Kerstin and Colton’s Fall Smoky Mountain Elopement

Kerstin and Colton October 29, 2019

Kerstin and Colton drove 8 hours from Pennsylvania to elope with us on the 29th. You can see some of his military bearing even though he is no longer an active marine — military men are so good at taking direction for photos!! He was a champ with all of the kissing we made him do today. Kerstin has been a bundle of nerves in the weeks leading up to the wedding, but hopefully she’s having a chance to relax and just enjoy being with her man now that the hard part is over. Her sweetness shines through in these photos, and you’re going to have difficulty believing these two weren’t models in a former life!

From the Bride:
Even though we both lived only about 10 minutes apart our whole lives we did not officially meet until I was 18 and Colton was 20. I had heard Colton’s name mentioned before by an old friend of mine who was dating one of his friends at the time. Even though I had heard his name I never knew who he was. One day Colton reached out to me asking if I would like to go on a date with him. At first I was unsure since I did not really know him. My friend who knew him told me that he was a really great guy and to give it a chance. So we talked for a couple of months and when he come home on Christmas leave from the military we went on our first date together. During our couple months of talking we discovered that his aunt and uncle were actually my next door neighbors (where I had been a number of different times). From there we discovered that a lot of his family already knew mine. We could not believe that we were that close to each other but somehow never met. I know everyone’s always saying “the best love happens when you aren’t looking.” I know that can seem so cliché, unrealistic or hard to do…but it couldn’t be truer. We gained not only a relationship but a true friendship. Being together has shown both of us that love is not something you go out and look for. Love finds you, and when it does, ready or not, it’ll be the best thing to happen to you. We have been through so much together already. I couldn’t imagine having anyone else by my side through this thing called life.

Our first date is a day that neither of us will ever forget. Our first date was actually our first time meeting in person. Colton was stationed in California and I was living in Pennsylvania (where he is also from) so we weren’t able to go on a first date until he came home on military leave for Christmas. We were both SO nervous to meet each other in person for the first time. We were both asking ourselves questions like “What will I say, will it be weird and should I hug them?”. When the time finally came we decided to keep it simple so we went to a local pizza place in town and then we went to the movies. When it came time for the date we both decided to meet at the restaurant. I (the bride) was running late (as usual) and Colton was there before me (even a little early – as usual). Colton had told me that he would be in a green Ford Ranger. When I pulled into the parking lot I could feel my heart beating out of my chest the moment I laid eyes on his truck knowing that this was it and it was all finally happening. I had never been so nervous in my life (I later found out that Colton was just as nervous as I was). I pulled up beside him and we waved to each other. When I got out of my car he hugged me and walked me into the restaurant. We were having a great time just talking to each other before our food came. We decided just to split a pizza together but as we were about to eat the BEST part of our date happened. Colton at the time had dentures from knocking out his two front teeth out (which I was not aware of even though he swears he told me). Right as we were getting ready to eat he said to me “I am really sorry but I have to take my teeth out for this” then he proceeded to take his dentures out and wrapped them in a napkin. Following that he smiled at me and all I could see were his two front teeth that were now missing. Now looking back we both laugh when we tell the story (he has since then gotten implants). Sometimes we even miss the days before the implants because we always had fun taking pictures/videos together when he was toothless. Following our dinner and movie date he took me back to his house to meet his family. When I was leaving his house that night he walked me to my car. We were saying goodbye when he leaned in and kissed me. During our first kiss it started snowing out of nowhere. It was such a special moment that neither of us will ever forget. The next day we decided to go on our second date which happened to be Colton’s 21st birthday. His family and friends like to joke around with me saying I saw him at his worst that night and still decided to stick around so I must be a keeper. From then on we have been two bestfriends who whole heartedly love each other. 

Our proposal story is actually a funny one. Colton was the one who proposed. He proposed to me while being home on military leave on Friday August 5th of 2016. When he arrived home on military leave he went with his friend to pick out my engagement ring. He had been talking to my cousin prior to this because she was planning on doing a couples photoshoot of the two of us. He had it all planned out to propose to me during our couples photoshoot which was going to be on Sunday August 7th. On Friday August 5th (the day he ended up proposing) we had plans to go out to dinner and to a movie. Before going on the date I noticed that Colton was acting very strange…I could tell that he was hiding something. I started questioning him asking him what was wrong and what was on his mind but he kept saying nothing was wrong. I knew that he was lying to me so I refused to go on the date until he told me the truth (I honestly thought he was going to break up with me I was not expecting him to propose in the least). He ended up going upstairs to grab the ring and to tell his mom he had to do it right then and there because I was onto him. He finally talked me into going on the date and when we were leaving the house to walk outside to our car I turned around to shut the door on the front porch and when I turned around he was down on a knee. He gave a long sweet speech and I teared up. His mom was running through the yard taking pictures of the whole thing. We ended up still getting the couples photos that Sunday anyway just for fun.

We have been engaged for a little over three years now. We had talked about many different destinations and ideas throughout that time. We both come from complicated family backgrounds so we knew we wanted to have our wedding day with just the two of us (even though we wish our families could be there). One day we stumbled upon the Chapel in the Hollow online from one of our previous coworkers who had gotten married there. After looking through the pictures we knew right away that this is where we wanted to get married. We both are mountain lovers and figured it would be the perfect place for not only a wedding but also a romantic cabin honeymoon!

We are both looking forward to seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony. We decided not to do a first look because we know that will be a very special moment. We are also looking forward to spending the entire evening together as just the two of us as husband and wife following the ceremony and pictures. We are most importantly looking forward to making the entire day about us and the journey of life we have ahead of us to look forward to.

We decided on October 29th because we both love the fall time. Fall is both of our favorite seasons. We figured that this would be the perfect time for a wedding/honeymoon because the leaves will be at their peak and the weather wont be too hot or too cold.

We both really love to travel. We have already traveled to many different places together. Two summers ago we even did a cross country road trip starting in California and ending in Pennsylvania. Aside from traveling to new places we also enjoy camping, shooting, hiking, fishing and watching shows/movies together in the evenings. Above all else we love spending time with family, friends and our adopted cat/daughter Libby.

Chapel Florals: Melissa Timm Designs
Hair and Makeup: Southern Sirens
Bouquet and Boutonniere: Forever Blossoms
Wedding Dress: Morilee by Madeline Garner from J&B Bridals
Menswear: Van Heusen from Kohl’s
Shoes: Lulus and Sonoma
Rings: Kay Jewelers
Cake: Cakes by Bakin’ Bishop
Cake topper, Letters to Bride and Groom, and Veil: Etsy


How to Share With Just Friends

How to share with just friends.

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