Even before I read Brittany’s words, I just knew she had been inspired by everyone’s favorite Southern classic, Steel Magnolias, while planning her wedding to Ryan. Perfectly pink flowers? Check. Cutest armadillo cake I ever did see? Major check. And sure enough, her interview confirmed my suspicions! Brittany grew up watching M’Lynn, Truvy, and Shelby with her mother and grandmother, and always dreamed of a blush and bashful big day of her own. Thankfully, Brooke Images was on hand to capture it come to life!
Love the monogrammed handkerchiefs for each bridesmaid!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! Something borrowed, blue, and old: I borrowed Ryan’s grandmother’s blue garter. Her mother made it for her wedding day and it’s been worn by all the women in his family since, including his mother and sister. Something blue and new: for my bridal shower, my mom bought me an opal bracelet to wear on my wedding day. I also made a blue monogrammed wedding dress tag for my dress. Something new: my brother’s wife, Melissa, gave me a bouquet charm with a picture of my dad, who passed away, in it. Something old: I tied my Grandma Dorothy’s and my Great Aunt Lee Lee’s rings around my bouquet. I also wore a sixpence in my shoe!
When my mom and I walked into the dress shop, from the corner of my eye, I saw a dress that stood out. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was until I got closer and saw that the dress was blush in color. Knowing my mother was going to love this one, I wanted to surprise her. After trying on a ton of gorgeous dresses, I put on the blush ball gown. I could tell by the way my mom wouldn’t say a word that it was her favorite. It was the perfect choice. I felt like a princess all day and I’d wear it everyday if I could!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? At the beginning, I was pretty adamant that we’d honor the old tradition and wait until I walked down the aisle to see each other. However, the more we thought about it, we didn’t want to miss out on valuable time with our guests at the reception while taking family pictures after the ceremony. On top of that, I have a tendency to be impatient and restless. I knew that the pictures wouldn’t turn out the same if I was in hurry to get to the reception. My big brother and lifelong best friend, Kevin, took me to the first look and I will never forget the moments he and I shared just before I saw Ryan. Despite the torrential downpour that began just as I walked outside to meet Ryan, the first look was one of my favorite moments of the day. Ryan and I got to cry, laugh, and have that “Oh my gosh…we are getting married!” moment alone together.
What an amazing look of joy on Brittany’s face as she’s coming down the aisle!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows. Instead we chose a traditional Methodist ceremony. We both grew up Methodist and loved how the Methodist wedding ceremony represented our pasts as individuals and our future as one. One thing we really loved about the ceremony is that it included a part where the congregation was asked if they’d do everything in their power to uphold and care for us in our marriage. We loved how our friends and family had the opportunity to really take part in our covenant of marriage.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The preacher’s wife read Romans 12:9-21. Ryan and I picked it out together because we felt really described our relationship with each other, our relationship with God and our relationship with others. The passage encourages us to live out some good Southern principles–to love everybody, serve folks in need, live in peace, and be hospitable.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. As two music lovers, we put a lot of thought into the music we used throughout the day. For the prelude music, Ryan and I asked our family to recall their favorite hymns. It was really fun learning about the music that spoke to our parents and grandparents in their lives. Our mothers walked down the aisle to the hymn that will always remind me of my late Grandma Dorothy, “In the Garden.” During the ceremony, I used the traditional wedding songs: Canon in D for the bridesmaids, The Bridal Chorus walking down the aisle, and The Wedding March for our walk out.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was that our ceremony was officiated by my childhood preacher in my home church. I also loved how the very first thing we did as husband and wife was recite the Lord’s Prayer with all of our guests.
I’ve been dreaming about my wedding day my whole life and each time I dreamed up the fabulous event from toddler to teenager, one thing was constant: pink flowers were everywhere. I’m telling you, if it comes in pink, I want it, and my wedding was no exception. When I first met with the florist, I explained that I wanted “a Steel Magnolias-inspired blush and bashful garden party.” Even though I was unable to describe exactly which flowers that meant to use, my mom and the florist were able to bring my vision to life and it was stunning. I carried a bouquet of all-white peonies and roses, my maids carried soft pink roses and white hydrangeas, and the men’s boutonnieres were blush roses. Our mothers carried a miniature version of the bouquets they carried in their weddings. The reception exterior had arrangements of white hydrangea, soft pink roses, baby’s breath, and ribbon-hung, moss-covered containers with soft pink roses mixed with white hydrangeas. During my engagement, my momma collected white milk glass to use on the reception tables. Those vases and the large centerpieces were arranged with white and pink larkspur, soft pink Gerbera daisies, white hydrangeas, blush and soft pink roses, spray garden roses, white and pink alstroemeria, wax flowers, stargazer lilies and cream roses.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? When I asked Ryan to help me answer this question, he said, “What wasn’t Southern about our wedding?” and that pretty much sums it up! Let’s just say that Ryan bought me an embroidery machine for the Valentine’s Day prior to our wedding, and it was running from February to June monogramming anything that I could put a monogram on. Also, it stormed all day and cleared up for the most beautiful sunset on the water — if that’s not Southern, I don’t know what is! Our guests tossed birdseed at us as we exited down the church’s front steps after the ceremony. Our signature drink was the “Yellow Hammer” — this concoction of pineapple juice, rum, and vodka is a game day toddy created at my favorite college bar, Galletes, at the University of Alabama. We even served it in a personalized version of the iconic tumbler the drink is served in at the bar in Tuscaloosa. The groomsmen wore seersucker. Red velvet armadillo cake — enough said.
There were desserts galore at our wedding reception. Our wedding cake was five tiers of vanilla sponge cake with strawberry filling and Swiss buttercream icing with fondant that was adorned with a lace pattern. The top tier featured, of course, was our new monogram, and the whole thing was “tied up” by a pink satin bow accented with my Grandmother Thelma’s broach. Ryan is a real Texas boy and insisted that he didn’t need a groom’s cake, just blackberry cobbler, so our caterer created mini blackberry and peach cobbler bites that were oh so yummy! We all decided that you could never have too much cake at a wedding reception, so Ryan’s groom’s cake was a chocolate with chocolate buttercream state of Texas with a Texas Tech “double T” in the middle. As a surprise, my mother had one more cake made for the reception–a red velvet armadillo, just like the one in Steel Magnolias! Throughout the planning, my whole vision for the day was to recreate a 21st century version of Shelby’s to-die-for “blush and bashful” wedding from Steel Magnolias. I can’t tell you how many times my mother, Grandma Dorothy, and I watched Steel Magnolias when I was a little girl. Each time, I dreamt of my own wedding and how it would be as Southern as sweet tea and how the colors would, of course, be blush and bashful. The armadillo cake paid a special homage to those dreams I had as a little girl and how my parents and my groom made those dreams a reality!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The stars really aligned perfectly for Ryan and I to meet and fall in love! I graduated from The University of Alabama and am one of the most passionate lifelong ‘Bama fans out there. After working for 18 months as a financial analyst after graduation, I decided that I needed a career change. Ryan graduated from Texas Tech University and worked for his dad’s construction company after graduation. When the economy turned sour, Ryan also decided to change his course. Despite my lifelong allegiance to The University of Alabama, Auburn University made me an offer I couldn’t turn down. Ryan, a lifelong Texan, also found himself accepting an offer from Auburn he couldn’t refuse. Both offers placed Ryan and me in Auburn, Alabama, pursing graduate degrees in Higher Education Administration. Ryan and I first crossed paths while volunteering at a weekend leadership conference for college students at Auburn. Ryan sneakily obtained my phone number that weekend and asked me out to dinner the following Monday. I was “flattered,” but declined the invitation. Despite the rejection, Ryan and I developed an immediate friendship and bonded over a love of Pat Green, college football, and the occasional bourbon and Coke. On a spontaneous trip to Santa Rosa Beach, Florida with friends to celebrate the end of the school year and our friends’ graduation, we first thought that we might become more than friends. The next weekend, Ryan and I both had plans to attend The Hangout Music Festival in Gulf Shores, Alabama. While I had plans to go to the festival with two of my best friends, Heather and Julia, and Ryan had plans to go with his buddies, Will and Mike, we decided to carpool together down to the beach from Auburn. When we arrived, we found out that our condos for the weekend were right next door to each other! Ryan and I were inseparable that weekend and have been ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ryan proposed on Thanksgiving morning at his parents’ home in Georgetown, Texas. Ryan had brought the ring home to show his mother and sister over the Thanksgiving holiday, but wasn’t planning on proposing until over the Christmas holidays. However, I guess that ring was burning a hole in his pocket and on Thanksgiving morning, Ryan woke up and decided that he couldn’t wait any longer. For me, the proposal was perfect! We spent all day celebrating with Ryan’s family and flew to Alabama the next day and celebrated with mine.
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I moved from Alabama to Texas shortly after my engagement to start a new job, so my mom and I planned the whole wedding separated by almost 1,400 miles in less than seven months!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our caterer was amazing! She handled everything and was so helpful in planning the menu, arranging the room, thinking about the day-of timeline, everything! She coordinated all of our vendors, made sure we stuck to the plan the day of, and helped with last minute decorations. Most importantly, she successfully re-created our signature drink, the “Yellow Hammer,” a feat I have never been able to accomplish.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Ryan and I both loved our first dance at the reception. It was a really special moment and was so surreal. We walked into a room that we had only seen empty before and it was filled with all of the things we had spent months planning for–food, flowers, photos, decorations, and favors. We were surrounded by those we loved most and were dancing to a song we chose being played by someone we care so much about. On top of that, we were married! In that moment, I remember the two of us talking about how we had never been so happy as we were in that moment and reminding each other to soak it in, that we would remember this moment for the rest of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Think about your guests. You and your families are hosting an event. While this particular event is celebrating your marriage, hosting any event is about making your guests feel welcomed and comfortable. Just because it’s “your day,” that’s no excuse for ignoring the rules of good ole’ Southern hospitality! Make sure your guests have somewhere comfortable to sit, something cold to drink if it’s hot and something hot to drink if it’s cold, a roof over their head if it’s raining, and a darn good meal that has enough variety so everyone can find something they like.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Football season! We have been so busy since getting married in June. In July, we got a Labradoodle puppy and named him Gunnar and in August, we bought a house. Ryan and I are very excited about hosting family and friends for football game weekends in our new home. To be honest, though, we are most looking forward to football season in general.
Photographer: Brooke Images | Videographer: Jax Video | Planner: Mother of the Bride | Ceremony Venue: Memorial United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Walker’s Landing Omni Amelia Island Plantation | Florist: Dottie ‘B’ Florist | Wedding Cake: Nana Teresa’s Bake Shop | Caterer: Courtney Thompson of Horizon’s | Band: The Flip Flop Boys | Special Details: Lesley Bolden | Bride’s Gown: “D1368” Essence of Australia at LOVE Bridal Boutique | Paper Products: Calligraphy, etc. | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Erica Koesler at Love Bridal Boutique | Hair Stylist: Mandi Hadsock and Miranda Oglesby | Makeup Artist: Shae Gildberg | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff at Bella Bridesmaid Jacksonville | Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Men’s Ties: Bows and Ties | Wedding Monogram: Jen Andrew Design | Transportation: Amelia Island Trolleys
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