No, this bride and groom didn't win some sort of contest, in fact, quite the opposite. After a heartbreaking family disaster, on the bride's side, followed closely by a proposal, these warm-hearted wedding vendors and friends of the bride decided to gift this couple with the wedding of their dreams.
The couple's budget was $5k, which covered musicians, wedding gifts and small misc. items (as you will see below), but the vendors donated literally everything else... hair and makeup, photography, videography, venue, groom's cake, wedding cake, flowers, props, draping, etc. So the couple put in $5k however, the total value of the wedding would have been more like $35K.
We love hearing stories like these! Keep scrolling to read the whole heart-wrenching story and don't miss a single lovely detail, thanks to the full gallery of photos from Tiffany and Makenzie Photography.
This is the wedding love story of Chloe and Merq! Oh, but this story is far from ordinary. I've known Chloe since she was in middle school. From the time she was in her early teens, she made custom floral crowns out of her home. Eventually, she would open Cwerky Crowns and adopt the tagline “flowers in the place of sorrows.” It's appropriate to say a flower crown is Chloe’s trademark, as you'll rarely catch her without wearing one.
After a long friendship that evolved into a romance, Merq made a marriage proposal to Chloe atop Mt. Yonah in North GA. Chloe’s story has not always been marked by joy & happy times, however. The marriage proposal would come less than 2 months after her family walked through some of the darkest days of their lives. In March, Chloe’s older brother would succumb to an accidental overdose, leaving a gaping hole in the fabric of her family. With a tremendous desire to leave a lasting impact on people so dear to our hearts, Makenzie and I knew Chloe and Merq’s engagement signified the beginning of something much greater than the circumstances in which it followed.
The Wedding Gift
Through a beautiful demonstration of community and in a true outpouring of love, a creative team was formed to gift this couple with the wedding of their dreams (a wedding they would not have otherwise had). The venue is The Barn at Tatum Acres, a breathtaking 75-acre property nestled in the north GA mountains with sweeping views of Atlanta. In a strange and beautiful twist of fate, Chloe had modeled for us as a bride at the very same venue only 18 months prior. Before her brother passed away, he was able to see photos of her in a wedding dress on the very same property where she would ultimately say her vows. Talk about full circle.
Just when I thought there were no more layers to peel back, I found myself in the middle of something far more extraordinary than anything I ever imagined. On the day we drove Chloe and Merq to the venue so they could see it together for the first time, Merq couldn’t believe his eyes. In a thrilling moment in time, he realized we were making the drive up to the same property where he had spent summers and weekends as a young boy- the very same hillside where they would be wed! In my entire life, I’ve never believed so strongly in fate until I did at that moment.
What is Love?
We set out to throw a wedding for this couple. After a year of planning and with our team of friends and vendors, that's precisely what we did! If the wedding of Chloe and Merq taught me anything, it showed me that love is the greatest force to ever exist. It is a force that has no boundaries. Love brings us together and unites us no matter where we come from. It stirs and compels us. It rains down on us, healing hearts and sprouting forth joy. It can even conquer death. True love was displayed, on so many levels. It made me once again realize a recurring theme of life; you only keep what you give away. Oh, sweet flowers in the place of sorrows indeed!
Floral- the most important element to the bride, and we (my husband and I) designed and constructed a floral escort wall to hold 147 small bud vases for each guest. Flowers represent new life, and Chloe chose wildflowers which truly encapsulate the essence of her carefree spirit.
Flower print book pages– taken from a book the groom gave the bride while they were dating, strung together and used to decorate the polaroid camera station.
Balloons- 36" balloons in bold shades to coordinate with the bridesmaids dresses for an added element of whimsy and fun.
Bride’s garter – small blue bow cut and sewn by the groom from one of his favorite shirts.
Groom's band- The FOB had his original wedding band melted down to make a new ring for Merq.
Tattoo on MOB's arm- new ink identical to her late son's tattoo and means "life goes on."
First dance- "La Vie en Rose" and means "life in pink." The theme of this wedding was very much love, life, and flowers!
$5K which covered musicians, wedding gifts and small misc. items
To get a closer look at this sweet wildflower wedding, check out the wedding film Austin Whelan Creations created below!https://vimeo.com/282681368