My affection for John and Julie is enormous. They are the perfect example of how life can bring two loving and selfless people together, and how that kind of serendipitous meeting can happen in any season of life. Even better, John and Julie met in the same way my husband and I met: on Match.com. My marriage is going strong after 12 years, and John and Julie are absolutely made for each other, so I guess there’s at least a glimmer of hope for all those people out there going the internet dating route.
It was John who initiated the first date. Both he and Julie are raising college-age kids, and one of the most special parts of the date was that John got to meet Julie’s son Daniel while they had drinks and got acquainted. Julie was drawn immediately to John’s transparency and honesty. After their second or third date, John dropped by Julie’s house just to let her know how much he liked her, that that he wanted to spend more time with her. Because John is normally unflappable, Julie found his nervousness charming and endearing. For his part, John first fell in love with Julie’s presence. She was so in-the-moment, considerate, and compassionate, and John could see how much she loved those around her.
When John decided to propose, he covertly invited Julie’s daughter Sophia to see if she would design a ring with him. Not only did the gesture mean the world to Julie when she eventually found out, but it also convinced Sophie that this was a man who truly adored her mother. When the ring was ready, John proposed during a trip to Savannah, but not before he had spent time with Julie’s son and daughter, letting them know how much he loved Julie.
The wedding took place in June, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what’s been going on in the world since early last year. While John and Julie had initially planned to have a much larger farm wedding, the final concept was smaller in scale, mostly in order to keep people safe. The wedding had always been scheduled to take place at North Corner Haven, one of my very favorite venues, and I can’t tell you how blown away I was by how the event staff worked tirelessly to make everything not only beautiful but safe.
On the day of the wedding, John and Julie got dressed at the venue and chose to knock out all of the pre-ceremony family portraits before the guests started to arrive. This was intentional; more than anything, John and Julie wanted to ensure that they would have ample time to talk and laugh with the friends and family who had come to celebrate with them. After we finished with our initial portraits, there was a 30 minute cocktail hour on the lawn so that John and Julie could spend time with their guests before the ceremony began.
The ceremony itself took place in the herb garden. Guests stood or sat on the stone wall, which had been laid with cushions at responsible intervals. Keeping with the theme of uniting two families, John walked to the altar with his daughter on his arm, and then Julie was escorted down the aisle by her son and daughter. During the exchanging of vows, the kids stood right beside their parents. I remember that the officiant talked about how he had discussed the impending marriage not only with John and Julie, but also with their children, and about how everyone felt that these were two human beings utterly meant for one another.
Once the ceremony concluded, everyone made their way to the reception in the apple orchard, which was lit by café lights strung between the trees. There were spaced out tables, and guests either stood or sat, all of them enjoying this time with John and Julie and their amazing family. Before cutting into their gorgeous cake, John and Julie’s children toasted the newlyweds. Then there was a little time for dancing before the sun went down.
I couldn’t be happier for these two. Their love for each other is powerful, and it’s obvious that everyone in their orbit knows that. I was just so impressed by how flexible they were in their planning, and also by the ability of North Corner Haven to put together such a wondrous day. Congrats, John and Julie.
Ceremony & Reception Location: North Corner Haven
Event Planner: Becky Knutson
Officiant: Doug Banks
Videographer: Will Allen
Floral Design: Proper Flower
Cake Artist: Edible Art
Music: Reinaldo Brahn
Many thanks to my second photographer, Christina, for her lovely images.