It’s not every bride that can thank her mother for picking the groom. In the case of Rachael Alexander and Bill White, mom knew best. Rachael’s mother Donna Alexander and Bill’s friend Candi Tate were co-workers. They thought that the two would get along famously. After some convincing, Rachael decided that she would go along with her mother’s plan and agreed to a blind date with Bill. It only took one date for her to know that her mom was right.
The two dated for a year before Bill popped the question. In what would become a theme in their wedding, Bill wanted family to be a part of his proposal. He had his niece, Sarah White (future flower girl), take the ring to Rachael and ask her if she would marry him. The automatic answer was yes!
Rachael and Bill immediately started planning their fall wedding. Having to work around the Auburn football schedule and Bill’s schedule as a professional baseball player was no task for the weak. But, they soon settled on November 21, 2009, at the Opelika Marriott at Grand National.
The couple wanted a wedding that was focused on family and friends. To that end, nearly everything in the wedding had some sort of personal connection. The flower girl carried the same basket used in the wedding of Rachael’s parents. The basket was wrapped in the bride’s baby bonnet made by her grandmother. Bill honored his grandmothers who were unable to travel to the event by wearing the floral corsages meant for them. Their minister, Dale Peterson, also performed the wedding ceremonies for Rachael’s parents and brother. Pianist Sylvia Gossett was Rachael’s piano teacher. Even the wedding bands were family pieces. Each of their bands was their respective parent’s wedding ring, resized and dipped in silver.
A warm atmosphere filled the grand hallway at the Marriott where 200 guests gathered to watch the ceremony. Rachael’s dad walked her down the long and dramatic aisle to meet the large bridal party and her waiting groom. The bride carried a bouquet of lilies, roses, hydrangea, solidago, daisies, orchids and mini calla lilies. Her attendants carried hydrangeas and daisies. The groomsmen complemented them with mango mini calla lily boutonnieres. All the flowers were from the New Blossom Shop.
After the ceremony ended, guests entered the ballroom to a full buffet dinner presented by the Marriott’s catering staff. As the bride and groom entered the reception to have their first dance, a slideshow of their childhood pictures played.
Then, Rachael and her dad presented a treat for their guests. A choreographed dance that they had practiced for months kept everyone clapping for more. “That dance was one of my favorite memories of the wedding,” Rachael says.
Rachael and Bill spent their time at the reception enjoying all the family and friends that had joined them. It was just as they had planned it.