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Southern Charm

On a beautifully sunny day in August, I pulled up a long winding driveway to what felt like the top of the world. A clearing in the trees revealed a magnificent house that overlooked the rolling peaks and valleys of Lebanon. The owner of this home, the brides aunt, waived to me excitedly from the front door. The bride and groom occupied opposite ends with their loved ones helping to prepare for the events of the day.


As I made my way up the walkway, the bride greeted me with a big smile and blast of cool air as the temperature outside continued to rise with the humidity. Being from Georgia, this couple was used to the sweltering heat. Now I know what you may be thinking; why travel all the way to the quiet corner for their special day? To answer that question, you must learn a little more about our bride and groom to be.


Rob is a native to Savannah, Georgia having grown up and spent his whole life there. Cass, however, was born and raised in this little slice of heaven in Connecticut. We all can relate to the feeling of there being something more outside the confines of our little bubble, so in 2017 at the age of 30 Cass packed up her things on the “urge to just trying something different” and moved away from her family to start her own life. She first met Rob’s sister as they became coworkers at her new job in her new life. In 2018, his sister decided that the two of them just had to meet, and by May of 2019 they began dating.

From that point on “it’s been history ever since”.


With Cass’s family still residing up North, the two agreed that they could not imagine their big day without the attendance of her beloved grandmother. And so, they set off planning their wedding one thousand miles away with faith that everything would work out perfectly.

The bride walked me through her end of the house filled with the hustle and bustle of getting ready. We made our way over to her bedroom where she had delicately laid out the most important details of her day. Among the items were a pearl necklace belonging to her mother, a garter handmade by her great grandmother and a card holder bag made by her grandmother passed down in tradition as family heirlooms.

On the opposite end of the house our groom was being pinned with his boutonniere by his loving mother. They exchanged smiles and laughs as the anticipation for the day began to build.

Once all the groomsmen and fathers were pinned, we made our way outside for some pre-ceremony group shots.


Back inside, Cass was ready for the last piece of the puzzle. She slipped into her stunning lace covered v-neck gown as her mother zipped it into place. Ashley from High Stylz Salon in Willimantic created an elegant updo and make-up application that pulled the entire look together, complimenting all of the brides best features.

Preparations were topped off with a first look between Cass and her father. His face beamed with pride, joy, and love as he turned and looked at his little girl for the first time. There is a magic connection that exists between fathers and daughters that is truly undeniable.

We packed up our things and made our way over to the father of the brides house where the ceremony and reception would ensue. Guests had already begun to arrive, signing the clever guestbook and taking their seats. Front and center sat Cass’s grandmother who anxiously awaited to see her granddaughter walk down the aisle.


The wedding party made their way to their prospective sides at the front of the aisle. Finally, Cass was ready to be escorted by her mother and father. As she approached the end of the aisle, the best man tapped Rob on the shoulder, a signal for him to face his love. The two locked eyes as Cass walked down, stopping to hug both of her parents as they gave her away.

Leading the ceremony was Justice of the Peace James Penland, a close friend of Cass and Rob. Setting the tone, James began with the beloved Princess Bride quote, “mawwaige”. Laughter filled the air, setting any nerves at ease.

Rob and Cass exchanged hand written vows filled with promises of love and comfort even through the darkest of times. It is safe to say there wasn’t a dry eye in attendance. Rings were carefully put in place as they each said “I do”, sealing the deal with a kiss. Cheers of joy were carried out by guests as the two made their way down the aisle towards their forever.

After congratulations were exchanged and group photos completed, it was time for the first dances.

First on the dance floor were Rob and his mother. They danced away exchanging smiles and love filled laughter. Following directly after were Cass and her father. Holding each other close, they swayed to the music and enjoyed each others presence.

In true Rob and Cass fashion, their first dance embodied fun and excitement as they made their way around the dance floor.

Shortly after, dinner was served by Roy Reidl of El Pollo Guapo, while the dessert table was assembled. Cousins to the bride, Julie and Ashley of Source Bakery in Massachusetts, provided delectable cupcakes for guests to enjoy, while this truly custom cake was created by Dee’s One Smart Cookie in Glastonbury.

As dinner came to an end, the cake was cut by Rob & Cass, and speeches were made by the maid of honor, best man, and each father of the couple.

The rest of the night was filled with stories of the past, drinks shared with loved ones, and lots of dancing to the beats of DJ Services by Glen out of Somers.

A big thank you to the new Mr. & Mrs. Barrett for trusting me with their special day, especially as we hadn’t officially met until the day of given the physical distance. Your love is one that they write about in fairytales and I am honored to have been a part of your wedding. May your life be filled with all of the joy and love the world has to offer.

August 27, 2021 – Lebanon, CT – Cass & Rob

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