How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story.: Lee "winked" at me on Match.com some 7 years ago and sent me a private message about how winks are not overrated and he wanted to meet me. After a week of texting back and forth while living our busy lives in NYC, Lee and I met for our first date on 10/11/12 at Sofia Wine Bar on East 50th Street in New York City. While I don't necessarily believe in "love at first sight"... I knew immediately when I saw him at the bar with his backpack on and bright smile that he was going to be someone special in my life. We enjoyed a glass of wine at the bar, proceeded to move to a table for appetizers and a bottle of wine, which turned into several hours (and bottles of wine) and laughter and I invited him to meet my friends at a Baylor watch party 2 days later. 2 days after that I met his sister and 6 months later we moved to Memphis, TN together, and the rest is history.
How did he propose? : I'm still in shock that Lee was able to pull off such a perfect secret proposal without me knowing! His sister (my new sister-in-law) invited us to spend a full weekend with them in Texarkana where her and her husband (who is currently stationed there for the marine corp) live since we typically stop in and out on our way from Memphis to Dallas to visit my family for the holidays. We had an incredible day starting with a mimosa brunch, continuing with a day of outdoor festivals, mini-golf, go cart racing and batting cages and leading to an italian dinner (my fav!) at a restaurant called Verona. When we arrived and asked to sit in the bar (I was so EXCITED for a double date with us and his sister and brother-in-law!) the hostess goofed and said we couldn't go into the bar because there was a private party back there. They proceeded to walk in anyway and I walked away adamant about not interrupting a private party. Poor Lee must have been so nervous and had to convince me to come with him to the bar which I eventually did. I looked at the bar and it was empty so I thought "ok at least we will not bother anyone here" and turned to look at this private party when I saw all of my family and friends! I immediately knew he was about to propose but I was so surprised and unable to process the amazing feeling that I was crying and shaking and trying to hug my mom while he was down on one knee. It was the most incredible feeling to be with all my family and friends on the most incredible day of my life. I wish I could bottle up the feeling. He thought of everything! Family and friends drove in from all over and even my NYC besties were propped up on the table on facetime to be a part of our special moment! I'd never been happier (until the wedding day of course!)
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? : Impossible to select just one most memorable moment beyond being pronounced husband and wife on our wedding day, but it certainly was the most perfect and magical day of my life. I woke up early at 8am to enjoy breakfast and coffee with my friend on her ocean-view terrace and then spent a few hours alone at the spa to receive treatments (mani/pedi, eyelash extensions and a foot massage my sweet husband gifted me!) and on my way to go meet my maids to get ready, I ran into my mom, brother in law and friends in the swim-up pool bar. I heard people mention a wedding being set up so I walked to the beach to our wedding site and watched another couple get married on the beach where we would soon be getting married in a few short hours (my bride twin who we spent the rest of the week with and plan to attend their ceremony in Paris in June!) I joined my bridesmaids in our butler suite to find them curling their hair and helping each other with their hair and makeup. One of the best parts of the day was laying in my maid of honor's lap with a face and neck mask on and my other maid of honor feeding me bites of her burger through my mask mouth hole haha! Then it was time for my hair and makeup. It was the most calm and happy I've ever felt. Lee and I had a "first look" private moment in our room (no photos, just a brief private last moment before being married) and then my parents walked me down the sandy beach to my handsome love of my life to get married. Dancing barefoot in the sand to EDM love songs while it monsooned around us and we drank champagne and tequila straight from the bottle certainly tops that list.
What was the design inspiration or theme for your wedding? Why was this special to you as a couple?: Lee and I both love the beach and love to travel so our inspiration and theme was a tropical paradise which we found in the beautiful caribbean island of St. Lucia where our dream beach wedding came to life! My favorite color is pink and his is blue so we were able to incorporate both colors into our wedding and the fact that he wore a pink shirt, and the groomsmen wore pink boutonniere (and blue pants and sunglasses of course!) was so special and such a dream come true. We danced to our favorite song (Ed Sheeran "Perfect") barefoot with our toes in the sand. It was so magical and perfect.
Best advice you received while planning for marriage or your big day.: The advice was hard to follow, but I wish I had. "The day is about YOU. Do what makes YOU happy. Don't worry about making others happy." At the end of the day, no matter how much you plan, chances are something will go wrong, and everyone will have opinions, but at the end of the day you are marrying the love of your life and nothing else matters. And trust me, NOTHING else matters. So many things went off course and it was the absolute BEST day of our lives.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding?: Don't sweat the small stuff. Pick the bridal party YOU want. Or don't have one. Pick the venue YOU want. It's YOUR wedding, not your mom's or your friends or anyone but YOU, so make all decisions YOU want. If you want 3 Maid of Honors. Do it. I did. And my MOHs were incredible and I don't care if people find it odd. Have a man of honor and let him attend your bachelorette party. Do YOU. You'll be glad you did.
Favorite part of the wedding planning process?: Honestly, my favorite part of the wedding planning process was finding my gown at Maggie Louise. My family drove in from Dallas and close friends joined me at a private bridal session where Molly and the ML team treated us like family and even stayed open late to accommodate my family traveling in from out of town. My girls and I enjoyed champagne and cookies while I pranced around in gorgeous gowns and Molly helped me find what is now my favorite thing. There was no pressure and she only showed me gowns within my price range. I felt like we were best friends. I still do. In fact, back to the advice for someone planning a wedding, go to Maggie Louise. It was the best part of my engagement journey and the most relaxing.
What made you choose Maggie Louise when searching for your gown? : I've always heard amazing things about ML from friends and she happened to have a sale going on shortly after we got engaged. I read nothing but amazing reviews on all sites I searched for reviews on and I filled out an instagram inquiry my friend sent me and Molly promptly called me to schedule our session. She even encouraged me to have my family come in town to join us.
Tell us anything extra you'd like to share about your journey down the aisle + all that lies ahead. : I'm on cloud nine. I feel like we literally had a dream wedding. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my favorite thing! 7 years down, 70 more to go!
PLANNER &/or COORDINATOR: Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort
PHOTOGRAPHER: Snapshots Designs Photography at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort
FLORIST/MUSIC/CATERER/CAKE: Sandals Grande St. Lucian Resort
HAIR + MAKEUP ARTIST(S): Allie Rihner in Memphis, TN
SEAMSTRESS: Sona Peric in Memphis, TN
OTHER VENDORS: Ed Harris Jewelry, Macy's (Groomsman clothing and Registry), Luckyladypaper on Etsy for Passport Wedding Invitations, Knockaround Sunglasses (Bridal party gifts)