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The team at Mariée Ami is amazing at crafting timeless Southern weddings, so it’s no surprise that when one of their own talented planners said “I do,” the celebration was one to be remembered! At their summer Alabama wedding, Louise and Billy combined their classic style with details that reflected their personalities, like Louise’s lace gown with a fabulous orchid hairpiece, a welcome bag featuring a special gift for guests’ dogs, and even their intricate monogram with bright stadium cups. The end result was an undeniably elegant wedding that was still full of personality!

We’re so grateful to A Bryan Photo for capturing Louise and Billy’s wedding day and sharing it with us in V6!

I love wedding dresses and think you can really tell a lot about a girl and the wedding she wants by the dress she picks out. I see girls every weekend in dresses that I think are beautiful, but it was hard for me to imagine myself in any of my brides’ dresses. I have worn several wedding dresses in the past during debutante balls, so I wanted something more bridal: lace and straight lined. The Lela Rose “Spring” dress was exactly what I wanted. It was the first dress I tried on during my trip to Ivory and White and nothing after that measured up! It was the hardest thing to keep from my nosey groom.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I wanted something a little different. It was going to be a black-tie wedding, so they needed to be long. I played with the idea of doing a pattern, but never really found anything I liked enough. Amsale has beautiful long dresses, so I decided to go with their line. To make it different, I decided to split up the bridesmaids into to three different colors (five in dove, five in graphite, five in French blue).
What did the groomsmen wear? Tuxes with white dinner jackets–white dinner jackets are a Southern thing!

Who participated in your ceremony? I had a huge wedding party, so all of our closest friends were a part of the ceremony. My two cousins, who have always been like sisters to me, read scripture. Since my boss/wedding planner is one of my dearest friends, she carried my dress until I walked down the aisle.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Seeing Billy’s smile at the end of the aisle when he saw me for the first time!

There was no question as to where we were getting married. I love my hometown, Mobile, Alabama, and my parents would not have had it any other way. We chose to get married in August for a few reasons: we did not want a long engagement, a wedding during football season was out of the question, and it was the only open weekend I had as a wedding planner. I was worried about the heat in Mobile in August, so we chose an indoor venue, rather than the outdoor bay wedding I had always dreamed of. Ft. Whiting was the largest indoor venue we could find, and I knew we could accomplish exactly what we wanted in the big, open space.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We love the water and always dreamed of being married in a large tent overlooking the water. While the outdoors was out of the question, a tent was still something I wanted. I knew I wanted navy as the basis of the wedding. I love a mix of garden-inspired design and modern pieces, the crispness of true white, and the preppy touches of boxwoods and ribbon.

When it came to the details, my mind was going 100 miles a minute. My favorites were all the little gifts and favors we had. The hypercolor cups for cocktails once the party got started and the linen cocktail napkins used at the bars were two of my favorite reception details. The hotel gifts also really came together well– we wanted to incorporate my dog into the details, so we had a local artist do a sketch. We used this sketch on canvas bags for the hotel guests, and included frisbees that could be taken home by fellow dog lovers, koozies, and a guest favorite, monogrammed playing cards.

My wedding cake design inspiration actually came very early on in the planning. I wanted a more modern design that still had a classic look. We opted for the design to be in sage green with calla lilies used sparingly on each layer. The groom’s cake was a chocolate fly fishing basket that celebrated Billy’s love for fishing. My favorite part about the cakes was the area in which they were displayed. We had a beautiful lattice designed covered in greenery as a backdrop. Green boxwood walls enclosing the cake area made it feel like an English garden.

Tell us a bit about your first dance. Billy has always been a great dancer, so our first dance was fun! We chose “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green and loved seeing the guests smile and clap as we spun around the dance floor.

Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? Both of our cakes were served on large silver trays that have been in my family for years. The tablecloths for the cake table were also family heirlooms that mean a lot to my family. I was given a toasting cup from my grandmother that both she and my mother used at their wedding receptions.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Our best friends, who are now married as well, set us up. They love reminding us how much we should thank them!
Describe the proposal: I have always loved the water and Mobile Bay. Billy proposed on Mobile Bay on a rainy day in March with our dog, Mae.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Well-planned, gorgeous, and perfect!!!
How many guests attended your wedding? 500
Briefly describe your wedding flowers: The flowers were green and white with a dusty gray. Very free-flowing, like a French garden. I love that flowers today have taken a more natural and unique look. White peonies and garden roses made up most of my bouquet. Since I was going for a touch of whimsy, beautiful ivory, taupe and white satin ribbons hung from my bouquet. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias. For boutonnieres, something simple and small was my only wish. Anything too large seems to stick out on a white dinner jacket.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? The entire party was like a huge cocktail party. Two signature drinks were served: sweet tea and vodka slushies as guests walked in and the famous Mobile Crisy vodka milkshake at the end.
What kind of food did you serve? My guests love good food, but they also love to talk and drink. We had three huge square tables in the middle of the reception that allowed for guests to pick and eat directly from the tables. There were oyster, shrimp, tuna, hot sausage with melted cheese, a variety of salads, and antipasti presentations. We couldn’t end the night without the groom’s favorite thing: mini fried chicken pieces on Sister Schubert rolls and beignets covered in powdered sugar!
What were some of the highlights of the reception? The band was incredible. We love hiring the Atlanta Showstopper for other brides and think they are truly the best. Every guest was on dance floor, having the times of their life. Even our three-year-old, music-loving nephew had to be dragged off the dance floor.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? I did toss the bouquet. I had the florist make six small bouquets that I could hold as one. When I went to throw the bouquet, it split into six so that more than one girl could soon have their dream wedding.
Tell us about your grand exit. Billy and I decided to change out of our wedding attire. We went with a classic look. I wore a fitted, short white dress with just enough flare. Billy wore a blue tweed blazer and slacks. We ran past our guests, who were holding sparkers, and jumped into a black town car that whisked us away. Firework rockets shot off every couple of feet as the car drove away. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We took a week-long vacation to Jade Mountain in St. Lucia! It was amazing and the perfect time to relax and talk about everything that had transpired in the previous two weeks: I got my cast off, Billy took the bar, and we had the most incredible weekend with family and friends that we could have asked for.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are excited about getting settled into our home together with our dog, Mae, and getting into a routine of a working couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Hire a wedding planner and do things differently than you see all the time. Even though I’m a wedding planner by day, I did not do one thing from Wednesday on. While I had my team doing what they do every weekend, it was so nice to be the bride and let someone else handle the details!

Photographer: Bryan Johnson of A Bryan Photo / Videographer: A Bryan Photo / Planning, design, linens and paper goods: Mariée Ami / Ceremony venue: Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral / Reception venue: Fort Whiting / Ceremony florist: Zimlich Bros / Reception and personal florist: Buffy Hargett / Catering: Clifton Morrissette / Cake: Barb’s Cakes / Bride’s gown: “Spring” by Lela Rose / Bridal salon and veil: Ivory and White / Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid dresses: Amsale in French Blue, Graphite, and Dove / Hair stylist: Greg Andrews / Makeup: Ashley Mitchell / Calligraphy: Jan Pruitt / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Bar paintings: Liz Legg Designs / Lighting: AG Lighting / Band: Atlanta Showstoppers / Monogram: Allison R. Banks Designs / Dog Illustration: Kara Henley

lisa Written with love by Lisa
15 Comments
  1. avatar Liza B reply

    Do you know who did their custom wedding monogram?

  2. avatar lena reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  3. avatar Leon Bailey reply

    Classic is definitely the word for this wedding. Love the design of their cake. :) Beautiful photography!

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

    […] for Louise’s wedding gown (above)–and so did we! See hers and Billy’s wedding here. Ashley and Jeremy were pronounced “still married” at their sparkly barn wedding. […]

  5. avatar Taylor W reply

    Beautiful wedding! Would love to know who did the monogram and where they got their koozies from.

    Thanks!

  6. avatar Jillian reply

    Can we get details on where the koozies were bought/who did the dog and monograms?

  7. avatar Lisa reply

    The monogram is by Allison Banks Calligraphy, the calligraphy on the koozies is by Jan Pruitt, and the dog illustration is by Kara Henley at [email protected] :)

  8. avatar Andrea reply

    This wedding is beautiful. I would love to know where the flower girl dresses are from, they are divine.

  9. avatar kate reply

    Hey! Please help me find where the groom got his tux! I am having so much trouble finding a nice-looking white dinner jacket. I would REALLY appreciate it! :)

  10. avatar Rachel reply

    Does anyone know where they got the hypercolor cups from?

  11. avatar whitney reply

    Hi, Can you tell where the flower girl dresses are from?

  12. avatar All You Need To Know About Grooms Cakes reply

    […] Cake by Barb’s Cakes, Photo by A Bryan Photo via Southern Weddings […]

  13. avatar Doris Gidley reply

    Where did the Koozies and hypercolor cups come from?

  14. avatar Meredith reply

    are the jackets white or off white? can’t find a nice off white dinner jacket!!

  15. avatar 15 Ways To Include Your Pet In Your Big Day! reply

    […] Photography: A Bryan Photo // Event Design: Mariee Ami // Via: Southern Weddings […]

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Happy Memorial Day, friends! Though many of us are enjoying the day off, barbecuing with friends and getting a tan (yes, the Southern Weddings ladies are doing all of that!), we hope y’all will take a few moments to remember our dedicated men and women who are serving and have served our country.

We think Lindsay + Chris’ wedding is too perfect for today. According to Lindsay, they wanted to keep the feel organic and relaxed, but like most Southerners, wanted to incorporate the traditions that were most important to them, including some military ones. We love that Chris surprised his new bride with a sword arch and a song from the Citadel cadets! Among the other details, we love the couple’s dessert offerings and pretty cakes, the soft and lush flowers that decorated the space and Chris’ dress whites (who doesn’t love a man in uniform?). We’re dishing out big hugs to Heather Forsythe for sharing this with us!

P.S. Good luck to Chris who is shipping out on a submarine next year!

I wanted my bridesmaids’ bouquets to be in a coral-y light pink, and I wanted mine to match, but be all whites and greys. My maid of honor’s bouquet was a mix of the two. I gave my florist my budget, a list of flowers I loved, flowers I hated, flowers that I liked and some inspiration photos. All I really wanted was fiddleheads in my bouquet and in my maid of honor’s because it reminded me of Canada, where we’re both from. I also wanted a pink carnation, my sorority’s flower, to be tucked into the bridesmaids’ and maid of honor’s bouquet somewhere.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look. We didn’t want to feel pressured to have all our pictures taken between the ceremony and reception. We also knew that we wanted that moment when we first saw each other in our wedding day attire to be private instead of in front of 80 people. There’s something to be said for having that very personal moment, and I think we felt we could be a lot more unrestrained with our emotions.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that finding a fantastic dress for a reasonable price was going to take some hunting, but I was willing. Little did I know, the universe smiled on me, and everything fell into place. One weekend when one of my bridesmaids was in town, we decided to go try on dresses and play dress up. I wasn’t prepared to buy, but I wanted to see what looked good, and just have a good time. We went to a tiny boutique in south Atlanta and had a fantastic experience. The staff was incredibly friendly and our consultant said that she knew that it was my first time dress shopping and I should not to feel pressured to buy anything. I found a dress I really liked, but since my bridesmaid and I were just playing dress up, I wasn’t at all in the “need to buy” mindset. When I got home, I did a search for the dress on preownedweddingdress.com, not really expecting much since it was a pretty old design. But the dress popped up, in my size, and was brand new! I knew I was going to spend a fortune on alterations since I’m so short and wanted straps, so I negotiated a bit got my dress for about 80% off. I sort of regret not having the big dress shopping experience with my mom and everyone, but I knew that the universe was trying to tell me that this was THE dress. One should not quibble with the universe.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Mark 10:6-9,13-16, read by my good friend Corrie.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We wanted to give our guests a Southern experience, particularly my family who’s from Canada. Chris and I both wanted a bluegrass band for the ceremony and cocktail hour. I knew I wanted instrumental songs for the bridal party’s walk down the aisle and a lively song for the recessional, but I really left a lot up to the professionals, and all our vendors did a fantastic job. Our band, Riverboy was no exception.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? First of all, Boone Hall Plantation just exudes everything Southern, particularly the long Avenue of Oaks with that beautiful Spanish moss. In keeping with that tradition, we wanted everything to feel very organic and relaxed. Chris and I bought hundreds of mason jars, and I made him wire them with handles so we could hang them from the trees. We also wanted the food to be Southern. My Canadian family was very unacquainted with the South. We served fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, fried chicken and Chris’ requested hush puppies. My favorite thing was the macaroni and cheese buffet. We asked our caterers for macaroni and cheese, but wanted lots of fixins for it like bacon and scallions. We also served Mason Dixons (Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade) and Arnold Palmers. “Southern” though is really all about traditions. Chris is half Filipino and they have a dish called lumpia, similar to a small egg roll. Chris’ dad and one of my dad’s Filipino co-workers made hundreds of these little guys. Our caterer was more than willing to fry them for us and put them on the menu. We had that awesome Bluegrass band for the ceremony, too!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: My favorite Canadian dessert is a butter tart, so I had some close family friends pick some up in Canada, smuggle them across the border, and drive them all the way to Charleston so I would have them on my wedding day. We also had pecan pie, which is my favorite pie. Chris and our planner also schemed and had mini Ben and Jerry’s tubs served since our first date was at Ben and Jerry’s.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: The Citadel cadets! Lindsay has been pestering me about a sword arch for as long as I’ve been dating her, but every opportunity where we could have gone through one, there was always some reason why we couldn’t participate. I went through some of my work contacts and rounded up the best group of guys and girls from The Citadel and asked them to wear their uniforms and give up a sword arch. They were amazing and turned out to be the life of the party, dancing with all the ladies! At Navy weddings, it’s always a tradition that the Navy guys sing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” to the bride as an ode to the scene from Top Gun. The Citadel cadets were more than willing to play along and sing to her so she could get everything she wanted that day.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) My first time meeting Lindsay was when I walked into the television room of my fraternity house. She was wearing a Detroit Red Wings jersey and sitting next to my roommate. He thought an angel had come to visit him because he had just woken up from a nap next to a cute chick in the hockey jersey of his favorite team. I immediately walked out because I was so disgusted that a cute sorority chick would waste her time on the most hated team in the NHL. My roommate and I also played on the same roller hockey team for our university, and she came to many of our games. I kept seeing and noticing Lindsay. I tried to ignore her so I wouldn’t get caught up in a love triangle since my roommate had a secret crush on her. I tried avoiding her, but it was tough since she was so darn cute. I decided to throw caution to the wind, and on the last day of the semester, I called and met up with her at Ben and Jerry’s for Free Cone Day. We shared a moment, and I knew immediately that this was going to be something special.
Describe the proposal. Chris is in the Navy, and a few years ago, was re-stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. We were excited, because a five hour drive didn’t seem quite as daunting as halfway around the world. We both had a free weekend, so I decided to drive down to see him. I left around 9:30 in the morning, wanting to get there as soon as I could. I was about 90 miles from home when I realized I had left my wallet and purse, and had to turn around. I then took a wrong turn and lost another hour and by the time I got a chance to leave again, I hit the beginnings of Atlanta’s Friday rush hour. I was frustrated and called Chris to tell him I was giving up and just going to stay the night at home and would just leave for Jacksonville in the morning. He begged me to come that night, and even though I was worn out, I kept driving. After further delays, I arrived just before 10pm. He tried to get me to say hello to our pet rabbit, Bunny, but I was hungry and cranky and insisted we go straight out to eat. When we got back to his place, I was ready to shower and go to bed, but he told me to go say goodnight to Bunny first. I sighed and decided it would be easier to humor him. I noticed that Bunny had his collar on, which he hates. I was lecturing Chris and telling him he shouldn’t bother Bunny, but stopped mid rant – as I took the collar off, I noticed something sparkly attached. A RING! I turned around and he looked at me and said, “I know Bunny was the one to give you the ring, but I hope you’ll marry me instead.” Of course I said, “Yes!”
In what month did you get married? November
How many guests attended your wedding? 80
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge, and I think many brides will back me up on this, is dealing with family. Weddings have a way of amplifying family dynamics, don’t they? It’s difficult to gracefully acknowledge other people’s suggestions of what they think. Many times we got suggestions of what we “should” do which did not coincide with what we wanted to do. Chris and I were pretty definitive in what we wanted, and it was hard to constantly tell family and friends, “that’s a great idea, we’ll keep that in mind.”
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography, by a long shot. Heather Forsythe was like manna from heaven when we finally met her. All the other photographers we were so hesitant about—they were good, but not great. Heather had everything we were looking for. Her photos were classic and I knew they would stand the test of time. She didn’t play around with very trendy filters and post-processing techniques. She was also just easy to be around, which was wonderful since I knew that I would probably see more of her than any other person that day. I couldn’t be happier with the pictures, they turned out great.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? (From the groom) Our reception band, Permanent Vacation, learned a song just for us to play for our first dance. Lindsay let me surprise her with our first dance. She said I could pick whatever I wanted, but I had to run it by her maid of honor first (just in case!). It wasn’t in our band’s repertoire, but I asked them if they knew it. Turns out, they were more than willing to learn it for us. Surprising Lindsay with “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton (her major celebrity crush) was by far my favorite moment.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep in mind, that at the end of the day, you’re getting married to the person that you love. The rest is all details. It doesn’t matter if things don’t go exactly as planned. Allow the professionals to do their job to the best of their ability. Flexibility in what you want will allow your vendors give you the absolute best they can in your budget, and I think vendors are more likely to throw in “extras” when you give them creative freedom. Most of them are artists, after all. Plus, it’s nice to have a few surprises along the way. Having perspective on what matters and just sort of rolling with things will make the day wonderful. Dwelling on things that don’t go right means you will forever remember your wedding as something that didn’t make you happy.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We have moved to DC. I have a job for a law firm there and Chris is studying for his masters and will ship out to sea on a submarine next year.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
16 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    What a gorgeous wedding, and the sweetest story! I love the bride’s style, and the story of the Citadel cadets is adorable :)

  2. avatar Marcie reply

    LOVE HER SHOES! :D

  3. avatar Lem reply

    Beautiful photos! I love the detail shots.

    Great work.

  4. avatar » Love List reply

    […] {I love this picture of the shoe line-up at a gorgeous military wedding in Charleston. The bride has amazing style–as evidenced by her sparkly something blues! By Heather Forsythe Photography via Southern Weddings} […]

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  6. avatar Lindsay V. reply

    Thanks! I made the shoes myself (while I should have been studying for the bar).

    • avatar Christie reply

      Lindsay V.: Would LOVE to know what you used to make those shoes. I think I need to make some as well. Or find some kind soul to pay to do it :)

    • avatar Elizabeth reply

      Lindsay V.: How did you do this? Those shoes are gorgeous. Where did you get the crystals to put on the shoes? What type of glue did you use to attach the crystals? Please and thank you.

    • avatar Lindsay V. reply

      Elizabeth and Christie,

      I used e-6000 and a syringe (http://www.amazon.com/Applicator-Orange-Syringe-FlatBack-Rhinestones/dp/B0041H43TC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352649808&sr=8-1&keywords=rhinestone+syringe). I put a daub of glue and then used a rhinestone picker upper thing to place them. I didn’t use this brand, but it’s similar (http://www.amazon.com/Beadsmith-Jewel-Setter-for-Rhinestones/dp/B002RTJ4Q8/ref=pd_bxgy_misc_img_z). I bought swarovski and fake swarovski rhinestones from ebay and amazon. The smaller rhinestones (ss6 and ss10) I bought from ebay. The larger ones, that I knew would be seen and would be more important that they were sparklier, i bought real swarovski from amazon (ss 12, ss 16).

      Let me know if you need more help!

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  9. avatar Ann Marie McAllaster reply

    Those blue shoes are absolutely GORGEOUS! Where are those from and how can I get them? haha.

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