Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford's Southern-Style Rehearsal Dinner

Kelly Hall and Matthew Stafford

Photographed by: Vue PhotographyLocation: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Tiffany-blue table linens aren’t usually part of the image that comes to mind when you hear the word “football.” However, for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his bride Kelly Hall, these ethereal tablecloths set the stage for the perfect spring rehearsal dinner. When looking for a venue, the bride and groom focused on both convenience and atmosphere as primary factors before settling on a site. “With a wedding near Atlanta, and guests staying in the heart of downtown, it [felt like] a natural choice [to select a] beautiful rooftop [property] overlooking the bride’s hometown,” says the couple's wedding planner, Lindsay Sims of TOAST Events.

Since the groom and his family generously hosted the special event – per tradition – it seemed fitting that Margaret, the mother of the groom, along with Lindsay, worked together to decide on the details for the space. They opted for décor that was understated and refined – reflective of Kelly and Matthew’s Southern roots. White flowers, including roses and orchids, adorned the tables and added a sweet bridal touch to the aesthetic of the event, which contrasted perfectly with the splashes of blue accents. 

The couple wanted to keep the environment “vivid and playful,” so they included pops of punchy color and intricate patterns on their escort cards and menus. Additionally, Matthew’s fashionable ensemble was accented with various shades of purple, matching the lively tone of the event perfectly. 

The bride and groom kept with the Southern motif when it came to planning the menu. “Matthew grew up on Tex-Mex and wanted to find an upscale way to infuse these flavors into the wedding [meals],” Lindsay notes. Upon arrival, guests were served fresh margaritas, while they chose between a variety of Tex-Mex hor d'oeuvres. The flavorful selections included miniature black bean empanadas and three different kinds of tiny tacos: Carolina pulled pork, tuna tartare, and barbecue beef brisket. For dinner, friends and family were treated to a small flight of salsas, a Southwestern wedge salad, and a spicy take on “surf and turf” with chipotle bleu cheese dressing. 

After dinner, attendees had a few fun options for dessert. In addition to the sweets menu, the groom’s cake featured Matthew’s signature Detroit Lions cap and the Texas state flag. Since the couple announced their engagement on Instagram at a Cold Stone Creamery, they catered an elaborate ice cream bar for dessert. Matthew and Kelly were treated to something extra sweet when family and friends presented slideshows of the couple and made heartfelt speeches. As the sun set on the sky high event, the couple gazed around the room and felt so thankful to be surrounded by such love and support leading up to their big day.