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Though these details are without a doubt gorgeous, the heart behind them is equally inspiring to us! For the full story of how they connect to what matters most to each couple, click through to each original post!

Kelly and Chris’s color-coordinated paper suite (photo by Jodi Miller)

Allie and Tom’s peachy sweetheart table (photo by Britt Croft)

Amanda and Jason’s vintage escort card board (photo by Whitney Neal)

Lindsey and Greg’s breathtaking Islamorada ceremony (photo by Natalie Watson)

Monica and Jerrod’s preppy details in a refurbished warehouse (photo by Joshua Aaron)

Amy and Todd’s dreamy garden ceremony (photo by Mandy Busby)

Erin + Sean’s seaside-inspired reception decor (photo by Julie Livingston)

Brooke and Bryan’s bold red ballroom decor (photo by Amalie Orrange)

Allan and Bill’s sentimental song lyric photo backdrop (photo by Kristen Kilpatrick)

Jill and Mike’s Spanish moss-draped reception lounge (photo by Amy Arrington)

Jodi Miller Photography, Whitney Neal, Kristen Kilpatrick, and Amy Arrington are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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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.

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    Our own Lisa is getting married this weekend (!), and we’re obviously really excited for her! One thing I truly admire is how she and her adorable fiancé Dave have prepared for their marriage. Like Lisa and Dave, Amy and Todd know how important the covenant of marriage is, so during their engagement, they chose to cultivate their relationship first and foremost. Amy told us “it was important to us to prepare not only for our wedding, but for the marriage to follow–the most important part!” We completely agree! I know their wedding must have been a beautiful reflection of that sweet preparation. And, y’all, I cannot let Todd’s expression when he saw Amy for the first time pass without a note. So much love right there!

    Big SW hugs to Mandy Busby for capturing this pretty day!

    Our wedding flowers were absolutely stunning. Laura McCarty of Marked pulled together beautiful neutrals with hints of pink–plus one brilliant yellow peony–that totally suited my neutral, subdued taste. She included lots of garden roses, peonies, and greenery, which are my favorites! Laura also added kumquats to one of the arrangements, which I loved! One of my favorite parts of our wedding was the beautiful arbor that Laura flowered up. I couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful!

    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had lots of help from friends and family, who were all willing to give us advice and guidance. We also went through premartial counseling, which was really helpful for us. It was important to us to prepare not only for our wedding, but for the marriage to follow–the most important part!

    We decided not to do a first look. I wanted to save that moment for when I was walking down the aisle, and for us, I think it was perfect. Walking down the aisle was so incredibly special and memorable. Since we didn’t do a first look, it was very emotional and sweet, and the breeze wafted cherry blossom petals as I walked down the aisle. I will never forget it!

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my wedding dress was so much fun! I bought my dress from The White Room in Birmingham, Alabama. I had my mom, my three sisters, and my grandmother all come with me, and they were all so kind and supportive. It was such an honor to have them all there! I only tried on three dresses, and I knew almost immediately after I tried on the third dress that I’d found my wedding dress! I loved that it was simple and romantic and reflected who I was as a person and a bride.

    We loved having our wedding and reception at the Donnelly House in Birmingham, Alabama. I’d grown up on the same street as the owners, Carl and Karen, and it was so special to have them involved on my wedding day! The venue was also in a significant area of the city for us, as we spent a lot of our dating relationship downtown and on Highland Avenue.

    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t get caught up in the details! Details are really fun and special, but what’s really important is to enjoy the process and savor your engagement. It is such a sweet time to prepare for such a reverent day, so don’t worry too much or agonize over little details! It will all come together.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Todd and I met through mutual friends after I graduated from Auburn University and moved to Birmingham. He moved to Louisville shortly after I returned to Birmingham, but we kept running into each other at weddings and parties when he’d visit. Somehow, we started emailing, very “You’ve Got Mail.” He came in town one weekend to celebrate his sister’s birthday and he took me on a date! We decided just to go for it and date long-distance, and we are so glad we did.
    Tell us all about the proposal! Todd surprised me by coming into town one Friday afternoon. That night, we had a friend’s wedding to attend, and after the ceremony, we hopped in the car and Todd told me we weren’t going to the reception–instead, he had made reservations at Highlands Bar & Grill for “a late birthday celebration” for me. We had an incredible meal, then headed back to my parents’ home, where Todd had recruited my mom and sisters to decorate with lights and lanterns. Todd proposed to me under an arbor of lights in the front yard, while, unbeknownst to me, all of my friends and family were watching and waiting inside with cake and champagne to celebrate! It was truly magical.
    When did y’all get married? April 19, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did have one reading, Colossians 1:9-14. We had one of our dear friends read it, and it was really special. It was important to us for our ceremony to be reverent and focused on the Gospel, so the scripture reading was very important to us.
    Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Todd was totally in charge of the music, and he did an amazing job! He sings and plays guitar, so that was the only part of the wedding he insisted on planning. I walked down the aisle to “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros, one of our favorite bands. The song is incredibly beautiful and moving and perfect. We walked back up (or rather, danced back up) the aisle to Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” which was so appropriate for us as a couple! We love to dance. Our first dance was “Save You” by Matthew Perryman Jones, who is a really significant artist for us. We’ve been to several of his concerts together, and his lyrics are so sweet and romantic, perfect for a first dance.
    Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My friend and cake lady extraordinaire, Malinda Nichols, made our wedding cake! It was really fun to have her as a vendor on our big day. She made a traditional vanilla wedding cake with buttercream frosting that was to die for, and Laura adorned the cake with flowers. It was beautiful. We also had Coke cake cupcakes with buttercream frosting and sweet little cupcake flags instead of a traditional groom’s cake!
    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Trying to be budget friendly was definitely a challenge, but honestly, planning our wedding was a joy!
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We chose to limit the alcohol served to wine and beer. That helped cut down on our costs! We also chose to have both our wedding and reception in the same place, which helped our budget as well.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We’ve really enjoyed the first months of our marriage. It has been so joyful and fun! We’ve loved being able to live in the same city. It is such an honor to walk alongside your best friend every day. We’re excited to see where God leads us next!

    Photographer: Mandy Busby / Venue: The Donnelly House / Florist: Laura McCarty / Cake Baker: Malinda Nichols / Caterer: Happy Catering Company / Bride’s Gown: Robert Bullock / Bridal Salon: The White Room / Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN / Hair Stylist: Joanna Ballentine / Makeup Artist: Molly Stilley / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
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