Some of the best “bad date” stories come out of blind dates. Turns out, some of the best love stories begin with a blind date, too.
Bailey Mueller and Bryant Salmon met in 2010 while attending the University of Mississippi. Mutual friends set them up on a blind date through a sorority event called “arrange a mister for your sister,” in which friends find a date on behalf of their single friends. Both agreed, not knowing who their date would be until the night of the party. According to Bailey, “Bryant and I had our first date at that date party, danced the night away and have been smiling together ever since!”
Bailey has a strong foundation in her faith, in placing love and family first, and in traditions, all of which are evident throughout her and Bryant’s love story. Every detail of their magical wedding evening, August 1, 2015, in Memphis was planned to showcase family traditions and to share their joy and blessings with their family and friends.
Having vacationed all of her life in Sea Island, GA, Bailey has created many memories there and says that it has become her special place away from home. Bailey also recalls the stories told of her parents’ honeymoon there years ago. Bailey has shared many of her cherished recollections with Bryant, so he knew it was the perfect place to propose. On the first night of their family vacation in 2014, while Bailey was planning a surprise birthday party for Bryant, he was planning a surprise of his own. As she walked out on the back porch to set up for his party, she found him waiting on bended knee. The newly engaged couple spent the rest of the week celebrating with family and friends in her favorite place in the world.
A lover of symbolism, each of Bailey’s rings has special meaning. The diamonds on her engagement ring are from pieces of jewelry from her grandmother, great aunt and mother. And like her mother, she now has two bands of sapphires and diamonds, a wedding gift by Bryant’s mother and the item that served as her something old. She also borrowed her maternal grandmother’s diamond bracelet for the evening.
Bailey’s 13 bridesmaids included her sister, six college friends and six long-time friends from Memphis. Bryant’s 13 groomsmen included his brother, Bailey’s brother-in-law and all of his closest friends.
Bailey collected antique lace handkerchiefs for her bridesmaids and had them monogrammed with their initials, the wedding date and the Bible verse Romans 12:15: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.”
“This was such a special and fitting Bible verse, as I am so thankful for and blessed by the tears of joy and sorrow, with and for each of these women. And just as all of these women have been with me through life and on the most important day of my life, I, too, wanted them to know that I would always be with them.”
Admittedly a little discouraged and overwhelmed by the shopping process, Bailey ventured to Nashville, where she found her gown, by Australian designer Johanna Johnson, at Dress Theory. It is a unique geometric design with small cap sleeves that includes a small blue Swarovski® crystal as a gift from the designer to the bride for her something blue. She wore a veil of delicate, ivory, soft silk tulle, also made by Johanna Johnson, with a Debra Moreland handcrafted crystal bridal comb underneath.
Bryant’s paternal grandfather passed away a few months before the wedding, so the groom honored him by wearing the lapel pin that his grandfather received when he was inducted into the Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993.
The bride carried two handkerchiefs with her bouquet. One that is being passed down through her circle of college friends as they marry, and the second was handmade by a family friend as a wedding gift to the bride and groom. “When Bryant and I are ready to start a family, we will monogram the handkerchief and turn it into a baby bonnet for our firstborn,” the bride says.
The couple exchanged wedding vows during a traditional worship service at Independent Presbyterian Church, the church Bailey grew up in. Her sister also married in the church several years ago, and the violinists who played during the ceremony also played for her sister’s wedding.
The couple’s wedding rings were carried and presented on a lace pillow that was handmade by the bride’s mother and had a stitch of “something blue.” The Scriptures read during the ceremony were the same verses that were read at her parents’ and sister’s weddings, and were read from her father’s well-worn Bible.
The Garden District spared no detail with their dramatic arrangements of cascading and elevated flowers and centerpieces throughout the church and reception spaces, giving guests the feeling of an elegant outdoor garden or modern meadow.
Upon arriving at the Memphis Country Club, guests were served passed appetizers and entertained during a cocktail hour in a dueling piano tent where pianists then took requests from guests and performed throughout the night.
Dinner was an innovative, personal request by the bride and groom. The chef, who showcased local area farmers’ seasonal produce and local craft breweries, set up seven stations throughout the reception rooms. As guests arrived, they were given a watercolor map of the reception and food stations to navigate the evening.
Dinner stations included the Grill and Bounty Station, which had sliced beef tenderloin and grilled chicken lettuce wraps; the Local Tomato Bar, which had gazpacho shooters, miniature BLTs, tomato tartlets, white cheddar, tomato and bacon paninis, panatela salad and colorful cherry tomatoes with fresh basil; and The Taco Station, which featured chili-roasted pulled beef short ribs and ahi tuna.
The Cocktail Lounge Station featured lollipop lamb chops, Southern-style crab cakes and sweet corn panna cotta.
The Good Food Room featured some of Bailey and Bryant’s favorite foods, including mini patty melts, skinny onion rings, Nashville hot chicken and Jim Beam milkshakes.
The tiered wedding cake had carrot, strawberry, rum and caramel flavors and was layered with fresh arrangements in neutral and green, complementing the cascading florals from floor to ceiling.
The groom’s cake, a replica of Danny DeVito in his role as Frank Reynolds from Bryant’s favorite television show, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” was a surprise wedding gift from Bailey and the hit of the night.
Bailey’s dad played Journey on the drums with the band, and just has he had passed his daughter off earlier that evening, he passed the drumsticks and let Bryant have a moment to shine.
As the band led guests out of the ballroom in a musical procession, Bailey and Bryant shared a final dance to “At Last,” by Etta James, and savored their first moments alone together as husband and wife. Shortly after, the newlyweds were sent off through a blanket of rose petals.
Bailey and Bryant drove off into the moonlight across the golf course, laughing hysterically along the way, as the sprinklers had accidentally been turned on. The pair honeymooned in St. Lucia, staying at the Sugar Beach resort.
Best wishes to Bailey and Bryant for a long and happy life together!
Ceremony: Independent Presbyterian Church
Reception Venue and Catering: Memphis Country Club (901) 452-2131
Photography: Kristyn Hogan
Bride’s gown: Johanna Johnson from The Dress Theory
Bridesmaids’ dresses: J. Crew
Hair: Rod Henson
Makeup: Faces by Seven
Groom and groomsmen’s formalwear: American Tuxedo
Invitations and programs: RSVP Stationers
Map of MCC, food stations: Callie Wesson
Flowers: Garden District
Dueling pianos: Schuster & Whitman
Cake: Old Towne Bakery
Wedding planner: Russell and Ruthie Events
Want more stunning weddings? Check out more Southern love stories in our other StyleBlueprint markets:
- One Love, Three States and a Happily Ever After
- A Fairy-Tale Seaside Wedding
- After 19 Years, They Finally Tied the Knot
- A Backyard Wedding That Celebrates Love, Family and Tradition