Stephanie + Paul | May 5, 2018
There were two active duty Army offices in the same battalion stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. One from Indiana and one from New York. It took Stephanie a while to notice Paul, she was a very focused person at work and liked to keep her professional and personal lives separate. The same was not exactly true for Paul. He noticed her from day one and would even stop by her office every now and then to “talk to other people she worked with”. After a few months, Stephanie caught on and the two became friendlier and talked more often.
After running into Paul while out with some friends from work one night, the two talked all night and had their first date a week late. It didn’t take long after that to realize they were meant to be – eight months to be exact.
Paul was set to deploy so the couple took two weeks of leave prior to that to visit Stephanie’s family in Indiana and Paul’s family in New York. On the very last morning of their trip, at 4am no less, before heading to the airport, Paul asked Stephanie to do one last check for their things in the basement. Much to her surprise, she did find one more thing down in that basement and it was Paul down on one knee.
Between Paul’s nine month deployment, Stephanie’s three month deployment and three month training in Alabama, it was difficult to plan a wedding in North Carolina, to say the least. Somehow, the couple planned a beautiful May wedding that combined rustic, classic and elegance style flawlessly.
“My vision for the décor was a mix of rustic but classic and elegant,” said the bride “I wanted it to be simple because the venue itself was so beautiful that I didn’t want decorations to take away from the natural structure.”
She was right, the completely renovated barn was gorgeous. From the green lawn outside where they did their first look, to the light mint green rustic doors to the barn they stood in front of for the ceremony and exited out during the sparkler send off to the wooden beam arches draped with lights they danced beneath – everything was breathtaking.
The day started while they each got ready with their respective bridal party members. Before their first look, Stephanie put on her lace, form fitting gown while Paul put on his dress blues. Stephanie first met her father first a sweet father daughter moment and then headed to find Paul.
“I would say the first look was quite anticipated, we didn’t want to spend a lot of time after the ceremony taking pictures, so we decided to do photos beforehand,” explained Stephanie. “I really liked the intimacy of the first look; it was just us.”
After drying their tears from the intimate moment, they met back up with their bridal party to get even more pictures out of the way. The groomsmen all wore navy suits, with the exception of one who also wore his dress blues. Stephanie’s bridesmaids each wore a different gown in a similar color family. The only parameters that Stephanie gave her girls is that the dress had to be in the blush/rose gold color. With six bridesmaids from over five different states Stephanie never actually saw all the dresses together until wedding day, but you would have never known! The dresses flowed together perfectly, and the colors completely complemented the bouquet of blush and white silk flowers.
As guests arrived, they headed into a draped off section of the barn and found a seat in a dark mahogany Chiavari chair. At the front, where the couple would exchange their vows, there was a wooden arbor that was hand made by the bride’s dad.
“I printed out pictures of my ideas and mailed them to him since he does not use computers, he also doesn’t have a smart phone, so I really had no idea how it was going until the week before the wedding when he drove it down in the back of his truck,” said Stephanie. “It was better than I could have ever imagined. We still have it in our backyard and it’s something we will cherish forever.”
Stephanie’s dad walked her down the aisle and right to the arbor he built where he handed her off to her future husband. Aside from the arbor, the ceremony was full of other personal touches. For starters, the officiant was a close friend of both the bride and groom. The officiant spoke about both Stephanie and Paul individually and as a couple, which was unique to hear from a close friend’s perspective. The couple then exchanged personalized vows and shared a sweet first kiss.
Once the ceremony ended, guests walked right through the drapery which revealed the rest of the jaw dropping barn. There were round guest tables draped with white floor length linens and set with the same dark mahogany Chiavari chairs from the ceremony. Some tables had centerpieces of white wire birdcages with navy silk florals flowing out, some had wooden slabs and reused bridesmaids bouquets. Each place setting was set with a blush flat folded napkin with a sprig of rosemary tied off with lace on top. The look was simple and classic.
As guests filled the space and took their seats, the couple shared their first dance with one another and then first dances with their moms and dads. The new Mr. and Mrs. then took their seats at their sweetheart table underneath the same arbor they were married beneath and shared their first meal together as husband and wife.
Once dinner was eaten, before the party could really started the couple had to cut the cake. Because no wedding is complete without cake! The three tiered somewhat naked cake sat on top of a rose gold sequined table and was topped with matching silk white and blush florals. The oversized white dance floor was packed the rest of the night thanks to Paul’s very selective opinion on DJs.
“Paul didn’t really have an opinion about most aspects of the wedding except the entertainment because in high school and college he worked part time as a DJ, so is slightly obsessed with sound and quality of how sound is projected,” explained the bride. “He had very high expectations and standards for a DJ, so we reached out to SEVERAL different DJs and finally found one that impressed him, and they did not disappoint!”
After the dancing and partying, like any good night it all had to come to an end. But not before a sweet sparkler send off from all their family and friends.
Congratulations to the newlyweds!
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