December 1, 2017
The couple’s love story began back in 1994 when John and Cassie, along with all of the other 6th graders, took a school field trip to Busch Gardens and Seaworld. John decided he wanted to test his skills by playing a carnival game. He tossed a softball and, surprisingly, sunk it straight into the oversized milk jug. A giant blue/purple fuzzy stuffed monkey was his prize that Cassie ended up carrying around for him the rest of the day. At the end of the trip, he gave it to her and they named him, Sam. They have been best friends ever since. Their Vineyard at 37 High Holly wedding is the start of a new chapter as husband and wife.
They were on a trip to Ireland with Cassie’s family when John “bent the knee” and proposed at Clonmacnoise Monastery. At their rehearsal dinner the night before their wedding, Cassie’s Dad recounted the tale of how the couple tried to hide it from the family as they wanted to find the right time to break the BIG news. Cassie thought she was being sneaky by hiding her shiny new engagement ring under a long sleeve shirt when the family was present, but little did they know that the jig was up and everyone already knew about the surprise. Her brother, Pat, inadvertently snapped a phone pic from afar while it was happening but didn’t realize until later that it was, in fact, John & Cassie getting engaged and not some random strangers. It was so funny to hear the story of how they knew all along!
Cassie and John got married at The Vineyard at 37 High Holly in Scaly Mountain, NC on November 5th. They chose this location because the venue made a beautiful backdrop for their wedding day. And it was just a short 2-hour drive from Atlanta where the couple lives and a lot of their guests would be traveling from. At breakfast, the morning after their wedding, Cassie shared that they almost decided to skip seeing this place because they were feeling spent from visiting a handful of other venues that day but they followed through and ended up loving it. There were places for both the bride and groom to get ready separately on-site, the outdoor ceremony spot was in a lovely area on a grassy lawn with rows of grapevines in the background, and the reception space was expansive and beautifully decorated.
The couple got ready on site at the wedding venue, the girls were in the quaint “farmhouse” and the fellas hung out and got dressed at the “barn house”. Both places overlooked the ceremony and reception site with the vineyard in view so they got a peek at the flurry of activity happening to get everything ready for their big day. Cassie and John got a bird’s-eye view from the top of the hill so they could see their wedding in action before actually being in it yet. It was such a lovely perspective.
The beautiful bride wore a gorgeous blush colored A-line style gown with an illusion neckline and back that had delicate floral applique detail, a fitted bodice, and tulle overlay. To complement the modern vintage feel, the jewel-encrusted grosgrain waist belt added an elegant touch to the dress. The bride chose a blingy pair of light pink Badgley Mischka shoes to complete her chic bridal style. Cassie looked so glamorous, especially with her soft, fur stole wrapped around her shoulders.
Guests began arriving and valets parked their vehicles while they made their way to the ceremony which was held down in the vineyard. The reception took place steps away in an open-air building that had gorgeous oversized chandeliers made from wine barrels.
They were both super laid back leading up to their ceremony as I knew they would be. I had the pleasure of meeting both Cassie & John back when Cody and I first starting dating, probably 11 years ago. He went to high school with both of them and they were friends with the same group of folks. They’ve always been super chill and I had no doubt that the two would be just as easygoing on their wedding day. It made no difference that everything didn’t happen according to plan. They remained calm and collected and just rolled with it. Their excitement about getting married is what mattered the most.
A close friend from high school named, Aadil, officiated their sweet ceremony & retold the story of how their relationship started. Sam, the stuffed gorilla, even made an appearance and was escorted down the aisle by 2 good friends in the wedding party—you can catch a glimpse of him sitting in the front row below. It was such a fun and unique touch that was a first for this wedding photographer. I had to hold it together during their ceremony because I couldn’t help but bawl. But what’s new?! Ceremonies are my favorite part of a wedding day to photograph. These two are dear friends of ours and they hold a special place in my heart. I was so happy to see these two awesome people tie the knot and I was so honored to have photographed their wedding day.
After the ceremony, they had a receiving line to greet and hug all their guests. Before Cassie and John headed off to celebrate, we then took the time to complete family photos along with photos of the wedding party. Our schedule was running pretty tight so we didn’t have much time because the ceremony started a little later than intended but it was all good. I had to do what I call “speed shooting” when photographing the couples’ wedding portraits so that I could get them to their reception on time. While I would have liked to spend more time doing “just married” photos of the couple, we did end up going back out and capturing some images of them in the vineyard after dinner.
Thank you so much for choosing Wayfaring Wanderer + my trusty sidekick (Cody) to photograph your Vineyard at 37 High Holly wedding. It is an honor and a pleasure to call you both friends and we loved being a part of your special day!
Wedding Venue: The Vineyard at 37 High Holly
Wedding Planner: I Do Events
Officiant: Aadil Khwaja (friend)
Ceremony Music: Alyson Weber (Harpist)
Catering: Distinctive Design Events
Wedding Flowers: The Bride’s Mom
Hair: Lotus Hair Artisans (Tommy James Bui)
Makeup: Lotus Hair Artisans (Bethany Melton)
Dress Dress Shop: Affordable Bridal in Buford, GA.
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: K & G
Rentals: Professional Party Rentals
Wedding Photography by Wayfaring Wanderer
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