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Hope and Nick Garrett aren’t actually sure how they met. “All we know is that we were in the same classes together through middle and high school, but never spoke a word to each other,” Hope recalls. When their senior year in Trussville, AL, came around, Hope got a text from a random number that said, “Hey, it’s Nick.” She thought, Who is Nick?! But once she realized it was Nick Garrett, she gave him a chance. They went on their first date on January 3, 2014, and Hope immediately knew this guy was special.
After high school graduation, they both picked The University of Alabama — and they picked each other … for life. “We spent four amazing, tough, magical years in Tuscaloosa — brought to you in part by Coach Nick Saban,” Hope says. After they threw their caps up together (again) in 2018, Nick went on to pursue his MBA, and Hope began a career at First Baptist Church in Trussville. And on December 13, 2018, things got real.
Nick planned a Birmingham Christmas date to see Elf at the Alabama Theatre after a meal at their favorite restaurant, Davenport’s Pizza. Next door to Davenport’s is a little nursery called Leaf & Petal. “We almost always make a pitstop to browse the garden,” Hope says. On this particular night, the shelves were flanked with Christmas wreaths, the veranda was draped in Christmas lights, and the air was just cold enough to wear a sweater. As Hope wandered through the rows, Nick called out to her to turn around. He was on one knee. “He pulled from his coat a wooden ring box that he had made himself, containing the most gorgeous ring I could have ever imagined. And he asked me to be his forever.”
It was hard picking between the church where Hope and Nick first met in their hometown, and the church they went to during college. “Our home church is so special to us in countless ways! But we ended up with Calvary Tuscaloosa because we spent the most time growing and learning as a couple there. We started dating right before we went off to college, and spent all of our college years at that church,” Hope tells us.
In terms of the reception, she says a Bryant-Denny Stadium wedding reception was a pipe dream at first. “It was more like a ‘haha, what if…’ situation,” Hope says. But after a further look, they realized it was the perfect venue. It was right across the street from Calvary, and the two went to every single game of their college careers by each other’s side.
As Hope and her team of helpers began to gameplan the aesthetic, they went for a classic feel to complement the iconic venue. “We were already being ‘extra’ by having our reception at the stadium, so we wanted everything to be understated and simple, yet elegant and timeless,” Hope says. Whites, creams and greenery with accents of light grays (bridesmaids’ dresses and invitation suite) outfitted the wood-clad space. “Our ultimate goal was for everyone to have a great time no matter what team they cheer for,” Hope laughs.
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When it came to picking out a dress, Hope knew two things for sure: she wanted an A-line dress with lace. When she tried on her dress with the V neckline, she was in love. “It was the second dress I tried on! Everything I tried after that just wasn’t the same. I went with just my mom, and it was such a special time with her,” Hope says.
On the wedding day, once the bride gave her best friends their own first look, it was time to see her man. “Our first look was in the sanctuary, and Nick said he felt at ease after this moment,” Hope tells us. The couple also exchanged gifts to each other there. “I gave him a pocket watch (his granddaddy worked on the railroad and always had a pocket watch). He gave me a diamond cross necklace. My gift to both of us was a pair of Alabama jerseys with our last name and the numbers 7 and 27 for our wedding date.” We’re so impressed by this bride’s dedication to her team and tactfully weaving it into her big day!
On July 27, 2019, at Calvary Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, this couple exchanged mostly traditional vows and became husband and wife. “Our minister knows us personally, though, so he inserted parts of our story together. Most of all, we wanted the ceremony to point directly to the Lord and what He has done in our lives and how He has brought us to this point,” the bride tells us. From the church, Mr. and Mrs. Garrett plus 350 of their best friends and family members made a very familiar trek to Bryant-Denny Stadium. But this time, there was no lit-up scoreboard or throngs of roaring fans. The main event — in this formative place they hold so dear — was their love.
“Stars Fell on Alabama” was the obvious — and only — choice for their first dance. “It’s our song since the beginning! It was the first song we slow-danced to when we were dating; the next time we danced to that song, he told me he loved me for the first time; the next, he proposed; the next, we were married!”
Hungry, dancing guests enjoyed a buffet-style spread of elevated stadium food. “Everyone loves stadium food, and it was fitting for the venue,” Hope says. Think mini BBQ sliders, mini chicken and waffles, mini corndogs, a nacho bar, popcorn station, ice-cold Coca-Cola bottles … the most fun foods we can think of, and set up by the caterer to still exude elegance and sophistication. Hope trusted the cake-making to Magic Muffin in Birmingham and the results were bountiful. They had a classic white cake and a chocolate groom’s cake.
We asked Hope for some funny or weird stories about her wedding. She laughs. “My family was supposed to stay at an Airbnb the night before the wedding, then get ready there the next day. The week before the wedding, we learned that that house got struck by lightning and was unusable! BUT the owners of that house were also owners of the Bama Bed and Breakfast, a cute spot we looked into before. They said we could do everything there and something so crazy turned out to work better than before.”
Thank you to Katie & Alex Photography for the gorgeous photos, and to Hope and Nick for taking us on the field for your big day. We wish you many years of wedded bliss and Alabama wins.
Ceremony: Calvary Baptist Church
Reception: Bryant-Denny Stadium
Photography: Katie & Alec Photography
Florist: Linda Bearden
Dress: Stella York from Bella’s Bridal & Formal
Band: Emerald Empire Band
Catering: A Cutting Edge Caterers
Invitations: Four Hats Press (designed by the bride!)
Bridesmaids Dresses: Kennedy Blue
Groom & Groomsmen Attire: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Cake: Magic Muffins
For more stunning Southern wedding inspiration, visit our wedding archives HERE!