Why did you choose the venue you chose?
“We’re from Maryland so I wasn’t too familiar with the venues in North Carolina. I know I wanted something outside, preferably in a forest or at least under a canopy of trees. It was a hunt. We visited about 10-15 different venues in one weekend, some venues had the potential but required a lot of planning and production to get the vibe I wanted. I didn’t think I would find the perfect venue, but once we stepped onto the grounds of Timberlake Earth Sanctuary, we knew this was the one. The Woodlands wedding site had everything I envisioned for the ceremony. We were captivated by the Sanctuary’s natural beauty, the wonder of adventure walking the mossy trails, and the powerful force of being drawn to the earth. It was perfect.”
Any other vendors you chose for a special reason?
“Once the setting of the wedding was set, photography was my next priority. We needed someone who could not only catch all of the wonderful magical details of the wedding, but someone that we could vibe with. I stumbled upon John’s profile on The Knot by accident and I instantly fell in love with his style, technique, lighting, beautiful wide shots, and overall energy from his photos. He takes his time to perfect his craft and truly gets to know the couples he works with. You can see the couples having fun, totally in love on their special day. That’s important and he captured our wedding beautifully. Not only that, he’s a huge nerd like us so we could chat about anything with him and know we’re in good hands.”
What was your favorite part of wedding planning?
“The creative freedom with the wedding vision. I wouldn’t say I’ve been planning my wedding for long, however, I definitely had a Pinterest wedding board. As many of you know, you can get lost on Pinterest, so many ideas and inspirations, you’ll find yourself down a rabbit hole very quickly. I was drawn to outdoor forest weddings so my board became flooded with ideas; I knew the look, the theme, the style, everything. I’m pretty artistic and crafty so I had a ton of DIYs planned. It was fun crafting things and making those small but lasting details for decorations, kind of like putting your mark on the wedding. After all it’s YOUR wedding, do what you wanna do. Overall I had a great idea on how I wanted the wedding to look, I just needed help with executing the operations to the wedding and finding the vendors to make the wedding vision come true, and that’s where Carly stepped in.”
Did you have a theme or “vibe” that guided your planning?
‘The vision I had for the wedding was sort of out of a medieval fairy tail. I envisioned an enchanted forest, saturated with natural greenery and tall standing trees, wooden benches and a floral walkway to walk down. I wanted it to be magical, breathtaking, unique, and have a powerful presence in nature.”
What did you want your guest experience to be?
“I wanted them to feel like they were in a fairy tale and to enjoy the natural beauty of the world. There is so much that we miss and take for granted in our busy day to day lives, this venue makes you stop and appreciate the wonder of Mother Nature.”
What was your favorite moment of your wedding day?
Bride: “After the Group portraits we had a very intimate moment. It was time for us to join the rest of the party so we rode back over in the back of the golf cart. It was a nice breather, some alone time for just the two of us. The weather cleared up, we finished the ceremony, we were finally married, and now we were just enjoying the moment/scenery.”
Groom: “At the end of the night when all of the guest left, Miranda and I were still hanging out by the campfire just decompressing and enjoying each others company.”
What was your favorite personal detail or item on your wedding day?
Bride: “The wedding cake. My grandmother made the cake for us and she put in a lot of work for it. She had to carry it on the plane from Texas and she got all sorts of crazy looks and questions from the TSA agents! It was white chocolate with raspberry filling and oh my gosh it was the most delicious cake I ever had. Super moist and full of flavor. Huge hit at the wedding, everyone wanted more! It meant a lot to me that she made it for our special day.”
Groom: “The Jim Beam Bottle. One of the groomsmen brought a giant bottle of Jim Beam with him for the weekend. Due to the weather and high stress levels, everyone (of drinking age) with the wedding party; family, parents, friends, etc, took a swig from the bottle at some point. It helped keep everyone sane and calm during stressful times. So it turned into a special memento from the busy wedding weekend.”
What was your favorite part of the décor on the wedding day?
“I wanted the wedding to have some unique characteristics that depict who we were as a couple and what our interests/hobbies were. I (the bride) used to live in Japan and we’re both obsessed with anime, so adding a hint of Japan to the decorations was really important for us. We also both love the outdoors and typically play nature loving classes in video games/Dungeons and Dragons, so having greenery spread throughout the venue gave it a magical fairy tale feel. I think my favorite part of the decor were the paper cranes strewn throughout the reception site, it was a soft but cute detail that worked with the overall theme to the wedding.”
What was your first dance song?
“Million Dreams” – The Greatest Showman
We chose this song because it has a deeper emotional connection for us. It talks about the future and the dreams one envisions for themselves, the endless possibilities there are; we felt it depicted us perfectly. We’re starting a new life together, building each other up and supporting the other with their dreams, for better, for worse, for richer or poorer. We bought a house, we’re starting a business, we’re traveling the world, and eventually we’re going to start a family. You can make the future you want, anything is possible, you just have to put in the hard work to make it come true. It’s just a beautiful song that we felt was perfect for our first dance, the beginning of a world that we design.
Planning: Carly Marie Events
Photographer: John Branch IV Photography
Caterer: Above and Beyond Catering
Reception Music: Dow Oak Events
Ceremony Music: Sarah Borders & Gay Tatman
Dessert: White Chocolate Raspberry Cake made by the Bride’s Grandmother
Hair and Makeup: Evolving Faces
Officiant: David Brown
Florist: Daly Floral Design
Rentals: Party Reflections
Bridal Dress Designer: Stella York
Bridal Salon: Cameo Bridal Salon
Bridesmaids Dresses: Mori Lee