Diane's Formal Affair

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We feel like we say this all of the time, but The Sonnet House really won the wedding lottery with Courtney + Ben. Not only was working with them to plan the perfect June wedding amazing and fun, but the fruit of the hard work was just plain beautiful. Corey Daniel Florals dazzled everyone with breathtaking, Southern floral displays, Magic Muffins created a pastry masterpiece, and Courtney simply took our breath away in a Christina Wu gown from Diane’s Formal Affair in Jasper

I could spend all day telling you about it, or we could just let Courtney tell you herself. Thank you, Courtney + Ben for allowing The Sonnet House to help make your dreams a reality! 

Q & A with Bride, Courtney:

You knew from the day you toured  The Sonnet House that you wanted to get married inside our Chapel, rain or shine. What led you in that direction? // When I was 18 years old I attended a wedding at The Sonnet House and I remember telling myself “I’m going to get married here one day.” After touring a majority of the wedding venues in the Birmingham area, I knew that The Sonnet House chapel and courtyard were going to be the perfect place for our June wedding. The chapel has such a cozy + family feeling just like our church back home in Collierville, Tennessee. Ben and I wanted a traditional, intimate feeling with all of our close friends and family, which is exactly what the chapel portrays. With the help of The Sonnet House team we were able to add all of our favorite simple decor to have it transformed into the formal wedding chapel that I envisioned myself getting married in. 

Your wedding dress still takes our breath away and I will post it on our social media any opportunity I can, tell us about your dress shopping experience and how you knew it was The One. // I entered Diane’s Formal Affair not expecting to walk away with “the one.” I had a binder full of Pinterest, Instagram, and magazine inspired dresses that I showed to my consultant, Janice. All these dresses I had picked out and printed out were a mermaid style. After trying on ten dresses and picking parts from the different dresses that I liked, Janice asked if she could pull a dress that she thought was perfect for me. I gave it a shot. I try on this dress being completely open minded and trusting Janice to put all my ideas together in one dress. I slip it on and she zips me up and it fit like a glove! As soon as I stepped out, my mom, grandmothers, cousin, and aunt all started crying. I took one look in the mirror and knew it was the one. We then put on a veil and stepped outside to see how stunningly white it looked in the natural light. I said “YES” and we celebrated right then. As I stepped out of the dress to hand it back until my wedding day, I ran my hand down the side of the dress and found one thing that turned the dress from “yes dress” to “YAAAAS dress…” IT HAD POCKETS!

Magic Muffins did an amazing job on your bride’s cake which was just as detailed as your wedding dress. Was that by coincidence or planned? // Just like my dress, I had my wedding cake all planned. I knew I wanted a monogram “S” on one tier, and a pattern on the other tiers. As I was showing Glenn of Magic Muffins my ideas, just like Janice, he had an idea. He pulled out two pictures of cakes he had designed and put them side by side, one with a monogram and the other with a small, delicate pattern. I knew that was what I wanted my cake to look like. As for the flavor, I HAD to have strawberry with buttercream icing, but we were so torn between the amazing flavor that the vanilla had as well. Glenn gave us the best suggestion, instead of one flavor, have TWO! We decided to have each tier with two flavors, one vanilla and one strawberry. It was a huge hit AND it tasted just as great one year later 😉 

The Sonnet House had the privilege of hosting not just your wedding and reception but the rehearsal dinner too. Do you think having both events in one location was more convenient for you and your guests? In hindsight, would you have done anything differently? // Having both the rehearsal and wedding day at The Sonnet House was more than I could have ever asked for. By having both night’s activities there, it gave our out of town guests an opportunity to see where they would travel to the next day, which was a huge stress reliever for myself and our guests. It also eased my nerves having the bridal party see where they would get ready and how they would walk/stand in the chapel instead of finding out the next morning. It gave me a good visual to hold on to until it was my turn on Saturday to walk down the aisle. 

You and Ben opted not to see each other before the ceremony and take all photos afterward. this allowed extra time pre-ceremony for bridal portraits. So many brides skip bridal portraits, what would you say to encourage other brides to take that time for “me” photos? // Take the ME time!! It allowed me ample time to sit, twirl, cry, embrace, and dance in my wedding dress and just show my true personality as my amazing photographer caught it all on camera. You and your family will look back on your bridal portraits and you will see and feel the wedding day happies all over again. I also had no idea how nervous I was going to be on my wedding day. **Get you an awesome photographer and wedding planner who knows just want to say and do during your nervous breakdowns** During this time I was able to just relax and be myself and just live in the moment that today was the day I got MARRIED! 

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process? // Living in Memphis while planning a wedding in Birmingham really made my anxious. By choosing The Sonnet House as my venue with the best vendors and wedding planner, all my nerves and anxiety was put to ease. Ellen, Jared, and Corey were so great at communicating and understanding all of my Pinterest ideas, but they were also quick to tell me what was and wasn’t realistic. I have to say my favorite part of the wedding planning process was the team of people Ben and I had rooting for us that day. Because without all of the vendors at The Sonnet House and our talented photographer, Anna Filly, our wedding dreams wouldn’t have become a reality! We love to reminisce on how perfect our wedding day was on that hot but glorious June day. 

Wedding Vendors Who Made it Happen:

Venue, Catering & Coordination: The Sonnet House

Florals: Corey Daniel Florals

Photographer:  Anna Filly Photography

Hair & Make Up Artist: Allison Strickland of Frivolous Talents

Ceremony Music: Marsha Gunter – Harpist

Reception Music: Mary Jo Fritts – DJ

Bride’s Cake: Magic Muffins

Groom’s Dessert: Edgar’s Bakery

Bridal Gown: Christina Wu

Bridal Salon: Diane’s Formal Affair

Bridesmaids Dresses: Navy Blue by Mori Lee

Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Jim’s Formal Wear

Transportation: 1965 Chevrolet Truck {personal vehicle}

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