Emily & Brad have to be two of the most creative people I’ve ever met. It’s one of the many ways they’re so wonderfully suited for each other. They met back in 2014 at a rock climbing meet up group, which set the stage for their future adventures. Always active, creative and sincere, their personalities and love story really shone through their wedding decor. But before we get to the wedding, I want to celebrate how well Brad knows his bride – he proposed in their home with a handmade ring box from a red cedar tree he’d cut down in the backyard… and no ring! Instead, they decided to have custom rings designed together, with great intentionality, and both wore their custom rings before their wedding, establishing them as equal partners from the beginning of their engagement.
As further proof of how perfectly suited they are, these crazy kids decided to get rid of wedding stress the morning of the wedding with some good old fashioned exercise. Brad invited guests to join him for a 5k run/walk along the American Tobacco Trail, and Emily invited guests to join her for goat yoga at Hux Family Farm. After the morning activities, the couple made their way to The Eco Institute to start getting ready for their big day, on September 14, 2019. They spent the afternoon together, except for a few minutes when Emily went to get dressed and do her hair and makeup. A first look followed, and they spent the rest of the day hanging out before the ceremony. Talk about best friends! Brad looked dapper in his dress pants, shirt and vest, and signature mohawk, and Emily looked like she was floating in her pink top and dreamy, flowing, handmade white skirt.
With the couple tucked away, guests started arriving and were met with their first taste of how personalized this wedding would be. On one welcome table, guests were encouraged to leave their cards and gifts and sign cloth squares that Brad’s mom would later turn into a quilt. On the other welcome table, guests got to choose their wedding favor, which would also serve as their cup for the night – beautiful, unique, handmade mugs created by Brad. Guests were invited to hang out in the garden and enjoy a mug full of ginger peach mead from HoneyGirl before making their way down to the ceremony gazebo beside the water, following paper lanterns down the trail.
Finally it was time for the ceremony, and in true Brad & Emily fashion, they walked into their ceremony as partners in life, each walking at the same time from opposite sides of the gazebo to meet in the middle. They didn’t include a bridal party – their love and partnership was enough. A beautiful ceremony filled with great advice for a strong marriage followed, with the couple laughing along with way. They chose to celebrate their union with a unity drink ceremony, where they poured a strawberry beer and a creme beer into a handmade vessel to blend them, and then enjoyed a few sips of their strawberries and creme drink.
At the end of the ceremony, guests threw dried flower petal confetti, and the couple greeted all their guests in a receiving line. All that remained in the ceremony space was a hat on a chair – a hat belonging to Emily’s late father. Cocktail hour followed with more drinks in the garden, while the couple made their way around the farm, hung out with the goats, and enjoyed some alone time.
Emily & Brad decided to kick off the reception with the shoe game and thank you speech. Then came dinner, a delicious spread of gourmet pizza. Guests sat at picnic tables decorated with Brad’s handmade vases and flowers gathered from their garden and arranged by Emily, as well as rock climbing holds with flowers, to celebrate how they met. Dinner was followed by the first dance, and as the DJ opened up the dance floor, we set up their dessert table and s’mores bar by the bonfire. The rest of the night was a casual affair, a perfect fall night under the stars, a beautifully relaxing way for Brad & Emily to begin married life.
Venue: The Eco Institute at Pickards Mountain, Chapel
Wedding Coordinator: Beauty & the Budget Events
Photographer: Visual Rituals Media
Caterer: Napoli Food Truck
Officiant: Laney Margolis, Humanist Celebrant
Hair & Makeup: DIY
Transportation: Greenway Transit Services
“Stephanie was excellent to work with. From the first meeting until after the ceremony she was prompt, professional, and strove to understand exactly how *we* wanted our wedding to be so that she could ensure that all the details were just so. This was made more difficult by our wedding being mostly DIY, but she put in the work to ensure that everything was setup and coordinated perfectly.” – Brad & Emily