It was a scene of shared faith and blossoming love: Stacey Kathryn Griffith and Micah David Sims, enjoying a long conversation under a starlit African night sky on a missionary trip during the summer of 2007. This scene was repeated many times during the pair’s excursion, and eventually led to romance, and, in 2010, a surprise proposal on a Florida beach.
On the evening of New Year’s Day, 2011, the couple—she, a master’s student at Fuller Theological Seminary; he, a student at Loyola Law School—wed in an outdoor ceremony at Discovery Green, officiated by Micah’s minister father and a close family friend. The bride wore Monique Lhuillier’s stunning “Sunday Rose” gown from Joan Pillow A Bridal Salon as the couple exchanged wedding bands.
While Kelly Hornberger photographed the bridal party, guests enjoyed a cocktail hour on the deck of The Grove restaurant, located at Discovery Green. Fresh from their photo session, “Micah and I prepared a signature drink alongside The Grove’s bartender—our own take on ‘sweet tea’ vodka,” recounts the bride.
Inside The Grove, guests found their places at tables decorated with a mix of moss-covered and wooden vases filled with pink, lilac and white flowers, along with glowing votives. Atop the bridal party banquet table, a 13-foot-long split-log centerpiece, filed with flowers, vines and votives, made for a noteworthy conversation piece. Other decorative room touches included trees hung with votive candles and white birch trees strung with photos of the bride and groom, accentuated by lighting from Bright Star Productions.
Guests selected their menu choices from stations serving filet mignon, roasted chicken and broiled gulf flounder; following dinner, they enjoyed cake from Susie’s Cakes & Confections. Later, they received a warm-up in the form of fresh scones, paired with apple cider from Williams-Sonoma—where the couple had also registered for gifts, along with Macy’s and other retailers.
“Our reception, looking back, was more fun than we could have imagined,” says Stacey. “The night ended with confetti and cheering as many of Micah’s friends shouted, ‘Best wedding ever!’” And Micah says he’ll always cherish the memory of “taking communion at the altar with my bride-to-be,” and “our first dance together to Ray LaMontagne’s ‘You Are the Best Thing.’”