Rachel + James
How did you meet?
James and I met through our mutual best friends in college. I went to visit my best friend at her university one weekend, they introduced me to James, and the rest is history. James and I did long distance for about 4 years before finally living in the same city. With James originally being from England, and deciding to come to university in the states, we always talk about how crazy the odds were that we got to meet in a small town (Greenwood, South Carolina), where both of our best friends from home decided to go to college.
When did you know they were the one?
The night we met, we both went home saying “Why have y’all not introduced us sooner?!” to our friends. We both knew pretty immediately that this would be something serious and while anyone can attest that long distance is not easy, James made it feel like the easiest thing in the world. I knew James was special from day one, but going through all the curveballs life can throw at you over time, James very steadily showed why he was the one with how much of a rock he is to our friends, family, and myself, especially.
What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?
1. James is genuinely the kindest, most thoughtful human in the world. He never judges, always sees both sides, and always stands for doing the right thing.
2. He is the FUNNIEST person in the world, even the most mundane, normal, daily things are the best with him.
3. The love and support that he has for those close to him is unmatched.
Who proposed and how?
James did! He rented out a chapel close by (The Cliffs at Glassy Chapel) and took me up there as a surprise to propose. This was the first day I had off of work in a while that we had originally reserved to go apartment hunting, but this quickly turned what was supposed to be a very normal, errand-filled-day into one of the most memorable days ever. We joined my dad at a restaurant close by afterwards to celebrate, and this is a memory that I will cherish forever.
Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?
I went to the Lovely Bride in Charlotte and fell in love with the Cameron gown. Allie, from the Charlotte store, made this whole process so empowering and easy. The Cameron gown immediately made me really feel like a bride, the detailing is incredible with the lace and 3D flowers, and the detachable bows made the dress feel so fun and romantic.
What was the best moment for you at your wedding?
We both thought we would be so nervous during the ceremony, but as soon as I saw James I was so excited I couldn’t stand still. We were both so at peace to finally see each other on the day and to finally become husband and wife. It is such an undescribable feeling having all of your friends and family from all over in one place, and we’ve never felt that much love before.
What were your favourite details?
This is so hard to choose, all of our friends, family, and vendors made this day absolutely perfect. James’ mom hand-painted and created the most special wooden hearts with our initials and wedding date on it for all of our guests. She worked for months on these and are a true testament to how thoughtful and loving his family is. Another very special, favorite detail is that James knew I would be looking for a sign from my late dad that he was there on our day, and he had a cardinal pin inside of his tux jacket that he showed me after our ceremony.
What advice would you tell other brides?
Truly sit back and take a moment to soak in the week of the wedding and the day! Everything goes by so quickly and things will without-a-doubt not go to plan, but it will always turn out to be the most special day – you’re marrying your best friend! Even with all of the stress and time that goes into planning and preparing for your wedding day, we would go through everything all over again in a heartbeat to have all of our loved ones in the same place to celebrate.
Any standout vendors?
ALL OF THEM! We cannot praise all of our vendors enough, they all exceeded any and all thoughts we had of what our wedding day would be like. Our wedding planner, Mandy Powell, took our vision and made it above and beyond what we could’ve ever dreamed of. Our florist, Suzie from Statice, created the most stunning backdrop for our ceremony and floral installations that framed our dancefloor. Arley, our DJ, created THE PARTY and made the coordination of the day’s events so smooth and seemless. White Wine & Butter still has our guests raving about the food and went out of their way to make delicious English sausage rolls to have something from back home for James. Our videography team (Ivory In Veil) made capturing our day SO easy and fun. Lastly, our photographer, Lindsay Brantley, is without a doubt one of the most talented, supportive, and uplifting people to work with and created the most beautiful photos for us to have forever.