Wedding In The Woods

Photography by Paris Scott

Some of the most natural elements can often provide the most picturesque backgrounds for a wedding. When it came time for Frances Delgado and Christopher Harris to exchange their vows in front of their family, they opted for holding an intimate wedding with a natural backdrop of an open field and mossy trees. 

In an intimate wedding ceremony set against the woods in Winter Haven, Frances Delgado walked down the aisle in a white-lace, fitted long-sleeved gown toward her groom, Christopher Harris. Just moments before, her stepdaughter walked down the aisle, followed by her seven-year-old son, who carried a heart-shaped wooden sign that read, “Here Comes the Bride.” With only family members gathered around, Delgado and Harris vowed to commit their lives to loving one another. 

For Delgado, throughout the course of their wedding, nothing compared to the words the couple said to one another, as they chose to write their own vows for the ceremony. As she reflects on her recent wedding day, Delgado reminisces on how she promised to honor and respect Harris for the rest of her life. She also vowed to make Harris a part of all of her dreams and help him to achieve his dreams. “As a part of my vows, I promised to wear the Harris last name as proudly as he does,” says Delgado. 

Delgado rented her flowers from Something Borrowed Blooms. With her favorite color being burgundy, her bouquet included burgundy and white roses with hints of greenery. 

Pulling out the vows Harris made to her on March 30, 2019, Delgado begins to read. “He said that he was in a dark place. There was no one to lean on. He asked God to send an angel and there she was like a shining light.” Delgado continues to read how in his vows, Harris asked her to catch him when he falls and to hold his hand out of the darkness. At the end of his promises to her, he said that she was his rock, his love, and his angel. 

Delgado shares how Harris’ father had passed away in August of 2017, nearly two years prior to the couple getting married. “Chris said in his vows, ‘Before Dad was taken, he made me promise to marry you.’ That was really special.”

Although their story began nearly three years before they were married, it didn’t take long for Delgado to fall in love with Harris. “It was probably after four to five months of dating that I fell in love with him.” 

She tells the story of how she met Harris through an online dating website in 2016. At the time, the couple lived in neighboring cities in Central Florida. Delgado had been living in Winter Haven since 2012, and Harris had lived in Lakeland his whole life. They met in person for their first date as a couple at a BubbaQues BBQ in Lakeland. Remembering when she first met Harris, Delgado tells how she thought he was good looking, but it was his caring heart that made an impression on her. 

“He was caring, and he was willing to help me out before we really knew each other,” says Delgado. At the time, Delgado was having trouble with her housing, and Harris went out of his way to help in any way possible. “That made me want to date him.” 

A little over two years later, on Memorial Day weekend, Delgado and her son joined Harris and his family at a duplex they rented for a weekend getaway on Anna Maria Island. Delgado had been spending time with her son when Harris asked her to watch the sunset together. As the sky slowly turned pink and the sun started to fade over the ocean, Harris got down on one knee and asked Delgado to marry him. It was one step closer to fulfilling the promise he made to his father. 

Within the next few months, the couple started to plan for a March wedding. When it came time to choose a location for the venue, Delgado wanted to find something that reminded her of home. “I grew up in the mountains in Puerto Rico. I love the woods and the mountains,” she says. 

A family member of the couple owned a house with a few acres up against the woods. The setting was exactly what Delgado was looking for. “It was a backyard wedding on a couple acres of land. We just wanted to have a woodsy kind of wedding in an area of an open field with trees. We based all of our decorations around the venue. We wanted the wedding to be simple and elegant.” 

To make the wedding unique, Delgado made all of the decorations herself, purchased some items at Hobby Lobby, and rented her flowers from Something Borrowed Blooms.

She then began her search for her wedding dress, finding a fitted lace dress on Etsy. Since her favorite color is burgundy, Delgado began to select colors that would complement the look of the wedding, choosing to add in elements of white, pale pink, and gold. The pops of accent colors were seen in the roses used throughout the wedding in addition to the burgundy ties that the groom, best man, and Delgado’s son wore. The bride’s bouquet was put together with burgundy and white roses with hints of greenery. Bringing in natural elements, additional roses were also placed in glass jars on shepherd’s hooks down the aisle, near the ends of the rows of benches. 

To create the perfect backdrop for the ceremony, the wedding was set up so guests would face the woods while watching the couple say their vows. Delgado and Harris built an arch out of a photography stand, draping white netting over it and fastening burgundy and white roses to the fabric. The arch was set up in front of the woods and behind where the couple stood. They then set up wooden benches for their guests to sit on during the ceremony. To stand up next to them while they exchanged their vows, Delgado asked her stepdaughter to be her maid of honor, and Harris had his brother as his best man. 

“As a part of my vows, I promised to wear the Harris last name as proudly as he does.”

As Delgado reminisces on the details of the wedding, she can’t help but to talk about how impressed and elated she is with how her wedding photos turned out. During the planning process, when it came time to select a photographer, she began her search online, trying to find someone local to the area. On WeddingWire, she discovered pictures that had been taken by Paris Scott Photography. She recalls how beautiful she thought the photographer’s photos were. After looking through a variety of images taken by Scott, Delgado made the decision to ask her to capture her special day. 

“After taking our photos, she was so excited about the wedding pictures. The photos we have seen so far have been amazing and beautiful. I usually do not like taking pictures. I don’t really like to be on camera. But she made me feel so comfortable. That’s how amazing of a job she has done. Hiring her was one of the best decisions we made for the entire wedding,” says Delgado. 

“It was a backyard wedding on a couple acres of land. We just wanted to have a woodsy kind of wedding in an area of an open field with trees. We based all of our decorations around the venue. We wanted the wedding to be simple and elegant.”

Since Delgado was six months pregnant when the couple got married, they chose to keep the wedding program minimalistic with only holding a ceremony for their family members. They ended the ceremony with a simple dinner for the 25 guests that attended. After their baby is born this summer, the couple looks forward to celebrating their special day once again while holding a reception with friends and family.