When I began writing for Carolina Weddings magazine in 2017, I adored hearing every couple’s story and bringing those narratives to life on the pages of this magazine.
Little did I know that four years later, I would be enjoying my own perfect day of nuptial bliss and sharing my own story in this beloved wedding publication.
Of all places on the planet, I never thought I would find my true love at a trampoline park.
A combination of faith and fate led me to leave a full-time career in marketing to manage Rockin’ Jump Trampoline Park in Winston-Salem in May 2019. I had been a single mom my daughter’s entire life and wanted to switch to a career where I had a flexible schedule to spend more time with her.
I had faith it was the right choice for my daughter and me.
Fate also intervened. It was there I met Stephen Aaron. He handled all the maintenance at the park and was on his way out to begin a career in welding. Thankfully, our paths collided before he left.
Over the next two years, we went from friendship to marriage.
In September 2020, Stephen said he had to go to the mall to get clothes and I could not go because he was getting me a gift.
He later told me he got me a keychain, but I could not have it yet. He kept talking up this key chain to the point of me thinking he had maybe lost his mind.
Soon after, we went out to dinner with my daughter at 6th & Vine, our favorite restaurant. He popped the question there, and it was the ideal intimate proposal. Later that night, I told him, “Thank goodness it was not a key chain because it could not live up to the hype.”
We both always wanted a beach wedding.
We found a lovely venue on North Topsail Beach called Ocean’s Edge Restaurant & Event Center. Other than the venue, I knew our splurge item would be photography. I wanted a photographer that would capture amazing shots of the entire day, and I would not need to take a photo all day.
As someone who worked in marketing and writes in the wedding industry, I am blessed to know numerous talented photographers. We went with Urban Bloom Photography as their photos are always stunning, and the owners are such a nice, down-to-earth couple.
The pandemic did make it difficult when planning our wedding guest list.
Since we had no idea what May would bring, we ended up only inviting immediate family and close friends to keep our numbers as low as possible.
To help share our journey to those who could not attend, I posted wedding teasers on social media from engagement leading up to the big day. It was a fun way to give peeks into what our day would be like for everyone.
To save money, I purchased floral items from Amazon and Michaels. My 14-year-old daughter (my maid of honor) and I made the bouquets. It was a fun bonding experience.
Another way we saved money was to order save the dates and invitations through Shutterfly.
On May 1, 2021, we enjoyed a truly perfect day. The weather and tides played out flawlessly for us. It was a magical day filled with fun and love. Our wedding coordinator with the venue, Amanda, was amazing and ensured everything went off without a hitch.
There were many touches that we incorporated that we found meaningful.
Awhile back, Stephen welded me an S+S sign and we ended up using that in our decorations.
My mom gave me a penny with my birth year, which I put in my bouquet as my something old. I guess that means I am old!
Stephen’s mom gave him his grandfather’s Air Force pin to keep in his pocket that day.
I put my communications degree to good use when I gave a thank-you toast to our family and friends at the reception.
I was fortunate to solicit advice from many other brides. Most say they would urge the bride to cherish and live in each moment on her wedding day so she would remember it for years to come.
I made sure to take in every single moment, from waking up until going to sleep.
My advice to future brides is: Remember this new life you are paving should be an adventure. Enjoy every moment. Endure through the challenges. Never forget the reason for the day — you are marrying your soulmate!
When I write couples’ wedding stories, I always ask what they remember most about that day.
This is a tough one for me. I think it is a tossup between our first-look photos and our first dance to “Your Song.”
Stephen says his most memorable moment was saying “I do.”
At the end of the night, we were outside the beach house we were staying at with a few friends.
The six of us simply stood on the beach and gazed at the stars.
It was the idyllic, fairytale ending to an incredibly special day.