Flannery, thank you so much for taking the time to share your wedding with our readers! First, tell us a little bit about your story. How did you and your husband first meet?
My husband, Nolan, and my love story is my favorite. It involves a lot about our family and our churches, which I love!
Back in early 2017, his parents came to our church in Mattoon, IL, to preach for a marriage retreat. So I first met his mom and dad before I even met him! Then later that year, the Mattoon Youth Choir traveled to Maryville, TN, in early September to sing, which is where I first met him. I was only 16 and he was 20, so things didn’t really spark, but we at least got to meet!
Later that month, a horrific incident happened at Mattoon High School. We had a school shooting the same time Nolan was playing in a golf tournament with a bunch of guys from my family. When I called my dad to tell him what was going on, Nolan happened to be sitting in the same golf cart as him. He messaged me on Instagram to say he heard what happened and was praying for me. We didn’t talk for almost a whole year, and then his sister, Lauren, and brother-in-law came to Mattoon to preach a youth weekend in early July of 2018.
Lauren went home and told him about me, but little did she know his mother had gone home and said the same things back in early 2017. Later that month we began talking again, and now look at us: happy as can be! Thank you, Instagram messaging, Mattoon Youth Choir, and family, for making our love story happen. ❤
How would you describe your wedding decor/theme?
Our theme was “Fly Me To The Moon.” My husband is a pilot, and we both love the old-time feel, so this theme seemed to fit perfectly for our special day. We even walked out to “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra.
We had a pilot come over the speakers introducing the flower girls and ring bearers. Our backdrop was a real-life plane with flowers coming out of it, and the little babies even came down the aisle in a homemade plane. All the bridesmaids and maids/matrons of honor had stars on their dresses.
What are some of your favorite/special memories of your wedding day?
I loved doing a dress reveal with all my bridesmaids! My dress was handmade, and I kept it a surprise the whole time. Their faces were priceless!
Another one of my favorite parts was the worship service we had before the wedding. Nolan and I wanted God to be the center of the wedding and our marriage, so what better way of making that happen than worshiping and honoring God during our ceremony?
Also, many years ago, my nana, the late Judy Doughty, had written a spiritual warfare prayer book to help with extended prayer times. To honor her on our big day, we created a special edition prayer book as a gift to all of our attendees. We also played a clip of her praying during the ceremony.
How did you find the perfect wedding dress?
My dress is an original; there is none like it! I wanted to have something very unique, and I was blessed to have someone who attended FAC Maryville that could make my dress from scratch. She had actually made the dresses for Miss Arizona back in the '80s. She is amazing!
As soon as we picked out the theme of "fly me to the moon," we began to look up ideas on Pinterest for celestial wedding dresses. It was so hard to find the perfect material, but we did, and I think it turned out pretty perfect! We had many fittings to make sure it fit perfectly and every detail was exactly how I wanted it to be. Not only did she make my entire wedding dress, she made my miniature bride's dress, which looked identical to mine, and all my bridesmaids', maids and matrons of honors', and the flower girls' dresses.
Everything matched perfectly and looked phenomenal. I may be a little biased though!
Anything else in particular that you'd like to share about your wedding or your love story?
Let me be the first to say that planning a wedding amidst a global pandemic is not stress-free or easy, by any means! My heart goes out to all the brides who had to postpone or change plans for their weddings.
Ever since I was a little girl I wanted a big church wedding, and that’s exactly what I got! Thankfully, the Lord had His hand in every detail, and we got to have exactly what we wanted. However, there was a time we thought we would have to postpone, and there was a time we thought we would have to do just family. There was also a time we stopped planning completely and just had to wait. But God made a way, and we had our perfect day!
Your photos are gorgeous! Can you provide us with your photographer's name and website?
My photographer was amazing! She was so fun to work with and made our day all about us. Her name is Natalie Watson, and her website is www.nataliewatsonphotography.com