Jessie Still and JT Haywood first connected during their interviews for the UAB School of Dentistry in 2015, then began dating in 2018. After two years together, JT planned a surprise proposal at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. To make it especially memorable, he proposed on February 29, 2020 — Leap Day! He blew Jessie out of the water, arranging for both in- and out-of-town friends to celebrate their engagement at Cahaba Brewery and Carrigan’s Public House.
Like so many other couples, Jessie and JT were forced to roll with the punches as COVID surged and plans changed, but they were finally able to celebrate — in timeless, romantic fashion — with 100 of their closest friends and family members on August 7, 2021.
“A ballroom space with natural lighting and the ability to bring in all of my own vendors was critical to me,” said Jessie. “Vestavia Country Club exceeded all of our expectations — the event coordination staff was so accommodating to all of my requests.” Jessie and JT knew they wanted their wedding to be romantic and classic. Once they settled on Vestavia Country Club as their venue, the space became the primary inspiration and guided their wedding theme. As a bonus, one of Jessie’s close friends is a florist and helped bring her vision to life in a bigger and better way than she could have imagined.
The bride’s dress was a demure, draped-to-fit-and-flare dress with a sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder straps. “My dress flowed so easily when I walked and reminded me of being on the Amalfi Coast in the Springtime,” Jessie says. To add an extremely special and sentimental touch to her “something blue,” Jessie had a stunning sapphire-studded pin with a photo of her late father as a way to carry him with her down the aisle.
Beautiful florals adorned every inch of the venue, and every detail was impeccable — the creped fabric of the ceremony chairs even reflected the flow of the bride’s dress. No stone was left unturned. Instead of traditional ceremony vows, Jessie and JT opted for something slightly different. “We wanted the ceremony to fit us as a couple and who we want to be to each other during our marriage,” says Jessie. “We focused on mutual respect, individuality, and shared growth as the foundation of our vows.”
After a perfectly Southern-themed cocktail hour followed by a beautiful seated dinner catered by Vestavia Country Club, everyone was ready to dance the night away with family and friends. The bride and groom shared their first dance to “Dressed In White” by Cal and even took dance lessons to prepare. “The dance lessons and our first dance were one of our favorite parts of our whole wedding experience!” says Jessie.
After tearing up the dance floor with the Emerald Empire Band playing in the background, Jessie and JT enjoyed a Rolls Royce exit while friends and family ushered them out with crimson-and-white Alabama streamers and a chorus of “Roll Tide!” to congratulate the newlyweds.
Thank you for sharing your special day with us, Jessie and JT! Special thanks to Leslie Hollingsworth Photography for the images.
Venue: Vestavia Country Club
Photographer: Leslie Hollingsworth Photography
Videographer: Megan Pettus
Bride’s gown: Kelly Faetanini at Carriage House Weddings
Jewelry, veil, and shoes: Jennifer Behr, Jimmy Choo, custom Toni Federici veil
Getting ready pajamas: PJ Harlow
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella’s Bridesmaids
Hair & makeup: Madeline Hulsey Benton of MadStyle
Groom’s & groomsmen’s formalwear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear Mountain Brook
Invitations, programs, and menu cards: The bride did the graphic design for the invitation suite, programs, seating chart sign, and table numbers. Calligraphy on invitation envelopes and vows by Iona Pen.
Flowers: Edelweiss Design House
Catering: Vestavia Country Club
Entertainment: Emerald Empire Band
Cake: Telia Johnson Cakes
Rentals: PropHouse, Design Productions
Coordinator and planner: Kendal Perry
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