December 1, 2012
Ceremony: First Presbyterian of Bessemer
Reception: LincPoint Birmingham
When you hit campus your freshman year in college, you are a bit lost. You look for people you have something in common with; like minded friends who become your support system as you adjust to college life. You begin to hang out and over time, these new friends become your family away from home. Never, ever do you think that one of these new best friends might possibly become your spouse someday”¦ that only happens in the movies, right? Well, Hannah Pratt and Daniel Free met and became friends early freshman year at the University of Alabama. That friendship evolved into a romance. Six years later, they got married.
Here’s their wedding story:
The Back Story
Hannah played piccolo in the mega-sized University of Alabama Million Dollar Band. Daniel played trombone. The chance of their paths crossing was minuscule; the Alabama band has over six hundred members and sections don™t often interact. Hannah had only been in college for two months and was on one of her first big road trips with the band for the Tennessee game when she met a group of friends out at the Hard Rock CafÃ© in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Daniel just happened to be in that group. When the two were introduced, Hannah immediately noticed his eyes and orchestrated to sit by him. Hannah said she’s not always good with new people and went way out of her comfort zone to talk to Daniel. Hannah says Daniel was really funny and smart. “He stood out in a sea of college people” she recalls and even though she wasn™t looking for a relationship, she soon found herself right in the middle of one. The couple started off as friends and found they had a lot in common. Daniel is from Daphne, Alabama; Hannah has family living the area and spent a lot of time there over the years. With that common thread as a base, their friendship grew naturally. A first date was planned; a double date with Hannah’s roommate seemed very easy and like it was simply meant to be.
Fast forward to Valentine’s Day2012”¦ with so many couples on campus, celebrating Valentine’s Day in a restaurant is almost impossible and Hannah thought this was the reason they were celebrating on February 15. Little did she know it that Daniel had a proposal planned and a ring ready to slip on her finger. Hannah was caught completely by surprise. They were walking and talking, taking in the view as they strolled along the River Walk. Daniel gave her a box wrapped in polka dot paper with lots of paper inside, trying to throw her off. Inside the package was a square of linen Daniel’s mother embroidered for him with the words ”˜Will You Marry Me?™ Daniel got down on knee, put the ring on her finger and asked her to be his wife. Since neither wanted a long engagement, the wedding plans started almost immediately.
Bessemer First Presbyterian Church was the setting for the ceremony. Hannah wore a lovely strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline and chapel length train from Diane’s Formal Affair in Jasper. For the ceremony, she wore an Alencon lace jacket with a Sabrina neckline and elbow length sleeves made to look like it was part of the gown and a sheer cathedral length veil; she removed both for the reception. The couple’s monogram in pale blue was sewn into the bodice of the gown with their wedding date. Daniel wore a classic black tuxedo with red tie and red University of Alabama socks with an “A” on them.
Flowers by Homewood florist Dorothy McDaniel were perfect for the season with rich reds and holly green. Hannah’s creamy white bouquet featured peonies, roses, orchids and pearl accents. Pews and church doors were decorated with greenery and scarlet red roses, Hypericum berries and evergreen sprigs. Christmas trees with sparkling ornaments and twinkling white lights flanked the altar. Lots of sparkling decorations enhanced traditional holiday dÃ©cor for the reception; everything glowed from the candlelight and shiny accessories.
The four-tier strawberry wedding cake with white buttercream was designed by Edgar’s Bakery. The groom’s cake was chocolate on chocolate with hand-dipped chocolate strawberries and a big red University of Alabama “A” as decoration on top. Geoff Carlisle from JAMM Entertainment kept everyone dancing and the couple was sent off in a sea of sparklers and well wishes.
One of the most fun and unique events during their engagement was a Breakfast at Tiffany bridal shower. Inspired by a scene in the movie Sweet Home Alabama, a bridal shower was hosted at the renowned Bromberg’s store in downtown Birmingham. Decorations in classic Tiffany blue and white filled the main floor where fine china, crystal, and silver once graced the shelves. Hannah and friends had their photo taken with a life size cut out of Audrey Hepburn’s iconic character from the film, Holly Golightly and dined among the diamond jewelry cases.
Congratulations Hannah and Daniel! We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness together.