Miss Amy Ruth Russell and Mr. John Reese Bedsole, both of Mobile, began dating after being introduced at an engagement party for her sister and future brother-in-law in 2009. After dating for one year, the couple embarked on a European vacation with John’s family to London and Paris. While in Paris, John waited until he and Amy had the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower then got down on one knee and proposed. The happy couple was united in holy matrimony during a candlelit ceremony at Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church on June 18, 2011 at 5:30 p.m. The Rev. John H. Riggin officiated. Documenting the ceremony was Joanne Brookfield of Brookfield Videography.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen V. Russell, of Mobile. She is the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil G. Russell, of Mobile, and the late Mr. John Joseph Toljanic and Mrs. John Joseph Toljanic. The groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Bedsole. He is the grandson of the late Mr. Ray Delaney and Ms. Rose Delaney, the late Mr. Melvin Bedsole and Mrs. Melvin Bedsole.
The bride chose her sister, Mrs. Emily Russell Beaird, as her matron of honor. Also attending were Miss Laura Virginia Ogram, Mrs. Terri Lynn Bedsole Wallace, Miss Julie Marie Toljanic, Mrs. Mallory Wrenn Wilkins, Miss Jennifer Leigh Davis, and Miss Laura Michelle Brabner with Miss Briton Holley as the flower girl. The bridesmaids wore tea length, one-shoulder, emerald green dresses by Jenny Yoo and carried bouquets filled with bright pink and yellow roses with green hydrangeas.
The groom chose his father, Mr. Kenneth E. Bedsole, as the best man. Also attending were Dr. Gregory Mehaffey, Mr. Brandon James Beaird, Mr. Erol M. Wallace, Mr. Todd Matthew LaCour, Mr. Garret Smith, Mr. Frederick Ryan Frost, Mr. James Tipton Alexander and Master Lochlann Frost as the ring bearer. The groomsmen wore formal tails with yellow rose boutonnieres.
At the height of Southern elegance, white roses, Oriental lilies, hydrangeas and fresh greenery donned the church. Wreaths laced in gold with white magnolias designed by the bride’s mother adorned the church doors. Candles illuminated the stained glass windows, while hydrangeas lined the regal red carpet leading to the altar. The ceremony featured a prenuptial concert with soloist and soprano Mrs. Alleen Barnett and soloist Marshall Richards, tenor. Accompanying the vocalists were Peter Woods on trumpet, Enen Yu, violin I, Evangeline Thies, violin II, Hsiaopei Lee, viola, Guosheng Huang, Cello and John Palensky, string bass.
Given in marriage by her father, the bride glowed in an ivory Italian Thai silk gown with ruched bodice, pickup tiered skirt and a one-shoulder sweetheart neckline. The bridal gown was a design from Modern Trousseau. A cathedral-length veil with Jimmy Choo shoes and Rodrigo Otazu jewelry completed the ensemble.
The bride carried a bouquet of large, multi-hued white roses designed by Thekla Wilkinson, owner of Forget Me Knot Florist and Floral Preservation. Attached to the base of the bouquet was her late grandfather Toljanic’s flight scarf from World War II and her grandmother Toljanic’s rosary, which is a Russell family tradition.
Following the ceremony, guests continued the celebration at the Country Club of Mobile with a cocktail hour and formal dinner. The wedding cake, designed by Cakes by Judi, was centered in the foyer in front of the winding staircase festooned with greenery and flowers. Special features included a white butter cake with cream cheese filling and more than 200 large white roses cascading from the top of the cake to the bottom. The Pastry Shop designed the groom’s cakes as a life-like red fish and personalized tackle box depicting the groom’s love of fishing. Inside the dining room, guests were wowed by table centerpieces of hand-blown glass from Poland filled with while lilies, hydrangeas, roses and snapdragons.
Guests feasted on a rich, creamy shrimp bisque with petite filet mignon, accompanied by veal jus miniature twice boursin baked potatoes and asparagus with sautéed button mushrooms. The wedding and groom’s cakes made the perfect dessert. During dinner, Glen Norman added a wonderful ambience with his piano virtuosity. Guests were later entertained by the musical stylings of The Grand Band, also directed by Glen Norman.
The bride and groom’s first dance was to “Unchained Melody.” Afterwards, the bride and her father danced to “As Time Goes By, ” a particular favorite of the bride’s father. Completing the trio of first dances, the couple was then joined by both sets of parents and the bridal party dancing to “Our Love is Here to Stay, ” after which the guests were invited to take a spin and dance the night away.
Upon leaving the reception, the bride wore a grey European-styled suit from Kay Unger paired with a birdcage veil, while John changed into a classic white dinner jacket. Guests lined the driveway with golden lit sparklers to send off the happy couple in a grey Rolls-Royce.
After a honeymoon trip to Venice, Florence and Rome, Italy, the couple currently resides in Mobile as Mr. and Mrs. John Reese Bedsole.