Archived Story

Browns hold Africa-inspired wedding celebration

Published 12:22pm Friday, November 2, 2012

Nolen and Janna Brown’s beautiful Africa inspired wedding celebration last Saturday evening at The Stables was truly like taking a walk a the wild side. The bride and groom married in Africa several weeks ago and invited friends and family to share in their adventure.

Guests gathered around to watch their wedding video, played to Edward Sharpe’s lovely “Home,” and there was not a dry eye in the house.

The bride looked ethereal, there were elephants, and it was absolutely beautiful. Nolen wore custom leather suspenders, both during the ceremony and that night at the Stables.

Janna’s dress was a custom made, backless long sleeved simple cotton gown.

The cake was shaped like the continent of Africa, as were the copper magnet party favors. The band was kicking, and the dessert bar full of cupcakes, macaroons, and pie-filled jars and other goodness was overwhelming.

SpringHouse catered a hearty southern meal, and Chef Rob McDaniel stood outside most of the day cooking a whole pig to serve with biscuits and persimmon jelly.

Nolen and Janna’s wedding led me to contemplate the idea of adventure. Marriage is an adventure, travel is an adventure, but embracing your life is an adventure in itself.

I am in the middle of reading Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, and it, too, is about adventure. The shepherd in the novel is in search of his Personal Legend, or his reason for being, his mission on earth.

I cannot completely wax poetic on the book as I am not quite done, but it inspires you to live in the present and to try to understand that when you want something, the universe will work with you.

The shepherd became a shepherd because he loved to travel, and he begins there. His travels lead him to the next moment and the next moment. Each decision made opens another door, and while you decide to open the door, what happens after is a complete mystery to you. Be what you need to be to accomplish your heart’s greatest desire.

Adventure does not have to be sought on the other side of the world (although that sounds awesome). I want to remind us all again of the beauty where we live.

Hike up Smith Mountain, camp on the shores of the lake or drive up to Cheaha one day. Go for a run or a walk in Russell Forest. Paddle Lake Martin is hiking Cherokee Bluffs on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Or simply build a fire and find adventure in the pages of a good book. I have had many great adventures wrapped up in a down comforter with a book in hand.

Next week on Nov. 6 there will be an Election Soup Luncheon hosted by the First United Methodist Women (UMW) from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Tickets are $8 and include vegetable beef soup, cornbread, dessert and a drink. Tickets are available from church members or from the church office. Go vote and then go eat!

 Howell works as an advertising representative for Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., in addition to writing this column. Contact Howell at to keep her In the Loop of events.