While some couples may rush into marriage, one North Carolina couple zipped into their vows over the weekend, literally.
Lauren Bushar and Ben Youngkin, both of Asheville, didn’t just walk down the aisle at their outdoor wedding Saturday in their hometown, they zip lined above their guests before descending down to say, “I do.”
“We wanted to make our wedding enjoyable for our guests,” Bushar, 34, told Goodmorningamerica.com. “We didn’t want it to be boring. We wanted it to be entertaining and fun.”
Bored they were not. The guests knew nothing about the couple’s surprise entrance.
Bushar, who earned the nickname “Tall Socks” for the knee-high socks she has worn since high school, sported a pair of red, orange, yellow, brown and blue knee-high socks under her white wedding gown, along with a pair of matching trail running shoes instead of the more traditional heels.
Bushar and her husband, 37, had only been zip lining twice before but decided to do it at their wedding when they saw their venue of choice, Asheville’s Crowne Plaza Resort, had added a zip line course to its outdoor activities.
“The ballroom overlooks the zip line course and while we were touring it, Ben looked out the window and said, ‘Can we zip line into our wedding?,’” Bushar recalled. “The hotel contact said, ‘We’d love for you to do that if you want to,’ and we said, ‘Sure.’”
Just like that, the couple’s “entertaining” wedding was born. On Saturday, the couple donned their wedding suit and gown, and their safety harnesses.
The only hiccup came when Bushar’s gown “ballooned up like a parachute” and slowed her down, something that had not happened when the couple had rehearsed their arrival the day before.
The groom proved his worth, however, by slowing down to wait for his bride so they could be reeled in and arrive together.
“Ben was really sweet,” Bushar said. “He would have made it but he was braking to slow down with me. He didn’t want me to be out there alone.”
The couple arrived to a reaction of, “cheering, laughing, smiling and screaming,” from their guests, according to Bushar.
Even after the ceremony, the couple had another surprise awaiting their guests, a special first dance performance to the song “Keep on Loving You” by REO Speedwagon. The flowers and cake at the reception also matched Bushar’s special wedding knee-high socks in fall colors.
“The whole idea behind the wedding was to just make it fun,” Bushar said. “We wanted people to drive away from the wedding and say, ‘Wow, that was a really fun time.’”
The couple is leaving today for their honeymoon in Boone, N.C., where they plan to play tennis and possibly zip line, again.
“There’s a course where we’re going but this has all kept us so busy we haven’t even signed up yet,” Bushar said.