I almost don’t remember a time Trey wasn’t a part of our family anymore. My littlest sister Hannah started dating Trey in high school - I’d already left for college, but every time I came home and every family function we had for nearly a decade, he was there. When they told the family they were engaged we weren’t surprised, we knew Trey would be around forever. Their engagement lasted nearly two years so they could be out of college when they tied the knot. It gave us plenty of time to discuss the perfect venue, photographer and time of year to get married. They settled on December 29, 2017, and that day was the most beautiful, freezing cold, blizzard of the year. It was perfect. The snow fell during pictures like we were inside a snow globe. The holiday season made the day that much more nostalgic and personal. The upcoming New Year made everyone’s hearts more hopeful. We all believed in true love that day.

Their photographer, Madelin Mack Photography, captured the most unbelievable portraits on the bridge next to the venue downtown. I sat and looked at all of the shots in her reel for hours. Each one captured so perfectly Hannah and Trey’s relationship. Trey; a never-serious, fun-loving individual who prided himself on his loyalty and love for family and friends. The guy who can’t walk through a grocery store without stopping 15 times. He knows the entire city. His genuine nature is infectious and I’ve never once heard a bad word about him. You can see that in every shot. And Hannah, a happy, easy-going soul, full of love, energy and patience. They’re high school sweethearts that have every beautiful, positive opportunity within reach. To be able to pull those emotions out in images, what an exceptional photographer.

The sweetest thing is planning your little sister’s wedding. Hannah is not an “all about me” type of gal. She doesn’t love to be the topic of conversation and she doesn’t care to get all dolled up. But for this day, I was determined that Hannah would be the center of attention. She’s practical and frugal. She probably has the same $100 bill from her 16th birthday saved in a drawer at home. So as her planner and sister, trying to explain the importance and efficiency of a professional hair and makeup artist and a quality DJ was somewhat of a challenge in the beginning - challenge accepted. Eventually, Hannah came around to the idea of letting others take care of her for this one day. Even better? We still stayed on budget.

I choked back massive crocodile tears when Hannah put her dress on. She was a winter wonderland bride’s dream. Each piece of her wardrobe was perfection. Their slate blue, champagne, copper, marble and burgundy color palette (yes, FIVE colors) was up-and-coming. We were ahead of the trend. Hannah and Trey trusted me with the decor and practically handed off the reigns. The bridesmaid dresses covered different shades of the most beautiful slate blue that popped against the white of the snow. The groomsmen’s attire was styled by my husband Brandon and wasn’t a perfect match to the bridesmaids - a favorite touch. The furs, rich burgundy, velvet adorning the floral and winter garlands were touches we spent a lot of time on. The day is determined by the details - pay attention.

My biggest personal challenge was being a bridesmaid in the wedding as well as being the planner. I don’t recommend planning a wedding you’re also a part of. I definitely don’t recommend trying to plan and execute your own wedding as the bride - what a nightmare. I missed simple and quiet, but important pieces of this day I wish I could have been a part of. I didn’t get ready with Hannah and her maids, I didn’t get to leave for cocktail hour with the bridal party and I didn’t see some of the special moments I would have as being solely the planner either. I know the temptation of saving money by having family and friends do your wedding for you, but I can’t express enough how much easier it is on everyone you love to hire a professional. If I didn’t have my experience, I would have been extremely stressed throughout the day. Leave that kind of pressure to someone that has asked for it.

Happy Anniversary to my sister and brother in law. I love who you are together, I love how you love my sons and your Godson. I love to watch you grow in your relationship and life. I can’t wait to see your own family grow and where this life together will take you. Thank you for entrusting your day to me. You were blizzard royalty on 12/29. I wish we could relive this day every year.

Special thanks to all the incredible professionals that helped make this day everything it was:
Planner, Decor, Styling + Design: Walker Down The Aisle
Venue: Hilton Garden Inn Downtown
Photographer: Madelin Mack Photography
Hair + Makeup: Sabreena Frances
DJ: DJ SieffStyle Entertainment
Floral: Elaborations by Joyce Naber
King’s chairs: ABC Rentals
Dress: Bridal Gallery
Bridesmaids: Lulu’s
Suits: Halberstadt’s