After telling most of our friends and family, it is time to make the wedding details public!
After much discussion, Bradley and I decided to stay true to our original vision for our wedding. We wanted something that was simple, intimate, and genuine. It is shocking at how quickly a wedding can spin out of control. The guest list grew longer each day and the desire to keep things simple feels impossible when you are suddenly making decisions about venues, flower arrangements, and food. As the stress levels rose and the patience for planning lessened, we finally pulled the trigger and went with our guts.
Wedding date: Saturday, May 20, 2017. No significance. Picking the date is far more arbitrary than I realized. My only criteria was that I didn’t want it to be too hot outside, and I wanted enough time to plan without pursuing a frantic pace.
Wedding venue: We finally decided that we will get married in Smithfield at the church that we recently became members of. Trinity United Methodist Church is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the city. The preacher tells jokes that are mostly funny (something that Bradley can relate to), and he has made an effort to get to know us as a couple. I find the idea of attending the church that we were married in to be romantic. It will also serve as a frequent reminder of the promise we are going to make to one another. I can’t imagine a better setting for our wedding.
Trinity Unity Methodist Church is over 200 years old! The front of the church has a traditional, wooden appearance that will be the perfect backdrop for our vows.
Guest list: We have invited our parents and our siblings to the wedding ceremony. That’s it. Whooping total of 10 people, bride and groom included. Our parents have been supportive, and we are grateful for that. Friends are mostly supportive, but some have expressed disappointment in not being able to view the wedding. My best attempt at resolving that disappointment is to reassure people that having a small wedding is not about keeping people out. It is about having a ceremony that represents Bradley and me as a couple. We are splurging on a photographer (it is easily the most expensive part of our wedding) so that we can offer terrific pictures to everyone that won’t be there. Even if you aren’t at the wedding (and most of you won’t), please know that you are still in our hearts.
Wedding dress: This is the only part of the planning that my mother is excited about. I was tempted to order a dress online but a traditional wedding dress experience is all she has asked for. She has been so much more supportive of my small wedding than most mothers would be so I agreed to go dress shopping. We packed up Bradley’s truck with lots of estrogen on Black Friday and made our way to Greenwood, South Carolina to visit a bridal boutique that I stumbled upon online. Voila Bridal did not disappoint. I got to try on a wide variety of dresses before I found the one that made me bawl like a baby. With reassurance from my mother, grandmothers, and a girl that is basically a sister, I was able to find a dress that I will marry Bradley in. And – spoiler alert – I am going to look dang beautiful in it.
Left: Me wedding dress crew! From left to right – momma, Granny Betty, me, Nana, and Dama. Right: Just a few of the dresses that I tried on. No one tells you how incredibly awkward it feels to try on wedding dresses until you find the one. Then you replace feeling awkward with feeling insanely emotional. It’s a wild roller coaster of feelings.
Celebrations: We have finally settled upon dates for all three main categories of people: Georgia family, South Carolina family, and all of our friends.
Georgia Family: We will be celebrating with all of our favorite Georgia relatives in Reynolds on Saturday, May 27, 2017. We will be sure to share more details as we figure them out! For now, mark your calendars!
South Carolina Family: We are inviting my side of the family to come together at my Nana’s house on Saturday, July 8, 2017. We will do an informal celebration with barbecue and family. Imagine our regular Fourth of July celebration with a wedding theme!
Friends: We are going to throw down at our home in Smithfield on Saturday, July 29, 2017. I have updated the wedding website to include plenty of information about lodging and various activities in the area. We welcome all of our friends and their families, children included! We have a large, fenced in backyard and a swing set (it came with the house – don’t get any ideas). There will be food, plenty of beer, outdoor games, and I’m hoping to have the digital photographs from our wedding by then to display throughout the house. We understand that there is some travel involved for most of our friends so we purposefully chose a weekend in the summer to better accommodate those with school aged children. We sure hope to see many of your beautiful faces!
With 174 days to go, I am excited for some of the fun that will happen before the wedding. We just finished decorating our home for Christmas and are excited to head to Georgia in a few weeks for holiday celebrations with the Lowes. This will be the first year that Bradley and I will be together on Christmas morning. I’m debating if I will make him wear matching pajamas with me. I see a new Christmas tradition on the horizon…
The tree may be tiny and the presents are lacking, but this picture can’t begin to capture how much happiness we have to be grateful for this holiday season.