If you’re new to the world of Ellie McKinney Photography, you might not know that I love social media. It’s such a great way to connect with you and it’s the perfect platform to showcase the beautiful weddings and couples that I get to photograph.
But what better way to make sure there’s a place to land when when you want to dive deeper into the details of a particular wedding or find new vendor inspiration than to blog about it? I’ve never been one to blog about the weddings I photograph, but I’m super excited to start this journey as a way to honor and showcase couples as well as offer resources to anyone planning a wedding.
Kicking off the first ever wedding blog post is Kim and Alex. I’m honored to share their story with you and thrilled to show off their beautiful big day! They had a simple and refined ceremony with beautiful foggy mountains as their backdrop. Their reception was a uniquely stylish combination of vintage elements and rustic elegance.
Kim + Alex’s Story
Fun story! I (Kim) am an optometrist, and we met through a patient of mine, Davis, who is my husband’s brother-in-law. Davis was getting ready to move to Hawaii with his wife (Alex’s sister) for her traveling PT job, and he was coming in for his exam so he could get contacts before the big move. I had a lot of questions to ask someone getting ready to temporarily relocate to Hawaii. In the conversation, he brought up that his brother-in-law would be living in and watching the house while they were there. Alex came up a few times in this conversation, and eventually my relationship status did as well. I let Davis know that, in fact I was single, and he suggested a date with his brother-in-law. With zero luck on multiple dating apps over the course of 2 years, I decided, what the heck… I’ll give this patient my number. That night Davis and Alex wrote up the perfect first text to send me, and a few days later, Alex and I were on our first date at Small Batch in downtown Winston-Salem.
The Boone, NC area is very special to us. We also love to travel and be outside. We planned a weekend in Beech Mountain in October 2020. We went on a hike and he told me that he wanted to continue traveling the world with me by his side and going on hikes and adventures together. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Then he busted out the bubbly from his backpack… thank goodness for canned sparkling wine!
I really wanted to get married in the Boone area for a full circle moment (from vacations together as BF and GF to engagement to wedding!). I also love the mountains as a back drop. Knowing we were getting married in May, I wanted a very green and white wedding to match the green of the mountains in the spring. I knew I wanted an outdoor ceremony with a view. I wanted rustic elegance. I think we nailed it. The flowers we used told the story of our relationship. The first flowers Alex got me were white hydrangeas, we both like orchids, and we have peonies growing in our back yard. I also made sure some of the boutonnières had hops as a nod to the hop farm Alex helped with along with his dad and friend.
Ceremony: Vows, traditions and non-traditional decisions
The ceremony was my absolute *favorite* part. The rain stopped as I started to walk down the aisle, which everyone agreed seemed pretty symbolic. I really, really wanted the ceremony to be outside – the view was just too jaw dropping to have the ceremony any other place. My determination, (maybe stubbornness), paid off, and I’m so thankful the wedding was able to happen right where I wanted it to. As I walked down the aisle, I looked at all the people who had traveled pretty far to witness our union and to support us…. that was so special. I adored watching my dad give Alex a hand shake and a hug after walking me down the aisle. Our great friend, who is also a minster, performed the most beautiful ceremony, speaking from her heart. Having a friend do this task was so incredibly meaningful. We did both traditional and non-tradition vows. We wrote our own vows ahead of time and read those first, then we recited the more traditional vows. Without a doubt the vows that we wrote to each other were the most wonderful, meaningful, and memorable. Every detail about the ceremony felt right. The most important part of the day was definitely the most wonderful part of the day.
Favorite Parts of the Day
The ceremony was definitely the favorite part of the day but a second favorite was all of the details. Alex’s favorite part was going around and talking to all his friends who he hadn’t seen in a long time.
The Future: What are you looking forward to most as a married couple?
Traveling together! We’ve already been to some pretty cool places such as Iceland, Hawaii, Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Turks and Caicos, and Maine. It’s going to be a fun ride for sure, and I’m really looking forward to it!
- Ceremony Location: The White Crow – Banner Elk, NC
- Reception Location: The White Crow – Banner Elk, NC
- Planner/Coordinator: Kristin Omer of Steel Magnolia Events
- Hair Stylist / Makeup Artist: Beauty Asylum Charlotte
- Florist: Thistle and Twig – Morganton, NC
- Videographer: Cayne Tucker
- Bridal Dress: Martina Liana from Simply Stunning by Divas
- Cake: Cake and All Things Yummy – Kernersville, NC
- Music: Ceremony music by Dean’s Duets (trio of cello, guitar, and violin), DJ: Bright Light Entertainment
- Rentals: A Bushel and a Peck Vintage Rentals
- Drink Service: Vintage Pours
- Catering: Frugal Gourmet
- Champagne Wall: Done by family member and purchased later by the venue