The team at Mariée Ami is amazing at crafting timeless Southern weddings, so it’s no surprise that when one of their own talented planners said “I do,” the celebration was one to be remembered! At their summer Alabama wedding, Louise and Billy combined their classic style with details that reflected their personalities, like Louise’s lace gown with a fabulous orchid hairpiece, a welcome bag featuring a special gift for guests’ dogs, and even their intricate monogram with bright stadium cups. The end result was an undeniably elegant wedding that was still full of personality!
We’re so grateful to A Bryan Photo for capturing Louise and Billy’s wedding day and sharing it with us in V6!
I love wedding dresses and think you can really tell a lot about a girl and the wedding she wants by the dress she picks out. I see girls every weekend in dresses that I think are beautiful, but it was hard for me to imagine myself in any of my brides’ dresses. I have worn several wedding dresses in the past during debutante balls, so I wanted something more bridal: lace and straight lined. The Lela Rose “Spring” dress was exactly what I wanted. It was the first dress I tried on during my trip to Ivory and White and nothing after that measured up! It was the hardest thing to keep from my nosey groom.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I wanted something a little different. It was going to be a black-tie wedding, so they needed to be long. I played with the idea of doing a pattern, but never really found anything I liked enough. Amsale has beautiful long dresses, so I decided to go with their line. To make it different, I decided to split up the bridesmaids into to three different colors (five in dove, five in graphite, five in French blue).
What did the groomsmen wear? Tuxes with white dinner jackets–white dinner jackets are a Southern thing!
Who participated in your ceremony? I had a huge wedding party, so all of our closest friends were a part of the ceremony. My two cousins, who have always been like sisters to me, read scripture. Since my boss/wedding planner is one of my dearest friends, she carried my dress until I walked down the aisle.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Seeing Billy’s smile at the end of the aisle when he saw me for the first time!
There was no question as to where we were getting married. I love my hometown, Mobile, Alabama, and my parents would not have had it any other way. We chose to get married in August for a few reasons: we did not want a long engagement, a wedding during football season was out of the question, and it was the only open weekend I had as a wedding planner. I was worried about the heat in Mobile in August, so we chose an indoor venue, rather than the outdoor bay wedding I had always dreamed of. Ft. Whiting was the largest indoor venue we could find, and I knew we could accomplish exactly what we wanted in the big, open space.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We love the water and always dreamed of being married in a large tent overlooking the water. While the outdoors was out of the question, a tent was still something I wanted. I knew I wanted navy as the basis of the wedding. I love a mix of garden-inspired design and modern pieces, the crispness of true white, and the preppy touches of boxwoods and ribbon.
When it came to the details, my mind was going 100 miles a minute. My favorites were all the little gifts and favors we had. The hypercolor cups for cocktails once the party got started and the linen cocktail napkins used at the bars were two of my favorite reception details. The hotel gifts also really came together well– we wanted to incorporate my dog into the details, so we had a local artist do a sketch. We used this sketch on canvas bags for the hotel guests, and included frisbees that could be taken home by fellow dog lovers, koozies, and a guest favorite, monogrammed playing cards.
My wedding cake design inspiration actually came very early on in the planning. I wanted a more modern design that still had a classic look. We opted for the design to be in sage green with calla lilies used sparingly on each layer. The groom’s cake was a chocolate fly fishing basket that celebrated Billy’s love for fishing. My favorite part about the cakes was the area in which they were displayed. We had a beautiful lattice designed covered in greenery as a backdrop. Green boxwood walls enclosing the cake area made it feel like an English garden.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. Billy has always been a great dancer, so our first dance was fun! We chose “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green and loved seeing the guests smile and clap as we spun around the dance floor.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? Both of our cakes were served on large silver trays that have been in my family for years. The tablecloths for the cake table were also family heirlooms that mean a lot to my family. I was given a toasting cup from my grandmother that both she and my mother used at their wedding receptions.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Our best friends, who are now married as well, set us up. They love reminding us how much we should thank them!
Describe the proposal: I have always loved the water and Mobile Bay. Billy proposed on Mobile Bay on a rainy day in March with our dog, Mae.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Well-planned, gorgeous, and perfect!!!
How many guests attended your wedding? 500
Briefly describe your wedding flowers: The flowers were green and white with a dusty gray. Very free-flowing, like a French garden. I love that flowers today have taken a more natural and unique look. White peonies and garden roses made up most of my bouquet. Since I was going for a touch of whimsy, beautiful ivory, taupe and white satin ribbons hung from my bouquet. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias. For boutonnieres, something simple and small was my only wish. Anything too large seems to stick out on a white dinner jacket.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? The entire party was like a huge cocktail party. Two signature drinks were served: sweet tea and vodka slushies as guests walked in and the famous Mobile Crisy vodka milkshake at the end.
What kind of food did you serve? My guests love good food, but they also love to talk and drink. We had three huge square tables in the middle of the reception that allowed for guests to pick and eat directly from the tables. There were oyster, shrimp, tuna, hot sausage with melted cheese, a variety of salads, and antipasti presentations. We couldn’t end the night without the groom’s favorite thing: mini fried chicken pieces on Sister Schubert rolls and beignets covered in powdered sugar!
What were some of the highlights of the reception? The band was incredible. We love hiring the Atlanta Showstopper for other brides and think they are truly the best. Every guest was on dance floor, having the times of their life. Even our three-year-old, music-loving nephew had to be dragged off the dance floor.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? I did toss the bouquet. I had the florist make six small bouquets that I could hold as one. When I went to throw the bouquet, it split into six so that more than one girl could soon have their dream wedding.
Tell us about your grand exit. Billy and I decided to change out of our wedding attire. We went with a classic look. I wore a fitted, short white dress with just enough flare. Billy wore a blue tweed blazer and slacks. We ran past our guests, who were holding sparkers, and jumped into a black town car that whisked us away. Firework rockets shot off every couple of feet as the car drove away. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We took a week-long vacation to Jade Mountain in St. Lucia! It was amazing and the perfect time to relax and talk about everything that had transpired in the previous two weeks: I got my cast off, Billy took the bar, and we had the most incredible weekend with family and friends that we could have asked for.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are excited about getting settled into our home together with our dog, Mae, and getting into a routine of a working couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Hire a wedding planner and do things differently than you see all the time. Even though I’m a wedding planner by day, I did not do one thing from Wednesday on. While I had my team doing what they do every weekend, it was so nice to be the bride and let someone else handle the details!
Photographer: Bryan Johnson of A Bryan Photo / Videographer: A Bryan Photo / Planning, design, linens and paper goods: Mariée Ami / Ceremony venue: Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral / Reception venue: Fort Whiting / Ceremony florist: Zimlich Bros / Reception and personal florist: Buffy Hargett / Catering: Clifton Morrissette / Cake: Barb’s Cakes / Bride’s gown: “Spring” by Lela Rose / Bridal salon and veil: Ivory and White / Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid dresses: Amsale in French Blue, Graphite, and Dove / Hair stylist: Greg Andrews / Makeup: Ashley Mitchell / Calligraphy: Jan Pruitt / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Bar paintings: Liz Legg Designs / Lighting: AG Lighting / Band: Atlanta Showstoppers / Monogram: Allison R. Banks Designs / Dog Illustration: Kara Henley