It’s one of the worst fears of anyone getting married.
When I was talking with Tammy over the phone last Monday, I casually asked her how everything was going. After the obligatory “good” she eventually told me the truth: She was in the ICU in Nashville and had lost a serious amount of blood. The wedding suddenly went from a “definitely” to a “hopefully”.
Thankfully, with the prayers and support of her friends and family she was released from the hospital just a couple days before her wedding day, slowly regaining her strength. With everyone coming from miles around to see her and Bryan wed, she mustered up all the strength she had to make it though the day. And it worked. I have to admit, she was quite the trooper, and outside of a wheelchair-escort between photo locations, and having to sit during the ceremony instead of stand, there really wasn’t a whole lot different about the day!
And what a day to cheer someone up! After an intimate and emotional ceremony, a reception unfolded that would put a smile on anyone’s face. With appearances by the Clemson Tiger, a hilarious garter removal skit, a perfectly choreographed groomsmen dance, and plenty of country music karaoke, it was definitely an amazing and hilarious night that completely overshadowed the fact that no one was 100% sure there would be a wedding just days before.
Getting Ready: Hampton Inn Riverplace
Ceremony & Reception: Zen Greenville
Officiant: Lisa Baker
Photography: J. Jones Photography
Catering: Holmes Catering
Planning: Turn Key Special Events
Cake: Tasteful Elegance
Ceremony Music: Synergy Violins
DJ: DJ Apollo
I’ve never felt so short at a wedding before until I stepped into the room the guys were getting ready in. I knew Justin was tall, I met him, but ALL the guys were tall. I’m talking like 6’6″ tall. Debra said I looked like a “hobbit” next to all of them. Anyone that has seen any of the latest Lord of the Ring’s movies know that hobbits can do some pretty awesome things so I took it as a compliment.
Naturally, Justin is a basketball instructor, a passion he shares with many of his groomsmen as well as Joscelyn. With some of their past coaches as guests, it was entertaining to hear the back story behind their 13 years together as a couple. But the day was finally here. We started out at the Westin Poinsett where Joscelyn got ready for the big day. We then headed over to the historic Israel Metropolitan CME Church, one of the only churches in downtown I haven’t had the awesome chance to shoot in before. After an emotional and at times, humorous wedding ceremony, everyone headed back to the Westin Poinsett for cocktail hour. While the typical afternoon thunderstorm encouraged us to shoot indoors for a bit, we did have a break later in the day to capture some beautiful photos around main street and on the iconic roof of the Westin. Plenty of great dancing, speeches and food gave way to a sparkler exit as Joscelyn and Justin were cheered off into the night. Check it out:
Thanks again for having us guys!!
Ceremony: Israel Metropolitan CME Church
Receptions: Westin Poinsett
DJ: Robert Batson
Flowers: Flowers by Danny
Cake: Buttercream Bakehouse
Makeup: Cotton Rouge
Love. It’s what makes weddings possible. It’s also what makes the really amazing weddings stand out from the ordinary. Sure, you can spend thousands to have the fanciest decor/food/venue, but if the people attending aren’t really there because they love you and the commitment you are making it’s just going to become another fun event. I can certainly say this wasn’t the case for Betsy and Brendan.
I think Steve, the father of the bride, put it best in his speech when he talked about how Betsy and Brendan just emit a type of love that draws people deep into their lives. There isn’t a judging spirit, just one of wanting the best for others and loving them no matter what happens. And yes, while the ceremony at the historic Universalist National Memorial Church and reception at the Whittemore House in the Dupont Circle area of Washington DC were absolutely stunning, it all took a backseat to pure excitement and love their family and friends poured out throughout the day.
All that love and excitement did have plenty of time to build, as Betsy and Brendan first started dating way back in 2002. As high school sweethearts, they stayed together throughout college and law school until things finally settled down enough for Brendan to propose. Debra (being one of Besty’s closest cousins) also had the honor of being in the bridal party, and made the wedding have a whole lot deeper meaning for me. She also looks really good in a bridesmaid dress.
We all started out at Betsy’s gorgeous apartment for everyone to get ready for the day. Afterwards we headed to the gorgeous National Arboretum for Betsy and Brendan’s first look and to do some photos before the ceremony at the Universalist National Memorial Church near the Dupont Circle. Afterwards we all headed to the Whittemore House, home to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, for a reception filled with plenty of dancing, great food, drinks, speeches, and of course, plenty of love.
Thanks again for having us Betsy and Brendan! We had an incredible weekend!!
Ceremony: Universalist National Memorial Church
Reception: The Whittemore House
Planning & Coordination: A New Leaf Events
Catering: Mindy’s Distinctive Catering
Flowers: Succultents & Saffron Floral
Cake: Kendall’s Cakes
DJ: Scorpio Entertainment
Photographer: J. Jones Photography
Harpist: Melissa Dvorak
Officiant: Bruce Johnson