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Wedding and Lifestyle Photographer in South Carolina and Georgia

Tony + Brooke l Juliette Chapel Dahlonega, GA Wedding Photographer

Today we're going to do something a little bit different on the blog. We've got Brooke here to answer a few wedding planning questions and to talk about her tangle with Hurricane Nate on her wedding day. Welcome friend!

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Lets dive right in. How did you and Tony meet?

In High School, he was lead snare drummer in the Marching Band and I was one that didn't really fit into a certain crowd. I was sitting alone one day and he came up and started talking to me. From then on, I was intrigued with him. I started to hang around his group of friends more and more. Then eventually, he started developing feelings for me, as did I for him. So I thought: I will join the Marching Band. Someone that has never played an instrument in their life was wanting to join the marching band, not just any part in the Marching Band. I wanted to be on the Drum line, playing the Cymbals. As I messed up many many times, it drew us closer together. From then on, it has been history.

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How did he propose?

On December 23rd, he arranged a nice dinner date for the two of us at Rays on the River. I kind of had an idea that it was going to happen on that night, but I wasn't sure. We sat down for dinner, enjoyed our meal, he played it off like it was another nice dinner date night. There is a river that is located behind the restaurant that is attached to the restaurant with a very beautiful trail. So he wanted to walk the trail. I was thinking that if it was going to happen, it would happen here. He began acting very nervous and shaky. He then said that we should go back to his car to open Christmas presents. I thought that was odd since it wasn't Christmas yet. So we went back to his car, I got in the passenger side and he went to the back of the car. He told me that I could not look. He then came around the car with some presents. The first gift was some gym clothes, then next gift was some socks. I was thinking to myself "Is he hinting at something here?" Then when I finished opening the socks, he said " I have one more gift for you" He then got on one knee and opened the ring box while asking me to marry him. I of course said yes while in tears. He then leaned in to kiss me while saying "And every kiss begins with Kay". I busted out in laughter and tears. One of the best nights of my life.

How did you decide to DIY most of the wedding…where did you even start?!

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When starting to think of ideas for our big day, the first place that I went to, like any woman on a mission for wedding ideas, was Pinterest. I knew that I wanted to have a country theme with white flowers, gold accents, candles everywhere and romance in the air. When looking through Pinterest, I realized that I could actually create most of the things on the website, myself. Why spend money to have someone else do it when you could do it yourself, right? Off I went to Hobby Lobby to gather ideas and rack my brain on how I wanted to plan this wedding. I first started with spray painting what felt like EVERYTHING in our place, metallic gold. Vases, candle holders, you name it. Use what you have first, then buy the rest. Trust me, it saves a lot of money. 

What was the hardest part of your wedding planning/design process?

I have to laugh at this question. I have two answers to this question. 1. Hardest part about the planning and design part would have to be figuring out the small details. Where tables are going to go, To have a bridal party table or to not, How many of what to order, What if people have a HUGE appetite? Am I going to have enough food?, Open Bar? Self Serve? Buy a certain amount and hope for the best?, these were things that ALWAYS went through my head. The big things like the venue, the dress, the DJ, the catering..Etc. Those are the simple things. The small details is what gets you. 2. The hardest part about planning for the wedding, was our Groomsmen. A little back story, my husband is a Marine. Therefore, we wanted to have some Marines and some civilians. The Marines would wear their uniforms and the civilians would wear suits that were similar color. Getting suits for the civilians was like pulling teeth. Two weeks before the wedding, they decided that then was the perfect time to get suits. So they got the suit full price from Macy's, got the shoes and pocket square. The day of the wedding, they all decided to FINALLY purchase their ties. Yes, I said the DAY OF THE WEDDING. One of the groomsmen did not make it on time to the wedding because he was getting a tie for one of the groomsmen that had to walk down the isle without a tie. Make sure your groomsmen get their suits at least a month or two before the wedding, and have ALL of what they need. 

How did the storm effect the day? 

Oh Hurricane Nate! The venue that we had chosen was both an indoor and outdoor venue. They have the chapel indoors for the ceremony and an area indoors and outdoors for the reception. Originally we were planning on using both of the indoor and outdoor area for the reception. We were going to use the indoor area for the food, drinks, gifts and dessert. The outdoor area was going to hold our dinner, first dances, music, you name it. I had every detail planned out perfectly. The day of the wedding, I show up to the venue and it is predicted to down pour all day long. So I looked at my family and told them to get ready for Plan B and that we were putting everything indoors. I honestly thought that we weren't going to pull it off. Not going to lie, I was having a little bit of anxiety about it all. Not just the venue, but Dailey and I had planned for 10 months the exact pictures that we wanted at another location (Both of us having photographer backgrounds). When all of the things that were going wrong, that is when Dailey came to my rescue. Dailey and I have become good friends through this time and when I saw her pull up I knew that all of my anxiety could go away, because we were going to figure it out, and so we did. We walked through and came up with a new strategy on everything from couple pictures, to how to capture the gloomy romance. I couldn't have successfully completely our wedding without her. You know what they say, rain on your wedding day means good luck!

Whats advice would you give to future brides? 

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Here are some tips that I have come up with:

1. This is YOUR day, not your mother's, your grandmothers, your maid of honor's, YOURS. You plan it how you and your soon to be husband, would like.

2. Don't focus so much on trying to have the most perfect of wedding. Make it what you want it to be and enjoy it. 

3. Everything and I mean everything, will go wrong. Embrace it. It isn't worth getting mad, sad, or stressed over. 

4. Don't spend an arm and a leg on your dress. Unless someone else wants to pay for it. 

5. Budget, budget, budget. Not just your wedding budget. Your wedding budget, life budget and then some. If you don't have the money, don't spend it. 

6. Create a separate email address specifically for your wedding, you will get a TON of emails containing important things. 

7. Stay organized. Dates, payments, decorations..etc. 

8. Don't have a HUGE bridal party, too many people to keep up with. 

9. Take a few minutes during the wedding with your new husband to look around and enjoy the moment. 

10. Men do not care about wedding planning. Don't even try. 

Any special advice for future brides dealing with rain (or God forbid a tropical storm)?! 

RELAX. You cannot control the weather. Crying and getting upset over it will do nothing but make your eyes red for your wedding day. Who wants to marry a vampire? No one. Rain is good luck they say. I heard many times through the day, "You are so calm about this rain, I would be freaking out". But why? It is all supposed to play out how it is meant to. There was meant to be a hurricane during our wedding day and I am perfectly okay with it. Why? Because it made everyone talk to each other, dance a little closer and bring the romantic feel to the wedding. There is something about Rain, candles and lanterns. If that isn't perfect, I don't know what is. 

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How did the idea for your dad to propose during the bouquet throw come about? 

My dad and I are the best of friends. Seriously, I could not ask for a better father. We were on the phone one day and he had said that his fiancΓ© wanted to be proposed to in the mountains. So it hit me. I said "Well! Why don't you do it during our wedding day?" He was really confused at first and I then had to explain to him that it is a thing that people do. During the bouquet toss you attempt to throw the bouquet and then you hand it to the person that is getting proposed to. He was very hesitant because he didn't want to take the attention away from me, and make it about him. I told him that I wanted it to happen. So for weeks we looked for rings, I found the most perfect gold ring for her. We ordered it. I went to pick it up then the wedding day came and I was about to walk down the isle and he asked for the ring. Little did I know that one of my bridesmaids had moved my bag that had the ring in it, when we found the bag, the ring was not in the bag. After searching and searching, we finally found the ring. Garter toss came and went, then it was time for my dad to ask the big question. It all went so fast but went perfectly. SHE SAID YES!

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What was your favorite moment of the day? 

My favorite moment of the day was feeling like there was no one else around me and my husband while we were enjoying our first dance together. I would do it all over again.

 Thanks for sharing some of your veteran bride insight with us! Now, lets look at your gorgeous wedding!! 

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