When Stephanie Davenport’s dream of an outdoor wedding in a green, wooded area was quashed by weeks of heavy rain before the ceremony, Rebecca Griffith and Marie Rippy, owners of Original Grace Events, turned the Eclectic Warehouse into a magical scene.
“Rebecca, Marie and their team did an amazing job. They knew I wanted a fairytale forest, and they transformed the warehouse into one,” said Davenport. “I couldn’t believe it when I walked in. They had greenery and trees everywhere and little white lights. They planned every piece of it, even flipping the room from rows of chairs set up for the wedding to tables and chairs for the reception. And they did it in five minutes.”
Davenport and now-husband James Stevens found love through an online dating site. From two different Alabama towns, the couple began dating but soon realized that a long distance romance was difficult. Stevens decided to move to Montgomery, and the day he did also was the day he proposed.
“The day James moved into his house, we had been receiving gifts from neighbors to welcome him. I opened one beautifully wrapped package, which turned out to be from him, and when I turned around to look at him, James was on his knee. He definitely had that all planned really well,” Davenport said.
The couple wanted to elope, but both families wanted a celebration, so the two decided March 17, 2018, would be the perfect date for a wedding. This day also honored Davenport’s grandmother who was born on St. Patrick’s Day and had passed away several years prior.
Davenport allowed the team at Original Grace Events in Eclectic to handle all of the planning, staging and day-of coordination.
“I am an artist, and I knew if I got involved I would get stressed trying to make it perfect. I just wanted to enjoy the day. I requested three specific things – antique furniture for the family to sit on; antique rugs down the aisle; and goldfish on the tables. I also gave them my Pinterest page, so they could see what I liked,” Davenport said.
She requested deep jewel tones for her color theme and told her bridesmaids to choose coordinating colors in dresses that made them feel beautiful. Davenport and all of her bridesmaids sported temporary tattoos of four-leaf clovers on their wrists to commemorate both St. Patrick’s Day and her grandmother’s birthday. The groomsmen wore navy slacks, gray/blue vests, maroon ties and white shirts with rolled sleeves.
“The guys asked to wear boots, but I told them for one day I wanted a sophisticated but very relaxed look,” Davenport said.
Many of the flowers Davenport envisioned for her wedding day had to be imported from Hawaii. She said the flowers were, by far, her favorite part of the décor. She wanted a whimsical, loose bouquet with yellow flowers accenting the jewel tones, and Original Grace gave her exactly what she wanted.
Davenport and Stevens planned their wedding ceremony for 4 p.m., and the reception followed in the same location. They offered finger foods to create a relaxed atmosphere. Crackers, rolls, meats and cheeses for sliders, fruit and dips all were available while the guests danced and mingled. Davenport said they were able to speak to everyone who came, which was a goal she had as the bride.
Davenport’s aunt, Liz Justice, created both the wedding cake and the groom’s cake. Justice was previously in the wedding cake business but now only treats family to her tasty artistry.
The five-layer cake was decorated with blueberries and raspberries, plus flowers that had been specially ordered. Davenport especially loved the change of color in the frosting on the bottom and top layers that accentuated the jewel tones of the berries. Justice also baked the groom’s carrot cake, as well as vegan cupcakes shaped as roses for those guests with nut allergies.
After the reception ended, the newly married James and Stephanie Stevens partied with bridesmaids and groomsmen in downtown Montgomery, another perk of an early ceremony – plenty of time for fun afterward.
“My wedding was like a movie when everyone you know passes before your eyes. I remember walking down the aisle seeing old friends, new friends, my family and my new family; previous co-workers; everyone smiling, looking back at me. It was perfect,” Davenport said.