Now that y’all have seen Emily and Cole’s lovely rehearsal dinner, it is probably no surprise that their wedding was the picture of Southern elegance. These two have style for days! They filled their wedding with classic flowers, monograms, and, according to the bride, as many Southern traditions as they knew. I couldn’t help but smile reading about their most memorable moments of the day–they capture Emily and Cole’s sweet relationship perfectly. Their love is so evident, and their fairy tale of a wedding was a beautiful beginning to their married life!
Thank you to Sposa Bella for sharing Emily and Cole’s special day with us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was a process. My mother-in-law and I looked in several cities, including Birmingham, Atlanta, and Charleston, until we finally ended up in New York. I just couldn’t find exactly what I was wanting. We were at Bergdorf Goodman when I found a dress that I loved the bottom of, but didn’t like the top of, because it was strapless. My sweet wedding consultant, Ellyn, said, “That’s an easy fix.” She picked up the phone and called the designer, Ines DiSanto, who gladly made a few sketches of ideas for how we could change the top. I picked one I loved and we went with it. Just like that, I had a one-of-a-kind dress that the designer herself created for me. When I returned for a fitting, I was lucky enough to meet Ines in person! She sat down and sketched me in my dress that she had designed for me and then signed it and gave it to me to keep. It is now framed in my home to remind me of just how special my dress buying experience was. She is such a sweet lady! I am so glad I wore a dress designed by her.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We went back and forth on this one, but we ultimately decided to do a first look. I am a very emotional person and I didn’t want to tone down my reaction because I was in front of 400 people. I also wanted to have an intimate moment where we could just talk to each other as we prepared to make the biggest commitment of our lives. Cole said he wouldn’t cry, but when he saw me, he burst into tears of joy. A few seconds later, we both began laughing because I had made him cry. The pictures from that moment are incredible and I wouldn’t change a thing!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? In the Episcopal service, there are traditionally three bible verses read: one from the Old Testament, one from the New Testament, and one from the Holy Gospels. Our Old Testament reading was Genesis 1:26-28, New Testament was Ephesians 3:14-19, and Holy Gospel reading was John 15:9-12.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “The Prince of Denmark’s March” by Jeremiah Clarke. I chose this because I had a trumpeter and violinist and I wanted to hear the sound of both as I walked down the aisle on such an important day. Cole and I exited to “Trumpet Tune” by Henry Purcell. I chose this because I wanted to hear something upbeat, happy, and again, that trumpet. Our first dance song was “Nothing Fancy” by Dave Barnes. There is a stanza in that song that says “I don’t know the perfect conversation, I don’t know the way to turn a head, I don’t know the perfect way to prove my love, but I know I’ll love you till I’m dead.” This is just so us. We aren’t always going to say the perfect things or do the right things, but we will always love each other as hard as we can.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I think this would be right after the ceremony, when Cole and I got into a Rolls Royce just for us. We looked at each other and said “AHHH, we just got married!” We both looked down at our rings and were like, well yup, it’s real! It was just so us and perfect. That was when I realized, I had really just married my best friend. A close second was our first look. Seeing him look at me for the first time with tears flowing down his face, he just looked and me and said, “You are absolutely beautiful.” I will never forget that!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I would say the monogram was pretty Southern. Also, what is a Southern wedding without a chandelier? We had three hung in our tent. We had a “Southern Spread” table full of Southern foods, including fried green tomatoes. We passed around Conecuh Sausage (from Alabama) with cheddar cheese and whole grain mustard. We also passed around BBQ sliders (because I grew up in Memphis) and sweet potato chips. We used antique furniture for our sitting areas and I loved that! As far as Southern traditions, we used as many as I knew. I wore a sixpence in my shoe, and we buried a full bottle of bourbon, upside down, one month before the wedding to prevent rain. It POURED every day up until the morning of my wedding, just saying. I broke a plate for good luck before I entered the church to get married. One of our take-home gifts was a pre-packaged piece of wedding cake in a box with a note that said “Happy Ever After, Y’all!” and explained that if you sleep with this cake under your pillow, you will dream of the one you will marry or are married too. Love this one! We had one more favor for our guests from our four-legged children. We have a black lab, Pace, and a chocolate lab, Gunner. They were sweet enough to send our guests home with a tennis ball with our wedding date and a graphic of two labs on it. They also got a yummy dog bone. After we got home from our honeymoon, we received so many pictures of our guests’ dogs who were enjoying their special treats. We also had movie posters made with a graphic of a bride and groom dancing, with the name of our venue and our wedding date. We hung these in our elevators at our venue. We loved them and still have them!
Describe your wedding flowers. I really wanted all-white, neutrals, and a hint of light blue. All I told my fabulous florist was that I wanted peonies and hydrangeas, and other than that, I trusted him. He took that and ran with it. I just really wanted LOTS of flowers! Our flowers were everywhere and they were fabulous!! Another thing I really wanted was rosemary. Not only do we both love to cook and it smells wonderful, but it is also the herb of remembrance and love. How could it be more fitting? The groom and groomsmen’s boutonnieres were made of rosemary and flowers.
My favorite detail was ALL of the little details that came together to create my amazing day! One of my favorites would have to be the hand-drawn monograms that Alison Banks created for us. We had her create a two-letter monogram (using both our first initials), which we used on the save the dates and wedding invitations. We also had her take the two-letter monogram and incorporate our last initial so that we could use it for the programs and everything thereafter. We used it EVERYWHERE! It was sewn on the inside of my dress, sewn onto the ribbon streamer of my bouquet, the programs, napkins, coasters that said “Don’t take my drink, I’m dancing,” cups, the chocolates on the groom’s cake table, on cones that we passed some hors d’oeuvres in, pillows that were on the antique furniture around our reception, and even engraved on the antique silver goblets we used at the reception.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while in college at Ole Miss during my senior year, his junior year. A few of his friends were taking girls out on a group dinner date and Cole didn’t have anyone to take. He had seen me in the neighborhood because my best friend lived a few doors down from him. I had never seen him before. He got my number from my best friend, who assured me he was a good guy. He called me up and asked me to dinner. After a little convincing from my best friend (remember, I had never seen him before), I just went with it. I’m glad I listened that day, because a few weeks later, he asked me to be his girlfriend (yes, he is a true Southern gentleman). I, of course, said yes and we have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was prepared for a proposal sometime soon because we had talked about it and knew we were both ready. He had very strict instructions of what not to do! I just wanted us to be alone. Since we had talked about it, he thought there was no way he was going to surprise me, and I honestly thought so too. One night, he took me to my favorite restaurant. I later found out he did this to throw me off and make me think he was going to propose (that didn’t cross my mind because I knew he wouldn’t do it at dinner). Early the next morning (around 6), I was woken up with a homemade breakfast Cole had prepared for me. I was still a little sleepy, so I said thanks and rolled back over for a little more sleep. He said “Well, there is one more thing.” I rolled back over to see him down on one knee holding a silver box monogrammed with my new initials, and he asked me to marry him. Immediately, I began crying and of course, I said yes. He pulled it off and had actually surprised me!
When did y’all get married? April 20, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 400
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. This may be one of my favorite parts of the wedding! It was a seven-layer cake with flowers between each layer. The bottom layer was actually six small rounds, and on top of that were alternating layers of rounds and hexagons. I LOVED it! As if the cake wasn’t enough, it sat atop a glass-top table filled with more flowers! I told you I love flowers! It was a white cake with caramel filling, and it was delicious! For the groom’s cake, we had a chocolate cake surrounded by chocolate bark, sitting on a preserved wooden stand. Cole loves tiramisu and key lime pie, so we had several different cupcakes and desserts surrounding the cake. We even had monogrammed chocolate pieces (we used the three-letter monogram that Alison Banks had designed for us).
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course; I’m a Southern bride! My something old was a pair of antique diamond art deco earrings my husband’s family gave me a few weeks before the wedding. I was so surprised! My something new was both my dress and a gold signet pinky ring with my new initials engraved. My wedding day was the first day I wore it. My something borrowed was a diamond and sapphire bracelet that belongs to my mother-in-law. My something blue was in a few places. The monogram sewn into the underside of my dress was blue, I had sapphires on my bracelet and my earrings, and the date was monogrammed in blue on both of my garters.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I LOVED all of my vendors!! But I may have to go with my monogram by Alison Banks again. It was just so personal and we still use it (we use the pillows on our bed and we use it on our stationery!). Also, my flowers and cake were incredible. There is no way I could pick one vendor! My planner, florist, caterer, lighting guy and venue had all worked together before, so that was awesome. One thing I am so glad I did was have both a photographer and videographer. There were actually the first things I booked!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner and start early! Don’t leave all the details for later. Spread it out so you don’t get overwhelmed with everything. If you want something, go for it. This day is about you and your husband and you want your guests to be able to see that. Everyone said our wedding was so us. That’s all I wanted! Do what you can to have a videographer! There were so many people that I don’t even remember seeing there, but we have video of them enjoying the night! Also, we have our voices. God forbid something ever happen to one of us or someone in our family, we have our voices to hear forever.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Married life is so fun!!! We are settling into our new life in Montgomery. We were lucky enough to get married in the church we joined together and neither had been members to previously. Therefore, we get to walk in every Sunday and remember that that is where everything started. It was so fun starting our life together in our church. We are looking forward to starting a family in the future.
Photographer: Sposa Bella Photography | Videographer: Jeff Bradt Video | Planner: Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events | Ceremony Venue: St. John’s Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Alley Station | Florist: Andy Hopper of Kathy G & Company | Wedding Cake and Dessert Baker: Sweet Spot Confections | Caterer and Rentals: Kathy G & Company | Additional Rentals: Brendle Event Specialists | Lighting: Alex of AG Lighting | Band: Azz Iz | Special Details: Amberly Shelton Paperie | Bride’s Gown: Inses Di Santo from Bergdorf Goodman | Paper Products: Paces Paper and Amberly Shelton Paperie | Bride’s Veil: Ines Di Santo from Bergdorf Goodman | Bride’s Hair Clip: Ivory & White | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Brittany Massey Hair and Makeup by BBM | Bride’s Shoes: “Au Hameau 100” by Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz | Groom’s Custom Tux: Hickey Freeman | Groomsmen Tux: Jim Massey