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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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Southern Weddings readers are known for wanting to squeeze every drop of fun and meaning out of wedding planning that they can, and we love that trait! So it’s not surprising that we (and you) are all about asking your best gals to join you as bridesmaids in a special way. Often this has to be done virtually, but if you happen to live close by, we love this “will you be my bridesmaid” party inspiration from Mobella Events, all done up in fabulous Lilly Pulitzer style!

Big hugs to Sivan Photography for these images!

From Mobella Events: Some of life’s most precious moments happen on the grounds of your very own home. When it was time for Katherine to ask her friends to be in her wedding party, she decided to have them over and make it a surprise. What her friends thought was going to be a fun afternoon at their bestie’s house was about to get so much more exciting!

After seating her friends at the table, Katherine unrolled a scroll with a special message: “I have my mister, but I can’t do it without my sisters! Will you be my wedding gals?” The girls were beyond excited, and of course they said yes!

Anyone recognize that signature expression? It’s none other than our own Kristin Winchester, who couldn’t have been a more natural fit for a shoot about friendship and LP!

You can see this fun day in action, too!

I’d love to hear: how did you ask your bridesmaids to stand beside you on your big day? I wrote them each a heartfelt note and stuck them in the mail!

Attire: Lilly Pulitzer | Cake: Everything Cake | Caterer: Southern Traditions | Coordinator: Mobella Events | Desserts: Two Sweets Bake Shop | Flowers: Blue Ribbon Weddings & Events | Hair: Brittney Boscana, Brie & Brie | Linen: Wildflower Linen | Location: Peachtree House | Makeup: Tracie Cervero | Models: Lydia Aluri, Courtney Moore, Kristin Winchester, Charlotte Darley, Lindsay Demoranville | Monogrammed Items: The Monogram Merchant | Photographer: Sivan Photography | Rentals: A Chair Affair | Stationery: Pretty Peacock Paperie | Videography: Seltzer Films

Two Sweets Bake Shop is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Audrey {Custom Wedding Songs} reply

    I love that first picture of all the girls.

  2. avatar Peachtree House: A Lilly Pulitzer Inspired Bridesmaid Luncheon | reply

    […] This gorgeous Lilly Pulitzer inspired bridesmaid luncheon styled shoot has been featured on Southern Weddings! […]

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For these two self-proclaimed sentimentalists, weaving details of their own story, their families, and their friends into their wedding day was second nature. I’ve heard of using one’s mother’s or grandmother’s dress pieces before, but I absolutely adore how Blaine and Brian wove pieces of the dress she wore on their very first date into their wedding fabrics! Pieces were sewn inside her wedding dress, into his suit, and even into the fabric flowers that were given to each guest! They called it “a symbol of beginnings” and gracious alive, I love that! I also love the way they incorporated their family’s antique tractors, good ol’ moonshine, and cowbells into their wedding day–they did tie the knot at a cow farm, after all!

SW hugs and thanks to Abby Caldwell for sharing this adorably Southern day with us!

I asked the two strongest, bravest, and most honest women in my life, my mother and mother-in-law, to meet me in DC for the weekend to check out a few boutiques suggested by some girlfriends. I had always imagined I would fall in love with a fitted lace gown with a beautiful neckline and back, and we found just that at our last stop. It was gorgeous…but I could not bring myself to buy it. I had purchased tickets to a Brides Against Breast Cancer event months before and had planned our weekend trip so that we could end the dress shopping day there. The dresses were all arranged by size and roped off at one side of the room. We were instructed that once the whistle blew, we were allowed to grab as many dresses as we could hold. Having scoped out the scene during cocktail hour, we knew exactly where the dresses in my size were. One dress caught my eye, and when the whistle blew, a faster bride who I did not even see standing next to me grabbed it. I asked one of the ladies working the event to follow her, and if she took it off, to grab it. She did take it off, I got it, and it fit like a glove. It was absolutely nothing like the dress I was going to buy, but something about it was special and I bought it on the spot. The best part is that the proceeds from the event go to programs to help support breast cancer patients and their families. This was the icing on the cake, as Brian’s mother is a breast cancer survivor.

Describe your wedding flowers. Rosemary took the lead in our florals because it is the herb of remembrance, Brian’s grandmother’s name, and our favorite cooking herb, so we wanted the wedding to be flooded with the scent. Scent is one of the strongest memory triggers–forever, something as simple as cooking dinner will remind us of our special day. We incorporated rosemary into my bouquet, Brian’s boutonniere, our mothers’ nosegays, and our fathers’ boutonnieres. It also lined the aisles at the church and was spread throughout the floral arrangements at the farm.

I convinced Brian that burying the bourbon was totally going to work and that if it did not, then at least we would have an extra bottle of booze at the wedding if it rained. Well it did not rain…in fact, it was gorgeous and unseasonably warm. We dug up the bottle during cocktail hour with the help of my Uncle Frank. The three of us shared the first sips, and then our lovely wedding party passed it around. It was gone by dinner and the bottle is being framed for us as a keepsake. Other details included our custom monogram with design inspiration from the first ring Brian gave me, hay, mason jars, cowbells (we were at a cow farm, after all), our family’s antique tractors and cars, moonshine, sweet tea, barbecue pulled pork sliders, mini chicken and waffles, baskets of Southern breads at dinner, country music, and more.

Family, friends, tradition, and hospitality are very important to Brian and I. We are both super sentimental, so our wedding was packed with details that weaved pieces of our story, our families, and our friends into our day. Our favorite detail was the fact that there are probably only a couple of times in our lives when all of the most important people to us are gathered together. It was truly the best day ever because they were there to share it with us.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Brian and I are not big sweets people, but we know desserts are a huge fan favorite at weddings. Therefore, we had simple cutting cake made with layers of pistachio cake and pistachio icing, that we cut with the cake cutter used at Brian’s parents’ wedding. We also served a variety of cupcakes and pies, mini caramel apples, black forest doughnuts, chocolate-covered strawberries, and vanilla ice cream from our local dairy farm.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Brian: We met at the Liberty Tavern in Arlington, Virginia in the spring of 2007. It was the hip new place in Arlington, and Blaine was working as a bartender/cocktail waitress. It took me a little while, but after several chats at the bar, some casual flirting, and some help from my best friend’s wife, I worked up the guts to ask her out and she said yes. Our first “real” date was at Old Ebbitt’s Grille in Washington D.C. The dress she wore on that date was woven into different fabrics at our wedding (her wedding dress, handkerchiefs for her wedding party, my suit, pocket squares for the groomsmen, the fabric flowers for each guest). It was a symbol of beginnings.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Brian: We go for a morning run every Saturday as a way of letting the week go and feeling good before we splurge on food/drinks/fun activities for the rest of the day. On April 7, 2012, I carefully placed the ring inside the pedometer pouch velcroed through my laces before we set out for our jog. The last mile took us out to the jetty, where my idea of a romantic setting for a proposal was immediately interrupted by 30 mph winds, crashing waves, jagged rocks, disgruntled fishermen, and kids screaming about the sand blowing in their eyes…not to mention, my sweaty, stinky body and lack of breath. Perfection, I’ve learned, is not without humor. I guided us to the flattest rocks we could find to sit on and stretch out our legs, and admittedly, began behaving awkwardly. As we were sitting, I must have said “Well, take it all in” four times before I finally added, “…because things are about to change.” Before she could get a word in, I continued by saying that today was about taking something ordinary, like our Saturday morning runs, and making it extraordinary. With tears in her eyes, Blaine asked if I was about to make her cry, and I pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me. She said, “Yes, but don’t get down on one knee out here!” We laughed, hugged, and kissed…then we got off the rocks and I dropped to one knee on the sand for good measure.
When did y’all get married? October 12, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our reception was hosted on the Lane Farm, which has been in Blaine’s family for three generations.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The church has a magnificent organ, so we wanted to highlight that with the selection of our ceremony music. The bridal party entered to “Canon in D” by Pachelbel. My father and I walked in to “Rondeau” by Mouret, and the recessional music was “La Rejouisannce” by Handel. The dancing was kicked off by Brian’s parents dancing to “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole, since it was their 39th wedding anniversary. My father and I danced to Faith Hill’s “There You’ll Be,” sung by Abby Caldwell, our photographer and childhood friend. That was the only time during the day when my father cried. He looked at me and said, “Your grandmother would be so proud of the man you’re marrying.” For our first dance, we selected “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, performed by our band, the Alex White Band. Our guests circled the dance floor and helped sing the lyrics. It was fantastic!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The best moment was sneaking away from the party to take a truck ride up the hill through a herd of cows. It was funny, a little goofy, and perfect. We stood on top of the hill looking down over the party and saw everyone from all the corners of our lives, smiling and celebrating together. It was exactly what we wanted our day to be. That image will stay with us forever.

Photographer: Abby Caldwell Photography / Videographer: Birdhouse Productions / Planner: Stefanie Hansen of BlueShoe Events / Ceremony Venue: Basilica of St. Mary of the Assumption / Reception Venue: Private residence / Florist: Rose Bredl / Cupcakes: KC Cupcakes (Cousin of the Bride) / Pies: Linda Canfield (Aunt of the Bride) / Caterer: Frank Lane (Owner of Lane Farm and Uncle of the Bride) and Creative Cuisine / Band: Alex White & Friends / Custom Ties and Pocket Squares: Fox & Brie / Bride’s Gown: “Nadine” by Amsale / Paper Products: Designed by the Bride and Groom / Printing: Paper Source / Hair Stylist: Carrie D Creamer / Makeup Artist: Michael Phillip Zamora / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Groom’s Attire: Hickey Freeman / Dance Floor and Table Rentals: McGuffey Tents / Chairs: D & R Rental Service / Portable Restrooms: ABC Restroom / Transportation: Creative Coach Company (Fun Bus)

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    I LOVE that they used the dress Blaine wore on their first date throughout the wedding! What a sweet way to work in precious memories :)

  2. avatar Abby Caldwell reply

    This is amazing. I love it. More than you know, this has made my day so special! Not only is SW a fav of mine, but I am such a hometown girl. Seeing MY town on this blog. Wow. And to top it off, I love seeing the smiling face of a happy childhood friend.

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Blaine and Brian (literally) wove sentimental details into their West Virginia farm wedding. We love the sweet nod to the groom’s Hawaiian heritage in Jenny and Justin‘s South Carolina wedding. Katie and Michael‘s New Orleans wedding was inspired by their beautiful French Quarter venue. Have a wonderful weekend, and big congratulations to anyone getting married this weekend, including Southern Bride Blogger Kellie, Emily‘s sister-in-law, Natalie! […]

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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