Elizabeth Miles and Phillip Dawson are Birmingham through and through. She grew up in Homewood, and he was raised just minutes away in Mountain Brook. When they happened to be enrolled in the same online course the summer before freshman year at the University of Alabama, a mutual family friend swapped numbers for them so they could talk about the class. “Turns out very few of our conversations were about the coursework,” says Elizabeth. Phillip asked her out on a date, picked her up on the front porch of her family home, and they began exclusively dating not long after.

Four years later, Elizabeth and Phillip spent the evening ringing in the new year at The Club. “As Phillip was walking me to the door, he dropped to one knee on my parents’ front porch and asked me to be his wife,” says Elizabeth. “This was at the very spot where we first met.” She obviously responded with a “yes,” and they immediately shared the news with her family, who were excitedly waiting inside.

Elizabeth and Phillip grew up just down the road from each other but didn’t meet until a mutual family friend exchanged numbers for them — talk about a good family friend!

As Elizabeth and Phillip began planning their wedding day, they had one goal in mind for the planning process: to cherish every moment. “Whether it was registering for wedding gifts, selecting the font for our invitation, tracking RSVPs, or menu tasting — which was probably Phillip’s favorite part — we poured our hearts into every detail of the day,” says Elizabeth. They wanted a fun day centered on their love and the love they have for their faith and families; all decisions were made with that vision in mind.

Elizabeth had a timeless vibe in mind for her wedding day, and she certainly captured that through these gorgeously calligraphed invitations by Annabelle’s.

Selecting venues was a no-brainer for these two. Elizabeth and Phillip were both raised in the Catholic church and are members of Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church, so the ceremony’s setting was easily decided. Also, Elizabeth’s family has been members of The Club since it first opened its doors. She has countless special memories there, and by hosting the reception there in the grand ballroom, she’d add one more. “As a little girl, I can remember looking out over the city and thinking that it was the most beautiful sight. That thought still holds true today,” says Elizabeth. “It also happens to be where Phillip and I spent the evening on the night we got engaged. It’s safe to say, The Club is somewhere that will always hold a special place in our hearts.”

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They relied on Elizabeth’s all-time favorite flower and color — hydrangeas and light purple — to determine the aesthetic direction for the day. She conveyed these ideas to her florist, CeCe Todd of CeCe Designs, and entrusted her with creating breathtaking floral arrangements that helped support the gorgeous overall design. Floor-length bridesmaids’ gowns picked up that striking light purple tone found in the florals, and the groom and his attendants were classically neutral in handsome black tuxedos.

“One of my favorite wedding details was having my maternal and paternal grandfather’s wedding bands tied into my bouquet,” says Elizabeth. “Each ring symbolizes close to 70 years of marriage, a milestone we hope to one day achieve.”

On a pretty day in May, with vibrant spring greens popping up all around them, the bride and groom met in the gardens for their first look. Elizabeth’s stunning smile lit up when she saw Phillip for the first time, and the groom couldn’t help but mirror her grin upon seeing his gorgeous bride. Then, at 6:30 that evening, they met again — this time at the end of the aisle.

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With about 385 guests in attendance, the priest led Elizabeth and Phillip through the traditional ceremony, which was filled with personal touches. “Phillip and I worked hard to select scripture readings and songs that reflect the significance of the sacrament of marriage,” says Elizabeth. “Having family members and friends participate in the ceremony by reading and singing made it even more special to us.” With a kiss, they were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dawson, and they headed back up the aisle and were then whisked away toward their ceremony atop Red Mountain.

“Seeing myself in a wedding gown for the first time was surreal,” says Elizabeth. “I tried on several styles and designs and narrowed my options down to two dresses. The bridal consultant at Carriage House asked if she could pull one more dress for me to try. The second I saw myself in the mirror I fell in love with that dress.”

Handsome Phillip patiently awaits his bride.

The bride and groom opted to stray slightly from tradition for a sweet first look before the ceremony. And it ended up being one of Elizabeth’s favorite moments from the day!

A spring wedding with the groomsmen all in tuxedos — it can’t get more classic than this!

Elizabeth’s very favorite color is this gorgeous lilac shade, and her bridesmaids are totally rocking their floor-length Bella Bridesmaid gowns.

These two are the definition of sweet.

Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church was the obvious ceremony venue choice, as the bride and groom were both raised Catholic and are members there. Plus, with traditional wooden pews and gorgeous stained glass windows, it beautifully fit the day’s traditional aesthetic.

Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Dawson!

The glittering lights of the city shone beneath the beautiful grand ballroom at The Club, and guests gathered to share a delicious Italian meal inspired by Elizabeth and Phillip’s Italian heritage. A customizable pasta bar allowed guests to start with the noodle of their choice and add either chicken in an alfredo sauce, shrimp scampi, or the mother of the bride’s signature meatballs in a red sauce.

The dance floor was packed all night long as guests celebrated alongside the bride and groom, and when their dancing feet were tired, they exited the reception under showers of confetti.

The grand ballroom at The Club is looking gorgeous as ever with white linens, hydrangea-centered flower arrangements and enchanting candlelight.

A simple and elegant wedding cake: five tiers of white cake with vanilla and almond buttercream, topped with the very same cake topper Elizabeth’s parents had on their wedding cake.

“Our first dance was ‘From this Moment’ by Shania Twain,” says Elizabeth. “When I was younger, I would walk around our house playing this song on my cassette tape player and imagine dancing with my future husband. Twenty years later, I lived out that dream. The words of the song truly express our feelings about marrying one another.”

Elizabeth says she had a blast on the dance floor with her guests all night long, but there was a particular moment that stands out in her memory. “The tarantella is a traditional Italian dance customarily done at weddings,” says Elizabeth. “This was a very important tradition for us to include in the reception since Phillip and I both come from Italian families and we have participated in the dance many times. Yet, the moment we stepped into the center of the dance circle it really hit us. We were married! Seeing our family and friends dance around us is a memory we will never forget!”

The bride and groom steal a few moments together out on the veranda overlooking downtown Birmingham.

How special to celebrate their wedding reception in the same place they spent the evening they got engaged! We love the ties these two have to The Club. It just doesn’t get more “Birmingham” than that!

With confetti in the air, the new Mr. and Mrs. Dawson exit their reception. Cheers to you both!

“Looking back, there is not one thing I would do differently,” says Elizabeth. “We woke up the next morning wishing we could start the whole process again. I think when you wouldn’t change anything, you know that it was perfect in your eyes.”

Thank you for sharing the sweet details of your beautiful day with us, Elizabeth and Phillip! Cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Dawson!


Photography: Ann Wade Shreve
Wedding planner: Magnolia Vine Events
Wedding dress: Carriage House
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Groom: Baldone Tailoring
Groomsmen attire: Baldone Tailoring
Bride’s cake: Louise’s Cakes & Things
Groom’s cake: Barb’s Cakes
Flowers & event design: CeCe Designs
Ceremony venue: Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church
Reception venue: The Club, Grand Ballroom
Catering: The Club
Band: Platinum Band Atlanta
Hair/makeup: GLOW
Merchandise/stationery design: Annabelle’s
Videography: A Morales Production
Guest accommodations: Aloft Hotel
Transportation: Coats Classic Cars
Rings: Steeds Jewelers


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