Real Wedding: Alyssa and Maxwell

by | Feb 27, 2024

I had the pleasure of being there for Alyssa and Maxwell’s big day on September 9, 2023, and it was such a fun wedding. One of the themes for the day was, “They say it takes a village…” and Alyssa and Max’s village came out to celebrate them and part with them. They are such a loving and caring couple, and it was an honor to be able to be a part of their village for a day. I asked Alyssa to share some details about their wedding, and this is what she had to say.

How did you meet?

The short answer is through mutual friends. The story is that while we knew of each other, we officially met right after I graduated from Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC, where Max was also the assistant Men’s Lacrosse Coach. His brother and I went to college and graduated together, and on both Max and I’s last night in town, our friend groups ran into each other while out and about celebrating. Max was leaving NC and taking a break from coaching to take a sales job back in Atlanta, GA, and having just graduated, I was heading to work in corporate merchandising at Macy’s in NYC! It was a brief encounter, but we followed each other on social media and didn’t re-connect until a year later, in May 2018, over a fateful FaceTime call from my best friend, Taylor. She told me Max had a crush on me, and I told her 1,000+ miles was too far for either of us to do anything about it, but I was wrong. Max and I ended up chatting through social media, which eventually turned into texting, then phone calls, FaceTimes, and our eventual “first date” which was a trip to Nashville, TN! The rest is history. We dated long distance between NYC and ATL for over a year before I moved to the area for a job, and a chance for us to live in the same city and state.

Who popped the question and how?

Max asked me to be his wife on October 7th, 2022, at the 50th Annual Fiesta Hot Air Balloon Festival in Albuquerque, NM. It was the sunrise balloon launch, but because weather had been poor for previous morning launches during the festival, that was the first day they were actually able to rise, so every balloon went into the sky — there were 250+ rising around us and in the air when he popped the question at 7am! It was an ethereal experience. He planned a professional photographer to be present, who masked herself as a journalist writing an article on young adults traveling to NM for the event and asked to take our photo, capturing the moment for us forever. I was completely surprised as this entire trip was presented as a surprise early birthday gift, and it was our first day in the city, so I certainly wasn’t expecting it to happen so soon. I was over the moon to accept Max’s proposal and becoming his wife has been the honor of my life. Hot air balloons are special to me, and when I lived in NYC, I traveled overnight by multiple trains, buses and cabs to attend a festival and ride in one in upstate, alone. Max and I were just getting to know each other through texting at the time, and while he wanted to join me on the trip, he wasn’t able to make it and told me he regretted it ever since. It’s safe to say he made up for the experience, and we look forward to returning to Albuquerque for the event in the years to come!

What was your wedding style?

This is so tough for me to pin down. I’d say it was garden, whimsical and still somewhat elegant! At least, that’s what we were going for 🙂

When it came to planning your wedding, what was most important to you?

Above all else, we wanted the day to be a true and authentic representation of us together as a couple, and we wanted God’s presence to be felt, especially during our ceremony. We wanted our family and friends to feel as if they could come as they are and to have FUN! Most importantly, we wanted to be present, and even though it was the fastest day of our lives, we felt like we truly could be, and we owe a huge part of that to Ben and his team. Thank you for capturing the day so perfectly for us so we can relive it time and time again!

What was the best part of your wedding day?

Can we say all of it?! In all seriousness, some of the best moments were when we got to really look at and take on everyone who came to be with us. Nearly all of our guests had to put into a significant effort (financially and time wise) to be there to celebrate with us, and it was overwhelming in the very best way to see everyone we collectively love together in the same space, for what will likely be the only time in our lives. Looking out at the crowd during the beginning of our ceremony may have been presented as a moment for them to “get their phone photos out of their system” but in reality it was a chance for Max and I to see them. We felt this way, too, when walking back from our couples portraits and coming back towards the venue seeing everyone laughing and enjoying cocktail hour, when walking to each table during dinner to greet everyone, and when finally joining the dance floor. It’s humbling and such a surreal thing to feel that kind of collective love, and we never want to forget it. We are truly blessed and so grateful!

What made you choose Renowned Media?

While our planner, Hannah Guest, had only the very best things to say about Ben and Renowned Media, what really sold us was watching his prior videos. The way they felt so much more organic and authentic was something we hadn’t seen before, and I personally appreciated how he approach each of the couple’s big days differently and uniquely to their story and style. That’s all we could have asked for. While we were in the midst of an unexpectedly hectic year, we didn’t get the chance to meet with Ben as much as he likely normally does with couples before the wedding, but even through those phone conversations we did have, and our interactions on the day-of, it was clear we found the absolute best choice based on how Ben and his team care and how down to earth everyone is. He made our day feel so much more relaxed and there was never a single moment where we had to question his intent, abilities, professionalism or genuine care for us, because it was evident in how kindly you spoke and interacted with not just us, but our families. We know we’re not the easiest bunch, but he made it feel light! Thank you.

Where did you say YES to the dress, and what designer did you wear?

Sure Bride in downtown Newnan, on the Square! My dress was a part of their private label collection, so while the actual brand was not disclosed, I know it is a Polish designer. I had the best experience with Meredith, Cheyenne and the entire Sure Bride team and can’t recommend them enough.

Groom/groomsmen attire – where were they purchased/rented from?

Max, his groomsmen, and the men in our immediate families all rented from Black Tux — We’ve done it for friend’s weddings and have zero regrets doing it for ours! It’s easy to get replacement sizes quickly if needed and you have the option purchase rentals at a discounted price if wanted. The best thing is that the groom’s rentals are free if the bridal party also uses Black Tux!

Where did you order your favors, party gifts, etc. from?

Instead of favors, we did late night Chick-fil-a sandwiches, water bottles with labels we made on Zazzle, and advil! We also ordered Light-up Cowboy hats for the guests on the dance floor, and we got them from Party Glowz!

When it came to your venue selection, why did you choose to get married there?

We chose the Venue at Daisy Hill for a myriad of reasons. Most importantly, it was close to Max’s parents’ home in Senoia, GA, meaning it would be easy for guests to travel to various wedding weekend festivities. It was also close to multiple hotels which made accommodations smooth and resolved the need to pay for guest transportation such as a shuttle bus. It also had flexible with indoor/outdoor spaces, since a tent and partly-outdoor wedding were a priority for us and the garden theme we were going for! This also gave us flexibility with guest count, which was crucial given that we both come from large families and were expecting 200 guests. Another seemingly small but incredibly convenient plus is that DH is 100% flat and stepless! This meant some of our most cherished guests, like our grandmothers, would be able to enjoy the evening from space to space without mobility issues. Daisy Hill is also a gorgeous venue and a mostly blank canvas that we felt we could truly personalize and make our own within our budget.

Where were the bridesmaids dresses purchased from?

The bridesmaid dresses were actually purchased from all over! I was very passionate about the look of mismatching/curated bridesmaid dresses, I didn’t want them to feel like they were wearing uniforms and I wanted each of them to feel beautiful and comfortable wearing a dress of their choosing. I love that this is a trend right now! My bridesmaids helped me pick out a color pattern, and from there we did a mix of Pink/Peachy and Blue/Green dresses, ensuring there was a variety of patterns vs solids and texture. The dresses came from: Lulu’s, Macy’s, Reformation, Altar’d State, Petal & Pup, Show Me Your MuMu, Baltic Born, ASTR, and ASOS.

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