This next wedding has sweet, sweet Alabama charm written all over it. Wedding Photography by Mandy & Stephanie captured a heart-felt affair at a lakeside resort and we just couldn’t be more smitten with these two little love birds. Family and friends, a summer shindig and a whole lot of love… it doesn’t get much better than that. Head over to the gallery for more Southern style and all of the Sweet Tea you can handle.

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From the Bride… John & I met at Auburn University in 2006. I have to admit, I fell in love without really meaning to. He became my best friend and confidante during our sophomore year and those feelings continued to grow beyond that. I met his children a year after we had started dating and fell in love with this amazing family. We actually had our wedding after we had been married for about 8 months. Three months after John proposed, he got orders from the Marine Corps to head to California and we quickly headed up to the courthouse with friends and family to tie the knot. We knew we still wanted a wedding and with the help of my amazing family, we coordinated from California and Indiana to plan this amazing weekend celebration in Alabama.

There are lots of highlights from that day. We originally had planned on having the wedding at his father’s farm in Cedar Bluff, Alabama. After driving cross-country, we stepped out of the car to 100 degree weather. That’s Alabama in August! The bridal party + families were staying at a lake resort nearby and upon checking in, we began to look around the resort. It was noticeably cooler with the breeze from the water. After spending hours on the phone with my mom, sisters, and vendors, we made the decision to move the wedding 3 days beforehand to the lake resort. I am SO glad we did! With a wedding in Northeast Alabama, vendors were initially hard to find. However, our INCREDIBLE vendors were on board with the move + the lake resort welcomed our wedding with open arms.

There are so many great memories from that day. This was a budget wedding, but with the cost-saving tips of my sisters + family we were able to have an amazing day. We had planned on using bottled beer + mason jars but the resort didn’t allow glass by the water. We ended up grabbing a keg of Sweetwater 420 from Atlanta, GA. As a bartender in Auburn, this was my favorite brew. My sister, Emily, spent hours scrubbing the labels off wine bottles we both recycled from the restaurants where we worked. These were filled with lemonade + water + sweet tea and placed on each table. Guests could refill their drinks from the large jugs or simply grab another bottle for their table. The food was catered by a local BBQ joint and I almost wish I had simply invited them. They set everything up, tore it down and packed up leftovers for everyone staying at the resort.

My incredible husband left a month to the day after our ceremony for his deployment to Afghanistan. Receiving the pictures after he had gone was an amazing gift for both of us. Living this day over in writing this + picking pictures has been such a blessing and I want to thank you for this site. We have such warm and loving families and the wedding truly was a celebration of it all.

Wedding Photography: Wedding Photography by Mandy & Stephanie / Flowers: Sam’s Club (DIY) / Event Design & Planning: Family of the Bride & Groom / Wedding Ceremony & Reception Location: Chestnut Bay Resort / Wedding Invitations: The Bride / Shoes: J. Crew / Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal / Tent Rental: Tent-Tech / Catering: Real Pit BBQ / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew