Cottage Hill: Grace Issue // Coletta Wedding

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Photography: Haley Sheffield 

I finally am sharing the below piece I wrote for Cottage Hill, an exquisite lifestyle and wedding publication. 

The storm passed and the charcoal-colored clouds vanished. Dragonflies and butterflies came out to play, dancing among the ceremony space. The heavens opened and sun rays beamed against the gravel aisle as Lindsay slowly walked in between the wispy delphiniums and her beloved guests. Her arms linked with her father’s, Lindsay’s delicate dress gracefully trailed behind her.

She saw Brian standing at the end of the aisle and smiled. The storm passed, her worries of planning the perfect wedding were lost, and the only thing that mattered was staring into Brian’s loving eyes with the purpose of marrying the love of her life.

“It comforts me to know that I have you as my rock…I promise to do my best to do the same for you. This balance holds us accountable to each other and makes us better people together,” Brian said, as he read his vows to his bride.

Their story began 10 years ago, when Lindsay Coletta and Brian Scurr’s eyes locked for the first time. “We were inseparable,” she said.

Brian was an active soldier in the Navy and Lindsay was 20-years old; young and in love with the man who she would marry 9-years later.

On a windy afternoon in April of 2014, Brian took Lindsay’s hand and led her onto the boardwalk at their favorite escape 45-minutes outside of Atlanta, Georgia. He brought up past memories they shared throughout the years.

As he knelt to the ground, Brian poured out his love for Lindsay and asked her to be with him forever. “It was heartfelt and sentimental,” Lindsay explained.

Similar to other newly engaged couples, Lindsay and Brian were giddy and anxious to begin planning their special day. Brian handmade the serpentine benches that staggered up the ceremony aisle and Lindsay meticulously considered details like purchasing hundreds of slate blue crystal candle tapers to adorn the farm tables and antique floral frogs to hold hand-written name cards.

They shared their vision with talented vendors and chose their venue at a secluded estate outside of Atlanta. The estate was tucked between English gardens and an intricate greenhouse sitting at the end of a gravel road.

The greenhouse was the backdrop of the ceremony; a special place for Lindsay because of her love for gardening that is apparent through her floral design boutique she opened in 2013. “I knew I wanted that garden vibe to be tied together.”

The tireless planning and countless details left Lindsay feeling excited yet consumed with an overwhelming sensation. “I was definitely stressed.”

April 19th, 2015, rapidly approached. Ominous clouds rolled over the wedding venue and the faint sounds of tornado sirens were echoing in the distance.

Lindsay and her matron of honor, Julia, arrived at the venue early to finish last minute details. Details such as folding the hundreds of linen napkins, rolling the menus and placing glass terrariums on the tables delicately filled with light pink roses, greenery moss woven together.

“When we pulled up at the venue I started to cry,” Lindsay said, overwhelmed with what still had to be done. “I had curlers in my hair when I was doing the final touches.”

The storm was rolling through and Lindsay’s eye continued to swell with tears. The one person she needed was Brian. “I looked at Julia and told her to call him.”

Brian arrived at the venue and walked to Lindsay; he pulled her into his arms and consoled her as she cried. “We sat on the steps and he told me that none of this matters. All we need to do is get married and be together.”

Lindsay brushed away her tears and packed up the rest of the decorations. She was reminded that this day was about solidifying a lifetime with her true love and the menu scrolls and floral installments were not as meaningful.

“I know now it’s important to not get caught up in the (small) things that may seem important at the time,” she said. “

A few hours later, Lindsay was dressed in her handmade wedding dress – An ivory layered dress that had lace flutter sleeves. Hand painted flowers stained the bottom of her train, a truly beautiful detail that was designed by Brooke Watson with Melanie Brooke Bridal. “I cried the happiest tears when I saw the dress,” Lindsay said.

Her bouquet was filled with soft colored florals; ranunculus, garden roses and clematis peeked through the greenery gently tied together with a mauve ribbon. A bone carved locket was fastened to the stems. Inside this locket was a photo of Lindsay’s great uncle Joe. “My great aunt and uncle raised me.”

Lindsay walked down the gravel aisle with her father, whom she reconnected with when she was older. Brian’s grandfather cried when he caught the first glimpse of Lindsay in the distance, slowly floating down the aisle towards her groom.

At the end, Brian was waiting for her. He held Lindsay’s hands and read his vows; a promise to always comfort her and love her.

“Today, I promise you this. I will be the best husband and father that I can be to you and our family. I will laugh with you in times of joy and comfort you in times of sorrow. I will share your dreams and support you as you strive to achieve your goals. I will listen to you with compassion and understanding, and speak to you with encouragement.”

Brian and Lindsay kissed and walked to a vintage vehicle that was parked on a gravel driveway. They were married and that was all that mattered. “This was such a sweet moment when we were alone,” Lindsay explained. “We were so excited and smiling and talking.”

The receptions was inside the estate; shutters opened and the trickling rain pattered again the window sills. The room was lit by hundreds of candles that reflected an old world feel. The head table was decorated with a long terrarium that was adorned with moss, flowers, preserved butterflies and a hand-lettered scroll that read Van Gogh’s words:

“If there has indeed been a change, then it is that I think, believe and love more seriously now what I thought, believed and loved even then.”

As loved ones raised their champagne glasses to toast the couple, Lindsay glanced over at Brian’s grandparents. They were holding hands and still in love after 50 years.

“I knew then a wedding is about slowing down and enjoying the people with you,” she said. “There were so many tender moments. You can’t go back and repeat these moments if you are in the back crying because someone forgot to put out extra candles.”

A wedding is filled with tender moments; a day that brings together family and friends in celebration of love.  And although the small details are what makes a wedding beautiful, what is even more beautiful is the sole purpose behind a wedding – to marry someone who will comfort you in times of need, love you during your weakest moments and encourage you to chase your dreams.

During the engagement season and then, on the wedding day, “we learned to stick together more than ever and be really patient and kind,” Lindsay explained. “I felt more confident in my relationship with him than anything I’ve ever had with anyone because we worked hard step by step to build what we have today.”

And as the dragonflies skipped through the rose gardens, Lindsay and Brian drove away from the venue, ready to begin their lives together; ready to conquer future storms together and constantly show kindness and love.

Make sure to grab a copy of the Grace Issue! http://www.cottagehillmag.com 

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