Former Miss America Betty Cantrell begin some actively different means to ally attitude with change in her bells to Spencer Maxwell on April 13.
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The bride, who grew up accessory a Greek Orthodox Abbey in Macon, Georgia, capital to account her accomplishments while additionally authoritative the day feel adult and modern—and she was able to accomplish that aerial antithesis by befitting things simple.
“I grew up on a 675-acre acreage in rural average Georgia and knew that I capital my bells to reflect that rustic ancillary of my upbringing, as able-bodied as the sophisticated, affected ancillary of me,” she tells The Knot. “Spencer and I were affiliated at my hometown church, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church. I grew up in this abbey and accept consistently envisioned a Big Fat Greek Bells in the acceptable appearance of my faith.”
For their big day, Cantrell, 23, enlisted the advice of one of her above Miss America bout managers, Liz Brown, who helped the helpmate abide stress-free in the months accomplished up to the wedding.
“Liz and I formed calm to accomplish abiding that our bells day reflected our personalities, while still advancement the traditions begin aural a Greek Orthodox wedding,” Cantrell says. “It additionally helps that Liz is Greek and understands the accent of acclimation attitude while accumulation the personal, abreast touches we are attractive for.”
For Cantrell and Maxwell, 26, claimed touches included candied capacity such as accepting both of the bride’s parents scribbling alone letters on the basal of her bells shoe. The brace additionally had a aperitive bells block which included a mash-up of their admired flavors (a layered batter block with aerated amazon filling).
But one affair Cantrell did not appetite to do was backslide to her anytime chichi celebration days. Alike the bells bands were kept apple-pie and simple, and the bride’s bells clothes was a far cry from the over-the-top celebration dresses she’s beat in the accomplished (Cantrell was crowned Miss America aback in 2016). “The detail on the dress is sublime,” she says. “It’s the blazon of dress that you accumulate attractive afterpiece and afterpiece to see all the bewitched elements that accept gone into the gown.”
Here, Cantrell tells us added about the anxious planning that went into her bells day, and how she managed to abide a “Bridechilla” through it all.
After their acceptable Greek Orthodox commemoration at Cantrell’s adolescence abbey (“We angle a lot in the Greek church!” she says), the brace confused the celebrations over to the adjacent Morgan View Farm, area their 350 guests were advised to an elegant, rustic amplitude and beginning Georgian air.
The cocktail hour was captivated by the horse barn, area decorations included continued photos from the couple’s assurance affair affected in best gold frames. Anniversary was displayed on an alone arrest door. The affair again confused to the ample horse amphitheatre for banquet and dancing.
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The feel that Cantrell and Maxwell were activity for on their bells day was “Southern, classy, and elegant,” according to the bride. As such, the brace autonomous for a adamant best vibe that began continued afore the absolute bells day.
The abbey for the commemoration was already “fairly ornate,” so the brace primarily let the simple adorableness of the amplitude actually shine, with the baby accession of a affecting rose accomplished as the centerpiece for the altar, address of florist Mary Pinson.
At the reception, however, Cantrell says she and her bells artist played up the “rustic, elegant” vibe they were activity for with guests’ tables dressed in brittle white linens with white roses and candles, set adjoin bright mix-and-match ceramics address of the caterer. Brass chandeliers, cardboard lanterns and lights afraid from the amphitheatre ceiling.
“I had the absurd befalling to be on Say Yes to the Dress, Atlanta, aback acrimonious out my bells dress,” Cantrell explains. “I candidly didn’t accept a eyes for what I wanted.” The helpmate didn’t accept abundant of a butt on what she capital initially, but one point was certain: All I knew was that I actually did not appetite this dress to attending like a celebration dress,” she muses.
After acrimonious out added than 30 gowns at Atlanta bazaar Bridals by Lori, it took Cantrell four tries afore locking in on an Eve of Milady design. The ivory blush, strapless clothes featured a top bandage of tulle covered with flowers over a additional bandage of bright sequins, giving the dress an all-embracing blinking after actuality candidly showy. “In the end, it is actually the dress of my dreams.”
THE RINGS AND THE ACCESSORIES
Cantrell says she capital to accumulate her all-embracing attending “classic and timeless,” and so kept her accessories simple and clean. She wore a brace of baby fair and design earrings in craven gold (to bout her bells band), and autonomous for a fuss-free nude pump for shoes. Something appropriate about her cossack that day, however, was that her parents anniversary wrote a bulletin to her on the basal of anniversary shoe, a candied way to “make them that abundant added special.”
The helpmate additionally capital to accumulate her bells bandage simple, so as not to draw too abundant absorption abroad from her assurance ring, a platinum bandage with a beanbag cut diamond. “My bells bands are two craven bands with baby beyond chunk to abrasion on either ancillary of my assurance ring,” she says. “Spencer’s bells bandage is a simple, advanced craven gold band. He’s abundant at giving diamonds, but doesn’t affliction for them for himself!”
THE GROOM’S LOOK
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“I may be a little biased, but I accept never apparent a added handsome benedict in my life,” Cantrell tells The Knot. “We chose an ultra-fitted cape to actually accentuate his ample aback and amateur adjoin his trim waist. I capital the bells to accept a archetypal look, so Spencer was in a simple atramentous tuxedo, white shirt, and atramentous bow tie.”
The brace went with Georgia-based columnist Ashah Smith of Ashah Photography, who accurate an abundantly affective aboriginal attending that featured a slight twist. “Ashah’s allowance for photography comes through in her work,” Cantrell muses. “We did an assurance affair which actually helped us all to get to apperceive anniversary other. It additionally ensured that our bells photos would actually abduction our personalities. I’ve been photographed a lot, and she’s one of the best I’ve anytime formed with.”
THE BRIDAL PARTY
Cantrell capital her nine best gal pals to be able to appearance off their personality, and so autonomous to dress her bridesmaids in a ambit of colors, including blush, ablaze gray and biscotti. The dresses, which she begin at David’s Bridal, featured an A-line brim cinched at their waists with a aperture on the ancillary to ensure the attending was “fashion-forward.”
As a above celebration queen, Cantrell is no drifter to bouquets. For her bells bouquet, however, she capital to be advised about showcasing her own adjoin her bridesmaids, and Maxwell’s boutonniere adjoin his groomsmen’s.
As such, her conjugal boutonniere by Mary Pinson consisted of blah succulents with flowers in blush, ivory, and hints of yellow; her bridesmaids’ arrange were hardly added simple with white flowers and greenery to adverse adjoin their bright gowns. Maxwell’s boutonniere analogously displayed colors while his groomsmen’s were white and green.
PassionRoses, the official floral sponsor abaft the Miss America competition, affably donated all the roses for the nuptials.
THE TRADITIONAL TOUCHES
Since Cantrell was aloft in the Greek Orthodox Church, she and Maxwell abided by the acceptable bells ceremony, which she says “has remained about absolutely banausic back its alpha centuries ago.”
Maxwell alike secretly abstruse a appropriate Greek ball alleged the “zeibekiko,” which he and Cantrell performed during the reception. Their bells favors–“koufeta,” or bristles white bonbon coated almonds in a white organza bag–were additionally a nod to the bride’s acceptable Greek Orthodox roots. The almonds are advised acceptable luck for the helpmate and groom, and betoken the bifold acerbity and acidity inherent to a acceptable activity and a acceptable marriage.
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Neither Cantrell nor Maxwell are big into cakes, so they approved to agglutinate what admired $.25 they accept into an ideal cake. The aftereffect was a mash-up of a layered batter block with absolute amazon aerated to be both bushing and icing for the aerial allotment of art. The semi-naked block by Anderson’s Bakery was busy with beginning flowers and a simple gold calligraphy “Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell” block topper.
Food was absolutely a big allotment of the couple’s bells day (“It wouldn’t be a Big Fat Greek Bells after a cocktail hour and food!” Cantrell says), and the brace fabricated abiding their guests were able-bodied fed throughout the night. The dinner, additionally able by the aggregation at Anderson’s Bakery, Catering & BBQ, included Greek auto assemble chicken, Greek broiled potatoes, and different breads, in accession to an absorbing prime rib abstraction station.
The caterers additionally offered up a advanced arrangement of sweets in accession to a #MaxwellHouse coffee bar; for late-night munchies, the brace apathetic guests with an alms of Chick-fil-A nuggets.
The brace danced to Cantrell’s own aboriginal song for their aboriginal dance, a carol blue-blooded “Sway,” which captivated appropriate acceptation for both the helpmate and groom. “I am a singer/songwriter, and our aboriginal ball song is one that I wrote about my adulation for Spencer,” she says, adding, that she did not, in fact, sing at the wedding.
With the advice of their DJ Rusty Pearson of Entourage Entertainment, the brace kept the blow of the black up-beat with a hand-selected playlist that congenital some acceptable Greek songs for Greek dancing and steered bright of bells staples like “Celebration” and “Proud Mary.”
“I accept no worries or apropos activity into the approaching with Spencer by my ancillary as my husband,” Cantrell concludes to The Knot. “He makes every day bigger and brighter aloof by actuality animate and actuality anxiously mine. He is my best acquaintance in the absolute apple and I don’t appetite to go one additional after him appropriate there with me as my bedmate and manager. He is the aftermost of his kind. … I adulation him with every ounce of my actuality and with every animation I take, I alive to adulation him the way that he loves me.”
Looking to defended your ideal bells vision? Start with The Knot’s Appearance Quiz here.
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