Special touches make couple’s wedding day unique
By Jennifer Gentile
Chris Garrett’s marriage proposal was the most meaningful moment his bride-to-be, Alexis McAuliffe, could have imagined.
The couple, who met while working at The Chimneys restaurant in Gulfport, were visiting Alexis’s grandmother in Massachusetts for her 85th birthday. There in the home where Alexis’s late mother had grown up, the groom got down on one knee and professed his love for her and her family.
He then presented her with her grandmother’s engagement ring.
“My grandparents were married for 55 years before my grandfather passed away from a short battle with lung cancer, and I have always admired the love they showed each other,” Alexis says. “The ring itself symbolizes the unconditional and immense love I saw my grandparents had for each other and reminds me to love my husband unconditionally.”
After graduating from Mississippi State University and moving home to the Coast, Alexis started working as a hostess at The Chimneys — where her husband remains the executive chef. She fell for his fierce loyalty and protectiveness — “not only (to) me, but also everyone he cares about.”
On their wedding day — Sept. 28, 2019 — the pair exchanged vows they’d penned themselves. “Chris isn’t a ‘feelings’ guy,” Alexis says, “so it meant a lot that he was able to write his own vows that were incredibly sweet.”
Chimney’s owner Sophie Nord, who has known Chris for over 20 years, officiated the ceremony. When he was 16, Chris stated at Chimneys as a dishwasher, working his way up to chef, and Nord has become like family to the couple. They also consider their lab/chow mix an important family member and included him in the wedding party.
As she walked down the aisle alongside her brother, the bride was carrying a picture of both her parents around her bouquet and wearing a medical pin that had belonged to her dad, a U.S. Army veteran who died four months before the wedding.
“Also, toward the end of the night, Chris gave a speech about my dad …,” Alexis says. “He thanked my dad for making the night possible, and we all toasted to (him).”
The bride shared a dance with her godfather, who was her dad’s best friend since they went to medical school together. All the sentimental details, she says, made the day unique to her and her new husband.
In their relationship, Alexis acknowledges that she tends to be laid back while Chris is more serious.
“We are complete opposites,” she says, “but I think we balance each other out perfectly.”
Photographer – Lisa Tilley, Pass Christian
Ceremony and reception venue – 5eleven Palafox, Pensacola, Florida
Florist – Pine Hills Floral, Pass Christian
Caterer – Classic City Catering, Pensacola, Florida
Liquor – Classic City Catering, Pensacola, Florida
Makeup – Robin Malone, Gulfport
Hair – Tiffany Feasler of High Maintenance Salon, Gulfport
Jewelry – groom’s ring: Pav & Broome, Gulfport; bride’s earrings: “something borrowed” from Sophie Nord (given to her by her late parents); bracelet: Christmas gift from groom; necklace: a thumbprint of my dad’s
Shoes – Badgley Mischka
Wedding gown – Bridal and Formal Boutique & House of Tux, Gulfport
Tux – Bridal and Formal Boutique & House Tux, Gulfport
Bridesmaid dresses – assorted
Musician/Entertainment – Brooks Hubbert and friends
Clergy/officiant – Sophie Nord (owner of The Chimneys in Gulfport and “sister” to groom)
Rentals – Classic City Catering and 5eleven Palafox
Cake – Bluejay’s Bakery of Pensacola, Florida
Invitations – Minted
Rehearsal Dinner – Sogourmet Pensacola, Florida