Vicksburg Living Wedding Edition: A Christmas wedding
Published 3:36 pm Saturday, January 27, 2024
Stuardt Saxton had meticulously planned the evening he was going to ask Vicksburg native Megan Holland to marry him. There was just one thing he had not accounted for — Megan couldn’t come.
“Obviously, I didn’t know Stuardt was going to propose,” Megan said, “but I was sick.”
In their conversation about her not being able to go out on their date, Megan said she detected something “strange” in Stuardt’s voice, but she felt so bad she didn’t ask questions.
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“He laughed a bit too loud and said something about the irony of timing in a slightly choked voice,” she said. “I couldn’t quite figure out why, but I felt too bad at the time to dwell on it.”
Now, with plans cancelled, Stuardt decided he would just have to put off the proposal until he could plan for another time.
That other time came the following evening.
Megan was feeling better and met with Stuardt at his apartment in Flowood.
“As we were leaving his place to go to dinner with both sets of our parents — they were meeting for the first time — I guess he suddenly wondered what he was waiting for,” Megan said. “So, when I was at the door and turned around to ask if he was ready to go, he had gotten down on one knee.”
Megan said yes to Stuardt’s impromptu proposal and to date he has not shared with her what his original plans for proposing had been.
And there would be no reason to do so, Megan said.
“The way it turned out was perfect. — sweet, simple, and the biggest surprise.”
The couple was married on Dec. 10, 2022, at First Baptist Church. A reception followed at the B’nai B’rith Literary Club.
In choosing her wedding gown, Megan said she did not initially have the “this is the one” moment. The reason was she had tried on so many beautiful dresses.
“I loved five or six of them when I initially went to try dresses on at Elle James Bridal in Ridgeland. I narrowed it down a bit, but still couldn’t make a final decision and left without a dress that day,” she said.
Over the next week, however, Megan said there was one dress that she kept visualizing herself in as she walked down the aisle. Therefore, she returned to the bridal shop and tried it back on and when she did, she said, “I finally got that ‘this is the one’ moment I’d hoped for.”
Megan’s dress was a scoop neck ball gown with hand-appliquéd floral detail by Monique Lhuillier. The gown was finished with a cathedral veil of ivory tulle with scattered pearl detailing by Grace and Goddess.
For her something old, Megan wore a pearl bracelet given to her by her grandmother, and for her something borrowed she wore her mother’s pearl necklace. Megan said her wedding dress was her something new and for something blue, she had her new monogram sewn into the lining of her dress with blue thread.
“I also wore a pair of pearl earrings Stuardt gave me for my birthday last year,” Megan said.
Megan’s chosen colors for her wedding were white, ivory, gold, and varying shades of green, which were carried through even on the ornaments of the Christmas tree in the church sanctuary.
And because of the Christmas season, she said there had been much emphasis placed on greenery.
“Perhaps my favorite touch was the fresh garland. We had it across the front of the church, and it also hung on the outside balcony and up the staircase at the B. B. Club, as well as across the stage in the ballroom,” she said.
Lanterns and candles were also used throughout to provide a romantic ambience. Serving as officiants for the couple’s wedding were Stuardt’s father, Larry Saxton Jr., and Mr. Scotty Swillie.
“We had both perform the ceremony, and it was so special to include these two men who we have so much respect for,” Megan said.
Also meaningful during the wedding ceremony were the personal vows Megan and Sturadt had written.
“This was completely out of my comfort zone,” Megan said. “Not the writing portion but reading them in front of a large audience — but it was so important to Stuardt that I wanted to do it for him.”
Writing and reading their own vows turned out to be her favorite part of the entire day, she added.
“I expected to be nervous, but instead that was the least nerve-wracking part of the ceremony. It felt like it was just the two of us in the sanctuary alone, and neither one of us will ever forget the words we spoke and how we felt in that moment,” she said.
As with most couples, Megan said it was the family and friends who came out and supported them on their wedding day that added to an already special day.
“There was a moment during the reception where I stopped for a minute to take everything in and was struck by the fact that nearly everyone we love was in a single room. I don’t know if that will ever happen again in our lifetimes, and I am so thankful I got to experience it,” she said.
For their honeymoon, the couple traveled to Brussels, Belgium, taking day trips via train to Paris, London, and Amsterdam, along with Cologne, Germany and Bruges, Belgium.
Megan said the weather was chilly, “but Christmas lights were up everywhere, and it was truly magical.”
Megan and Stuardt are at home in Brandon. She is the communication lead for the Information Technology Laboratory at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, and Stuardt is a teacher, head junior high football coach, defensive high school football coach, and head boys track coach at Hartfield Academy in Flowood.