Alexa, Food Systems Community Organizer & Grayson, Filmmaker
One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: The Blue Ridge Mountains, freshly fallen leaves, a celebration of our love and our people, and lots and lots of dancing.
SOUNDTRACK FOR READING: “I’ll Be on the Water” by Akron/Family
Other Cool Stuff We Should Know About
Our wedding was truly a summation of our love for one another and for the people who constantly fill our lives with joy. We were married on top of a mountain in Bryson City, North Carolina—a little town on the Nantahala River where Grayson’s family has spent summers, holidays, and long weekends for over a decade. We still can’t begin to understand how we’ve been lucky enough to surround ourselves with the most fantastic people in the world—the kind of people who traveled across the country to be with us, who spent hours putting together bouquets and table arrangements the day before the wedding, who danced and laughed and cried with us until five in the morning.
Grayson and I met six and a half years ago when I was a freshman and he was a senior at the University of Kentucky. He proposed to me in our home in Lexington in the middle of the night (in normal Grayson fashion—it’s the only way he can trick me!). He gave me his grandmother’s engagement ring, which she gave to him a few months before she passed.
While planning our wedding, we knew we wanted people to see our personalities in the ceremony and feel like the reception was more of a party than a formal wedding reception. We also wanted our wedding to be a vacation for people, which is why we chose the Nantahala Village Resort as our venue. Our guests stayed in little cabins and the ceremony and reception were all within a five-minute walk down the mountain.
Zac, our officiant and best friend, wrote our ceremony (using many pointers from non-traditional weddings featured on APW!) and Grayson and I wrote our own vows. Our wedding party chose their own outfits and wore boutonnière or carried bouquets put together by hand by my mom, my mom’s best friends, my bridesmaids, and family. On my right hand, I wore the wedding band my paternal grandfather gave to my grandmother on their wedding day in 1954. Our dear friends, Carrie and Matt, played our song, “I’ll Be on the Water” by Akron/Family, as my dad walked me down the aisle. Our friend Katie read A History of Love by Diane Ackerman, and our friend Charlie brought the ceremony to a close on a silly note with a quote by Ogden Nash. After the ceremony, I wore my mother’s grandmother’s fur to keep warm.
Our reception was an immediate celebration—filled with toasts from the ones who know us best, delicious, locally sourced food, late night doughnuts, a bonfire, and LOTS of dancing.
Favorite Thing About the Wedding
Every moment! Celebrating our love with our people. That moment before the ceremony and that moment after.