Angela Karen and Stephen Simpson

Angela Karen and Stephen Simpson

Photographer Angela Karen came home from her European vacation with much more than mere memories.  The long-awaited trip started off in London. There was a crowded bar, a chance encounter and, well… you can imagine the rest of the story. Stephen Simpson literally ran into Angela that night and bought her a drink to apologize. He spent the rest of the evening with Angela and her travel companions.

As is often the case in great stories of romance, Angela was scheduled to go to Paris the next day, and from there to Rome. But, in modern fashion, she and Stephen traded e-mail addresses and stayed in touch throughout the entire trip. Ultimately Angela’s route back to Birmingham took her first to the London airport, where Stephen surprised her as she got off the plane. They had their first date and their fate was sealed.

There was skyping, a job offer in Dubai and a trip to the States, which all led to a proposal and a spur of the moment decision for Stephen to stay here and create a new life in Birmingham with Angela. Due to immigration issues, time was of the essence. Stephen and Angela planned a beautiful wedding in only three weeks. That seemingly impossible task was accomplished with a little help from their friends. Wedding dress designer, Heidi Elnora, stepped in to create Angela’s one-of-a-kind couture gown. Friend and fellow photographer Ben Thomson agreed to photograph the wedding. Anna Flowers crafted lovely bouquets, and Britni McMillan did Angela’s hair and make-up.

Stephen’s mother was able to come from England for the week and even provided the wedding ring, a family heirloom, as a blessing of this unique union.  She and Angela’s parents were an integral part of pulling together all of the details leading up to the big event, which occurred at the historic Tutwiler Hotel. The couple recited vows that they each wrote themselves, in front of friends and family—and a computer, which was skyping the ceremony to family back in England. The portion of the party who had remained “across the pond” stayed up through the wee hours of the morning just to watch the wedding remotely.  Many of them rented tuxedos to better feel a part of the wedding, while some chose not to dress at all. After the wedding, the reception was held at Angela’s gallery, Gallery Soleil. The family orchestrated the entire catering and decorating for the reception.

For Angela and Stephen Simpson, the unexpected romance and whirlwind wedding is just the beginning of their adventure together. They plan on having another ceremony in England sometime in the near future, but must wait for Stephen to get his U.S. visa before he can leave the country. He must have this visa in order to travel outside the U.S. while the immigration paperwork is being filed. As of now, the couple is waiting for a letter from the Dept. of Homeland Security regarding their immigration interview. It’s the last, and most nerve-racking, step toward getting a permanent visa that would allow Stephen to legally live (happily ever after) in the United States.

Angela has been a part of many well-orchestrated and long-planned nuptials, but she wouldn’t change a thing about her dream day or the big day yet to come, when they can recite their vows again for Stephen’s family.

Teague–Samuel Wedding

Dr. Evelyn Teague and James Allen Samuel

Dr. Evelyn Felicia Teague became Mrs. James Allen Samuel, Jr. on Saturday November 12, 2011.

The couple met through divine intervention. Friends and family orchestrated their chance meeting. They were both fascinated by how similar they are (how they process things, how they view life, and personality wise). The two communicated for months by phone and email prior to their twelve hour first date.

Leading up to their magical wedding was a spectacular engagement. After a romantic vacation in Paris, the two were engaged in the blue room of The White House in Washington D.C. Evelyn was completely shocked, exhilarated, and surprised as she was presented a beautiful one of a kind round-cut diamond ring with a halo, custom designed by James in conjunction with A. Jafee/ Michael C. Fina Fifth Avenue, New York.  Several unsuspecting spectators, family members, and friends witnessed her amazement.  Family members long suspected that James would propose in Paris, the city of love, but Evelyn thought this would be too predictable. However, she didn’t see the White House proposal coming.

Evelyn is the daughter of Milton and Bobbie Teague, and James is the son of James and Clara Samuel.  Their nuptials took place at 3 o’clock in the afternoon at Mountain View Gardens and Ballroom in Springville, Alabama.  They had an intimate garden side ceremony followed by an enchanting reception in the grand ballroom.

Evelyn, escorted by her father, gracefully floated down the aisle wearing a sweetheart a-line satin Casablanca gown.  The silky ruched bodice dress complete with simple elegance was accentuated with an intricate silver beaded applique sash.  Fabric matching buttons smartly completed the bow and tails on the back. The bride carried a bouquet of white hydrangeas and white and ivory roses.  Her attendants (Telora Dean and Angela Smith) wore satin chocolate A-line skirt dresses with empire waistlines. They carried clutch bouquets of white hydrangeas and ivory and champagne roses. The groom was decked out in a black tuxedo with an ivory and diamond white vest and bow tie from Joseph A. Bank.  His groomsmen (Keith Samuel and Lonnie Garris) wore black tuxedos with truffle, chocolate, and black vests and bow ties also from Joseph A. Bank.

Guests enjoyed live instrumentalists, (violin, cello, and piano trio) during the ceremony and reception (a jazz ensemble). The ballroom was adorned with photos of the couple, beautiful floral arrangements, vases/centerpieces with blue water pearls, twigs, and blue delphiniums, and a script S ice sculpture.   The reception color scheme, favorite colors of the bride and groom was chocolate and marine blue.  Picturesque mountain views, a candy station, a sign in caricature, and bookmarks with the bride and groom as a caricature were some of the favorites of those in attendance. The bride’s cake was a delectable three tiered butter cream cake with elegant embellishment and the couple’s monogram.  The groom had scrumptious red velvet baby bites with the bride and grooms initials in the wedding colors.

A myriad of bubbles surrounded the couple as they left the reception in a vintage 1931 Ford Touring Sedan.  The newlyweds honeymooned at the luxurious St. Regis Resort in the French Polynesian Islands of Bora, Bora (Tahiti).  There they resided in a Deluxe Over Water Villa.

Bride Guide


With the largest display of fine crystal, china, and sterling flatware in the Southeast, Bromberg’s is a must-stop for gift giving and for creating a memorable holiday table. A member of the American Gem Society, Bromberg’s boasts six registered jewelers, two certified gemologists, and one certified gemologist appraiser.  They sell certified diamonds and certified loose stones and have an extensive bridal jewelry selection, specializing in platinum.

Are you looking to create a one-of-a-kind gift? Bromberg’s has on staff an exclusive Master Jewelry Designer. Each piece is one-of-a kind. From engagement rings to cuff links, his work is exquisite. Bromberg’s is known throughout the South for its extensive selection of the world’s finest watches. They feature selections from Baume &Mercier, Raymond Weil, Tag Heuer, and Swiss Army to name a few. Mountain Brook • 2800 Cahaba Road, Birmingham, AL 35223

The Summit • 131 Summit Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35243

Cahaba Grand Conference Center

We make your dreams a reality… The Cahaba Grand can make your special day one that your guests will remember! With our moveable walls and over 27,000 square feet, we can accommodate a small intimate ceremony and reception to a large over the top celebration.

Our on-site coordination and on-site catering lets you take a breath from all the planning to really enjoy your day at the Cahaba Grand, Your dreams can come true… call us to make them happen. 3660 Grandview Parkway/205-443-6767/

Creative Cuisine by Roz

Want your next catered event to be stress-free and the best occasion you can imagine? Creative Cuisine specializes in catering events with a personal touch! My name is Roz Bloomston. I’m a professional chef, in Birmingham, with 25 years of experience and here’s what I promise you: • I will personally take care of your catering needs from our very first phone call until I help my staff finish up on-site. • I will lead my extensive partner network in providing everything you need – from the mouth-watering food to the flowers, decorations and entertainment. • No matter how big or how small your event, you’ll receive the exceptional service you can only get from an experienced chef who gives you personal attention and care. 205-967- 7580

Diamonds Direct

In 1995, Diamonds Direct was founded on a strategy that included setting the standard of quality, excellence, value, selection and education within the industry. As a direct diamond importer from their Israeli-based cutting facility, they offer one of the largest selections of GIA and EGL certified diamonds in the Southeast. Their selection of loose diamonds are complimented by an extensive collection of designer engagement ring settings, wedding bands, diamond fashion jewelry, as well as beautiful  sapphire, ruby, emerald, and pearl jewelry. Whether you are looking for a one-carat solitaire or a five –carat fancy yellow diamond, you’ll find a dazzling selection in Alabama at Diamonds Direct. And now, Diamonds Direct is Birmingham’s exclusive dealer for Breitling watches! 205-201-7400

Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market

Dorothy McDaniel knows how to do great weddings. Let us help you plan and execute your perfect wedding. Our experienced design staff, global purchasing network, and substantial storage and production facilities enable us to create wedding flowers of amazing beauty, quality, freshness, style, and value. We also offer a complete menu of wedding products and services. 205-871-0092

First United Methodist Church

Make your special day just that much more special by having your wedding celebration at First United Methodist Church, an open place for all to worship, grow and serve in downtown Birmingham. The stained glass windows, rich wood seating and large altar make the First Church sanctuary a glorious place to have your wedding. Friends and relatives will be wonderfully impressed with your choice of wedding locale when they see the beauty of this historic church. Nonna Tindal, wedding coordinator/director at 205-441-1465 or email her at [email protected]

Everything Iz

Everything Iz is four service-oriented businesses is one! You may be familiar with the popular Cafe Iz and Iz Too.  Iz Catering comprises our full service catering company. Iz the Place is our newest private party venue, featuring two large banquet facilities. Iz Good Stuff is our line of delicious Iz products found in grocery stores across Birmingham. Our knowledgeable staff is dedicated to excellence and ensure that your event is executed flawlessly. We build events including intimate cocktail parties, corporate dinners, exciting wedding receptions and traditional lunch service. Our professional staff provides the best in service, whereas our culinary team brings the gourmet design of our restaurant to your table.  205-979-7522

GoPro Event Solutions

GoPro Event Solutions has over 20 years of experience with event production and management and we are with you every step of the way when it comes to planning, producing and managing your wedding or event. We turn your vision into a working, living event by connecting you with the event vendors that are the perfect fit from design to budget. Every wedding is unique. YOUR vision with OUR expertise will make a one-of-a-kind event that will always be a “WOW” you can remember!

(205) 529-3939

Mariée Ami

Located in the heart of historic Mountain Brook Village, Mariée Ami introduces the wedding community to Alabama’s first of it’s kind, boutique full-service wedding planning studio. Brides will discover a beautiful studio setting with a personal planner who will marry

together precise planning, unique design and an array of custom paper goods.

According to Neillie Butler and Laurie Grantham, owners,  the most important aspect of a wedding is planning. Mariée Ami offers a variety of services that are

unique to each bride. Packages range from help and consultation on the day of the ceremony, to planning every aspect of your wedding from

start to finish. Let Mariée Ami make your decision-making process flawless and create your dream wedding, so you can enjoy your

engagement and the most important day of your life. The studio is located in Mountain Brook Village at 2404 Canterbury Road and is  open weekdays. Please call 870.4205 to schedule an appointment.

Matt Jones Gallery

One of a kind. Built in the early 1900’s, the Matt Jones Gallery has had a long history and provide a perfect backdrop to any occasion.  This facility is an art gallery with wonderful local and international artists, and open Tuesday – Saturday at 10 a. m.


The Harbert Center

The Harbert Center serves as Birmingham’s premiere downtown event facility. With

its distinguished character and charm, The Harbert Center offers the perfect setting for

any special occasion. If your dream of a perfect wedding includes elegant surroundings,

impeccable service and fabulous food, The Harbert Center is the place for you. Built of

Italian granite with mahogany accents, we offer a unique, sophisticated setting. Our

spiral staircase is a favorite spot for tossing the bridal bouquet. In addition to weddings

and receptions, The Harbert Center is also perfect for engagement parties, Bridesmaids’

luncheons and rehearsal dinners. Our Event Sales Team is proud to offer their expertise as

Certified Wedding Specialists for “day of” coordination of your ceremony and reception.

Elegant surroundings, fine foods and attention to detail make The Harbert Center the

perfect place to host your event.- The Harbert Center-2019 4th Ave. N. Birmingham, Al 35203  205-226-8800

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