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When it comes to classic and timeless, yet oh-so-much fun, the Herndon ladies do it like no other. While this blog post most certainly is all about Evan + Garrett’s May courtyard wedding and reception at The Sonnet House, first let us give you a little backstory on The Herndon Family. Evan’s sister, Kelsey, tied the knot at The Sonnet House back in September 2016. Words can’t really describe how much we enjoyed working with Kelsey, Brian and their families throughout the planning process. Anytime you have an incredible family who appreciates and understands the meaning of a marriage and what its purpose is, the celebration is going to be that much sweeter. Another detail about their day that stood out from other weddings? A beyond perfect vendor line up which included one of our favorites, Eric & Jamie Photography

Needless to say we were thrilled in September when Evan reached out to us about available dates and explained she couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. We had several dates available that they were interested in and they ultimately chose the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend, one of the most popular wedding dates each year, and the planning began. Neither Evan nor Garrett were afraid of trying new things and we were ecstatic when we learned they were interested in having their ceremony in our Courtyard space. At that time it had not been done yet and we had been waiting on the perfect couple to be the first to show everyone else how beautifully it could be decorated. 

Evan’s style was well reflected in not just her appearance but also throughout the decor. Soft and easy colors like shades of white and cream, peach, blush, and an array of greenery were used throughout the day. Evan’s dress, a stunning Sareh Nouri wedding gown from Carriage House Weddings in Homewood, Alabama, screamed Southern Sophistication and had two details we couldn’t get enough of: the back and that train! The bride herself carried a clutch bouquet of white peonies, peach garden roses, and white anemones. Evan’s bridesmaids carried looser garden style bouquets in blush and ivory tones which looked brilliant against their neutral taupe dresses from Bella Bridesmaids

Besides the bouquets the floral highlights of the day was definitely the ceremony arbor and the wedding cake. Corey Daniel Florals rose high above the expectations by creating a floral oasis at the center of our Courtyard. A lush garland of willow, seeded & silver dollar eucalyptus as well as touches of Italian ruscus was wound throughout the arbor making it look as if it had been growing there naturally for years. A large asymmetrical floral design framed the bride and groom while pops of garden flowers such as roses, hydrangea, and lisianthus were sewn in throughout. Cream rose petals decorated either side of the aisle and was the perfect backdrop for a surprise recessional when guests tossed rose petals as Evan + Garrett made their way back down the aisle. A cascade of wedding flowers poured from the wedding cake which was designed by local cake baker Hilde McGee of Magnificent Cakes. Guests were surprised again when it came time to devour the work of art because each tier was a different flavor. {p/s our favorite flavor from Magnificent Cakes is Vanilla Cake w/Lemon Raspberry Filling} 

The Park Band were great sports, as always, and happily set up inside our Chapel for the reception since scattered showers were predicted in the evening. We are always excited when they are here to play because we know the guests are going to be on the dance floor until the last minute. The newlyweds made their exit through a tunnel of tossed dried lavender. We love them both, and their families, and always look forward to celebrating with them. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson! 

Q & A with Bride, Evan:

We love you guys so much, please tell everyone how the two of you met. // We met through Garrett’s older sister, Mallory. We were in the same sorority at Auburn University and served on the Executive Board together, I was Recruitment Chair and she was President. She jokingly said one day, “My brother needs a girlfriend,” and I replied with something along the lines of, “I volunteer!” During recruitment when she and I were together 24/7 for 10 days straight I learned a l o t about Garrett and we finally met at the end of the week…August 16th to be exact. You can just call her cupid because Garrett and I hit it off immediately and have been inseparable since. 

And the proposal… // This story makes me laugh. I always thought Garrett would propose to me while we were cooking dinner or watching tv, only because he is a super private person. On my birthday weekend we were in Birmingham visiting my family and attending a Chris Stapleton concert. He asked me the week before if I wanted to go on a hike with Peggy (our English Springer Spaniel) for my birthday. I had been begging to take her to Oak Mountain State Park to swim in the waterfall for months, so I didn’t think anything of it. The morning of the proposal, which was my actual birthday, we went to breakfast with my family to celebrate before Garrett and I went hiking. I asked my family if they wanted to go and everyone declined which is weird because both of my sisters are outdoorsy, but again…I didn’t think anything of it because they had planned to leave right after breakfast to go back home. Also side note, Garrett ate probably one bite of a business the entire time at breakfast. Anyways, I changed into athletic shorts, an old running tank top, and threw my hair in a pony tail because we were just going hiking. I even told Garrett he was crazy for wearing a nice golf shirt but he insisted that he wear it. We got to the park and start our hike and I really can’t remember where the heck we needed to go to get to the waterfall, all while Garrett won’t get off his dang phone to help me navigate the trails. He told me, “Sorry, I’m talking to Trey about fantasy football!” No surprise there either, but little did I know he was texting my friend Jordan who was hiding in the trees at the waterfall waiting to take pictures, and he’s trying to get her to tell him where to go. We get to the bottom of the waterfall and I’m playing in the water with Peggy and at this point we are all sweating and hot. In Garrett’s mind he was like, “What have I gotten myself into?” (He had never been to Peavine Falls before and didn’t realize what the hike it was.) While I was distracted by Peggy, he got down on one knee and when I turned around he was there with a ring in his hand and I almost fainted. Honestly I have no clue what he said because I was just trying to catch my breath the whole time. It was so so sweet and there are some great pictures and a video me saying, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?” over and over again. Then, his entire family, my friends, and my entire family (who said they were leaving earlier in the day!) were waiting at the house when we returned. Again, I almost fainted in surprise. It was so amazing that I couldn’t even be mad that he let me get engaged looking the way I did. 

Your sister, Kelsey, was married at The Sonnet House in 2016, how did you know (or when) that you also wanted a SH ceremony and reception? // I had always loved The Sonnet House, but never really pictured myself getting married there. Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to get married until at least age 30. When Kelsey got married there it was beautiful, stress free, and we loved the entire staff. When it came my turn to find a venue, we searched in Birmingham and Auburn. I couldn’t find anything that offered as much as The Sonnet House, or a venue that even seemed as helpful as them. One thing I knew I wanted was a venue that would decrease my stress in every way possible. I asked my sister if she would mind that I got married there, and she actually told me she would be flattered. I told her I would find a way to make it as different as possible too! 

What was the experience like planning your wedding while living in a different state? // It was great! We had 2-3 in person meetings throughout the process, but I was able to communicate whenever I needed and give them any updates of ideas or visions for what I was wanting. My mom was able to help me a lot as well because she had a good relationship with Ellen from Kelsey’s wedding. Additionally, Ellen and her team have great relationships with SO many vendors so she was able to coordinate with them throughout the entire process. 

You and Garrett chose to have your ceremony in our Courtyard, which was a first. Can you describe what it was like during the planning process trying to envision something that hadn’t been done before? And now, knowing that you’ve inspired other Courtyard ceremonies, what is it like knowing you guys were the first and that the gamble of the unknown paid off? // I knew I wanted our ceremony to be intimate, so during our first meeting we were just walking around looking at different ceremony location options. At the end I was standing in one of the side doorways of the chapel and whispered to my mom, “What if we did the ceremony in this courtyard?” and my mom told me to just ask, so I did and Ellen’s eyes lit up and the entire team were extremely excited. I envisioned the ceremony right then and there, even how I wanted the chairs set up. Closer to time we decided on the flowers and aisle arrangements, and it turned out beautifully! 

Lastly, during the week leading up to your wedding day the weather forecast was not looking promising. To the point that a tent was brought in. Ultimately, the rain held of until the reception and the ceremony went on as originally planned. How was the process of working with The Sonnet House in terms of keeping nerves calm during the uncertainty of the rain?  // Okay, yeah, I was freaking out about that rain. I am pretty sure I emailed/called/texted everyone at The Sonnet House 15 times within an hour the Monday before the wedding. The team was able to secure a tent on short notice, thank goodness! It gave me comfort knowing that all of the guests wouldn’t be crammed during the reception. As far as the ceremony goes, we had made the decision the day before to have it inside the Chapel due to the high chance of rain. On the wedding day, the sky cleared and we changed the ceremony to being back outside as originally planned. This threw my off a little because I am a planner and we had already changed course. Lo and behold, mid day it starts raining. I was watching from the windows making sure everything was coming together correctly and TSH staff was already outside drying everything off and going on with the plan. Guests arrived to dry seats and the entire courtyard looked amazing with the floral arbor! I was upstairs having a minor panic attack over whether it would start raining during the ceremony and it didn’t, thank goodness. Ellen’s staff even made sure to have clear umbrellas hidden behind the bridal party so that if there was a stray shower we would be prepared. I am so happy that I took a chance on doing our ceremony in the courtyard. It was beautiful and intimate, the pictures turned out fantastic, and I have some bragging rights that I was the first to do it. If I could do one thing over again it would be to trust Ellen and her team when she told me not to panic about the rain! I swear they could be meteorologists with how accurate their rain predictions were. Ha! 

Wedding Vendors Who Made it Happen:

Venue, Catering & Coordination: The Sonnet House

Florals: Corey Daniel Florals

Photographer:  Eric & Jamie Photography

Hair & Make Up Artist: Ashley Vines

Ceremony Music: Cahaba River Strings

Reception Music: The Park Band via Music Garden

Bride’s Cake: Magnificent Cakes

Groom’s Dessert: Dunkin’

Bridal Gown: Sareh Nouri

Bridal Salon: Carriage House Weddings

Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank

Transportation: Personal Vehicle

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