This Farmhouse Wedding Had the Most Fabulous Flowers
Hansell Smith and Matt Holt met on the Bumble app in April 2021. As of April 2022, they were married. To relive their engagement and wedding, they transported us to Brierfield, Alabama, to the bride’s family farm filled with adventure and southern sweetness.
Rewind to December 17, 2021, when Matt casually pitched an idea to Hansell: a farm picnic enjoying leftover food from a Christmas party the night before. Hansell suspected nothing. “We went to the river to fish and eat and brought our dog, Hank. Matt invited me to do the first casting, and when I did, I immediately blocked the line. I didn’t know he was behind me on one knee. Hansell turned around, still frustrated with the stuck decoy, and realized what was happening. “He had tears in his eyes and I cried immediately. It was so joyful.
A quick four-month engagement ensued and a “dream team” was assembled: wedding planner Symone Shaw, floral designer Sybil Sylvester with Wildflower designsand the ultimate planner, Margot Shaw (editor of flower review and mother of the bride!). “A four-month commitment with all the trimmings would never have been possible without our dream team,” adds Hansell. “We just couldn’t wait! When you know, you know.
Hansell always imagined she would get married on his family farm – a place that Matt has also fallen in love with since his first visit. “He’s very outdoorsy and very much in his element out there,” Hansell says. “And we got engaged there at a place by the river that was special to us.”
Once the location was chosen, Hansell was drawn to blues and greens – sage green in particular – as she imagined the aesthetic of the day. “Sybil has done an amazing job working with these colors and incorporating others,” she says. “The flowers and design were the most beautiful I have ever seen and perfectly suited to the country. Lush yet rustic at the same time with lots of wild herbs and other touches that speak to the setting.”
Unlike so many brides we speak to, Hansell was amazed at how many dresses she liked during her trial run at Ivory & White Shop in Birmingham. “I tried on probably ten dresses, and eight of them would have worked,” she admits. “I knew I wanted something really simple and narrowed it down to three.” She made an admittedly difficult choice and chose an incredibly long and somewhat straight dress with a cute halter neck.
Hansell and Matt gave up on a first look. “We wanted it to be a special moment when he saw me walking down the aisle without a glimpse. Some traditions are worth keeping,” Hansell says. “My mom always says weddings are drama, so those dramatic moments are important.”
Half an hour before service, that capricious spring weather dawned, and darkness and a light drizzle descended on the farm. “I was a little disappointed,” Hansell says, “but what can you do? I knew none of this really mattered. We would be getting married. separated and the sun shone directly on the crowd.
The planning team crafted a very Alabama cocktail hour. “Since Brierfield Farm in Bibb County, AL, is saturated with southernness, we wanted the first taste — and really all of the food — to echo that,” says Hansell. Guests were greeted with a handful of cheese straws, rosemary pecans, Ritz crackers with peanut butter and crumbled bacon, celery troughs with pimiento cheese, and a lovely farmhouse table filled with charcuterie , fruits, cheeses, breads and crackers.
Champagne and sparkling waters were passed as guessed on foot to the terrace and garden from the field where the ceremony took place. “And the full bars were everywhereadds Hansell. “We didn’t want anyone queuing for a drink!”
Guests gathered, ate and lingered at long harvest tables as Kathy G. Mezrano, caterer extraordinaire, has concocted a menu of Southern specialties like shrimp and grits, pork tenderloin, ribs and grilled country vegetables. The buffet meal even had a cookie bar!
By the end of the night, Hansell and Matt walked through a “glove of friends and family cheering and cheering as we got into the Can-Am — essentially a glorified off-road golf cart,” Hansell says. This vehicle (which was also instrumental in their engagement) was completely decorated with wide satin ribbon streamers in colors to match the wedding. After a low country honeymoon in Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina, the newlyweds snuggled into married life at their Nashville home.
To brides-to-be, Hansell says, “Enjoy the engagement time! It’s as special as the wedding, and you’ll never have it again. Be prepared to compromise because no marriage is perfect and all that matters is your commitment to the person you love and the support of the loved ones who attend.
Thank you, Hansell, for bringing us back to the farm and to this special evening. And thanks to Bryan Johnson for A picture of Bryan for the great photos.
Planner: Occasions with Symone Shaw
Daily Coordinator of: Occasions with Symone Shaw
Photographer: A picture of Bryan
Videography: Todd Urick Movies
Flowers: Wildflower Drawings – Sybil Sylvester
Stationery store: Press the button circle
Hairdresser/Wardrobe Stylist: Missie Crawford
Hairdressers and make-up artists: Celine Russell and Virginie Linzee
Wedding dress : Lela Rose at Ivory & White Shop
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella bridesmaids
Groom and groomsmen attire: Men’s clothes
Restoration: Kathy G. and Co.
Cakes: from Olexa
Entertainment: City Party – Garden of Music
Rentals: Rentals with beach views, PropHouse
Glassware: Beachview Rentals
Branded cups, napkins and fans: The doodler
Household linen: rentals with a view of the beach
Cake plates: Alice Major
Transportation: Rare transport
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