This romantic wedding had my heart even during the planning stages!
I met Whitney (Bride) and Betsy (mother of the bride) many months ago. I was instantly connected to this mother-daughter team and knew this was going to be such a special wedding.
I am always fascinated on my couples' love stories and Whitney and Luke have a perfectly sweet story of young love that will stand the test of time. Luke, Whitney's husband, shared his engagement story and I just think it is the cutest thing ever!
Here is how he popped the question on their romantic Atlanta dinner date:
"After 4 years (really 7) of her chasing me it was about time for me to pop the big question!! After the long talk with Jeff and Betsy (parents of the bride), while sweating bullets, we came up with the plan. We'd go to the aquarium and then the Sundial for our Christmas dinner. I knew she would expect it at dinner, so I made sure to drop several hints about waiting a few more years to get married.
The funniest part of the night was watching her look for it. I think she checked every part of my jacket and car.. Too bad it was at the house.
Also, she had been getting her nails done for months.. Think she was waiting on the rock?!
(Editors note from Whitney: I just like to be prepared..)
After dinner, Whitney had no ring and no plans for the rest of the night. Her Mom conveniently texted her asking if we wanted to join them at Dunwoody Country Club. She reluctantly agreed, but we had to stop at her parents' house first.
As soon as we got to her parents house, she was immediately distracted with the fire her dad left in the fire pit. I suggested we make the most of it and just sit by it.
After a few sips of my courage cocktail and some nervous conversation, it was time to get on one knee ( also, it was the coldest night of the year).
As soon as I asked her, all of the friends and family that were hiding at the neighbors' house came running down to celebrate. She eventually said yes, by the way. It was awesome."
Isn't that the sweetest? I just love a good Christmas engagement story. But this is not the only thing that made this wedding so special to me.
You see, when I first met Whitney and Betsy, I loved Betsy's cute hair style. Then, when I met with them many months later, I noticed Betsy had a much shorter and lighter colored hairstyle. I commented on it and then was told the story.
This family had recently been through something so much more difficult than planning a wedding...so much more difficult than choosing a dress or a venue...so much more difficult because it was scary...it was unknown...and it was unavoidable. In April of 2015, Betsy was diagnosed with stage 3b ovarian cancer. With the onslaught of doctors appointments, surgeries, medicines and the like, Betsy only had one pressing thought on her mind:
"From diagnosis thru treatment I had many prayers - one of which was to be able to play an active part in my children’s weddings - and to be there for them."
When Luke and Whitney got engaged that winter, it was truly an answer to prayer and Betsy was thrilled to be in wedding planning mode! She said that, "any time that things seemed to be getting stressful, I reminded myself that I had prayed for this! :) It truly was joyful looking at how hopeful and joyous things were in 2016 as opposed to the previous year - we all felt that way! (p.s. another one of my prayers was to be a grandmother, but my kids tell me I’m going to have to wait a bit longer for that!)"
Betsy has what I like to refer to as "chutzpah". In English, it basically translates to resilience. In the face of such a scary and traumatic event, she kept trucking along. She finished strong and then dove right into standing by her daughter's side. She not only helped her daughter from start to finish with wedding planning, but was celebrating with her on the big day- exactly one year after her last chemo treatment.
No matter what trials and hardships your family might be going through, be encouraged through this sweet family.
Trials will come. Life isn't always easy. But, LOVE makes us all stronger and by the grace of God, we can live to see another day and celebrate the joy of marriage.
Photos: Jill Doty Photography
Venue: Dunwoody Country Club