As a professional wedding planner, it may come as a surprise that Alexis Duda-Garcia always wanted to elope. But when she got engaged to social butterfly Andrew Garcia, she knew they had to have a party.
Yet for Alexis, planning a wedding meant planning a wedding—and few know better what all goes into the process. Although Alexis has been planning weddings at Meadow Brook Hall for almost five years, she and Andrew began by doing their due diligence and considered other locations before selecting the venue closest to her heart.
“To host the wedding we wanted to have, I knew it had to be here,” Alexis said.
“Meadow Brook Hall holds a special place in my heart. It’s not only the place where I’ve planned and executed over 985 events, sent over 160 brides down that same aisle, and spent 40 hours minimum each week at for the last four and half years, but it’s the place Andrew got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.
It only made sense that this is where we come full circle and celebrate the most important day of our lives.”
Keeping it Simple
Right away, Alexis put some of her favorite advice for new brides to use. From their engagement in November to their wedding on August 16, Alexis and Andrew focused on the big picture.
They chose designers and florists from Alexis’ roster of favorite wedding vendors, and designed their budget toward creating memorable experiences. Alexis and Andrew narrowed down their three biggest priorities for the day to 1) décor—Alexis’ choice, 2) entertainment—Andrew loves Queen and loves to dance!—and videography—watch Alexis and Andrew’s sweeping wedding video here.
Working with her select team of wedding vendors, Alexis transformed Meadow Brook Hall’s garden tent into a vision of white: white linens, white chairs, white bar, white dance floor. Overflowing greenery added height and a hint of drama. The result was crisp lines, modern vibes and timeless elegance.
Down to the Details
Even the most detail-oriented brides rarely have thoughts on the way the napkins are folded and even fewer are willing to fold and press every napkin herself! Alexis researched and created a special seamless napkin fold for their wedding. After recruiting Andrew and her parents, she set to work ironing, folding and pressing each and every piece.
Leaving nothing to chance, Alexis also designed the 27-foot stage façade for the band and enlisted her dad, fiancé and several power tools to bring it to life.
Enjoying the Moment
For all the fun of the flowers and cake and dress, it was really the ceremony that took center stage on the big day. Alexis and Andrew were married in a heartfelt and moving ceremony in Meadow Brook’s Rock Garden.
“The ceremony was so important to Andrew and I,” Alexis said. “We wanted it to feel personal and intimate. All our family and friends talk about how special it was and it makes me smile whenever I think of it. Our day was perfect—and I was even able to put my clipboard and walkie talkie away and be myself.”
From the gorgeous garden tent setting and unique details to the hopping dance floor, Alexis and Andrew’s wedding exceeded all her expectations—and banished any thoughts of an elopement.
“I’m so glad we had a real wedding with all of our family and friends,” she said. “It was so much fun and we absolutely loved every minute!”
Photography: Kari Dawson Photography
Linens/Chairs – LUXE Event Linen
Flowers/Design/Décor – Emerald City Designs
Band – Parallel Fifth
Saxophonist – Andrew Nichols
Stationary – Ivory Isle Designs
Dress – Beckers Bridal / Designer = Allure
Suits – J. Barbaro Clothiers
Rentals – Event Source
Dance Floor – Visionary Sound Productions
Ceremony Musicians – LaCorda Ensemble
Officiant – Nichole Bertucci – A Simple I Do
Hair/Make Up – The Beauty Gals
Rings – Lucido Fine Jewelry
Refractory Table Floral – Floral Designs by Lori