Katherine Anne Wood and John Newton McElravey VI’s love story is one made for the movies. When the high school sweethearts first met, they both felt as though they’d been best friends their entire lives. “It just felt right,” smiles Katie. Though they were set to go to different colleges, they couldn’t stand being apart and Katie soon transferred. “The rest is history!” she muses.

After a Valentine’s Day proposal at home, the couple began planning their nuptials in their hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, despite living in Philadelphia at the time. “My mom was my rock throughout the entire planning process, especially since I was a long-distance bride,” shares the bride. “Our wedding planner was also an amazing influence and help throughout the entire process. We couldn’t have done it without her!”

Since both the bride and groom are Catholic, it was important that they get married in a Catholic church – even choosing to exchange vows in the same house of worship the bride grew up attending. Katie was gorgeous in a lace strapless ball gown; she held an ivory bouquet comprised of peonies, garden roses, ranunculus blossoms, lisianthus, and spray roses. The pair exchanged vows at the altar, which was flanked by two large arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, larkspur, and verdure. Though it’s not typical to exchange personalized vows in a traditional Catholic service, it was really important to both Katie and Jack. “Luckily our priest, Father Frank O’Rourke, was extremely accommodating and allowed us to say both the traditional vows as well as our own. This added a very personal and emotional touch to the ceremony,” she adds.

Following the mass, the newlyweds met their guests at a resort for the classic ballroom reception. The décor was kept neutral, ethereal, and soft with blush and ivory tones accented by greenery. Tables were decorated with billowing arrangements of blooms in glass vessels illuminated with candlelight. In addition to the gorgeous florals, the focus of the day was spent on delicious food and drinks, as well as entertainment to encourage dancing. “I wanted to make sure that the entire atmosphere was elegant and classic, but that it inspired fun!” shares Katie. “I wanted everyone on their feet dancing and singing all night long, and that’s exactly what happened.” To keep revelers energized, they were surprised with late-night snacks in the form of miniature burgers with French fries and Cheerwine, a local soda native to the Carolinas.

“The whole entire day really emulated how Jack and I are as a couple – classic, but a damn good time,” smiles Katie. “It was the most perfect day, and I loved every second of it.”