The Bride Changed Five Times During This Organic Wedding in North Carolina
When Rebecca Aguie met Isaac Patterson in Spokane, Washington, in February of 2018, she was new to the area and "dying to meet new friends," she says. But the blue-eyed man who came up to her on the dance floor ended up being much more than that: She and Isaac felt an immediate connection (even though, she says, he was wearing "the ugliest cowboy jacket"). Over the next year, the couple fell in love and starting making plans for their future, realizing that their service and spiritual goals were closely aligned—but Isaac was still able to surprise Rebecca with a mountaintop proposal in the snow and a diamond and rose gold engagement ring.
As the couple began planning their wedding, they had a few key elements in mind—including an outdoor spot as a nod to Isaac's love of nature and something that matched Rebecca's vision of a "moody, French cottage-inspired, romantic" atmosphere. When Rebecca came across an advertisement for Winter Wood Farms in Sparta, North Carolina, it seemed perfect—except for one drawback: It wasn't built yet. "I called Isaac and asked what his thoughts were," Rebecca says. "Should we take a chance? His reaction was, 'Yes—why not?'" The risk paid off, as the venue was ready for the couple's 145 guests on October 5, 2019. "We had fallen in love with its simplicity and cozy feel," says Rebecca. 'We wanted a place that would feel like home, be peaceful, and surround us with tranquil nature and beautiful mountains."
A Floral Focus
The painted invitation suite from Rachel Marvin Creative previewed the color palette and florals of the wedding with crimson-and-blush blooms accented by eucalyptus leaves. "We didn't want it to overshadow the wedding, but for it to be a nice complement and set the tone for the wedding itself," says the couple. They also included information in French, Rebecca's first language.
Lovely in Lace
Rebecca had so much fun shopping for her wedding dress that she ended up choosing several different options, changing her outfit five times during the course of the day. Her first look: an unlined, blush tulle Duchesse robe from The Lace Atelier. "Words cannot describe how romantic and ethereal the stunning gown made me feel," says Rebecca. Her three bridesmaids wore robes of hand-dyed blush Chantilly lace, lined in silk chiffon with scalloped necklines, hemlines, and sleeves from the same designer.
Their First Look
The bride changed into her second look, a wedding dress from My Wood Nymph, for the couple's first look. "The whole dress is made of delicate Italian lace and hand-embroidery repeating the lace pattern," she says. "The skirt is edged in soft tulle pleats."
She Says, He Says
During the first look, Rebecca and Isaac exchanged personal vows they wrote themselves. She included "the best advice" she ever received from her father—"Marry the man that will take you to paradise"—and told her groom, "You are that man for me, Isaac, and I am so grateful to be taking this journey with you."
In the Navy
For the ceremony, Rebecca wore a lace gown from Casablanca Bridal with an illusion bateau neckline over a deep v-neck. "I entered a contest with Casablanca Bridal and won!" she says. "I have never won anything in my life. So even though their dress wasn't my dream, I was able to find an amazing piece in their collection." She added a few of what she calls "custom Rebecca touches"—she removed the back buttons to create a "modest look in the front with a youthful, modern low back." The bridesmaids changed from their blush lace robes into fit-and-flare navy gowns from Watters, which included a high neckline, cap sleeves, and a back cutout detail.
A Symbolic Bouquet
Rebecca's wide, overflowing bouquet incorporated shades of burgundy, blush, ivory, and green—each chosen for a specific reason. "I wanted my bouquet and floral arrangements to represent our relationship," says Rebecca. "The soft, lush flowers would represent the good times we had shared. The darker, deeper-toned flowers represented the hardships we were able to conquer and overcome together. Flowers for me were not about simply creating a beautiful arrangement for all to see. It would represent a symbol of the beautiful things we had overcome and the many wonderful years that lie ahead."
The pair opted for an outdoor ceremony, which was anchored by an octagonal wooden structure, draped with floral garlands. Florists from The Farm at Glady Fork sourced many of the flowers—including scabiosa, snapdragons, eucalyptus, and dahlias—from their own gardens at the farm, and supplemented with "showstopping" roses from California alongside wild rose hips, twigs, boxwood, and fraser fir from the local area.
The Great Outdoors
Rebecca entered the ceremony space through two large farm doors at the rear, and walked partway down the aisle before her father met her to escort her to the altar. A friend of the couple officiated the religious ceremony overlooking the North Carolina hills.
The Happy Couple
After the service, guests enjoyed a French cottage-themed cocktail hour that included the couple's favorite wines and a generous appetizer spread. Isaac and Rebecca used that time to pose for portraits—though Isaac admits he let his hunger get the best of him. "I [ducked out] here and there and grabbed a bite of food," he says. "I couldn't be too long, or Rebecca would have caught me!"
Rebecca and Isaac's family and friends traveled to North Carolina from Australia, France, California, New York, and Canada—among other far-flung spots. "People felt the love, gave love, and found love on our wedding day," says Rebecca. "It was such a special occasion. Feeling so supported by friends and family is a memory I will never forget."
Dinner by Candlelight
Inside, the couple used both rectangular farm tables and round tables covered in linens they bought themselves—"This saved so much money and helped keep us on budget!" they say. Runners of smilax greenery accented the natural-toned cheesecloth on the rectangular tables, while candles floated in cylinders of alternating heights.
No Two Alike
The round tables, covered in blush-colored linens, held low centerpieces in one-of-a-kind gold vessels. "For a year, [the florist] collected antique brass vases from vintage shops around the small town of Sparta," says the couple. "Each table had its own uniquely selected vase."
Gold chargers shimmered in the light from votive candles on the tables, while the custom menus, designed by the couple, added an elegant touch. Rebecca and Isaac chose an Italian-inspired meal that included a caprese starter and entrée choices of Tuscan Alfredo chicken, chicken marsala, or bourbon-glazed salmon from Crave Sparta.
A Toast to the Couple
At the tables, custom wine corks—carved by the groom—held place cards directing guests to their seats. "This was so significant, because the night we got engaged we went out to dinner and asked the restaurant if they could provide us the corks," says the couple. "They gave us more than half of what we needed to start our wedding planning journey."
On the Dance Floor
Rebecca and Isaac had lots of requests for their DJ and live band. "All of our guests came from a vast variety of cultures, so we wanted our wedding to be a great fusion of American, African, Latin, Caribbean oldies, and new music," they say. The couple chose "Can't Help Falling in Love" for their first spin, and Rebecca shared dances with both her father and mother. But one of the most memorable moments of the day was Isaac's dance with his mother, to "Cross My Heart" by George Strait. "She was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks before the wedding, not knowing if she would be able to dance or walk after her surgery," says Rebecca. "Just seeing her holding her son was so special."
Embracing Her Culture
"In order to embrace my Ivorian culture, both Isaac and I changed for the reception into custom, handmade outfits from Cote d'Ivoire," says Rebecca. "In our culture, a bride and groom must always bring his and her best garment on their wedding day. Both are decorated with gold jewelry by the bride's mother and grandmother. Accompanied by their best friends and bridal party, they perform a dance for the guests to enjoy."
For Rebecca and Isaac, the easiest—and most fun—part of wedding planning was choosing their cakes. In the end, the couple settled on five different flavors from Simply Cakes: coconut, pumpkin spice, chocolate ganache, strawberry, and lemon.
"Sabrina is amazing" says Rebecca of their cake baker. "I talked about the flavors, and I said, 'Run with your imagination.' She gathered a few of my ideas and came up with a magnificent display of beautiful cakes."
At the end of the evening, Rebecca changed one last time into a shorter number from Saks Fifth Avenue. "I think a wedding day is about you!" she says. "Feel free to have fun— change however many times you want." But though she encourages other couples to enjoy their day to its fullest, she offers one more piece of advice: "Don't get caught up in planning your wedding," she says: "Focus on building your relationship."
Photography, Live View Studios
Venue, Winter Wood Farm
Event Planning, La Ruche
Event Design, The White Radish
Catering, Crave Sparta
Flowers, Bud and Bramble; The Farm at Glady Fork
Videography, Civil Drone Company
Stationery, Rachel Marvin Creative
Cake, Simply Cakes
Music, DJ Emjay; Keith Brooks
Rentals, Jefferson Rent-All and Party Plus; Country Sheek Wedding Rentals
Bride's Gowns, Casablanca Bridal; The Lace Atelier; My Wood Nymph; Saks Fifth Avenue
Bride's Accessories, Untamed Petals hair crown; Olive + Piper jewelry; Betsey Johnson shoes; Badly Mischka shoes
Hair, Mr. Good Stitch
Makeup, The Stunning Corner
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Watters
Menswear, Men's Wearhouse
Groom's Tie, BHDLN