Not many first dates go as well as Lacey Whatley and Farra Alford’s did. In January 2016, mutual friends set the two up on a blind date, and the connection between them was instantaneous. In fact, Farra ended up joining Lacey for a family lunch the very next day!
As the couple learned more about each other and grew closer over the next year, a marriage proposal was on the horizon.
On the evening of October 19, 2017, Lacey was unexpectedly sent on what appeared to be a wild goose chase all over Birmingham, but it didn’t take long for her to realize what was going on. Farra had curated an elaborate scavenger hunt, sending Lacey to a variety of special places in Birmingham: their first date at Bamboo on 2nd, the site of their first kiss at The Grand Bohemian, where they said their first “I love you’s” at Farra’s house and finally back to Lacey’s house where Farra was waiting with a ring and a very important question.
Lacey said the ring had been on her finger for maybe five minutes, before the wedding planning ensued. “We were so ready to be married,” she gushes. “I knew I couldn’t wait and have the planning hanging over my head.” So the planning began immediately, starting with a call to Neillie Butler of Mariée Ami. With the date set and only four months to plan, Lacey says everything was smooth sailing.
From New York City-based designer Lela Rose, Lacey’s short-sleeved gown, which she found at Ivory & White, featured a variety of sophisticated feminine touches. Her bouquet was filled with white peonies, white roses, ranunculus and pops of greenery.
The chilly February temperatures had no effect on this glowing bride.
No cold feet here — just a handsome groom excited to see his bride.
This shot of the first look will give you all the feels.
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The bride and groom share a sweet moment together before saying “I do.”
Each bridesmaid had the freedom to choose her own style of floor-length, navy dress, and they tied the look together by each weaving a white orchid bud into their hair.
With 16 bridesmaids and 16 groomsmen, this wedding party celebrated their day surrounded by so many loving family members and friends!
The clean and simple square invitation, designed by Allison R. Banks Designs, paired well with the evening’s polished ambiance.
Lacey takes her father’s arm right before heading down the aisle.
Jonathon Henderson, Farra’s best friend, along with Lacey’s sorority sister, Tori Hastings, officiated the ceremony inside the chapel at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook. This setting was so cozy that not every member of the wedding party could participate in the ceremony and instead sat together in the chapel’s pews. Lacey says, “We were thrilled with how intimate, loving and full of joy the ceremony was.”
Lacey and Farra gleefully exit the chapel moments after saying “I do.”
Immediately after the ceremony, the couple greeted even more family and friends at the Birmingham Country Club to eat, drink and dance the night away. Upon entering the club, guests were transported into a romantic fairyland complete with soft twinkle lights strung from the ceiling, flowing white drapery and perfectly arranged white florals. The crowd dined on everything from oysters to beef tenderloin, stuffed potatoes and make-’em-yourself quesadillas from the wildly popular quesadilla bar.
Lacey credits the Mariée Ami team for executing everything so smoothly and according to plan. “We couldn’t have done it without them,” Lacey admits. “I had no idea how all my vision and dreams would come together, and they made it happen!”
The wedding planners successfully created the shimmery, beautiful space of Lacey’s dreams. Look at those stunning florals created by Lagniappe Designs!
Guests welcome the newlyweds to their reception, where the two are presented for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Alford.
Michael Buble’s “Everything” played as the couple took to the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife.
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The bride chose a stunning, five-tiered classic white vanilla almond cake with buttercream icing, designed by Barb’s Cakes.
A multi-tiered chocolate cake layered with chocolate ganache icing was selected by the groom for his cake.
Nearly 500 guests danced the night away under thousands of shimmery lights.
Though she looked beautiful in her wedding dress, Lacey said she isn’t “a big dress girl” and wanted something more comfortable to wear to the reception. So she had local designer Katie Gilbert of Katherine Vier create a custom outfit to allow for comfortable dancing all night long. Katie designed an all-beaded pearl and diamond top with a pant featuring a detachable skirt, which Lacey paired with sequined Golden Goose sneakers.
Given that she only had four months to plan her dream wedding, Lacey considers it a miracle that Jessie’s Girls were even available to play.
There’s no denying the look of pure bliss on Lacey’s face.
The bride and groom crash the stage with a Hula-Hoop square-off.
As the night begins to wind down, Farra pulls off an epic down-on-one-knee dip with his new wife.
The new Mr. & Mrs. were showered with white flower petals as they headed off to enjoy the rest of the evening at the Elyton Hotel in downtown Birmingham.
Congratulations to the happy couple!
Wedding planner: Mariée Ami
Ceremony venue: Canterbury United Methodist Church
Reception venue: Birmingham Country Club
Photography: 509 Photo
Bridal shop: Ivory & White
Bridal dress: Lela Rose
Bride’s custom reception outfit: Katie Gilbert of Katherine Vier
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Chosen by each bridesmaid
Hair & makeup: Kerri Bunn & team
Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Mr. Burch
Invitations, programs & menu cards: Allison R. Banks Designs
Flowers: Lagniappe Designs
Catering: Birmingham Country Club
Music: Jessie’s Girls
Cake: Barb’s Cakes
Guest accommodations: The Grand Bohemian Hotel
Bride & groom accommodations: Elyton Hotel
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