These two adorable Swifties had a farm wedding in Alabama
Photography by Bonne Elle Photo

Offbeat partners: Rachel and Jason

Location and Date: Bullard Farm and Pavilion in Altoona, AL, 3/25/2023

Our wedding at a glance:

Whenever anyone asked what our farm wedding color was, we'd say, “All of them.”

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We tried to be laid back and enjoy things (although most of the time we were just both very stressed). My partner and I were “strange” from the jump – engagement, for us, was mostly just a series of discussions and talks.

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The groom's cake was pizza!

I'm disabled, so we had to be realistic in regards to healthcare – Jason has always done all he can to understand my chronic illnesses and my mental illnesses, that has never changed – but a series of talks isn't very romantic, so Jason decided he'd plan a more “official” proposal, because, he said, I deserved a nice memory to file away as well as a lovely story to tell.

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As he was doing that, I planned MY proposal to HIM. We mutually proposed to each other, in ways that were perfect for us. For example: he's a huge wrestling fan so I got him an engagement “ring”…a light-up mini wrestling ring engraved with WILL YOU MARRY ME?

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You know how brides are usually balls of nerves while grooms just kind of party? We agreed that wouldn't be us. Jason planned at least half the wedding, if not MORE. He's my partner in all things.

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I don't like when you can see a lot of the bride's spirit in a wedding but not the groom's. Our wedding was very US, completely and unequivocally a reflection of who we are alone and who we are together. Nothing went as planned; so many things went wrong. I wouldn't change a thing. It was exactly right, and so are we – together.

Our ceremony:

I can't put his vows here because they were 1.5 TYPED SINGLE SPACED PAGES. And they were gorgeous! He even came out officially as a Swiftie (that's my fault). Everyone was laughing and having a great time. All his jokes were KILLINGGGGGG… I was so hyped up to see my best friend really milking the attention. He's an introvert, so everyone was caught off guard.

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Meanwhile, MY vows were 3 short paragraphs. I'm an actual poet, and I let him upstage me! I'm kidding about being upset. I think it rules that he came out of his shell to such a large extent, like he does when we're alone.

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Right before the processional, we had “Homemade Dynamite” by Lorde playing loudly and UNEDITED. Every (extremely religious) parent could be seen grimacing whenever the “bad words” came.

Furthermore, somehow the processional took too long, and so the only two songs I'd planned for the processional – “Found a Heart” by Emily Hearn and “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles – ended, and my phone, which was hooked up to the speakers, started playing whatever it wanted to play, which was some debut era Taylor Swift song that was far too upbeat for the moment, but I'm learning to let it go.

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My dad and I were standing in the barn waiting to walk out when I realized the song playing was incorrect. My dad sprung into action, running down to the person manning the playlist and asking him to put on “Found a Heart” again.

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My dad made jokes and kept me laughing and kept me calm, the entire trip down the aisle. I don't know how he knew exactly what to say, but I'm so thankful.

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A bit windy

I don't know what I plan to do with my dress. It came from JJ's House and cost like $250, with alterations and veil creation tacking on another $140. That's incredibly inexpensive, as far as wedding dresses go! I just picked a dress I thought was pretty. I didn't have high hopes. Didn't think I'd cry when I decided on it, and I was correct. Finding an inexpensive but pretty dress in a plus size was pretty impressive, though, so that was cool.

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I had to FIGHT for that veil, which was inspired by Taylor Swift's floral Grammy dress in 2021. My mom was angry when I bought the fabric off Etsy, certain it would give me a headache so vast that I'd fall off the face of the planet, or something. But everyone loved the veil in the end, as did I.

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But somehow, despite all that – on the actual wedding day, I felt like a princess. Legitimately. I was certain I'd ruin all the photos… just a bunch of stuff like that. But Jason, as he always does, slid his hand into mine and soothed/smoothed out the nerves.

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I knew I was gorgeous, because my main hype man was right there firing me up. That's how it always is. That's how it'll always be, now. He's my biggest fan. He invents worlds in which I'm extraordinary.

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That's who I am to him. That's who he is to me. Not everything is rainbows due to the magic of love or something… don't get me wrong. But now there are two of us to alternate holding the umbrella. Now, when the waves crash too tall, we hold our breath on the count of three, and we dive. Even the deepest parts of the ocean don't scare me, now. Not since him.

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Tell us about the reception:

We planned for a long, fun night! Dancing, yard games, paper games, card/board games, etc… but everyone got out of there SO FAST once the reception started. Part of me was upset, but mostly it just made me laugh. It was perfect anyway.

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So in the second picture I am handing Jim a blue feather, as you do in the Harvest Moon game, but it just looks like I'm attacking him with a very tiny sword:

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Boop

Jason and I met during lockdown and went on several virtual dates before meeting in real life. By about IRL date number two, I started building our playlist. We tried so hard to get that playlist onto mix CDs to give away as wedding favors, but it didn't work out. Growing up, I didn't dream about much in terms of my future wedding. The one thing I absolutely did dream of, though, was having mix CD playlists.

I worked so hard on our playlist. It's tender and very nerve-wracking to show people. Feels like my heart is stuck so hard to my sleeve that the jaws of life have to be called in. In the folder of photos I sent, I included a picture of the playlist that I worked so hard on. And Jason – bless him – did all he could to try and make it happen for me. He always does that.

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He was my first relationship after finally escaping my abusive ex – Jason is made of so much gentleness that sometimes, I forget the bad. Our first dance was to “Sweet Nothing” by Taylor Swift. He cried the first time I asked him to listen to that song.

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He, like Swift in “Sweet Nothing,” is also too soft for all of it. I love his soft. I love how even when there's no room left, he finds some. Good lord, this joy! Here's the first poem I wrote as a wife:

Our wedding was yesterday and
I still haven't written a poem
about

any of it. I can't. Why would
I spend even one second
doing anything but
watching you
smile back at me

from across left-over reception beer
bottles and hope? So much

hope,

now. I can barely breath between
these blankets of joy. My god. My
other half is my other half, and

I can't wait to fuck shit up with you
until we
die.

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding?

Our engagement was very difficult, because everyone had so many expectations and opinions. We nearly eloped many times, and the kitchen floor was prime “having panic attacks” real estate. It felt like we couldn't do anything right. But it helped my now-husband and I grow even closer somehow – we pulled the brambles and pinecones together to form a sort of shaky shield.

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Looking at him from across a dining room table, listening to people criticize things about my beloved that he'd worked so hard on and had previously been so proud of? He folded into himself, briefly. I think I did, too. But we got through it, and you'll get through it, and everyone everywhere will get through it.

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Also? I didn't know about this until we watched the livestream back – but my mom (my dad's ex wife) and my stepmom (my dad's current wife) walked each other down the aisle, holding hands. They did that for me and Jason. They came together and painted a love bigger than any pasts have ever been.

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I guess my advice would be – find as many slivers as you can throughout the planning process and the event itself, of those simple things that all this pomp and circumstance is about. Love and joy. Two halves pouring superglue all over their bodies, slamming parts into parts, drawn to make something complete since the dawn of 1990s boy bands.

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cleaning up bottles with you

I'd marry Jason again any time, any day. Remember this: love is warm… so keep your palms out. Keep going!

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Comments on These two adorable Swifties had a farm wedding in Alabama

  1. Excited for your wedding, you are a lovely couple and you are sure to have a very happy life.

  2. This line, “He invents worlds in which I’m extraordinary.” absolutely got me! What a beautiful couple!!! I’m so happy for you that you had a lovely day celebrating your love.

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