I'm excited to introduce bride-to-be Brittani!
Brittani is a recent college grad and a talented photographer who will be tying the knot in the Lowcountry next year. She's graciously invited us to join her on her wedding planning journey as she navigates her way through venue selections, menu choices and everything in between!
Hey there ALW readers! My name is Brittani and I’m a bride-to-be planning my 2012 wedding to the man of my dreams. I’m so excited to start this journey with you all and I want to give a huge thanks to Erin for allowing me to share my experiences; on one of my favorite wedding blogs, no less! Erin and I both hope that by sharing as I go through the stages of this crazy thing called wedding planning, I may be able to help other brides-to-be navigate this crazy time, gain a little insight as to how (or how not to!) go about the process, or at the very least, offer a little entertainment.
To start this series, I’m sure you all want to know a little bit about me and my fiancé, so here we go! I’m a 22-year-old Maryland native who recently moved to the south and can’t get enough of this amazing place I now get to call home. I graduated from college this past spring and I’m currently living my dream as a lifestyle wedding and pet photographer here in the beautiful lowcountry of South Carolina.
My fiancé’s name is Dustin and he’s a 26-year-old handsome cowboy with deep South Carolina roots and an accent that will just about make you melt. We met in 2009 when I was a sophomore in college and he was travelling for work and in Maryland for a six month job in D.C. To spare you a long story, there was certainly a connection there from day one that I tried my hardest to ignore. Despite his persistence to get to know me better, I spent a few months refusing to give him the time of day. Oops! I’m so glad he can be stubborn though, because his persistence eventually paid off and by the time he was moving to Indiana for the next job, something inside told me I needed to get to know him better.
On a whim I flew to Indiana to see if that friendship we had developed for two months over the phone could be anything more, and let me just say – I truly believe that the very best things come to you when you NEVER expect it. After that trip, we both knew it was going to be hard but we wanted to try to make this long distance relationship work.
For two years we flew all over while he continued to travel for work, put thousands of miles on our vehicles, and spent a LOT of time missing one another. But I will forever be appreciative of what those few years taught me and how deeply I value our relationship for getting through sometimes six or seven weeks apart only to have three days together.
When I started my senior year of college, Dustin had moved back to South Carolina to work for a different company that would require less travelling and would allow more time with his son from a previous relationship (more on this little dude later!). We’d been talking about marriage for a long time and knew early in the relationship that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. With graduation fast coming, I knew a proposal had to be in the plans before long.
I drove to South Carolina over my spring break in March and truly thought “This is it!” the entire drive down. This was the perfect time to get engaged, but Dustin quickly threw that idea out the window shortly after I arrived by telling me he really didn’t want to get engaged until after I graduated so that I wouldn’t lose my focus. Of course I was disappointed, but he had a point. He also made sure to make a joke out of it and tell me that if I wanted him to propose so badly, he’d just go to the grocery store and get one of those cheap plastic rings out of the little bubblegum machine by the front doors.
One day after he got home from work, he asked me to help him out by his horse’s pasture, so reluctantly I peeled myself from an assignment I was working on and walked out to the field with him. I really can’t remember everything he said but he pulled me in close for a hug and told me he loved me, and then said, “Oh yeh, I almost forgot, I got you something,” and pulled out one of those cheap bubble containers from the store! I literally threw my head back, laughed, and just gave him a look that said “Good one!” He looked at me and replied, “No really, open it,” and the second I pulled that plastic pink top off, the most GORGEOUS ring was staring me in the face. Umm, you don’t have to be a genius to know that this thing definitely did not come out of a bubblegum machine! I was completely taken back, totally surprised that he actually surprised me (I’d always swore he wouldn’t be able to!), and started to cry. He said more sweet stuff and finished it off with “Will you marry me?” As the story goes, I said yes.
While it was a super-low key proposal, it was exactly us and just what I’d always hoped it would be…sweet, down-to-earth, and totally unexpected. We knew we wanted a pretty long engagement, and I definitely didn't want to start the planning process until I graduated. Soon after graduation in May, I moved to South Carolina and we spent the summer enjoying our time with Landon (his son), our horses, and our two yellow labs. Finally in August, we started the planning process and set our date.
Planning a wedding is extremely exciting and I can’t wait until that day to see the months of preparation, visualization, and planning come to be. But more than anything, I truly look forward to being surrounded by our friends and family, celebrating our love and commitment to one another, and officially coming together as a family.
In the couple of weeks I’ll be sharing what date we chose, which parts of the wedding were the most important to us, how we decided the vibe we wanted for the event, and more. I hope you join me over the next few months and of course I’d love to hear some of your experiences as well, so feel free to leave a comment!