Lots of hometown love and history wrapped up in this one.
I have known Karly my entire life; in fact, she was one of my very first friends. At a time when you’re awkwardly trying to establish friendships in elementary school I remember asking my dad how to make friends. He said, “Kill em’ with kindness”. Well that wasn’t difficult with Karly, I probably just smiled at her and we were instantly best friends. She has a heart of gold and is to this day she is one of the most genuinely sweet and caring people I know.
Karly and JC have also known one another their entire lives, and JC was even a friend of my older brother. So to say it was an honor to capture this beautiful occasion would be a great understatement. It was special beyond words.
For as long as I can remember Karly and JC always held the same interests. A love for family, their roots, sports, the mountains, and adventure wherever they could find it.
Even though Karly and JC had been friends for a lifetime it wasn’t until after college that a spark grew between them. It didn’t take long for this courtship to become a great love story.
When JC decided to propose to Karly he wanted it to be filled with history, love, and sentiment much like their own story. They had always had a tradition since becoming a couple to cut down a Christmas tree together on Cheat Mountain using his grandfather’s crosscut saw.
JC put this very tree in the hayloft of the barn that his great-grandfather built. He decorated it with grapevines, lights, and a photograph of both of them with their dog Bridger, who you will see from the photographs, is quite special to them.
On Christmas Eve, after a family dinner, JC convinced Karly to go to the barn saying he’d left the barn door open. She quickly noticed the tree in the hayloft and at that moment JC popped the question.
Their day couldn’t have been more beautiful. It was laced with elegant sentiments throughout. Karly was a vision in her off the shoulder lace dress and JC was a perfect gentlemen looking dapper in his tuxedo. They were breathtaking to photograph.
Karly got ready with her ladies at Scott Hill Estate with a beautiful brunch backdrop while JC and his guys shared a few craft beers at Big Timber Brewing in Elkins, WV.
They had their ceremony at the picturesque Randolph County Community Arts Center, which was renovated years before from being a Catholic Church. The murals throughout are magnificent.
Then it was back to the farm in Mill Creek, WV for celebrations. I couldn’t have asked for a more breathtaking backdrop as a photographer than the mountains surrounding this beautiful valley. Did I mention this is a photographers dream?
JC and Karly decorated their reception using family sentiments like homemade quilts, family photos, rustic farm antiques, and of course string lights throughout the very barn JC proposed in.
For as long as I’ve known Karly, her heritage has been a large part of her makeup, her mother’s side of the family is from Helvetia, WV, a small Swiss town high in the mountain valleys that was first settled in the late 1960’s. To this very day, if you visit, it’s like traveling back in time to an untouched piece of history where the culture is still very much alive. Karly’s grandfather Vernon Burky, who resides in Helvetia, is an incredibly talented musician who played along with Shenandoah River Valley String Band as family and friends danced the night away at Karly and JC’s reception. I may or may not have joined in as well.
Karly and JC honeymooned in Switzerland, I must say that I’m quite jealous of this fact, but still swooning and celebrating along with this gorgeous couple over their beautiful wedding day!
Much love to you both!