For these high school sweethearts (who actually first met in elementary school!), planning for their wedding also meant preparing for marriage and the journey of the new life together they were about to embark on. While the details were important too, planning for their marriage was undoubtedly the most important thing to Brittany and Michael, and we love that! When it came to the beautiful details, this sweet couple turned the reigns over to their planner, Some Kind of Wonderful, and their florals to none other than our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Holly Chapple. I’m pretty sure I’m Team Brittany when it comes to choosing a favorite detail of their wedding–her choice (and mine!), that stunning bridal bouquet! Hello, dahlias!
Big SW hugs to another Blue Ribbon Vendor, Katelyn James for capturing this fun day!
My favorite detail was my bridal bouquet. I think it completed our pictures and my bridal look so perfectly, with the pops of color and the beautiful dahlias. It was so much more than I expected! I never knew I could love a bouquet so much–I wish it could have lasted forever!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of our day was seeing Michael for the first time during our first look. We had such an amazing day and there are so many moments that stick out in my mind, but walking down the steps at the front of the house and seeing the look on his face when we first saw each other is something I will never forget. I have never felt more beautiful. It was so special to just have those few minutes together to take it all in.
We said traditional vows during the ceremony, but we also wanted to make our ceremony personal. Before the wedding, we wrote lists of “10 Things I Love About You,” which we kept secret from each other until we read them aloud during the ceremony. This was such a fun way to make the ceremony personal to the two of us. One my favorite things he wrote was “I love that we can spend nonstop time together and I still feel like it’s not enough.”
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think having our wedding on an estate in the horse country of Virginia definitely added some Southern elements to our day. Some of the horses even photo bombed our pictures! We also had our reception in a barn. Our venue, The Maples, is a historic home that was used (and was nearly burned to the ground) during the Civil War.
We really wanted a rustic barn venue, and after doing some research, we found a few, but then Michael found The Maples through a coworker. When we pulled up the gravel driveway, surrounded by the orange and yellow fall trees, we looked at each other and knew that this was the place! It is such an amazing home and the family was kind enough to let us have our wedding there. I can’t imagine having our day anywhere else.
We wanted a cake that would represent our day, so we were looking for something that was simple, beautiful, and rustic. We had a three-tiered cake with white icing that had pink flowers on it. Placing the cake on a tree stump gave it a rustic look that went perfectly with the feel of our day.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? I feel like so much of being engaged is about preparing for the wedding day, and when you think about it, the wedding only lasts for a few hours. What you are really preparing for is the marriage, which is a lifetime together! There is so much focus on the details, the dress, and the flowers–which are all important and I obsessed over, don’t get me wrong! But preparing for marriage and the journey of life you’re about to be on together is the most important thing. We spent about four months meeting with a mentor couple at our church once a week, going through a marriage preparation book. I cannot tell you how helpful and important this was! We talked about so many important things, which really helped us realize the commitment we were making to each other and how to communicate.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Michael and I met when we were in elementary school. We were neighbors and he came to vacation Bible school at my house. We lost touch over the next few years and then reconnected during physics class in high school. He started flirting with me over a game of spoons. We started dating at the end of my junior year, so we are high school sweethearts! We both went to Virginia Tech and got engaged a few months after graduating. After six years of dating, we could not have been more excited to be engaged and to start planning our wedding!
Tell us all about the proposal! Michael and I were driving out in the plains of Virginia in the fall. It was SO beautiful and such a perfect day! I found out later that he had picked up the ring that morning, so it was definitely burning a hole in his pocket. As we were driving home, he decided to pull over into a field as the sun was setting. I thought we were just stopping to take some pictures, because he knows that’s something I love to do! But then, he asked me to follow him into the middle of the field, and as we were standing there, he got down on one knee. I honestly don’t remember what he said as he was asking me to marry him because I started crying as soon as I realized what was happening!
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I bought a dress a month after we got engaged, and a few days later, I felt like I hadn’t made the right decision. I waited until it came in, took it home, and tried it on again, and I knew it wasn’t the perfect dress for my day. I felt so upset because of the money that we had already spent, but Michael was so supportive and told me we had waited for this day for so long and he wanted me to feel like the most beautiful bride on our wedding day. I went out and found the most perfect dress a few days later, and I could not have been happier with that decision!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. My biggest reason was because we had the world’s most amazing photographer–Katelyn James! I have followed her blog for years and have seen all the amazing moments she captures during a first look. It was so special for the two of us to have a few quiet moments together. You really don’t get too many of those on the wedding day. It was so nice to be able to see each other, pray together and take in the day before the everything got started.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My grandpa, who married us, read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 at the ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A song we really wanted to have played as we walked back up the aisle was “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. We blasted this song in the car together all summer as we drove to and from wedding appointments, so we knew we wanted this song to play right after we got married. This reminded us what an amazing and fun day it was going to be! My dad and I danced to “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker. When I was listening to songs in the car, thinking about our father/daughter dance, this one made me cry, so I knew it was the one we had to dance to.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When the planning gets stressful and you start to take that stress out on each other (trust me, it happens!), take a deep breath and refocus on the end goal. You’re planning your life together and you’ve found your best friend. When you think about that, it takes all the stress out of the seating chart, the napkin colors, or the guest list. At the end of the day, it will all work out and you will be married to your favorite person in the world! Sometimes, you just need to take a weekend or a night off from wedding planning and go on a date together. :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? These past five months of being married have been the best of our relationship. Getting to spend life together, coming home to each other every day and just doing boring things together, like grocery shopping, is so much more fun with your best friend! We are in the process of buying a townhouse that we are going to do some reno work on, and we are so excited!
Photographer: Katelyn James / Planner: Some Kind of Wonderful / Venue: The Maples / Florist: Holly Chapple Flowers / Cake Baker: Market Salmander / Caterer: Magnolia at the Mill / Rentals: Capital Party Rentals / Lighting: Evan Chapple / Paper Products: Paper & Lace Collections / Bride’s Gown: “April” by Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Veil: Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Jewelry: Nadri / Hair Stylist: Tracie Sekol / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Morgan” in Beach Glass by Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Ted Baker / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Katelyn James and Holly Chapple Flowers are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!