A captivating countryside and Southern hospitality made the perfect outdoor setting for the wedding uniting Ashley Brooke May and Justin Dexter Barnes at half past five, on Sept. 10, 2011. The ceremony was held on the front lawn and the reception on the back lawn overlooking the lake at the bride’s home in Wilmer, Ala. Terry Cagle, minister for the Azalea City Church of Christ, officiated.
Ashley is the daughter of Steve and Lisha May, of Wilmer. She is the granddaughter of Lamar Harrison and the late Marceil Harrison, of Wilmer, and Hobert and Willodean May, of Florence, Ala. Justin is the son of David and Lynn Barnes, of Mobile. He is the grandson of James and Nan Presley, of Aliceville, Ala., and Alma Barnes and the late William Barnes, of Mobile.
Given in marriage by her father, the bride wore a Jasmine Couture strapless A-line, ivory silk taffeta gown with bustles and a full pick-up skirt. French embroidered alencon lace covered the bodice and trimmed the bottom layer of the Tiffany train skirt. The waist had a wide gold French ribbon sash, which the bride tied in a bow and pinned with an antique brooch. The garter and ring bearer pillow were hand made by the bride’s mother, using lace and trim from her grandmother’s wedding gown.
The bride was attended by her sister-in-law, Brandie May and cousin Kristin Hatcher as matrons of honor; sisters of the groom Katie and Kortney Barnes, Brittany VanZandt, Payton McGilberry, Heidi Nunnelley, Meredith Lee, and Morgan Plyler. Flower girls were Alyson Davidson and Paige Schmitz. Program and favor attendants were Madelyn and Macy Stewart. The bridesmaids wore short champagne-colored dupioni silk dresses with an empire waist and large accent bow at the bodice. They carried bouquets of mixed flowers in shades of champagnes and ivories with peach and rustic accents, including roses, hydrangeas, astilbe, lillies, dahlias and coffee berries tied with double-faced satin ribbon and a personalized beaded charm.
The groom and groomsmen wore chocolate brown Ralph Lauren suits with pheasant ties by Peter Millar. The groom’s father served as best man. Groomsmen were Jeffrey May, brother of the bride; Dannon Lisenby; Michael Eubanks; Joseph VanZandt; Andrew Itson; Tyler Dunaway; Drew Teel; Aaron Greenwood; and Ryan Myers. Ring bearers were Bo Cagle and Reid Schmitz. The attendants’ boutonnières included coffee berries, fern, and a single pintail feather.
A close family friend constructed a beautiful rustic arbor from tree trunks and branches for the ceremony. The color scheme was ivory, sage green, brown and gold, in keeping with the outdoor woodsy theme. In addition, the couple chose to incorporate a tree-planting ceremony to symbolize their growing relationship and love of nature.
Following the ceremony, Kraver’s Seafood provided the guests with a delicious “low country” buffet featuring gumbo shooters, mini crab cakes, boiled shrimp, fried mac-n-cheese, grilled chicken, pulled pork and a variety of other menu items. DJ’s by the Bay provided entertainment and Posh Images captured all the memories.
Cakes by Judi created the four-tier white, almond buttercream wedding cake accented with an ecru bow and antique brooch to duplicate the sash and brooch on the bride’s dress. In addition, Cakes by Judi also created three cakes for the groom’s table. Set in an array of burlap, moss, twigs and vines were tree stumps that served as cake stands for the German chocolate cake, the chocolate cake with raspberry sauce, and the chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. Also on the groom’s table were chocolate cupcakes served in personalized Auburn cupcake liners.
Friends and family of the couple arrived to the wedding venue by trolley and during the reception were treated to a unique fireworks display. Cedar seedlings tucked inside burlap bags with a personal thank-you poem and tied with jute were also available for all the guests, as a favor from the bride and groom. Guests holding sparklers were lined up along both sides of the walkway as Ashley and Justin rode off in the rumble seat of a vintage 1929 Red Model A Convertible, driven by her uncle, Mike Eubanks.
On the eve of the wedding, the groom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner at the Magnolia Grove Club House. After a honeymoon in Cancun, Mexico, the couple resides in Demopolis, Ala., where the groom is employed with The Westervelt Company and the bride is part owner of Marcie-N-Me gift boutique in West Mobile.