...we were riding in a friend's car and I said to him, "does this mean we are dating?"

Gavin was the drummer in a local band, and a girl I was friends with had a crush on the bass player. I was underage at the time and somehow she snuck me into their show. A few weeks later we saw each other at a coffee shop and that was when we actually met. It was love at first sight. We ended up just hanging out and I remember a few weeks into it we were riding in a friend's car and I said to him, "does this mean we are dating?" and he said, "yeah I guess so," and the rest is history.



After a month of knowing him I told my mom he was "the one" and he was the man I was going to marry. A year later he proposed with a ring my father had given my mother, and he had since passed away at this point, so it was a special moment. It was a simple rectangle baguette setting with a light aqua marine stone in it and it had diamonds on either side.


The wedding was in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. It is both of our hometowns. It is tropical and beautiful and, because it was a low budget wedding, we decided just to do it there. The wedding was on the beach and the reception was by the pool. We did everything ourselves because there was no budget. I did everything from reconstructing my own gown which was Gavan's grandmother's from the 1930s, to writing all 125 invitations by hand. We wanted to write our own vows but ended up just doing a traditional-style wedding and had a close friend read a special verse for us. The ceremony was given by a family friend, so she wrote something special as well.


That morning, we were up pretty early because there was still so much to do. One friend brought ivy from her mother's garden to wrap up the staircases. Another friend made these beautiful bows to go around different areas of the house.



A friend and I made all seven of the bridesmaids dresses as well, so we were sewing and fitting dresses til the day of the wedding. My brother walked me down the aisle and his brother played the mandolin. My sister-in-law was my maid of honor. The girls' dresses that I made were cotton and strapless, and I had a friend hand-paint leaves with bamboo along the sides of the dresses. They almost looked batiked. The boys wore Mexican wedding shirts and khakis.


The area we live in is known for shrimping so our friends shrimped all week, and we made a meat and then shrimp-only low country boil, a traditional dish of our area. It is typically sausage, shrimp, corn on the cob, onions and seasonings, and it all boiled in a huge pot. Then we had other traditional southern dishes, like potato salad, and macaroni and cheese. Our two close friends, a chef and baker in Charleston, South Carolina, did our hors d'oeuvres and cake as their gift to us. We registered for our honeymoon instead of gifts. We went to the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. I think that I took a lot on myself and maybe could have changed a few things, but I'm older now, and the older you get, the wiser you are, and looking back, I think everything was perfect for where we were at that time in our lives. We are happily married and still madly in love.