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I have one word for Elizabeth + Michael’s wedding: darling. The newlyweds first met in the fifth grade when they went to the movies with friends to see Godzilla. Though M + E didn’t hit it off right away (he spilled his popcorn on her and she left the movie early!), they started dating seven years later and became high school sweethearts!

Their Alabama wedding looked cool and breezy despite the sweltering Southern heat. (It was in the 90’s that day!) According the Elizabeth, it was the Southern hospitality that really made their wedding come together. Friends and family chipped in to make their casual outdoor wedding perfect — we couldn’t love it more! Big thanks to White Rabbit Studios for sharing this with us.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had been to a few dress shops with my mom, Michael’s mom, and friends and I had a few favorites picked out, but I wasn’t ready to commit just yet. My mom came to visit me in Huntsville to go shopping for her dresses for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding and at the last minute, we decided to go wedding dress shopping for me. When I put the dress on, my mom kept saying “This is your dress! This is it!” The day we found my wedding dress was the last day I saw my mom outside of the hospital before she passed away suddenly from cancer, so my wedding dress will always be very special to me.

Michael’s mom did all the flowers and they were so pretty! I just gave her a list of my favorite flowers and told her to have fun with it! The arrangements included peonies, ranunculus, snap dragons, Queen Anne’s lace, bells of Ireland, anemones, billy balls, chrysanthemums, and many others! I wanted them to be bright, casual, and fun! A friend of hers, Beth Jordan, did the bouquets and boutonnieres, and they all coordinated quite nicely!

I love the bright, baubly necklaces that Elizabeth’s bridesmaids donned! What a fun way to mix up wedding colors.

Get out your tissues, ladies. Remember our post on first looks with Dad? Elizabeth’s was especially sweet.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Although I loved the idea of seeing each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle, we decided to do a first look and take all of our pictures before the wedding. It gave us a special moment together before all of the guests arrived and it allowed us to really enjoy ourselves at the reception. It also settled our nerves a little to see each other! Looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any other way!
Did you write your own vows? Sort of. I researched ceremony wording and vows online and took bits and pieces of various ceremonies to really make it our own. I knew I would be way too emotional to write my own vows or to hear Michael read his!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:13 and Matthew 19:6

All of our ceremony music was played on ukuleles by two friends and they were amazing! I walked down the aisle with my dad to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. Michael and I walked back up the aisle to a Beirut song, “Postcards from Italy,” one of our favorite songs to dance to in the car together. Our first dance was “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding. We have always loved Otis!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: My cake was a pound cake with peach filling and cream cheese icing. It was made by my uncle’s friend who is also a chef. My best friend Kari, who is a cake decorator, iced it the day of the wedding. It looked perfect and it tasted great too! Michael’s mom made his cake. It was chocolate with chocolate chips and Kari iced it to look like a sandwich! It looked and tasted amazing!

Describe the proposal. It was my birthday and Michael took me to one of our favorite restaurants. Afterward, we went to where we usually open gifts for holidays and birthdays…the headless dinosaur. It is all that was left of a natural history museum near downtown Birmingham. There was a girl sitting on the dinosaur having a photo shoot when we pulled up and Michael had to ask her to leave so he could propose. Michael had some of our friends decorate the dinosaur earlier that day, they put yellow roses where the head should have been and wrapped the body in Christmas lights. Michael handed me some fake presents to open and then when I looked up, he was on one knee asking me to marry him! I started calling friends and family one by one to tell them the news, and when we got back to my house, they were all there for our surprise engagement party! It was such a memorable birthday!
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Probably the wedding balls! We hung them in the tree where our ceremony took place. They were Styrofoam balls with muffin liners hot glued to them! Several of my friends pitched in to help make them and I just love that! My dad came up with a system to hang them in the tree that involved a fishing pole and a golf ball with a hole drilled in it. They were a really fun project!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Not having my mom around was definitely the toughest part. She was a huge help with the early stages of planning, and I know she enjoyed it so much. It was really hard not having her there, but I know she was looking down at us on our special day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Two things: the catering and the photography. Everyone said the food was SO yummy and the caterers really helped the reception flow smoothly. I didn’t have to worry about a thing! Photos are all we have now that the day is over and White Rabbit did such an amazing job capturing all the emotions and special details of our day!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My friends and family keep asking me what my favorite part was and I just can’t help but say the whole day! It was perfect and relaxing (compared to all the days of planning!). Our wedding was very special and a work of love and it was such a joy to share it with everyone we love!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Let your friends and family help you out! Use their special talents and gifts to your advantage! Don’t worry if something doesn’t go according to your plan because something will go wrong! But at the end of the day, you will be married to the person you love and that is all that matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We just moved to New York for Michael’s veterinarian internship and we look forward to our next big adventure, whatever it may be!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
17 Comments
  1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    What a gorgeous and sweet wedding – I love Sonnet House – it is right down the street from me! I esp. love the bride’s bouquet and the bridesmaid’s dresses. Just all around beautiful!

  2. avatar Heather reply

    I think this is one of the sweetest weddings I’ve ever seen on SW – I love how much their families contributed to the wedding and the story about Elizabeth’s dress touched my heart. It’s also the best execution I’ve seen of the mismatched-bridesmaids trend. Thanks so much for featuring these amazing photos!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Heather! I have to say, I agree with you about the execution of the mismatched bridesmaids! They did such a lovely job :)

  3. avatar Millie reply

    Oh man what a cute wedding! Loved this. By the way who made those adorable cake toppers?

    • avatar Elizabeth West reply

      Hey! This is Elizabeth (the bride). My maid of honor and I made the cake topper. We saw one online that was a bit out of my price range so we made our own with things from a craft store. I think we ended up spending about $30 and it just took a couple of hours. It was so fun!

  4. avatar Megan reply

    This wedding is so beautiful! Especially loving the bride’s bouquet. I’d love to see a picture of the “wedding balls” she had hanging from the tree!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Megan! Check back tomorrow, and we should have the RW gallery up for this wedding – we often put extra images in them, and I know there’s one of the ceremony balls in there!

  5. avatar Jess reply

    Love love this wedding, how wonderful that both families came together to make it a special day for the couple! Elizabeth, I would be interested to hear how the bridesmaids dresses came about. I love the idea but have some questions.. did you pick out the dresses or did you let the bridesmaids? Did you give them a specific dress or color? How did you decide on who wore what color? I would love to know the details as I am considering a similar look for my wedding! Congrats! Hope you are enjoying New York!

  6. avatar CJ Hughes reply

    Great wedding, I created the chalkboard with their names on it. It’s available from my website. CJ

  7. avatar Personalized wedding ribbon reply

    A very lovely wedding! I love the colorful dresses of the bridesmaids! I never seen such idea for a wedding. I thought that a wedding will just look good with one or two color dominating the day, but this wedding proved me wrong! It is also nice and fabulous to mix more than two colors. It made the wedding more lively and beautiful. A successful and wonderful wedding!

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  11. avatar Cindy Clark reply

    I was noticing your chalkboard signage and was wondering if you had someone do tht for you… and if so who did it. I am also in Birmingham.

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