Luther Henry Caldwell House | Brianna and John

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Brianna + John

I had the privilege of shooting a beautiful couple last year who's story is so heartwarming. Ugly Hurricane Matthew hit the east coast in October 2016 destroying everything in its path. So many were tragically affected. John and Brianna were set to get married on October 8,2016 but Hurricane Matthew had other plans which resulted in them cancelling their wedding. I felt compelled to do a bride and groom session to document them so they can remember this time together.  We picked the BEAUTIFUL Luther Henry Caldwell House in Pembroke, NC. Their positive outlook on their situation was so heartwarming and inspiring that I had to have Brianna tell it from her point of view.

"We originally met in a freshmen level theatre class reading opposite each other in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. Little did we know that we would spend the rest of our lives on the uphill journey of the characters we portrayed. We spent the first year of college inseparable, but like many young couples parted ways when we could no longer reconcile our differing dreams and values with the love we shared. We lost touch with one another entirely for about five years until one fateful day when he asked if I would like to meet over Starbucks and it was like five years had never even passed. The catch was that in four days he was headed back to Korea, his duty station at the time. We spent every moment together that we could and vowed to continue our story from a distance. Within about a month we knew that one way or another, we were going to get married. While he was still overseas we started planning our dream wedding down to every detail and set a date for the fall. In the meantime, he went through Paratrooper school so that he could be reassigned to Ft. Bragg, the closest base to my home. Then came the homecoming. It was a story book moment to have him back in my arms after a trying nine months of distance, adjusting to military life and planning a wedding. We soon began preparing for our big day. Both sides of the family flew in from across the county and we reminisced on “the good old days” when everyone knew that we would somehow cross paths again. Little did we know that our lives were about to change in ways we couldn’t fathom. Every bride watches the forecast frantically in the weeks before her wedding, but I had earlier chosen October 8th precisely because it was one of the least likely days to rain in Fayetteville, NC history, but something much more profound than rain was brewing and when we woke up on the morning of our wedding day, we faced one of the most powerful storms that our small town of Lumberton had ever witnessed. My maid of honor called and said “Brie, there is a tornado watch. What are we going to do?” I knew then that it was all over. Every daydream, every Pinterest board, every episode of Say Yes to the Dress flashed before my eyes in that moment because I knew that I would never have my wedding day. In the coming weeks we traded a honeymoon for volunteering at distribution centers, fostering lost animals, tearing down walls of flooded homes and donating what money we could recover from vendors to assist in the relief efforts that are still plaguing my hometown. In the end, I forfeit my dream wedding, but still live in my fairytale each and every day. Jon is the man who has my heart for service and dedication to his community. Jon will forever be the man I swore I would never find and our marriage the dream I swore I would never live." -Bre Davis

Location: Luther Henry Caldwelll House 

Dress: BHLDN