Enchanting Woodland Wedding in West Virginia - Rachel & Chris

Rachel contacted me more than a year before her wedding day and then I didn’t hear from her for over a month, which made me think that she had picked another wedding photographer. It felt weird cause we immediately got along, so I decided to send her a follow up email. Her response will always be one of my favorites! She said, I’m sorry if I didn’t get back sooner, we were getting the last details together before booking you, I would die if I didn’t have you as my wedding photographer! She seriously made my day, my month and whole year! lol

Rachel & Chris’s wedding was seriously like a fairytale… They exchanged their vows in front of family and friends having the woods of Four Fillies Lodge as their background. Rachel’s bouquet was a stunning cascade made out of roses and greenery and her bridesmaids had little lanterns filled with the same greenery and red roses. The forest was filled with white lilies based out of “Aladin”, Rachel’s favorite Disney movie. Their three tier cake was an almond cake with raspberry buttercream, and a red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream. Every little detail was picked with so much attention and love, up to their first dance. “We wanted to pick a classic song and have a fun choreographed dance. Chris always complained that he couldn't dance and the only dance I knew was the box step, taught to me by my father as a little girl. One evening , the song “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran came on and we began singing it to each other. While the song was playing Chris took my hand and we began dancing; He asked me to teach him the box step. From that moment on, every time the song played we would practice the dance. It not only became our song, it became our dance. Our first dance felt flawless because it was purely us, nothing else mattered; it was just the two of us.”
How amazing is it that when Rachel & Chris received their wedding pictures, they made it a special night! They ate the rest of their frozen wedding cake and opened the last bottle of champagne from their wedding!

Here is a little more of Rachel & Chris’s story…

How did you meet?: Rachel & Chris met in High School. She was close friends with Chris' younger sister, whom constantly encouraged her to contact her big brother. She was really hoping to find a good match for her brother and felt confident she could be the one. Finally, with the help of Myspace, they connected. Yes, social media can bring two people together! Tested and approved. It took only three weeks before they became fully infatuated with each other. “We were by no means romantic, but our connection was unwavering. We became high school sweethearts” said Rachel.

How did he propose?: Chris bought an engagement ring a year and a half before he actually proposed. When planning the perfect proposal he had a lot to consider; asking her parents for permission to marry, picking the perfect location, making sure it was romantic, and finding the courage to speak. Chris had picked several places and times to propose, always keeping the ring in his jeans pocket, but nothing ever felt quite right. Valentine's Day, at the Cheesecake Factory; didn't work because there were too many people crowding the room. Rachel's birthday weekend, take her hiking to a beautiful location; didn't work because, oops he forgot the ring. 
”Finally, on New Year's Eve 2015 Chris took me to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, my choice of course. Chris was not himself during the entire meal. I had planned for the two of us to meet with friends at a local bar to celebrate the New Year; however, Chris told me that he no longer wanted to go out and celebrate, instead he wanted to drop me off at my parents house and go home himself. I was livid. What I didn't realize is that he made plans to have a simple quiet moment together. Chris walked me into my parent's house. No one was home because they were out having dinner themselves. Chris could see that I was frustrated with him, so he told me to turn around and close my eyes because he had a surprise for me. When he told me to look at him, he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. "Will you marry me," with a smile on his face. I wasn't mad anymore. Chris explained, he could have picked the most romantic location or planned an extravagant event, but he simply just wanted a moment with me, free of any distractions or crowds of people. A moment just for the two of us, where he can truly be himself. No bells or whistles. Purely us.”

His favorite moment from their wedding day:
“ Seeing Rachel walk down the aisle was breathtaking; I had all the happy feelings. It was pure joy, love, warmth, everything I have ever known that was grand. Seeing my bride walk down the aisle was the greatest moment, not only my wedding day but my life.”

Her favorite moment from their wedding day:
“I am not a girl who likes the spotlight, so the idea of walking down the aisle with a crowd of eyes watching me was the most intimidating feeling. I remember having sweaty palms and taking deep breathes to calm myself while I waited for my entrance. All of a sudden, the music began to play. I had asked my youngest brother to create a song for me to walk down the aisle; I only asked that it would be a mash up of John Denver's Rocky Mountain High and Country Roads. Both songs symbolic because one song is about Colorado, where I am originally from, and the other about West Virginia, where my husband is from. Two songs joined together, just as Chris and I would be joined together. Listening to my brother sing a completely unique song was awing. As my father began walking me down the aisle, I caught a glimpse of my future husband. Suddenly, everything else around me disappeared. I had complete focus on my handsome future standing several yards away from me. I couldn't help but laugh to myself when I saw him begin to cry. For months I told my stone hard fiance’ that he would cry when he saw me, and every time he said there was no way he would cry; he never lets anyone see him cry. Seeing the person you love so much tearing at your sight because he loves you just as much, is a feeling no one can describe. You feel every possible emotion within seconds. Walking towards my future, was my favorite moment of all time”.

Venue: Four Fillies Lodge
Catering : Pumpernickel Pickle Catering
Flowers: Flower Paradise Floral
Cake: Fresh Baked Bakery
Dj: A Party’s Favorite Entertainment
Photography: Pat Cori Photography

Thank you to Jason Collins from Simple Times Photography for always being an amazing second shooter!

If you would like to see Rachel & Chris’s Engagement Session click here!

If you like what you see and you’re planning your wedding click here to get in contact with me! Enjoy!

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Pat Cori

Pat Cori Photography Fine Art Wedding & Destination Photographer from Roanoke VA