Friends, I don’t think I have ever seen a bride happier to be getting married than Ms Kaylie. Doesn’t her joy just LEAP off the screen? I’m sure her bliss was just as apparent to the guests at her and John’s wedding — in fact, I’m sure it ripples throughout her life, which is probably why these two had one of the largest bridal parties I’ve ever seen! Enjoy these photos by Anna Pociask, and just try to keep from smiling while you do :)
P.S. Kaylie had one of the best answers to our question, “What’s next for you as a couple?” “We can’t wait to build a life together that shows the world that love is real.” AMEN!
John and I were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend, and from the moment we met, it felt like we had known each other all of our lives. Instantly, I knew that John was the man I’d always wanted to marry. While dating was an ever-refining experience, we always knew that we’d rather do life together than with anyone else. He asked me on a February evening if I would do life with him forever; I instantly replied, “Of course I will!” and the rest is history. On June 22, 2013 (exactly one year from the day we met), we were wed in my parents’ backyard, surrounded by close friends and family. Our ceremony was everything we dreamed it would be: intimate, personal, God-honoring, and full of love. We’ve been married for a month now, and we have never been more in love. Never been gladder that we took a leap of faith on a blind date set-up. Never been more grateful to do life with each other.
My sister and I had planned on taking a trip home to go shopping with my mom and grandmother. On the way, we decided to just “stop and see” what we could find in a nearby store. So we made an appointment, dropped in to try some dresses on, and fell in love with every one of them! No one tells you that the hardest part about wedding dress shopping might be that you love all of them! Right before I changed back into my clothes I realized that there was one dress I had not tried on, so for fun, I slipped into it. And immediately, I knew. “Amber…” I calmly stated from inside the dressing room. And when I emerged, she cried. I was beaming! It was everything I had ever wanted. AND in my size. Off the rack. Under budget. Needless to say, we only ended up having to shop for flower girl dresses when I finally made it home to Muscle Shoals!
I love that you can see Kaylie’s beaming smile in the photo on the left, even though she’s not in focus!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did. We knew that we would be nervous and that the day would get away from us quickly. And ultimately, our wedding day was about John and I. We both wanted that time together before the actual ceremony began to take it all in. Time to hold one another. Time to take one collective deep breath before the biggest day of both of our lives.
This photo is so rich with little details — what a sweet reminder of the emotion these two felt during their ceremony.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t, but John’s uncle (our minister) wrote them, and they were beautiful. He has been using the same vows in his ceremonies for years, and we loved them so much that we couldn’t change one thing about them. My favorite line: “I will protect you against every enemy.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Song of Solomon 3:4 was proudly displayed on our programs: “I have found the one whom my soul loves.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose hymns for our wedding. John and I both grew up in church and have always loved the richness of them. People just don’t write songs like that anymore! We began the ceremony with the “Doxology.” Our wedding party walked to “Be Thou My Vision.” I walked down the aisle to Canon in D, simply because it is classic. Our recessional was “He Leadeth Me.” Our wedding, our love story, and our lives are all about Jesus Christ. We wanted God to get the glory on our wedding day. This was just one of the ways we chose to do that.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Location — we were on the Tennessee River! 2. Our food was Southern brunch style (complete with shrimp n’ grits!) 3. Our favors were red velvet cupcakes in mason jars! 4. Mason jars were actually the container of choice for all flower arrangements. 5. Our reception musicians were a guitar player and a violin player! A little bluegrass here, a little folk and country there.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to visit John’s parents one weekend in February. After a sweet baby shower for our cousin that afternoon, I remember that I was standing at the sink doing dishes when John asked me to change clothes. He said we were going to check on some land for his dad and some trees that he and his brother had planted years ago. I quickly changed and we headed out! We drove to a secluded spot right off the beaten path and got out of the truck to “check on a deer stand.” After admiring the stillness of the bright green meadow before us for about a minute, John turned to me and said, “You know I love you, right?” At that moment, I knew what was happening. My heart started to race as I saw him drop to his knee and I heard him declare his love for me. Then he asked for my hand in marriage. I didn’t even see the ring! I just started jumping up and down and squealing, exclaiming, “Of course I will!” I did, eventually, see the stunning ring and wore it proudly back to the house to tell his parents, who already knew, of course! He had asked my parents weeks prior and even planned a surprise engagement party with all of our closest friends when we got home. He’s just the best. :)
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 130
Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted simple, light, and happy so I chose baby’s breath as our main flower. Occasionally, we used hydrangeas and daisies to give it a Southern-happy feel too!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Classic. My wedding cake was white, three-tiered, and simple. His groom’s cake was the same, only chocolate with chocolate covered strawberries! John really wanted the inside of his to be butter cake and he got it! It was delicious!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our friends. We love them so much and couldn’t have imagined making that covenant without them standing right beside us.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My dress was my new! And my old, borrowed and blue were one in the same. I borrowed a couple of old broaches from my grandmother and attached them to my bouquet. One was actually my great-grandmother’s (the blue one). It was so special and added the perfect touch to my ensemble.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Trying not to get overwhelmed by the details!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Anna Pociask. She was our wedding photographer and she captured the day perfectly. Her presence was calming, kind and joyful, so she fit right in! Also, our caterer Margaret Baggett (The Chef Next Door) was outstanding! Her food is out-of-this-world good!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make sure that your wedding is personal! You’ll regret listening to all of those voices that tell you what it should be like if you completely drown out your own! John and I look back on our wedding day with such sweet memories because it was EXACTLY what we wanted it to be!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are still learning so much about each other! Obviously, we know each other better than anyone else, but we are looking forward to just doing life together. Day in and day out. Good days and bad days. We can’t wait to make more memories, have a ton more laughs, and build a life together that shows the world that love is real.