Photographed by Country Charm Photography
Two country lovebirds spend their special day in the same setting they grew up—on a farm.
Written by Katie Griffith[line]
Two down-to-earth people with a refreshing simplicity to their romance, Courtney Turner and Steven Funk say they can’t quite remember exactly when they fell in love. The couple met on the brink of their 20s. She was still in college at Potomac State and he had just finished schooling at the University of Northwestern Ohio when a family friend decided to set them up. “It was a strange story,” Courtney says. “We didn’t really go on a first date.”
Courtney Turner, a Petersburg native, met her soon-to-be beau, Steven Funk, at a local restaurant in nearby Moorefield, where Steven is from. He was there having dinner with close friends, but, by the time Courtney arrived at the restaurant, she was a little late for dinner having worked late that evening. She had looked him up on Facebook before deciding to meet—“I wasn’t just going to meet some random person,” she laughs—and liked what she saw. Her first impression upon meeting the young man in person: He was nice enough. “We had a lot of common interests,” she says. “We both were raised on farms and I wanted to get to know him a little better.”
They dated for a year-and-a-half before getting engaged. Courtney says she can’t remember the exact moment she fell in love with Steven, but her reasons for that love are more distinct. “We have a lot of things in common,” she says. “We’re country people, farmers. We did a lot of that together.”
Steven remembers a little more clearly the day he knew Courtney was the one. It was when they were discussing some of those mutual interests and Courtney mentioned she would like to live and work on a farm in the future. He decided to propose when he realized he had found a life partner—one who could handle long work days and night shift work with humor, patience, and grace. “It’s hard to find a farmer’s wife,” he says. But how to propose to the lady you’ll be baling hay and moving livestock with for the rest of your life? It’s very simple, Steven says. “She didn’t want anything embarrassing.”
Steven took Courtney out for dinner on the eve of 2012. His bride-to-be had been firm about her expectations for a proposal. “He knew better than to propose to me in front of a bunch of people. I had warned him,” she says. Steven, admittedly, isn’t big on grand romantic gestures either, but the big moment was still a surprise. Steven stopped Courtney before entering the restaurant. He had a question to ask her. “We were still sitting in the car. He pulled out the ring and looked at me. Then he asked me to marry him,” she says. “I wasn’t expecting it at all. I think about 101 thoughts went through my mind at the time. ‘Is this really happening? Is he really asking?’” They were engaged for almost two years before gathering friends and family together at Steven’s family farm for the wedding.
“I didn’t jump right into planning the wedding,” Courtney says. “We were both rather young.” They began planning in earnest the next year when they decided on a country-rustic/vintage theme. “Our background being on a farm inspired me,” she says. “I love lace and all that ties in together. She bought her dress first—one of her favorite parts of planning the wedding because she could spend time with the women in her life she loved most. Courtney, her mom, and her best friend traveled to Bridal Impressions in Virginia, one of the closer places to get a dress in the area, with an idea in mind. “It only took me five dresses to try on and we found it,” she says, “But I got to spend the day with my mom and my best friend.” The gown, a lace Allure fitted dress with a sweeping mermaid skirt, fit perfectly with Courtney’s country rustic theme.
After that, Courtney’s mom took over the wedding planning. “She did an amazing job. To be honest, I didn’t know what it would like before I walked down the aisle. I’m pretty laid-back most of the time,” she says. Her soon-to-be husband was, too. Steven voiced his opinions now and then but, for the most part, let the ladies plan what they jokingly called “the bride’s day.”
The couple intended to have the ceremony overlooking the mountains, but rain the day of changed their plans—though surly weather was no problem for these two. They maneuvered photos around the rain, their favorites staged with the original mountain backdrop, and moved the wedding under their reception tent decorated with glass jars filled with flowers, wooden accents, strings of lights, and simple colors in cream, white, pink, and brown. In fact, the last-minute change of plans is what Steven remembers most fondly of his wedding day. “The outside part of the wedding had been cancelled and I knew Courtney would be a nervous wreck, but everything turned out perfect,” he says. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Courtney remembers the day, September 21, 2013, as a blur. It didn’t set in that she was getting married until she saw Steven for the first time. “Some of my favorite moments were when my dad and my husband saw me for the first time,” she recalls. “It was something that tugs at your heart.” Those first moments were followed by a good, simple party full of dancing, delicious food, and lots of conversation. “Our guests were such a fun group of people,” she says. “Our DJ, a distant relative, said they were probably the best dancing group he ever had at a wedding.” When family and friends weren’t dancing, they were feasting on the bride’s family’s farm-raised pork, green beans, scalloped potatoes, and a variety of side dishes. The cake was a three-tier chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet tower.
The couple now lives on Steven’s family farm, close to both sets of in-laws. They work full-time jobs—he with the West Virginia Division of Highways and she with the Hampshire County Circuit Court—in addition to their work on the farm. They honeymooned in the Dominican Republic, relaxing after a hectic couple of months of wedding planning. “It really hits you that you’re married the next day,” Courtney says. “Then we relaxed and enjoyed ourselves. And then we went back to work.”