A Palm Beach-Inspired Wedding with Jaw-Dropping Custom Details

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Maggie Hightower and Clarkson Smith first met at their church’s youth group in 2015. After Clarkson left to attend Auburn University, the two stayed in touch. The following fall, Maggie moved to Auburn as well, and their friendship continued to develop. Before they knew it, they had begun spending all their time together while telling all of their friends (and themselves!) that they were just really good friends. Clarkson eventually asked Maggie out on a date, and they soon realized that they were, in fact, more than just friends.

On Saturday, August 14, 2021, at 5:30 in the evening, Maggie and Clarkson were married in Birmingham, AL. Just WAIT until you see the details of this wedding!

Clarkson planned a surprise proposal at Maggie’s family lake house, a place that’s especially meaningful to her. Her family was spending Thanksgiving there, and Clarkson had told her he would be out of town hunting. The day following Thanksgiving, Maggie was sitting on the dock and heard footsteps behind her. “I turned around and saw Clarkson walking towards me, and I couldn’t get up from my chair because I was so incredibly shocked. He got down on one knee; I said “yes,” and the rest is a blur!” Maggie exclaims.

They used the talented Mariée Ami to plan the wedding soon after their engagement. “Neillie and her team were fabulous in every way,” Maggie gushes.

We are grateful to all our sponsors:

The choice for their wedding ceremony was easy since their relationship had begun at their church, Brookwood Baptist. Their youth minister married them alongside their college minister, and many of their bridal party members were friends the couple had made at the church. The reception venue was also an easy choice. Maggie’s brother had celebrated his wedding at the Country Club of Birmingham a few years earlier, and Maggie knew hers would be there too.

Maggie and Clarkson leaving their church ceremony

Maggie and Clarkson are all smiles after sealing the deal in the church where they first met.

Maggie and her 17 bridesmaids

Maggie’s bridesmaids’ dresses reflect her wish for lots of color and pattern!

Clarkson and his groomsmen

The groom and his groomsmen looked quite dapper!

When it came to her wedding aesthetic, Maggie knew she wanted a lot of color and pattern. “I was inspired by the patterns of Palm Beach and the stylistic tone of Slim Aarons’s photography, which incorporates pops of bright colors. Eventually, I decided on chartreuse being the primary color for our wedding, and we decided to complement it with baby pinks, olive greens, powder blues, and dainty yellows. Chartreuse was at the bar, the stage, and on our wedding paper, and I felt like it added the perfect punch to the reception,” she explains.

The bridesmaids’ dresses showcased a heavy concentration of color and pattern from multiple designers, and they were hand-picked by the bride. The table linens were dripping in a floral motif, as was the floral fabric at the reception entrance and on the exterior furniture.

Flowers were another integral part of Maggie’s wedding planning process. “I wanted to have visually interesting arrangements that felt fresh and in no way predictable,” she says. “Our incredible florist, Beth Jordan of The King’s Garden, along with the Mariée Ami team, spent many hours brainstorming ways to execute this vision.” The result was whimsical yet sophisticated floral panels that hung at the entrance and were staggered artfully behind the band. Additionally, there were hanging florals above the bar, acrylic vases with long sprigs of flowers, and asymmetrical arrangements positioned throughout the reception space.

Maggie and Clarkson's wedding stationary with a floral motif.

Guests received this gorgeous floral invitation suite, created in-house by Mariée Ami.

Maggie and Clarkson's floral panels hung at the entrance

Stunning floral panels hung at the reception entrance and behind the band.

The reception space at a Birmingham wedding, complete with a chartreuse bar.

Behold the reception space in all its glory! The bar and stage were painted chartreuse for the special day.

We are grateful to all our sponsors:

Photos hanging on a curtain at Maggie and Clarkson's wedding in Birmingham.

Mariée Ami incorporated traditional and meaningful details, such as this hanging gallery wall of Maggie and Clarkson’s family members on their respective wedding days.

Wedding florals are suspended from the ceiling.

Maggie knew she wanted visually interesting florals that felt fresh and unexpected. The King’s Garden and Mariée Ami certainly delivered.

To find her wedding dress, Maggie went straight to Heidi Elnora Atelier. Heidi’s team designed a custom gown with hand-sewn lace, floral appliques, a detachable train for the ceremony, and a peplum piece for the reception. The addition of the peplum piece, complete with a dainty ribbon, was the perfect playful touch. She kept the rest of her bridal look simple with Loeffler Randall heels, a broach, and a handkerchief wrapped around her bridal bouquet that has been used for over five generations of Hightower women’s wedding days.

Maggie getting ready with her mother

Maggie’s custom Heidi Elnora Atelier dress featured stunning hand-sewn lace and floral appliqués.

Maggie's bouquet with heirloom broach and handkerchief

For her “something borrowed,” Maggie wrapped a handkerchief with a broach around her bouquet. The pieces have been used for over five generations of Hightower on their wedding days!

Maggie and Clarkson stealing a kiss

The bride and groom steal a kiss.

On August 14, 2021, after a traditional Christian ceremony at Brookwood Baptist, guests made their way to the Country Club of Birmingham for a cocktail hour. They were greeted with signature drinks — margaritas and blackberry mojitos — and snacked on the couple’s favorite appetizer, Conecuh sausage with pimento cheese and Wickles Pickles. Stations throughout the room served delicious bites such as chicken fingers, fries, and a summery watermelon and feta salad. After the meal, the newlyweds cut a gorgeous vanilla wedding cake with pastry filling made by Magic Muffins.

The happy couple twirled to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” for their first dance. “Anyone who knows me knows I can’t resist a dancefloor, so I thought the song was very fitting,” Maggie tells us.

We are grateful to all our sponsors:

Party band City Heat truly brought the heat, keeping the dancefloor packed all night long. Halfway through the reception, Maggie changed into a short party dress, and a headband made using her mom’s veil. HappyHats, the bride’s own hat brand, were passed out to guests, as were late-night snacks of grilled cheese sandwiches accompanied by Toomer’s Lemonade and bushwhackers, nods to the couple’s time at Auburn University.

Signature drinks and a four-tier wedding cake.

Guests were greeted by blackberry mojitos and margaritas, the bride and groom’s signature drinks. The gorgeous cake from Magic Muffins was also on display nearby.

Maggie and Clarkson Birmingham Wedding reception

The newlyweds hit the floor for their first dance together as husband and wife!

Guests enjoying the reception as they party on the dance floor.

City Heat brought the house down.

Maggie and Clarkson kiss in front of a floral wall.

“I took my mom’s veil from her wedding day, and I had it made into a headband that I wore with my outfit change,” Maggie says of her getaway outfit.

At the night’s end, Maggie and Clarkson made their departure through a shower of rose petals. Cookies from a friend’s company, Sweet Flo’s, were passed out as wedding favors, offering guests a snack for the road. After their tropical honeymoon in Cancun, the couple returned to Birmingham to adjust to newlywed life.

To future brides, Maggie adds, “push the envelope and plan things that are outside the box! You’ll never regret doing something different than what you have seen before — whether it’s wearing a punchy outfit or incorporating unique design elements. Do what is authentic to you and make it fun!”

Maggie and Clarkson depart their wedding reception.

Cheers to Maggie and Clarkson!

Thank you so much, Maggie and Clarkson, for recreating this special day for us. And thanks to Clark Brewer for the fabulous photos.



Ceremony: Brookwood Baptist Church
Reception: Country Club of Birmingham
Wedding Coordination: Mariée Ami
Photographer: Clark Brewer
Floral design: Beth Jordan of The King’s Garden
Stationery: Mariée Ami
Hair and makeup: Kerri Bunn
Bride’s gown: Custom Heidi Elnora
Bride’s shoes: Loeffler Randall
Groom and groomsmen attire: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
Catering: Country Club of Birmingham
Cake: Magic Muffins
Entertainment: City Heat Entertainment


Discover more fabulous wedding inspiration in our archives HERE!


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