Jessica Vunk + Nathan “Nate” Manley | Apr 28, 2018
Jessica and Nate’s love story was a long time in the making! It involved several fateful meetings and chance encounters that turned into a friendship.
When Jessica was in college at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, her best friend, Sam, made an online dating account just for fun and the girls enjoyed meeting new people. Through these new friends, they met a guy name Joey who ended up becoming best friends with the girls and, down the road, introduced them to one of his friends, Bret. In 2013, Bret left North Carolina to be stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Unbeknownst to Jessica, Bret met and befriended a guy named Nate (!) who was also stationed overseas. Nate was new to the Air Force and his first duty station was in Okinawa but then moved to Goldsboro, North Carolina.
Things then came full circle – Nate met and became friends with Joey! Jessica had moved back for a new job and she messaged Joey to see if he wanted to catch up. She drove to Goldsboro and as she says, “That night, I met the man of my dreams.” Nate walked into Joey’s apartment and Jessica and Nate stayed up all night talking for hours and getting to know each other. From the start, it was easy to be together and they’ve have been together ever since!
Jessica moved across the world to join Nate in Okinawa and it was then they both knew that they didn’t want to do life without each other. Nate took Jessica to a park at the north end of Okinawa and they followed a small path to a little spot to watch the sunset. As they were taking in the view, Nate got down on one knee and asked Jessica to marry him!
Jessica and Nate had a beautiful April wedding at The Lily Pad, a spectacular venue in Whitsett, North Carolina. They instantly knew it was the perfect choice for them especially since the reception would take place in an old airplane hangar, a nod to Nate’s Air Force active duty status.
The two chose a bohemian and rustic theme for their day which was inspired by the style of décor in their own home. Their day was full of rich, vibrant colors that truly brought their theme to life. Their outdoor ceremony took place on the sprawling lawn of the venue under a wooden archway wrapped in gray drapery and the most gorgeous floral arrangements. Shades of burgundy, blush, violet and mauve flowers paired with lush greenery that created the most perfectly undone, bohemian feel.
Jessica’s gown was the epitome of boho elegance and featured delicate lace applique straps and beading for a touch of sparkle. The skirt featured a sheer overlay with more gorgeous applique detailing and the sheer back was accented by the prettiest lace pattern. Jessica completed her look with a loose, fishtail braid “updo” and a flower crown of greenery and white flowers. Her bridesmaids wore mismatched charcoal dresses paired with Converse sneakers to match!
After their picture perfect ceremony all captured by Johanna Dye Photography, Jessica and Nate joined their guests inside the fabulous reception space and the celebration really began! The clean, white paneled walls were the perfect backdrop for the rich pops of colors in the centerpieces. Oversized hanging lanterns added texture and fun while sheer linen swags drew attention to the lofty ceiling. Rustic wooden accents added to the décor and the outdoors were brought in by way of tree trunk centerpieces dressed in small candles and simple, bright flowers.
Jessica and Nate’s four-tiered cake with its rustic cake topper brought the entire look together. Everything flowed together beautifully, from the décor to the delicious food by Pepper Moon Catering. They laughed, danced and celebrated with all their favorite people and ended their dream day with a sparkler exit before taking off on their honeymoon to Orlando to visit Disney World! Nate grew up in Florida but had (somehow) never been to Disney, so it was the ideal honeymoon location for the couple who gets to enjoy tropical life every day.
Congratulations, Jessica and Nate!
Still looking for your perfect wedding venue? Learn more about The Lily Pad by clicking HERE.
Pepper Moon Catering
the Lily Pad
A Beautiful Day By Christina
Johanna Dye Photography
Triad DJ & Events
Rentals & Decor