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Brian Title_key Barker

Engagement
gallery Sep 19 2018
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Tell us how you met and fell in love!

We had known each other for about 4 years, but timing was never right. One day Barker invited Brian over to watch a football game. Still don't know which team won that day...

Was there a proposal? Tell us about it!

Yes, early on in our relationship Brian described his dream proposal. He wanted it to be a surprise, and he wanted "bling". Always the planner, Barker filed that dream away in his mind and waited three years. After that 3 year time limit was up, Barker planned a dinner Downtown Nashville for a "date" night. What Brian did not know was that Barker had planned that after dinner they would walk across Shelby Street Bridge, the pedestrian bridge across the Cumberland River downtown.

We started walking across the bridge from one end, and about 40 of our friends (along with our two "Poovenese" fur babies) started walking from the other end. When we got half way across the bridge there was a pre-planned violinist playing. Barker "envisioned" that he would talk Brian into stopping and distracting him so that Brian's back would be turned away from his friends. It wasn't easy, as it was cold and Brian complained about Barker stopping, but eventually it worked. Brian was distracted as our friends formed a semi-circle around us. At first, Brian saw one friend, two friends, then the dogs and started realizing what was happening. Barker got down on one knee, and obviously said something that made Brian say "yes!!"

Are you planning your wedding right away or giving yourself some time to just be engaged?

We waited 7 months and just enjoyed being engaged before we started planning. We were fearful that we would get into a huge fight once we started planning. So we had planned to go away for a long weekend, so that we couldn't run from one another. However, at that 7 month mark it was the week between Christmas & New Years. We found ourselves home together one day, with nothing to do. We agreed to start discussing/planning a wedding with the agreement that we would stop if tensions got high. Thankfully, we agreed on almost everything, and for the next 12 hours we got into the weeds and started planning the guest list, venue, size, etc.

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your spouse-to-be?

When to pick our battles! We are very different. We often say that we would have never made it as a couple if we had met earlier in life. We each needed to grow/live/adapt in opposite directions to reach a point where we "work". I recently saw a picture with a phrase that stated "You keep me safe, I'll keep you wild" That's us! He's the yin to my yang, and vice versa. But we respect, listen & learn from one another, and that's how we continue to grow together.

What’s your favorite part of your relationship?

Brian feels it's "How we balance one another". Barker feels it's "How comfortable and natural it is to be together".

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Sneak Peek
gallery Sep 18 2018
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Cece Title_key Greta

Real Wedding
gallery Sep 17 2018
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Texas Nuptials

Tell us your love story!

When I (Greta) moved to Texas in 2013, I started searching for a way to get involved in the volleyball community since I have played all my life. One day, it finally hit me that I should search volleyball Facebook groups in the Texas area. I found a group called Dallas Sand Volleyball Players. The admin of the group contacted me and asked me a bunch of questions about how long I had been playing and eventually invited me out to play some sand volleyball on Sunday afternoon. It turned out that this involved a group of people that all had been friends for years and I ended up coming out to play volleyball with them almost every weekend.

About a month in to joining this group of friends, CeCe showed up to play one afternoon, and that is where we originally met. It turned out that I was now part of this “friends group” that she had been a part of for years! Over that summer we ended up seeing each other quite a bit just through weekends spent hanging out, playing sand/water volleyball, and enjoying each other’s company as part of this group of friends.

Less than a year later in May, our friend decided that she wanted a group of our friends to go up to Broken Bow and spend the weekend in a cabin for her 40th birthday party! This ended up being the trip that solidified our friendship and brought us extremely close. From this trip on, we were best friends, inseparable. I got her to come over every day after work to do workouts with me, we’d spend the weekends hanging out with each other and our mutual group of friends. Two months later on July  24th of 2015 we started dating, and the rest is history!

What about the proposal?

When CeCe and I started talking about getting married I told her two things, (1) that I wanted a ring with twisted bands, and (2) that I didn’t want to get married until I completed my CPA exam (I didn’t want the added pressure of planning a wedding while I was already under loads of stress, and I, personally, did not want a long engagement). I ended up passing my CPA exam in December of 2016. At some point towards the end of January, CeCe asked me if I would go to a jewelry store with her to show her the types of rings I like and the size of stone I prefer. I ended up showing her a few rings I liked, however, I was particularly in love with one specific ring that was unique and beautiful in every way. It was perfect for me. The particular jewelry store (that this ring was at) just happened to be having a sale that same weekend. Later I would find out that the next day she took my sister back to the store to show her the ring and ended up buying it that day.

A couple days later, on February 7th, CeCe called my dad and asked him if he wanted to go to lunch with her (he is retired, so he always enjoys spending time with people during the day). CeCe was so nervous to ask my dad that they ended up spending 3 hours at lunch, where, of course, my father told her yes. She originally had the idea to plan out a proposal that included some Harry Potter (my obsession) in it, however, after asking my father, she got so excited to ask me to marry her that she ended up coming home that night and proposing. She told me that she didn’t want to spend her days with anyone else by her side and asked me to marry her right there in our own home. She even planned a surprise dinner with a group of close friends after the proposal to celebrate the occasion!

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

I knew that CeCe and I were meant to be together during the span of time between the trip to Broken Bow for our friends 40th birthday, and the day we started dating. She supported me in every way, she was always there for me, she cared about my family and my thoughts, and I was the happiest I had ever been!

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

We definitely knew that we wanted to put little pieces of Harry Potter in places throughout the wedding (this is mainly because of me but she supports and loves my obsession). We also knew that we wanted a wedding away from the city. I grew up in a small rural farming town in Illinois, and she spent a lot of her childhood in Corsicana, so we knew we wanted to be out in nature and away from the city. We also knew that we wanted a spring wedding, Green is my favorite color, and therefore, spring is my favorite season, and wanted all the greenery to be visible during our day!

What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?

The thing that surprised me the most is how quickly everything adds up, and how fast the time passes between the engagement and the wedding day. For me, the hardest part was all the little things like the decorations, the guest book, the cake topper (which we forgot about and bought through prime literally just in time to arrive for the wedding), the transportation plans to get to the venue, etc. The hardest vendors to select was the photographer and the caterer (which both ended up being perfect), just due to the volume of choices, the extreme variations in pricing from one to the other, and the fact that, for us, our photos and the food we ate on our wedding day (obviously had to be DELICIOUS) were two extremely important things for us!

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding that you know now?

Yes! Almost all vendors will have some price you pay up-front, and then the rest will be due a month before the wedding, so you kind of pay the up-front portion and then forget a little bit about the huge balance due (once you add up all the vendors) 1 month before your wedding. So I wish someone had told me to just make sure that from day 1 of planning, to the day of the wedding, save every month in order to pay those items. Also, the amount of money you end up spending the SAME week as your wedding, be prepared for all of that. There are so many last minute items that you go grab that, before you know it, all add up to a significant amount of money!

Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently or anything you’d like to add?

Save, save, save….unless you are blessed to have your parents paying for the entire wedding. Also, on the day of the wedding, just remember that at that point, whatever happens is going to happen. So don’t worry about it, don’t stress about it, just relax and enjoy the day because before you know it, the day is over! None of the guests know exactly what the vision in your head was, so if something varies from that, no one else will know. If you don’t allow yourself to stress about it, then there can be nothing wrong – just go with the flow. In the end, the day is about you and your spouse, so as long as you have each other, and at the end of the day the I do’s are done, then everything is perfect.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Our entire wedding day was a dream come true. Having so many people, family and friends, travel to our wedding to celebrate the best day of our lives and us as a couple was the most special and incredible thing I’ve ever experienced. But if I had a pick something specific, I would say standing arm and arm with my dad (the best man I’ve ever known) and walking down the aisle towards CeCe while seeing each other for the first time was a moment I will never forget with two people that have always, and will always being two of the best parts of me. CeCe’s favorite part of our wedding day was seeing me for the first time and seeing how extremely happy I was all day.    

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Weekend Snapshot
gallery Sep 14 2018
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A Thought For Thursday
gallery Sep 13 2018
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"I will walk with you

Every step of the way
Love you all my life
Love you everyday
No matter where you wander
No matter what you do
Come what may I will walk with you"
- John Fogerty

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