Good timing deserves due credit for bringing Adelaide Miller and Jackson Niketas together on a serendipitous long weekend in Birmingham. She was a student at the University of Georgia home for the weekend, and he was a U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant with only three days of leave before departing for flight school training. They both grew up in Mountain Brook and knew of each other, but when they reconnected through mutual friends that weekend, something was different. The next day, Jackson messaged Adelaide and asked her on a date to hike on Ruffner Mountain — and she thought Why not?
A year and a half of long-distance dating followed that first date atop a Birmingham mountain. Adelaide says she would have married Jackson six weeks after they reconnected, but Jackson needed some more convincing. Adelaide moved to Washington, D.C., after graduating from UGA and began working in the White House while Jackson attended flight school in Florida. But here and there, the two found time to spend together whenever they could. On an unassuming trip to D.C. to visit Adelaide, Jackson suggested another hike, this time at one of his old haunts from his days in Annapolis, Maryland, at the United States Naval Academy. The pair headed out to Great Falls, and mid-hike Jackson got down on one knee and asked Adelaide to marry him. With a joyous “yes,” the future Mr. and Mrs. returned to D.C. to find friends and family, including Adelaide’s parents who flew in from Birmingham, gathered to celebrate with them.
Adelaide envisioned a day that represented Jackson and her in equal measure — a gathering of their loved ones for one big celebration. “I think what was most important to me was the people who were there,” says Adelaide. “It’s very idyllic to me to have a small wedding, but that just wasn’t realistic for us. We both decided we wanted to have a pretty big wedding because we really wanted to share that day with everyone.”
She drew inspiration from the outdoors, a nod to Jackson’s love of hiking and camping, for the day’s aesthetic. Sprawling florals by Buffy Hargett with a lightly autumnal palette of deep burgundy, cream, dusty pink and green captured the woodsy, organic feel. Jackson and six of his groomsmen dressed in uniform, with the remaining five of his attendants in handsome black tuxedos. Adelaide’s bridesmaids wore elegant floor-length gowns in an enchanting shade of dusty rose to keep the color palette light and airy, perfectly playing against the florals.
On October 6, 2018, about 400 guests filled the pews at Third Presbyterian Church in downtown Birmingham as Adelaide walked down the aisle on her father’s arm. The ceremony was teeming with personal touches, as it was officiated by Adelaide’s uncle who also officiated her parents’ wedding, and punctuated by hymns hand-selected by the bride and groom and sung by the congregation in worship. “We sang our favorite hymns, which was really important to me,” says Adelaide. “It made it an almost interactive ceremony, where everyone was a part of it.” With a kiss to seal the deal, Mr. and Mrs. Niketas ducked through the signature Marine saber arch and were whisked off to the reception at the Mountain Brook Club.
The bride and groom took the dance floor to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne, while friends and family looked on with smiles spread across their faces. With guests full from a delicious meal of Southern favorites — complete with Adelaide’s favorite quail poppers — the bride and groom cut the cake with a saber, toasted their marriage and danced the night away with their beloved guests. Under a shower of confetti, Adelaide and Jackson headed off into the night toward the start of their life together.
The bride and groom are enjoying newlywed life and living in San Diego, California, where Jackson is stationed at Camp Pendleton and flying “the Hueys” helicopters. Looking back on her wedding day, Adelaide recommends that brides-to-be keep their eyes on the big picture while wedding planning. “Don’t get stressed out by the small details,” she says. “It’s easy to do because there are so many things to do, but keep the big picture in mind that you get to marry your favorite person in the world.”
Thank you for the special peek into your gorgeous day, Jackson and Adelaide! And thank you for your service to our country! Cheers!
Photography: Rachel and Noah Ray
Wedding planner: Mariee Ami
Wedding dress: Anne Barge, The White Room
Bridesmaids’ dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Groom and groomsmen attire: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Cake: Barb’s Cakes
Flowers: Buffy Hargett
Ceremony venue: Third Presbyterian Church
Reception venue: Mountain Brook Club
Catering: Mountain Brook Club
Band: Atlanta Rhythm & Groove
Makeup: Celine Russell
Hair: Lynze Bandy
Merchandise/stationery design: Mariee Ami
Videography: Matthew Baxter
Guest accommodations: Aloft, The Westin
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