If you want to have a wedding in Lynchburg, you may not immediately think of the popular coffee shop, The White Hart, but that is exactly what wedding designer Lauren of Max & Dexter Event Design did. You see, this wasn’t a traditional wedding planned over the span of a year or even months – this couple merely had a few days, and their heartwarming story follows. It’s a lengthy one, but I promise that if you read it all, you will be glad you did!
The following are Leigh’s own words about their wedding in Lynchburg.
It truly glorifies God how he has blessed us through our wedding in the hardest time. Santos and I have been dating since April our freshman year of college, almost 3 years, before finally getting married on March 8th. Our original wedding was planned for May 20th, which was planned to be a huge wedding, with over 250 guests on our list to extensively include all of our family and friends. I had already bought my dress, handwritten and printed 275 invitations that Santos and I designed together – and bought all the supplies and decor for the May wedding.
The past year has been very burdensome for us, as we have endured one trial after another. We have gone through the separation and divorce of my parents, Santos’s mother being diagnosed with leukemia, and then tragic and unexpected death of my father on February 13th, 2017. Santos picked me up from the hospital where I was in a clinical for nursing school, and we flew home to Georgia to grieve with family over the loss. This was 3 months before our wedding and my college graduation.
Heartbroken, the thought of celebrating our wedding without my dad, who I was extraordinarily close to, was just to hard to bear. Santos, supporting me wholeheartedly, ensured me it was fine with him if we cancelled or postponed our wedding because of the circumstances. After discussion we had decided to have a court/civil wedding to sign the papers and move into our apartment together for peace and quiet during the grieving period, but God intervened changing all our plans.
We wanted to still make our ceremony special, so I contacted my Theology Professor, Blake Harcup, from Liberty, to see if he could marry us instead of a Justice of the Peace. Unbeknownst to us, he had moved to Florida to plant a church in December of 2016. He informed us he was out of state, but was flying into Lynchburg for one night before leaving for a mission trip to Germany with the School of Divinity. That day, March 8th, happened to be the same day we had planned to go to the court to sign our marriage papers. He flew in at 4:00 PM, married us at our wedding in Lynchburg at 7:00 PM and left for Germany the next morning at 9:00 AM. God divinely set up everything so that he could be there with us, making the night seem even more incredible.
The owner of Sage Tryall Salon reached out to me, and offered to do my hair for the wedding for no charge. A close friend of Santos’s offered to pay the event fee to have our wedding at The White Hart where we had our first date 3 years ago. My roommate surprised me with a beautiful bouquet, payed for the beautiful decorations, bought me shoes and accessories, and dropped everything to help me get the wedding ready last minute. Our best friends payed for a hotel for the night of our wedding in Lynchburg and left roses, gifts, and cards waiting for us in the room. As if we had not been blessed enough, Lauren (Max & Dexter Event Design) and Leah (Gaudium Photography) happened to be there to save the night when our photographer was late due to camera issues,and was about to miss the whole ceremony.
My mom and brother could not make the ceremony due to dealing with legalities of my father’s death. Santos’s mom got sick and could not make it, nor could my maid-of-honor and long-time best friend. The majority of our close family and friends were not there, but being miraculously blessed with photos free of charge allowed our family and friends to still share in the joyful moments that happened that night. Taking over all financial responsibilities with the loss of financial support from my father had actually made it impossible for us to afford a photographer or take on any costs of a wedding that were all amazingly covered for us.
It has been a season of life filled with pain, but also with faith. God has walked us through every step of this hard journey, comforting us with his presence and giving us more opportunities to share his goodness with others through all that he has done for us. His word says in Romans 8:28 that he works all things together for good, and we have truly experienced that over the last month. More than anything we can testify to the verse, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” It is absolutely true.
Isn’t that lovely? If you are having a wedding in Lynchburg, be sure to check out this inspiration here.