Erika + Zach || Say I Do || Smokey's Adventures on the Gorge

I love Erika and Zach’s love story. Two compassionate, WV loving, determined, career-driven, humble, and adventurous souls just waiting to meet and fall in love.

Erika is a Family Physician with Fayette Physicians in Fayetteville, WV; from Elkins, WV. Zach is a Realtor with Century 21 in Fayetteville, WV; from Ona, WV. They both love their state and all that it has to offer.

Both Erika and Zach also love adventure. Two of their favorite hobbies include climbing and running and with several mutual friends it was just a matter of time for them to be set up on a blind date in September. After a couple burritos, a long walk, and good conversation it didn’t take long for them to realize that they had something special.

Later that week (date #2) they went climbing together in Fayetteville. Zach was thinking of training for a 50K early January so Erika jumped in and signed up for the race, too. They hung out the rest of that fall (most of which included running, climbing, or food) so they were hooked pretty quickly. They spent New Year's at Canaan and ran their first long run of 2016 together through Blackwater. Then they raced a 50k (the Frozen Sasquatch in the Kanawha State Forest) later that month together, and the rest is history!

They both loved the Fayetteville area due to their love of hiking, climbing, and swimming, and after looking for a weekend cabin to buy together they stumbled upon the house of their dreams. Jobs were available for them so they took the leap of faith to make it all happen. Their house closed on Bridge Day, and friends and family came to watch the bridge jumpers and see the couple’s new home, but Zach surprised Erika with a private plane ride over the New River Gorge to witness a gorgeous aerial view of their new home together and Zach proposed to Erika in the air. Friends and family were there waiting to celebrate with them when they landed.

With such a beautiful start, Zach and Erika knew they wanted a wedding that fit their story just as perfectly. They planned for a winter wedding at Smokey’s Adventure on the Gorge because it held a special piece of their story as well. You could see their home across the rim line and they loved climbing nearby rocks, running the trails and swimming in the New River weekly.  It was a perfect fit and held a special place in their hearts.

With a quick no fuss engagement, Erika knew she had to get things taken care of quickly. When it came to her gorgeous dress she walked into The Boutique by B.Belle in Charleston and said, "I need a dress because my fiance decided on February" just a couple of months before the big day.

She fell in love with a dress on-site and with only 1 left in her size the store had it shipped from Europe to make it in time for the big day. The gentlemen wore tuxes that actually came from B & E Menswear in Huntington, WV – which was owned by the pastor who officiated their ceremony.

Once the big day arrived, prayers had been answered for no blizzards and instead Erika and Zach were blessed with beautiful weather in February. Their day was nothing short of perfect. Even in the morning hours everyone was calm and just excited for the days events. Erika got ready in their home with all of her closest friends and pup, Cooper. After a long morning run, Zach got ready with all of his groomsmen in a nearby cabin with a toast to kick off the celebration.

The ceremony at Smokey’s was incredible. The details and warmth surrounding the venue space had everyone in awe, and the pastor, Brent Beckett, who officiated did a beautiful job of blended tradition and new-fashioned charm.

Everyone celebrated to a local string band “Long Point” in true WV fashion kicking their shoes off and dancing the night away. It was the perfect day. Erika and Zach really have the perfect love story.

Erika and Zach BECKETT WEDDING_0268.jpg

Erika wore one of her grandmother's pearl necklaces and her other grandmother's pearl earrings. She also had a Bible with her that day that has been passed down through her paternal grandmother's family.


Venue - Smokey's, Adventure on the Gorge

Wedding Coordinator - Jessica at Adventures on the Gorge

Attire -  Boutique by B.Belle in Charleston (dress) and B & E Menswear in Huntington (tuxes)

Flowers - Bessie's Floral Designs in Oak Hill

Officiant – Brent Beckett

Band - Long Point String Band

Photography – Maryn Graves Productions

2nd Shooter – Claire Watson