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Nine of the Best Groom Reactions

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All eyes are normally on the bride as she walks down the aisle. Me? I take a quick glance at the bride, and then immediately turn back to take a peek at the groom. I want to watch him as he sees his bride coming down the aisle. It’s always my one of my favorite parts of any wedding ceremony (and also why I fight to get a seat on the end of the aisle ;). There’s so much emotion in those moments right before the bride and groom join together to prepare to say their vows.

Today I’m sharing nine of my favorite groom reactions from over the years. Although admittedly, I could pull an image for nearly every wedding we’ve featured because the anticipation and emotion are always present. Pass me a (monogrammed) hanky…

Top to bottom and left to right: Cameron’s joy as he waits for his bride Abby (Photo by Jess Barnfield), Sawyer seeing his bride Jessica (Photo by Sarah McKenzie,) and Kyle waiting for his bride Hannah (Photo by Tucker Images).

Top to bottomw and left to right: Austin seeing his bride Kelly (Photo by Alea Moore), Brian waiting on his bride Cameron (Photo by A Bryan Photo), Todd seeing his bride Amy (Photo by Mandy Busby), and Leigh waiting on his bride Lauren (Photo by Amy Arrington).

Kory seeing his bride Kristin (Photo by Sara and Rocky) and Clark waiting on his bride Whitney (Photo by Patricia Lyons).

Whew, so many sweet moments. I’m dying to know. Do you sneak a peek at the groom as he see’s his bride for the first time at the ceremony too? Maybe you might look over during your next wedding.

kristin Written with love by Kristin
3 Comments
  1. avatar Pixie reply

    Love this, the reactions are just full of emotion. Beautiful.

  2. avatar Geoff reply

    This brings me back to my own wedding day. I held it together until the music started playing and then everything suddenly got very real!

  3. avatar Svilen {Svatben Fotograf} reply

    So much emotion! Love these groom reactions. Pure gold! Thanks for sharing.

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Some of the very best posts in our archives are the ones written by real brides actively planning their weddings and sharing their thoughts along the way. We want to bring you more of that! Today’s guest, Grace, was actually married this spring, but close enough :) We met her at one of our photo shoots for Volume 10, and when she told us she used our Joyful Wedding Planner throughout her engagement, we were tickled pink! Since we’ve been talking about all things ceremony for the last few weeks, I asked her to come on over and share more about hers. Take it away, Grace! – Emily

For about a week after getting engaged, my time was mostly spent daydreaming about our engagement day and gazing at my beautiful ring (ha!). Once I shook off the “engagement high,” I dived into planning our wedding — I could hardly wait! My excitement quickly turned to frustration, though, as I was overwhelmed with the number of options and decisions there were to make, as I’m sure y’all can relate to. I needed a solid guide that would come alongside me and my husband as we created a wedding that was uniquely ours. Thankfully, the Joyful Wedding Planner came to the rescue!

From the very beginning stages of wedding planning, my husband and I knew that we wanted to get married in the mountains, a place we both love and where we’ve made wonderful memories. We also knew that we wanted our wedding day to glorify and display the love of Christ, and for this reason, the ceremony was the most important part of the day for us. It was not only the part of the day that we would officially be declared husband and wife, but also a chance for us to show our family and friends that we did not take marriage lightly and were making a serious commitment to one another. It was also a chance to show the power of Christ’s love in our lives and the power we would rely on for our marriage! Lastly, we wanted our marriage to signify the joining of our two families into one.

After having a solid handle on what we wanted for our ceremony, I worked through my planner to help figure out exactly what I wanted for each detail:

— For the officiant, we knew that we wanted an individual that displayed a strong love for the Lord, was eloquent in speaking the beauty of the Lord’s love for us, and had mentored us through our relationship.
— We also decided to include two wedding rituals. The first was the lighting of the unity candle to represent our new life in Christ, our two lives becoming one, and the joining of our families. I just loved the imagery of two flames merging to become one! The second ritual we took part in was communion.
— We picked readings (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, Ephesians 5:25-33 and 22-24) to show that we were choosing to love each other in our marriage and to illustrate the roles that we were promising to take up.

The planner encouraged me to come up with a Plan A and a Plan B for the ceremony in case of weather, and to make sure that we could be happy with either outcome. Thankfully, our venue gave us the option of holding our ceremony outside or inside of the barn, giving us two beautiful settings (one rain-proof!). If it was held outside, it would be held in front of a large tree with arching branches. If it was inside, the barn setting would be accented with twinkle lights and draped cloth, fitting for our mountain setting. We ended up having our ceremony inside of the barn because of a high forecast for rain, and it ended up being intimate and beautiful!

My husband and I both agreed from the start that we would recite traditional vows (writing our own would have been too much pressure for us!). That was an easy decision to check off the list :)

For our processional music, we chose two favorite songs to display both of our personalities: one of my husband’s favorites (“Book of Love” by Peter Gabriel) for the family and wedding party entrance, and one of mine (“A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri) for mine. Our communion song was “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us.” Our ceremony music was played by dear friends on piano, flute, violin, and oboe.

When the ceremony was finished, we wanted to end on a joyous note and decided to have a bluegrass band play a lively tune and have our guests throw flower petals in the air to join in the celebration with us as we walked out as husband and wife!

Thinking back on it, the ceremony was the sweetest and most joyous moment of the day (and probably my life!) and everything my husband and I valued and loved was displayed perfectly through it. I am so thankful that the tone for our marriage was set on that day. Planning for the ceremony was so sweet but being married now is even sweeter!

All photos by Blue Ribbon Vendor Ally & Bobby!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Bride Lauren shares her outdoor wedding at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens!

Where are my Bluegrass State gals? Today’s bride, Lauren, and her beau, Paul, are Kentucky natives, and did such a fabulous job of combining their pride in their home state with the beauty of their wedding destination (Charleston – always a good idea!). “‘Family’ and ‘Southern’ have always gone hand in hand for me,” Lauren told us, and by that marker, her wedding was a perfect fit for SW.

From dress shopping with a slew of family members to a ceremony arch built by Paul and his brother to pecan pralines lovingly made by Lauren and her mama, this wedding exudes homespun love and style. I’ll let Lauren tell you more about it, though, so keep reading for all of the details!

Thanks to Blue Ribbon Vendor The Happy Bloom for sharing Lauren and Paul’s day with us!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We love traveling, so we always planned on doing a destination wedding. We visited Charleston while we were engaged and immediately fell in love with the natural beauty of the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The plantation was founded in the 1600s and has so many beautiful and historic details. We held our ceremony on the banks of the Ashley River underneath the live oaks, which were draped in Spanish moss. I can’t imagine a more perfect place for a traditionally Southern wedding!

I’m very family oriented, and I loved dress shopping with my mother, sister, and nieces! We loved seeing all the different styles and had so much fun trying them on. I knew I wanted a lot of lace and embellishments, so finding my Kenneth Winston “Ella Rosa” dress was so exciting. It was simple yet elegant, which is exactly what I wanted, and the dramatic train sealed the deal!

What were some of the most meaningful parts of your ceremony? One of the most special parts of the ceremony was the reading performed by our eleven-year-old niece, Avery. She read ‘I carry your heart with me,’ by e.e. cummings. We practiced together for weeks, and she did so perfectly. I also shared my walk from the bridal suite to the altar with both my stepfather and my father. They have both played such a big role in my life, and I was so happy that I got to include them both.

Did you decide to do a first look? We did. Seeing my husband before the ceremony was so reassuring, and made a world of difference in calming my nerves. It also really helped with our photography timeline and allowed us to enjoy our reception immediately after the ceremony ended!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My favorite detail was our arch, which was built by my husband and brother-in-law. We draped the arch with ivory fabric for an elegant look and Lori Denicola from Petaloso attached a beautiful bunch of eucalyptus in the corner. The fact that it was built by my husband made it that more special!

We live in Kentucky and we tried to include details from home in our special day. Our first dance was a song about love and the mountains where we live. We also served bourbon and bourbon pecan pies to tie in our Kentucky bourbon heritage. My mother and I also made homemade pecan pralines to give as favors. Family and “Southern” have always gone hand-in-hand to me!

Our cake was almond flavored and had a simple, white buttercream icing draped in flowers and greenery. We used greenery throughout our wedding to tie in the natural beauty of the gardens on the plantation. Our groom’s cake featured a handmade wooden topper with a kayaking couple that read, “Adventure awaits the Durhams.” My husband loves white water kayaking, so it was very special to him!

Tell us all about the proposal! Two years ago we planned a vacation to Kauai. We love hiking and spending time outdoors, so we spent most of our time exploring the beautiful island. A few days before we left, we hiked out to a cliff overlooking the ocean and the mountains of the Na Pali coastline. Paul set up our camera to “take some pictures,” and when we reached the overlook, he got down on one knee and proposed!
When did y’all get married? May 18, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 60
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. For the bridal processional, we used Elvis’s “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” which was performed by our string violin-cello duo. My father is a huge Elvis fan and I always remember him singing Elvis songs throughout the house growing up! For our first dance, we chose “Shake the Frost,” by Tyler Childers. It’s a song by a local artist about love and the beautiful mountains of Kentucky where we live.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Seeing our vision come to life! We planned our wedding from several states away and it was difficult to make all the important planning decisions from a distance, so I was unsure of how everything would turn out. In the end, everything came together so smoothly and perfectly and was far better than I had ever imagined!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Indecision. Charleston has a huge wedding industry and there were so many beautiful options available for everything from rentals to flowers to food!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We had a very DIY attitude towards our wedding. My husband built our arch at home and we brought it to Charleston with us. My mother and I made homemade favors. I also provided most of the decor myself and was able to find many things on sale or while bargain hunting!
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our first look was very emotional. I was crying as soon as we reached the area where Paul was! It was so overwhelming to see him for the first time on our wedding day and made all of the hard work and planning so worth it!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? You truly can’t do it alone. Our wedding coordinator was invaluable during our rehearsal and ceremony! She made the experience so much more stress-free for me. I would also advise including details that are fun for both them and their guests. We had an open bar, photo booth, and s’mores bar by the fire pit on the patio and our guests really enjoyed these details!

Photographer: The Happy Bloom | Planner: Holly Simpson with A Charleston Event | Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Magnolia Plantation and Gardens | Florist: Petaloso | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Sablee | Caterer: Crazy Dutchman Catering | Rentals: Eventworks | Draping: Pure Luxe Bride | Band or DJ: Becky Lawson | Music: Charleston String Instruments | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: BE295 by Ella Rosa | Bride’s Accessories and Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Hair Stylist: Valarie Bishop of The Cutting Edge | Makeup Artist: TeRae Reed | Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Pappell | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Stafford

The Happy Bloom is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar The Happy Bloom reply

    Thank you for the lovely feature! xoxo! Happy Monday!

  2. avatar Svilen {Svatben Fotograf} reply

    Stunning photos, bright and crisp! Love the detail shots!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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