Thank you Studio A Photography for sharing this ultra-sleek and uber-sophisticated Alabama wedding! College sweethearts Christi + Chris (how cute is that?) exchanged their vows in an intimate outdoor ceremony at the historic and distinctly Southern Magnolia Manor. The bride’s ruffle-neck Vera Wang looks like it belongs on the runway and her chic birdcage veil courtesy of Brenda’s Bridal Veils (another fabulous Etsy vendor) adds just the right sass and flair to this stunning gown. After pining over the bridesmaids’ sweet BCBG frocks and the groom’s checkered tie from J.Crew, I have to say I’ve never seen ivory and navy done quite so well. Brava, Beth Humphrey, planner extraordinaire from Elizabeth Events! Since a Southern wedding is really complete without the requisite lapel shot, check out Chris’ twine-wrapped boutonnière.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in calculus class at Auburn University. Neither of us went to class very often but, when we did, we always managed to sit near each other and commiserate over our dislike for the professor and our slipping grades. I came out of that semester with the only C I’ve ever made and a new boyfriend – in hindsight, definitely worth the GPA sacrifice!
What was the design inspiration for your wedding invitation? We wanted our invitations to reflect the amazing venue we had chosen and really didn’t have time to commission an intricate letterpress design. One night while agonizing over what to do about invitations, my mother suggested we make our own. I sketched an oak from a photo we took at the site and had a graphic designer (and close friend) lay out the invitation format and pick the typeface. The hand-drawn oak tree (with a little bird on one of the branches) became the inspiration for the rest of the wedding. We incorporated little branches and birds and feathers on everything from my feather fascinator and birdcage veil to the birdcages hanging from the front porch.
What was your favorite design element of your big day? The altar area was my favorite thing. After living up north for a while, we were feeling deprived of all the things we love about coastal southern summers. We decided that nothing was more perfect for us than a wedding under an oak tree with romantic Spanish moss. The antique chandelier that hung above us really anchored our ceremony and I was thrilled with the way the bamboo chairs and the shepherd hooks and hydrangea-filled vases looked. I also really loved the mason jars with tea lights accenting the dance floor.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: So many things, I don’t know where to start. The groom’s tie, which we bought from JCrew, was one of my favorite design choices. It helped lighten up the navy suit and really played up the casually elegant Southern summer theme. We were also really excited about the food. We worked as much of the south into our menu as possible, taking the chance to indulge in all of the great cuisine you just can’t get in New York, like crawfish etouffee with gouda grits, white jambalaya, biscuits, crab cakes, boiled shrimp, chicken salad croissants and, of course, sweet tea and lemonade.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I noticed that Daily Candy was advertising a Vera Wang sale the week my mother was going to be visiting me in NYC for the first time so we decided it might be our only chance to have this mother-daughter experience. I tried on every dress she brought me (30 in all), and decided I liked the last one best. It was a 2007 runway dress with frayed silk ruffles and it fit like it was made just for me. After some encouragement from the salesgirls and all of the complete strangers in the room who had stopped their own dress shopping to ‘ooo’ and ‘ahhh’ over the perfectness of the dress, we decided it was the one. The whole trip (subway ride included) took about 3 hours. With no tears or bridal consultations or champagne or fanfare, we wrote a check for the dress, stuffed it in a huge brown paper bag and carried it right home with us on the subway.
Don’t worry – there’s more! Come back soon for the reception photos!