Engagement stories—we love ‘em. Some are formal, others are laid back, all are unique. Whatever the form, they are such an expression of a couple’s relationship!
Mandi and Nathan’s took place at the Southern Fried Half Marathon in the Outer Banks. It was the second year Mandi ran it with her best friend, Paige, and after she crossed the finish line, all the runners gathered on the beach for a post-race pic. The beach happened to be her and Nathan’s favorite in the Outer Banks, and right then and there, Nathan dropped to one knee and proposed with family and friends all around.
Held at Mandi’s family’s farm in Virginia, their wedding was a sweet, family-centered celebration of their love as well as the outdoors. A near-miss with Hurricane Florence made the sun even more welcome, but we can tell, rain or shine, these two would have had fun no matter what. Their sense of adventure took them on a honeymoon road trip up the coast of California in a convertible!
From Mandi (who wore our romantic Poppy wedding gown from The Bridal Room):
How did you choose your gown?
“When I stepped into the Poppy Lea-Ann Belter dress at The Bridal Room, it felt like it had been personally designed just for me. I knew I wanted lace, a beautiful open back, buttons, and an A-line shape. While dress shopping, I would find dresses that had one or two of those details but the Poppy dress was the first to feature all of them in such a romantic way. At the initial dress appointment and fittings afterwards, my mom would always laugh because I would never want to get out of the dress. We had a beautiful September evening and I didn’t want the night to end for many reasons, especially since it would be the last time I would get to wear my dream dress. I hope one day my daughter will want to incorporate my dress in part of her wedding day.”
Tell us about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“Our wedding was held on my family’s farm in Virginia. The tent was beside my Grandma’s house and the ceremony spot overlooked a rolling field. My parents house is built on the back side of the farm and I was fortune to spend a lot of time at my grandma’s house growing up. I wanted our special day to incorporate family and greenery in simplistic Southern way.”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“One of the funniest memories is how many people have joked with us, including in the best man’s speech, to name our first child Florence (#BabyFlo). A few days before, Hurricane Florence was tracked to hit our area on Saturday, September 15th – our wedding day. While our hearts are broken for those that were impacted, we feel extremely grateful that it missed our part of Virginia. The sun even came out some on our wedding day—something we never had imagined days before!”
What was your favorite wedding day moment?
“One of MANY favorite moments was my Grandma leading the bridesmaids, flower girls, and mothers in prayer inside her house before the ceremony started. My Grandma has instilled Christian values in our family and it was so special that she thanked the Lord and asked for His guidance on our wedding day!”
What was your first dance song? “’More of You’ by Chris Stapleton.”
What was your something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue?
“My something old was lace from my mom’s dress that was sewn around my veil—one of many details I was so excited for.“
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We drove up the coast of California in a convertible! We flew out to LA with only our plane tickets and rental car confirmation. Exploring the California coast and mountains of Yosemite National Park with my husband are memories that I will always cherish. We documented our trip through our Polaroid camera and highlighted on a map all the towns we explored together.“
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“Enjoy every single moment! Everyone told us before how fast the day will go by which was truly an understatement. I wish I could relive the day over and over. It doesn’t always happen you have so many of your loved ones together at the same time celebrating. Slow down, remember what truly matters, and cherish every single moment. “
Mandi + Nathan’s Family Farm Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Lea-Ann Belter Poppy via The Bridal Room | photography: Stephanie Messick Photography, assistant photographer: Megan Rei Photography | venue: Family Farm | wedding planner: Eventfully Yours by Brittany | hair: Alyssa Walker | makeup: Makeup by SAC | caterer: Shawn and Wendy Butler | florals: Forget Me Not Flowers | baker: Knakal’s Bakery | dessert: MooThru | DJ: CJ tha DJ | ceremony vocalist: Sophia Hernandez | videographer: G Nathan Smith Productions | stationery: Minted | tent rental: Gibson Rental | rentals: Bride and Joy | officiant: Rev. Delbert Roberts/Zoar Baptist Church