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I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine. When I was planning my own wedding, A Bryan Photo was my first choice for our photographer. Although I love the photographer we went with, I still pine a bit when I see ABP weddings! Lucky for me, I can live vicariously through Liz + Brett’s sweet celebration!

Beyond the gorgeous photos, I could go on about a bajillon things I’m smitten with in this wedding – not limited to Liz’s passed down vintage veil, the second line they ended their reception with, and their monogrammed tambourines — those look like way too much fun!

Can we just pause for a second and swoon over these glitter-heeled Kate Spades? Dying!

Such a sweet first look with Dad!

I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, aunt and grandmother. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted – something timeless, but also fun and comfortable for dancing. When I finally tried on my dress, I knew I loved it and they all immediately agreed. After buying the dress, I decided I wanted a few customizations to make it really unique. The seamstress worked her magic by making the neckline a sweetheart, adding gorgeous lace straps, and sewing in a few layers of crinoline at the bottom to make the skirt “pop.” I loved the way it turned out.

Did you write your own vows? We said traditional vows. We both felt that there is something incredibly meaningful about saying the same vows that our parents, grandparents, and all of the other generations before us have said.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our readings were Song of Solomon 8:6-7 and Romans 12:9-18
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided stick with tradition and not do a first look. The emotions in the moment we first saw each other at opposite ends of the aisle was something that we’ll never forget.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to Clark’s “Trumpet Voluntary.” We had a trumpeter, and it was truly a magical moment when I heard him start to play. Our processional song was “Allegro Maestoso from Water Music” by Handel. Our first dance was to “Cheek to Cheek,” which is a wonderful old jazz song by Etta James & Louis Armstrong. It is the quintessential New Orleans song and carries so much meaning for us – we also danced to it right after we got engaged.

Our florist did an extraordinary job on our flowers. We were married in the fall and I knew I wanted to include some beautiful fall colors as well as incorporate trees at the reception to create an organic feeling. He took my ideas to a whole new level and came up with the most stunning 12-foot tall trees with gloriosa lilies and votives hanging from the branches. They framed the dance floor and were the first thing guests saw when they walked in the door to our reception. They were stunning and very dramatic, which we loved. The rest of our flowers were antique heirloom hydrangeas (my favorite), sahara roses, burgundy dahlias – a beautiful mix of high and low arrangements. We couldn’t have been happier with the way they turned out.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Our wedding cake was a beautiful four-layer cake with antique heirloom hydrangeas between each layer. Each layer was a different flavor, all with French buttercream icing. Brett’s groom’s cake was a red velvet cake topped with a gorgeous tower of macaroons. Both of them were delicious!

We had a Cuban room as was a nod to my husband’s Cuban heritage. Inside, we had a mojito bar, cigar bar, and Cuban sandwiches. The cigars were so popular that we had to send our wedding planner out in the middle of the reception to buy more!

Love that Liz’s bridesmaids did a cake pull — SUCH a Southern tradition!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We gave our guests white tambourines with our monogram and the wedding date printed on them that were a huge hit. They were probably the least expensive part of the wedding, but everyone had a blast with them and they really got the party started!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met during orientation for business school. At lunch on our first day, I happened to sit down next to Brett and one of his friends. He says I caught his eye immediately. He asked me on a date a few weeks later and the rest, as they say, is history.
Describe the proposal. It was a very well orchestrated surprise by Brett. (I am generally pretty nosy and very hard to surprise!) He was a few months into his first year of residency and had a week of vacation scheduled for later that month. Being the planner that I am, I immediately starting brainstorming places for us to go for the week. It turns out that Brett already had something up his sleeve, so he realized he had to figure out a way to derail my vacation planning. With the help of his chief resident, he convinced me that we would have to stay near Durham because he was on backup call for the week. He convinced me to pack by telling me he had rented a cabin on a lake nearby. On our way to the “cabin” he surprised me with plane tickets and told me that we were going to spend the week at his family’s beach house on Captiva Island, FL. When we arrived at the beach house, we were so excited to unpack the car that we forgot that the front door was self-locking…and locked ourselves out! Undeterred, Brett somehow picked the lock and proposed once we were inside. It was the most perfect proposal and we spent the next week celebrating our engagement and relaxing on the beach.
In what month did you get married October
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We embraced Southern tradition in our wedding. My veil was purchased by my grandmother in Brussels and has been worn by my mom, two aunts, sister-in-law, and three cousins. The cup we toasted with before cutting the cake is the same cup that my brother, sister, and nine cousins were christened with. So far, five of us have toasted with it at our wedding. We also incorporated many of the fun New Orleans wedding traditions like cake pulls and the second line.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was planning from afar. Luckily, my mom was in New Orleans and a huge help with all of the planning.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer, A Bryan Photo, was a splurge well worth it! The night was such a whirlwind and we were so grateful to have him there to capture the moments. I know we will look back on the pictures for many years to come.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My groom, who isn’t even one to sing in the shower, serenaded me with “My Girl,” complete with my father, father-in-law and his groomsmen as back-up singers during the reception. It was totally impromptu (orchestrated by our awesome band) and a memory that makes us both laugh. We also loved seeing our 89-year old grandmothers on the dance floor all night long. They were the hit of the party!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? On the night of your wedding, plan to take a few moments with your groom to take a step back, look around the room and take it all in. It is truly an overwhelming day in the most wonderful way possible and you will want to make sure to create great memories.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are enjoying our time as newlyweds in Durham and looking forward to traveling together and starting a family one day.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Easton Events reply

    Love those shoes! Just the right amount of sparkle!

  2. avatar Romantic Peach and Blush Wedding | Burnett’s Boards – Daily Wedding Inspiration reply

    […] photographed by John & Joseph Photography Inc. // Kate Spade shoes with sparkle heels via Southern Weddings, photographed by A Bryan Photo // peach colored cake from Inspired by This, created by Cupcake […]

  3. avatar Southern ‘Charm’ | Star Wedding Design reply

    […] Source: Southern Weddings […]

  4. avatar Melissa Schroll reply

    Loved the idea of personalized tambourines. Would you please share your source? Thank you.

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