Ali + Robert are about as cute as a pup in a little red wagon. Their September “I do’s” were full of details that sound beautiful, but came easily to the couple who just wanted to be themselves on their wedding day. Cowboy boots? You bet Ali and her dad wore them down the aisle, just because they wanted to be comfortable. Of course, it ain’t a proper celebration without good eats! Ali + Robert served delicious Southern fare and treated their guests to a bourbon tasting bar complete with personalized old fashioned glasses. We love seeing bourbon bars pop up at weddings, but we love that it’s extra special to the newlyweds since they bonded over bourbon when they first met!
Big hugs to Courtney Dox for sharing this lovely day with us!
My bouquet was a French mound style bouquet in varying shades of pinks using flowers such as watermelon ranunculus, garden roses, and dahlias. Lissa used geranium leaves as greenery in between the garden roses and geraniums — it smelled divine wrapped! The bouquet was wrapped in charcoal gray velvet to coordinate with the groom and then was embellished with a broach.
Reading about one of Ali’s most memorable moments (aside from her brother dancing with all of the bridesmaids at the reception) definitely adds another element to the next few photos!
We all still get a laugh out of the momentwhen my bridesmaid, Katie got attacked by one of the horses during pictures. We were all lined up against the fence, when one of the horses came up from behind and gave her a huge lick up the middle of her back. It scared her to death! The horse then began to start munching on her hair! The candid photos of this are priceless!
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) I was on a work trip to Detroit, and I had planned to propose to Ali as soon as I came home and walked in the door. On the way home, I bought two bouquets of flowers and I attached the ring to one bouquet. I brought the flowers in and presented them to her with a big smile on my face (happy to see her and hoping she would see the ring), however Ali just put them down on the counter and started asking me about my trip and saying I needed to play with Boog (her Pekingese). For about 15 minutes we talked about my trip while the flowers (and the ring!) sat on the counter. It was excruciating trying to hold back my excitement. Finally, I got her to start arranging the flowers in the vase and, of course, she starts with the bouquet that doesn’t have the ring on it. During this time I am standing behind her waiting for her to see the ring so I can kneel down and I ask her to marry me. I see the ring dangling there and I am sure she has seen it, so I kneel down waiting for her to turn around. She then asks me a question and I answer her from below, at which point she turns around to see me kneeling. Not understanding what is going on, I point to the ring dangling there and asked her to marry me. Of course, she said YES!!!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Robert and I had saved cards that we had given each other over the years for holidays and “just because” occasions. We decided to have my cousin, Katie, do a reading from one of our favorite cards, which was a promise to be each other’s best friend and to love each other unconditionally. We thought it would add a little bit of “us” by doing so.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: As part of our ceremony, we chose to include a “Love Letter and Wine Box” ceremony. Robert and I included a bottle of our favorite wine (that will age well) and of course, two cards in place of the love letters. We love the idea of adding a new card to the box every year on our anniversary, then having these cards to look back on and to commemorate our love for one another.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. For our processional, we played Darius Rucker’s “History In The Making.” For the recessional, we played The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.” Our first dance was to Railroad Earth’s “Right In Tune.”
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My father and I decided to wear cowboy boots for the big day! We wanted to be comfortable, and it seemed fitting. As part of their gift, I gave each bridesmaid a natural linen clutch with a lace flower that was each lined with different color seersucker and was personalized with their name. We wanted cocktail hour to be fun and a good way for people to meet and mingle. We decided to make it interactive, so we had a bourbon tasting bar as well as two signature cocktails using Firefly Sweet Tea and Firefly lemonade vodka from the distillery outside of Charleston, SC. For wedding favors, we etched double old fashioned glasses with the initial of each guest’s first name to use with the bourbon bar. We thought it would be a nice token for each person to take home with them. We had a biscuit bar, complete with local butters, jams, and pimento cheese. We also decided to have games such as corn hole and horseshoes — two great Southern traditions! As far as décor for the reception goes, we included black-eyed peas in the base of the centerpieces and used burlap overlays for an added “Southern” touch. Also, each table was named after a different Southern city, which was displayed by using vintage postcards. This was actually Robert’s great idea! Our food was mainly comfort food such as mini meatloaves in mason jars, pecan-crusted chicken fingers, collards, BBQ, fried green tomatoes, grits, and mini tomato pies. We also had a plated heirloom tomato stack salad with buttermilk and bacon dressing. For our exit, we repurposed cotton bolls from the ceremony décor for guests to toss.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? It’s definitely a tie between our food and having a live band. Food and music are two things that can make or break the feel of a wedding! We wanted to make sure that none of our guests went home hungry and that everyone got out on the dance floor!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We decided to have a pie bar instead of a traditional wedding cake. We both LOVE pies, so we thought it would be a nice touch that would fit with the theme of our wedding! We did however, have a NC State groom’s cake, which was red velvet with cream cheese frosting (Robert’s favorite!).
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Robert and I met through my best friend, Rhi and her now husband, Dave. Robert and Dave were good friends from Graduate School at Clemson. I had tagged along with Rhi on a weekend trip to Greenville to visit Dave. The first night in town, Dave had a group of people over to his house. I kept noticing the quiet guy with the kind eyes. Robert and I bonded over beer pong and bourbon (classy, I know!) and have been together ever since! Now, three years later, what’s better than two best friends marrying best friends?!
In what month did you get married? September
How many guests attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I had actually been “eyeing” my dress for over a year, after seeing it online. We made the special trip to J. Major’s since they were the closest boutique that carried it. I was so nervous about trying it on since I had been in love with it for so long, but wasn’t sure how it would actually look on me! It was the first dress I tried on, and knew it was “the one.” I tried on several other styles, but nothing compared!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We decided to not do a first look! Robert was actually more adamant about this than I was and wanted to stick to “tradition.” He didn’t ask for much during the wedding planning process, so I definitely wanted to honor this request since he didn’t have many!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Since we were doing personalized double old fashioned glasses for our guests as well as table assignments, we needed an exact head count and names of the people attending the wedding. Trying to organize those two details was hectic, to say the least!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make sure to focus on the details that are most important to you and your fiancé. It’s your wedding, so you need to do what makes you both happy! Also, just take a minute to step back and breathe when it all seems to get a little stressful!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Robert and I are taking our honeymoon to Italy in March, which we’re really looking forward to! We’re also now proud parents of a petite goldendoodle, Pearl, who is such a joy. Though Boog is still trying to adjust to being a big brother!