Anderson Varejão and Stacy Bradley's Backyard Wedding on Lake Erie

The couple enlisted an NFL coach to officiate the nuptials!

Updated 10/11/19

 Photo by Kyle John Photography

After more than a decade working in the football industry, Stacy Bradley found herself falling in love with a different kind of athlete: a basketball player! Stacy first met NBA player Anderson Varejão in 2009, but their relationship didn't blossom until seven years later, in 2016, when Anderson's eldest brother, Sandro, coordinated a "reintroduction." He formulated a sneaky plot to bring the two together, inviting them both for dinner on the same night. This time, the connection was instant—and at the end of the night, Stacy and Anderson made their relationship official. Less than three years later, Anderson got down on one knee while Stacy's grandmother presented the ring. The sweet moment is one the bride says she "will hold close to her heart forever."

Since loved ones were an important part of their love story, the couple wanted to keep things intimate when it came to their wedding, making their home along the shores of Lake Erie the perfect venue for the occasion. From the blush color palette to the vintage glam design, keep reading to see how this athletic duo's romantic vision came to life with the help of designer Kehoe Designs, coordinator Estera Events, and photographer Kyle John Photography.

bride and groom
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
bride and groom laughing
Photo by Kyle John Photography 

The bride chose a lace mermaid gown from Spanish designer Rosa Clará, which was actually the exact opposite of what she originally envisioned herself wearing. It took just 30 minutes for Stacy find the dress, with the owner of the Brazilian bridal shop hand-picking the exact style.

Standing at nearly seven feet tall, the groom wore a custom three-piece suit in bright blue paired with a Tom Ford tie. According to the bride, her "something blue" was "tall, handsome and funny!"

bouquet
Photo by Kyle John Photography 

The bride accessorized with Tiffany jewelry and a bouquet of blush pink peonies, cherry roses, eucalyptus foliage, and deep wine dahlias.

ceremony altar
Photo by Kyle John Photography
ceremony decor
Photo by Kyle John Photography 

Overlooking Lake Erie, the couple settled on a circular ceremony structure for two reasons: to signify everlasting love and allude to the nautical location. Natural wooden wisteria vines, eucalyptus, bay leaf branches, plum branches, and lush colorful floral romanticized the structure, while hanging Edison bulbs and lanterns added a casual touch.

bride and father
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
father of the bride
Photo by Kyle John Photography 

In addition to the ceremony altar, the couple's wedding designer created a wooden pergola decorated with white drapes and sparkling chandeliers to cover the aisle. The bride was escorted by her father in a moment she says she has "dreamed of since I was a little girl."

vows
Photo by Kyle John Photography 

To keep things intimate, Stacy and Anderson only invited 34 family members to the ceremony. Ironically, 17 guests were from the bride's side and 17 were from the groom's side. The unplanned coincidence also turned out to be a nod to Anderson's basketball jersey—he built his legacy wearing #17!

vows
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
groom laughing
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
bride laughing
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
couple kissing
Photo by Kyle John Photography

Officiated by Seattle Seahawks offensive line coach Pat Ruel, the bride and groom exchanged handwritten vows. In his, Anderson said, "The feeling of making official my union with such a special person, who is unique, who is loving, and has the same values and principles as me, this is a dream come true. You complete me in every way. I feel like I am the happiest man in the world. Every union must be like this, no pressure, no doubt and with lots of love." Stacy's vows were just as heartfelt, with her saying, "I promise to love you until the end of time, for one lifetime is not long enough to give you all the love I have in my heart for you."

signature cocktail sign
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
cocktail
Photo by Kyle John Photography

Following the ceremony, the couple invited an additional 100 guests to join them for cocktail hour. They paid homage to Anderson's Brazilian roots with a signature drink made with cachaca, sugar, and lime.

reception table
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
table setting
Photo by Kyle John Photography

The couple's backyard was transformed into a comfortable, romantic oasis with white weathered wood farm tables, medallion barstools, vintage candle sticks, and cut glass votives. They opted to forgo assigned seating for their "upscale backyard soirée," which allowed guests to freely mingle in the relaxed setting.

bride and groom
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
newlyweds laughing
Photo by Kyle John Photography

"Stacy and Anderson are a lively fun-loving couple that put family and friends first, their wedding reflects this in every aspect," shares the couple's wedding designer, Ramsey Prince of Kehoe Designs, of the planning process. "Stacy was an absolute dream and even though we were working from two different cities, we were able to connect on the design aesthetic right away, and she trusted me to deliver my best and that is all anyone could ask for in a client."

cake
Photo by Kyle John Photography 
cupcakes
Photo by Kyle John Photography 

After dining on a meal of traditional Brazilian dishes like Picanha, beans and yucca fries, guests indulged in a three-tiered cake of white and chocolate hazelnut layers. Additional cupcakes were frosted to reflect the floral accents of the cake.

couple kissing
Photo by Kyle John Photography

After their "I do's," the newlyweds embarked on a globetrotting honeymoon that took them to Brazil, France, and China, just before the groom played in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

And despite traveling the globe as newlyweds, Stacy says she still wishes she could relive her wedding day over and over again. "I wish I could go back to our wedding day and replay in slow motion because it all went by so fast," she says. "As a bride, my piece of wisdom would be enjoy the moments, surrender expectations, and let your own story unfold."

Wedding & Floral Design: Kehoe Designs | Wedding Coordination: Estera Events || Bride's Dress: Rosa Clará || Bride's Veil: Casamarela || Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. || Groom's Attire: Tom Ford || Invitations: Emily Rose Ink || Music: DJ E-V || Catering: Batuqui The Flavor of Brasil || Rentals: BBJ Linen, Kehoe Designs || Transportation: Mercedes-Benz || Photography: Kyle John Photography

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