An Elegant Outdoor Wedding at Twickenham House in Boone, North Carolina

When avid rock climbers Anna Befus (24 and a technical graphics specialist) and Elliot Befus (24 and a mechanical engineering student) tied the knot, they actually tied a knot as part of the ceremony. “A fisherman's knot is often used in rock climbing," Anna says. "It is also called a true lover's knot and becomes stronger under pressure.” Building a wedding that would reflect their love of the outdoors, Anna and Elliot chose Twickenham House in Boone, North Carolina. Its rustic, simple elegance brought the outdoors inside, allowing the wedding to flow seamlessly from the ceremony on the estate’s lawn (overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains) to Twickenham Hall for their reception, with it’s exposed-wood walls and beams and tree-trunk columns. Anna and Elliot made sure to include family throughout the day. They exchanged vows in front of a cypress wood cross made by Anna’s father. Anna wore her grandmother’s pearls and a garter made from her mother’s wedding dress. Eliot’s father brewed and bottled all the wine and beer, and he also played emcee during the reception, leading an a capella rendition of "That Lonesome Road" by James Taylor with his siblings. In the end, everyone’s hands were needed to make the day a success. “Our wedding favors and escort cards were homemade cookies using Elliot's grandmother's family recipe," Anna says. "We all pulled together the day before to bake around 100 cookies, tie them in individual small plastic bags and add an escort card to each with a piece of twine.” —Jen Leahy