Photographer’s Comments: “This wedding is the most thoughtful, personal, intentional detail filled wedding I’ve ever seen. It is overwhelmingly full of DIY projects, nods to friends and family, and sweet touches.
“Kelly & Matt met as camp counselors one summer at Bethel Christian Camp. For their wedding full of meaningful and personal details, the only place that made sense was Bethel.
“The bridal party got ready in the cabins by the lake: a girls’ cabin and a boys’ cabin, and the unseasonably strange heat, gave everyone serious nostalgia and added such a sweet layer to the excitement.
“The groom’s mother styled Kelly’s hair with long gorgeous curls. A friend of the bride came in to do makeup.
“They presented gifts to their bridal party in custom wooden boxes handmade by the groom. Each girl had a different necklace and each boy had a different floral tie or bow tie, all handpicked by the bride and groom.
“Kelly wore her grandmother’s opal earrings, necklace, and ring. Over the past few years, Kelly had written notes to her future husband: prayers, thoughts, dreams, all without knowing who he would be. She handed a small pile of handwritten notes tied with ribbon to Matt the morning of their wedding, including one she wrote the night they got engaged saying, ‘I finally know who you are now!’
“Like two kids sneaking out of their cabins, Kelly and Matt met in the woods for their first look. Being in each others’ arms visibly calmed their anxieties from the business of the day. After sharing this sweet moment, the bridal party drove out to a clearing in the woods where the ceremony site was set up.
“That morning, their team of great friends hung lights in the trees with white ribbons tied to the strings as well as set up a custom installation made by the groom. The bride created all of the floral designs including bouquets for her and her girls, flower crowns for her flower girls, a corsage for her future mother-in-law, a pin for her hair, and the impressive greenery on the ceremony arbor.
“The ceremony was officiated by a friend who was the minister at a local children’s home where Kelly and Matt have both worked and volunteered. Kelly has even been a foster mom to some of the kids.
“The reception was held in the camp dining hall which had been decorated with more string lights and photos of the couple throughout their relationship.
“To keep with the intimate and personal theme, the food was potluck and provided by their friends and family. For dessert, instead of the traditional cake, there were several options with their own significance.
“To honor family members who had passed away, each option was the favorite dessert of one of their loved ones. Matt’s father passed away earlier in the year. His favorite had been apple pie, so on top of the display sat a perfect apple pie. To further honor his father’s memory, Kelly and Matt married on Matt’s parents’ wedding anniversary.
“After their first dance, Matt helped Kelly take off her shoes so she could more comfortably dance barefoot with her dad. Literally just married, and he’s already loving and serving her so well. To cool off after dancing for a while, Kelly and I sneaked through the kitchen to stand in the walk-in cooler. Every southern wedding should have one of those!
“These are only the highlights. I could go on and on about all of the wonderful things that made this wedding day so perfectly them.
“I should also note that in keeping with the theme, Kelly honored me by not only hiring me as her friend but as a fellow photographer. She has assisted me on several weddings so it was a joy to have her on the other side of the lens!”