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When a couple has designer’s eyes, like Brittany and Kirk, it’s always fun to see how their talents translate into their wedding day. So when I read that restaurant designer (Brittany) and men’s clothing shop owner (Kirk) set their sights on finding a “diamond in the rough” location, where they could create a unique wedding venue unlike anything else, I was excited to see what they came up with! Brittany and Kirk cleaned, painted, and landscaped an old Alabama cotton receiving warehouse on a daily basis to transform The Railyard into an event space that I know wowed their family and friends. Don’t those twinkle lights make their dinner look so very chic, but still home-y? I love that the meaning behind their family-style meal stemmed from their fondest memories growing up, of being gathered around dining tables with the people they love! Too sweet!

Thanks to Rebecca Read for sending this lovely day to us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I thought long and hard about including my bridesmaids on my dress shopping trip, as they are my dearest friends, but I decided not to. My maid of honor had done this, and it was such a memorable moment for all of us to see her in her dress for the first time on the day she would be walking down aisle. My dress was beautiful vintage lace with hand-sewn pearls–something I always wanted for my wedding, but not exactly what I had pictured for myself, as it had short sleeves. As soon as I tried it on though, I just knew. It instantly became my dream timeless, elegant dress that I only hope I can pass down someday.

As we both have designers eyes, we wanted the venue to be unlike anything else we had seen before–a diamond in the rough! We found that at The Railyard, an old cotton receiving warehouse and courtyard in Opelika, Alabama. It is nestled in a charming little town that I had gotten to know very well during my college years. We cleaned, painted, landscaped, and prayed for no rain on a daily basis!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows. We wanted to go with traditional vows, and it ended up being the most traditional thing about our wedding

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle and our eyes met! It was so magical! The other would be walking in before guests were allowed in to see the space and realizing that it was a wonderland. With the help of an army of people, it was transformed into the “diamond” that we knew it had the potential to be!

We like to think that our family-style dinner was the greatest tradition we followed–everything was served on platters in the center of the table and passed around as if we were gathered in our home with family. Our fondest memories growing up were gathered around our dining tables with people we loved, and we wanted our wedding to have this same feeling.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. It was as much for our friends and family as it was for us–it was fun, funny, and really set the tone for the night. We broke it down hard!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in July 2013, just after I had finished brunch with two friends from college. Walking down the street, one of them said, “There is this men’s shop around the corner, and I met the guy last night who owns it–I told him I’d stop by.” This worked nicely, as I needed to find a tie for a friend to wear at a wedding that night. The store was in a cool brick building with large windows, built as a horse stable in 1917. After a few quick hellos, we walked back outside to their car. I told them, “I think I really like that guy…” Ten minutes later, back inside the store, Kirk’s phone buzzed with a message that read “Here is Brittany’s number. You NEED to call her.” Taking his friend’s advice, Kirk called. He learned during that first conversation (which was fantastic, by the way), that I was a restaurant designer and I was working on a speakeasy bar for a well-known Atlanta chef. For a little inspiration he knew I would enjoy, Kirk took me to his favorite hidden back-room pub, just north of the city. From that night on, we were crazy about each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! In month three of our relationship, Kirk was at an antique market with his mother, looking for furniture, when he walked past a small, unassuming jewelry booth. I am in love with the 1920’s, and a beautiful art deco ring caught his eye and made him stop immediately. Without hesitation, he and his mom said, “This is Brittany.” He hadn’t planned on buying a ring that day, or even that month, but he couldn’t leave it. A month later, I began planning a trip to Europe with friends. I would be in Paris for a week, then in Amsterdam to visit some friends. When I arrived in Amsterdam, the friends I was staying with showed me to each room and said, “You should really see the city from the roof before the sun sets.” I climbed the spiral staircase, and at the top, I opened the hatch and climbed onto the roof. As my eyes focused, I saw Kirk standing in front of me, holding tulips, smiling ear to ear, and getting a little misty-eyed (he swears it was his allergies). I froze in the hatch and just stood there, confused, for what seemed like a REALLY long time! After a minute, I squeaked out “What are you doing here?” and Kirk said, “I came to see you.” At that, I jumped out onto the roof and LITERALLY into his arms. He had an entire speech prepared, wanting to give it properly on one knee, but that never happened. As he held me, he simply said “I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Even more special, the couple whose roof we were on was the same couple whose wedding I had attended the day Kirk and I met.
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Landscaping ourselves and putting in some hard work! We also designed and printed our own menus and programs. Our design aesthetic called for raw, natural materials, so kraft paper was both a beautiful and affordable choice for our printed items!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? First, breathe :) Remember that no matter the decisions you make, the stress of invites or family or seating arrangements, rain, or anything, at the end of the day, you’re marrying the person you love, and that is all that matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? It’s an incredible thing to marry your best friend and we are enjoying marriage and all of the wonderful things it brings! We are looking forward to starting a family in the future, but for now, we are enjoying one another and are truly grateful for the season we are currently in!

Photographer: Rebecca Read Photography / Planning and Design: Alchemy Event Studio / Venue: The Railyard / Cocktail Hour Venue: John Emerald Distilling Company / Florist: Edelweiss Buckhead Floral Design / Caterer and Cake Baker: The Hotel at Auburn University / Rentals and Lighting: The Event Group / Band: The Soul Purpose Band / Paper Products: The Find Sac Handmade / Bride’s Gown: Vintage / Bride’s Jewelry: J. Crew / Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle / Bride’s Shoes: “Bronze Peep Toe Evening Pumps” in Bowover by Stuart Weitzman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN / Menswear: Custom by the groom / Linens and Drapery: Party Tables / Plants: Plant Peddler

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Oh goodness, that cake! Wonderful images.

  2. avatar Ashlyn reply

    It was the best. That dance floor was no lie, either — they’re not kidding!

  3. avatar Richard Stafford reply

    Marissa and Rebecca,
    You captured the wedding perfectly. Thanks for sharing the wonderful moment in our lives with your readers. It was truly beautiful.

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Fair warning: I put far too many photos in this post. But when they’re as beautiful as these, can you blame me?? Of course, pretty much anything that Ali Harper points her camera toward turns to gold, but we started with a pretty beautiful venue, too…

I adored the paper suite that Ashley Buzzy McHugh put together — each part is actually a custom stamp, making these an easy and inexpensive project you could try at home!

Our gentlemen were looking oh so dapper in goods from Billy Reid. Love those polka dot bow ties!

Of course, the ladies were in fine form, as well (with a little help from Claudia Mejerle!). Lindsay Coletta Designs‘ bouquet was truly stunning, and included one of my favorites — hellebore!

I love this escort card display that Krista from Blue Eyed Yonder and Ashley put together. Washi tape makes a concept like this look so good with so little effort!

Our table was set under a lovely tree, next to the cutest trio of goats! (Nicole would have been happy.)

Ashley specifically handlettered each egg while she was on a trip to Georgia, because she didn’t want to have to ship them from California!

Remember those delicious dishes I talked about? Here they are! So yummy. Thank you, Sun In My Belly!

Krista hand-selected the perfect combination of white and light blue chairs to set around our table.

Love this sweet little guest book station. I adore the idea of having each guest sign their name as a witness to your marriage vows — in fact, that’s what I did at my own wedding!

The hand-wrapped favors came from Many Fold Farm, just down the road from Serenbe.

Chicken friends :)

I could not love this cake from Anne Kathleen more — the coconut flakes remind me of snowy feathers!

Finally, this vintage car from Krista’s collection could NOT have been more perfect for this color story if it had been ordered up special. And yes, y’all, she rents this beauty for weddings!

This gorgeous snippet from Anchor Heart Films puts everything gorgeously into motion — including that beautiful blush skirt from The Sentimentalist!

I would love to hear: What’s your favorite part from this editorial? I have the hardest time deciding, but I love the cake, the bride’s necklace and gown, and her bouquet — possibly equally :)

Ali Harper and Blue Eyed Yonder are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
19 Comments
  1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    AHHH! Love serenbe, love the earthy gothic feel of this shoot, and I REALLY love the bridal attire. The Sentimentalist is THE best new bridal store in Atlanta and I’m so glad to see it represented! OH, and Sun in My Belly is AWESOME. And so is Ali Harper! EEEeee!

  2. avatar Laura reply

    What a feast for the eyes, so beautiful and elegant. I love the dresses, especially the non-traditional wedding dress.

  3. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Amazing details and decor, we absolutely love all of it! So very many congratulations to the sweet couple!

    xo

    http://www.PlumPrettySugar.blogspot.com

  4. avatar Marilisa reply

    Good gracious, that video made my heart SWELL. I love how elegantly down-home-chic this shoot is. So much romance! That team of vendors is truly incredible.

  5. avatar Kat reply

    LOVING her bouquet!!! And that escort card display is so fun!

  6. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    Let’s see… the venue (who doesn’t love Georgia), the cake, the flowers, custom stamp… okay. Everything!

  7. avatar Haley Sheffield reply

    So in love with every part of this shoot. Every single vendor involved is just beyond talented.

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  11. avatar christina reply

    where are the dresses from?

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  15. avatar Love is Everywhere reply

    I love the wedding gown! No different, simples and nice. The other details are amazing like: escort “cards”, the scenario, the cake! Really elegant and simple!

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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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