Yes, I am a traditional gal through and through. But, even more than that, I absolutely adore when couples make their wedding day their own through sweet details that tell their personal story. If you don’t identify with all the traditions, that’s great! Your wedding should be a celebration of what means the most to you and your future husband. Sammi and Branden did exactly that, and this traditional girl is loving it! After meeting on Twitter, they spent five months getting to know each other virtually before meeting in person. Then, after 140 airplane rides to be together over three years, they said “I do: in front of 30 of their closest friends and family in the co-working space where they both work. Together, they prioritized the traditions that were important to them, and celebrated the uniqueness of their relationship. Of course, this had to include a post-ceremony dance party to the song that always makes Sammi laugh: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston.
Big hugs to Maria Lamb for sharing this super fun day with us!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on Twitter… A mutual friend retweeted Sammi. Branden followed her. Sammi followed back. Fast forward a year, Sammi reached out to Branden via Facebook message asking him to grab coffee, if he ever made it to Nashville. After hundreds of hours talking over Facebook, iMessage, and FaceTime while Sammi was studying in Europe and Branden in Portland, they finally met in person five months later on January 17th, 2012 in the Nashville airport. Over the course of the next three years, they would ride over 140 airplanes to be together.
Tell us all about the proposal! He proposed… On the weekend of our third anniversary, Branden showed up a day earlier than expected for a normal weekend trip. Sammi was on her way to dinner with friends when their GPS got them “lost” at Percy Warner Park, the place where Branden and Sammi had their first date. Then suddenly, Branden walked up to the car and surprised her with flowers. They grabbed hands and walked on the trails out by the lake, where Branden got down on one knee and Sammi said “yes.”
When did y’all get married? November 15, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 30
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, and we were so glad we did. It helped us calm our nerves by being able to have some alone and quiet time before the ceremony. It was the most memorable part of our day. And we loved having extra time to shoot some portraits.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We got married in our co-working office, WELD Nashville. We are both creative freelancers. The space and the community there has played a huge role in our story.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did! Our best friend made the books for us and we wrote out our one thousand-ish word vows to each other. Our favorite section is about our commitment to being faithful to each other: “I PROMISE TO BE FAITHFUL TO YOU. I’ll face your flaws, your temporary traits and habits, head on. I won’t shrink. I won’t flee. I won’t seek someone better. I will work to be humble enough to repent when I fall short. And when you fall short, I will work to forgive you quickly and fully; through Grace, I won’t keep score. I will allow you to change, celebrate your growth, and love you all the same. We are in this for life and there’s beauty in knowing nothing can shake that.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had readings from Donald Miller’s “Scary Close,” Brene Brown’s “Rising Strong,” and John Mark Comer’s “Loveology.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose to play “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney Houston right after our first kiss and pronouncement. This is Sammi’s favorite song and the song Branden would always play as they drove to the airport together while dating long-distance to keep Sammi smiling. Immediately after the pronouncement, the entire wedding party of 30 began to dance too.
Describe your wedding flowers. Because we wanted all of our guests to feel a part of the ceremony, every gal got a bouquet and every guy got a boutonniere. Our florist and planner teamed up and made a gorgeous wreath that hung up above the circle of the 30 of us gathered around. There were lots of pink roses and greenery.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We’re huge doughnut fans so we had doughnuts from Five Daughters Bakery.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: How intimate the ceremony and reception was. We loved having our closest people with us for our special day; the people we know will be there to support us through all of the highs and lows of our life together.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? Nope. Though we dated for 3.5 years, we were engaged for three months which left little time for wedding planning. Our goal with our wedding was to choose which traditions were meaningful to us and to make those a priority. Sammi writes more about this idea here: http://www.sammiharvey.co/blog/2016/8/22/why-you-dont-need-a-flower-girl-in-your-wedding
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Sammi is a Tennessee native. We got married in the city where we both now live, Nashville. We had our favorite BBQ (Edley’s) during our reception.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Marriage counseling.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Not letting other people persuade us to follow conventional wedding traditions. We wanted to personalize the wedding to celebrate the uniqueness of our relationship, and I’m so glad we followed our gut. We wouldn’t have changed a thing.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Small guest list. Discounted venue because we were members of the co-working space. Ceremony and reception in the same room. No DJ, alcohol, or required outfits for wedding party. Low-key honeymoon to Charleston, SC.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved having Maria Lamb as our wedding photographer. She has been a longtime friend and someone who just has a special talent for making her clients feel comfortable and confident. I think it’s so important to choose a photographer who makes you feel beautiful and at peace on your special day. The photographs come out SO much better this way and you have a memorable and fun experience while shooting.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the little things. Prioritize what traditions are important to you as a couple and don’t be afraid to go against the grain with something new. Personalize your wedding to celebrate the uniqueness of your relationship and you will have zero regrets about your wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? In less than one year of marriage, we have visited four of six continents together! Not sure if we’ll make it to Antarctica, but we’re planning a trip to Africa before our anniversary in November.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Link out and tag us with: Branden: brandenharvey.com, @brandenharvey on IG + Twitter | Sammi: sammiharvey.co, @sammiharveyco on IG + Twitter
Photographer: Maria Lamb | Videographer: Chad Barela | Planner: Alexandrea Cantrell Weddings | Venue: WELD Nashville | Florist: Rosemary & Finch Floral Design | Dessert Baker: Five Daughters Bakery | Caterer: Edley’s Bar-B-Que | Hair Stylist: Bree Barela | Makeup Artist: Savanna Dykstra