Chelseay says, she knew! She knew right away that JaVaris was exactly what she needed and exactly what she wanted. And, although she believed JaVaris felt the same way, she confesses to feeling as if he doubted that she was really into him, like "this is a little too good to be true." But, it wasn't!
Separated by distance early in their relationship, Chelseay and JaVaris relied on faith, patience and openness with one another to help them endure the obstacles. Being newly stationed at a military base in England, JaVaris had time to reflect on the life he wished to have with Chelseay. In that reflection, both agreed to only express their love for the other when a commitment had been established.
Chelseay expressed she felt JaVaris was determined to uphold their agreement. However, in a text message he sent to her, JaVaris acknowledges the progress they had made in their growth together, seeks her patience with him, professes his love for her and requested that she not say those words back. "It was as if he wanted me to know he loved me, but didn't want to break the agreement we had made. And, of course, knowing that he loved me that early on trumped any agreement we had made previously."
"I knew he was the one because he is exactly what I prayed for, all the way down to his flaws. We have the same morals, values and ideals, but still have differences that give us balance. He is strong in areas where I'm weak, and I have strength in the areas of his weaknesses", Chelseay so lovingly conveys. She also strongly feels this aspect of their unity was seen early in their friendship and deepen with their connection.
A connection built on a solid friendship, rooted in togetherness from hours of movie watching, outdoor activities, and cooking, and one that has grown from the years of creating special memories.
That connection led to 'the moment'! While still stationed in England, JaVaris spent months planning the moment he would ask Chelseay the question. Intentionally, creating circumstances in which he would be ready for the next step, Chelseay put the idea of marriage aside and focused on other life events.
In December of 2017, arrangements we made for Chelseay to join JaVaris in London, England for New Year's. Filled with excitement and nerves being the first flight and first trip out of the country, Chelseay arrived in London to a fun-filled, sightseeing mission on aimed at taking in all that London had to offer.
On New Year's Day, JaVaris and Chelseay set out walking to a location that was a total mystery to Chelseay. Their walk took them by countless attractions in London and provided numerous opportunities to take photographs. The surprise was tickets to the Aqua Shard. "I was captivated by the surprise and the views from over 70 floors in the air. It was absolutely stunning. After catching some of the scenery, we had a mini photo shoot under a beautifully decorated arch. He surprised me in front of hundreds of people and proposed. I was SHOCKED to say the least."
All of those moments, led to this moment. On April 6, 2018, in downtown Birmingham at the Jefferson County Courthouse, Chelseay and JaVaris had an intimate, private and classic marital ceremony. The ceremony was just the way the couple wanted it to be, just the two of them. Lacking the desire to be the center of attention, they opted for a situation "that would be timeless for our family and memorable for the two of us."
Their paths crossed in his hometown while she was on Spring Break. Jill openly admits she didn't think "either of us was initially interested in the other as anything more than friends but we always just had great conversations." Over the span of a summer and with the passing of time, Shawn and Jill managed to connect over their love of being in or around the water. However, "it wasn't really until I went back to Auburn for the fall semester that our relationship kind of shifted to us being a little more than friends."
Their love for one another grew stronger over time and it reinforced Jill's belief in the theory "when you know, you know." Jill tenderly expressed, "I loved that he was always comfortable with my ambition and independence- a lot of guys either get intimidated by that or don't take it seriously, but he did neither and that was so refreshing."
Even when faced with life's challenges, Jill and Shawn withstood the storms, together. Jill recalls, "there were... some hard times in our relationship (even before marriage) that could've been breaking points for us, but he has always stepped up. Seeing that he was willing to put work into the relationship was really attractive, and was one of the things that made me want to share my life with him."
When the time came for Shawn to make Jill a proposal she couldn't refuse, he planned to do so on a romantic, thoughtful trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee prior to their second anniversary. Shawn had considered every angle and even arranged to have a photographer in the park to capture the unforgettable moments. Shawn would not allow any obstacle to stand in his way from hearing Jill say that most coveted word, not even a closed park.
Standing atop Lookout Mountain at "the most beautiful spot" and completely taking Jill by surprise, " Shawn asked and Jill said "Yes!"
After months of planning, imaging and the extraordinary help of loving family members and friends, June 3, 2017, finally arrived! With nearly 250 of their nearest and dearest gathered at Anderson Gail Farms surrounded by a boho chic vibe, Jill and Shawn made a vow to be joined together, forever, as man and wife. "Seeing Shawnie's face as I walked down the aisle" was one of the most memorable moments of the day for Jill. "He insisted that he not see me until then and I was so glad we did it that way."
Although Jill and Shawn were saddened by the absence of friends and family members that had passed away, both were honored to acknowledge them by leaving "the first seat of the front row on each side empty, and during the ceremony, we laid roses on those seats. It was so special!"
Photographer- Todd Helzer | Videographer- Caleb Frith | Ceremony Musicians- Jacob Roop, Anna Thomas, Andre Taylor | Minister- Randall Higgins | Florist- Pinedale Gardens (Clanton, AL) | Cake- LaLa's Cakes and Events, LLC (Lacey Baker- Clanton, AL) | Catering- Bryon Rickard Catering, LLC | Dress- Cherry Tree Lane Bridal (Florence, AL) | Designer- Chic Nostalgia | Decorators- Cindy, Roger & Kelly Roberson | Coordinator- Christy Higgins | HMUA- Beth Russell | Venue- Anderson Gail Farms | Reception music- Rhino J Entertainment
She was a wide-eyed freshman just trying to figure it all out. He was a sophomore transfer that seemingly had it all figured out. As fate would have it, the two would share a class as well as a lab that semester. After months of studying together and attending athletic events together, Meg Patterson and Brad Stone turned a friendship into a relationship.
With a relationship forged from a friendship, Meg and Brad spent a great deal of time connecting while traveling, trying new restaurants and watching plenty of Alabama football.
When the time came for Meg and Brad to turn the page in their storybook to this chapter of their relationship, Meg was totally taken by surprise with the way Brad decided to ask "The Big Question!"
With a fun-filled weekend planned for herself, her parents and Brad, Meg had to accept that her plans would take a slight detour when her mother decided to have a family photo session at the local park in Atlanta. Since Meg characterized this family photo session as something that was so like her mother, she never suspected it could possibly be more than "just" a family photo session.
Making attempts not to allow the detour to derail her mood, Meg assisted in the search for the perfect location in which to take pictures. Brad was in his usual role as the designated photographer. At one point during the session, Meg's mother requested a picture of Meg and Brad. During the transition, Meg noticed Brad had gotten down on one knee and through the "happy tears" she provided the response that they all had been waiting for. The celebration ensued!
On December 16, 2017, with 250 family members and friends from near and far, Meg and Brad pledged to love one another until forever. Wearing a Watters gown that made her feel like a dream and adorned with her mother's veil, Meg looked like a dream! In what can only be described as a festive, urban, industrial and romantic inspired wedding, their day perfectly fit the style they wanted to display.
Photography- Alexandra Davie Photography | Venue- Haven | Food- Savoie Catering | Videography- Emily Frazier Creative | DJ- Good Times Entertainment | Florist- Fairview Florist | HMUA- Kaylee Jones | Bride's Cake- Edgar's Bakery | Groom's Banana Pudding- Dreamland BBQ | Lighting- Amerson Events | Gown- The White Room | Designer- Watters
Can it be love at first sight in high school? For Katie and Almon it was! Katie recalls "I just knew from the very moment we met he was something special."
Apparently, Almon knew just how special Katie was as well. After a few short months of dating, Almon, unexpectedly let her know just how special she was to him. "We were on the way back to my house after leaving a friend's. We were laughing and he said "Oh I love you!" It totally caught me off guard... But that's when he knew!"
These two have spent the years growing together, cooking together and traveling together. Right where they each want to be, together!
So, when it came time for the big ask, it was only fitting that it happened with just the two of them! Katie recalls, "he proposed the night before a beach trip with his family. He manages hunting property and took me there so show me a few things while we waited for his family to get into town. He drove me around then finally we ended up back to a pond up front with a dock. He walked out and told me to take a picture of the sunset. When I turned around he was on his knee with ring in hand! I had no idea. He is the best at keeping secrets so I would've never known!"
Even though their precious moments have been just the two of them, the shared joy of their wedding day would be experienced with 300 of the most important people in their lives. At the Chapel at the Waters in Pike Road, Alabama, Katie and Almon vowed forever in front of all those that were there to witness and celebrate.
For Katie, this day was filled with a feeling of modern elegance and a touch of whimsy. Wearing a Pronovias style fit and flare gown from Ivory & White and marrying the man of her reality, she looked stunning! She reflects on her most memorable moment of the day, "all of the most perfect details coming together! Every piece of the ceremony and reception was everything I dreamed of."
Venue- Chapel at the Waters | Hair and Makeup- The Hair and Makeup Collective | Photographer- Milly Photography | Videographer- Jeff Bush Videography | Florals and Planning- Southern Posies | Catering- Jennie Weller Catering | Band- Trotline | Dress- Ivory & White | Brides Cake- Cake Designs | Grooms Cake- Liger's Bakery | Rentals- Brendle Rentals | Drapery and Lighting- Mariee Ami
Who would have guessed that doing a favor for your brother would lead to meeting the love of your life! That is exactly what happened for Hannah Elyse Rogers. While in Atlanta, Georgia attending a concert in the Fall of 2013, Hannah and a friend went to fulfill a promise to her younger brother by purchasing him a t-shirt. Enter the "mech guy!"
Turns out, right away, Elyse took a liking to "mech guy", also known as Bobby, and ended the night with him behind the merchandise table. It is only fitting since they met at a concert, that their relationship would develop and grow over time with the attending of concerts. The journeys of a constant back and forth to be with one another not only brought them together physically but emotionally as well.
As time moved on, a decision had to be made whether to stay together or end their long distance relationship. After a "long, long talk", Bobby realized just how much he valued Elyse and how much he desired to be with her. He began to make plans to be with her permanently, here, in Alabama.
Once together, their endless daily adventures began. From kayaking to hiking, movie nights with pillow forts, dance parties and long walks with their rescued dogs, Elyse and Bobby are determined to make the best of each day.
In some ways, it was easy for Elyse to love Bobby. She openly adds, "I have never been able to trust anyone like I can trust Bobby. Bobby was the first man who supported me and believed in my dreams and wanted to help me conquer the world. He really loved me for me and not who he wanted me to be."
Two years into the story of their lives together, Elyse and Bobby were celebrating this milestone with a trip to Sandestin Beach, Florida. According to Elyse, "it was a magical weekend." While strolling along the beach, they came to an area where they were alone, Bobby turned to Elyse and asked for her hand in marriage.
On July 8, 2017, Elyse and Bobby made it official! Together forever were the vows and a gathering of 100 of their nearest and dearest loved ones watched this boho chic affair take place at Gabrella Manor. With personal touches from Elyse's mother's crotched dream catchers to her father's handmade wooden centerpiece boxes for the reception as well as her grandmother contribution to the sign-in table, the day was truly a family affair.
A call was made to her best friend in the Spring of 2014. During the conversation, Haley Andress excitedly uttered, "I met a boy and I love him." And there it was, love at first sight!
And that feeling Haley expressed for Maxwell Kunstmann only grew from that moment to this one. Although Haley may have experience a love for Maxwell first, he was the one who verbalized it. No shame and no regrets!
Together their lives has been filled with traveling, music, attending football games of their favorite team, and being with their pups.
Haley openly admits she was "really hoping it (a proposal) was coming, but never expected it to happen when it did. Little did she realize, Maxwell had made attempts before and in September of 2017 found that there was no time better than the present.
"We had been out for a fun afternoon together and I started pestering him about when he would propose. I was devastated when he told me that he hasn't even been looking for rings. We got back to the house and ready to throw myself a pity party. I came back to the bedroom where he was waiting for me on one knee. Turns out, he had been trying since the summer to propose, and I had ruined every chance he had taken so far. He felt the moment was right and gave me the biggest surprise of my life."
And so, on September 16, 2017, one hundred and sixty friends and family members gathered at B & A Warehouse in on the Southside of Birmingham, Alabama to witness Haley and Maxwell confession their love for one another and commit to be joined together as husband and wife. Reflecting on that day, Haley notes her fondest memory was "the first look. It was my favorite moment seeing my soon to be husband without anyone around. I'll never forget how he looked at me and how special that moment was."
Photography- Rob and Wynter | Wedding Planner- Magnolia Vine Events | Florist- CeCe Designs | Venue- B&A Warehouse | Rentals- On Site Productions | Catering- B&A Warehouse | Cake- Pastry Art | Bridesmaids Dresses- Bella Bridesmaids | Gown- Village Bridal of Homewood | Designer- Hayley Paige | HMUA- Madeline Hulsey
Elissa Marie Dowden, better known as Ellie, was in her Junior year of college when she meet James Davis Priester. For Ellie, it was a combination of love at first sight that has truly grown to true love over time.
When Ellie reflects on who her love is, she honestly conveys, "he gives off this ora of happiness and energy." " Sounds corny but its true", she adds, "you don't even have to talk to him to get an idea of how amazing he is...it's really hard not to fall in love with him at first sight! But everyday I've fallen more in love with him as I love him more and more."
These feelings Ellie have for Davis is the reason she so freely uttered the words "I LOVE YOU" first. "He is really the only guy I have ever loved."
Davis undoubtably felt the same for Ellie and on Memorial Day of 2017, Davis surprised Ellie with a memorable proposal of marriage. "I had no idea it was coming. We were about to start watching a Game of Thrones marathon and I was in sweats with wet hair. He asked me to come help him with something and when I followed him, he had set out flowers in his dining room and a series of things he had kept. I had no idea what was happening until he was down on one knee."
Although Ellie was seemingly "clueless" about the impending proposal, she was very clear on the vision for their wedding day. A wedding day filled with classic and timeless elements with a twist of modern elegance beautifully unfolded in front of 330 beloved guests at The Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama followed by a unforgettable celebration at the Country Club of Birmingham.
With so many precious moments to relive from their wedding day, Ellie reports, the most memorable experience was their first look. "I was so calm all day and tried to be reflective but once I saw him, I was giddy like the first day we met." May that feeling never end!
Who knew? Not LeAnna, nor Garrett! Neither were aware that the summer of 2013, at a church event in Springfield, Missouri, would be the anniversary of their first meeting and the begin our their love story! Now, don't mistake this meeting for that instant love story but it was the beginning of everything that followed.
While they "sporadically" texted one another over the years, it wasn't until Garrett took it upon himself to call one night in 2016, that their adventure truly began. For LeAnna and Garrett, this moment was the moment!
Although they were separated by distance, their love for one another was a gift that grew over time. Garrett, however, did not allow distance to keep him for expressing his true feelings for LeAnna. While speaking one night over the telephone Garrett shared with LeAnna his love for her and then drove eight hours to Tennessee to share the weekend with her and to hold her in his arms.
LeAnna admits wholeheartedly that Garrett is "everything I needed and I didn't even realize it until we started dating. He's sweet and funny and adventurous and we get along famously. He's my best friend! I had no doubt that we were meant to be together."
With their love for one another unquestionable, Garrett sought to make their commitment forever. On a sunrise hike in Bella Vista, Arkansas, on March 4, 2017, LeAnna and Garrett arrived at Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel. Totally unaware of what was in store, LeAnna was handed a bible by Garrett on which her married name was embossed on the cover and a ring tied inside. Smooth Garrett!
LeAnna's vision for their wedding was a mix of modern and industrial fused with a dark, moody and wintery feel. This vision came together beautifully and on January 13, 2018, at GAS Design Center in Tuscumbia, Alabama, they committed their life and love to one another. Looking exceptionally gorgeous in a Victorian inspired Needle & Thread gown from BHLDN, LeAnna was beaming with joy!
After their private first look where LeAnna and Garrett shared their own hand written vows expressing their true feelings for one another, these two gathered in front of nearly 120 nearest and dearest to say "I Do!" Cheers to forever!
Devon admits the first meeting between herself and Nathan wasn't exactly something she "thought about twice." However, due to a lazy summer in a small college town, Devon and Nathan's paths continued to cross and one night at a fraternity house, the opportunity for these two to travel their journey together began.
Once these two had their first date, Devon knew how "special" Nathan was and she was please to start the writing of their story. A major chapter in that story came in July 2016. Nathan and Devon were gifted a dinner to an upscale dining establishment in Montgomery, Alabama by a co-worker of Nathan's. As they were returning to their car, Nathan expressed his love for Devon. Devon recounts, "I've somehow fallen even more in love with him since then."
Time spent cuddling on the couch watching "The Office" on a Saturday and traveling to see family members separated by distance are some of the ways Devon and Nathan enjoy time with one another. With a relationship that started off with some distance, cuddles are the perfect way to feel connected.
Nathan's job kept him at a bit of a distance from Devon and kept him extremely busy. However, they were committed to spend time together whenever and wherever possible. During a long weekend of travel and appointments for Devon, she was preparing for a banquet hosted by Nathan's fraternity. During the preparation with some friends, Devon was informed that a friend needed to get a pair of shoes from another location.
Everyone gathered loaded up in a car to retrieve the shoes, along the way the car pulls up near a lake. "Confused", Devon was ushered out of the car and the car drove away. In the distance, Devon could see a man and as she approached him, she realized it was Nathan. "When I get to him, I immediately begin to ask questions. He hushes me and begins to talk. Not long into the conversation does he pull out a bat. I flip it over and read what is engraved on it, "Devon Peeples Will You Marry Me?" While I was reading, he gets down on one knee. I responded with the easiest "Yes" of my whole life."
On the rooftop of the Alley Station in Montgomery, Alabama, Devon nervously walked down the aisle to commit herself and her life to Nathan. In front of nearly 120 friends and family members, Devon recalls the moment as the most memorable moment of the day. "Nathan and I had already done our first look hours before for pictures, so we could have time together after the ceremony. But, the moment I stepped out and saw him waiting for me...I lost it. My heart was racing, and my stomach was in knots. There are no words to describe the moment. All I could do was cry (happy tears). I couldn't wait for this new chapter for our story to begin."
"Our friendship really gave us a solid foundation on which to build our relationship." This is the perspective for which Dixon Barth and Grant Hollingsworth came to be. A friendship forged by time, patience, understanding and love, leaving Dixon to share, " I will always cherish the time we spent together as friends."
Together is where Dixon and Grant wish to be and usually that togetherness takes place at their home, cuddling "on the couch with our beloved dog, Nanuk." Binge watching television, working on puzzles, drinking coffee and simply relaxing in one another's company is all these two need.
The greatest gift that time affords us allows us to see the value in the other. "I think I knew he was the one when I realized how well our personalities complement each other. I always say he grounds me and he always says that I am his encouragement."
As time does, it moves forward and with forward movement we enter new phases of our lives. And so, on October 22, 2017, Dixon and Grant entered into a union of matrimony. "It was the most intimate and perfect wedding I could have ever imagined", Dixon recalls.
Fifty of their closest loved ones shared in this intimate, eternal romance themed affair. Dixon and Grant share a love of rosemary and the simple elegance of this meaningful herb took centerstage. "Rosemary was present throughout the entire wedding, from our signature drink (Rosemary Spritz), to the invitations" as well as the wedding cake and the delicate adornment in Dixon's hair.
The moments of their wedding day were made even sweeter with the support, love and encouragement of their nearest and dearest, especially Dixon's parents. "My parents deserve most of the credit. Without them, this day would not have been the same. They helped so much and kept me grounded throughout each hiccup leading up to the wedding. The day itself went off without a hitch, and Grant and I couldn't feel more blessed."
With time, comes reflection. "The most memorable part of our wedding day was the reveal with Grant before the wedding. I was crying before he even entered the room, and as soon as he saw me he joined right in. It was so special for us to have that moment together and I will always reflect on the time we spent alone together before the ceremony with so much joy." Here's to eternity!