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I already knew I was going to love Catherine and William’s wedding when Emily snuck me a peek of Catherine’s custom Heidi Elnora ball gown, their snowy portraits, and their twinkling opera house reception, but all of my expectations were blown out of the water when I read Catherine’s interview. I think she said it best when she wrote, “I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are.” Catherine and William stuck to this sentiment so thoroughly throughout their engagement, and with the help of Catherine’s talented mama, every moment and detail of this Missouri celebration expressed their love story and their hearts. Even after all of the magic of the day, one of Catherine and William’s favorite moments was the end of the night when they poured a glass of champagne at their hotel room and excitedly recapped the entire wedding. I’m positive that with their sweet attitudes and their hearts for what matters most, there are so many more celebrations in Catherine and William’s future!

Thank you so much to Mike Cassimatis of MNC Photography for sending this sparkly day our way!

P.S. Y’all, I just HAVE to mention this…but how perfect is it that Catherine and William incorporated a few nods to their British heritages into their wedding, AND they share names with the beloved royal couple? Clearly, they were meant to be ;)

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were both law students at Vanderbilt, but we hadn’t met yet my first semester (or so I thought). Fortunately, we both had friends who convinced us at the last minute to come back to Nashville early for a New Year’s Eve party at a mutual friend’s house. When Will started talking to me, I thought it was rude that he didn’t properly introduce himself. Well, as it turns out, we had already met at a Christmas party at the same house, but I didn’t remember him! I left to go to another party, got on a friend for “giving my number out to random guys,” and told Will I couldn’t go out with him because my mom was coming into town on the 2nd for a girls’ week. Well, folks, I underestimated Will’s determination and found myself sipping an Old Fashioned with him at Whiskey Kitchen the very next night. A Tim McGraw sing-a-long later, and on the 2nd, I was telling my mom what a nice guy I had met!

My something borrowed was my favorite piece of my grandmother’s jewelry, a diamond bangle my grandfather gave her on their fifteenth wedding anniversary. My something old was a fur my grandfather on the other side gave my mom years ago, and my something new was my brand new Heidi Elnora dress. I was supposed to wear a blue garter but forgot to put it on!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did. We wanted to have that private moment between just the two of us, and we wanted to be able to relax and celebrate after the ceremony. It was really nice to see each other for the first time without any distractions, and we had so much fun spending our wedding day together with our wedding party!

My mom and I planned an epic dress quest across the South with appointments in Nashville, Huntsville, Birmingham and Atlanta. I tried on so many beautiful gowns, but with each one that got close, I kept asking, “Can we change the lace?” or “Can we add a bow?” or “Can we lower the waistline?” Nothing seemed exactly right. We walked into the Heidi Elnora Atelier at the very end of the day, exhausted and not expecting much until Heidi herself came out and changed everything! She is such a sweet, strong, spunky Southern woman. She started from scratch asking me about my vision and nailing down a silhouette. From there, we created a custom gown that was so very me! It was my favorite part of the wedding planning process by far, and I cherished my trips to Birmingham to visit with Heidi and her team and watch my gown come to life. The first thing Will said when he saw me in the dress was, “It’s so you!”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’m a farmer’s daughter originally from a very small town in Southeast Missouri, but I always knew I wanted to get married in St. Louis and take photos at my alma mater (Washington University). We both love tradition and any excuse to dress up, so we dreamed up a classic (and sparkly!) black-tie evening with British touches to reflect both of our family heritages. I was initially disappointed to hear that we couldn’t get married at the church I attended during college, but when we heard Memorial Presbyterian was available, we couldn’t believe how perfect it was. It is next door to Wash U, is our denomination, and had the perfect grand, Gothic ambiance for our English-inspired ceremony.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The whole ceremony! Our pastor gave a beautiful charge about God’s purpose for marriage, and at one point, asked us to turn and face the congregation. The room was glowing with loved ones’ faces. We just smiled at each other and soaked in that coziest, happiest moment.

We chose a brass quartet for the ceremony music because Will grew up playing the trumpet, and we thought it would be fun to bring his love of brass into our wedding day! For the ceremony music, we decided to stick mostly to our favorite classic hymns. I walked down the aisle to “O God Beyond All Praising,” which we sing all the time at our church in Nashville. The congregation sang two hymns during the ceremony (thanks, friends!), “Be Thou my Vision” and “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” A bagpiper played through the snow as we exited the church in traditional British fashion

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? As my poor friends and family can tell you, I was an absolute mess stressing out about snow and ice, starting around Thanksgiving. The weather in St. Louis can really be anything anytime, and I was completely convinced that a huge blizzard would befall us and no one would make it to our wedding. I tried to convince Will and my mom that we needed to move the date, and when that failed, that we needed to make a special trip to St. Louis to bury the bourbon. They just shook their heads, so I had my small group praying for the weather for weeks! Well, when the sparkly snowflakes started to fall during our photo shoot, I laughed and exclaimed, “Thank you, Jesus, for the snow!” I could not imagine a more romantic finishing touch for our winter wedding, and the snowy photos are my absolute favorite reminders that God’s plans are better than mine. It made me think of how much I love the way snow slows life down and gives you time to just be still, which is how I wanted our wedding day to feel. Sure, our antique getaway car became an SUV, and guests’ flights home were canceled on Sunday, but boy did the snow look beautiful coming down out the windows of our reception!

For our reception, it was important to us to find a space with character and significance that wasn’t exclusively a reception venue. We joked that if each of us could choose our favorite non-geographical location, Will would choose a courtroom and I would choose a theater. (I was a theater major in college and worked in theater management in New York before law school.) Naturally, I won, and the 1934 Peabody Opera House was a dream! We fell in love with its opulent ceilings, gilded accents and cozy-but-stately feel. It screams black-tie winter wedding!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A detail that was so special to me was that once the dancing got underway, I changed into the 1981 Priscilla of Boston gown my mom married my dad in. The only alteration we made was to remove the train, and it was perfect for dancing! I added a flower crown to look just like she did, and it was a really special moment. My dad was thrilled, and other relatives enjoyed telling me “I know that dress!” Some little details that I thought really added to the day included the strung lights that added ambiance over our reception, the couches that lined the dance floor for guests to take a break without leaving the action, and the band that had our guests dancing all night long!

Our décor was mostly ivory and gold, so we wanted to bring in some subtle blush pinks with the flowers. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas (which Will wrote down very early in our relationship), so we used a lot of them, along with roses, snapdragons, garden roses, and ranunculus. Our florist created an amazing canopy of elevated flowers hanging above our 34-person head table!

We had a traditional tiered cake with alternating layers of vanilla and caramel decorated with gold, and a groom’s cake with alternating layers of chocolate and red velvet, which is Will’s favorite. For a late night treat, we served my favorite St. Louis specialty: Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I’m not going to tell you not to stress about wedding planning, because let’s be real, it will inevitably be stressful. However, try to spend the weekend itself focusing on the people around you who love you enough to be there on your special day (and maybe even stand outside with sparklers at 11:00 P.M. in the snow!). All those people will never be in the same room with you again, and spending time with them is so much more important than the little details that go awry.

Tell us all about the proposal! We were in the middle of finals when Will suggested that we go for a hike before church the next morning to watch the sun rise over downtown Nashville. I thought it was a little suspicious when he kept changing the time that he wanted to pick me up, but with his hardest exam on Monday, I thought it would be the last day he would pick to propose. As we climbed the steep hill to Love Circle, I saw a picnic blanket with roses, photos of us, and my favorite breakfast sandwiches. I didn’t know what to do! Of course, I started crying, and as the sun rose behind us, Will took my hands and said a bunch of nice things I don’t remember until he got to “Catherine Elizabeth Moreton, will you marry me?” Our friend Ellen was there to capture the whole thing, and it was so much fun to share our news with our wonderful Nashville church family and then celebrate with worship and Sunday brunch.
When did y’all get married? February 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we did memorize our vows! We wanted to make the same commitments that so many great couples before us have made to each other, but we also wanted the vows to feel more personal, so we bravely opted not to repeat after our pastor. Thankfully, we remembered them!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are. I hope we accomplished that, because we tried! To start, my beautiful bridesmaids wore gold sequins to look similar to my gold sequined New Year’s Eve dress that caught Will’s eye the night we met. Our signature drinks were a “Make-her-Marks” Old Fashioned, because that is what we had on our first date in Nashville; and “Seaside Bride” champagne, because we went to Seaside for our honeymoon. One of the reasons for the date was that we met and fell in love in the winter. We tried to bring as much of our lives in Nashville into the day as possible, starting with having our pastor from Nashville marry us. That was a nice way to bring our church home to Missouri. We also served shrimp and grits at the cocktail hour, and included Will’s darling cousins from North Carolina to hand out programs and be our flower girl and ring bearer. Our invitations were hand-pressed at the Hound Dog Press in Louisville, Kentucky, where my mom and I had a great weekend designing everything with Nick on his antique machines. The gifts exchanged during the day also had a lot of Southern touches and meaning to us. On Friday night, my uncle gave Will his name carved out of wood to hang up with all the rest of the family names that hang on the porch of our lake house in Kentucky. I gave Will a journal I had been writing in to him since 2002. On our wedding day, he gave me a signet ring with my new monogram engraved on it, and I gave him a family Bible with our wedding as the first entry (as well as an in-progress needlepoint belt that is, unfortunately, still a work in progress). I gave my mom an engraved frame thanking her for everything, and my dad and brother got embroidered handkerchiefs.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had great marriage counseling meetings with our pastor in Nashville, and we had marriage books all over our apartments, on tape in the car, everywhere! Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” is such a blessing, honestly. We also had a great workbook that helped us talk through our plans and ideas about what we want our marriage to look like. We had fun with endless “1,001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married” types of books, especially on road trips!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We enlisted the talents of my incredible mama! She is a wedding coordinator and calligrapher, so we didn’t have to hire either. I knew the macro-level planning was in good hands with her at the helm, and she lovingly addressed all 250+ save the dates and 250+ invitations.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Besides the ceremony itself, Will and I both agree our favorite moment of the day was when we got back to our suite at the Ritz, collapsed onto the couch, poured a glass of champagne, and rehashed the entire day. Questions included: “Were you freezing waiting for me for the first look?” “What was your favorite part?” “What were you thinking when I was walking down the aisle?” It was our first moment of normalcy as a married couple, and we will never forget how thrilled we were!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so excited to deck our Arlington, Virginia apartment out for Christmas (multiple trees!) and establish some Marks family Christmas traditions!

Photographer: Mike Cassimatis / Videographer: Lovebird Studios / Planner: Nancy Moreton (Bride’s mother) / Ceremony Venue: Memorial Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Peabody Opera House / Florist: Lisa Molitor / Cake Baker: Sarah’s Cake Shop / Rentals: Amerevent Group / Lighting: Exclusive Events / Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles / Signage: Buffy Weddings / Party Favors: Trophy House Treasures / Paper Products: Hound Dog Press / Bride’s Gown and Veil: Heidi Elnora / Hair Accessories: Jennifer Behr and Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart / Hair Stylist: Christy Parsons / Makeup Artist: Emily Miller Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Blouson Bodice Sequin Mesh Gown in Gold by JS Collections / Attendant Dresses: Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Furs: Tulip Bridal / Groom’s Attire: The Knot Standard / Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Attire: J. Crew / Getting Ready Location: The Ritz Carlton / Ceremony Musicians: Clarion Brass / Girls’ Getting Ready Robes: Just Cottons / Custom Invitation Design: Sarah Hanna / Wedding Logo Design: Folisi Design Studio / Photo Booth: Photography and Video Innovations / Late Night Snack: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Alexandra reply

    Wow oh wow! This is such a beautiful wedding! I love all the personal touches throughout — it seems so personal. Thanks for sharing.

  2. avatar Meredith Sledge reply

    WOW! Phenomenal images!!

  3. avatar Bubbling Brides reply

    The sparkle accents are amazing. The sequin bridesmaid dresses are the best!

    XoXo,
    The Bubbling Brides Team
    Bubbling Brides

  4. avatar kelly reply

    oh i agree, this interview hands down is one of the very best!

  5. avatar Catherine reply

    We’re so honored to be included in the Southern Weddings family, and it was so fun to relive the day! Thank you so much Lisa and Emily!

  6. avatar Dana reply

    This is quite the royal looking winter wedding!

  7. avatar Wedding Wednesday No. 1: Our Proposal Story – Classic Catherine reply

    […] Once that nerve-wracking bit had passed and the surreal feeling of being engaged started to set in, everything comes back into sharper focus in my memory. Then, of course, it was time to check out that ring! I LOVE SPARKLY THINGS. […]

  8. avatar Baby’s First Snow! – Attention to Darling reply

    […] both featured on Southern Weddings. So happy she did! See their GORGEOUS winter wedding here and our home feature here. Finally, just for perspective, here’s a before picture […]

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Of course, y’all know I love this wedding because it’s super Southern, ultra-feminine, and perfectly classic, but when you add in a baseball stadium reception, you’ve especially got me hooked! Hayley is a girl after my own heart–she can talk sports with the boys, and still has a perfect Southern bump! Sound like anyone y’all know? Ahem! ;) With all of the stress that can sometimes accompany a wedding day, we all know how important it is to focus on the moments that have deep meaning, but I also agree with Hayley and Barton about the importance of having fun! When the bride and groom surprise their guests with face paint – yes, face paint – at their reception, I can only imagine how much fun their wedding must be!

Thank you so much to Mustard Seed Photography for capturing this blast of a big day!

My something borrowed was my matron of honor’s delicate silver bracelet, which she received on her own wedding day. My something blue was my delicate blue lace garter from BHLDN. My something old was the diamond earrings I wore, which belonged to Barton’s grandmother. My something new was my brand new Jimmy Choo pumps!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The wedding dress I ended up getting was exactly what I had always envisioned: all lace, strapless, mermaid style. It was simple, classic, and timeless. I went into the process knowing exactly what I wanted, so it was an easy decision as soon as I tried on the Romona Keveza dress. I added a crystal sash from BHLDN, a beautifully delicate diamond headpiece from a bridal boutique in Houston called Mia Bridal Couture, simple nude Jimmy Choo peep-toe pumps, and a dramatic cathedral-length veil. I knew Barton would love the look, but more importantly, I felt like myself.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look, and it was a very mutual decision that we felt strongly about. We wanted to fully experience that sweet, priceless moment of him seeing me for the first time as the church doors opened up and as I was walking towards him to finally become his wife. There was something so precious, special, and innocent about that moment for us. We loved our decision and feel that it made our day that much more special.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I absolutely adored the twenty minutes Barton and I had to ourselves after the ceremony, right before the reception. During this time, we retreated to our own private room at the reception venue, where we were able to eat some of our delicious food, sip on one of our signature drinks, and simply revel in the precious moments together. It was exactly what we needed right before we were formally introduced to everyone as Mr. and Mrs. Simmons, and it was a great little breather before we danced the night away with all of our friends and family.

We selected Christ Church Cathedral because, in our opinion, it was the most beautiful church in all of downtown Houston. The stained glass windows and gorgeous outdoor courtyard made a perfect backdrop for our special day. As for our reception venue, we chose Union Station at Minute Maid Park for so many reasons! First, it’s also located in downtown Houston, and we wanted our guests to be able to experience the heart of the city and all that Houston has to offer. Union Station is connected to Minute Maid Park, where the Houston Astros play baseball, which is a prestigious landmark in Houston. It made for a pretty cool cocktail hour (our guests were able to venture out onto a balcony that looks over Minute Maid Park), but most importantly, it’s an absolutely breathtaking space! Our venue had huge, soaring ceilings, elegant arches, exquisite white and marble columns, and an open, airy feel. It was beautiful on its own, yet it still provided so much opportunity for us to add our own personality through delicate, pretty, personal touches.

We absolutely adore seeing how y’all use products from the Southern Weddings Shop in your weddings, and H + B’s showcase absolutely did our prints justice!

Being from Texas, I absolutely wanted our wedding to give our out-of-town guests a taste of the South! We had white wedding cake, thick ribbons tied into big bows around the gold chiavari chairs, roses in mason jar-style vases, straw cowboy hats for all our guests to wear while dancing, and the most adorably Southern prints from the Southern Weddings Shop, which we framed in antique white wooden frames and placed around the venue. We made sure our guests’ welcome bags were super Southern too, and combined both mine and Barton’s home towns of Texas and Tennessee: Texas Hot Sauce, Texas-sized jelly beans, Tennessee-made GooGoo Clusters candy, and tiny Tennessee Jack Daniels bottles. One of our favorite Southern touches was the plates of Shipley Do-Nut holes we passed around as a little treat sometime after 10 p.m., when the party was in full force. Shipley’s Do-Nuts is a staple in Houston and I grew up eating them for breakfast as a little girl.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. For the brides’s cake, we had a five-tiered traditional white wedding cake with buttercream filling. The design alternated smooth and quilting designs with gold candy dots and gold fondant ribbon, with all-white shimmer icing. The groom’s cake was designed to look like the Yale football field, since Barton played football at Yale. It was a chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling, covering in green icing and accents in navy and white fondant (Yale colors). We added a little football helmet with Barton’s name and football number painted on it, which he loved.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Barton and I first met very briefly in June 2010 through mutual friends. We introduced ourselves and shook hands, but I didn’t think anything of it, mostly because he was wearing a neon bandana wrapped around his forehead and a T-shirt with the sleeves ripped off (don’t ask). Little did I know, blindingly neon colors and strange headgear would soon become a constant in my life. Fast forward more than a year later, to August 2011. I had just been asked to write a column for a new sports website called Outkick the Coverage. As soon as my article was published, I immediately had both a Facebook friend request and Twitter follower request sitting in my inbox from Mr. Simmons himself. He had met me over a year ago, yes, but I didn’t truly catch his eye until I started talking about sports on the Internet! Without even realizing it, I had accidentally found the keys to his heart: sports and social media. After I accepted both of his friend requests, he Tweeted at me the next day, asking me to hang out over the weekend. We ended up going on our official first date, and exactly two years later, he proposed!
Tell us all about the proposal! Barton and I took our dog Milo for a walk around Barton’s neighborhood before dinner on Friday, July 26th. Barton, the self-professed leader of our walks, strayed from our usual route and started directing us down a path we hadn’t been down since a walk we took when we first started dating. Barton ended up leading me to a quiet path on the outskirts of the neighborhood. He stopped me in the middle of the deserted road and had me hold Milo’s leash as he took out a piece of paper, on which he had written a poem. I had been begging Barton to write me a poem for at least a whole year (and he hadn’t), and now here he was, standing in front of me reading the poem he’d written for me. When he finished the poem, he got down on one knee and proposed. Milo was the only one who witnessed it all. After that, we went straight to the best surprise party EVER–all of our close friends and family were waiting for us at an intimate dinner. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect night.
When did y’all get married? May 10, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Approximately 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song was “I Like To Be With Me When I’m With You” by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. We chose this song because of its simple message: we love that we can be ourselves with each other. Every lyric in that song is so sweet. One line says, “If I could live on the moon, I’d rather stay in Tennessee with you,” which was fitting since we both live in Nashville, Tennessee!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way we saved money was by adding a fake layer to the bride’s cake! No one noticed and we still had plenty of cake left to go around.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do it together! While I did the majority of the planning, Barton was definitely vocal about many of the decisions. It was so fun hearing his ideas (ahem–the face paint), and I valued his input. We loved spending evenings together playing song after song after song, searching for the perfect first dance song (and practicing dancing with each other to each tune). We also did a lot of food menu research together, as we consider ourselves amateur foodies and both had a ton of cuisine ideas. He also pleasantly surprised me by having opinions on things I wouldn’t expect, like his preference to not do a first look and what to do for our send-off (we ended up doing these fun poppers with metallic streamers). While weddings are typically touted as the “bride’s day,” I knew this day was equally as important to Barton and I wanted him to be happy with it, too. I truly loved getting to embark on the planning journey with him by side.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Honestly, as exciting and exhilarating as planning this wedding was, we were most looking forward to just getting back to normal life! (And I’m pretty sure Barton was most looking forward to getting OFF of the wedding diet, which didn’t allow for our beloved pizza nights). In our hearts, we already felt like we were married, and just couldn’t wait for it to be official. Another ridiculously fun part of married life is getting your wedding photos back, printing them out, and framing them around your house, to always have a reminder of that incredible day! Our living room walls may or may not already be covered in wedding photos, not leaving room for much else…but what else do you need?!

Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography / Videographer: Green Leaf Films / Planner: Sharon Leahy / Ceremony Venue: Christ Church Cathedral / Reception Venue: Union Station at Minute Maid / Florist: The Bloom Room and The Senter Piece / Wedding Cake: Edible Designs by Jessie / Caterer: Greg Herbst at Houston Astros Hospitality Group / Rentals: Avalon Event Rentals / Linens: Over The Top Linen / Lighting: J&S Audio Visual / Band: In10City Band / Candle Votives and Vases: BHLDN / Champagne Glasses and Cake Servers: Kate Spade / Prints: The Southern Weddings Shop / Thanks Y’all Sign: Z Create Design / Paper Products: Darby Cards / Bride’s Gown: “L216” by Legends by Romona Keveza / Bride’s Headpiece: Mia Bridal Couture / Bride’s Veil: B.Hughes Bridal / Bride’s Belt: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Glam Studio by Misty Rockwell / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 776” in Petal Pink by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Attire: Tom James / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love pink and gold for a wedding! Beautiful and the groom’s cake is awesome!

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    That cake looks gorgeous!

  3. avatar Sara Dodd reply

    I absolutely LOVE this weeding! The love between Barton and Hayley is so powerful. You can totally see the love between them both! Does y’all have any recommendations on where to buy those amazing poppers with the metallic streamers??!!

  4. avatar Maria @ The Good Life reply

    That Yale Bulldogs Groom’s cake is excellent! Beautiful wedding.

  5. avatar Mikkel reply

    Stunning details everywhere! LOVE the “bang” silver streamers. So fun! And the “thanks y’all” is another favorite. Awesome dance floor dip photo too. :-) Congratulations to Hayley and Barton and Mustard Seed Photography!

  6. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The diamond headpiece is one of my favorite accessories I’ve seen! I love all the fun touches like the football cake and the chalkboard the ring bearer held.

  7. avatar Recent Publications » Mustard Seed Photography reply

    […] Hayley + Barton on Southern Weddings […]

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A few days ago, Emily sent me an email saying I would die over this wedding, and she couldn’t be more right! Today I get to combine two of my favorite things – gorgeous Southern weddings and Alabama football (I know, lucky duck!). Lindsey + Michael honored their alma mater and their relationship with fun-filled celebration in the Zone at Bryant-Denny Stadium! Beyond their reception taking place at such an incredibly cool location, their cream and gold color palette made for classic formal Southern style at it’s best! High fives and Roll Tide to fellow Alabama girl, Kelly at Spindle Photography, for capturing all the awesomeness that filled Lindsey + Michael’s wedding day!

P.S. Don’t miss Lindsey + Michael’s highlight film by Hampton Road Studios, seen here!

Details weren’t as important to us as the overall feel of the weekend. It was important to me that the bridal party enjoyed themselves and felt like they were a part of something really special. The girls had a great morning listening to music, having mimosas, and getting their hair and makeup done in the bridal suite, and the boys got to kick back and catch up over cocktails and lunch at Innisfree. The day was meant to feel classic, formal, and fun for the guests. The vendors did a great job of transforming the Zone at the stadium into a cream and gold ballroom with draped tents, chandeliers, lots of candlelight and all white flowers. Guests could dance to Motown under twinkle-lighting, have dinner with friends and family, or mingle over cocktails on the balcony overlooking campus.

Describe your wedding flowers: Gary at Jester’s Flowers did an outstanding job. I gave him no specifics other than everything had to be white. The result was a mix of vintage roses, hydrangeas, and calla lilies. It was tasteful, classic and, of course, beautiful.

I instantly loved the quality of the materials and the construction of all of the Amsale gowns, but I especially loved the look of the tulle and satin Calista gown. It was formal, yet easy to dance in, so it was a must.

Gosh, I was not sure I can swoon more over this wedding, and now their adding adorable pups! I’m a goner!

During the ceremony and after the vows, turning around to face the crowd and being blown away by how many people were there for us. You could really feel the love in the room!

Perhaps the most Southern aspect of our wedding was the atmosphere. We wanted everyone to feel welcome and have fun. At the rehearsal dinner, speeches were limited to encourage mingling instead of tears. The ceremony was light and uplifting. The reception venue is a place that holds great memories for many of the guests. The band played music that appealed to both the young and old. We also knew that as long as we had fun, our guests would also.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: The bride’s cake was almond liqueur-soaked with buttercream frosting and gold fondant lace trim. Mary’s Cakes and Pastries ordered special materials and put lots of time and patience into the cake. The final product was gorgeous, and sat under its own canopy draped tent and golden chandelier. The groom’s cake was a chocolate ganache reproduction of the Coaches Trophy (the National Championship football trophy) with a white chocolate football sitting atop. Mary’s reproduction was spot-on. We had fun cutting the cake, and guests had fun posing with it. Plus, it was delicious. It was devoured in an hour!

The theme for food was “fancy Southern food.” Many of our friends and family are not from the South and we wanted them to experience a great-tasting (and filling) Southern meal. Dinner was served all night using stations. The menu included fried green tomato BLT’s, crab cakes, boiled gulf shrimp, marinated crab salad, pimiento cheese tarts, a full grits bar, smoked chicken with white BBQ sauce, and a beef tenderloin station. After guests enjoyed the full bar for a few hours, mini grilled cheeses were passed around.

I can’t think of a better way to end the night then with some Alabama shakers! Congratulations L + M, and a big ol’ Roll Tide Roll!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in 2005 during our freshman year of college at Alabama at a fraternity party. Our sense of humor completely clicked. We went on a dinner date the next night and have been together ever since. There never really was a point where we decided “this is it.” We have known from the start.
Describe the proposal. Michael took me down to the beach on May 13 of 2011 for what I thought was a Mother’s Day weekend trip. On the way to dinner one night, he pulled into a parking spot and pulled out a ring. Our friends and family were waiting on a catamaran in the bay to celebrate with us. We spent the afternoon cruising and then celebrated all weekend at the beach with our friends.
In what month did you get married? June
How many guests attended your wedding? 400
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I went to about 10 different stores in Atlanta and across Alabama but did not find anything that I wanted to buy. I am petite, very hard to fit, and extremely picky I finally took a trip to Bridals by Lori in Atlanta because I knew they had a large selection.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We didn’t do a first look. Neither of us are sentimental! We had already seen each other in our attire before the wedding day. When I did my bridal shoot, Michael put on his tuxedo and we took pictures at our house, with our dogs, and around the UA campus. This was one of the best decisions we made. Those have been some of our favorite pictures so far and we would never have been able to get them on the actual wedding day.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ephesians 4:1-16. “Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” It was fitting because it is uplifting and inspirational.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The Lamb Family Violin Ensemble played the ceremony with piano accompaniment. Az Izz danced and sang a fun mix of Motown and R&B at the reception. They also played our first dance song, “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was turning the Zone into a ballroom, for which our vendors deserve all of the credit. Specialty lighting played a large role, as it allowed us to transform of the venue’s fluorescents, which don’t allow for good pictures or ambiance, and give the room a warm, candlelit look.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? A great florist and decorator. The best will create the best for you!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Also, the little moments with our family and close friends were the best part of the weekend. Most of them are spread across the country and we don’t get to see them often. Having our friends by our side made what could be a nerve-wracking experience a lot of fun. We were sad to leave them at the end of the night! The biggest surprise was seeing the finished product after a year of planning. We weren’t overly specific with our vendors. I had no idea how the church or the Zone would look until that day. Needless to say, our vendors came together and created something that exceeded every expectation.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Everyone has a different idea as to what makes the perfect wedding weekend, and that’s OK. The bride and groom set the tone for the weekend. If you both feel good about what you have put together and enjoy yourselves, your guests will too.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? The greatest time of the year in Tuscaloosa is right around the corner! Roll Tide!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Deb Pare reply

    The Bari Jay #126 dress looks like it has straps…did you just order it strapless or is is a different style?

  2. avatar Lindsey + Michael Wright :: Tuscaloosa AL Wedding » Spindle Photography Blog :: Birmingham AL Wedding and Portrait Photographer Kelly Cummings reply

    […] also elated to tell you that Lindsey and Michael’s wedding was featured on Southern Weddings Magazine’s blog! They did such an amazing job with the post and I’m thrilled to see all of the hard work of […]

  3. avatar Midnight noms. reply

    […] Southern Weddings by Kelly Cummings of Spindle […]

  4. avatar Starry Night – Something Pretty reply

    […] McQueen| Cake: Taylor Lord Photography via Style Me Pretty| Rings: Spindle Photography via Southern Weddings| Save the Date: More Design Please| Gold tablescape: Justin Lee Photography via Style Me […]

  5. avatar Spindle Photography’s Weddings of 2012 » Spindle Photography Blog :: Birmingham AL Wedding Photographer Kelly Cummings reply

    […] Me Pretty and A Crimson Kiss // Lindsey and Michael’s Tuscaloosa, AL Roll Tide wedding on Southern Weddings Magazine’s blog  // Image and story from Stephanie and Jonathan’s wedding on Southern Weddings first Sweet Tea […]

  6. avatar Throw Back Fashion's Night Out | Molly Green reply

    […] You can find her photography on her lovely blog-plus in other fancy blogs and publications like Southern Weddings and Style Me Pretty.  Hope you […]

  7. avatar Sapphire Events Blog » Wedding Inspiration Board: Starry Night | Sapphire Events New Orleans Wedding Planner reply

    […] by Rebecca Hansen Weddings via Style Me Pretty, rings by Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography via Southern Weddings, stars garland by Meg Ruth Photo via Inspired by This, wall of lights by Cory Ryan via It’s A […]

  8. avatar kathy reply

    Could someone tell me who designed or made the gorgeous engagement ring?? I love it!!!

    • avatar Mary reply

      I would love to know the designer of the engagement ring. It’s amazing!

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