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I get so excited every time I see a wedding from A Bryan Photo pop up on our blog schedule–without fail, it seems, his couples are undeniably classic, beautifully thoughtful, and as Southern as can be. Kameron and Brian fit this description to a tee! Their farm venue evoked a backyard feel that was perfect for their family-focused celebration, and from Kameron’s gorgeous Heidi Elnora gown to the bottle of bourbon they buried to keep away the rain, there was no shortage of sweet Southern touches at their Alabama wedding.

Thanks so much to A Bryan Photo for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

I stumbled upon Heidi Elnora’s Instagram and immediately fell in love with the Clara Louise dress from her fall 2014 collection. Just two days after Brian and I got engaged, I made an appointment to try it on at the Heidi Elnora Atelier in Birmingham. My Mom was the only one to come with me, and it was such a special experience. The first dress I tried on was the Clara Louise gown–I was immediately in love with it and did not want to take it off. I cried, Mom cried, even the consultant helping us cried! I was the first bride to ever try it, which made it feel even more special! The dress has a removable tulle skirt that goes over the more form-fitting dress, and I loved the versatility and style. I tried on a few (like two) other dresses to make sure, and there was just no comparison! Our consultant sealed the deal when she put me in a cathedral veil and I had a total “bride” moment.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole time during wedding planning I was only concerned with one thing: the weather. Having a mind full of Southern traditions, I knew we had to bury the bourbon to ward off rain. I went out and buried it at the ceremony site thirty days before the wedding on a perfectly sunny day, and prayed hard. Come our wedding morning, the skies were looking gloomy. Brian went out that morning and dug the bourbon out of the ground, and wouldn’t you know, the skies cleared up. Now I credit the good Lord for blessing us with a beautiful sky on our special day, but a little Southern tradition never hurt anyone.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No. Brian and I both agreed we wanted to keep our wedding as traditional as possible, and that included not seeing each other until I was walking down the aisle. Our photographer loves getting images of the genuine moment that happens when a bride and groom see each other for the first time. The emotion was so real and I will never forget how Brian looked at me (and cried) when I headed down the aisle toward him.

I loved the moment of having my mom walking me down the aisle and giving me away to Brian. Having her support and encouragement meant the world. I was focused on Brian and smiling ear to ear, but I could still feel her give my hand a little squeeze as I let go to take Brian’s hand.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Alabama was the perfect venue for us. We wanted a timeless setting with a home-y feeling. The beautiful plantation home, complete with a white picket fence, where we said our vows made it feel like a backyard wedding. Our families stayed in the stunning cottages on the grounds, so we were able to enjoy the special time all together.

Our photographer was hands-down the best decision we made during the whole wedding process. We both wanted classic images that will still be timeless when our grandchildren are looking at them. A Bryan Photo is unparalleled when it comes to wedding photography. The uniqueness of film photography in a digital age sets them apart in the best way. Bryan made us both feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and he really captured the emotion of the day.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was made by a family friend, and it was so chic and simple. Brian and I both decided that we wanted a “wedding cake” rather than bride’s and groom’s cakes. It was placed on a classic white cake stand and topped with a gold script “R.” We did not get to taste much, but from what we had, it was delicious! I can’t wait to eat the top layer on our first anniversary!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. As much as I hate to admit it, our mothers and my aunt actually set us up. They all went to high school together and have stayed in touch over the years, so at a get-together around Christmas in 2012, they conspired to get us together. Brian and I both found ourselves single and willing to meet up for a date around April 2013. Our first date was one for the books–Brian had planned a nice dinner at a restaurant in Birmingham, but the wait was two hours, so we decided to head to a more casual restaurant next door. We sat outside so we wouldn’t have to wait for a table. Everything was fine until we actually got to our table and realized it was freezing outside. I was too nervous and shy to say anything, and I think he was mortified! We now laugh about the fact that he made me sit outside in the freezing cold on our first date! Brian soon took a job in Scottsboro, Alabama, about two hours from Birmingham, but he came back every weekend to see me. We’ve been inseparable ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! After visiting Brian in Scottsboro a few times, I discovered a beautiful park that overlooks the Tennessee River and planned a surprise picnic date for him after work. I brought my great-grandmother’s quilt and picnic basket, along with lots of homemade goodies to snack on. We watched the sunset and everything was perfect. A few months later, Brian told me that he wanted to go on another picnic. He was always doing romantic things for me, so I didn’t suspect anything when he told me he would take care of the details, and that I just needed to be ready. When we arrived at the park, I went around to the trunk of the car to help unload, but then he grabbed my hand and led me to the picnic that was already set up. I immediately began to cry when I saw my great-grandmother’s quilt surrounded by flowers, candles, and a beautiful spread of treats. Brian got down on one knee and vowed to love me forever if I’d make him the happiest man in the world by becoming his wife, and then he presented me with a ring I could have only dreamed of. I don’t remember much, but I think I managed to say “YES!” I was overwhelmed with emotion, and when I saw my mom and future mother-in-law come out, the tears kept coming. It was a perfect day!
When did y’all get married? May 10, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, Brian and I both wanted to say the vows that couples have been vowing to each other for centuries. I love the simplicity of traditional vows.
Describe your wedding flowers. For my bouquet, I carried all-white peony blooms. It was a small bouquet, which fit perfectly in my hands and did not overwhelm me or my dress. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of white and blush pink peonies and garden roses.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was the moment after we were finally married, and we turned, hand in hand, to face all of our loved ones. It was so surreal. We were both so giddy and could not stop smiling or kissing!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my beaded headpiece I wore above my veil, which my two sisters had both worn in their weddings. My something blue was a beautiful tulle garter I ordered from Etsy. My something old was so special to me–it was my great-grandmother’s handkerchief that my mother had saved for me. My something new was a beautiful David Yurman bracelet that Brian gave me as a wedding present.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have moved to Huntsville, Alabama and are settled in with our two pups, Bailey and Harry Winston. We are looking forward to exploring this new city and enjoying life’s daily adventures!

Photographer: A Bryan Photo / Planner: Janet Naramore / Venue, Catering, and Coordination: Pursell Farms / Florist: Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market / Cake Baker: Kathy McCurry / Rentals and Lighting: Special Events / Band: Park Band / Garland and Table Flowers: Fifty Flowers / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Clara Louise” by Heidi Elnora / Bride’s Veil: Heidi Elnora / Bride’s Earrings: BaubleBar / Hair and Makeup: Tori Crocker of The Beauty Bar / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bridesmaids Inc. / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Laura reply

    The black and white photo’s are absolutely gorgeous. The one of the bride in front of the open doors is breath-taking.

  2. avatar Wedding 101 reply

    Absolutely love the details of this wedding!

  3. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Hi,

    Curious where the flower girl dresses are from for this wedding?

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A proposal at the White House practically demands a patriotic red, white, and blue wedding, and thanks to their Southern summer picnic inspiration, Amy and Kenny’s big day was the epitome of all-American joy and fun! Along with tables nicknamed after favorite Washington DC landmarks, a darling sweetheart table, and the prettiest Rice Krispie treat cake (yes, cake!) I’ve ever seen, Amy and Kenny’s wedding was full of family and friends having a great time and lovin’ on each other. That’s definitely what makes summer so sweet to me!

Hugs to Jillian Zamora for sharing this happy day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! Kenny is quite the romantic and he couldn’t have chosen a more perfect way to propose! Kenny is from northern Virginia and has a special place in his heart for DC, so when he took me back home to meet his family over Thanksgiving, we planned a mini trip for just the two of us in DC. He knew I wanted a memorable proposal, so he chose the White House as the location. As we walked through the White House, Kenny analyzed my every move and comment in each room, trying to decide which was my favorite (all the while, the ring was burning a hole in his pocket!). After moving through all the rooms, he took me back to the East Room, and as we were standing in front of the painting of George Washington, he proposed with the most beautiful, heartfelt speech. I couldn’t believe it, and neither could any of the other tourists! One of the Secret Service agents even let us go behind the ropes to take a picture to capture the special moment. I still tear up thinking about that amazing day, and I can’t believe he managed to sneak the ring through security!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my wedding dress at the first store I went to. It was the third dress I tried on and it fit perfectly–no alterations needed! It fit my personality and style so well–sophisticated and classic, with a touch of spunk. It was a strapless ball gown with a sweetheart neckline, and the top of the dress had ruching to give it some interest. There was also a line of buttons down the back that extended down the train of the dress. We added a sash that had some unfinished edge, fabric flowers, and just the right amount of beads to give it some texture and shine. I paired it with red and white polka dot kitten heels and an elbow-length, unfinished-edge veil to play up my style!

I chose Für Elise as the song that the wedding party and groom walked out to. I grew up playing the piano and that is one of my favorite songs I ever played!

Our wedding colors were red, cream, and navy, so that was the focus for the flowers. I wanted all of the florals to look natural, a little wild, and not too perfect. My florist did an amazing job combining flowers like blue thistle, anemones, daisies, and garden roses with natural greenery, and it was absolutely beautiful. My bouquet couldn’t have been more perfect!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved our “Picnic for Two” sweetheart table. The rosette tablecloth, the greenery draped across our chairs, and the chalkboard sign made our little area the perfect place for us to enjoy some time alone and look over the reception. I also loved that each table was named after a monument Kenny and I visited on our trip to DC. It was a unique way to tie the proposal into our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Being that Kenny and I are from Virginia and Texas respectively, a Southern wedding suited us perfectly! Some of the Southern details we incorporated included an iced tea bar (with a sign that said “Our love is as sweet as the sugar in our tea”), a summer picnic theme with Southern “cookout” food, Americana-inspired decor with a focus on beauty in simplicity, an engraved baseball and bat guest book (go Rangers!), and Southern foods with a twist–like pecan pie pops!

Our first dance was to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years.” I always knew the right man would come along, but never thought I would be 30 before he did! It’s a big joke between the two of us that I waited a long time for him, so this seemed to fit. Probably the most special part of the night was Kenny and his daughter Ashlynn’s special dance. They started off with Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl,” but much to the crowd’s surprise, they switched halfway through to Run DMC’s “Tricky” and totally rocked it out! They had practiced for a couple months beforehand and it was the biggest hit!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kenny and I actually met on eHarmony. I had joined the site because I was finding it hard to meet someone in the area, and Kenny was looking for someone who was ready to settle down and didn’t mind that he already had a little girl from his previous marriage. I loved Kenny’s profile–it was witty, charming, and mature. It took us a little while to actually meet in person, but once we did, it didn’t take long for us to realize that we were meant to be!
When did y’all get married? June 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 90
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. Instead, we went with something special our pastor had prepared for us. I don’t think I would’ve managed to keep my emotions in control if we had written our own!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. A few buzz words we used to describe our wedding were family-focused, casual, fun, summer picnic, and sophisticated. To play up the fun and summer flair, we decided to go with a dessert bar. We had pie pops, macarons, moon pies, s’mores, lemonade tartlets, and a rice krispie groom’s cake! No one could get over how tasty and cute all the little treats were.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I had all of these covered! My something old and borrowed was my great-grandmother’s wedding ring. Her husband didn’t have the money to buy her a ring when they were first married, so he hammered it out of a quarter and she wore it for most of her marriage. I am so honored to be able to keep this special piece of jewelry, and I wear it almost every day. My new and blue was a stunning diamond and aquamarine bracelet that my parents gave me on my wedding day. I couldn’t believe it when I opened the box! My birthstone is aquamarine and I always have a hard time finding jewelry with it, so it’s definitely something I will wear every chance I get.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the biggest challenge while planning was discussing decisions with Kenny. As a bride, I wanted to be selfish and make this day about me and what I wanted, but that wasn’t fair to Kenny! I really had to step back and think about what his vision of our wedding was, and in the end, I think it turned out just right, thanks to our amazing wedding planners!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I loved them all, but I have to go with my wedding planners. Rayven Walker and Jen Rios were absolutely the key to getting the wedding of my dreams. With Rayven keeping me on track with budget and vendors, and Jen designing each little detail, they make quite the team! I know there are many things they did to help each other make it such a special day for Kenny and I, and I couldn’t be happier that I chose them!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The first look was probably high up on the list, but getting to spend our special day with family and friends was the most memorable part. I didn’t get to talk to everyone as much as I would have hoped, but knowing that they loved us enough to travel to our wedding makes me feel so incredibly blessed!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The first order of business must be to get a wedding planner that you trust. Just knowing that they can add touches that you wouldn’t think about or find vendors that you can’t (or may stress yourself out trying to find) is worth it. Also, soak in every part of the day. Take a minute or two here and there to step back and enjoy the view. Sneak a moment alone with your spouse or by yourself to really see and feel everything about the event! And one last thing: make sure to eat!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Next is probably kids, as is with lots of couples. Kenny’s daughter, Ashlynn, is such a big part of our lives and I couldn’t imagine a sweeter child to have as a stepdaughter. I would love to add a child of our own to the family. I am looking forward to just loving each other and our families for many years to come!

Photographer: Jillian Zamora Photography / Planner: Jen Rios Design / Venue: Hickory Street Annex / Florist: RLove Floral Designs / Dessert Baker: Cakewalk Bakeshop / Caterer: Two Sister Catering / Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen / Rentals: Love Dove Rentals and Gifts / DJ: Jordan Bell of Spin Productions / Bride’s Gown: WToo / Bridal Salon and Veil: White Gown Workroom / Paper Products: Val Marie Paper / Hair Stylist: Cyndi Burk of Serenity Salon / Makeup Artist: Rayven Walker of Beauty & the Blush / Bride’s Shoes: VANELi / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Gianni Bini / Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Ivy Ellen reply

    I love Amy and her bridesmaids’ wedding shoes. They are so stylish! Also such a good idea to have a second going away outfit. Two amazing dresses to wear in one day! Congratulations to you both ~ Jen

  2. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    What a DARLING theme for a wedding. Incredibly creative, I love it!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I adore their tables and dessert bar – such sweet details! And that is the classiest rice krispees cake I’ve ever seen! :)

  4. avatar NC Wedding Planner – Orangerie Events reply

    I love the pop of color in this wedding! Very beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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One of the best things about Southern winters is that they’re chilly enough to permit all things cozy–fireplaces, hot chocolate, and furry coats, for example–but not so cold that a winter bride and groom can’t hold their wedding outside! Hannah and Jeremy prioritized showing their guests true Southern hospitality, and from the blankets that were passed out at the ceremony to the s’mores station set up at the reception, we’re sure everyone felt so loved and welcomed!

Thank you so much to Perry Vaile for capturing Hannah and Jeremy’s day and sharing it with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. When I went to go look for my wedding dress, I was really nervous. When I went to the store, I told my bridal consultant that the only two requirements for my dress were sleeves and lace. When all of the tulle dresses she brought in did not work, I asked to browse the dresses in the showroom. I walked straight up to the dress that would soon be my bridal gown. It was covered in an amazing lace, but it did not have sleeves. I had a quick consult with the seamstress, who was able to construct the sleeves that I wanted, creating my dream dress.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. We made the decision to do so after considering how early the sun would go down in November, but even more so, we decided to see each other because we both felt it would calm our nerves. Having that moment on that day that only the two of us shared is something that we will never forget.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment from our wedding day was when our photographer took us off-location after our first look to take some photos of just the two of us. It allowed us to have a moment to ourselves away from all of the hustle and bustle of the wedding day. We were able to just chat and calm our nerves and really take in the moment. It was the only moment that day when we were really by ourselves.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we chose a more modern version of wedding vows than the traditional ones. Our favorite phrase was “I promise to love you without reservation.”

There were hints of the South all throughout our wedding–the small town, the mason jars, the woodsy decor. The biggest Southern tradition that we wanted to portray, however, was our hospitality. Because our wedding was smaller, we were able to shower our guests with small tokens of our hospitality–blankets to warm them up during the outdoor ceremony, hot cocoa and apple cider, s’mores, and fireplaces, to name a few. We wanted to make sure each and every one of our guests felt comfortable and content, which is what each of them has done for us for the past six years of our relationship. It was the perfect time to honor them.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We would say that the most amazing vender we included in our wedding day was our photographer. Not only did our photographer help us to capture so many important moments, you could literally feel that she was creating magic behind that camera. It also seemed like she was everywhere at once. Every time I thought, “I’d love to have a picture of that,” there she was working her magic.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jeremy and I met a little over six years ago at our university’s summer orientation. The girl I roomed with attended high school with a guy who played on the football team, and Jeremy was on the team as well, so we met through them. After orientation, Jeremy and I went our separate ways back to our hometowns. We officially started dating during the first month of college and have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremy created such an amazing proposal, it still doesn’t feel real sometimes. Unbeknownst to me (which is extremely rare, since I’m hard to surprise), Jeremy spent four months planning his proposal. On my birthday, he gathered all of our friends together to watch me open this amazing gift that everyone knew about and kept raving about. I thought for sure that it would be a ring. Instead, when I opened the box, I found tickets to see my favorite band, Mumford & Sons. In my excitement, I failed to notice where the concert was taking place–New York City, which is my favorite place. We were leaving two days later, so I started to freak out a little because I had work and arrangements to make before leaving, but Jeremy told me he had already taken care of everything with my work. He also told me to pack a really fancy outfit for one of the nights we were going to be there, so I thought that would be the night the proposal would take place. Once again, I was wrong. On the second day we were in the city, we ate lunch at a cute little pub in midtown Manhattan. After lunch, Jeremy said, “Let’s take a walk over to 5th Avenue and check it out,” to which I replied, “Nah, my belly is full. Let’s go nap in the hotel,” but he talked me into it. When we got outside of the pub, we noticed it had started to snow, which really made me want to nap, but I went along anyway. On the way over to 5th Avenue, we passed the LOVE sculpture, so of course I wanted a picture in front of it. Jer said, “Sure, let me get this random lady to take our pic.” While I waited in front of the statue, he switched the camera to video mode and came to stand next to me. Jeremy is super tall (6’9″), so when he got over to me, I told him, “Hey, you may need to duck down a bit so she doesn’t chop your head off in the pic.” He said, “Oh, you want me to duck down? Okay.” and proceeded to get down on one knee and pull out a ring. I, of course, flipped out and said “YES,” but it didn’t end there. After a few minutes of taking in the moment, I started to notice that there were two people with super nice cameras taking pictures of us. I asked Jer if he knew them, and he said he had hired them to be there. Not only that, but the random woman had taken a complete video of the entire encounter. And it STILL doesn’t end there! That evening was the evening for the fancy dress, which I thought at that point was just so we could go out and celebrate. As soon as I stepped off of the elevator at the restaurant, my jaw dropped. Straight across from me was a table of three of our closest friends, who had driven up from North Carolina to celebrate with us!
When did y’all get married? November 30, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Describe your wedding flowers. We used succulents with splashes of blush flowers. We thought the succulent was a unique option for a fall/winter wedding.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. A family friend made our simple, but elegant, three-tier wedding cake. The top and bottom tiers were Jeremy’s favorite (carrot cake), and the middle tier was my favorite cake (lemon). The cake was covered in a smooth buttercream icing and was topped with a miniture LOVE statue replica, like the one in NYC that Jeremy proposed in front of.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did have something blue, old, and new. My something blue was a pair of antique earrings that my nana gave me, which are nearly a century old and are adorned with a single sapphire stone. My something old was the gold bangle bracelet that my nana was given on her wedding day by her husband. My something new was my beautiful lace wedding gown.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge Jeremy and I had to overcome during the wedding planning process was to learn what was really important to us. People may think we are completely insane when we say this, but from the time you get engaged to the time you get married, life is an absolute whirlwind. It feels like the two of you are sitting completely still and everyone and everything around you is moving in fast motion telling you, “Do it this way,” “Put that there,” “Stand here.” During that time, Jeremy and I had to stop and focus on what really mattered, which was not just planning a wedding that would last one day, but rather, a marriage that would last a lifetime.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take in each moment! We had so many people tell us during the planning process that the wedding day goes by so quickly. We found that if you have prepared yourself to take in each moment, it will go by at your own pace. I even had one of my bridesmaids remind me throughout the day to take in the moment. Tt was like a breath of fresh air every time she told me to take a mental picture, because it was so easy to get carried away and forget to seize the moment.

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    This wedding looks like it would have been so cozy to attend! Love the rich blue + ceremony florals!

  2. avatar Perry Vaile reply

    This absolutely made my day! It was such a privilege to work with and shoot Hannah and Jeremy’s gorgeous wedding day! I was THIS close to grabbing a seat and bundling up with a blanket and s’mores myself!!! :)

  3. avatar Stephanie reply

    Oh this wedding is gorgeous and so romantic! I love all of the winter details – and their proposal story is beautiful and so special!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    the photographer did an amazing job! love that last photo with the sparklers!

  5. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love the outdoor touches for this wedding!

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