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Historical Downtown Birmingham New Year’s Eve Wedding

While I’ve always been a summer girl, there’s something so romantic about an ultra-festive holiday affair — and what holiday could possibly be more festive than New Year’s Eve? This Groom proposed to his beautiful Bride in a big way (an NFL stadium!), so it’s no surprise that their NYE nuptials ended up rivaling the festivities in Times Square. Leslee Mitchell captured all the wintry magic here so take a peek!

 

From the beautiful Bride… Wade and I met through our mutual interest in outdoor recreation as students at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. We began by going on group trips to the local rock climbing gym, and eventually the group got smaller and smaller, until it was just the two of us.

Fast-forward three years, and I find myself walking down a white candle-lined carpet to meet my finace-to-be at the 50-yard line of LP Field where the Tennessee Titans play. I said “yes” as a good friend in the music business played my favorite Garth Brooks song over the sound system. As if an NLF football stadium proposal wasn’t enough, I was shocked and humbled to see 40 of our closest family members and friends waving from the press box, where we quickly joined for hugs and champagne toasts. It was certainly a night to remember, so we knew our wedding would be a blast!

When Wade and I decided our wedding would be on New Year’s Eve, the style and feel unfolded very naturally over the planning process. My hometown of Birmingham, AL, is undergoing such an amazing period of restoration, and we wanted our celebrations to reflect this process by honoring the past and the present on a holiday when time is particularly salient. I was instantly attracted to a downtown venue undergoing major restorations, the Florentine Building. The Florentine was originally built in the 1920s, and its architecture really showcases the decadence of the time. When I found out that my grandmother used to go dancing there as a young girl, I knew it would be the perfect place for our New Year’s Eve reception.

Next, we chose First Church Birmingham, founded in 1872 and just a few blocks away from the Florentine. To our surprise, the church was also undergoing a restoration to uncover the building’s original crown molding in the ceiling. The brown stone and red doors were a perfect backdrop for some of our favorite wedding day photographs. Finally, we chose to host our out-of-town guests in the elegant Tutwiler Hotel, which has served visitors to the city since 1914.

Everything about our wedding day was the perfect balance of timeless elegance and New Year’s Eve glam. Hair and makeup began over mimosas in my mom’s sunroom with my nine lovely bridesmaids, and I love that our Christmas tree was still displayed in the background. One of my favorite details of my look was the double panel cathedral-length Vera Wang veil. The movement of the tulle and lace made me feel so regal. Also, my mother made an elegant lace handkerchief that I carried around my bouquet down the aisle.

We kept the church décor simple, as the architecture and stained glass made a beautiful statement on their own. Flowers and décor at the Florentine consisted largely of greenery and white, with splashes of festive gold, and hints of wine and raspberry for some added drama.

Aside from the climactic midnight countdown complete with champagne toasts, kisses, and flying gold streamers, one of my favorite moments was our exit in my dad’s 1959 Lincoln convertible. It was the perfect cap to our celebratory tribute to the past, present, and future. Our photographer captured many special moments in back and white film, which contributed to the timeless feel.

Wade and I are so thankful to our parents for this special day and are looking forward to 100 more New Year’s Eve celebrations as husband and wife.

Photography: Leslee Mitchell | Event Planning: I Do I Do Wedding Planning | Floral Design: Cloth Of Gold Floral Artistry | Wedding Dress: Rivini | Cake: Barb's Cakes | Invitations: Huck And Pippa | Ceremony: First Church Birmingham | Ceremony Venue: First Church Birmingham | Reception Venue: The Florentine Building | Bridesmaids' Dresses: WToo | Catering: Corretti Catering | Makeup : Makeup By Melissa | Band: Music Garden Bands | Bridal Salon: B Hughes | Caligraphy: Huck And Pippa | Veil: Vera Wang

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here

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Elegant Fall Birmingham Wedding

Inside and out, this wedding is beautiful. Simply put. It’s everything I love about autumn elegance, with it’s perfect mix of pale pink, rich burgundy and sunset yellows and oranges, set against the deep green Birmingham forest. Mariée Ami Wedding Planning Studio made sure every detail was in it’s proper place and the result is a charming celebration. Cozy up to the gallery from Clark Brewer.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
ChurchTented
Styles
Rustic

From Mariée Ami Wedding Planning StudioVirginia and Andrew wanted their November wedding to be a classic fall occasion that had a rustic, mountain feel. However, their chosen venue did not fit this description. The couple decided to completely transform a traditional clubhouse building to give it a woodsy vibe. The first step in the transformation was taking out all of the property’s furniture and bringing in custom drapery and awnings, as well as pine bars, French country accent pieces, linen sofas, and wingback chairs. The couple chose antler chandeliers to adorn the clear top tents that encased the two terrace areas, and brought in twelve foot magnolia trees to frame each doorway. Small cabanas were constructed near the dance floor to offer up a quiet place for guests to lounge and visit. These cabanas were decorated to replicate a cozy living room that you would see in the finest of mountain homes.

The bride was inspired by pinecones, acorns and garlands, all of which played a role in the design of the wedding. The acorn was used on the paper suite, and continued to appear throughout the celebration on the napkins, cups, and koozies. Garlands were placed on the altar at the church, and adorned the fireplace at the reception, and was seen again on the couple’s getaway car. The bride’s cake had basket-weave detail and was accented with oak leaves, acorns, and a magnolia leaf wreath encircling the base of the cake stand. To top off the night, guests were given Thanksgiving regalia to wear while dancing the night away. The remaking of this venue allowed all of the guests to feel they had escaped the city and arrived in the mountains, which made the night a truly stunning fête.

Photography: Clark Brewer | Event Design: Sybil Sylvester | Wedding Planner: Mariée Ami Wedding Planning Studio | Wedding Gown: Joan Pillow Bridal | Cake: Barb Sullivan | Ceremony Venue: Independent Presbyterian Church | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Band: Atlanta Showstoppers | Officiant: Conrad Sharps | Jazz Group: Matthew DeVine | Lighting And Rentals: Beachview | Paper Designer: Mary Baugh

Summer Wedding Inspiration with Pewter Accents

Inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes but when it’s packaged up in the prettiest summer shoot you ever did see, we count our lucky stars for vendors like Elle AffairsSouthern Posies, Cakes By Kim and Spindle Photography. They know exactly how to get our hearts a’ racing, but the best news yet? This party is JUST getting started. Click right here for so much more.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Romantic

From Spindle PhotographyEvent planner and stylist Brittany Lott of Elle Affairs dreamed up this romantic and feminine wedding inspiration shoot that is filled to the brim with gorgeous eye candy for spring and summer brides. While the color palette is pastel, the pink, purple and blue shades we picked for the long mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses are a little more moody than your typical Easter pinks and yellows. With pretty dusty blue details like the ink for the calligraphed paper suite, and pewter accents like the sparkly Kate Spade bride’s shoes, it was altogether dreamy!

The crazy-gorgeous florals were bursting with lush light pink and peach peonies, ranunculus, and Butterfly Blue scabiosa. The bride’s gown is a gorgeous Hayley Paige with flounced skirt and striking keyhole back adorned with a metallic crystal beading. Silver foil gave the light blue cake some subtle glam and were accompanied by Earl Grey macarons dusted with edible metallic powder that we quickly devoured at the end of the day.

The venue, Rucker Place, is a romantic and charming historic home with a wrap-around porch (with a painted dusty blue floor! Kismet!), and is the perfect setting for our fresh affair that a classic/romance-loving bride would adore.

Photography: Spindle Photography | Videography: Brittany Arias | Event Planning: Elle Affairs | Floral Design: Southern Posies | Wedding Dress: White Dresses Boutique | Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid Birmingham | Cake + Mini Cake Favors: Cakes By Kim | Ceremony + Reception: Historic Rucker Place | Hair + Make-up: Brittany Benton Massey | Macarons: Magic City Macarons | Paper Goods + Calligraphy: Ragan House Lettering | Shoes + Accessories: Kate Spade | Silver Chiavari Chairs: Event Rentals Unlimited | Table Decor: Table Matters | Vintage Rolls Royce: Coats Classic Cars | Wedding Dress Designer: Hayley Paige

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Intimate Backyard Wedding

This is one of those weddings where mere words simply can not do it justice.  Because no matter how much I tell you just how beautiful every.last.detail planned by Mariee Ami is, it still won’t compare to the real thing: an intimate backyard affair that is sooo insanely gorgeous and heartwarming, it’s literally the epitome of a perfect wedding.  See it all captured by Jamie Clayton right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
At Home

From the Bride… John and I were wed in a small ceremony overlooking the creek at my parents’ house on September 21st. Luckily enough, the downpour of rain had finally stopped about two hours before our guests arrived. Upon arrival, our friends and family were greeted with a glass of champagne and the violinist’s music. Soon, the ceremony commenced with my sister leading the way and my father escorting me. Shortly after the ceremony, John and I escaped to a dinner date downtown at Chez FonFon – one of our favorite restaurants in Birmingham. After a quick dinner, we headed back to my parents’ house to celebrate with all of our friends and family.

We had so many amazing people help make our wedding. Not only did my parents host our wedding at their home, but they also significantly aided in the planning. My mom also designed our wedding invitations and save the dates, while my father brewed beer and harvested honey as gifts for our traveling guests. My sister hand-addressed all of our invitations. Her boyfriend and one of our family friends read passages we selected for our ceremony. Together, we all set up last-minute rain tents and hastily covered the outdoor arrangements to protect them from the coming storm. One of my aunts planned and executed the the decorations, while another aunt ordered and created the flower arrangements. The band was full of John’s former bandmates and family friends. Finally, branches from my parents’ anniversary olive tree decorated our wedding cake.

Despite the rain, our day could not have been more perfect for us. We wanted an intimate, outdoor ceremony where we could relax and enjoy ourselves and the time we had together with our family and friends. At the same time, we wanted to ensure we had time for us to savor the moment and celebrate with our guests. Overall, we wanted to have fun – dancing, singing, sabering champagne, and playing with sparklers – and we got just that!

Photographer: Jamie Clayton | Wedding Planner: Mariee Ami | Flowers: Petal Pushers By Diane Barron | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore Via The Bridal Garden (non-profit Atelier That Benefits The Brooklyn Children's School) | Catering: Savoie Catering | Make Up: Tonya Jones Salon | Hair: Salon 2412 | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Groom's Shoes: To Boot NY | Bride's Earrings: Alexis Bittar | Going Away Dress: Rag And Bone | Interior Design: Betsy Brown Interiors

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
What to Look for When Buying Flowers

We’ve talked a lot of flower shop on SMP.  Because we think flowers have the ability to totally transform not only your space – but your soul. And amidst tips on arranging flowers to those on making grocery store stock feel special, it’s time now to hear from Holly & Mandy‘s on what to look for when buying flowers. So that all of our fresh flowers look gorg and make everyone around them smile.

THE PALETTE:  I like to pick out my favorite flower first and then use that as my palette inspiration. From there I choose others that are in a similar color family and compliment well. Contrasting colors can be nice, but I think it’s simplest to begin by working tone on tone.

FRESHNESS: This is so key in making your flowers last longer. Always try to choose the freshest looking flowers at the market. Stay away from any browning, wilting petals or anything that just looks a little tired. When you get home immediately clip 1-2 inches off of the stems at an angle and place your flowers in clean containers full of fresh water. If possible let them drink for at least an hour before arranging them.

TEXTURE: I think it is ideal to have some nice textural variation in your arrangement or bouquet. I love ruffley flowers like the ranunculus and peonies in the photos. That said, I think ruffles stand out even more when accented by a contrasting texture – for example I wired a little pine cone into this bouquet to mix things up a bit. Using mixed greenery is another way to layer in various textures.

FORAGE: Remember that every ingredient in your arrangement does not have to be bought at a flower shop. Clipping greenery from around your neighborhood is a great way to have your finished piece reflect your natural environment. It brings the outside it. I always incorporate some greenery, vines or branches from my yard.

LOOSEN UP: I feel like this is as important for us as it is for the flowers. Just remember to relax and leave the perfectionism at the door when you start playing with your flowers. There is no perfect technique so let the beauty of the flowers speak for themselves. When you arrange, keep it loose and flowing – it’s more fun for you and each flower will stand out more that way!

Photography: Mandy Busby | Floral Design: Holly Carlisle

Jacquelyn Clark