Real Bride Hannah and her husband Jake said their vows against the backdrop of a stunning winter wonderland in Highlands, North Carolina! Check out their amazing story below.
In true modern-day fashion, my husband and I met on Tinder (I will be honest and admit, I wouldn’t so willingly offer up that information in our first couple of years of us dating)!
Jake and I live in New York City and at the time we met, he had been here already for 5+ years while I, myself, had only been in New York for a couple of months.
I will never forget the night that we met; it was December 27, 2013, we had both just returned to the City after being home for Christmas with our families. He had made plans for us to meet for a drink at this cute and cozy little cocktail bar in the neighborhood of TriBeCa. I vividly remember climbing the stairs to the second floor (where the bar was located) and with each step, slowly taking in the moment, wondering if my life was about to change. Needless to say, it did! In more ways than I could have ever imagined!
As mentioned, I had only been in NYC for a couple of months at that point. Meeting Jake and experiencing life with him made this massive and uninviting city begin to feel so much like home for me. After only a couple of weeks, I couldn’t imagine life without him.
Fast forward three years and a couple of months: I was supposed to meet Jake at his apartment to have a drink with our friends, Sean and Sara (Jake’s best man and his wife), before a dinner one Saturday night in February. I had no idea what was going on - and was completely taken off-guard when I walked into his apartment. He was dressed in a nice suit, the lights were dimmed, soft music playing, and there were candles and roses all over the coffee table. Initially confused as to why his apartment was so romantic for having close friends over, I soon realized what was happening.
He grabbed my hand, dropped to his knee, said he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me…and then those 4 words every girl dreams of hearing… And I said Yes! (Fun Fact: The exact song that was playing when he proposed [I Get To Love You, by: Ruelle], became our first dance song, the lyrics couldn’t be more perfect for how we feel about each other.)
We popped champagne and headed to dinner – where he surprised me AGAIN and had both of our parents who had travelled into town to celebrate with us (mine from GA and his from Philadelphia). It makes me emotional to this day and I can’t begin to explain how much that gesture meant to me! Following dinner, all of our friends surprised us at the bar of the restaurant we were at with our parents. It was such a memorable night full of so much love!
I never really dreamed of a specific wedding theme or season to get married, but when we began the planning process, everything seemed to fall into place, and the details of our special day just made perfect sense for us. We were afraid that a Fall wedding would be too quick to plan, and didn’t want to extend our engagement for over a year, so we landed on a Christmas-time wedding.
I’ve always been a home body, very sentimental, and raised on traditions (especially around Christmas). With that, we booked December 9th in Highlands, NC, where my family had spent the past 20 years celebrating the holidays together. Nothing made my heart warmer than imagining all of our loved ones under one roof with Christmas cheer in their hearts, next to roaring fireplaces! The theme was essentially that. Not “Christmas” themed, but rather an intimate setting, with the sense of holidays, warmth, family, and togetherness.
It was December in the South so we expected temperatures to be in the 40s. However, in the back of my mind I was secretly hoping for a little dusting of snow for aesthetics….Well, the day before our wedding, 15” of snow dumped on the little mountain town, creating an insane travel experience for our guests and vendors. Sparing all of the details, a lot of plans changed within the 24 hours leading up to our big day…but I can’t imagine it any other way!
With that said, Saturday morning (the day of our wedding) we woke up to bright blue skies and fresh powder covering everything! It was truly a winter wonderland! Our ceremony began at 5:30PM, so just past sunset. The ceremony was tented, outdoors, and candlelit. Clear sides covered the tent to keep guests (somewhat) warm, but also created the illusion of a snow globe! It was magical. Our guests were then welcomed to cocktail hour with hot cider (and other cocktails) and a blazing fire in the huge stone fireplace to warm their bodies after being out in the cold and the snow. The reception was equally as cozy in the adjoining room with warm shades of red, greenery, and white roses as centerpieces. There was a special emphasis on the lighting: soft twinkle lights were strung through the rafters and warm candlelight glowed on everyone's faces.
Otherwise, our color scheme was very traditional. The men wore tuxes and my bridesmaids/maid of honor wore long black dresses (which I let them pick out themselves). The bridesmaids' dresses were all tied together with a cream-colored shawl worn by each that contrasted nicely with their bouquets (greenery and white roses). I really liked how our wedding party looked together.
The biggest surprise to me was the feeling I had as the band asked guests to line up to see us off with sparklers following the reception. Leading up to the wedding, I almost dreaded our wedding coming to a close, fearing I would be sad and reminiscent of everything that I had anticipated for the day. However, when the reception ended, I had an overwhelming sense of joy and feeling ‘at-peace’; my anticipation for our wedding day had all of a sudden been replaced with the most incredible memories and raw emotion that I could have never dreamt of experiencing. Jake and I have the rest of our lives to live together, and the most special day to reflect back on when it all became ‘official’…and that is a true gift!
I have always aimed to do things differently when it comes to style. Knowing I was getting married in December, I thought it was a good opportunity to wear long-sleeves; but everyone does lace! I began scouring sites, blogs, Pinterest, etc. and found the Mikaella 2105. It is the perfect amount of simple, timeless and classy. However, the tight fit, the low back, and embellished waistline created interest, and added an element of ‘fashion-forwardness’ to the overall look.
I was referred to Wedding Angels by a friend, who was also referred to by a friend, etc. Word of mouth is everything! Wedding Angels created the most special experience for me in picking out my dress! Like I said, I knew when I went in that I would be trying on the Mikaella 2105, but Catherine helped me to find styles that were similar that I may not have otherwise considered. With that being said, she knew the Mikaella was special to me and that I wanted it to work. She let the anticipation build for this dress and pulled out all the stops when it was time for me to try it on! My mom, my sister, and me were all in tears! I guess that’s how you know it’s the right dress! All of the consultants in the store were very kind and recognized that this was one of the most special days in a girl’s life. I am so thankful to have worked with Wedding Angels. What a dream experience!
Photography: Vue Photography
Videographer: Up&Up Weddings
Cake: Cakes by Sid
Floral: Floressence Flowers
Day-of Wedding Coordinator: Donna Woods