Andrea & James, Married! Forest and Lake Wedding, Jane Lew, WV
You can read more about Andrea and James’ origins story here, but the short version is that the pair were never far apart throughout their youths in West Virginia, yet didn’t meet until they were working in San Antonio. I love those kinds of stories because I never think that it was missed opportunity to be together sooner, but rather divine providence that the husband and wife didn’t meet each other until they are prepared to do so. We change so much throughout our lives- we’re not the same person we were in high school and, hopefully, we won’t be the same person ten years from now. I think Andrea and James met when they were supposed to.
A map at the reception even paid homage to the pair’s long distance strides towards each other. And who better to stand along side James as the best man but the mutual friend who introduced the two while both were stationed in Texas, Nate Stansberry.
Andrea was supported by her maid of honor and sister, Elena. As someone who opted for the one-each-bridal-party trend herself, I love intimate bridal parties. The preparation time for both the bride and groom was calm and focused. Andrea and James exchanged letters and, just before the ceremony, shared a private moment to pray.
The wedding was held on a cousin’s farm on a strip of land between the West Fork River and Garton Pond. A unity candle was suspended from a tree branch about four stories high. Flowers from family members’ gardens decorated the tables and ceremony site. A very organized cousin, Emily, served as coordinator. The two said their vows with family members serving as officiants, readers, and singers. The Bride’s grandfather, 97, read a prayer for the now-newlyweds.
A peacock made out of a watermelon served as the focal point of the hors d'oeuvre station, an homage to the bride’s family’s homestead, where peacocks have roamed for generations. The Hickory House out of Jane Lew, WV, provided incredible barbecue while guests listened to music from the guitar and violin duo, Key to Adam, as well as Mike and Carrie Kline. The Bride’s father, Rock Garton, even played a song with the band on his fiddle, a highlight of the evening’s events. Kids and adults alike enjoyed the myriad of swings and hammocks suspended between the trees and roasted marshmallows over the campfire beside a canoe serving as a cooler.
Andrea and James’ wedding was beautiful, relaxed, God-focused, and fun. It was a joy to see these two become a family and such a memorable event. I can’t thank the pair enough for trusting me with their wedding photography. Congratulations Andrea and James! Can’t wait to see you again and hear all about your honeymoon in Costa Rica!