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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!?!

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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
4 Comments
  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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