Our Wedding Day

August 11, 2017 started like any other day. I was THRILLED to finally be going to Friday night dinner at Shoal Creek Golf Club for a date night with Smylie. We had talked about going for months and finally found time to do so. When I arrived, everything was completely normal. Smylie had been out there practicing and was taking a quick shower in the locker room when I arrived, or so I thought….. When the hostess came to “seat me at an outdoor table,” I was instead pointed in the direction of a candlit table on the scenic 14th tee box with flowers and pictures from the past of the two of us. After reading the sweetest letter, Smylie FINALLY appeared and proposed! I never thought he’d be able to pull of a complete surprise after having dated for nine years, but he did!! Best surprise EVER! It’s been 1 year since we got engaged! Fast forward and we are almost four months into marriage!

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I thought this would be a fitting day to share a glimpse into our wedding day in our hometown of Birmingham, AL! 

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After months of planning with the help of the most FABULOUS wedding planners, Neillie, Julia, and the rest of the Mariee Ami team, it was hands down the BEST day of our lives! We did not have to worry about a thing thanks to them. Their countless hours spent on orchestrating our day was so evident and we couldn’t be more grateful for their help and their friendship!

The girls in my wedding party spent the morning getting ready at my family home. It was the most relaxed morning spent with my mom and my best friends! I gifted my bridesmaids a pair of my favorite Lake Pajamas, as well as a pair of custom Nicola Bathie earrings to wear with their Amsale dress in Ice from Bella Bridesmaids! Family friends brought over and served the most delicious breakfast and lunch for us including yogurt parfaits with Siggi’s yogurt topped with Julie’s Real Granola, fresh fruit, chicken salad pitas, champagne, and Birmingham-famous “Baby Bites”. 

 

 

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I wore this robe  while having my hair and makeup done on wedding day. My amazing beauty team included Kerri Bunn for make-up, Candi Gonzalez (who has been doing my hair for special occasions since middle school dances!!!) for hair, and Carly Woods (also a bridesmaid, best friend, and college roommate!) and Sydney Waid of Carter and Morgan for my bridesmaids’ hair and make up!

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Thanks to Caroline and Kelly Michelle at Carriage House Weddings, my dress was everything I dreamed it would be and more! They helped me design and put together my ideal wedding dress by combining a lace illusion top by Liancarlo with a silk mikado skirt from Augusta Jones. They also helped me choose earrings by Elizabeth Bowers. I chose to wear light blue Schutz shoes to complete my wedding day look and serve as my “Something Blue.”

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Smylie and I had a blast going to visit our friends at Polo Ralph Lauren in New York City for him to be fitted for his custom tuxedo! He chose a traditional and classic style that he will wear for years to come.

 

The groomsmen spent the morning hanging at Smylie’s (now our) house, having lunch and dressing for wedding day. Smylie gave his groomsmen a great-looking monogrammed duffle bag from Bellemonde Luggage. SIC Cups was kind enough to customize stemless wine cups and tumblers for our entire wedding party and Massage Envy provided massage gift cards for the guys and girls!

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Out of town guests were greeted with gift boxes tied with ice blue satin ribbon and labeled with stickers created with our custom monogram by Weezie B. Designs. The boxes contained  treats from some of our favorite local spots, as well as a few of our favorite healthy snacks!

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Smylie and I chose to do our first look and photographs at Vestavia Country Club, the club where we both grew up. Our Rehearsal Dinner and “Post Toast” Party were also held at VCC the night before. Kelley James made a surprise appearance and performed for our guests! He was a HUGE hit and created such a fun atmosphere to get our wedding weekend started.

 

 

Immediately after our first look and photos the storms that we had been watching all week came in full force. Thankfully, I had the most incredible team by my side and the weather didn’t affect the day one single bit! My wedding planners, photography team (Heather Durham), and videography team (Evans Smith of Four 10 Films) made plans B and C feel like plan A! They literally thought of everything and made adjustments when needed, chose alternative photo locations, found covered driveways to pull under so that no one in the wedding party got wet-you name it, they did it!! Most importantly they did it all with grace and a positive attitude and kept me stress free!

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We were married at Brookwood Baptist Church, the church I grew up in! A strings trio played classical pieces and hymns as guests arrived. My good friends and former worship leaders played and sang “O Come to the Altar” by Elevation Worship to set the tone for our ceremony. They also performed “Multiplied” by Needtobreathe, my absolute FAVORITE band, as Smylie and I took communion as husband and wife. This was one of the most memorable parts of the day for me.

 

 

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After the ceremony, the entire wedding party rode in a trolley to The Club for our reception! This was a great way to celebrate post-ceremony as we prepared to dance the night away!

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Beth Jordan, Susan Huff, and Catherine Godwin of The King’s Garden were our floral design team and they FAR exceeded my expectations! After spending time in design meetings with them and the wedding planners in the months leading up to the wedding, it was incredible to see their ideas come to life! I will NEVER forget walking into our reception as husband and wife and seeing the reception venue for the first time. It was everything I wanted and literally took my breath away! That is one of my most favorite memories from the day.

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We chose to have our guests sign coffee table books that represent things we love instead of having them sign a traditional guest book. Frank Stitt’s Southern Table, a cookbook by the famous Birmingham chef, and The Stylish Life of Golf are the books we chose. They will forever be on display in our home and the sentiments written among the pages by our wedding guests will hold a special place in our hearts and be a wonderful reminder of our wedding day.

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Wedding cake is something I look forward to at any wedding! Cakes by Magic Muffins, a local bakery, have been a favorite of mine for years-just the right texture and not too sweet. I was thrilled to have them make my wedding cake! Adorned with flowers by our floral team, the cake was beautiful and delicious! am already counting down the days until we can cut into our cake topper on our first anniversary! Instead of a groom’s cake, Smylie chose to have ice cream balls for his dessert! Locally made, these are bite-sized balls of ice cream in flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, peanut butter, mint chocolate chip, etc., dipped in melted chocolate then frozen! They were a big hit with our guests!

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I cannot say enough great things about Haley and the girls at Weezie B. Designs! They helped me dream up our invitation suite, wedding programs, custom labels for our gift boxes, and party goods including cocktail cups, napkins, and, koozies! They even helped my amazing matron of honor with my bachelorette weekend invitations plus made a “Groom on a stick” of Smylie for the weekend! They worked with Smylie’s mom to design and print our rehearsal dinner invitation. I highly recommend them for weddings, party invitations, and everyday paper goods like thank you notes, enclosure cards,gift tags, etc! The girls of Weezie B. Designs are creative, efficient, and so much fun to work with!

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The foodie in me spent a lot of time creating a Southern menu for our guests to enjoy. The buffet included an Artisan salad blend with shaved Parmesan and heirloom tomatoes, marinated grilled vegetables, boiled shrimp with fresh lemons and cocktail sauce, panko crusted chicken tenders, beef tenderloin sliders with horseradish and arugula, cheddar cheese grits, southern fried okra, fried Mac and cheese balls (Smylie’s favorite), and The Club’s famous orange rolls!

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Our guests were greeted with prosecco as they arrived. Smylie and I each chose signature drinks to be offered to guests. His: “Smylie’s Confusion” was a Transfusion, a country club cocktail staple, made with vodka, grape juice, gingerale, and lime. Hers: The “Franarita” was a version of my favorite cocktail-a skinny margarita made with tequila, triple sec, orange juice, and a lime twist. Everyone seemed to really enjoy these choices!

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Choosing the right band for our big day was important to ALL parties involved when we were planning our wedding! We wanted our reception to be enjoyed by all and one big party on the dance floor! We chose Az Izz, a high energy dance and party band from Atlanta, Georgia, and they did not disappoint! They were absolutely amazing-everything we wanted and more! The guys of Az Izz set the tone and made our reception super FUN! They engaged the whole crowd and kept everyone on their feet! They know how to entertain and we LOVED having them!

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For our late night snack we served Smylie’s favorite, Momma Golderberg’s nachos! (Dorito’s, pepper jack cheese, and jalapeños that were being freshly steamed at stations and passed to guests). Momma Goldberg’s was made famous in Auburn, AL (my college town) and is now locally franchised in Birmingham, AL. After working up an appetite on the dance floor, our guests enjoyed this yummy snack to end the night!

HDP-HarrisKaufman-154For our getaway, we said goodbye to our guests, leaving in a floral wreath adorned golf cart down a path lined with firework flares- and even in the pouring rain, it was MAGICAL!

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My biggest advice to any bride or groom is to not sweat the small stuff during the planning process and on wedding day! Remind yourself to take a deep breath and take in everything happening around you, to be thankful for those who have helped you along the way and have come to celebrate with you, and to enjoy every moment with the love of your life!!  Smylie and I are so grateful to be at this point in our marriage as we begin this journey of our lives together and we could not have done it without the love and support of so many!

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All of the images included in this post were taken by our fabulous photographer, Heather Durham Photography, and her team, . We LOVED working with her and we are so pleased with the images they captured on our special day.

We are also thrilled with the final production of our wedding video, captured by Four 10 Films. What a wonderful keepsake!

Our wedding was featured by brides.com! Click here to check it out!

 

Always finding joy,

Francie

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