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When it comes to Southern cities, Birmingham is one of my very favorites–after calling it home for almost two years, I can attest to the magic of its skyline. It’s the perfect mix of old South and city glamour–just like Megan and Josh’s wedding day, as a matter of fact! Together with their planner, Invision Events, M + J created a wedding day that started with a traditional Southern ceremony, and transitioned into a city chic reception complete with ghost chairs, ikat table runners, and stunning flower chandeliers! Of course, they remembered to add in a little Southern flair with their signature cocktail, aptly named “Alabama Sunshine!”

Big hugs to Morgan Trinker for sending us this sweet day!

I thought I knew THE dress I wanted–Molly Sims’ gorg Marchesa gown. Funny thing though, the dresses I saw on a 6-foot model didn’t exactly look the same on me! My mom and I went dress shopping casually one Saturday, and I tried on a handful of dresses. My mom really had that “moment” with one of the dresses, but I was more hesitant, only because we had not been to all the dress places yet. We left empty-handed, but then we kept going back to that one. I loved the fit and the dramatic lace back. Mom definitely knew best, and we went for it!

Describe your wedding flowers. When we met for our first meeting, my mom and Chris and I became instant best friends. We felt like we had known him for years. I showed him my inspiration images, and he took it from there. We never even really went over exact details of the colors and flowers. I was really shocked that I was okay not knowing what the exact final product would look like, but I really trusted him and knew that whatever he came up with would be nothing short of fabulous. I was blown away when I walked into our venue. The floral chandeliers? My bouquet of massive pink peonies? Perfection!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose classic songs, and they were played so beautifully, it brought me to tears. I walked down the aisle to “Prince of Denmark’s March,” and we walked out as husband and wife to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” We had such amazing musicians–from the strings, to the trumpets, to the pianist, to the vocals, our ceremony music was just magical.

Our ceremony was at our beautiful church–I always knew I would be married there. It is such a special place for me and it has recently become special to John as well. We grew so much in our faith journey together throughout our engagement! Our reception was on the rooftop of a building in downtown Birmingham. I knew I wanted a reception venue that was different, and my now sister-in-law suggested the rooftop of the Kress Building. We fell in love with the rooftop concept and the view of the city!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The vibe of our reception was very city chic, but I think everything about our ceremony was simply Southern! We wanted all the traditional Southern aspects in our ceremony. We also made sure our signature cocktail had some Southern flair and was aptly named Alabama Sunshine!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I loved our cake! It was not something I put a lot of focus on, but I literally squealed with excitement when I saw it at our reception! It was exactly what I had envisioned, and my floral designer provided the moss-covered cake stand and the amazing pink peonies.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through our good friends, Lauren and Chris. I lived with Lauren when she began dating Chris, who happened to be one of John’s good friends. They first introduced us at a party. I thought John wasn’t interested in me, and he thought the same thing about me! From that night on, we ended up in the same scene and same group outings, and eventually, he asked me out to dinner. We’ve been inseparable ever since. Lauren and Chris are now married as well, so we have pretty perfect double date nights!
Tell us all about the proposal! I went over to John’s house on a Sunday morning. When I glanced into the bedroom, I saw a box on the bed and candles in the room, so I knew something was up! John told me the gift was for me…just because! I opened it and found a little Louis Vuitton clutch. I was like, “What? Why in the world did you go spend money on this!?” As I was unzipping and examining the clutch, John turned on our special little song “Thank You for Stepping into My Life,” and got down on one knee! It was so special and sweet. He had planned a nice brunch to celebrate with both of our families afterward, and it was perfect.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we have a special relationship with our Reverend who officiated our ceremony. She made it so special, personal, and intimate!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my now mother-in-law’s blue topaz bracelet, which was so special, so that was my borrowed and blue! My something old was my late Nana’s handkerchief that I wrapped around my bouquet. My something new was my dress!
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? When considering little items and details, we really asked ourselves, “Is this necessary? If we don’t have this little detail or that little feature, will it change our whole vision of the day?” The majority of the time, the answer was no!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take in every moment and enjoy it. We all get so wrapped up and stressed out about the dress, the reception, the cake, the caterer, etc. Everything falls into place, so don’t sweat the small stuff!

Photographer: Morgan Trinker / Planner: Invision Events / Ceremony Venue: Trinity United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: The Historic Kress Building / Florist: Christopher Joseph Designs / Cake Baker: Magic Muffins Bakery / Catering: Shindigs Catering / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Lighting: AG Lighting / Band: The Fountain City Players / Paper Products: Alan’s Invitations / Bride’s Gown: Enzoani / Hair Stylist: Salon M Squared / Makeup Artist: Louise Robertson / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Groom’s Attire: Mr. Burch Formal Affair

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Lauren + Max: Birmingham Engagement Session reply

    […] about her upcoming rooftop wedding at the Historic Kress Building, reminiscing about one of our past weddings at that spot. We all knew this was a match made in […]

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Yippee!! Just a few more weeks until V5 arrives!

Erin + Brian might have shared their first kiss on a fifth grade class field trip to the planetarium, but they had no idea they would reconnect years later. Brian even brought Erin back to the same planetarium to get down on one knee and ask her to marry him. (Aww!) Though the two were so ready to get married that they considered tying the knot at city hall, they stuck it out and used their seven-month engagement to create a barn-side wedding full of DIY details and family heirlooms. We love the combination of soft cotton and succulent plants throughout their big day and the fun projection they played against their tent at the reception. Big thanks to Morgan Trinker for sharing this one with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I planned an entire weekend in Birmingham to find my dress and had dress fittings scheduled at 3 different stores. I knew what type of dress I was looking for, so that helped as we walked into our first appointment at The White Room. We were both shocked when I picked the second dress I tried on. I put on a third dress, but I was dying to put the second one back on. That was the easiest part of planning our wedding!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not do a first look. It was very important to Brian that we see each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. The expression on his face as I was walking toward him was so worth the wait.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two groomsmen and two bridesmaids read a passage from “This Momentary Marriage” by John Piper as Brian and I “planted” a tree. They read pages 55-57. It was long, but filled with great words every new couple should hear!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We had string instruments and a pianist playing for the ceremony. It was beautiful! I walked down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri and walked back up the aisle to “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. Our first dance was to”You and I” by Michael Buble

One of my favorite Southern details from the wedding was the actual venue! Hampstead Farms was the perfect location to celebrate our marriage. I loved how naturally beautiful the growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers looked around our tent, and the gorgeous red barn was the perfect background to every photo. I am also obsessed with crafting and creating, so I love that many Southern weddings now include DIY aspects, which helped me add personal details to our big day. I handmade our save-the-dates, invitations and RSVP cards using paper from Paper Source and custom made stamps from Antiquaria. I also put together the aisle markers using burlap bows and twig wreaths, made the ring bearer pillow, and put together the wedding favors with the help of incredible friends and family. My sweet groom and his brother also made the tree candle holders which were used on the reception tables. Throughout our engagement, I was collecting lanterns and cake plates. I also had many sentimental items used that day, like my baby bonnet which was wrapped around my bouquet, and my grandmother’s doilies, which were used on several different tables.

I am terrible when it comes to flower names, but that’s where pinterest and my incredible florist came in handy. I showed them several pictures of succulents, garden roses, and ranunculus, and asked them to make wild bouquets with similar flowers and add lots of greenery. I was blown away! We had a great mix of succulents, lambs ear (my favorite), branches, and several other flowers. They also built our centerpiece flower boxes for the reception, and they turned out even better than I imagined!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We actually had five cakes and some Greek desserts. Peggy McKinney made our two-tiered white wedding cake with buttercream frosting, and our one-tiered cakes in peanut butter fudge, strawberry, and key lime. My Aunt Jeana made her homemade pineapple upside down cake (Brian’s favorite). Brian’s mother (who is Greek) and some of the Greek women from church made some other desserts like traditional wedding cookies and baklava.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. In the fifth grade, my family decided to send me to Forest Avenue Academic Magnet School. I was assigned to Mrs. Rodopoulos’ class which just so happens to be the same class Brian was in that year. I didn’t notice Brian right away — It wasn’t until a little friend of mine leaned over in math class one day and asked if I liked Brian as a boyfriend. I said no at first, but once I found out that Brian liked me, I quickly changed my mind! We became boyfriend/girlfriend that day and permanent four-square buddies. Later on that year, our class took a fieldtrip right down the street to the Gayle Planetarium. I was so excited to sit next to Brian and watch the show. Finally, right before the show was over, Brian planted a big kiss on my left temple, and HARD! It almost knocked me out of my seat! We walked around Oak Park after the show with the rest of the class, and I could not stop smiling. My first kiss! :) We lost touch after middle school, but we would run into each other occasionally throughout high school and college. In December of 2010, Brian texted me saying, “I had a dream that we went on a date last night.” I had no idea who it was because I didn’t have Brian’s number in my phone anymore. We talked back and forth for a while until I finally said yes to a date. A few nights later, Brian pulled up to my house having no idea what to expect of the night. I was shocked at how handsome Brian had become, and even more shocked at how perfectly that night went. We laughed a lot, talked about the past, and couldn’t believe that after all this time, we were hanging out again. We have been inseparable ever since then.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) As Erin was getting ready for a “family photo shoot” with her grandmother, a vintage Studebaker pulled up at the front of the house. A chauffeur knocked on the door and whisked Erin away to the Gayle Planetarium, where I first kissed her 14 years ago. I heard the car door shut and my heart stopped. What were my lines? Where is the ring? She found her way to me and my heart began beating hard. “It’s for her, it’s always been for her,” I thought, “Every beat, every breath. I need this in my life forever.” I dropped to one knee and said, “Under these stars is where I first kissed you, and under these stars is where I want to start the rest of our lives.” It was as easy as that. We took our old seats and just stared at the stars reminiscing on things past and things to come.
In what month did you get married? September
How many guests attended your wedding? About 125
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Patience! Brian and I were so ready to be married that our 7 month engagement felt more like 2 years. We mentioned city hall several times during our engagement, but we stuck it out and it was so worth the wait. Having our wonderful family and friends there to celebrate the beginning of our lives together was the best part of our wedding day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer! Our wedding pictures are the only thing we get to physically keep from that day, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to capture those sweet moments. Morgan Trinker is creative, talented, and just a genuinely happy person to be around. I highly recommend her to any bride!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle. The look on Brian’s face was more than words could ever describe. The love he feels for me and shows me every single day was displayed in front of all of our family and friends in that moment. It felt like we were the only two people there, and I couldn’t stop looking at him. All of time, money, planning and crafting. that went into the wedding doesn’t even compare to that one moment that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy it. The planning process can be so tedious at times, but some of the sweetest moments come during your engagement. The bridal showers, engagement parties, and gifts from family and friends are such a fun part of planning a wedding. Live in the moment and celebrate this exciting time with the people who mean the most to you.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Buying a house! We are currently looking for our first home together, which is both exciting and exhausting at the same time. We are eager to find a place of our own and start our own little family down the road.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
14 Comments
  1. avatar Ashleigh reply

    I love love love everything about your wedding, Erin! Just charming!

  2. avatar Kelly C. reply

    I love the details! Beautiful work as always, Morgan!

  3. avatar Lerissa reply

    Wow! This is such a beautiful wedding! & that proposal story was beautiful!

    Every other week my fiance and I talk seriously about pushing up our date. Why wait a year? We’ve been strong so far to keep with our October 2013 date!

  4. avatar kelly @ honor courage commitment reply

    Who are the bridesmaids dresses and bride’s dress by? Love them!

    -kelly

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