If you have a little bit of “wedding nerd” in you, the idea of these four things together just might give you butterflies: Alabama, Christmas, Vera Wang, A Bryan Photo. Sure enough, Sally and Steven’s wedding struck the perfect balance between classic, festive, and Southern, and I can’t think of a prettier way to get excited for Christmas than by admiring their gorgeous pictures! Sally’s bouquet was particularly special–all of her favorite flowers, which she had always wanted in her wedding, were lovingly arranged by her talented aunt, who made the same bouquet for Steven to use during his proposal. I can only imagine how special these blooms will continue to be to this sweet couple for years to come!
A big SW thank you to A Bryan Photo for sharing Sally and Steven’s wedding with us!
My aunt, Sybil Sylvester, is an incredible florist, so she was in charge of all the wedding flowers. My flowers were predominately white, accented with green. My bouquet was made of peonies, gardenias, ranunculus, garden roses, thistle, and dusty miller. The church was decorated with garland and wreaths made of baby’s breath, along with Christmas greenery and candles. The Country Club was decorated with swags of greenery, tufts of mistletoe hanging from the ceiling, gold mirrors, and more beautiful flower arrangements. Call me cliché, but my inspiration was a Downton Abbey aesthetic: a Christmas wedding that felt like a traditional Southern wedding with an old English flair.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and dad came to New York and took me to the Vera Wang wedding boutique. Every dress in that store is gorgeous. I tried on lots of dresses and narrowed it down to two. Once I tried on the Eliza gown with the sash and the veil, I knew it was the one for me.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony?
Our readings were passages from the Old and New Testaments: Jeremiah 29:11-14 and Philippians 1:27-2:11.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “Highland Cathedral” played on bagpipes. We sang “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” during the ceremony and then Steven and I processed out to “Joy to the World.” Our first dance was to “Make You Feel My Love.”
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? My photographer. You spend so much time with your photographer on your wedding day, and you will forever remember your wedding through their lens. Bryan and his team take gorgeous pictures and their laid-back personalities make the picture-taking fun, not stressful.
My wedding cake was Frank Stitt’s fabulous coconut cake that I’ve grown up eating at Bottega. Steven’s groom’s cake was red velvet baby bites from Pastry Art, surrounding a small red velvet cake decorated with an orange “T,” for his alma mater, the University of Tennessee.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our reception food was quintessential Southern fare, including fried chicken, lobster mac and cheese, and short ribs. We had a bourbon bar, and later in the night, we served Mississippi Muds. We used family silver to serve our cakes. Also very Southern: my Alabama football-loving family had to endure my University of Tennessee husband and his friends singing “Rocky Top” with the band.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Steven and I met at Alpine Camp. We had both worked there before and were friends, but in the summer of 2011, Steven asked me out on a date. After that, we spent every night off together for the rest of the summer. The rest is history.
Describe the proposal. I flew home from New York to spend Easter with Steven and my family. On Saturday evening, Steven and I walked up to where we could see the sunset over Birmingham. When we got back to my house, I saw that the tea candles in the trees in our garden were lit and I realized something was up. Steven grabbed my hand and led me to the garden and said, “I have a few things to tell you.” The path to the garden was covered in white flower petals, and strands of orchids were hanging from the trees. At the end of the path, I saw a bouquet that I knew my aunt had made with all my favorite flowers, which I had always wanted for my own wedding. Steven got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. Afterwards, we celebrated with champagne, family, and friends.
In what month did you get married? December
How many guests attended your wedding? 500
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not. Our photographer, Bryan Johnson, had already done our engagement photos, and we knew we could trust him to get great pictures done without taking over the day. Also, we wanted to see each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle and we are glad we did it that way.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: All the details came together so perfectly, I can’t choose just one. I am so glad I had my aunt and my wedding planners at Mariée Ami to worry about the details so that I could enjoy the big picture!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Right after the ceremony, Steven and I had a few moments to ourselves to talk, dance, and just let it sink in that we were married.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just relax and enjoy the week of your wedding. Once you’ve finished the planning, you should sit back, take it all in, and enjoy the people there. The important thing is that you’re married at the end of the day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Who knows! We’re happy to be married and figuring out life together with our new golden doodle puppy.