Courtney’s Gorgeous Vintage-Era-Inspired Wedding

July 15, 2016

Brides are often nervous about their big day: Will it go off without a hitch? Will the cake be spot-on? Will the soloist remember her lines? Today’s featured wedding proves that you can have a picture-perfect wedding even when some things don’t go according to plan!

We fell in love with Courtney’s wedding after seeing how she beautifully incorporated Dainty Jewell’s gray Night in Paris dress for her bridesmaids. The rest of her wedding details proved to be just as breathtaking! Read on to enjoy Courtney’s wedding story and the beautiful work of Stephanie Messick Photography.


My husband and I met back in 2013 when he asked if I would do a Bible study with him. Over the course of studying different topics, he began attending my church. Over the many months following, we became really good friends.

I knew there was something different about him: he made me laugh; he was encouraging; he lifted me up and pushed me toward God — and I began to realize that I had feelings for him.

Shortly after, he told me he liked me, as well. He never officially asked me out, so I left it alone. Finally, right before Valentine’s Day, he asked if I would want to go on a date with him, and I said yes! Ever since that point, what was a friendship has grown into the start of a wonderful adventure with the craziest man — a man who makes me laugh and count my blessings every day that I get to do life with someone as perfect for me as him!

Courtney's Wedding | Stephanie Messick Photography

Several “eek” moments happened on our wedding day. There was a wreck on the interstate by our venue, so halfway through our processional, about thirty of our guests showed up needing to be seated! My coordinator wanted to have them all wait until I had been seated, but more than half of the group were close family members. I didn’t want them to miss me walking down, so I insisted upon delaying my entrance to seat them all. This caused some confusion for my husband and the officiant, as they had no idea what was going on. For the better part of five minutes, they were just standing up there listening to the pianist with no bride in sight!

At the end of the reception our plan was to leave in a 1946 Chevrolet. But on the day of the wedding, the car rental company sent their driver to our venue in a 1968 Cadillac. It wasn’t quite the look we were going for, but we decided to make it work anyway. Our coordinator got all of the guests lined up for the birdseed showering so we could run down to the car.  All seemed to be going as planned until we began to drive away in the car. The plan was to loop back through for the photographer to get more photos of my husband and I with the vintage car. After the photos were done, the driver would then take us in the car and drop us off at our home three miles from the venue.

Once we were done and the photographer had left, along with the majority of our wedding guests and family members, the driver began to drive us out of the venue . . . and the car just stopped! At first my husband and I just laughed and read some of our cards, but after thirty-five minutes of sitting in the back of a broken-down Cadillac, we began to look around for another ride home. Thankfully, our reception coordinator happened to be pulling out on her own way home and was kind enough to offer us a lift. If she had not stopped, I don’t know what we would have done!

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I love the simple elegance of the early 20th century and have since I was a young girl. So when my husband and I were looking for venues, we were at our local park one day and stumbled upon the most beautiful stone terraced amphitheater. I immediately thought of a garden party with a vintage flair.

I really wanted to incorporate heirlooms that had been passed down to me by my grandparents. They had passed away several years before, and this would be a way to incorporate them into our day and add authentic details that had sentimental meaning to us as a couple. I had my gown designed with the Edwardian era in mind, and when I found the Night in Paris lace gowns for the bridesmaids, it just clinched it all together.

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The most special moments of my day were probably taking a selfie with my dad right before he walked me down the aisle, and then seeing my sweet husband crying as I walked down the aisle. I also had not seen the décor or anything for the ceremony since my coordinators and family friends had put it all together that morning while I was getting ready. Seeing my vision and what I had tried to convey to my coordinators executed so flawlessly, was such an emotional moment for me. I didn’t realize just how stressed I was until I felt that stress lift away. I think my favorite part of our whole wedding day was seeing all of our friends and family, some of whom had traveled quite a bit, all in one place just to celebrate with us! Some of them I had not seen for a while, and having them all together and seeing them all catching up with one another was so sweet to me.
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My husband and I wanted to be unique and different, but traditional at the same time. We incorporated little touches like a candy buffet, but we served vintage candy. And rather than me throwing a bouquet, I decided to give the girls a break. Instead, we put the bachelors on the spot with my husband throwing a football to them.

For the guestbook, I found a real fountain pen. We typed the programs up ourselves as Western Union telegrams, and we used my grandfather’s typewriter on the guestbook table. The music we played while the guests were being seated were all vintage-era songs, but we also included our grandparents’ favorite songs in the mix. The flower girls, for instance, walked down the aisle to the song my grandmother used to sing to me when I was a little girl.

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Photography: Stephanie Messick Photography