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Garden party gorgeous

By Sarah Ryberg | Photography by Critsey Rowe Photography

Posted: Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2012

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While they were both working at Red Rocks Café, Taylor Parks asked if Erin Gibson was seeing anybody. She had a boyfriend at the time, but when the relationship ended, he immediately asked Erin out – only, she didn’t know they were on a date. “One day he asked me if I would come to Brixx pizza and meet everybody for a drink,” Erin says. “When I showed up at Brixx, it was just Taylor. No one else from work ever showed.”Although it was a surprise, the pair enjoyed wine and pizza on the perfect first date.

Three years later, Taylor was planning to surprise Erin again. The couple was heading off to Key West for a much-needed getaway, and as they always get excited about their vacations, Erin didn’t think anything of Taylor’s behavior. “He asked me to sit on the couch, where I saw two glasses of champagne waiting for us,” she says. “I thought he just had a vacation surprise for me.” It was then that Rex (the couple’s French bulldog) came in wearing a sign that read, “Mom, will you marry Dad… please.” As Taylor got down on one knee, Erin noticed the solitaire engagement ring in the bottom of her glass.

For the wedding, Erin and Taylor wanted a garden celebration and felt that Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden was the perfect venue. “I was leaning towards the non-traditional outside venue, and once I saw the White Garden, I was done looking,” Erin says. “It had the intimate feel I was looking for and I knew it would be perfect for our spring garden wedding.”

After securing the White Garden, the couple could start focusing on the personal touches. “I thrive off little details,” Erin mentions. “Once a week I’d meet my mom at Ru San’s to plan and have fun.” One of those details was a wedding sign, handmade by the bride’s father. The sign directed the guests to the ceremony, and when they arrived at the venue, they found a lemonade stand for refreshment and a space decorated with lanterns. The intricate details continued into the reception, where Erin and Taylor offered a cake table with cake balls, cake pops and two delicately designed traditional cakes. Guests could enjoy from a variety of flavors, including lemon sponge and mocha. At the end of the night, the pair offered heart-shaped doughnuts to go.

Of all the details the couple planned, the flowers were one of Erin’s favorite features. The flowers, provided by Carey Roberts Design Co., were a mixture of peonies and baby’s breath. For the centerpieces, Erin decided on short peony arrangements for some tables and tall vases of baby’s breath on others. “The baby’s breath really popped and made the garden feel come together,” Erin says.

After paying so much attention to the personal touches, Erin wanted a photographer who could capture the details. When they saw her pictures, the couple knew that Critsey Rowe Photography was the right choice. “I’m really big into photography,” Erin says. “I would look at Critsey’s pictures and I knew the way she captured details was something I wanted on my wedding day.”

Critsey also captured Erin’s bridal session at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, where Erin donned her trumpet dress from J Major’s Bridal Boutique and was styled by Lindsey Regan Thorne. After a successful first session, Critsey invited Erin along for a second shoot to show off the season’s fashions. J Major’s loaned Erin two gowns for the occasion and they headed off to a local furniture store. “It was a great experience and really fun to be selected as the ‘model,’” she says. “I always love to get my hair and makeup done.”

On the day of the wedding, the couple enjoyed a blissful climate. Taylor and Erin were expecting hot and humid temperatures, but the pleasant 70-degree weather made for a perfect outdoor ceremony. With the service performed by her childhood preacher, the couple exchanged their Diamonds Direct wedding bands in a ceremony personal to them.

The newlyweds spent the rest of the night partying away with their guests. “I will never forget when Taylor and I got on stage and jammed out to ‘I put my hands up in the air sometimes,’” remembers Erin. “We looked down and everyone’s hands were in the air. That was the best.” Of course, Erin’s favorite dance partner was her dad. “He can shag his heart out and literally started the party,” she says.

After months of intricate planning and an unforgettable celebration, the couple enjoyed seven blissful days in Jamaica. Erin and Taylor have now relocated to Virginia and are discovering the joys of exploring a new town.

Featured vendors

Beauty
Be Pretty
704-604-7933
www.lindseyreganthorne.com

Ceremony and reception location
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden
704-825-4490
www.DSBG.org

Flowers
Carey Roberts Design Co.
704-718-6987
www.careyrobertsdesign.com

Photography
Critsey Rowe Photography
704-777-7707
www.critseyrowe.com

Wedding rings
Diamonds Direct SouthPark
704-532-9041
www.Diamonds-Direct.com

Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: “The road to love”

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