Firethorne Country Club {Jon and Karen} Charlotte Wedding Photographer ~ Weddington United Methodist

A love of exotic beers led a romantic, autumn wedding proposal for Jonathan and Karen.

Karen is a nurse, and Jonathan serves in the U.S. Army as the Liaison for Wounded Warriors for the 82nd Airborne Division for both Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir Hospital. Karen also serves as an officer and nurse in the Army Reserves. (Which technically means he has to salute her.)

“We met at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte, North Carolina,” Karen said. “Both of us like to try new beers and we are members of the UFO Club, which revolves around trying not only local North Carolina beers, but also micro-breweries from across the United States and international beers.” What began as a spark soon grew into a mature love between kindred spirits. Jonathan knew he had met the woman he wanted to marry, and he planned their engagement weekend with military precision.

“Jon arranged a weekend that encompassed vacationing at Stone Mountain, Ga., where we attended the annual Scottish festival held at the lake,” Karen said. “We stayed at the resort on the lake and attended the festivities during the day and enjoyed local restaurants and the laser light show on one of the nights we were there. Our third day of the five-day trip we traveled to Helen, Georgia, which is a German town in the mountains of Georgia. Early in the morning, we boarded a hot air balloon and Jon proposed shortly after sunrise, with the fall leaves and mountains providing a backdrop. Jon had also brought a bottle of Moet Champagne which added to the event. We concluded the weekend by staying at a rustic hotel in Helen, and enjoying the German atmosphere of the quaint town.”

The couple decided to hold the wedding in Karen’s home town of Weddington. Karen was working as an oncology nurse in Alabama, and Jon worked in Virginia, so the couple orchestrated the wedding and reception from afar with the help of Karen’s mother.

“We both traveled to Charlotte to pick the location for the reception at Firethorne Country Club,” Karen said. “We had our engagement pictures taken in downtown Matthews, where midway through the pictures the sky opened up and a snow storm graced our photo shoot.”

Karen and her mother worked together to coordinate the floral arrangements, reception menus, dress selections for the bride and bridesmaids, places to lodge out-of-town guests, and how to set up the Methodist Church in Weddington.

“Our ceremony was unique in that we had a slide show playing with pictures from babyhood to modern-day photographs of us and our families while our guests were seated prior to the ceremony. During the ceremony we chose to give communion to those attending as one of our first acts as a married couple.”

The couple deliberated quite a while over where to go for their honeymoon. They thought about going on a cruise, and also looked into venturing to Ireland and Scotland, but nothing seemed to mesh with their schedules. Then, one of Jon’s friends suggested Belize, and Jon did some research. The result was a fabulous, five-night tropical stay deep within the jungles of Belize. Jon and Karen stayed at a resort that specialized in adventure trips while being pampered in a lovely setting amidst all of the flora and fauna of central Belize.

“During the day we ventured on excursions such as exploring Mayan ruins, tubing through caves, climbing and jumping off of subterranean waterfalls, zip-lining through the jungle canopy and viewing the native animals at the Belize national zoo,” Karen said. “In the evening, we sat on the veranda of the resort and enjoyed the local rum punch and beer as we feasted on ever-changing meals prepared by the resort chef and his staff.”

When asked what their favorite memories were of their wedding day, the answers were many: Jon found Karen absolutely radiant in her dress; he thought she brightened the entire sanctuary. Karen was dazzled at the site of her bridegroom awaiting her at the altar, poised in his dress uniform.

“The ceremony was simple, yet elegant, and the congregation was all smiles mingled with the periodic tear,” Karen said. “The reception was amazing, revolving around the dining and socializing, with events such as the cake-cutting and the bouquet toss. All in all, an amazing day in which we were joined as man and wife!”

Oh, one more thing…. Karen and Jon, thank you for your service… it was an honor!

Click On the center of the photo below to see the “mini-movie” Slide Show!

Photography: Chuck Eaton and John W, Adkisson of Chuck Eaton Photographers
Cake: Ella’s Celestial Cakes 804-229-1194
Wedding consultants/planners: Renee Galinski with The Bride’s Helper 704-219-0446
Flowers: The Petal Shoppe of Monroe 704-289-2780
Bridal Gown and Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal
Tuxedos: Men’s Warehouse. Groom and Best Man (Father of Groom) wore Military Dress uniforms
Engagement ring: Single Solitaire with a twisted band
Designer: Created by Roy at Williamsburg Jewelers 757 229 7812
Wedding rings: White and Yellow Gold ring
Designer: Groom’s ring was purchased at Kay Jewelers while Karen had a unique creation by Roy at Williamsburg Jewelers to match her engagement ring 757 229 7812
Hairstylist for wedding: Friend of the Bride, Teresa Hall
Make-up for wedding: Sister of the Bride, Jennifer Land
Invitations/Stationery: Ordered from
Music/Entertainment/Booking Agency: Trey Perry with Audio to Go
Clergy: Rev. Dr. Terry Moore Senior Pastor from Weddington United Methodist Church
Ceremony location: Weddington United Methodist Church
Caterers: Firethorne Country Club catered Reception
Ella’s Celestial Cakes catered Rehearsal dinner
Reception location: Firethorne Country Club

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