Life has a funny way of throwing a few curveballs at perfect plans. But, for all of the vendors and details and orchestrated overall that is wedding planning, there is always one great and powerful truth: all you need is love. Two people. And yes, an officiant would do nicely — but to bury yourself in everything else and forget the heart of why you are even there in the first place is the greatest betrayal you could muster. Wedding days are not about schedules and the perfectly-laid, magazine-worthy ideal we manifest in our wildest material dreamwork, they are about the celebration of the truest and most profound gift that can ever be bestowed upon you.
So, when the heavens quite literally rained on Will & Hillary’s big and beautiful parade, they never missed a step.
Bride? Check. Groom? Check. Love? In absolute spades, my friends.
Love notes from the couple, Will & Hillary:
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
“Even though we can’t agree on the moment we met, we agree that it was some time during our freshman year of college. We recognized our similarities pretty quickly, and we loved to laugh at each others jokes. Since then, we’ve recognized the friendship in the early days as the foundation of our relationship. Sharing our time in college and our college friendship is something we’ll always cherish.”
Any special ways you incorporated your family into your wedding day?
Hillary: “With two ministers in the family now (Will’s aunt, Marcia, and his grandfather, Eric) it was very exciting for us to incorporate them into the big day. Having them both officiate the service was an amazing experience, bringing that much more meaning to the ceremony. Eric’s homily about covenants versus contracts rang close to home for us, and copies were widely sought after by our family and friends. Eric and Marcia also brought a familiar comfort and humor to the entire weekend, including Eric, upon Marcia prompting him to deliver the benediction in rehearsal, politely informing Marcia that his benediction was ‘really going to be more of a charge.’ Having them there talk with us about our engagement, guide us through pre-marital counseling and preside over the day was incredibly special.”
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship.
“Four years of long distance after graduating from college (one year from North Carolina to Germany and three years from North Carolina to Virginia), there was never a moment that we questioned if we were doing the right thing. Living so far apart helped us to build muscles of intentionality and valuing every moment of quality time. While the time we spent together then was precious, our time apart was also formative in terms of our communication and honesty with one another. We were thrilled when we moved together to Charlotte, and the lessons and experiences from long distance still inform the way we interact in the same space.”
What part of your wedding day was most important to you?
“We still can’t boil the day down to one moment, but it was so important to us that we got to share the day and the weekend (and have a fun party) with our friends and family. Everyone having a great time in celebrating was such an important part of the weekend for us. Now, did that mean that Will submitted a list of 70 songs marked ‘must play’ for the DJ? Oh yes (he was eventually forced to cut it to 10). Did it mean that, in our private moment after the ceremony, Hillary said ‘we gotta get back out there and start partying!’ You bet. We knew that the ceremony would be special, but we underestimated how loved we would feel celebrating with those closest to us.”
photographer: Cheyenne Schultz / venue: Morning Glory Farm / stylist, planner, and designer: Brianne McMullan Events / floral designer: Springvine Design / dress boutique: Hayden Olivia Bridal/ dress designer: TBD / cake designer: Rise Donuts / makeup artist and hair stylist: Jennifer Abercrombie Beauty / men’s formalwear: TBD / rentals: Creative Solutions / catering: Roots Catering/ entertainment: Split Second Sound / invitations: Champagne Maker / calligraphy: Kristen Henderson Calligraphy / film lab: PhotoVision