originally, we wanted to have a friend marry us. we don't have a home church in tennessee, and i didn't want to have a stranger be front and center on our wedding day. however, did you know that tennessee has the strictest marriage laws in all 50 states when it comes to who can marry you? it's true. {but - fun fact - you can still legally wed your first cousin!}

so, i did some research and kept coming across the same minister in photos on blogs and venue websites. none other than mr. tennessee minster himself, ralph griggs. after talking with him on the phone and hearing his process for working with out-of-state brides, i knew i had found a winner. PLUS, he was open to us incorporating a friend into the ceremony.

  {photo of ben and i from our la trip. how red is my hair?!?!}

and that means, dun dun dun dunnn, our friend ben will be participating in our wedding ceremony! i think we will just have him say how he knows us and then pick a prayer that speaks to him. he has a really special relationship with god, and i feel like he will choose something that isn't cliche {no love is patient, love is kind here}, and that really applies to us.  

but, back to ralph. now that we have hired him, i'm so glad we did! ralph also encourages his couples to complete his online marriage counseling, which i have really enjoyed. we spend every tuesday making dinner together, put our phones away and then discussing that week's topic. it's my favorite night of the week. plus, it makes you realize that this whole marriage thing is forever. i'm sure we will encounter things in our life that we can't prepare for, but ralph's class has made me feel like we are doing all we can to have a successful marriage.

and that's wedding wednesday for this week. if anyone has good something old/new/borrowed/blue ideas, or, you know, any of the other 70 not-yet-thought-about wedding to dos, send them my way!

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