When a couple has designer’s eyes, like Brittany and Kirk, it’s always fun to see how their talents translate into their wedding day. So when I read that restaurant designer (Brittany) and men’s clothing shop owner (Kirk) set their sights on finding a “diamond in the rough” location, where they could create a unique wedding venue unlike anything else, I was excited to see what they came up with! Brittany and Kirk cleaned, painted, and landscaped an old Alabama cotton receiving warehouse on a daily basis to transform The Railyard into an event space that I know wowed their family and friends. Don’t those twinkle lights make their dinner look so very chic, but still home-y? I love that the meaning behind their family-style meal stemmed from their fondest memories growing up, of being gathered around dining tables with the people they love! Too sweet!
Thanks to Rebecca Read for sending this lovely day to us!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I thought long and hard about including my bridesmaids on my dress shopping trip, as they are my dearest friends, but I decided not to. My maid of honor had done this, and it was such a memorable moment for all of us to see her in her dress for the first time on the day she would be walking down aisle. My dress was beautiful vintage lace with hand-sewn pearls–something I always wanted for my wedding, but not exactly what I had pictured for myself, as it had short sleeves. As soon as I tried it on though, I just knew. It instantly became my dream timeless, elegant dress that I only hope I can pass down someday.
As we both have designers eyes, we wanted the venue to be unlike anything else we had seen before–a diamond in the rough! We found that at The Railyard, an old cotton receiving warehouse and courtyard in Opelika, Alabama. It is nestled in a charming little town that I had gotten to know very well during my college years. We cleaned, painted, landscaped, and prayed for no rain on a daily basis!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows. We wanted to go with traditional vows, and it ended up being the most traditional thing about our wedding
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle and our eyes met! It was so magical! The other would be walking in before guests were allowed in to see the space and realizing that it was a wonderland. With the help of an army of people, it was transformed into the “diamond” that we knew it had the potential to be!
We like to think that our family-style dinner was the greatest tradition we followed–everything was served on platters in the center of the table and passed around as if we were gathered in our home with family. Our fondest memories growing up were gathered around our dining tables with people we loved, and we wanted our wedding to have this same feeling.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. It was as much for our friends and family as it was for us–it was fun, funny, and really set the tone for the night. We broke it down hard!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in July 2013, just after I had finished brunch with two friends from college. Walking down the street, one of them said, “There is this men’s shop around the corner, and I met the guy last night who owns it–I told him I’d stop by.” This worked nicely, as I needed to find a tie for a friend to wear at a wedding that night. The store was in a cool brick building with large windows, built as a horse stable in 1917. After a few quick hellos, we walked back outside to their car. I told them, “I think I really like that guy…” Ten minutes later, back inside the store, Kirk’s phone buzzed with a message that read “Here is Brittany’s number. You NEED to call her.” Taking his friend’s advice, Kirk called. He learned during that first conversation (which was fantastic, by the way), that I was a restaurant designer and I was working on a speakeasy bar for a well-known Atlanta chef. For a little inspiration he knew I would enjoy, Kirk took me to his favorite hidden back-room pub, just north of the city. From that night on, we were crazy about each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! In month three of our relationship, Kirk was at an antique market with his mother, looking for furniture, when he walked past a small, unassuming jewelry booth. I am in love with the 1920’s, and a beautiful art deco ring caught his eye and made him stop immediately. Without hesitation, he and his mom said, “This is Brittany.” He hadn’t planned on buying a ring that day, or even that month, but he couldn’t leave it. A month later, I began planning a trip to Europe with friends. I would be in Paris for a week, then in Amsterdam to visit some friends. When I arrived in Amsterdam, the friends I was staying with showed me to each room and said, “You should really see the city from the roof before the sun sets.” I climbed the spiral staircase, and at the top, I opened the hatch and climbed onto the roof. As my eyes focused, I saw Kirk standing in front of me, holding tulips, smiling ear to ear, and getting a little misty-eyed (he swears it was his allergies). I froze in the hatch and just stood there, confused, for what seemed like a REALLY long time! After a minute, I squeaked out “What are you doing here?” and Kirk said, “I came to see you.” At that, I jumped out onto the roof and LITERALLY into his arms. He had an entire speech prepared, wanting to give it properly on one knee, but that never happened. As he held me, he simply said “I love you, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Even more special, the couple whose roof we were on was the same couple whose wedding I had attended the day Kirk and I met.
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Landscaping ourselves and putting in some hard work! We also designed and printed our own menus and programs. Our design aesthetic called for raw, natural materials, so kraft paper was both a beautiful and affordable choice for our printed items!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? First, breathe :) Remember that no matter the decisions you make, the stress of invites or family or seating arrangements, rain, or anything, at the end of the day, you’re marrying the person you love, and that is all that matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? It’s an incredible thing to marry your best friend and we are enjoying marriage and all of the wonderful things it brings! We are looking forward to starting a family in the future, but for now, we are enjoying one another and are truly grateful for the season we are currently in!
Photographer: Rebecca Read Photography / Planning and Design: Alchemy Event Studio / Venue: The Railyard / Cocktail Hour Venue: John Emerald Distilling Company / Florist: Edelweiss Buckhead Floral Design / Caterer and Cake Baker: The Hotel at Auburn University / Rentals and Lighting: The Event Group / Band: The Soul Purpose Band / Paper Products: The Find Sac Handmade / Bride’s Gown: Vintage / Bride’s Jewelry: J. Crew / Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle / Bride’s Shoes: “Bronze Peep Toe Evening Pumps” in Bowover by Stuart Weitzman / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN / Menswear: Custom by the groom / Linens and Drapery: Party Tables / Plants: Plant Peddler
Oh goodness, that cake! Wonderful images.
It was the best. That dance floor was no lie, either — they’re not kidding!
Marissa and Rebecca,
You captured the wedding perfectly. Thanks for sharing the wonderful moment in our lives with your readers. It was truly beautiful.