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Lisa and I email-gush over lots of our beautiful Real Weddings–we can’t help it! But for Courtney and Nick’s wedding? I even Snapchatted Lisa a few elephant emojis, complete with lots of exclamation points! A tried and true Alabama girl myself, I was excited for this wedding as soon as I saw the title! You see, Courtney was a Crimsonette in the Million Dollar Band and Nick was a drum major and member of the Auburn Tiger Band, so they’re a house divided. When it came to celebrating their sweet wedding day though, they didn’t take sides…that is, until Courtney and her fellow Crimsonettes performed the Alabama fight song at the reception. While the girls were twirling, Nick and his groomsmen plotted their rebuttal and snuck to the balcony with their instruments to play the Auburn fight song. I’m sure glad this hilarious event was captured on film–you won’t want to miss it! P.S. Roll Tide Roll!

Thanks so much to Lea Nicole for sharing this fun day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. When Nick graduated from Auburn, he was hired by Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa. One of the first people he met was my mom, who was in charge of the majorettes, dance line, and color guard in the marching band. I had just graduated from Hillcrest and was a new Crimsonette for the Million Dollar Band, and I was hired to teach choreography to the Hillcrest majorettes. I was in school at the University of Alabama, but was always close to Hillcrest High during the fall season because of marching band. Nick and I developed a friendship, but Nick stayed away from me because I was young and in college, and he was somewhat fearful of my mom and what she would think if he started pursuing me! During Nick’s third year at Hillcrest, we began hanging out more, and he got to know my whole family. We eventually began dating.

When I went wedding dress shopping the first time, I tried on many different styles and types of dresses. I put one ball gown on and was quite surprised that I liked it as much as I did. I chose that dress that day and went straight to an Alabama football game. I felt uneasy about my decision from the time I left the bridal shop, so during the third quarter of the game, I called the shop and told them not to order the dress. I went back to square one and tried on several more dresses. When I put my dress on, our first dance song was playing inside the bridal shop. I knew it was the one for me!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! We had a very large bridal party, and we did not want to keep guests waiting after the ceremony for us to take pictures. We decided it would work better for us to have a first look and do all the pictures before the ceremony. We did it at my aunt and uncle’s home in Birmingham that overlooks the mountain. It was gorgeous!

Our ceremony venue was Asbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham. Nick has worked there as the worship orchestra director for three years, so it only made sense to wed at that location. The reception venue was not as easy of a choice. We were looking for an indoor/outdoor type of place that could hold 250-300 people, and ended up choosing a beautiful location, The Rucker Place in Birmingham. It features a Southern-style wraparound patio that overlooks a beautiful grassy area.

As a band director and connoisseur of great music, excellent music was important to Nick. We danced to “From this Moment” by Shania Twain for our first dance. This tune was something that we would jokingly sing in the car occasionally (when the mood struck), and it has a great and meaningful message. I danced with my dad to “Mama’s Song” by Carrie Underwood. The lyrics easily apply to any parent, and being that my mom is deceased, it easily was dedicated to my dad. Nick danced to “A Mother’s Love” by Mark Masri. The words were absolutely stunning, and it was very touching.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The bride’s cake was three tiers of red velvet and strawberry cake. Each layer had a different design on the outside, and it had our initials on it. The groom’s cake was the Auburn football stadium, complete with fans inside (made of sprinkles) and an interlocking AU made by band members. The Auburn fight song was also written around the outside of the cake. Since Nick was a drum major with the Auburn band, he wanted to make sure they were represented in some way.

I was a Crimsonette in the Million Dollar Band for five years, and Nick was a drum major and member of the Auburn Tiger Band for six years. It is a tradition for the Crimsonettes to bring their batons to all Crimsonette weddings and perform the fight song at the reception. The groom knew of this tradition and planned his rivalry surprise. The groomsmen were in the band at Auburn with the groom, so while the girls were twirling, they snuck to the balcony and got their instruments. They played the Auburn fight song and “Glory to Ole Auburn” on the second floor balcony. I was so surprised, and the video went viral on the internet. It has over a million views, and was picked up by BuzzFeed, CBS Sports, and several news stations!

What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Nick is headed to graduate school at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance to obtain his Masters in Conducting. We are looking forward to beginning our lives in a totally different place than where we grew up and were raised. The climate is quite different, too!

Don’t miss the viral video of their rival college traditions below!

Tell us all about the proposal! Nick proposed on the stage at Theatre Tuscaloosa’s production of Hairspray, in which I was a part of the cast. Before the show, Theatre Tuscaloosa’s Executive Producer told the cast to stay on stage after the show for a presentation given by the president of Shelton State. Instead of the president coming onstage, it was Nick! He told the story of how we met and then got down on one knee. I was completely surprised and so happy! Nick had also invited both sides of our family to witness the special moment.
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My mother-in-law let me borrow her pearl bracelet. My mother passed away in January 2012, so for my something blue, my sister took one of my mom’s blue shirts, cut it into the shape of a heart, and had my mom’s handwriting etched onto the fabric. It said “Love you Bunches, Mom” and was taken from a letter my mom had written me in high school. It was stitched inside my dress over my heart. My garter was made out of fabric from my mom’s wedding dress, which was also my grandmother’s wedding dress. My something new was my dress!

Photographer: LeaNicole Photography / Ceremony Venue: Asbury United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: The Historic Rucker Place / Florist: LSL Event Design / Cake Baker: Dreamcakes Bakery / Caterer: Richard Bishop of Savoie Catering / DJ: Patrick Johnson / Bride’s Gown: “D1448” by Essense of Australia / Bridal Salon: Diane’s Formal Affair / Bride’s Accessories: Justin Alexander / Hair and Makeup: Jessica Lavender Tinsley / Bride’s Shoes: Naughty Monkey / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “778” by Bill Levkoff / Junior Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “53702” by Bill Levkoff / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Bow Ties and Socks: The Tie Bar

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Kirsti Cook reply

    This is possibly the cutest and most unique weddings I have EVER seen! Not only are the colors and details breathtakingly beautiful, but the personality that shines through this wedding is perfect!

  2. avatar Erin Phillips reply

    Oh my gosh that hair! Swoon…

  3. avatar Brittany Danos reply

    What color are your bridesmaid dresses? I love them!!

  4. avatar Courtney & Nick » Lea Nicole Photography, LLC reply

    […] – Nick Featured on the Southern Weddings blog […]

  5. avatar Anna M reply

    Love this wedding! Are the Bill Levkoff bridesmaids dresses in the “Coral” color?

  6. avatar Jen reply

    I love your bridesmaids dresses! Where are they from and what color is that called!?!

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It’s always so much fun to see sweet people in the wedding industry tie the knot! Kara (of Kara Anne Paper) knew from the day that she and William carved their initials into a tree at her father’s lake house that they’d be married there someday. Sure enough, it proved the perfect place to become husband and wife nine years later. Family is clearly so important to this couple, and I love the way they went back to their roots and the very beginning of their love story for their Alabama wedding!

We’re so glad Kara’s friend Kim Box Photography was on hand to capture every special moment of this day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a pool party at my father’s home in Pike Road, Alabama. It was the summer of William’s senior year and my junior year of high school, and it was love at first sight. We carved our initials into a tree that overlooks the pond, where we would stand nine years later to exchange vows. After high school, we continued to see each other throughout college and over many miles. With William off to school on the West Coast and me staying in-state, we agreed we never wanted to be apart from each other again, and decided to make Alabama our home.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of having a simple, beautiful, backyard wedding at the home where I grew up swimming, fishing, and riding horses. William and I met at a pool party there one summer and the rest was history. When we carved our initials into one of the trees right in front of the dock that overlooks the pond, I knew that it would be the place where we would one day exchange our vows.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? From the beginning of the planning process, I knew I wanted to stay true to our Southern roots! We had a backyard ceremony in front of the pond and dock, with our horses grazing in the background. A white fence lines the property of the Southern-style home, and we had ferns hanging on the front porch. It doesn’t get any more Southern than that!

I loved working with our florist, Crystal Strickland of Southern Posies. After lots of inspiration boards and late night emails, Crystal made my vision come to life! We had soft, whimsical arrangements filled with lush greenery, white and pale blush and coral flowers, and a hint of bright pink in my bouquet and at the reception. One of my favorite things she created were the beautiful ferns that hung on the fence post around the pool area and on the front porch. We also placed ferns all around the island of the pond.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Kara: My most memorable moment was when William recited his vows. The love and emotion was so powerful and evident that everyone was in tears! It was truly the most special moment I’ve ever experienced. From William: My most memorable moment was seeing Kara at our first look. I was so careful not to see any pictures of her in her gown or even the gown itself, so I was truly surprised, and her beauty was amazing.

We were so pleased with our wedding vendors! Being in the wedding business, I have formed many great relationships with others in the business. I was fortunate to get to work with my good friends! It was so special to have Kim Box Photography, the 1717 Wedding Cinema team and the girls from Southern Posies with us on our wedding day. Hiring people I trusted and who shared my vision allowed William and I to sit back, relax, and just enjoy our wedding day!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Moonlight Mile” by The Rolling Stones. I really love the instrumental version, and we had a classical guitar and violinist play the procession. Our first dance was to Van Morrison’s “These are the Days” because the lyrics really connected with us. My dad and I danced to Bruce Springsteen’s “When you Need Me.” My father is a huge Springsteen fan, and again, the lyrics really captured our relationship–my father is always there for me.

Tell us all about the proposal! Our family is the most important thing in our lives and we wanted to make sure they were included in the moment. Surrounded by family and friends, William decided that dinner at the country club on his birthday was the perfect opportunity for him to pop the question. He stood up during dinner to thank everyone for being there and began to speak about the importance of family. He then asked if I would join him in starting our life as a family together! Of course, I said “yes!” My grandparents were in town and William even flew in my twin sister and mother, who live in Pennsylvania, as a surprise.
When did y’all get married? May 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did our first look before the ceremony. William’s back was turned at one end of the dock. As I walked closer to the pond, he turned around, and we met in the middle of the dock for a big hug and a kiss! It was the perfect moment! We wanted to have a private first look so we could take all of our pictures before the ceremony. After the ceremony, it was time to party!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was my mother-in-law’s beautiful pear-shaped diamond earrings. My something old was a lace embroidered handkerchief that my great-grandmother gave me as a gift. My something new was the beautiful wedding shoes that my mother gave me the day of the wedding. They were so elegant and the perfect touch!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I am in the custom paper and stationery business, and I specialize in wedding designs. I was able to save on design fees for our paper goods, as well as work out deals with other vendors in the business with whom I have working relationships.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice is to hire professionals! Having vendors who know what they are doing is so important! It will allow you to relax and know that everything is in good hands. Don’t stress over the small things. Even if you think they’re a big deal, I can promise you that others will never even notice! The week of the wedding gets really busy, so try your best to have all errands done and all the little things finished by Wednesday before the wedding–that way, you can relax and just enjoy your friends and family!

Photographer: Kim Box Photography / Videographer: 1717 Wedding Cinema / Planner and Florist: Southern Posies / Reception Venue and Caterer: Wynlakes Country Club / Wedding Cake Baker: Vickie Kyser / Rentals: Brendle Rentals / Lighting: Elite Ovations Lighting and Southern Posies / Band: The Main Attraction Band / Special Details: Custom Flag and Details / Paper Products: Kara Anne Paper / Bride’s Gown: Essence of Australia / Hair Stylist: Erin Ryser / Bride’s Shoes: Klub Nico / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G834U” in Ice by AMSALE / Groom’s Attire: Marvin Harrell at MH Custom Clothiers / Custom Shirtings: John Armstrong Clothiers / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Ashton Dreyer reply

    The flowers are stunning!

  2. avatar Nina reply

    Kara is completely amazing. Not only does she have flawless taste with her design work, but flawless taste in LIFE! Congratulations, my sweet Kara! You deserve it! XOXO

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So pretty! I love the bridesmaid dresses!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    the seating paintings are amazing! and her invites are beautiful!

  5. avatar Christina reply

    Love the monogrammed flag! Where can I get that?

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Some of Katie and Kyle’s most treasured memories have taken place outdoors–they were even engaged while on a sunset horseback ride! With their adventurous spirits and their desire to throw a wedding that was uniquely them in mind, they chose Spring Hill Plantation for their outdoor ceremony and barn reception. It fit their personalities to a tee, and was a perfect setting for them to say their vows, dig into some Southern cuisine, and dance the night away to their favorite band from college!

Thanks so much to The Happy Bloom for sharing Katie and Kyle’s fun wedding with us!

I went dress shopping in Birmingham for a weekend with several of my close friends, my mom, and my aunt. I knew from day one that I wanted something extremely different, and spent all day trying on dress, after dress, after dress! Nothing was quite right. I was just about to give up when my sister-in-law brought something into the dressing room. It wasn’t my favorite on the hanger, and it was completely different from everything I had said that I wanted. Of course, it fit like a glove and I fell in love!

Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were absolutely amazing! My bouquet was filled with light pink peonies. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were filled with bright spring flowers and succulents. The groomsmen’s boutonnieres were made of wine corks and cotton, paired with small bright flowers.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The Happy Bloom! These two amazing photographers were such a blessing throughout our whole engagement. We have been in several weddings that they have shot, and knew we had to have them. From our beautiful engagement session to our timeless wedding photos, I couldn’t have imagined a better couple to capture every detail of our amazing day!

From day one, my husband and I always wanted our day to be completely different from the weddings we had ever been in…and we have been in a lot of weddings! Our venue was outdoors, which was perfect for us. Getting married by the pond and having a reception outside by the barn was the most beautiful setting we could have ever imagined.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Besides my venue and the beautiful rustic decorations, the food was the most Southern part of our wedding. We served shrimp and grits and fried green tomatoes, just to name a few. About an hour before the band stopped, we served ham and sausage biscuits as a late-night snack.

Describe your wedding cake. For our wedding cake, we had a petit four tower and a two-tier wedding cake with white chocolate filling. The groom’s cake was a two-tier peanut butter cake with chocolate frosting.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kyle and I are originally from the same hometown. We had mutual friends, but never dated. It wasn’t until several years down the road that we hit it off at the Auburn University rodeo. Five years later, here we are as Mr. and Mrs. Steadham!
Tell us all about the proposal! It all started with a surprise trip. My best friend packed my bags for me and I had no idea where Kyle and I were going until we pulled into the small town of Helen, Georgia. Throughout the weekend, we zip-lined through the mountains and tubed along the river. On that Saturday night, he laid my clothes out, told me to change, and said he would let me know what we were doing later. We pulled up to a ranch, where he had booked us a private sunset horseback ride–it was beautiful! We took a break near a stream right before sunset, and when I looked down, he was on one knee. It was the most perfect proposal I could have ever imagined! When we got home, he told me that we had to go eat dinner at his mom’s house for my birthday. When I opened the door, all of my closest friends and family were there for a surprise birthday and engagement celebration! It was definitely a weekend I will never forget!
When did y’all get married? April 11, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 400
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance song was the most sentimental of all. We danced to “Feet Don’t Touch the Ground” by Stoney LaRue. This was the first song we had danced to in college! Any time it plays, we just look at each other and smile.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was the band! We literally saw this band every time they played in Auburn. It was a dream come true to have them play at our wedding!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While planning our wedding, I graduated college and passed my PTA board exam. On top of all of that, we bought a house–and not just any house, a fixer-upper! We knew right then and there that if we could make it through all of that, forever would be a breeze!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Finishing our house is up next for us! Then, maybe we will do some traveling and start a family together down the road.

Photographer: The Happy Bloom / Planner and Florist: Sylvia Adams / Ceremony Venue: Old Spring Hill Plantation / Wedding Cake and Caterer: Mary Williams at Ferrell’s / Band: Trotline / Bride’s Accessories: Bridal Elegance / Hair and Makeup: Stacee Turner at Hairology / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Dana reply

    pretty flowers!

  2. avatar UUKnot reply

    What a stunning setting for an intimate wedding! Her gorgeous gown and bridal updo look amazing!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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