Caitlin and Brandon had begun their romance years earlier as a high school couple. Although the two were opposites, the initial spark had been ignited and the two began to date. Yet with the combination of time, different personalities, and separate colleges, Caitlin and Brandon found themselves broken up, living their own lives with their past relationship simply a distant memory.
Until that message. The distant memory was about to become a reality.
Out of the blue, Brandon reached out to Caitlin and asked if she’d like to catch up over lunch. Minutes turned into hours, and the spark burned into a flame—this former relationship of two high-schoolers-turned-adults began to grow. You never know when the timing might become right.
As they began dating, the couple knew they wanted the relationship to end at the aisle. So, many months later, after a nice dinner came something better than dessert—a life-changing question and a stunning ring. An excited “Yes!” from Caitlin, and the two were on their way to becoming Mr. and Mrs. Hawk.
Caitlin knew she wanted the wedding to be a reflection of who they both are.
“I pretty much had an idea of what I wanted in a wedding, because I knew I had wanted it to be simple, elegant, and really down to earth because that’s who we both are as people,” says Caitlin. The couple decided on an outdoor wedding, surrounded by nature and infused with a rustic, boho chic, vintage feel.
The wedding planning ensued, and the details fell into place. Six months later, Caitlin, Brandon, and the bridal party found themselves finishing the rehearsal dinner. Nothing like the rehearsal behind you, the great outdoors around you, and… an allergic reaction on your face?
“I had this allergic reaction all over my face, and my face was swollen with red bumps,” says Caitlin. “I was like, oh my gosh—I’m going to walk down the aisle tomorrow with these welts on my face.” With bumps preceding the panic, Caitlin decided on a third reaction—peace. No matter what, bumps and all, she was going to choose to enjoy the moments.
After a quick phone call to her groom-to-be, Brandon came bearing allergy medicine. Lo and behold—the bride awoke beautiful and flawless… one less bump to deal with on their special day.
Both Brandon and Caitlin were noticeably calm on the morning of their wedding.
“I didn’t really expect it to be this way, but my emotions—everything was pretty peaceful,” says Caitlin. “I just told myself, it’s going to be more about the actual marriage than anything, so if something goes wrong on this day, it’s going to be okay.” Which turned out all right because the wedding turned out more than okay. It was stunning!
The outdoor ceremony welcomed guests, beckoning them to sit surrounded by incredible, natural beauty—greens mixed with browns to create the perfect backdrop for the warm hues of decorative flowers that dotted the scene, blooming shades of red and yellow and burnt orange. Tall trees were draped with flower garlands that cascaded down the limbs, gracefully spilling to the ground and pooling in a beautiful gathering. Simple serenity mixed with fall’s most beautiful colors invited guests to come celebrate this couple’s love.
Chairs collected on each side of the aisle, sandwiching an aisle covered with a variety of colored rugs, each rug stretching toward the next as they were to deliver the bride to her groom.
So, steeped in nature and surrounded by love, the ceremony began. The bridal party descended from a hill, person by person toward Brandon as he awaited his beautiful bride. The bridesmaids’ navy dresses perfectly complemented their bouquets that were bursting with gorgeous reds and yellows and warm, earthy tones.
The groomsmen descended next and were followed by the flower girl, adorable in her precious dress with its neutral color contrasting against the fresh flower crown that topped her head—a mini-version of the gorgeous bride.
And then the moment arrived. What began years ago in high school came to culmination at the top of that hill—Caitlin, stunning in a Claire Pettibone dress whose straps gently hugged the bride’s shoulders and bled into beautiful, lace-like detailing drew the eye and took the breath away.
The neatest part of it all? As Caitlin and Brandon celebrated their love, they were surrounded in love.
“The coolest part that really stands out was everyone who was there was a part of our journey somehow,” says Brandon. “Our friends, our parents, our mentors through church—everybody there was a part of our journey in some way.” To begin a life founded on love while being supported by those whom you love the most is a beautiful beginning indeed.
After the ceremony, guests moved to the reception where simplicity met elegance in its finest form. Stunning drapery streamed from the ceiling down rock pillars. Flower clusters were lit by soft candlelight, running down the long tables that emanated a warm welcome to all. Tall ceilings created an ethereal space filled with suspended chandeliers, each covered with greenery that breathed life from above.
The beauty of the ambiance led to fantastic, flavorful food. Guests enjoyed deluxe versions of familiar dishes like macaroni & cheese, sliders, and quail. On top of familiarity came other cuisine surprises—shrimp corndogs, jalapeño poppers, and a donut truck at the end of the evening.
The fine food then led to an evening of dancing and fun-filled memories.
“I’d always felt like the bride sets the mood,” says Caitlin, “So I went out there and was thinking—we’re going to have fun!” Led by the bride and her bridesmaids, the dance floor came alive. With a live band providing the beats, guests and bridal party alike danced like there was no tomorrow.
The dancing led to the official delivery of Mr. and Mrs. Hawk. Guests broke into two lines outside of the reception building and cheered the bride and groom adieu under a tunnel of sparklers.
And the sign of a good party? Guests stayed awake and at the venue until 3 a.m., basking in the sweet memories as they sat around outdoor bonfires. So good you don’t want to leave… now that’s a sign of a successful evening.
So with the bride and groom off to a Hawaiian honeymoon and their loved ones relishing in the memories behind, Mr. and Mrs. Hawk began the first day of their married life together. Who knew as a high school freshman and sophomore they were beginning their journey of a lifetime? From high school to Hawaii, they made it. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Hawk.
other local vendors: Sugar Mama’s Bakeshop • Gourdough’s Donuts • Kurant Events • The Drywater Band • Milk + Honey • The Lodge • Whim Event Rentals • Shelly Bounds