This is such a sweet post-wedding photo shoot. As much as engagement and wedding photos are amazing and enjoyable, there’s something else only post-wedding photos can capture and provide. When all the hype and anxiety of the event has subsided and the actual marriage begins, it’s inspiring how photos can capture this new phase of love and life.
Here’s an tell-all story our bride has provided us regarding their love story and their wedding day…
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
Alex moved from Alabama to Georgia in October of 2012 to start a new job. He lived with his brother’s family until He decided which apartment complex to live in. I had dinner at the McCloud house weekly, so Alex and I quickly became friends. We secretly looked forward to those weekly dinners and our church’s gatherings for more than one reason! It was so fun getting to know each other! Alex told his brother, Adam, that he was interested in pursuing a relationship with me in December! I told my friend, Maggie, that I couldn’t believe that I was interested in being more than friends with Alex in February! Neither of us thought the other one was interested in being more than friends. We prayed separately about it until late June when Alex spilled the beans! His brother’s family went on vacation and asked Alex to keep their flowers watered. Since we were missing our weekly dinner, we met at their house, watered the flowers, and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drank grapico in the backyard! During our fancy dinner, it started to rain and we had to move our picnic to under the porch. We’ll forever joke about the time Alex asked me to help him to water plants on a day that it was suppose to rain! We fell in love while playing disc golf, hanging out with any friends we could convince to hang out with us, and having picnics at the park. Being a team came naturally for us.
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
We just stinking love each other! We think each other are hilarious. We share a love for Jesus and His Word. And lastly, we literally match; people think that we are siblings often!
How did he (or you) propose?
Alex hates surprises, and I LOVE surprises! I can’t believe that he pulled off our engagement without me knowing it was going to happen! He told me at the beginning of our relationship that if all went well, he would propose in six months to a year, and he ended up proposing in a little less than 6 months. I was clueless! He picked out a random field on the side of the road with our friends and photographers, Maggie & Rachel. He and Rachel hid in the tall grass one day that I thought they were both working. Maggie and I went to the field to test her new camera lens for an upcoming shoot. This was nothing out of the ordinary as they were starting their business. After a few test shots, Maggie went back to the car to “get something” but instead she turned on a favorite song of mine and Alex’s. I started to turn circles, knowing that something was up! Alex came out of the tall grass with flowers and my grandmother’s ring in hand. It was an exciting time of hugs, first kisses, and lots of engagement day photos!
How long was the planning process? Did you think it was enough time?
We were engaged from December 20th-September 13th! It was definitely long enough. I planned some in the beginning, took a break for a couple months in the middle, and then it was full force the last month or two!
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
The best advice we received was to remember that the goal of the whole process to get married! No matter what happened during the planning, the week before, the day before, the day of, I would still be married to my best friend at the end of the day! That simple reminder put everything into perspective!
What tips & tricks (“hacks”) can you share future brides that you yourself have learned during and after your wedding?
My favorite trick we used was an idea of my mom’s! She asked our local Mexican restaurant to save their empty glass liquor bottles for us. Good thing we are friends with the manager since we are frequent visitors. We went by on Tuesdays to pick up the bottles from the weekend. We wrapped them in burlap, stuck some flowers inside, and VOILA! Just be resourceful! There are all kinds of things you can re-use!
What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding & what would you have done differently to avoid them?
Delegate what you can. I wanted to do EVERYTHING! Planning was so much fun for me, but it is easy to get overwhelmed! If you have amazing friends like I did, they will ask you what they can do to help all of the time. Take up the offer! There is no need for you to tie ribbons on everything or hang every light or picture! Don’t tire yourself out doing the little stuff!
What inspired your wedding décor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
I have a re-found love for lace and I’ve always loved paper lanterns! My grandmother made a lot of my clothes when I was little.; they all included lace until I told her that I was allergic to it when I was about three years old. Who knew that one day my wedding dress would be all lace and it would be my favorite part of decorating! We hung white Christmas lights and paper lanterns, and decorated the tables with burlap, lace, vases, and mason jars. When people asked me my theme, the best phrase I could use to describe it was “modern vintage” which doesn’t make a lot of sense. We included some of my grandma’s doilies, quilts, and blankets to have a little bit of home on our big day. I surfed pinterest and borrowed ideas from my extremely creative friends and family.
What was the wedding budget?
As cheap as possible! We never set a budget but I know that we spent less than $8000.
Where did you save the most money?
We chose to get married at a pavilion near my parent’s house that is not marketed as a wedding venue. You pay a small price and then do everything yourself! It was worth it to us to save money in this area. Our friends and family helped us set everything up and take it all down!
What was the biggest expense?
The food! We had a FABULOUS taco bar.
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
We sent out 180 invitations; I never even counted the beginning guest list! Our final number was 230 including Alex and I! We had to add a few more tacos to the taco bar!
How did you narrow down your list?
I didn’t narrow down my list; I didn’t know how! I wanted to invite everyone! We invited people that were special to us and our families.
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
Processional: Come thou fount by Paul Cardall
Bride’s Entrance: Holy (Wedding Day) by The City Harmonic
Recessional: Multiplied by Need to Breathe
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Panama City Beach, Florida which provided a beautiful backdrop for all of these “day-after” photos!
What are you most excited about for the future?
Life together! We love living together and being a team. We don’t know what’s in the future, and we’re excited to see what God has in store for us. We hope it includes lots of adventures, and a couple of kids…or 10! Just kidding, depending on if your asking me or Alex.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
Have fun! It’s a once in a lifetime experience! Buy a journal and write everything down so you can look back and remember everything that went into the planning. We’ve been married less than a month, and I love looking back at it already!
What would you say, the overall story for this album?
This album provided so much fun for Alex and I! It was an opportunity to put on my dress again and relive our wedding day! We danced and played on the beach and enjoyed the beautiful sunset! St. Andrews State Park was amazing and we enjoyed our time there with the sugary sand, clear water, jumping dolphins, unexpected raccoons and beautiful rocks. Our photographers are some of the most laid-back and wonderful people we know. It was so much fun having an extra shoot with them. They truly share in our joy and capture our love so perfectly.
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
My love for lace, the color grey, and pinterest! I can’t help but love everyone else’s creativity since I am lacking in that area! I was so thankful for technology while planning the wedding.
What was your favorite part of the day?
Seeing my groom for the first time! I definitely recommend a first look! Our wedding wasn’t until 6 o’clock, but I got to see my man at 1 pm instead!
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
Singing “Come thou fount” and “Be thou my Vision” with our guests, the first kiss as husband and wife, our first dance to “I like to be with me when I’m with you” by Drew Holcomb and the neighbors, the wedding cookie cake and milk bar, and our glow stick exit!
What part of the ceremonies do you think was the most memorable for you? Your guests?
The bridal entrance. My dad and I were a mess, and it was so special to be given to Alex by my dad.
Photographer: Maggie & Rachel Photography
Floral Designer: Bella Flora 30A Weddings
Dress Designer: Anya Bridal
Other Location: City of Panama City Beach
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