“Do you believe in soul mates?” A question I asked my childhood best friend after a short time of feeling an inner connection between Brad & myself that was undeniable. A connection that I hadn’t ever felt before…it was like a magnet. Our feelings led us together after a few short months. We knew early on that we would spend the rest of our lives together, but marriage was not necessarily in the equation.
“Will you marry me?” asked Brad one evening while casually enjoying dinner. Not taking him seriously, & thinking he was half joking, I smiled & said, “I love you, honey.” From that day forward, Brad asked me to marry him just about every…single…day! For almost two years, my reaction to his heart warming question was the same…. “I love you, honey!” We were both previously married with 4 beautiful children between us. Our kids were our focus & I wanted it to stay that way. I felt that nothing would change between committing our lives together & being officially married. As time went on, our connection & commitment grew stronger & stronger. The thought of marriage started to settle in & what I once thought would be a distraction for my kids, actually transformed into an example of love. And instead of following my mind, I began to follow my heart. The same heart that felt the magnetic connection to Brad, the same heart that my children felt safe in, & the same heart that God was speaking to me through.
On January 16, 2015, my answer to Brad’s question changed. We were on a getaway with friends at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island. As we were getting ready for an evening out, Brad turned to me with a sparkle in his eye & asked his classic question…. “Will you marry me?” …this time, on one knee with a ring in hand. With a beating heart, I quickly said yes to becoming Brad’s wife. Exactly one year later, we said “I do” on the Grand Lawn at The Sanctuary.
Joining us were our most favorite people in the world. Our four children, & 40 of our closest family & friends. The people who have supported us during good times & bad, never judged, opened their hearts & accepted us for who we were. Our small gathering was magical & what we believed to have been God’s plan. We have committed to live our lives together by these words, “Love is patient & kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, & it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, & endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NLT
Among our guests was Brad’s younger brother, David. As kids they battled regularly, but today; David is battling for his life. Three months before our wedding David was diagnosed with a glioblastoma; stage 4 brain cancer. After immediate surgery, weeks of radiation & chemotherapy & coupled with several visits to Duke Medical Center, David was determined to be there for us. A selfless example of love & brotherhood that we will cherish forever. Together with their two youngest brothers, Donald & Bob, all four wore hats to honor their hero. “Hat’s on” to the most courageous & determined brother.
Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography //Apparel: Nyoni Couture//Hair Stylist: BOND Beauty//Calligrapher: Kristen Henderson Calligraphy//Design & Decor: Ooh! Events//Floral Designer:Out Of Hand Florist//Shoes:Prada//Event Venue: The Sanctuary//Invitation Designer:Wedding Paper Divas//Submitted via Two Bright Lights