Joel Everest and Jessica Shaver both attended the University of Alabama, but didn’t actually meet until after they had graduated and were working as young lawyers at the same firm. Fast forward through a lovely courtship and proposal, and they began planning an elegant garden party-style wedding that felt warm and inviting in a classic and timeless way. The beautiful grounds of Wynfield Estate in Montgomery was the perfect backdrop for their enchanting wedding in April 2014, which is showcased here today. We asked Jessica to share a few details about their story with us, and here’s what she had to say:

sb_joel and jessica wedding blk and white leaving ceremony_2_2015

StyleBlueprint: How did Joel propose?

Jessica: Joel surprised me with the most unbelievable trip to New Orleans. He told me we were going to the University of Alabama homecoming game (both of our alma maters); however, after we finished lunch at one of my favorite spots in Tuscaloosa, we hopped back in the car and drove down to New Orleans. When we walked into our beautiful hotel room, it was covered in lit candles! It was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen. He walked me to the giant balcony, which was also covered in candles, and proposed right there.

SB: What did you envision for your special day?

Jessica: We wanted it to feel like an elegant garden party. It was important to me that our guests felt comfortable and could really enjoy the party, but I also wanted it to feel classic, understated, refined and timeless.  We wanted everything to feel like it belonged at our venue, so we went with subtle (but not pastel) colors: soft gray, dusty green, blush and champagne.

SB: Can you share a few details of the ceremony?

Jessica: Wynfield Estate is such an incredible place! We were able to use different parts of the grounds for each part of the evening. For the ceremony, we set up chairs in the very back. Because it was so beautiful, we didn’t do much to compete with the natural beauty. We set up two big arrangements at the front, but kept it simple other than that.

SB: Were there any special personal details that really meant a lot to you all?

Jessica: My grandfather loves the Anne of Green Gables book series. I think each of my cousins has received a set of the books for Christmas at least once! So we asked him to read a short excerpt from one of the books. It was really special to have him read such sweet words to everyone during the ceremony.

Thank you Jessica! Now, let’s get to the details. Here’s a peek at the fine points of Jessica and Joel’s beautiful day …

The dress

Jessica’s dress is by Temperley of London. She ordered it online, and, amazingly, it didn’t need any alterations!

Jessica's beautiful dress is by Temperley of London.

Jessica’s beautiful dress is by Temperley of London.

Jessica's bouquet

Jessica’s bouquet features soft shades to match her wedding palette.

The bridesmaids  

The bridesmaids wore gowns in pale gray. Jessica wanted a subtle, soft color that would still be flattering on everyone. After looking online and looking over a few dresses that would be a good fit with the rest of the wedding details, they settled on a few beautiful Lela Rose dresses, and each girl picked her favorite style.

The bridesmaids wore romantic gowns in a soft grey.

The bridesmaids wore romantic Lela Rose gowns in soft gray. 

Gorgeous floral bouquets by Birmingham's Holly Carlisle of RoseGolden Flowers.

Gorgeous floral bouquets by Birmingham’s Holly Carlisle of Rosegolden Flowers

The flower girls and junior bridesmaids

The flower girls wore simple, white dresses and flower crowns, and the junior bridesmaids wore gray dresses that were similar to the bridesmaids’ dresses.

The flowers girls wore simple white dresses and flower crowns.

The flower girls wore simple white dresses and flower crowns.

The junior bridesmaids wore dresses similar to the bridesmaids.

The two junior bridesmaids wore dresses similar to the bridesmaids’ gowns.

The groom and his groomsmen

Joel and his groomsmen wore classic and simple tuxedos with black cummerbunds and ties.

Dashing young men

Dashing young men

Simple and classic black tuxes were in order for this elegant affair.

Simple and classic black tuxes were in order for this elegant affair.

Simple boutoneers

Simple boutonnieres with budding flowers and white berries and greenery were the finishing touches for the groomsmen.

The reception 

For the cocktail hour, everyone gathered around the pool. Joel and Jessica had talked about doing signature drinks, but they ended up switching it up a bit to make it feel more like them. Instead of a drink for Joel, they offered a self-serve bourbon bar with three different types of bourbon. For Jessica, they served a Pimm’s Cup. For the dinner, long, community-style tables were set up instead of the more traditional round tables. The couple was able to incorporate so much of the house and grounds into the day. And it certainly didn’t hurt that the weather was gorgeous, too!

Dinner was served at long community style tables.

Dinner was served at long, community-style tables.

Gorgeous floral centerpieces adorned the tables.

Gorgeous floral centerpieces adorned the tables.

A bourbon bar was set up in honor of Joel while a Pimm's Cup was served as Jessica's drink.

A bourbon bar was set up in honor of Joel, while a Pimm’s Cup was served as Jessica’s drink.

The cake was displayed in the stunning conservatory on the estate grounds. The bottom and top layers were almond, while the middle layer was strawberry and featured a filling of cream cheese frosting with pecans. A simple touch of greenery on this delicately frosted cake translates into upscale elegance.

The wedding cake was simple and elegant with just a touch of greenery.

The wedding cake was simple and elegant with just a touch of greenery.

The couples first dance was fittingly lit by the moon and stars.

The couple’s first dance was fittingly lit by the moon and stars.

Thanks for sharing your special day with us!

Thank you, Joel and Jessica, for sharing your special day with us!

Here are the details for this beautiful weddings:

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