Real Stella York bride Neely and her now-husband Joseph planned an intimate wedding overlooking the ocean. She wanted her wedding to be sweet, elegant, and pure. The minimalistic design of Stella York Style 6839 fit this vision and highlighted Neely’s natural beauty perfectly. Neely customized the gown with simplistic straps for added comfort. The couple, who met at a coffee shop, organized a brunch reception on the venue lawn where their guests could celebrate and enjoy delicious shrimp and grits. Read on for more details and stunning photos from their big day!
Tell us about your proposal…
The day Joseph proposed, we ran a half marathon (pre-COVID times) that morning in my hometown. My family had been scheduled to take family pictures that afternoon, so after recovering from the run, I got all dressed up for the pictures. Before pictures, Joseph and I went to get coffee and were going to meet my family at my late great-grandmother’s house on the Gulf of Mexico to take pictures in her backyard. Her house had always been a special place to me, and I had grown up there my entire life (I am named after her and my engagement ring has two diamonds that she passed down to me for my husband to give me one day). Joseph and I got there early, so we were in her backyard walking around, and he proposed there. I was shocked! I asked, “Is my family still coming to take pictures?” (they weren’t), and we went back to my house after for a sweet celebration with family and friends.
How did you know that Stella York Style 6839 was the one?
I have always been simple and wanted my wedding to be just that. I rarely wear makeup, so looking like myself on my wedding day was one of the most important things to me. I also wanted to be comfortable, and feel like my purest self. Shortly after getting engaged, my mom, grandmother, and I went to Mimi’s Bridal in my grandmother’s town to try on a few dresses. We were not planning on buying anything! However, as soon as I tried this wedding dress on, I knew it was the one! It was elegant, simple, and comfortable. We immediately called for my dad to come in and see it, and we bought it on the spot! It was especially sweet, because after seeing my dress, all of my friends and family would say “I never knew what I pictured your wedding dress to look like, but this is IT.”
How did you make your wedding personal to your style and love story?
I wanted the theme of my wedding day to be intimate, sweet, elegant, and pure. Due to COVID restrictions, we had to limit our attendance to only family and our bridal party, but looking back I would not have had it any other way. We got married at the most beautiful venue (The Chimney’s) which is across the street from the Gulf of Mexico, so during our ceremony we had the beautiful beach and sparkling water behind us. The beach being behind us was my favorite part! We got married at 11 a.m., so after our ceremony we had a beautiful brunch on the lawn of the venue. We served shrimp and grits and a jazz band played while guests ate and socialized. Something unique to our love story is that we met at a coffee shop and both love coffee, so when we cut our cake, instead of doing a champagne toast, we toasted with coffee! It fit the brunch theme perfectly, and paired well with our shrimp and grits!
What was the most memorable part of your wedding?
My favorite memory from my wedding day was doing a first look with my dad and three younger brothers. Joseph and I chose to save our first look for our wedding ceremony, but I knew a first look with my dad and brothers was essential! My three younger brothers have always been my best friends, so to have them standing there next to my dad, and all turn around at the same time was extra special. It was actually the only time I cried the entire day!
Photography by Nathaniel Lipsey.
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