January 11, 2018
From the first message Leah sent me, I was so thrilled for her wedding. They were eloping to CHARLESTON. If you know anything about me at all, you know Charleston is my place. The plans were for Jesse + Leah to run away to Charleston with just their parents, Jesse’s brothers and their pastor. I booked my air b&b the same night she booked me. The cutest little condo on the beach. I think I talked about it every single day. Sorry Sam.
Christmas came and went, then we rang in 2018, and then….a SNOWSTORM. In the South, where we never see snow. Leah called me and asked if we could push the date back one day. Both of their parents were flying from far away and the Charleston Airport had shut down. Thanks snowstorm. I called my airb&b and pushed my checkin date back and everything was good to go.
Then Leah called me the day before we were supposed to leave. Airport was still shut down. No flights available from the West Coast to the East Coast. Then she said it. “We’re not going to Charleston.”
I know, my heart broke too.
Leah & I sent so many texts back and forth about what we were going to do. We had less than two days to plan a wedding.
This is where it gets good.
Two of the most popular wedding venues just so happened to have that weekend available. One of them, that was the ONLY weekend open in 2018.
Leah walked into David’s Bridal after her dress was damaged during alterations. (our luck, we know) Leah tried on one dress and it fit PERFECT.
I called up two of my favorite girls to work with, Darby Davis with Beauty by Darby and Rachel Quick with Southern Belle Beauty. I crossed my fingers and they were BOTH available! This was gonna work!
I called Leah and asked about flowers, preparing myself to youtube “how to make a bridal bouquet” and Leah said “well, one of my best friends said she worked at a florist for a year so she thinks she can throw something together for me.” Yall.
Then Leah text me and said “I think we just talked the guy that’s singing at this restaurant to come play at the ceremony.” Leah’s dad approached the guy and explained the situation and the guy said “man my gig from last night JUST cancelled, I’m so down.”
WE JUST PLANNED A WEDDING IN TWO DAYS. TAKE THAT SNOWSTORM.
Turns out, pushing the date back a few days landed on the same day, one year later, that Jesse took Leah out on their first date. I cant make this up. Darby, Rachel and I had chills when Leah was saying all of this. Leah’s best friend, Holly was able to make it in for the wedding and she said when Leah came home from her date with Jesse, she said “I’m going to marry him.”
ALL THE TEARS.
Jesse + Leah wrote their own vows to eachother and honestly I’m quite impressed that their ceremony shots are in focus because I couldn’t see because of my tears. One of the things Jesse said to her really stuck with me.
“So, this is the part of the ceremony for us to make promises. The truth is I cant promise you a lot. I cant promise that I will always make you feel loved. I cant promise that I will never hurt you or cause you heart ache. I cant promise that I will always put you above myself. I know that I could never hold those promises because I am far from perfect, nor do I deserve you. What I can promise is that I will never stop trying. I will never stop fighting, for you; fighting to come back to you, fighting to be the man you deserve…one that will love you unconditionally, one that will keep you safe…”
Our trip to Charleston being called off hurt my heart, but I don’t think this day could have been any more perfect. Everything fell apart and fell together a million times better. At one point during the Bride+Groom portraits, we all said “CHARLESTON WHO?!”
Leah + Jesse ended their night with some of their closest friends at a local winery here in South Georgia, who just so graciously opened their doors after hearing this whirlwind of a love story. This is one I’ll never forget and it’ll be hard to top.
Photographer | Tickled Peach Photography | Jenna Clark
Venue | Lakes Chapel + Clubhouse
Hair | Southern Belle Beauty | Rachel Quick
Makeup | Beauty by Darby | Darby Davis
Dress | David’s Bridal
Flowers | Aubrey Sweeney
Band | Big Brothers Boombox
Reception | Frog Town Winery