From Copper Mountain to the Rolling Hills of Tennessee
By Amanda Rowland Hampel Photography by Jennie Andrews
We met in 2001 during our sophomore year at the University of Tennessee. Jonathan was in his second year of the architecture program and had just begun pledging a fraternity. Some of my best friends from my teenage years were also in that fraternity, so it was not long before our paths crossed. We regularly hung out with the group and became good friends. In the meantime, Jonathan—he in need of extra beer money and my mother in need of an extra hand—helped to clear fencerows on my family’s farm. We eventually quit flirting and tried a run at dating; however, the complications or realities of a college relationship put things on hold for a few years.
Since my father had passed away when I was in high school, I was walked down the aisle by my godfather. I stopped and placed a single orange rose in honor of my father on the empty pew seat next to my mother and then joined Jonathan at the altar. The instant of seeing each other for the first time only moments before we were to marry each other was so emotional. To be fair, both of us shed tears––one of us more than the other! Using the vows the church gave us as a template, we created vows that we thought were perfect for us as a couple. Memorizing our vows was an important aspect of the whole event; it was an amazing feeling to be saying those words to each other, and not just repeating them.
The instant of seeing each other for the first time only moments before we were to marry each other was so emotional.
Decor and Reception:
Because the church was breathtakingly gorgeous, the ceremony needed few decorations. We had flower arrangements on the altar and small hydrangea arrangements on every other pew. I wanted the reception to be classy and farm chic—ha! It was held in the backyard of my childhood home on my mother’s farm. Because of the natural beauty of the landscape and the gardens, we chose neutral-colored tablecloths with white and pale pink flowers, including garden roses, peonies, and hydrangeas. The flowers were arranged in mercury glass containers that sat atop moss-covered pedestals on my mother’s sterling silver platters. The tent ceiling was elegantly draped with ivory fabric and strands of tiny white lights. For the main lighting, we wrapped huge four-foot-wide twig balls in the white lights as well. There were seven of them hanging in a row from the peak of the tent.
When guests arrived, we served a signature cocktail of Lynchburg Lemonade with blackberries in the Mason jars. They were a big hit!
We had Mason jars for our guests to take home with them that had been personalized with our “wedding logo”––a parody of the Jack Daniel’s black-and-white logo. It read, “Jonathan and Amanda’s June 9, 2012, Quality Tennessee Wedding.” My brother designed the graphic, and we had it printed on the glass jars. When guests arrived, we served a signature cocktail of Lynchburg Lemonade with blackberries in the Mason jars. They were a big hit! We also followed an old Southern tradition called “burying the bourbon” to ensure good weather the day of the wedding. Southern folklore says that if the bride and groom bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where they are to be married, then it won’t rain on their wedding day. This must be done exactly one month before the wedding, the bottle must be completely full, and the bottle must be buried upside down. We had buried a bottle of bourbon in my mother’s backyard (the site of the reception) on May 9, and needless to say, we had amazing weather on our wedding day! But we took the tradition a little further: when we arrived at the farm for the reception, we dug up the bottle and took our first “married” drink from that bottle of bourbon!
We also followed an old Southern tradition called “burying the bourbon” to ensure good weather the day of the wedding. Southern folklore says that if the bride and groom bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where they are to be married, then it won’t rain on their wedding day.
We went on a sailing trip through the Windward Islands in the Caribbean. After a two-night stay in St. Lucia, we flew down to the island of Grenada, where we boarded a sailboat for seven days at sea. We headed north from Grenada with stops on the islands of Carriacou, Union Island, Mayreau, Tobago Cays, Mustique, Bequia, and St. Vincent, before returning to St. Lucia. As our sailing trip came to an end, we were let off on the small stretch of beach between the Pitons, two steep-sided volcanic mountains on the southwestern coast of St. Lucia, and we enjoyed two relaxing nights at the Jalousie Plantation Resort, now known as Sugar Beach.
Life in Rosemary Beach:
Jonathan is a partner in the architecture firm of A BOHEME Design, LLC, located on Main Street in Rosemary Beach. After the wedding, I moved down to the beach and began studying for the Florida Bar Exam. I have since successfully passed the Bar and was sworn in as a licensed attorney in May 2013. I am currently working for Rosemary Beach Realty.
Angie Froemel of Absolute Wedding Perfection wedding reception coordinator
Jennie Andrews photographer
Flavor Music Big Band ten-piece band from Atlanta, Georgia
Lake Terrace Trio string trio that played during cocktail hour
All Occasions Party Rentals tents, tables, chairs, flooring, silverware, etc.
Above the Rest Event Designs lighting and tent decor
Holly Hambright of Holly’s Eventful Dining caterer
Carole Sullivan of Lagniappe Designs in Mountain Brook, Alabama floral design and decor (Carole is my late father’s cousin)
The Pour Guys bartending and serving
Park Inc valet parking
The Happy Envelope in Knoxville, Tennessee wedding invitations
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