Y'all, when a precious young woman contacts you about photographing her wedding even BEFORE her boyfriend has proposed, you walk on a happy cloud for weeks! I was BLOWN AWAY when sweet Juliana reached out to me even before she had a ring! Juliana's confidence and excitement about having us be a part of her and Michael's wedding day was a wonderful gift! But that's just Juliana - she's the kind of young woman who brings so much light, love, and laughter into the world, and gives it away generously. (Don't worry, her groom is a perfect match for her! I'll tell you more about Mr. Michael Miller in just a minute!)
Every moment of their happy day was beautiful. Michael and Juliana chose to say "I do" at a wonderful location, Juliana's family's riverside home. Located in a secluded, remote bend of the river near Columbus, it was a gorgeous place to be on a perfect November day. This was our first riverside wedding in Columbus, but I hope it won't be our last!
These sweethearts were the center of a happy swirl of activity! While we were playing with all the beautiful details and capturing sweet getting ready moments, friends and family were EVERYWHERE, cooking, setting up, decorating, and helping create this amazing day. And while everyone worked, we were treated to views like this!
Now that's you've had a peek behind the scenes, let me tell you a little bit about Mr. Michael Miller. Y'all, we've known Michael since he was in high school! I began my life as a believer in Christ at his uncle's church, where we all worshipped and served together. I like to say that Jonathan and I grew up as believers under Pastor Kenny and Mrs. Deborah Gardner! The Miller and Gardner families have been a very special part of our lives since we were goofy college students! I have no way of measuring or describing the deep impact they have had on our lives, and we are by far not the only people who have been blessed by knowing them.
There's a beautiful heritage of Godly men and women on both sides of Michael's family. It's been awesome for us to watch Michael find and answer the unique call of God on his own life. When we joined Vibrant Church several years ago, we were so happy to see Michael using his gifts on the worship team. He's now serving, leading, and encouraging as our West Campus Pastor!
I've already told you a little about sweet Juliana, but let me tell you more about her & her wonderful family. We've also known the Stillmans for many years. They are a kind, loving family, and like the Millers, they are well known and active in Columbus. Like Michael, Juliana serves on the worship team at Vibrant, and during the week she is a beloved teacher at Caledonia Elementary. Is this helping to paint a little picture of how well loved these two are in our community?
So, y'all, can you understand how I kind of felt like I was getting to participate in a royal wedding with these two? I couldn't wait to see their First Look moment!
I couldn't have asked for more beautiful golden hour light than what we had for Michael and Julian's bride and groom portraits. There's something magical about November evening light, y'all. It just kept getting better and better!
And then we got to have fun with the wedding party!
As the sun went down behind the trees, car after car of guests followed the signs through the tree-lined gravel roads to the Stillman Lake House. They found the lower porch and yard transformed into an elegantly decorated black and gold wedding venue.
Juliana and Michael had one of the most unique ceremonies we have ever seen! Their after-dark ceremony was held on the front deck of the home. Just a few carefully placed lights created a lovely, romantic moodI. I loved how Juliana and her father walked down the stairs to meet Michael (and let's all just give her a little respect for going up and down the stairs in that magnificent gown in HEELS and never tripping once!)
Michael's grandfather, beloved Bro. Gardner, officiated the ceremony along with Pastor Kenny Gardner. I think this ceremony brought tears to my eyes more than once... and I caught another special person shedding some tears too....
And then, the moment we'd all been waiting for - these two sweethearts officially became Mr. and Mrs. Miller!
After the ceremony, the guests were treated to music by DJ Aaron Kelley and other Vibrant Church friends, and a hearty home cooked supper by Terry and Bernice Lile.
There were SO MANY fun moments at this reception, but one of the highlights was Michael's very ENTHUSIASTIC retrieval of the garter!
In contrast, the bridesmaids behaved like perfect ladies for the bouquet toss! (I don't think any of them were in a hurry to be next, do you?)
At the end of an evening filled with laughter and joy (and a little MSU football - it was November 11, y'all, the MSU vs. Alabama game day!) fireworks and sparklers sent Michael and Juliana off into their new life together.
This November wedding by the river was like no other wedding, y'all. It was perfectly lovely, and just PERFECT for these two sweethearts! The three of us enjoyed every minute of it. It was a joy to watch these two find each other, and a it was privilege beyond all blessings to see them say "I do!"
Coordinator: Bobbie Sue Pearson
Bride, Groom, and Wedding Party Attire: all from the Bride and Groom Bridal Boutique and House of Tux, Columbus, MS
Bridal MUA: Hillari Forrester, Forrester Faces Hair and Makeup
Brides's Ring: Gold and Diamond International
Groom's Ring: Reed's Jewelers
Floral design: Loretta Shelton, The Flower Girl Wedding and Florist (Facebook)
Videography: Randy May (209) 756-1337
Bridesmaids' robe monogramming & "Cord of Three Strands" Wooden Sign: Stephanie Herring of Southern Made Designs (Facebook)
Wedding Cake: Lisa Cook
Groom's Cake: Taylor Made Cake of Columbus (Facebook)
Catering by Terry and Bernice Lile and friends
Music by Nathan McCullough and members of the Vibrant Worship Team
Reception DJ: Aaron Kelley