Despite the threat of Hurricane Matthew to significantly alter our plans for our Columbus Day weekend wedding, spirits could not be dampened as we watched this fabulous couple prepare to get married in an idyllic country setting.
But, first let me back up to a few months ago. On our first meeting, Jaclyn, her Mom, Dad and I drove out to Lancaster to tour a couple different venues that they had researched. Jaclyn immediately fell in love with the fabulous rustic barn of Omar and Ester Smoker. It seems more and more, I see barns that are too refined, too perfect…but the Smoker’s barn is the “real deal”. It is gorgeous and old (parts of this beautiful barn predate the civil war!) and it was decided that it was the absolute perfect place for Justin and Jaclyn to say their “I do’s”. This is the kind of place where the donkey’s are braying, horses are roaming the field, goats are staring and the rooster darts out in front of you every time you turn the corner, and well, it’s perfection if you are wanting a country barn wedding! Since the barn was so beautiful, Jaclyn kept the centerpieces simple with baby’s breath and pops of color here and there with bouquets sunflowers.
The things that were important to Jaclyn and Justin were, first and foremost, that God was to be the main focus of their ceremony. And, for the reception they wanted their guests to enjoy a dinner made up of all of Jaclyn and Justin’s favorite things, like tacos and mac and cheese and BBQ pulled pork, and they wanted to dance…lots of dancing!
It was so fun planning this wedding with Jaclyn and her Mom, Andrea. I loved every time we could get together and talk wedding!
Since Justin is based on the West Coast, Jaclyn wanted to make sure her Mom would always have her “close by”, so she gave her this fabulous cut-out of herself! Andrea can now take Jaclyn with her everywhere she goes!
Jaclyn’s bridesmaids, moms and even this wedding planner, were able to gather around Jaclyn and pray over her before the ceremony. It was so beautiful to be a part of that.
Jaclyn’s little cousin, Swenya, made the most adorable little flower girl! Although, I’m not sure “flower girl” is the right term, if she’s holding a sign instead of flowers…but whatever her title is, I think she lit up the ceremony with her entrance!
Jaclyn and Justin decided they would like to do a “cord braiding ceremony”. This is taken from the verse in Ecclesiastes 4:12 “A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” The three strands represent God, the Bride and the Groom and the importance of weaving the Lord into your marriage to create a strong union that is not easily torn apart. Jaclyn’s Aunt and Uncle made this amazing wood board for their cord braiding.
The ceremony was officiated by their dear friend Nathan, and he made it so personal and kept the focus on God, which was exactly what Jaclyn and Justin wanted. They committed to each other in front of this beautiful arbor, made by Jaclyn’s father, Jeff and on this gorgeous hillside.
One of the most special moments for me, was seeing the Grand Entrance of the bride and groom into the reception. Six Navy men marched forward, after the bridal party had been announced and created a sword arch for Jaclyn and Justin to pass through…it was spectacular!
Then it was all about the fun!
The fabulous Grease Band sang and entertained the guests on the patio under the stars…it was sheer perfection. I think that Dance floor was crowded the entire night! When the Grease band wasn’t playing, DJ John kept the party going non-stop!
I had the privilege of making Jaclyn and Justin’s wedding cake. They wanted to keep it simple and nontraditional with a Rice Krispie cake. The whiskey barrel made the perfect cake table for this wedding!
Jaclyn’s bouquet toss from the top landing was fabulous!
Victoria and Hunter, our wedding photographers captured so many great moments around the farm. These are some of my favorites!
“Here’s looking at you kid”…or perhaps the kid is looking at you!
The Pre-Civil war portion of the barn made for such a great backdrop to the wedding party portraits.
For the big “finale” we had a fabulous Sparkler Exit.
It was so wonderful to come to the end of the night and realize that all the things that Jaclyn and Justin said were important to them at our first meeting, we were able to see come true! It was such an honor to be a part of this military wedding! I loved every moment! Thank you Jaclyn and Justin for allowing me to be a part of your special day!