Real Wedding: Jennifer and Justin

I have been saving this lovely wedding just for this week. I am so in love with it’s classic elegance and this couple’s obvious love. There is no set style, no organized bridal party, yet this wedding is effortlessly chic. It really goes to show that if you stay true to yourself and focus on the important things, any wedding can be beautiful. It also helps if you have an amazing photographer like Brandon from Gresham Photography.

The gorgeous bride Jennifer shares:

Honestly, we didn’t really have any set approach to planning. Unfortunately, I was not the girl that had a wedding designed in her head since childhood. The engagement was a surprise, and shortly after, I found myself overwhelmed by all of the decisions that needed to be made. We both quickly came to the realization that our focus was the marriage… the fun of planning and incorporating special details was all a byproduct of what we were really celebrating that day. With that being said, we took a fairly relaxed approach so that we could absorb the process and enjoy it all. There were going to be some mess ups, some things we wanted to do, but couldn’t afford and some decisions that were non-traditional. In the end, we wanted it to reflect our style and personalities, but more importantly we wanted it to be a celebration that centered around our family and close friends. It wasn’t a big, elaborate affair at all. It was simple and laid back. I am Italian and loved being able to incorporate that into the wedding. I wanted it to feel classic and a little bit rustic.

I think we would both say our favorite part of the day was when we first saw each other. That was such a special moment that will be ingrained in my mind always. Also, we didn’t have formal bridal parties. I had my closest friends carry up a portion of my bouquet to Justin and then he put all the flowers together to give to me when I got to the end of the aisle. Although I was so nervous I forgot to get the flowers from him, I loved that moment in the wedding. I am very close to my friends and felt like that bouquet was a symbol of them “giving me away” in their own way.

My mom and I conceptualized the ideas for our flowers and our wonderful florist made it all come to life. We bought long strands of crystals to add to the arrangements to kick things up a bit. My mom made the other centerpieces and had help from friends the day of to get them in the right places. We looked high and low for all that we needed to display the hundreds of cookies that my mom, aunt and mom’s best friend worked so hard to bake the months leading up to the wedding. My parents had a big Italian wedding with tables full of homemade cookies, so keeping with that tradition was very important.  And we were lucky to have so many family members and friends to help us do everything.

Another special DIY was from my husband. His dad had passed away unexpectedly while we were dating, and we wanted to pay tribute to him in a subtle way. He was amazing and very artistic…my husband always talked about how he had beautiful handwriting, so he used his signature to create a canvas painted with “Graham”…we asked our guests to sign this instead of a guest book. We figured we’d rather have that displayed in our house everyday than a book to look back on occasionally.

Another favorite aspect was when we left the reception and drove around the city for a little while drinking champagne that my best friend had given us. We were able to reflect on the day and the people that had traveled between 5 and 700 miles to share it all with us. We felt honored…and exhausted…but mostly, so very thankful for the love that we were shown!

Photographer | Gresham Photography

Venue | Matt Jones Gallery

Flowers | Jean Brown

Ceremony | Third Presbyterian of Birmingham

Invitations | Social Graces

Gown | Mori Lee

Shoes | Luichiny

Make-Up | Celine Russell

Are you all as in love with this wedding as I am?? Be sure to check back soon for today’s giveaway and make sure you entered yesterday’s cake banner giveaway too!