An April Fools’ prank gone beautifully right helps a couple find their way back to each other.
Hannah Kathryn Weaver & Timothy Linn Turner | Upper Tract | 9.9.17 | Photographed by Brittany Custer Photography
When Hanna Weaver saw Timothy Turner’s early 2014 Facebook post saying he was engaged, her stomach dropped. The previous year, the two had formed a connection through a mutual friend. They’d dated after Tim had visited Hanna in Petersburg, but parted ways in December when he’d decided to travel as a physical therapist. Then, out of nowhere, the engagement announcement. “I mustered up the courage to text him and figure out who this girl was,” Hanna says. To her relief, it was April 1, and the engagement was an April Fools’ Day prank.
Tim visited Hanna after she moved to his hometown of Fairmont for a job and, when they started dating again, he moved back, too. A year and a half later, in October 2016, they packed up a car to travel to Shepherd University, Hanna’s alma mater, for homecoming. Pouring rain shrouded the overlook at Coopers Rock outside Morgantown in fog, but they stopped anyway. When Hanna turned to leave, Tim talked about how they had gone their separate ways and found each other again before he popped the question.
Planning the Day
Hanna always knew she wanted to get married at Ruddle Presbyterian Church, her home parish that’s named after her mother’s family. The reception was harder to figure out. Right after Hanna’s parents had gotten married, they’d rented a house on the Pendleton County Poor Farm. The owners suggested the couple host an outdoor reception there. “Having a close connection to the ceremony site and reception site was important, because it made things more memorable,” Tim says. It also allowed the bridal party to stay in the same place, bringing together the couple’s closest companions.
Hanna’s friend Ashley Anderson helped her plan the details. Making a floral chandelier for above the dance floor took Hanna several hours, buckets of fake flowers, and a few hot glue gun burns. For her bouquet designed by Petals Flowers and Gifts in Petersburg, she ordered a wrap monogrammed with her initials and those of departed family members. “I wanted things that would be nice, special keepsakes, or heirloom pieces that could be passed down to our children,” Hanna says.
A particular wedding dress had caught Hanna’s eye for years but, when she tried it on, it wasn’t for her. Instead, she went Black Friday shopping with her parents. A V-neck ball gown with lace and tulle, which her dad picked out, won her over.
Tying the Knot
The sun shone on a cool September morning as Hanna and Tim prepared for their vows. “I felt like I was moving in slow motion,” Hanna remembers. “Before I knew it, people were telling me I needed to put my dress on.” Not everything went perfectly—afterward, Hanna learned the rings had fallen between the seats of someone’s car—but nothing could ruin the sense of peace and excitement.
During the ceremony, Hanna and Tim exchanged their own sentimental yet lighthearted vows. Tim joked that he’d be the first one to get up with their dogs in the morning. As another special touch, the couple braided a cord with three strands as a symbol of their unity.
Underneath a giant white tent, guests drank beverages named after Hanna and Tim’s dogs—“Mia Mojito” and “Kiera Krown and Koke”—at a bar Hanna’s dad had made out of barn doors as a Christmas gift of wood from her grandparents’ and her own family’s barns. A crowd favorite was the Snickers-flavored groom’s cake shaped as a Florida gator clad in a coonskin cap, a crossover inspired by Tim’s two alma maters. Hanna and Tim’s first dance was to an arrangement of Russell Dickerson’s “Yours.” Together with family and friends from across the country, they celebrated throughout the night.
Santorini, Greece, provided a picture-perfect destination for their honeymoon and the start of their new life together in Fairmont. In Hanna’s memory, the gathering of friends and family was the very best thing about the wedding. “We would do it over again if we could, just to have everyone who is really important to us in one place.”
Melissa & Myles Weaver
Tom Turner & Candace Chidester
Brittany Custer Photography
Bridal Impressions, Harrisonburg, VA
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire
Ashley Anderson, Kaposy’s, Petersburg
Kelsy Stone, Annapolis, MD
Petals Flowers & Gifts, Petersburg
Puttin’ on the Ritz, Franklin
Cakes in Wonderland, Franklin
Cakes in Wonderland, Franklin
Jones Entertainment DJ Services, Oakland, MD
Sip Hip Hooray, Houston, TX
Altamira Film Co., Richmond, VA
Ruddle Presbyterian Church, Franklin
Pendleton County Poor Farm, Upper Tract
Written by Jess Walker