We always have that certain feeling of giddy-ness whenever we feature couples who are the epitome of perfection. Brooke & Michael is another beautiful example of why we enjoy sharing the love stories behind every submission we receive. It is because of couples like them who makes us believe true love still exists. And the sincerity of a relationship can definitely last a lifetime as long as you hold onto each as a team. What makes this feature extra extra special is that Michael was the one who got to answer the questions for us. It’s kind of refreshing to read about all the wedding planning in a groom’s perspective. And we enjoyed getting know the nitty-gritty details of how he finally proposed to Brooke. Read on folks & have a happy Sunday evening!
Brooke and I met in law school. She was a year below me and I saw her and some of her classmates studying some of my materials from my first year. I walked in and commented on them and she said, “Yeah, some guy named Levens made them.” I replied, “Hi, I’m Levens.” After that, I conveniently started studying in the study carol next to hers and sheepishly attempted to start up conversations with her. After a couple of weeks, I mustered up the courage to ask her out. She recalls how shy and obviously nervous I was…I’m still thrilled that she said yes! After several months of dating, I decided that she was “the one” and that I wanted to propose. There was an old abandoned church that she always commented about when we drove past it. She loved that church. So, I had some friends scope it out and make sure it was sturdy. I did a title search, found the owner, and got his permission to clean up the inside and use it for a proposal. My friends and I spent an entire Saturday sweeping, scrubbing, and de-odorizing. We hung curtains, moved in lights and candles, setup flower petals, and brought in pictures of the two of us. After I had the ring and was prepared, I drove her to the church. I had a photographer waiting inside with a speaker cued up to play “Georgia On My Mind” (which is our song since she is from Georgia). I walked her to the specially prepared area, got down on one knee, and gave her my prepared speech–but she didn’t hear a word. Her gaze kept shifting from the ring to me to the ring and then back to me. She didn’t even hear me when I asked her to marry me, but she excitedly said yes when I repeated the question. Since then, we have enjoyed our engagement together and survived wedding planning as a team. We can’t wait to get married next month on October 18th!
We constantly attempt to out-do each other with acts of love and kindness. We are best friends and feel as though we’ve known each other our whole lives.
Vegas. Go to Vegas. Haha, seriously though, the best advice we received was that things will go wrong, but it’s okay, because you get to marry your best friend anyway.
Brooke had a rustic/vintage look that she wanted and our planner/decor provider (Amy Boardwine of I Do Events) had everything she wanted and more. The two of them have helped to make Brooke’s vision a reality.
Grooms–help her out. It’s a lot for her to handle and you should assist her to the extent that you are capable and able. Brides–don’t lose the forest for the trees. Don’t get distraught over the small things, it’s not worth the stress or emotional energy. Just focus on the fact that you get to marry the man that you love.
What were some challenges you faced planning your wedding & what would you have done differently to avoid them?
Communication. Not between us, but with the vendors. Don’t wait for them to respond or follow-up. You have to hound them. I don’t know what it is in the wedding industry, but people don’t seem to return a phone call or email unless you get stern with them.
The venue. We spent weeks looking for a reasonably priced venue with a great manager and gorgeous scenery. Impossible right? No. We found exactly what we wanted for an unbelievably cheap price at the Avoca Museum in Altavista, VA. It’s absolutely gorgeous and the man who runs it, Mike Hudson, is amazing.
Can you share some tips or tricks that you learned along the way leading up to the wedding or after?
Well, we aren’t married yet, but I highly recommend doing some pre-marital counseling. It helps you so much to get on the same page before the big day. Go ahead and commit to have those tough conversations now rather than be surprised and disappointed later.
Yes, with a bride from Georgia and a groom from Texas, these two states were the theme. There will be peaches everywhere and Texas BBQ for dinner. There will be sugared peaches on the wedding cake and the groomsmen cake will be in the shape of Texas. Stuff like that.
We will be going to Jamaica–the Sandal’s Whitehouse resort.
We managed to get permission to take the doors from the church where we got engaged. So, we distressed them and included them in the wedding.
Being able to spend everyday with each other. We will have a fun life together.
Our favorite colors and honestly, the weather!
Our wedding guest list was not exactly the traditional mix. With a bride from Georgia and a groom from Texas with just a few friends from school in Virginia, it was tough to anticipate how many would come. We invited about 280 and we are expecting about 140 to 150 to attend. However, I don’t recommend using this as your average attendance rate.
Yes. We could have easily invited 400 or more. You can’t invite everyone. Prioritize where you can.
We haven’t decided on all of the music yet, but we are definitely using Cannon in D.
Two people showing and enjoying their love for one another.
Photographer: Gagan Dhiman