Becca Whitley & Colin Brown
Life's Adventure Begins Here
May 25, 2017
Augusta , Georgia
Kendra Martin Photography
The First Encounter
Pretending to celebrate my birthday, Colin took me to the local coffee shop where we met (technically we met at church, but a long year and a half later, we had another serendipitous meeting at Buona Caffe). We walked in, and the table where we first spoke, lingered, and laughed was decorated neatly with Middle Eastern flair. A flourless chocolate cake and two warm lattes greeted us, and I thought to myself, “This is a lot for my birthday.” I was a tad suspicious but enjoyed myself regardless. After our cozy lattes and shared time reminiscing, Colin said it was time to go to dinner. We were headed to the location of one of our first dates. Colin parked at the familiar restaurant, but I was surprised when he kept walking past the restaurant and toward the river. We arrived near the river, and to my disbelief, Colin had rented the outdoor fireplace and terrace, had lit a fire, dispersed sunflowers everywhere, and set up a huge spread of tapas, music, and wine. It was stunning, and I was breathless. After enjoying one another’s company, Colin pulled out a letter. The letter was torn, and I was certain of what was taking place. Two weeks after Colin and I had met and started dating, he had to go on an away-rotation for two months with the army. While he was away, he bought a leather journal and wrote a letter to me every day he did not see me. For Christmas, he presented me with this bound journal of letters, and the last page was ripped. In Colin’s hand was the ripped page from the journal, and on it he asked me if I would go on life’s adventures with him. In reference to an inside joke I joyfully responded, “A thousand pounds yes!”
Planning a wedding in three months was like running a marathon backwards. During our engagement, Colin was furiously busy with medical residency, and we were not only planning the wedding but I was also teaching high school, coaching, preparing for and taking the GRE, and applying to graduate school. Undoubtedly, without the help of my now steadfast husband, family, friends, and wedding planner—Shelly Yon, it would have never come to fruition. During this season, Colin and I learned we were an effective team. I was never cornered with a decision alone, and without hesitating, Colin coached and counseled me through challenging times. With God’s peace and gift of one another, the engagement was better than we could have foreseen. We took time to rest, and we even learned the Argentine Tango for our first dance. On our way home from meeting his parents in Ohio for Christmas, he brought up marriage, and the brainstorming began. Colin surprised me and stopped at a beautiful new local venue called Pine Knoll Farms on our way home. A wooded open air chapel served as the venue with horses running freely. The reception hall was a beautiful rustic barn accompanied by outdoor games and a firepit. We were sold, and that is where we said “I do.”
The Big Day
The forecast called for rain on our wedding day, but we were spared. The weather was humid but rainless, and during the ceremony time stood still along with our gazes at one another. Colin and I decided to see each other first at the ceremony, so as we awaited our union, we eagerly spent time praying, laughing, and feasting with friends. This was a savored decision. The wedding ceremony was a symbolic representation of both our faiths and our singular commitment to one another. The anticipation of waiting was met with hallmarked joy. We look back, and though we thoroughly enjoyed our reception, we remember the ceremony as our favorite part. A cool breeze kept our brows from sweating in the ninety-eight degree Georgia heat, and the combined beauty of those present both humbled and comforted us. The music was harmonious, and the joy was palpable. Beloved and woven together by God, we had found our home in one another. The warm, low pitch of the cello’s distinct echo mulled our spirits for worship, and Colin’s father ( who is a pastor) personalized the sermon to us and our guests. The vows we wrote were candid and sincere, and every niche, glory, and flaw has stained our memories with bliss. It was good.
“Bom dia” is the only way to say “Good Day” in Portugal. We flew to Lisbon, Portugal and entered another realm of life and beauty. The sidewalks were cobblestone, the people only knew the language of hospitality, and after praying for our future spouses since our teenage years, we were thankful, relaxed, and in love. We spent three nights in Portugal’s capital resting, dining, and walking, and then we journeyed east to the Azores. We spent our days hiking, eating, and enjoying the luscious and hidden paradise. Being away and disconnected was a wonderful gift for a busy teacher and doctor in training.
Pine Knoll Farms
Michael Stephens & Adam Rodriguez
House of the Bride
HAIR + MAKEUP