Inspired by her childhood home in rural Pleasant Garden, Suzanna set out to create an unforgettable wedding full of sunflowers, hay bales, and a beautiful country setting. “From the time I was a little girl, I have always loved sunflowers,” Suzanna explains, “and there were always the most beautiful sunsets over the fields by our home.”

Both the gorgeous traditional ceremony and outdoor reception reflected Suzanna and Nick’s natural, picturesque theme. From the bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets to the ceremony altar, table centerpieces, and even the cake, sunflowers were the feature décor.  “I was excited to think of all the ways they could be incorporated into the ceremony and reception,” Suzanna says.

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Although Suzanna had envisioned a sunny autumn wedding, the morning of the day the couple was to wed did not start out as bright as her favorite flowers.  “Our wedding day began as what could only be described as a ‘bride’s worst nightmare,’” Suzanna says, “The day dawned with torrential rain, blustery wind gusts, and near freezing temperatures!”

With no signs of the weather improving, the bride and her wedding party scrambled to make the outdoor reception at Shooting Star Horse Farm as warm and dry as possible. Tables were moved into the barn area while plastic sides and heaters were added to the large reception tent. “Most importantly, everyone began praying fervently for any slight reprieve in the conditions,” Suzanna says.

As Suzanna and Nick prepared to say their vows at Tabernacle United Methodist Church, the sun finally began to peek from behind the clouds. To honor her family and loved ones who had passed, the bride incorporated several special heirlooms into her walk down the aisle, including the cathedral-length veil that had been used by her cousins, aunts, and sister, and the bible that her grandmother had carried in her 1942 wedding.

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The newly-married couple and their 300 guests then headed to kick off the party at the reception, where they were welcomed with beautiful weather as the sky cleared. “Thankfully, by the time of the reception the Heavens opened up with the most spectacular sunset imaginable!” Suzanna says.

Inside the tent, dinner was served buffet-style, with guests enjoying carved tenderloin, friend chicken, corn, and a mashed potato bar. A clear tent cover allowed the party to enjoy the beauty of the venue’s location even though most guests stayed inside to keep warm from the sudden drop in temperature. A four-tiered wedding cake consisting of traditional, strawberry and chocolate pound cake layers along with other assorted desserts kept everyone full as they got up to dance.

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When guests weren’t up having a ball on the dance floor, they were getting their personalized illustrations drawn by professional caricaturists. The couple danced the night away before leaving through a wonderful sparkler exit with all of their guests’ warmest wishes.

Summing up the night, Suzanna says: “The wedding definitely couldn’t have done without our family and friends that traveled from near and far to celebrate with us.”

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  • The Couple: Suzanna Byrd & Nicholas Kidd
  • Number of Guests: 300
  • Venue: Tabernacle UMC & Shooting Star Horse Farm
  • Colors: Charcoal grey and sunflower yellow
  • Theme: Sunflowers & monograms
  • First Dance Song: "Give It All We Got Tonight" by George Strait
  • Splurge: Clear cover for the reception tent
  • Special Touch: The bride carried a Bible with her bouquet that her grandmother had carried in her wedding in 2942, as well as her month, aunt and sister
  • Advice for Brides: "It is easy to get overwhelmed during the planning phase, but I would encourage each bride to enjoy this process even during the bumps in the road, because when you see everything together you realize how much each step of the way meant to making the day exactly how you wanted it to be."

Photography: J. Darren Photography | Videography: Jackie Gronwald | Planning: Kristine Kokoski | Ceremony Venue: Tabernacle United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Shooting Star Horse Farm | Catering: Maria's Catering on Lawndale | Cake: Doris Tilley | Entertainment: K2 Productions | Florals: Corum's Greenhouse and Florist | Hair And Make-Up: Angel Hair Salon | Rentals: Grand Rental Station| Caricatures: Strom Art | Invitations: Dove Publications

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