Josh and Allyson were OVER THE MOON to finally be engaged. They dated for awhile, made sure it was the right thing for them, clung to the God they loved and came to the conclusion that forever was the only option they wanted.

Then, each of them lost their jobs. Not only that, but Allyson weathered a car accident that left her okay, but her car needing serious repair. In the midst of planning for a wedding and sorting out budget items, this is obviously the biggest blows they could have received.

But they came together and they became stronger than ever. They clung to each other, prayed for each other and planned the life and the future they want to have together in the midst of difficulty. They teamed up to make everything work. Their wedding day was absolutely beautiful, filled with emotion, family, celebration and the Hokie Bird, of course.

However, my favorite part of the day was just the people that Josh and Allyson are – the people who weathered a tough engagement and have arrived at marriage. I’ve never seen Josh so happy. I’ve never seen Allyson glow like she did. I’ve never witnessed such perfect gift giving. It was an honor to witness the day, the holiness and the character that Josh and Allyson each possess.

Allyson even wrote about her and Josh’s experience with a tough engagement about three months ago. This is my favorite excerpt:

“We’re just under 3 months until our wedding. I’d like to say that as I’m writing this my fiancé has landed his dream job that pays twice as much and everything has worked out dreamily for us to be able to afford all wedding costs, cut down on debt, and find our first housing together. I would like to say that, but it’s not true.

As the current situation stands, he is still in between jobs, with some definite prospects. He has relocated (praise for the end to long distance dating). And now we both live (on separate floors) in my parents’ house. He is getting by on his savings and tax refund money for his minimum monthly expenses. Which was going to be contributed to the honeymoon and a few wedding expenses.

This trial is not yet resolved. And yet, it already is. We do not know how it will happen, but we do know that it is in God’s hands and that this will work out somehow. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”-Hebrews 11:1

Most people probably expect to face trials of unexpected expenses, job loss, uncertain living situations, etc. during the course of a 50+ year lifetime marriage. It would be foolish to expect that nothing bad would ever happen.

Most people probably look at our current situation and wish that this wasn’t happening during our season of engagement. During our time of preparation. When we’re supposed to be enjoying the fun stages and while we’re already stressed. But we are just viewing it as a head start into real marriage preparation.

We have clung to each other and to God’s Word. We have been using the following passage to prepare for our marriage.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”-Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

God is using our trials and tests to prepare us for the future and building our faith in him and in us working together as a team, lifting each other up when we fall.

I pray that if you’re experiencing trials at any season in your relationship that you would be faithful and work through them together.”

Amazing Wedding Vendors:

Coordinator: Erin Burcham

Videography: Niko Films

Florals: Kroger (Vinton)

Cake Artist: Fresh Baked Bakery

DJ: Rich Inlow

Hair and Makeup: Beauty by Chaney

Bridal Shop:Ava Laurénne Bride in Fredericksburg

Bridal Gown Designer: Essence of Australia

Bridal Alterations: Tang’s Alterations in Manassas

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Accessories: Azazie

Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Invitations: Basic Invite

Officiant: Nic Uebel

Ceremony Musicians: Sue An, piano; Brenna Crowgey, violin; Bob Woody, organ-father of bride’s college roommate

Donuts for Favors: Carol Lee

Caterer: Pumpernickel Pickle

Mother of bride Lorie Gillis deserves credit for crafting, particularly the yellow fabric on center of tables

Apple butter favors made by the bride herself




  1. Debbie Garcia

    July 31st, 2017 at 11:57 am

    A wonderful, God filled wedding. So much love and joy. I have never seen a more beautiful bride. Fabulous photos of a spectacular day!

  2. Barbara M. Mills

    July 31st, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    The Pictures are lovely. Chelsea Anderson did an excellent job.

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