Jake and Shanelle met one February evening on a terrace overlooking the city of Chiangmai, Thailand. They were both teaching English in China and met through their program's conference there. Shanelle told me that when she first saw Jake she thought, "that is the most attractive man I've ever seen... I bet he's married." A mutual friend introduced them and they started talking and realized they were both from Nashville. They instantly connected. I think they saw a bit of "home" in each other, being so far away from their actual home. Over the next few months they kept in touch from afar since they were stationed in different parts of the country. That summer when they were both home in Nashville, Jake asked Shanelle out to lunch. Shortly after, they met each other's families, friends and finally started dating. Back in China, they were able to grow and build their relationship, encourage one another, share their ideas and dreams, and take long train rides to visit each other. That next year, at the same conference where they met, Jake proposed.
Shanelle was the fifth family member to wear her grandmother's dress. I love meaningful details like that!
I was touched by their personal, meaningful, intentional vows and wanted to share some of the words spoken to each other.
"I covenant to love God by loving you unconditionally—by providing for you before myself— protecting you—by being kind to you—by honoring you—by loving you even as Christ loves the Church."
May He make our joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, and united in Spirit. I promise to always honor, love, and follow you so that we might with one voice make His name known wherever we go.
Where God leads you, I will follow. Where you serve, I will serve by your side. Jacob, you are my forever partner, and I give you my heart. I give you all that I am and all that God intends me to be."
This wedding was extra special because Jake and I grew up in the same church and our parents are good friends. Therefore, my Mom was there breaking it down on the dance floor and that was awesome.
It was such an honor to be a part this wedding and to witness Jake and Shanelle's love for each other, their family and for the Lord. They're going to great things together, that's for sure.