Pink & Blue Rustic Chic Southern Wedding from Katelyn James Photography, Part 1

Any time we feature a wedding from Katelyn James Photography, we know it’s going to be a feature chockfull of love, faith, and pure photo AMAZINGNESS. Today’s wedding is no exception with it’s sky blue bridesmaids dresses and hot pink shoes, a stunning wedding dress with lace overlay and bright teal shoes, amazing bouquets, and absolutely the sweetest first look (on a hill very important to the bride and groom) I have ever seen. It’s incredibly moving, especially when shown alongside a retelling of the love story in the couple’s own words. I decided to share the love story this way for a reason. Simply because it’s full of unwavering love and faith and because it’s beautiful just the way it is. I hope you take the time to read every last bit of it. I also hope you’ll join us back here tomorrow (we’re trying something new with so many gorgeous photos at our disposal) to see the second half of this truly special day! Enjoy!!!

bride and groom, first look, pretty bridal hair, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

{How they met…as Austin likes to tell it} I was talking to a few people at a hangout after the first CRU (the ministry we were involved in at VT) of our freshman year, when I saw her walk into my view, and she immediately caught my eye. She doesn’t remember seeing me then, but I was certain we made eye contact. I remember thinking “I have got to talk to that girl!”. Being a pretty shy guy, that wasn’t normal for me, but in that instant I felt absolutely compelled to meet her. I got up the courage to go up to her and introduce myself. I guess I overwhelmed her a bit, because she gave me one word answers to all of my questions. The one thing I did well in this awkward encounter was to make sure she knew how to spell my last name – I literally asked her to spell it back to me to be sure she found me on Facebook. “It’s Abell – like an “A” and then “Bell”, got it?”. Who knew she’d be spelling that last name for the rest of her life. :)

strapless wedding dress with sweetheart neckline and lace overlay, personalized wedding hanger, custom bridal hanger, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

bride and her bridesmaids getting ready, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

{From Kristy} My first impression of Austin was that I’d never met anyone who wore their name on the brim of their hat… it stood for Austin, TX, but I didn’t know that at the time. I also thought he was very, very persistent.

happy bride and her bridesmaids getting ready, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

sky blue bridesmaid dresses, pink wedges, wedding dress with lace overlay, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

One of our favorite dates was on our 2 year anniversary when Austin made me a scavenger hunt all around Virginia Tech. He read from a letter he had written explaining each place he took me with special memories from our relationship, and then we took a picture at each spot. The last place was his apartment that he and his roommates had transformed into a “Five-Star Restaurant”, complete with a host, server, dinner Austin made, live guitar and piano performances (by his friends in full suits) of our favorite songs as we ate, and my favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream for dessert. I remember thinking, “How on earth is he going to propose after all of this?!” haha :)

bride's teal shoes, bride's jewelry and accessories, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

strapless wedding dress with sweetheart neckline and lace overlay, pretty bridal portraits, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

Austin and I became best friends freshman year through sharing music and him trying to teach me how to play guitar (when he still barely knew how). We didn’t date right away because I was totally blind to how much he liked me (and how much I liked him). We started dating in February of our Freshman year on Valentine’s Day.  After an awesome year of growing deeply in our faith, we got baptized together in a pool that summer, which was one of the most significant events in both of our lives. We walked alongside each other all of college, during really great times, but also through tragedy, grief, pain, and a ton of growth. He has been, and continues to be, my best friend through it all.

the bride on her way to the first look, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

the most beautiful first look, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

the most beautiful first look, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

Austin was waiting to say “I love You” until he proposed, but ended up surprising me by telling me a little earlier than he expected. On my birthday last summer, he took me to a hill behind my house where we had been star gazing times before, and played me a recording of him playing the guitar song, “It is Well” by Josh Wilson. Then at the end, his voice came on the recording saying, “Kristy Wilson, I love you.” It was the first time he had ever said it out loud, and he recorded it for me to always have. Well, I was so caught off guard that I immediately yelled, “What?!” and looked utterly shocked – it was pretty funny. I knew he was planning to wait until he proposed, but the Lord had other plans. As we were watching the sunset, we understood the His great love for us in a new and profound way.

the most beautiful first look, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

bride and groom, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

bride and groom, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

{How he proposed…from Austin’s point of view} I remember being SO nervous on my drive over to Kristy’s house. I had been up ALL night thinking about every detail – worrying I’d forget something.

bride and groom, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

bride and groom, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

Right before I went to sleep (more like attempted sleep), a group of my best friends circled around me and prayed for me. They prayed for peace and joy over the morning to follow, and for God’s blessing over my marriage with Kristy. I felt so loved by them, and by the Lord for providing me with such amazing friends.

wedding invitation, ring shot, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

sky blue bridesmaid dresses, stunning bouquets, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

stunning bride's bouquet of pink roses, hypericum berries, and stargazer lilies, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

sky blue bridesmaid dresses, pink wedges, stunning bridesmaid bouquets, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

As I was about to walk into Kristy’s house to wake her up, I remember experiencing a deep, everlasting peace and joy as I was praying. I was so excited! I had asked Kristy’s roommate to make sure the door was unlocked when I got there. I walked up into Kristy’s room and sat on her bed.

gorgeous wedding party, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

It was about 6:30 at this time, and she was supposed to wake up to go work at a middle school that morning (which I had already arranged for her to have the day off). When I came in, she was at first very confused, and then assumed I was just being sweet and making sure she was waking up on time. As I continued to sit on the bed she said, “ok…are you going to leave now?” I then said, “I was wondering if you could put some warm clothes on.. I want to take you for a walk.” She then freaked out a little, but said yes! I left, and then she got dressed and ran down the stairs. She hadn’t realized it because her room was dark, but I was in my brand new suit that I had gotten for my birthday. When she came down the stairs and saw me, I think she started to catch on that this wasn’t a normal walk…

chic classic men's attire, blue patterned ties, hypericum berry boutonnieres, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

groom's attire, chic classic groomsmen's attire, blue patterned ties, hypericum berry boutonniere, pink rose boutonniere, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

sky blue bridesmaid dress, macramé statement necklace, stunning pink purple and white bouquet, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

chic classic men's attire, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

I took her hand and walked her up to our hill right next to her house. When we got to the top, a chair was set up on a blanket. It was below freezing with crazy winds, so I sat her in the chair and wrapped another blanket around her, and then sat at her feet. I then shared a few entries from my journal - the first, when I wrote about how I knew I wanted to marry her, and the second, when I wrote that I had prayed a ton, and felt total peace that the Lord showed me she was the one.

I then pulled out my bible and read from John 13 where Jesus washed his disciples feet before he was crucified. In the time of Jesus, the roads were really dirty, and nobody had good shoes, so washing someone’s feet was an act of service and humility. I explained to her how I wanted to serve her, and lay down my life for her for the rest of our lives, just as Jesus, God himself, has done for us. I then took out a bucket and poured some water into it. I had to warm the water up that morning, and put it in a thermos because it was so cold outside! I then took her shoes off, one at a time, and washed her feet. It was beautiful that the Lord had told me to wash her feet, because she had dreamed of that, and we had never even talked about it!

bride and groom praying together, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

bride and groom, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

bride and groom, pretty bridal portraits, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

Now, the reason I got her up so early was because I was hoping to see an awesome sunrise. At this point, there wasn’t a great sunrise at all! We danced to the song Love Is Waiting, one of our favorites by Brooke Fraser, and threw a blanket over our heads to keep warm. As we were dancing, I prayed with all the faith I could muster that when we took the the blanket off our heads, that the sky would be the most amazing sunrise we had ever seen. I somehow knew that He would do it, but nothing could prepare me for what we saw…

As we took the blanket off, the sky had absolutely erupted with amazing oranges and reds. I didn’t know what else to do but cry with joy and amazement. What better affirmation from our Savior of his joy and excitement for us, than a hand painted sky displaying his glory? What an amazing and loving God we serve.

gorgeous wedding party, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

Kristy didn’t know what else to do but to run and grab her camera. After we both settled down, I got down on my knee. I was so excited and could barely get my words out. I told her how on this hill we saw an amazing sunset, signifying the end of a relationship marked with both beauty and trials, and how the Lord had carried us through it… and that this sunrise was a picture of the start of a brand new story. I told her that, just as the wind and cold was all around us, our journey would be hard, but that, just like the Lord, I would never leave her nor forsake her. I then pulled the ring out of my pocket and asked my sweet Kristy to marry me, and she gave a little yelp, threw her arms around me and said YES!! She was so excited, she forgot to even look at the ring. We then ran around the field yelling “We’re getting married!!”

letter and engagement photo display, wildflowers in blue mason jar centerpiece, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

bride and groom, pink and blue rustic chic Southern wedding, Katelyn James Photography

The above is a little preview of the goodness still to come tomorrow! Get your swoon ready, ladies… and have a happy Monday!!! xoxo

Photographer: Katelyn James Photography / Reception Venue: Sinkland Farms / Flowers: Best Wishes Flowers and Gifts / Invitations & Stationery: Stephanie Livingston / Cake Baker: Warren Wilson (the bride's dad) / Men's Attire: Macy's / Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Dresses: Chantilly Lace

Comments

  1. This wedding is all kinds of wonderful! You are right…that first look is magic! Love the colors. Love the brides smile. Love the florals. Love the happiness! :)

  2. Awww did you see his face when he saw her? True love indeed. Such a pretty bride,too!

  3. One of the most beautiful love stories ever! That’s why I keep coming back to your blog! xoxo

  4. what am amazing love story and gorgeous pictures too..

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