Imagine having the most beautiful wedding at your family’s farm surrounded by all of your closest relatives and dear friends while you exchange your vows on the front lawn. Everyone sharing special moments, lots of laughter, and dancing the night away until it was too darn cold on a late November night to continue. Then immediately the next day being whisked away by your adoring husband to Italy on your forever honeymoon. Sounds like a dream, right?
Well…This was quite the wonderful reality for Bride-to-Be, Summer who took only 6 months to plan her entire wedding and details to a ‘T’ all the while preparing for what many would call “The Dream Life” in Italy. Summer, a former high school math teacher turned military wife and travel blogger met her husband Stephen, a paratrooper for the United States Army, on eHarmony in 2016. Their quickly budding relationship hit its first roadblock soon after they had been dating. Stephen was scheduled to be deployed to Italy for 3 years to continue his service. They successfully managed a long-distance relationship with Summer flying over to visit Stephen on his long breaks enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Italian countryside and traveling to other European countries together. They were soon engaged and officially married in the middle of 2017. They just couldn’t wait any longer! Summer left her teaching job readying herself for the military life and big move overseas to be with her husband. But first an official ceremony and after-party to celebrate was a must. Since Summer was a little girl, it had been her ultimate dream to be wed to her forever husband on her family farm. Stephen recognized the importance of this event for her; he along with her family set out to make her dreams come true!
Summer and Stephen exchanged their vows in front of family and friends on November 25th, 2017 at Dillon Farms in Colfax, North Carolina.
It was an unseasonably warm day for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. While many people were still in food coma from Turkey Day, there was quite the hustle and bustle on the farm. The Bride and Bridesmaids enjoyed mimosas while getting dolled up for the big event. The Mother of the Bride, Terri was putting the finishing touches on the ceremony site complete with a spray of roses and greenery on the wooden altar handcrafted specifically for the their ceremony. The Father of the Bride made sure the Reception and Cocktail areas were exactly how Summer had envisioned; cozy, floral, and inviting for all the guests to enjoy after the ceremony. The Groom and Groomsmen enjoyed snacks and manly cocktails while relaxing in the family’s RV as they watched Star Wars.
The ceremony took place in the front yard of the Dillon home. A semi circle of white chairs faced the altar filled with excited guests witnessing the couple’s vow exchange.
Stephen ,dressed in his Army Service Uniform stood along side his Best Man and Officiant – Summer’s Uncle, a U.S. Air Force retiree. Summer was escorted by her father from their farmhouse down the long driveway to her final destination, in the hands of Stephen.
A very touching poem was read called These Hands reminding Summer & Stephen the importance of their joining their lives together.
“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.” –Author Unknown
A lot of happy and sad tears were shed as the day progressed. A happy time of celebrating their union but also many goodbyes before their adventure continued 5000 miles across the ocean. After the ceremony, guests took their chairs to the reception tent awaiting the arrival of the bride and groom. Their first dance was to the Feels Like Home song by Chantal followed by the father daughter dance with a surprise twist. Summer and Vic had been secretly planning a choreographed duo to The Time of My Life by Bill Medley and 24K Magic by Bruno Mars. It was quite the hit as they busted a few planned moves on the dance floor as Stephen and guests watched. The party continued on with more dancing, laughter, and hugs.
It was a bittersweet farewell as the night came to a close. The happy couple were sent off by excited guests via a fiery sparkler exit ending with a big bear hug from the Bride’s father. It had been a very successful wedding day.
The newlyweds were ready to begin their next adventure together in Italy! We wish them the best as they live out their dreams and forever honeymoon. We look forward to following their journey as they navigate this next part of their adventure!
Congratulations SGT & Mrs. Stephen Bowers!!!
Venue: Dillon Farm
Dress: Church Street Bridal
Suits: Men’s Wearhouse/ ARMY
Makeup & Hair: Hilarie Abel with The Loft Salon
DJ: DJ Vittles
Cake & Cupcakes: Godino’s Bakery
Wedding Coordinator: Susan Orr
Wedding Photographer: Brittany Butterworth Photography
Planning, Design, Hand Lettering: Summer Bowers, Outside This Small Town
Florals: Terri Dillon
Tent, Ceremony, & Reception Rentals: Triad Event Rentals
Bartender: Jaclyn Dienes
Wood Pieces: Dillon Lawn & Tree Service