"The mountains are a perfect venue to take a vow of a lifetime."
Leah & Will VanLandingham
Oak Grove Baptist Church August 29, 2015
When this couple from Fairfax, Virginia was ready to tie the knot, they turned to bride Leah Thompson’s hometown of Boone for a chic and charming affair in the hills.
“My vision was to have the romantic elegance of a hometown wedding with a sophisticated, modern touch,” Leah said. “I wanted the ceremony to be traditional and intimate, and the reception to be a fun atmosphere in which we’d be surrounded by friends and family, celebrating our love for one another.”
Her groom, Will VanLandigham, a native of the Asheville area, also calls the mountains of North Carolina home, so it made perfect sense for them to turn back to the High Country for this meaningful milestone.
“I did look around at other venues outside of the High Country during my preliminary planning phase,” Leah said. “I came to the conclusion that you cannot beat getting married in the mountains — the beauty of the High Country, the fresh mountain air, and the friendly local vendors make it the ideal location for a wedding.”
The VanLandighams were married by the bride’s childhood pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Boone, surrounded by the faith community in which she was raised.
“Our wedding was a reflection of who we are as people — simple, easy-going, fun, and family-oriented,” Leah said.
They made it a priority to include their parents, who have shown them time and again the value of a strong Christian marriage, in the ceremony,
“We received a blessing from our parents and also took a covenant of salt — an ancient covenant symbolizing our love, loyalty, and devotion to one another,” Leah said.
Following their sweet and elegant traditional church wedding, they moved the party over to the Summit Trail Solarium on the campus of Appalachian State University, the bride’s alma mater.
“The room embodies natural elements of trees, flora, and water features, as well as clean, modern lines and sophistication,” Leah said. “Family and friends spoke from their hearts during a champagne toast, bringing tears to a few eyes.”
Guests signed their names to a rustic wooden cutout of the state of North Carolina in lieu of a traditional guest book and left with a sweet treat from Boone’s own Appalachian Cookie Company.
“We ended the night by exiting through a tunnel of swirling glow sticks and cheers,” Leah said. “It was truly a magical experience.”
Now that they’re on this new adventure together, Leah says married life with Will is simply “the best.”
For other brides looking for the perfect place to get married, she recommends turning to the network of talented event professionals right here in the High Country.
“The mountains are the perfect venue to take the vow of a lifetime,” she said.
So, what’s next for this pair of sweethearts?
“Following our wedding, my husband and I moved from Fairfax, Virginia to Winston-Salem, North Carolina,” Leah said. “We are thrilled to be residents of North Carolina again and looking forward to planting our roots here. As Eric Church sings, ‘Oh, Carolina, you keep calling me home.’”