Amongst the hype of a buzzing wedding industry, Meg and JJ were willing to step out of the spotlight to ensure that attention of their wedding was focused squarely on God at the heart of their union. The bride and groom were humble and joyful, but the true center of attention was Christ. Their vows were drenched in grace, love and sacrifice. God’s presence was felt with a gust of strong wind at key moment to let everyone know He was present that November day at Sundara in Boones Mill, VA.
I moved to Richmond to serve as Associate Pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church, and on my second Sunday at Tabernacle, JJ and I met after worship. We struck up a conversation and made plans to meet for coffee. A few months later, we were dating! It was strange to fall in love in the middle of congregational life (and for me, work life!) but our church community has been wonderful. They were supportive from the beginning, but also not pressuring. They gave us privacy as we got to know one another and discerned together where this love might lead us. They have celebrated with us every step of the way!
JJ is a minimalist and doesn’t get into consumerist hype. When I asked him what we should do for Valentine’s Day this year, he gave me a rant about Hallmark taking over and telling us what and when to celebrate. We decided on a middle ground–we could order food in and spend time together, but not get caught up in all the gifts and fancy meals. I decided to go to a yoga class before our “date” that evening, and when I walked in my door from yoga, he was on his knee in the middle of my apartment. Talk about a huge surprise! I literally let the door shut in his face I was in such shock. He said he had had the ring for a little while but woke up in the middle of the night the day before Valentine’s Day and realized this would be the perfect opportunity to completely catch me by surprise. It worked! Eventually I opened the door and, of course, said “yes”!
Urban Set Bride! It was a fabulous experience, from start to finish, and I was surrounded by friends who oooh-ed and aaahhhh-ed with me.
Yes! I’m so glad we did–it calmed both our nerves and gave us the opportunity for a sweet moment together before the mad rush of seeing all of our friends and family.
There were so many sweet moments. I’ll always remembering holding JJ’s hands and looking one another in the eye during the ceremony, as we made the commitment to care and love one another for the long haul. I’ll also remember slow dancing with my Dad (we both cried), eating delicious cake, and getting to hug so many of the people in our fabulous community who traveled to celebrate with us. Perhaps my very favorite was a moment near the end of the night when “At Last” came on. I grabbed JJ’s hand to dance with him, knowing it is one of his favorite songs. When we got on the dance floor we were one of only a few couples out there, but it didn’t matter, I closed my eyes and snuggle in close to JJ. When I opened by eyes a few minutes later, the whole dance floor was filled with couples who had come to soak in the last bit of delight. I could feel the love in the air all around us in that moment.
Advice for future couples planning their wedding
We talked alot about what was important to us, and tried to focus on these things and let the rest go. One of the most helpful ways we did this was focusing as much on the ceremony as on the reception. The week’s leading up to our wedding we had a Vow-a-Week conversation, where we talked about each of our vows and what they meant to us. It helped remind us for the reason we were planning this crazy, amazing event! Also–have a great wedding coordinator for the day-of!
Photography | Awesomesauce Photography
Venue | Sundara
Caterer | Blue Ridge Catering
Dress Store | Urban Set Bride
Hair and Makeup | Adorn Salon
Groom’s Attire | Jos. A. Bank
Florist | Creative Occasions
Band | Turpentine Shine
Dessert | Willow Pond Bakery
Awesomesauce Photography offers colorful, fun, and emotional storytelling wedding photography at an affordable price. Based in Richmond, VA available for travel worldwide.