No wedding day is exactly as a couple expects. I don’t think Stacey and Brian planned to stand in an ant hill during their first look, nor for Brian to wear a swollen eye because of an infection. They most certainly did not expect to get married in the middle of a thunderstorm. Stacey’s mother always said to “claim your bliss,” and they truly did. Nothing could get in the way of their happiness. In fact, I think the hail storm made for an even better story.
Stacey walked up to Brian on a pasture overlooking the mountains. He teared up as soon as he witnessed his bride. They exchanged vows privately, wanting to share such intimate promises alone.
Guests arrived early, chairs were set in a labyrinth, and umbrellas were stocked…just in case. The radar appeared clear, so no one thought otherwise. As the bridal party processed, a dark cloud loomed over the mountains. The slow and steady rain started to fall, and the storm rushed in. Like it was orchestrated, umbrellas popped up in unison as hail welted the shelters.
In the midst of a thunderstorm, Stacey and Brian were absolutely present. They drank in the reality and (literally) soaked up the moment. Guests huddled under umbrellas but still laughed and cried as beautiful letters and prose was read. Serendipitously, most of the readings included some allusion to rain, including the apache blessing that starts: “Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter to the other.” Those words had never felt more appropriate.
Stacey’s mother’s absence was sincerely felt by everyone in attendance. In fact, many guests believed she brought the thunderstorm to the ceremony so that her presence would be visible.
As fast as the rains came, they disappeared right before the conclusion of the ceremony. Even though everyone was drenched, no one seemed to notice. The celebration continued as the guests travelled from the country to the city to their favorite brewery. Stacey and her dad shared a dance with light-up sneakers, which kicked off a dance party that no one wanted to end. They sprinted through sparklers and watched the last one fade. They waved the fire in the humid spring air, signaling the end to a memorable evening.
Photography: MorningWild Photography
Second shooter: Bailey Batten
Venue: The Ridge + Highland Brewing
Planning: Carolina Love Events
Hair + Makeup: Lola Salon and Gallery
Catering: Black Eyed Susan
Cakes: Short Street Cakes
Florist: Blue Ridge Blooms
Band: Diverse Groove