Maria & James
2.12.2022 | The Turnbull Building
How We Met
In June of 2021, Maria reached out to us inquiring about our pricing. Her venue, The Turnbull, recommended us to her as we are on the preferred vendor list there (and we LOVE working at The Turnbull). Megan & Maria hit it off right away and after our discovery call, she booked us - and we were so excited for her & James!
We love hearing how our couples fell in love! Hear how Maria & James got together and started their relationship from Maria's point of view!
"I was one foot out the door of Birmingham ready to move to Nashville when I met James. He called me on a Sunday night while I was at a dinner with friends and I ignored it not knowing his number but he left a VOICEMAIL - he left a voicemail in 2018. Later that night I listened to the voicemail and found out this stranger was calling to ask me on a date and he had been given my number by mutual friends - aka my coworker and her husband. (Not until much later did I find out he had my number for a month before actually calling me.) The next day at work the first thing I said to my coworker (the mutual friend), 'Did you forget to tell me you gave out my number??' And then continued to grill her with questions about him before I would call him back. When I found out he was four years younger than me I almost didn't call him back until she said 'Just go on the date, you don't know it could be the love of your life!'
Our first date was at a fan-favorite spot in Birmingham, El Barrio, where we drank Margaritas and I talked almost the entire time. After, we went to another favorite, an arcade bar where we played skeeball and other assortments of games. Even though I talked the entire date, he asked me on another date and at some point a date to get ice cream which earned big points for me. That summer we were both busy between working and traveling and made time for dates with each other when we were both available and by fall (and when golf season was slowing down) we were spending a majority of our free time together and meeting each other's friends.
When the Pandemic hit we spent the first two weeks together in my (less than 500 square-foot studio) apartment for 14 days waiting out a quarantine without killing each other and celebrating both of our Birthdays in the strangest ways - and that was a pretty good indicator things were going to last.
Fast Forward to July of 2020 when James was hired as the Head Golf Professional at High Hampton and we were preparing for long-distance. After six months of driving back and forth through Atlanta James proposed on our joint Birthday trip to Charleston in March of 2021. His plan was to propose on the beach, but the weather and the sun sank that idea. He knew he had to propose before we went to dinner because my best friend and her husband were waiting for us at the restaurant (and they knew the plan). In probably the least planned way, but best way - I asked James to help me zip up my boot and he used that opportunity to get on one knee, pull out the ring, and completely forget any words, even the ones "will you marry me?" So I had to say "Do you have a question for me?" and then he asked HAH. We spent the rest of the weekend frolicking through Charleston celebrating and calling friends and family. At dinner one night there I ordered an appetizer that James was unsure about, but he ended up loving it and telling me I could order for him forever now. James now knows he loves Focaccia bread."
Down to Business
With Maria & James living in Cashiers, NC and us living in Atlanta, all of our meetings happened virtually. This never deterred us from picking vendors, asking questions, or getting to know each other. We were on-task machines! One snowy weekend, we met at The Turnbull to talk about the floor plan and decorations. After the walkthrough we were just counting down the days until we were both back in Chattanooga for her and James to tie the knot!
The Big Day
On the morning of the wedding, Maria and her ladies were getting ready at The Chattanoogan. Blowout Co. was putting the finishing touches on Maria when we arrived at the suite to stop in, say hi, and collect anything that needed to move over to the venue. All the other ladies were camera ready and were looking cute in their navy PJs! We left them to finish getting ready and moved over to The Turnbull where Decor 1601 had already completed the drapes install above the dance floor - the space was already so beautiful! Michelle from Events with Taste had arrived and started setting out the linen and unloading glassware & James and his groomsmen were hanging out. Once we unloaded all our rentals, we helped lay the tablecloths and set up table numbers and escort cards. Soon after, Alexis Dimmer Photography arrived at the hotel to capture the girls getting ready and at the venue to capture the guys getting ready. Flowers by Tami arrived to add some flowers to the install above the dance floor and set out decor for the tables. We were all working hard to make sure Maria & James’ vision came to life!
When James completed photos with his family and some individuals with his groomsmen, we all hopped on the shuttle provided by Lookout Limousine. The bus was so clean and ready to take the groomsmen to the church! When we arrived at St. Jude’s Catholic Church, the groomsmen finished taking photos outside and they had us cracking up! Lookout Limousine went back to the hotel to pick up the girls and bring them to the church as well. Guests began arriving for the ceremony and electricity was in the air! We love when our couples don’t do a first look and the anticipation to see each other is so palpable!
The piano played and it was finally time to begin the ceremony. We kept Maria on the bus so no guest could see her before we were ready, but more importantly, that James didn’t see her. When we opened those church doors and Maria went down, the built up anticipation of seeing his bride was so evident - we loved seeing James' reaction! The ceremony was complete with readings from family and friends, an homily from Father Charlie, & a unity candle. Finally, they were announced husband and wife & James kissed Maria like a 1955 movie (just as Father instructed him to).
After the ceremony, James had to get used to wearing a ring on his finger while the guests filed out to go back to the hotel before reception time. We did family photos & full bridal party photos before hopping back on the shuttle to head to Coolidge Park for some photos on the walking bridge and down by the river. Let us tell you, we loved every cold minute of those photos! Soon we got back on the shuttle and headed back to The Turnbull. It was cocktail hour and guests were in the reception space enjoying appetizers and drinks from the bar. Maria & James took this time to have a private moment together in the bridal suite to enjoy their own appetizers and beverages.
In the time that we were at the ceremony and taking photos, the room took a true transformation! Events with Taste set the tables with gorgeous chargers and flatware, Sweet Angel Cakes arrived with the STUNNING wedding cake, and Atlanta Wedding Band set up and warmed up to be ready for a full night of dancing! We got some more photos down on the 3rd floor and video shots for Najee Coates Videography before heading upstairs to introduce the newlyweds and do their first dance! Maria’s dad welcomed the guests and Father Charlie gave a blessing before Events with Taste started serving the guests their dinner. After everyone had been served, we heard speeches from all three maid of honors combined and the best man. We went straight into parent dances played by the band and a special family dance to open the dance floor. That family dance really got everyone pumped to get on the floor and for the next 3 hours, the party didn’t stop!! Maria wasn’t kidding when she told us they would all want to dance! We transformed the sweetheart table area into a photo booth where guests took photos with a polaroid and left a sweet message for the bride and groom. The last formal thing we had to do was cut the cake (which the ring bearer had been waiting very patiently for all night) and eat a yummy donut from Krispy Kreme! Dancing picked right back up and the floor was packed again! One quick shoutout to Beverage BFF for helping Maria & James make sure that they had enough alcohol to last all night long which kept the party moving and the fun coming!
For the last song of the night, Maria & James danced to All Your'n while bubbles flew and their guests made a circle around them. We can always tell how much fun our couples had on the dance floor by how sweaty they are right before send off, well Maria & James had the most fun we’ve seen in a long, long time. We lined everyone up (and when we say everyone we mean everyone! Almost all the guests stayed to the very end!), gave everyone a sparkler, and set Maria & James off onto their happily ever after!
Maria emailed us late one night while she was in Mexico on a bachelorette trip saying that she needed to rent our bubble machine for her dance floor. Boy was she right! Between the beautiful light installation, the band’s rocking vibe, and a packed dance floor, bubbles added to the atmosphere and brought a new level of happiness to the night!
Happily Ever After
To say this was a fun wedding would be the biggest understatement of the year! Maria & James are so fun & loving that it was so easy to celebrate them all day long! We know that Maria and her “golf pro” will be happy for many years to come and we cannot wait to see where the future takes them! Cheers to the new Mr. & Mrs. Bruns!
All Hands on Deck
Hotel: The Chattanoogan Hotel
Church: St. Jude Catholic Church
Venue: The Turnbull Building
Photographer: Alexis Dimmer Photography
Videographer: Najee Coates
Hair & Makeup: Blowout Co.
Florist: Flowers by Tami
Band: Atlanta Wedding Band
Catering: Events with Taste
Bakery: Sweet Angel Cakes
Donuts: Krispy Kreme
Officiant: Fr. Charlie Burton
Rentals: Decor 1601
Shuttle/Getaway Car: Lookout Limousine
Beverage Calculator: Beverage BFF
Dress Shop: Lillian Ruth Bridal
Dress Alterations: Hem it Up