A Rustic Red-and-White Wedding Outdoors in Virginia
Shannon and Nathan
When they first met, Nathan Carter and Shannon Goodson discovered they had something in common -- they'd both grown up on farms. One day, as they were taking a drive through upstate New York, they passed a dairy farm and noticed a sign advertising for a hired hand. Nathan took the job, and Shannon took the bus up to visit him every Friday. Their weekends together followed the slow-paced rhythm of country life. A summer passed, and Nathan started to think about proposing. One Sunday night in October, Nathan cooked Shannon dinner and tuned in to their favorite radio show, which played Big Band standards. When he knelt on the linoleum floor and took the ring out of his pocket, Shannon burst into tears.
The wedding invitation combines an image from an old postcard and a print that recalls the motif from the ruffles in the back of Shannon's dress.
Guests prepare to take their seats on canvas-covered bales; a ring of sunflowers outlines the spot where Shannon and Nathan will say their vows.
The Ring Bearer
The wedding rings are attached to a hand-sewn gingham collar worn by the couple's 10-year-old Labrador retriever, Chelsea.
Fans double as programs.
Wildflowers from a friend's farm in French flower pails.
The Maid of Honor
Leah Goodson, Shannon's sister and the maid of honor.
Friend Dave Ayers fiddles, accompanied by father of the bride Bo Goodson on the guitar.
The groomsmen escort Nathan, second from left, to the ceremony.
For her September 22, 2001, wedding to Nathan Carter, Shannon Goodson makes her entrance on farm owner Jim Graves's hay wagon.
Nathan wears a red leather poppy boutonniere.
Shannon's dress, by designers Lily Raskind and Megan Pflug, has a bustle in a poppy print.
The back of Shannon's dress cuts away to reveal row upon row of ruffles.
The bride with (from left) her dad, her sister, her half-brother, Charlie, and her mother, Suzi Grant; women's outfits are also by Raskind and Pflug.
The bride and groom smile for photos with Nathan's mother, Debby Lawrence, and father, Robert Carter.
An impromptu gallery of snapshots; Shannon had handed out vintage Polaroid cameras to guests, who contributed to the display throughout the weekend.
Favors are jars of apple butter made at the Graveses' farm, in muslin bags stamped with the date and tied with rickrack.
Cheese slices fly the Lone Star and Alabama state flags.
Glass candleholders are wrapped with vellum onto which vintage Virginia postcards have been copied; they surround the fabric-covered guest book.
Groomsman Billy Frederick wears a Stetson and holds a drink with one of the personalized red holders all guests received.
Paper bibs, offered with the fried chicken, are stamped with the donkeys (one of Shannon's favorite animals) that also appear on the invitation.
The wedding cake, with chocolate and vanilla layers and raspberry filling, has dahlias galore.
In the open-air pavilion, diaphanous muslin separates the dining area from the kitchen, providing an intimate feel.
Kerosene lamps stand on picnic tables covered with gingham and decorated with bouquets of dahlias.
The bride and groom two-step their way into married life.
Location and Catering: Graves' Mountain Lodge
Officiant: Dr. Tommy L. Palmer, P.O. Box 19, Hood, VA 22723.
Bride's Dress: Megan Pflug and Lily Raskind, 718-418-9658.
Flowers: Virginia Marshall of Branches Floral Design
Rings: Annette Ferdinandson, from TenThousandThings, 212-352-1333.
Invitation Calligraphy: Michael Sull, Lettering Design Group, 913-362-7864.
Invitation Design: Kerin Brooks of Em Space Editions