It’s been a little while since I’ve had a chance to blog. I have been so busy with becoming Greenery + Grace, launching this small business of mine full-time, and working with all my fantastic new clients that I just haven’t had the time! However, I have been dying to share Sarah + Chris’ wedding story with you all. You will want to grab a box of Kleenex – this one is a tear-jerker!
I met Sarah when we were just kids. We went to the same church growing up. I always admired Sarah for how dedicated and hard working she was – she was a rock star in our Awana class haha. She was never afraid to push herself to be the best. I remember the day I found out that the surgery Sarah went in for, the one that was supposed to help correct her scoliosis, had paralyzed her. I just remember in the midst of this tragedy – Sarah never seemed broken. Of course, I have no idea what was happening on the inside, but she always appeared strong, courageous, and determined. This life altering injury never slowed Sarah down. I remember the day she got her drivers license. I remember hearing about her acceptance to Virginia Tech. Then learning that she graduated from Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering. This woman is a force to be reckoned with. She is, in my opinion, the definition of resilience + determination. Sarah is incredibly independent + she will accomplish whatever she puts her mind to.
When Sarah reached out to me about helping with her July 2017 wedding at Trump Winery – I was pumped! I couldn’t wait to hear about the man that captured Sarah’s heart. He had to be incredible if Sarah fell in love with him. During our initial meet + greet – I immediately saw that Chris was the perfect match for Sarah. Sarah + Chris met online (like 75% of my couples these days!). Chris is from England, but is now serving in the US Navy + Sarah is always bragging on his numerous accomplishments. Chris is just as diligent + hardworking as Sarah. Best of all – Chris is so in love with Sarah and I could immediately see how devoted he was to her, which just made my heart melt. This is why I LOVE my job, y’all. I am surrounded by beautiful + unique love stories. What could be a better way to spend your days??
During the planning process, Sarah reached out with some news. Chris was getting deployed + wouldn’t be home until the week before Thanksgiving. This meant we needed to shift gears from planning a summer wedding to a winter one. Vendors were contacted + we were able to change dates – Sarah + Chris were now getting married on December 15, 2017!! As sad as Sarah was to have to wait 5 more months to marry the man of her dreams, she never let it put a damper on her excitement.
Planning quickly kicked into high gear + we starting working on the ceremony details. This is where Sarah surprised me + shared that she had been training hard to WALK down the aisle. I almost started crying right then + there. I knew that if Sarah had put her mind to this – it would happen. #MissionWalkDownTheAisle was well underway!
Those 5 extra months flew by + it was finally the wedding weekend! Sarah + Chris were so ready to become husband + wife!!
Before we get to the ceremony, I want to share a few of my favorite “pre-ceremony” moments.
Ceremony time. Get your Kleenex! You won’t be able to hold it together.
This was it. The moment Sarah had been planning for + training for was here – #MissionWalkDownTheAisle. Sarah’s processional song began to play. I reminder her she could take all the time she needed + to let me know when she was ready. When she gave me the signal – we pulled back the curtains…
Sarah was beaming + Chris was overcome with joy. I am crying just looking at these photos and thinking back on how much love, strength, + commitment filled this room. Sarah was not only committed to walking down the aisle to her very soon-to-be husband, but she + Chris were fully prepared to commit to loving each other for all of their days.
If you think you’re done with your tissues, think again. It only gets sweeter. The ceremony, performed by Pastor Todd Brooking (who was my youth pastor growing up), was so personal. The room felt like one giant family + you knew that everyone who was present was committed to supporting these two on the journey they were beginning.
Another one of my favorites parts of this incredible ceremony was when Sarah + Chris said their vows. Written themselves, they both took turns crying as they professed their love + devotion to each other.
And now, these two incredible humans are HUSBAND + WIFE.
What was Chris’ first act as Sarah’s husband? He picked up his bride and he carried her up the aisle + over the threshold. STOP IT! I CAN’T HANDLE IT!! <3
The picture below is probably my favorite picture from the entire wedding. These two, sneaking a kiss, after their ceremony. Pure love + joy.
Shew – okay. Take a minute. Compose yourself. You should be able to put down the tissues now.
KIDDING! This wedding day isn’t over yet. We still have the first dance, father-daughter dance, Chris dancing with his new mother-in-law, and a surprise horse-drawn carriage ride. You heard me – SURPRISE horse-drawn CARRIAGE ride!! These were some of my favorite moments during the reception.
I think all grooms should dance with their mother-in-law. LOVE!
A little back story on the carriage ride. Patrick, the venue coordinator, called me the day of the wedding and said the carriage would be free around the time of the couples cocktail hour. That meant Sarah + Chris could have a quick little sunset carriage ride before they made their way into their reception. After a quick chat with the photographers, we were able to wrap up the bridal portraits + sneak these two out to the courtyard for a ride around “block.”
Does this scream fairy tale or what?!? It’s always so fun when we can make a little magic happen on a wedding day.
Can we take a moment to talk about these photos? Maria Grace Photography captured some seriously stunning moments. These pictures are dreamy. Here are a few more gorgeous portraits for you to drool over. Love the burgundy, blush, + navy color palette Sarah chose.
Last, but not least, I will leave you with a few more of my favorite moments from this sweet wedding.
Mr. + Mrs. Hannon – you two are such beautiful souls. I will always be cheering you on + cannot wait to see what amazing things you’ll do together.
PLANNING | GREENERY + GRACE EVENTS
G+G Day of Assistant | JESSIE BOWDEN
Photographer | MARIA GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY
Videographer | AVERY VIDEOGRAPHY
Venue | TRUMP WINERY
Caterer | GLORIOUS FOODS
Hair + Make Up | KATIE OCAMPO
Florals | JACKIE BEASLEY
DJ | HEYDJ
Ceremony Musician| JANET BAILEY
Officiant| TODD BROOKING
Rentals | MS EVENTS
Transportation | EASY RIDER BUS COMPANY