Spotlight Saturday Debut: #Wedmeward


Meet Alexis


A Custom Designer for Shaw Industries

Her Something Blue: Her mother’s sapphire ring


Meet Brandon


Southeast Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child

He brought his killer spongebob dance moves to the wedding

Jumbo Paper Flowers, Vintage Birdcages, Confetti-filled programs, and Chalkboard wine bottles don’t event begin to describe the beauty behind Alexis and Brandon’s Florida wedding. Although the gold overlay embarking the sweetheart table and the pillar candles lining the mantle were details that would turn any eye, the true spotlight behind this wedding was the immense amount of support that Brandon and Alexis received to bring this day together.

“We wanted it to be about us, so we used that as our baseline. A lot of it was traditional but small elements brought in artistic, conceptual elements. I didn’t want anything to be matchy or predictable, so I stayed away from themes, and color schemes for the most part. We just chose stuff we loved and ran with it.”

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With talented friends like Ellen Sortore and Meg Strahle to pull together floral arrangements, Chris Bahamonde to design the programs, and decorations by Anita Smith and Lori Begley, Brandon and Alexis were able to pull off this stunning affair at a budget of $16,500. Beyond the decor, Alexis and Brandon added many elements to their wedding that were a direct example of their relationship together.

“Some of the highlights of our wedding included our unity ceremony (pouring raw glass material together that we will take to have blown into a glass vase), Brandon turned his back while I walked down the aisle so that the first time he ever saw me that day would be at the end of the aisle, My dad seeing me for the first time in my gown that day, the speech Brandon’s dad gave at our reception, and our first dance to Rose of my Heart by Johnny Cash.”

The “must” that Alexis had for her wedding carried her artistic feel through long after the wedding day. Alexis was headstrong about not having “posed” wedding photos. SD Photography did an amazing job of having her dream come true. Rather than having “official” pictures they went with a journalistic approach, which truly captured all of the “raw moments” throughout the day.

Meet the Support Crew


Adrianne Gargasz, Maid of Honor; Emily Carr, Matron of Honor; Alicia Wines, Bridesmaid; Jenn Ortega, Bridesmaid; Jamie Lynn Kara, Bridesmaid; Macey Waddington, Birdesmaid; Anna Ward, Flower Girl; Natalie Freed, Scripture Reading; Andrea Freed, Scripture Reading.

Jordan Ward, Best Man; Justin Gargasz, Groomsman; Austin Ward, Groomsman; Riley Fishcelli, Ring Bearer; Justin Bowersox and Hannah Prentice-Bowersox, Music.



Alexis and Brandon mentioned many times that this wedding would not have been possible without the amazing support of their friends and family. “My dad and brother, and Brandon’s family were so supportive of us and keeping things calm and on the right track. I’m so thankful for the perspective they reminded us of when things felt overwhelming. They brought us back down to earth plenty of times.” If you are involved in the wedding planning process but are not the bride or groom, it is always important to remember the stress they may be going through, not only from the wedding planning, but also from the major life changes they are about to embark on.  As Alexis reiterates, “Encourage the bride in creative ways. Planning a wedding is a huge task and there is so much going on in a bride’s headspace. She’s dealing with opinions, hiccups in planning, and stress. She needs her girls to take her mind off the crazy but still keep her on track. Some great ideas for encouraging a bride can be each bridesmaid taking a month and sending a card with handwritten encouragement and affirmation, or a gift card for a date night for bride and groom sans wedding agenda. Get creative. No one can even begin to know what planning a wedding is like until you’ve done it. I used to laugh and mock “Bridezillas” because wedding hype is so trivial in the big scheme of things. But there is just so much happening that is out of your control that it is hard to always be the most grounded individual. Be understanding and encouraging, uplifted the bride and groom regardless of what other preferences there may be.”

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Fashion + Food

“We just wanted it to taste good. We did BBQ from our favorite place,Monroe’s Smokehouse, glass bottle sodas and wine bottles at specified guest tables. I wanted everything to be the least amount of bridal it could be, especially the cake. So we just went to one of our favorite bakeries, The French Bakery, and bought a cake we loved. It was rustic yet simple and modern and our florist just added a small handful of blooms on top. I loved it.”

Both the food and the fashion were consistent with the non conventional, artistic feel of the day. Barbecue, Coke bottles, and cupcakes from Camicakes comprised the menu for the evening. Dancing commenced outside in the courtyard of the Nocatee Crosswater Hall. The fashion, although not originally what she had intended, fit perfectly with the event.

“It was everything I didn’t want but when I tried it on I loved it and decided to go with it. I only went dress shopping one day and fell in love with my dress at the first store, but bought it at the second because at the second store alterations were included. It was by Maggie Sottero, the dress was called the Marianne in blush with ivory overlay lace. I got a blush veil to match, and wore a comb with fresh flowers in my hair. For the bridesmaids, I wanted the dresses to compliment their body type. So I just decided to choose dresses for them off Weddington Way that were different shapes but all cut from the same fabric. Nothing is more distracting then when a girl isn’t comfortable in her dress/ it’s the wrong cut for her. The guys I wanted to be different from brandon but still coordinate. So we put a gray jacket with navy pants and a patterned shirt. We kept the cut modern but conservative since the groomsmen all have different personal styles. We chose a patterned shirt to keep it young and unexpected. Brandon wore a blue suit from Zara. It was a slim cut and we kept everything monochrome (all navy). The groomsmen’s shirts had a micro-paisley pattern, so Brandon’s tie had a navy on navy paisley pattern in it. Too subtle to notice but a great detail to tie it all together.”


A Word of advice from the Wards…

  1. “Just ignore peoples opinions. People make such a fuss about so many things when it comes to weddings. But it’s not about them. It’s about your marriage.”
  2. Just relax. It’s not about the brand names, or having the best, or being the best. It’s about y’all. Don’t get lost in the weirdness of wedding competition and just enjoy it.
  3. Take a month or two to just be engaged. Wedding planning can wait. Make a road trip to visit friends/family and have fun. And know what you want and follow your gut. If you want to elope then elope without question, if you want it small then keep it small, or go big. Wedding culture is so crazy now with all the resources and awesome talent out there if can be easy to get caught up in comparing decorations, status quo, or budget to other brides.

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*all photos take by SD Photography

Coming Soon: Alexis + Brandon

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“He recreated our first date… we had pizza, frozen yogurt, and then a walk on the beach, where our first kiss took place. Originally, the plan was for his brother to wrap a lifeguard chair in Christmas lights, where he would propose–but there was a bit of a snafu: his brother brought over the wrong battery-powered generator, and couldn’t plug in the lights. It’s funny to look back at it, but he was definitely stressed about it that evening. He followed through with the proposal anyway–and we shared a moment of excitement in the dark on the beach, lol. Even though it wasn’t the most perfect and theatrical moment, it was nice because it was us, under the stars, and being together.”

Early on in the wedding planning process Alexis and Brandon were able to experience that things will not always work out as planned. Alexis and Brandon both live in the Sunny state of Georgia. Brandon, 27, is the Southeast Operational Manager for Operation Christmas Child. Alexis, 24, is a Custom Designer for Shaw Industries. Rewind a few years back to a much less sunny, much more swampy borough of New York, Staten Island.

11902381_10204878364185374_9202657265084846582_nBrandon and Alexis met at Oasis Christian Center while Alexis was on tour with Holy Hands Ministries. “I (Brandon) had just moved from Florida to New York to start working as a youth pastor of a church there. She was working with an organization that did outreaches in major cities of the Northeast–and the organization worked closely with my church. We actually met the first week I was in New York, because they were staying at the church next to my office. At that time we both had a weird suspicion we would end up together–but we both weren’t really interested in each other at the time.”

Sometimes our souls have a funny way of telling us who we will end up with, even if you don’t really know it yet. Obviously, Alexis and Brandon’s attraction did grow, and as they walked through the path of dating they realized a lot about each other. Although at times it wasn’t an easy road, Alexis and Brandon’s trials and tribulations resulted with them on the beach, in the dark, with a ring on her hand, promising that they would work through life together as partners. ​

“Make sure that you have time to laugh and be silly together–life is already too serious, so don’t take yourselves too seriously.” –Brandon and Alexis Ward


We are honored to have Alexis and Brandon as our first #spotlightsaturday couple! CampbellEvents will be continuing to follow Brandon and Alexis’s marriage journey. Check in this Sautrday, September 12, to read about their journey to the altar.