For Florida A&M University alums Aimee and Larry, their love story started on a high note — literally. The two first met in 2005 at their alma mater, which sits atop the highest of Tallahassee's seven hills, but it wasn't until 2011 when both found themselves living in Washington, D.C. that their relationship really took off. As Aimee says, "It was love at first 'G-chat'," as the couple spent long workdays chatting online and evenings in Larry's kitchen, as the budding chef would prepare delicious meals for them to enjoy while watching Boardwalk Empire.
On July 3, 2013, the two were visiting Larry's hometown of Charleston, South Carolina when he pulled off a top-secret proposal that included a walk on the beach, an appearance from Aimee's family, dinner under the stars, and a custom-made engagement ring from the family jeweler. With the help of Eliana at Elly B Events, the couple started planning their September 13, 2014 wedding in Decatur, Georgia. With a sophisticated and romantic affair in mind, and Milanés Photography there to photograph every special moment, the Aimee and Larry became husband and wife at the Greenforest Baptist Church before celebrating at Agnes Scott College.
Their church ceremony venue was an obvious choice for the couple. Aimee's father serves as head of the Deacon Board at the southern Baptist church that the bride grew up attending. "I really couldn't have imagined getting married anywhere else with the nostalgic connection and joyful memories our family shared there," she says.
"I wanted a dress that my future daughter would be proud to wear and would stand the test of time when I looked back at our wedding photos," Aimee says of her criteria for choosing a gown. Channeling Grace Kelly and Kate Middleton's iconic wedding styles, the bride chose a strapless A-line dress designed by Rosa Clara. The beaded sweetheart bodice, tiers of lace-and-tulle, and chapel-length train were exactly what she had envisioned, and even offered her the flexibility to change up her look throughout the day. For her ceremony, she added a lace bolero that kept her appropriately covered in church and then removed the covering for a more contemporary style during the reception.
For her "something blue" the bride chose lace Manolo Blahnik pumps and accessorized with a borrowed veil from a close friend that couldn't attend the wedding following the birth of her daughter. "It was extra special for me because, although she wasn't able to be there, a little piece of her stayed with me throughout the entire day," Aimee recalls.
Pale pink Bill Levkoff bridesmaids dresses fit Aimee's timeless aesthetic. The bride carried a bouquet of pink-and-white garden roses while her 'maids toted a similar look with the addition of blue hydrangeas.
The groom wanted a wedding-day look that was reflective of his everyday style — not complicated, but put together. He chose a fitted navy tuxedo and satin bow tie.
Aimee's father walked her down the aisle as a string quartet performed J.S. Bach's "Arioso." The couple wrote their own vows and each ended their personalized statement noting that their connection was "rare and extraordinary," a phrase Larry had used for their bond when they first started dating.
The party then moved to Agnes Scott College where the dining room was set up with two large X-shaped tables and a rectangular head table covered in glittering gold linens. Each space was decorated with dramatic, towering arrangements of hydrangeas, garden roses, and mums.
For private chef Larry, food was among the most important details of the day. Cocktail hour included passed hors d'oeuvres like mini chicken and waffles and fried green tomatoes. Then guests sat down for a three-course meal of spring salad, She-Crab soup, and a choice of peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin or breadcrumb encrusted sea bass. For dessert, a six-tiered cake in flavors like champagne with peach filling, butter pecan, and strawberry appealed to everyone's tastes.
After dinner, a college friend-turned-DJ really got the party moving and encouraged everyone to join the couple on the dance floor.
As a final surprise for his bride, Larry had a 1955 Rolls Royce waiting just outside their reception doors that the couple enjoyed before jetting off to a two-stop honeymoon in Bali and Taipei. Aimee and Larry suggest that other couples follow their lead and prioritize the parts of the day that matter the most to you. "Don't compromise price on three things: the flowers, the photographer, and the liquor!"
Ceremony Venue: Greenforest Community Baptist Church || Reception Venue & Catering: Agnes Scott College || Wedding Planner: Elly B Events || Officiant: Rev. Dr. David Hopewell || Bride's Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara || Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride's Hair: Sharonda Mack || Bride's Makeup: Mimi Johnson || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff || Groom and Groomsmen's Attire: G. Alexander || Wedding Bands: John Narang at TAJ Fine Jewelry || Florist: Andy Beach & Co. || Invitations: Paper Parfait || Ceremony Music: Just Friends String Quartet || Reception Music: Jumaane Cooley || Wedding Cake: For Goodness Cakes || Photographer: Milanés Photography
Did you love this southern wedding? Then watch another couple say "I do" in Tennessee in the video below!