An Elegant Outdoor Wedding at Aldridge Gardens in Birmingham, Alabama

A week after their four year anniversary, Taylor Schmidt (25 and an engineer) surprised Megan Smith (25 and works in sales) with a proposal in their new home. "I was on edge all day on our anniversary thinking Taylor would pop the question," says Megan. "But Taylor knew better and held off to keep an element of surprise." The couple planned a laid-back, elegant wedding at Aldridge Gardens in Birmingham, AL with a lakeside ceremony and an open air reception at the venue's outdoor pavilion. A color palette of ivory and olive green played up the natural setting and added a peaceful, sophisticated feel to the decor. The right flowers and lighting were a top priority for the couple, who used arrangements of hydrangeas, ranunculuses and eucalyptus, plus lots of candlelight to set a romantic, intimate tone. To give the affair a personal touch, Megan and Taylor introduced fun details like a Popsicle stand with their favorite flavors in lieu of groom's cake, recipe cards for guests to sign instead of a guest book to highlight the couple's love of cooking and welcome bags filled with some of their favorite things.