Everyone meet Mary Grace and Craig!
They are quite possibly two of the sweetest people we've ever met and their wedding was the bomb! The love these two have for each other is so visible and so real, their first look captures it perfectly. There were tears, there was laughing and there was so much joy! You have to read their love story, found below.
Their wedding took place at an amazing spot called The Engine Room in Monroe, GA. This place is dynamite! It's the perfect industrial wedding venue in the Atlanta, GA area. Their was boho chic vibe that created a lovely color palette mixed with all of the glorious natural light. By the end of the night, everyone was dancing and chowing down on waffles from Waffle House. I mean, what could be better than waffles on your wedding day? Just the best!
How we met, by Mary Grace:
Though our dorms were right across from each other (Craig's actually stood out with blue curtains that were visible from my window), we didn't officially meet until our second semester at UGA when we ended up in the same Geology class, where our love story began. I noticed this guy who came into class at the laaaast moment each day, always managing to slide into his seat as the lecture would begin. Honestly, it was impressive. Eventually, it worked out that Craig joined in our group that would get lunch after that class each day. One blustery Friday, all of our friends were out of Athens, leaving Craig and I to eat lunch alone. We started talking, and didn't really stop. That conversation struck me, as Craig was genuinely kind, compassionate, and good-hearted. The way he spoke about his dreams and faith made me feel at home. From there, we became better and better friends, studying together, watching the Walking Dead and silly movies, visiting the shelter, climbing trees to watch concerts in Sanford, and late nights with friends in Snelling.
We were *just* friends for a few years after we met in that Geology class...but I still look back to those blue curtains that I noticed from my dorm and smile. Never would I have guessed that dorm would belong to the guy from Geology, who would become my best friend and future husband.
How we met, by Craig:
From that first meal together, I could tell that Mary Grace was different than most people. She was so joyful and passionate and loving toward everyone she met. She had a desire for adventure and didn't seem afraid of anything.
One day walking back to our dorms, I made MG a promise - the next time I asked someone out on a date, I would sweep her off her feet. A couple years later it turned out that Mary Grace was going to be the next girl I asked out. I picked her up, sweeping her off her feet, and asked her if she would go on a date with me. She had forgotten the promise I had made her years before, but fortunately, she said yes. We went and got Chick-fil-A milkshakes and sat on a rock by the river in the Botanical Gardens talking until she had to leave to go work at camp for the weekend. Our next date ended up being 14 hours long as we drove all the way to South Carolina to see Needtobreathe and the Oh Hellos. That was just the start of what felt like the natural and comfortable progression of becoming more than just friends.
I remember the first time I thought about Mary Grace and marriage. We had been hanging out one evening and were getting ready to call it a night and go home. I remember looking at her and thinking about just how beautiful she was. Here I was with this incredible woman who I had the privilege of dating and couldn't keep myself from suddenly thinking that I wanted to marry her. As one would expect, that was a pretty overwhelming thought and I had to work to keep it from showing on my face (something that I'm not very good at). It was still pretty early on and I didn't want to freak her out. But that was a thought that I held on to going forward that only grew stronger the longer we dated.
How he asked:
On a radiantly sunny Saturday afternoon, Craig took us on a walk though the Botanical Gardens, where we had our first date. I thought we were going to meet friends, but along the path, we came up to a bench by the river. On the bench, there was a picture of us, two pairs of Chacos, and a new Bible. In that wonderful, overwhelming, completely perfect moment, I took a sharp breath. I could barely move! Craig led me over to the bench, fell to one knee in the dirt, and asked me to marry him. I was so in shock, it took me a moment to respond, "Yes!" Craig held up the ring, a tiny and perfect band, with a design of leaves. This was special, as throughout our relationship, Craig and I had dreamed of a future where our marriage could be used to offer love, peace, and healing to others, which is what these leaves symbolized.
After all of that, we just had to sit on the bench for a while, shedding some tears and taking in our joy-filled reality.
We eventually made our way out of the Gardens to the North Campus Parking Deck, one of our favorite spots on campus when we were students. There, Craig proposed again, which sounds goofy but in reality was perfect for us.
Craig then walked me to the Fountain on Herty Field, where he had arranged a surprise celebration with our friends (shoutout to all of you!). We all celebrated and laughed and hugged into the night, and it was just beautiful.
Then, all that was left was to dream about what we wanted our marriage to be like, and create a wedding.
And now, pictures!
Venue: The Engine Room
Make up: Shannon Jennings of Formal Faces
Floral: Donna Weigle
DJ: Joseph Hart and Austin McMillan
Food: Mac The Cheese and Waffle House
Musicians: Paul and Alyssa Judy, Hannah Shackelford, and Nicole Valerioti
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS: We're Erik and Christlyn, a husband and wife wedding photography duo based in Atlanta, GA. We photograph local weddings, intimate weddings, destination weddings, boho weddings, industrial weddings, nontraditional weddings, engagement sessions, couple sessions, adventure sessions and elopements in Atlanta, Athens, throughout Georgia and worldwide! Yes, we are totally available to travel! The name of the game is to be yourself which is why we love capturing candid moments through natural documentary-style photography. We use muted tones and natural light to create a warm and classic film look.