December 27, 2013
Ceremony: Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church
Reception: Shoal Creek Country Club
“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.” Everyone knows this quote but rarely does the person in question actually return…right? After high school, sweethearts Mary Anne Osborne and Bradley Phillips decided to let each other go to explore new horizons as they moved on to different colleges. Three schools, two degrees, two houses and six years later, the couple rekindled their romance. More than a decade after their first date, the couple tied the knot. True love always finds a way.
Scroll under photos to read the wedding story.
THE BACK STORY
Mary Anne Osborne and Bradley Phillips met in high school and started dating at the end of their junior year. Mary Anne isn’t sure of the exact date but thinks they were about seventeen at the time. She remembers getting very dressed up for their first “official date” at The Tavern restaurant at The Summit shopping center in Birmingham. They dated through the remainder of high school, sharing many first time experiences and life events. As high school came to an end, Mary Anne and Bradley decided to date other people as they moved away from Birmingham for different colleges: Georgia for her, University of Memphis on a soccer scholarship for him. Neither of them was particularly happy with their college choices and in a twist of fate, both independently decided to enroll at Auburn University. Mary Anne and Bradley became good friends after graduation when both moved back to Birmingham. They had a lot of mutual friends and spent a good bit of time together. Neither one had ever really forgotten the other… after all; you never forget your first love, do you? They eventually rekindled their romance. Their next “official date” was on Valentine’s Day 2010. As they started dating again, both Mary Anne and Bradley knew that they were serious about each other but were in no rush to the altar. Each bought a house and wanted to focus on becoming established in their careers. They spent most of their time together and after a while, they began to discuss marriage.
In December of 2012, Mary Anne felt that Bradley might propose since all of their family members would be in town. She became very suspicious when he started making a lot of holiday plans and really thought the ring would be in her Christmas present from him. Bradley completely surprised her with a pocket hose (the kind you see on late night infomercials) and a bucket as her gift. He never let on that he had the ring and a proposal already planned. Mary Anne was confused about the gift choice and thought there might be another gift coming but it didn’t. Later on, they were to join Mary Anne’s family for Christmas Eve church services so Bradley stopped by her house to pick her up. As she was getting ready to go, he asked if she’d seen the nice bottle of wine he had picked up for them. Mary Anne turned to look at the bottle and turned back to find Bradley on one knee, ring in hand. Mary Anne found it difficult to contain her excitement during church services and since everyone could see the ring sparkling on her finger. There was a lot of excitement but they had to wait until afterwards to celebrate the news. The couple spent the holidays celebrating their engagement and immediately began discussing wedding plans.
Mary Anne and Bradley wanted to get married in the fall of 2013. Being Auburn graduates, they had to juggle Auburn football games and family schedules as they looked for a date that would work. Initially, they discussed a destination wedding in St. Thomas but decided against it. As they started discussing wedding plans, they discovered both sets of parents had been married at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church and both had been married by Bishop Robert C. Morgan so Mary Anne and Bradley decided to continue the tradition. Shoal Creek Country Club was another sentimental choice… Bradley’s grandparents had lived there for more than twenty years and Mary Anne’s family are also members of the golf club there. Once they had the date and the place, they went to work on some of the other details. Mary Anne was very focused on finding the right photographer and the perfect dress. She found both. The photographer was easy; Amelia Strauss was hired to do the wedding photography. The gown was another story. Mary Anne and her mother went to most of the area stores to try on dresses and even went to Atlanta. She was becoming a little disheartened when she could not find exactly what she had in mind: a gown with the perfect combination of traditional elements and modern style. One day, Brooke Mason from Ivory & White salon in Crestline called her to say she felt Mary Anne’s perfect gown had come in the previous day. When Mary Anne saw the lace fit and flare Vera Wang gown, she knew it was the one. She loved that the gown looked perfectly traditional from the front but had a “fun surprise” in the back with tiers of horsehair cascading into a short train. She paired the dress with a cathedral length veil embellished with lace medallions. Mary Anne borrowed two diamond bracelets and a ring from her mother to wear on her wedding day; all sentimental and treasured family heirlooms. The ring was a present from Mary Anne’s great uncle to her mother when she was sixteen and the bracelet was a gift from her father to her mother. After the wedding, Mary Anne’s parents later surprised her with the bracelet as a gift for her birthday.
The fourteen bridesmaids wore simple blush colored chiffon gowns from Bella Bridesmaid in Homewood and the men opted for classic black tuxedoes.
Janet Jackson and Ray Jordan from Flower Buds in Cahaba Heights were enlisted to create the wedding flowers. The design featured crisp white and green arrangements, white pillar candles and sentimental details like a display of family wedding photos. Massive crystal vases, tiny white lights, crystal chandeliers and lots of candlelight created the perfect setting for a traditionally modern outdoor Southern wedding.
Wedding invitations were designed by Annabelle’s in Vestavia and the five-tier bride’s cake and the chocolate groom’s cake as well as an assortment of chocolate candy were created by Sweet Magnolia.
Since Auburn was playing that day, they created a “tailgate” room for those who wanted to cheer Auburn to victory.
Mary Anne says her favorite moment was the first time she and Bradley saw each other before the wedding. Another special moment came as she and her attendants were getting ready for the wedding. From the window at Nicholas Cottage at Shoal Creek, she looked outside to see Bradley’s groomsmen playing a game of football on the lawn. Mary Anne says she was so happy to see them all having fun together and felt as if it would be a perfect day. And it was!
After their honeymoon trip to Barcelona, Spain, Mary Anne and Bradley are at home in Homewood and enjoying all of their gifts from Bromberg’s as they prepare for their first Christmas as a married couple.
Mary Anne & Bradley’s Bromberg’s Wedding Registry includes:
Congratulations Mary Anne and Bradley! Bromberg’s wishes you a lifetime of love and happiness together.