Carolina Bride

Natural evolution

Kendall Guion and Matthew Rich first met during their high school years, growing up in the same circle of friends. Despite going their separate ways for college, they would still reconnect during summer breaks unaware that after years of hanging out, their friendship would soon blossom into true love. They often hung out together in groups, but soon Kendall recognized she had a special connection with Matt. “We spent every second we could together,” she says. “I knew we were more than just friends when I realized I didn't want a day to go by where we didn't see each other.” So when Matt kissed her on a Saturday night in uptown Charlotte, she knew it was the beginning of something special. “We took it slow and it naturally evolved into true love,” she says. “It was something substantial and long-lasting.”A strong foundation of friendship has been key in their relationship. “We are best friends,” Kendall says. “I think that’s going to help us build a life together – we aren’t going to be surprised by who each other is.”Because Kendall and Matt tell each other everything, she says, and it’s really hard for them to keep secrets. So Matt was faced with quite the challenge when, five years into their dating relationship, he planned to surprise Kendall with an intimate proposal. He gently woke her up on a lazy Saturday morning, a ring hidden in the palm of his hand. After speaking his heart and his love, he presented the ring to her. “Of course I accepted,” Kendall says. “Then I cried, laughed, and cried some more.” They spent the rest of the morning together enjoying a local farmers market and sharing the news with family.Kendall and Matt wasted no time planning for their wedding. One store and three dresses later, Kendall found her perfect dress at J. Major’s only two weeks into the engagement. She loved how the sleek bodice hugged her slender frame and the cascading train gathered romantically behind her. She raves about her experience there. “The owner was phenomenal, and the girls were really nice,” she says.True to their fun, laid-back style, Kendall and Matt wanted their wedding to be simple and sophisticated with a Southern flair. They drove out to Locust, N.C., to purchase Old School Mill grits to include in gift bags for out-of-town guests along with Blenheim ginger ale and other goodies. For their special day, Kendall and Matt focused on unique touches that represented their relationship. Using recycled material from a vintage sweater, a close friend made the ring pillow, handwriting special song lyrics on ribbon to weave throughout the fabric. Special boutonnieres of dried Edelweiss flowers were special ordered for the groom and his men. “They were simple and unique while referencing the historical stories of young men climbing to the tops of the Alps to pick these rare and hard-to-reach flowers for their loves, proving their intentions,” Kendall explains. The weekend was full of celebration for family and friends, including a bridesmaid luncheon and an intimate rehearsal dinner. It all led up to the brisk fall day in October. The weather was perfect as Matt and Kendall said their vows on the newly renovated lawn of a local country club, the cascading hills serving as the backdrop for their outdoor wedding. There to capture the day was DeLayna of d. kenney imaging, preserving the beautiful memories and unique touches. “DeLayna had this amazing burst of life,” Kendall says. “I couldn’t be happier.”Matt and Kendall were determined to make their wedding a party everyone would remember. “We focused on making sure the food was delicious, the drinks were flowing and the music was fabulous,” Kendall says. “We wanted to look back and say we had a really fun wedding, where everyone was included on the celebration and had a great time. I think we succeeded!”

Featured vendors

Wedding gown, shoes, veil and headpiece

J. Major’s Bridal Boutique

704-372-0082

www.jmajors.com

Photography

d. kenney imaging

704-488-8371

www.dkenneyimaging.com

Rental provider

Party Reflections

704-332-8176

www.partyreflections.com

Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: ’She said Yes! - Stephanie and Shane’

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