A Morgantown couple finds a perfect location for their wedding in short order right across state lines.
Kimberly Ann Varda & Aaron Michael Salmons | Smithfield, PA | 8.11.18 | Britani Edwards Photography
Kimberly and Aaron met because of a toothache. Kimberly, a dental hygienist, spotted a handsome new patient walk through the doors of the dental clinic one fateful evening. Aaron asked for Kimberly’s hand in marriage six months after they first met with a romantic proposal in the woods of Coopers Rock State Forest. After that, everything for the couple’s wedding just fell into place.
The timeline was tight—only six months until the wedding day. The couple didn’t want a long engagement but realized a shorter one could present challenges. As they began looking at venues for their big day, they found that most were booked up for the following year. They chose the only one they visited in person: Rich Farms in Smithfield, Pennsylvania. The location fit well with their planned rustic theme. The couple initially chose a color palette of dusty rose and gold for the big day, but a follow-up planning visit to Rich Farms, when lavender was in full bloom in every direction, changed that. Lavender became a central component in many of the decorations, favors, and floral arrangements.
“I had a feeling when I was there that this is exactly where we should be,” Kimberly says.
Once the venue was penciled in, the bride’s attention turned to her dress. She had been eyeing a dress on Pinterest but didn’t know where to begin to find it. Her mother dusted off her detective skills to identify the designer of the exact gown, and a dress shop just a short drive away that carried the line. The shop ordered the dress for a fitting, and Kimberly, her mother, and her future mother-in-law made the trip to Washington, Pennsylvania, to see it. The sample size fit like a glove and was as beautiful in person as it was online. The three women knew when they saw Kimberly in the gown that they had already, and quite easily, found her dress.
Kimberly and Aaron agreed that he and his groomsmen might wear tan suits, since the wedding was slated for August and the heat of the summer. Aaron’s mother mentioned that she might have just perfect thing. She showed the couple a photograph of her own marriage to Aaron’s father, who had passed away rather suddenly just a few months before. In the photo, he was wearing a tan suit—a suit that Aaron’s mother still had. It fit Aaron perfectly without a single alteration. Aaron said it made him feel as if his father’s spirit was with him on one of the most important days of his life.
The couple planned the entire wedding and even created most of the décor by hand. The staff at local craft stores came to know her by name, she says. In an effort to cut costs, she would visit almost daily after work to purchase one or two items at a time with 40 percent and 50 percent off coupons that were good for one item only. She would craft centerpieces and other decorative items in the evenings after work, deriving much of her inspiration from Pinterest.
In keeping with the wedding’s rustic theme, the couple chose a buffet-style barbecue feast catered by Red Beard BBQ of Bruceton Mills. The wedding cake was made by Baking Memories in Clarksburg and featured vanilla cake with buttercream icing and garnishes of lavender and greenery. The groom’s cake was created by Cakes by Sweet Treats in Hurricane. The top of the cake featured the outline of West Virginia and a sunset in the Appalachian mountains, and was finished with the word “Home” written across the scene.
Before leaving the reception and while guests were preparing to give them a sparkler send-off, Kimberly and Aaron stole a few quiet moments in the barn for one last dance together on their wedding day. The chose Hawaii for their honeymoon and loved it so much, they will return to celebrate their first anniversary.
Kimberly, a planner by nature, enjoyed the wedding planning process. She liked checking things off of her to-do list, and creating so many pieces that made the wedding day perfect was more fun than she had expected. She and Aaron have similar tastes and styles, she says, making it easy to agree on things. She also offers a bit of advice for brides in the planning phases of their big days:
“Don’t let it overwhelm you,” she says. “Take it one task at a time. You will get it done and the wedding will be perfect.”
Written by Holly Leleux-Thubron
Photographed by Britani Edwards Photography
Alison’s Bridal, Washington, PA
Men’s Wearhouse, Morgantown
The Tux Shop, Washington, PA
Miller’s Greenhouses and Flower Shop, Smithfield, PA
Red Beard BBQ, Bruceton Mills
Baking Memories, Clarksburg
Cakes by Sweet Treats, Hurricane
Dynamic Entertainment and Lighting Productions, Morgantown
Rich Farms, Smithfield, PA