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Courtney knew that the most important aspect of her wedding day would be ensuring that Christ was at the center of the ceremony just as they want Him to be the center of their marriage. Not everyone has that type of focus, but she did. He certainly was there, from the foot washing ceremony (representing service and Christ's sacrifice and dedication to others) to the vows themselves. Meet Courtney Parrish. She defined the day from the beginning.
Courtney is our upcoming BT Billboard Bride and we're thrilled to have this self-proclaimed "hippy at heart" represent us. To note: she mentioned that one of her special moments during the ceremony occurred when she didn't hand her bouquet off after reaching Woody at the alter, but held on to it. When a butterfly landed on it, she had the presence of mind and heart to take note. It takes that type of attention and heart and Courtney has both. Her intentions for this big day in her life were quite clear though, as stated before: Keep Christ front and center. Here's she is in her own words:
"Our ceremony was outside in a field, something I had always dreamed of for my wedding. The weather was gorgeous and we could not have asked for a more perfect day! We had precious flower girls who did not throw out a single petal from their baskets, but it didn't matter because they stole the show with how adorable they were.
We started our ceremony with a worship song and then had a foot washing ceremony. One of the most precious moments of our ceremony to me was when our wedding party of bridesmaids and groomsmen gathered around us, laid on hands and prayed for us and for our marriage. It was so empowering to hear so many people we love surrounding us and praying for us and praising God for us. We have so many people who have been such a huge encouragement and blessing in our lives that we couldn't imagine spending this most important day without them around us and worshiping with us."
This couple wanted people to mingle and talk to each other so instead of a formal situation, they had quilts and cocktail tables and chose foods that were there personal favorites like pizza bagels (Woody! the groom) and chicken nuggets (our BT bride) and the fruits and veggies for those who want to watch their figures.
These two met on a summer project for The Summit Church and began the crush stages of their relationship. They moved on from there to share their interests in and love for the show One Tree Hill, dressed up as characters, sent each other in-jokes and worked through college roommates, friends and family until finally Woody asked how many dates it would take to make Courtney his girlfriend. Their growing endearment, shared interests and relationship, ears for God's wishes for them, and time with family secured it and Woody proposed to Courtney on the beach in cool March temps and the rest is history.
We love a love story and their's is pretty great. We also love her dress and that she chose to buy it from our boutique! Courtney, like most of us, did not want to break the bank when it came to dress budget. Listen up ladies!! It's doable. Look how gorgeous she is and she had her specifics the way all brides do:
"I did not want anything over-the-top or super-sparkly and I am not a big fan of the mermaid style or anything poofy. I wanted 'natural beauty meets princess.'"
We had it. Flowy, chic and with the lace that Courtney was keen on. What she found was more her than anything that she'd pinned on Pinterest was one of our gowns that captured the bohemian, care-free vibe she was going for. "It was also timeless and just absolutely beautiful and had the 'flowiness' that I was looking for, but was more princess than I dreamed of finding!"
Courtney told us she wanted a dress that would be perfect in a field of wildflowers - like her ceremony... something between Blake Lively and Vanessa Hudgens - classic and bohemian. We loved being able to give it to her! She loved how her dress felt like two dresses in one with fit and flair and the pearl necklace she chose that hung down in the back completed the look. All of it made her feel special and that makes us so happy too!
"Kelly made sure that I had the attention I needed to select a dress. She told me that as long as I loved the dress that everything else wouldn't matter. The venue and all else would fall into place, because I would feel beautiful. She gave me her honest opinion and paid attention to my reactions. Her suggestions were helpful, and even through my indecisiveness, she was patient and kind."
We love Courtney and Woody and wish them only the best on their journey. Keep your focus on your values and each other. We at BT love you both!