Beautiful fall foliage, a dynamic color palette, and this head over heels in love couple? Triple threat here, y’all! Shanell Bledsoe Photography’s photos was a nice bonus, and she captured the day wonderfully! We’ve got the behind-the-scenes details from Eric below, and it is the sweetest! Start scrolling!
How did you meet?
“Ronda and I met through eHarmony just before Christmas. I had actually decided earlier in the day that I was going to take a break from dating and was going to end my subscription. Just before going to bed, I decided to check one last time to see if there was anyone that I was interested in meeting. My attention was immediately grabbed by Ronda’s profile.
I was ecstatic when she responded to my message that she wanted to get to know me better as well. Over the next week, we texted and talked continuously and late into the night learning everything there was to know about each other, each other’s family and our hopes for the future. We finally settled on meeting when I got back in town on New Year’s Day.”
When did you know you were falling in love?
“Maybe I was the last person of my friends and coworkers that knew I was really in love. I would show up to work with the largest smile on my face and with what my coworkers categorized as a different energy when I got to work. They would instantly know that I had seen Ronda the night before and I would then go on and tell everyone our latest date and all the plans I was making for the future. My best friend said he had never heard me talk of anyone like I talked about Ronda.
Maybe it’s cliche to say, but I knew I was falling in love with Ronda when I would go to bed thinking of her and then first thing in the morning I would think about when I would get to see her again. I realized that spending any day with her was better than anything else I could that day.”
“When a promising work opportunity came up and I moved 7 hours away, many people around us thought it was the end of our relationship, but it was really just the beginning. For the next 15 months we took turns making the 7 hour drive on Friday afternoon to see the other then made the same 7 hour trip on Sunday afternoon home.
The excitement of getting to see the woman I was in love with even if it was for 36 hours made the drive go by quickly week in and week out. And the struggle of leaving her for another 5 days until the following Friday, made the Sunday drive feel like I was traveling to another country altogether. Making those trips, cherishing the day we had together, and the desire for every one of my future days to be with that woman confirmed my feelings that I was in love with this woman.”
What is your favorite quality in your wife?
“My wife is such a beautiful human being. She is a strong, independent woman who has a deep love for her family and friends and a sense of loyalty to those in her life. When she asks how someone is doing, she genuinely wants to know how they are doing and what is going on in their life. My favorite quality about her though is she is a genuine person through and through.”
Did you have a specific theme or design inspiration for your big day?
“We based everything the fall colors and trying to pull in as much of the Tennessee mountain fall foliage into wedding and reception.”
What traditions did you incorporate?
“While we had the reception at the top of the mountain and most of the wedding stayed at the resort, it was important to Ronda and I that the actual ceremony took place at the church. We knew how much it meant to both my family and hers. Ronda’s mother created the flower basket out of her own wedding dress from when her and Ronda’s father were married 37 years ago. Ronda also included something old, something new, and something blue in her wedding dress.”
What was the most memorable moment?
“Ronda will surely agree and so will anyone that knows me or has seen me dance would concur, I am not the most gifted when it comes to rhythm and dance. In preparation of the wedding we took a few classes and our teacher did wonders. But that’s not why it was memorable, it was memorable to me because in front of all our friends and family and loved ones, we were dancing as a couple.
There was all the thrill of being newly married, the pride of showing off my incredibly beautiful bride, and at the same time trying not to trip over my feet singing to my wife and dancing to a song we had practiced for so many hours over the past few months. I was savoring every last minute of this dance that I knew would end way too early. I know there is no repeating your first dance as a married couple, but if there was one moment from that day that I could relive and that I will remember for the rest of my life, it is our first dance.”
What was the song?
“Our first dance song was ‘From the Ground Up’ by Dan + Shay. Initially listening to the song we just loved the message that two people that fall in love will build all their memories together one day at a time. We both have parents and grandparents that spent their entire lives together setting examples of weathering the good and bad days together to share a beautiful married life together. And while there were so many good songs that we considered, listening to that song and thinking about my wife to be always brought a tear to my eye because of how lucky I was going to build my future, good and bad, with her. That’s what sealed it for me.”
Tell us about your grand exit!
“Of all the bonuses of having our wedding on top of the mountain, being able to have sparklers to walk out was not one of them. Understandably because of the fire warning that comes with dry weather and open flames, we were not allowed to have sparklers, so we instead opted for the battery powered sparkler equivalents. Under a tunnel of battery powered sparkles, Ronda and I walked out as the happy couple, posed for a few well timed photos and kisses, and then hopped into our ride down the mountain to our private cabin. It was the perfect ending to an incredible night.”
Congratulations Ronda & Eric!
Featured in the Summer/Fall 2019 Tennessee Weddings by The Pink Bride Magazine
Ceremony Location · Sevierville First United Methodist Church
Reception Location · The Magnolia Venue
Photographer · Shanell Bledsoe Photography
Wedding Planning & Styling · Simple Bliss Events
Cake · Publix
Catering · Rosa’s Catering
Florist · LB Floral
Invitations · Cute Buttons Gift and Paper Boutique
Bridal Shop · NY New York Bride & Groom of Raleigh
Wedding Gown Designer · Justin Alexander
Tuxedos/Suits – Men’s Wearhouse
Transportation · The Valet Guys of Knoxville
Videographer · Milestone Pictures
Professional Musicians · The Respectables
Rehearsal Dinner · Harpoon Harry’s Crab House
Hair & Makeup · Stunning By Rachel
Accommodations · Parkside Resort