Here’s their wedding story:
The Back Story
It was Stuart Ann’s freshman year. She packed up her life and moved to North Carolina to Davidson College. She moved into her dorm and met lots of new friends including Justin Goldberg, a veterinary student. They shared a mutual love of animals and the outdoors and became friends very fast, spending much of their free time together. Apparently, it was clear to everyone but the couple that their friendship should actually be a relationship… and soon, they were a couple. They dated throughout college and vet school and knew they’d get engaged at some point.
Over Christmas break in 2010, the couple went on a camping trip to the Everglades and had planned to spend New Year’s Eve there. Stuart Ann had no idea that Justin had spoken with her father over the Christmas holiday and asked his permission to marry her. She also had no idea that Justin had a ring designed for her with a diamond that had belonged to his grandmother and he planned to pop the question on New Year’s Eve… but that was just too long for him to wait. The day before New Year’s Eve, Justin and Stuart Ann were sitting by their campfire when Justin said he could not wait and popped the question, asking Stuart Ann to be his wife. The couple had a long engagement since they were both in school and Stuart Ann wanted to really be able to enjoy the whole wedding and the process of planning it with her mother.
Since the bride-to-be was away at school, her mother helped pull together many of the wedding details. Stuart Ann wanted to marry in the church she attended in Birmingham, Cathedral Church of the Advent in downtown Birmingham. Once the church was secured, she settled on Mountain Brook Club for the reception.
She wore a lovely all lace Elizabeth Fillmore column gown with a trumpet skirt from Ivory and White in Crestline paired with a cathedral length veil with lace appliqué trim and pale ivory TOM’s wedges. Her “Something Blue” was a gorgeous blue sapphire necklace which had been her Grandmother’s. It was passed down to her namesake, Aunt Stuart who has the same birthday as Stuart Ann.
The bride and groom, along with her father share a love of the outdoors and since the wedding was inside, they wanted to find a way to bring the outdoors inside. Most of the wedding flowers including the bride’s bouquet were made from wildflowers her father grew for the occasion. Carole Sullivan of Lagniappe designed the bouquets and the flower arrangements which were made to look like blooming gardens.
Diane Olexa from Olexa’s Cakes and Catering designed the five-tier wedding cake decorated with vivid purple wildflowers as well as Justin’s groom’s cakes… a replica of a tree stump in the forest.
The bridesmaid gowns were from Bella Bridesmaid and the tuxedos were from Mr. Burch Formal Wear in Mountain Brook.
The couple made their getaway in Stuart Ann’s father’s Polaris which had been decorated and was waiting for them on the lawn of the club. Stuart Ann said their favorite part of the day was seeing all of their many friends all together again since so many now live in other parts of the country.
Stuart Ann and Justin are at home and happy in Athens, Georgia where she is in Veterinary School.
Written by: Martie Duncan, Wedding Expert, Food Network Star
STUART ANN VARNER & JUSTIN GOLDBERG
May 19, 2012
CEREMONY: Cathedral Church of the Advent
RECEPTION: Mountain Brook Club
Davidson University freshman Stuart Ann Varner from Birmingham, Alabama was busy moving into her dorm and settling into her new life as a college student. Little did she know that her new dorm neighbor Justin Goldberg from Savannah, Georgia would become her husband one day… but it happened!