When we set out on our journey into adulthood (a.k.a. the real world), I think many of us can agree there is a certain order of events we expect: start career, meet someone, get married, have kids, grow old together, retire, sit in a rocking chair somewhere telling stories about “back in the day.”

But sometimes things happen out of order. Sometimes little bundles of joy arrive when we aren’t quite expecting them. Sometimes marriages and relationships don’t work out. Sometimes people change.

I hadn’t planned on marrying a man with children but on October 18, 2014, I did just that. Upon saying “I do,” I became a wife and a stepmom to two girls. While we had always been a family of four when we were together, on that day it was “official”—and it felt good.

So you can understand why I felt a connection to our 2017 Bride of the Year Brittany Ennis Watson. Even though her plans changed, love was waiting for her on the other side. Read about her story, and the man who is stepping up to be a husband and father, on page 25. Also, flip through to see her modeling this year’s top dress fashions at one of Lynchburg’s best kept secrets, Old City Cemetery.

Also inside, on pages 33-39, you will find our 1st Annual Best Of Bridal Picks.

From venues to flowers to dresses and beyond, you can see who brides recommend in 22 wedding-related categories. We hope this resource will help you find the best vendors possible for your big day.

We also tried to answer some other questions: Makeup—should you go trendy or stay classic? Videography—what should you expect? After the wedding—how do you manage some of the top stressors for newlyweds?

I wish you the best of luck with your wedding planning. And remember, if your plans change (venue is booked, budget shrinks, etc.), don’t sweat it. Brittany and I can tell you, sometimes when plans change, you get an even better end result!

Congratulations,
Shelley Basinger, Managing Editor
Shelley@lynchburgmag.com

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