Intimate Woodstock Wedding
Grace & Danton have a sweet story. A story that inspired me. When the rest of the world was hiding in fear, letting a worldwide pandemic ruin their plans, Grace & Danton took the lemons that they were dealt, and they made some lemonade.
This special courthouse ceremony, with loved ones surrounding them, reminded me why I started taking pictures in the first place. I want to capture the big moments, the moments that mean something, the moments that are raw, emotion soaked, and REAL. Marriage is not about a big party with an expensive price tag and an extensive guest list. Marriage is about love -- love between two individuals who are choosing forever, love between a parent and their grown child, love between a grandmother and her granddaughter....the love that was present in downtown Woodstock when Grace & Danton said "I do", could not be mistaken.
I asked Grace to share some of her story, and her experience with wedding planning during a pandemic....
"Our story began a little over 3 years ago when Danton was sent to Virginia from South Carolina to play for the Woodstock River Bandits, a summer league baseball team in my hometown for a second summer. I was starting college at Shenandoah University when I came home that summer and met Danton. Danton being the outgoing, outspoken and bold person he is, approached me and introduced himself. I knew that I had found the man I was going to marry but certainly didn’t know how tough life 7 hours from one another was going to be. Our long distance relationship began after that summer and from there we did life things from 2 states away.
Our love grew stronger over the years and we quickly found out that our love for one another was greater than the distance. We found a way to make it to each other's greatest moments. After a weekend of celebrating in South Carolina, Danton proposed at our favorite restaurant and is now where we spend many dinners together. A week after engagement we were ready and so excited to get to planning. Little did we know our dream wedding, perfect day, and celebration would be quite different than we ever imagined. COVID lockdown began a week after being engaged. The planning continued and we continued to have faith that the virus would be contained and we would get to have our big day. As time moved on and planning continued to slow down, the COVID cases began to rise. The excitement for our big day quickly changed to concern and anxiousness. We knew from the beginning that if the people that meant the most to us could not attend because of the virus, we would not be interested in having it. This meant rescheduling, cancelling or postponing if the virus continued to spread. Summer rolled around and the planning had halted COVID cases were no where near where we would have liked for them to be, people we knew were getting sick & having large gatherings became something we feared instead of longed for.
We quickly realized that our love for one another would not be defined by a large party of hundreds of people. From that realization we decided to proceed with getting married earlier than the original wedding date. The elopement that we planned with immediate friends and family was one of the most perfect things we would have ever imagined. We spent a few weeks notifying our closest friends and family of the change & began planning our intimate ceremony in Woodstock, VA at the Historic Courthouse where we met over 3 years ago. Although our large celebration plans are on hold, my dress has not been altered to fit, and we have not set a date for our “actual” wedding, we are so so happy with our lives together! We are currently living in Newberry, South Carolina where Danton is selling Insurance and I have started my Real Estate career. I encourage all COVID brides to not have fear but to take a step back and think about the real reason weddings take place. It isn’t about the flowers, the cake, the meal or even the wedding dress, it is about the love for one another. We knew that no matter what happened, we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. "
Dress: @ivycityco // ivycityco.com Hair: @savvyyg_hair // Savannah Gochenour Florals: Valley Flower Shop & Greenhouse Inc