Oh, Sewanee. I had no idea. It's BEAUTIFUL! I have heard friends mention that Sewanee was a really pretty place, so I knew Jack & Sara's wedding would be beautiful, but I didn't realize how beautiful. When I first drove on campus... holy moly. Made me feel like I was back at Berry College again. Stunning architecture. Then when I arrived at the ceremony site, I had another jaw dropping moment: Jack & Sara were going to commit their lives to one another with one of the most beautiful sceneries for a backdrop. It was GORGEOUS!!
Our Ceremony Location: We were so excited about getting married at the Myers Point bluff, looking over Champion Cove (just a small part of the 13,000 acres owned by Sewanee, where we went to college). We knew having the entire wedding outside was a huge gamble, and it didn't help that this was the rainiest summer in recent memory! The day of the wedding, everyone kept a super positive attitude about the rain, even though it misted on us as we took all of our pictures. When it came time for the ceremony, the rain held off and it stayed clear for the rest of the evening. The view from the bluff was breathtaking. I truly could not have asked for a more perfect location for Jack and I to finally become husband and wife.
Our Officiant: WARREN! What an incredible man my cousin is!! I knew in preparation for the wedding that he would be WONDERFUL for the job and that he would infuse his unique humor and style into the ceremony - and he absolutely delivered. I don't think there is a person who attended the wedding that could say they didn't laugh and cry at some point during the ceremony. He has been such an inspirational model of a Godly and loving man in my life, and I admire him immensely. The day wouldn't have been complete without him.
The Almost Communion Disaster: As I was preparing to walk down the aisle, our wedding planner approached my father and me and told us that there wasn't any wine for communion! The next thing I know, my cousin Landon (like an absolute champ) is flying away from the ceremony back toward the reception to get the wine. He slipped back during a prayer mere seconds before we partook in our first communion as husband and wife. I know it sounds crazy that this was one of my favorite stores from the day, but it still makes me laugh! Thank goodness for Landon!!
Our Ceremony Musicians: OH. MY. GOODNESS. Ten Bartram. Everyone should youtube them right this second. Eleanor Angel has a voice that had every single bridesmaid crying in 0.5 seconds at the rehearsal AND at the ceremony. Her rendition of Come Thou Fount (one of my absolute favorite hymns) is the most beautiful I have ever heard.
Friends and Family: Every time I looked around the reception, I would see different friends and family members from completely different parts of our lives (high school, college, med school, Knoxville, Granville, Winston-Salem) meeting for the first time and immediately hitting it off. To have all of the most important people in our lives (with a few people who we very dearly love missing for various reasons) be able to celebrate such a special occasion with us absolutely meant the most to us. And almost everyone traveled for hours to be there, for which we were so incredibly thankful. Without fail in our lives, no matter where we move, we have found ourselves surrounded by incredible communities of people who we love and will treasure forever. We have been incredibly blessed.
Jack and Sara, I'm such a fan of you two, together and as new friends. Loved getting to meet all the many people so dear to you. You have a beautiful story!
Prioritize and delegate! The months leading up to the wedding will be incredibly stressful, so figuring out a list of things that are most important to you and that you can dedicate yourself to planning is key. All those things that are lower on the list, delegate them to other people. I honestly loved showing up to my reception and seeing the elements that were most important to me (that I had meticulously planned) and being surprised by the elements that others had put together!
Lisa Hildebrand (my lovely mother) is an incredible woman, and this wedding absolutely would not have happened without her. Being in medical school, there were times in the planning process when I was insanely busy and the majority of the decisions fell upon her. And she did a wonderful job. The whole wedding was infused with her style, which I loved. Thanks Mom, I love you so much and couldn't have done it without you!