Patterson Maker and Graham Miller first met in fifth grade, but it wasn’t until they were both studying at Wofford College that a middle school crush finally came to fruition. “I had quite the crush on him in middle school,” Patterson says. “But with my love unrequited, I eventually moved on.” Years later, when they both ended up at the same college in South Carolina, Patterson and Graham quickly became more than friends. They spent the remainder of their college careers together and then spent three more years dating long distance while Graham was in law school in Chapel Hill.

A middle school crush is reciprocated 15 years later.

These two Southern lovebirds are simply too cute. And let’s talk about that bouquet!

As Graham was finishing his last semester of law school and preparing to take the MBE, he suggested to Patterson that they take a trip to celebrate and relax before he started his job. They chose Maine as their destination, and Patterson took on the task of planning the trip while Graham continued to study. “On our first day in Portland, we went to Fort Williams Park for lobster rolls and a view of the Cape Elizabeth lighthouse,” says Patterson. “Graham, frantically trying to find the perfect place to propose, suggested we ditch our dinner reservation that night and come back for a picnic at sunset. I was slightly annoyed as I had spent a lot of time planning the perfect itinerary, but decided to go with the flow.” And it’s a good thing she did. They enjoyed an indulgent pizza picnic, and then as Patterson snapped some photos of the sunset, Graham tapped her on the shoulder. He said, “You know, this trip wasn’t actually about me — it was about you.” As Graham continued talking, Patterson quickly figured out what was happening and gave a joyful “yes” to Graham’s proposal.

Patterson had long dreamed of her wedding, which she wanted to take place on the family farm in Westport, Massachusetts. The location had a relaxed beauty that Patterson admired and was rich in sentiment from childhood summers spent there. But the bride and her mother quickly realized that the remote location and long distance between Massachusetts and North Carolina made Patterson’s dream wedding impractical and perhaps out of reach. Heartbroken, Patterson began looking for venues around Charlotte, but she was sure she wouldn’t find anything that captured the magic of the family farm wedding she’d envisioned. Then she stumbled across Morning Glory Farm on Instagram. The warm and welcoming mother-daughter team that runs the farm made Patterson feel right at home, and she knew right away that they had found the place where she and Graham would exchange their vows. “We visited, and I finally felt like I wasn’t compromising by not getting married in Westport,” Patterson says. “It was perfect.”

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Morning Glory Farm‘s natural beauty is enchanting, and its location, just minutes from Charlotte, made it the perfect spot for Patterson and Graham’s backyard dinner party wedding.

With cream and blush roses, silver dollar eucalyptus and feathers trailing, Patterson’s bouquet is absolutely breathtaking. “I wanted the florals to feel a little wild and organic,” Patterson says. “When I saw my bouquet, I about died. It weighed a million pounds, but it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen!”

Patterson carried something old, new, borrowed and blue with her on her wedding day. “My something old was a sixpence underneath a piece of lace from my mom’s wedding dress that she and my bridesmaids took turns sewing into my dress the morning of my wedding,” Patterson says. “My something new was my ensemble, borrowed was my bridesmaid Mollie’s garter from her wedding, and blue was a sapphire ring that was one of my mom’s wedding bands.”

This mother-daughter duo is too sweet!

One of Patterson’s many highlights of the day was getting ready in Morning Glory’s bridal cottage alongside her best girls.

The speckled hen feathers featured on the invitations gave a peek into the day. Real versions were cleverly incorporated in many places — including adorning the bride’s Stuart Weitzman shoes!

Can you believe that the mother of the bride created this incredible invitation suite? “She is an amazing artist, and I always knew that when I got married, I’d want her to do the invitations,” Patterson says. “It’s a lot of pressure when your daughter is your client, but she nailed it!”

This bride tried on 100 dresses before finding the one, and it is absolutely to-die-for. She is stunning!

With the location settled, they had a whole new wealth of inspiration to pull from as they continued planning a wedding day with the intimate feel of a backyard dinner party. The bride’s mother, a talented artist and creative extraordinaire took cues from Morning Glory Farm as she created a stunning invitation suite for her daughter and son-in-law-to-be. Her hand-painted farm animals, speckled chickens and feathers would bring a whimsical element to the day, from the paper products to the bouquets.

Those touches of whimsy combined seamlessly with a clean, muted color palette inspired by Patterson’s incredible blush and white wedding gown. Finding that dreamy gown wasn’t easy (Patterson estimates she likely tried on about 100 dresses before finding the one) but was certainly worth the wait. “I knew I wanted something a little out of the box and was definitely interested in incorporating color,” Patterson says. “When I walked into Southern Protocol Bridal in Charleston (my seventh store!), my eyes immediately fell on the blush linen Carol Hannah skirt. I think I knew right then and there that it was the one, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up.” She tried on a few other dresses first, but the moment she put on the Carol Hannah skirt, she knew it was what she had been looking for all along.

With the bride in blush, the bridesmaids kept the color palette light and airy in white lace knee-length dresses with delicate olive branch crowns draped in their hair. Simple and elegant bouquets of roses, stock and mums in shades of white surrounded by sprawling seeded eucalyptus completed the look. Graham and his groomsmen were handsome in navy jackets and bowties, capturing the laid-back yet refined feel to the day.

Graham and his guys cleaned up nicely in their navy jackets and dapper Brooks Brothers ties.

The bride in blush, alongside her bridesmaids in white, is a vision. We love Patterson’s laid-back and endlessly stylish approach to planning her wedding!

From floral crowns, bouquets, table centerpieces and ceremony decor, the floral design by Nectar was simply breathtaking.

Is it a Southern wedding without a darling gaggle of flower girls, dressed in white?

There’s no feeling like when everyone is seated and all that’s left is for the bride and her dad to walk down the aisle. Patterson describes this moment as absolutely surreal.

Patterson and Graham hold hands and exchange vows before more than 200 of their loved ones.

Mr. and Mrs. Graham Miller!

“I loved the moment right after the wedding when Graham and I had recessed up the aisle and all of our guests were still at their chairs and we felt like the only people in the world,” Patterson says. “I felt so relaxed and happy in that moment!”

These newlyweds share a moment of pure joy and adoration under Patterson’s veil, bathed in sunshine and love.

At 5 p.m. on an August evening, more than 200 of Graham and Patterson’s loved ones gathered at the beautifully bucolic Morning Glory Farm to watch the couple start their life together. Patterson clung to her dad’s arm on the long, winding walk down the aisle as a family friend sang “Heavenly Day” by Patty Griffin, the song Patterson always knew that she’d walk down the aisle to one day. By the time she reached her groom at the altar — the first time they’d seen each other that day — the smile on his face was so wide she thought he was kidding. Flanked by their beloved wedding party and supported by their closest friends and family, Patterson and Graham exchanged vows, rings and a kiss, and with joyous grins across their faces, recessed up the aisle to “Loves Me Like a Rock” by Paul Simon.

The reception was the backyard dinner party of Patterson’s dreams. Potted herbs adorned the long family-style tables, a driftwood stag head bedecked in a floral crown anchored the mantel decor, tassels looped around the bride and groom’s lucite dinner chairs, and pieces of blue and white transferware were all borrowed from the Maker family home. “It made me feel like I really was at a dinner party in my own backyard,” Patterson says. After a scrumptious seated dinner, the new Mr. and Mrs. took to the dance floor for their first dance to “(What A) Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke. “We wanted something light-hearted and fun,” Patterson says. “I liked that it had a little nod to school since we’d known each other through middle and high school.”

RELATED: Liz Brittain and Warren Beck’s Stunning Garden Wedding

Family-style tables, potted plants, trailing garland and twinkle lights captured the magic and ease of a backyard dinner party reception. “The backyard dinner party vision inspired the florals,” Patterson says. “We chose to do a lot of potted herbs on the dinner tables, some of which are still thriving now on my parents’ back porch.”

Lined with creamy neutrals and earthy green tones, the intimate dinner was exactly what the bride had in mind for her reception.

Patterson and Graham’s love story was many years in the making, from a middle school crush to a freshman year romance. “When we went home for Christmas break that year, all of our high school friends were like, ‘What is going on?!’” Patterson says. And the rest is history.

An idyllic setting for a wedding!

Time to eat!

This angelic flower girl blesses her food and the Millers!

“I vividly remember sitting at dinner and looking out at the rows of tables filled with all of our friends and family and thinking, ‘This is so perfect. I can’t believe it’s not raining,’” Patterson says.

Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner of wedge salad with heirloom tomatoes and a duo plate with ancho-rubbed grilled chicken with hash and crab cakes with succotash – yum!

Morning Glory Farms made a stunning setting for a special day.

This gorgeous strawberry chiffon cake was the perfect light wedding cake for a hot summer night. The cake toppers, little terriers dressed up in a clay flower crown and a bowtie, were made by the mother of the bride to represent the bride and groom. They were a special find of Patterson’s while antiquing with her parents as a child.

The new Mr. and Mrs. kept their first dance upbeat and lighthearted, choosing to dance to “(What A) Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke.

Patterson’s sage advice for brides-to-be: “Try to take a moment to look out and soak in all of the people who are there to celebrate you and your husband! Whether that’s during the ceremony, during dinner or whenever you can grab a moment. It really is the most surreal feeling to have everyone you love in one place. Also, as overwhelming as everything can seem when you’re in the trenches of planning, remember that it will all eventually get done — and if it doesn’t, no one will know but you!”

“Another favorite moment was during a band break. My aunt, uncle, cousins and dad (who are all amazing musicians) took the stage to perform a song that they had written for us,” Patterson says. “It was such a surprise and so hysterical. They had everyone singing along.”

Late-night grilled white cheddar-pimento cheese sandwiches and truffle fries kept the party going.

At the end of the perfect day, these lovebirds were sent off with sparklers.

Under crystal chandeliers, twinkle lights and swaths of greenery, the bride and groom danced the night away. And long after night had settled over the farm, with crickets chirping and the farm animals settled in for the night, friends and family sent the new Mr. and Mrs. off with sparklers and well wishes for their wonderful life ahead.

Thank you for sharing your enchanting day with us, Patterson and Graham! Cheers to many days ahead as happy as this one!

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