The First of Many: One Year Wedding Anniversary!

Today is our ONE YEAR wedding anniversary!  If I had to guess, many people reading this will be thinking either “wow, has it been a year already?” or “this girl has had a LOT of ‘anniversaries’ lately”. If those were your initial reactions, you are correct on both counts.  Last month we celebrated my one-year “cancer-versary”….but I have to admit, celebrating our wedding anniversary feels extra special considering what Mark and I have been through as “newlyweds” during our first year of marriage. I believe tradition suggests that you give each other “paper” on your one-year anniversary, so I figured finally sharing the rest of our wedding pictures (that haven’t seen the light of day) and writing this blog would suffice for our “paper” part of the anniversary tradition. With that in mind (and because our wedding was SO small), I’d like to share some memories and moments from that day that I haven’t posted until now.

I’ll start with a video that I received last night, just in time for our anniversary!  We had two amazing videographers at our wedding (Shannon Talamo for the cinematic video) and Andrew Tso captured some really cool documentary style videos for us.  I’ll admit, while watching this video last night…I kind of ugly cried.  The day was special for so many reasons… are a few:


All. The. Feels.  Fun fact: the guy Mark and I were hugging at the end of the video is our photographer Neil Ta.  Not only is he crazy talented, but he is such a caring and genuine person.  I’ll never forget the moment before I walked down the isle and I saw Neil tearing up.  He looked at me and said “this is more than a wedding to me Holly, I just want to do right by you.” It was such a raw and honest moment. Suffice it to say, Mark and I are grateful that we are able to have a friendship with Neil long after the wedding is over.  I’d personally love for Neil to have an excuse to come back to Louisiana…. so all my engaged friends out there…….check out Neil’s work here:

At the end of the blog I’ve included some wedding pictures I haven’t shared yet.  I plan on posting the rest of the wedding pictures on my social media this week (and on Flickr for my friends/family who aren’t on social media). Until then, our wedding website has a lot of pictures and all of our wedding videos (minus the one above). Wedding Photos:


1. Despite having basically NO notice about our “pop up wedding” our bridal party and family dropped everything and were there to celebrate with us.

2. My dad walked me down the aisle to the string quartet version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley.  The song was special to Mark and I for several reasons.  First, my Dad is a huge Elvis fan.  (He and my mom actually went to an Elvis concert together while they were dating!)  Second, when Mark and I visited Graceland during his work Christmas Party a few years ago, he was amazed (and amused) at how enamored I was with Graceland and its history.  (It feels like you are transported back in time, really!) Third, Mark moved from Philadelphia PA to Tupelo, MS (the birthplace of Elvis) around the 8th grade and graduated high school in Tupelo, MS.  So, it just seemed like the perfect song choice. Besides, the lyrics are so classic and we felt like the song captured how we felt on our wedding day.

3. I’ll never forget how I felt walking down the aisle and not seeing one dry eye amongst our 28 guests.  The amount of love I felt from that group of people is hard to put into words.  That day, I didn’t feel like “Holly with Stage IV Cancer” I just felt like a Bride.

4. After we exchanged our vows (that we wrote together, a few days before the wedding) we walked back up the aisle to the string quartet version of “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns and Roses (a concert Mark and I attended together last year). 

5. After the ceremony, we had a champagne and cake reception before going to a seated dinner at Brennan’s.  Nothing about our Monday wedding was conventional at this point… why not have cake before dinner?

6. During the reception, my close friends (Anna and Becky) surprised me with a local musician that sang our song for our first dance “Stand by Me” (Stand by Me is the first movie Mark and I ever watched together, and to this day is his favorite movie).  Again, the lyrics of the song perfectly captured what we felt that day, and what I know I will feel for him as long as we are on this earth together.

7. Our wedding day had so many sweet surprises from Logan (from Pop of Love New Orleans) and our friends that just wanted the day to be special.  My friend Darrell flew down our amazing photographer and another group of friends surprised me with a live-action painter. 

8.  Our original officiant Lacy agreed to perform the ceremony with a little over a week’s notice. It was raining the morning of our wedding, so she snuck over to our house, bottled the rainwater, and gave it to us after the ceremony. (That is the Green Glass Bottle you see in the videos and pictures).  Such a sweet gesture.  The bottle sits proudly in the open shelving in our kitchen.

9. One of the best surprises of the day took place when I was getting ready.  Logan from Pop of Love had contacted my original stationer (Hope from the Little Blue Chair) and they gave me one set of what my invitations would have looked like with the new June 18, 2018 date, along with one copy of my original Save the Date from November 30, 2018.  It may seem silly, but I had worked so hard on those little details, just to see them come to fruition in person brought me to tears (hence me saying “who cries over paper?” in one of the wedding videos).  One reason that the Save the Date was so special to me is that the first Christmas Mark and I spent together as an engaged couple, he surprised me with a gorgeous drawing of our original wedding venue (Nottoway Plantation)- that he drew himself (Mark is a brilliant architect).  I couldn’t figure out how he had managed to keep the drawing a secret from me since he works from home a lot, and he revealed that he had been sneaking out of the house for months in the middle of the night to work on it at his office.  His gift was a labor of love that I will always treasure, so our original “Save the Date” had Mark’s drawing incorporated at the top. 

10. The seated dinner at Brennan’s was perfect and intimate and filled with toasts and speeches from the people closest to us.  We laughed, cried, and made memories that I know will last a lifetime.  

11.  Our wedding and first year of marriage have certainly been unconventional….but it is OUR story and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Mark and I were so honored that inRegister featured our wedding with in this beautiful article (below) and that Pop of Love New Orleans featured our wedding on their blog today!

It’s not often you have written memories of one of the most special times of your life, and we certainly do not take that for granted.

Link to Pop of Love’s Blog Post below 🙂 

New Orleans Il Mercato Elopement

So, on our one year anniversary, I look back and reflect on how grateful I am to have my husband beside me through this process. He has been my rock and always impresses me with his continued strength, compassion and much-needed humor.

Happy Anniversary my love.  You make me proud to be your wife every day.

Other Documentary Wedding Videos:

Wedding Videos:

Several people have asked to see the whole magazine. Here’s a link to the online 2019-2020 inRegister Weddings Magazine: (I think you need a tablet or desktop to view….or maybe just turn your phone sideways perhaps? Clearly I need an IT team 😉)



3 thoughts on “The First of Many: One Year Wedding Anniversary!

  1. Happy First Anniversary Mark and Holly. I am so proud of the way that Mark and Holly have worked through this past year as husband and wife. Mark has been her rock throughout this year of a scary diagnosis, chemo treatments, surgery, radiation and now on chemo pills until sometime in September. I am proud to call Mark, “son”.
    Almost every day, someone tells me how strong Holly is, or that they are still praying for her, or that she and Mark are so “inspiring”. Since Holly was little, she was determined, knew what she liked or wanted, worked hard and accomplished what she set out to do. God knew what she would be facing and gave her the personality and true grit to get through this trial.
    Holly, Mark and all of us have been touched by so many wonderful and giving people. It has been amazing the amount of support we have received. Family, work family, high school friends, college friends, law school friends, new friends, church families, neighbors, doctors, nurses, sister cancer survivors,The Women’s Cancer Center and their staff and even new people coming into their lives because of this diagnosis. Thank you so much for the love and support. Holly’s Mom

    Liked by 1 person

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