Cameron and Vanessa met through the Lifeteen program at their home parish of St. Michael’s while they were in high school. They became fast friends, and Vanessa had crushes on Cameron on and off, but never voiced her feelings to him. After graduating, they were brought back together several years later when they both joined the Core team at the youth program as adults. They became fast friends again and grew closer than before. Cameron was in a relationship at the time, and Vanessa found that she had to distance herself from him due to her romantic feelings popping up again. They kept in touch through Facebook messenger every so often, and in 2019, Vanessa noticed that Cameron was being flirtatious in his messages. She questioned him about it and he responded that he loved her and knew that he would marry her. Despite her fears and uncertainty, Cameron pursued Vanessa, loving her “with a wild patience” and helped her overcome her fears about marriage. They got engaged in 2020 on a wild mountain adventure that Cameron planned that completely surprised Vanessa.
The bride and groom are a fun, wild couple and their wedding day was like one huge dance party! The bridesmaids wore various shades of pink and groomsmen wore navy suits with floral ties.
Vanessa and the girls got ready at her childhood home, and it was the calmest I’ve ever seen a wedding party on the morning of a wedding! A family friend, Carly Wynn, did Vanessa’s hair and she made personalized gift bags for each of her bridesmaids, who were her dearest friends.
The nuptial Mass was very unique and beautiful. The couple got married at the church where they first met - their home parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Woodstock, GA.
Vanessa’s family is from Panama, so they incorporated Spanish into their Mass with their first reading from the book of Tobit read in Spanish. They also incorporated the Latin American Catholic tradition of las arras matrimoniales, an exchange of 13 wedding coins during the ceremony. Historically, the thirteen coins represented the groom's promise to provide for his family and the bride's trust in the groom's promise for provision.
The couple loves Our Lady very much, and selected their gospel reading, the Wedding at Cana from the gospel of John, for their Mass due to the Marian influences. Vanessa is a talented vocalist, so having high quality Mass music was of high importance to the couple. Four friends of Vanessa’s sang the Mass parts and truly it was heavenly. The bride herself sang the Salve while they took flowers to Mary, and the couple handed roses from the bouquet to each of their mothers as a way to honor their motherhood.
Instead of having an end of night exit, Vanessa and Cameron opted for a ceremony exit with streamers. Their guests lined up outside the church doors, and, as the bride and groom left the church to their limo, threw party streamers at them. It was a great way to enjoy an exit during the daylight and have most of the guests still there to witness it!
The reception was one giant party! Cameron and Vanessa entered their reception on Razor scooters with a smoke machine - very fitting for these two fun people. After dinner and speeches, the entire night was one big dance party, with nearly every guest breaking it down on the dance floor. For the reception, Vanessa had her mother’s wedding dress altered and changed into it after dinner as a surprise.
I was most struck by how Vanessa and Cameron are striving for holiness together and yet are still wildly themselves through it all. Their wedding day was really a reflection of how we can pursue sanctity without giving up fun or our core personality - everyone is called to be a saint as themselves!!