Elizabeth and Alan were married on a picturesque autumn day amidst the rolling hills of Lexington, Kentucky. The Mansion at Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa provided the perfect backdrop to Elizabeth’s vision of a majestic and sophisticated wedding with an intimate dinner party atmosphere. Elizabeth and Alan designed many of the day’s elements themselves, staying true to their unique love and commitment. The wedding ceremony, written and designed by the couple, took place in front of the mansion beneath a white trellis assembled and decorated by Elizabeth. In fact, the bride along with friends and family created all of the tablescapes and decor elements using flowers from FiftyFlowers and Blooms by the Box! A color palette of blush and red tones beautifully complemented the antique grays and blues of the mansion décor. Elizabeth selected a spectacular, crystal-encrusted gown from BHLDN and custom-made veil, staying true to her vision of royal wedding elegance and echoing headpieces worn by the noble ladies of centuries past. She is an absolute vision! We adore each moment of their carefully curated day, as beautifully captured by Justine Wright Photography!
How did you meet?
Alan and Elizabeth met in the hallowed halls of the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital, when Alan was a medical resident in the pediatric intensive care unit and Elizabeth was the pharmacist for the unit. This fateful meeting was followed by exchange of secretive glances, and “accidentally on purpose” finding reasons to cross paths over the next 2 years. The first step forward occurred on the day after Alan’s 30th birthday and one month before the end of his residency. This occasion was a casual jaunt to Toledo, Ohio, for the greatly missed Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich (this was the closest location to Ann Arbor). Many steps in between followed, including parting of ways to different cities and different states. But that did not stifle the flame. Thousands of miles traveled, thousands of minutes of phone conversation wove the tapestry of love, patience, compassion, and commitment.
What is your proposal story?
The proposal was under the guise of an anniversary celebration. True to Alan, it was uncomplicated, sincere, and perfect. With a homemade dinner, a single red rose, a heartfelt card, Alan proposed marriage on the three-year anniversary of that fateful Chick-fil-A outing, and Elizabeth did not hesitate to accept. Both were eager to start their lives together, let alone be in the same zip code after spending three years living in different states!
Tell us about any handmade or personal elements.
Flowers were an important part of creating the ambiance of the reception space. After having some sticker shock with quotes from local florists, Elizabeth turned to bulk floral suppliers online and her talented family members to create the floral tablescapes. Different textures of many-petalled flowers in white, blush, soft pinks, and opulent red tones were chosen for the floral colors. Fifteen hundred stems of garden roses, carnations, cremom mums, ranunculus, chocolate cosmos, astilbe, stock, berries, and greenery (seeded eucalyptus, ruscus, lemon leaf) were delivered to the brides’ doorstep two days before the wedding day. The wedding couple’s immediate family members helped assemble the centerpieces and garlands into the lush florals that Elizabeth envisioned.
Aside from the DIY flower arrangements, all of the paper products were designed by the bride and bride’s sister (invitations, escort cards, table numbers, wedding program). Portraits of the bride and groom were placed on the fireplaces in each of the rooms. A wedding poem that was given the bride by her mother was put on display on the gift table. The escort table had framed prints of the city streets of Lexington and the night sky of Ann Arbor on the date of the couple’s first date. One of the credenza featured a snack bar with homemade chocolate-dipped Oreos and rice krispie treats and salty snacks of popcorn and pretzels. Another credenza was dedicated to the memory of lost loved ones and had pictures of the couple’s grandparents. It was decorated with a red velvet runner, roses, and candles.
The bridal bouquet was wrapped with a rosary (purchased at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and blessed by St. John Paull II) that was gifted to her grandmother.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Although there were many unforgettable moments of that day, the rose petal toss at the end of the ceremony was perfect! It was the culmination of so much love and joy exploding as the couple traveled down the aisle. Plus, it made for amazing pictures! Also, the addition of lawn games for cocktail hour earned rave reviews, and surprisingly an intense Jenga match commenced after dinner!
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
The most important part of the wedding planning process for the couple was to make it feel small and intimate. Because of that, a wedding party was bypassed. They side-stepped many of the other traditions, opting out of having a unity candle, DJ, toasts, and a bouquet toss. Alan and Elizabeth elected for an adults-only event, so that their family and friends could have a night of merriment sans children. One important and splurge-worthy element for the day was have a fabulous photographer who would capture the beauty of the day, all of the obsessed-over details of the event, and the love emanating between Alan and Elizabeth.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their weddings now?
Everyone will have an opinion. Stay true to you as a individual and as a couple. It will be impossible to please all of your guests, so plan an event that you would want to attend. And just because it is “tradition” does not mean that you have to do it. It is your day to celebrate your love and commitment to your other half in the forum that you want!