Winter Enchantment

12/20/2013 12:24 PM

01/02/2014 12:10 PM

Beth and Jake’s relationship began with a single, quirky question: If you could have a pet dinosaur, would it be a Velociraptor or a T-Rex?

That was Jake’s opening line in a message to Beth on OkCupid.com, where the couple first met. “Jake is two years younger than me, “ says Beth. “I had it in my head that I didn’t want a younger guy, so his message almost got filtered through, but when I read the opening line, I responded immediately.” As she later learned, that was Jake’s standard pickup line, but she didn’t hold it against him. After their initial date, the two began hanging out almost everyday – they immediately knew they were right for one another.

“We don’t have a proposal story,” explains Beth, “we always talked about what we wanted in life, our goals, that type of thing. And one day we were having one of those conversations, and at the end of it we decided that we were engaged.”

The ring came later, and after Jake returned from a 7-week stint in Oklahoma for work the planning began. Rather than hire a wedding consultant, the couple chose to work together to plan the affair. The first venue Beth and Jake toured was the Ritz’s Urban Garden. “I wasn’t excited to tour the Ritz,” says Beth, “I just didn’t think it would be that cool. But the moment we saw the space, we knew it was where we wanted to get married.”

The two decided to let the beauty of the Urban Garden and its view of Charlotte skyline influence the event’s timeline and its feel, opting for a sunset ceremony so the city’s lights would be ablaze and a color palette of navy, grey, and fresh green.

“Not only was the sunset ceremony unique,” says Beth, “But we also wrote the entire ceremony ourselvesJake and I walked into the ceremony together. It better represented us.” Within the ceremony, the couple also incorporated a blessing of the hands as well as a sand unity ritual.

Beth and Jake also chose to forego traditional “wedding” tunes at their ceremony, and instead picked selections from the Vitamin String Quartet to play while they walked down the aisle and made their exit.

“My favorite moment,” says Beth, “was walking out of the ceremony with Jake, down a staircase lined with all of our favorite people holding candles while the Vitamin String Quartet version of “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys was playing.”

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