Priscilla Presley meets Downton Abbey

Tana Helene Photography

April 6, 2016

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Alex and Brandi were married Historic Chelsea Train Depot in  Michigan. Their wedding took place in October and had a rustic, Autumnal vibe.

“Our official wedding theme was ‘Priscilla Presley meets Downton Abbey'”, said the bride. “Were both pretty goofy people and our life together is light-hearted, relaxed and easy going. We’re not party animals, and we prefer an intimate night at the pub over a raging house party, so right away we knew we wanted our guests to feel that. Something with laser lights, crystals, and traditions was not going to work for us.”

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“We wanted our wedding space to feel warm, cosy, relaxed, simple, and tasteful. We equate cosy with old and dusty so when I found the train depot and saw original wood floors, train ticket windows, and twinkling Christmas lights, I was in love. We kept a neutral colour theme because we are not really ‘bright pops of colour’ people. The one colour we both love is duck egg blue, so that was really the only brighter colour we used.”

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“I DIYed the whole wedding. I made 400 paper flowers, collected old vases and silver trays from thrift stores. I made little envelopes for the silverware and hand-stamped them all. For the napkins I painted all the guests names on wooden tags. The day before the wedding, I set up the venue, My bridesmaids were there with me, setting up flower arrangements and chairs too. It was tiring, but when we saw our hard work come to fruition, it was so rewarding. My father-in-law and my husband made the arbour that we stood under during the ceremony.”

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“We did a first look, so luckily we got to hold each other, kiss each other, and calm each other down before the ceremony”, she explained. “However I was still a bit shaky. We were married by Elvis and he took us aside separately and asked us to go through our vows with him… I didn’t even last one sentence before breaking down! He took my hand and said ‘I really want you to live in this moment, and speak those important words to Alex slowly’, so that’s exactly what I did. I stood in front of Elvis and my husband and felt so calm, so happy, and so important. The sun was setting behind us and I felt a warm glow on me. Alex was the most poised and handsome I had ever seen him. It felt surreal, like being in the most romantic sappy movie…like times a million.”

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The bride’s dress came from BHLDN and she wore it with a leather jacket and deep, red lipstick. “My dress was by far our biggest expense because I originally had a custom one made, but when we went to get it altered, the seamstress ruined it! It was literally unwearable and not fixable so with three months to go, I scoured everywhere for something that would compare to the first dress. Then I stumbled across BHLDN. I fell in love with the long lace dress I saw, and even though it was completely different from my first, I bit the bullet, and ordered it online. It was the last one available. It was one size too big, but I wasn’t willing to go back to a tailor. When my second dress arrived, I locked myself in the bathroom, and tried it on. It was perfect, in fact it was better then my first dress! It was completely me, simple, and not too frilly. The first dress was what I ‘thought’ a bride should wear, but the universe proved me wrong and and sent me what I actually felt pretty and comfortable wearing.”

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“There’s one main thing I’d do differently if we were to plan the wedding again”, Brandi concluded. “I am a fainter and I’ve been known to pass out in stressful situations before, so I spent the whole year of planning fretting, and crying and worrying about the ceremony. I was so terrified that I would get up there in front of everyone, and hit the floor. But when the day came, and I walked the aisle, the nerves and the dizziness lifted. There was nothing but this unexplained overwhelming comfort as I looked into Alex’s eyes. I wish I hadn’t spent a year fretting over that moment because in the end, the one thing that scared me the most, was the one thing that was the most brilliant and clarifying moment of my life.”

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