A Delta Wedding with Celtic Vows

Kelli & Mike’s wedding was untraditional but oh so sweet! They were married in Cleveland, Mississippi, a small Southern town and the Birthplace of the Blues. The actual ceremony took place in an Alley between a Hardware store and a Restaurant. Yep, you read that right!  Kelli DIY’d most of the wedding details, and transformed the Alley from drab to fab with lights, a beautiful custom backdrop and flowers galore. The reception was held inside the aforementioned restaurant, which used to be an old cedar plant.

As Director of Tourism for Cleveland, I knew Kelli would have some perks but I did not expect the shoutout to their wedding day on the marquee at the Ellis Theater.  So cute!

Mike’s grandfather is from Ireland so there was a strong emphasis on Celtic traditions, such as the Celtic tying of the knots during the ceremony.  The Handfasting- as it is better known- is a simple and beautiful tradition wherein the couple is symbolically bound together with the string.

Photographer:  Kate Anthony Photography
Restaurant: Mosquito Burrito

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

SWN: So he popped the question! Tell us a little about it.

Kelli: I knew something was amiss by the way he was acting. It’s that classic “Is he going to break up with me?” thought process when he started acting so different, as I had heard from other people as well. They get so involved in all their thinking and stress that they don’t realize how they are acting to you. He is an attorney, so this was a classic case of overthinking. I just flat out asked him and he laughed so hard! I knew then things were going well. It was almost Christmas, and I just KNEW that I was not going to be fooled on the actual timing of the proposal. But he got me good. We had a big party at his house for our workout group in town, and had lots of friends and food all over the house. I was stressed, naturally, trying to play hostess, and never gave any thought to a proposal actually happening that night. A friend had even brought his camera to take pics of everyone. So when my husband Mike gathered the group together to give a short speech about our class leader, I didn’t think anything about it until the conversation turned to me. I started shaking so bad and he got down on one knee in front of everyone. It was a really special, and documented, moment and I couldn’t have been more excited. (I have actually attached a picture.) The funny thing was, he had bought our local wine store out of my favorite champagne and had it all hidden in the dishwasher because he said he knew I wouldn’t use it. So sneaky. We then had a big family Christmas the next night, so I was able to share the excitement with all my big family. It was great timing!

SWN: Tell us a little about your venue. Where did you get married? Why did you choose it? What did you love about it?

Kelli: My wedding venue actually came to me in a dream. That’s so strange, I know. But I am the Tourism Director in Cleveland, Mississippi, so I wanted to utilize the town as best as I could and showcase the area. There is a wonderful alley downtown that is used as our farmers market, as well as an art walk once a month, and I just knew it was the perfect place —Historic, chic, industrial and unique. It even had a reception venue connected to the alley, so it worked out so well. I was the very first wedding to ever take place there, but hopefully not the last!
SWN: What were some of the most important components of your wedding? In other words, what details were you most passionate about and why?

Kelli: There is a wonderful marquee in downtown Cleveland that is on the historic Ellis Theater, which was once a theater but now houses the Delta Arts Alliance. I thought it would make amazing photos to have our names featured there, and it turned out really great. Also, the flowers were very important to me, as well as making the whole evening fun for our friends and not stuffy. This was a celebration! We had Highway 61 cookies instead of a groom’s cake in homage of the Blues Highway that runs through the Delta, and a mint green and gold cake that was unbelievable. The food was gourmet mexican food from the attached restaurant, Mosquito Burrito, and everyone ate very well. There were lots of sparkly lights and chandeliers, which were amazing. Also,

SWN: Pictures. Pictures. Pictures. Tell us about the photos. What shots were important to you? Which picture is your favorite?

Kelli: I worked for an upscale lifestyle magazine for 10 years prior to becoming the Tourism Director of Cleveland, so pictures were obviously very important. I love a good candid shot that captures the emotion of the moment. These moments were so important to me because it’s natural, not posed, and can speak 1000 words. I love the photos of me and my husband dancing, as well as standing below the theater marquee. I really loved all of them so much, it is hard to pick a favorite!

SWN:  Did you choose to do something totally unique or different at your wedding? Tell us about that and the inspiration behind it.

Kelli: We actually did a couple of things. Something unique about the ceremony, was that we featured all Beatles music by violin instead of traditional tunes. We both love the Beatles, and wanted to make it personal. It turned out wonderful. Also, because my husband’s family is Irish, we include a hand fasting ceremony after the exchange of the rings as a way to bring that heritage in to the mix. The knot that was made from our tied hands will stay knotted in a nice box in remembrance of our vows.

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