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The comfort of home

By Lauren Dunn | Photography by Rachel Fesko Photography

Posted: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012

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In the midst of the reception at the Dairy Barn, Meredith Cox took a moment to look around. She appreciated the friends and family whom her military duties had kept from her for so long. But, most importantly, she noticed her new husband, that country boy who had asked her to marry him under an oak tree a year and a half before.

Officer Meredith Cox met Officer Michael Wallace at Fort Bragg, N.C. while Meredith was scouting out a place to live after her permanent change of station from Fort Lee, Va. After watching the Army versus Navy football game, Meredith accepted a tour around the area from this “tall, dark and handsome” officer.

“He was a country boy!” Meredith says. “The first night we met, he drove me and my friend around in his big, blue pickup truck with country music blaring – I was hooked.”

It was the instant comfort they both felt that had them officially dating within a week. A proposal came next, and the wedding planning started soon after.

For this Oregon girl, no big, elaborate plans would do. She wanted a small, simple affair. With guests traveling from Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia, selecting a location proved to be tricky business. They finally decided to showcase their current home with a wedding at the Dairy Barn.

“The Dairy Barn is so beautiful, we really didn't feel the need for many decorations,” Meredith says. “We just wanted to let the beauty of the wood in the hayloft and the milking parlors downstairs speak for themselves.”

The Dairy Barn’s hayloft served as the site for the ceremony, and the couple shared their first kiss under the customary saber arch after being pronounced husband and wife.

The couple was then whisked away by Rachel Fesko Photography to capture some portraits outside the silo and barn.

For these two Army officers, the wedding marked an occasion to celebrate not only their love for each other, but also the journey that had led to this point. To represent their growth as a couple, each guest received natural-blue spruce tree seedlings that could be taken home and planted.

“Being that I'm an Oregon girl, I'm all for renewing resources, and the idea of trees being planted to honor our ‘growing’ relationship seemed perfect,” Meredith says. “We've each grown a lot through our relationship, and although it hasn't always been easy, every day we are stronger then the last.”

The reception, with décor from Creative Solutions as the backdrop, transitioned from dinner to cake and dancing, but Meredith says their favorite part of the day was simply being near their family and friends.

“That's one of the hardest things about being in the military. We aren't living around our childhood friends, our aunts, our uncles, our cousins, our parents or our siblings; we're living where the Army needs us,” Meredith says. “So, to have this one evening where everyone we miss so much is in one room, and they're all happy and laughing and dancing… That was the best way I could have ever chosen to start our life together.”

The couple set off for a four-day honeymoon to snowy New York before both were deployed. Now, even with miles and countries between them, Meredith says the distance doesn’t matter.

“No relationship is perfect, but what has gotten us through the hardest times is really our communication,” Meredith says. “We're both very stubborn and we won't just give up, especially on each other.”

Featured vendors

Ceremony and reception location
Dairy Barn/ASC Greenway
803-548-7252
www.leroysprings.com

Photography
Rachel Fesko Photography
704-661-8343
www.rachelfeskophotography.com

Rental provider
Creative Solutions Special Events
704-825-8701
www.csspecialevents.com

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