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Remembering your roots

By Jessica Ewing | Photography by Matt Powell Productions

Posted: Tuesday, Sep. 04, 2012

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Who knew that 6 a.m. was the prime time to meet your future husband? Charissa Clearman was not expecting to meet and fall in love with Matthew Corbin in the Appalachian State University weight room, but that is exactly what happened. As college athletes – Charissa a volleyball player and Matt a football player – the two were assigned the same weightlifting time and immediate caught each other’s eye. “Matt caught a glimpse of me doing pullups, did a double-take and got caught by my teammate. After several weeks of flirtatious glances, Matt took the first leap and asked me on a date,” says Charissa.

The couple knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together and often discussed their plans for marriage. However, when Charissa received a call from Matt inquiring when she planned to return to his hometown of Franklin, N.C. for a Thanksgiving feast, she had no idea of the special proposal that awaited her. Matt, who had been clearing out trails on his family’s land for several months, insisted on showing Charissa his work and used the opportunity to sweep Charissa off her feet – literally, with the help of a four-wheeler.

Matt and Charissa arrived at a spot dubbed the “Joe Place.” As he explained his intentions to clear and fix the area, he suddenly stopped the four-wheeler and led Charissa into the distance. The Joe Place is a piece of land very dear to his family, for it was the location where the first Corbins settled in the early 1800s. His heritage began there, and he knew that was the perfect place to start his future. He grabbed the ring box out of his pocket and said, “Charissa, I want you to be a part of that heritage.” Down on one knee, Matt spoke the words Charissa had been waiting for since they met each other five years ago: “Will you marry me?”

The wedding had a strong focus on family, encompassing aspects of both Charissa’s and Matt’s traditions. “We are close to our families and feel truly blessed that we have them [and were able] to celebrate with them,” says Charissa.

The ceremony, held in Matt’s childhood church, featured the bride in a classic and simple cotton dress. The groom decided to pass on the traditional tuxedo, instead choosing to sport Levi jeans, a green button-up shirt and a linen vest that reflected the relaxed feel of the mountain scenery.

Charissa says, “The wedding was reflective of who we are. We love the outdoors, hiking and the country and we really wanted our day to show that. We wanted everyone to wear what they wanted to wear and feel relaxed and just enjoy their time with us.”

Charissa’s grandfather married the two in front of 300 of the bride and groom’s friends and family. Having married five out of his six grandchildren, his participation continued a longstanding and loved tradition of Charissa’s family.

The reception took place in a large barn and felt like a warm and intimate family affair. Thanks to Matt and his family’s love for “The Andy Griffith Show,” the couple had an original police car featured in the production parked next to the barn for their guest to enjoy and take pictures in.

Capturing these memories was Matt Powell Productions. Charissa gushes, “[Matt Powell] did a fabulous job. It was like he was a part of the crowd and the wedding. He captured the pictures I wanted as well as special pictures that could only be found in unplanned moments.”

As the reception came to a close, the couple ran past their guests holding lit sparklers to a helicopter ready to whisk them away to the high skies above the Great Smoky Mountains. Seeing everyone wave goodbye, Laura and Matt felt blessed by the love and support every friend and family member present. Charissa says, “What a perfect way to end a perfect day.”

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Matt Powell Productions
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Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: “Love is patient”

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