Brittany Rachelle Watkins + Conrad Casem, Jr.
Don’t miss Conrad and Brittany’s intimate, country-chic Johnson City wedding with sweet pastels and adorable DIY details.
Tell about your love story!
Our story began as friends and grew into the most amazing love story that either of us could have ever asked for. We met through mutual friends and instantly “clicked,” spending all of our free time getting to know each other. After several months, we decided that since we shared so many interests in common, we should try taking this friendship to the next level. Without putting a label on it, we were falling in love and growing inseparable. From then on, we have been on countless adventures doing what we both love doing.
We are best friends. We balance each other out and strengthen each other’s weaknesses. We love the same things and share the same interests. We are each other’s biggest supporters and consistently push each other to be the best we can be. We couldn’t ask for anything more than the laughter and love that we share daily with each other.
Conrad purchased the ring with the intention of waiting until after the New Year. He wanted to propose on a snowboarding trip to Sugar Mountain because spending time together boarding is a passion we both share and something that we love doing together. After he purchased the ring, all his plans were forgotten. He had the ring for about three hours and couldn’t keep it a secret. He called my family and told them that he couldn’t wait; he was going to propose as soon as I got home from work. After I came home from work on December 21, 2012, he proposed, just he and I in our condo, and it’s really all I’ve ever wanted. He knew I didn’t want a huge group of people watching or any crazy surprises.
Describe your wedding planning process.
We were engaged for eight months. My mom helped immensely. Conrad was very active in the planning process, and it was such a fun bonding experience. I’m very thankful for that. My mom, Conrad, and I did all the planning.
Did The Pink Bride assist you in any way?
Yes! Seeking out vendors on your own is very difficult. Hearing testimonials and success stories helped me narrow down who I may want to contact to use in my own wedding. From suggestions on the venue to favors, The Pink Bride is a resource I definitely recommend.
What turned out to be your best decision surrounding the big day?
Choosing John Shim! On such an important day, I didn’t want to have to worry about the pictures we were going to have to remember our wedding by. His work and talent is flawless. Budget was a huge concern, but I always said you can’t put a price on memories, and I would spend the most money on my photographer. And so I did. We recommend John hands down over anyone else. His eye and talent for photography is amazing, and we love him. Thank you, John!
What was your wedding day budget (and for how many guests)?
Our budget was $8,000 for 75 guests. I saved by making a lot of the details on my own. Renting décor adds up really fast. I saved with putting a lot of stuff together on my own, which also made our wedding more personalized. Choosing Maple Lane Farm was an immense money-saver. They supplied everything that everywhere else I priced required renting. We didn’t have to rent anything except the chair tie backs.
We splurged on photography and so glad we did! I splurged on my dress because I wanted a key hole back. Conrad’s parents splurged to send us to St. Lucia for seven days on our honeymoon. That was planned last minute and was such an awesome experience.
Recap your big day for us.
Our whole wedding party got ready in the same house on Maple Lane Farm property. At various times throughout the “getting ready” process, Conrad and I would randomly yell at each other and ask what each other was doing or how it was going. It lightened the nerves and relaxed us both knowing we each were right there, going through everything together. Another thing laugh worthy was the cake melting. Beautiful cake, tasted great, but melted fast!
The first thing I cried about was my dad’s prayer over the food at the reception. My dad doesn’t show emotion very often, and it really touched my heart. We also cried during Conrad’s brother Chris’ toast. He originally was not going to give a toast. Under pressure the exact minute that he was asked to give one, he gave the most heartfelt toast that I’ve ever heard. We could both feel his love, and that meant more than anything. Conrad and I both cried like babies.
Having my grandfather marry us was very special. He was honored because I am the only granddaughter and it was a privilege to have him officiate. The father/daughter dance was memorable because my dad showed his fun loving personality and made everyone laugh. Doing a first look was so special. We are so glad that we did one. We loved just having that little bit of alone time together without having an audience. It was in that moment it finally hit us, “WE ARE GETTING MARRIED!”
Luckily, we didn’t have any major upsets. About an hour before the ceremony, the flowers somehow got locked into the reception hall bathroom (because it was air conditioned), and no one could find the key. Of course, my mom went into freak-out mode, but we walked down the aisle with flowers.
What about the details?
I really just wanted simple but elegant. We knew before we were engaged that we wanted an outdoor wedding. We incorporated lots of burlap and accented with lace overlays, mint green, and soft blush. I made a lot of things that normally would have been rented to save on budget and make our wedding more personalized.
We chose Maple Lane not only because it was a gorgeous venue, but because everything we needed for the day was on location. A huge house to get ready in, the ceremony space, and the reception hall were steps apart. We didn’t want our guests to have to drive. We loved how the reception hall’s sides rolled up because we wanted it very breezy and romantic. The most important detail that really pieced everything together were our gorgeous flowers. I wanted most of the color statement to come from them, and Lara did an outstanding job! Our tables had white table cloths, burlap runners with lace overlays, and napkins that alternated in mint and blush. Our centerpieces consisted of wine bottles that were wrapped in thick hemp chord and mason jars filled with blush spray roses, peach/mint/ivory assorted flowers, and baby’s breath. My Dad cut the slabs of wood that our centerpieces sat on. I made white chocolate lip and mustache suckers as a personal touch for photo ops and a “sweet” way to say thank you for sharing our day. The white suckers laid on each place setting. I draped lace panels from the gazebo that we were married under to give our ceremony space a romantic feel. It looked gorgeous with our flowers that were hanging on shepherd hooks down the aisle.
What’s the best advice you can give a bride and groom planning their wedding?
Do not procrastinate. Don’t put things off and think that you can schedule with vendors later. Appointments fill up so fast and you will be left without an aspect that you really wanted. Do your homework and really research what options you have. Picking something that “will work” may come back to bite you later. You want the best and not to settle because you will miss out on something you would have loved to have.
What do you look forward to most as Mr. & Mrs.?
Starting a family of our own.
What has surprised you most during the first few months of marriage?
We are still getting wedding presents. The love and support is such a blessing.
Photographer: John Shim Photography
Florist: Lara Huff
Jewelry: (great grandmother’s)
Bridal Shop: Princess Diaries JC, LLC
Formalwear: Men’s Wearhouse
Bridal Party Attire: Annie’s Room
Caterer, Ceremony & Reception Location: Maple Lane Farm
Videographer: Jeb Johnson
Music/Entertainment: Chris Reddick with Venture Productions Media Services
Rentals and Decor: Celebrate Rentals
Officiate/ Minister: Pastor Buddy Chapman (grandfather)
Hair: Nikki Smith at Edge Hair Studio