"I had a pretty good feeling that he was "the one" before we even started dating." "I tried to play it cool because I knew once I let myself fall for him, there was no getting up- I knew I would be head over heels for him forever (and I was right)!" Melanie's feelings for Josh were clear, sure and unwavering!
From the moment she noticed him in their high school chemistry class to a 3 a.m. car ride Taylor Swift jam session, Melanie's thoughts reaffirmed her commitment to only date with the intent to marry and she was "all but certain" her first boyfriend would be her "one and only." How right she was!
Six years of sharing a love for baseball/softball, prioritizing their health and well-being with CrossFit, backpacking with their dogs, traveling as well as tracking new, unique coffee shops on those travels are all ways Melanie and Josh have grown into more of who they seek to be as a couple. Their lifestyle allows them an opportunity to "understand each other's motivations" and they are more "able to support each other easily" in the pursuit of those goals.
So, when the time came for Josh to ask Melanie to be his wife, it was only fitting that the moments framing this day were well-planned and involved coffee. According to Melanie, the day was "my perfect Saturday morning" and started with a work out, cooking breakfast together, and a trip to the dog park. Plans were made for that evening to meet friends at a local brewery followed by Josh's company's Christmas party.
It was suggested by Josh to grab a cup of coffee because they were ready a bit ahead of time. Never one to pass up coffee, Melanie jumped at the suggestion and Josh took her to the first coffee shop they had gone to in Birmingham.
Following coffee, it was decided a nice walk through Railroad Park on the way to the brewery would be the way to go. Once in the park, Josh popped the question! The planner in Melanie was thrilled because Josh left no stone unturned and had arranged for their friends to join them for a night of celebrating after she said "yes".
Although the "yes" was in Birmingham, Alabama, the "I Dos" will take place in the couples' home state of California. With the hope that most of their closest family members and friends will be in attendance, Melanie and Josh will vow forever August 17, 2018 at the Old Sugar Mill in Clarksburg, California. A mix of industrial yet rustic feel with a slight vintage flare is the inspiration for their wedding day. The day Melanie's first boyfriend will finally be her husband!
Photographer- Alisha Crossley Photography
They have known one another since 7th grade, however, it wasn't until their Junior year of high school when Joshua Kyle Jake Gregory said to Courtney Alexis Roden, "you're hot, I'm hot...let's go to prom" that these two began to see one another differently.
According to Courtney, her initial thought from his ask was "it was a joke". She quickly followed thought with admitting that "it would be super fun because he is such a fun and goofy guy!" Going with her second thought, Courtney said yes and soon after prom, the two began dating.
"His contagious smile, giving heart, love for God, the way he talks about things he really loves...like his family" are all reasons that drew Courtney to Joshua. Not withstanding these qualities, Courtney openly admits it "is the way my heart felt when he looked at me. I knew he'd love me unconditionally for the rest of our lives, just as I would him."
From concerts to ice cream dates to movie watching all night, Courtney and Joshua's four year love story is filled with fun times and serious laughs. Laughs like those from their first date. Seated at a local restaurant in a 8-person rounded booth, Courtney and Joshua elected to sit all the way across the table from one another. Seriously awkward yet hilariously funny!
Fast forward to March 10, 2018, at Joshua's 21st birthday party that Courtney planned, Joshua decided to make those precious moments last a lifetime by asking Courtney to marry him. Surrounded by their closest friends and family members at the Mentone Inn in Mentone, AL, Joshua began expressing his gratitude to all in attendance to celebrate his birthday. At the end of his speech, he turns to Courtney and asked for her hand in marriage. Tears of joy flowed for nearly two days!
"The thing I absolutely cannot wait for on our wedding day is to start the rest of my life as Mrs. Josh Gregory and to be marrying my best friend." So, on November 3, 2018, at Meeks Grain & Gin in Pisagh, AL in a chic bohemian inspired wedding, Courtney and Joshua will take that necessary step towards loving one another for better or worse, in sickness and health, through the tears and the laughter, forever! And, the wait will be over!
Photographer- Kelsey Dawn Photography
It was March 2014, Claudia and five girlfriends were on a weekend getaway in Nashville, Tennessee. The ladies were hanging out, taking pictures and updating their social media posts. Coincidentally, Jacob and five of his boys were celebrating a friend with a bachelor party that same weekend. As smooth and as confident as he could be, Jacob approached the group of ladies and uttered, "hey, there are six of us and six of you...are you girls going to stay on your phones all night or do you wanna hang out with us and have fun?" The ladies picked fun and Claudia spent the rest of the night talking, laughing and dancing with Jacob.
Due to timing and distance, Claudia and Jacob didn't date right away. However, in July 2016, while driving through Birmingham, Jacob randomly contacted Claudia inviting her to dinner and the rest is their story.
A memorable moment in their journey came for Claudia in October 2016. Exhausted from an extremely long day of moving, Claudia's best friend observed the way "I looked at Jacob." At the end of the day and feeling like she couldn't muster up the energy to finish another load, Jacob's intentions towards Claudia were clear. So clear that her best friend noted, "He's it! You never let a man take care of you like that or tell you what to do. You're going to marry him someday, and you don't even know it yet." Marry, indeed!
Claudia and Jacob filled their storybook with moments of sheer laughter, sport shooting, Sundays at TopGolf, movie nights with their three dogs, pizza and a good craft beer as well as philosophical and political debates and a great deal of team work. "We don't always agree." However, "we share a lot of the same values and have the same long-term goals for ourselves. We're a team. We always work together. He's my Spartan king and I'm his Spartan queen."
While on a beach vacation in honor of Jacob's 31st birthday and totally unbeknownst to Claudia, the time had come. Jacob's entire family as well as Claudia's mother joined the two for the weekend. "We all got dressed up to go out for his birthday dinner, when his mom said they had a surprise for me. They walked me out to the pier with my eyes closed and when I opened them, Jacob was on his knee."
The next chapter in Claudia and Jacob's love story will take place on October 6, 2018 at The Barn at Shady Lane. In a traditional, rustic inspired wedding filled with burgundy and navy accented by pops of gold, green and blush, Jacob and Claudia will exchange their I Dos. The day will be even more meaningful as Claudia will use her grandmother's antique crystal and glassware for the centerpieces off-set beautifully by elements of wood for Jacob and lanterns and greenery. The perfect mix of vintage, southern style! Here's to the next chapter!
Being high school sweethearts from Muscle Shoals, Alabama and loving on one another for over nine years, one thing is very clear, they are better together, and no one knows that better than Laura. "I've always felt like we understand each other better than anyone else in the world. We never stay angry for very long, and we've always been that way. No matter what comes our way, we work it out together. Taft just gets me like nobody else does!"
From their first date on the 4th of July at Bridgestreet in Huntsville senior year, Laura and Taft were inseparable and shared many unforgettable milestones together. Their journey together charted a course for the two to attend college at the University of Alabama following graduation. The years flew by and soon Taft was off to take a job in Vidalia, Georgia. Laura remained in Tuscaloosa to complete graduate school. For the first time, they found themselves separated by distance. "It was tough, but made us stronger. I was so happy when Taft moved to Birmingham in 2015 and it wasn't long before I found a job in the Magic City, too. Everything just fell into place from there."
With time usually there is growth! And, with growth comes a realization of the value of those we love most. Laura freely expressed she "knew Taft was the one when I realized how comfortable he makes me feel. I can be myself completely with him. Ask anyone-- he's just easy to love! I've always admired his confidence and willingness to try new things. Taft can talk to anyone about anything, and he is one of the most genuine people I've ever met. I fall more and more for him every day.We have been together for 9 years. Yes, some people said "it's about time" when Taft proposed, but sometimes the best things really do take time. We took everything at own pace and wouldn't change a thing about it."
Even with Taft's proposal to Laura, their timing had to be perfect for them. Completely unaware of what Taft's intentions were on this night, Laura attempted to cancel dinner plans. However, with a bit of insisting by Taft, the two enjoyed a memorable dinner. Following dinner, "we went to Taft's loft downtown because he said his sister wanted to meet us there. When we got there, however, she was nowhere to be found... but the lights were on and her purse was on the table, so Taft said maybe she had gone up to the roof. After all, it was a beautiful night. I walked out onto the rooftop deck first and the string lights were lit, but Lacey wasn't there. When I turned around to tell Taft, he was already down on one knee. I was so shocked that I think the first thing I said was something like "Wait... What are you doing? What's happening?" It didn't really hit me until I heard a camera flash and realized that Lacey had been hiding around the corner and was there to take pictures of it all. And then came the happy tears. Just like in the cheesy movies, Taft had to ask me if I actually said yes because neither of us really remembered what we said in that moment. We were too excited!"
Deciding on the perfect location for their spring wedding, Laura and Taft will wed April 21, 2018 at The Sonnet House in Leeds, Alabama. Surrounded by all those that fill their hearts, these two will recite their vows to one another in an Anthropologie meets English garden inspired wedding. "Think dusty blues, hand-dyed silk table runners, loosely bunched floral displays, and lots of greenery. It's romantic and modern and I can't wait to see it come together!" Here's to their "someday"!
Photographer- Alisha Crossley Photography
According to Marcus Fancher, when he met Shamea Wallace on her first day of work at the new company, of which he was already an employee, she experienced a Loretta Devine moment from Waiting to Exhale. He believed she walked away "switching" hoping he would notice her. According to Shamea, "it was a normal brief introduction." Whatever the case, it only took one meeting and that was enough!
Given time, Marcus was able to win Shamea's heart and when presented with an opportunity to share a reflection on their time together Shamea admittedly said, "There isn't one moment that I can pinpoint as knowing Marcus was the one. I remember looking at him and realizing how much he had grown over the years and how much I loved and appreciated the person I saw him becoming." And sharing the birth of a son afforded Shamea an opportunity to grow to love Marcus even more.
As a young family, family time is a main focus! And even though Shamea characterize herself and Marcus as "pretty laid back", enjoying the occasional comedy show and sporting events are also ways they get to bond. Shamea strongly believes that "what makes us work is that we balance each other out. We have different strengths and weaknesses that we have learned to appreciate over the years. We're friends first and I believe that a relationship built on the foundation of friendship will stand the test of time."
Being together nearly eight years brings about little to no surprises, however, Marcus' proposal of marriage while in Destin, Florida was a complete surprise to Shamea. After being asked and saying "YES" the two begin planning a wedding day filled with the motivation to celebrate their love for one another with the people who love them most. On June 30, 2018 at the Woodrow Hall in Birmingham, Alabama they will do just that.
Photographer- NicTay Photography
"There's no doubt that Aaron and I were meant to be." "I knew right away that he was someone special." Savanna was immediately intrigued by the "new guy" and sought to learn more about him. In doing so, she spent the rest of the night in July of 2014 engaged in conversations with Aaron all while pretending that she was unaware of how attractive she found him to be.
Two weeks after meeting, Aaron graduated from the college they both were attending. Following graduation, Aaron returned to his hometown in Virginia leaving Savanna to complete her final year. Savanna had "no doubts that we would stay friends and keep in touch...although neither one of us wanted to admit it, we didn't have much hope that anything could come of it since we had only just met."
Although long distance wasn't the ideal situation, it didn't hinder the growth of their relationship and given time, Aaron soon returned to Alabama to be with Savanna. Delightfully Savanna recalls, "with long distance a thing of the past, we finally got to experience a "real" relationship."
It was clear to Savanna that Aaron was the one she was meant to marry when he returned to Tuscaloosa so that they could be together, leaving behind his family twelve hours away. She expressed her faith in their journey and their commitment to one another when she shared, "we just knew in our hearts that we would get married one day...we couldn't picture our lives without each other."
Another factor that reaffirmed her belief in this outcome was the fact that Savanna felt Aaron was unlike anyone she had ever met and she realized that "he cared about me more than anything."
Their differences allowed them to create balance for one another, however, their similarities help bind their relationship through their shared "beliefs and morals." Their relationship has also grown with their love of the outdoors, travel, adventures, and a serious commitment to cheering on their favorite team.
Their love of the great outdoors was the perfect backdrop for a moment in their storybook that neither Savanna nor Aaron would ever forget. After nearly 3 years of dating, the spot had to be Lake Nichol in Tuscaloosa. These two had shared so many wonderful memories there and it was only fitting that this would be the place for yet another one.
After asking Savanna if would she like to join him at the lake, she without hesitation said "yes." Aaron picked Savanna up after work and they headed to the lake. "We walked down the path to "our spot" and all of a sudden, I saw rose petals covering the ground! I made a comment about them and he acted like it was normal for them to be there and continued throwing the ball for Dixie." Standing by the water's end locked in an embrace, Aaron knelt down and asked Savanna to be his wife. What joy! What planning on Aaron's part! Hidden in the distance was a GoPro that captured the moment as well as a bottle of champagne and roses for the win!
Photography- Lauren Prevatte of Milly Photography
Surprisingly, it was a wedding that brought Courtney and Andrew together in the summer of 2015. Although they knew of each other, Courtney and Andrew had never officially met until this day. However, Andrew was not willing to let the moment pass without making an attempt to get to know Courtney better, so he asked for her number.
Courtney makes note that, "I instantly thought Andrew was a cutie and he was super silly. He was always making me laugh and telling jokes! Andrew was like a big teddy bear best friend that I felt like I could be my total self around him." Over time Courtney realized, "he was peace, love and happy all wrapped up into one big smile. He was my "home". My heart felt whole and happy. It was an easy love that I had never felt before."
For over two and a half years of growing together, Courtney has learned that "we both are a lot alike. We have a lot of the same opinions on things and values." Sharing similar thoughts and values is what made the proposal of marriage by Andrew absolutely perfect for Courtney.
While accompanying Andrew and his family on a trip to Montana, Courtney was unaware that this would be a trip she would never forget. It was also their 2 year anniversary and unbeknownst to Courtney, Andrew and his parents had selected the rings months prior to the trip. On August 7, 2017, the group took ATVs to the top of Desert Mountain. After taking pictures at the top of the mountain covered in dirt and sweat, Courtney and Andrew started their walk back to the ATVs. While descending the mountain, Courtney noticed the family was not behind them.
"I was walking in front of Andrew when he grabbed my hand and said, "So, I got you an anniversary gift." "I turned around and he was no one knee with this pretty little box in his hand. He opened it and it was the most beautiful ring I had ever seen. I was at a loss for words...then tears and laughter consumed me! I bent down to hug him and all he said was "is that a yes?" I said, "YES, yes, yes!" It was the sweetest, most unforgettable moment."
So again, a wedding will bring these two together. However, this time the ceremony will join Courtney and Andrew together as one, forever. On April 7, 2018, in Dothan, Alabama friends and family will gather at Covenant United Methodist Church to witness their union in a chic, French country garden inspired wedding filled with colors of blush, sage, gray and "pops of gold. That day can't come soon enough!
Photography- Courtney Woodham Photography
Sutton Aiken recalls it clearly, a few days before her freshman year of high school, moving trucks were parked at a house a few doors down from her friend's home. The girls wished the new family came with "cute boys" their age. On the first day of high school, her wish became a reality! Enter Walker Davis!
Although they traveled in the same circle of friends, timing prohibited these two from finding an immediate groove with one another. After nearly two years of poor timing, the time was right and Walker asked Sutton to accompany him on a date. No looking back!
For Sutton, she has always seemingly known "that things were different with Walker than anyone else." "We have so much fun together. I knew from the beginning we had something special."
Those fun times include learning new things, like wakeboarding and snow skiing, as well as an intense love of the St. Louis Cardinals. Walker's love of the Cardinals easily converted Sutton. So much so that Walker planned a birthday trip for Sutton to see the Cardinals into a trip of a lifetime. Every detail was well thought out and no stone was unturned to make Sutton feel special. Right down to the Cardinals' win!
Without hesitation, Sutton strongly believes "what makes us work is that we were best friends first." "We balance each other out really well." After nearly seven years together, Walker is "the funniest person I know so he always keeps me laughing which is important."
Not only is Walker humorous, he is clearly considerate of Sutton's feelings and seeks to make her happy. This was apparent in his well-conceived and executed proposal. Sutton was expecting a romantic dinner at one of their favorite restaurants when Walker received an urgent call from his mother requiring his assistance with his injured father. Upon arriving at his parents home, Sutton was ushered to the house by Walker as he went to attend to his father.
Sutton enters the house to find her "closest guy friends lining the hallway holding white roses." After receiving the first rose, she was instructed to "follow the roses". On her journey of collecting roses, Sutton noticed her parents as well as all of her best friends. When she reached the back of the house, a scene of strung lights, candles and rose petals filled the backyard and there Walker stood holding a dozen red roses.
"It was the most magical thing I had ever seen." Upon seeing Walker, he said "I guess you know we aren't going to dinner." Through her laughter and the tears, Sutton listened as Walker shared the tenderness of his feelings for her and asked her to share forever with him. A truly special night was enhanced by having all of their family and friends waiting to celebrate with them.
Those same family members and friends will gather once again on August 18, 2018 to witness Sutton and Walker commit their lives to one another. "We are both really looking forward to having all of the people that mean the most to us at the same place." Here's to another magical night!
Photographer- Megan Kennedy Photography
He was the "new guy" during eighth grade year in Mrs. Boone's Literature class when they met. It wasn't until the following year in their shared Physical Education class, that Ashley Hawkins was asked by a friend what her thoughts were about Colby Smith. Upon taking a moment to consider the idea, Ashley and Colby have been dating from that moment to this moment.
After graduation, Ashley and Colby attended Jacksonville State University. Their relationship would face unknown "struggles and hurdles". They would also experience relentless support, growth and victories together. Ashley fondly reflects on Colby stealing her heart over time, "If you would of told me on that day in P.E. class that Colby would be the man I married I would of for sure laughed." However, during their time in together, Colby has been "so supportive of my career and celebrated every victory with me."
Far the past 11 years, Ashley and Colby have enjoyed being home bodies, spending "lazy Sunday afternoons on the couch with our fur babies", or spending time at the lake. And now, the lake will forever have a special hold in their heart. Ashley's fondest memory thus far with Colby was the day he proposed to her at the lake.
According to Ashley, the wait for the proposal "seemed like an eternity"! However, it was a well-timed moment that was perfectly them. They spent the morning attending church and the afternoon swimming, laying out and riding the boat on the lake. "The last boat ride was a little more special than the others. At sunset, Colby got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was about time (only took 11 years)! It was so perfect and it was so us!"
It was a dream proposal and their dream wedding will by held at Guntersville State Park Lodge on April 28, 2018. Ashley's vision for their special day will be "lots of greenery" accented beautifully with neutrals in shades of white, taupe and cream. With the vision coming into focus, Ashley is excitedly "looking forward to finally being able to call the man I love so much my husband. I am not an emotional person, but I know I will happy cry through our entire ceremony." On the other hand, Colby states, "he is looking forward to the honeymoon." Ying and yang, perfectly matched!
Photography- Laura Wilkerson Photography
Can you really meet the love of your life in high school? Does that really happened? In this case, Mallory Mayo did meet Eben Leeman in high school. Although at that time, there was no instance love from their high school encounters, their shared moments during this time laid the foundation for what was to come for Mallory and Eben.
Five years removed from their first meeting, while in college, Mallory and Eben came to the realization that they wanted to be together. Starting slow and being patient with what they had going, they built upon their past together and the two "have been inseparable ever since."
Mallory characterized the two of them as a "pretty laid back" couple. Their love for shared experiences such as cooking, time spent at home, with their dog, and at the lake with family and friends well as kayaking, working out, watching Alabama football and any new experience or adventure brings them closer with each passing day.
The key to Mallory and Eben's union is their opposing personalities. Mallory characterizes Eben as "very laid back and quiet." However, she acknowledges, "me on the other hand, not so much. I am a planner and I am usually the one doing all of the talking. I am the one who is always worrying and he is always there to calm me down." After nearly six and a half years, they have a system that clearly works.
Knowing Mallory's wishes for the day he would propose marriage, Eben's mission was clear, make it special and intimate and make it a complete surprise! On September 10, 2017, Mallory's mother requested she joined her on a shopping trip for a friend's birthday. Eben and Nash were left at home "to do yard work." After finally the shopping trip with her mother, Mallory returned home that afternoon, she grabbed her bags and exited the car while saying goodbye to her mother.
Upon opening my front door, Mallory found their home empty, the lights were dimmed, music playing in the background, candles along with pictures of the two of them and rose petals leading her to the back door. In total shock and trying to get an understanding of what was taking place, Mallory opened the back door to find Eben standing under a decorated arbor that he had built waiting on his one true love. Coming to the realization that this moment has finally arrived, Mallory was overcome with emotions and said "YES" to "the man I had wanted to marry for so long."
Photographer- Laura Wilkerson Photography