What started as a chance meeting (after Janelle “sashayed” in front of Paul, of course!) grew into something so sweet! But, it wasn’t a surprise to these two–Paul even saved the receipt from their very first date because “he had a feeling that ‘this’ might be going somewhere!” Not only did Paul save the receipt, he ever-so-romantically presented it to Janelle at their reception as a surprise. Along with that, I’m sure that seeing Paul’s brother officiate the gorgeous ceremony at the Waterside Chapel was so touching to witness!
Big hugs to Ashley Seawell for sharing this lovely day with us!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, this was very last minute. My something borrowed and something old was an heirloom locket from my mom that I have always loved. When opened, the locket has two pictures: one of my mom and dad on their wedding day and the other of my mom and her mom on her wedding day. I think its priceless, especially since my grandmother is no longer with us. My something blue was my garter. My something new was my wedding dress!
We visited the Inn at Palmetto Bluff early last year and absolutely fell in love with the place. The grounds were immaculate and we felt we were worlds away from the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. Upon seeing the breathtaking Waterside Chapel, we knew this was the place we wanted to get married. Most importantly, we wanted to share our experience with loved ones who would hopefully be able to appreciate it as well.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Paul’s older brother, Eric, performed the ceremony and used many Scriptures from the Bible that focused on love and the marriage covenant.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our ceremony Songs consisted of the following: “Jesu, Joy of a Man’s Desiring” for the seating of the family, “Canon in D” performed by a close friend for the procession of the bride, “Revelation Song” for the lighting of the unity candle, and “Hallelujah Chorus” for the recessional. Our first dance song was “The One, He Kept For Me” by Maurette Brown Clark. This song was a testimony to God’s faithfulness in our lives and how He kept us until the perfect time when we would meet and eventually join as one.
The location, food, family focus, and tradition were very Southern! The large oak trees with Spanish moss scream Southern, and as for our food, we wanted comfort food and dishes that meant something to us, so we served shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and brisket.
Describe your wedding flowers. Sue Burden did an amazing job with the flowers. She was easygoing and set my mind at ease from the start. I showed her some of the pictures I had collected and told her I wanted various shades of white for the flowers with a little greenery. She delivered and I was extremely pleased with the results.
During the time he was supposed to be saying his “thank you” speech, Paul decided to do his own thing. To my surprise, he told his version of how we first met and the details of our first date. At the end, he pulled out the receipt from our first date, back on March 19, 2010. He said he kept it because he had a feeling that “this” might be going somewhere. Who knew he would save it for three and a half years and present it to me on our wedding day!!! Oh, how I love that man!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I was studying for my licensing exam in Books-A-Million on a Saturday afternoon when in walked a cute guy in gym clothes who caught my eye. He sat down at a table not too far away from me so I decided to get up and sashay across the bookstore to go get a book (that I didn’t really need). Upon returning to the table, I realized Paul had not even looked up, so I decided I should really get back to work. I sat down and proceeded to study. A few minutes later, I looked up, and there he was! Paul smiled and introduced himself and asked if he could sit with me. We talked for a bit, exchanged numbers, and went on a date the following Friday–March 19, 2010. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Paul says he did not originally intend to propose on the day that he did, but something in him made him go with the flow and do it! I thought it was beautiful. We were headed to church when he said he forgot his Bible, so he ran back inside to get it, but took way too long. I was still sitting in the car waiting for him when he called me on my cell phone. He did not sound like himself and he asked me to come help him out with something quickly. I assumed he had hurt himself, so I bolted inside to see what was wrong. I ran around looking for him and eventually found him in his room on bended knee. I asked him if he was okay, and he looked up, stared me in the eyes, said some beautiful things, and proceeded to ask me to be his wife. Of course, I said yes…I’d been waiting for this for longer than I’d like to admit! :)
When did y’all get married? January 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75 guests
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This did not go as smoothly as I initially thought it would. I went home to Miami to go shopping with my mom, and I just knew my hometown would have what I was looking for, as the options were endless and more than I could ever ask for. By the end of the weekend, I was tired, frustrated, and had just about given up, so I returned to Raleigh empty-handed. I researched the bridal stores in the area, and the last store on my list, Alexia’s Bridal, had MY dress–the dress I envisioned. It caught my eye immediately. I tried it on and I knew I was sold when I found myself prancing around in it, dancing in the mirror, and smiling!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we opted out of a first look. We are very traditional and wanted to be surprised.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Having a destination wedding, it was difficult at times to let go of the reigns and trust that everything would come together as God intended. Most of the planning was done via phone and email with our wedding planner, Sage, who was absolutely wonderful and attentive. I had a hard time finding someone to do my hair and makeup to my satisfaction, but Sage eventually found Denise Teasdell, and the trial was the day before the wedding. Thankfully, she was absolutely wonderful.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Paul wore his own suit, we didn’t have a wedding party, we limited the number of guests, we were married during an off-peak season and day, and our family helped us out with different projects when they could.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We are extremely thankful that Paul’s older brother, Eric, who is a minister, was able to marry us. He has been so instrumental in our lives and he knows us well. Having him marry us was meaningful in more ways than anyone could ever realize.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I loved walking through the doors of the chapel and locking eyes with my husband-to-be until I reached him at the altar. I never imagined he would get choked up, but he did, and so did I. It was a moment I will never forget. When I asked Paul what was his most memorable moment was, he said, “Seeing you down the aisle.” He knows just what to say to make me smile!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember what the true purpose is for the day–the union of you and your soulmate. Everything else pales in comparison to that.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are so blessed to have one another. As a couple, we are looking forward to completely consolidating residences and beginning to start our own family!
Photographer: Ashley Seawell / Venue, Catering, and Desserts: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, a Montage Resort / Wedding Designer: Sage Beecher / Florist: Sue Burden / Wedding Cake: Dorcas Rowson / Groom’s Cake: Signe’s Bakery / Band: Reggie Coddrington and Band / Bride’s Gown: “Jiselle” by Carolina Herrera / Invitations: Dani Writes / Bride’s Sash: Vera Wang / Hair and Makeup: Denise Teasdell / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Groom’s Attire: Armani / Soloist/Guitarist: Beth Forby / Ceremony Musicians: Two Strings Are Better than One