Soon after deciding on an early autumn wedding, Kristin received the exciting news that she had been accepted into Duke University’s nursing anesthesia program. But with Kristin’s classes starting in the fall, she and fiancé Brian realized they would need to change the original date. “It would have been way too stressful to get married during the most difficult semester,” Kristin explains. Luckily for the couple, all of their vendors were available the same weekend in July, and the wedding was bumped ahead by two months.
To make their dream of a picturesque mountain wedding come to life in spite of a tight deadline, Brain and Kristin worked with wedding planner Cece Hampton. “She handled every obstacle thrown at her with ease and never showed any sign of stress, and most importantly, never let me get stressed,” Kristin says.
As a native of western North Carolina, Kristin knew that her dream wedding would take place in the mountains. “My vision for the wedding was for us to say our vows surrounded by all of our family and friends with the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background,” Kristin says. Soft, rustic décor with wildflowers, lace and burlap accents completed her romantic theme.
Saving intimate moments throughout their wedding day was an important element for the couple, including the special “first look” before the ceremony. Seeing Kristin in her gown with the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in the background was a sight Brian says he will never forget: “The anticipation and excitement of the ‘first look’ preceded the love and emotion we felt as we said our vows surrounded by family, friends, and breathtaking mountains.”
Kristin and Brian married on the lawn at the Inn at Crestwood in front of 150 friends and family. As their guests mingled over cocktail hour after the ceremony, the couple retired to their private suite for a candlelit dinner. “It gave us a few minutes to be alone and take in the fact that we were finally married and enjoy the delicious food,” Kristin says, also naming it as her favorite moment of the evening.
An outdoor reception took place on the terrace, where tables were topped with candle-filled lanterns and scatterings of moss and succulents. Centerpieces composed of hand-tied wildflowers, ferns, hydrangeas, and roses completed the natural, organic theme.
Kristin and Brian stepped out to share their first dance to country singer Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance.” “We both only listen to country music, and the first time I heard it, I started crying because it fit us perfectly,” Kristin says.
The Southern cuisine dinner was served buffet style, with serving stations including ham carving and a mashed potato bar, plus a s’more’s bar with a fire pit that opened later in the night. The couple chose not to use a seating chart, and the casual and relaxed atmosphere allowed guests to dance outside on the terrace, relax in the Inn by the fireplace, or hang out by the bar. Mini cupcakes in a variety of flavors took the place of a traditional wedding cake, and the bride’s father constructed log-tiered cupcake stands to make a breathtaking rustic display.
As the sun set on the party, white lights twinkled overhead from the surrounding trees and branches. Describing the beautiful end of their celebration, Kristin says: “The reception under the stars was the most fun we have ever had and was the perfect ending to our day.”
- The Couple: Kristin McGinnis & Brian Blonk
- Number of Guests: 150
- Venue: The Inn at Crestwood
- Colors: Sage, turquoise and neutrals
- Theme: Natural and organic
- First Dance Song: "I Don't Dance" by Lee Brice
- Splurge: The videographer
- Special Touch: Koozies that said, "Something old, something new, something from us to hold your brew."
- Advice for Brides: "Do not stress about anything on your wedding day and just take it all in. Everything goes by so quick...enjoy the excitement and remember the purpose of the day is marrying the man you love."
Photography: Revival Photography | Videography: Reel Weddings | Planning: CeCe Hampton Events | Venue: The Inn at Crestwood | Catering: The Inn at Crestwood | Cake: Cakes by Jojo | Entertainment: Top Notch Entertainment | Florals: Michelle A. Sierzenga | Hair And Make-Up: Makeup Artistry| Bride's Dress: Mary's Bridal