The Forever Mess of Our 1st Year

We were married beneath the oak trees in The Spring because we love columns, warm weather, and sweet iced tea. Lots and lots of sweet tea. I selfishly love shooting weddings, because it reminds me of the promise we made (on a very sunny day). Marriage isn’t easy. On a wedding day couples do everything together. They open up and publicly trade promises, vulnerably declaring their visions of forever. They share a kiss, and ours was pretty spectacular! File0608They dance. They are honored and celebrated with encouraging words from family and friends. They laugh. They leave hand-in-hand, and spend the week (or for us three weeks) of shared last name in some sort of relaxing paradise. Brunch daily. Sleeping in. Our honeymoon was one for the books in Europe. We visited 5 countries. (Ireland, England, France, Switzerland and Italy) IMG_0668 IMG_0669IMG_0670IMG_0671

“Connecting”. Exploring. Breathing. Holding hands. Pushing pause on the busy and taking in the beauty of their love and all that surrounds them. They return to an apartment or house full of new towels and appliances, they nest, they make meals together and sit at their dinner table together. They might hug when they get home from work, and leave love notes and flirty texts that make their hearts flutter. You’re lucky if you get this once the honeymoon is over. As time passes, dinner makes its way to the couch, notes are less frequent, flutters are replaced by small annoyances and disagreements about who takes out the trash, the dirty dishes in the sink, or the beard hair left in the sink (HIS hair. Always. Stuck to the left over tooth paste). IMG_0613

Sweatpants happen all to often. The dirty clothes pile up, the dogs make the couches smell, and resentment is all too easy to find in each other’s mannerisms and small, insignificant disagreements, such as who holds the remote, and who doesn’t do enough around the house. The three-tiered cake they cut together is forgotten. File0014The kisses are few and far between. The frequent battles and disagreements of daily life and competing schedules and commitments create the distance that all too often lead to a lonely camp out on the couch, the stinky couch. We’ve been there. We are the opposites that attracted. We fight. We struggle. We cry. We hurt. We feel pain. We attack and aim to destroy the heart of one another, simply because we want to win against the spouse we’ve turned into our live-in opponent.

But, what we intentionally have to remind ourselves is of the promise we made to each other on the day we stood beneath the oak trees in The Spring. File0569Super glue the shattered pieces we promised to forever and always. We pick up. We fix. Together. My wedding dress is sitting on the floor in the back of a closet. Your wedding accessories are buried in our disorganized , cluttered moving boxes as we live at my in-laws until we move into our house. Our wedding blender is still in the box. We still can’t decide on a restaurant without getting in an argument, and the outdoor or E channel is a bad mood waiting to happen. Don’t even get me started on hunting trips.

And on those seemingly starless nights I’ve spent on the couch or alone in bed, I restlessly miss him because my feet are cold when he’s not there to warm them as we sleep. Marriage is warm feet. DSC_9603And knowing dinner on the couch is still dinner together. Marriage is the unexpected heart flutter when your husband has a dance party with our dog the day I had a miscarriage just to make me laugh, FullSizeRender-1or it’s coming home to a clean house or the laundry being folded.  And, maybe the laundry wasn’t folded perfectly, but it’s folded. And, marriage is being at peace with imperfect towel folding (I actually suck at folding towels). So, this is my toast to you. Thank you for building our family a home. And taking the trash out when it smells like a coon ass died in it. And taking me to LSU and Saints games. IMG_0681IMG_0680 And for being Chef BoyarDave and cooking the most delicious meals.FullSizeRender

And for taking me to see beautiful California. IMG_0673IMG_0678IMG_0677And for making me feel peace with the world simply by keeping my toes warm when I sleep. Thank you for the promise you made to me one year ago. Thank you for getting Baptized with me as a newly married couple. FullSizeRender-2Thank you especially for always making me laugh. IMG_0672IMG_0674 IMG_0676 IMG_0679IMG_0675Thank you for the frustrations that force me to remind myself of that promise. Our obstacles are what help us remember. And, for our real, raw, vulnerable, imperfect marriage.

Thank you for the mess-ups, and for always forgiving mine even if it means days of anger and pain. Your heart is so good, and you make mine better everyday. Thank you for adding together the big numbers when I’m in over my head. Thank you for sacrificing our resources and your time and energy so that I’m able to follow my dream. Thank you for continuing to dream. Thank you for practical birthday and Christmas gifts. Thank you for saying nothing when I’m eating a whole bag of reeses peanut butter cups. Thank you for keeping the door closed and running the fan after you’ve managed to read an entire cabela’s magazine in the bathroom. Thank you for accepting sweat pants and no make-up on editing days and still finding a way to make me feel beautiful. Thank you for not going insane when Taylor Swift is on repeat for days on end. Thank you for being willing to eat leftovers of which I fear only 1 day later. Thank you for teaching me the value of living with what I need rather than what I want, but being patient when I come home with another bag of clothes from Target or Dillard’s. Thank you for the fact that I have pretty china. How you let me pick that pattern I will never know. Lastly, thank you for making me a mommy. IMG_0620 I am forever grateful for the forever mess we have. Together.DSC_9364

The Davidge Show


Planning a wedding can be very stressful, but it is very much worth it in the end. From the beginning I wanted to fly to Paris a foreign, beautiful place (I blame you Style Me Pretty), get married, and celebrate our honeymoon the rest of the time. It would be affordable, friends and family would be able to travel, and the pictures would be to die for.

Being a photographer, pictures are always a high priority. My husband had a different plan, and I must say he handled me perfectly. His words were, “I want you to research every wedding venue that you would ever want to be married at anywhere in the world. I will pick the spot once you have it narrowed down.” I searched my heart out. I looked into Paris, and you needed to live there for so many weeks to have a legitimate marriage. As much as I would love to live in Paris and plan a wedding, it was unthinkable for us. At this point I had a large binder filled with spots such as Paris, Venice, Telluride, Austin, Gruene (where we got engaged), Ireland, and many plantations in Louisiana and Mississippi.

Being the southerners that we are, we decided on Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi. The moment I saw it I told David, ” Don’t take me any further unless you are serious about this place.” It was convenient for our families being a midpoint between our hometowns of Minden and Hammond. It is the most captivating with its gorgeous white plantation, enormous columns, live oaks everywhere, and the grounds are perfection. You can even stay there, so our guest would never have to leave. We immediately put our deposit down and would own a plantation for a whole weekend. From then on our wedding theme was southern with a hint of modern and all about us.


Our invitations were handkerchiefs and probably my most favorite part of the whole wedding which was sealed with a waxed D.


We did have a wedding hashtag as well. I give you….

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My dress I felt was a modern day plantation gown. The train with the three tiers caught my eye from the beginning. File0083File0162File0158File0154File0147File0141

My Fabulous and Gorgeous Ladies!

My color was mint green, and I let them buy their own dress. I added the flower crowns from Love Sparkle Pretty for the perfect accessory. It actually worked out flawlessly. File0112File0108File0104File0100View More: More: More: More: More: More: More:

My handsome hubby! File0253]The men went with an old fashioned southern gent suit. File0249File0241File0251File0197File0189File0191File0194File0230File0199File0207

The guest book was a map of our honeymoon destinations. File0331File0399File0395File0358File0361

The wedding began with the Mumford and Son’s song, “Sigh No More”.File0446File0349File0451File0563File0498

I walked down the aisle to Wade Bowen’s “Perfect Silence”, but it was one particular part I have always dreamed of walking down to my future husband with these words serenading us..

I must have done something right
To get to stare at you everyday
All my hopes, dreams and love
The things you ask for when you pray

You captured all that I am
Mind and body and soul
The way that you do everything
Without even saying a word


I take it back… My favorite part was that we wrote our own vows. It made our day so much sweeter.File0347

David: Nicole Darlin, you look absolutely gorgeous and picture perfect… I wish I could freeze frame time. It’s moments like this very instance that defines or lives. I’m so very happy that we found each other because it’s brought us to this special moment surrounded by friends, family, and God. I want to thank our friends and family for their on going support and love for us but most importantly I want to thank God for allowing us to be each others. Nicole, I vow with this breath until my last one to be your best friend, your support, your guardian, and your back stop. I vow to honor you, respect you, and to be ever more considerate of you. I vow to not just love you, but to cherish you, to cherish our love for each other, to cherish you as the grandest prize. You are indeed my grand prize… The one that I have been waiting for… The one that I have wanted and the one I want for all time. In short my love… I am yours. Whenever the day comes that I meet the big man upstairs.. I’m going to give him a high five and tell him… Thank you for Nicole Davidge. He created the most wonderful person with you. I’m filled with love and gratitude that He was so gracious to let us cross paths. Nicole Darlin, as you know I borrowed some lines from a lonesome dove quote in asking your hand in marriage. That seemed to meet your fancy and work well. However today the words are all mine and from the depths of my heart.File0569

Nicole: Before you existed in my life, I was terribly broken. There was one particular time that stands out in my mind the most. My heart had been shattered by another, and I was sobbing in my car. I called my mother and couldn’t even talk. All she said was pull over, take a deep breath, it’ll be ok. In that moment I listened to her (for once), and I said a prayer. With all of my heart, I prayed for a man to love me unconditionally, to be handsome, faithful, and humorous, someone who never wants to leave my side, but most of all someone who wants nothing more than to take care of me every way a man should. Three months later in walks you. You were too good to be true. I didn’t deserve a man like you and how I got so lucky on that day I will never understand. I have done everything to make any man leave, but you were patient. I have pushed you away with all my might, yet you remained by my side. I prayed for you that day, and I will spend the rest of my days being the prayer you need. David you’re the parent I sometimes need, the lover I’ve always wanted, and my best friend. So.. To keep this fair, I promise to attempt to drink coffee in the mornings, so I’m not a grouch. I promise to talk like pirates everytime we go fishing in Venice. I promise to be happy as long as you act like T-Rex every once in a while. I promise to watch Lonesome Dove as many times as you like. I promise to listen to you complain about Trip and Sashay’s hair, everywhere. I vow to love our children with my whole heart. I vow to encourage us to try new and strange things. I vow to tell you or show you I love you each and every day. I vow to cook more when you are home. I vow to be the best parts of me that fit perfectly with the best parts of you. I promise to be sensitive and respectful of your talents. I vow to be the best first mate in all the adventures to come. I promise to forget to fold the clothes in the dryer. I promise to always lock the door when you’re gone. I promise to yell really loud when Drew Brees gets tackled, or Les Miles makes a bad call. I vow to snuggle you as often as possible. I vow to love you no matter what the obstacle, because we are both way to stubborn to quit. I vow to be your Southern Belle, and yours only. I pledge to lend you strength for all of your dreams. Through our union we can accomplish more than I ever could alone. I believe in you always. Yes, even a fiesty gentleman like yourself. I love you.File0580

Since our ceremony was outside, I knew the whole unity candle was out the window. It took me a while, but I finally  thought of something that to my knowledge had never been done before that was very unique and about us. I took the candle concept and put a little spin on it. We would plant an oak tree. I got our mom’s to bring dirt from our childhood homes. One cup said Davidge and the other Rowton. We would “unify our marriage” by taking the dirt and planting the oak tree which would one day be planted at our home. The plan was to have our kids or grandkids for that matter play in the tree. (Sidenote: Sadly, this year reality hit when our black lab, Sashay, ate our tree.)File0597File0608File0628File0647File0656File0655File0652File0661File0651NicoleSPFile0677File0696File0693File0695File0687File0684File0679File0678File0681File0298File0296File0265File0267File0301File0300File0294File0287File0771File0014File0753File0754File0305

Our first dance was to George Strait’s, “Give It All We Got Tonight”.File0782File0806File0817File0839File0825File0824File0856File0885File1174File1134File1062File1049File1045File0992D01A8430File0911File0008D01A8395D01A8530D01A8554

I am the little girl that dreamed of having a plantation wedding filled with oak trees and columns, and our nuptials were just that. Our wedding day was a whirlwind that could not have gone any better. I was very calm, the weather was perfect, and I don’t know if anything didn’t go according to plan. I even managed to squeeze in a bubble bath and a mimosa. My girlfriend’s kept me breathing the entire time. I remember thinking I just want to see David. We were able to open our gifts around each other and hearing his voice reassured me just how ready I was. When the music began to play, I looked around and realized how stunning the venue is, the flower arrangements are perfect, we are surrounded by everyone that we love, and most importantly there is my husband waiting for me at the end. To top it off we had an intimate party afterwards and danced the night away. As we left in a stunning horse drawn carriage I thought, this was everything I could have ever wanted as I was tangled up in my brand new husband.

David, I would marry you every day if I could.

Here is a little preview to the start of our forever.

Photography: Three Nails Photography
Hair: Cheveux By Robbie Meshell
Make-up: Bel Viso Makeup Artistry
Venue: Monmouth Historic Inn
Flowers and Wedding Coordinator: Pam Harriss
Videography: JCW Productions
Cakes: Edna’s Cake Creations
Flower Crowns: Love Sparkle Pretty
Signage: Remember November Shop
Banner: The Hipster Housewife
Programs: Wiregrass Weddings
Invitations: The Polka Dotted Bee
Dress: Azarue’s Bridal Formal
Tuxedo: Squire’s