It was one of those rainy southern fall days. The clouds would open and release glass-shattering rain fall, only to dissipate minutes later. The sun would appear along with the humidity, and then the cycle would start again. Thankfully, Maggie and Slaton embraced the weather and planned ahead.

Like all 2020 wedding couples, Maggie and Slaton had to adjust their plans. They had originally envisioned a black tie formal affair at a boutique hotel in downtown Atlanta. As the pandemic became more variable, they reevaluated and decided to downsize their guest list and host their ceremony at Slaton’s grandmother’s home, as well as the reception at his mom’s house. Their location change made the day all the more meaningful. I remember Slaton reminiscing of childhood memories at each home while he was getting dressed.

The rain held for most of the afternoon, but it came in as a torrential downpour as Maggie was preparing to walk down the aisle. They wanted to include those that couldn’t make the wedding, so they had friends share advice over Zoom as part of their ceremony. Their flower girls even made an appearance over Zoom! Their grandparents also gave advice on marriage while family wiped away tears, thinking of those that had passed. Maggie and Slaton were very intentional and thoughtful about every wedding detail, and it showed.

After the next bout of rain disappeared, we took photos under the oak trees that Slaton’s grandmother planted herself over 70 years ago. Maggie and Slaton entered into their reception and delighted guests with a choreographed first dance. Their friends and siblings shared emotional toasts while the rain continued to decorate the top of the clear tents. As the night drew to a close, there was a sudden loud noise. Slaton looked up to see Maggie’s surprise: fireworks! The newlyweds and their guests enjoyed the colorful explosions and then made their way to the after party.

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