That can’t-wipe-the-smile-off-your-face love you hear about in the movies? That’s the kind of love Holly France and Josh Taylor have — and they have had it from the moment they first met. Luckily, they followed their hearts, took chances on each other and didn’t let distance come between them.

Holly and Josh were introduced through mutual friends while Josh was visiting Memphis from Birmingham for work. “We laughed and could talk for hours without forced conversation,” says Holly. “It was effortless to be around him. I remember taking him to meet my friends about a week after we initially met; they laughed at how giddy and goo-goo-eyed I was.” But Josh soon returned to Birmingham, and they had to make the hard decision to continue to pursue their relationship despite the 3.5-hour drive between them. Eight months later, they began talking seriously about their future together and decided that Holly would relocate to Birmingham. “I knew this was risky — moving for a guy I had dated less than a year (long-distance nonetheless), to a city where I had no friends or family,” says Holly. “However, I knew it was the right decision. He was and still is the best part of my day.”

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The risk paid off, and soon Josh was planning his proposal. That plan changed several times along the way but culminated in the perfect proposal — one that actually went viral. The week after Christmas, Holly and Josh took a trip down to Pursell Farms to play golf on the way to a friend’s lake house for New Year’s. They practically had the course to themselves as they played the first few holes, so they took their time getting to the fifth hole, where Josh had planned to have friends waiting in the bushes to take photos. Josh, ever the gentleman, told Holly to go first and to hit this one “really well.” “I hit the ball and turn around to find Josh down on one knee, asking me to marry him,” says Holly. “I immediately fell in tears. Josh picked me up, told me, ‘that was the smile he had been looking forward to all day,’ and I hugged my fiancé for the first time.” After sharing photos and video from the engagement online, media outlets — from Golf.com to Martha Stewart Weddings — were requesting permission to share the proposal and get an interview with the happy couple. A surreal moment, to be sure, but the cherry on top of an already super sweet story — a story that led to a beautiful Alabama farm wedding!

Alabama farm wedding at Pursell Farms

The property at Pursell Farms is absolutely breathtaking from every angle, which is one of the things Holly first fell in love with about the property. She even joked about getting engaged there well before it actually happened! Meant to be!

first look notes- Alabama farm wedding

Holly and Josh exchanged handwritten notes, which they read back to back before their first look. Josh surprised Holly with a couple of notes and prayers he had written to/for her during significant times in their relationship. How sweet!

First look

All smiles, and a few happy tears, at this precious first look

bride- Pursell farms wedding

“I had an idea of the type of dress I wanted — lace, fitted, no sparkles and no sequins,” says Holly. “When looking in Village Bridal, I remember seeing my gorgeous Hayley Paige dress and saying, ‘wow, that’s a lot — I don’t think I like it.’ I tried on several beautiful dresses, but every time I stepped out of the dressing room, the Hayley Paige gown caught my eye.” She finally asked to try it on and was immediately in love with it. 

Groom- Pursell farms

“My husband looks amazing in blue,” laughs Holly. “He has these beautiful blue eyes, and I knew I wanted him to wear blue. I wanted him to feel comfortable and happy with his suit — it was his day too, after all. When I asked, he said ‘I think I want to wear a blue suit.’” Holly says she knew she was marrying him for a reason!

Josh and Holly wanted their wedding to be a God-centered declaration of marriage in a place that was meaningful to them. With it being the site of their engagement, there could be no more appropriate and beautiful spot for an Alabama farm wedding than Pursell Farms in Talladega County. In addition to their sentimental ties and long-standing infatuation with the property, with many guests coming from out of town, Holly and Josh liked that all wedding events — from accommodations to rehearsal dinner to the ceremony — could all take place in one spot. With the venue nailed down, they turned to Kendal Perry to execute the day of their dreams at Pursell Farms, planning a clean color palette of white flowers and greenery, with blue suits and elegant blue-gray bridesmaids’ dresses.

Ceremony set up at Pursell farms wedding

Holly and Josh buried a bottle of bourbon to stave off rain on their day, to no avail. “It sideways rained off and on all day on our wedding,” says Holly. “About an hour before our ceremony, the sun came out and it didn’t rain the rest of the day. Props to our planner and the Pursell Farms crew, who knew my dream was the outdoor arbor ceremony in front of the lake. They held off on making the decision and even wiped every chair down for our guests.”

Invitations- Alabama farm wedding

Holly wanted a bright, clean look for her wedding day and that extended to this gorgeous invitation suite. We love the striped envelope liner.

Bridesmaids- Pursell Farms wedding

How gorgeous is this group of bridesmaids? Family is very important to Holly and Josh, so they made sure to include all nine of their nieces and nephews in the festivities.

Groomsmen- Pursell Farms wedding

What a handsome group of men — and a bowtie to differentiate the groom!

On July 20, 2019, about 150 guests traveled from all over the country to Pursell Farms to bear witness to Holly and Josh’s marriage and help them celebrate joyously. The rain that had been falling all morning cleared just in time for the outdoor ceremony, and with a string quartet playing the dreamy notes of “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” Holly made her way down the long aisle to the arbor where Josh awaited her. In addition to exchanging vows and rings, the bride and groom took communion together during the ceremony. “That was important to us as the first step in our marriage,” says Holly. “It felt like starting fresh — a step to building a life together; from that moment forward, we were a team.” The walk back up the aisle was one of Holly’s favorite moments from the day. “The best feeling ever!” she says.

The bride and her dad- Pursell farms wedding

Holly makes her way down the aisle on her father’s arm while a string quartet plays “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” What a gorgeous moment!

Ceremony kiss

A kiss seals the deal — they are Mr. and Mrs. Taylor!

Walking back up the aisle

You can see Holly and Josh’s unfettered joy while walking back up the aisle as husband and wife.

The couple then stole away for some photos while they were still caught up in that post-ceremony glow. “Josh and I went to take pictures with Champ, our pet German Shepherd, and went up to hole five where we got engaged,” says Holly. “It was a wonderful moment with the two of us, just married, and filled with bliss. And we couldn’t have imagined our day without Champ.”

Post-ceremony photos- Alabama farm wedding

After the ceremony, Holly and Josh returned to hole five — where they got engaged — to take a few photos. How sweet to have so many significant memories in the same beautiful place.

The couple with their German Shepherd

The bride and groom simply had to include their German Shepherd, Champ, in the day. Holly says he is their child and a member of their family, after all!

After cocktail hour, they were introduced for the very first time as Mr. and Mrs. Taylor. They headed straight to the dance floor, where they shared their first dance to “Officially Yours” by T-Pain. “I know what you are thinking: T-Pain?” says Holly. “Josh and I enjoy all types of music. It took us a long time to decide on what song to use for our first dance. We wanted something that would not be deemed ‘another first dance’ song and felt like ‘us.’ When we heard this song we both busted out laughing and agreed that was going to be ‘our song.’”

They danced all night with family and friends, pausing only for the bouquet and garter toss … and to cut the cakes, of course. They exited the reception hand in hand, with sparklers and loved ones lining their path, and hopped into a golf cart with — aptly — a Taylormade golf bag filled with flowers in the back.

Alabama Farm wedding reception

Light, bright and beautiful, the gorgeous reception area awaits guests. After finding their seats in this lovely space, Holly and Josh’s loved ones enjoyed a delicious meal of passed canapés and food stations, including sliders, pasta and turkey.

Wedding cake

Holly is admittedly not a big fan of cake, so she deferred to Josh on the flavor selection. He settled on two strawberry layers and two wedding cake layers, all encased in a delicious almond buttercream. A classic horizontal spackle design and greenery atop each layer completed the classic look Holly had in mind.

Groom's cake

A two-tier groom’s cake was the perfect representation of Josh’s interests. The turf table topper and apothecary jars, filled with tees and golf balls alongside it, completed the look perfectly!

A kiss amidst sparklers at a Pursell farms wedding

Sharing a kiss amidst the sparklers.

Golf cart exit- Alabama farm wedding

There could be no better exit for these two than on a golf cart. Cheers to many years of wedded bliss, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor!

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Three months later, Holly and Josh still feel like they’re floating on the endorphins from their wedding day. They’re so grateful to the talented team of vendors who made it all possible. Holly has several pieces of wisdom to pass along to other brides-to-be: see all elements of the wedding in person before making a decision, indulge in trying on every style of wedding dress even if you’re sure you won’t like it, make it personal, stick to the timeline and focus on what matters. “At the end of the day, you are getting to marry your best friend.”

What a joy to have a peek into your gorgeous day, Holly and Josh. Thank you for sharing it with us. We wish you all the best!

RESOURCES

Photography: Be Light Photography
Wedding Planner: Kendal Perry, Kendal Perry Wedding Planning Studio
Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige, Village Bridal
Wedding Dress Alterations: Hollow To Hem
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Hayley Paige, Bella Bridesmaids
Groom: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Groomsmen attire: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Cake: Dreamcakes
Flowers & event design: Hothouse Design Studio
Props & linens: Prophouse
Rentals: PRE Events
Venue: Hamilton Place at Pursell Farms
Catering: Pursell Farms
Ceremony Music: Cahaba River Strings
DJ: On-Site Productions
Hair: Hannah Holsomback
Makeup: Jodi Ping
Merchandise/Stationery Design: Village Press
Guest Accommodations: Pursell Farms

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