Happy Wedding Wednesday, friends! So along with sharing more of our fun styled shoots, we also want to start showcasing more of our lovely Twirl brides on their special days! We couldn't be more thrilled to share our precious bride, Hillary, with y'all today. She is so beautiful, inside & out, and her wedding day couldn't have been more perfect for the happy couple. We asked her some questions about her wedding planning process, her actual day, and about life as a newlywed and we can't wait for y'all to hear what this sweet girl had to say. Enjoy her gorgeous photos by Chloe Lane Photography and film by Summit Stone Creations! We've got ALL THE HEART EYES over this gorgeous gal & her stunning wedding which was planned & coordinated by Ginny Adkins with Sharing Special Moments.
Can you give us a glimpse into you & your hubs's love story?
Luke and I met at Western Kentucky University in the Fall of 2010. Both Luke and I were actively engaged in Greek Life on campus and during Homecoming week we were introduced by mutual friends at a mixer party. A few months later my sorority was having their annual Theme Dance and that particular year the theme was "Days of the Year" where couples could dress up as any special day in a calendar year. Being the ridiculous 19 year-olds that we were, my friends and I all decided to choose blind dates for one another. My date was instructed to dress for the dance as if he was getting married because I had (and will always have) a slight obsession with the wedding industry and chose “wedding day” as our theme. The night of the dance, Mr. Luke Simmons arrived at the sorority house dressed in a black and white tuxedo t-shirt and jorts ready to "get hitched." When I returned home to the sorority house that night I distinctly remember thinking how much fun Luke was and that I hoped I would see him again very soon. As the Lord’s plan began to unfold, I was lucky enough to be asked on our first date the very next day. On May 23rd, 2015, Luke proposed at the waterfront in downtown Louisville and after 16 months of planning, on the most beautiful late September day, we got married on a horse farm in Lexington surrounded by our favorite people on the planet. In the almost seven years Luke and I have been together, I am truly so thankful to be able to call him my very best friend. We now reside in Louisville, KY in our new home with our sweet puppy, Oreo.
What was it about your dress that made you realize it was "the one?" Was it what you expected to love/wear? Favorite memory from dress shopping/Twirl?
Oh gosh… I am tearing up just thinking about it. My dress was one I definitely would not have chosen for myself off the rack nor the style I had been looking for. But Liz, Twirl’s Manager, knew better. ;) Liz and I have been friends since high school and I was so thankful to have her by my side through this process.
After trying on multiple gowns and not receiving that “perfect” feeling every girl dreams of having with any of them, I began to question if I’d ever find “the one”.
I had found a dress that I liked, but there was just something that was keeping me from saying yes. Luckily, Liz suggested that I try on one of her favorite dresses in the store. A few moments later, Liz walks up the stairs holding this beautiful gown with cap sleeves, a beaded bodice with a tulle ball gown skirt. It was absolutely beautiful, but literally the opposite (minus the ball gown style) of what I was looking for.
I stepped into the gown and walked out to the podium in the room where my Mom was waiting, and immediately began to cry. As I looked at myself in the mirror, in the most beautiful dress I had ever tried on … all I could imagine was Luke’s face when he saw me in this dress. When I stood in the dress I saw the woman that I wanted to be for Luke as his wife. When I saw myself in that dress, all I could see was him and that’s when I knew without a doubt that I HAD INDEED FOUND THE ONE!
When I think back to the two dresses that were my final picks, the first one fit my personality. It was girly, confident, boisterous and a little unique, but THE dress that won my heart made me feel like I was opening a new chapter. I was ready for this new adventure and committing myself to Luke in our marriage. This may sound funny and nonsensical, but slipping into that dress brought a feeling of commitment and promise, and it filled me full of indescribable joy.
I am so thankful for Liz and the Twirl team, and the experience that I had at Twirl Boutique. Their patience, their happiness when I found THE dress, and their commitment to making it a perfect experience far exceeded my shopping expectation. Finding my perfect dress was an experience I will never forget. Cannot thank you ladies enough!!
What is your favorite memory from your wedding day?
It’s hard to narrow it down to just one, but three distinct memories come to mind. One of my personal favorite memories from our wedding day was seeing Luke before our first look. I could see him off in the distance on the bridge where our first look was going to take place. He was and is unbelievably handsome. I could tell even from that distance that he was beginning to get emotional by his body language and seeing him standing there with his hands in his pockets, I began to cry… again, for what felt like the 100th time that day. The morning felt like an extreme blur, up until that moment. In that simple moment, everything became so real and in the hustle and bustle of the day that moment completely grounded me and brought me back to what was happening in just a few short hours.
Our ceremony was our combined favorite memory. One of our dearest friends from college, John, performed the ceremony. John has always had the most perfect way of telling a story and connecting with people. He explained his relationship with us in the most beautiful way; how he had met us both, getting to know us as a couple, etc. But our favorite part of our ceremony was how he explained the Gospel and the relationship of Christ and his bride, the Church, and how ultimately marriage is meant to be a reflection of this relationship.
We both still reflect and laugh on another favorite moment which was immediately following our first dances (ours, mother-son, father-daughter). We had the most incredible band for our reception, Project859, and immediately after the dances ended and they began to play the first song we look up to see EVERYONE, and I mean EVERYONE, rush the dance floor and it didn’t seem like anyone left all night. We have the most incredible friends and family, and we are so grateful they were able to celebrate with us.
What has been the best thing about marriage so far?
Easy… I get to live life with my best friend every single day. I get to groan when his alarm goes off at 5am when he has to get ready to leave for work every day and he gets to groan when I want to stay up late to watch TGIT on Thursday Nights. We get to laugh at each other when the other says a Southern phrase the other has never heard before (the difference in growing up on opposite ends of Kentucky). We both get to love, praise, and scold our dog-child when she does something good or bad (good lessons for future parenthood ;).
We, now, get to make joint decisions on our home projects, where to travel, where to spend our time and money wisely, what meals to cook, where to serve, etc. has been a huge blessing and, also, a huge learning curve. We’re still learning how to communicate and definitely will be learning that in every phase of our life together. The last 8 months we both have learned so much about ourselves and this new phase of life we are in. The newlywed stage is both fun and challenging as we learn more about each other every day, but also the new people we are becoming as a unit. A unit that we have built over the last 8 months that will last for 80 years to come and that’s what we have to look forward to!
Any pieces of wisdom or advice you'd like to share with future brides, engaged gals, or newlyweds like yourself?
In the very early stages of our marriage, my advice would be to just have fun and to ‘Keep the Main Thing, the Main Thing.’ In your first year of marriage, go out and try new things; cook a new recipe you both would enjoy, take a how-to class, take the road trip, join a new community group, make a new situation for yourselves and just do it.
Secondly, always remember to keeping each other first. This is a daily reminder for us. That includes praying for patience always. Praying for patience when you both disagree on which family event to go to or what should be donated to Goodwill, or how to caulk the house correctly (definitely our largest fight to date). ;) Darn caulk.
“Love each other well” was the most frequent advice I got before our wedding and still get in our first year of marriage. How to do that is something we’ll always be figuring out, but keeping him above all else is a really great place to start.
Hillary, thank you SO much for allowing us to celebrate you & share your wedding day with the rest of our Twirl family! We are so encouraged by your story and your heart for your marriage. We wish you nothing but abundant joy & grace in the years to come. Cheers to you MRS. SIMMONS! Xoxo, The Twirl Girls
Interested in having your wedding day featured? Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if so, we'd love to hear from you & celebrate your happy day with you!