Kim & Ryan | A Wingate Plantation Wedding
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] have to say ending my first season of weddings with Kim and Ryan will always be something that I remember. From the first time I met them at Starbucks, I just knew that I wanted be a part of this journey with them. They were both so warm and welcoming, I instantly felt connected to them. I did a happy dance around my living room when they told me that they wanted me to be their photographer. But I didn’t realize that I would also gain new friends in them.
In May, Michael and I drove up to Asheville to meet Kim and Ryan at the Biltmore House. Last winter, in the snow with the house set behind them, Ryan asked his childhood sweetheart to marry him. So it was only fitting that we would go back to the Biltmore for their engagement session. Michael instantly hit it off with them too, and I just knew right then that we had made new friends.
We spent 24 hours in Asheville taking pictures, touring the house, having wine at the winery and eating dinner together. We laughed and chatted all about life. About how these two met when they were kids, grew up together, went to high school together and entered adulthood as a team. It’s not often that you meet couples who have sustained their relationship since childhood, but these two are really special.
I counted down the days until their wedding!! I was sad as it approached but so so excited to see these two finally make it official. Ryan and Kim’s wedding day was not only gorgeous, but it had so many moments that reminded me why I fell in love with them as a couple. Ryan is a firefighter and Kim is a nurse. So as you can imagine, these two have hearts for serving others. And that was so apparent on their day. They made sure everyone was taken care of from the time that the day began.
I held back tears as I walked into Kim’s getting ready room. The ever talented Lashes and Lace was putting finishing touches on the girls and it was getting real!!! Kim’s bridesmaids were so so amazing. Mimi and Caitlin were there to help with everything, making Kim laugh and holding back tears of their own as they saw Kim in her dress. But can you blame them, Kim took everyone’s breath away in her dress.
One of the sweetest moments of the entire day was when Ryan’s mom walked into Kim’s getting ready room with a special surprise. She was carrying a carefully sealed note. As Kim opened the note, the tears started to form. She read quietly with a laugh ever so often. As she flipped the note to the backside, she gently wiped a tear from her eyes. Then she looked at what else with the letter and looked up and smiled. It was a polaroid. Kim and Ryan’s first picture together. I don’t know how any of us kept it together at this point.
It was time, 12 years in the making. We were all getting into our places at the ceremony. You would have never known that it had just poured for an hour before. But we were determined to wait it out to make sure these two had the ceremony that they had dreamed about for years and years. Ryan, at the front of the aisle, had his back to the aisle to allow Kim to get into place with her dad. As he turned around to see his beautiful bride, he flashed that epic infectious smile. It’s moments like that, that remind me how lucky I am to have a front row seat at my couple’s biggest day. I swear I had goosebumps.
And if the day had not already been amazing enough, little did I know, we were just getting started when the reception began. Everything from the entrances, to the toasts, to the party was filled with joy. And if you know Kim and Ryan, you know that makes sense because these two radiate infectious joy. I can say without a doubt, I did not want this night to end. But Ryan had one more surprise for everyone. These two could only exit their wedding one way, on the back of a firetruck. But not just any firetruck, a 1930’s firetruck!!! WHAT!!! It was the perfect way to send these two off!
Kim and Ryan’s entire day was an incredible honor to be a part of… Actually, I take that back. Being a part of Kim and Ryan’s lives is an honor. And it was so apparent that everyone that filled those church pews under the oak tree felt the exact same way. These two invite you in and love you with their whole being. Couples like Kim and Ryan are why I feel God has called me to serve and love wedding couples.
The impact that their kindness and love has made on my life in the short time that I have known them, is something that I am so humbled and grateful for. I could go on and on about how much I love these two! Kim and Ryan, you have a friend for life in me. I can not wait to see what the future holds for you two. And I am going to be here cheering you on every step of the way. I love you both!!
Thank you to the amazing vendor team!!
Planner | Before I Do LLC
Venue | Wingate Plantation
Hair and Makeup | Pampered & Pretty Salon
Dress | Gown Boutique of Charleston
Band | Cash Money
Ceremony Music | Bob Williams Duo/Palmetto Strings
Bar | Carolina Cocktails
Florist | Pretty Petals of Charleston
Cake | Ashley Bakery
Rentals | Snyder Rentals & EventWorks
Catering | Melvin’s Southern BBQ
Officiant | Michael Peter