A few months ago, Matt was asked by a good friend of his from preschool to officiate her wedding! We got the honor and joy as a couple to get to know Terra Warwick and Juan Sosa a little better until the time that their wedding date snuck up on us... 10/10/10! (Isn't that fun? They'll never forget their anniversary. And I say that because I am the one who forgets our anniversary date in our marriage!)
So two weekends ago, we drove up to the beautiful Linville, NC area (near Boone and the Blue Ridge Parkway) for the weekend to participate in their wedding. Granddaddy and Nana B. graciously offered to keep Kenna until Sunday when they drove up for the wedding, and Matt's sister Leanne's family kept our dog Pontouf, so we truly had a free weekend just the two of us! (Thank you all again!)
It was a new experience for Matt and I for him to officiate a wedding on his own. For me, it was fun because I got to hang out with and get to know the wedding party during the rehearsal and all of the wedding events! The weather was beautiful all weekend, and we couldn't have had a better or more refreshing time in the mountains.
We drove up Friday night just in time to settle in and change clothes for the rehearsal. I never got a picture of the cabin we stayed in (even though every time we left to go somewhere I said "I want to remember to get a picture of the cabin before we leave"- ask Matt), but it was a beautiful place in a really adorable small mountain village. Matt and I were not sure we wanted to leave! The rehearsal was our first glimpse of the beautiful wedding site Terra & Juan picked out. Here is the only picture I got of it right before the sun went down among the amazing fall colors:
After the rehearsal, we made a beeline for Matt's favorite barbeque place, Pappy's, where we ate the most delicious corn fritter appetizer I've ever had! Matt loves this barbeque place, and has even driven all the way to Banner Elk just to eat there a couple of years ago only to find that it was closed for renovations. It's open now and even better than we remembered!
I resisted the urge to force him to stand in front of the restaurant with the sign for a picture and took this one of his delicious dinner arriving instead!
On Saturday, we had a wide open day until the rehearsal dinner that night... and we packed a whole weekend into that one day! We started out by sleeping in and then getting coffee and breakfast out at a really cute local cafe called The River Dog. I felt SO SPOILED- those of you who have kids can understand how just sleeping in and having an uninterrupted, un-rushed breakfast with your love is an amazing "break!" Oh how we used to take that for granted!
We had seen posters around town that nearby Grandfather Mountain was having an "Octoberfest" so we decided to start the morning there. They had a small craft show with local artisans and lots of fun kid activities like a mini fair. Since we clearly didn't come for the beer, we got our funnel cake and apple cotton candy "to go" and took it on a ride up the mountain! It was so strange to see the ski slopes covered in grass and to take the ski lift with no skis, but also very peaceful and perfect, beautiful weather!
On the way up:
At the top, we hiked up to a little lookout point. The view from the top:
All those little green dots are Christmas trees!
After we left, we still had a little time before the evening wedding festivities, so we headed into Valle Crucis to go to Mast General store. We love this place! By this point, Matt and I were both seriously ready to move to the mountains. We didn't take any pictures, but here is a link to when we went two years ago right before Kenna arrived. We would love to make this a yearly trip!
We got back in time to change and head out to the rehearsal dinner- Juan's family hosted a delicious fiesta at a local Mexican restaurant with such delicious food! Right afterward there was a welcome dessert for all the out of town guests, with beautiful fall decorations and an amazing guitar shaped groom's cake (I somehow managed to not get any pictures of that either!).
The wedding itself was on Sunday afternoon, and it was the sunniest and warmest it had been all weekend! Because I was so focused on watching the wedding and listening to what Matt was saying, I didn't get as many photos as I'd like of the ceremony. But I am very glad we have some memories of this special wedding! Here are some of Matt and the happy couple:
and here's one that shows the total beauty of the area!
Kenna spent the whole wedding blissfully happy, running from mountain to mountain while her Granddaddy chased her. Two year olds plus four hour car trips make for very active toddlers!
The reception was one of the best I've ever been to, with a buffet of delicious food and a really great band! I visited with Nana B. and stuffed myself silly on mini crab cakes and sweet tea while Kenna burned off the rest of her energy dancing with Daddy and Granddaddy:
The reception hall alone made me want to get married all over again. There were large columns throughout the room that were actually large trees, and everything was covered in twinkle lights. When we saw it at the rehearsal, we thought it was a big, beautiful room, but at the wedding, we found out that the walls all opened up to make it like a huge outdoor pavilion! This picture truly does not do it justice:
Juan is a really talented musician (hence the guitar groom's cake, and the guitar that everybody signed with paint pens instead of a guest book!) and played and sang a song he wrote for Terra for the wedding. It was incredibly beautiful and sweet! One of my favorite things about weddings is seeing all the married couples in the room seeming to reminisce about their own weddings and how long they have been married as they celebrate with a new couple starting their own marriage. I thought my heart would burst when Matt and I danced with both Kenna and my pregnant belly squished between us! We stayed as long as we possibly could until we had to get back on the road.
I'm always a little sad to see the sun setting as the mountains move into our rear view as we head home. The drive home from Boone will always remind me of a long conversation Matt and I had on the way home from another good friend's wedding in Boone where we both were at a crossroads with our faith. We spent the long four hours seriously discussing and deciding whether we were going to truly live our lives for the Lord, or keep on calling ourselves Christians while following our own plans. I'm so thankful firstly for a loving heavenly Father that continues calling us into reconciliation and obedience to Him, even in the midst of our sin and selfishness, and for a husband who loves me and loves the Lord- I treasure the way we have held each other up in our faith through the hard times so far and that a weekend alone with him only reassures my certainty that he is the very best friend I could have!
What a good, good weekend. We came home happy tired, refreshed, and ready to sleep in our own beds. Congratulations to Juan and Terra, the new Mr. and Mrs. Sosa!