photographed by Hannah Hicks Photography
Snowshoe Mountain Resort provided the perfect backdrop for Jen Nguyen and Kaison Ball’s wedding.
Tt was still light out when kaison ball gathered everyone around the bonfire at Jen Nguyen’s graduation party, but he had to pop the question before her unsuspecting friends left for the evening. He had talked to her parents beforehand, and they were in on the surprise. Surrounded by friends and family at the home they’d renovated together, Kaison got down on one knee and proposed to Jen. The simplicity, fun, and personal touches of the proposal cast the vision for their dreamlike wedding to come.
Jen and Kaison Ball met through mutual friends over Fourth of July weekend while they were attending West Virginia University, but it wasn’t for another year that their paths crossed again. Kaison was living down the road from the restaurant where Jen was working, and after he asked her on a date, they spent three hours talking over dinner. They dated for three years and bought a house together in Morgantown.
They never talked about rings because Kaison knew Jen would prefer to be surprised, so a few months before the proposal, he went ring shopping with Jen’s best friend while Jen was traveling for work. When Kaison told Jen’s father, Lamson Nguyen, he was planning to propose, Lamson asked Kaison what had taken him so long.
As Jen’s graduation approached, she said she wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate, but Kaison and Jen’s father both pushed for a cookout party at the house the couple had just bought and renovated. Kaison thought it would be fun to show off the new place and celebrate Jen’s graduation—and their engagement—at home with friends and family. Kaison felt a wave of disappointment as he realized he’d left the ring out on the counter the morning of the party. He thought she had seen it and knew what was coming. But when he asked the question, she was completely surprised—she admitted she had not seen the ring. “Jen had no idea, so that was the best part,” Kaison says.
As the couple started their venue search, they realized they had to choose between two different ideas. Kaison wanted a destination wedding with fewer guests, but Jen, coming from a large family, wanted a local wedding that lots of guests could get to. Then they visited Snowshoe Mountain Resort and discovered they could get the best of both worlds. “Kaison could envision our day there, and he saw that I loved it,” Jen says.
The couple’s entrepreneurship gave them a creative edge as they planned their wedding. Together, they own Home Brewed and Company, a small business that features Jen’s hand-lettering and calligraphy on various products. Her calligraphy was on display throughout the wedding, from the invitations with a watercolor map of the wedding venue to the programs and all of the signage. “I wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of us,” Jen says. “Kaison helps me run the business, too, so having my lettering everywhere on our day was important.”
In the days leading up to the wedding, family and friends met at Snowshoe to get everything ready. “I think every girl nowadays has a Pinterest board so, trying to make that come to life, we DIYed a lot of it,” Jen says. Kaison built a custom photo booth out of piping and the couple’s living room curtains, and Jen found used doors to create an entrance to the ceremony aisle. While the bouquets were created by their florist, family and Jen’s bridesmaids put together all of the artificial flower centerpieces. “It was really helpful to have so many hands put it together,” she says.
Magic In The Air
The wind was blowing, but the sun was shining for Jen and Kaison’s outdoor ceremony at Snowshoe. While their wedding was in West Virginia, it was enchanted by touches of one of their favorite places—Disney World. Kaison, who also works as a Disney vacation planner, gifted Jen with their own adventure book from the movie Up, and Jen walked down the aisle with her father to an instrumental version of “Tale as Old as Time.” Even the paper that they wrote their vows on helped create their own magic—Jen wrote hers on a plane ticket to Orlando, Florida, while Kaison wrote his on “gringotts,” or goblin money from The Harry Potter series.
Instead of lighting a unity candle, the couple decided to plant a unity tree. They read aloud how the tree symbolizes where their roots are and how they are growing as their own family. Jen’s mom poured in soil from the family home Jen grew up in, and because Kaison moved around a lot growing up, Kaison’s mom poured in soil that they had scooped out of the ground at Epcot from one of their recent trips to Disney World. The couple later planted the tree at their home in Morgantown.
After they were pronounced husband and wife, the couple stopped by the St. Bernard Chapel, where Jen’s uncle, a priest, performed a small Catholic blessing with just their matron of honor and best man as witnesses. Jen and Kaison liked the intimate moment after their ceremony and before heading to the reception.
A Perfect Night
The newlyweds entered the reception at Soaring Eagle Lodge to the sound of cheers from their nearly 150 guests. Their first dance, to “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran, was followed by Kaison and his mom dancing to the traditional song, “Mother Like Mine.” For the father and daughter dance, Jen and her dad surprised everyone with what started out as “Butterfly Kisses” but turned into a choreographed routine to “Single Ladies,” “The Twist,” “Jump On It,” and other songs.
The rest of the night was full of great dancing between the delicious food and cake. Buffets lined the dining area on the terrace, and guests chose from a mashed potato bar, salmon, beef, chicken, salads, and more. The cake, made by B Sweet Confectionary in White Sulphur Springs, had even those who don’t normally like sweets (like Kaison) fawning over its buttercream icing and raspberry filling.
Jen pulled one of her creative moves by surprising Kaison with a cigar bar during the reception. “I had absolutely no idea, and people really enjoyed it,” Kaison says. “It was outside so we had a chance to wind down for a minute and relax.”
The dance floor was full for the whole night, and Kaison and Jen were glad to see so many of their friends and family who had come in from all over the country enjoying their time at Snowshoe. “The whole weekend felt on another level of awesome for me,” Jen says. “I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”