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.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

Adelaide wasn’t sure about doing a first look, but the team at Birmingham’s Mariee Ami convinced her that doing so would make the timeline for the day much less stressful and allow for better photos. “She talked me into it, and I’m so glad that she did,” says Adelaide. “It allowed us to have a really special moment together.”

Nature-Inspired Wedding

Adelaide found her gorgeous silk Anne Barge gown at The White Room, with a special guest along for the trip: her father. “My dad was super excited,” says Adelaide. “He wanted to be there when I picked out my dress because he wanted to be sure I got my dream dress.” The gown was much grander than the mermaid-style dress she originally envisioned wearing, but when paired with a lace off-the-shoulder jacket and the heirloom veil passed through her family, Adelaide fell in love with the dramatic silhouette.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

Perfectly elegant and refined with a touch of personality, these invitations from Mariee Ami are beyond gorgeous!

Nature-Inspired Wedding

With hydrangea, roses, thistle and dahlias framed in wispy blooms and sprawling greenery, Adelaide’s bridal bouquet, created by Buffy Hargett, is an absolute dream!

RELATED: The Most Beautiful Bouquet You’ve Ever Seen: An Outdoor North Carolina Wedding to Swoon Over

Nature-Inspired Wedding

Adelaide and Jackson may have never reconnected had they not both happened to be in Birmingham one long weekend, and here they are absolutely picture-perfect on their wedding day.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

The bride grew up going to the Mountain Brook Club and always envisioned her reception taking place there, so she says it was quite special to see so many familiar faces and spaces on her wedding day.

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.

nature-inspired wedding

These gorgeous portraits of the bride and groom eagerly smiling were taken prior to the first look. Jackson, a third-generation helicopter pilot serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, looks dapper in his uniform and is ready to see his bride.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

The dusty pink bridesmaids’ dresses were a delightfully unexpected choice for this early fall wedding.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

The handsome groom with all his best guys by his side.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

One of the many highlights of the day for Adelaide was the slow and simple morning spent with her bridesmaids. “Getting ready with my bridesmaids, whom I adore, was so special,” says Adelaide. “I didn’t have to get dressed up or look good. It was just a really happy morning.”

Nature-Inspired Wedding

The bride and groom share their first kiss as husband and wife before a congregation of 400 guests.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

There isn’t a better recessional than one that starts with a saber arch — what a special honor for Mr. and Mrs. Niketas!

nature-inspired wedding

The new Mr. and Mrs. Niketas walked back up the aisle and hopped in the getaway car to head toward the reception. “I think that going and sitting in the getaway car with my now-husband — that was super memorable,” says Adelaide.

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.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

At their reception at the Mountain Brook Club, Jackson and Adelaide share their first dance to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.

nature-inspired wedding

Jackson and Adelaide’s florals by Buffy Hargett are unreal. A seamless blend of feminine blooms with more masculine touches of wild greenery, seed pods and pinecones — exactly what Adelaide and her mother, a landscape architect, had in mind.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

With a little assistance from Adelaide, Jackson cuts into their five-layer strawberry and buttercream cake by Barb’s Cakes — with a saber!

RELATED: This Fun Couple Had a Romantic Memphis Wedding Full of Surprises

Nature-Inspired Wedding

Atlanta Rhythm & Groove kept the party going late into the night.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

As confetti flies around them, the bride and groom steal a kiss.

Nature-Inspired Wedding

Cheers to you, Mr. and Mrs. Niketas!

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!

RESOURCES

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

**********

For more dreamy wedding inspiration, click here!

Share with your friends!