It’s not often that we have the opportunity to write about a wedding that we actually attended for our wedding series at StyleBlueprint. Today is the exception and this gorgeous wedding I attended last New Year’s Eve was an event to be cherished forever … and, not to mention, the party of the year.
Natalie Henninger and Wade Longmire, two of Vanderbilt’s impressive graduates, tied the knot on December 31, 2014, in Birmingham, AL. Surrounded by family and their closest friends, the couple harkened the New Year by saying “I Do” at First United Methodist Church and celebrated their vows with an epic bash at the historic Florentine Building in downtown Birmingham.
Natalie and Wade met through mutual friends while at Vanderbilt. Both had an interest in outdoor sports and had crossed paths several times at Vanderbilt’s outdoor rec facilities. Wade, an avid sports fan, took Natalie on one of their first dates during one of Vandy’s home football games — which meant leaving the game early. That’s when his friends knew that he was serious about this girl. If Wade was leaving a game early, he must be smitten!
Natalie and Wade continued to date once they both had graduated. Wade had taken a job with the Tennessee Titans and Natalie, a psychology major, was about to pursue a Ph.D. at UT Austin in management. In February of 2014, shortly after Valentine’s Day, Wade popped the question. And it wasn’t your basic proposal. Wade had a friend call while the two were at dinner claiming he had left something at the Titans’ stadium that Wade must retrieve immediately. Natalie was skeptical, but played along. When they arrived at the stadium, she was led down a path to center field, where Wade got down on one knee. Their close friend, Barrett Jacques, and his band played music over the loud speakers, while friends and family celebrated in the box seats. And the fans agreed, Wade had scored big with Natalie’s “Yes!”
Natalie knew she wanted to get married in her hometown of Birmingham, AL, and she and Wade both thought a New Year’s Eve wedding would be the ideal way to celebrate with their friends and embark on a new chapter in their lives. Natalie wanted to create an elegant vibe with pops of glamour, so she chose to incorporate reds and golds into the design scheme. Her gown was picked from B. Hughes Bridal in Nashville, TN, but she added sleeves with a delicate lace overlay. Her double-paneled Vera Wang veil, along with heirloom accessories, completed an undeniably ravishing look.
After a beautiful and intimate ceremony, Wade and Natalie invited friends to gather at the Florentine Building, which had undergone a recent renovation. Guests gathered in the foyer while delicious hor d’oeuvres were passed around. The couple’s signature drink was a classic New Year’s Eve cocktail called a French 75. Guests sipped it pleasurably along with generous amounts of bubbly. After the cocktail hour, partygoers were invited into the main hall which was dressed in pristine fabrics, gold accents and gorgeous bouquets of red and white blooms. A lavish buffet flanked the back wall, while round tables surrounded the dance floor and stage, where the band played today’s tunes and the must-have hits of the Motown era.
After hours of feasting, drinking, dancing, singing and laughing, friends and family gave the couple a final sendoff. With streamers overhead and noisemakers filling the room, Natalie and Wade shimmied their way to her father’s 1959 Lincoln parked outside the building. Natalie wrapped herself in a vintage fur and beamed with the beauty of 1940s Hollywood film icons. Wade looking dapper, ultimately thrilled with the success of the evening, waved goodbye to friends and slid into the car next to his beautiful bride. As sparklers glowed against the frigid night sky, Natalie and Wade drove into the distance, leaving their guests with a night they will never forget.
A special thanks to Natalie and Wade for sharing this momentous occasion with us. Today’s beautiful photography was provided by Leslee Mitchell at lesleemitchell.com.
Event Planning: I Do I Do Wedding Planning
Invitations: Huck And Pippa
Floral Design: Cloth Of Gold Floral Artistry
Wedding Dress: Rivini
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: WToo
Makeup: Makeup By Melissa
Cake: Barb’s Cakes
Catering: Corretti Catering
Band: Music Garden Bands