Photo Credit: Photography by Janae; @photographybyjanae
I’ve spent weeks trying to find bright sides and silver linings in all of this craziness, and it’s hard, really, it’s hard. That being said, I do count myself blessed and oh-so-fortunate to be safe and healthy with my quaranteam (which includes my loving husband, son, daughter, and doggy). And I’m really feeling like this country - and the greater globe - we’re all coming together. I’ve gotten SO into John Krasinski’s weekly SGN (Some Good News) episodes, and I’ve never been so humbled and inspired by glimpses of goodness in the world. We’re going to bounce back from this, but for the time being, we all need to be reminded that darkness can be healed with lots of light, laughter, and love.That’s why we’re just swooning over this recent wedding that brought together the sweetest couple ever. It’s even more special, too, because the bride and groom aren’t 20, 30, or even 40-something soulmates. They’re older, definitely in that higher risk group, and probably didn’t need to rush their nuptials - but they just didn’t want to wait. Can you blame them? Not really, when you consider Harry Burns’ and his “when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible” quote. Which we here at Wedding Chicks kind of live by, tbh.
In any case, we got the full story on Ralph and Beulah Butlers’ Nashville wedding from their photographer, Janae Richter of Photography by Janae. You can say that Janae and Ralph are kindred spirits, sharing very similar callings (as Speech-Language Pathologist (and photographer!) and a sign language interpreter, respectively), so of course Janae was elated when he asked if she’d be so kind as to shoot their wedding.
… If you’re not smiling BIG by the end of this, then we can’t give you any tips, because this brought all the 😍😍😍 for us. Pretty immediately.
From the Photography by Janae team - "Ralph and Beulah met in college at Lipscomb University in Tennessee. To this day, one of them thinks their “first date” was almost 50 years ago, while the other says it was MUCH more recent.
They ran in the same circles in college, but both married other people. Beulah was even a bridesmaid in Ralph’s wedding! They and their spouses remained really good friends, and ended up in California for the majority of their lives. They both had children, and their families grew up together, even having family Christmas all together.
In more recent years, they both found their way back to middle TN. Each were loving caretakers to their spouses before he and she unfortunately passed away.
Having experienced the loss of their other halves, Beulah and Ralph got re-acquainted at the same church and attended many social functions together. It wasn’t long before they started dating officially, but realized, very quickly, that their courtship wasn’t just a phase. They both agreed that they could “serve the Lord better together,” so Ralph didn’t waste any time. He proposed this past Christmas, and wedding planning followed in a flash."
Plan A to Plan F, but the last was the best.
Photography by Janae adding - “So, Plan A for their BIG day was to have about 50-60 close family members in attendance for an intimate ceremony, with a small, 150-person lunch reception to follow. Who knew then that March 2020 would be a month that none of us had ever experienced before.
Basically, in the weeks leading up to their wedding, the plan changed daily. The week before their proposed I Do date was when everything started shutting down. The uncertainty was at an all-time high, especially since their church, which was expected to be the main venue, had to shut down due to regulations. The new venue hunt became an even harder one when, on March 16th, President Trump issued the statement recommending gatherings being held at a 10-person maximum.
These rapid events had their plans shifting left and right, but the love and anticipation they had for their marriage brought them to a final, pretty epic plan. While they didn’t have their venue, most of their original guests, and a few other special things on the docket, we think their wedding day was about as romantic as it gets!”
Vows exchanged in the midst of a pandemic.
A description of the day from the Photography by Janae team - “Ralph and Beulah were married on March 21st, 2020, in the middle of the pandemic. There were less than 10 people in attendance, but we could all feel the strength of their love that day. If you are a fellow Tennessean, you know our weather is rarely consistent or predictable, so it was unexpectedly chilly out and the ceremony needed to be held in the middle of their dining room.
Ralph chose his brother as his Best Man, Beulah had her daughter as her Matron of Honor, and the rest of the wedding witnesses comprised the minister, myself, and the caterer. It was simple and quick and sweet: we took just a few stage-setting pictures outside, moved forward with the ceremony, and in no time at all, they were married!”
Don't these two have a love that sends chills?!?!! Oh, and if you fall in love with their wedding cake, know that the woman who confectioned this stunner also lent her talents as Ralph and Beulah’s florist. This is what we mean when we say that vendors are SHOWING UP for their clients during COVID-19. It might be a hustle, but it works, and that’s just another reason why we love this industry.
See even more shots from this wonderful day👇