Traditional Roman Catholic Wedding at Historic St. Peter's in Harper's Ferry, WV, with Reception at Bavarian Inn, Shepherdstown, WV

When someone’s wedding hashtag is #noretreatnosurrender you have to know they have a sense of humor and determination. Elizabeth reached out to me last year while I happened to be on family vacation. I had planned on just making a quick call, but we were still chatting 90 minutes later. She felt like an old friend that I just somehow missed meeting before. She was driven, funny, and honest, and fiercely in love with a man named Ben because of his love of the Lord. Ben and Elizabeth have in common faith and the same dedication to the sacrament of marriage- but differ in their personalities… in the best way. Ben and Elizabeth strike a balance. Ben is sometimes serious and isn’t afraid of calling it how he sees it. Even still, he opens himself up for adventure and laughs with a full heart. Compatible, but not the same. (The best relationships usually are.)

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Rite of Marriage Book in Priest's hands
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All these characteristics (reverent, fun, relaxed) were evident through their wedding. Holy Hour before rehearsal paid adoration to the Body of Christ (in the form of the Eucharist.) Elizabeth’s dress was bought as part of a fundraiser to aid women in need. The pair processed into the church together, in lieu of the newer, albeit hundreds-years-old, “giving away” tradition.** And the dance floor was opened up with a live band joined by a guest with an accordion. Never in my life have I ever seen such a joy-filled chicken dance. People. Went. Nuts. Ben and Elizabeth are proof that reverent doesn’t have to be stiff or uninviting.

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It was such a joy to see Elizabeth and Ben become husband and wife. I also have to take a moment to brag on the vendors that were involved with this wedding. Elizabeth’s plan had been to hire “people who get you, and then let them do their thing.” It was pretty great to experience working with vendors who want to exceed expectations and a couple that was happy to hand over the reins so they could concentrate on their friends, family, and each other. A huge thank you to Ben and Elizabeth for trusting me with these heirlooms. I hope these images help you build your lifelong story.

Warmly,

Claire

Vendors:

Planner: Broadview Events,

Church: St. Peter’s as cared for by St. James Catholic Church

Florist: West Virjeni

Hair & Makeup: Jessica Tritt

Reception: Bavarian Inn

Music: Bachelor Boys Band

Cake: Sugar Mission Cakes

Second Shooter/ Assistant: Jenni Nolan

** It’s an even older Catholic tradition that the bride and groom end the procession, walking together. This is significant because the end of the procession is reserved for the celebrant of the Sacrament. Usually the priest is at the end of the procession. In a wedding, however, the bride and and groom take that position, since the Sacrament of Marriage is celebrated by the couple getting married. The priest or deacon is only there as a witness.

Claire Watson