Hollie Whittaker and Briesen Rush met in September 2014 at a young adult life group at New Life Church.
The two talked a little at dinner, Hollie said, and Briesen invited her to go to church with him the following weekend. “After that he would text me during the week and we would see each other at church on the weekends. We were supposed to go to lunch one Sunday but I got sick and couldn’t go,” Hollie added. “His friends told him I was blowing him off — glad he didn’t listen!”
They finally found the time to go out to dinner together and had their first date at The Purple Onion in Cabot.
“I had no idea it was a date,” Hollie confessed.
Hollie cooked Briesen’s favorite dinner the following day and they watched a movie, after which Briesen shook Hollie’s hand as he was leaving. “We still laugh about that to this day,” she said. After many dates, laughs and adventures, he asked her to be his girlfriend on Dec. 29, 2014.
Briesen picked Hollie up at the airport after she’d been traveling for a week and, after taking her home, asked if she wanted to get dressed up and go have dinner.
“On our way, he said he had to stop by the church and pick something up. They had changed the set on stage that week while I was gone and he asked me to come inside to show it to me. Once we were in the sanctuary he left to go get the ‘something,’” Hollie said.
“A video started playing on the big screen. He made a video of him writing me a letter and you could hear his voice reading the letter to me. At the end of the video I could see the ring. Once it was over, I turned around and he was there. I’m sure he said some really sweet things then got down on one knee. I said yes!”
After Hollie accepted Briesen’s proposal, she said she noticed people standing around them who had been there to take pictures and help set everything up.
“Afterward we went to the Purple Onion, where our first date was, to have an appetizer while waiting on the next surprise,” she said. “He took me to a friend’s house where there was an engagement party with many of our family and friends waiting to congratulate us. It was a perfect day!”
The big day: March 18, 2016.
Best Man and Maid of Honor: Best Man was Jared Stewart and Maid of Honor was Corey Johnson.
The location: Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens.
The reception: Our reception was at The Warehouse in Hot Springs. Food was BBQ pulled pork, potato salad and baked beans. Our cake was a two tier ombre cake with red velvet and Italian cream. We also had ombre cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies instead of a groom’s cake.
The look: I went for a vintage look with our wedding. Colors were turquoise, pink and gray. Turquoise was incorporated with the bridesmaid dresses, Mason jars and other various décor. Pink was mainly used in the flower arrangements and bouquets. Gray in the guys’ suits and table linens.
The dress: Vintage lace and beaded A-line dress with a sweetheart neckline and train. Accentuated with beaded belt and lace accented veil.
Most unforgettable moment: We chose to braid a God’s knot as our unity symbol with the three strands representing God and the two of us. While our favorite worship song played we braided the ropes and were prayed over. Feeling the Holy Spirit’s presence during our ceremony was amazing! Right after, we were pronounced husband and wife and we will never forget that moment.
Honeymoon: Blue Mountains, Canada.