How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
John and I have dated ever since I was a freshman in high school (I am now 21 so that goes to show how long we have been together!!) He first asked my brother, who was a senior at the time, permission to take me on a date, and 7 years later asked his permission for my hand in marriage. Since John and David were friends FIRST, it was really important that my only big brother approved of who I dated… and married!! After our first date to a Chinese restaurant and a movie, the rest is history… John went to The University of Alabama and earned a degree in Accounting , where I followed and earned a degree in Nursing..Some of our favorite memories were at The University.. and it is there where we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together! John proposed in September of my senior year, and we married June after my graduation in May! I have never felt more loved than I do now!
What was the feel that you wanted to accomplish for your wedding and how did you execute that.
John and I knew that our wedding was going to be large, at the same time, we also wanted it to feel very intimate and elegant. With the start of the ceremony with a string quartet playing, that it set the tone for our reverent ceremony. The presence of the Lord was felt from start to finish. It was a perfect blend for both of our visions for a ceremony- becoming one, in front of everyone we love.
What was your venue (church and/or reception) and why did you select it?
The church was my (the bride’s) home church. For reasons other than that, it is absolutely beautiful. As you gaze at the stained glass, you can feel the presence of Lord and the Holy Spirit fill the entire place. As many people that were there, during our ceremony, it really only felt like John in I in the church. To be honest, I don’t really remember much about the service except squeezing tight to John as we vowed to be with each other the rest of our lives. It was PERFECT!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding?
My mom had surprised John and I, and all of our guests, with a fireworks show during the reception at The Club. It was like the cherry on top of the XL-bowl of ice-cream… Truly fairy tale like… Who has fireworks at their wedding?? It was incredible, and while it was going on, Sinatra’s, “Just the way you look tonight” played as we danced…completely magical…
What southern traditions did you incorporate into your wedding?
We had the most wonderful bridesmaids tea at The Donnelly House. My maternal grandmother gave us the best party ever! We are so fortunate that we have four living grandmothers, most in their eighties, and all happy and healthy enough to make this wedding season all I could have ever hope for! Our bridesmaid’s luncheon was served on all four of our grandmother’s china, and made the day so special. We all wore vintage spectator hats and had a tea grand enough to celebrate all of my beautiful bridesmaids.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
There are really too many to name, but one of my favorite moments at the reception was when John flipped me on the dance floor… John and I really love to dance together and we have joked about doing “the flip” at the wedding, but I knew with how big my dress was, it would be near impossible.. At one point during the night, John looked at me and said, lets just do it.. Of course I gave in..We were ALL surprised that I landed on my feet with no damage to my gown or ME… It wouldn’t have mattered anyways, it made the entire night… (By the way, after the first successful try, we flipped several more times throughout the night )
Where did you find your dress?
Kleinfeld’s Bridal in New York City- As if the day of the engagement wasn’t a big enough surprise, my mom had already booked a flight to New York for me and an entire crew consisting of my mom, grandma, brother, aunts, and two closest cousins, John, his mom and grandmothers. Of course John did not come to the actual dress appointment, but he along with my family enjoyed a weekend in the Big City filled with sight-seeing and Cinderella on Broadway. At Kelinfeld’s, we opted out of filming the show, realizing what could be said in a crowd of that size, but we met Joan as she helped me “say yes to my dress! “
Another amazing story about my dress… Although I wouldn’t change a thing, I tried on my grandmothers wedding dress that she wore in 1953, and originally hoped it would be something I could wear because not only because my grandmother married in it, so was my mother. After we took it out of storage we realized it really probably couldn’t be restored, but I didn’t want to completely lose incorporating her dress in my wedding. We met with Karen Holland, who was doing the alterations on my dress from Kleinfeld’s, and she thought that she could shorten my grandmother’s dress and at least make it something that I could wear at a tea or my bridesmaid’s luncheon. The amazing thing was, after she started to work on it, she realized that she could restore it in its original length. So, we decided not to tell my grandmother, and as a surprise at our rehearsal dinner, I wore her vintage gown and John wore his grandfather’s suit that he was married in—We were quite the spectacle, and left The Clubhouse on Highland to a sparkler exit!
Any advice for current Brides?
Don’t stress… At the end of the day, you will marry the one you love..
Wedding Paper: Figmint Design / Calligraphy: Avivi Behel / Cakes: Magnificent Cakes / Reception: The Club / Ceremony: Independent Presbyterian Church / Fireworks: Pyroproductions / Photography: Kim Box Photography