India + Matt by Sidney Smith Photo

That’s when I realized that I didn’t want to be with anyone else and that Matt was the only one who could make me laugh as hard as that and shared the same sense of humour.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

I am an ICU nurse, and I work at a hospital in downtown Birmingham. When I am not at work, you could probably find me reading (my absolutely favourite books are thriller/who-dun-it books… Goodreads is my favourite app), online shopping, or taking our dog Bambi on a walk! Matt works from home and is an accountant. Matt is a big fan of Philadelphia sports and is probably watching the Phillies or the Eagles when he is not crunching numbers on his spreadsheets.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

Matt and I are both from Orlando, Florida. We met when I moved to his school in the eighth grade. We really didn’t know each other well until we became very close friends during our sophomore year. Matt has a distinct story from when we were freshmen. His first impression of me was that of annoyance. This was due to the fact that I was answering every question in our science class without hesitating to be the first person to raise their hand. I will fully admit to being one of “those” types of students. But, despite that first impression, I guess Matt was able to look past it, and by the end of sophomore year, we were definitely more than “just friends.” We started dating our junior year of high school and have been together ever since (going on 7 years)!

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

When I asked Matt this question, he said that he knew from the moment that we started dating that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He says that he has always known that we were meant to be together. For me, there was a moment when we were together towards the beginning of our relationship where I just couldn’t stop laughing. That’s when I realized that I didn’t want to be with anyone else and that Matt was the only one who could make me laugh as hard as that and shared the same sense of humour. And this is still true! There is no one else who makes me laugh like Matt, not even close. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with someone who I genuinely enjoyed being around. For me, that was Matt.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Matt knew that the act of keeping a proposal secret was going to be very tricky. He came up with the clever idea of planning three dates over the course of a few days, hinting that one of the dates would be the proposal. The itinerary went as follows: Monday- a walk on the beach. Wednesday- Juniper springs, Thursday-a sunset picnic at the park. Monday came and I really didn’t think it was going to happen, we drove an hour to the beach and went for a silently awkward walk where we kept glancing down at his phone and had an obvious box in his front pocket. At the end of our walk, I was officially freaking out. Why was he texting someone so discreetly? I finally asked him if it was happening today. Matt should really consider a career switch into acting. The whole ride home he was giggling about how his fake box in his front pocket and his “texting” really convinced me it was happening that day.

Wednesday rolled around, and I was over his shenanigans. I still curled my hair and put on my dress, but all of that anxiety was out of my system. He asked me on our way to Juniper Springs (where we had our first date btw, I can’t believe I didn’t see right through it…) if I wanted to go to a movie on the way home. I thought for sure there was no way that the proposal was happening today. We sat and ate some breakfast at the springs, and then we got up to go for a walk. I was so oblivious that I grabbed his pullover and put it on. A few minutes into our walk, he just turned to me and said, “I need you to take off my jacket.” That’s when it all clicked. Oh my gosh. He fooled me! We then walked to the bridge where he proposed. Talking about it afterwards, I don’t think either of us remembers exactly what we said, but it was perfect, and Matt wins at catching me completely off guard.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding.

We didn’t really have a specific “theme” when we began to plan our wedding. The vision really started to come together after deciding on our venue. It was such a beautiful and timeless house, with an emphasis on the landscape, which really fit in with the garden party vibes. After the venue was decided on, there were a couple of other elements that I focused on to set the mood for the wedding. There was one bridesmaid dress that I fell absolutely in love with. The floral pattern was perfect, and I honestly used it as inspo when planning the colour palette with my florist. I also wanted all of the guests to feel like they were having a fun and special night out. I didn’t want everything to be too casual, but this focus helped us make decisions such as having doughnuts for the main dessert instead of a cake, an open bar, and custom koozies and cups for guests to take home at the end of the night.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

The first big splurge that I made at the beginning of the wedding process was my dress. My mom told me the same thing that she told my sister just a few years prior, which was to get the dress first and that everything else would fall into place. She really wanted to make sure that I picked a dress that I absolutely loved and that really felt like me. She didn’t want me to start picking out everything else and then feel pressure to find a dress within a certain price point after everything else was already picked out. Obviously, we weren’t about to go overboard with the dress, but at the end of the day, I was happy to splurge on a dress that I really truly loved and was excited to wear. I wanted something that was my style and something that I really felt comfortable in.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

One moment that still made me laugh was our group family photo after the ceremony. Picture this… the days leading up to the wedding I tried my very hardest to make sure everyone knew to keep the grandmothers seated after the ceremony. That way, when we all gathered for one group family photo, they were already there and ready. So after the ceremony, everything was going to plan. Matt and I walked back out to greet our family by the aisle, But Mimi and Didi, my two grandmothers, were nowhere to be found (Matt’s grandmother was the only one who could follow instructions btw). We turn around and see Mimi and Didi bee-lining it to the bar for cocktail hour, chatting it up with all of our family and friends. It took a good five minutes to corral them back to our family pictures, but I’ll never stop laughing at the image of them booking it to cocktail hour, ready to get the party started.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

When I first was planning out my outfits for the big day, I was totally into the trend of changing into a short dress for the reception. After picking my wedding dress, I realized that I was so comfortable in it that there was no need to get a second outfit to change into, which honestly makes me love my wedding dress anymore. You should feel comfortable and feel like you are in your dress!  For the longest time I could not decide on what shoes to put on after changing out of my heels. I eventually went for a white ballet flat, and I am so glad that I did because I am still so excited to wear them to this day! For Matt, I always imagined just classic black suits for the groomsmen. It is timeless and blends so well with the florals and bridesmaid dresses. We decided on doing a tuxedo for Matt, and black suits for all of the groomsmen. That way, Matt’s outfit was a little elevated, but it still worked well with the others.

CEREMONY & RECEPTION Victoria 1883, @victoriaestate1883 FLORIST Ivy Farm Flowers, @ivyfarmflowers PHOTOGRAPHER Sidney Smith Photo, @sidneysmithphoto PLANNER Ivy Farm Flowers, @ivyfarmflowers MAKEUP & HAIR Bronze + Glow Beauty, @bronzeglowbeauty DJ Daggett Productions, @daggett_productions TENT Special Event Services, @sesiamevents CATERING Premier Event Services, @premiereventsorlando CEREMONY INSTRUMENTAL Classern Quartet, @classern BRIDAL DRESS Ines Di Santo – Want, @inesdisanto BRIDAL SHOP The Bridal Finery, @thebridalfinery BRIDESMAID DRESS Reformation, @reformation; Show Me Your Mumu, @showmeyourmumu; Anthropologie, @anthropologie; Park & Fifth, @parkandfifthco; Baltic Born, @balticbornclothing SUIT Working Style, @workingstylenz GROOMSMEN SUIT The Black Tux, @theblacktux VEIL Bride’s Mom EARRINGS Mejuri, @mejuri GLOVES Custome Made at The Bridal Finery, @thebridalfinery INVITATIONS Paper from Eliza, @paperfromeliza ENGAGEMENT RING Brilliant Earth, @brilliantearth BRIDE’S WEDDING BAND Mejuri, @mejuri GROOM’S WEDDING BAND Blue Nile, @bluenilediamond SHOES Reformation, @reformation; Dolce Vita, @dolcevita CAKE Bride’s Sister BRIDAL & GROOM – GETTING READY HQ Victoria 1883, @victoriaestate1883