Laurence and Caleb were married on the Mountain. I had never been to the "Mountain" before, but I every time I told someone I was going to Sewanee, they said...."Ah, the Mountain." Don't get me wrong. I love mountains. Living 40 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I've been to the mountains often. I was skeptical. However, Sewanee's Mountain is with a capital M. It is a gorgeous place! The University of the South is on the Mountain and a much beloved place by alumni and students. As you browse my favorite images from the day, you will see quotes from Laurence about her wedding day. Enjoy! She is excellent with words and an all-around fun person to be around. You won't want to miss the information about her wedding dress.
"That wedding dress is my mom's from 1972. Muna in Nashville re-did the dress. All of the lace used is from Mom's original dress. The bodice and front panel of the dress are new - an Italian silk Muna had. Nothing was changed about the train except that Muna added a French bustle. She had mom sign her name and put her wedding date in pencil on the train of the dress, and she embroidered that with ivory thread. I signed the inside of the dress with my maiden name and my wedding date, and she embroidered that in blue. We designed the shape of the top of the dress together over weeks of meeting and pinning. I hadn't see it fully put together until the day of the wedding. We had a final fitting of sorts, but I never put it on again after her final pinnings. The lace is a French lace - she identified it by the lashes on the lace that were attached by hand. The veil she made from scratch from one of the sleeves of mom's dress."
"Caleb and I met at Sewanee, summer before our junior year. We were both on the Mountain participating as leaders in Freshman Pre-Orientation through the Sewanee Outing Program. I had never laid eyes on Caleb before and thought he was a Russian - he had long, blonde hair, and he was living in the Russian house. A mutual friend of ours was staying with him until that friend was headed abroad to Italy, and I asked him how he knew the Russian? That's when I found out Caleb was not from Russia, but rather, from Wilkesboro, NC."
Caleb proposed to me at Sewanee, on the Perimeter Trail. The Perimeter Trail is about 22 miles, and he hadn't hiked it since we were undergrads. I stress-fractured my fibula training for a half marathon a year before, though, so seven miles in, I told him to go on without me, and I'd see him at Shenanigans when he finished. He said he was fine not getting to hike the entire thing, but could I just make it to Dotson Point? I couldn't, so we cut down a fire-lane that landed us at 5 points and King's Farm. King's Farm is the first house ever built in that area, although all that remains is a huge wolf-Maple tree. He stopped on the pretense that he didn't want to have to carry back an Arnold Palmer can of tea, and I started reading the label (typical), and I turned around asking him, "Did you know there's 4% pear juice in this thing?" to find him on one knee. He jokes about giving me something shiny to distract me - works every time. We didn't make it to the beautiful lookout, but I like our story all the same.
"There was never a question of anywhere else. I'm not even sure we talked about it. The night we were engaged, Caleb booked us a hotel room at the Sewanee Inn, and on the way out the next morning, I asked for info regarding having a reception at the Inn. That's about the extent of the conversation we had on location...."
Laurence and Caleb were married at The Chapel of the Apostles which is the chapel used for the seminary located at the school. Their wedding was only the third one that has ever taken place there. Because the chapel is used by the seminary for instruction as well as worship, no one was able to more or rearrange the chairs. Thus creating a cozy, intimate feel to the ceremony.
I asked Laurence what her favorite part of the day was: "That's terribly difficult! I couldn't have asked for a better support crew, from my girls coming with me to frost the wedding cake, to helping hang lanterns, to our best man surprising me in his dress blues (he told me they weren't going to arrive in time), to being surrounded in our service by all these faces that we knew so intimately, to a great band and dancing - I only wish it had lasted longer. Oh, and the Sewanee police officer didconcede and turn on his lights and siren for a brief moment as we tore down University Avenue."
Laurence is certainly a go-getter. She made her own wedding cake and arranged all the flowers for the wedding and rehearsal. Did I mention that she made pottery gifts for her bridesmaids? She's amazing!
Thanks Caleb and Laurence! I had an amazing weekend in Sewanee! I enjoyed everyone moment getting know you and your friends and family. Very best wishes!!
Photography - Suzanne McNeil Photography
Event Location - Sewanee - The University of the South
Catering - Sewanee Catering
Wedding Dress Alteration and Reconstruction - Muna Couture
Flowers - Laurence Hawkins
Wedding Cake - Laurence Hawkins