Karla & Josh are one of those couples who have been together forever – they got all dressed up for senior prom and can hardly remember a time when they weren’t together, intertwining their lives and friend groups, truly building a life together and creating a rock-solid foundation long before their wedding day. So by the time August 18, 2018 finally rolled around, their marriage commitment was simply affirming what everyone already knew: this was a relationship built to last.

I was lucky enough to book Karla & Josh as full service clients, which meant that I got to sit down and hang out with them once a month. Even when exhausted from work, Karla had a bubbly joy and kindness that couldn’t be dampened, and Josh had a quiet confidence and peace to him that made you want to be his friend. With a DIY plan in place for their wedding, it was normal to hear Josh say, “I’ve got a buddy who can help with that.”

The original game plan for the wedding was much more DIY than the end result, but for the better. At first, the couple intended to have a pig pickin’ and have a buddy cook up a whole hog, but a decision was made a few months before the wedding to opt to pick up barbecue from a restaurant; the plan to rent sound equipment and make awesome playlists shifted to hiring a DJ. Even the color palette changed from coral and teal to coral and mint to better compliment the colors in the venue.

There was one more change on wedding day – one that we didn’t have a say in: the weather. Although the morning forecast called for clear skies until late in the evening, the storm slowly shifted closer until there were nothing but clouds overhead hours before the ceremony. With a light drizzle beginning as guests started to arrive, the couple made the decision to keep the ceremony outside on the front lawn of the historic Howard House rather than opting to rearrange the reception hall for the rain plan. Guests gathered on the wraparound porch of the venue until the ceremony began, the officiant cut the homily a bit short to be mindful of the guests standing in the weather, and the couple decided not to share their hand-written vows. But even standing in a light rain, Karla & Josh were radiant and full of joy as they said “I do” and shared their first kiss as husband and wife. 

As the ceremony ended, guests moved up to the porch to enjoy the bar and explore the richly decorated house. Once the reception began, guests were treated to a barbecue buffet, and Josh surprised his bride by standing up after dinner and reading his vows to her, since they hadn’t been able during the rainy ceremony. The maid of honor then slid Karla’s vow book to her so the bride could share her vows as well. Toasts and cake cutting followed, and then guests moved back to the porch to enjoy dancing, the bouquet toss, garter toss and shoe game. A sparkler sendoff concluded the festivities.

The Vendors:

Venue: The Howard House

Wedding Planner: Beauty & the Budget Events

Officiant: Benny Oakes

Caterer: Stephenson’s BBQ

Baker: Uncle Butch’s Cheesecakes

Cupcakes: Lowes Foods

Florist: Homemade

Rentals: 2B Unique, On Cloud 10 Events

DJ: Shawn Ballard

Photographer: Stories of Love

Dress Shop: David’s Bridal

Menswear: Carolina Bridal World

Hair & Make Up: Nicole Kilgore


“ Stephanie is amazing! She is so kind and full of joy. I kept changing my mind on the decor and layout of the wedding, but Stephanie knew the exact words to say to get me on the right track. I had a very low budget for the wedding, and Stephanie helped immensely by finding places/people that were within my budget. On the day of the wedding, she was right by my side to make sure I was getting everything done on time and had everything I needed. It was such a blessing to have her throughout my wedding adventure, I truly could not have done it without her!” – Karla, bride