Hi, y’all! Our next Southern Bride of the Month is Alissa, who’s planning a destination wedding in beautiful Rosemary Beach!
Hi! What’s your name?
What’s your fiancé’s name?
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Blake and I met after he had recently moved to Nashville and started working at the company I was with. It was love at first sight (well, maybe for him!). Funny enough, our desks were pushed together so I could be his “mentor,” and we even shared a stapler. After several attempts to get me to go to dinner or see a movie, I finally gave in. I was quickly attracted to his handsome good looks and Southern charm!
Two favorites from Alissa and Blake’s engagement session with Vue Photography. See more here!
Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
It was Blake’s 27th birthday and he told me that he wanted us to go to Watermark for dinner. I really didn’t question anything at that point, because it was his day, and I would get to pick where to eat for my birthday five days later. We enjoyed a nice dinner and had a couple cocktails, and then it came time for dessert. Now, if you know Blake, you know that he loves anything with sugar in it. I told him that I thought we didn’t need to get anything, but of course he asked for the dessert menu – very typical Blake.
The waiter brought us one dessert menu and handed it to him. He then highly recommended that we try the special dessert of the night – the carrot cake. Blake took a look at the menu, and said that that sounded good to him. I immediately asked what else they had (having never been a big fan of carrot cake). Blake again looked at the menu and said it looked really good to him, like his Mom’s recipe, and that we should try it. He then handed me the menu and scooted off his seat. This is what the menu said:
“Karat” cake: This isn’t your typical carrot cake, but more of a birthday request of Blake’s. To end this day in a special way, will you please answer “yes” on his birthday?
I really was in shock for a couple minutes, and had to read the menu again. He had really surprised me! I never would have guessed he would have done it on his birthday, which made it perfect. We then went to meet “some of his work friends” to have birthday drinks, and to my surprise, he had part of the rooftop reserved and all my friends were there to surprise me!
When’s the big day?
October 1, 2011… we can’t wait!!
Where might you two be tying the knot?
Rosemary Beach, FL
How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
I used to work at Faccio Bridal in Franklin, TN (BEST bridal salon ever, I might add). A couple of our brides were married down in Rosemary and brought pictures back to show us. I remember thinking, “Hmmm, I need to remember this place for when it’s my turn.” Once I was officially engaged, my Mom and I drove down to check it out, and I fell in LOVE. Rosemary is gorgeous; you feel like you’re in a European beach town. From the architecture to the posh boutiques all along the cobblestone streets, this place stole my heart!
The ceremony will be on the Western Beach. I chose the beach because I love the simplicity of it, and we really want the focus to be on the actual marriage ceremony. The look will be very natural – having a bamboo arbor draped with ivory linen and wooden benches for our guests to sit upon.
Town Hall photos by Vue
The reception is being held at the Town Hall, which I absolutely adore. From the moment I saw it, I knew it would be just perfect for what I had in mind. Inside it has wood paneled ceilings with grand iron chandeliers. It really has a rustic feel to it, which became the foundation for our reception inspiration.
Who or what has been most inspiring in the wedding planning process?
Blogs!!!! I have followed (or, shall I say, stalked) various wedding blogs for a couple of years now. I am really drawn to the rustic/vintage look, and have been able to gather so many great ideas from them. Also, once I decided on Rosemary Beach, I began to look at local photographers’ blogs to gather more ideas from brides who had married in and around the highway 30A area. It’s safe to say I am addicted and will probably continue to view my daily blogs, Southern Weddings and Style Me Pretty, long after we are married!!
Alissa’s bouquet inspiration on the left (by Kelly Brown Weddings), and her inspiration for her bridesmaids’ bouquets on the right (by Victoria Souza)
Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Yes!! The dress shopping experience was a piece of cake for me, probably due to the fact that while I worked at Faccio Bridal, I swooned over Rivini’s “13.” It was the first dress I tried on, and it was absolutely perfect for me. It’s romantic, girly, and one of a kind. There are several different tiers of Alencon lace, and if you look closely, you’ll notice each tier is a different pattern. It’s one of those dresses that the longer you look at it, the more details you notice.
Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
Vue Photography – hands down! Genya and Wesleyann are amazing photographers who have a real passion for what they do. I love their work and the energy they bring with them.
What do you love most about Southern weddings?
I love that Southern weddings are all about family and friends, the people who mean the most to you. I also love the details! I have had so much fun using different Southern elements throughout our wedding, such as burlap, old wooden crates (from Blake’s grandparents’ old grocery store), mason jars galore, vintage furniture, and lace. I love looking at other Southern weddings and trying to spot the personal touches each bride has incorporated.
Do you have a favorite Etsy store you’d love to tell us about?
Yes, Lila Frances – I am so excited to get my Mrs. Pettit hanger!
If you had to pick three top priorities for your budget, what would they be and why? Are your fiancé’s priorities different?
Mine would be dress, photographer, and caterer. Blake’s are band, cake (the boy has a sweet tooth), and booze (he also likes to have a good time!).
What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
I would have to say planning a destination wedding. We have only gone down to Rosemary a couple times during the engagement, and I do think it would have been easier to have planned a wedding in the city where we are living. But, I wouldn’t change anything, because then we wouldn’t be getting married in the best place ever!
What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Two things. First, seeing Blake’s face when I walk down the aisle (I’m thinking there are going to be some tears). I am so excited to be marrying my best friend, and I know it’s going to be the best day ever! Second, dancing with my Dad. I am definitely a Daddy’s girl, and I know it will be a very special moment for both of us. Plus, he has been practicing around the house, so I want to see what his moves are made of!
Another piece of Alissa’s inspiration, this time from Jenn + Barret’s wedding! Photo by Love Me Do
Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
We are going to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and I think we are going to do a whole lot of relaxing.
Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
I would like to know what other brides have done to honor family members that are no longer with them. None of my grandparents are living, and Blake only has one grandmother left. These were all very special people to us, and I would like to know what other couples have done to acknowledge and honor them during their big day.
Thank you so much for playing along, Alissa! Readers, if you’d like to apply to be a Southern Bride of the Month, check out this post for all the details! If you’ve already emailed me, you’re still in the running for future months!
Meet a few more Southern Brides of the Month:
Alison, planning an outdoor reception with moonshine
Katie, planning a garden wedding in Charleston with a pie bar
Lauren, planning a church and country club wedding in Texas
The Southern Bride of the Month header was designed by our Assistant Art Director Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company!