True love isn’t something that can be explained, but rather felt in the deepest of ways. Kristen and Abner’s Mount Ida Farm wedding was the celebration of a love that is built on faith and pure happiness.
I can remember the first time speaking with Kristen about her and Abner’s love story and how thrilled I was to work with them! The two unexpectedly met at a local New Jersey restaurant and spent the following year falling for each other. We captured their new engagement at a charming session at Maymont in December 2016.
The couple’s wedding day was like watching a beautiful story unfold in front of your eyes. The day began with each spending time with their close friends and family. The bridesmaids showered Kristen with compassion and laughter, while Abner and his groomsmen suited up for the big day in the groom’s suite. While the ceremony site received its finishing touches, Kristen and her father shared an intimate first look. Her father softly sang “You Are So Beautiful” as he embraced his little girl…definitely an unforgettable moment!
Guests arrived to the property in the early afternoon for their June outdoor ceremony. An elaborate gazebo was decorated with lavish greenery and backed by a peaceful pond. As the ceremony began, Abner was stunned to see his gorgeous new bride as she gracefully walked the aisle in her outstanding lace gown. The two shared their personalized, heartfelt vows from small notebooks to be cherished for a lifetime. Sealed with a kiss, this ceremony was filled with tears of joy as the two commemorated their new beginnings with their loved ones.
The day did not stop there, as guests were invited to a grand reception following the ceremony. Upon entering the venue, all were greeted by fine table decor, soothing lights, and of course, the perfect amount of purple! The barn embraced a rustic elegance feel and incorporated coordinating elements such as a wine barrel bar, lantern and wood plank centerpieces, tree stump stands, and even cookies wrapped with doilies and clothespins. A specialized touch to this extravagant event was how they named their tables; instead of numbers, each table was named based on locations of dates and special occasions they shared. Throughout the night, Kristen and Abner shared their first dance to John Legend’s “You & I” and enjoyed exquisite food and cake with their guests. One of Kristen’s favorite details was their knife and server set – The knife read “I love you to pieces” and the server read “Today, Tomorrow and Forever.” Abner loved the painting that was featured at the reception of their proposal.
The biggest surprise of the wedding was Abner’s stitching within his attire. Abner stitched a quote into the underside of the collar of his suit jacket that Kristen recited often to him during their relationship: “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” He also had written inside his suit jacket “Kristen, My Queen, My Love,” a quote from the painting representing the night of their engagement…yes the details kept getting more and more magical throughout the night!!
After this love-filled, surreal night, Kristen and Abner escaped to Italy for a honeymoon to tour Florence, Ravello, and Rome. They left us after their big day with a small piece of advice: “The most important thing about that day is not the music, the décor, the food, the guests, or any of the items on your long to do list. The key in the midst of all the chaos, is to remember that this is the day that you will make a lifelong commitment to the love of your life.”
Kristen and Abner, there is so much more to be said about your magical experience. Thank you for allowing me to be a small part of your wedding story, and I wish nothing but the best for your marriage. You two really know how to celebrate, and I cannot wait to see what you have in store next!
Photography | Anny Photography
Floral Design | Tourterelle Floral Design
Venue | Mount Ida Farm
Event Coordination | Two Byrds Events
Wedding Gown | Maggie Sottero Designs
Groom’s Attire | Cesar Renuan
Catering | The Local
Cinematography | Kelsey & Nate
Invitations | Gloria Joy Ink
Cake | Passionflower Cakes
Color Palette | Lavender, Orchid, Silver, Purple, + Gray
Wedding Cocktail | “The Conversation Starter” – bourbon, fresh blueberries, cilantro syrup and ginger beer