Any man who takes cooking lessons before a first date to impress a girl with his culinary skills sounds like a keeper to me! Claire clearly thought the same thing about Matthew, and two years after their delicious first date, they began planning an intimate beach wedding. Rosemary Beach, Florida is a favorite destination for quite a few of the SW gals (Marissa even chose it for our Dream Southern Summer Wedding series), and I love the elegant spin Claire and Matthew put on their beach destination!
Thank you kindly to Pure 7 Studios for sharing Claire and Matthew’s lovely wedding day with us!
My mother, sister, grandmother, mother-in-law, and I spent a day going from one bridal shop to the next in Birmingham. We found a dress that we liked at every place, but I couldn’t pull the trigger. The last place on our list was the White Room in Cahaba Heights, AL. We found two dresses I liked, but I chose the more simple dress for our beach wedding. When I picked it, my grandmother burst into tears, saying it was the one she had wanted me to pick. We were all so happy!!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I wanted to see Matt’s face for the first time when I walked down the aisle. However, since it was a beach wedding, we did spend the entire morning together, which was a nice way to stay calm before the wedding. It’s hard to be stressed or nervous when you are lounging on the beach!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There was a full moon and a beautiful beach breeze blowing that night. We looked around at the reception and it sunk in that we had our family there helping us to celebrate our love for each other. We loved taking pictures on the beach after the ceremony–the setting sun on the beach was beautiful. Some of the people renting a bungalow near us sent me pictures they took of us that evening. One little girl even told her mom I looked like a princess. It was a magical night!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It’s so hard to choose! The menu provided by Townsend Catering for the reception was divine. Brian at Myrtie Blue created a perfect ambiance with flowers, candles and lighting, as well as an intimate seating arrangement. Music performed by acoustic guitarist, Kyle Lamonica, was wonderful. It really set the mood for the reception. Many beach tourists stood outside the garden reception on the cobble streets and sipped wine while listening to Kyle. Meanwhile, Jennifer Fischer from It’s A Shore Thing took care of all the details, so we didn’t have to worry about a thing!
The bride and bridesmaid bouquets were made of white cymbidium orchids and peonies, tied with white silk dupioni, created by Brian at Myrtie Blue. Flowers for the wedding and reception included centerpieces featuring white hydrangea, peonies and orchids with white knob glass and mercury glass, A backdrop for the Town Hall was made of fig twigs with lights and white hydrangea. It was so unique and dramatic.
Our first dance was to “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, played and sang by Kyle LaMonica, an acoustic guitarist who played at our reception. I danced with my dad to “Stand By Me” by Ben King, which is our favorite song. Matt and his mom danced to “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a three-tiered wedding cake covered in roses made of icing. It featured French vanilla fondant with alternating layers of strawberry cream and white chocolate. It was a work of art! It was so beautiful and tasted wonderful.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were both attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham to get our undergraduate degrees. I was studying mechanical engineering and Matt was a pre-med student. We had a mutual friend who was majoring in mechanical engineering and also going to med school. I used to go to our friend’s dorm before class to study, and Matt would be there hanging out with him and his roommates. For our first date, Matt made a special dinner for me: chicken in a wine sauce. He got his uncle to give him cooking lessons beforehand, just so he could impress me, and it definitely worked! We dated for two years before becoming engaged.
Tell us all about the proposal! Matt knew I wanted a more intimate proposal, rather than a public one. When I woke up one morning and walked upstairs for breakfast, I found Matt on his knee at the top of the staircase with the engagement ring. I’m sure he said something sweet, but in all honesty, I was crying so much from excitement, I have no idea what it was!
When did y’all get married? June 2, 2012
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 24
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We took bits and piece from different vows we had found on the internet, picking our favorite lines from each. My favorite line was simply, “Matt, I love you. You are my best friend.” Very simple, but the complete truth.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did not have any readings at the wedding. We were supposed to have one, but between the heat and my fitted dress, I was feeling lightheaded, so I asked the minister to speed the ceremony up.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning a destination wedding is particularly difficult, because you are unfamiliar with local vendors. We hired wedding planners-Jennifer Warwick-Lewis and Jennifer Fischer from It’s A Shore Thing. They did an excellent job helping us select a venue for the wedding and giving us suggestions of local vendors that worked well for our wedding and budget. Making sure we handled the details for all of our guests was a challenge too. We had to find enough places for everyone to stay. Luckily, the Inn could accommodate everyone.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Pure 7 Studios did an excellent job capturing all of our special memories. Ultimately, many things are forgotten by the time the wedding is over, but Eric and Lindsey did a wonderful job! They took pictures for the wedding and fit in perfectly with our family.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking forward to Matt completing medical school and beginning our family together!!
Photographer: Pure 7 Studios / Planner: It’s a Shore Thing / Venue: Town Hall, Rosemary Beach / Florals and Lighting: Brian at Myrtie Blue / Cake Baker: Confections On The Coast / Rentals and Catering: Townsend Caterer / Band: Kyle LaMonica / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Paper Products: Gwins Stationery / Hair Stylist: Vivo Hair Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate / Men’s Attire: Jos A. Bank / Groom’s Bow Tie: Vineyard Vines
Myrtie Blue is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!