July 13, 2019

How We Met: Matt and I (Payton) met in the second grade when I transferred to Shades Mountain Christian School. Matt was actually my first crush at my new school, but it was known that no girl could get THE Matt Darnell! We ended up growing up together until I transferred to Mountain Brook in the ninth grade, but that’s actually where our story began. We started dating then and have stuck together ever since.

The Proposal: My family was planning come up to his family’s lake house on Smith Lake, but they were running behind so Matt and I decided to get gas for the boat. When we got back to the house, we walked up to the point of the yard, and that’s when Matt took my hands and started saying the sweetest things to me as he was getting down on one knee. After that, to my surprise, my family, his family, and my best girlfriends all ran out of the house to celebrate with us, and they had the house decorated from head to toe with pictures and treats for us.

The Dress: Boy was it a journey to find the dress! We spent a weekend in Birmingham looking several places and had no luck. Then we took a girl’s trip to Atlanta and finally found the one! That was one of my favorite memories of the process and even inspired me to become a bridal consultant.

Favorite Moment: We decided to not have a first look and see each other for the first time down the aisle. It made the ceremony so intimate and meaningful. My uncle Brian also got his marriage license to marry us, which was very special for us. We also had a short rain shower during the ceremony, and the sound of the rain hitting the tent was just magical.


  • Venue: Hamilton Place at Pursell Farms
  • Wedding Planner: BKwed Events
  • Florist: BKwed Events
  • Caterer: Pursell Farms
  • Cakes: Pursell Farms
  • Videographer: Hampton Road Studios
  • Invitations: Southern Engraving
  • Wedding Dress: Sweet Elegance Bridal
  • Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu
  • Hair & Makeup: Brittany Massey
  • Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Mr. Burch Formal Wear
  • Music: Fly By Radio
  • Linens: I Do Linens