It was Aug. 15, 2010, and it was time to celebrate. Brittany Cornwell and Steven Whitaker had just arrived in Cancun, Mexico, to mark the end of a hard, work-filled summer. Right when they arrived they went out to explore the resort and soak up the sun. It was a welcome change of pace, but as the sun sank below the horizon the tired couple returned to their room. Steven went outside onto the balcony overlooking the lagoon. Brittany soon joined him, and as he wrapped his arms around her she immediately noticed something. “His heart was pounding,” says Brittany. She asked him why, and as he knelt down on one knee he said, “because of this.” He held out a beautiful diamond ring and asked Brittany to be his wife. As soon as Brittany and Steven were back stateside, the wedding planning commenced. “I was so excited,” recalls Brittany. “A lot of girls have their wedding dreamed up their whole life but I wasn’t like that.” The couple wanted their wedding to be classic and elegant, but they also wanted to keep their guests in mind. They chose a Friday wedding with Lake Lure as the setting. “We didn’t want our wedding to be just a ‘day’ but rather a ‘weekend’ that everyone would remember,” says Brittany. On Nov. 11, 2011, Brittany and Steven wed in a traditional church ceremony. Brittany walked down the aisle in a classic, strapless gown adorned with lace and beading from Mecklenburg Bridal, and Steven stood at the front in a Calvin Klein tux from New York Bride & Groom. One of the most memorable moments for Brittany and Steven was the “first look.” Before meeting photographer Rachel Fesko, the couple had never heard of a first look. Rachel explained that it’s a private, intimate meeting before the ceremony when the groom sees the bride for the first time. “It was so amazing. It was just the two of us, and we were able to take in all of the emotion,” says Brittany. “You can’t do that when you walk down the aisle. We were exactly the way we wanted to be.” The reception was elegant, just as Brittany and Steven envisioned, with a formal, candlelit dinner. The centerpieces reflected Brittany’s bouquet, and Brittany made sure to include personal touches throughout the event. Since November is chilly, especially in the mountains, Brittany provided a basket full of blankets. Each blanket had a navy ribbon and a card on it that read, “Keep Warm.” For the guest book, guests were given cards to write advice, memories or well wishes for the newlyweds. Brittany and Steven have been married almost a full year, and since last November they’ve added a mini Schnauzer named Sebi to their family unit. Brittany says, “He’s like our child!” And beyond the quality puppy time, the two have been traveling, relaxing, and enjoying the married life.
Rachel Fesko Photography
New York Bride & Groom
Wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses
Mecklenburg Bridal Gallery
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