Janna & Scott’s Sappy Love Story: The 1st Savannah NotCouple

  • April 14, 2014

The excitement in Scott’s account of his perfectly planned summer camp engagement and his love for his sweet wife Janna is almost too precious for us to handle. Our team is ecstatic to bring The NotWedding to Savannah for the very first time and couldn’t be happier to celebrate these two. Janna and Scott will be tying the NOT at the 1st Savannah NotWedding tomorrow! 

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I bought Janna’s engagement ring over two months before the proposal while she was on a summer mission trip in Mozambique, so I was anxious and more than ready to get the ball rolling when the big day finally came around. Janna and I spent the night at my parents’ house in Woodstock on a Friday night, and decided to drive up to Dahlonega the next day in celebration of dating for a year and a half (that was the cover up). After a wonderful lunch in the square, I suggested we take the two-mile drive to Camp Glisson to see a few camp friends of ours and just to spend time together at our favorite place.

After we arrived at camp, we hung out with our friends for a bit before I asked Janna if she wanted to go on a walk. I took her to the chapel, and we walked up to the stage. I turned to her and said I wanted to take her on a trip down memory lane in honor of our anniversary (remember…the cover up!). I pulled an envelope out of my backpack with “Chapel” written on the front. She read the letter inside, which reminisced upon a memory we shared in the chapel during our last summer working together. At the bottom of the letter was a compliment to Janna that correlated with that specific memory. I then took her to eight different locations around camp, stopping at each place to give her a marked envelope with a letter inside. Each letter had a new compliment at the bottom as well as all of the previous ones. Some of the locations included the pool (where we first met), the dining hall porch where I would flirt with her, and my old cabin B1 where I prayed fervently about pursuing Janna for a relationship.

Unbeknownst to Janna, as we were walking down memory lane, my friend was setting up a surprise for us back at the chapel. Janna and I made our way around camp, and returned back to the chapel. I had Janna close her eyes as we opened the big wooden doors together. Tea candles lit up the center aisle as well as the altar in the front, and there was a bed of daisies (Janna’s favorite flower) in front of the altar. She looked at me through tears and said, “What is all of this?” We held hands and walked down the aisle together. I turned to her, said a few things that neither of us remember, dropped a knee, pulled out the bling bling, and asked the most amazing girl in the world to marry me. Luckily, she said, “Of course!”

Best day ever, y’all.
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Photos: Personal | Lesley Kerr Photography
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We hope that you are planning to join Janna and Scott as they renew their vows tomorrow at the very 1st Savannah NotWedding at The Mackey House. There is a small hand full of tickets left – you can grab yours online here!

Lagina & Chris’s Sappy Love Story: The 2nd New York NotCouple

  • April 9, 2014

These two writers and love birds really need no introduction – their witty story and infectious smiles say it all. We are pumped to celebrate Lagina and Chris as they tie the NOT at tomorrow’s 2nd New York NotWedding

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Sitting at a dinner party in my former roommates apartment with several other couples and one other single woman was not my idea of a stellar Saturday night. Earlier that day, I spent money I could not spare to have a “professional” makeup artist load my face with spackle while he twerked to the hits of the mid 2000s. We grew close over the next forty-five minutes as I told the makeup artist why I was there–later that night I was going to see my ex-boyfriend at a dinner party. When he proudly shoved a hand mirror in my face so I could admire his work, I saw a stranger staring back at me and a clock assuring me that I was late as usual. Fearful that I would not receive my complimentary mini lipgloss, I bit down hard on my tongue to avoid informing this artiste that he should stick to tawdry dance moves–his only true talent–and raced off to Brooklyn. Hours later, I sat silent, as everyone shared stories of traveling and graduate school. I have never lacked for an anecdote in these social situations, however, the empty chair across from was me was a glaring reminder that my ex-boyfriend had failed to show up. I had foundation running down my neck for no reason at all. Just as I thought the party could not get any more painful two guys showed up with lots of beer.

Despite being handsome, obviously interested in me and laden with beer, I instantly disliked Christopher because I was clouded with anger. So, I spent the evening giving him the cold shoulder while chugging his beer and becoming chummy with the other single lady. The party ended and Chris and I sloppily walked to the subway. As the train barreled down the tunnel he looked at me with a mixture of hope and fear–an emotion I would not see again until our wedding day–and asked for my phone number. I obliged because I was tired and could not think of a fake one. The train doors opened and I expected him to follow me on but he declined. He wished me good night and promised to call the next day. That night I traveled home even angrier than I had been before: did this fool just leave me to ride the subway by myself?

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When Chris called the day after I was taken aback. I thought all men had the same rules when it came to dating in New York City: never call when you say you will. He even remembered that I was hoping to become a yoga instructor (ha!) and thought we should take a class together. After accepting his offer I hung up the phone promising myself that under no circumstances was this man going to become a love interest. To assure that we didn’t get up to any funny business I asked my roommate to text me after the class to say something bad had happened and I should head home. Throughout yoga I tried to relax and focus but wound up swallowing laughs as he tried to manipulate his sweat drenched, six foot frame into the poses. I could not believe he was such a good sport about the whole thing. While we were packing after class I kept checking my phone for texts that did not arrive. Halfway through our sushi dinner I realized that not only was I never going to trust my roommate again but that I was in the company of the most delightful man. Dammit.

After four moves, three years engaged, two cross country road-trips, and one French Bulldog we settled back into the city where we met to start our lives as husband and wife.

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Photos: Jessica Oh Photography
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We hope that you’ll be able to join us tomorrow at the 2nd New York NotWedding at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. We have just a few tickets left so if you want to be there, buy them online now!

The Proposal Story: The 8th Atlanta NotWedding

  • April 7, 2014

The 8th Atlanta NotWedding was an incredible fake wedding with a very real proposal. Our team could not have been more excited (and honored!) to play a small part in executing the most thoughtful surprise proposal we’ve ever seen. We caught up with groomsman and new fiance, Edward, to get the details on how it all went down. Enjoy! 
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It all started sometime in December when Eric texted to ask if I would be one of his fake groomsmen. Gina and I felt honored to be a part of Eric and Jaime’s fake wedding since we weren’t able to make it to their real wedding. During the same conversation, I asked Eric what if I planned a real proposal at their fake wedding. I didn’t want to take away from their special moment of renewing their vows, but Eric being the great man he is, said he would be honored to use their fake wedding as a platform for something bigger, our proposal.

But it wasn’t until January where the idea came up again and Eric said he would contact Callie and The NotWedding staff about the possible idea. On that same day where Eric and I talked about the possible idea, he emailed the staff and got a reply back saying everyone was on board and very excited. Things escalated very quickly from there and everything was planned from the surprise proposal to the flash mob. We even tricked Gina to join in on the flash mob to thinking that it was a vendor advertisement for the audience. Gina had always dreamed of a flash mob proposal but I always joked with Gina that it would never happen. The plan was to flip the flash mob on her as a proposal instead of it being for the audience.

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I had less than a month to order the custom engagement ring I have been thinking about for Gina. That also meant that I had to hurry up and get her parents blessing for hand in marriage. When I called her parents to meet for dinner, her dad let me know that they were planning to be out of the country on the day of The NotWedding. He requested to meet in March once they returned from their trip. This was when I started to freak out and stress about the whole proposal idea. It came to the point where I emailed Callie and informed her I may have to cancel the whole proposal plan.I texted Eric about the possibility of canceling and he called me back about a half hour later.

“Kairos”. Eric asked me if I knew what “Kairos” meant. Kairos is God’s appointed time to act and a moment in time when the Holy Spirit draws near to do a special work in and through a person or group. He said this moment right here and my decision in the next few days could be the defining moment in me and Gina’s marriage. He said dealing with the tough moments are the moments where we learn and continue to grow as men in Christ. Will I tell Gina how I almost proposed to her at The NotWedding but didn’t because I didn’t fight for her and didn’t do everything I possibly could? Or will I tell Gina after the surprise proposal the whole successful back story?

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The week where I talked to Eric on the phone was the same week as the second snow storm in Atlanta (also the week before the proposal). I planned to walk seven miles in the snow to her parents house from my house to ask for their hand in marriage. I really wanted their blessing even though they would possibly not make it to the proposal. I knew if I walked there, it would be hard for them to turn me away without giving me the time to talk to them. I even had a six-page hand written letter ready to use as final ammunition, just in case they turned me away, explaining my love for Gina, our love for each other, and asking for their blessing.

After praying during those two long snow days, I decided to drive to her parents house on that Thursday, 2/13/14. The snow had started to melt and figured it was a smarter idea to drive. I was set on confronting her parents and asking them to give me an hour out of their busy day to just hear me out. I was willing to do whatever it took; I even bought Korean food for them. As I got in the car and put the car in reverse, I got a call from Gina’s dad. He said their travel plans were postponed and wanted to see if I wanted to have dinner that Saturday, 2/15/14. Wow, God is good!

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I had dinner with her parents on Saturday night, told them my love for Gina, our love for each other, and asked for their blessing. I received their blessing and I was ecstatic! Everything was set and planned…except for the engagement ring! That was the last obstacle. It was guaranteed to be delivered by Valentine’s Day but due to the snowstorm, the delivery was delayed. The ring ended up coming the MORNING of the proposal day, The NotWedding, 2/17/14!

After receiving the ring from a friend that morning and knowing I would propose to the woman of my dreams later that evening, I was reminded of God’s will for Gina and I. I took a few moments by myself looking at the ring and thinking back on the past stressful two weeks. There may have been times where I tried to take matters into my own hands instead of turning to God. The moment I was brought back to trusting Him and having faith in Him, knowing that His will would be done, I was at peace. God is good! A verse that has always stuck with me is Proverbs 16:9 – “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”

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The whole evening was perfect! We could not have done it without God, our family, our friends, the wonderful staff of The NotWedding, the flash mob crew, and the lovely fake wedding party who were in on it since day one (Eric, Jaime, Andrew, and Mimi).
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Video: Incer Studios Films | Photography: Katey Penton Photography (1) Melissa Prosser Photography (2 + 4) Kelley Raye Photography (3)

Amanda & Chris’s Sappy Love Story: The 2nd Athens NotCouple

  • April 2, 2014

What a beautiful illustration of living out your wedding vows this couple is. They know what it means to truly love each other through sickness and in health, good times and bad; and the most real part about it is their marriage and love for each other is stronger now than ever. We had the privilege of interviewing our NotCouple for some insight and inspiration on how to keep those vows alive regardless of what life throws at you. We are honored to celebrate Amanda and Chris as they renew their vows tomorrow at the 2nd Athens NotWedding!

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What inspires you about each other?
What inspires me about Chris is his determination. He is the most dedicated person I have ever met. If he puts his mind to something, he gets it done. What inspires me about Amanda is her love and dedication for our son. We have had a rocky road with Chase and she had to quite her teaching job to be a stay-at-home mom to care for Chase. Her dedication to Chase’s needs amaze me everyday.

What is the best gift that you have ever given to each other? 
The best gift we have ever given each other is our son, Chase. He is the most amazing human being I have ever set eyes on. He is 2.5 now.  Our experience with Chase has been a rocky road as he was born ten weeks premature on September 20, 2011. I fell deathly ill with a condition called HELLP Syndrome. We were literally down to minutes before losing myself and Chase when I was rushed into an emergency C-section.  Chase spent two months in the NICU fighting for his life and slowly learning to breathe and eat on his own. He is truly our miracle baby.

What is the most awesome part of your marriage? 
The awesome thing about our marriage is our ability to remain best friends through thick and thin.  When you say your wedding vows, you state in good times and in bad, you have to mean this.  We have grown so much closer through the challenges we have been faced with. Chris is my best friend, my go-to person, the one person in the world that can put a smile on my face during the toughest of times.

What is the best advice you can give to other couples?
Your significant other should be your best friend.  The one person you can stand by and go to with whatever life throws at you. Make each other laugh and smile each and every day, even if you aren’t getting along. And never ever go to bed angry at each other!

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Photos: Signs and Wonders Photography
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We invite you to join us tomorrow for the 2nd Athens NotWedding at the Foundry Park Inn & Spa at 7:00pm. We still have a hand full of tickets left so purchase yours here while they last!