The way Rachel and Steven met seems like fate, or a fairy tale (which is appropriate since they’re honeymooning in Disney) or at least the plot line to a great romantic movie!  These two were both scheduled on a short connector flight from Atlanta to Columbia.  They had both been traveling for work, Steven to Ohio for a day trip and Rachel to Miami for a conference.  They were seated on the plane next to each other and Steven struck up a conversation immediately.  They talked nonstop through the flight and as they landed, Steven worked up the courage to ask Rachel if she’d like to go out to dinner with him that night, and she did!  

Every grand love story always has a great proposal too!  Steven joined Rachel and her family for apple picking in North Carolina but little did Rachel know that he had bigger plans.  As they arrived at the apple orchard, Steven got down on one knee and asked Rachel to marry him!  Awww.

But shortly into wedding planning, Rachel got some shocking news.

I was on the ball with wedding planning almost immediately after our engagement. Within a week we were visiting venues, comparing prices, shopping for decorations, etc. I was hyper-organized and hyper-excited. But I was also ill and had been for some time. We didn’t know what was wrong but after months of putting off going to the doctor, I finally made an appointment. I scheduled to see the doctor exactly 1 month after Steven had popped the question. I didn’t think anything was seriously wrong and I was mainly going to prove to my mom that everything was fine. My appointment was early so that I could still make it in to work afterwards and I’d even scheduled a meeting with Wintergreen Woods after work so that Steven and I could book our wedding date. But, alone in the doctor’s office, I found out that my mother was right. My sickness wasn’t the “nothing” that I kept trying to make it be. It was actually type 1 diabetes. My pancreas had failed and with no family history of diabetes, we will likely never know why it failed.

I was active. I thought I took care of myself and diabetes never crossed my mind. I didn’t make it in to work however I somehow managed to pull myself together enough to still make it to the venue to book our date. After that my hyper-organized, hyper-excited, wedding planning self was gone. I went from visiting venues to counting carbs and shopping for decorations to learning how to give myself shots. It wasn’t until we were a few months away from the wedding that we finally got back into the swing of things (mainly because time forced us to).

Our saving grace with this unfortunate timing was Wintergreen Woods. They do everything. The food, the cake, they have someone to MC so we didn’t have to coordinate a DJ, they have decorations in stock so I didn’t have to continue shopping. Their customer care and all-inclusive packaging put my wedding in good hands so that I could take the time I needed to get accustomed to my medical needs. Our engagement wasn’t what we expected but our wedding will be everything we ever hoped for. 

The challenges of her new diagnoses brought the couple even closer together.

Steven and I have a very unique purpose for being in one another’s lives and we were lucky enough to figure this out after only 1 month of being engaged. Steven has always suffered with multiple illnesses.  There were times that he was unsure that he would be given the chance to live a long, healthy life; let alone the opportunity to get married. Thankfully he is with us today, and I have the ability to be patient with his needs and episodes. In all of this, I thought that I was the shoulder to lean on but (after my diagnosis), Steven all of the sudden became my support system.  He’d hold me every time I have to take a shot or soothes me when I still break down in tears. We love each other more than I thought possible and we will continue to love and support one another for as long as we are given, no matter how long or how short that may be.

Despite these early pressures, Steven and Rachel enjoy the simple adventures of life together too!

We spend everyday together minus “Man Mondays”…which I think is kind of adorable! We cook dinner together and dream about the updates we want to do to his house. I’ll then leave his house every evening to go home but come back as soon as I can the next day. He enjoys fishing and will kayak up and down the river while I soak up the sun. We also visit family as often as possible, alternating weekends between each of our parents, grandparents, and my siblings.

The wedding day continued the romance of their epic meeting and proposal!  I started the day at Wintergreen Woods where Rachel would be getting ready.  The venue was decorated in a rustic Fall theme with branches of cotton plants, wooden accents, and beautiful red flowers throughout to match the bridesmaid’s “apple” red gowns.  

Red rose fall decorations
Cotton with wedding invitation
As a nod to their engagement story, the couple had fresh apple butter as a favor for their guests.
Apple butter favor
I love Rachel’s bold blue shoes!
Blue shoes
Getting ready at Wintergreen Woods
Those red bridesmaid dresses really stand out against the lush green setting at Wintergreen Woods.
Apple red bridesmaid dresses
Bride at wintergreen woods
Red bouquets
Rachel’s Dad hand painted this creative signature tree for the event.
Cake topper
Light details
The bridal party had a great idea to keep entertained while they waited out those last 30 minutes before the ceremony.  The ladies found a charades app, so Rachel would try to guess what word was on the screen.  What a great and fun way to forget about those last minute wedding jitters!
Waiting for wedding to start
The weather was beautiful for a Wintergreen Woods garden ceremony.
Wintergreen Woods garden ceremony
Ceremony 2
Bride and groom outdoor portrait
The light was so beautiful after the ceremony for some romantic portraits of this gorgeous couple!
Sun through the veil
First dances at Wintergreen Woods

The couple left to a bubble exit where the groomsmen were given super powerful bubble guns.  And you were right Rachel, there was a bubble war after you two left!  🙂

Congratulations Rachel and Steven and enjoy your Disney World honeymoon!

Other Vendors-

Flower– Lexington Florist
CateringWintergreen Woods
DressJo-Lin’s Bridal


Are you getting married soon?  We’d love to hear more about your big day!  To set up a meeting or request a price sheet, just use the contact form below and we’ll be in touch with you soon!

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