Sabrina and Hamad exchanged vows in picturesque St. Lucia, but they didn’t let that stop them from celebrating back in the states with their friends and family. Birmingham Botanical Gardens was the ideal location for their reception, where Mary Margaret Smith, Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events, and Hothouse Design Studio brought their A-game to create a memorable celebration.
From the bride, Sabrina: Hamad and I really have a love for travel, so we decided on a private ceremony in St. Lucia and honeymoon while there. We were already legally married in the States as to avoid the hassle of their marriage laws. It was just the two of us saying our vows that we wrote on napkins the morning of the ceremony. It was important to us to be in the moment and capture our feelings of the day. Once we returned home, we had a small reception for only close friends and family to celebrate our marriage. We wanted to create a laid back atmosphere as if you were coming over to our house for dinner. The event was held in a small cafe at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens where guests were welcome to walk around, eat, and mingle. No schedules or itineraries, just fun!
Our style had a whimsical and eclectic flair which very much suits our own personality. I love the look of oil lamps, so the design team took this idea and ran with it. They were brilliant! Our colors were different shades of blue, peach, blush, and cream. A few DIY touches were added to the decor like the photo booth. My husband is very techie so he set up the photo booth while I made the fabric strips backdrop and photo booth props. I also made honey jar wedding favors filled with local Alabama honey, bride/groom signs, Mad Libs words of wisdom cards, and framed pictures of us throughout the venue of our ceremony in St. Lucia.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? If you are considering a destination wedding, find out the marriage laws of that particular country. Some are more strict than others and you will want to be prepared. As far as the reception planning, go with vendors that you feel the most comfortable and those who understand your vision. Then, trust them! It makes the planning process less stressful. I know the saying goes “the devil is in the detail,” and to an extent, it is. But there is so much online now days, you could spend hours and hours pouring over it. This can be a little overwhelming so don’t get swept away in it all. I recommend internet browsing just to get a general idea for your style, brainstorm with your design team, and then let your imagination take over!
We had background music inside the Cafe: a mix of Frank Sinatra, Nora Jones, Michael Buble, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole. Our song is “Come Away with Me” by Nora Jones and was our feature song.
Wedding Location: Birmingham, AL / Photographer: Mary Margaret Smith / Planning and Coordination: Meghan Cease of M. Elizabeth Events / Floral Design: Hothouse Design Studio / Ceremony Location: Boucan by Hotel Chocolat, Saint Lucia / Reception Venue: Birmingham Botanical Gardens / Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau via Ivory and White / Wedding Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair and Makeup: Melissa Moore Bogardus / Groom’s Suit: J. Crew / Groom’s Tie: Calvin Klein / Catering and Pies: Kathy G. and Company / Wedding Cake: Dreamcakes / Decor: Prophouse Birmingham / Rentals: Decor to Adore / Wedding Invitations: Sonia Davis