When it comes to mixing decor genres, I believe Southern and nautical make the perfect pair! Throwing some British inspiration into the mix could have made it more than interesting, but for Heather and Eric, with the help of their planner and florist, Crystal at Southern Posies, incorporating all the different strands of their heritage came together in an absolutely lovely day! I’m officially obsessed with the oyster shell table runner and the story behind Heather’s single magnolia bloom bouquet (be sure to read below)!
We’re sending bug hugs all the way to Austin to Mrs. Caroline Joy for capturing this pretty day!
My something borrowed was my late grandfather’s tie pin that my grandmother lent me; my grandfather was the beloved patriarch of our entire family, and we lost him just a few years ago, so I just had to have him there with us somehow. My something blue was an evil eye charm that a stranger pinned on me when I was a baby–he told my parents that “I would need it,” as they are supposed to protect the wearer from evil thoughts. My something old was my antique sapphire ring that my parents found when we lived in England. My something new turned out to be a solitaire teardrop sapphire necklace that Eric gave me on our wedding day. I also had a sixpence in my shoe that my brother’s best friend brought me over from England when he came for the wedding to surprise my brother!
The décor was an odd mix of Southern, nautical, and a little British (my family and I lived in England when I was in high school). My planner and florist, Crystal, and I picked out soft blooms in cream and blush to complement everything, and anemones, succulents, and dusty miller really brought out the nautical elements. After Crystal and I had designed a beautiful bridal bouquet, Eric and I were having a hard day with a difficult, very personal family issue. Driving into my neighborhood, I saw that the magnolia trees were in bloom, and seeing them cheered me up, so I asked Eric to stop so I could pick one. I’ve always loved magnolias, so I apologized to Crystal and asked her to change my bouquet–I carried a single magnolia bloom, and Eric’s boutonniere was a magnolia seed.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, going with tradition. We did write promise notes to each other though, and our favorite promises were to never stop working on our marriage and to always speak kindly to each other, no matter what. That’s a promise we live by now.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I made an appointment at Ivory and White in Birmingham and showed my consultant, Molly, several pictures of dresses. She laughed and told me that all my pictures were of the same dress, and she had it in the store! I tried it on and just loved it. My momma, however, really didn’t like it. Even though it made me sad that my mom wasn’t in love with it like I was, I just didn’t see another dress I liked. We found out the designer was having a trunk show at the store in a few months, so we waited until then to purchase the dress. The day my mom, my mother-in-law, and I went to buy the dress, I tried on lots of trunk show dresses, just for fun. My mom really liked one of them, and when I put it on, I realized it had everything the first dress had, and more. The only thing this dress didn’t have was a train, but Molly told me the designer could add a train to the dress. It was perfect!
Short of the British pub table outside the church, I am not sure what wasn’t Southern about our wedding. All of the food was Southern–sweet potato fries, oysters, green beans, fried chicken, prime rib, mashed potatoes, cornbread, collards, and chicken tenders and mac and cheese for the kids. The pound cake and red velvet cake are both Southern favorites. A lot of the details included seersucker and grosgrain. We included our love for Auburn–guests signed a framed and matted print from Auburn that says “from family grows tradition,” and I had a garter from Tiger Rags. We are the fourth generation in my family to be married in June. My favorite Southern details were the hand-sewn heirloom dresses we gave to the bell ringers, because they turned out to be the prettiest ones I have ever seen. And of course, our favorite Southern tradition was our receiving line.
I really love classical music, and being a ballet dancer, visualizing things to classical music comes easily to me. When I listened to the wedding pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, I could just see all of those walks up and down the aisle. The music is so, so beautiful and romantic and just lent itself perfectly to our wedding.
When we told Ms. Rose Pollman, the wedding cake designer at the Staple bakery in Mobile, that we wanted a traditionally decorated cake, she was over the moon. Too funny! She made the most delicious cream cheese pound cake that we served with strawberries.Eric’s groom cake was red velvet, and the cake topper on it held special significance to us. On a road trip, we passed two horses on opposite sides of a fence that were nuzzling necks as close as they could get. We just knew they loved each other! The nuzzling birds now always remind us of those horses and to love each other, no matter what fence is in the way.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The summer after my junior year at Auburn University, a friend invited me to go downtown one night. There, I met all of his friends, including Eric. We were instantly attracted to each other, and were pleasantly surprised to find out that we were both majoring in engineering. We started to hang out more and more, and not long after we met, Eric brought up talk of a relationship, which I didn’t quite respond to the way he had hoped, and apparently, I didn’t talk to him for two weeks. As fate would have it, magic was in the air that fall, and we grew closer with each date and exciting football game. A few months later, a friend of a friend blatantly asked us, in front of a lot of people, if we were “like, together?” to which Eric furiously shook his head and said that was not the case. I thought his response was a little too quick–I guess it was his revenge for the alleged “two weeks of silence,” because when I asked him if that wasn’t a possibility, he said it was possible. The next morning, on his birthday, I remember waking up so happy because I was thinking of him. I told him later that I had a birthday present for him–that if he wanted to talk about a relationship, I wouldn’t freak out. It took us six months from when we first met to put aside our stubbornness, but we’ve pretty much been inseparable ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Eric: It was December, and I picked the ring up on Saturday morning with a reservation at Hamilton’s Restaurant that night to “celebrate her performances in The Nutcracker Ballet.” After dinner, I convinced Heather to go on campus with me instead of going to see her family, who were in town for her ballet performances, at a nearby restaurant. After some nerve-wracking conversation, we finally walked over to the swing where we had gone to talk after our first date. After reminiscing about that date, I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. After a noticeable and, once again, nerve-wracking pause, she started to cry, so I tried to lighten the mood and said “Please?” She said yes!
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 200
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut having a videographer pretty early on, which is actually something I really regret–I wish we had taken a longer look to cut out other things that weren’t lasting. We used a lot of our own décor, which cut down on flower costs and rentals. Also, my planner and the awesome lady who designed our paper suite are both just starting out in the industry, so their costs were not as high as most other vendors. They were both fantastic and attentive and so personable to work with, and their work turned out more beautifully than I could have imagined!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I’m a crier, and I surprised myself the entire day by not crying. I was just so happy all day! But then, we started saying our vows, and tears just started streaming down my face. The most memorable moment for me was when Eric wiped my tears away.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are just happy to be living together and having quiet days to ourselves. We are definitely looking forward to building our home, traditions, and family together!
Photographer: Caroline Joy Photography / Planner and Florist: Crystal Strickland from Southern Posies / Ceremony Venue: Fairhope United Methodist Church / Reception Venue and Catering: Steelwood / Wedding Cake: Pollman’s Bakery / Band: The Voltage Brothers through EastCoast Entertainment / Paper Products: Kara Anne Paper / Bride’s Gown: “Katarina” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Second Gown: “Sweet Dreams” by Ivy and Aster / Bride’s Veil: “Leda” by Vera Wang / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade /Hair Stylist: Joanna Ballentine and Molly Stilley from Morgan Ashley Salon / Makeup Artist: Celine Russell / Bride’s Shoes: “Chantilly Booties” from BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Niceties Dress” in French Grey from BHLDN / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse / Bow Ties: J. Hilburn / Cufflinks: Bullet Cufflinks / Girls’ Getting Ready Robes: BHLDN