Today’s darling couple, Jessica and Brett, celebrated their first anniversary just a few days ago, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate them and their marriage than by sharing the day it began with y’all today! While these two technically first met while they were babies, it wasn’t until their college days that they fell in love, and after almost a decade of adventures and growing together, they were married on November 2 at the beautiful Vinewood Plantation. Fitting for their fall wedding date, they embraced a rich, but natural color palette, brought to life by their planner, Karen Gramlich, and Victory Blooms (the floral talents behind last year’s In Full Bloom editorial). Thanks to the wisdom Jessica and Brett approached not only wedding planning, but marriage planning, with, I can only imagine that their marriage has been just as intentional and full of love as this beautiful day!
Thank you so much to Morning Light by Michelle Landeau for sharing Jessica and Brett’s us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It was the most magical experience. I want to do it over and over! I went to Kelly’s Closet in Decatur, Georgia with just my mom. The store is so beautiful and the staff is amazing. I was the only bride in the store during my appointment. so I was very comfortable and not at all rushed. I tried on about seven dresses, and the one I ended up getting, I just felt right in. At the previous store that I had gone to just before Kelly’s Closet, the staff kept asking me if I felt “like a bride.” I had felt disappointed because I could never tell them “yes.” When I was at Kelly’s Closet trying on THE dress, I felt, for the first time, “like a bride.”
The floral style was whimsical and romantic with a color palette of pale pink, dark green, and olive green, with plum and burgundy accents. Flowers we used included garden roses, ranunculus, peonies, and astilbe. I also had an olive branch garland draped over our handmade cross at the altar and down the center of the tables. I was in love with my bouquet–it was exactly what I had dreamed of.
We did not do a first look, mainly because of tradition and because I had longed for the moment when I saw my future husband for the first time at the end of the aisle.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: If I had to choose, I would have to say my favorite detail was the large wooden cross made by my dad and grandfather. It was propped up against the large tree to make the “altar” for our ceremony.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went through premarital counseling at our church, which helped us a lot. I would recommend some sort of premarital counseling to everyone! It helped us to look past the wedding and prepare for what was to come after. I think brides often get caught up in the wedding, and forget to plan for what the wedding is all about: doing life together!
We chose Vinewood Plantation because of the beautiful details of the main house. Once I walked into the bridal suite, I knew we had to get married there. We also chose our venue because it had a beautiful, large oak tree that was perfect for our ceremony, something that was a must when we were searching for venues. The thing that sealed the deal was the fire pit–I loved the idea of having a bonfire and s’mores for our guests.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way we saved money was by DIY-ing our guest favors and signage. I made and assembled the favors, which were coffee beans tied up in cloth bags, hand-stamped with “J & B.” I also used crocheted doilies and brass candlesticks that I found at various antique stores as decor. We also served three smaller cakes rather than one large cake.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brett and I technically met as babies–our families were in the same Sunday school together and our fathers played on the same softball team! We officially met in college when we both worked at a sporting goods store. Over the next several years, we had many ups and downs, but finally got married seven years later.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Brett: Jessica and I have always loved Colorado, but we lived in Atlanta. I knew the only way to ask her the most important question of my life was at the top of our favorite place in Keystone, Colorado. We flew out for her first marathon in Ft. Collins but spent the first few days in the mountains. One day, we went to Keystone, and the lifts were closed, so we hiked part of the way up the mountain and I asked her to marry me on a snowy slope. I wrote her a song, which was composed of lyrics to her favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers songs. We weren’t able to have friends and family there, so I had asked Jessica’s loved ones to write her letters, and gave them to her when I asked her to marry me.
When did y’all get married? November 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 120
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows; instead, our officiant who used to be our youth pastor guided us through the traditional vows.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The song that I walked down to was the old hymn “Come Thou Fount,” played on the violin by our friend. The song has special significance in Brett and I’s story, and I chose it to be a surprise for Brett on our wedding day. The last song played at our reception was actually a song picked out by my mom, “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver. We decided to go with that song because Brett and I were leaving the day after our wedding to drive from Georgia and move to Colorado. It was an emotional moment at our wedding for sure.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Sticking to a budget, especially deciding on a budget-friendly guest list. I had to make a list of things that I was not willing to negotiate on and things that I was okay doing without or on a budget.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Brett says that his most memorable moment was watching me walk down the aisle to his favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount.” My most memorable moment was our first dance. Brett and I can’t really dance together–we just move our feet in weird ways. I was so nervous about what we would look like during our first dance, but when the time came, all of that fear went away and I felt like we were the only people in the room. Instead of trying to choreograph a great dance, we just sang the song in each other’s ears and turned around in circles.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff! Seriously! Don’t stay up late at night worrying about if the little candles will end up in the places you want, because chances are, people won’t notice. Ask for help! I would definitely recommend hiring a wedding planner, or at least a wedding coordinator. It will save you and your family a lot of unnecessary stress. Recruit your bridesmaids for help too! It’s a great way to spend time together and have fun.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Hopefully start a family here in Colorado (and get another dog). We are looking forward to buying a house and hiking many more fourteeners.
Photographer: Morning Light by Michelle Landreau / Planner: Karen Gramlich / Venue: Vinewood Plantation / Florist: Victory Blooms / Cake Baker: Sugar Benders Bakery / Caterer: Simply Catering / DJ: Complete Music / Table Number Holders: Chad Floyd / Invitations: Ashley Buzzy / Bride’s Gown: “Then Came You” by Ivy & Aster / Hair Stylist: Victoria Johanos of Maria Heckscher Salon / Makeup Artist: Maria Heckscher Salon / Bride’s Shoes: “Crown Vintage Claire Pump” by ModCloth / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style 630 in Petal Pink by Bill Levkoff / Banner: BHLDN