Lindsay Moody and Mark McClain's first meeting involved a hefty bit of chance. Lindsay had been friends with Mark's sister-in-law, Chrissy, since the women were freshmen in college at Georgia College & State University. In July of 2013, Chrissy and her husband decided that Lindsay and Mark needed to meet so they offered to set the pair up, but Lindsay was hesitant and declined. Thankfully, fate intervened five months later when Lindsay headed to a local coffee shop to get some work done. There was only one seat available, at the counter, so Lindsay nabbed it (and dropped her purse in the process). The guy in the next seat bent down to help her pick up her things, and Lindsay realized that it was Mark! "I immediately texted Chrissy, and Mark immediately texted his brother to let them know we'd met after all!" says Lindsay.
The next August, Lindsay found out she'd have to cancel a long-awaited trip to New York City that she'd planned for them in October. "Mark and I were planning to go to my family's lake house for the weekend, but when I told him about rescheduling our NYC trip, he immediately sent me home to pack a new suitcase, booked flights from Atlanta to New York, and we were on our way!" Little did Lindsay know, Mark had planned to propose to her that weekend, so he quickly came up with a new plan as Lindsay busied herself with making reservations and booking tickets for some of her favorite Big Apple activities. During a sunset sail around Manhattan, Mark spotted his moment and got down on one knee. "I was completely shocked," says Lindsay.
The couple chose Old Edwards Inn in Highlands, North Carolina, for their wedding after falling for the amazing food, spectacular service, and the small town locale. "Our weekend felt like a giant slumber party, like the whole town was filled with our favorite people," says Lindsay. Keep reading to see how they brought their April 18, 2015 celebration to life, photographed by Crystal Stokes Photography.
A swirl of calligraphy set the scene for the rustic, whimsical wedding, which Lindsay describes as "black tie meets Restoration Hardware."
The bride went for classic romance, pairing silver peep-toe Kate Spade pumps with an oyster fit-and-flare gown with a lace bodice and layered tulle skirt created by Jim Hjelm. "We narrowed my options down to three dresses, but I had a hard time deciding," says Lindsay. "I went back to try this dress one more time, and brought my grandma with me. She knew it was the one right away!"
Lindsay's bouquet combined ranunculus, garden roses, peonies, olive leaf, and seeded eucalyptus in shades of blush and cream. Her bridesmaids carried smaller versions of the same bouquet, while Mark's boutonniere combined a single ranunculus bud with a scabiosa pod and sage.
Having a black tie wedding was the groom's idea. "He wanted it to be like adult prom!" laughs Lindsay. The bridesmaids wore convertible gowns by Jenny Yoo in a silvery gray hue, allowing each to choose her own style.
The ceremony took place on the lawn at Old Edwards Inn's Rockwood Lodge. A clear tent protected guests from the uncertain weather, while still allowing for a view of the grounds. A simple wooden cross, draped with a garland of hydrangeas and roses, awaited the couple at the end of the aisle.
Lindsay made her way down the aisle on the arm of her father.
Two of the couple's nieces served as flower girls, carrying signs that read "Uncle Mark, Here Comes Your Girl!" and "Wait Until You See Her!" Says Lindsay, "They were supposed to sit down after they walked down the aisle, but they were so proud of their role in the wedding that they stood by the bridesmaids for the entire ceremony."
After they were pronounced husband and wife, Lindsay and Mark explored the Inn's grounds for some gorgeous early spring photos.
Inside The Farm, the high ceilings and exposed beams were complemented with draped fabric and lots of candlelight. Farm tables were topped with moss and low arrangements of garden roses and ranunculus, giving the reception an organic feel. Nearby round tables featured arrangements of hydrangeas, garden roses, and sweet peas in silver vessels.
The height of the room was complemented with taller arrangements, while the stone fireplace was covered in candles and a wild display of blooms and greenery.
As a nod to their first meeting, Lindsay and Mark served Sublime Donuts to guests on the dancefloor, and the simple wedding cake was served alongside French macarons, in honor of the place where the bride and groom fell in love.
Mark and Lindsay made sure to enjoy the special moments of their wedding day, and even planned a quiet way to remind each other when one had happened. "We had a secret code word, and whispered it to each other any time there was a special moment that we wanted to remember forever," says Lindsay.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Old Edwards Inn || Wedding Planner: Chancey Charm Weddings || Bride's Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm || Shoes: Kate Spade || Veil & Earrings: Sara Gabriel || Hair & Makeup: Love Makeup Hair || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Guffey's of Atlanta || Florist: Floressence Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Dancing Pen & Press || Signage: Julie Ann McKevitt || Music: Nathan Angelo; The A-Town A-List || Catering: Old Edwards Inn || Cake: Creative Pastries by Sid || Rentals: Professional Party Rentals; Crush Event Rentals || Getaway Car: Classic Event Motors || Photography: Crystal Stokes Photography
Want to see more rustic weddings? Then check out another couple's winter celebration in Virginia in the video below.