Ahh, Claire and Bobby! I was excited from the moment Claire and Bobby came into my office to meet with me, even though I tried to play it cool. I decided that Claire reminded me of Reese Witherspoon and Bobby of Jude Law, and since my husband started college in Edinburgh, I was thrilled to hear that Bobby went to university in Scotland as well. Claire brought photos that they were drawn to to the initial meeting, along with some save the date ideas, and since they started planning pretty early I had several months to get excited about December 29th. From their love for converses and socks to their matching nicknames, Claire and Bobby just go together. I love their love story, complete with two best friends named Sally who were also bridesmaids on the wedding day.
I loved the chance to shoot a wedding at Avondale Brewery, with a loft like space upstairs with hardwood floors, lots of windows, and string lights, and homages to Miss Fancy; all of the stationery with red hearts and c+b stickers for the guests, the florals by Hothouse Design Studio (one of my favorite Birmingham florists!), and catering by Savoie Catering. I was also really excited to have my best friend Morgan Trinker there to help out! I am so grateful to Bobby and Claire for braving what seemed like the coldest day of the whole year and letting us get awesome portraits outdoors, and I’m so happy to finally share the whole wedding with you! You can see their engagement session here and the video by Modern 8 Films as well (but fair warning, I cried my eyes out).
Q&A from Claire, the bride
How did the two of you meet and when did you know this was it?!
Bobby and I met around our freshmen year of college when he was visiting his college friends in Auburn. However that meeting with brief. We became facebook friends though, and I had heard about him over the years here and there because I lived with his two best friends from high school. Bobby went to school in Scotland, so other than the internet, I didn’t really see him again until I was a senior at Auburn. He was back in America after taking a year off and going to culinary school in Colorado. He came back to Columbus (where he is from) when he was done with his program. Columbus is only 30 minutes from Auburn, so he began hanging out with his friends there. At that time, I finally realized everything I wanted in life and all the sudden this boy who fit in everything perfect was around all the time–it was crazy. We basically got to know each other via the internet–gchat, facebook, and twitter. It was adorable and really fun and eventually, everything fell into place. I think we both knew right away we were meant to be–we were both pretty obsessed and definitely still are!
Tell me about the day:
Our wedding day was really laid back. We both had been waiting for it for such a long time–we were engaged for over a year. We had a drastic change of venue plans 2 weeks before the wedding, so our high stress period had definitely already passed. We wanted our wedding to feel comfortable, personal and relaxed. Avondale was perfect for us–it was relaxed, cozy, and romantic with all the beautiful wood, brick, open ceiling and cute lights. We used a look of winter, faded colors–grey, ivory, steel blue and burlap. My mother and I made a ribbon/fabric banner for the alter and everything else really related to that–bridesmaids dresses, table decor, flowers. Mandy from Hothouse totally got my ideas for decor, and every table had smaller and different flower arrangements with lots of different accents like old book paper and candles. We wanted everything to be unique compared to the usual weddings and receptions, and we both feel like that was achieved. Look at Kelly’s photos for evidence!
What was most important to you when you were wedding planning?
The most important thing for both of us in wedding planning was having our vision maintained. We really wanted everything to reflect us and our relationship and didn’t want to compromise that. Luckily, we didn’t have to! Our vendors really supported all of our ideas–including our homemade alter & programs. Everyone really supported and worked to achieve our idea for a comfortable and romantic ceremony and reception. Because our ideas really centered around the decor of the space, the florist decision was really important to us, and we truly found the perfect florist in Hothouse. Bobby is really into food so the catering was really important. We loved Savoie & Richard Bishop–they worked with us in crafting the menu to get it exactly where we wanted it. Our favorite & most important planning decision by far was hiring Spindle Photography (shout-out!)–it was something we did very early on & felt extremely confident about it. We really wanted our wedding photos to reflect the feeling and environment of our wedding that isn’t always possible with run of the mill photographers. This was something we weren’t willing to compromise on either. Luckily, I saw Spindle on facebook and one of my best friends used Spindle & only had great things to say. It was a match made in heaven!
What do you remember most about the day/what are your favorite memories from the day? Did anything surprise you?
I remember being surrounded by a lot of love. It was really great and a lot fun. My favorite part was probably having a first look with Bobby before the ceremony. We got to see each other for the first time alone (with the exception of Kelly) and it was really special. It allowed me to have Bobby’s reaction all to myself. I was really surprised with how calm I was all day. I am a control freak and pretty obsessive about everything, but on wedding day, I trusted that my planner (Becky) and all the vendors were in control. It was a good feeling to not have to worry–I felt great!!
What advice would you give other brides now that you’re official?
Even if a wrench gets thrown into your plans right before your wedding (2 weeks before!!), it will be ok. If you find great vendors, they will be more than willing to help you out and make everything perfect. Also–don’t compromise with what you want–you’d be surprised how easily vendors agree to work with your ideas.
-Ceremony & Reception Venue: Avondale Brewing Company
Hair–Richard Joseph Salon in English Village
-Planner/Coordinator: Becky Baker (Becky’s Brides)
-Ceremony Music: Cahaba River Strings
-Reception Music: Matt Devine
-Cake: Magnificent Cakes
-Cake topper: Lovebirds Goods (found on Etsy.com)
-Catering: Savoie Catering
-Florist: Hothouse Design Studio
-Gown designer and shop: Liancarlo from Ivory & White
-Bridesmaids’ attire: Amsale
-Bride’s Shoes: J.Crew
-Groom’s attire: J.Crew
-Groomsmen’s attire: Personal suits
-Calligrapher: My Cousin–Leah Hand (Handmade Designs)
-Videographer: Modern 8 Films
-Favors: Custom CD Sleeves from tyvm on Etsy.com
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