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Kelley + Stuart

“I met Kelley a few years ago at Longleaf Church where I’m on staff. I remember thinking that she was really cute and probably way too cool to date a guy like me. I would see her every few weeks at church or at movie nights, and after a few months, we started getting to know each other.

     Fast forward a few more months to her birthday – February 28, 2014. At this point, I knew I liked her – liked her enough to even go to her “Pure Barrety” before her birthday dinner! Which is kind of a big deal for me. I’m not really the Pure Barre workout type. At dinner I remember her flirting with me, and I remember thinking to myself, “You don’t have to flirt with me, I like you already!” So the next day I called her and with heart racing I told her I liked her and asked her out.

     That call began the first round of a relationship that unfortunately fizzled after a few months. Honestly, I just wasn’t a great boyfriend, and I was terrified of commitment. So I bailed. She was heartbroken (I later found out). But I felt like it was the right decision. Well at least for a few months until I finally came to my senses. She was something special, and I knew I had to get her back.

     At some point in July or August, I began to pursue her again – asking her to lunch, texting her, trying to find time to spend with her even though she seemingly wasn’t interested in another round with me. It was a challenge. Eventually I found myself opening up to her about the innermost part of me – things that no one else knew about me. It was terrifying and liberating all at the same time. And the most surprising thing happened. She in turn began to share with me things about herself that that she hid from everyone else! At that point I knew I had her back and that this time was going to be different.

     We started dating again in September 2014, and 2015 was the year we fell in love. I got to the point where I couldn’t imagine spending the rest of my life without her, and all the fear and anxiety of commitment that had plagued me in the past just wasn’t there. I knew I wanted Kel to be my wife within a few months of that year, but I made myself wait to buy a ring at least until my brother got married that November. I think it was December when we talked about what she wanted in a ring, and in January I started shopping.

     I picked the ring up on February 8th which was a Monday, but I didn’t have a clue as to how I should propose. To be honest, I almost drove to her tennis match that evening to pop the question immediately. But I stopped myself. Not sure if she really wanted to be proposed to post-tennis match. So I came up with a plan. I like music and I’m an amateur video editor so I made a short video of all the pictures of the two of us from her Instagram put to the tune of Alexander Fairchild’s “Abc.” Even watching it now as I’m writing this makes my heart feel like it’s beating out of my chest. And so on February 10th, I came up with a ruse for us to eat dinner in Warner Robins (we both live in Macon) and then head to the church “to check on something.” The video was ready, the speakers were on, and the lights were down. We sat on the very back row and watched as our relationship unfolded according to her Instagram. We laughed and reminisced about the good times and the bad as we watched the screens (I later found out she thought I was just doing something sweet for Valentine’s Day). But at the end of the video, I got down on one knee and asked the biggest question of my life. And she said yes! It was like floating on air. We called our families and friends and drove back to her parents’ house to celebrate with them.

     Four months out from our wedding, I’m confident in her and in us. It’s the start of a brand new journey, but there’s no fear. There’s no anxiety. Just anticipation of what God has in store for us. We’re not perfect. We fight sometimes (mostly because I’ve done something dumb), but we love each other. And I can’t wait for that love to grow and blossom into a beautiful life together.”

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Kelley, I’m pretty sure your laugh is one of the best things ever…

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  • April 24, 2016 - 8:48 pm

    Alesia Evans - I love these two, not just because she is my daughter! They have a special love and I can hardly wait till they say “I Do”. Thank you Ashah for capturing this special moment!

  • April 24, 2016 - 9:31 pm

    Jill Butler Barrs - Gorgeous pic and adorable couple.

  • April 27, 2016 - 1:56 am

    Diane Daniel Strickland - Ashah, you have done it, again! Pure magic!!!

Lauryn + Nolan

His

“Since we are considered “high school sweethearts”, I guess I’m supposed to start in high school, but my crush on Lauryn actually began when I first started at GMC in 6th grade. All 4 feet, 90 pounds of me had a huge crush on the cute 8th grade girl named Lauryn Dennard. It wasn’t until I was in 10th grade and she was a senior when she finally started paying me a little attention. She was the star basketball player at the time and I just happened to be on the basketball team so we got to know each other through basketball. Then during baseball season she became the baseball manager so we got to spend even more time together. One night after an away game she asked me to go watch a local high school prom with her, of course I said yes, even though I had never been that nervous at that point in my life. Little did I know that would be the start of a relationship that led us to where we are now. Fast forward to over 5 years later and I experienced what is now for sure the most nerve racking night of my life. I didn’t think I’d be nervous to ask her to marry me, but when I realized how lucky I would be if she said yes I was more nervous than I had ever been. Lucky for me she said yes and I am so excited I get to spend my life with her! I will tell anyone that Lauryn is the strongest person I’ve ever met, and she has the biggest heart that you could ever imagine. I’m thankful for her and am so glad I went through the most nerve racking night of my life to get to spend a lifetime with her.”

Hers

“Nolan and I first started “talking” (every highschooler’s version of dating) in the Spring of my senior year. We had known each other forever but never imagined that we would be engaged to be married! My senior year, he was the star baseball player (as a sophomore) and I was the manager on the baseball team. That’s how it all started. At first, I was attracted by his athletic ability, but the more we talked and hung out with each other, the more I started to fall in love with his other qualities. He is great with kids, easy on the eyes, and most importantly a man of God. I mean what more could a girl ask for? On April 8, 2010, after about a month of “talking” he finally asked me to be his girlfriend, “officially” (facebook and all). Since that day, I continue to fall more and more and love with him as each day passes.

Nolan has been such a light in my life. He has stood by my side through the many trials that life has thrown me. I can always count on him to give me the most sound advice for whatever I was going through. We have traveled many miles with each other and I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side through the many adventures of life. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us as we embark on this new chapter.”

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  • April 18, 2016 - 1:31 am

    Amanda K Mclean - What a beautiful story

Courtney + Niles

 “On a beautiful June day in 2014, the Durham Bulls were playing baseball and Duke provided tickets to the therapy department. I attended with friends, but after a while their numbers dwindled and my ride was about to leave. It was then that my date finally showed up, so I stayed to finish out the game. More friends left and soon I found myself sitting in an empty row with only my date beside me. The charming young man sitting behind me looked vaguely familiar and I wished to meet him properly. I suggested my date and I move up a row and just like that, Niles and I met. There were fireworks. No, really, at the end of every baseball game there are fireworks. But also the figurative ones. Niles asked for my number, while I was sitting next to my date (!), so I knew he was confident. When we later played shuffleboard, Niles smoothly made sure he and I were on the same side of the table. He asked my permission to ask me on a date, but I was the one to text him the next day. Our first official date was two days after we met and I knew right away that this one was different.

The relationship blossomed over the year, even though we lived 80 miles apart. We saw each other every single weekend that year. On one particular weekend in Marietta, GA, Niles suggested we walk his dog, Maddie, before the 5 hour drive home. Along this walk, Niles suggested we go stand on a dock, but the dock was filled with balloons and rose pedals in the shape of a heart. “We can’t go on that dock! We’ll ruin someone else’s proposal!” I exclaimed. Niles pulled me closer and led me into the middle of the flowers. He got down on one knee and asked that simple question. I looked around to take in the scene – it was then that I spotted the hidden photographer, just like I had hoped there would be. This was not someone else’s proposal site- it was mine.”

Location: Walnut Hill FarmDalton, Georgia

Hair: Megan Crawford

Makeup: Chelsea Rancudo

DJ: Bunn DJ Company

Assistant Photographers: Candice Emerson & Aimee Carter

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Hiding Courtney when Niles drove by;)

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We had to sneak out in the middle of the reception to do a few sunset shots;)

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ashahphotography_7404ashahphotography_7405ashahphotography_7406ashahphotography_7407What was your first dance song?

“Die a Happy Man” By Thomas Rhett

How did you feel when you saw each other for the first time on the wedding day?
“We first saw each other when I walked down the aisle. I had a long walk from behind the building to the altar, but I kept my eyes on him the whole time, he was the only person that mattered in that moment. We were both holding back tears and smiling with our whole hearts. It was better than I had ever imagined.”
What was the most memorable moment of the day?
“Niles and I both agree it was the first dance. It felt so humbling to have everyone witness this beautiful moment. I didn’t look at the people around us, only at him, but I could feel their presence and their love. We swayed along to the tune, we mouthed the words, we embraced and kissed and laughed that the song felt longer than it ever had. I joked, “Well then, where are your dance moves?” And he whisked me into a dance step and twirled me and dipped me for a finale kiss. I couldn’t stop smiling.”
If you could do it all over again, would you change anything? 
“There were pieces of the day that possibly could have been organized better with more preparation and conversation, but nothing that we could have truly anticipated. It was beautiful and we would do it all again in an instant.”
Do you have any advice to other brides & grooms?
“Any time something came up that seemed stressful or overwhelming, the best technique we used to combat that was to remember that at the end of the day we were still going to be married, and that’s all that mattered. Enjoy the process and enjoy the day because you’re getting MARRIED!” 
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Asheville, NC for a mini-moon