Vicksburg Living Wedding Edition: Winter wonderland vows
Published 11:03 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024
Under an enchanting wooden arbor crafted by her father and laden with blue and white flowers, twinkling lights, and a crystal chandelier, Sarah Kate Smith and Jon Edward King declared their love to one another as family and friends witnessed their union on Dec. 3, 2022.
Adding to the “winter wonderland”- like ambience of the couple’s wedding was a mirrored aisle blanketed on either side with a continuation of blue and white flowers and candles.
The same color scheme was carried through to the reception, which like the wedding ceremony, was all held on an outdoor field located on the bride’s parents’ property.
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Jon Edward and Sarah Kate met when they were just children. Their families had been friends for years and Jon Edward’s grandfather and Sarah Kate’s father both belonged to the Tri-County Hunting Club, which is where the couple were first introduced.
And according to a friend of the family, Jon Edward was immediately smitten with Sarah Kate. “Mr. Rube Taylor loves to tell the story of how Jon Edward and his cousin asked if they could drive his grandfather’s truck to my parents’ lake house to hang out with me,” Sarah Kate said.
Obviously, Jon Edward’s grandfather had told the elementary school-aged boys no. But that did not thwart their plan of seeing Sarah Kate. They just jumped on a four-wheeler in the freezing temperatures and rode two miles to see her.
“And Mr. Rube’s favorite part of the story to tell was that before they (the boys) left the camp, they had scrounged up all the cologne and hair gel they could find and he had said that you could smell them from a mile away,” Sarah Kate said.
Sarah Kate and Jon Edward officially began dating in 2015 when she was a junior in high school. What is more, it was a long-distance relationship — Jon Edward and his family lived in Spanish Fort, Alabama. Their relationship blossomed since Jon Edward had cousins who lived in Vicksburg.
“That is how we stayed connected,” Sarah Kate said.
It was a total surprise to Sarah Kate when Jon Edward proposed on Dec. 30, 2021, while both their families were vacationing in Vail, Colorado.
“Our parents were friends, so it was no surprise for us to all go on family vacations, but our engagement was a total surprise for me,” she said. “Jon Edward always said we wouldn’t get engaged until he graduated from college which was in May of 2022, so I never thought it would actually happen on that trip.”
But it did and Jon Edward had taken care of all the little details.
“He had talked to my dad in July of 2021, so needless to say both of our families did a great job of keeping it a secret for such a long time,” Sarah Kate said.
Prior to the proposal, Jon Edward had also lined up a photographer to capture pictures of the event.
“The plan was to all go take ‘family pictures’ on this beautiful bridge,” Sarah Kate said. But due to the photographer being snowed in, the couple had to rely on cell phone photos taken by their parents.
“For me, this was okay because it made our engagement more special since our family was there to video and take pictures of the entire thing. It was so beautiful and everything I could have ever dreamed of,” Sarah Kate said.
AN UNEXPECTED CHOICE
Sarah Kate said she had always envisioned herself wearing a “simple and elegant” wedding dress, but when shopping for her gown, she discovered she wanted “something more.”
“My wedding dress was opposite of what I had originally envisioned myself in,” she said, but “I truly felt this dress showed my personality.”
And the Marina Liana designer dress with its beautiful beading and sparkles embodied Sarah Kate’s vision of her winter wonderland wedding.
During the wedding ceremony, Sarah Kate wore an overskirt atop the slim fitting gown, which she removed for the reception; and a cathedral length veil that had small sequins scattered throughout.
For her something old, Sarah Kate had a handkerchief that had belonged to her maternal great-grandmother wrapped around her bouquet. Also attached was a garnet broach and wedding band.
“I borrowed my sister’s sixpence, and my wedding shoes were blue,” she said.
Prior to the ceremony, and like many couples do now, Jon Edward and Sarah Kate chose to do a first look. It was a special moment the couple shared — one where they could show their “true emotions,” Sarah Kate said.
“He and I both cried tears of happiness. Our first look is my favorite memory from our special day,” she said.
Also meaningful at the wedding was the presence of the newest member of the J.O Smith family
“Aside from marrying Jon Edward, the most special part of our day was having our beautiful niece, Layla James Stegall, who was only a month old and wearing a gown made from my mom’s wedding dress, wheeled down the aisle by my sister,” Sarah Kate said. “We still have people ask if she was actually in the carriage.”
During the reception, guests were entertained by the Emerald Coast Empire.
“They were so fun, we even had a few crowd surfers,” Sarah Kate said. And before leaving the reception in a blue Mustang, the couple were celebrated with a fireworks show.
Jon Edward and Sarah Kate traveled to the Dominican Republic for their honeymoon and are at home in Vicksburg where she is an RN in the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at Merit Health River Region and he is employed at the Vicksburg District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a civil engineer.