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To Have and to Holden is our series where we interview real couples about their romance, weddings, and whatever else comes up along the way. Enjoy!
Korene and Nathan were planning an April wedding, but when COVID-19 made that impossible, they quickly pivoted to a new plan: hiking up to a waterfall to exchange their vows - where Nathan wore our Square Profile in Yellow Gold. Korene was kind enough to tell us their love story.
How did you two meet and start dating?
We met on Bumble after both being on the app for less than a week. We met in person for the first time on March 21st, 2019 and went on our first date March 28th, 2019. Fast forward to March 19th, 2020, and we got married!
How did you get engaged?
We went on a little two-day trip to Chattanooga, TN on New Years Eve, and on our way out of Chattanooga, we stopped at an overlook called Snooper’s Rock. Nathan started taking photos of me, but what I didn’t realize was that he was actually setting up the frame to record the proposal. Then he sat his phone down on a rock (without completely knowing if it was an ideal shot) and came over and was telling me how much he loves me and how much he looked forward to spending forever together. This is something we were talking about for months, so I didn’t think much of it until I saw him get on one knee. I wanted to focus on every word and facial expression from Nathan, so I told myself “don’t look at the ring, don’t look at the ring, don’t look at the ring.” So I soaked in the moment, hanging on every word he said. About a minute or two later, I looked down at the ring and freaked out all over again.
Tell us about your decision to pivot your wedding. How did you choose your ultimate (crazy beautiful, by the way!!) destination?
We were originally going to get married on April 9th, 2020. But on March 17th after getting our marriage license, I asked Nathan what we should do if things continued to worsen. He mentioned Michaela and Caroline at Promise Mountain. He has known them for a bit and has told me about their elopement business in the past, so I was so excited at the thought of them helping us out. Nathan gave them a call, and Michaela mentioned a COVID package. Then, she asked if we would want to get married in two days (!!!). Nathan and I always wanted something small, intimate, and beautiful, so we knew this was the right move to make.
What’s a moment from your wedding day that you’ll remember forever?
The day as a whole couldn’t have been better, but the most memorable moment for me was our vows. The waterfall next to us was so loud that only Nathan and I could hear each other. Our immediate families were maybe 20 feet from us, and they didn’t hear our vows or any other part of the ceremony. It was comical at first because they were just so happy to be there, but it made our vows extra special.
What’s some advice you have for couples planning a wedding who may have to shift their initial plans due to COVID-19?
Keep the main thing the main thing! It’s an honor and a privilege to start a marriage during this crazy time. Many couples get so caught up in the smallest details - making the most important day of their lives about their guests instead of their marriage. COVID may be doing us brides a favor by stripping away all the details. You’ll celebrate for the rest of your lives. It’s okay if the ideal celebration doesn’t work out. Enjoy the main thing - your marriage. :)
What was important to you in choosing a ring? What made you choose Holden?
It was important for me to know what Nathan wanted. I know it’s exciting for us brides to try on rings and pick our ideal ring, but I was looking forward to Nathan doing that. I found Holden online and had an idea of what I wanted to get Nathan. So I took him to a local jewelry shop here in Nashville just to ask him questions about his preference, and it lined up exactly with what I had in mind. But! I also wanted to personalize the inside of his ring to say “you’re a good man.” This is something I tell Nathan in every sweet letter and after every hard conversation. I think it’s important to do my best to point him back to who he is - a good man. His birthday was two months before we got married, and I wanted to show him his ring that night. As soon as he saw the inside of the ring, he immediately came to tears and held me so tight. It made me so happy that I chose Holden.
What does love mean to you?
To Nathan, love is unwavering compassion, a never-ending feeling. To Korene, love is an honor. It’s the best decision we get to make.
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