January 1, 2016


I remember the morning he asked me to marry him like it was yesterday. It was a warm and rainy Saturday morning in March. Our seastars were with their other parents and we were up early to head to the barn to feed our equine babies. I was looking forward to getting some barn time in because I had just started a new job at a law firm earlier that week.

I had no idea when he walked in the barn, where I was sitting on the feed bin, snuggling one of our horses, that he was about to ask me to be his wife. It couldn't have happened anymore perfectly. He literally had to lean over Lightning to kiss me and put the ring on my finger. 

We were so excited to share our news. And naturally, the first question(s) following 'Congratulations' was 'When are you setting a date? Or have you? Will it be a big wedding or small?' 

Over the next few months, we discussed plans...all while in the process of purchasing a home (where we could have our horses in our yard! #bestdreamcometrueever) and moving. We don't argue over much- but when it came to trying to plan a wedding without killing our life-budget? Instant tension. I have attended an insane amount of weddings and seen everything from high dollar to backyard throw-downs...and loved them all. We ultimately wanted the same thing- to live happily ever after, as a married couple. But how do we get there?

Our friends attempted to offer help, which ended up stressing me out more than anyone realized. While the suggestions were meant in a loving way, they became overwhelming. I didn't want a traditional wedding, but I wanted some key traditions.

"Let's just get married at the courthouse and have a reception somewhere" my then future-hubs told me.

"We can't do, I really want my dad to walk me down the aisle," I said.

We were very fortunate to have been offered to get married at our friend's gorgeous home- which did two things 1) cut costs way down #hugeblessing 2) made making reservations for a date much simpler.

"What if we just...have a surprise wedding? We could plan it as an engagement party...and get married."

"Let's do it."

The last week of August, we solidified our date for our surprise wedding. That's right, we planned an entire wedding in roughly 4 weeks and it couldn't have come together more perfectly.

A few weeks before our big day, I met with our amazing Pastor to discuss some details for our day. She was certain I was stopping by to announce that I was pregnant. #slowdown #wealreadyhave2 {I'm not pregnant.}

"No...but we are having a surprise wedding! And we want you to marry us!" I told her, excitedly.

"OHHHH!!!!! *squeal* OH!!! Your mom just recently shared her wedding story with me...your parents had a surprise wedding too!! How perfect!!" she said, squealing and rubbing her hands together with excitement.

As the days got closer to our "I Do" everything fell into place. We literally let Jesus take the wheel and trusted that everything would work out as it should. {Having faith is a powerful and beautiful thing}

The morning of September 26, 2015- I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I was so excited to see everyone's faces and share our happiness with them. (A few select people knew ahead of time, because lets face it, we needed help to pull it off. I am so grateful for each and every person who helped us and kept our secret safe!) The rain that had loomed over our weekly forecast seemed to have faded and the forecast for the evening looked cloudy but dry. Whew!! I walked towards the bedroom door and heard my name being yelped from the hallway.

"Eden, my face is itchy..." said our littlest seastar.

I really wish we could have taken a photo of my face seeing her face for the first time that morning. Bless her sweet little heart, she had a rash covering the entire left side of her body. Thankfully, her Mimi whisked her off to Urgent Care to get some meds for the rash that we still have no clue what was caused from.


As the day went on, I realized over and over again how fortunate we are. Our parents were there to help prepare and share in our day. Our closest friends were with us to get ready and help set up our decor...we had a dream venue- we had the best photog and wedding planner in the world- who count as family. I couldn't image the day going any better.

As our guests arrived, I stood on the balcony and watched their surprised and excited expressions as they read the "Welcome to Our Wedding" sign.

"I'm in jeans!"
"I saw her yesterday, she didn't tell me!"
"OH MY GOD!!!!!! *Squeal*"

My favorite moment of the day was walking down the aisle with my daddy, who had the proudest smile on his face, and locking eyes with the man who has made all my dreams come true, and noticing that same proud smile on his face as he wrapped his arms around our girls.

Our day was absolutely perfect. We said "I do" in front of our closest friends and family...and it was truly about joining our families. There was no stress. No worry of this friend or that family member not getting along- everyone joined us and celebrated our love for each other like one big family...because that is what we are. One, big, gigantic, sometimes dysfunctional, sometimes a little wild, loving, giving, wonderful family.

Photography: Mary Basnight Photography
Wedding Planning: Best Day Ever OBX

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