Tuesday, November 15, 2011

God, Guns & Country - A Tennessee Wedding

There's nothing in the world like good friends.  Many people have come in and out of my life but true friends... the ones that you can always count on... the ones that you would do anything for... those kind of friends are hard to come by.  Thankfully, the Lord has blessed me with a few of these friends.  Let me introduce you to a couple of them....

I met Jared's family when I was 10 years old (15 years ago).  During that time, Jared and I didn't speak much.  I was actually good friends with his sister and we were merely acquaintances at best.  Five years later, I started my first job at Chick-Fil-A where Jared was hired shortly after.  As we worked alongside each other, a friendship grew.  He became my best friend.  We went to homecoming together, cried on each others shoulders (don't tell him I told you!), sought relationship advice from each other, you know... all the stuff that best friends do.  He was like a brother to me.  To this day, my mom still refers to him as her son...

A couple of years later, we started to get to know the new girl at Chick-Fil-A... Whitney.  I can't say that we hit it off right away as our first impressions of each other weren't the best (lol... silly young girls) but over time, I got to know her and realized she was a friend worth having.  It was easy to by myself around her... she was honest and genuine.  With Whitney, what you saw was what you got and I loved that about her.  There was nothing fake about Whit and she cherished loyalty as I did. Once we became friends, I could almost always be found at her house.  There were late night drives with windows down and music blaring, mud fights during rain storms, Dance Dance Revolution until 6 am, all sorts of fun craziness... 
As high school came to a close, we had our tight circle of friends that did everything together.  A few months after graduation, Jared informed us that he had enlisted in the Marine Corps.  Talk about a mixture of emotions!  How could my heart be filled with so much pride and sadness at the same time? After that, there were a lot of changes... people moved away and our times of hanging out were few and far between.  I eventually found my forever, settled down and got married to the greatest man and friend I could ever dream of having... 
Around the same time that I got married, Jared and Whitney started dating.  We all kept in touch and spent time together when time allowed.  This past June (5 years later) Jared finally popped the question and she said YES!!!  It was only a matter of days before they were hanging out at our house and I was asked to be a bridesmaid in their Tennessee wedding. I was so excited... not only was I going to be a part of my best friends' most important day, but I was going to be at their home in Tennessee during the fall to see the leaves change (a first for me)!

So, last Tuesday, Cliff and I packed up the car and headed up for a 5-day trip in the beautiful Smokey Mountains.  It was such a joy to be there to help out and use my gifts of organization to ease the stressed-out bride's nerves.  Caffeine and I became great friends as there was VERY little sleep involved.  But we had a BLAST!!!  

Their beautiful country wedding was held on Friday, November 11, 2011 (11-11-11) with 5 former Marines (as well as others who served in the U.S. military) in attendance as they honored our country's veterans.  It was a magical day and I was so blessed to be a part of it...

Jared and Whitney... I love you both so much!  Thank you for being my "forever friends!" May the years ahead fill your lives with love and happiness. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day! :)
With Love, 
Danielle Renae


  1. Jared: Thank ya darlin fur com'n ta my wedding!
    Whitney:Aww Thank you so much that was so beautiful. I love you so much!!!! You are such a blessing to my life and I am so glad to have friends like you and Cliff in our life! It really meant the world to me that the both of you came!!!

  2. Awww...that was beautiful Danielle!

  3. And I love them ALL!!! :) I couldn't have more awesome kids!!! LOVE YOU. MOM