Courtney & Mark
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
Date: October 1, 2016
Photographer: Chelsea Koerten of CJK Photography
Wedding theme: Scenic outdoor wedding
Something new, something boots:
My bracelet, necklace, and earrings were given to me by my mother-in-law. My bridesmaids and I wore cowboy boots, inspired by Pinterest.
Tell us your love story!
My husband and I met through a mutual friend 12 years before we got married. We were just friends for many years and talked via phone, text, and email for about 5 years. He was always a great friend to me and I knew he was “husband material,” but I wasn’t ready for that. After being friends for 5 years, we decided to give a relationship a try. In 2011, my two children and I moved from Pennsylvania to Tennessee and we started our life as a family unit.
How did he propose?
In 2014, we attended the wedding of a friend in Pennsylvania. The entire day, I was teasing him about not being engaged after being together for so long. That night, he and I took an overnight trip to Philadelphia. After we checked into our hotel, we walked to a pier and went to an overlook and spent some time talking. We were turning to leave and he said, “I want to ask you something.” When I turned around, he was down on one knee with the ring in his hand and said, “Will you marry me?” He totally surprised me. He is the biggest blessing to my children and me.
Wear something that you are comfortable in because if you’re not, it will be obvious in photos.
How did you find your dress?
I knew I wanted a classic look, so I chose long-sleeve lace. I tried dresses on at another bridal shop before coming to David’s Bridal, and I was not at all impressed. I picked my dress out on the David’s Bridal website and when I went into the store it was the only dress I tried on that day. I walked out of the fitting room, and all of my bridesmaids and I said, “That’s the one.” I felt comfortable in it and that was the most important thing for me because I don’t wear dresses often. I loved my wedding dress.
What was the most memorable part of your wedding day?
Mark initially smiled when he saw me in my wedding dress, but when our officiant began to speak, he started to cry. I did too!
What was your reception like?
We shied away from a traditional reception. Living in Tennessee, University of Tennessee Volunteer football is a huge deal. We got married on a day when UT was playing an away game, so we rented a cabin for our reception and we had the game on for our guests. Everyone changed out of their wedding attire and into casual clothes. We spent the whole night celebrating with our friends until 4 a.m.—we had a blast!