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Although I don’t know Laura and Michael personally, aside from a few emails exchanged, reading their interview made me feel like they were old friends! I loved reading about everything from the dress Laura dreamed of as a little girl (and how her real-life Anne Barge beauty compared!), the meaningful ways they honored Laura’s father’s memory throughout their celebration, their goal of hosting a Southern dinner party-inspired reception in Laura’s childhood backyard, and so much more. As it’s easy to see in these photos by our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington Photography, everything came together so beautifully for their day, and along with being sweet, prayerful, and intentional, it also looks like it was so much fun!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I wore my mom’s pearl earrings and earring jackets that my dad gave her (old). My shoes (new) were a gift from my mom and sisters. But the most special surprise was my dad’s signature, which my mom had stitched in blue onto one of his old shirts and then sewn into my wedding gown (blue, old, and new). I did not put a sixpence into my shoe–it’s hard enough walking in heels without a coin rolling around in there. Something even older than my dad’s signature or my mom’s earrings was the ring bearer’s pillow and the cameo on my bouquet. The pillow was made from my paternal grandmother’s lace wedding gown. All of the cousins who have gotten married in our family so far have had their rings carried on Grammy’s lace pillow. The cameo was hand carved by my maternal great-grandfather. Both my sister and I had the cameo attached to our bouquets on our wedding day.

I was definitely one of those little girls who drew pictures of my future wedding dress with my little sisters. At one point, we even signed a contract (when we were around eight years old) to not steal each other’s ideas! We loved to draw and imagine our “one day as a princess!” My dream dress was a full gown with lace, a giant bow, and a train as long as the church! (Like I said: little girl, big dreams!) My mom and I went to The White Room the week before Christmas. I was in a sea of gorgeous, flowing dresses, some with bows, others with trains. My mom found this layered Anne Barge trunk show dress (with no lace, no bow, and a short train), and I was surprisingly drawn to it! When I tried it on, the dress was absolutely gorgeous! We started playing around with the skirt, and when we pulled the top two layers back, it created a beautiful, ribbon-like peplum (of sorts) at the back of the dress. It was architectural and romantic. I was in love! Carolyn made a delicate, scallop-edged lace top, which was sewn over the bodice of my dress, and she hemmed, stitched, and pinned the back to recreate the ribbon effect. It was perfect in every way!

Describe your wedding flowers. My dad used to grow garden roses for my mom. If I could keep a plant alive, I would grow roses for Dad. Our wedding flowers were the garden I wish I could grow and cultivate and love on every day! When I first met with Carole to pick out our flowers, she let me read through several books she had. I learned about (what seemed like) hundreds of flowers! It was so hard to narrow it down for our wedding. Ultimately, it was the succulents, the garden roses, and the peonies that won my heart. Carole did such an incredible job making every little idea we had come to life. I especially loved how she wrapped the columns of the tent with grapevines to complement the trees surrounding the tent in our yard.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! With such a late ceremony, we wanted to make sure we had the opportunity to capture the day and to preserve the reception for spending time rejoicing with our family and friends!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We both love music, so it was probably one of the hardest things to nail down. We could always think of another song we wanted to add or knew there was one trapped in the back of our minds that we had to remember to play. Ultimately, it took a little pushing from our wedding planner, Emma. For the ceremony, we decided to have a string quartet, as Michael grew up going to the symphony with his family. The soft sound of the strings complimented the pieces in our ceremony beautifully!

Our vows were the most memorable moment of my life. In that moment, I truly did feel everything else melt away around me. It was like everything went quiet, and I could only hear Michael and me making our covenant with God. It is the clearest moment I have ever had. If my memory ever goes, I think even the deep, unknown feeling of this day would make Michael known to me.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have always wanted to have my wedding reception at home (again, part of the sister wedding pact). It was truly a dream to have it all come together in a place that holds so many beautiful memories, especially of the time Michael and my dad got to know each other in the last few years before he passed away.

One of our favorite things to do together is to share a meal. I love to cook, and Michael loves to eat, so it’s a pretty good combination. Sometimes, it is so hard to slow down life and really take the time to talk to and know the people around you. When I think of the South, I think of taking that time to slow down and to share something that you have (tea, cookies, a meal, etc.) with your guests, while taking a moment to really know them. That’s what we wanted for our reception. We wanted our guests to share a meal together. We set the table like you would when all of your family comes over for Thanksgiving, Easter, or Christmas–you run out of china and silverware, so you mix and match, pull everyone up to your longest farm tables, and lay out a delicious meal (and some yummy Southern cocktails).

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would say remember to have fun. Your marriage is the beginning of a lifetime with your best friend. The wedding is a celebration of that defining moment where it all begins–a short time to have all of your family and friends together. Do you know how rare that moment will be? Can you think of another time in your life when you will be able to have all of those people you love so dearly together at one time? It is so beautiful. It is a time to be treasured. Don’t cloud the preparation with anxiety. You’ll miss out on a rare moment in your life. Something will always go against the perfect plan you had. Let it go. It’s nothing compared to the joy around you!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Michael and I met in college. It took him a few days to ask me out because he was looking for a girl with the wrong name. Once he got that cleared up, he asked me out. Then, life got real: I studied abroad, he graduated from graduate school, my dad passed away, he moved to Houston for work, I moved to Austin for my Masters…lots of craziness, but love is hard, yet easy. I cannot imagine walking through life with anyone who could love me better or challenge me more.
Tell us all about the proposal! We were in Memphis, Tennessee celebrating Thanksgiving with Michael’s family. All week, we had woken up early to go on jogs before the day got under way. He came in to wake me up on Friday morning and was all excited to run (in the freezing cold weather). We were getting dressed and he tried to pull off shorts and a t-shirt, because he knew we wouldn’t be out there long, but I–the ever weather-wary runner–would not let him leave without some layers. One hooded sweatshirt and some knee high socks later, Michael was ready to go. I sported an old hoodie, which I tied securely around my face with a bow. Michael tried to help me by untying it but I was insistent (for warmth, of course!). So, off we went to jog the green belt. It was ABSOLUTELY gorgeous. Everything a fall day can offer. The leaves literally rustled in the wind and dispersed at our feet as we happily trotted along. About a quarter of a mile into our jog, Michael paused, knelt, and pulled a deep burgundy pocket square out of his shorts (I didn’t even know there were pockets in his shorts!). The whole thing was a blur of joy! Next thing I knew, I am trying to figure out which hand I was supposed to hand over. Michael knew what he was doing, though, and slipped his mother’s engagement ring onto my left hand. When we got home, I discovered his entire family had worked all morning to throw an engagement party for us. To my surprise, when we opened the door, my family was there, too! He had planned ahead with my mother and they drove up from Birmingham early that morning to celebrate with us!
When did y’all get married? June 27, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Michael’s favorite bible verse is Romans 8:38-39: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” I struggle to write anything more, because how could I possibly elaborate on something so beautiful and so fierce?
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Cake! Noms! Cake tasting was a day I was so excited for, and it lived up to my expectations!! I just wanted a simple cake with some flowers on top. On the other hand, the groom’s cake was designed to reflect Michael. The oak tree stump was for his childhood dog, Oakley, who was Michael’s “brother” growing up. The bike was a tribute to Michael’s devotion to and completion of Ironman Florida just a few months before our wedding, and the spotted cutie was our pup, Eli.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Aside from the flowers, the rain. Gosh, I just love a summer rain. It cools you off and also kind of makes you just sit and take it in, you know?
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Father Bob was our team coach. We had a huddle. He gave the plan. We walked down the aisle.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Who knows. We are a crazy bunch, Michael, Eli (the pup), and me. We’ll find ourselves on an adventure soon. For now, we are enjoying pulling together our home.
Is there anything you’d like to add that our readers might be interested in? My third cousin, Abbot Richard, performed our nuptial blessing. He is a Norbertine Abbot, O. Praem at Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, Pennsylvania. It was so special having a little bit of the past tying together the present and the future. We are excited to live our marriage as witness to the loving marriages that formed the generations before us and gave us the beautiful and loving families that we grew up with.

Photographer: Amy Arrington | Videographer: Alan Harned | Planner: Mariee Ami | Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of Saint Paul | Reception Venue: Private residence | Florist: Lagniappe Designs, Inc. | Cake Baker: Barb’s Cakes, LLC | Caterer: Hot and Hot Fish Club | Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited | Lighting: Design Productions | Band: The Pat Patrick Band | Bride’s Gown: Anne Barge | Bridal Salon and Bride’s Veil: The White Room | Hair and Makeup: Celine Russell | Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “In Perpetuity Camisole” and “Anika Tulle Skirt” by BHLDN | Menswear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear | Calligrapher: Jan Pruitt | Ceremony Musicians: Angela Franklin, Bruce Ludwick, Deborah Flax

Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Matt Selby reply

    What a stunning set of photographs! Love the mono shots, the couple must be thrilled with these :)

  2. avatar Brooke Paris reply

    “Our vows were the most memorable moment of my life. In that moment, I truly did feel everything else melt away around me. It was like everything went quiet, and I could only hear Michael and me making our covenant with God. It is the clearest moment I have ever had. If my memory ever goes, I think even the deep, unknown feeling of this day would make Michael known to me.”

    …Holy WOW. I’m in tears, this is one of the most beautiful descriptions of the wedding ceremony I’ve ever heard.

  3. avatar Mountain Brook, AL Wedding : Laura + Mike reply

    […] you SOUTHERN WEDDINGS for featuring their […]

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Getting married in the same church where your parents did is such a sweet way to honor your family, but that’s not the only reason I am smitten with Blythe and Ryan’s wedding! We are wedding date twins (BDK and I were also married on December 13!), and their ceremony was held at my very favorite church! I grew up attending the amazing Cathedral in downtown Mobile, and I not-so-secretly wish BDK and I had tied the knot there. The columns alone will make you weak in the knees! Add a classic lace Lela Rose gown, stunning all-white blooms, and a yummy menu at the Mobile Country Club, and you’ve just jumped onto the list of my favorite weddings we’ve featured!

Thanks to 509 Photo for sharing this lovely day with us!

P.S. Can we talk about Blythe’s getaway style? That dress + that fur–B, let’s be friends, okay?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was our sophomore year at Alabama and I was on my way home for the weekend when I got a call from my friend, begging me to turn around and come back to Tuscaloosa, so I did! That night, we went to dinner with a girl who had just transferred from Georgia and did not know many people. After dinner, we went to to DKE house to hang out and meet her boyfriend and his roommate, Ryan. Little did I know, Ryan and I would end up getting married five years later!

I flew to Birmingham one weekend to meet with our planners, and stopped by Ivory and White to look at dresses. I had seen a Lela Rose dress online that I liked, but I did not know how it would look in person. I tried it on and LOVED it, but then I tried on another Lela Rose dress and loved that one too!! One was more classic and the other was a little edgy, and in the end, I decided to go with the more classic dress.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not! Ryan is very superstitious, so the first time we saw each other was at the altar!

I grew up Catholic and always wanted to get married in the Cathedral downtown. It is such a beautiful church and my parents were married there years before on December 12, so our anniversaries are a day apart! We are members at the Country Club of Mobile, so it was a natural choice for our reception. We loved that the back room opened up to the outdoors!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The wedding party took a trolley ride from the church to the reception, and it was so much fun having everyone together!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? All of the food served was inspired by the South! From the grilled oysters, to the boom boom shrimp, to the Chrissy’s, to the groom’s cake (complete with a Texas flag)!, we loved it all!

Tell us all about the proposal! I hate New Years Eve–I think it is so overrated, and I would much rather stay at home and have pizza and wine! Ryan made reservations for us at a restaurant called Steele near my apartment, and we planned to meet his parents and friends for drinks beforehand at the Katy Trail Icehouse. For some reason, Ryan wanted to walk there on the trail–he usually never wants to walk! When we got to the trail, I saw candles lit and roses all over the stairs leading up to the trail. I started walking right past it (thinking, “Oh great, someone’s getting engaged and it’s not me–again!). Then, Ryan grabbed me, got on his knee, and popped the question. Of course, I said yes! We then headed to the Icehouse, where all of our friends and family were there to celebrate! It was such a special night and I will never forget it!
When did y’all get married? December 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I live in Dallas and the wedding was in Mobile, so it was very hard to not be there and plan everything in person!

Photographer: 509 Photo / Planner: Mariée Ami / Ceremony Venue: Cathedral Basilica Of The Immaculate Conception / Reception Venue and Caterer: Country Club Of Mobile / Florist: Elizabeth’s Garden / Cake Baker: Couture Cakes / Band: Musical Fantasy / Bride’s Gown: “Spring” by Lela Rose / Bridal Salon and Bride’s Accessories: Ivory and White / Hair Stylist: Jason Chambers / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale

Ivory and White is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Michelle reply

    Beautiful pics !

  2. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    What a classic, romantic, and gorgeous wedding this is! I’m loving all of the details, including the black & white photos!!

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I have always been known to cry over a good wedding video, but I must admit–the closer my own wedding day gets (five months, y’all!!), any ounce of strength to resist tears that I had before is dwindling by the day. And when it came to this gorgeous film by The Film Poets? Let’s just say it’s a good thing I first watched it at home instead of in the office! The joy that Katherine and Kyle clearly have in each other is so beautiful, and their Alabama wedding struck the loveliest balance of sentimental and celebratory. Plus, hats off to Kyle’s mama for delivering one of the sweetest speeches I’ve ever heard!

From the bride:

We met at a small café in Venice, California. Kyle used to play guitar there on Saturday nights for open mic night. My friends and I would go to watch people perform, and as soon as I heard him playing country music, I knew I had to meet him. He later told me that as soon as he saw my brown cowboy boots, he thought, “I need to get to know her!” After a few weeks of catching each other’s eyes, I went up and introduced myself after one of his performances. We’ve been together ever since!

Our wedding was a true labor of love! We planned for over a year, and flipped the lake point from a beautiful ceremony site to an elegant seated dinner. After the ceremony, Kyle and I stayed inside to grab a quick bite to eat and spend some time alone together before the reception. When they called us out and we saw the transformation that had taken place, it took our breath away! It was unforgettable!

Videographer: The Film Poets / Photographer: Stacy Richardson Photography / Planner: Mariée Ami / Venue: Private residence / Flowers: Lagniappe Designs / Lighting: A.G. Lighting / Band: Momentum Party Band / Catering: Savoie Catering / Bride’s Cake: Olexa’s / Bride’s Gown: Winnie Couture / Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way / Hair and Makeup: Kerri Bunn

See more wedding films here!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Brittany reply

    Oh my gosh!

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    I teared up too, Lisa! This is beautiful and the words spoken are so special :)

  3. avatar Allison reply

    I love those tambourines – so fun! Where are they from?

  4. avatar Heather reply

    Such a beautiful story and wedding. The reading by the mom is a mom who truly loves her son. I can only hope to marry a man one day who has the love his mom like Kyle

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