Zach Bullock and Courtenay Pyburn can’t agree on when they first met. For him, it was at Camp War Eagle, where he was an orientation leader and she was an incoming freshman. For her, it was several years later at Skybar, when she was a junior and he was a graduate student. Regardless, these two have been, according to Courtenay, “glued at the hip” ever since that evening at Skybar, and Auburn University had a lot to do with their paths ever crossing in the first place.

Courtenay and Zach got into a fight the morning Zach was planning to propose, but luckily it didn’t dissuade him. She was so frustrated by not knowing what Zach’s plans were that she wanted to go to Auburn to visit friends for the weekend. “Little did I know all of my best friends were on the way to Birmingham for a surprise party later that night,” says Courtenay. When Courtenay got home from work that day she found Zach standing in her kitchen. He led her out into the backyard of the home she grew up in and, in a very intimate moment with no cameras or people around, he asked her to be his wife. They went to Bottega to celebrate, and when they returned home, she was surprised by all of her favorite people gathered together to celebrate with them.

Shoal Creek wedding

Is there a dreamier spot for a first look than this one?

Shoal Creek wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Bullock

When it came to planning the wedding, this bride wanted to keep things super simple. She wanted to focus on a fun and relaxed vibe, opting for minimal flowers and decor to help facilitate that vision. Courtenay grew up going to Shoal Creek with her family, and after her sister’s stunning wedding there four years prior, choosing a location was a no-brainer. “I know what a special place it is to my dad,” says Courtenay. “So that was a special memory I wanted to share with him. Not to mention, the place is just breathtaking!” To take advantage of the sweeping views of Shoal Creek, Courtenay and Zach planned an outdoor ceremony on the lawn at sunset, and many of the other details she entrusted to her mother. “During the planning process, I simply wanted to be aware of the details but not to the point where it was all I thought about,” says Courtenay. “I trusted my mom the most and let her do most of the decision making.”

For Courtenay, who studied Apparel Design and Production at Auburn, finding her dress was a challenging task. “I am a very particular person when it comes to clothing,” says Courtenay. “I am really into the details of construction, fabric, closures — you name it — so it was harder for me to find one because of my background and knowledge.” As most brides do, Courtenay thought she knew what style of dress she was looking for, but when she walked into Ivory & White and laid eyes on a gown by Lela Rose, all of her previous thoughts changed in an instant. “It is one of my most favorite things,” says Courtenay. “The fabric is this lightweight jacquard that has a faint floral pattern in blush and ivory. The second I saw the fabric I said ‘Oh what’s that one? I wanna try that one!’ with all the heart eyes.”

Shoal Creek wedding

These girls can’t contain their smiles on the morning of Courtenay and Zach’s wedding!

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Shoal Creek wedding

Her accessories were among this fashion-loving bride’s favorite details from the day. “The earrings I wore were by the talented Liz Legg, and I was given them by the most generous and loving work team, Meg Margjeka of Etc.,” says Courtenay. “My shoes were from Laney’s Place and were fur and pearls … I mean!”

Shoal Creek wedding

Courtenay’s one non-negotiable for the day was including her puppies in the celebration. “The very talented Carolyn Harbert of Wild Things created wreaths of babies breath and magnolia leaves that were so beautiful around their white fur!” says Courtenay.

Shoal Creek wedding

Simple and timeless: this invitation suite from The Scribbler is the picture of a refined wedding invite.

Shoal Creek wedding

This bride loves tradition, so she was sure to include something old, new, borrowed and blue in her wedding day ensemble. Her “something old” is this garter, which has been passed through her mother’s family for years. In fact, Courtenay was the fifth bride to wear it!

Shoal Creek wedding

Isn’t Courtenay’s dress breathtaking? The sweetheart neckline and elegant jacquard fabric suits this beautiful bride perfectly — she is a vision! Zach waits to see Courtenay for the first time on their wedding day.

Shoal Creek wedding

Courtenay wanted her bridesmaids to be timeless. These elegant blush gowns and simple bouquets completely fit the bill!

Shoal Creek wedding

We’re suckers for a groom and his groomsmen in tuxes and bow ties!

Shoal Creek wedding

We are loving the texture in this bridal bouquet. Lush roses and soft dusty miller combine to create a perfect bouquet.

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Shoal Creek wedding

This fun wedding party is ready to celebrate the happy couple!

With the light, airy color palette established in the tones in Courtenay’s dress, she had a vision for a wedding party with a timeless look that she could reflect back on fondly 20 years from now. The bridesmaids wore gorgeous two-piece Monique Lhuillier gowns in a champagne shade, and the guys donned handsome black tuxedos and bow ties. Simple bouquets of white roses and dusty miller completed the classic and refined look.

Then, on a beautiful Saturday evening in early November, about 300 guests gathered on the lawn at Shoal Creek as the setting sun cast a golden glow over the trees below. A string quartet played Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” as the bride and her father headed down the aisle toward the groom. With their wedding party flanking them and their loved ones looking on, Courtenay and Zach promised to love each other forever and were introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Bullock.

The reception was every bit of the fun and relaxed celebration Courtenay envisioned. This laid-back bride even turned a mistake with the first dance into a memorable moment! “The band had not hooked up the iPod or something of that nature, and when we were announced the lead singer called me over and asked where the iPod was. I said ‘I don’t know! Just play a song about love!’ We still have no idea what we danced to,” says Courtenay. Unswayed, the bride and groom danced and laughed their way through their first dance before pausing to cut into their coconut bridal cake and trade bites of Big Spoon ice cream sandwiches in lieu of a groom’s cake.

After dancing until their feet were tired and snacking on the bride’s favorite Shoal Creek chicken fingers and homemade honey mustard, guests made their way outside to cheer the bride and groom with sparklers as they drove off into the night in a blue Bronco — Courtenay’s “something blue.”

Shoal Creek wedding

Shoal Creek holds sentimental value for Courtenay’s family, and it is absolutely gorgeous to boot. About 300 guests gathered on the lawn to support Courtenay and Zach on their big day.

Shoal Creek wedding

After the ceremony, the new Mr. and Mrs. steal away for some moments together in that gorgeous golden hour light.

Shoal Creek wedding

A song malfunction can’t stop these two from grinning during their first dance. When the iPod didn’t get set up properly, the bride asked the band to just play any song about love.

Shoal Creek wedding

This five-tier cake covered in coconut, created by Pastry Art, looks absolutely divine.

Shoal Creek wedding

We love Courtenay’s advice for brides-to-be: “Have fun! Enjoy the season of engagement, and don’t get lost in the details! If you can’t decide or agree on something, come back to it with a fresh mind later.”

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This blue Bronco, decked out in baby’s breath and silver dollar eucalyptus, was more than the bride and groom’s getaway car — it was also Courtenay’s “something blue”!

Shoal Creek wedding

Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Bullock!

Congratulations on four months of marriage, Courtenay and Zach, and thank you for giving us a peek into your special day! We wish you all the best!

RESOURCES

Photography: 509 Photo
Wedding planner: Megan Wyatt, [email protected](205) 251-1279 (ext. 116)
Wedding dress: Lela Rose from Ivory & White
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Monique Lhuillier from Bella Bridesmaids Homewood
Groom’s tuxedo: Harrison Limited
Groomsmen’s attire: Mr. Burch
Cake: Pastry Art
Groom’s cake: Big Spoon Creamery
Flowers: Wild Things
Venue: Shoal Creek
Catering: Shoal Creek
Band: Accent
Hair/makeup: Emily Summerville
Merchandise/stationery design: The Scribbler
Guest accommodations: Aloft Hotel

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