Laurie & J. L. Stiles

Ceremony Location: First Evangelical Church
Reception Location: Visible Music College
Caterer: A Movable Feast
Florist Betsy Nolen
Hair Stylist
: A La Mode Salon  
Make-up Artist
: Kasey Acuff 
Videographer
: Message in a Bottle
Rings: Mary Beth Harris Jeweler
Lighting: Moonshine Lighting Inc. 
Wedding Signage: Anna Holt Art 
Wedding Day Coordinator BLVD Events

Bakers: Sweet Artistry (Shellie Adams)
Wedding Planner: Amy Tyler Weddings
Invitations
: Natalia Yarger  
Entertainment: Blind Mississippi Morris (during cocktail hour) and Al Kapone (surprise appearance)
Wedding Dress
: Bella Couture in Birmingham, AL
Bridesmaids Dresses: Vow to Be Chic
Rentals: Mahaffey Tent & Event Rentals
Groom & Groomsmen Suits: Jos. A Bank
Flower Girl Dresses: MissDandyAtelier via Etsy 
Band: The Sensation Band
Donuts: Gibson’s Donuts

THE FIRST ENCOUNTER: J.L. and I met in the 6th grade at ECS. He was middle school crush, though he didn’t know it. We graduated from high school in 2004 and went our separate ways. He sent me a Facebook message in March of 2016. I lived in Birmingham, AL and he had settled in back home in Memphis. We kept in touch over the next few months and he finally asked me on a date in December of 2017 while I was home for Christmas. I originally say yes to a date because I thought it was funny that my middle school crush FINALLY asked me out on a date… almost 20 years later! We were smitten right away and the rest was history. Six months after our first date, he surprised me with a proposal in the chapel on the middle school campus where we met.

IN PREPARATION: We knew that we wanted our wedding to feel like a true Memphis wedding in every way! We wanted our friends from near and far to experience the city where we both grew up, met, fell in love and where we would build a life together. Both of us had attended a benefit at the Visible Music College shortly before we got engaged and we absolutely loved that it was such a unique venue in the heart of downtown Memphis with beautiful lights and glass walls that made you feel like you were outside. That was the first decision we made that really set the tone for the style and theme of the day. My dad is the CEO of Memphis in May, so he was our “in-house” wedding planner since he does event planning for living and knew exactly how to incorporate the soul of Memphis into our wedding reception. The other thing that was important to me was incorporating something from both of my grandmothers who had passed away. I used a piece of mom’s mother’s wedding dress for the wrap around my bouquet and my dad’s mother’s crystal punch bowl as a centerpiece on the head table at our reception. 

THE BIG DAY: The big day began very early at A La Mode Salon where I got my hair done with my sister by my side. After that I met with all of my bridesmaids at First Evangelical Church where several of us had our make-up done by the incredibly talented Kasey Acuff. J.L. and I saved waited to see each other until I walked down the aisle towards him. It was a special moment that we will both cherish forever. The highlight of the day was when our two pugs, Louie and Coco, arrived after the ceremony for pictures with us and our wedding party. It made those pictures so fun and special. Our pugs got a few shout outs during our ceremony so it was even more fun to have them there afterwards for photos. After everyone left, I changed into my “reception look,” J.L. was the first one to see me in the fitted dress without the full ball gown skirt. Then we headed to the reception to dance to amazing soulful music by The Sensation Band, incredibly southern fare from A Moveable Feast, background music from local blue legend (Blind Missisippi Morris) during cocktail hour, a surprise appearance from local rapper Al Kapone and of course… we couldn’t let our guests leave without a Gibson’s donut which were displayed a giant donut wall built by my brother. Our amazing photographer, Kara Joy of Thankfully Taken, captured so many fun and special moments while we danced the night away with our friends and family. It was truly a dream come true and exceeded the vision we had for our wedding day and night.

THE RETREAT: We left bright and early the next day for our honeymoon in Great Exuma, Bahamas at Sandals Emerald Bay. Our goal was to relax and enjoy the time together, but we did make time for one very special excursion… swimming with pigs. It was an experience like any other! I can’t recommend it enough, it was the highlight of our time on the island.

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