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Amber and Jordan met as camp counselors, and on the last night of the summer, they stayed up until 4 A.M. trying to figure out how to make their new relationship work long-distance. For a couple who took such care planning for their courtship, I’m sure they were equally as invested in planning for their marriage! From Jordan’s sweet post-proposal video of their family and friends sharing encouragement, to reading their personal wedding vows the day before their wedding, these two stayed focused on what matters most: their marriage and their community. Family was certainly a priority for Amber and Jordan, and I am smitten with the way they chose to display their family photos. What a beautiful nod to their loved ones!

Big hugs to our friend Emily March Photography for sharing this sweet celebration with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed and old was a pearl bracelet that my mother had worn on her wedding day. My something new was my dress and my jewelry that Jordan gave to me as a wedding gift, and last but not least, my something blue was my garter!

I went to Celebration Bridal Shop in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia and tried on several dresses. I only tried on a few before I figured out that I was looking for: a classic, timeless, and comfortable dress. My dress was a simple ball gown with a sweetheart neckline. It even had pockets! I added a beaded floral belt and an elegant lace bolero to top it off, because it needed just a little something extra to make it mine.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows; however, we said them to each other the night before and said traditional vows during the ceremony. We decided to do this because we thought it was important to express to each other what we expect in marriage and to promise to the other person what we are going to do to make it last. Because of my lack of public speaking skills, we thought reading our vows in private would be better than in front of 100 people.

We both agree that our most memorable moment from our wedding day was the seeing each other as I walked down the aisle. We also enjoyed the time we spent taking pictures together out in the wilderness!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was held at a historic estate in Central Virginia. We included monograms and plenty of fresh flowers, country music, whiskey, sweet tea, and above all, two families that celebrated the marriage of their children in union with Christ! The groomsmen also all wore socks in the colors of their favorite sports teams.

Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! Our table numbers at the wedding were coordinates of memorable places in our relationship, such as where we met, where we had our first date, our church, where Jordan proposed, and where we grew up. I think it was memorable for our guests as well!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved a lot of money by doing DIY projects. Jordan made our centerpiece boxes and I painted them. I made the jewelry for the bridesmaids, my headpiece, the escort cards, our card box, the ladder picture stand, the table numbers, the monogrammed wreath on the front door, and all of the signage for the entire wedding!

My wedding flowers were so beautiful and I wish I could have preserved them forever! We used a mix of peonies, lamb’s ear, roses, and anemones. They were the perfect balance between soft, subtle colors and greenery. I was very impressed with Irvington Spring Farms and the work they did!

Our wedding cake was gorgeous, and it tasted amazing as well! Geisel Nye did an awesome job combining three different cakes that I liked into our perfect wedding cake! One layer was Boston cream pie and the other two smaller layers were banana cake with Nutella frosting and chocolate ganache.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in 2012 while working at a Christian summer camp, Shiloh Adventure Camp in Cocoa, Florida. We were the only two counselors that year who were crazy enough to take on the entire summer! After the kids had left on the last day of camp, we decided to relax together a little before the end-of-summer party at a local church. When we left the party, we ended up sitting in his truck until around 4 A.M., just talking and getting to know each other better. Even though we didn’t want that night to end, we had to go to bed, and Jordan kissed my forehead before I left. We got maybe two hours of sleep that night, and then had to tear down camp the next day. After that long day of work, we decided to go to the beach to hang out for a little bit before I started my drive back home. We ended up trying to figure out how to make a long-distance relationship work. Over the next two years, we dated long-distance, and while it was difficult at times, we trusted the plan God had given us and enjoyed every second. Jordan moved up to Lynchburg after graduating college at UCF in June 2014!
Tell us all about the proposal! Jordan cleverly worked with my roommates to create an amazing day for me! My roommates drove his truck down to Smith Mountain Lake, parked it by the water, and decorated the bed of the truck with flowers and blankets and pillows. All the while, Jordan and I were on our way to the lake for a charity home tour that we had wanted to do for a while. Right before we got to the dock to pick up the boat, he pulled off to the side of the road and told me to come for a walk, which I thought was weird because it was raining! He then proceeded to walk to a gate that clearly stated “No Trespassing.” I quickly said, “I don’t think we should be here.” Jordan laughed at my typical adherence to rules, and we continued to walk toward the water. When I saw the truck, I knew what was about to happen. He proposed on bended knee in the rain and mud with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and it was perfect! After the proposal, he washed my feet and made several promises to me. He then surprised me with a video that he had put together (with the help of his brother) starring our families and friends. They talked about when they knew we might get married and how we have changed for the better since meeting each other. It was better than I could have ever imagined. All in all, it was perfect and I could not have asked for anything better!
When did y’all get married? May 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to keep with the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding. I wanted the first time Jordan saw me to be when I walked down the aisle. I didn’t care about getting first look pictures or getting photos out of the way–I cared about Jordan and that special moment when we would first lay our eyes on each other on our wedding day. (However, I did get a few peeks at him through a window!)
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose West Manor Estate because even though we visited on a dreary, rainy day, we still loved the beauty of the grounds and the elegance of the inside of the house! I told myself that if I loved it this much on a cold, rainy day in October, how much more would I love it on a warm, sunny day in May?
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We read “Foundations Of Marriage” by Regina Hill.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We attended pre-marital counseling at our church. This kept us focused on our marriage instead of our wedding day! I believe this should be a priority for anyone getting married–it gave us the opportunity to take a step back from planning and focus on our relationship.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Just more of the same! We are looking forward to living life together, going grocery shopping, exercising, and watching our puppy grow up! What could be better than doing life with your best friend?

Photographer: Emily March Photography / Venue and Caterer: West Manor Estate / Florist: Irvington Spring Farm / Cake Baker: Geisel Nye of Cakeview llc. / DJ: Alan Dever Entertainment / Paper Products: A Paper Wedding / Bride’s Gown: Sophia and Camilla / Bride’s Veil: Belles Veils / Hair and Makeup: Spa4109 / Bride’s Shoes: Modcloth / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: RenzRags / Menswear: Giorgio Napoli

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Venues reply

    Great photo-relation ! thx for sharing, the shots are perfect !

  2. avatar Arlene Bass Grandmother reply

    We are so happy for Amber and Jordan add hope they have lots of happiness in all the years to come. The wedding was so beautiful. This is such a special treat for all to see. Thank you. All our love for this special couple. All our Love and Kisses, Grandma and Granddad Bill. See you soon.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Love the beautiful card box!

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Today’s wedding is close to our hearts because the SW gals know the bride and groom personally. Emily was an intern at Southern Weddings three years ago and our shop manager earlier this year. She couldn’t wait to marry Brendan, and it was clear to us why. Brendan is the nicest guy you’ll ever meet and they both share big hearts, big dreams and a great sense of humor. Their wedding took place just down the road from the SW offices and Caroline Joy did an amazing job at capturing the celebration and the commitment that marked E + B’s big day. We are so grateful that we can share them with you today!

We were both pretty traditional about doing a first look, and Brendan was adamant about not seeing me until I walked down the aisle! We did pray together before the ceremony and exchange notes, which was one of my favorite parts of the whole day.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mom’s veil. My shoes were blue(ish). My right hand ring was my grandmother’s before she gave it to me several years ago. It was pretty fun to show it to her again at the wedding. And I bought myself a pretty little cross bracelet a few weeks before the big day!

My dad’s only request for my wedding was that he walk me down the aisle to Pachbel’s Canon, so I found a really beautiful acoustic guitar version that now makes me cry! The bridesmaids processed to “Better” by Jess Ray, and Brendan and I also washed each other’s feet as a sign of serving each other in marriage while two of our close friends played guitar and sang “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham. My dad and I danced to “Piano Man” by Billy Joel since that’s always been a favorite song of ours.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes! We really tried to incorporate as much of the Gospel into our vows as possible. Our ceremony was rooted in our faith, so it was very important for us to express our belief that we only love each other because God loved us first. From there, we added in little things that were fun or specific to us. I vowed to make him cookie dough whenever he pleases and he vowed to stop and let me photograph something as often as I want!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ephesians 5:22-33

I love this moment!! It was one of Emily’s most memorable from the day and we can tell how giddy they both are to finally be married!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had touches of the South throughout the day. We gave guests little fans to keep them cool in the summer heat and had corn hole to play during the cocktail hour. I’m sure most of our guests were pretty stuffed with biscuits, BBQ and sweet potato casserole by the time they left too. We also sent everyone home with little jars of honey.

Oh I love this photo of Emily and her dad! The father-daughter dance is one of my favorite wedding traditions and I love that they had a bit of fun with theirs.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Delicious! While I only ate what Brendan smeared on my face, I’ve had Edible Art’s almond amaretto cake several times before, and it’s SO GOOD! We had it surrounded by all of our favorite desserts, from Girl Scout Thin Mints to mini banana pudding cups.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I’m a big collector of trinkets, so the tables were filled with tiny antique bottles and mismatched china. I loved collecting all those little bottles with my mom, and it’s fun having them around our new home now! Oh and the twinkly lights–magical!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brendan and I knew each other a little throughout college at UNC-Chapel Hill, but we never actually had a real conversation until I think our senior year. We always seemed to be running into each other, and within a month, we were dating. When we got engaged, we both admitted to knowing that we’d get married after the first date!
Tell us all about the proposal! Brendan’s proposal took all day! He proposed on our one-year anniversary after a full-day adventure. To finish our date, he took me on a little stroll through the UNC’s arboretum, then led me around a corner to this beautiful vine-covered walkway, my favorite spot on campus. I was so confused, to be honest! Right as we walked in, there was a big sign that said “Emily, I love you because…” and my immediate reaction was “Oh hey, there must be another Emily around here!” But when I saw the 100 tiny cards hanging from the walkway’s ceiling and Brendan’s huge smile, I knew it had to be for me. As we walked, Brendan explained each card to me and all the different reasons and ways he loved me. (Yes, he is certainly a keeper!) These cards led out of the walkway, up the street, and past UNC’s Old Well to the bench where we had our first kiss, which was in the rain, no less! The last card said “because I have chosen to,” and after me briefly saying that I was still really confused, Brendan asked me to stand up. He got down on one knee and told me that those 100 things about me were great, but that if they all disappeared tomorrow, he’d still choose to love me forever. With that, he popped the question, and I literally collapsed in his arms! I’ve never been so overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness! I have a bunch more written on my blog here.
When did y’all get married? June 1, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It was the first one I tried on! I’m incredibly indecisive, so that’s actually pretty incredible! It went through quite a few alterations to get it just right, but I remember literally twirling and dancing around the store with my mom and one of my bridesmaids after one of my fittings. My mom made her own wedding dress and used the leftover bits of lace to make the detailing on the belt, which made my dress even more special.
Describe your wedding flowers. I basically told our florist to have fun! I showed her a bunch of pictures of bouquets that I thought were pretty and she took it from there. It was a mix of garden roses, ranunculus, peonies and succulents. We ordered bulk flowers from them as well, and my awesome bridesmaids did all the table arrangements the day of the wedding.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Praying fervently that we’d have good weather since every bit of our wedding was outside. A rain plan was not easy to put together. And since I was also planning everything on my own, it was definitely a challenge coordinating all the details and vendors.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Oh, Caroline certainly lives up to her middle name! I was so excited to be photographed by a woman whose work and business I admire so much.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Oh it’s so hard to choose! I vividly remember the moments before I walked down the aisle (and actually seeing Lara and Grace!) because that’s when I saw the reception set up for the first time. I wish I could bottle the giddiness I felt right before we were pronounced man and wife. I loved dancing with my dad under all those twinkly lights. I just remember everything being so magical and better than I ever imagined.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? At the end of the day, as long as you say “I do,” nothing else really matters. It’s easy to get caught up in a bazillion details that make a wedding pretty, but the fact that two people love each other enough to commit their lives to each other is what makes a wedding beautiful. Take a deep breath, remember why you’re getting married, and everything will fall into place.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? A lot! I’m a wedding photographer, so I’m excited to know how my brides feel and serve them even more on their wedding day. Brendan is a second year medical student at UNC-Chapel Hill, so he’ll be getting even smarter than he already is and working to become the best doctor ever! We’re also having a blast finding new ways to love each other and have fun together. So far, building a fort in our living room has been my favorite!

Caroline Joy, Heirloom Vintage China, and Hot Dog! Photo Booth are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
13 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Emily is SO beautiful and I love, love, love their joy!!

  2. avatar Mary reply

    LOOOOVE her wedding dress! Caroline Joy’s work is always so beautiful

  3. avatar Sara reply

    Love this!!

  4. avatar Emily Payne reply

    Y’all are just the sweetest! Thank you so much for sharing me and Brendan’s big day! :)

  5. avatar My Wedding » Emily March Photography Blog | Chapel Hill Wedding Photographer reply

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  6. avatar Faith reply

    Such a beautiful couple & wedding! Emily, you were a stunning bride!!! :)

  7. avatar Rachel reply

    Oh my goodness this wedding made me tear up a few times! Such great photography to capture those moments.

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  9. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Southern Weddings reply

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  10. avatar James Gould reply

    Emily and Brendan, what an amazing couple! Me and my wife Alex had such a beautiful time filming their wedding. I just thought I would share their wedding preview film. It makes me happy every time I watch it! http://vimeo.com/79485652

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  12. avatar kelly stein reply

    soooo cute!!!! loved it!!

  13. avatar Southern Weddings V7 » Emily March Photography | International Destination Wedding Photographer reply

    […] I’ve been a part of. From reader to intern to contributor to shop manager and even having my own wedding grace their blog. I love the heart behind SW and that’s why I think I’ll be a lifelong […]

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