Their wedding was a small, family-only affair at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, with dinner afterward at Rojo, a restaurant in Highland Park, followed by a beachy honeymoon in Destin, Fla.
Friends of the bride and groom, however, refused to let the occasion pass without a full-blown celebration. That is why three weeks after the two were united in marital bliss, well-wishers gathered to throw the couple a traditional reception with all the usual customs, such as the throwing of the bouquet and a first dance.
For that dance, the newlyweds chose “No One’s Gonna Love You (More Than I Do)” by Band of Horses. As a surprise to the newlyweds, local singer Katy Cairo and her Gypsy Begonias lead guitarist, Kevin Hagie, popped in to perform the song special for the occasion.
The bride’s parents, Mike and Brenda Stedham, along with sister, Kate, were on hand to greet guests and toast the bride and groom, a toast that congratulated the couple on the length of their three-week marriage and included a list of celebrities whose unions didn’t make it that far (Mario Lopez, Cher and Britney Spears to name a few.)
Guests who lifted their glasses to honor the newlyweds included Esta and Dan Spector, Chris and Stephanie Pittman, Tonya and Derrick Wilson, Jennifer Johnson, Narda Christian and Erek Smith.
Gulf shrimp cocktails, hearty meatballs and chicken salad were a few of the items on the dinner buffet enjoyed by Lucile Bodenheimer, Jim Holiday, Pati Tiller, and David Montgomery, as well as Abby Hogelin who drove in from Centreville, and Shannon and Nathan Prather, who made the trip from Birmingham.
And while the bride looked gorgeous in her wedding dress, guests were torn between gawking at her and at the 100-foot wide projection TV in the adjoining room broadcasting the Alabama-LSU game (but that’s the risk you take scheduling a reception on a fall Saturday in the South, isn’t it?) Chris and Virginia Hopkins, Haley Gregg, Brittany and Will Clay, Matt and Lindsay Tyson and Brian Anderson were among those true-blue (or rather crimson) fans who were enamored by both bride and football.
Never fear, though. There’s always halftime, and that’s when the bride was able to throw the bouquet, which was caught by friend Amie Hinton. And although the groom tried to foist the garter off on everyone’s favorite bachelor, Derek Conrad Brown, it was eventually tossed and then caught by Kayne Newell.
When the fourth quarter ended, the wedding cake was cut and guests enjoyed dessert before bidding the newlyweds well wishes and a good night.
And, by the way, it’s now been two months for the bride and groom — which puts them well ahead of Drew Barrymore, Eddie Murphy and Kim Kardashian.
SAVE THE DATE
Garfrerick’s Café and the talented performers from CAST are teaming up to present “Merry Little Christmas,” Saturday, Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m. The $45 a person ticket includes a three-course dinner and delightful musical revue designed to put you in the Christmas spirit. Reservations are required. Call 256-831-0044.