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Fancy details certainly have their place in the wedding world, but there’s also something so special about simplicity. For their Alabama summer wedding, Meagan and Josh didn’t feel the need to include anything too over-the-top or complicated–they just wanted their family and friends to join them at one of their favorite places to celebrate their love, and nothing took the focus away from that! Along with their commitment to preparing for their marriage, not just their wedding day, I’m sure this is the reason Meagan remembers her engagement as mostly stress-free. As a bride-to-be myself, I’m taking a few notes from this gal in the hopes that I can follow her example!
Thank you so much to Mandy Busby for sharing Meagan and Josh’s wedding with us!
We knew that we wanted to get married outside at the lake and have a pretty casual wedding. We chose The Stables at Russell Lands on Lake Martin for our reception. It also allowed for lots of lights and our band to be outside, which I loved. We originally planned to have our ceremony on a lawn near The Stables. About a month before the wedding, we found out about a big oak tree in Russell Lands near The Stables. We decided to change our ceremony venue to under the big oak tree! Our venues were not on the lake, but you could see the lake from the field under the oak tree.
We decided to have a first look for many reasons. One reason was that we wanted to have plenty of time to take pictures. Our wedding was outside in August, so we wanted to have it as late as possible so people wouldn’t be too hot. The wedding started at 7 p.m. and since the sun was going to set soon after the ceremony, it would not leave us much time to take pictures in the daylight. We did not want to see each other for the first time in front of 350 people–we wanted to be able to talk and celebrate with each other and not have to wait until the ceremony was over. It also allowed us to get to the reception right after everyone arrived. We were so thankful that we had a first look because it allowed us to process the day a little bit and talk about all of our excitement. I love the pictures that we have and it did not take away from how special the ceremony was.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? I guess you could say that we wrote our vows, but we did not write them from scratch. We took several different vows that we had either heard or seen and combined them to make something that we liked and that fit us. My favorite line from Josh’s vows would be “I will love you and cherish you as Christ loves the church, giving my life for yours. I will lead and protect you as we are living testimonies of the grace of our God, who gave us one another.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did not have any readings at our wedding, but Josh did speak. We wanted to make sure that the Gospel was shared that day. We had everyone that we loved there and wanted to share with them the most important thing to us.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had Jim ‘N Nicks BBQ, sweet tea, and lemonade. We served the sweet tea and lemonade in mason jars. We were married under a big old oak tree. We had mason jars with baby’s breath on the chairs of the aisle at the ceremony. Our band was a folk band, which was fun and very Southern! We had our guests sign quilt squares to make a guestbook quilt.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I loved our band. We had Act of Congress play and they were great! Josh and I had heard them play when we were in high school and loved them. We had their CDs and everything. We loved how they sounded and it definitely added to the night!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Josh and I met our freshman year of high school, but did not start dating until the end of our junior year. We had not spoken much, but during the spring semester, he randomly decided to ask me to prom. We had the best time at prom and decided to date soon after that! We dated for the rest of high school and then both decided to attend Auburn University. We dated all four years at Auburn and got engaged the fall semester of our senior year.
Tell us all about the proposal! My family has a lake house on Lake Martin, which is my favorite place to go. Josh and I have had some of our best memories out there since it so close to Auburn. During the fall of our senior year, we had gone to the away game at Mississippi State, and on our way back to school, my parents asked us to stop by the lake to drop something off for them. When we got to the lake house and walked around the back, I noticed that the boardwalk was lined with pictures. There were 20 or so pictures in chronological order from when Josh and I first started dating, leading to a bench surrounded by candles. We went and sat down and started talking. I wish I remembered all that happened, but I was so in shock, I really am not sure what was said! Thankfully, Josh gave me a letter that recapped everything that he wanted to say. The letter explained how he had spoken with my dad and how he thought the Lord had used me in his life. After reading over the letter, Josh got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I obviously said yes! Josh and his grandfather had built the bench we were sitting on out of wood that was over 100 years old that his grandfather had from an old house. On the back of the bench was engraved our names and the date of our engagement. My sister and Josh’s best friend were on the other side of the cove that our lake house is on and photographed the entire thing. I am so thankful for those sweet pictures! We left the lake and headed back to Auburn, where all of our friends and family were to help us celebrate.
When did y’all get married? August 3, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 350
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I first thought that I wanted to have a wedding dress made, but realized that it would be a little more difficult than I thought. One day, I randomly decided to go to Diane’s Formal Wear in Jasper, Alabama with my mom. I originally wanted a full lace dress, but soon realized that they didn’t feel like me. All together, I tried on six lace dresses and one silk taffeta dress. I ended up going with the silk taffeta dress and loved it!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The bridal party walked down the aisle to “Come Thou Fount” because I’ve always loved the song. I came down the aisle to “My Beloved” by Kari Jobe. After Josh shared the Gospel, we had a time for everyone to pray while “To The Cross I Cling” played. We chose this song because it went so perfectly with what Josh had just shared. We all left the ceremony to “White Dress” by Ben Rector played on a keyboard, because it was fun and upbeat! Our first dance was to “Hung the Moon” by Drew and Ellie Holcombe. We have seen Drew and Ellie in concert and love their music. Another fun part of the evening was when Josh sang “Loving You Is Easy” by Ben Rector with our band. It was such a great surprise and something I will cherish for a long time!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Like everything else, my cake was simple. It was a five-tier vanilla cake with white buttercream frosting. Nothing too exciting, but I loved how it turned out. We also sent our guests home with a bottled Coke and a chocolate chip cookie for their rides home!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a gold bracelet of my mom’s from Italy. My something blue was my underwear. My something old was a handkerchief that belonged to my great grandmother, which I wrapped around my bouquet. My something new was my dress!
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? Our first look was so special and beyond exciting! We could not believe our wedding day was finally here! There was so much joy and love in that moment, and it is something I will never forget.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just relax! Enjoy planning your wedding and know that your engagement is about more than just getting ready for that one day. Take advantage of your engagement to prepare for your marriage. It is easy to get wrapped up in planning for that big day, but when it is all said and done, it is just that–one day. Your marriage is forever and something that should be prayed over and talked about before you get married.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have moved to Homewood, Alabama and are loving it! We go for walks with our dog together almost every day and just enjoy one another! We look forward to getting to know each other even better and pursuing the Lord together in marriage. We love all the time we get to spend with each other and the opportunity to do life together.
Photographer and Videographer: Mandy Busby / Venue: Russell Lands on Lake Martin / Florist: Grace’s Florist / Wedding Cake: Catherine’s Market at Russell Lands on Lake Martin / Caterer: Jim ‘N Nicks / Rentals and Lighting: Brendle Rentals / Band: Act of Congress / Bride’s Gown: “Mimi” by Watters / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Morgan Ashley Salon / Bride’s Sandals: Frye / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Eshakti / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Paper Products: Val Marie Paper