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Real Wedding: Jessica & Brian

Bride: Jessica Booth
Groom: Brian Maddox
Wedding gown style: Evelyn
Wedding date: June 9, 2012
Boutique purchased: Bleubelle Bridal in Savannah, GA
LocationDay Chapel at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia and Farm 255 in Athens, GA
Photographer: Caroline Fontenot

First things first, where did you meet your husband and was it love at first site? Brian and I met 11 years ago in a painting class at the University of Georgia. In art school you’re forced to do a self-portrait in nearly every entry level course you take. By sheer coincidence Brian and I happened to share an aversion to the practice. Since neither of us wanted to paint another picture of ourselves, our professor let us paint each others’ portraits instead. Where we had only just spoken in passing up until then, or maybe occasionally laughed at each others’ snarky asides, this portrait assignment gave us a reason to spend more time together. We started getting lunch after class, slowly finding that we had a lot in common. By the end of that semester we were good friends. By the end of the next semester we were dating. Over a decade after painting pretty bad portraits of each other, we finally made it official!

How did he propose? Tell us the story! Brian’s proposal was so sweet because it was so honest and innocent. He bought the ring while traveling alone one weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he’s originally from. He put the ring in his bag and boarded a plane home. I picked him up from the airport and he was so excited about proposing with his newly acquired hardware that he asked me to marry him that same evening in our apartment! Some men have elaborate plans or dramatic backdrops for their proposals. My husband asked me on his knee in our living room hours after returning home. He made a delicious homemade dinner, opened some champagne, and retrieved the small velvet box from his bag. I love that he couldn’t wait and that the ring was, apparently, burning a hole in his pocket. He didn’t care about theatrics or over the top gestures. He wanted to be with me forever and once he had the ring, he couldn’t wait to ask me.

Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown? There was never a doubt in my mind where I would shop for my wedding dress. My college friend, Heather Burge, owns a fabulous bridal boutique in Savannah, GA called Beubelle Bridal. She carries absolutely beautiful designer gowns and I couldn’t wait to try them all on. As soon as I put on the one-shoulder Vera Wang dress, I loved the way it felt. It was so light and soft. Because our wedding was in Georgia in June, feeling cool and comfortable was a top priority for me. What I found so interesting about my dress was that it somehow looked simple and clean while also being intricate with architectural details. It felt classically elegant and artistically modern all at the same time. The French tulle on the back was my favorite part and the one shoulder added drama to my neckline. It was different from any other dress I had seen or tried on. It was perfect!

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique? I found a fabulous pair of sandals from Loeffler Randall that matched my Vera gown perfectly. I’m almost the same height as Brian and I would be taller than him if I wore heels. But I also knew the dress deserved a gorgeous pair of shoes! The open toed sandal had the same nude tulle on the t-strap that I had on the back of my dress. I was thrilled to find a pair of shoes that felt appropriate for the occasion and subtle enough not to distract from my gown.

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding? We wanted the look of our wedding to feel homey and relaxed. I’m from South Georgia, Brian’s from Tennessee, and currently we live in Los Angeles. So somehow we wanted it to feel both country and modern; a little bit southern and a little bit urban.

Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If so, what were yours? I did! I borrowed a luxurious pair of art deco drop diamond earrings from my jeweler in Beverly Hills, Claude Morady. We purchased my wedding band from them and they were kind enough to loan me the earrings for the week! My grandmother passed away two weeks before our wedding and I really wanted to feel her with me as much as I could. I was honored to wear her mother’s white gold bracelet on my wrist. It has a lot of detailed filigree, popular in the 1920s and matched the borrowed earrings perfectly! I also wrapped my grandmother’s delicate blue handkerchief around my bouquet for my something blue. And lastly, my Vera Wang gown more than satisfied my “new” requirement!

What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress? Don’t be afraid to try something on even if you think you won’t like it. You’ll be surprised, I promise. You think you know what you want and how you want to look, but sometimes it’s impossible to know how you’ll feel and how it will or will not flatter your shape until you try it on. Also, don’t bring an army of people with you to shop. Too many opinions can be overwhelming. You should enjoy it; you’ll never get to try on so many fancy dresses in one day ever again!

What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share? There are so many wonderful things we cherish about that day. My Aunts worked tirelessly to help decorate the Chapel and reception and made sure everything was perfect for us. My only brother graciously officiated our ceremony and made it incredibly difficult for me not to cry. The moment alone after the recession when Brian and I looked at each other as husband and wife for the first time was also something I’ll never forget. But if I had to pick one thing that really made an impact on me, I’d say it was having the people that we care about most in the world all in one place. Family and friends traveled great distances to be and share with us that day. Everything was full of love. It was a magical feeling.

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