A perfectly elegant day brimming with romantic florals, beautiful bridesmaids, dapper groomsmen and an evening of joyous celebration with family and friends was the picture-perfect plan for the wedding of Joslyn Smith and Charlie Dennis. The pair tied the knot at Joslyn’s home church on June 4, 2016, and then danced the night away with their family and friends under a lush canopy of flowers.
Though their beautiful wedding day was certainly among the best days of her life, Joslyn describes the day that Charlie asked her to be his wife as perhaps her favorite day ever. The couple planned to spend Thanksgiving simply eating dinner and spending some quality time with Joslyn’s immediate family. The low-key day took a turn when Charlie caught his hard-to-surprise bride-to-be off guard by asking her to be his wife with a thoughtful, carefully planned proposal. He even arranged to bring the couple’s dog from St. Louis to be present for the surprise! Following the inevitable “yes” from Joslyn, the couple spent the evening celebrating with Joslyn’s family and a few of their closest friends who planned to stay in town just for the occasion. “I am not sure I have ever felt so loved by Charlie, family or friends as I did that day,” Joslyn says. “Each person was so thoughtful and it was just a wonderful day all around.”
As evidenced by their family-centered engagement, the top focus for Joslyn and Charlie as they began to consider their wedding day was making sure it was a joyous, festive occasion for their loved ones. “Charlie and I have a lot of friends and large families, so we just wanted to enjoy being with them and make sure they had fun,” Joslyn says. Aside from that one key priority, when it came to planning the wedding itself, Joslyn was overwhelmed by the process and a bit at a loss. Fortunately, one of her best friends and bridesmaids, Louise Pritchard, is among the expert wedding planners at Mariée Ami wedding planning studio and was more than capable of creating a fun-filled wedding day to remember. Joslyn entrusted Louise with the details of the day — offered bits of guidance here and there — and enjoyed a more relaxed approach to the planning process.
On the morning of the wedding, Joslyn and her bridesmaids sipped champagne as they got ready at her childhood home. Joslyn slipped on her elegant mermaid-style wedding gown with a delicate lace overlay and rainy satin buttons up the back, then stole away to the backyard to snap a few pre-wedding photos. The lush backyard had hosted the previous night’s rehearsal dinner and still featured enchanting hand-strung lights for a little extra magic in the portraits. Meanwhile, the groom and his groomsmen donned their handsome white dinner jackets, black bowties and tuxedo pants and met the girls at the altar.
Joslyn grew up attending Cathedral Church of the Advent, a stunning stone building with dramatic cathedral ceilings, arched windows and intricate stained glass, which served as the perfect backdrop for the ceremony. Joslyn remembers walking down the long aisle toward her groom as her fondest memory from the wedding day. “The most special moment was when I first saw Charlie as I was walking down the aisle,” Joslyn says. “Seeing him for the first time completely took away any stress or anxiety I felt.” Flanked by their large wedding party and supported by all of their loved ones, Joslyn and Charlie exchanged “I do’s.”
Following the bride and groom’s first kiss, the wedding party and guests headed over to the Mountain Brook Club, another special spot from Joslyn’s childhood. The already beautiful venue was transformed with the aid of colorful florals — blue, purple and cream hydrangeas, bright pops of white ranunculus, and boughs of lush greenery — and airy white linens draped at the doors and along the edges of the dance floor. The dreamy canopy of wisteria and greenery with twinkle lights draped over the dance floor set the tone for a perfectly romantic Southern summer reception, underneath which Charlie and Joslyn shared their first dance to “This Will Be” by Natalie Cole.
Guests enjoyed a menu featuring Mountain Brook Club’s traditional dishes and a few additional selections made by the bride and groom and the father of the bride. “My dad was all about the food at the reception,” Joslyn says. “He is the ultimate entertainer and really helped plan all of the fun food.” Traditional fried chicken, okra and cornpone were served alongside an Alabama barbecue station featuring an array of local barbecue sauces and a Mobile-inspired station laden with oysters and shrimp in a nod to the groom’s hometown. Sips served included local moonshine and beer, liquor and, of course, “Orange Things” made to emulate Bottega’s famed cocktail. Guests danced the night away to a selection of hits by Evolution Party Band — including a few heated “dance-offs” among the guests — and refueled with late-night favorites from the bride’s and groom’s college days: “Quick Grill Messy Fries” and Bushwackers.
The bride and groom were showered with white rose petals by family and friends as they departed the reception and headed toward their new life together as husband and wife. But for all the festivities, the beautiful wedding attire and romantic flowers, Joslyn says that “the best part of getting married is being married,” and we couldn’t agree more!
Cheers to you, Joslyn and Charlie!
Photography: 509 Photo
Wedding planner: Mariée Ami
Wedding dress: Carriage House Weddings
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Groomsmen and groom’s formal wear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Cake: Barb’s Cakes
Flowers: Dykes Culp
Ceremony: Cathedral Church of the Advent
Reception: Mountain Brook Club
Catering: Mountain Brook Club
Band: Evolution Party Band
Hair and makeup: Celine Russell
Stationery design: Mary Baugh at Mariée Ami
Videographer: 509 Photo
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