Madison + Cole September 5, 2021 Thomas Jefferson Tower Birmingham, Alabama
Madison Harvey approached me nearly a year before her wedding and we got right to work planning. Being referred to us by another vendor, she was looking for coordination help but also just a sounding board through her journey. We met at Panera and talked over coffee with her mother, Jennifer. Madison, who has perfect dusty auburn hair and big eyes, tells me she is excited but anxious, wanting all her unique angles to align. Her personal situation would be different from most Brides in a couple of ways.
Firstly, she and her groom, Cole, were living, not only in different states throughout the planning, but Madison also travels for work, sometimes weeks at a time. She works in the diamond industry and often travels off to New York or Las Vegas, meeting vendors and generally just living her best life! Planning would therefore need to be strategic, decisive and efficient in light of her busy schedule! Cole, who is in the Air Force, was currently stationed in the Dakotas and wouldn't be able to come to town until the wedding so he would give his opinions from afar!
Secondly, while she had chosen the beautiful TJ Tower for her venue, she would be calling upon her Grandmother to do the catering, which is an option but unusual for the venue which doubles as a restaurant. Her Grandmother, who I would later meet and want to keep in my pocket, was the catering supervisor for her church and had years and years of experience feeding large crowds with traditional Southern favorites. The question would be how to ensure the catering staff could have easy access to a downtown (limited parking) venue so they could transfer an entire kitchen up to the second floor. Hmmmm. How big is your freight elevator?
The months passed and Madison booked the rest of her vendors. Nathan Forbes of Forbes Photography and Creative Ninety Three (videography) would capture the day! Lisa Perez and her team would be brought in to do hair and makeup for the girls. Linda Bearden would supply her talents in the florals. On Instagram as blessed_by_blooms, Linda has known Madison's family for a long time and was so excited to do this wedding! Madison chose fluffy white textures accented by peachy pinks and lovely anemones. Since the ceremony would be in the same room as the reception, the large standing floral displays, seen below, would be used to create a ceremony space and then become the backdrop for the head table. Linda added candles and smilax to all of the venues beautiful windows. An oversized arrangement centered the appetizer table and another was placed at the Bar while Bridesmaids bouquets would double as centerpieces.
Magic Muffins was chosen to create two very special cakes! The Bride's cake would be decorated with a monogram and classic swiss dots and topped with a ceramic figurine passed down from Madison's grandparents. Cole's cake would pay homage to his love of movies and chocolate, complete with fondant film strips and custom clapperboard!
For ceremony sound and reception entertainment, Madison chose Steve Sills, aka DJ Sillz. Steve was a pleasure to work with! He set up early in the day executed all of the ceremony sound and music perfectly.
Madison had a special song written by her close friend Melinda played live as a Prelude. It is truly a beautiful song and how many couples can say they have their own personal song written just for them?? It was so special. After this Prelude, Melinda and a long-time friend of Madison's, Brady, sang "The Blessing" for the Processional. This mixture of live guitar, live singing and personal songs made the ceremony feel so genuine and heartfelt.
After the Officiant said the initial welcome and gave a short sermon, Gary, Madison's Father, stepped in and added his own portion to the ceremony. Having her Dad read verses and be a part of the vows was another way to tailor the festivities and make them that much more special for the Bride.
At the reception, DJ Sillz kept everyone going and played numerous special request songs so that the Bride could relive her New York and college days with all her best friends. All the Bridal Party entered with cowboy hats and light sticks, ready to lead the charge on the dance floor! A highlight was listening to the Bride belt out a few of her favorite lines and her favorite song. Downtownnnnnnnnnnn!
After much dancing and much cake, Madison and Cole were sent off with bubbles. Overall the day was a success. Thank you to the Groomsmen who were so very helpful during the room flip and so polite all day long. Thank you to the Bridesmaids who did absolutely anything needed to make the day run smoothly and keep the Bride happy - like running a key fob back and forth, up and down and fetching snacks!
I especially loved becoming friends with Madison's mother and Grandmother. Jennifer was selling one home and buying another amidst the planning process, in addition to working her full time job. She could have let all that stress get to her but instead she handled it all calmly and with a sense of humor. And Grandma was feisty and fun, running between the catering team and the dance floor in a cowboy hat, trying not to get her blue sequin dress in the mashed potatoes or waffle syrup.
I am always thankful when a Bride has trusted me with her day. Madison is full of life and joy and ambition and it was my pleasure to help send her off into the next phase of her life as a married woman.
Madison and Cole are now settled in the snowy Dakotas with a new addition to the family: Lucy, and Yorkie/Shitzu puppy who is just the cherry on top for this happy pair.