In the fall of 2008, at Auburn University, the sorority sisters of Amy Stone, now 25, took her life into their hands and set her up on a blind date with Jeff Vaughan, now 26. What could have been a run-of-the-mill awkward first (and last) date turned out to be something much more. "We got lucky," says Amy, "and clicked right away!"
Four years later, after a long-distance stint between Nashville, TN, and Carrollton, GA, Jeff surprised Amy with a birthday trip, but it wasn't the one she'd expected. "I got in the car thinking we were heading to Callaway, GA, but Jeff kept driving," she says. "He had me pop open the glove compartment, where he'd stashed my favorite candy and a note saying we were going to Charleston, SC, instead." As they got ready for dinner, dozens of flowers were delivered to their room. "Jeff took me out onto the balcony, read me a note he'd written, and proposed!" Amy reveals. He asked Amy not to call her family until they'd gotten to dinner, where they had a private room, but when she walked in, their families were waiting for them at the table.
For their September 28th, 2013 wedding, the pair stuck close to the bride's hometown of Carrollton, and got creative with their reception venue: Amy's family company's airplane hangar! "It made the whole thing really ours," she says. Ashley Baber Weddings helped Jeff and Amy transform the space, and they chose photographer Melissa Schollaert to help them create lifelong memories.
Amy fell in love with a trumpet gown on her first shopping trip, but didn't pull the trigger quite yet. A few weeks later, she returned to the same shop and found yet another dress she loved, this time a fuller lace style. "Our consultant knew I was torn, and found the perfect combination of the two," says Amy. She wore a Judd Waddell trumpet dress with a lace overlay and buttons down the back. "It was exactly what I envisioned."
Her accessories were a mix of old and new. Amy paired her grandmother's pearl earrings and necklace with a lace-trimmed veil and a pearl bracelet that her groom gave her the morning of the wedding.
"We wanted our wedding to look and feel very traditional," says Amy. Jeff wore a classic black tux with suspenders and a ranunculus boutonniere. "He looked great!"
Amy carried an all-white bouquet of ranunculus and roses, wrapped with satin ribbon. Her bridesmaids complemented their light blue chiffon gowns with smaller blush and white bundles of roses and dahlias. The groomsmen and ring bearer wore sleek tuxedoes to match Jeff. The ring bearer, Amy's nephew, had a special accessory, a pocket watch engraved with his initials and the date. The flower girl's satin dress was tied with a bow that matched her white and blush pomander.
Amy walked down the aisle with her dad to Trumpet Voluntary for the traditional Christian ceremony. "The church is so pretty, so we didn't want to overpower it with decorations," Amy says.
The altar was flanked with two white arrangements of garden roses and hydrangeas. As a nod to family and tradition, Amy's brother did a reading from the same Bible used at their parents' wedding.
The first thing the couple decided to do when they settled on the hangar as their venue was drape the space with flowing fabric and hang chandeliers from the ceiling. "I wanted everyone to be surprised when they walked in," says the bride.
A combination of round, rectangular, and high-top tables were scattered throughout the room to create a variety of spaces for guests to gather. Champagne, ivory, and dusty blue linens in different patterns topped the tables, lit with glowing candles. "Jeff was in Nashville during most of the planning," says Amy. "It was so exciting to take him to see how things were coming together in the days leading up to the wedding. He had no idea what to expect, and was completely floored!"
"We used different types of flower arrangements to add depth to the huge room," says Amy. They filled mercury vases with roses, ranunculus, and hydrangeas. Tall sculptural glass vases were topped with pomanders of blush and ivory garden roses and hydrangeas. A bar at one end of the room was covered in pillar and floating candles. "We're so lucky that all of our grandparents are still with us," says Amy, "so we displayed their wedding photos by the entrance to the reception."
The menu was a combination of the couple's favorite foods, ranging from fresh oysters and sushi to a wagyu carving station and shrimp and grits. "It was like having all of our favorite meals at once," Amy says.
The feminine wedding cake, baked by a family friend, was topped with a cascade of pink and white garden roses, dahlias, and ranunculus. The decadent groom's cake, inspired by Jeff's favorite sweet treat, featured layers of peanut butter and chocolate cake and was topped with a cascade of chocolate and chunks of Reese's cups.
Let them eat cake!
At the end of the evening, guests waved glow sticks as Jeff and Amy made their exit—via airplane! Their honeymoon took them to Napa Valley, Half Moon Bay, and San Francisco. What a trip!
Amy's advice is to know when to start—and when to stop. "Start early! We had a lot of help during our engagement, but it was also great to have a whole year to work on the wedding," she says. And stopping? "I loved letting go a few days before the wedding. I got to see our friends and family and spend the morning of the wedding practicing my father-daughter dance and eating my grandmother's chicken salad. It was so relaxing, and got me excited to marry my best friend."
Ceremony Venue: Tabernacle Baptist Church || Reception Venue: Private hangar || Wedding Planner: Ashley Baber Weddings || Bride's Wedding Dress: Judd Waddell, from Bridals by Lori || Veil: Bridals by Lori || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair & Makeup: Teri & Rusty of Claiborne's, Indulge Salon & Day Spa || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank || Flower Girl's Attire: Bella Bridesmaids || Ring Bearer's Attire: The Squire Shop || Florist: A Legendary Event || Invitations & Paper Goods: Paper Daisies Stationery || Music: Big Swing and the Ballroom Blasters || Catering: Little Hawaiian || Rentals: A Legendary Event || Photography: Melissa Schollaert Photography