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Allie and Tom shared with us that the most Southern part of their wedding was the tradition that was hidden in all the details–I simply love that! We all know how important tradition is here in the South, and finding a way to include those things in the sweet details of a wedding day makes them all the more special. Of course, when your family’s home is as beautiful and filled with memories as Allie’s aunt’s is, the reception venue is a no-brainer! Built in the 1850s by Allie’s ancestors, the two were married at the stunning plantation where her mother grew up, and where her parents had held their reception. I can’t think of a more romantic way to celebrate becoming husband and wife than under the twinkle lights and Spanish moss-covered trees that have been a part of so many important family milestones throughout the years!

Gracious, we’re happy Britt Croft shared this lovely day with us!

My something borrowed was the pair of earrings my cousin lent me. I had a small blue ribbon sewn onto my garter for my something blue. My something old was my great-grandmother’s wedding band that my grandmother gave me the day she met Thomas, because she already knew he was the one. I have worn it every day since. My something new was my shoes. I wore Toms for the comfort…and to have my husband’s name on the back of my shoes!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I distinctly remember the moment the doors to the church opened and I saw Thomas’ expression seeing me in my dress. His face lit up and I knew he felt the same way that I did. It was then that all the nerves disappeared and I was able to calmly walk down the aisle to marry the man made specifically for me.

I think the most Southern part of our wedding was the tradition hidden in all of the details. We were married in the same church as my parents and grandparents, and where my mother, brother, and I were baptized. We held the reception at my aunt’s house. This house has recently come into my aunt and uncle’s possession, but was originally built in the 1850s by my ancestors and is the home my mother grew up in. It was also the same place my parents held their reception. It is a beautiful plantation about an hour outside of Savannah, where the trees are covered by Spanish moss and the fireflies come out at night to dance.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The cigar bar. I had shared with my family that I planned to surprise Thomas with a cigar bar because he is very fond of smoking cigars on special occasions. My aunts heard my plan and decided to do it for me as a gift to us. They pulled out a sofa, two chairs, a coffee table, and a side table, all of which were vintage. They filled the table with cigars and hung a chandelier over it. My cousin’s wife even made a framed chalkboard sign announcing “Tom’s Cigar Bar.” It was probably the most popular spot of the entire reception.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My wedding planner was my savior. I rented all of my furniture from him and he was also my florist–quite the jack of all trades. He was very good about saying “We can use this furniture here at the ceremony and then here at the reception” or “We can use these pew markers again at the reception as table accents.” He knew that I didn’t want to be wasteful or spend money that wasn’t necessary, and he was very respectful of that and resourceful.

Our wedding cake was simple, yet elegant. The base was cream frosting and it had the same flowers as were in the bouquets cascading down the sides. We worked with a marvelous baker who let us pick unconventional flavors, like chocolate peanut butter and sweet peach. However, it was the groom’s cake that stole the show. Tom and I met at Auburn and wanted to pay tribute to this. The bottom layer of the groom’s cake was decorated in tiger stripes, the middle layer contained the “AU” symbol, and on the top was a fondant sculpture depicting the Toomer’s oak covered in toilet paper, with our initials carved in the trunk.

See Allie and Tom’s wedding video by Still Co. below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Thomas and I met in college. We attended Auburn University and spent our senior year falling in love. We were first introduced by two friends who were dating at the time, but initially, we had no interest in starting a relationship. We kept spending time together through our mutual friends, and eventually, we started to hang out just the two of us. After a year, we realized we had been dating for a while without even realizing it! He graduated and moved to Miami for law school, and we decided that long distance was worth it.
Tell us all about the proposal! I have visited Edisto Beach, South Carolina with my extended family every year for a week since I was born, and my mom has been every year since she was a little girl. In fact, this year was the fiftieth anniversary of the original trip! My parents recently bought a house on this beach, so Thomas and I decided to take a long weekend vacation to their house for our three-year anniversary. Before we left for dinner one night, we walked to the beach with a blanket and letters we had written to recap our three years together. The plan was to read the letters and then place them in a bottle and send them out to sea. As Thomas finished reading his letter, his closing remarks were “I am excited to see what the next three years hold, but more than that, I am excited to see what the rest of my life holds with you. Allison Victoria Filipowski, will you marry me?” I was so excited that as soon as I was done saying yes, I immediately started to run home to share the news with my parents, who were also staying at the house that weekend. To my surprise, both of our families were at the house to share in the celebration. And of course, we saved the letters, so there was no littering!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. Whenever I imagined my wedding, it had always been with the idea that the first time Tom and I would see each other would be as I was walking down the aisle. Our wedding was so set in tradition, I wanted to keep it that way. Also, I knew that if we did a first look, I felt like it would put a lot of pressure on Tom’s reaction to my dress, and that didn’t seem fair. His reaction when the doors of the church opened was perfect, and I am glad we made the decision we did.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. However, instead of saying “I do,” we finished with “This is my solemn vow.” It felt very special for us to share how committed we are to one another.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Thomas and I had been dating for almost five years, and our engagement was a year and a half. We have really tried to take our time with every step of our relationship and savor each milestone. We took this time to discuss everything from where we want to raise our family to what values are most important and need to be passed along. We’re very lucky because we agree on almost everything. We’ve never come to a crossroad where we couldn’t find a compromise. The most important thing, we have found, has been communication. We are a very open couple, for better or worse.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Find a few key parts of your wedding that mean the most to you. Let those be the areas you focus on and let everything else work itself out. Everything will come together at the end and your memories will be of those few important details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We hope to really take some time to savor being married and a party of two. We want a family, but we are going to take a few years to enjoy being just the two of us. We want to travel all around the globe!

Photographer: Britt Croft / Videographer: Still Co. / Planner, Rentals and Lighting: James Carlson / Ceremony Venue: Jerusalem Lutheran Church / Reception Venue: Family Home / Florist: JoAnn’s Florist / Caterer and Wedding Cake Baker: Savannah’s Hall of Cakes / DJ: All About You Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: “Danae” by Sottero and Midgley / Hair and Makeup: Taylor of 30 Volume Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Kyle reply

    Beautifully done. It’s hard to find a more magical place than Savannah, GA for a stunning wedding. Southern charm in every photo! The video is really well done. I love the moss trees and plantation-style home!

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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
6 Comments
  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!?!

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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