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Hampton Road Studio's latest love stories, brand stories, and family stories.

Heather & Austin // Peach Orchard Wedding

Heather & Austin // Peach Orchard Wedding

It's always special when two people take time to create a wedding day that is personal and represents them. Heather and Austin worked together for months (and months) to plan and design a wedding with meaning and heart.

Enjoy their story below, then hear from Heather and Austin themselves! 

Tell us about your wedding day.

{Heather} Wow. Where do I even begin? It was absolutely perfect in every way possible! Austin and I dated for 7 years and it’s something we’ve literally dreamed about from the beginning. The Abbott field has always been “our spot.” I can’t tell you how many times over the years I’ve made the comment to Austin that it would be cool to get married out there under the tree. But the place was a mess….for real. Anyway, on a weekend trip to the beach with my college roomates, Austin spent that time cleaning up the old house and under the tree. He proposed to me under that tree…and from then on I knew we had no choice but to get married there. SO, with that being said….Our wedding day was perfect: We were surrounded by our family and friends in the perfect place on the perfect blue-sky day.

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What was your most memorable moment of the day?

{Heather} My most memorable moment of the day had to be the moment we jumped in the truck right after we were pronounced husband and wife. Austin and I sped away through the orchard to spend a few minutes alone together. That’s when it actually hit me that we were really, truly and officially MARRIED!

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{Austin} I don’t know how to narrow it down to just one moment. The whole day was incredible. But I have to say, when I saw Heather coming down the hill it was all I could do to keep from crying. I’ll never forget the joy I felt knowing what was about to happen. 

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What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?

{Heather} The biggest challenge while planning the wedding was getting the field ready. We literally had to bring in everything from chairs, tables, and restrooms… even electricity! But thanks to the awesome help of our wedding planner Tara, and our wonderful parents and grandparents we were able to bring it all together!

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What was most important to you when you were wedding planning?

{Heather} From the beginning, choosing our videographer and photographer were at the top of the list. I researched and researched and researched! When I found Hampton Road Studios (Ashley and Matt) and Little Acorn Photography (Jackie and Luke) my search ended immediately. They were both husband and wife teams and I knew they would be perfect for us! The guys spent the day with Austin and his groomsmen while the girls spent the day with the bridesmaids and myself.  By the end of the day, Austin and I felt like we had known Ashley, Matt, Jackie, and Luke forever.  

Tell us about any meaningful detail/special moments during your ceremony.

{Heather} There are so many! First of all, (I guess this is considered pre-ceremony but…), my Mom styled my hair for me that day. It meant so much to have her by my side and playing such a huge role! I know she was super nervous, but if I do say so myself- she nailed it! A special moment (again pre-ceremony…) was the time I got to spend with my Dad in the truck at the top of the hill. We were able to watch everyone be seated for the ceremony and that was pretty neat. My favorite moment of our time together- Dad revving the Chevy’s engine as we drove towards the ceremony- “Just so they know we’re coming,” he said.

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{Heather} The most special moment of our ceremony was removing our purity rings and putting on each other’s wedding bands. That was an indescribable feeling. Speaking of indescribable, Austin and I wrote our own vows to each other and that, too, was indescribable. It was so much harder to speak when the time came to say them, but it was worth every happy tear shed in the process!

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{Austin} In addition to getting to say “I do” and hearing Heather’s beautiful vows, I’d also say that my dad performing the ceremony was very special to me. It’s something I’ll never forget and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I don’t know how he kept it together as well as he did but I was proud to have him stand up there with Heather and me for the ceremony. 

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Tell us about meaningful details during your reception.

{AustinJust having so many loved ones there in one place was overwhelmingly awesome. We couldn’t turn a corner without seeing someone special, and all night people were coming up to us with smiling faces and best wishes.  

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{Heather} Also, the toast by Austin’s two Best Men and my Maid of Honor were pretty awesome. Robert and Marvin were hilarious, making people laugh as always. Kayla, my Maid of Honor and college roommate of 4 years, said some of the sweetest words I’ve ever heard in my life.

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Tell us about finding your wedding dress

{Heather} Well, let’s just say that was a process! I didn’t want lace and I didn’t want a long train.  Six stores and what felt like a thousand dresses later, I fell in love with a beautiful lace dress with an incredibly long train! (I think my mom and Maid of Honor knew all along I would end up with a lace dress…thankfully they were patient with me!)

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What advice do you have for couples currently planning a wedding?

{Heather} HIRE A VIDEOGRAPHER! They are worth every single penny. I promise you.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life?

{Austin} We’re moving to Atlanta so Heather can begin graduate school and become a Physical Therapist. It’ll be good to finally have a place there that we can call our own. We’ve always looked forward to living together. It’s been something that we’ve wanted for a long time, so it’s going to be great to finally come home to one another at the end of the day. 

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Congratulations Heather and Austin! Thank you for trusting us to capture your story and inviting us to be a part of it! 

Take time to check out Little Acorn Photography's amazing photos from the day!! 

Those who helped make Heather and Austin's wedding day perfect ...

Photographer: Little Acorn Photography 
Wedding Venue: Abbott Field
Planner/Coordinator: Any Reason to Plan, Tara Vice
Florist: Charlotte Hooper 
DJ: Matt Littlejohn 
Caterer: All Around Town Catering
Cake: Indulge Sweet Shoppe
Invitations: Austin Jones Designs
Makeup: Tasia Oliver
Hair: Teresa Chambers & Jill Cox Chambers
Bridal Salon: Bella's Bridal and Formal
Dress Designer: Sotterro and Midgley
Bridesmaids Dresses: 
Menswear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear

Lauren & Matt // Lake Wedding Film

Lauren & Matt // Lake Wedding Film

Lauren and Matt met for the first time when they were 8 years old. After years of knowing each other, they became closer friends in their high school senior Anatomy class. Matt asked Lauren to his senior homecoming and 5 years later they were planning their wedding! These two high school sweethearts were married on a perfect spring day in Alabama! 

Here is Lauren and Matt's perspective of their wedding day ... 

{Lauren} Our wedding day is something we will always cherish forever. Having an April wedding can be so unpredictable for weather, but our day was absolutely perfect. We had so much fun celebrating with all our loved ones and can’t believe how fast the day went by. Having a big, southern Antebellum Home wedding on the lake while marrying your best friend surrounded by friends and family was the greatest feeling in the world. 

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What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 

{Lauren} I had several favorite moments throughout the day such as my bridesmaids and dad seeing my dress for the first time, the pre-ceremony prayer with our officiator, celebrating with our loved ones, walking along the lake with my husband at sunset for a few quick picture/video shots, and much more. My most memorable moments though are my 1st look with Matt and walking down the aisle with my dad to meet Matt at the altar. Both are moments that I felt the Lord was smiling down on us. 

{Matt} I have many memories from our wedding day, but there’s one that sticks out above all. I remember making the long walk to the boathouse for the first look. As we waited for Lauren to arrive, I remember the warm wind softly blowing across the lake. I also remember how the nerves were building up in anticipation for my beautiful bride. As I heard her making her way up to the top of the boathouse to meet me, what was probably 5 minutes felt like 5 hours. I could hear her walking towards me, and finally, a gentle tap on my shoulder. The second I turned around, all the nerves, worries, and anxieties melted away. I felt comforted immediately, and knew this would be the best day of our lives… so far. 

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What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 

{Lauren} The biggest challenge we had to overcome is wedding planning while both working full-time. Many nights were spent addressing cards, finishing registries, and having vendor meetings. You just have to keep a positive mindset and enjoy that special time because looking back we had so much fun together planning the day we would become husband and wife after our many years of dating. 

How did you make the ceremony unique and represent you?

{Lauren} We chose for our ceremony to be a worship service unto the Lord celebrating our union. We chose to give worship by focusing on the true meaning of marriage and singing one of our favorite hymns, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” I loved how our officiator said marriage is not how long you can endure but how constantly you can love. 

What moments made your reception special? 

{Lauren} Our reception was such a blast to celebrate with all our friends and family who have supported us throughout our lives and relationship. Matt and I chose “Then” as our first song because Brad Paisley was our mutual love when we first started dating, my dad and I chose “My Little Girl” because of our love for Tim McGraw throughout my childhood, and Matt and I chose “Sweet Caroline” as our final song because of our mutual grand love for baseball. We loved having our sorority and fraternity there to surround us and sing our ritual songs to us on our joyous day. Our sparkler exit was the perfect way to end the night—it was beautiful to see!

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Tell us about finding your perfect wedding dress. 

{Lauren} Finding my wedding dress was actually very easy! I had an exact shape, style, and color I wanted. Shortly after my search began, I ran across a dress that ended up being THE dress. It was just the style I had in mind, perfect for an outdoor wedding, and so me! After that, I found the perfect veil and hot pink wedges to make my attire complete!

Did you have any heirlooms you used in your wedding?

{Lauren} Yes, I wore my great grandmother’s brooch on my bouquet on top of a lace, monogrammed “S” hankerchief my sorority Little/Bridesmaid got me while in Belgium when I got engaged. 

Why did you decide to do a “first look”? 

{Lauren} I am very traditional, so I had originally not wanted one. Shortly into planning, we got talked into having a first look and do not regret it one bit. We would recommend having one to anyone having doubts. Words cannot describe how at peace I felt spending that quiet and alone time with my groom admiring God’s beautiful creation that surrounded us that Easter Saturday for our wedding day. We just enjoyed talking with each other before the events began. Nothing will ever take away the feeling you will get as you walk down the aisle to your groom, not even a first look. Both are special moments and both are memories that will stay with me forever. 

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What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding?

{Lauren} Enjoy it as much as possible. Don’t get too stressed about little details because everything will fall into place. We had a wonderful planner and day of coordinator who helped to take our stress away as well. Use your engagement period and continue to through marriage to learn more about your spouse and to grow spiritually. Joining a small group bible study has been such a blessing to go through life with people at our same life stage. 

{Matt} Times can get stressful, but remember why you are planning a wedding. As long as the both of you say your vows, all the other details don’t matter in comparison. Just stay organized, and do most of your planning early while y’all are excited to do the planning. Once time gets short, things get crazy. So do most of the planning early!

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What’s next for you? 

{Lauren} We are looking forward to building our lives together, living everyday to bring glory to our Savior, starting a family in the future, and many years of love, joy, and laughter with each other. 

Congratulations Lauren and Matt! Thank you for trusting us to capture your story! 

Those who helped make Lauren and Matt's wedding perfect ...

Wedding Venue: Antebellum Weddings at Oak Island in Wilsonville, Alabama
Photographer: High Cotton Photography 
Planner/Coordinator: Candace Armstrong & Terri Bozeman
Florist: Purple Petals Florist 
DJ: Jhon Russell 
Caterer: Chef Troy's Talk of the Town
Cake: Indulge Sweet Shoppe
Koozies: Totally Promotional

Amber & James // City View Wedding

Amber & James // City View Wedding

Amber and James's wedding was so sweet and personal! Amber and James were so focused on each other all day. Their love is so genuine and caring! It was awesome to be a part of their perfect day. 

The day began at the church where they met at a small group. The night ended overlooking downtown Birmingham from The Club. It was absolutely beautiful! 

Here is a little insight from Amber and James ... 

{Amber} My wedding day was the most special and wonderful day of my life.  I was so happy to be marrying James and so happy to be surrounded by family and friends that I love.  The day started early, with my bridesmaids and I getting ready at the church.  Everything went very smoothly throughout the day.  I had a first look with my dad (I cried), and a first look with James. We took pictures and before long it was time for the ceremony to begin.  

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What were the most memorable moments from your wedding day? 

{Amber} There are several moments that were so special and wonderful.  When my dad and I started down the aisle, I saw everyone at the church, smiling at me, so happy for me.  All these people I loved that loved James and me.  For a minute I almost cried, I was so overwhelmed and happy.  It was a little bit of heaven in that moment.  

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{James} Waiting to see Amber for the first time.  My back was turned and I could hear her dress sliding on the floor, as my heart raced in anticipation.  It was a special and quiet moment between me and her, before the rush began.  

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What personal touches made your ceremony extra special?

{Amber} James brother-in-law, Wes Gunn, officiated the ceremony and he did a wonderful job.  He made the ceremony very personable, telling how we met, our first date, and the qualities we valued in each other.  The audience laughed and cried. I had a guest tell me it was just so much fun to be a part of that ceremony.  The advice he gave us was also valuable.  

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What were your favorite parts of the reception?

{Amber} The reception at The Club was beautiful!  The weather was perfect and the view was spectacular.  I could have stayed there forever.  I loved talking with everyone that came to the wedding.  We left The Club being showered with rose petals and drove off in James's uncle's 1957 Chevy Bel Air.  

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{Amber} I loved our first dance.  We had taken a few dancing lessons before and had been practicing.  It was something special for the two of us, but surrounded by all our close friends and family.  The wedding party cheered us on, impressed by our dance moves.  It was so much fun.

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{James} I loved our wedding party introductions.  My best man and I wrote them the day before.  It highlighted the wedding party and gave the guests a chance to know a little bit more about each of them in a fun and entertaining way.

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Tell us about finding your perfect wedding dress. 

{Amber} I took my mom and cousin (Maid of Honor) with me to two places and my closest friend with me to another.  I found "my dress" when I was with my friend, Celeste.  I brought back my cousin to see it, and then brought back my mom, to get all of their opinions.  I loved trying on wedding dresses.  I felt so beautiful in them. The dress I choose had lace, "bling", and fit me perfectly. 

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What heirlooms did you use in your wedding?

{Amber} Yes, my grandfather's fraternity pin.  He passed away when my mother was a child.  All of his daughters and now granddaughters have worn this pin in their weddings.  

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Why did you decide on doing a First Look?

{Amber} We wanted to do pictures beforehand.  It was a special and quiet moment we could share together.  I think it calmed our nerves as well.

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What was the biggest challenge to overcome while planning your wedding?

think both of us working full time (and sometimes more) it was difficult to plan and get everything done.  For example, we did our wedding registry after work several nights, staying at the stores until they closed. 

What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding?

Don't stress about every detail.  The wedding will be beautiful regardless and everything will fall into place.  I think one of the best decisions I made was to hire a wedding planner.  It took so much of the stress off me, especially on the wedding day, and I was able to enjoy it.  

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What's next for you?

We are looking forward to this journey together, experiencing life as a team.  We want the Lord to be the center of our family and we want this marriage above all to glorify Him.  We look forward to being together, supporting each other, and one day starting a family of our own.

Congratulations Amber and James! We're so excited for you!! 

Those who helped make Amber and James's day perfect ...

Ceremony Venue: Palisades Church of Christ // Reception Venue: The Club in Birmingham, Alabama // Photographer: Stacy Richardson Photography // Planner: Two Hearts Weddings, Rachel Grammer // Florist: KG Designs // Band: Standard Time Jazz Combo // Caterer: The Club // Cake: Magnificent Cakes // Bridal Salon: Bridal Bliss // Dress Designer: Kenneth Winston // Menswear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear 

Molly & John // Georgia Wedding Film

Molly & John // Georgia Wedding Film

We were so excited when we heard Molly and John were getting married! We had the privilege of being a part of her sister's wedding and loved their family. We knew Molly and John's wedding would be beautiful, fun and laid-back, and it was all of those! The day was a perfect Georgia spring day. You know within moments of seeing Molly and John together, that they fit together perfectly! They saw each other for the first time at Molly's family's property. The Sandpit was the perfect backdrop to get shots of them together. 

Here is a little insight into the day from Molly and John ... 

{John} The day was perfect--I'd never seen a day so wonderful in my life. The weather was sunny--not too hot and not too humid. There was a calm breeze flowing at the sandpit and at the farm, but the most beautiful part of the day was the evening as the sun radiated on the flat farmlands and pierced the silent windows of the little country church where the ceremony was held. I was nervous up until meeting Molly, but after our first look didn't ever want to leave her side. 

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{John & Molly} Walking into a church filled with the dearest people in my life and Jim Hamlin talking about the people 'in attendance' whom we couldn't see--watching over us and saying prayers for us. I didn't feel scared or afraid of what I was about to do, but rather felt bold and alive. 

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{John & Molly} Having our family, nearest and dearest friends and loved ones there with us while we took the next step. We didn't have an extremely long guest list--we were selective right up until the week of the wedding.

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{John & Molly} Jim, the pastor, spoke the traditional vows, and John's cousin, Mary Grace, read from Ephesians 4:4-6 (THE MESSAGE). We thought the scripture reflected on our desire to be knit together in 'oneness'. On Molly's bouquet, she carried her late Grandfather's American flag pin. Also, she wore a bracelet that her Grandmother passed down to her from Molly's great-grandmother. 

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{John} Picking the 'specifics' (food, drinks, games, band, decorations) for the ceremony and reception took alot of work for both Molly and I. We wanted our guests to have a great time and not to worry about anything.

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{John & Molly) We worked on a 'mashup' dance between "You are the best thing" and "Locked out of heaven" up until our wedding day. We wanted our guests to realize our love for each other was strong, but we still knew how to 'break it down'. The Band was fantastic. There wasn't a single song from the Bride and Groom dances to the closing number that guests weren't crowding the floor, the whiskey bar or the fun 'photo booth'.

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What advice do you have for couples currently planning a wedding?
Enjoy the process, especially the day of your wedding. Don't fight at the registry counter--you'll have plenty of time to return your gifts later. 

Molly and John are looking forward to building their lives together and living in the everyday moments! Congratulations Molly and John! We loved celebrating with all of you! Thank you for trusting us. 

Ceremony Venue: Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church // Reception Venue: The Cotton Barn @ Pineola Farms // Photographer: Ashlee Culverhouse Photo // Planner: Delise Knight @ Pineola Farms // Band: ATL Groove Factory Band // Florist: Delise Knight @ Pineola Farms

*Note: All images above are screenshots from their video.

Cassie & Michael // Dancing Under The Stars

Cassie & Michael // Dancing Under The Stars

It all began when Cassie and Michael went to lunch with a group of friends after church. Michael was talking about washing his car and Cassie asked him if he would wash hers too. Michael countered her offer by saying he'd wash it in exchange for ice cream since Cassie worked at Bruster's. In the end, it was a win for everyone! Cassie had a clean car, Michael got ice cream, and they both started their "Once upon a time." They have spent time together every day since that night, even when it had to be through Skype or a phone call! Enjoy their film and read about their favorite moments below. 

{Cassie} The most important details were the person I married and the date of the wedding. The date was very important to me, because it would have been my daddy's 55th birthday. The location was special, because I have experienced a several major life events in that room. I stood on that stage when I received my high school diploma, when I sad goodbye to my daddy at his funeral, and when I said my vows to my husband. 

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{Michael} The most memorable moment, of course, was watching my beautiful bride walk down the aisle to meet with me and begin our lives together. At that moment, nothing else mattered to me. 

{Cassie} I felt extremely nervous and excited as I walked down the aisle. I was so scared of everyone looking at me, but I was couldn't wait to marry my best friend! 

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{Cassie} The red rose in my bouquet was the closest thing to having my daddy walk me down the aisle, because it contains his ashes. Several people offered to walk with me, but that was my daddy's honor. I couldn't let anyone take his place. 

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{Cassie} Some of my favorite moments were dancing with my husband in the dark just moments after we said our vows, telling McKenna that she is officially my niece, dancing beneath floating lanterns, and riding in a beautiful Cinderella carriage. 

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{Cassie} I chose our first dance song long before we even thought about marriage. I am pretty much obsessed with Disney Princesses, and as soon as I saw Tangled I decided that my first dance at my wedding was going to be to "I See the Light" by Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. We chose to include floating lanterns during the dance, because there were floating lanterns during that song in the movie. The highlight of the reception for me was dancing with my husband. 

{Michael} Our floating lanterns, while not exactly cooperative, still looked beautiful and magically lit the night sky above us as we danced together at our reception. 

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Tell us about your wedding day.

{Cassie} It was perfect! It was everything I dreamed it would be! I was extremely nervous, but I've never been more excited! I just wish it hadn't flown by so quickly. 

{Michael} The wedding day was a very quick blur. For the first time in a while I slept in and relaxed. I had a few moments to hang out with my groomsmen before getting dressed for the ceremony. As soon as we arrived at the church, everything seemed to happen all at once. 

Tell us about finding your wedding dress.

{Cassie} My dress was the very first one I tried on, and it was exactly what I was looking for! I wanted a princess dress, and I did not want to look like a cake or a fish. One of my bridesmaids, Meagan, was with me, and we both agreed that it was the one! 

Why did you choose not to have a "first sight"?

{Cassie} We decided that we wanted to see each other for the first time during the actual ceremony. I wanted our reactions to be real and shared with those in attendance. I wanted that moment when Michael noticed me enter the aisle to be authentic and meaningful. 

{Michael} Our "first look" was a more traditional one. As Cassie entered the sanctuary and the audience rose to their feet, She looked straight ahead at me and I looked back at her with countless emotions and excitement. 

Who did you include in your ceremony to make it special?

{Michael} Gene DeVaughn, our officiant, was my youth pastor and college minister throughout my high school and most of my college years. I have always looked up to him as a leader and mentor. I could not imagine a better person to fill this role in my life. Also, my great aunt, Barbara, playing the piano and one of my best friends, Patrick Lima, on the guitar made our ceremony absolutely perfect. I don't think we could have planned anything better. 

What did you love about your reception?

{Michael} When someone mentions "outdoor wedding reception in Alabama in February" the scene we were able to enjoy is not what comes to mind first. The weather was better than we imagined it could be. Our "Half & Half" brides/grooms cake looked and tasted incredible.  I would like to think our reception was very unique and interesting and I hope our guests enjoyed it as much as we did. 

What advice do you have for couples planning their wedding?

{Cassie} Remember that it is your day and it's ok to be creative and unique. You don't have to make everyone else happy, and there will always be someone who criticizes your decisions. Don't get too stressed about the details. If something doesn't work out as you hoped or planned, none of your guests will know unless you tell them. Also, photography and videography are worth the expense! The day goes by very quickly and there are so many moments you will never see without pictures and videos. 

{Michael} Plan quickly and efficiently. If someone sincerely offers to help with something, let them help! Let them know how much you appreciate their offer by giving them something specific to do. It doesn't have to be huge and complicated, but if you try to do everything yourself, you will struggle to enjoy this process. Keep what you have already planned, purchased, or still need to do organized and stay focused on one thing at a time. More work than can be imagined goes into planning a wedding, take it in small pieces, stay organized, and graciously accept offers of help. 

Cassie and Michael are looking forward to spending a lifetime together, enjoying their free time, and returning back to work at Chick-Fil-A with their "second family". 

Ceremony Venue: East Memorial Baptist Church // Reception Venue: Rocky Mount // Photographer: Adrienne Quick // Planner: Ashlee Staggers & Linda Lee // Florist: Amanda Rylant // Wedding Cake: Katherine Pace // Caterer: Rocky Mount // Bride’s Gown: Oleg Cassini // Hair & Makeup: Amy Junker // Invitations: Cassie & Michael 

*Note: All images above are screenshots from their video.