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Originally published in Inside Weddings

Lisa Harman and Chuck Wakefield’s bohemian North Carolina wedding was an event 30 years in the making. The two met in 1980 and dated for six months, and although the relationship didn’t work out, Lisa says she never forgot Chuck’s kindness and sweet, gentle nature. Their paths crossed again 30 years later when Chuck reached out to Lisa as a friend. “I was always in love with her and never forgot her after 30-plus years apart,” Chuck says. They began a long-distance friendship, which evolved into love over the course of one year. Chuck proposed by handing Lisa a Taco Bell salsa packet that read, “Marry Me” – and Lisa happily accepted.

Lisa and Chuck love the mountains and wanted a true outdoor wedding with a simple, bohemian feel, so they chose the green meadows and mountain views of Claxton Farm in Asheville, North Carolina for their celebration. The couple exchanged vows in an open field decorated with yellow blooms and a rustic metal arch covered in greenery. Lisa also surprised Chuck by arriving at the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage, in honor of her lifelong passion for horseback riding. The newlyweds rode in the carriage to the reception, which was held in a gorgeous barn featuring high ceilings, a stone fireplace, and custom decorations including peace signs, burlap table runners, light fixtures made of twigs, and yellow and green flowers. Their 75 guests enjoyed dinner (which Chuck, a professional chef, took an active role in planning) and 1960s and ‘70s music, performed by a live band.

Two of Lisa’s favorite moments of the day involved her son, who served as her “man of honor”: The first was his heartfelt toast; the second was their mother/son dance to Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish.” For Chuck, the most memorable moment took place during the ceremony when Lisa jumped the gun and answered the priest’s question with a heartfelt “I do!” before he could finish asking it. Lisa says that if she could do anything differently, she would have agreed to do a “first look” to give her and her groom a few quiet moments before the ceremony. However, she advises other brides to go with their vision when planning the big day. “There are a million little details, but they are what make your wedding unique, special to you, and memorable for everyone else,” Lisa says. And is there anything Chuck would have done differently? “Marry her sooner!” he says.

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