These days there are more unique twists than ever that brides employ to make their special day stand out from all others. Though, none seems to stand out quite so much as the wedding of Abby and Sam, held in the golf community of Shoal Creek in Alabama. The event, which masqueraded as an engagement party, surprised guests and family alike when Abby’s father made an announcement for everyone to make their way to the backyard where ceremony seating, a string quartet, and a beautiful altar awaited. Abby emerged in a lace gown by Monique Lhuillier, preceded by her bridesmaids who dressed to complement the coral peonies draped in perfect repose throughout the affair. Following the surprise ceremony, Sam and his bride greeted their guests as man and wife, the reception commencing with acoustic tunes by Adam Justin Gannon and delectable Southern cuisine by Shindigs Catering. Guests enjoyed gifts of local artisan coffee, late night treats in the form of burgers and fries, and no small amount of romantic dancing beneath softly glowing string lights and pale stars. The newlyweds made a grand exit to the cheers of their loved ones and the waving of sparklers, a 1951 Rolls-Royce waiting to whisk them off to a whirlwind happily ever after. Images by Birmingham wedding photographer Alisha Crossley Photography!
Please give us an overview of the event.
Our wedding was a total surprise! What started as a fun engagement party turned out to be a very special, intimate wedding. We wanted it to have a laid back feel so we threw the party at my best friend (also our wedding planner) Meghan Cease’s parents’ home in the community of Shoal Creek.
Tell us how you met. Was it love at first sight, blind date, friends forever?
Sam and I met through a mutual friend. He is originally from Charlotte, nc and was just coming through town for a long weekend to see friends when we met. I will definitely say it was love at first sight because he changed his plans and started quickly looking fora reason to stay in Birmingham. He had just quit his job in Charlotte so he didn’t have any major ties. He eventually found a job in Birmingham and made the decision to stay. As they say, the rest is history!
Now for the proposal…details!
So I had been saying for months that we really needed some good professional pictures taken of us to frame and hang on our bare walls! One of my best friends, Alisha Crossley, is a professional photographer and I scheduled a Saturday afternoon shoot with her at the beautiful Mount Laurel Community. Little did I know that Sam was also scheduling something with Alisha that day! We started out taking typical pictures for about 45 minutes, some with our dog Mr Boone, and then Alisha told Sam to put Mr Boone in the car and she wanted to take us to one other location to take a few more. While snapping pictures Sam starts talking really sweet about how much he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me and then all of a sudden he starts to go down on one knee. I was SO surprised and Alisha was able to capture the whole thing! I of course said yes and we walked back to the local restaurant’s patio where he had flowers and champagne waiting! It was absolutely perfect.
Was there a specific theme or style?
I would say Southern/rustic. It was all outdoors. We had beautiful lights strung, served gourmet Southern cuisine and had beautiful coral peonies everywhere.
Tell us about your wedding gown and what your wedding party wore.
My wedding gown was Monique Lhuillier and came from a local bridal boutique, ivory and white. It had a sweet heart neckline and a beautiful lace overlay. I wore a very simple lace veil with it. My wedding party wore coral dresses and they were allowed to choose their own. I loved the way it turned out.
Did you DIY any of the details?
We did a DIY favor. It was coffee from one of our favorite local coffee shops that we did in burlap bags with a note saying “the perfect blend” with our monogram and wedding date included along with a little thank you note to our friends, family and guests.
Tell us about the food and desserts.
Our menu consisted of a raw oyster bar, a fried sampler with chicken livers, catfish and eggplant, pork belly steamed buns, gougeres with pepper jelly, and hanger steak with high life grits to name a few. And for dessert Elvis bread pudding. Our signature cocktails were an Alabama sunshine and an old fashioned.
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the event?
The music was acoustic with just a guitar player/singer and drummer. It was perfect background music when everyone was trying to visit but definitely great to dance to as the night progressed!
What was the best wedding advice you received?
Hire a videographer! It was the BEST decision we made. I’m so glad we have it and we honestly pull it out every now and then just to relive that day. It’s all such a whirlwind it’s nice to be able to watch and take it all in.
What was the most memorable moment?
I would say the departure! We exited to sparklers where we then jumped in a beautiful 1951 rolls Royce and drove away to the hotel at Ross Bridge Resort.
Photography: Alisha Crossley Photography | Event Planner: M. Elizabeth Events | Catering: Shindigs Catering | Vidoegraphy: Holloway Productions | Cake: Barb’s Cakes | Floral: KG Designs | Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited | Lighting: Design Productions, LLC | Stationery: Amberly Shelton Paperie | String Quartet: Cahaba River Strings | Entertainment: Adam Justin Gannon | Transportation: Coats Classic Cars