March 20, 2015
CEREMONY: REID CHAPEL, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY
RECEPTION: B & A WAREHOUSE, BIRMINGHAM
January 24, 2015
Photos: Brandon Gresham, Simple Color Wedding Photography
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” – Corinthians 13:4-8
Scroll below the images to read their wedding story.
David Strider might win a prize for patience and is a true testament to the phrase ‘love bears all things’. His girlfriend was on a mission to win the title of Miss Alabama. For David, a college football player, that meant years of pageant-going as Anna Laura worked toward her ultimate goal of competing for the Miss America title. But David endured it all with kindness, always believing in Anna Laura’s dream. After it was all finally over, he popped the question. In January, Anna Laura married David where they first met and fell in love, on the campus of Samford University.
HERE’S THEIR WEDDING STORY:
It was one of those crazy things… she needed a date and he thought it sounded like a fun party. Anna Laura Bryan was a student at Birmingham’s Samford University and had seen football player David Strider on campus just enough to know who he was but they’d never been formally introduced. After her original date bailed for a sorority Superhero costume party, Anna Laura told a friend she was looking for someone fun to take to the event- all she needed was his shirt size. Enter David, the perfect superhero. The two met the day before the party to work on their costumes and hit it off right away. Anna Laura says she was actually really looking forward to the date once she spent some time with David and found they had so much in common: their faith, backgrounds, and beliefs. Plus, David’s parents are from Hartselle, just a few miles down the road from Decatur, where Anna Laura is from. They went to the party, held at Birmingham’s iconic Vulcan Park and had a blast together. They laughed and danced and talked… but what impressed Anna Laura most was that David was the perfect Southern gentleman. A few days later, David asked if she wanted to grab a quick bite to eat at Sonic, trying to keep things casual as they got to know one another better. A few days later, he asked her on their official ‘first date’ for pizza at Salvatore’s where they discovered they had the same values and same moral compass. One date led to two and before you know it, they were seeing each other all the time.
The couple wanted to keep their relationship under the radar as they got to know one another better. Since David was committed to football and Anna Laura was equally as committed to competing for Miss Alabama, the couple had to determine if they were able to commit to each other’s dreams and obligations so they kept their relationship a bit under the radar at first. Once committed, they dated exclusively for four years as they worked toward graduation. David went to all of Anna Laura’s pageants and appearances when he could, supporting her dreams all the way. Since there are very strict rules regarding dating and engagement for Miss Alabama, once Anna Laura won the title in 2012, the couple knew that they would have to wait at least a year before they could get engaged. On February 1, 2014, after surviving four years of beauty pageants and all that came with the title of Miss Alabama, David pulled out all of the stops with an epic proposal that completely caught Anna Laura by surprise.
After the couple graduated and Anna Laura’s reign as Miss Alabama was complete, they began to talk more seriously about their marriage. Anna Laura had begun working at Bromberg’s during this time. Frequently, she’d text David photos of new diamonds as they arrived to let him know what kind of ring she liked best. David seemed to take her hints in stride and Anna Laura thought he wasn’t paying attention. Little did she know that David was frequenting the store with her roommates on her day off on the quest for the perfect ring.
Anna Laura finally found the one ring she absolutely fell in love with and sent the photo to David with a “this is the one” hint. David told her when he could see them in the ring, he would buy it. Weeks later, Anna Laura was upset to learn that someone had purchased the ring and the staff at Bromberg’s kept up the surprise.
On the day of the proposal, Anna Laura had a pretty tough day. She had auditioned for The Voice but didn’t make the cut. She had family in town so she was asked to go with them to Anniston to visit family. She invited David but he couldn’t go. Her relatives wanted to take pictures at Vulcan before they left Birmingham. Anna Laura thought nothing of it since it seemed like something they’d want to do. When they arrived at Vulcan, there were emergency vehicles there and a lot of commotion over someone getting stuck in an elevator. Suddenly, she saw David, standing at the base of Vulcan, wearing a suit. He took out the Bromberg’s ring box with the ring she wanted inside. As he asked her to be his wife, her friends and sorority sisters popped out of their hiding places and a photographer captured the entire event. Afterwards, both families went to the Bright Star in Bessemer to celebrate the occasion and talk about wedding plans.
Since Anna Laura’s parents had married at Reid Chapel on Samford’s campus, they knew they wanted the wedding ceremony to be held there and the reception was planned at B & A Warehouse in downtown Birmingham, pulling all the details together with the help of wedding planner Ashley Stork.
Anna called on her hometown florist, Simpson’s in Decatur for the floral design. They incorporated some of Anna Laura’s grandmother’s brooches into her bridal bouquet as her “something old” tradition.
Her “something new” was a pair of Jude Frances earrings from Bromberg’s with custom charms made for the occasion.
Anna Laura’s “something new” and “something blue” was her gown from Something Blue Shoppe in Hartselle, owned by David’s cousin Sarah Morris. Anna Laura found the perfect Justin Alexander gown there and the shop’s seamstress Christy Urban customized it for her with long lace sleeves. Anna Laura called on hair stylist was Detra Smith and make-up artist Tabitha Boyd to complete her look.
They found the bridesmaid gowns at Bella Bridesmaids in Homewood, selecting mint dresses from Amsale.
The wedding cake was a stunning, classic creation by Barb’s Cakes with her Miss Alabama crown as the topper. David’s cake was a German Chocolate replica of the field house at Samford.
Angela and John Deaver of Main Street Productions handled the video duties.
For their first dance, the couple wanted to do something really fun. They started out with a traditional, slow song but quickly transitioned into a ‘fun and silly’ dance to Hooked on a Feeling.
Anna Laura and David honeymooned in Montego Bay, Jamaica and have returned home to sort through all of their wonderful wedding gifts from their Bromberg’s gift registry.
Formal China: Pickard Jubilee and Pickard Winter Festival
Formal Crystal: Waterford Lismore Essence
Casual China: Arte Italica Finezza
Casual Glassware: Juliska Berry and Thread
Stainless Flatware: Kate Spade Union Street
Congratulations, Anna Laura and David! Your Bromberg’s family wishes you a lifetime of love and happiness together.