08 Jul Lesley + Tyler | Vulcan Park, Birmingham AL Wedding

Today I’m featuring a couple near and dear to my heart. Lesley is my sweet niece and I’ve known her since she was in infant. Getting to plan and scheme with her for the wedding and then getting to witness she and Tyler and Lesley’s son, Kamdyn, become a family was extra special for me.

Some of my favorite things from this wedding are the beautiful bouquets with baby fern varieties the ladies carried, the unique transformation of the Electra Room at Vulcan Park and Museum, and the bouquet dance off at the end of the reception instead of a traditional bouquet toss (I have to say it went over very well). I also love the Q&A that Lesley and Tyler share below and these beautiful images and video from Chrissy Rae Photography and Zachary Will Weddings.

Planner: Two Hearts Weddings | Bridesmaids: Koh Koh from Amazon | Bride’s Dress: Independent dressmaker on Amazon | Cakes: Magnificent Cakes | Catering: The Happy Catering Company | Bartending: B&B Bartending | Entertainment: Judah Swilley | Florals + Decor: RD Designs | Hotel: Renaissance Ross Bridge | Menswear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear | Photography: Chrissy Rae Photography | Stationery: Minted | Stylist: Hali Rhea Gurley | Venue (ceremony): St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church | Venue (reception): Vulcan Park & Museum| Video: Zachary Will Weddings

What was the most surprising thing you learned during planning?

She says: Just how many people we know, love, and wanted to share our day with. I thought before that we each kept a pretty conservative circle. When you start planning with the idea that you want to keep it intimate and around “x” number of guests, then weigh that against the names you’ve jotted down on your ideal guest list, things can get uncomfortable. With that said, it was important to us to keep it small and realistic to our budget. We wish we could have hosted all the special people we’ve shared pieces of our lives with, but we had to be honest with ourselves and the vision we shared. Also, I will never delay responding to a formal invitation. I know now how much unnecessary stress and frustration it can cause for the hosts.

He says: how much chairs can cost.

The most important thing to remember on your wedding day is…

She says: Breathe. Most hurdles of the day aren’t worth any stress. The focus of the day is the marriage you’re initiating. As long as the two of you are present and ready, not much else matters. Also, take moments to just stop and look around. Take it all in, because it’s true that it passes so quickly. I love that I remembered to pause and absorb smiling faces, happy tears, my husband’s expression when we shared our first dance, my nanny doing the electric slide, my sister’s putting my shoes on my feet for me, etc. The list goes on. Those little moments become cherished memories.

He says: Slow down and enjoy it.

Give us your most useful day-of beauty trick…

I feel like the amazing girls handling our hair and makeup had all the magic tricks up their sleeves. I’m not sure how they did it, but even with all the tears I shed throughout the day, my make-up was still perfectly in tact by the end of the night. I did find it helpful to carry a hairspray and lip re-touch just in case. This was provided to me by my MUA.

Tell us anything you would have done differently, if you could.

She says: Eaten more of our cake! I only had a sample from the cutting, then I was happily caught up in mixing and mingling. I never grabbed a plate. I’ll just have to wait to enjoy it on our anniversary! This is a silly answer, of course, but I truly feel everything ran so well and smoothly that there’s nothing significant that I would change about the day.

He says: Enjoyed more of that beef tenderloin.

The best gift we received was…

She says: It’s hard to select a favorite. We tried to set up our registry to include small things we’d be sure to have a use for, and succeeded in that. Every little thing gifted to us has been put to use and has found its place in our home. Each is so special and thoughtful. 

He says: My wife

Our honeymoon was the best because… 

She says: Tyler and I had a chance to just be us. The wedding hustle and bustle had ended successfully, then we were able to relax, reflect, and just enjoy each other. We were surrounded by fun and entertainment the entire trip. We sailed to Cozumel for a cooking class and snorkeling, then to Progreso for an easy going beach day at a lovely resort. We loved the experience so much that we are actually planning our anniversary cruise now.

He says: I liked not having to worry about a thing since we were on a ship. All of our food, drinks, and entertainment were just around the corner. 

Our favorite memory from married life so far is…

She says: The wedding and honeymoon, of course! Those vows and celebrations were a special kick-off to marriage, and I am so glad we didn’t elope! Having all of our family and friends in one place doesn’t happen often, so it was just special to be surrounded by them on our day. Not to mention, every day thereafter has been a blessing with Tyler as my husband, as will be all the days to come. He is so easy to love and be with. I am always laughing with him, and I constantly feel his love and support for me. Married life is wonderful.

He says: Heading out for our honeymoon, seeing everything showing Lesley’s new last name matching mine. It felt official. 

If marriage could be summed up in one word, it’d be…

She says: Team

He says: Journey 

Mary Kendrick + Taylor | Engagement Photos