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Some people say you should marry your best friend. In the case of Marie and James, this was obviously the only choice. Not only are they clearly exceedingly happy on their wedding day (having just achieved some other unrelated great life things!), but they also managed to have a beautiful, unique wedding. Her fabulous dress juxtaposed with his dapper uniform, nontraditional bridesmaid dresses, a guitar guestbook, and a gorgeous stained glass backdrop make this one of my favorite eye-catching weddings of the season.

From the Photographer:

Marie and James met while working at a local hospital. She was a student working part-time in an administrative position, and he was a PA student making his clinical rounds. They had an instant connection, and soon after Marie found herself writing James an email that began, “Hi James. It’s your best friend Marie here….” That email led to lots of time spent together, and eventually, James knew that Marie was indeed his forever best friend. 

Life ticked by, and James earned his degree and a full-time PA position. He also became a medic in the Army National Guard. Marie continued to work hard to finish her degree in Social Work, and as she was finishing her final year of school, James proposed at one of those paint-your-own pottery places that had become a frequent date night activity. His proposal, written on the side of a pitcher, began, “Hi Marie. It’s your best friend James here….” 

Aside from being stunningly beautiful, Marie is also Superwoman in her own right. She managed to plan a beautiful hometown wedding that took place just a week after she graduated (with honors, mind you) with her Bachelor’s degree while working full-time assisting developmentally disabled adults live independently. And just a few short weeks after the wedding, she and James moved to Tulsa, where Marie was sent after joining the Teach for America teaching corps. James is pretty awesome too. He learned on their wedding day that he was had received a promotion in the National Guard. What an honor to receive on such a special day!

Helping me capture James and Marie’s wedding memories was the fabulous Melissa of M Failla Photography.

Photographer:  Christa Donald Photography//Dress Store:Elite Bridal//Reception Venue: I Hotel//Dress Designer: Martina Liana//Event Planner: Nuptiae//Ceremony Location:Wesley United Methodist Church//