I didn’t watch Big Brother — for the most part, I stay away from reality TV — so it was a surprise to find out how awesome Diane Henry was when she joined the web team at my day job. She has since left to join her now-husband in one of the so-called flyover states, but we still keep in touch over Facebook, which is where I learned of her engagement and recent elopement in Tennessee.
Diane, awesome as she is, obliged me when I asked if I could blog her wedding — and gave me some of the awesome details behind her big day.
It seems as though Diane’s Big Brother experience had some influence on what she wanted for a wedding.
“…the more I thought about a wedding with people the more anxiety I got…not to mention a day of attention centered on me sounded super uncomfortable lol (I must of got that as a result of being on big brother) so I just eventually kept putting plans off.”
Diane’s fiance, Shawn, had suggested Tennessee as a possible spot for where they could elope, which to most people would sound like it was a loony idea. Don’t most people elope to Las Vegas? But it turned out there was an authentic English garden in Tennessee called Rosewood Gardens in Seiverville, outside Pigeon Forge. The garden’s owners are actually from the United Kingdom and even featured a garden named for Princess Diana, with permission from her family. The best part? Rosewood Gardens had a weekday special for couples only which included the dressing room, ceremony, 2 hours of photos and the photos on a CD for just — wait for it……$500. That would be unheard of in California.
This is my favorite photo, by the way. It puts the couple’s personality on full display — fun loving and full of humor, on a day when most people are stressed to the breaking point that things go off perfectly.
And this photo is so totally Diane.
If you’re wondering, the bouquet was a surprise gift from her mom, who contacted a local florist and had it sent over before the ceremony. You might also be wondering about her dress — isn’t it beautiful? Diane said she originally ordered a customized dress online a month beforehand, thinking it would be ready in time — so of course it wasn’t. So she was able to cancel and get a full refund. And it must have been meant to be, because she immediately found the perfect dress at the nearest bridal store in the perfect size for just $300.
“So needless to say it was a very stress-free romantic experience and Shawn even shed one tear!”
Last week, I was practically clapping in agreement to a Michelle Singletary column about how modern weddings were becoming increasingly expensive, multi-day affairs — and Diane’s wedding is a refreshing example of the total opposite of what’s trendy now. Because, let’s all be honest now — a successful wedding is actually a very simple equation. Bride + Groom + officiant = marriage. And while Diane’s wedding is more elaborate than, say, a courthouse ceremony — at the end of the day, they got married, and have beautiful, memorable pictures to look back on and a wonderful story to tell their future kids.