Friends! I don’t know about you, but I’m in a bit of a withdrawal now that Lisa’s wedding planning series has drawn to a close. There’s just something about following a gal through the process, as she makes decisions in real time, that’s exciting, reassuring, and just plain fun! Happily for all of us, we’ve got a new engaged Southern Weddings lady in the pipeline for your reading pleasure. The darling Jessica Clinch interned for us a few years ago, and we’ve loved following along with her adventures via her blog ever since! When we heard she was engaged, we immediately reached out to her to about being our newest blogging bride. Happily she said yes! She’ll be joining us once a month until her wedding next year. I’m thrilled to introduce Jessica to you today! — Emily
Ian Riley Photography
Hey y’all! Some of you might remember me as the Southern Weddings intern from a couple years ago. It is hard to believe that it has been that long since I have been working with these lovely ladies! It is even crazier that I am here today blogging about my wedding planning process and sharing the story of how I met and fell in love with Zack! It all still seems like a fairytale to me, but it is by far my favorite story to tell.
All my life, I’ve gone back and forth about whether I believe in fate and soul mates. I always thought it was a cute idea, but one that only existed in novels and romantic movies. But I have to say, I now believe in soul mates whole-heartedly. I know without the shadow of a doubt that Zack is the only man for me, and the person I will spend my entire life with!
So, how did we meet and why do I consider it fate? Grab a glass of your favorite sweet thing to drink, because our story is long but fun to read! It all starts one Friday evening last May. I was getting ready for a fun night out with my girlfriends, and as I was picking out my dress for the evening, I jokingly turned to my roommate and swore we were going to meet our boyfriends that night. She laughed, and we carried on getting ready.
Later that evening as we were about to head home, we stopped by one of our favorite places and I was happy to see my friend Sierra (a former SW employee!) who I hadn’t seen in months. I was even happier when I noticed that she was with a new group of friends, including a dapper boy wearing a sport coat. Something immediately drew me to him (he claims it was his sport coat!). So, I walked right up to him and introduced myself!
We talked and laughed for what felt like hours. He told me he had just come from working a wedding (Zack and his brother co-owned the videography company, Nicholas & Keaton) and that he was going to stay in Chattanooga that night, but his friends convinced him to come back to Nashville. You can imagine I was glad to hear that! We made plans to meet up the next night, and after another fun evening, planned our first date for that upcoming week. I knew that there was something extra special about him when he showed up at my doorstep with a single red rose!
Fast-forward eight months full of fun trips, holidays spent with families, and more thoughtful and sweet date nights to January 24, 2015. Zack and I were both really excited about that day, but for different reasons. I was excited because Zack, his brother, and his sister-in-law gifted me a promo video for my business as a Christmas gift, and this was the big day that it was supposed to take place. Little did I know, it was the day Zack was going to propose!!
In November, while we were at my parents’ house for Thanksgiving, Zack had the opportunity to ask my dad for his blessing. After he received a warm welcome into the family, Zack began scheming. He told his brother and sister-in-law about his plans for the fake promo video, and asked both my family and my two best friends from college to book flights to Nashville for the 24th.
The big morning came, and I got all dolled up for my “promo video.” Zack knew this was the perfect decoy, because I would be wearing a cute outfit, I would have my nails painted, my friends would be with me the whole day, and he would catch everything on both video and camera. After a morning full of girly activities with my friends, we quickly grabbed lunch as Zack, Casey and Kristin went back to my house to set up for my “interview.”
As I walked into my house, I saw Zack standing in the hallway leading to my office. He wore the same sport coat that he was wearing when we first met. I hadn’t caught on to what was happening yet – I was still so focused on what I would be saying during my interview! After a moment, Zack led me into my office where he had a couple of collages set up displaying our favorite pictures together. On my desk, I saw a note that had my name on it sitting atop the journal that we keep together. As instructed by the note, I flipped to the bookmarked page of our journal, which said, “On December 17th, I bought an engagement ring.”
At that moment, I was in SUCH shock! I remember standing frozen with the goofiest smile on my face and not knowing what to do! So, Zack led me to the middle of the room, took my hands, and said the sweetest things I have ever heard in my entire life – words that I had been so excited to hear since we first met!
Once I heard the words “will you marry me?” I immediately screamed “of course!!” and hugged Zack, without even taking a glance at my ring! After we started to settle down from the excitement, he told me that he promised my mom that she would be the first person we would call. The tears that started to well up upon hearing my mom’s voice turned into screams of joy as she walked around the corner and into my room!! My entire family, Zack’s mom, and my friends all followed her into the room, and I felt so surrounded by love. It was the perfect ending to the most wonderful surprise!
Jessica’s talented future brother- and sister-in-law Casey & Kristin are responsible for all of the proposal photos and the darling video below!
Zack and I could not be happier, and we are beyond excited to share our wedding planning adventure with y’all! We have some ideas about what we would like to share, but we would also love to hear from you! What topics are you hoping to hear about, or what questions do you have? We are getting married in exactly one year on May 14, 2016 (yay!!), so we will have 11 more blog posts to share with y’all! Thank you so much for sharing in our journey with us!