My love affair with the outdoors, and specifically the Red River Gorge, began when I was eight years old; Skip’s began when he was ten. We would each travel from our respective hometowns to hike, camp, backpack and adventure with our families. Exploring new trails and marveling over rock formations and streams and caves became an escape for both of us. A way a channeling wonder and creativity in our youth, the ‘Gorge’ beckoned to each of us and kept calling us back throughout our teenage years and into adulthood. Although we explored some of the same areas, adventured down the same trails and camped in some of the same sites, we never met until many, many years later. My sense of adventure led me to take a technical rope rescue course in the Red River Gorge several years ago. There, I befriended one of the instructors who invited me to go rock climbing. I had been climbing several times before and had just returned from a trip where I attempted to summit The Grand Teton, so I eagerly accepted this climbing offer. Unbeknownst to me, my new friend called Skip-a long-time-buddy and convinced him to join us for a day of climbing to meet me. After years of being in the same place and never chancing to meet, our worlds were about to collide. I remember being struck immediately by his charming smile and thinking that he was quite possibly one of the most interesting people I’d ever met. He will tell you he was struck by my eyes and that I could take a joke and respond with a witty come-back. Months went by with an occasional thought, or mention of him until he began to contact me regularly. He was quite persistent in his pursuit and I eventually relented and agreed to go on a date with him. We met in the Red River Gorge for a hike and it wasn’t long before we were spending every weekend together going on new adventures and exploring new places in the place we loved so well. That was about five years ago.
How did he propose?
Skip took me hiking on one of our favorite trails in the Red River Gorge one sunny January day. We were enjoying the sunshine and warmer temperatures as we finished our hike. Pulling me off on a side trail, Skip said he wanted to watch the sunset over the valley below. We hiked to a lookout and he sat down on a log. Thinking this would be a great time for snacks, I sat down next to him and dug some food out of my pack. I thought it was odd Skip didn’t accept my offer to share, but I finished eating anyway. He patiently waited until I was finished snacking before getting down on one knee and proposing.
How did you choose your venue?
We built our venue with the purpose of getting married there, so the choice was pretty easy for us
What elements were most important for your wedding day to you?
I wanted our guests to feel like we had invited them into our home. I also wanted the focus to be on celebrating our marriage. In order to do that, we opted for a more relaxed feel with fruit in bowls on the tables instead of large centerpieces, homemade desserts, a casual dress code, a fire pit with comfy chairs and blankets to snuggle under and a bluegrass band.
Photographer: Kevin and Anna Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hemlock Springs
Wedding Dress Shop: Renee’s Bridal KY
Caterer: City Barbeque
Donuts provided by Chocolat Inn & Cafe
Band: Southern Blend
Stationery: Kalyn Powell
Bridal Bouquet: Positive Attraction Soaps Company
Hair & Makeup: Danielle Braden, Studio B Color Lounge
Officiant: Skip’s Sister, Jenn Zweifel
Rehearsal Dinner Location: Skybridge Station