“Did you know?” My voice broke as I said the words to my mother on the phone.
“Know what?” she said, her Southern drawl also turning tearful.
My voice broke as I said the words to my mother on the phone. “Know what?” she said, her Southern drawl also turning tearful.
She hadn’t known what life changing events had occurred that morning
I had flown to North Carolina to surprise Brandt Waggoner, my boyfriend then, for his birthday in December 2007. However, he had turned the surprise around (with the help of many friends and family) and proposed to me. We had been dating for 3 years. I had been living in Lebanon and he was in Wake Forest, N.C. working on his seminary degree.
From that day until July 19, 2008, we found ourselves in a seven-month whirlwind called “wedding planning.”
There were certain themes that shaped the vision for our wedding. First, we believe marriage is a sacred act of worship to God. We also incorporated various traditions associated with weddings in the South, reminding us of the many to walk down the aisle before us. Lastly, we believe marriage is something to be celebrated with friends and family, and celebrate we did!
The vision was easy. It’s the details that took time, but we had some wonderful help along the way. Scott Graham with S.S. Graham Flowers was a part of the process from day one. He was sincerely helpful, visionary and graciously gifted. Mixing classic images with a modern simplicity, he created a beautiful, but not distracting, space for our ceremony.
What could have been a pressure-filled search for the dress was turned into a joyous experience at Faccio Bridal in Franklin, TN. With the help of Beth Bowman (a Wilson county native) and Elizabeth Maxwell, I chose a Rivini A-line dress with French Alençon lace and silk organza. The fabric was delicate and breezy, but details like a lace border and ribbon bow at my waist created a classic image. A double-layered, handmade veil and pearl jewelry, all by Cheryl King, completed my fairytale. I think Beth and Elizabeth knew every member of our family by the time the wedding came!
I had always envisioned myself walking down the center aisle of a beautiful church on my wedding day, and Maple Hill Church of Christ provided just the place. It also comfortably housed the 500 other attendees, which could have proved a challenge.
A place where our large crowd could celebrate, eat, and dance the night away was a high priority. The Mill’s Edgerton Room was transformed by Wendy Binns and her crew at One Source Weddings. Wendy took on the daunting task of draping the room with fabric and decorating the many tables. She worked to make the most of our budget and even made last minute changes the night before to optimize the space. When we arrived at The Mill the night before the wedding, my bridesmaids and I jumped and squealed, like little girls, at the beauty of it all.
The Martin and Waggoner families love food and so we sought a caterer with a distinctive take on Southern cuisine, elegantly prepared. We found everything we were looking for in Chef’s Market. For the cake, Jay Qualls of Maples Wedding Cakes took our ideas and incorporated them into a cake that was both iconic and personal. The creative process with these two businesses was my favorite part of planning.
Five Oaks Golf & Country Club was the natural venue for our rehearsal dinner. I always loved to hear my parents point out the Lebanon landmarks from the porch. My family has made wonderful memories there, and that night was the best of all, as our family and friends shared stories, toasts, and encouragement.
The list of friends, families and vendors from Wilson County and beyond who were part of our wedding could probably fill this magazine. However, my dream would still be just that without my gracious family who devoted their lives to this undertaking. My precious parents, Lane and Melinda Martin, and my sister Allison were, and are, my team. We are forever “attached.”
To say the day came together beautifully would be an understatement. It was, as they say, the happiest day of our lives. Not only was it a celebratory beginning of our marriage, but it was the grand finale to a blissful season of life shared with all of the people we love most.
Now I live in North Carolina with my husband. Last month, I came to Lebanon for a visit and inevitably drove down West Main from my parent’s house into town. The street that once held my high school and childhood memories has become the launching pad for a sweet reminiscing on our wedding. I realized my affection for this town has grown much fuller through the preparation for and fulfillment of that day. Although I may live away for the rest of my life, I can envision myself, aged and gray, describing Lebanon as my home and “the place I got married.”