We first met Baylee & James in the mountains for their engagement session last fall, so spending an evening at the Crest Center Asheville for their wedding this fall was perfection. The colors were starting to turn and there was a definite chill in the air. Ask any of us who spent time outside taking wedding party and family photos. Though the weather was cold, the people were warm and Baylee & James were surrounded by love.
There was a lot of personality at this wedding! Most of Baylee’s bridesmaids went to Florida State with her, and since I grew up in Florida, I know firsthand that FSU students know how to party. Meanwhile, James had about as different of a college experience as you can get. He graduated from the United States Coast Guard Academy and is now stationed in Elizabeth City. They’ve done their fair share of long distance over the years, but the North Carolina coast is perfect for now, as Baylee works on her doctorate in Audiology not too far away at ECU.
The awesome vendor team:
Ceremony Venue: Warren Wilson Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue: Crest Center & Pavilion
Planner: Ashlyn Burke Events
Officiant: Laura Collins, Living Rituals
Florist: The Bloom Room
Caterer: The Pavilion
Cake: Short Street Cakes
DJ: Sound Extreme
Video: Market Street Studios, Dillon Mangum
Hair & Makeup: Ana Rie
Bride’s Dress: Allure Romance from The Bridal Room
Invites: Julie Hanan Design
Jenga Blocks Guestbook: MidnightConfetti
Garter: CreativeGarters (Etsy)
Favors: Home brewed by the father of the bride
And then us, obvi
The AirBNB that Baylee and her bridesmaids got ready in was gorgeous; nestled in the mountains with plenty of natural light. The garnet colors in her details complemented the ladies watching the FSU game perfectly. (Sorry for your loss!!! Clemson is tough.) And how amazing is Baylee’s garter? James is a Coast Guard aviator, if you don’t follow.
That lady up there in the bride’s arms is Kokomo. Isn’t she precious? Keep her cute face in mind for later.
After reading her letter and opening her gift from James, Baylee said something to the effect of “how is so much better than me?” I relate to that so much!!! We realized that John & James are both very thoughtful gift givers and aren’t afraid to share their emotions. Girl, this is how we know we married amazing people.
Those “ring security” glasses are so awesome! The other arm says Anderson, so don’t even think about stealing them from him. Baylee isn’t too shabby of a letter writer either – she had her mom, and later her bridesmaids, tearing up.
You couldn’t ask for a more perfect view while getting ready.
The guys were getting ready at another AirBNB up the road, and there were swords y’all. Several of James’ groomsmen went to the Coast Guard Academy with him, and were in their dress whites for the wedding. The first set of photos with the guys is how I know Baylee is good at gift giving too (don’t sell yourself short!). Her wedding gift to James was a box full of letters for him to open on “firsts” – think first deployment during marriage, first fight, first anniversary, etc. – and look at how many she wrote!!!
Remember the back of this t-shirt the same way you’re remembering Kokomo’s face okay?
James isn’t the only one in his family with a military academy ring. His dad went to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis. And James did a semester in Annapolis too. He didn’t overlap with my brother though.
The ceremony was in this beautiful little church on the campus of Warren Wilson College.
Anderson got to wear his shades the whole ceremony. He didn’t want anybody to see him cry and he always cries at weddings.
But even better? James’ face seeing Baylee!!!
There’s that OMG married moment! And then a special military wedding tradition – the groomsmen will only let the newlyweds pass for a price: a kiss.
Those fall colors!!!!
And this wedding party makes that view look even better!!
Swords make awesome wedding party photos. I think the ladies won the trade on this one – the guys put themselves into that pose and everyone else told them they looked like they were at a funeral.
Okay, remember Kokomo’s face? Remember that shirt that said #GoodLuckBaylee? Well, the guys had a special surprise under their uniforms and suits: custom tshirts. They all had a picture of Kokomo, and most of them said “Kokomo likes James Better” with #TeamJames on the back, but a few (smart) fellas went rogue and wore “Kokomo likes Baylee Better” shirts. The look on Baylee’s face as she processed the shirts was amazing. The last photo is her pointing out which guys can stay.
This moment had to make into the blog because it’s the first time I’ve seen a couple get iced during group photos.
The Smirnoff was a blessing in disguise though, because it probably kept these two a little bit warmer as we shot some couple portraits.
At the reception, the decor included florals and candles, and hats and swords 😀
Entering to Danger Zone, because obviously.
Baylee’s dad gave a welcome toast before dinner, and check out what’s on his hand. That’s right – this guys a military man too. He’s a West Point grad, which means the Air Force and Marines were the only branches not representing.
After dinner, the maid of honor and best man gave touching toasts.
And then cake cutting!! With a sword!! And a cake topper referencing Up – did I mention these two are Disney fans? They’re the best.
Hugs for dad and mom…
… followed by a surprise serenade, Top Gun style.
Kokomo can love you both the same, y’all. Don’t make her pick. (But we know she likes Baylee better.)
These two cracked me up.
The next great boy band y’all.
But there’s a girl group on the rise too.
Some goodnight kisses.
But before everyone left, they made sure to grab a favor – beer brewed by the father of the bride. Check out those perfect labels!
Congratulations James & Baylee!!!