We met in college in Milledgeville, GA. I was a Junior in nursing school, working at the local country club golf shop. Josh was back in Milledgeville and had started college following his return from the Navy. He had joined a fraternity and was planning their annual charity golf tournament. Josh walked in with that silly smile and charm and propped himself up on my counter throwing around some cheesy pick-up lines (quite confidently I might add). I brushed it off as him being a silly frat boy and we continued to work together to plan his golf tournament. The day of the tournament he invited me to their celebratory dinner following. I almost didn’t show because I didn’t want to go alone! Yet, I did go… and that’s sort of where the relationship began.

 

We had been together 6.5 years before Josh proposed – through my finishing school, starting a career and him finishing school and moving to Atlanta to be with me. We were vacationing in Sarasota, Florida (My parents lived there and we love to visit the beautiful beaches as often as we can). This was a special summer vacation because we were able to bring Josh’s son and his family with us! We all went to dinner on Anna Maria Island to celebrate my dad’s birthday and funny enough, there was a wedding taking place on the beach. We sat and watched, gawking. I made a comment to Josh that I’d hate to have a restaurant full of people clapping during my wedding, haha! Following that couple’s first kiss, one of the groomsmen dropped down and proposed to a bridesmaid – I laughed and said how annoyed I would be if that happened at my wedding… little did I know that Josh had planned to propose on the beach that evening but despite all of the mishaps and conversation, he held off.

 

We later went to St. Armand’s circle for an after-dinner drink and enjoyed a rooftop lounge with my parents. Josh was sweating— I mean a LOT! Now, it was a warm evening at the beach, but he was abnormally hot for a July night, haha. Something came up in conversation with my mother – along the lines of “enjoy it while you can honey because nothing lasts forever” – next thing I know, Josh is down on one knee saying “speaking of forever” – it was so cute and spontaneous and very unexpected. My parents were with us and it was a very special moment followed by champagne and lots of gawking at my new bling (surrounded by a restaurant full of clapping people), haha!

 

When it came time to plan the wedding, we went back and forth with whether or not we wanted to have a local wedding in Atlanta or destination near a beach. We opted to be near the beach so we and our guests could enjoy the feel of a vacation surrounding our event. Every detail worked itself out perfectly. We had about a year and a half engagement and I must say, I am so glad we did! Having enough time to plan out the details I envisioned helped immensely. I was able to price out and choose vendors that fit our vision and budget since we were doing it so early. I planned 90% of our wedding and only used a coordinator for day of. Destination, I will say, is challenging because you aren’t there. I was fortunate enough to have my mom locally to help with coordinating some things with vendors though. It certainly takes a lot of patience and people will always have their opinion, but ultimately, we were so happy with the decision we made and the planning for our big day. Our weekend turned out beautifully. We were able to spend several days with friends and family and it didn’t feel rushed like most weddings do. The night of, everyone was so relaxed and ready to party! And that’s exactly what we did!

 

My best advice to future brides – the details have a funny way of working themselves out. Try not to get too stressed about it, and if you’re anything like me, give yourself enough time to research and plan! Have a good support system and an inspiration. Make a top five list of your “must-haves” and ones you’d be willing to bed. I wish we had a budget that allowed us to “have it all”… but, it turned out exactly how we had envisioned. We wouldn’t change a thing! I remember waking up the next morning, saying to my new husband “That was fun! Let’s do it again!” Haha!