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REAL WEDDING December 2009
Andrea West & Jason Richardson
October 17th, 2009
Ceremony: Colonial Chapel, American Village
Reception: American Village, Montevallo, Alabama
Photography:
ARDEN PHOTOGRAPHY

All the arrows pointed to a wedding when the Easter bunny left an engagement ring for Andrea early that Sunday morning. Six months later, the couple celebrated an “it takes a village” wedding at Montevallo’s classic American Village. Here’s their wedding story:

The Back Story
The couple met on one of those typical nights out on the town where she was with all her friends and he was with all his friends. Their friends all knew each other; they were the only ones in the group who didn’t know each other. What makes the story not so typical is that Andrea and Jason started dating after that night---and three and one half years later, Jason popped the question!

The Proposal
Andrea was not in a hurry to get up this past Easter morning. And she says if she’d known there was a proposal and a camera waiting, she wouldn’t have still been in her PJ’s and without make-up. She thought she was home alone, in fact, but Jason had already been to her house to play Easter bunny. He put arrows along the floor with instructions to follow them. At the end of the arrows was a big stack of boxes. The last box, a tiny baby bunny box, held the ring. When she turned around, there was Jason and he asked her to be his wife. Best of all, Jason had a camera set up and caught the whole proposal on video. Way to go, Jason!

Wedding & Reception Plans
Since they knew they wanted a Fall 2009 wedding, the couple had to get busy planning immediately after they shared the news with family and friends. Andrea already had a good idea of what she wanted for the wedding; she’d been collection information for a while before the proposal. She knew she wanted Bromberg’s wedding partner Arden Ward to photograph the wedding.  Next, she booked American Village for the ceremony and reception. After a trip to Bella Couture in Mt. Laurel, she found two fantastic Enzoani gowns that she customized into the perfect dress. Within a week, Andrea had almost every detail decided and she started drafting her friends to help her implement her own design plan for the reception décor. Jan Moon from Dreamcakes made the bride’s cake and a friend of Andrea’s created the whimsical fishing football groom’s cake. Andrea made the cake toppers, one of her favorite things from the wedding--- a Weibel-inspired couple dressed in wedding attire.

Andrea made most of the décor and got friends to help her pull it all off on the wedding day. Flowers, ribbons, and votive candles were the integral design elements. Andrea told us how important her friends were in pulling off her wedding design: “Everyone helped! Tons of friends helped us to make the wedding everything we wanted it to be. We had over 850 candles and our friends helped place and light them all! There were another 350 candles in the barn alone! It made the day all the more special to us that everyone wanted to help.” Jason did construction on the beams to hang the candles and chandeliers and also built an arbor the couple used for their vows which now has a place of honor at their new home.

We asked Andrea to share some thoughts for brides planning weddings for 2010 and here is her advice:

“Do a mock up of your flowers before the wedding. I described my flowers but what I got wasn’t at all what I thought I was getting.”

“Incorporate as many personal touches as possible. We both lost our fathers so we each had a locket with a picture of both dads inside. Mine was attached to my bouquet; Jason’s was attached to his boutonniere.”

“Dedicate time before the ceremony or before pictures to see each other and share a moment together before everything begins. My favorite moment was seeing Jason before the ceremony as he saw me in my dress for the first time!”

The couple spent two weeks honeymooning in Hawaii. The first week was much needed peaceful relaxation at the Four Seasons Lanai. The second week was all adventure in Maui swimming with the sea turtles and exploring the island. The couple is now at home in Helena, excited about their first Christmas as a married couple.

Thank you, Andrea and Jason! We wish you all of the best for a long and happy life together. Thank you for sharing your wed