October 7, 2019
“If there is one thing I have learned from my interior architecture/product design career, it is this: if you select things that speak to you and that have a timeless style, they have a funny way of coming together impeccably. Knowing this to be true, it was a difficult answer when people asked me what colors I was using for the big day, or what my centerpieces would look like. However, I’ve known the venue since I was seven years old. First United Methodist Church in Huntsville, is a pre- Civil War, Gothic architecture, white church with massive purple doors and stained glass windows to die for. It is the dreamiest place to be wed, and as a little girl I would often dream of walking through those purple doors in a white dress. Our reception was right around the corner at The Cooper House, a historic home-turned-event venue that is equally as gorgeous. I was always torn by having a wedding at my home, but I wanted to be married in the church so badly, so this was a perfect meet-in-the-middle. Mitchell and I grew up in Huntsville, and while our lives since college summoned us to Atlanta, our hearts will always be sewn throughout our beautiful hometown. We met in the eighth grade in Mrs. Blackburn’s math class. Mitchell drove me absolutely nuts because he was so wise and bored that he would mess with me for fun, while I needed to pay close attention! However, year after year, we grew to be great friends, and then great loves. Having our wedding in Huntsville, with that same math teacher watching from the pews, was the meaningful full circle that every girl wants in a wedding.
Being a creative, I planned and planned and planned, because without the details, there is nothing worth showing the world. I don’t believe anything should have your artistic signature on it unless you have thought about every single feature until you’re really, really proud. This almost killed me leading up to the wedding, but it was worth it, as usual.
I decided that my flowers needed to be white with lots of lush greenery, a timeless wedding decision that I knew I would never regret. I wanted touches of all colors to make one think “romantic”, “Southern”, “blissful love”: blues and pinks. I love mixing metals as well. My boss, designer and author Suzanne Kasler, has always said that mixing your metals makes a space feel collected instead of planned. I’ve always loved that…We selected gold Chippendale chairs, then used mercury glass and silver centerpieces on the tables. We also mixed in blue and white ceramics to add some more bold touches. My mother and her friends collected some of their blue and white pieces and did all of the flower arrangements for the reception–this was extremely meaningful to me. It was important to me, as you may be able to tell, that the wedding day feel totally ours.
In the wedding party, most of the younger attendants were children whom I had nannied, and one was my cousin. I heard a story from our wedding day that a man asked one of my twenty-something-age friends, “Were you nannied by the bride, too?” That made me laugh, because you can imagine how five children’s names looked followed by “Nannied by the Bride” in the wedding program. Mitchell and I decided that our bridesmaid/groomsman would be our siblings, which worked out well for my symmetry-loving heart; I have one sister, Abbie Caroline, and Mitchell has one brother, Thompson. Our mothers and grandmothers were able to choose whatever formal pieces they wanted, and for some reason it was special to me to have no say in that. I loved seeing what they showed up in–something they loved and picked out to celebrate Mitchell and me and our new life together.
I wanted simple, delicious food for the reception. We had a wide array on the buffet. One guest said, “Tonight was the best. I had my favorite foods: fried chicken, lemonade, and chocolate cake.” It was important to Mitchell and me that the food be part of the celebration as well. Our cakes were made by a woman in the Huntsville area who bakes them in her home kitchen. The rest of the food was from mother/daughter team who have catered weddings for years. My mother home-made the wedding mints and the “coffee punch” for guests to enjoy, a personal favorite of mine. We simply chose a pianist and a violinist for the reception, a sweet couple who are family friends. The violin player, Eliana Harless, is also a dress designer who altered my mom’s wedding dress for me to wear–probably the most special part for me. Our wedding favors were vintage butter knives that my parents had collected from all over Alabama—tied with a French blue velvet ribbon to a tag that read, “Thank You for Helping Us Spread the Love.” We danced, we ate, we laughed with everyone who has touched our lives for the better, and then we rode away, sprinkled with heart confetti, in a horse and carriage to start our lives together.”