The Barn at Sanderlin Horse Farm Wedding|Appling, GA|Rachel+Xander

You remember Rachel. My long time friend-you can read our story on her engagement session post here. The real story you want to hear is Rachel and Xander’s. Rachel and Xander had a mutual friend. More on him later. They met by chance at an event and had an instant connection over just one word: “Hey.” Guys, take notes. It’s a good pickup line. They started messaging each other on Facebook and the rest was history. Rachel told me that she and Xander are total opposites, yet the exact same person at times. Isn’t that the best formula for a great relationship? He may not have been her “type,” but now he’s her husband, teammate, best friend. How did he ask, you ask? Xander made Rachel’s dreams come true by proposing after horseback riding ON THE BEACH. How could she say no?

She said yes, and then she said I do. These two got married in Appling, GA, the city where I spent so much time at her house and even her grandparents’ house next door when we were kids, at the Barn at Sanderlin Horse Farm. P.S. Rachel loves horses. She got her dress at David’s Bridal, and Hankal Events styled and coordinated the whole day.

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Rachel and her bridesmaids spent the morning getting ready in the adorable bridal cabin, listening to Kicks 99 of course. They talked about gypsies {always a favorite topic}, showed off some dance moves, and reminisced about high school. What better time than a wedding day to talk about where your old friends are now? Hair and makeup by Lindsay Taylor!

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And they are the cutest ladies ever! And clearly so special to Rachel. She wrote quite lengthy descriptions of her relationships with each of them on her wedding website. Flowers on Broad made their bouquets, and did such a great job! Rachel trusted them with the details, and it paid off!

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Xander wore a pretty cool cowboy shirt, and his groomsmen wore blue jeans. Perfect for this horse farm wedding! And these guys were so fun.

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As the ceremony approached, it was time for the finishing touches. The looking in the mirror one last time and just breathing, feeling the way every bride feels right before getting married.

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The ceremony barn was just amazing. Chandeliers made from wagon wheels, candles, and church pews; window frames, ferns, and more pretty flowers.

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In lieu of a first look before the wedding, Xander turned around to see Rachel for the first time when she entered the barn {at my signal–obviously bird hands}. It was such a sweet moment that they had been looking forward to and they both teared up, so happy to see each other and to be moments away from married.

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Rachel’s grandfather gave her away, and a good friend performed the ceremony. Tucker second shot for me and did a great job! These next two are his!

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Being pronounced husband and wife was such a happy moment that they’d been waiting for for so long! Guests blew bubbles as they joyfully walked back down the aisle as newlyweds.

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Next, the reception. I mentioned before that Hankal Events did the planning. What I meant to say is that Lisa ROCKED the planning! I was so impressed with every detail. It was all so beautiful and so Rachel–a little rustic and a lot of sparkle. Speaking of sparkle, check out those rings! Linens by Ranco Tents.

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The intro of the bridal party was so exciting! Guests were enjoying food by Creative Moments Catering, who also provided the DJ, and admiring the gorgeous cake made by Delightful Bites.

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Rachel, Xander, Tucker, and I took a break from the reception for some portraits. It may have been more of a break for Rachel because Xander had to help carry the sofa. Thanks, man! Worth it, right? This beautiful bride looks even more stunning in red velvet.

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After a quick stop in the lovely barn, we went to see the horses. It was so fun seeing these two interact with them, and of course each other.

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Rachel pulled me aside and asked if she could do a garter first look. She wanted to see Xander’s reaction to her Florida Gators accessory that she knew he would love, without everyone around. What a great idea, and he was so excited!

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We returned to the reception, cut the cake, and got maybe the best photo of the wedding during the bouquet toss. After a few fake-outs, Rachel tossed her bouquet, the flowers hit the ceiling, and the whole thing fell straight to the ground! The reactions were priceless, and the ending was happy when MOH June ended up with the bouquet. The garter toss was next, and Xander’s nephew caught it straight away.

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The reception was full of dancing, especially the Wobble, Rachel’s favorite, and the Whip/NaeNae, which she is also perfecting. I said earlier there would be more on the mutual friend. Here he is below in the pink with his pretty date. Nathaniel was the weirdest kid in the second grade. Rachel and I ran from him on the playground when he was not even chasing us because we just thought he was that gross. It was crazy to see him all grown up, having introduced this awesome couple to one another! Good work, Nathaniel!

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This was such a fun wedding, and it was such an honor to be a part of it after all these years! Rachel and Xander, thanks so much for having me! I am so happy for my childhood BFF and her wonderful new partner for life. I hope you two are loving your newlywed life in Jacksonville; know that I’m here for you if you ever need anything!

Be on the lookout for the video by Reflexio Digital! Thank you also to all of the other amazing vendors!