Today’s Featured Bride post begins when Leah and Luke first met. He was no more than just the best friend’s new little brother at first. Luke’s patience and persistence eventually won out though, culminating in a beautiful Spring wedding.
“We met through my best friend in college. She married his older brother and through their relationship I met the Kelly family and became friends with Luke.”
It wasn’t love at first sight for Leah – but Luke knew she was “the one” right away.
“Luke had a crush on me for a while. He is younger than me, so it took me much longer to see him as more than a friend. Through his persistent friendship though, he eventually won me over.”
Through most of their relationship, the pair were long distance finishing school on either sides of the country, but it didn’t stop their relationship from progressing. After a little over two years, Luke was ready to propose.
“We went to Brookings, OR (Luke’s favorite place) to stay with his grandparents. They go there every summer in their RV and Luke had been waiting for the opportunity to take me there and show me around.”
Leah had no idea that this sweet trip to Brookings was actually planned to be more than just a camping trip with Luke’s family.
“It was a complete surprise! I genuinely had no idea the proposal was going to happen.”
The two spent some time getting the lay of the land and then packed up to go watch the sunset on the beach. They stopped off at a little gift shop to pick up some snacks (“These amazing glazed almonds!”) and then headed out to find the perfect spot on the beach.
“Luke doesn’t like being around people so he made me walk extra far to find the most private spot he could. Quickly after we found a spot and settled in, Luke started asking me what some of my favorite memories were together. It wasn’t out of the ordinary for him and he wasn’t acting weird or nervous at all.”
Leah still had no idea the proposal was on it’s way. Luke asked her to pass the almonds and when she turned back around everything changed!
“I turned to go get them out of my bag and then when I leaned back over I saw Luke fondling something in his hand. It turned out to be the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.”
“Luke then got down on his knees (yes both, not just one) and asked me to marry him!”
It was the perfect proposal, planned in the way that Luke knew Leah would appreciate the most.
“It was so intimate and so perfect. I never wanted a photographed proposal or for a big crowd of people to be there and I appreciated so much how carefully he took into consideration little details that I had told him forever ago.”
After the proposal the two spent the rest of the evening celebrating and basking in the new engagement.
“We spent hours talking and me asking how he pulled it all off and enjoyed the sunset before we started calling our close friends and family with the news.”
After the engagement settled in, it was time to start thinking about the big day.
“Our engagement was about 10 months long and it felt like the perfect amount of time. A lot of the big stuff was planned early so I had plenty of time to sort out the little details.”
Leah is the youngest sister of Charlotte’s store Manager, Lindsey, so planning for her big day quickly became a Charlotte’s affair!
“Shopping for my wedding dress was perfect. Lindsey is my big sister and having her work at Charlotte’s for the past several years, I always hoped she would still be there to help me find my dress one day.”
Leah booked her bridal appointment for our annual Justin Alexander/Lillian West Designer Takeover Trunk Show and gathered the family to help her choose her dream dress.
“Lindsey knows me and my style better than anyone on this planet, so I hardly had to even give her ideas because she knew exactly what I would like. The dress I chose was one of the first three I tried on, it was a quick decision.”
Leah wore a beautiful dress from one of our favorite designers: Lillian West. A gorgeous lace top with illusion back, paired with a romantic and soft chiffon a-line skirt. The dress comes with a slit in the skirt, giving it just a little touch of sexiness which came together to create a dream wedding dress for Leah.
“I will never forget the moment in the dressing room when I had on the dress I would say yes to, looking at my big sister in the mirror tear up as she knew it was the one too.”
“Charlotte’s isn’t just a store to me, but family. I have known Krysta and her sweet boys for years and have had a special connection to Charlotte’s as a whole, so it was extra special for me to have my “say yes to the dress” experience there.”
The wedding day was full of family and so much love. The couple made a more unique choice and decided to forego a first look photo shoot. They instead kept that moment fresh for the aisle.
“My favorite part of our wedding was not doing a first look and having our first time seeing each other be when I was walking down the aisle.”
The venue had a glass elevator that Leah came up before walking down the aisle. Luke had thought he wouldn’t cry when he saw her walk down the aisle and was confident before the ceremony that he’d be good to go. Luke saw the elevator start to move though and he lost it.
“It was such a powerful moment and I will never forget the look on Luke’s face.”
“Enjoy the process! I know how easy it is to get impatient, but I would just say enjoy every second. The day goes by so fast and the planning process can honestly be so fun if you make it. You have control over how stressful things can get, so do your best to relax and enjoy the process because at the end of the day you are marrying your best friend, the rest will be forgotten details.”
The Charlotte’s Weddings staff was so honored and happy to be a part of planning Leah and Luke’s wedding from start to finish. Congratulations to the happy couple and thank you for letting us be involved in this amazing day!
Venue: Willamette Heritage Center
Dress: Lillian West
Veil: Bel Aire Bridal
Photographer: Ky Ferguson
Florist: Bella Bloom Florals
Makeup: Lindsey O’Halloran
Hair: Mandi Kelly – Hair City
Coordinator: Ryann Jack
MOB Dress: Social Occasions by Mon Cheri
“Tammy King-Headings who was the Event Director at the venue and was so sweet and helpful the whole process, she was very timely and professional and I really appreciated her help. And also a huge thanks to my mamma who did everything she could to make it a perfect day for us!”