Rilee Newell and Calvin Smith

July 4, 2020

Rilee and Calvin met while attending a course at Fort Lee, Virginia. “We were inseparable by the time we left,” recalls Rilee. Calvin proposed while the two were on a hike with friends. Rilee asked a friend to take some photos of her and Calvin, and before they continued hiking Calvin asked for just one more photo, “and he got down on one knee!” Rilee remembers. “I shouted, ‘Calvin, what are you doing?!’ Of course, I said yes! I was so pleasantly surprised. Looking back at the first photos our friend took, you can see the ring box in his pocket!” On their wedding day, the couple enjoyed an intimate ceremony outdoors at Murphy Dome "with beautiful views and absolutely no extra decorations — all natural beauty." After the ceremony, the couple held the reception in their backyard with food made by their mothers and yard games for the guests. "We wanted to make sure it was a fun and relaxed environment.” Part of the fun happened when Calvin got his first look at his groom’s cake. Rilee asked a coworker to make a cake to resemble Calvin’s beloved project car: a red Ford Mustang. It looked great in photos, but Rilee says “by the time that Calvin saw it, the July heat had melted and wilted it so it looked very tired and sad. He bent down to get a nice close-up look and absolutely lost it laughing. My coworker had a good laugh about it, too, ‘It was made with love!’ she said.”

Photographer: Emelia K Photography • Ceremony site: Murphy Dome, Fairbanks • Reception site: The couple's backyard, North Pole • Bride's dress: David’s Bridal Collection, David’s Bridal • Bridal registry: REI; Target; Smallwood Homes • Decorations, party supplies & rentals: Joann’s Fabric; Independent Rental • Honeymoon destination: Ireland

See more weddings > >
Submit wedding > >