March 30, 2020
As The Sonnet House begins its third week of social distancing and working from home due to COVID-19 it’s safe to say that we are beyond ready to get back to the hustle and bustle of events, anyone else with us here?! Obviously this blog is all about Alex Anne + Michael’s wedding last April and that’s mainly what we’re going to talk about today but there’s something we wanted to share with you guys. You see, no one wants to be working from home or avoiding friends and family, but it is the responsible reality we are faced with right now. More and more couples around the globe are having to make such difficult decisions about whether to postpone their big day or not and it’s gut wrenching. It takes an emotional toll on everyone – couples, their families, vendors alike. This is when Alex Anne comes back into the picture.
Once news began hitting social media that couples were having to postpone, Alex Anne reached out. To thank us again. To remind us that his isn’t our fault, it’s no ones fault. To pray for us. To reassure us that although the clouds are thick for now that the skies will clear and once these couples are able to take the walk down the aisle it will be even more beautiful because of the wait adversity. It was literally what our servant hearts needed. We love and live to serve our couples. It’s what we do and having it taken away feels as if we’re being punished for something we had no control over. But Alex Anne is one thousand percent correct. Our couples will still have the wedding day of their dreams and when all is said and done they will be married regardless of the date their marriage was celebrated on. So here’s to all of the couples, vendors, families, and friends who are staying home, changing plans, and pushing forward with the best attitudes possible. We’ll come out on the other side even better than before. But for now, it’s all sunshine and pretty things for Alex Anne + Michael’s wedding blog which is OMG to die for gorgeous.
Alex Anne says she wanted something comfortable and practical, but also classic and unique. She did her research like a typical bride then one day she saw an Instagram post from her photographer of amazing shoes that she loved. Alex Anne reached out to her photographer, Cathrine Taylor, and learned they were a custom design by Alan Slattery, co-owner of Dreamers Supply Co., and knew instantly that this is where she would find her bridal shoes. “I wanted to have custom-made, handmade shoes. Not only could I design and create exactly what I wanted, but I was able to support a local business, which made my heart very happy. I started working with Alan and instantly we connected and I was blown away at his talent and truly his vast skill set. We sat down for a few hours one day and just brainstormed on exactly what I wanted, which was endless opportunities so at first it was overwhelming, but in a good way. I explained to him what type of shoes I liked the most and I told him that I wanted to have flats, but have a shoe that I can wear again and again, not just on my wedding day. So Alan and I worked together for months, designing, tweaking, perfecting every detail regarding these shoes. He had me pick out the exact leather, the exact ribbon color and fabric, and he measured my foot from every angle so that would literally be perfectly formed to my foot and my foot only. He was so kind, so patient, so pleasant and truly designed the most perfect shoes I have ever worn. We decided to do all gold mules, with blue velvet ribbons to tie up the ankle that would match Michael’s jacket but also would be a neutral enough color to match with my wardrobe, and with a small gold heel. That Thursday night of our wedding week, Alan drove all the way out to my grandparents house in Trussville where I was staying to hand-deliver my shoes to me, as he had just glued in my soles THAT DAY so that they’d be as fresh and ready for the weekend. It brought me to tears! Alan’s commitment to me and to my dream was selfless, and I not only was able to support his craft, but I was able to create cherished memories and a friendship as well. The entire experience from start to finish was remarkable, and so wonderful! Birmingham is filled with people with unbelievable talent, and I’m forever grateful for Alan and his special part he played.”
“Michael loves eucalyptus and I love hydrangeas, so I wanted to make sure we incorporated those within the floral arrangements. My bridesmaids wore this beautiful taupe colored dress and I wanted their bouquets to pop and stand out. My bouquet is a dream, every floral arrangement was exactly what I would want and more. I just cannot get over how talented Corey of Corey Daniel Florals truly is!”
“My dress story is one that can be described in no other way than as a God thing! For as long as I can remember, my Mimi (grandmother) and I have always watched Say Yes to the Dress, Project Runway, and every bridal TV show to date, daydreaming about what it would be like when my day came. Heidi Elnora was someone that my Mimi and I have followed for many years now, in awe of her work. To wear a Heidi Elnora gown was one that I thought was an impossible dream. The week after Michael and I got engaged, I was riding down to Destin, Florida for a bachelorette trip for a friend of mine and I was riding in the car with the matron of honor. She was asking me how everything was going since I got engaged a week before and one of the topics was dress shopping, which at the time I hadn’t thought about considering I lived in Dallas at the time. I told her that I wanted to go shopping in Alabama so that my family could be there with me. She then proceeds to tell me that when she went wedding dress shopping one of the first places she stopped was at the one and only, Heidi Elnora Atelier. She left that day with a beautiful build-a-bride dress that she had fallen in love with. Unfortunately, at the time she hadn’t chosen a venue yet, but once she did she realized that her gown was too elegant for her rustic venue, so she had this perfectly beautiful wedding dress in her possession that she couldn’t wear. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing… She asked me if I was interested, she would be happy to let me try it on. I about started crying, because how does this happen? A few weeks later, I got the gown from her and had my Matron of Honor Ashtyne come over to my grandparents house, and in my Mimi’s bedroom, my Mimi, Ashtyne and I alone tried on this gown with open hearts. The second that I tried it on, I just knew it was THE dress. I looked at Mimi and Ashtyne and asked them what they thought… and they instantly burst into tears. We all three said this was it, this was the gown I was going to marry Michael Clifton in. From there, I called Erica and told her that it was THE ONE, and how I couldn’t thank her enough for allowing me to try this dress on. Little did I know, that her sweet Mom had paid for both of Erica’s dresses as a single mom, so when I paid Erica she sent me a video of her mom crying the happiest of tears, thanking me but also saying how big of a blessing and financial relief this was for her family. I got so overwhelmed with emotions and told Erica that they were the blessing, so in this perfect plan that The Lord had created I was able to bless them while they were able to bless me as well. This is exactly how I would have rather my story go. Lastly, I called Heidi Elnora and told them my story, how everything has unfolded but also how it’s been my dream to wear a gown of hers. The sweet girl I talked to said she would be sharing my story with Heidi, and how they’d love to make an appointment for me to come in and have the bridal experience, which little did I know would turn into one of the greatest days and memories of my life.
In November of 2018, Ashtyne, my family, and I were welcomed by a Heidi consultant, Ms. Gloria and I had the entire atelier to myself, I brought in the gown and tried it on for her and everyone immediately were blown away at how beautiful it was. I was able to create my dream gown essentially from scratch. I wanted buttons down the back, and something different to go over my shoulders, as this gown is strapless. She found the most beautiful and stunning tulle shawl that took my breath away. It was perfect. I then had to find a veil, which I knew I wanted to have a blusher and a cathedral styled length. Ms. Gloria helped me find exactly what I wanted, and once the shawl and the veil was on, with my blusher gently draped over my face, my family turned around and I opened my eyes and I had that moment. The “Say Yes to the Dress”, teary-eyed, moment where I could see exactly what I would wear to marry my very best friend. I now feel a sense of joy and community with everyone at Heidi Elnora Atelier, and will continue to shout her name to the Heavens. The kindness, the patience, the JOY that that day compiled was one I’d relive over and over if I could. I will forever be honored and proud to be a Heidi bride!”
Birmingham based wedding photographer, Cathrine Taylor, captured the day beautifully. She is one of our favorites not just because of her amazing talent but also because of who she is. Cathrine is laid back and candid which makes for a super smooth wedding day, but she’s also super organized and structured so that everyone knows exactly what is happening next during photos. You can’t ask for better than that!
Alex Anne’s bridesmaids wore taupe off the shoulder gowns from online retailer The Dessy Group. Her floral color palette of peaches, soft pinks, white and green went perfectly with the color.
“When I was brainstorming what all I wanted to get Michael for our wedding day, I wanted him to have something fun and that was personal. Michael LOVES socks, so what better gift than socks with my face on it?! 🙂 I knew that he would need socks to wear for the day, but having my face on it was something I knew he’d appreciate and hopefully be proud to wear. I laughed out loud when I bought them because they turned out even better than I imagined. He says they are his favorite pair of socks he has ever and will ever wear. “
Alex Anne + Michael’s acrylic welcome sign as well as their invitation suite, bridesmaids proposal cards, and more were all done by the very talented Melissa Gullatte of Gracefully Made Art. She and Alex Anne were teammates at Auburn University when Melissa was a Majorette and Alex Anne was on dance line.
The white wooden cross that hung above Alex Anne + Michael’s ceremony was made by a very dear friend of Michael’s, Neill. It now hangs in their bedroom alongside a photo of them immediately after saying ‘I do.”
“Planning a wedding from afar was quite the challenge, as I had to make so many decisions without being able to experience in-person. From making tons of phone calls, constantly researching, looking at photos/videos I found online, relying on personal recommendations, and having my family help in every way they could. Thankfully, I love to be organized and plan things, so this was my time to shine and put those event planning characteristics to the test. I was fortunate enough that I have been in multiple weddings before my own, so I’ve learned and taken notes from that experience so that I would not be as overwhelmed once my time came, but naturally wedding planning can turn into this pressure of wanting to focus solely on the guests experience and not as much as on your own. Not only was I planning a wedding from Texas, but Michael and I had made the decision in the middle of it all, that we wanted to move back home to be closer to our families and friends BEFORE the wedding. PLUS, we had to find new jobs, somewhere to live, and continue to plan for the greatest day of our lives. It was so much change in such a short period of time, truly it was wild. Without The Sonnet House and the help from our family there is no way we could have handled it all. The Sonnet House not only helped me with the billions of questions I had (I’m sorry Ellen, but you’re the real MVP) but also helped me fill in every gap or detail that needed to be finalized. They helped make my crazy life feel normal, organized, and joyful. To say The Sonnet House is a blessing, wow, is quite the understatement. Thankfully for me, it turned out to be perfect for everyone involved, which is all I really prayed for. The day couldn’t have gone more perfectly.”
Michael knew he wanted to leave their reception in a classic muscle car but was unable to find one through any of the professional chauffeur services in Birmingham. Luckily, our lead planner, Ellen, happened to have a sweet 1969 Chevelle in the family and happily brought it along for the day.
An elegant cake from Magnificent Cakes in Irondale, Alabama displayed on our Keely linen.
Michael played football for Auburn University while Alex Anne was on the danceline. His cake, from Hilde at Magnificent Cakes, was an Auburn themed design which was proudly displayed with orange and blue “War Eagle” koozies and iced cookies from Flying Squirrel Cookies.
Alex Anne made ‘Welcome to Birmingham’ welcome boxes for all of their guests staying in hotels. Each box included not just a guide to the Magic City but also their favorite Dallas beverage and of course koozies and snacks.
The newlyweds had a private dinner upstairs before being introduced to their reception. Silver goblets and family china were the perfect touch to make their first dinner as husband a wife one they’ll never forget.
Nick and Nicole, friends of Alex Anne + Michael’s, were unable to attend the wedding in Birmingham but did gift them these amazing cornhole boards which they made themselves. It provided entertainment during cocktail hour and the reception but is also a gift they can cherish for years.
“I wanted to have disposable cameras at the reception because I wanted to have our guests, the kiddos in attendance especially, to capture our day from their perspective, but also it was just something FUN to incorporate! We had cameras at the wedding but we also brought one with us to St. Lucia to capture our honeymoon with as well which was so much fun! Another reason why Cathrine Taylor is so amazing, is that once we returned from our honeymoon, I brought the cameras to her and she had them developed for me. I wanted to print out the photos and actually use the remaining blank pages from our guestbook to put the disposable camera pictures in there, which turned out even cooler than I envisioned. It was the best idea and I highly recommend!”
Alex Anne, who has danced her entire life, choreographed a first dance at Michael’s request. They surprised guests by beginning their first dance with “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele, which happens to be the song that was playing when Michael proposed. As the song ended, a remix of ‘Rhythm Is a Dancer” started and the show was on. It was a pleasure seeing it in person and so much fun to look back on in their photos.
“The sword that we used to cut the wedding cake was Michael’s late Uncle Millard’s, who was a huge influence as to why Michael wanted to become an engineer, as he was a very successful one. The two also share the same middle name of Homer. Uncle Millard served in the United States Military and this sword was his officer sword from Virginia Tech. In honor of his Uncle Millard, who has passed, Michael wanted to pay homage to him and his family by using this sword to cut the cake and embrace that moment with his family especially.”
“Michael comes from a very large but close-knit immediate family, so having them be a part of that moment was precious. The toast after the cake cutting was led by Michael’s brother Rob, cousin Christian, cousin David, and Uncle Mike, in honor of their Uncle Millard. Like I said, the Clifton’s are very family-oriented so this was a special event to witness and be a part of.”
Getting to celebrate Alex Anne + Michael was a treat and we look forward to serving many more couples in 2020. If you enjoyed their gorgeous gallery you should really watch their wedding video highlight below from Lumpstick Productions. Big thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Clifton and their families for being such amazing people and also to all of the amazing vendors who put their talents together to create such a wonderful day. Cheers!
Wedding Vendors Who Made it Happen:
Venue, Catering & Coordination: The Sonnet House
Florals & Decor: Corey Daniel Florals
Photographer: Cathrine Taylor Photography
Hair & Make Up Artist: GLOW Beauty on Demand
Ceremony Music: Kirsten Arian
Reception Music: On-Site Productions DJ
Bride’s & Groom’s Cakes: Magnificent Cakes
Iced Sugar Cookies: Flying Squirrel Cookies
Transportation: 1969 Chevelle
Bridal Gown: Heidi Elnora Atelier
Bridal Gown Design: Coco Marie
Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy Group (online retailer)
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux (online retailer)
See more from The Sonnet House: