Alison and Becky’s love story: Like all good stories, ours has featured some real twists and turns along the way with just the right amount of adventure and fun mixed in to keep us interested. We met in 2010 while working at a summer camp in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Actually, we didn’t like each other initially… but that shifted by the summer’s end. After camp we endured four months of long distance dating before deciding to go full “U-haul lesbian” on the situation and move in together.
Fast forward a couple of years and I had made up my mind; I was ready to lock it down. So, early one December morning, I slipped a ring into my pocket and dragged Becky out of bed for a sunrise hike. We climbed up to one of our favorite spots: an open mountaintop with a 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As the sun began to light up the lone tree at the top of the mountain, I bent down on one knee and asked Becky to marry me. And she said yes. (And thank goodness for that, because it was pretty damn romantic and surprisingly difficult to pull off and all good stories should have good endings.)
From Alison, the bridegroom: I had a pretty straightforward vision for the wedding: I just wanted to be outside, surrounded by my favorite people. Becky’s dream was considerably more complex and involved an abundance of details (all dutifully cataloged on Pinterest). I soon realized that this meant we would be doing an awful lot of crafting in the months leading up to the wedding: from placecards to star lanterns to the cake. Towards the end, Becky hosted a handful of Saturday crafting days (which she termed “Crafturdays”) and invited friends over to help us complete the many wedding projects. The Crafturdays featured lots of designing and cutting and painting and sewing and – at least for me – drinking.
In the end, we both got what we wanted. It was a phenomenal day and definitely worth the DIY effort.
We were married on the banks of the New River on a sunny June afternoon in the North Carolina mountains. The gorgeous tent-like structure under which we stood during the ceremony, called a chuppah, was a nod to Becky’s Jewish heritage. In the Jewish tradition the chuppah represents the couple’s future home, and we built ours with the help of our parents and siblings. The wooden posts came from trees we felled at our family homes in North Carolina and Tennessee and the handmade lace cover came from Becky’s grandfather’s family.
Music was central to the day’s festivities. Fortunately, we have lots of friends who are talented musicians, so our Wedding Band was comprised entirely of people we love- they even sang us down the aisle!
The flowers were sustainably grown on a nearby farm and were arranged by family and friends the day before the ceremony. We saved jars for months… it has been nice to have some shelf space back in our lives.
After the ceremony we signed the Jewish marriage document, called a ketubah, which doubles as a work of art to be displayed in the home. Adding a modern twist to the Jewish custom, we wrote our ketubah ourselves and read it as an exchange of vows during the ceremony. We were very fortunate to have Kim Roth of Bright Room Studios create lovely designs for both our invitation suite and our ketubah.
Quite simply, the reception was awesome: it featured great food and a fantastic party. On the food front, Seed to Plate catering did an outstanding job; people are still talking about the dinner. As with our flowers, it was important to us that the food be locally sourced and sustainably grown- not to mention delicious! Seed to Plate delivered on all counts. The other central food item at the wedding – the cake- was one of the biggest projects we tackled. Becky used my great grandmother’s poundcake recipe (a true family treasure) and cleared out our freezer to make room for the cake layers weeks in advance. Additionally, she made about 5 pounds worth of lemon curd and buttercream frosting. Family members assembled everything and decorated the top with fresh flowers and local strawberries.
After stuffing our faces with wonderful food, everyone hit the dance floor. I think I probably danced for about three hours straight (which was understandable, given that I created the playlist).
The final event of the evening was a skylantern sendoff. The lanterns -like everything else- went off perfectly thanks to the careful attention of our day-of coordinator Meris and her husband Paul.
I am pleased to report that I consented (somewhat begrudgingly, I must admit) to having the festivities filmed. The talented crew at Reel Weddings created a trailer that captures the emotion and spirit of our special day. I am quite glad that my better half convinced me we needed to have everything filmed.
On our handmade save the dates we told people to, “Come for the Love. Stay for the Party.” I think we definitely delivered.
These days, we’re living the wifelife dream in an old Victorian house with a cat and a dog and four chickens. Someday soon we plan to start a small working farm.
Photos courtesy of Lillie Elliot Photography.