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In Love With: The Perfect Day

08.11.2008 by André Natta · → Leave a comment

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candela photoAndré spilled the beans a few weeks ago about the reason for my protracted absence-wedding planning. I had assumed “a simple, no frills wedding” couldn’t possibly take more than a few weeks to put together. Life, and the Birmingham wedding industry, however had other agendas. Despite my best efforts not to let the process turn me into a harpy, there were a few months in there where silly questions like buttercreme vs. white frosting were far more present in my daily thought process than they really needed to be.

That’s a nice way of saying I bordered on “basket-case” for a few months. Eventually, I woke up to one truth that I clung to like a life vest in churning waters. If you don’t want to go nuts while planning a wedding, hire vendors you trust and work well with … and then get the heck out of the way.

So I want to give public props to the three vendors who made our Big Day come together. It was everything I could have hoped for, and even more important, trusting their experience and talent made it easy on me. In each case, a few meetings or phone calls was all it took to develop a working concept. Then I let them loose to do what they do best, tried not to hover, and ended up being as delightfully surprised on our wedding day as any of our guests with how everything had been realized.

Our first major decision in planning had been the reception space. With over half of our guests coming from out of town, I’d had my heart set on a reception at the Vulcan Park & Museum from the beginning. We got our date reserved, and then started asking a billion stupid detail questions. Luckily Evelyn Holman and Kellie Steele at Vulcan were super accommodating, organized, and on top of everything. (And a cheer to the gift shop staff too, who didn’t even blink when I ordered 25 “Vulcan’s Butt” magnets for our out-of-town guests.) With their help and support the venue became the perfect blend of  beautiful, funky, and quintessentially Birmingham.

To capture our own Vulcan’s Butt moment, as well as all the other hoopla of the wedding, we hired a photographer named Nick Holdbrooks whom I’d worked with on a photo shoot a few years ago. Nick and his business partner Eric Gay started Candela Photo about a year ago, and already they’re making inroads into the competitive wedding photography scene. It’s easy to tell why-they’re not just talented, but personable and fun to work with. They coaxed smiles out of some particularly dour relatives, captured some sweet moments with our families and friends, and managed to snap a portrait of us at the church that makes me go a little misty whenever I see it.

But we could not have made the wedding happen at all (or at least without me snapping and alienating family, friends and fiancé) without the innumerable talents of Ken Barrett and his staff at Café Iz Catering. Not only did he break through our waffling to create astunning nouveau-Southern menu, but he also acted as the wedding coordinator at Vulcan with our florist, bakery, and band. This man was a powerhouse of planning and no detail was overlooked. The evening went flawlessly, and all the credit lies with this talented team.Thanks to Ken and his assistants, we had the night of our lives, asdid (I hope!) all of our guests.
In the end, everything I was told about the wedding day is true. It went in a blur, I barely got a chance to eat or visit with friends, and it was over before I blinked. But as the official start to my life with the person I love best in the world, it was a beautiful day, a damn good party … and we have the pictures to prove it.
Vulcan Museum, www.visitvulcan.com // Candela Photo, www.candelaphoto.com // Cafe Iz Catering, www.everythingiz.com

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