We love a classic wedding around these parts (all my own hands raised!), but lately, I’ve been trying to come up with the reason why. Why is it that a lace gown makes us weak in the knees, nothing on earth is cuter than a traditional flower girl, and it doesn’t get any sweeter than a tiered white wedding cake? I can’t answer for everyone, of course, but to me, the magic of the classics is that they feel like rites of passage–there is a sense of tradition about these elements that makes a wedding day feel real, turns an ordinary couple into a bride and groom, and creates moments that will be forever revisited. Ally and Gabe combined their favorite classic wedding elements with a big dose of hospitality and a special place in their hearts for the great Southern tradition of community–their ceremony venue came to be when Ally’s mama knocked on a perfect stranger’s door!
I’m so confident Ally and Gabe love looking back at the images our Blue Ribbon Vendor Kati Mallory captured as much as we loved taking a peek at them–and that they will continue to do so for many, many years to come!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Oh goodness. Finding “the dress” was a bit of a journey for me! It took three shopping trips and about 50 dresses or so before I finally found the one on a trip to Baton Rouge with my mom and BFF/maid of honor. It was the perfect mix of traditional French lace and contemporary design. We celebrated over margaritas!
We tried our best to incorporate Southern details throughout every aspect of our wedding. From our Mississippi coffee table guest book and vintage monogram invitation suite to serving shrimp and grits as the main course, we couldn’t deny our deep Southern roots. We knew that having a wedding in South Mississippi in the middle of March meant unpredictable weather, so exactly one month before our wedding date, my mom and I drove down to Bay Saint Louis and buried a bottle of bourbon upside down under a beautiful mossy oak tree at our ceremony venue! One month later, on the morning of our wedding (in the cold, misting rain), Gabe and his groomsmen dug up the bourbon and toasted to beautiful weather as they finished off the bottle. Sure enough, as the superstition promises, that afternoon, the rain clouds parted and we had perfect weather for our outdoor wedding.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My precious brother skipped his lunch break the Thursday before our wedding and MIGHT have clipped a few tupperware containers worth of Austin, Texas bluebonnets so that I could stick some in my bridal bouquet as my something blue. We still aren’t sure if that’s illegal or not–whoops! My mom’s best friend, Mrs. Suzy, who is like a second mother to me, handmade my wedding veil the week of my wedding. Everything about it was new, but knowing that she put so much time and love into creating something like that just for me made it so special.
We both decided that seeing each other beforehand would be much more intimate and memorable than sharing these emotions in front of 200 guests. We loved having a few minutes together to soak in the fact that we were actually getting married before the night got hectic. I will never forget the look on Gabe’s face when he saw me for the first time that day. It is a moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life and I’m so thankful to relive it over and over again as I look through our wedding photos.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to get married in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi because to us, it is the sweetest little town and the true definition of Southern charm. Gabe’s family is from Texas and mine are mostly in Mississippi, so we wanted a destination wedding without guests having to travel too far away. We truly wanted our guests to have a vacation weekend in the South that they would cherish for a lifetime. It’s actually a very funny story how we chose our ceremony venue. I have always dreamed of being married outside beneath mossy oak trees. We picked a destination and reception location before a ceremony venue, which was probably not the best move. We were ten months from the wedding date with no spot to exchange vows and a vision in my head that was not materializing when we started to panic a little. I had driven by this quaint white beach house a million times–the house was situated on a grassy hill overlooking the beach, and was surrounded by century-old oak trees. My mother knew that I loved the house, so one day, she took matters into her own hands. She drove down to Bay Saint Louis and knocked on the front door to ask if her daughter could be married on the property. It could not have been a more perfect venue!
Our florist, Rachel Cuevas of Pine Hills Floral Design, truly went above and beyond to make sure my flowers turned out exactly how I had imagined. My dad and husband handmade a wooden cross to serve as the altar where we would exchange our vows. Rachel transformed the cross into a masterful work of art with her floral design. She incorporated blush peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and lush greenery throughout the cross, bridal bouquets, and centerpieces. I wanted our wedding to feel romantic, and I knew that flowers would play a crucial role in creating that ambiance.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We joined a couples’ small group at our church. All of the other couples were already married and were able to give advice on things that they had experienced and overcome together. We also got into a habit of praying out loud at night together.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. How is a bride ever supposed to pick just one flavor of wedding cake?! Gabe and I share a love for sweets, so each cake tier was a different flavor: strawberry, almond, chocolate, and red velvet. I am the first of my friends to get married, so as Southern tradition goes, I wanted to pass good luck and good fortune on to my bridesmaids. As each of them removed their cake pull, we found out who would be first to have a child, who would be the next to marry, and who would live a life full of adventure. We also tied in my Louisiana heritage by giving out pralines that were homemade by my Cajun relatives as wedding favors!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Gabe and I are your typical high school sweethearts! We were introduced to each other by mutual friends at our church youth group. I was only 14 years old when we met, and he was 15.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Gabe: When Ally and I finished undergrad at Ole Miss, I think she became suspicious of my proposal. Being an old-fashioned guy, this was a problem for me; I really wanted the proposal to be a surprise. That summer, Ally and I vacationed in Seaside, Florida. This had become a bit of a tradition for us and I didn’t think she would expect anything different about this trip. But, with her nails manicured and outfits straight from a fashion blog, I knew she was expecting the proposal, so I kept the ring in my suitcase and enjoyed a week at the beach. A month later, we found ourselves celebrating the Fourth of July in Austin, Texas. Again, I thought to myself this could be the time, but alas, she was still suspicious, so I held off, the engagement ring stayed in my suitcase, and we enjoyed our time together in the Lone Star State. As summer ended and I started another semester of grad school, I could tell that Ally’s hopes of engagement were crushed. Now that the timing was right, I came up with the perfect plan. Ally and I drove up to Oxford to watch the first home game of the season, and using the excuse of needing more champagne for mimosas, I went to a rooftop overlooking the historic Oxford Square, and waited. We had countless memories on this rooftop together, and Ally planned on meeting with friends there before the game. As she followed a trail of rose petals up the stairs to the rooftop, she still had no idea. Somehow, she didn’t get the hint–she thought it was the aftermath of someone else’s perfect proposal the night before. It wasn’t until she exited the building onto the rooftop and saw me on one knee that she finally realized her day had come. As she approached, she must have said, “yes” three times before I could actually ask her to marry me. Finally, she made it across the rooftop to where I was kneeling, I asked the four words she had been waiting for, “Will you marry me?” and for the fourth time, she answered, “Yes!” I could not have asked for a more perfect day, or a better way to celebrate our proposal than an Ole Miss win with 100,000 of our closest friends in the grove.
When did y’all get married? March 19, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to tweak the traditional wedding vows to make them a little more personalized. Our favorite line was, “I promise to laugh with you in times of joy and comfort you in times of sorrow. I will share in your dreams and support you to achieve your goals. I will respect you, encourage you, and cherish you.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose to have a strings trio perform all of the music during our ceremony. We both love classical music and could not have imagined a more romantic atmosphere than the sounds of a cello and two violins drifting in the ocean breeze.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are overjoyed to start the next chapter of our lives together in Austin, Texas with our golden doodle fur baby, Hattie! Gabe just graduated from Ole Miss with his Doctor of Pharmacy and I hope to continue my career in the nonprofit event industry. We are looking forward to new experiences, travel, and lots of live music!
Photographer: Kati Mallory Photo and Design | Planner: Saron Mitchell Henderson | Reception Venue: Bay Saint Louis Community Hall | Florist: Pine Hills Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Melissa’s Specialty Cakes | Caterer: Neil’s Southern Delights | Rentals: ABC Rental | Band: 4 Barrel Funk | Paper Products: Fresh Ink | Bride’s Gown: Essense of Australia | Bolero: Justin Alexander | Hair and Makeup: Allie Lee at Blush | Bride’s Shoes: Schutz | Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale | Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids | Menswear: Tuxes Too | Bridesmaids Robes: Pretty Plum Sugar | Ribbon: Adorn Company
Kati Mallory is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!