Here at Persuasion Photography, we love capturing the magical romance of Christmas weddings, proposals, and engagements! Today, we’re bringing you a holiday love story with a bit of a twist…. my husband and I get to be the bride and groom this time! Ten years ago today, we exchanged candlelit vows before in a rustic lodge set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I can’t believe it’s been a decade- time flies! To honor our tenth anniversary, Sean and I are cozied up by the tree, pouring through our wedding pictures, and sharing memories with our families. Days like this remind me why I became a wedding photographer; the memories are a lasting legacy to be cherished- going through our album drives it home. Please grab some cocoa and enjoy some of our anniversary memories!
We went to college in a small town that’s nestled in the North Georgia mountains. Since we graduated, the quaint town of Dahlonega has been used in many Hallmark movies, and received awards for their holiday decor… pure heaven for this Christmas lover! We chose to tie the knot at The R-Ranch- a rustic lodge with 360 views of the mountains (sadly, the fog was so dense on our wedding day that none of our guests got to enjoy the sight). The stone fireplace was filled with tea lights, a festive fire waited for us at the altar, and twinkle lights showered down on us- it truly was a dream scene! Helpful hint: Just like I said in the post about setting a budget, you save big $$$ on decorations/ flowers if you get married at Christmas because a beautiful stage is already set for you.
That day I was running a little late, but wasn’t stressed. By this point, I’d observed how stressed my married friends were on their wedding day- I was determined that wouldn’t be me. Little things that you won’t even remember later shouldn’t overshadow the joy of getting married! Had I to do this again, I would have hired a coordinator to keep me on time, and to take stress off our friends and family who were helping.
I wanted an intimate bridal party; I chose three ladies I couldn’t live without, and of course, my daughter was the world’s best flower girl (and I didn’t mind a bit that she stole the show)! My best friend since age eleven or twelve flew in to serve as my wonderful matron of honor! Another childhood friend, and a dear college friend joined me at the altar. It was important to make sure my ladies were happy and felt beautiful as well! I gave them a color, a fabric, and they did the rest. The color palette was champagne because it is an elegant neutral that was still “winter wonderland” compatible without appearing too thematic.
Because I am a hopeless sucker for sentimental details, I carried a tribute to my husband within my bouquet. He used to call me his butterfly, so the florist perched one amid the blooms. It’s an odd method, but I chose my florist because of her business name- Funky Mountain. I walked into the store, saw how whimsical and fairytale-ish it was- and I just knew. Tip: when you have a gut instinct about a vendor or you “just know”…. follow that instinct!
Ever since I saw the Vanessa Redgrave adaptation of “Camelot” (from the ’60s) I have always dreamed of being surrounded by a sea of candles at my wedding! The obsession continued into my adulthood- Christmas Eve candlelight services bring tears to my eyes every single time. Instead of bouquets, I had my girls carry a candle down the aisle. they looked so gorgeous in the glow!!
We exchanged vows by firelight and candlelight (my poor photographer did a great job- I had no idea at the time how difficult that lighting is!). I’m so glad we got married before smart phones! It makes me happy to look at a sea of my friends/ families faces- rather than a wall of glowing rectangles! My daughter held both of our hands as we three became a family, and I remember faces- not phones!
Some of these wonderful people are no longer with us: my brother-in-law, and grandfather. Not only is it priceless to have these memories of them- but it’s so precious to look back on my sweet little daughter at that age (the photographer captured her beautifully!).
My favorite, most framed, moment from our wedding- the three of us, as a new family, enjoying the last dance. I am so grateful for this photographer’s insight into this sweet moment!
Friends, thank you so much for joining me and helping us celebrate our tenth anniversary! I love what I do, and it’s my prayer to bless you the way my photographer has blessed me with these wonderful memories! Please never hesitate to let us know how Persuasion Photography can fill your heart like mine is today!
Photography: Brenda Upton Photography
Flowers: Funky Mountain Flowers and Gifts
Venue: The R-Ranch
Cake and Catering: Events by Dezine
Designer: Jennifer Mineo with Events by Dezine
Bridal Party: Lazaro and Jim Hjelm