Taylor Cairns has fond memories of the “Appalcart” during her years at Appalachian State University. It was on the free town bus that she first met Billy Stiles, and it’s where he eventually asked Taylor to be his girlfriend. “He said that if he proposed it wouldn’t be on the bus,” she laughs.
Since their college years held cherished memories, Billy took Taylor back to Appalachian to celebrate her birthday in September 2009. They ate breakfast at their favorite restaurant, shopped in Blowing Rock and drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It wasn’t until Billy pulled over at a familiar spot – the lookout where they had their first date – that Taylor realized he was up to something. Billy led her out of the car and said he hoped to tell their future children this was where their parents first dated and fell in love and where their dad asked their mom to marry him. He slipped a ring onto her finger after Taylor exclaimed “Yes!”
Months later, in June, a storm threatened the couple’s outside wedding plans. “It stormed until 6 p.m.,” Taylor says. “For a while, I was thinking we wouldn’t be able to get married.” As if on cue, the clouds cleared, the temperature dropped to 70 degrees, and the sunset glowed in the sky. “It was the most beautiful sunset you could ever ask for,” she remembers.
After the storm subsided, Taylor walked down the aisle of the lawn in a gown from J Major’s Bridal Boutique. “The best thing about our wedding day was when we met eyes as I walked down the aisle,” Taylor says. “We always give each other the sign for love in sign language, and as I was walking down the aisle, I signed it to him and he signed it back. That was the most special moment for us both.”
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Standing by to capture the moments of celebration were Nate and Rachel from Nathan Abplanalp Photography. “They captured the small, special details,” Taylor says. The wedding, which incorporated a “Shabby Chic” theme, incorporated flowers from Willow Branch Flowers and Design.
The guest favors included some flavor from the groom. Lottery tickets were placed on each guest’s chair in an envelope that read, “We are lucky to have you in our lives.”
Taylor says, “After the wedding, we kept getting all these calls from people who had won!”
Willow Branch Flowers and Design
Nathan Abplanalp Photography
J Major’s Bridal Boutique
Continue reading real wedding stories! Up next: ’Long distance love’