Rebecca Maury and John Dicken are both Memphis natives and have always known of each other, though they were in different grades in school. After high school, John went to the University of Kentucky and Rebecca attended the University of Arkansas — but all roads led back to Memphis for these two. Both John and Rebecca ultimately ended up at the University of Memphis, where Rebecca attended a friend of a friend’s crawfish boil, hosted by none other than John Dicken. They were an instant match and began dating shortly thereafter.
They knew early on that they would spend the rest of their lives together, but it was three years later when they made it official. Rebecca and her family were visiting the Dicken family farm in Somerville, TN, for a Fourth of July party. Rebecca and John stole away to take the dogs on a run by the lake, as they always did, but this time was different. “As we made it to the lake, John grabbed my hand and took me right to the edge of the water,” Rebecca says. “He turned me toward him, and I could tell he wanted to talk about something serious.” He told her their years together had been the best of his life and that he couldn’t imagine a day without her. And then he got down on one knee, pulled out his grandmother’s ring and asked Rebecca to be his wife. “It was the easiest question I’ve ever had to answer,” Rebecca said.
They wanted a small, romantic wedding, and with only 10 months to plan the day, they had to quickly start the process. Rebecca envisioned a fairy-tale outdoor ceremony at sunset with lots of twinkling lights. “After attending a close family friend’s outside wedding overlooking a vineyard, I knew I wanted mine outside as well,” Rebecca says. “Theirs was beautiful, yet not so formal and much more intimate than a traditional, huge inside wedding.” There was no location better suited for this soiree than The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, AL. Rebecca grew up visiting the hotel with her family, so its sentimental value combined with its dreamy location right on the water made it the only place Rebecca and John could envision their day.
Rebecca opted to keep the color palette clean and simple for the spring wedding. Lush white hydrangeas, peonies, roses and lisianthus were complemented by delicate sprigs of greenery, making for an elegant look. The bridesmaids wore floor-length, soft gray-blue gowns, and the groom and his groomsmen were the pictures of refinement in black tuxedos. This classic aesthetic paired perfectly with the location, making for truly the ultimate Southern outdoor wedding.
On her wedding day, after spending the morning getting ready with her mother and bridesmaids, Rebecca headed out to meet her groom under the live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss that cover the property at The Grand Hotel. She describes the first look as one of her absolute favorite memories from the day — a moment that felt incredibly special and totally surreal. Rebecca says, “It was so special since we were alone and knew this was actually happening!”
As the sun started to set on a beautiful May evening, about 130 of Rebecca and John’s loved ones gathered under a sprawling oak tree overlooking the bay to witness and celebrate the beginning of their life together as Mr. and Mrs. Dicken. A string quartet played while guests sipped champagne and found their seats. Then, as the classic notes of Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” began to build, Rebecca made her way down the aisle on her father’s arm. The bride and groom held hands at the altar, marked by a large wooden cross covered with Rebecca’s favorite flowers, promised to love each other forever and sealed their covenant with a kiss. With unfettered smiles on their faces, the new Mr. and Mrs. recessed up the aisle as the joyous “Wedding March” played.
The reception was held at The Grand Hotel’s Julep Point overlooking the bay, giving guests an incredible view as the sun dipped below the horizon. Guests enjoyed a “Point Clear of Stress” signature cocktail as they made their way to the reception space and snacked on passed hors d’oeuvres before a meal of lamb chops, shrimp and grits, gumbo, lobster mac and cheese and crabmeat bites. After sunset, twinkle lights draped over the dance floor lit up the night sky and completed the bride’s vision for her fairytale wedding. The bride and groom shared their first dance to “Stand By Me,” the lyrics striking Rebecca as the perfect sentiment for their first dance as husband and wife. The band got the party going and kept the energy high all night as Rebecca, John and their beloved guests cut loose on the dance floor. At the end of the night, guests showered the bride and groom with lavender, and they rode off into the night on a flower-draped golf cart.
With memories of her May wedding fresh in her mind, Rebecca advises other brides to savor every second of their wedding day, saying, “It goes by so fast, but you really want to remember all the details on the biggest day of your life.” And, of course, she adds, “Hire a good wedding planner!”
Here’s to you, Mr. and Mrs. Dicken! Thank you for sharing your gorgeous day with us!
- Photography: Aimee Reynolds
- Wedding planner: Jacqueline Burkett, Chic Weddings by Jacqueline
- Wedding dress: Low’s Bridal
- Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
- Cake: Couture Cakes
- Flowers: Southern Veranda
- Venue: The Grand Hotel
- Catering: The Grand Hotel
- Ceremony music: Atkinson String Duo
- Band: 2nd Coming
- Hair/makeup: Scott Whitney Salon
- Merchandise/stationery Design: Ménage Fine Stationery & Gifts
- Guest accommodations: The Grand Hotel
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