“We would talk on the phone for hours at a time,” remembers Brittany Nelson of the initial conversations with her high-school sweetheart Ryan Anderson. On their first date, which happened to be on Valentine’s Day, Ryan was smitten. “I don’t even remember the movie because I was so focused on her,” he muses. Years later, he wanted to take the next step. “When someone motivates you to become a better person without them knowing, that person should stick around for a long time,” he shares. Armed with the blessing of her parents, Ryan proposed to his beloved in front of the Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. One year later, the pair hosted their fairy-tale wedding closer to home.
With a ballroom venue selected, Brittany and Ryan hired Lily V Events to help turn their vision into reality. The groom admits he wasn’t involved in the planning process; however, Brittany worked alongside her mother and wedding team to create the perfect day. “He wanted me to have my dream wedding, so he thought it was important that I made the decisions,” she adds. Desiring a romantic ambience, a vibrant palette of blush, fuchsia, and gold was selected.
When the day finally came, groomsmen in grey three-piece suits with blush bow ties and bridesmaids in light pink gowns featuring various necklines preceded the bride down the aisle. Brittany was stunning in a form-fitting gown with a mermaid skirt, sparkling beaded details, and illusion elements along the bodice as she made her way towards a beautiful iron structure embellished with soft drapery and hundreds of white phalaenopsis orchids. “She went all out… I knew she would look amazing, but she completely blew me away,” recalls Ryan, who donned a tuxedo with an alabaster jacket for the proceedings.
In addition to their heartfelt vows, the pair made sure to include two special moments during the ceremony. First, a candle lighting service honored the bride’s grandfather and groom’s grandmother, who have both passed on. “Although they weren’t able to be a part of our special day physically, it was very crucial that we included them spiritually,” affirms Brittany. The pair also chose to honor their African-American heritage by ending with the tradition of jumping the broom.
For the reception, the same palette of blush, fuchsia, and gold was implemented; however, the hues were amplified for the dinner and dancing portion of the evening. Awash in vibrant violet lighting, the room was filled with linen-covered tables and tiered mirrored varieties left bare to emphasize the sparkling crystals in between. Chandeliers glistened overhead and illuminated centerpieces, which showcased collections of lively blooms atop cascading crystal stands. “The floral arrangements were out of this world!” exclaims the bride.
Following a sit-down dinner, the bride took a moment to honor her family. “It was very important to thank my parents for all that they have done and continue to do,” she says. “During this time, I presented my beautiful mother with a bouquet of flowers to show appreciation for all of her help in making my dream wedding come true.” Following the sweet sentiments, guests enjoyed slices of a four-layer confection featuring Oreo mousse and dulce de leche fillings. The cake showcased a blush rosette pattern, an ivory quilted design, a gilt sequin tier, and the highest layer featuring ivory frosting dotted with crystals was topped with a fresh pink peony.
With their energy high, loved ones hit the dance floor to celebrate to the sounds of both a live band and a DJ until 10PM. When asked if she would do anything differently, the bride only regrets not extending the reception time: “We were having so much fun; we didn’t want it to end!” Her groom agrees wholeheartedly, “It was truly perfect – most amazing day of my life.” After a night of revelry, the newlyweds prepared for their tropical honeymoon to Jamaica, where they continued their own happily ever after.