Sara & Elliott | A Stonewall Farm Wedding
The weather forecast leading up to 11 April 2015 was uncertain: A week beforehand, rain seemed definite; in the middle of the week, it could have gone either way; by the evening of the rehearsal, the sky was crystal clear, and it remained so all throughout Sara & Elliott's wedding day and beyond. We had clear skies, bright sunshine, and the sweetest and happiest couple you ever did see.
Rarely have I ever had the privilege of truly being made to feel like family by a couple's wedding guests. But that's the thing about Sara and Elliott--they are both open, sweet, and loving people, and because they love big and in earnest, they collect love around them like so many warm blankets. They chose not to have toasts on the actual wedding day--instead, anyone who wished to speak did so at the rehearsal the night before; every single person who got up that night touted how much Sara and Elliott meant to them, both individually and as a couple, and how great an influence Sara and Elliott's love for each other and for everyone around them had had on their lives.
This is the kind of love that edifies and enlightens everyone around it: such a big and committed love that, as soon as you near it, you can't escape it, which is great, because why would you want to? Sara and Elliott typify this love and give it to everyone around them, and I am so honored to be able to call them friends.
They chose to commit their lives to one another at the beautiful Stonewall Farm in Youngsville--the sprawling grounds of Stonewall allowed them to create the kind of laid-back and fun celebration that they envisioned: A ceremony by the lake, a reception in the barn, and hayrides to and fro for all the guests.
Sara and her ladies got ready at Stonewall's "Big House," a beautiful fusion of mountain cabin and hunting lodge, and airy lakeside chateau. They enjoyed a lovely breakfast provided by Sara's aunt, relaxed on plush leather couches, and slipped into pretty chiffon numbers from Little Borrowed Dress before Sara debuted all her princessy bridal glory!
Elliott and the boys got ready down in the barn, against a flurrying backdrop of last-minute set-up activity. Family members hung signs and pennant banners, arranged flowers, placed centerpieces, and generally rocked at getting the reception space set up in a short period of time. Everything was beautiful, and Sara's Aunt Donna is truly a powerhouse.
Boys getting ready for a wedding can be unpredictable at the best of times--and then, as so often happens, only one gent knows how to tie a bow tie, and he ends up shouldering the responsibility for tying everyone's. (Good job, Johnny!) These boys were all very genteel, well-mannered Southern young men, and they posed for photos like champs!
Meanwhile, up at the Big House, Sara's dad visited the ladies' proceedings to catch a glimpse of his last little girl to be a bride. And, although he is a perfectly competent bow-tie-tier himself, he asked Sara to tie his for him, creating a special and intimate moment for just the two of them.
It is a widely known fact that Elliott cannot tie a bow tie; however, he is a huge fan of wearing them. (It's the obvious reason that all the gentlemen in the wedding wore bow ties!) Every morning on which Elliott wears a bow tie to school, Sara ties it for him. It's their sweet little ritual, part of their daily lives, and as such, it had to be incorporated into their wedding day. Elliott's dad led Elliott, blindfolded, around to the front door of the Big House, where Sara tied his bow tie and they shared a prayer in their last moment together before meeting at the altar to get married.
The reception decor was full of beautifully executed rustic charm, matching the farm's aesthetic perfectly. Not only that, but Sara popped a bunch of hidden Mickeys across a number of the signs--can you find them?
I of course had to take advantage of the beautiful evening light and the rolling fields, and the pristine white fence, and Sara and Elliott willingly sneaked away with me for a few minutes alone from the (super fun!) craziness of their reception. The gorgeous location pales in comparison to how happy they look to be together, and to be married.
A million congratulations to one of the sweetest, most loving couples of my acquaintance. Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your beautiful, love-filled wedding day!
Venue: Stonewall Farm
Catering: Post Office Barbecue in Hickory, NC
Cake: Party Delights
Flowers: Cleveland 40-42 Florist
And special thanks to Jeff Kolbfleisch for second-shooting! Yay, Jeff!
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