When I started this post I bet I rewrote the first sentence a dozen times. How do you start this conversation? How do you put into words how devastating it is to see the couples’ dreams who we have worked with for over a year suddenly have to halt everything and wait for the storm to pass? The Sonnet House is devastated. The COVID-19 outbreak has officially derailed and postponed events and it’s heartbreaking to sit back, helpless, while everyone around us uproots their lives to suddenly plan for the unknown. We’ve said it before and it’s never been more true than now; we have the best couples on Earth. Our brides, grooms, and their families have handled this unprecedented situation with grace that we aren’t sure we would be able to show if put in their shoes. The fact is that this is new for everyone. It’s also important to point out that there is a much larger picture. This isn’t just about weddings and events of course. This is shaky ground for everyone and we will figure it out together.
There is no ‘playbook’ to look back on however let us tell you something about the wedding community in Birmingham. It is amazing. It is full of God-fearing people who live to serve and now is no different. The goal of each and every wedding vendor is the same: provide the best service possible to get the job done and have a happy client at the end of the day. In times like these, everyone pitches in. Help, support, an extra hand here and there, all available at the end of our fingertips simply by asking. Sometimes that just means calling to check in to see how we’re holding up, how our couples are holding up, and reminding each other that we will come out stronger in the end for having gone through it. It’s Southern Hospitality at its best.
At this time, we wait, and have contingency plans in place for events we believe will be impacted or possibly impacted. The Jefferson County Department of Health and the Alabama Department of Public Health have been very clear and helpful in their direction and recommendations. While this is absolutely un-chartered territory there is no reason for anyone to walk it alone. We know that when this passes that weddings will be back better than ever.
Now, let’s get to the heart of this post which is definitely Morgan + Hunter’s stunning courtyard ceremony last April. These two lovebirds are just the cutest. The two met while both were attending the University of Arkansas. While Morgan grew up just outside of Auburn, Fayetteville soon felt like home especially with Hunter there. They call Arkansas home and are never too far away from the sports scene. The Razorbacks are life while Auburn hoops still rule March and as you’ll see below, Hunter is a big fan of Liverpool Football Club.
A lucky coin given to Morgan on her wedding day from her father.
Morgan wore a gorgeous spaghetti strap wedding gown from Bustle in Birmingham, Alabama. The Modern Trousseau design featured scalloped lace over a champagne underlay. Her bridesmaids wore Steel Grey floor length dresses from online retailer Azazie which has an amazing selection of bridesmaids dresses at super affordable prices.
Hunter donned an ivory floral tie and ivory spray rose boutonniere with eucalyptus and scabiosa pods.
Following their first look on the back lawn with The Sonnet House in the background, Morgan + Hunter took the opportunity to read their wedding day letters to each other. This is also a great time if you plan on saying private vows to each other. On a romantic scale of 1-10 this is easily a 20.
Morgan + Hunter’s media team was made up of a fantastic duo from Missouri. Chris Killingsworth Photography out of Springfield did a fabulous job capturing the day. While landscape and travel photography is his normal gig he jumped at the opportunity to photograph Morgan + Hunter and who could blame him?! Tyler & Beka are a husband and wife photo and video team who are known for their adventures across the Midwest but we sure were thankful to have them in the South for the weekend! (Make sure you check out their wedding video at the bottom of this post, it’s fantastic!)
When planning began Morgan knew exactly what look she wanted to accomplish with florals. She had been a huge fan of Evan + Garrett’s courtyard ceremony and loved classic, Southern garden style blooms. Corey Daniel Florals worked closely with her to establish her own style which used a palette of mostly white, cream, ivory, and green flowers with tons of lush, emerald greenery.
One of the funnest things about Morgan + Hunter’s wedding was hands down their bridal party. This crew not only knew how to have a good time, but considering most of them are friends and know each other well, it truly was a celebration of not just the newlyweds but their relationships and friendship made along the way. Morgan’s bridesmaids wore beautiful chiffon dresses from Azazie while Hunter and his groomsmen wore muted navy suits from Jos. A Bank.
Flowers by Corey Daniel Florals. Hair by friend of the bride and groom. Make Up by Kori Chirico.
Venna and Titus who served as the perfect Flower Girl & Ring Bearer.
Morgan + Hunter’s courtyard ceremony set up for 150 guests and a 5:30pm ceremony. Asymmetrical florals with creeping greenery garland created the perfect garden altar. Hand tied garlands were hung from the aisle chairs with coordinating ribbon.
Several types of greenery such as fern, eucalyptus and salal were used with romantic garden flowers like dahlias, roses, astilbe, spray roses, alstroemeria along with hypericum berries and scabiosa pods for texture. Be sure to follow CD Florals on Instagram for his latest designs @cdflorals
Family friend Mike Colananni performed the ceremony though Morgan’s Grandfather, Jimmy, performed the ring and vow ceremonies as well as led the couple in Holy Communion.
Kraft paper bags of rose petals were passed out pre-ceremony to guests who were seated on the aisle so that rose petals could be tossed during the recessional. This is always such a fun treat for guests to feel as if they had a hand in the ceremony. We’ve also seen this done with fake snow in the winter as well as dried lavender and eucalyptus leaves. Have a conversation with your florist if you’re interested in doing something similar.
One of our favorite local DJs, On Site Productions, provided both the ceremony and reception music which also includes a microphone for the officiant (something we always recommend!) Following the ceremony guests were directed to the front of the house for food and drink then were greeted at the reception held on our back patio. White and green centerpieces were displayed in silver mercury glass containers surrounded by votive candles.
Birmingham cake baker Magnificent Cakes outdid herself once again. Hilde always does a fantastic job bringing our couples’s dreams to life and this time was no exception. Morgan’s wedding cake was a four tier brushed buttercream design which was decorated with garden blooms and greenery. A gold stand and gold shantung linen finished the look perfectly.
Morgan and a couple of her bridesmaids have the tradition of engraving their name and wedding date on the cake server then passing it on to the next bride. We love that they also posed with it during the getting ready photos.
Mr. and Mrs. Sagely shared their first dance as husband and wife on our back patio to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing” and our hearts melted just a little bit.
Remember how we told you that Hunter is a big Liverpool Football Club fan? Flying Squirrel Cookies scored big time with these hand-piped (YES. BY HAND.) iced sugar cookies. While she is no longer taking custom orders for cookies we still have some great recommendations of other cookiers. Corey Daniel Florals did an excellent job styling Hunter’s cookie table which served as his groom’s dessert.
Make no mistake, On-Site Productions provided the DJ service for Morgan + Hunter’s reception and Ryan did a fantastic job keeping everyone on the dance floor, but we blinked for one second and Morgan’s dad, Jimmy, had taken over control of the music. The crowd was into it, Morgan was smiling from ear to ear, and face it — Jimmy’s day had been made. We’d say his DJ level is E X P E R T.
The newlyweds left their reception as guests showered them with dried lavender, one of our favorite reception exit choices. We adored our chance to plan Morgan + Hunter’s wedding and have enjoyed seeing their adventures during their first year of marriage. Congratulations and Happy (almost) 1st Anniversary!
Wedding Vendors Who Made it Happen:
Venue, Catering & Coordination: The Sonnet House
Florals & Decor: Corey Daniel Florals
Photographer: Chris Killingsworth Photography (Springfield, Missouri)
Videographer: Tyler & Beka Photography and Film (Table Rock, Missouri)
Hair Stylist: Friend
Make Up Artist: Kori Chorico
Ceremony & Reception Music: On-Site Productions DJ
Bride’s Cake: Magnificent Cakes
Groom’s Dessert: Cookie Table from The Sonnet House
Transportation: personal vehicle
Bridal Gown: Bustle
Bridal Gown Designer: Modern Trousseau
Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie Online
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank
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