A Georgia Gem
From the brides...
Not to be cliché, but we do have that special “chemistry” that people talk about in long-lasting relationships. We just clicked from the moment we first met over Christmas break in 1988. Since Cindy had just started her first job in North Carolina and Jennifer was a junior at Purdue University, we actually didn’t start to date seriously until two years later in December 1990. During the initial three years of our relationship we lived in different states, typically just seeing each other once a month. While this was less than ideal, we talked a lot, wrote love letters, and when we were able to rendezvous, we truly appreciated our time together. We truly enjoyed each other’s company and also appreciated similar things such as visiting state parks and a love for animals – especially cats. Having different personalities also helped us click because we simply complimented each other’s strengths and abilities so well. So here we are 25 years later and we still to enjoy each other’s company.
For starters – we never dreamed about a wedding because it wasn’t something legally available to us in Georgia. While we could have married in a different state, we wouldn’t have had the rights in our home state. So when the Supreme Court came down with their decision on June 26, 2015, we simply looked at each other, smiled and said, “Why Not!"
Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We wanted the experience to be a celebration and a reflection of our personalities – our love for the outdoors and our casual, fun nature. We knew that we wanted a rustic, outdoor venue that would provide a great ambiance. The fact that we could also have a fire was a wonderful bonus! We were so fortunate that Vinewood Plantation was in our own backyard and was the perfect venue for us.
What surprised you during planning?
Happily, how supportive everyone was – family, friends, and the vendors. And, how expensive a cupcake is! Since we were not having any attendants in the wedding and all of our family was coming from out of town, we are very glad that Jamie Elliott McPherson handled everything for us. We shared our vision with him and he knew which venders could meet our expectations. Probably the biggest surprise was discovering how smooth the planning process can actually go when you have a great wedding planner guiding you through the unknown. This allowed us to focus on all of the little details that we wanted to in order to personalize our big day.
Tell us about your big day….
Our big day took place on 12/19/2015 at Vinewood Plantations in Newnan, GA with Cindy’s brother officiating over our ceremony. We opted to participate in a tree planting ritual which was symbolic of our strong relationship and followed with expressing our love and commitment to one another beneath a large, very old pecan tree. Cindy provided a bit of humor for our guests when only two words into her vows she whipped out her handkerchief to wipe away her flood of happy tears! Immediately following the ceremony, we gathered around for a big group photo under the “wedding tree”.
As the guests headed inside the stables to partake in their drinks and h'orderves, we enjoyes our "first meal" and a little quiet time on the hillside during the sun set.
What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Selecting a favorite part of the wedding day is a challenge since there were so many extraordinary moments; however, having a tranquil moment with each other to enjoy a wonderful meal – our first meal– was quite special.
Any advice for couples planning their wedding?
Make sure you have the right photographer – someone with whom you are comfortable and has a great eye for capturing both the tender and candid moments of your big day. Do your homework and look at their previous wedding photo shoots. We were so fortunate to have Jessica & Justin (Jessica Williams Studios) who delivered just that!
In addition, we recommend that you make a conscious effort to be present in each and every moment of the day. This advice was given to us repeatedly by other couples so we made sure we did just that. We are happy to say that we remember all the wonderful moments of our special day and we have an amazing collection of photos to share with others.
From Jessica, the photographer...
The brides have been together for 25 years. They told their love story through heart shaped signs they had lining the long grassy walk to the ceremony site under the gorgeous oak at Vinewood. They met in Ft. Wayne, IN in December of 1988, started dating two years later, bought their first home together in 1994, adopted 2 fur babies 14 years later, added 4 more fur babies a year after that in 2009, then in June, 2015 LOVE WINS and they tied the knot in December! There wasn't a dry eye in the place and everyone showered them with love and joy.