James and Elizabeth met through a mutual friend and had known each other for some time, having even attended some of the same functions at Centre College before actually speaking to one another. That all changed on December 8, 2013, when James posted a photo on Facebook of his Christmas decorations:
“I thought it was cute that he had put up his Christmas decorations, a decoration that my twin brothers had used as well, so I ‘liked’ his photo,” says Elizabeth.
That “like” prompted James to send her a Facebook message asking how things were going. After a few weeks, Elizabeth messaged him back. “I had to make him wait a little while,” Elizabeth says. Once she replied, they began messaging and texting back and forth before finally meeting for dinner at Mellow Mushroom on December 30, 2013. After that date, the two were inseparable.
James was originally going to propose to Elizabeth at his job in a pre-planned way, complete with on-site photographer. However, his plans went awry thanks to the sweltering summer heat and a last-minute concern that perhaps Elizabeth wouldn’t want anyone else around when he popped the question. Instead, the couple walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch, when all of a sudden, the skies opened up and they were caught without their umbrellas. Soaking wet, they went back to James’s apartment to change into dry clothes. They began chatting, and the next thing Elizabeth knew, James was down on one knee.
“While this was not the proposal he had planned, it was perfect in every way,” Elizabeth says.
During her first dress-shopping trip, Elizabeth didn’t decide make any final selections. “When I first started shopping for a dress, I was looking for something very fitted and heavily beaded,” Elizabeth says. “My belief was the more beading and sparkle, the better!” There were several dresses that caught her eye, but she wasn’t ready to commit.
Elizabeth’s wedding planner, Marci Hancock, advised her to make an appointment at Couture Closet Bridal Boutique in LaGrange. Initially, she didn’t see any dresses that fit what she was looking for. “Because I had a particular look in mind and didn’t see any that fit that image, I struggled to find dresses to try on,” Elizabeth says. “But I was committed to soaking in every moment of the wedding dress shopping experience and, once I tried on a few dresses that Alyssa (a store associate) suggested, I began to open my mind to dresses beyond my initial preference.”
Elizabeth and her mother took one final trip around the store to make sure they didn’t miss any hidden gems — and that’s when they spotted “the one.” She had initially bypassed this dress because it was the complete opposite of what she was searching for — it was a ball gown with no beading. After studying the details and the lines, though, Elizabeth knew she had to try it on.
“As soon as I slipped into the dress, I sensed it was the one,” Elizabeth shares. “It made me feel like a bride, which was the feeling I had been missing during my previous shopping experiences.”
Shortly after James and Elizabeth were engaged, Elizabeth’s mom began teasing Elizabeth’s dad that she, too, “needed” a new piece of jewelry since Elizabeth had just gotten her new ring. As the weeks and months went by, she began to grow sentimental about the idea of having a special piece of jewelry by which to remember her daughter’s wedding day. She decided that she wanted a vintage bracelet that she would let Elizabeth “borrow” on her wedding day. After nearly a year of searching, she found the perfect diamond and emerald Art Deco bracelet from an estate jeweler in Florida.
Not only did her mother’s bracelet serve as Elizabeth’s “something borrowed,” being that it is nearly 100 years old, it was her “something old” — and since it was new to her mother and the start of a new family tradition, it was also her “something new.” Elizabeth hopes to carry on this new tradition and, one day, let her own daughter borrow the vintage bracelet on her wedding day.
Elizabeth grew up going to Hurstbourne Country Club. It’s where her parents had their wedding reception and Elizabeth always assumed that she would have her reception there, as well. But when it came time to pick the reception venue, she had nixed Hurstbourne because it was too familiar and she turned her attention to the picturesque downtown spots. At her parents’ urging, she took another look at Hurstbourne and changed her mind.
“As I entered the club, it took on a whole new meaning to me,” Elizabeth says. “I pictured myself in a wedding dress standing on the spiral staircase and immediately changed my mind.”
After the wedding, the couple jetted off to St. Lucia for their honeymoon. Elizabeth told James she wanted him to surprise her with the honeymoon destination, with one condition — it was somewhere warm. James planned every aspect of the trip and revealed the location to her the day after the wedding.
“Friends continually ask me if I was stressed not knowing where I was going — but I loved it,” Elizabeth shares. “I had so many other decisions to make, I did not mind leaving the honeymoon entirely up to James. He made a wonderful choice and we had a fabulous vacation together.”
Cheers to the happy couple! We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!
Venue: Hurstbourne Country Club
Wedding planner: A Thorough Fare, Marcie Hancock
Photography: Robert Burge
Videographer: Kay Rountree
Bride’s gown: Blush by Hayley Paige from Couture Closet
Bride’s accessories (belt, necklace, hair barrettes, and veil): Sara Gabriel
Bridesmaids’ dresses: BHLDN
Hair & makeup: Wedding Hair by Laura Conard; Louisa Kleinert Makeup Artistry
Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Men’s Warehouse
Invitations, programs & menu cards: Julie Diamond Calligraphy
Flowers: In Bloom Again
Catering: Hurstbourne Country Club
Music: The Company Band
Cake: Mert’s Cake (wedding cake); Louisvillicious (groom’s cake)
Guest accommodations: Spring Hill Suites
Read about even more beautiful nuptials and happy couples. Check out our “Weddings” section. Click here and prepare to swoon!