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Family bonds

By Sarah Ryberg | Photography by Kristin Vining Photography

Posted: Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2012

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Long before Jennifer Underhill and Edwin (Win) Jones were husband and wife, they were friends at Camp Oak Hill. “We were both campers there, and when we worked together as counselors, we discovered that we laughed at the same things,” Jenn says. A few years later, Win travelled to Sweden on a study abroad program. They kept talking while he was away, and when Win came home, he took the first step and kissed her.

On Dec. 16, 2010, he would take another big step. “Win had planned to come eat lunch with me at work and surprise me with flowers, a packed bag and a proposal,” she says. When it snowed and work was cancelled, he came to her apartment instead. Jenn awoke to roses in her living room and Win holding a classic solitaire from Diamonds Direct. “We spent the weekend celebrating in New York City,” Jenn says. “But that whole Christmas was so special. All four of our grandmothers were alive and we got to share our engagement with them and our entire family.”

The couple decided on a small wedding that focused on a love for family. For the wedding location, they chose Manteo, N.C. As Jenn’s grandparents had a home there, the locale had a special significance to her. She had vacationed there her entire life, and even when they were just friends, Win had come to stay as well. The couple chose a private garden overlooking the sound, and for their reception, they celebrated at their favorite local restaurant.

For photography, the couple chose Kristin Vining. After seeing the emotion she captured in her pictures, Win and Jenn immediately loved her style. “It was the emotion and love in her pictures,” she explains. “They were beautiful as far as color, scenery and the whole setup.”

Shortly before the wedding, both Win and Jenn lost one of their grandmothers. Since the couple’s remaining grandmothers were too sick to travel, they also didn’t make it to the celebration. Even though their grandmothers couldn’t attend in person, Jenn and Win made sure to incorporate them into the wedding. “The sweetheart table was decorated with my great grandmother’s tablecloths, napkins and placemats,” Jenn recalls. “We also used my grandmother’s silverware, china and toasting glasses.” As an additional reference to family, the couple displayed their grandmothers’ pictures throughout the room and used their vases for the flowers.

On the day, Jenn had a special handkerchief that incorporated all of the women in her combined family. There were wedding dress pieces from her mother, her mother-in-law and one of her grandmothers. For the grandmothers who didn’t have their wedding dresses, little white ribbons were sewn on to represent them. As a finishing touch, the handkerchief had monograms for all of the ladies.

Since Jenn’s grandmother (on her mother’s side) was unable to make it to the wedding, the couple visited the following day. Dressed in their wedding attire, they took pictures with her. “It was like she was actually there on the day, and it became even more important because it was the last time we saw her,” she says. “She passed away while we were on our honeymoon.”

For Win and Jenn, the most important part of their wedding was their family and their love for each other. “Our friends and family were so happy and supportive, and we felt so loved that whole weekend,” Jenn says. “Our wedding was everything we wanted and we have never loved each other more.”

Featured vendors

Engagement and Wedding Rings
Diamonds Direct SouthPark
704-532-9041
www.diamonds-direct.com

Photography
Kristin Vining Photography
704-258-3117
www.kristinvining.com

Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: 'A perfect match'

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