Guys. I’m not even sure I’m mentally prepared to write this blog post, but I’m going to do my best because Kristen and Jared’s downtown Raleigh classic wedding was one for the books, and I want all of you to share in the abounding joy of their day! Early fall last year, Kristen reached out to me about her wedding, which she hoped would be in the summer of 2018. We set up a phone call and I will never forget sitting on my back porch chatting with Kristen and her mom, Lynne, like we were already friends! Kristen told me her and Jared’s story, about how they went on a mission trip years ago, and remained in touch via social media (Kristen lives here in Raleigh, and Jared lived in Washington state). In late December of 2016, Jared decided to pursue Kristen and he sent her a direct message on Instagram, saying something like “I hear Raleigh is a cool place, how do you like it?” (Or something along those lines haha!). One conversation lead to another, then they spoke on the phone for the first time for 3 hours.. and over time they realized their friendship was destined for something more! I applaud these two for working so hard and fruitfully on their relationship from across the country. Kristen had mentioned she wasn’t officially engaged, but it was in fact coming, but she knew if she wanted to plan a wedding in 8 months, she needed to jump into wedding planning mode! After hanging up, I was hoping and praying Kristen would choose Happily Ever After, not only because her and her mom were the sweetest ever, but I was genuinely excited for her and Jared and wanted to be a part of their story! Well, as you can guess, Kristen did get back with me and said she wanted to move forward with full planning! I was beyond excited and we began right away with venue selection and all the other vendors that were a part of her day. And yes, Jared did pop the question during this time 😉 I have to say my favorite part about planning with Kristen was getting to share it alongside her and her mom. Y’all, these two have a bond that is beautiful to behold. Now don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of times the mothers of the bride are a part of the planning process, but I’ve never seen a mother/daughter bond so harmonious and respectful! These two genuinely cared about each other’s opinions; all the while Lynne was always sensitive to the fact this was Kristen’s special day, but was always there for encouragement and support (which Kristen yearned to have, and it was well received!). Lynne was always so giddy about every detail alongside Kristen, and she documented everything! In fact, I know there is a photo of me on her phone tasting cake samples with them at a a coffee shop. And the love these two have for each other was so present on the day itself, not a single stressful moment between them. That’s something you guys! Aside from that, the fact that Jared and Kristen had never lived in the same state before their wedding had me all bound with excitement. I just wanted to jump up and down when I knew he was in NC for good right before the wedding, because I could only imagine how happy their hearts were to finally be together, in a physical sense. All day I was just floating with happiness, and I still get so happy when I think about this day, and this couple, vowing their lives to each other in marriage under God’s banner! And to top it off, my mama got to work with me that day, so it was even better!
Okay, I got all of the sappy stuff out of the way, not onto the beautiful images captured by Katherine Miles Jones. The first few images I want you to see are some of Kristen and Lynne getting ready together, how precious are they?
Next we have some of their super sweet bridal party! I loved that prayer was so integral to both the girls and guys; so important that they wanted to be sure time was carved out in the timeline for them to do this. I just love that.
Kristen and Jared decided to do a first look, which in their case was really smart being the ceremony was off site at St. Mary’s Chapel, and any time you can help cut down on photo time during cocktail hour, the better! I love how Katherine set this up, she had both of them back to back, then Jared turned around first, and then Kristen. Oh the anticipation and the joy! And little fact, Kristen is wearing her mama’s veil! They sent it to be cleaned and restored, and it’s just so gorgeous! And what a special heirloom.
Now let’s look at the most important part of their day, the ceremony! Kristen got the bridal entrance she had always envisioned: walking through chapel doors while beautiful organ music played. And you can see the common thread once again of the closeness she shares with her mama by the look she gives her as she makes her way to the altar! My heart can’t stand it. A pastor from their church initiated the beginning of the ceremony, then Kristen’s stepfather, Mark, closed out the the last half of the ceremony and pronounced them married! Just another special way Kristen values her family, and I absolutely love it. And just look at the joy these two permeate while recessing, knowing they are married forever!
Aside from the joining of two souls, our next favorite part about any wedding is the details! Being we did full planning with Kristen, we were a major part of her design process, and had so much fun bringing her classic wedding vision to life.
I have to share with you what this index card canvas says if you can’t read it…
“January 16, 2017 – Thoughts from Mom. Kristen was off of work for MLK Day, she called me after having a 3 hour phone call with Jared Mumley in Washington State. When I hung up the phone I thought to myself, “he is going to be her future husband”. It was the sound of her voice that made me think this. I guess mothers kinda know these things (or think they know!). However, I might prove to be wrong, but I think I am right! Too much “phone chemistry” to not go anywhere. If this does work out the Lord certainly planned it and blessed her greatly!”
I mean, come on! God is so amazing and I love the stories He writes. And the fact Lynne took the time out of her day that day to stop and write this down is amazing. I love that they will have this to look back on forever!
Any time we get a chance, we really want our couples to come into the reception space before we invite guests in so they can see the vision they have been thinking about for months in real time, untouched by guests. I love that Kristen also wanted to share this special moment with her mom as well. Then Kristen and Jared took a moment to be together on the dance floor and practice their twirls before being introduced.
After guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the main house and on the lawn, we welcomed the bridal party into the reception space for introductions and rolled right into the couple’s first dance. Then everyone shared a lovely meal which lead to some very heartfelt speeches. After the toasts, the couple cut their beautiful cake and then we kicked off the dance floor with the parent dances and then the rest of the guests began to party! In addition to cake, we had an ice cream station available, and the line was never short.. it was a hit!
After celebrating on the dance floor with their family and friends, the couple made their grand exit, walking into their new life as husband and wife!
Just look at the happiness these two share! Kristen and Jared, I can’t tell you how honored I was to be a part of this journey, from the first phone call to the hugs goodbye right before the sparkler exit, I enjoyed every moment. I know God has nothing short of good things planned for your new life together, and I can’t wait to see how He blesses your marriage!
Let’s hear it for the amazing vendor line up!
Ceremony Location: St. Mary’s Chapel
Reception Location: Merrimon Wynne House
Officiants: Derrick DeLain (Summit Church), Mark Yates (Bride’s Stepfather)
Ceremony Music: Kevin Kerstetter and Katie Miller
Cocktail Hour Music: Craig Vaughn Band
Caterer: Beau Catering
Photographer: Katherine Miles Jones Photography
Videographer: Charis Films
Florist: Brides and Bouquets
Cake: Cinda’s Cakes
Ice Cream: Two Roosters
DJ: Vox DJ
Rentals (linens, flatware, etc): Party Reflections
Specialty Rentals (lounge, book shelf, etc): Greenhouse Picker Sisters
Hair and Makeup: Pin and Blush
Transportation: Triangle Corporate Coach
PS want to see a winter wedding at Merrimon Wynne? Click here!