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In the era of Pinterest, Instagram, and wedding blogs, it can be hard to remember that in many cases, simple is best. I love the way Rebecca and Drew chose to focus on a few incredibly meaningful and beautiful details at their wedding–Rebecca’s heirloom Belgian lace veil and their stain glass-covered chapel, to name a few–and kept everything else simple and lovely with layered neutrals and rustic textures. It made those really special details stand out all the more, and never distracted from the real reason everyone was gathered to celebrate that day!

Thank you so much to Cassidy Carson for sharing Rebecca and Drew’s wedding with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My veil was both borrowed and old–it was Drew’s aunt’s veil that she got in Belgium while traveling, and she wore it for her wedding. It ended up being one of my most cherished parts of my wedding look. For another something old, I pinned a delicate emerald and diamond pin that belonged to my grandmother to the ribbon that wrapped my bouquet, and I carried my great aunt’s handkerchief in the pocket of my dress. My dress and shoes were my new and my undergarments were blue!

For our florals, I wanted a natural and airy look with tons of greenery and an unexpected combination of flower varieties. I wanted to stay true to the season and loved including hellebores, creamy majolica roses, and white tulips in our arrangements. I had a great time learning about flowers during the planning process. Katie McDaniel of Cloth of Gold, Mary Ann Gilchrist, Cindy Rogers, my mother, and I all collaborated to get the end result. I had a ball making my sweet bridesmaids’ bouquets the Thursday before the wedding. It was such a joyful little moment to see them carry them on our wedding day.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? After asking my youth minister to marry us, we met with him to start premarital counseling and to prepare our hearts for marriage. We both read one of Gary Chapman’s books, “Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Married.” I would highly encourage couples to read books on marriage together! It can bring up points of discussion that you had never considered. I am now reading “You and Me Forever” by Frances Chan. One of the best things I took away from our counseling was the power of prayer in marriage. My sister gave me some great advice: to pray for Drew each time I look at my engagement ring/wedding band, which is about one hundred times a day! To constantly be praying for your partner is such an amazing thing.

We decided, after much agonizing, to do a first look before our ceremony. I am traditional and sentimental, so I loved the idea of waiting until I walked down the aisle, but it really came down to the photos we wanted to help us remember our day. We knew the light would be better and the photos would be more relaxed if we did them ahead of time. I wanted the entire afternoon and evening to flow smoothly, and I didn’t want our wedding party to be itching to head to the reception instead of standing to take photos! Now, Drew and I both consider our first look one of our most treasured moments of the day. I will never forget his facial expression when he turned around to see me for the first time. It was such an intimate and beautiful experience. We are so thankful to have had that time together and to have it documented so well.

I loved pouring energy and thought into the wedding ceremony. One of our favorite details was having my youth minister and Drew’s pastor perform the ceremony together. They each shared personal details that they knew about us growing up and how that translated into our love story now. I think guests really left feeling that they knew us, our love for one another, and our love for Christ even more so than when they arrived. We loved how personal and Christ-focused our ceremony was. I will always treasure hearing Drew’s pastor describing Drew and his passion for life, and how that would carry into our marriage.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? For our reception, we found a lovely barn with plenty of space. We loved using long farm tables and enjoying lots of candlelight, yummy food, and celebration. In true Southern fashion, we blended the “country” setting of the barn with decor that was a bit more elegant. Another of my favorite Southern details was serving chocolate gravy and biscuits at our reception. This is one of my family’s favorite recipes that I grew up eating! We ended up deciding on a whole biscuit bar to accompany the chocolate gravy, and included local Alabama honey and preserves that our guests loved!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I cherish the few quiet moments before Drew and I went into our reception. We stole just a bit of time to really soak up the goodness of being married (and to eat!). As we headed in to greet our guests, I could not help but feel humbled and overwhelmed as I realized how many loved ones had made a point to join in celebrating this special day with us. Those precious moments affirmed all of the time and energy we had put into planning our wedding weekend.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Drew and I met through my sister when I was home for summer after my junior year of college at Ole Miss. They had been friends for years! Drew did not miss a beat pursuing me after we met that night–he called a few days after we met, just to ask how my day was going. For our first date, he asked me over to his parents’ house for dinner for his birthday celebration. From that point on, I knew he was different than any guy I’d ever met!
Tell us all about the proposal! Just short of our two-year anniversary, Drew proposed while we were on vacation with my family! We had slipped away for an evening to get dinner during one of the first nights of the trip. Afterwards, we asked a stranger to take our photo. Drew asked her to take one more, and in the midst of her following his instruction, he dropped to one knee. Floating on cloud nine and surrounded by tons of strangers, I’ve never felt a more intimate moment.
When did y’all get married? March 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Drew and I both grew up in Birmingham, and immediately after getting engaged, we knew that it was where we wanted everyone to gather for our wedding weekend. To keep our ceremony very personal and Christ-centered, we chose the church from our childhoods. We wanted minimal décor in the sanctuary, and loved letting the old stained glass windows and hymns stand out as the highlights of the worship service.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows together! Without a doubt, my favorite line was, “You are my greatest earthly gift from our Heavenly Father, and I will spend my days here on this earth being the best possible steward of this precious gift, and helping you to draw closer to Him.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had several scriptures woven throughout our ceremony. Some of my favorites were from Isaiah 10, Romans 12, and John 15:16-17. Our pastor did an amazing job of helping us choose several unexpected verses that we really connected to and that helped paint a picture of a Christ-centered marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to some much needed down time after the hustle and bustle of our engagement! We absolutely loved every moment, but isn’t it nice to just do nothing on occasion? Knowing us, we won’t be able to stay too relaxed for long. We are already in the beginning stages of renovating our first home together, and are currently dreaming up travel plans for the coming year.

Photographer: Cassidy Carson / Ceremony Venue: Shades Crest Baptist Church / Reception Venue: The Barn at Shady Lane / Florist: Cloth of Gold, Mary Ann Gilchrist, and Cindy Rogers / Cake Baker: Pastry Art / Caterer: Happy Catering / Rentals: Aabco Rentals / Band: The Jeff Otwell Band / Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic / Paper Products: Annabelle’s / Bride’s Gown: “Julia” by Stephanie Allin / Bride’s Earrings: Erin Cole / Hair and Makeup: Joanna Ballentine / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lela Rose / Menswear: Mr. Burch Tuxedo / Bow Ties: Remon’s Fine Clothiers / Calligraphy: Jan Pruitt Calligraphy

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Sarah Elizabeth || SEDiva Abroad reply

    So, so beautiful. Thanks for sharing xx

  2. avatar Cassidy Carson reply

    I love Drew and Rebecca so much! Their wedding was so lovely and meaningful. Thank y’all so much for sharing!

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Classic elegance! Just beautiful!

  4. avatar weddingnature reply


  5. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings reply

    […] Catherine’s childhood dream by marrying at the chapel on her family’s property. Rebecca and Drew focused on a few meaningful details at their Birmingham wedding. Julia and David may be from the […]

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Emily and I couldn’t help but giggle at the story of how Elise and Paul met. Her first memory of him was when he walked up to her and her best friend…to invite her best friend to homecoming! Needless to say, Paul did ultimately come around, and he and Elise dated through the rest of high school and college, tying the knot a few weeks after Elise graduated. Since planning a wedding during such a busy season proved to be a bit overwhelming, the incredibly talented Ginny Au helped bring their vision of a romantic, classic, loft celebration to life. I’m sure y’all will agree, the result was completely lovely, and Elise and Paul’s joy is contagious!

Thank you so much to Mandy Busby for sharing this beautiful day with us!

I think our vendors are what made the entire wedding planning process so easy and fun. Our wedding planner, Ginny Au, introduced us to almost all of our vendors, who worked so well together. From the moment I met Ginny, I felt confident and comfortable with all of her ideas. Our calligrapher, Holly Hollon, was so personable and easy to work with. The way she designed our save the dates and invitations fit our style so perfectly, we looked for different ways to incorporate her work into our wedding day as well.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I decided from the beginning that I wanted my wedding dress to be a secret from my friends, so just my mom and I went to find it. We had gone to one or two other places before we went to Diane’s Formal Affair. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, but I knew right away that my dress was the one when I put it on!

Katie did a beautiful job with our flowers! She used olive branches, Claire de Lune peonies, Sarah Bernhardt peonies, white lisianthus, white tuberose, oak leaf hydrangea, viburnum, dusty miller, and a variety of garden roses. She tied them up in beautiful Frou Frou Chic ribbon. My bouquet was so heavy, my arm was sore the next day! It was definitely worth it because it was the most beautiful bouquet I’ve ever seen–not to mention, it smelled fantastic.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Paul and I chose not to see each other before the ceremony. Although we always thought we would have a first look, we changed our minds during the planning process. Ginny and Mandy both encouraged us to save the first look for when I walked down the aisle. It wasn’t as private as a first look would have been, but looking back, we’re so thankful we followed through with this tradition. It’s a memory filled with so much emotion, and we’ll never forget it.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Instead of a first look, Paul and I met around a door to talk and exchange wedding day gifts before the ceremony. I remember feeling so nervous and giddy. I think this stands out as the most memorable moment because it was the last moment we shared before becoming husband and wife.

If we had to choose one detail from our wedding that was our favorite, it would be our wedding video. Watching it for the first time was like reliving the whole day–I cried all over again! The Film Poets did such a wonderful job capturing the entire day. Parts of that day were a blur because we were so overwhelmed with happiness, and Matt and Pacey created such a special keepsake to help us relieve those emotions and memories every day!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to have our ceremony at Advent, which is where my family attends church. For the reception, Paul and I were looking for something with a loft feel, rather than a country club. I loved Bridgestreet because it had so much character. It was also close to our ceremony venue, so it worked out perfectly!

Dreamcakes did our cakes and they were delicious. Mine was their vanilla flavor cake with vanilla icing. It had four tiers and was tinted to match the blue color we used throughout the wedding. It was decorated with fondant flowers and our monogram. Paul did a chocolate cake with chocolate icing for the groom’s cake, which was decorated with chocolate shavings.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Paul and I met in high school. My first memory of him is from the lunchroom, when he walked up to my best friend and I to ask her to the homecoming dance. He doesn’t remember me being there, but I definitely was! We started talking in algebra class during our sophomore year, and made it official on May 23, 2008. He proposed to me in the spring of our junior year of college. We were married the next May, three weeks after my college graduation!
Tell us all about the proposal! I’m not easy to surprise, so Paul knew his proposal would have to be well thought out. It took a couple of white lies, but he got me to his parents’ house and surprised me with a dinner on their back porch. It was set up exactly like our first (and my favorite) Valentine’s Day date, which had been in that same spot. After a delicious dinner, Paul went inside to get dessert. When he came back outside, the next thing I knew, he was on one knee, proposing! I was so surprised; Paul had a hard time understanding me through all my tears. Our families were anxiously awaiting the phone call at my parents’ house, where they had gathered to celebrate with us. It was a perfect night!
When did y’all get married? May 24, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 325
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We read traditional vows that followed the Book of Common Prayer in the Episcopal Church.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Besides marriage counseling with our pastor, Paul and I spent our engagement reading “This Momentary Marriage” by Tim Keller. We would read it on our own and then spend time together each week to talk about what we read. Even though we thought we knew all there was to know about each other, Paul and I learned a lot about what the other expected in our marriage. It was a great time to talk and pray for our future as husband and wife.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge for me was probably all the change that was happening. May brought a lot of new adventures, including college graduation, getting married, and moving into our first home as husband and wife. It could be a little overwhelming!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy every day! My mom and I had such a great time planning mine and Paul’s wedding, and I was truly sad when it was over. I look back on it and only have good memories of the whole process! My advice would just be to stay focused on the bigger picture. It is such a beautiful time in your life and you will never have it back!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Paul and I have been living in Tuscaloosa, but are planning to move back to Birmingham this summer. I will continue to teach elementary school and Paul will finish up his undergrad at UA, where he is working to become a mechanical engineer. We are looking forward to year two of marriage and all that it brings our way!

Photographer: Mandy Busby / Videographer: The Film Poets / Planner: Ginny Au / Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Church of the Advent / Reception Venue: Bridgestreet Gallery and Loft / Florist: Cloth of Gold / Paper Goods: Holly Hollon / Cake Baker: Dream Cakes / Caterer: The Happy Catering Company / Band: The Fountain City Players / Bridal Salon: Diane’s Formal Affair / Hair and Makeup: Holly Caffee / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar liam smith reply

    Amazing bridesmaid reaction shot

  2. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    Such a unique and beautiful cake, love it! Also, that bridesmaid shot is such a precious moment.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Love the sweet decals they included at their reception venue! Such a small detail, but really lovely!

  4. avatar Laura reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love everything from the invitations to the florals to the bride’s dress.

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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