We worked hard to make sure the actual wedding took a backseat to our relationship. We read books that older, wiser couples recommended to us. We went to professional premarital counseling and had the opportunity to talk through our communication and conflict styles, our expectations, and other difficult topics, such as budgeting and families. We really recommend it!
Our vows were a hybrid of the traditional wedding vows and vows written by a pastor at Living Hope Church in College Station, Texas. I really love every line, but I will share just a few here! From Jonathan’s, “By God’s grace, I will love you and lead us towards Christ. I will provide for you, pursue you, and keep you safe.” From mine, “I will encourage you, support you, and in all things, fight to put your needs before my own.” From both, “I will never leave you, because God commands me, and because I love you.”
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I love trees and Jonathan loves anything outside, so I immediately started looking for a giant, majestic tree to host our ceremony in front of. I didn’t realize that most of the trees that serve as wedding venues are located a bit outside the city. After a LOT of searching, we found the Cooper Hotel and Fitness Center right in the middle of Dallas. We were able to have the ceremony and the reception outdoors at Cooper, so it was the perfect choice for us.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food! Blue Bell ice cream, brisket, quesadillas, and cornbread. There is nothing like Southern cooking, and we enjoyed sharing these traditions with Jonathan’s family, who came from all over the country. Also, the fact that we had an outdoor wedding in late October was quite Southern–you can’t do that in the North!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Sitting down at dinner next to Jonathan and looking around to see everyone he loves and everyone I love together in one place, eating and laughing and enjoying the evening. These are the people who will stand by us through every hard thing, whose relationships we cherish, and in that moment, we were able to look around and remember “Every person here is a gift to us. We are thankful.” I will never forget that!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I met Jonathan in India during our intern year at International Justice Mission, an NGO that protects the poor from violent injustice. We had both just graduated from college and moved across the planet to begin this work that meant so much to us, and we were initially a bit annoyed to find a really incredible, relatable, and distracting member of the opposite sex working in the department next door. We hesitated to begin a relationship for a lot of reasons, but after several months, Jonathan asked me to dinner at the nicest restaurant he could find. We fell in love over French-pressed coffee and chicken tikka masala, while driving his scooter through the streets of a city so dear to us, and constantly learning something new about our good and gracious God.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jonathan COMPLETELY surprised me, which is impressive because I was on high alert! Back in the States, I flew home from meeting his family in Milwaukee. We had a tearful goodbye, and I had no idea that he was totally faking it and jumping on the next plane to follow me to Dallas! I was walking through the Arboretum with my best friend Kellie, when there he was, this incredible man, asking me to be his wife. I said YES!
When did y’all get married? October 25, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our timeline! We wanted a three-month engagement, so we didn’t have the luxury of shopping around. Fortunately, we had Chrissie Stuntz (the greatest wedding planner of all time) to lead the way–she knew everyone and everything, and with her connections, we were able to make bookings very quickly!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used a LOT of greenery, which was far more affordable than flowers and just as beautiful. We lined all our own envelopes and e-mailed out our save the dates. Cooper Hotel let us bring in our own alcohol, so we bought all the wine and beer at Costco. We also used Uber for our getaway car, which I highly recommend!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make a list of things that you and your fiancé really, deeply care about including in your wedding. Stick to those priorities regardless of what challenges them. Take a deep breath and LET GO of everything else. Two other random suggestions: 1. Take an AdvilPM the night before your wedding so that you actually sleep, and 2. Give a bridesmaid the specific job of looking you in the eye about every hour or so and saying something like “Stop. Look around. Remember and give thanks for this moment.” I wish I had remembered better to stop and be so grateful for the incredible people surrounding me all day, and for all they were doing for Jon and me.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jonathan and I are enjoying the cozy apartment life in our completely new city of Madison, Wisconsin (brrrrr!). We start law school (Jon) and graduate school for social work (me) in the fall. We loved living in India and are certainly open to moving back, but until then, we are learning how to be married and enjoying the American life–cheeseburgers, coffee shops, and baseball games included. :)
Photographer: Stephanie Brazzle / Planner: Chrissie Stuntz / Venue and Catering: Cooper Hotel and Conference Center / Florist: Branching Out Floral and Event Design / Cake Baker: Romano’s Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: Taylor’s Rental Equipment Co. / Band: Inside Out / Special Details: Destiny Foundation / Paper Products: Minted / Bridal Salon: Bridal Boutique of Lewisville and Olivia Caballero / Hair and Makeup: La Bichette / Bride’s Shoes: Vans / Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Groom’s Attire: J.Crew / Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew and Banana Republic