There are a few things that Southerners love. Among them are football, of course, a fabulous party and a good love story. Add in some darling dogs and signature cocktails named in their honor, and you’ve got the dreamiest Southern wedding this side of the Mason-Dixon.

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Wes Perry and Alex Wise met through family friends while at an Ole Miss football tailgate. Before they knew it, they became college sweethearts, and the rest is history!

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This sweet bride and groom are perfection. And their beloved pups, Winnie and Scout, are too sweet for words!

“Fate definitely works through friends and family, and our story shows that,” says the lovely bride, Alex Wise. The bride-to-be met Wes Perry’s older sister two years before their own paths would ever cross, and groom-to-be Wes bonded with Alex’s brother over a love of hunting during his freshman year at Ole Miss. Later that fall, as their beloved Ole Miss Rebels took the field in 2009, Wes and Alex finally met and were instant friends. While Alex finished up her senior year of high school, Wes remained a close friend. He even helped Alex settle in at school when she started at Ole Miss the following fall. In October of that year, these family friends officially became college sweethearts, and, Alex says, “The rest is history!”

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The beautiful gown, veil and shoes await the bride for her big day.

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“Something old, new, borrowed and blue was one tradition I loved the idea of and was excited to take part in,” Alex says. “My something old was a vintage, one-of-a-kind ‘love birds’ charm I found and had sewn onto my garter. It is a gold coin with two birds sitting atop a diamond and a ruby. My something new was my wedding dress, as well as the diamond tennis bracelet Wes gave me as my wedding present. My something borrowed was the diamond eternity necklace my brother gave to his wife on their wedding day, and my something blue were my new initials on my garter! I even had an antique six pence in my shoe that my mom found. It had an oak leaf on it, which was perfect because we used acorns and oak leaves throughout the paper suite, as well as in the bouts for the guys!”

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Alex’s signature emerald really makes the details of this gorgeous paper suite pop!

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Alex says she and her bridesmaids were surprised by how calm she was the morning of the wedding. She was so relaxed, she even overslept!

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How often do you get to have all of your favorite gals together under one roof? Alex made sure to savor every special moment of the morning surrounded by her closest friends.

Five years later, in November 2015, Alex nearly spoiled the ultimate surprise for herself. She innocently checked OpenTable one day to see where Wes had chosen to make reservations for the two of them and her parents for dinner the following weekend, and saw a reservation booked, not for the party of four she was expecting, but for 12 people. She was then sure that the proposal would happen that weekend, so she immediately called her roommate and best friend, Mary Bryant, and began peppering her with questions. Mary Bryant convinced Alex that the reservation must have been incorrect, because she knew that Wes was planning to propose over Thanksgiving. Fortunately, Alex eventually believed her. So when she returned to her apartment after a Saturday morning of work, she was completely surprised to find Wes waiting behind the door on one knee. “I immediately started crying and was in such shock I actually closed the door in his face!” Alex says. After opening the door again, she obviously said yes and the newly engaged couple enjoyed a special celebratory meal with both of their families in Birmingham — a reservation for 12.

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The dapper groom puts on the finishing touches, including these snazzy Christian Louboutin loafers, before going to meet his bride, with his beloved pup Scout in tow, of course!

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This bride ended up with a wedding gown completely unlike the one she imagined she’d wear. “She brought in this sleeveless dress with no lace, a detachable skirt, and a bow on the back, which was literally everything I thought I didn’t want,” Alex says. “I put it on and burst into tears — I never wanted to take it off! I walked out to show my mom, and the look on her face reassured me it was perfect!”

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A first look is the perfect way to assuage some of those wedding day jitters — or in Alex’s case, to ensure she didn’t cry the whole way up the aisle and instead shed some happy tears in the arms of her husband-to-be.

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A rustic acorn serves as a striking focal point for the groom’s boutonniere.

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Can you even believe these florals? These orchids are absolutely unreal!

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Of course, the dogs needed some flowers, too! Winnie and Scout are too adorable in collars of blossoms and greenery.

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The bridesmaids are a vision in gorgeous emerald. Rich jewel tones are perfect for a fall wedding.

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Wes and his dapper groomsmen head toward the church in downtown Birmingham.

Alex had spent her whole life dreaming of her wedding day, and always with the same ideas in mind. It would be the perfect Southern wedding: refined and traditional, teeming with timeless elegance and personal charm. “I always wanted a fall wedding, and I wanted it to be a classic, timeless day full of celebrating with all of our family and friends,” Alex says. “I fell in love with the color emerald and knew I wanted to incorporate it into my day. Oh, and of course, flowers! I wanted them everywhere!” Elegant emerald bridesmaids dresses and accents would pop against a clean color palette of white, blush and champagne for the flowers and linens. Alex entrusted her mother, who has an impeccable eye for florals, and the team at HotHouse Design Studio with the flowers for the day, and together they came up with a truly incredible vision for the abundance of flowers Alex envisioned. Orchids, roses and hydrangeas galore, all in shades of white and blush.

With its grand exterior and jaw-dropping chapel to match, the historic Cathedral Church of the Advent in downtown Birmingham was the perfect ceremony location for Alex and Wes. “The Cathedral Church of the Advent is one of those places that you walk in and it just takes your breath away,” Alex says. “Everything about it was perfect for the big, traditional wedding I had dreamt of. I got chills the very first time I ever stepped foot in there, and there was no doubt after that about where I wanted to say ‘I do.’” For the reception, Alex and Wes chose the Birmingham Museum of Art to serve as the blank canvas with which to create the party of their dreams. Elegant topiaries, white linens, soft candlelight, and dreamy, sprawling florals on every surface would set the tone for the joyous reception celebration.

RELATED: A Birmingham Wedding: From the Ballet Barre to the Altar

After months of thoughtful planning, Alex found herself surprisingly serene the morning of her October wedding. “As we were getting ready and everyone was chatting, this surreal feeling passed over me,” Alex says. “It was my day and by the time I went to sleep that night, I was going to be a wife! Looking around my parents’ home with all of my best friends talking, relaxing and enjoying mimosas — I can’t really put that into words. I had all ‘my girls’ under one roof, and I know that won’t ever happen again, so I savored every second.”

With her girls by her side, Alex put on her gorgeous Pronovias gown, fastened her Jimmy Choo feather-trimmed wedding heels and went to meet her groom for their first look. “My first look with Wes was the most perfect part of the day,” Alex says. “We both just stood across from each other smiling, crying and laughing. It was such a combination of emotions.”

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So much joy and excitement on these girls’ faces!

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“I can’t begin to put into words the magnitude of everything I felt, but being on my dad’s arm was the most perfect place at that moment,” Alex says. “This was truly a moment I wanted to mark in my memory. I didn’t want to walk too fast down the aisle because I wanted that moment with my dad to last.”

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The new Mr. and Mrs. Perry share their first kiss as man and wife surrounded by loved ones in this breathtaking cathedral.

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“Just Married” grins and an equally snappy “Just Married” vintage getaway car!

As the clock struck 6 that evening, Alex walked down the aisle on her dad’s arm toward her groom as the bridal fanfare of “Trumpet Voluntary” filled the chapel. With about 275 guests as witnesses, Wes and Alex exchanged vows in their traditional ceremony, shared their first kiss and then took their first steps back up the aisle together as Mr. and Mrs. while bells rang out over Birmingham, ensuring a harmonious life together.

The reception was truly the ultimate Southern celebration. While Alex and Wes stole away for a sweetheart dinner and a few photos, guests were welcomed with a champagne toast and invited to munch on passed appetizers including oysters, lobster tater tots and smoked duck tacos. The buffet featured the bride and groom’s beloved Greek food with an array of cheese, olives, moussaka and artichokes, as well as pork tenderloin, Cajun fried turkey and vegetables. Outside, a tailgating spread of favorites from the Grove, including pulled pork nachos, sliders, mini hot dogs and tamales, was set up for guests to enjoy while watching the Rebels play on the big screen — an absolute must for a Southern wedding in the fall.

After the game was over, Alex and Wes and their loved ones danced the night away as City Heat kept the party going. At the end of the evening, with a festive confetti sendoff, the newlyweds headed out into the night toward a happy life as husband and wife.

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This bride trusted her mom with the major decisions when it came to flowers. The mother-of-the-bride’s instincts paired with HotHouse Design Studio‘s incredible flowers made for a truly jaw-dropping display.

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Alex worked with the team at Invision Events to execute the day of her dreams, a decision she says was the single most crucial component of the planning process. “It gave me a sounding board, as well as the comfort of having a team around me,” Alex says. “That made the whole process much more enjoyable.”

RELATED: An Enchanting Austrian Wedding With Southern Roots

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Ever football fans, even on their wedding day! At the reception, Alex and Wes passed out “Alex & Wes love the Rebs” stickers, like those you’d seen on campus in Oxford on game day, and even had an outdoor seating area dubbed “The Grove,” equipped with comfy armchairs, tailgating food and big screen TVs where guests could enjoy the Ole Miss versus Arkansas game.

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“Oh my wedding cake,” exclaims Alex of the stunning cake made by Barb’s Cakes. “It was beyond anything I could have imagined!”

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“I wanted a big cake that could be a focal point, and that is exactly what I got,” Alex says. “I knew I wanted florals on it as well as around it, so we came up with the idea to do the most beautiful ‘blanket’ of flowers that cascaded towards the floor, as well as having flowers on the floor that came up to meet the other flowers.”

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Topiaries, soft white linen and candlelight transformed the reception space into the party of Alex’s dreams.

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Alex and Wes’ signature drinks are absolute Southern perfection. “Wes and I both love our dogs more than we can say,” Alex says. “We wanted them included in some way, so we decided to name our signature drinks after them. The ‘Winnie’ was my take on a French 77, and the ‘Scout’ was Wes’ take on a Kentucky Mule. We even had napkins done with the drink recipes and our pups’ silhouettes. I must say, I think they were a huge hit!”

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The bride and groom share their first dance to “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

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After cutting the incredible seven-tier cake, half chocolate and half yellow cake enveloped in buttercream frosting, the bride and groom toasted their marriage using the same wedding goblets her brother and sister-in-law used. “Our wedding goblets meant a lot to me,” Alex says. “My mom and sister found them in the silver vaults in London years ago and held onto them. My brother and sister-in-law used them at their wedding and had their wedding monogram and date engraved on them, and now mine and Wes’ are too!”

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City Heat kept guests dancing all night long!

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The bride and groom exit the reception in a classic confetti sendoff.

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“Trust your planner and the process. If you can do that and let go of the little things, the entire process will be so much more fun,” Alex says. “Truly enjoy that time being engaged — you’re only fiancés for a little while! Go into each party or shower and savor the moments. You are so loved, and nothing shows you that more than being engaged. Appreciate every little thing. I even got a binder and wrote notes down throughout our engagement — none of it would be important to anyone but me, but it’s filled with little notes that I didn’t want to ever forget.” Sage advice from this lovely bride. Thanks, Alex!

Thank you so much for letting us peek into your enchanting wedding day, Alex and Wes! Cheers to the Perrys!

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RESOURCES

Photography: Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography
Wedding planner: Invision Events
Wedding gown: Pronovias
Veil: Pronovias
Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids’ dresses: The Dessy Group
Groom’s attire: Hickey Freeman Custom from The Locker Room Montgomery
Groom’s shoes: Christian Louboutin
Groomsmen attire: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Cake: Barb’s Cakes
Flowers: HotHouse Design Studio
Ceremony: Cathedral Church of the Advent
Reception: Birmingham Museum of Art
Catering: A Social Affair
Band: City Heat
Hair: Tonya Jones SalonSpa – English Village
Makeup: The Hair and Makeup Collective
Merchandise & stationery design: Paces Papers
Calligraphy: Allison R. Banks Designs
Videography: Inkspot Crow Films
Guest accommodations: Aloft SoHo Square, Grand Bohemian Mountain Brook, Hampton Inn Mountain Brook
Transportation: Rare Transportation, Coats Classic Cars
Garters: La Gartier

Rentals: ERU, Prophouse Rentals and Styling and Unique Event Elements

Check out more amazing Southern weddings in our archives. Click here, and prepare to swoon!