I read the other two couple's stories and I was torn because I felt we all deserved to win. Whatever the outcome, I knew someone would be blessed and was just thankful for the opportunity. During the two weeks of voting, I was overwhelmed by all the love, support and encouragement we received from our friends and family, even people I had never met. It made me realize how blessed we were to have these people in our lives, and even if we didn't win, the knowledge of how much we were loved by our family and friends was a blessing in itself.
I tried not to be anxious during this time but trust that if it was the Lord's will for us to win the wedding then we would. I kept thinking about Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.", as well as, Philippians 4:6-7 "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I still struggled with being anxious, but I prayed ALOT and gained a peace about it and knew deep down that God would provide us a way to get married, whether it was through winning this contest or not.
It was around seven in the morning on that fateful Monday when I got a text from a friend congratulating us on winning the contest. My heart stopped. I think I may have stopped breathing as well. As quick as I could, I got on the computer to check out the website and sure enough! We won! I couldn't believe it! I called or sent a text to everyone.. Justin, my mom, grandma, future mother-in-law... This was the best gift anyone could hope for and the greatest blessing. The Lord is so good and I'm still thanking him every day that we won.
I'm sure you're wondering what all this dream wedding giveaway included. We won the following:
- Ceremony/Reception location at Lakes Chapel & Clubhouse
- Photography package from Wes Sewell Photography
- $5,000 Ring Package from Steel's Jewelry
- $750 Gift Certificate to Valdosta Greenhouses
- $500 Gift Certificate to Red Velvet Bakery
- $500 Gift Certificate to Special Occasions Rental
- Four bridesmaid dresses and $250 towards wedding gown from Lezlie's Bridal
- Five tux and shoe rentals from Ivey's
- $200 Gift Certificate to Simply Silver for bridesmaid gifts
- Five tanning packages from Endless Summer Tanning Salon
- Honeymoon trip to St. Augustine, Florida for 5 days and 4 nights
So basically the only items left that we have to pay for are my wedding gown, invitations, reception entertainment and reception food. Winning this wedding has been surreal. We always hope and wish for great things to happen to us, but never really expect them to. This experience has helped cement for me the truth that God is our gracious provider and will always make sure we have everything we need if only we put our faith and trust in Him.