I’m sure many of y’all are no stranger to wedding weather woes–whether it stormed on your big day or you’re getting ready to bury the bourbon, unpredictable weather is a nerve-wracking factor that every outdoor bride has to endure at some point. Enter the lovely Hannah and Andy. It poured buckets on their June wedding day, and since their rain plan wouldn’t fit the 350 loved ones who showed up to support the couple, the umbrellas came out, and guess what? No one cared! The rain stopped a short half hour before the ceremony, and the rest of the day was pure joy, happiness, and fun for the bride, groom, and their guests alike. It just goes to show that when it comes down to it, all that matters is that you’re married at the end of the day–rain or shine.
Thanks so much to Kristin Sweeting for sharing Hannah and Andy’s special day with us!
Andy proposed almost exactly three years into our dating relationship. I was visiting Knoxville for a few days to help my little brother move into his freshman dorm, and I decided to stay a few extra days so I could spend some time with Andy (I was in Nashville at the time, so we only saw each other once a month or so). Andy picked me up one morning to go hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. He beat me to the top and was on one knee by the time I caught up with him. He forgot everything he wanted to say, but it was such a sweet time of happiness, joy, and relief. We had known for two years that we were going to marry each other; we had just been waiting for the right time. The panoramic view of the mountain range was the most beautiful setting for such a special occasion. It was absolutely perfect.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to the J. Crew wedding shop in Atlanta, even though I had already purchased a dress. After trying on the entire collection, I still wasn’t “in love” with a dress. I have never been a huge fan of getting all gussied up, and comfort was a main selling point concerning my wedding gown. The sales lady remembered a dress they had in storage from a previous collection. It was a few years old, a sample size, and only had been tried on six times. And it had pockets! It was perfect, but also out of our price range. I was so disappointed, because this was the first dress I really felt like a BRIDE in. The sweet sales lady at J. Crew talked to her manager, and they offered the dress to us for 90% off! It was such an incredible blessing–my mom cried!
Andy was very adamant that he wanted our first look to be when I walked down the aisle. However, we did pray together the day of the wedding, right before the ceremony. It wasn’t planned ahead of time, but since it was raining so violently, we were unable to take all the photos we thought we would beforehand. That gave us a large window of free time, so I asked my pastor to grab Andy from the basement so we could all pray together. We held hands on either side of a door as our pastor prayed over us. It was so comforting to hear my future husband’s voice praying for our special day. It set us both at ease and gave me peace.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Andy and I chose hymns for the ceremony: “In Christ Alone,” “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us,” and “O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.” After we said our vows, the congregation sang “Be Thou My Vision” as my maids of honor and Andy’s best man prayed for us. It was such a beautiful thing to hear our closest friends and family sing blessings over our marriage.
Describe your wedding flowers. They were absolutely amazing–our florist completely captured my scatterbrained vision! I wanted the majority of the arrangements to be basic, in order to showcase particular flowers. Fresh moss, willow, and wax flower created a stunning foundation for the peonies and feathers I was so thrilled to have in our floral arrangements.
One of my dearest friends offered her farm to us as a venue even before Andy proposed. She has had an incredible influence on my life, from a spiritual leader, to a second mom, to a best friend. When Andy and I started dating, I found out that she knew his family, and was actually in his parents’ wedding party. It was such an honor to be the first wedding on their beautiful property, and we are beyond grateful for the incredible amount of work and love that she, her husband, and their children contributed to making our day amazing.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It POURED. Seriously, the heavens opened and released a sea of water. Our entire wedding was outdoors. We had a Plan B, but there was no way it would accommodate the number of guests we invited. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 5:30. The rain began around 3:30. Instead of taking my bridal shots outside, we were forced to shoot them on the screened-in porch overlooking the venue. We had to stop after only a few photos were taken because it was raining so hard, there was almost no natural light at all. The rain let up about thirty minutes before the ceremony and never started up again. Despite the monsoon, over 300 of our friends and family made the trip to our drenched, half-decorated wedding. I have been told our wedding was one of the most fun weddings some of our friends have been to. I am not sure if they feel obligated to say this, or if I am biased because I was the bride, but I have really never had that much fun at a wedding. My shoes and gown were soaked and muddy, all the tablecloths were wet, and we ran out of alcohol, but none of that mattered. The entire celebration was a blur, but the thing I remember as clear as day is how much fun we had. No amount of planning, decorating, or spending could have determined that. It was our friends and their ability to look past the rain that make the night the joyful celebration it was meant to be.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a Camp Vesper Point in Soddy Daisy, TN, a camp we had both attended our entire lives. We never actually met until we were 17 and both on staff at CVP. We dated for three and a half years, some of which were long distance, before we FINALLY got married!
When did y’all get married? June 1, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 350
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was a delicious vanilla cake with a raspberry filling. We decided to have a small cake with other dessert options, like key lime tartlets and chocolate covered strawberries, made by wonderful family friends!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I didn’t plan on it, but I borrowed my mom’s ring, my earrings were blue, my garter was made from a family friend’s 20-year-old lace collection, and my shoes were new!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding had many Southern touches–the location was a family friend’s farm and the ceremony took place between the creek and a gorgeous field. Our families sat in old church pews that were family heirlooms. We ate gourmet barbecue and sipped on sweet tea and beer. We wanted our wedding to be a huge celebration with some of our favorite people. It turned out being the biggest party I have ever been a part of, which was our hope from the very beginning.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Sticking to our original budget was very difficult to achieve considering the number of guests we invited. We ended up going way over budget, and returning many unused decorations.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The little things really don’t matter. Although my mom and I made almost ALL of our decorations (with help from talented friends), we didn’t even really SEE them. I guarantee you will be more interested in seeing your friends and family than whether or not the candles were put out correctly. You will have a much more enjoyable time planning if you choose not to sweat the small stuff.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are now living in Auburn, Alabama, where Andy is getting his masters in Southern Literature at Auburn University. I am working full time at a local clothing boutique and am running an online women’s ministry I co-founded with an old friend. We are incredibly busy but love simply being together. We are so excited to see where life will take us next!
Photographer: Kristin Sweeting Photography / Planner: Dede Sceibe & Lavana Deal of Wedding and Event Details / Venue: Stonefly Farm / Florist: Color My World / Cake Baker: Dorea Johnston of Tis So Sweet / Catering: Providence Farms / Rentals: Southern Events / Tent: Action Tents / Restrooms: Royal Restrooms / Bride’s Dress: “Silk Taffeta Toscana Gown” by J. Crew / Paper Products: Anna Johnson / Hair and Makeup: Katie Anderson / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Groom’s Attire and Groomsmen’s Pants: J. Crew / Men’s Suspenders: American Apparel / Bow Ties: Tangled Ties