Real Wedding | Kim & Mike

If you’ve been fearing rain on your wedding day, you’ll love reading about this real life couple who didn’t let a few showers (well, a total downpour actually) dampen their spirits. Kim and Mike planned for an outdoor wedding under an arbor, but when rain got in the way they ended up celebrating indoors with a beautiful ceremony and magical tented reception set  aglow with twinkling lights. For the wedding, Kim put her creativity on display by choosing a bright color palette, vintage style decor and simple DIY accents. In the end, true love conquered all as they celebrated with family and friends. As the clouds parted a beautiful rainbow appeared at the reception…who could ask for anything more perfect?

Kim & Mike | June 13, 2010 | Belmont, NC

How he proposed
It was February 12th 2010 when Mike proposed.  It had been snowing all day in Charlotte, (which is a rarity) so Mike and I had made dinner and stayed snuggled up inside on the couch.  Halfway into the night, Mike told me he had to do some things for work and he would have to leave me for another room to focus on them.  He said he needed to experiment with a video connection and had to use both my lap top and his desktop computer to do it.  I was perfectly content watching a movie and had no desire to think about why he might need to go into my room and “experiment” with a video connection, which looking at now seems odd.  (A little background on Mike, he is a web developer and obsessed with technology as well as music.)  Soon he was asking me to help him make sure the connection was working well – so we sat and talked over video connection for quite a while before Mike started to play some music.

Throughout our relationship I have always been treated to Mike’s sense of humor and his ability to break out into ridiculous song and dance at any time. I would characterize ourselves as being pretty goofy.  I have always gotten the best laugh from seeing him get into the character of a song, so when Mike started to play Wham and then Prince songs I was fully enjoying the show.  I sat at laughed at him while he went through different songs.  Then he started Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.”  I was not expecting this, but he broke out the full choreographed dance for the song, hips swinging and all.

As I sat there laughing he started the hand movements and I noticed something on his pinky finger.  I couldn’t figure out what it was until he got closer to the screen.  Finally he came into the same room as I and got down on one knee to propose.  I was laughing and totally in shock when I said yes!

The ceremony
We chose Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens because we loved the natural setting and wanted an outdoor wedding.  Our ceremony was supposed to occur in one smaller garden within the gardens called the “White Garden.”  It’s a gorgeous garden that is only filled with white flowers and foliage.  We were to marry under a vine covered arbor in the evening, but due to poor weather we had to move inside.  There were torrential downpours and winds – I was a total mess at first, but once the ceremony began and I saw Mike, held his hand and looked into his eyes, I felt wonderful. We wrote our own vows so that they would have more meaning to us.  The indoor facilities had a huge vaulted ceiling with chandelier and was surrounded by floor to ceiling windows.  Although it wasn’t my dream of an outdoor wedding, it turned out so well!

The reception

Originally, our reception was to take place on “the Great Lawn” in the gardens, open-air, under stars and rows of twinkle lights.  We ended up using a tent to make sure we could still be outside if it rained, enjoying the garden.  Once again, not my vision, but still totally beautiful.  The overall theme I think would be vintage with a vibrant color pallette.  We chose raspberry colored silk linens and had accents of turquoise, teal and light blue throughout. We wanted to focus on simple elegance and the natural beauty of the gardens, so we decided on very easy centerpieces that were a range of different flowers arranged casually in an array of vases.  The florist used my vintage collection of medicine bottles, blue ball mason jars and milk glass throughout.    I used vintage birdcages to attach pictures and make a display of family photos, my own vintage cake stands to display deserts and handmade touches like an art installation of paper airplanes made of vintage maps.

The dress

I tried on a lot of dresses to make sure I found what I really wanted and I think I was focused on getting a designer dress because I wanted the artistry and quality inherent in them.  I’ve always loved Monique Lhullier’s dresses and knew that I would try to find something of hers.  I chose my dress simply because I loved the way it made me feel.  It made an impression different from any other I had tried before and I just knew it was right.  I guess it worked well because it was very obviously the most flattering one I had put on and had just the right amount of detail.  The plan was to have a dress that was more simple in regards to embellishment so I could add fun and different touches with my accessories.  I personally believe in understated beauty versus over-the-top and this dress suits that mind frame wonderfully.

Advice for other brides

I think that with all the preparation that goes into a wedding, especially if you are doing most of the planning yourself, you have to let it all go the day of and try enjoy yourself.  I struggled while waiting before the ceremony because I felt like a large part of my wedding was going to be ruined since the weather was terrible and because certain elements didn’t follow through from planning because everyone was running around in chaos, but once I saw my now husband and said our vows nothing else really mattered.  It turned out beautiful and no one thought twice about anything that I had noticed to be missing.  We even had the delight of a butterfly flying in and landing inside the window directly behind us during the ceremony, I suppose searching for safety from the storm.  Bottom line is, something unexpected and not so pleasant will probably occur; it’s best to just roll with it.

The moment that Kim will never forget

This is really hard!  There are so many moments I love looking back on, but the one in particular was when I sat down with my new husband at our bride and groom table.  A rainbow had just appeared after it had poured rain and almost simultaneously the sun set making the sky glow in all shades of orange and pink.  All of our guests came up to us exclaiming how beautiful it was.  I relished being able to sit down, talk to Mike and look around at how all my hard work had finally come together with everyone enjoying themselves.

Kim’s Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier