Courtney Shea & Braden Smith
March 8, 2019 / Montage Palmetto Bluff
College sweethearts (War Eagle!) Courtney and Braden may live in Indianapolis, where he serves as an offensive tackle for the Colts, but they headed south to Montage Palmetto Bluff for their nuptials last year. For their rehearsal dinner, Courtney surprised ardent fisherman Braden by picking Moreland Landing, the posh resort’s riverside venue complete with fire pits and picnic tables. “It’s right on the water with amazing trees, Spanish moss, and a tree house,” she says. The bride’s hometown planner, Mountain Brook, Alabama’s Neillie Butler of Mariée Ami, took her cue from the site to create a camp-supper soirée around the groom’s interests—chiefly, gardening. “It was one of the first hobbies he told me about,” laughs Courtney, a professional photographer. “I didn’t know anyone who gardened—especially not any large football players who gardened,” she adds. National event luminaries like Savannah, Georgia, pastry chef Minette Rushing and the florists of Dallas, Texas-based Jackson Durham Events upped the green thumb factor with a cake that replicated an herb garden and arrangements of edibles, ferns, sunflowers, and more, respectively. And the verdict? “Both of us would like to go back and relive it,” says Courtney, which is as good as a great night gets.
- Let the surroundings take center stage. At a waterfront event, the views speak for themselves. “We wanted to make sure that anything we brought in would not compete with the natural beauty,” says Courtney.
- Mind the critters. Have insect repellent handy, but know that many sites on the water are breezy, which can cut down on bugs naturally.
- Be shoe smart. Courtney suggests trading stilettoes for block heels if your site (like Moreland) is mostly unpaved.