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    Nothing Fancy Cover

    Our wedding took place in David’s family maple woods. He completely surprised me by singing me down the aisle. (Did I marry a winner or what?) The song was “Nothing Fancy” and is by one of our favorite musicians, Dave Barnes.


    David singing into a microphone


    David did quite a bit of sound recordings in high school and college. It’s been a while, but he borrowed some equipment this weekend and put together this video!



    I love this man! 🙂 ♥



    My Sister’s Wedding

    I still can’t believe my little sister got hitched! Mary and Patrick got married June 21 in Jackson, Tennessee. David and I drove down from Michigan early to hang out and help with the wedding festivities. (We spent the week at a Chickasaw Chalet with my mom and loved their little getaway cabins!)

    I designed her wedding invitations. Skeleton keys have been a favorite of hers for several years and we used that for their theme:


    Wedding invitations skeleton key theme


    She had a hair appointment the morning of. Mom and I went with her:


    Hair appointment


    The chapel was really cute!


    Tulip Tree Chapel


    Her dress was so beautiful! Her “something borrowed” was my veil:


    Mom lacing Mary up


    Lacing the back of her dress




    And it was a lovely ceremony:




    The ceremony


    Lighting the unity candle


    The kiss


    Mr. and Mrs. Lankford




    Thumbs up


    Mary and David


    I was honored to be her maid (matron?!) of honor:






    Congratulations, Mary and Patrick!



    Turkish Wedding Henna Party

    I was going to title this “That Time We Went to Our Security Guard’s Daughter’s Wedding Party”… but that seemed a little long.

    I was so excited when I found out the teachers were invited to a henna party. Henna parties are a part of Turkish wedding celebrations. Traditionally, only women attend and the event is held in a home. However, this was a modern celebration in a banquet hall with both men and women.

    It’s customary to give gold as a wedding gift. We pooled some money and our friends purchased gold pieces. I was told that years ago, people wore gold clipped to their clothing to show off their wealth. Gold jewelry and pieces of gold are prized in Turkish culture and passed down from generation to generation.


    Gold wedding gift


    (Please forgive the graininess of the iPod photos.) Here’s the bride and groom:


    Bride and Groom Dancing


    There was lots of dancing! We were served an appetizer plate, fruit plate, nut plate, and cake. Check out the flame thrower on the cake:


    Wedding cake


    Before the henna ceremony, one of the sisters came around and passed out white veils to most of the women. I’m not sure of the symbolism:


    Wedding veils


    The bride put on a traditional red dress and red veil. One woman held the henna tray, and the rest of us followed behind the bride and walked in a circle. The women sang a song and carried candles.


    Henna outfit


    Then came the henna application. The bride was supposed to initially refuse to open her hand, symbolizing the struggle of leaving her family. Next, the mother of the groom put a gold coin in her hand and applied henna over the coin. The groom got some henna, too.


    Henna application


    After the ceremony, they came around with henna for everyone else. We also received a bag of nuts and a small pouch of henna. The henna stain on the guests’ hands show they know someone who just got married.


    Wedding gifts


    It was a really cool cultural experience, and we were honored to celebrate with our friend.


    Friends at wedding


    Read more about Turkish henna parties at these websites:



    Our Second Anniversary

    Dear David,

    Happy anniversary! I love thinking back on our wedding day. Though our wedding woods has changed quite a bit from the outdoor chapel it was two years ago, the commitment and memories we made are alive and well.

    Life is so fun, full, and wonderful by your side! God has blessed me beyond measure and I thank Him every day for you. Wherever we go, as long as I’m with you I’m home.



    Farm Wedding / photo by Jenn Marie Photography



    First Anniversary Celebrations

    As I mentioned in a previous post, Leah and I decide to follow a tradition started by my parents to take turns planning a surprise trip for our anniversary. After a long drive on Wednesday, Leah and I arrived in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

    I made plans for us to visit Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s theme park. I had absolutely no idea how many entertainment options Pigeon Forge had to offer. As we drove through town on the way to our hotel, we both commented how much the area looked like a beach town. There were wax museums, putt-putt golf courses, outlet malls, hotels, dinner theatres, and a dancing plethora of pancake houses. There was even a museum inside of a Titanic replica. Keep in mind, this is all in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. The amount of tourist traps were overwhelming.


    Dollywood highway sign


    Our first day in Pigeon Forge, we visited Dollywood’s Splash Country. It was a beautiful day to be at the waterpark, as it was in the 90s and sunny most of the day. We enjoyed many waterslides and the wave pool. I even jumped over a fence to get a four-leaf clover that Leah had found.


    Leah found another four leaf clover


    I made dinner reservations for that night at Lumberjack Feud. Lumberjack Feud is a dinner theater that stars champion ESPN lumberjacks. The show was very interesting and aside from some corny jokes, very entertaining. The most impressive part was when two lumberjacks shimmied up 90 foot poles, and came back down by practically free falling before digging their feet into the pole right before hitting the ground, all in a matter of seconds.


    Lumberjack Feud


    Our last full day in Pigeon Forge, we visited Dollywood. This park had the perfect balance of roller coasters and shows. When I purchased the tickets, I planned on spending most of our time at the shows because of Leah’s coaster-phobia. However, I was impressed by how many roller coasters she actually wanted to ride. She said that I caught her on a brave day.


    Gazillion bubble show


    While in the park, we saw a few small shows. One of the most impressive was the Gazillion Bubble Show with “bubble artist” Ana Yang. As funny as it might sound, Ms. Yang used her bubbling techniques to entertain and amuse a full theater. Leah and I found ourselves laughing and jumping out of our seats to pop fog-filled bubbles. We also enjoyed a stunt dog show and a bluegrass band. Leah won a free Moonpie and Coke from an acapella 60s group.


    Free moon pie and coke at Dollywood


    Those few days were fun and relaxing for Leah and me. From there, we traveled to Oxford, Mississippi to visit our great friends Devon and Noelani Newburn. We will post more on our time in Mississippi soon!


    One Year!

    I can’t believe it’s already been an entire year since our wedding in the woods!

    David – thank you for your friendship, love, patience, humor, and leadership. I am the luckiest girl in the world, and am excited for our many adventures ahead. Love you more.


    Outdoor wedding cathedral - photo by Jenn Marie Photography

    Our wedding in the woods - photo by Jenn Marie Photography

    Wedding fist pump - photo by Jenn Marie Photography

    {photos by Jenn Marie Photography}