It’s always so much fun to see sweet people in the wedding industry tie the knot! Kara (of Kara Anne Paper) knew from the day that she and William carved their initials into a tree at her father’s lake house that they’d be married there someday. Sure enough, it proved the perfect place to become husband and wife nine years later. Family is clearly so important to this couple, and I love the way they went back to their roots and the very beginning of their love story for their Alabama wedding!
We’re so glad Kara’s friend Kim Box Photography was on hand to capture every special moment of this day!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a pool party at my father’s home in Pike Road, Alabama. It was the summer of William’s senior year and my junior year of high school, and it was love at first sight. We carved our initials into a tree that overlooks the pond, where we would stand nine years later to exchange vows. After high school, we continued to see each other throughout college and over many miles. With William off to school on the West Coast and me staying in-state, we agreed we never wanted to be apart from each other again, and decided to make Alabama our home.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of having a simple, beautiful, backyard wedding at the home where I grew up swimming, fishing, and riding horses. William and I met at a pool party there one summer and the rest was history. When we carved our initials into one of the trees right in front of the dock that overlooks the pond, I knew that it would be the place where we would one day exchange our vows.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? From the beginning of the planning process, I knew I wanted to stay true to our Southern roots! We had a backyard ceremony in front of the pond and dock, with our horses grazing in the background. A white fence lines the property of the Southern-style home, and we had ferns hanging on the front porch. It doesn’t get any more Southern than that!
I loved working with our florist, Crystal Strickland of Southern Posies. After lots of inspiration boards and late night emails, Crystal made my vision come to life! We had soft, whimsical arrangements filled with lush greenery, white and pale blush and coral flowers, and a hint of bright pink in my bouquet and at the reception. One of my favorite things she created were the beautiful ferns that hung on the fence post around the pool area and on the front porch. We also placed ferns all around the island of the pond.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Kara: My most memorable moment was when William recited his vows. The love and emotion was so powerful and evident that everyone was in tears! It was truly the most special moment I’ve ever experienced. From William: My most memorable moment was seeing Kara at our first look. I was so careful not to see any pictures of her in her gown or even the gown itself, so I was truly surprised, and her beauty was amazing.
We were so pleased with our wedding vendors! Being in the wedding business, I have formed many great relationships with others in the business. I was fortunate to get to work with my good friends! It was so special to have Kim Box Photography, the 1717 Wedding Cinema team and the girls from Southern Posies with us on our wedding day. Hiring people I trusted and who shared my vision allowed William and I to sit back, relax, and just enjoy our wedding day!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Moonlight Mile” by The Rolling Stones. I really love the instrumental version, and we had a classical guitar and violinist play the procession. Our first dance was to Van Morrison’s “These are the Days” because the lyrics really connected with us. My dad and I danced to Bruce Springsteen’s “When you Need Me.” My father is a huge Springsteen fan, and again, the lyrics really captured our relationship–my father is always there for me.
Tell us all about the proposal! Our family is the most important thing in our lives and we wanted to make sure they were included in the moment. Surrounded by family and friends, William decided that dinner at the country club on his birthday was the perfect opportunity for him to pop the question. He stood up during dinner to thank everyone for being there and began to speak about the importance of family. He then asked if I would join him in starting our life as a family together! Of course, I said “yes!” My grandparents were in town and William even flew in my twin sister and mother, who live in Pennsylvania, as a surprise.
When did y’all get married? May 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did our first look before the ceremony. William’s back was turned at one end of the dock. As I walked closer to the pond, he turned around, and we met in the middle of the dock for a big hug and a kiss! It was the perfect moment! We wanted to have a private first look so we could take all of our pictures before the ceremony. After the ceremony, it was time to party!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was my mother-in-law’s beautiful pear-shaped diamond earrings. My something old was a lace embroidered handkerchief that my great-grandmother gave me as a gift. My something new was the beautiful wedding shoes that my mother gave me the day of the wedding. They were so elegant and the perfect touch!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I am in the custom paper and stationery business, and I specialize in wedding designs. I was able to save on design fees for our paper goods, as well as work out deals with other vendors in the business with whom I have working relationships.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice is to hire professionals! Having vendors who know what they are doing is so important! It will allow you to relax and know that everything is in good hands. Don’t stress over the small things. Even if you think they’re a big deal, I can promise you that others will never even notice! The week of the wedding gets really busy, so try your best to have all errands done and all the little things finished by Wednesday before the wedding–that way, you can relax and just enjoy your friends and family!
Photographer: Kim Box Photography / Videographer: 1717 Wedding Cinema / Planner and Florist: Southern Posies / Reception Venue and Caterer: Wynlakes Country Club / Wedding Cake Baker: Vickie Kyser / Rentals: Brendle Rentals / Lighting: Elite Ovations Lighting and Southern Posies / Band: The Main Attraction Band / Special Details: Custom Flag and Details / Paper Products: Kara Anne Paper / Bride’s Gown: Essence of Australia / Hair Stylist: Erin Ryser / Bride’s Shoes: Klub Nico / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G834U” in Ice by AMSALE / Groom’s Attire: Marvin Harrell at MH Custom Clothiers / Custom Shirtings: John Armstrong Clothiers / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank