Taylor + Daniel’s Masonic Center’s Wedding
Wedding Coordinator: Meredith Events
Photographer: Eddington Photography
Catering: Events! Catering
Cake: Stephanie Boyd
Hair/MUA: Caitlin Neumann with Face Your Day Salon
DJ: Crown Entertainment
Lighting: Stagemasters A/V
Florist: Flowers & Home of Bryant
Ceremony Venue: Grace Lutheran Church
Reception Venue: Albert Pike Masonic Center
Interview with Taylor
By: Meredith Corning
Q. How did you meet?
A. The story of when Daniel and I met is old-fashioned, and rather plain. We simply met at the birthday party of a mutual friend--one whom I have known since elementary school, and who Daniel met in college. We exchanged a few words, played some games with the group at the party, and did not really speak anything of it afterwards--until three months later, that is. Daniel, through our mutual friend's encouraging, worked up the nerve to ask me out on a date. The rest is history. It is not a story out of a fairytale, but it was certainly the first chapter of our fairytale.
Q. How did he propose?
A. Throughout college and law school, I spent a lot of time exploring my university's campus, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. I lived in Fayetteville for seven years while attending school, and fell deeply in love with the town, the people, the scenery, and the history of the town. When Daniel and I began to date, I was in my final year of law school. He lived in central Arkansas at the time (where I am originally from, and where we both reside now), so much of the beginning of our relationship was long distance. Whenever Daniel would drive up to Fayetteville to visit me, I would try and show him different parts of Fayetteville that were meaningful to me. One place in particular was a certain bench on Old Main Lawn. During my years of university at UA, I would walk around the campus, and often stopped at what I dubbed as "my bench" near the front of Old Main Lawn. I spent many times sitting on that bench--listening to music, writing, praying, daydreaming, laughing, and crying. It was my bench, and one I had never shared with anyone...until Daniel. I took him to my bench several times during my last year of law school, and we shared stories, dreams, heartaches, and reality lessons with each other. They were some of the best days for me, and it was so special to share something this meaningful with a man I was beginning to fall in love with. On January 17, 2016, Daniel and I were up in Fayetteville for a visit. I had just finished lunch with some girlfriends from law school, and he came to pick me up. We wanted to walk around campus "for old time's sake" (I had graduated May 2015, and this was our first trip to Fayetteville since my graduation). It was frigid that afternoon, but we were both determined--for two separate reasons, I later learned. We meandered through the campus, and finally arrived at "our bench," where we decided to stop for a breather. There was a wedding that had just finished up on Old Main Lawn, and the wedding party was still there in order to finish up the photos. We watched for a little bit, and then Daniel went quiet (I talk enough for the both of us sometimes, so in that moment, I did not notice). Once I did finally realize I was talking to myself, I looked over at him. He had "that look" on his face--you know, the one where he so desperately had something to say, but had no idea where to begin. He finally began to speak. He recapped our relationship, and what we both want in life--for our individual selves, and for our relationship. At this point, I was in some heavy tears. He then went on to quote the entire end of my favorite move--When Harry Met Sally. It ended, "when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." We hugged and cried for quite a while; not too long afterwards, I realized he had never gotten on one knee. So, we went through the tradition of the one-knee thing, and just sat in sheer joy for a while. It was total bliss. It was quiet, and it was a moment that we shared with only each other. It was the (second, now, after the wedding) best day of my life.
Q. Did anything interesting or funny happen that you would like to share about your wedding day?
A. The most interesting thing that happened at our wedding? We remember it. We soaked in every moment, and we truly remember the day. Wedding planning was not the easiest task, especially in light of buying a home and changing up jobs. It had us both spent near the end of the planning process. But the weekend of the wedding? We stood still in the moments; we breathed the moments in; we processed the noises, sights, smells; and we absorbed how magical our wedding day truly was. I spent a while looking through our photos--from the rehearsal photos to the reception photos, and was crying near the end. I cried from the happiness I saw spread across our faces, and the faces of our loved ones. I cried from the special moments that were captured between Daniel and I, our friends, and our families. I cried from the sheer bliss I could sense throughout each photo, knowing that we truly experienced our wedding.
Q. Do you have any budget saving tips or advice for other brides-to-be?
A. My Mom is the one who actually took control of the decor. She has a history of putting together decor and flower arrangements, and used her own expertise to put together the decor for the entire reception. It was absolutely magical. It was beautiful. Never could I have created such warmth and brought my desires to life like my Mom did. If you have a family member or close friend who is able and willing to help in this manner, let them. Oftentimes, it is not so much a budget-friendly piece of advice, but rather is a piece of advice that enables your loved one to really be a huge help for you, and to actually experience the wedding day for you in a more intimate way. It makes for solid memories. Another budget-saving tip: Realize that all of those little details that seem important--such as monogrammed napkins, the type of plates on which people eat, having favors--really are pretty frivolous when it comes down to what you remember from your wedding day. There are some aspects to your wedding that are truly important to you; write those down, and focus on those. Do not get caught up in details that few will really notice; instead, focus on those details that ensure your day is composed of aspects of the wedding that are meaningful and memorable for you.
Q. What was your favorite thing about your wedding and why?
A. My wedding was my favorite part of my wedding. Literally every aspect of our wedding day was magical. The day was spent surrounded by the most important people in our lives, as we commenced the biggest chapter of our lives yet. Were there mistakes? Sure. Were there some things I forgot to do or others forgot to do? Likely so. Do I remember what those things were? No, not at all. I remember a lot of laughter, happy tears, dancing, and hugging. I have spent the two months since our wedding attempting to muster up words to describe how special the day was for me, and, for once (as an attorney and writer), I am at a total loss for words. It was a blessed and happy day, and there was a sparkling in our eyes and an extra beat in our heart.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to share?
A. There was one particular thing I was worried about for our wedding day--exchanging vows. I am an extremely sensitive person, and it takes no more than a sappy, 30-second commercial to start my waterworks. So to say I was concerned for myself and whether or not I could get through the wedding ceremony without crying (read: sobbing). As the music of Canon in D began to slow and increase in volume on the organ next to the door my Dad and I stood behind during the ceremony, I breathed in deeply. It was time. We took a step, and I gripped my Dad's arm tightly. We walked a couple of paces to pause for a quick photo. I breathed deeply again, and knew it was time to look up and forwards--towards my almost-husband, my family, and my friends. At this point, I prayed quickly that I would not start crying just yet. I looked up, and immediately locked eyes with Daniel. There stood one of the strongest men I knew--emotionally and physically. His eyes glistened and reddened as he looked down, from side-to-side, and then quickly back at me. His hand covered his mouth for a brief moment, and the biggest smile spread across his face. I began to laugh--yes, laugh! In that second, I felt everything in my body relax, as I realized that I was walking towards my biggest and most favorite adventure yet. I smiled as I walked down the aisle at those I recognized, and smiled the whole way through that walk down the aisle. And the greatest thing? I barely cried during the ceremony. I felt within me a strength I had never experienced, and smiled in the face of our future together. I guess you could say that, during our ceremony, I discovered a whole new version of myself, and let sheer happiness overcome me.