Photographer ALYSSA JOY PHOTOGRAPHY tells us that this wedding – on a perfect crisp Tennessee day in fall – was one of her favourites, and you can see why from these gorgeous photos. Deborah & Bryan planned the wedding from out of state, and incorporated plenty of DIY details with family members helping out with many of the tasks. As a sentimental touch Deborah had her Mother's wedding dress altered to fit her. Read on to find out more about their day…
HOW DID YOU MEET? We met through one of my best friends in college and my MOH in the wedding, Anna. Anna and Bryan's mom are twins, obviously making them first cousins. She would always talk about what a great match we would make and we both brushed it off and didn't put much though into it. When Anna was away on a study abroad trip, he messaged me on Facebook to say hi and asked how my day was. (A bit awkward, but cute). We messaged back and forth from February to April, every day. We put our messages into word perfect out of curiosity and it totalled 220 pages. Yes, they were novels. In April, he called me to ask me on a date. I was in school at Harding University in AR, so he drove 6 hours to see me. I was so nervous and so excited. He picked me up at 10 am and dropped me off at 1 am and it was the best day ever. The rest is history really.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: We were on Bryan's grandparent's farm, a place with a lot of sentimental value. Most of Bryan's best childhood memories were on the farm. It was on Easter day and I was not expecting it at all. They have a huge Easter Egg hunt every year and hide the eggs all over the farm. Bryan was actually sick that day, but was so determined to propose that he came at the end of the Easter Egg hunt and hid the egg at the end of the property with the ring inside. There was a mystery egg that no one in the family could find that day that had a 5 dollar bill in it. Bryan's dad came to me at the end of the day and told me he had found the egg and left it for Bryan and I at the end of the gravel driveway. He said it was a yellow egg and would be easy to spot. A bit confused as to why he saved this egg for us, I didn't put a lot of thought into it (as I am typically oblivious to these kinds of things). As we were approaching the end of the driveway Bryan was afraid I would forget to bring it up, then I said "Oh! Bryan! Your dad hid an egg for us at the end of the driveway!!" Relieved, Bryan very excitedly responded and said, "He did?? Awesome!" Pleased, but also a bit surprised that he was so excited, we pulled over to find the egg. We spotted it quickly and I walked over and realized there were 2 eggs. The yellow one, but also a stripe one. We all know what was in the yellow egg, so naturally I grabbed the stripe egg. I picked it up and opened it and my jaw dropped as I turned around and Bryan got on one knee. With tears in his eyes, he asked me to marry him and said some really beautiful words. I was so happy.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: We went to one Bridal store and the dress I wanted was a little over budget. I had always loved the idea of wearing my mother's wedding dress, but she was smaller than me around the waist and I knew it would not fit. A friend of mine who had seen my mom's dress and loved it, suggested that I possibly alter the dress to fit me. My mom was glad to let me do whatever I wanted with the dress as she always wanted one of her daughters to wear her dress. My husband's Aunt, Becky, happened to be a fantastic seamstress. She had done Bryan's sister's wedding gown from scratch, as well as her own daughters. I asked if she'd alter it for me and she said she would be happy to. I could not have been more happy with how it turned out. She completely re-constructed the bodice using all of the same lace from my Mom's dress. The bottom of the dress was left the same. It was everything I could have dreamed.
ANY DIY ELEMENTS? Without a doubt. We were definitely on a budget for our wedding. I don't think it all could have come together if it weren't for the help of my wonderful family and friends, they really helped out so much. The decorations behind the desert table my bridesmaids and I made out of colourful paper and fabric. The mason jars, gold candle sticks, and antique books were all collected from my family's antiques or local estate sales. We decided to have leaves line the aisle and then at the end when we left, people used the leaves to throw at us as we walked out. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy finding so many colourful leaves. It was a combined effort of me and my MOH as well as all of the groomsmen. Bags and bags of leaves later, we had ourselves a colourful aisle J I was so pleased with how it turned out though. It really added so much to the whole look of the ceremony. My bridesmaids also found a pumpkin farm that was getting rid of some pumpkins, so we got free pumpkins right before the ceremony! Talk about luck. All of the food was prepared by family and friends, besides our cake and cupcakes.
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: Oh goodness, I feel like I could come up with so many answers to this question...If we are going by decorations, I would say the leaf aisle was my favourite detail. It really pulled the fall wedding together. It was beautiful.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Oh wow, that is a tough one. I guess I would say to try and hand out as many tasks as you can to family and friends. Don't try to do everything yourself. My family and friends were very willing to help and they made the day and planning so much easier on me. Also, if you are on a tight budget, there is so much that can be done with simple things in nature - branches, leaves, tree stumps, wood...etc. If you have the time to put some thought into it, it can really save you money and make for some beautiful DIY d cor!
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Walking down the aisle and watching tears stream down Bryan's eyes. He was so emotional as I walked down the aisle and it just made me feel so loved and desired. It was such a beautiful moment. Our musicians, Bryce Merritt and Bethany Bruce, really made the moment come alive.
Photographer ALYSSA JOY PHOTOGRAPHY / Cake SARAH BONHAM CAKES / Florist ROSEMARY & FINCH / Stationery ANNE ROBERTS / Venue THE COOL SPRINGS HOUSE / Bride's gown BECKY STANGELAND / Shoes NINE WEST / Jewellery ANTHROPOLOGIE / Hair ELISE HUGHES at JUEL SALON / Bridesmaids Dresses LOFT / Suspenders SUSPENDER STORE / Tie TIE OBSESSED / Planner KIRSTEN JOYNER / Musician BRYCE MERRITT & BETHANY BRUCE