Happily Ever After

Vanessa Valencia and Brent Barringer

Photos by Angela Karen

Vanessa and Brent both love the fall for her beautiful colors, perfect weather, and, most importantly, Auburn football. The couple held their wedding on Friday, Nov. 1, 2013, so as not to miss any Saturday football games. That next day, they had a football tailgate party and watched Auburn beat Arkansas 35-17.

The ceremony was held at Canterbury United Methodist Church. The bride wore an ivory silk gown by Martina Liana, carried only by Ivory and White in the state of Alabama; the bridesmaids wore chiffon navy dresses from Bella Bridal, and the groomsmen donned tuxes from Mr. Burch.

The celebration continued at the reception at Park Lane, which features a unique 1930s Chicago-style mahogany bar with an antique gold cash register and street-front windows. The guests enjoyed food prepared by Kathy G. and Company, and the flowers were supplied by Norton’s Florist. The bride and groom left the party in a stretch limo as guests chanted Auburn theme songs.


Michelle Osborn and Gregory Deacon 

Photos by Jerrod Brown Studios

Both doctors now, Michelle, a Hueytown, Ala. native, and Gregory, who’s from Kessingland, England, met and fell in love at Oxford University. Guests from 17 countries attended the wedding, which paired the bride’s Southern heritage with touches from the groom’s English background.

The event, planned by Alene Gamel of I do, I do! Wedding Planning, took place at the American Village Chapel and Ballroom in Montevallo, Ala.  The décor included both a British pub and a Southern veranda, and guests chose either “elegant English” or “sophisticated Southern” plates. The bride’s father, the late Dr. Donald Osborn, created the Cookie Monster persona, and a tribute to him surprised the bride and honored his legacy.


Maralyn Jones and Matthew Jackson

Photos by Elle Danielle Photography

Maralyn and Matthew planned their summer wedding in ten months. They first chose their ceremony venue, the Alabama Theatre, which Maralyn says they picked because of its architecture, colors, and the Mighty Wurlitzer organ; the couple liked the sense of nostalgia the theatre provided. The reception was held next door, in the banquet hall of the Hill Event Center, where the couple and their guests danced all night under an 85-year-old chandelier from the original Tutwiler Hotel.

The bride wore a strapless, ivory, royal organza gown from Bella’s Bridal. The bridesmaids donned concord chiffon dresses from Bridesmaids, Inc., and the groomsmen wore black Vera Wang tuxedos. The food, flowers, and reception decorations were provided by Alexander the Great Events in Oxford, Ala.

After the party, the couple left on a honeymoon to Punta Cana. They’re already pros at compromise: Maralyn, a Birmingham native, is a huge Auburn fan, while Matt, originally from North Carolina, roots for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; during football season, Matt cheers for Auburn, and during basketball season, Maralyn turns into a Tar Heel fan.


Hannah Black and Matthew Benak

Photos by Austin Gros

When the bride was 4 years old, her mother snapped a photo of Hannah on a red tricycle wearing her mom’s wedding veil in their backyard. More than two decades later, when Matt proposed, Hannah knew that she wanted to get married in that same backyard, overlooking the Tennessee River.

Hannah wanted to plan a true Southern wedding, and she found that the most important things weren’t Mason jars or flowers, but how much her community rallied to make sure the day was everything she’d hoped it would be. Her dad built the steps that led to her aisle; her childhood fiddle teacher came from Kentucky to provide the music; and her mom, who is a partner in a catering company, cooked the food.

The July day was perfect, even cooler than they could have hoped. Under a canopy lit by thousands of twinkling lights—that Hannah’s dad hung—guests danced all night; Hannah’s grandmother even joined for “Shout.”



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