Alex & Chris
7.13.2019 | 550 Trackside
How We Met
Alex and Chris were our first out of state couple. And when we say “out of state” we mean the complete opposite side of the country! Although Alex and Chris were an out of state couple, we still had a connection with them - McKendree UMC! Megan & Chris grew up together, not just at McKendree but in High School as well. Chris is two years older than Megan and Chris’ younger brother, Steven, is Megan’s age. There were plenty of Lock-ins, Youth Trips, & High School Ministry meetings where Megan and Chris we became fast & long time friends. Soon after Alex & Chris were engaged and picked out their venue they knew they needed help. Chris’ mom, Theresa, said to them “Call Megan” so Alex did. With a year to plan their wedding, we were in it from the beginning!
We love hearing our couple's love stories told through their eyes. Alex & Chris have such a unique story - read Alex's side of the story!
"Chris and I were working the same summer job in 2015. We became friends, and he invited me to watch soccer games, go rock climbing and hiking, and hang out with his family. One evening after going bowling and having dinner, we were watching a movie at his house. I could feel the butterflies when he kissed me and I knew it was something special. We began dating and it has been a roller coaster ever since.
I vividly remember looking at Chris one night when we were out to dinner and telling him that I knew I was going to marry him. We had only been dating for a few weeks, so he was hesitant at best and told me that he wasn't sure. Obviously, I couldn't blame him for being thrown off by my comment, but I knew that Chris was the one for me. A year and a half into our relationship, I was about to graduate from Piedmont College. I was looking for a sports reporting job in Atlanta, but just couldn't find anything. I was offered a position in Washington state. I will never forget how supportive Chris was when I decided to move across the country to pursue my dreams.
We made long distance work while Chris finished his masters degree at the University of Georgia. He graduated in May of 2017, and then he found a job in Washington and moved in August of 2017.
Chris will admit that he isn't always the hopeless romantic type like me, but he sure surprised me with his proposal. He and I flew down to Los Angeles for a few days to visit my sister, Kacie, and her boyfriend [now fiance], Jake. We had a beach day planned at Laguna Beach and all went to relax and unwind. It was pretty hot on the beach and Chris kept bugging me about going and taking a walk on the beach. I of course just wanted to sit and relax. Finally, he convinced me to explore a bit and we found a cove back in the cliffs. I was enjoying a beautiful view of the ocean and when I turned around, he was on one knee. The next few seconds were a bit hectic, since a wave decided to hit Chris while he was down on one knee. I thought he had dropped the ring in the ocean, but luckily he had a vice grip on the thing. I honestly don't remember everything he said, I think I was in shock. I of course said YES!
We were so lucky to share such a special moment with Kacie and Jake, who went above and beyond to make that day so special for us. We have been blessed in our relationship and can't wait to see what other adventures God has in store for us in the future."
Photographer: Cooper Studios
Down to Business
Although Atlanta and Washington have a three hour time difference, the planning process went smoothly! Despite the fact that we had never met Alex, we worked out times where we could jump on a call or a FaceTime to talk about both the wedding details and about life in general. We went on a venue tour with both sets of parents to make sure we knew the layout everyone wanted. The crazy thing is that we still hadn’t met Alex until Rehearsal day, but it felt like we’ve known each other for years! Working with Alex, Chris and their families was so easy and such a great fit!
The Big Day
The moment we’ve all been waiting for was finally here! We arrived to meet the Venue Coordinator for the day and made sure everything was perfect before we Honeycomb Boutique came to set up and Alex & her girls arrived! Once everyone was settled, dresses were hung, and curling irons were heated, we got to work organizing the floor plan and laying table cloths. Gail arrived with all the place settings and napkins. Soon after, Farisa, the florist, arrived with the beautiful centerpieces! There was a rehearsal late morning for the following day’s wedding, so we made the most of that time by folding napkins and running to get lunch for the girls.
Alex was so relaxed all morning. She would come out to talk and hang out with us while her girls were getting ready. It didn’t even stress her out when it started to monsoon outside and photos had to be taken inside! She was happy-go-lucky and just ready to be married!
Once her hair was finished and her dress was on, Alex did a first look with her father (which will get us every single time) before doing bridal shots and photos with her bridesmaids. After place settings were completed & the finishing touches were put on Alex and her bridesmaids (and the rain let up), The girls all hopped in a limo & Megan lead the limo to the church while Mallory stayed at Trackside to make sure everything would be ready for cocktail hour and reception. We think it’s fitting that we close out the Summer of McKendree by doing a wedding AT McKendree! Knowing a place like the back of your hand really helps you run a wedding & having a Church Coordinator like Loretta was super helpful! The girls arrived in the limo and went into the Bridal Suite and 15 minutes later the guys showed up looking so handsome! Chris’ dad Jim came in to help Chris and the groomsmen tie their ties and while we pinned on Chris’ boutonniere.
With not much time to go until 5 o’clock, we lined everyone up, hid Alex from site, and cued the music. Parents and Grandparents were seated in the front pew and Chris, his groomsmen, and Dee (the minister) all came out from the top of the chancel. Then it was Alex and her dad’s turn to come down the aisle. Chris’ reaction was so perfect as his bride came down the aisle all the while Alex was just smiling and content! Once the ceremony started, there was a reading from a close friend (hey Christy!), personal vows that left everyone in tears, and a family prayer all before they were pronounced Husband and Wife. Let us tell you, this couple danced their way out of that church like we have never seen before!
Guests were directed over to 550 Trackside where Mallory, DJ Josh, and Delicious Dishes were waiting for their arrival to help answer questions, provide music, and yummy apps! Fun fact - Mallory had connections with both the DJ and caterer from her background at Perimeter Church, so this wedding was the best of both worlds for Megan and Mallory. Back at the church, Megan was bringing all the family and bridal party out on to the stage for photos before turning it over to Loretta and Michael so she could head over to 550 to help Mallory!
After all Bride & Groom photos were done, Alex & Chris were introduced and went straight into their first dance before Alex’s dad gave a funny and heartfelt Welcome Speech and blessing so that we could open the buffet - which was SO good! Delicious Dishes really lives up to their name (yes, we are still craving the food from this wedding)! When everyone was through the buffet, we cut the cake and did the Father/Daughter, Mother/Son dances. Chris and his mom, Theresa kicked off the dance floor at the end of their dance and that started a fire on the dance floor that never stopped!
After about 30 minutes of dancing, it was time for Alex’s gift to Chris to be presented. DJ Josh played the UGA Fight Song as Hairy Dawg came out to the dance floor and there was an EXPLOSION of excitement! Chris was so shocked and excited (and so were all the guests)! Hairy stayed to dance the night away with everyone and also posed for photos (we took one with him too!) before he had to leave. What a super fun addition to any wedding day!
Not too much later, it was time for the final dance and to line up for send off. We handed out sparklers and lit them to send our beautiful newlyweds out into the world!
This wedding was the most family based wedding we’ve had in a while. Almost every detail was made by or in remembrance of someone in Alex’s family starting with the centerpieces! Alex’s dad, Dave, owns a woodworking shop on Jekyll Island so to save money on vases - Dave made these adorable boxes out of wood from his shop. He even stamped them with a unique logo that had Alex & Chris’ initials on it. We loved this sentimental handmade touch to their centerpieces!
The next special thing Alex had on her wedding day was the cake table linen. Every woman in her family has used this linen on their cake table dating back to her grandmother! What a fun tradition (and timeless linen)!
The last (and arguably most significant) special detail Alex used on her day was on her bouquet. She had the stems wrapped in a handkerchief her grandma made and attached to that was a hand carved rose her grandfather made. What a special way to remember her grandparents!
An honorable mention has to go to Alex's gift of Hairy Dawg to surprise Chris! As we mentioned earlier, this was such a fun and unique way to kick off the party at the reception. This wedding was full of special things and moments that will create memories that will last a lifetime.
Happily Ever After
Alex & Chris - thank you for trusting us with your day from the other side of the country! We loved helping with your day and we are so blessed to have been part of it! Best wishes as you all start this new phase of life as newlyweds! Although quite a few states stand between the two of you and us, we will always be here to celebrate every moment and phase of life with you all! Again, congratulations on becoming a Mr. & Mrs!
All Hands on Deck
Church: McKendree UMC
Instagram - @mckendreeumc
Website - www.mckendreeumc.com
Reception Venue: 550 Trackside
Instagram - @550trackside
Website - www.550trackside.com
Photographer: Michael Rizza Photography
Instagram - @m_rizza
Website - www.mrizza.com
Hair & Makeup: Honeycomb Boutique Salon
Instagram - @honeycomb_boutique_salon
Website - www.honeycombboutiquesalon.com
Florist: For Amor Events
Instagram - @foramorevents
Website - www.foramorevents.com
DJ: DJ Josh Whitlock
Instagram - @djjoshwhitlock
Website - www.djjoshwhitlock.com
Catering: Delicious Dishes
Website - www.deliciousdishes.net
Bakery: Sweet Chloe's
Website - www.sweetchloes.com
Officiant: Dee Hammond
Website - www.cmpca.org
Special Guest: Hair Dawg
Instagram - @ugahairydawg