Today’s real wedding is simple and elegant, exactly as the bride envisioned. Rene and Zach are college sweethearts who chose to get married in the groom’s church. We absolutely love all of their personal and stylistic details. Enjoy this Swift Church Wedding in Alabama! Xoxo, Jessica
Rene + Zach
July 21, 2018
Foley, AL | Swift Church
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
Our budget was around $6,000.
We were extremely blessed with friends and family who generously gave their services to us for no cost.
That made it possible to stay in the 6,000 budget.
The bride’s gown was $1200
The groom’s tux was $200
The cake was made by a friend who did not charge them for her services
The venue was $500, the flowers were $1000
The videographer was $300
The photographer was $1200
Hair and make-up were $300
The band was $500.
How many guests did you have?
We expected 100 guests and we had right over that.
How did you meet?
Zach and I knew of each other in high school, he played baseball, I played softball. We never saw each other in high school or talked. We had mutual friends, so that’s how I knew a little bit about Zach. It was his senior year and my freshman year of college, and we started texting and we went to the movies and Waffle House with a group of friends. We have been together ever since. Zach is so laid back, yet he knows what he wants and I was so drawn to that from day one. The biggest thing is that we both believe the same beliefs, and we are both Christians. Zach is that guy who checked every single thing off of my list. I knew from early on in our relationship that I would marry him.
What is your proposal story?
My husband played baseball throughout college and was away for 4 years. Our 4 year dating anniversary fell on a Wednesday and he was not able to make it home. So he planned a dinner for us the next weekend he was home at a restaurant in Orange Beach, AL. We arrived early which was not unusual for him, so he said why don’t we go walk on the beach to pass time until our reservation. So there we go, and we get to a spot on the beach where it is the two of us, and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was the most special moment, especially since it was only him and I, it was very intimate which is what I loved about how he asked me!
Tell us about your wedding vision.
As far as my vision for the entire wedding… I definitely wanted to incorporate fresh flowers. I would have rather had no flowers than to have artificial. I love lots of greenery with hints of white throughout. I would say it was a simple and minimal wedding. I love simple but elegant and I feel that it was. We chose my husbands church, which isn’t traditional, but it is a special, and beautiful church.
Tell us about your attire choices.
I had no idea what type of dress I wanted when I went to my first bridal appointment. I ended up going with a fairly simple dress with a beautiful lace detailed back. It was crepe material which is timeless. I absolutely knew this dress was the one when I tried it on.
For the guys, I love the trend of the blue suit, however, I also wanted something classic. So I went with a slate color, which was a mix between navy and grey!
What was most important to you two while planning? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
We definitely wanted quality as far as photos and videography. The photographer Kristen Grubb exceeded every expectation we had! She also did our engagement session which was a great way for us to get to know her and how she works! We will forever cherish those photos. Ryan Kilosky did our videography and just blew us away with the video and the time he put into it is so evident!
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Walking down the aisle to the man who was about to be my husband was by far the best thing!
Tell us about your wedding flowers.
Our wedding flowers were done by a local florist in Foley, AL. McKenzie Street Florist. I wanted more greenery with white garden roses, some hydrangea, fern, and eucalyptus. They did a phenomenal job!
Tell us about your wedding cake.
Mrs. Vicky Gunn did an amazing job! It was a simple cake with yellow and chocolate cake alternating each layer, and a simple white buttercream frosting! It was delicious!
What did you do for favors?
I had our caterer bake sugar cookies and we packaged them individually for people to take on their way out!
Describe any handmade, personal, or DIY items.
The arbor was made by my dad. Our champagne glasses were made by my husband’s grandfather.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I had always pictured my grandfather marrying me. Unfortunately, he passed away and was not able to, so my husband’s grandfather married us and it was just as special. It was very sentimental to us.
My dad had been extremely sick months before the wedding, and I had no idea if he would be there to walk me down the aisle. Well, he was! All of this to say…we didn’t focus too much on special traditions as much as we did making the wedding what we envisioned.
Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding now?
Plan and book the big things first: Venues, Photographer, Videographer, and Caterer! It makes the rest of the planning enjoyable! Also, communicate and be clear on your expectations with each other!
Photography: Kristen Grubb Photography • Ceremony Venue: Swift Church • Reception Venue: Sweet Southern Scratch • Floral: MacKenzie Street Florist • Stationery: Printing Pros • Videography: Ryan Kilosky • Wedding Cake: Vicky Gunn • Beauty: Olivia Rumbley Beauty • Catering: sweet southern scratch • Hair: Olivia Rumbley Beauty • Makeup: Olivia Rumbley Beauty • Wedding Dress: Allure Romance • Groom’s Attire: tuxedo central • Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal • Bridal Salon: anthony’s bridal and tuxedo • Veil: David’s Bridal • Submitted via: Matchology
Editor’s note: During this time of quarantine and social distancing, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Learn more here.