Oh, but this wedding. Photographer Heather Hester is never-failing in her ability to deliver the beautiful things in life, like this wedding. Haley and Alex met while working at Ralph Lauren, and wanted the designer’s classic aesthetic to inspire their nuptials. With its pastoral simplicity and easy elegance, I think it’s pretty safe to say the couple achieved their goal!
From the bride, Haley: When Alexander and I got engaged we were both working for Ralph Lauren in NYC. I grew up on an ancestral farm in Alabama and both our family are avid antique collectors. So we wanted an antique Ralph Lauren feel to our wedding with lots of DIY details. We loved all of the little details everyone helped put together for the wedding. We couldn’t have pulled it off without our families helping along the way, and all the last minute things that the bridesmaid’s and groomsmen did. It seems like everything was a DIY project; my wedding dress was made in part by a seamstress from Ralph Lauren, and part by a seamstress in my hometown.
The reception venue is a fabulous event barn on the family farm and it was decorated by our families. The centerpieces were fresh picked flowers off of the farm along with family antiques. All of the silverware, linens, and plates were mix-matched vintage pieces we collected. Our favors were little mason jars filled with apple butter, strawberry jam, and peach preserves–made by our wonderful mothers! All of the bouquets, wedding barn flowers, boutonnieres, and the floral crowns were made by a friend as well (she even picked the cotton herself!). We asked family and friends to make our favorite desserts with everything from toffee bars, to classic southern pound cake, and peanut butter cake! I sewed a cake topper and name tags for our table as well! Alexander proposed to me with a vintage ring from the late 1800s, so for wedding rings we designed our own family crest and had matching ones made by Heraldica in England. I designed and did the watercolors for our invitations as well. My sister also hand lettered the all of the chalkboards at the wedding. The theme of vintage event went so far as my dad wearing the suit he wore in his own wedding!
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Pick what’s really important to you on the wedding day and get the best of the best for that thing. I am a photographer, so getting a great photographer (and one who used film) was at the top of my list. Involve your family and friends. Ours really helped share in the burden/blessing of planning and executing our dream wedding. Realize that not everything will go off without a hitch, but it will still be the best day of your life.
Processional: “Ada Plays,” Gabriel Yared
Recessional: “Decatur,” Sufjan Stevens
First Dance: “Did I Remember,” Billie Holiday
Wedding Location: Valley Head, AL / Photographer: Heather Hester / Ceremony Venue: Private Residence / Reception Venue: Sweet Season’s Farm / Flowers: Holly Owen and family members / Wedding Dress: made by Sabrielle Lezeau and Pat Shelton / Wedding Shoes: Marais USA / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Free People, Anthropologie, and other boutiques / Groom’s Suit: Rugby Ralph Lauren / Wedding Caterer: Carolyn Hale / Wedding Cake: Maty’s Bakery / Ceremony Music: Bennet Beckner / Wedding Invitations: Painted by myself, printed at Desoto Printing / Transportation: Get-A-Way car was a vintage toyota FJ cruiser owned by a friend