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.