Anna + Greg | Southern Vintage Hometown Wedding

From the Photographer: Anna Paige is a sweet, caring Southern lady from Arkansas, and Greg is a kind man who hails from way up north in Wisconsin! The two met while serving with  Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of Chicago.

From the Bride: Greg and I met during a year of service with Amate House through the Archdiocese of Chicago. Greg lived in a community of volunteers on the north side of Chicago, and I lived on the south side, but we would see each other during weekly volunteer meetings and other social gatherings. 

From the Groom: Anna Paige and I were volunteers in the same AmeriCorps program. We first met at a block party where I tried really hard to be cool and interesting while I “chatted her up.”

Bride:One of my first memories with Greg happened over Labor Day weekend. Our community of volunteers from Amate House met up for the jazz festival in Millennium Park and afterwards planned to watch the fireworks on Navy Pier. On the way to the pier we “accidentally” got separated from the rest of the group and ended up watching the fireworks alone together from the shoreline. That whole year was full of special moments of excitement and growth together.  We both knew from early on that we had found the person we wanted to spend our lives with.

Greg and I would go to Mass together almost every weekend in Chicago. There are so many beautiful churches to choose from, and it was always the highlight of my week. From Old St. Pat’s to St. Clement to St. Sabina, there were many great communities to worship with. Those Sunday mornings together really solidified our relationship, and Mass has remained an important part of our week. 

After our year of service ended, Greg and I went back to our home states. I got a job back in Arkansas, and he planned to move back to Wisconsin. 

However, that summer Greg sacrificed his plans of moving to Milwaukee to move to Arkansas to be closer to me. His selflessness has always been so amazing to me. He is accepting, encouraging, and loving. Greg always says, “You get to be the face of Christ to others.” I am thankful for his wisdom.

After a year of trying out new jobs and figuring out our career paths, Greg proposed to me. He asked me to go to a state park one Saturday morning, which was a totally normal thing for us to do. We walked around a lake in the park, and I noticed that Greg’s hands were ice cold despite the summer heat. I didn’t know that his hands were cold from nerves. At a certain point on the path, Greg bent down to look at a “cool rock,” and when he turned around he had the ring in his hands. It was simple and sweet, and I said yes!

We decided to get married in the small church where I grew up in the Arkansas delta. It is the same church where my sister, brother, and grandparents married, so it made the day even more special. 

We felt so loved on our wedding day. So many of our family and friends from all over the country joined us for the ceremony. Greg’s family from Wisconsin, our friends from our year in Chicago, and my friends and family journeyed to my little hometown to celebrate with us. 

The most important part of our wedding was that God would be honored through our vows and through the intimate gathering of our family and friends in his church. We sang “Lord of all Hopefulness” during the ceremony, and when the sound of the congregation filled the church I felt a profound peace. 

Groom: Our life together is pure wonderment. She’s my best friend and partner-in-crime through thick and thin.

From the Photographer: The wedding was on a perfect fall day. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church is the bride's home parish where her family members have been united in marriage for years, so it was only fitting that her and Greg chose to be married there as well. 

The church is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has old, squeaky floors that have been worn by decades of priests’ and parishioners’ prayers. The stained glass windows let in lovely light in the afternoon. The altar is center-stage once 5 PM hits, surrounded by a stunning sanctuary for Christ with beautiful representations of the Holy Family. 

Greg and Anna Paige both wanted to honor their Catholic faith, choosing a full Mass, with organ and violin accompaniment. Guests were close family and friends, while more friends awaited them at their reception due to the occupancy limits of the church. 

The bride's gown was purchased just around the corner from the church at Low's. It had beautiful ivory lace with beading throughout. The groom chose a simple black suit, allowing full attention to be on his precious bride.

What struck me throughout the entire wedding process with Greg and Anna Paige was how kind and sincere they both are. When anyone spoke to them, they listened with their full attention. While this may be part of their personality, some of this must come from their Catholic faith. 

We also saw how valued they are by their friends and family. People were thrilled to see them wed and to celebrate this union with them! The entire process was very God-honoring, beautiful,  and joyfully celebratory.

Photography: McDuff Photography | Church: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Brinkley, Arkansas | Reception: Brinkley Convention Center| Dress: Low's Bridal

Emma + Mark | Edwardian-Inspired Wedding

Emma was living in Philadelphia, waiting out the final week of a six-month online dating subscription on CatholicMatch, when she received a message from a handsome man from New York City. Their first in-person meeting began shortly after, the day Mark stepped off a train into Philly's 30th Street Station. They soon began dating long-distance, and ten months later, Mark got down on one knee in the middle of the station.

From the Bride:

Deciding where to tie the knot was tricky. We’re adopted East Coasters with friends scattered from Pacific to Atlantic. We ultimately chose rural, quirky and historic Eureka Springs, Arkansas--an hour away from my parents--for our semi-destination wedding.

Mark is a convert who was drawn to Catholicism through the beauty of the traditional Latin Mass. Our wedding mass was in English, but we were able to find a schola choir nearby to chant parts of the liturgy in Latin.

The Crescent 1886 Hotel, where we held our reception, claims to be one of the most haunted hotels in America. This was not a deal breaker for us! It happened to be situated within walking distance of a quaint, historic Catholic Church, itself a rarity in the South. We wanted a moody, vintage and romantic feel for our wedding, and the entire area made me think of an Edwardian ghost story come to life. 

I was initially afraid planning a wedding out of state would make including personal touches impossible. However, we ended up with more DIY projects than anticipated, and found many ways to reflect our style and talents. Mark and I are both graphic design savvy, for instance, so we created & printed our Save-The-Dates, invitations, programs, place cards and all other wedding signage ourselves. 

Antiquing is a passion in my family. Every time I come home to Arkansas, my mother and I scour area junk shops for oil lanterns with hurricanes, antique medicine bottles, and authentic vintage mercury glass. I showcased some of our finds for the reception, and ended up following some online tutorials and creating additional mercury glass votives and vases. 

Our wedding favor was a small jar of home-infused mint & blueberry tequila (Combine 4 cups tequila, preferably 100% agave, 2 cups blueberries, and 1/4 cup mint in a sealed container for 4-7 days, then strain). I made something similar as a gift for Mark on our first Valentine’s Day, and home-infusing has since become a bit of a shared passion. We infused & bottled it over the space of a few weeks, assembly line-style, in my kitchen. A caravan of friends driving to the wedding transported the bottles from Philadelphia to Arkansas for us.

Choosing vendors off the internet was a bit challenging, but easier than it could’ve been in the age of video chat and peer-reviews. We went with less traditional retailers for our wedding party’s attire and were pleased with the overall ease and quality. And we hit the jackpot with our photographer, Kinsey Mhire, whom we met in person for the first time on the morning of our wedding!

I found all the tropes and hackneyed sayings people spout about your wedding day to be maddeningly true. It does go fast, you won’t get to spend the quality time with each guest that you might like to, and definitely don’t forget to eat. I woke up early, made some coffee and spent some quiet time on the porch by myself, praying and reflecting about the solemnity of our vows and what lay ahead. I’ll repeat some more tropes and say that the day winds up being special not because of the details you have planned, but because it seals you & your beloved in a covenant.


Photographer's Website : Kinsey Mhire  | Nupital Mass or Engagement Location: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church | Wedding Reception Venue : The Crescent 1886 Hotel | Rings: Marisa Perry Atelier  | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie  | Groomsmen’s Suits: The Black Tux | Music: Twin Lakes Radio  | Ceremony Music: The Gregorian Schola of St. Joseph Parish | Donuts / Cake: Rick’s Bakery | Day-Of-Coordinator: The Vintage Soul | Invitations & Stationary: Created by the Bride