Rebecca and Jeremy grew up thousands of miles apart – she in Pennsylvania and he in Louisiana, but they met by chance while both hiking the Appalachian Trail. After spending 5 months on the trail together, they completed their journey and Jeremy decided to leave home and move north to be with Rebecca. When planning their wedding, they knew they wanted this journey that brought them together to be the centerpiece – the backpacks they hiked with were placed on either side of the chuppah (which Jeremy, a woodworker, made for them), their reception tables were adorned with small wooden mountains as table numbers, and Jeremy’s ring is engraved with the outline of the mountains. They were even married with the rolling hills of Pennsylvania in the background, right in Rebecca’s grandmother’s backyard. Rebecca took inspiration from the view during autumn as their color palette, having everyone wear shades of pale green, yellow, rose, and blue, and gave jars of homemade jam from her family’s farm as gifts. She and her mother also both grew and arranged her bouquet and all of the flowers used as centerpieces. Additionally, the two made sure to add in some of their hometown traditions in the form of a classic “Pittsburgh Cookie Table” from Rebecca, and a Beer Canoe from Jeremy. Rebecca also created a custom trophy for the baker of that night’s “best cookie”. Finally, all of their guests were invited to bring their tents and camp out, just like Rebecca and Jeremy had together so many nights beforehand. This wedding day was beautifully planned, with so many personal and thoughtful details, and they really lucked out with the BEST weather (which is super unusual in our absurdly rainy neck of the woods!)
How did you meet?
In 2016, we separately started thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. We started on the same day (February 25th) but didn’t meet until the 3rd day of the hike on the top of Blood Mountain, Georgia. Becky noticed Jeremy leaning against a rock, thought he was cute, and went over to introduce herself. Over the next couple of days, we would pass each other or camp in the same area and chat. After a few weeks, we started waking up before everyone else at the campsite so we could hike together. We hiked for five and a half months together to Maine and then Jeremy moved from Louisiana to Pittsburgh to be with Becky.
What is your proposal story?
Jeremy wanted the proposal to be a complete surprise, which was very hard to do as Becky plans her time out very carefully. In the middle of the pandemic, we planned a week away with a few of Becky’s high school friends. Jeremy decided that would be the perfect time to propose. The house was on Lake Oneida, NY. Jeremy waited for Becky to go down to the dock on her own, then ran out after her with the ring. He proposed as the sun was setting over the lake and it was perfect.
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding
Becky always knew she wanted to get married at her family’s property in Butler, PA. It is 80 acres that overlook a state park and has been in the family for over 50 years. We also knew we wanted it to be in the early fall, when the leaves are just starting to change but it was not too cold for the wedding. The year before, we sat out at the property and picked out the colors we saw in nature for our wedding colors: Forest green, sage green, golden yellow, and desert rose.
Tell us about your attire choices.
Jeremy wanted his groomsmen to be in navy, and let Becky pick a fun floral tie for them that included all four of their wedding colors. Becky told every bridal store that she went to that she for sure didn’t want a strapless dress. Her sister-in-law insisted that she try on this strapless, long-sleeve dress that fit the relaxed, boho style Becky was going for. Becky admitted that she was wrong and loved the lace detail on the arms, and the leg slit that made the dress a little more casual.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
We just wanted the wedding to feel like us, so every decision we made was together. We splurged on our day-of planners, who were incredible and 100% necessary for a private venue. We also splurged on the fanciest bathroom trailer that even had a fireplace. We decided to skip on a photobooth, simply because we ran out of space in the tent.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
The ceremony ended up looking so much more gorgeous than we ever even imagined. This was thanks to our planners as they took all the decor we bought and placed it perfectly. We had about 30 of our friends set up camping tents right in the middle of the property and we camped out with them after the reception. The best part of the day was between cocktail hour and the reception when we got 10 minutes to ourselves to watch the sunset.
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
Becky’s mom planted six beds of flowers in the spring before the wedding. She made sure the flowers aligned with Becky’s color vision and that they stayed alive even with some cold nights. Both Becky’s and Jeremy’s moms then spent the days before the wedding creating the centerpieces and the bouquets.
Tell us about your wedding cake.
We had a small cake from Pennie’s bakery, a local gem in Butler, PA. It was funfetti cake with raspberry filling and almond frosting. It was simply decorated and had a little campfire cake topper from Etsy.
What did you do for favors?
We had koozies (a southern tradition) with our cats on them and they said “Just Meowied”
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
Jeremy is a woodworker, and he made the chuppah, cake board, and their sweetheart table. All of the acrylic signs were made by Becky and Jeremy. Becky and her sister hand-dyed the table runners.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
Becky wore a pearl pin that her mother, grandmother, and sister-in-law wore at their weddings. We had a Pittsburgh cookie table, where all the friends and family made a wide variety of cookies for the dessert. We also had a beer canoe, a southern tradition where all of the beer for cocktail hour was laid out in a canoe instead of coolers.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Continuously check in with each other to make sure you are staying true to yourselves. Everyone will have their opinions about what you should do, but it really is about you two and your relationship.