Something Borrowed, Something Blues: A Traditional Wedding with a Sporty Twist

By Grace Bueckendorf
In Culture

THE STOLEN PROPOSAL Brittany Plufka and Ryan Atkinson had known each other for seven years before Ryan proposed in December 2014. They were high school sweethearts turned college couple turned lifelong friends.

After Brittany and Ryan’s wedding, they went to Forest Park on an innocent mission to take their wedding photos. And then something magical happened: Brittany met Louie the Blues mascot. It was pure luck—like something you might see in a movie. Louie was filming a commercial for the Blues, and Brittany was capturing the most special day of her life. What started out as her and Ryan’s wedding day ended up being the day photographer Ray Prop eternalized the moment Louie got down on one knee and promised forever to Brittany.

Louie the Blues mascot pretends to propose to bride Brittany Atkinson. Louie happened to be filming a commercial at the same time as Brittany and husband Ryan had their wedding photo shoot. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

Louie the Blues mascot pretends to propose to bride Brittany Atkinson. Louie happened to be filming a commercial at the same time as Brittany and husband Ryan had their wedding photo shoot. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

Not really. Well, the photo does exist, but it was all in good fun. Brittany and Ryan are die-hard hockey fans—even the grooms’ cake bore the Blues logo—and were excited to see that Louie was in Forest Park at the same time they were taking their wedding photos.

Even so, Brittany jokingly says that it should’ve been Louie at the end of the aisle instead of Ryan. Hey—even the most traditional brides have to have a little fun on the big day.

Ryan and Brittany, the now-married couple enjoyed a classically elegant church wedding, mirroring the simplicity and beauty of their loving marriage. Read about their wedding below, but first, the fine print:

The couple/ Brittany and Ryan Atkinson
Current age/ Brittany—25; Ryan—27
Occupations/ Brittany—Store Manager at J. Crew; Ryan—consultant support coordinator
Engagement date/ December 2014
Wedding date/ October 3, 2015
Ceremony site/ Ascension Catholic Church
Reception venue/ Deer Creek Club

Newly wed couple Ryan and Brittany Atkinson embrace in Forest Park after their October 3 wedding. The pair crossed paths in high school, and have been in love ever since. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

Newlywed couple Ryan and Brittany Atkinson embrace in Forest Park after their Oct. 3 wedding. The pair crossed paths in high school, and have been in love ever since. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

THE PROPOSAL Brittany admits that she knew she was going to marry Ryan. They had known each other for so long, and she knew he was the one.

However, she had no clue he was planning to propose when he did. Ryan wanted to avoid the cliche Christmas proposal, but he also couldn’t wait to ask Brittany to be his wife. So, Ryan planned to propose almost exactly a week before Christmas.

First things first, Ryan asked Brittany’s father for her hand in marriage. Brittany says her father jokes that one of the hardest things he’s done is keeping news of the couple’s inevitable engagement a secret from Brittany’s mother.

Then, there was the actual proposal. Ryan picked Brittany up from work to take her to dinner at her favorite restaurant—Rockfish in Dallas, Texas—and then made sure her favorite movies, the Harry Potter series, were queued and ready when they got home.

As it turns out, they didn’t end up watching the movie, because Ryan couldn’t wait. And, of course, Brittany accepted Ryan’s invitation to grow old together.

CORRESPONDENCE PLANNING The first thing Brittany planned was the reception venue. The first person she called after Ryan proposed was her mom, and the first thing her mom said was that she was going to have to call Deer Creek and book the reception venue.

This is how much of the planning went. From the spectacular Artistry flower arrangements and bouquets to booking the Saks Fifth Avenue hair and makeup artists, much of the planning was done by Brittany’s mother.

The first thing Brittany and her mother planned for the wedding was the reception venue. Brittany says Deer Creek Club was rustic and chic without being overdone. She also says the hydrangeas put together by Artistry added to the ambiance. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

The first thing Brittany and her mother planned for the wedding was the reception venue. Brittany says Deer Creek Club was rustic and chic without being overdone. She also says the hydrangeas put together by Artistry added to the ambiance. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

Brittany and Ryan were Dallas for Ryan’s job, but they wanted to celebrate their big day in the 314. Planning had to happen by asking Brittany’s mom to go to various locations and scope out potential leads, or her mother just took it upon herself to do it.

While she left it up to her mom to plan a lot of the wedding, Brittany took special care with choosing the dresses.

“The construction and the material was very important to me—just making sure it was something—there’s so much polyester and stuff like that [and I wanted something a little more well-made],” Brittany says.

She ended up going with a silk taffeta Amsale gown from Saks Fifth Avenue in a graceful candlelight color. She wanted the bridesmaid dresses to mirror the bodice of her gown. She chose simple black J. Crew dresses with an illusion top in the same shape as her dress.

While she had to phone in a lot of the planning for her STL wedding because she was in Dallas, bride Brittany Atkinson says the selection of her dress was very important to her. She tried on many dresses, but ended up choosing the silk taffeta Amsale gown you see here. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

While she had to remotely work on a lot of the planning for her STL wedding because she was in Dallas, bride Brittany Atkinson says the selection of her dress was very important to her. She tried on many dresses, but ended up choosing the silk taffeta Amsale gown you see here. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE Tradition was quintessential to Brittany’s idea of the perfect wedding. As such, she took the old proverb very seriously.

For new, she had her silk Amsale gown. For blue, she had a blue monogram sewn into her dress. For old and borrowed, she took diamonds from her mother’s wedding bands and a pair of  her late grandmother’s earrings and had them placed into settings she picked out at Adler’s for her and Ryan’s wedding bands.

“Just because of the setting, our jeweler had found had one extra diamond left over,” Brittany says. “So I put that on the inside of Ryan’s band. So you can’t see it, but it touches his finger.”

DOWN THE AISLE For Brittany, simplicity was key. Nothing was overdone. Her dress was stunning and sophisticated, the black-and-white color scheme was tasteful without being bland and her hair fell in beautiful ringlets framing her face.

Bride Brittany Atkinson says one of her favorite parts of her wedding day was seeing Ryan's big smile as she approached the altar. Brittany and Ryan had been dating for seven years before their 2014 engagement. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

Bride Brittany Atkinson says one of her favorite parts of her wedding day was seeing Ryan’s big smile as she approached the altar. Brittany and Ryan had been dating for seven years before their 2014 engagement. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

When she walked down the aisle of Ryan’s family church toward the love of her life, nothing else mattered. It didn’t matter that she showed up to the ceremony slightly behind schedule, forcing her bridesmaids to form a wall so guests wouldn’t see her. It didn’t matter that she didn’t have time to write Ryan a letter that morning, like they had planned. All that mattered was that she and Ryan were about to start their life together.

THE RECEPTION Everything at the reception went according to plan—the Mahi-Mahi and beef tenderloin were made to perfection, the hydrangeas Artistry put together were lovely and the venue was rustic without being cliche.

Brittany and Ryan Atkinson's wedding party consisted of close friends and siblings. The way each member had their area of expertise was especially helpful in the planning process as well as during the wedding, Brittany says. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

Brittany and Ryan Atkinson’s wedding party consisted of close friends and siblings. The way each member had their area of expertise was especially helpful in the planning process as well as during the wedding, Brittany says. (Photo courtesy of Ray Prop)

But Brittany says her favorite part of the wedding was the wedding party. Everyone had their area of expertise. One bridesmaid had a massive emergency kit ready to go. Her maid of honor made sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. Ryan’s best man gave a speech so funny and so kind that Brittany made him text it to her line by line after the wedding.

“They were all kind of perfect,” Brittany says. “I think our wedding party was just so wonderful … It was our group of friends, part of the family. So everybody got along really well and that was awesome.”

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