photographed by the Oberports
Years after high school, this couple returns home to Lewisburg for the perfect summer wedding.
Some of the best love stories happen unexpectedly. This was the case for Barbara Lee Ford and Devin Gardner Judy. They met during gym class their sophomore year at Greenbrier East High School. “I remember he always made me and my sister laugh,” Barbara Lee says. In a few years, they became good friends. They spent some weekends at Snowshoe, and drove miles together along the backroads of their beloved Greenbrier County. They didn’t expect their relationship to blossom so quickly, but by the end of their senior year, their love story had begun.
A year after graduating from high school, Barbara Lee and Devin found that they had wanderlust. The couple packed their bags and moved to Colorado. Devin became an apprentice plumber and Barbara Lee became a fulltime student, while working at a coffee and tea house. “Moving to Colorado was the best decision that we ever made,” she says.
Five years later, during one of their family trips to Puerto Rico, Devin asked Barbara Lee’s mother for permission to marry her daughter. Excited, her mother gave him her consent. Devin immediately bought the ring and started planning the proposal.
When they got back to Colorado, Devin tried to get Barbara Lee to go hiking to Hanging Lake in Glenwood Springs, one of the most beautiful trail hikes in Colorado. After a couple of tries, she finally agreed. Devin also wanted some of her friends to be there with them. “I kept insisting, ‘You guys will want to come and be there! It’s going to be a beautiful hike!’” he laughs. And he was right. It was a beautiful day for a hike—and a proposal. He asked one of their friends to take a picture of them, and to Barbara Lee’s surprise, he got down on one knee and asked her to become his wife.
When they started planning, choosing the date was not difficult. Barbara Lee grew up with three sisters and three brothers, and for this reason one of her favorite musicals has always been Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. After growing up listening to “June Bride” all her life, she knew that when her time came, she was going to be a June bride.
Barbara Lee and Devin didn’t want a cookie-cutter wedding. They wanted a down-home wedding in their home state. The best place to do this was at Barbara Lee’s family farm in Lewisburg, called Little Moose Ranch. “We mapped it all out,” she says. “For the field, I wanted one straight path to where the ceremony would be, and my aisle would be long and curved so you could see me coming from far, far away.” The idea was to give her time to walk down the aisle so she could see everyone who had come to her wedding. She hopped on the tractor herself and cut out the entire path in the field that would serve as her aisle. Her brothers helped rake the hay and prepare the field for guests. They also helped build a tall archway where the couple would say their vows.
When it came time to go dress shopping, Barbara Lee took a trip to Savannah, Georgia, with her mother and some of her siblings to a little boutique called Ivory and Beau. At first, the gowns she had in mind were not working for her. None of them looked or felt right. But there was one in the window display she had seen but had not yet tried. She put it on and, when she walked out of the dressing room, everyone was speechless. It was an elegant Hayley Paige Halo gown with ivory lace, tulle, and a scalloped V-neck bodice with open back and strap details. She had found her dress. A few months later, she found her veil at Emma and Grace Bridal Studio in Denver, Colorado. “It was phenomenal,” she says. “I adored it. It was super long and dramatic with all these beautiful embroidered flowers on it. It was the perfect veil for my dress.”
Devin decided to wear a white tuxedo dress shirt and navy tuxedo pants with navy suspenders. He had an orchid boutonniere, which matched Barbara Lee’s bouquet. The groomsmen also wore navy tuxedo pants with suspenders. Barbara Lee also wanted to include her late grandfather in her wedding. “I wouldn’t have my life or be the person that I am now if it wasn’t for that man,” she says. “So I picked some of his old blazers and had them tailored for my brothers. It was important to see them with a piece of our grandfather on my wedding day.”
The Perfect Day
The day before the wedding, it poured. The couple feared that the farm would be muddy or that it would continue raining the next day, but they were in luck. “I feel someone was looking down on me,” Barbara Lee says. “It was probably my grandfather, because we woke up and the sky was absolutely beautiful on the day of our wedding. You could definitely see how beautiful West Virginia is.” It was the perfect weather for a June wedding.
Before saying their “I dos,” Barbara Lee and Devin exchanged a first look. “I really didn’t want to spend half the day without seeing each other,” Devin says. “It was really nice to do that before the ceremony.”
They chose white and blue as the primary colors for the ceremony, and then added pops of vibrant color throughout the décor. “We wanted to keep the homey and country vibe,” Barbara Lee says. “So we included different pitchers with all kinds of flowers that my mother picked out.” The farm was full of beautiful, vivid colors. Barbara Lee’s mother worked with Christopher Glower from Greenbrier Cut Flowers, who created more than 90 colorful arrangements around the tent. Her mother also handmade napkins to match the arrangements. And to decorate outside the tent they draped some of Barbara Lee’s mother’s antique and homemade quilts on clotheslines.
In the end, Barbara Lee and Devin say they had the best wedding they could have hoped for. They wanted to spend their day at home with friends and loved ones. And most importantly, they wanted everyone to have a good time.
As the couple got in their car and left the reception, they looked back. They saw everyone they loved dancing, laughing, and having fun. Barbara Lee and Devin looked at each other and smiled. She was a bride in June, and she would always, always, always remember her perfect day.