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After admiring Amy and Den’s colorful-meets-industrial-cool wedding, I was not surprised at all to learn that they’re architects! Their early days of competing against each other in Mississippi State architecture classes didn’t stop them from falling in love, enduring a long-distance relationship, and heading up North to follow their career dreams. With the help of their families and friends, they planned their April Alabama wedding from a distance, pouring their hearts into preparing for marriage all the while!

Thanks so much to Natalie Elyse for sharing this fun day with us!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided that no matter where we were the first time we saw each other, it would be special. While we are very traditional, we did want the excitement and joy of the ceremony to flow right into the reception. Not having to stop and take pictures post-ceremony was a blessing, and we got to hang out together for much more of the day! Our first look was midday, and everything felt perfect. As I approached him from behind, Den waited a long time before turning around–he did not want the moment to end. When he did turn around, we hugged and then danced!

We did not write our own vows; however, they were written by the presiding minister, who also happens to be Den’s father! It was incredibly special to have him as an integral part of our wedding ceremony. Our wedding vows were the same vows that were used in his parents’ wedding.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Getting married in a church was very important to us, so we chose a Lutheran church in my hometown. The reception venue was a historic train depot roundhouse. Being architects, we were especially inspired by the historic and raw quality of the space. We saw it as a blank canvas with endless possibilities.

We are both makers and designers at heart, and we made the majority of the details and elements of the wedding. We handmade our save the dates, invitations, reception decorations, table centerpieces, menu cards, welcome bags, church programs, and even the photo booth backdrop and props! While it took a lot of time, it was something we were able to do together, and it brought us closer throughout the process. It also made the day feel very personable and intimate for both us and for our guests. My favorite was the marquee letters that we made together last summer. We used chip board, patio lights, foam core, gold spray paint and a ton of hot glue to make 4′ tall letters spell “A+D.” They really popped in the space and became a wonderful backdrop to the evening. Den’s favorite detail was the table numbers. We incorporated pictures of ourselves throughout our childhoods (ages 1-25) to coordinate to each table number. Guests especially enjoyed being able to connect to each picture at various stages in our lives.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The graphic motif for our wedding was the outline of the states of Mississippi and Alabama. I grew up in Alabama and Den grew up in Mississippi, and the two fit together, just like we do! It was used in our save the dates, menu cards, and on the dance floor. We had a giant MS and AL outlined in white tape, which formed the perfect setting for a bride’s side vs. groom’s side dance-off! We featured our favorite liquor at the bar: Tennessee whiskey. However, having all of our family and friends together from near and far is what truly made our wedding feel Southern.

Music is especially important to us. I see my life as a string of moments that all have a very specific soundtrack. We definitely wanted to curate the wedding so that our memories would be associated with music that is important to us. The entry song for our mothers and grandmothers was “How Beautiful,” which we felt was especially fitting for the day. I entered to “Ode To Joy.” “The Gambler” (FUN) has always been our song, and was our first dance. “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson was the first song everyone got on the dance floor to dance to. Den is from Jackson, so the shout out to Jackson, Mississippi in that song was especially fun. We insisted that “Walcott” by Vampire Weekend be the last song played at the wedding–that song represents a thankfulness for where we come from, and undeniably acknowledges the importance of stepping out on our own and forming our “we.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After four years of friendship at Mississippi State University, we began dating. We never thought we would have a romantic relationship–we were competed against each other in our architecture class. We dated for four years and went from being in school together, to a long-distance relationship, and then finally transitioning into our first jobs in New Haven, Connecticut. The distance brought us closer together and we bonded over shared interests in architecture, music, travel, and biking.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Den: I was working on a restoration of the the New London Connecticut Harbor Lighthouse (c.1802). I thought it was such a timeless place, and fitting for a proposal. I led Amy to believe there was an open house before the renovations began. We walked up the 108 steps to the top of the lighthouse, and I got on one knee, and proposed. She said yes! The funny part was, as I was asking her to marry me, the light from the lighthouse shined in her face, momentarily blinding her. The yes ended up sounding like a yelp! We laughed and cried and hugged.
When did y’all get married? April 11, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 165
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was my Mom’s silk robe that I used while getting ready. I had two something blues: one was my birthstone (aquamarine) in a ring that I have worn since my 21st birthday, and the other was a small blue flower that my sister crocheted for my garter. My something old was my garter, which my mom handmade out of lace from her wedding dress and my great grandmother’s wedding dress. My something new was my dress! (And shoes, and earrings…)
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Planning for our marriage was very important to us throughout our engagement. We began with counseling through Den’s home church (where his father is a minister) and continued with private counseling near where we live in Connecticut. While planning the wedding was an on-and-off task over our 18-month engagement, working toward being married was a constant and conscious effort. We learned more about each other than ever before, and we learned valuable tools for confronting all of the new circumstances that will surely come our way.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Read 1 Corinthians 13, and remember that your wedding is about love. It takes patience, it takes kindness, it takes all humbleness and understanding, and it definitely takes perseverance! Lean on loved ones and ask for help. So many people were integral to our day and helped us in ways they might not even know.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We will continue to live and work in New Haven, CT, and look forward to not only living together, but also working together someday. Wedding planning was a great project for us and we look forward to more design projects in the future. We are most looking forward to being a part of each other’s growing families. Fun family get-togethers with parents, siblings, and nieces and nephews will be abundant in the future!

Photographer: Natalie Elyse Photography / Videographer: Chris Daniels at VisionScribe Media Services / Ceremony Planner: Margie Cook / Ceremony Venue: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church / Reception Venue: The Huntsville Depot Roundhouse / Florist: In Bloom Florist / Cake Baker: Hamley Bake Shoppe / Caterer: The Chef Next Door / Rentals: Mullins Special Occasions / Lighting and DJ: Metropolitan DJ / Bride’s Gown: “Rubie Joe” by Heidi Elnora / Bride’s Accessories: Greco Fiore / Hair Stylist: Terrame Salon and Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Reed Krakoff / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters / Groom’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse / Bar Service: Premium Shakers / Additional Vendors: Purity Dairy

The Chef Next Door is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Amy Daniels reply

    From the Bride: I’m so excited to see these beautiful pictures shared! Thank you Southern Weddings for promoting beauty in both weddings and in Marriage!

  2. avatar Caroline Lyon reply

    Beautiful wedding. Beautiful couple.

  3. avatar Natalie Elyse Photography | Amy & Den | A Colorful State-Inspired Wedding | Huntsville, Alabama reply

    […] To see more photos from this wedding featured by Southern Weddings, click here. […]

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It’s really a joy to get to introduce y’all to a new set of Blue Ribbon Vendors each month, because I just know any one of them would be a joy to you if you choose to work together! This time around, we’re introducing you to a few of them through their answers to some of our favorite BRV interview questions. Click through to their listings to find out more about them!

Name: Vista West Ranch
Where you call home: Dripping Springs, Texas
Favorite part of a wedding day? For me, it’s when the couple checks in — going over all of the activities, making sure that everything is in order, and being able to talk with them as they arrive at VWR. Seeing all of the excitement that is building up before the festivities start is my favorite part.

Name: Two Sweets Bake Shop
Where you call home: Winter Garden, Florida
Best piece of advice for brides and grooms? When considering your dessert options, give some thought to offering a variety of desserts to your guests. Just about every dessert can be created in small portions, allowing guests to select from several offerings. They’ll love you for it!

Name: Tucker Images
Where you call home: Crandall, Texas
How I got into weddings: Since I was young I knew that I wanted to make people happy for a living. I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do that but my junior year in college when I was hired to work with a wedding photographer I quickly started to realize that shooting weddings embodied everything I love: big moments, joyful people, and pretties!

Name: Tres Beau Weddings
Where you call home: Hoover, Alabama
How I got into weddings: I think it started with my sixth birthday party: a “Here Comes the Bride”-themed party! Then, I joke that I just never got over planning my own wedding in 2001. I also went to culinary school and learned about event management while working at Saks Fifth Avenue’s corporate headquarters!

Name: Tracy Melton Artistry
Where you call home: Dallas, Texas
Favorite part of a wedding day? Well the ‘getting ready’ part, of course! :) I love getting to spend that precious time with brides and their best ladies. It’s always such a fun time filled with laughter, love, hairspray, and lipstick – which just so happen to be a few of my favorite things!!

Name: The Southern Barn
Where you call home: Fort Lonesome, Florida
How I got into weddings: The Southern Barn at Lonesome G Ranch began when our son was married on the ranch. This was the beginning of many weddings for our family and friends. When the word about our passion to create beautiful unique Southern vintage style weddings spread, The Southern Barn name was created.

Name: The Reason
Where you call home: Atlanta, Georgia
How we got into weddings: Our love for marriage got us into weddings. We want to give our clients something that no matter how far in the future, they can always look back and remember why. We’re best friends and married. We get to work together; it’s simply the best thing ever.

Name: The Chef Next Door
Where you call home: Huntsville, Alabama
Favorite part of a wedding day? It’s a tie: either seeing the bride’s face as she sees her reception for the first time… hopefully, her dream come true! Or the hug from the bride and groom at the end of the night. I’m sweaty, my hair is in a dirty bun, and I smell like food, but it’s that hug that makes my job worth doing and solidifies that I am where I am meant to be in the world.

Name: Swanky I Do’s
Where you call home: Orlando, Florida
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? I love the emphasis on details and hospitality, and that venues range from barns to waterfront properties.

Name: Suite Paper
Where you call home: Cameron, North Carolina
Favorite part of a wedding day? I’m a sucker for the kiss!

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at southernweddings.com!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    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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