We often joke around in the office about how often Lisa and I cry reading the sweet interviews from our bride and grooms. However, sometimes, with the gravity of the stories shared with us, it’s almost impossible not to. After her father’s sudden passing just two months before their wedding, Maggie shared with us how Travis tenderly cared for not only her, but for her family. Carrying that servant’s heart into their marriage, Maggie and Travis started their wedding day by washing each other’s feet and the feet of their immediate family members and wedding party, together. But, that’s not the only way these two honored their family– they also carried on the tradition of getting married in Cape Charles, the town where Maggie’s grandmother grew up in. With so many sweet memories from the past, and even more from their wedding day, Maggie remembers that returning for Thanksgiving after the wedding was magical!
We’re delighted that Gracie Blue shared this special day with us!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Yes! Cape Charles is the town my grandmother grew up in. I always admired and respected my grandmother for her gumption, resilience, and poise. She was married in Cape Charles, my aunt was married in Cape Charles, and my cousin/best bud was married in Cape Charles. We still have the house she grew up in, and have spent summers, Easters. and Thanksgivings there. It means so much to me and to Travis, who fell in love with it the first time he visited. Getting married in this place was a way to honor our heritage and our family history, and to carry on the tradition. Returning there for Thanksgiving after our wedding was MAGICAL! I kept thinking about how all of “our people” had been in this town, in this house even. I walked down these steps in my wedding dress. We said “I do” right on this dock. It is so sweet that the place we got married is a place we will return to time and time again. It made Cape Charles more special than it already was!
I went dress shopping with just my mom because I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by opinions (plus, my mom has EXCELLENT taste). We went to a total of three places, and I knew I did not want anything strapless or lace. The dress I ended up with was the second dress I tried on at the first place we went, Anna Be in Denver. I wasn’t sure at first, but as I looked at myself in the dress, I started to cry, which is SO unlike me. Sure enough, that dress was both strapless and lace. After that, I compared every dress to the second one I tried on and nothing had the same WOW effect. Mom and I both knew it was “the one” and went back to Anna Be to seal the deal. When they put the veil on me, I was blubbering. I still adore my dress and wish I could wear it every day!
Music is really important to both of us. I love piano so we HAD to have a piano, which was perfect for “Interlude” by Shane and Shane for my walk down the aisle. It’s a really lovely song. Trav loves “Come Thou Fount” as a proclamation and “Divine Romance” is what my relationship with Jesus has been marked by. One night, Trav and I were driving late and he played the Glee version of “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. We started laughing about the idea of playing it for a few seconds at the wedding. Then we both said, WAIT, why not?! Our friends were able to play it on the piano and we had a short, surprise dance party. We take marriage seriously and we honor and love the Lord and those around us, but we are also lighthearted and fun.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? For us, the loss of my dad two months before the wedding was a sucker punch. It made everything so hard. We had to keep planning, but desperately wanted to grieve and curl up in a ball and hide. In hindsight (I was too shocked to realize this at first), Travis stepped up in a way no other man could. He was so present and supportive. He helped my mom navigate planning the service and finances, he reached out to my friends to let them know how I was doing, he helped around the house, he comforted my brothers and supported them like a brother and father would. He was phenomenal. He was so supportive and gentle with me, seeking to love me and care for me and understand. Meanwhile, he learned how to honor and navigate his own grief. I was just blown away by him and how he stepped up. During that time, preparing for our marriage, which was the MOST important thing, seemed so overwhelming. We just had to pray that the Lord would be present on that day and that he would be working in the crevices of our heart to bring healing and redemption. And He showed up, big time. :)
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The location, the food, the traditions, the music/band…so many things! Not to mention the fried chicken, oysters, mac and cheese, sweet potato biscuits, country ham, shrimp and grits, watermelon salad…
I wanted traditional, Southern flowers that were full of color. I wanted stargazer lilies and peonies because they are my mom’s favorite flowers. Hydrangeas, magnolias, and gardenias were incorporated because both my grandmothers and my mom carried them in their bouquets. My mom and I have expensive flower taste, but we both really cared about the flowers and my bouquet (which was absolutely fabulous–they nailed it!).
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went to counseling regularly and took time to pray together often. We went on dates and tried to NOT talk about the wedding. Something that was important to us BEFORE engagement was to feel like we were really on the same team, a united front. We started counseling before engagement (but only went once, actually, before he popped the question!). It kept us grounded and focused, and reminded us of the purpose of our wedding. Though we put in a LOT of effort to make it an amazing weekend, we really were over wedding planning because we just wanted to be married!
Don’t miss Maggie and Travis’ wedding film by Light Cannon Films below!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Travis and I met in the summer of 2008 at Camp Timberline in Estes Park, Colorado. He was the photographer; I was a counselor. Our friendship began over a love for our other home, North Carolina. At the end of the summer, Travis asked for my number–I thought he just wanted to be friends. The following fall, I was cruising through my sophomore year at the University of North Carolina and, lo and behold, Mr. Travis Bartlett continued to show up in Chapel Hill to “take me out.” He continued to check in and say hello, but I was not really having it. Travis was present throughout my final years at Chapel Hill and many of my college friends recall his visits, but we never became anything more than friends, though he certainly tried. Moving along, I spent summer 2012 in Kenya for work. At that time, I raised my salary, and one night, I was in the lodge working on a donor update email. On a whim, I decided to include Travis on my update, though we hadn’t spoken in awhile. To this day, I have no idea why I added him, but we are both glad I did. He emailed me back and offered to support me monthly ($100/month!). He became the biggest personal donor I had and, immediately, I wondered aloud if I would have to marry him based on his support! I moved back to Denver in August of 2012. Once we we back on the same coast, we began talking again, and, of course, I now had to stay in touch with him because he was supporting my salary. Then, a Tuesday night phone call in November tugged at my heartstrings. After that three-hour conversation, I hung up and could not stop smiling. Travis was finally about to win his girl. We began dating long distance and he moved to Denver in June 2014. We got engaged in November after dating for two years.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Travis: I had this amazingly elaborate scheme of proposing to Maggie in a park close to where she grew up in Denver. We would always go on walks to the park and along the Highline Canal (something that Maggie did a lot of growing up). I wanted to set up Christmas lights in the trees, so I showed up early Friday morning (the day of the planned proposal) and did so, equipped with tons of layers, lights, and equipment. After work, I showed up at Maggie’s house to find her sick and feeling terrible. To make matters worse, one of her best friends got engaged the same night, and there were dolphins and sunsets and all kinds of epicness. I was like, DANG! We got in the car to drive to her parents’ house because she didn’t want to stay at her place that night, as her roommate was throwing a dinner party. On the way over, she was still sick, but her mom told me, “Travis, just do it. This is how life goes.” However, I realized I just couldn’t do it that night because she was so sick. Saturday came and I was up early along with the snow…tons of snow. Mags was still not feeling well, but I was doing my best to get her to go on a walk. We were all scheming to get her out of the house, but the last thing she wanted to do was get out of bed and walk in the cold. Finally, I convinced her to go on a six-block walk to the park where I was going to propose. When we saw the park, Mags said, “I am ready to go back.” But I stood behind her as the lights turned on, and handed her a letter and journal. She started freaking out, trying to understand what was going on. When she turned around, I was down on one knee. She jumped up and down, ran AWAY from me in excitement, then ran back and slid to me in the snow. I gave her the ring and she said YES! We sat in the snow under the trees for 30 minutes, crying and laughing, as we read through my letter and journal that I kept throughout the ring-buying and engagement process (because I knew she would want to know all of the details). After we got too cold, we walked back to her parents’ house to find her family waiting for us in excitement.
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, I wanted the first time Travis saw me that afternoon to be down the aisle, surrounded by friends and family. That was also such a fragile moment because my dad passed away suddenly just two months before the wedding…it was really tender and sacred. We also didn’t do a first look that day because we knew we would see each other that morning. We planned to wash each other’s feet and then wash the feet of our immediate family members and wedding party, together. That was absolutely one of my favorite memories. It was a powerful way to share Jesus with others and to proclaim that the banner over our marriage was selflessness and sacrifice for others. It was very emotional for so many reasons–for the loss we had faced, for the loss others had faced, for my cousin/best friend who was diagnosed with cancer when my dad passed, for those who humbled themselves to receive it, to hear Travis pray over our marriage and relationships and friendship. It was incredible. Hands down, the best way to start a day and our marriage.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember that your marriage is far more important than the details of your wedding day. Make decisions quickly, don’t drag them out. Hold your wedding loosely–so many things can change that you CAN’T control. Don’t stress so much about how you look–be healthy and you will GLOW on your wedding day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? For now, resting and nesting. Spending time together, still loving NOT planning a wedding, grieving the loss of my dad and cousin, and enjoying time with family and friends. We want to travel and live abroad in the next year, but also want to get back to Sun Valley, Idaho (where Travis used to live) to explore the mountains (we’re mountain people!).
Photographer: Gracie Blue | Videographer: Light Cannon Films | Planner and Special Details: Alex Meyer Events | Venue: Private residence | Florist: Palette of Petals | Cake Baker: Cape Charles Coffee Shop | Caterer: Sweetwater Cuisine | Rentals and Lighting: Big Top Entertainment | Band: Risse Band | Paper Products: Travis Bartlett and The Paper Lady | Bride’s Gown: “Abelle” by Anna Maier | Bridal Salon: Anna Be | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Behind the Veil | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “JH5412” in Blush by JLM Couture | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse