Christian and Caroline both love Christmas, the holidays and family. The ceremony was in the barrel room at The Cottage Winery and was decorated with evergreen garland, white lights and gold-silk lanterns lining the aisles. The Christmas spirit was in the air. They did a unity candle, with their own Christian version of hand-fasting with God at the center. We recently interviewed the bride and here is what she had to say about how they met, their wedding planning and their special day.
Christian is a singer and guitar player and he was playing one Wednesday night in September of 2015 at a restaurant called 10 Degrees South in Buckhead, a suburb north of Atlanta, Georgia. I was out to dinner with two co-workers from the company I was with at that time. We had dinner in the main dining room at 10 Degrees and could hear the live music towards the back in the bar area. We almost left after dinner but decided to stick around for a night cap and hang out in the bar to listen to the music. It was early in the week and so we were the only people in the bar. Christian was of course the musician playing that night. He has the most unbelievable smile and it captivated me. He is such a kind soul and I knew it the moment I saw him. The way he sang and played guitar with such passion and how genuine he was singing every lyric. He is an incredibly talented guitar player and singer. Our eyes were literally locked on one another, I couldn't look away and I wore a smile that went from ear to ear as I listened to him sing. Christian would talk to us in between songs and finally he took a break and joined us for a moment. In conversation Christian mentioned that he had a six year old daughter and he lit up when he spoke about her which made my heart melt. My two co-workers left us briefly and Christian quickly asked me if he could get my phone number and without any hesitation I gave it to him. He will say it to this day that he couldn't let me leave without knowing he would get to see me again.
It was the next evening when I heard from him and he explained that he thought he lost my number forever and was so relieved when he recovered it. We were both so busy with our jobs back then and I was traveling a lot and so was he, that we did not get to go on our first date for another 2 weeks. So in the meantime, we would talk for hours on the phone. I learned that he had come to America from Wales, United Kingdom almost 15 years earlier to pursue his passion for playing guitar and singing here in America. His entire family still lived back in a tiny little seaside town in South Wales called Swansea. He learned about me, my family, and how I had left the corporate life to pursue my dream in hospitality, hoping one day to have a restaurant of my own.
Within 2 weeks of our first date I was blessed to meet his absolutely precious daughter, Lyla Faith. She and I hit it off so well and I love her to pieces. We spent the day in the North Georgia mountains, it was early fall and we went to a pumpkin patch, climbed to the top of Amicalola Falls, finishing off with dinner in downtown Dahlonega. It was a perfect day. Lyla and I celebrate that date, October 19, 2015 as the anniversary of when we first met.
I knew I loved Christian in no time at all, he's truly one of the kindest, most incredible human beings I have ever known. We said "I Love You" on the shuttle bus ride back to our hotel leaving my brother's wedding that November. Christian was my wedding date and he sang and played guitar at the wedding ceremony as my brother's wife walked down the aisle. It was then, at my brother's wedding that I knew I loved Christian Jones and he was the person I wanted to spend forever with. It was exactly one month after our first date.
Lyla was present the day that Christian proposed to me and she yelled "it's about time!" when he popped the question! :) It was Labor Day, almost a year after meeting, and Christian had a gig at our favorite local winery in the North Georgia mountains, The Cottage. It was a hot, sunny day and we were all outside celebrating with the locals that frequent The Cottage as much as we do. Christian played a trick on me and told me that I had to come on stage to sing a show tune that I always brag I can sing, but in truth, I'm a horrible singer! He claimed that he had learned to play it on guitar just for me, which made me feel guilty if I didn't go up there to sing this song that he supposedly practiced and practiced just for me to sing! He calls me up on stage in front of everyone and I'm blushing beyond belief and nervous because the words to this song have completely escaped me! I walk up on stage and all eyes are on me, I'm laughing but terribly embarrassed at the thought of singing in front of all these people. Before I had to sweat it out any longer, Christian was down on one knee, in front of the mountains, at our favorite place to hang out with all our dear friends, his daughter, and my parents, and he pulls out the most beautiful ring and asks me to marry him and spend the rest of our lives together. I cried and smiled and said yes, yes, yes! Everybody cheered!
We set our wedding date for just a few months later, December 18th, 2016. We both love Christmas and the holidays and family. We chose The Cottage Winery for our venue because the owners are such wonderful people and we love them like family. Christian's parents flew over from Wales to celebrate our wedding with us and spend Christmas with our whole family. The ceremony was in the barrel room and it was decorated with evergreen garland, white lights, lanterns that lined the aisle made of gold satin. The Christmas spirit was in the air. I walked down the aisle to a beautiful piano melody played by Christian's friend and fellow musician, Nate Prath, to the instrumental tune of Everything I Do, I Do it For You from Robin Hood. Our officiant was Teddy Baker, another brilliant singer and guitar player and a man with a heart of gold. His ceremony was beautiful, from the heart, and with scripture from Songs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, and the book of Mark. Only our closest friends and family surrounded us, making it perfectly quaint and intimate. We did a unity candle and our own Christian version of handfasting with Christ being at the center of it.
We had spent the whole day leading up to the wedding at a little cabin tucked away on the vineyard property named, Edge of the Vines. Christian's best friend, Steve Quiesser, and my brother, Joey, were his groomsmen. My bridesmaids were my two sister-in-laws and my Junior Made-of-Honor, Lyla Faith. We exited the ceremony to the celtic sounds of a live bagpipe, played by the talented Tom Crawford. The reception was in the tasting room at The Cottage and was decorated in gold and burgundy. We had a three piece band, Christian's friend, Francisco Vidal on vocals and guitar. Cottage wine was flowing when Christian and I walked into the reception and danced our first dance as husband and wife to Nat King Cole's, The Very Thought of You. We then did a dance to Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by Michael Buble, Christian first with his mom and then his daughter, and me with my step-father, who had proudly walked me down the aisle.
Our photographer, Renee Kam of Tse Gallery Photography, was absolutely amazing, capturing the day perfectly.....there was one moment that we didn't know how spectacular the photo would be until we saw it, but she had pulled us outside during the reception and had us standing back lit by Christmas lights in the distance.....it's truly one of the most stunning photos I have ever seen.
Every part of our wedding day was pure magic. I'm now married to my best friend, soulmate, and love of my life. I'm the step-mother to the most beautiful little girl, inside and out. To say that we are blessed is an understatement. We now live in the North Georgia mountains where Christian gets to play guitar at many of the local wineries and I too, get to work at a vineyard every day, surrounded by gorgeous views and mountains, two vineyard cats and two vineyard dogs. Life is a gift and we are grateful for every single day.