Fall Wedding with Outdoor Ceremony + Barn Reception in North Carolina

Courtney Kopas and Jordan Humphrey

Photographed by: Ginny Corbett PhotographyLocation: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

When Courtney Kopas was out celebrating her birthday in 2013, she unsuspectingly met her future husband, Jordan Humphrey. He was home from medical school for the weekend, and their mutual friends from college introduced them. “We all ended up at the same local college bar!” Courtney shares of the serendipitous moment. 

After a few years of dating, Jordan knew it was finally time to propose to his beloved. With Jordan, a flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force, scheduled to be deployed soon, he knew it was the perfect time to make his intentions clear. As they returned home from their last date before the deployment, the couple relaxed outside on their bedroom balcony, soaking in their time together. “He told me he was going to get the camera to capture the sunset, and the next thing I know... he’s down on one knee!” smiles Courtney of the proposal.  

The couple had a clear vision for their wedding day, which Courtney and her wedding planner, Gina Johnston of A Southern Soirée, worked hard to execute perfectly. When asked about the best planning advice she had received, Courtney revealed it came from her best friend who was married the previous year. “[She] told me her biggest regret was not hiring a wedding planner from the beginning and that it would save me so much time and stress,” admits the bride. “She was 100% right!” Since Jordan was deployed overseas for the majority of their engagement, she was relieved to have a professional by her side. 

Desiring a Southern wedding that also reminded the couple of their roots back home in rural Pennsylvania, Courtney and Jordan envisioned a modern space with an open area, wood accents, and plenty of windows for their perfect wedding location. Friends and family received an invitation suite designed by Charlotte’s Stationery Studio, with calligraphy by St. Andrews Design House, that reflected the desired motif. “Once I visited the Barn of Chapel Hill, I knew immediately it was where we would be married. It was the perfect mix of classic and modern,” muses the bride. In addition to their venue, the couple wanted to keep everything classic by choosing a neutral color palette including shades of white, cream, and grey accented with hints of gold to ensure a timeless essence. “By doing so, we could incorporate pops of color through lush florals and greenery without fear of choosing a color scheme that was too trendy or one we would regret in the future,” admits Courtney. 

Complementing the bride’s own Ines Di Santo gown from Alexia’s Bridal, the bridesmaids wore all white dresses by Jarlo London to maintain a classic, clean, and timeless feel, and also allowing for brighter florals to really pop. The groom was handsome in attire by GiNovia. “Jordan and I have our own backyard blooms, and always have fresh flowers in our home,” explains the bride, stressing how important flowers were within their special day. Since florals were heavily emphasized, unique arrangements designed by Wild Flora Farm were incorporated throughout the entire celebration to further highlight the theme of the nuptials. With an outside ceremony, the couple was married to the sounds of Arioso Strings in front of a beautiful wooden barn door draped in luscious greenery and assorted blooms.

Low, lush florals graced the tables during cocktail hour before guests were wowed with grand floral centerpieces that dressed the reception tables cloaked in linens from CE Rental, displayed beneath a romantic canopy of greenery and various blooms, consisting of garden roses, dahlias, scabiosas, lisianthuses, and astilbe, and topped with accessories from Cottage Luxe. Attendees enjoyed a buffet-style dinner service catered by Rocky Top Catering featuring various stations: seafood with shrimp and grits and ahi tuna, carving with prime rib and mac and cheese, and small plates as well. 

Loved ones danced all night long to music played by Bunn DJ Company, who kept the party going. For dessert, guests indulged in a variety of sweet treats that included personalized sugar cookies from Bailey Lane Baking Co.. and Marta Ingros, mini cheesecakes, cake pops, and an ice cream bar by local family business Andia’s that was an absolute staple for the family of the bride. As the couple reflected on their favorite moments, they gushed over their sparkler exit. “All of our family and friends were able to participate in our send off, and it made for the most magical pictures!” smiles the bride. 

Her advice for other couples? “Don’t feel guilty for making decisions about your special day that may not suit everyone,” she urges. “Although it may feel selfish, those who truly love and support you will continue to do so whether or not they agree with certain details. We struggled with this advice, but overall we celebrated our wedding exactly how we had imagined.”