Real Wedding | Lesli & John

I’m really touched by the generous spirit of today’s couple.  Not only did they prioritize paying for their guests accommodations (to make it as easy as possible for their guests to attend), they created a charity registry in lieu of traditional wedding gifts and offered their guests their own charity donation instead of favors.  Their kindness was, undoubtedly, felt by all of their guests.

Lesli & John |September 19, 2009 |College Grove, Tennessee

How he proposed
John proposed on Christmas night.  Being the car mechanic that he is, he somehow rigged my car to break down on our way home from his parent’s house.  He then preceded to climb underneath the car to see if he could figure out what was wrong.  Then, he asked me to get out of the car, that he had found something that we must had run over.  As I bent down to see what it was, he pulled out a big shiny ring and asked me to be his wife.  John has not always been the most romantic of men, but he made our engagement truly unique and unforgettable.

The ceremony
John and I were married in my parent’s front yard in College Grove, Tennessee.  The rain stopped literally minutes before the ceremony and the sun broke through as we read our vows. We wrote our entire ceremony from beginning to end.  Being that this is the most important part of the day, we wanted it to represent who we were and what we believed in.


The moment Lesli will never forget
Of course I would love to say the moment I walked down the aisle or when John read his vows to me, because they were unforgettable moments.  But, the moment that I will never forget is, while I was reading my vows, someones car alarm went off.  I don’t know if it was because I was so nervous, but I busted out laughing.  It was a true ice-breaker, and I believe it saved me from boo-wooing all the way through my vows.

The reception
For the reception, guest’s moved from the front yard, to the back yard.  We mixed and matched table sizes and shapes, with each table having a different centerpiece.  We used white roses and hydrangeas which we placed in clay pots.  We also had our florists create centerpieces made of wheat and lavender.  Candles were of course a must.  We wanted to create a casual feel, so we encouraged guest’s to wear whatever they wanted to.

Many opted to wear blue jeans, instead of ties.  Perfect attire to indulge on our menu of bar-b-que and beer.  After dinner, guest’s danced into the night to the beats of the Wooten Brother’s.  One of our few splurge’s was the band, and it was worth every penny.

The theme
Our wedding did not have a specific theme.  We tried to keep it simple and focus on things that were important to us.  We did try to make our wedding as comfortable for our guest’s as possible.  Having been to several weddings, we know how expensive they can be to attend.  John and I cut back on things that weren’t extremely important to us, like floral arrangements and food costs, and instead paid for all of our guest’s hotel rooms.  We also had our guest’s bussed to and from the hotel and wedding.  Also, instead of having a gift registry, we set up a charity website, where guest’s could donate money to our favorite charities.  In return, instead of doing wedding favors, John and I donated money to our charity.  I believe, if you do things that are true to who you are as a couple, your wedding will be special, theme or no theme.

What Made My Dress “The One”
I have to admit, I was the girl looking at dresses before we were even engaged.  Unfortunately, my dress was not the first dress I tried on, but the last dress I tried on.  I went to every store in town, probably trying on at least 100 dresses.  I was looking for that perfect dress, as every bride wants.  When I tried on my dress, “the one”, I knew it would be mine.  Actually, I knew when I saw it on the hanger.  To me it represents who I am, simple and romantic.  It was love at first sight.  I took very special care of the dress, knowing that another bride would someday where it again.


Advice For Other Brides
A lot of times, the bride and groom can get lost in their own wedding.  Your parents, in-laws, wedding planner, friends, will all have different opinions of what you should do, but in the end it’s your day.  Stand your ground and make your wedding a true representation of who you are as a couple.


Lesli’s Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca 3858

Photography: Krystal Mann Photography