Lindsay, thank you so much for allowing us to feature your beautiful wedding today! We know our readers are in for a treat. First, how would you describe your wedding decor vibe?
I went with neutral colors and greenery. The whole thing felt very natural and earthy. The ceremony was at an outdoor venue near Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, so the setting complimented the colors well and vice versa. I gravitate to more simple and elegant styles, and I wanted to feel as comfortable as possible on such a big day. I felt right at home with the feel of everything; I couldn’t have loved it more.
Any favorite or special memories from your wedding day?
There were a million, but I loved that A.J. showed up to our first look with the devotional book we’d been reading together every day. Reading our devotional on our wedding day centered me and reminded me that my whole focus in any season or situation is really about living for God. It really meant a lot.
I also had my brother and sister put my shoes on. It sounds funny and kind of like I gave them the worst job ever, but having them play a part in the “getting ready process” felt very appropriate. Of course, having my mom help button my dress was very sentimental as well.
My step-dad has played a large role in raising me, so I split the walk down the aisle between him and my dad. There was a perfect break between the cobblestone sidewalk and the start of concrete at the aisleway, so he walked me to my dad and my dad finished the job. It was perfect.
A.J.’s mom sang during the unity part of the ceremony, and A.J.’s dad prayed and blessed both of us during the ceremony. Their participation meant a lot to me, along with my pastor’s role as our officiant. I starting attending church when I was 19, and he has been an integral part of my life ever since. I owe so much of who I am today to his leadership.
That’s so beautiful! Were there any funny moments or things that didn’t go according to plan?
Oh my goodness. I honestly feel like the whole day was just so funny. I don’t think there were necessarily moments that didn’t go according to plan, but I do feel like the day was just all-around hilarious. It was so much fun. The pictures tell a better story, but examples of this can be seen in my sheer fear of the sparklers in our send-off (for some reason I randomly became petrified someone would go rogue with their sparkler and I would catch on fire or something overly dramatic like that), and in the concentration our faces show while cutting the cake/our invitation of Marcus Patterson, one of A.J.’s closest friends, to cut it with us.
We kept everything light. We were with our favorite people in the whole world, and we just wanted to have a good time.
How did you find the perfect wedding dress?
Ah. The perfect wedding dress. This was a question I posed before I started looking. “How do people just know that this is the dress?” “Am I supposed to feel this crazy thing that tells me it’s the one or something?” I didn’t quite get it, but my mom reassured me, “You’ll just know.” And as our moms sometimes are, she was right! I tried on so many, and after sifting and sorting, it was the only one I felt like myself in, and the only one I could imagine myself getting married in — not to mention it was the very first one I tried on. If I’m honest, it was a nerve-wracking experience because it felt very solidifying. After I got my dress, I was like, “Whoa this is real.”
Any advice you’d like to share with future brides?
Be honest with yourself. Process your feelings. Your feelings are normal. Anyone who says, “Oh, this was the most blissful, seamless experience ever; I never had any negative feelings at all throughout my whole engagement or wedding,” is most likely lying to you. (Sorry, but not that sorry because I believe it’s true.)
Getting married was the most bittersweet season of my life because the “old me” was surrendering to the “me I was about to become.” The transition between Miss to Mrs. is so much more than a pretty dress and the perfect pictures. It’s the shedding of an identity and the welcoming of an entire new life. It’s why our dads “feel like I’m losing my baby girl” as they walk us down the aisle. To step into our new beginning, what was once our old beginning must come to an end.
For fear of rambling on forever, I’ll just say that the focus on the external details is so much less important than processing your inward transition. Allow your bridesmaids, your mom, his mom, or whoever has a strong role in your life to walk alongside you through this process. Sure, take them with you to taste the cake, but show them your thoughts and feelings, too. You’ll maximize your experience by doing so.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding or love story?
We love our friends and family so much! They truly made our day what it was. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt so loved in all my life—looking around to see the faces that met us in TN to support our decision to commit our lives to one another. It was a big deal. I’m thankful to the people who have chosen to walk alongside our relationship. The support of family and friends really matters.
Thank you so much for taking time to share with us today! Before we go, we’d love to know more about the photographer who took your gorgeous photos.
George Tshuma was our photographer, and he was basically amazing. Normally, taking pictures is my least favorite part of anything because I freeze up and get so awkward, but taking pictures was actually one of the best parts of the day! He did a perfect job capturing our most genuine moments, and I feel like our pictures encapsulated what the day really looked like. We just lived out our momentous day, and he was there to document it. No pressure. George Tshuma for the win, everyone.