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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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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