My dear, dear friend Caroline said "I do" to a studly fella, Andrew Smith. Caroline is a gem of a friend. She's incredibly loyal, plus she's full of life and joy -- the contagious kind. I had only seen Andrew around our church (first with dreads and eventually without them), but didn't know much about him. Caroline didn't either, but she definitely noticed him.
Fun fact about Caroline: She loves homeless people, so much so that she made it her job. A few of the folks in our church loved how passionate she was about pursuing those without a home, but feared that her doing so alone wasn't safe. Their solution: Andrew also loves caring for those in need of a home. Caroline and Andrew began working together... and she began to fall for him in the process.
Andrew & Caroline's rehearsal dinner was held a their ceremony venue, except the dinner was inside the barn, which was BEAUTIFULLY decorated by the Mother of the Groom (with the help of her friends). We all agreed that the MOG should become a wedding stylist after seeing the skills she displayed at the dinner.
Chocolate dipped bacon anyone?
The plates for the dinner were all borrowed from friends and family. The plate Caroline is holding is actually her grandmothers! I love the significance of the little details.
Rehearsal dinners are often my favorite part of any wedding. Although most days we're often hesitant to say what we feel, the night before a wedding -- when it's appropriate -- the words exchanged are priceless. It's beautiful. Andrew & Caroline's rehearsal dinner was FULL of meaningful words. One of the most beautiful, perhaps, was shared by the man who married them, our friend Troy. Troy stated that what he respected most about the two of them was their reverence for the Lord. He shared that they were both more concerned with the Lord's desires than they were with their own desires, which caused them to hesitate strongly before entering into a relationship. I love that about them. I think Troy was totally right, and I love seeing the Lord honor their willingness to follow His heart before their own.
A few of the other powerful statements made came from some of the folks pictured above. One of Andrew's best friends, Jonny, thanked Andrew for the way in which he lived his life in pursuit of Jesus. He explained that living life alongside Andrew was a huge part of how Jonny developed his own relationship with the Lord.
Andrew's little sister, Ellen, shared that she believed she was better woman because of the big brother she looked up to.
The powerful words continued, one friend or family member after another. It was a gift to share in seeing those closest to a couple affirm their relationship so deeply.
Caroline was such a blast to work with. She's SO easy-going! Caro asked if I would design her invitation (above) and the other paper goods for her wedding. For the invite, we were able to use one of the photos from their engagement session.
Below is one of my favorite photos from the day. Jane, Caroline's younger sister and the Maid of Honor, brought out an old photo during her toast to the bride & groom. She talked about how she has always looked up to Caroline and that the photo demonstrated how such admiration began at a young age when they would play dress up (as a bride and a bridesmaid). I love the story of the passing of time and the depth as a result.
If you're in the Knoxville area and looking for a florist, I have a few options for you, one of which is the fabulous Katie Rae of The Katelier. She did a fabulous job capturing Caroline's style!
Remember that time when we were mid-wedding party photos and the bride picked up a frog? #onceinalifetime
Mrs. Smith, you are fearless and always so ready to live life to the full. I admire you. Andrew, I think you scored big. Thank you both so much for letting us tell your story. I'm honored to call you my friends.
One of my favorite memories was walking down the aisle. I'm sure that is what EVERY bride says but it really is such a surreal moment. Before I got married I thought that walking down the aisle would be emotional but for different reasons. I imagined I would be emotional because I was about to marry an incredible man-- and I was, but almost even more so, the emotions came because I realized that all 200 people who gathered on that small hill top in Townsend on April 7th 2013 were there because they loved Andrew and I and were supporting our decision to marry.
As I walked out my dad began telling me that he remembers the day he and my mom brought me home from the hospital. He began to talk me through what it was like to learn how to be a father, to raise a daughter, and as we began walking through the crowd he leaned over and said, "I love you baby, and I'm so proud of you" at which point I'm already trying my hardest to keep the tears from rolling down my face. Our wedding was such a picture of love and community. We both come from families who know and love the Lord and the joining of families and spiritual families on that day was overwhelmingly joyful.
Music was one of the more interesting parts of planning to me-- as I adore music of all kinds it took me awhile to settle on exactly what I wanted. Because our heart was to have a ceremony that acted as a worship service, we decided that pre ceremony and during the ceremony, we would only use hymns or worship music. I walked down the aisle to "Be Thou My Vision". We had the MOST awesome trio of musicians, all friends, who made my music wishes come true by "folkifying" the hymns. For the ceremony, we had a cellist, pianist, and viola play.
Andrew and I both love Johnny Cash so we decided to walk out of our ceremony to "I Walk The Line". We didn't tell people before, and the reaction was AWESOME! I loved leaving on a surprising but really fun note. We had our first dance to "At Last" by Etta James. That woman can flat out SING. It's a wedding classic I'm sure, but I just had to have a little soul thrown in the mix.
If you are like me at all, you have great pictures in your head of what you want and zero idea how to get there. On top of that, I hate details and to some extent live life fully expecting things to just fall into place. Thankfully, I have an incredible mother who gets MAJOR kudos because she did most of the work for the wedding details. I'm not one of those girls who has thought through her wedding for years and years before it was even on the horizon. I have a definite style, but I seriously lacked the patience and motivation to think through every tiny little detail involved in a wedding. The upside of this predicament, is that I can honestly say that the majority of the engagement process was painless and not super stressful.
I can also say that my wedding day was an absolute blast, I have no idea if anything went wrong-- it seemed perfect to me, and I feel like I was really able to enjoy myself which apparently is a rare thing. I highly encourage anyone and everyone getting married to get a wedding planner/coordinator because it just makes things a million times easier on the bride. In Caroline land, things are chill and light hearted and fun... and that is exactly what our wedding was.
VENDORS: Event Planner // Lindsay Heath Florals + Decor // Katie Roach 'The Katelier' Hair + Makeup // Lacey Lawrence Paper Goods // Design by Texture Photo // Materials from The Paper Source Dress // The White Room in Lebanon, TN Suit //John H. Daniels Ceremony // Country Manor Acres Reception & Catering // R.T. Lodge