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.
“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!”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Thank you so much for letting us peek into your enchanting wedding day, Alex and Wes! Cheers to the Perrys!
Photography: Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography
Wedding planner: Invision Events
Wedding gown: 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
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