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Joshua and Andrea

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Josh and Andrea Poteete Weddiing            I love you because your smile makes me happy. I love you because your heart loves without expectation. I love you because of your beautiful soul. I love the shape of your face in the sunset. I am so proud that you are mine. I prayed for you, and here you are. Will you marry me?

Words are powerful tools. Prayer is a powerful force. Faith is a powerful practice. When these things unite, a very special bond is created. Josh and Andrea Poteete let their faith lead them to each other.

The Courtship-

Josh and Andrea met as students at UCA, and reconnected with each other through Facebook. Both had rescued Pit Bull mixes and enjoyed hiking, so they took their dogs and ventured into the great outdoors. That was the beginning of a year-long romance, during which Josh decided he was going to trade in his degree in marketing for his own business, Poteete Custom Cabinets. At the time, they had been living separately and working in Conway, but after a short duration of commuting, Josh decided he wanted to make the move to Hot Springs. No proposal had been planned, no wedding had been coordinated, and living together without being married was against the couple’s strong faith.Josh and Andrea Poteete Weddiing

A Vow Exchange-

On September 10, 2013, Joshua Poteete and Andrea Edwards exchanged vows in the presence of her Uncle Mike Edwards, the pastor who married them. The ceremony was meaningful not only because of their love for one another, but also because of the significance of the day and location.

“My grandfather was like a father to me. We were very close. I grew up in the house he built in Hickory Plains,” Andrea says. “We were married on his birthday, in his home. It was very special.”

The newlyweds then moved to Hot Springs to pursue their new life together.

The Proposal-

“Josh wanted me to have a real proposal, wedding, and all the girly things,” says Andrea. On Valentine’s Day, just five months after their intimate exchange, Josh proposed on bended knee as they sat beside a lake. His efforts and heartfelt words were well-planned.

“We have a prayer journal and he wanted me to read it,” Andrea explains. “Everything in the prayer journal was how he felt about me, how proud he is that I am his, and all the reasons why he loves me.”

He presented Andrea with a ring, a moment for which he had been waiting.

“I wanted her to have the proposal and wedding she deserved,” says Josh.

Wedding Planning-

The Poteetes began planning the wedding ceremony, a vow renewal of sorts, for the following September. The thirteenth was the closest Saturday Andrea could find to their original date of the tenth, so she and her friend Missy Crumpton planned every detail of the celebration. The wedding venue eluded them for a while but, after praying for an answer, a solution presented itself as Missy drove past the Hot Springs Baptist Church.

“Missy said the lawn had a big, beautiful cross. She asked, and no one had ever gotten married out there,” remembers Andrea. “It was the perfect place for our wedding.”

Floral Décor-

Missy was given creative license, along with ideas from Pinterest, to create theScreen Shot 2015-07-12 at 3.40.50 PM florals for the wedding ceremony. Andrea’s favorite shades of purple and chartreuse were infused into petite nosegays for the bridesmaids. Fashioned from realistic faux flowers resembling hydrangeas and lilies, the stunning bridal bouquet was presented in green foliage. Wrapped in purple ribbon, the stem featured a charm with her grandfather’s photograph inside.

“It was like he was walking me down the aisle,” smiles Andrea. “It was precious.”

The groomsmen sported sweet purple boutonnieres to match the bouquets.

Wedding Attire-

Andrea wanted a true bridal moment. She had already selected a dress but, in her heart, she knew it just was not the one. She found a white mermaid-fit gown with a trumpet-shaped organza bottom. The sweetheart neckline with a lace and sequin overlay, stole her heart. Traditional as the dress may have been, Andrea’s shoe choice was more practical and fun.Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 3.36.24 PM

“That is a really rough area out there, and I didn’t want to trip and fall,” she laughs.

Andrea wore gray Converse tennis shoes, with “Poteete” stitched in white and purple, beneath her gown.

The bridesmaids’ dresses were below the knee frocks in pewter. The bride’s Man of Honor stood beside her in a pewter vest and slacks, and purple dress shirt.

Josh and his groomsmen wore coordinating outfits as well, donning pewter-colored vests and slacks, white shirts, and purple ties. Josh wore a jacket for a more polished look on his big day.Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 3.35.38 PM

The Wedding-

On September 13, 2014, Josh waited for Andrea on the lawn at Hot Springs Baptist Church. In front of their friends and family, finally celebrating their love with the ceremony she dreamed of, Andrea renewed her vows with Josh.

“Andrea said she would be fine with not having a wedding ceremony, but she had shown me a wedding planner with clippings of ideas and colors that she had been making since she was young. I knew she really wanted to have one,” Josh remembers.

Her arrival to the venue was Gatsby-esque. In a classic car she had seen many times before in downtown Hot Springs, Andrea and her brother, Mark, made the approach up the hill.

“It was really too far to walk from the church, and I didn’t think a golf cart would look right,” she says. “When I asked about using the car and he said yes, he made my dreams come true. It was phenomenal.”

Top Reception Moments-

Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the Bancorp Conference Center at the Community Counseling Services building. A Great Gatsby era theme transformed the room, starting with purple ambient lighting. Tablescapes made of purple and white ostrich feathers extending from vases made dramatic statements.

Guests enjoyed a Mexican fajita bar with all the trimmings, and assorted wines. A sleek, 3-layer wedding cake satisfied cravings for sweets. The chocolate and vanilla cake glittered with white icing, rhinestones, and was topped with a pewter P.

One of the sweetest moments came when the bride danced with her brother, Mark Edwards, who walked her down the aisle. “I Loved Her First” played as tears fell during that emotional sibling moment.

“We got some great pictures from that dance,” says Andrea.

The bride and groom danced to “This Old Pride” by Dirtfoot, a song chosen by Josh.

“It is a song from my favorite band about a journey of love, companionship, and swallowing your pride,” he says.

The DJ played tunes from the Big Band era mixed with today’s popular hits for an entertaining evening for everyone.Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 3.36.05 PM

The Honeymoon-

The Poteetes enjoyed time in Cancun, Mexico for their long-awaited honeymoon. Upon their arrival, they learned the Mexicans were celebrating their Independence Day, so it was a lively atmosphere. The couple enjoyed fireworks and a parade, and then relaxed on the beach with swimming and snorkeling.

Happily Ever After-

Josh and Andrea make their home in Hot Springs Village, along with their four dogs. Their plans for the future include everything outdoors, continuing to rescue their favorite breed, and building their family. Whatever life may bring, they have faith they can overcome anything, together.

Josh and Andrea Poteete Weddiing