It’s Going To Get Sappy At This Gray Eagle Lodge Wedding
The theme of the week: Family! This blog is perfect timing for the Thanksgiving season as almost every detail of Terra and Ali’s wedding was brought together by their families. Not only that, but Ali has been a friend of mine for a few years and it’s wonderful to see how she and Terra’s relationship has grown. This also happens to be the 3rd destination wedding my handsome hubs and I have co-photographed so there’s that cute little tidbit for you too. 😉
So, do you have some tissues handy? Cuz it’s going to get sappy up in here. Pun totally intended as this Gray Eagle Lodge wedding is in the forest.
Without further adieu, here’s Terra and Ali’s story:
Love Is More Precious Than Gold
Terra and Ali met in San Francisco’s North Star Bar the day after Thanksgiving in 2012 9hey guys, anyone else notice that’s its the day before Thanksgiving 2018???). Ali was out with some girlfriends and was on the hunt for the tallest guy in the bar and as if straight out of movie, Terra walks in. Naturally Ali was the first to call and as the story story goes, Terra said the exact same thing!
Flash forward to wedding planning for this epic Gray Eagle Lodge wedding.
There is so much work that goes into a wedding. When you start it can be like being at the base of a steep mountain where the trail gets kinda sketchy at parts, but you know getting to the top of it will be all worth it. A climb like that isn’t as daunting if you got a good support group. And that’s exactly what Ali and Terra had.
A family’s love is for sure more precious than gold. Terra made a bunch of planter boxes that Ali planted succulents 6 months beforehand, that then turned into centerpieces for the reception. Terra’s father helped make the arch that they got married under in his wood shop in West Virginia. Ali’s stepmother and sister did adorn that magical arch with flowers. Ali and her tribe put all the other florals together the day before the wedding. Ali’s father and Marisa caught the salmon that was served as appetizers. All the favors were handmade (I am still eating that damn delicious honey too!). Her mom MADE her beautiful dress. I repeat, her mom MADE her dress (apparently she’s made all of Ali’s ‘special moments in life’ dresses! Mom you rock!!!) Talk about two families coming together for people they love.
My heart is so warm and fluffy reliving all this! *sigh*
Can’t Take It Slow ’cause You and I Are Pushin’ Time
The theme of the wedding was “Wild & Wonderful” which happens to be the state slogan of West Virginia, where Terra grew up. Ali’s family has vacationed at the Gray Eagle Lodge since 1989, so it was the perfect union of these two individuals. Guests arrived in woodsy semi-formal, and the colors were that of the succulents that Ali had planted. Their flower girl was Ali’s rescue dog from Thailand. Her name is Lady and she totally acted as such the whole time!
Ali has told me that all her favorite moments of the wedding were the ones she did not plan. She remembers the ceremony the most clearly. She walked down the aisle to “Millionaire” by Chris Stapleton, and her brother was their officiant. In a surprise twist, as they were about to kiss, he said: “You may now kiss my sister.” Which left everyone laughing, including Terra. It took him a moment to regain composure and kiss Ali. It was all too perfect! Seriously guys, well done
I Choose You, Every Day In A Hundred Different Ways
This is how you know the love is real. From Ali:
“Terra also surprised me as I was getting ready with a simple card that came with a big story. He’d reached out to The Steeldrivers, a band that we saw live over the summer, and asked them for a copy of a song that hasn’t been recorded yet. He had my sister-in-law play it for me, and he’d included front-row tickets to see them again. WHAT?! Little did he know that I’d already written the lyrics to that song into my vows:
I choose you. Every day in a hundred different ways, I make the choice to stay. I could hit the open road and run my life away, but I choose you, every day.
Well, I’ll be damned– I sure did choose the right person for me.”
*sniff sniff* I’m not crying, you’re crying.
Terra and Ali- We are so glad things came full circle for you both and that we got to photograph your Gray Eagle wedding. And if it has to end in tears, I hope it’s in 60 years.
Venue: Gray Eagle Lodge
Rentals: Renee Smith at Two Hearts LLC
Videographer: Warren Starks
Makeup: Lucy Huete
Florist: Lila Cornia
Grooms Tux: Bonobos