Instead of the boring ‘they were awesome to work with’ and ‘I had a great time photographing the wedding’, I decided to do something a bit different for this post that I’m really excited about!
I’m going to give you not only the photos but the inside story straight from the bride and groom. What they were thinking and other insights! Hope you enjoy!
What moment stands out to you the most as you and your girls were getting ready?
Alex: I was surprised by how calm I was the whole morning. Sitting around with my girls, getting our hair and makeup done, it was just like I always wanted it to be.
Alex: But the moment that really was my highlight was the gift I received from my soon-to-be husband. It was my first piece of Tiffany’s jewelry. That little blue box would put a huge smile on any girl’s face.
Rich: This was the first time my daughter got to be a flower girl and she did an AMAZING job!
Was there any jewelry/accessories that you wore that had special meaning to you?
Like any southern bride, I had to have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. My something old was my grandmother’s pearls. My something new was my earrings that my mom bought for me. My something borrowed was my veil that my close friend had actually borrowed from her mom. My something blue was my blue suede shoes, because I had to have a touch of Elvis on my wedding day.
Tell me about your dress. Can you give me a quick description and why you picked it?
My wedding dress was my favorite part of the wedding, apart from the obvious. It was a Romona Keveza dark ivory ballgown. I also wore a crystal-encrusted belt to add a little bit of sparkle.
Where was your wedding and why did you choose this location?
Alex: “Our ceremony was at Patten Chapel on the campus of UTC. Our first trip to Chattanooga was for a college visit when we were seniors in high school. At the end of the campus tour, we ended up at Patten Chapel. The moment we sat down in the pews, I turned to Todd and my mom and said, ‘I want to get married here one day!’”
Did you decide to see each other before the ceremony? Yes or no. What drove your decision?
We decided that the first time we wanted to see each other was as I was walking down the aisle to Todd, but we did want to be able to pray together before the ceremony to lay our wedding day (and our upcoming marriage) before The Lord. So, as Todd kept his eyes closed and back turned, we held hands and prayed.
What were you feeling right before you were about to walk down the aisle? Did anything special happen as you were waiting for the wedding to start?
My dad walked my mom down the aisle, so I didn’t see him until a couple seconds before we walked down. That was a really sweet time for us, and much to my surprise, we were both super calm.
Rich: I get choked up looking at this photo because it reminds me how fast Alana is growing. I so want to slow time down and enjoy every minute with her more!
What were you feeling/thinking when you saw your new bride coming down the aisle?
Todd: I was mainly thinking, “Try not to cry so much.” But I was also thinking about how even though Alex had been dreaming of this moment, walking down the aisle, since birth, she could not have envisioned herself looking any more gorgeous or radiant than she did.
What was your favorite moment during the ceremony?
Alex: About halfway down the aisle, I started to tear up, but by the time I got to the end, Todd and I were both full-on crying. We are both crybabies, but the fact that neither one of us had said a word and we were both already uncontrollably crying, lead to us laughing. This broke the ice and gave us a time to take a breather.
Todd, did you write your own vows? If so, mind if you share them?
“Alex, You have no idea how excited I am to marry you. I am so lucky that God picked you out specifically for me and that He let you look past my many, many faults. Yes, you are drop dead gorgeous and yes you are definitely a hotty with a body, but more importantly you are a Godly woman who is patient, kind, nurturing, loving, courageous, generous, humble, forgiving, confident, honest and true to your beliefs.
Proverbs 31 states: ‘A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life… She is clothed in strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.’
I read this excerpt from the book of Proverbs because a movement was started a few years ago stating “I’d rather have a Proverbs 31 woman than a Victoria’s Secret model.” I have obviously found my Proverbs 31 woman and I couldn’t be happier or more blessed, especially because you look way better than any Victoria’s Secret model.
I am commanded to love you just like Christ loved the church. I understand this is a huge responsibility, but I willingly accept it. I cannot promise to always be perfect, but I can promise to put God first, you second and myself third in all I do. I promise to lead our household and promise it will be a household that serves the LORD. I promise to provide for you in every way that I can and to one day provide for our future family.
I am standing here today vowing to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you more than you will ever know and I am so lucky to be standing here today marrying my best friend. I love you.”
Alex, what were your thoughts on Todd’s vows?
Alex: Todd has always been very thoughtful and puts my needs above his, but I wouldn’t use the word “romantic” to describe him, so his vows were shocking to me. He really outdid himself and blew me away when he read them to me.
Alex did you write your own vows? If so, mind if you share them?
“Todd, Today, as I take you to be my husband, I promise to always respect you and pursue you. I promise to be kind to you through my words and actions and to continually pray for you. I promise to submit to you in everything, out of love and obedience to The Lord. I trust you with my heart, my life, and our future. I promise to always stand beside you as we figure out how to be newlyweds, as we raise children, and as we always seek the Lord’s will. I pray our marriage is a picture to others of Christ’s unconditional love for the church. Finally, I pray God uses our marriage to glorify him, whatever that may look like. I love you, Todd.”
And what about the reception?
Alex: Our reception was full of love. Getting to see and talk to so many of our friends and family was so precious to us.
What part of your wedding did you enjoy the most?
Todd: I really enjoyed getting to go around and talk to all of our friends and family at the reception. Most of them I had not gotten to see in a long time so it was really awesome. I also enjoyed ‘winning’ the vows competition.
How were you feeling when you left the reception? Any thoughts to share?
Alex: We were so full of excitement and joy when we left the reception. We had a two-hour drive to Atlanta and I don’t think we stopped talking the whole way. The drive is one of our fondest memories of the day. Everything felt completely right.
So far, what have you found to be the coolest thing about being married?
Alex: I always make things up to be bigger and better than they really are, but marriage really is as great as I thought it would be.
Any special plans now that you’re married?
Alex: Todd and I are really just enjoying being newlyweds right now. We are excited to experience “firsts” together: our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, our first Christmas tree, our first Christmas morning together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding?
Alex: Planning a wedding is so stressful, but on the actual day, all the stress and worries fade away and nothing compares to the fact that you are marrying your best friend.
Anything else about your wedding you’d like to share?
Todd: People say how fast it goes by and they aren’t kidding! I had a blast and wish I could live it again and again. Luckily I sort of can since Rich took such amazing photographs.