JoAnna + Nick’s Story
per the groom
“For about three years I shared the relationship with JoAnna Claire Culpepper that I shared with most people on UNCW’s campus: I knew of them, but didn’t know them. Everyone knew everyone in some form or another, whether it be from a party, class, club, or any other gathering. I knew of this girl for roughly three years before our lives came crashing together into what is now my current state of bliss due to our recent engagement. Spring semester of freshman year we sat so close to each other in psychology class that you could count the seats between us on one hand. Although I always wanted to speak to her, I never had the guts. Time passed, the class finished, and a mediocre grade was attained. My daydreams and fantasies of JoAnna had temporarily subsided as our time in PSY 101 had come to a stop; although the class ended, there was still hope. Junior year came along and our lives seemed to head in separate directions, studying abroad, failed relationships, and the ever-growing workload of school/work seemed to be closing the gap on any opportunities to meet the woman that caught my eye in PSY 101. Fall semester of senior year was coming to a close and I knew that my run with college was almost done. I knew that I would be joining the military after college; being single at the time, I thought that I had my whole plan figured out. Boy was I wrong. One night, my friends and I attended the beach bars (which we had done every weekend for FAR too long) where we had no reason to believe that our experience wouldn’t be like any other weekend. We got the same drinks, heard the same music, smelled the same awful smells from the Laagerhead’s bathroom, and just about every other detail that was synonymous with the beach bars. I remember someone bumping into me exceptionally hard; there was no doubt in my mind that this individual had played football at one point in their life. Soon enough, JoAnna looks me square in the eyes, greets me, and begins to say, “if you bump into my again, I’ll unfriend you on Facebook”. First thought? “Well Nick, you blew it.”
We continued to meet in the following weeks at other venues where our feelings began to mature for one another and our relationship began to take form. The feelings I had with this woman were unlike anything I’d ever felt. I knew that JoAnna was unlike any woman I’d ever met but I also knew that I would be leaving in just a few months for a journey that she didn’t sign up for. Luckily, we both recognized the potential that our relationship had and we saw the joy that we brought one another which gave us hope for the future. Summer of 2016 was amazing, as we shared so many experiences and trips that I will forever cherish. The hardest day of my life was saying goodbye to JoAnna when I left for basic training. You tell someone that “everything will be okay” sometimes, even when you don’t know if it will be. I was saying this to comfort myself because, truly, I had no idea what was ahead. JoAnna helped me get through basic training, as we both wrote each other as much as possible whenever we had spare time. My feelings flourished over the authentic emotion conveyed through a letter which did nothing by further heighten my love for Miss Culpepper. I never gave marriage much thought before meeting JoAnna because I always thought that there was a predetermined age range when it was “expected” for that happen. JoAnna shattered this expectation and showed me that when you know that you want to experience the joys of life with someone, every day, for the rest of your life, there is no point in waiting. Her kind spirit, firm morals, stunning beauty, hilarious sense of humor and many other unique traits combined into a concoction that was simply perfection. Of all the ways that this journey could have taken me, I will be returning back to NC after technical school, which is so conducive for both of us! God is so good and has blessed us with a setting and situation that will aid in calming the hardships of living the military lifestyle. Many people don’t get to experience the wonders of true love, which makes me all the more thankful for God’s alignment of our paths. We are so very excited to begin this new chapter of our lives and would like to thank you everyone who has supported us in any form or fashion along the course of our relationship, you have helped in making our love story so very special.”
No words, right?! Their intimate day with friends and family was no different. J + N’s love for each other, love for life and love for all the special people that surround them was evident on their wedding day, as we imagine it is every other day of their lives. Of course, there were stresses that came along with making the day happen – not to mention, the wedding was planned in two months! “With Nick being military, we had to make a decision pretty quickly to have a “real wedding” otherwise we’d have to wait a while! It’s hard to plan far out with military. No time is really yours and it was crucial that the groom be able to attend the wedding! I planned the whole thing in two months and survived thanks to my insane spreadsheet. I put a lot of faith in my vendors to bring my loose vision to life and they did an awesome job! I got super lucky to be able to have everything that I did, like the venue, especially with the time frame being so short.” – JoAnna
Lets also take a moment to talk about this super fun cake via Cinda’s Creative Cakes. Such a beautiful design on the outside and the sweetness didn’t stop there – literally! Four different layers including: funfetti, chocolate chip, chocolate cake with raspberry ganache and oreo cake.
“I think the most important part of my wedding day was my grandmother being there. My wedding was December 30, and my grandfather passed away on December 16. We had a special candle lit for him during the ceremony and I managed to get a memorial quote into the program in his honor.” – JoAnna
Ceremony: Hayes Barton United Methodist Church | Venue: City Club Raleigh | Caterer: City Club Raleigh | Photography: Foxtail Photography | Videography: Kenneth Freyer | Floral: Jenny’s Projects | Transportation: The Raleigh Trolley | Cake: Cinda’s Creative Cakes | Hair + Makeup: Salon Blu | Entertainment: PC Productions | Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal | Shoe Designer: ModCloth