Never underestimate the power of a grocery store run-in. Helena native Laura Leoppard and Marvell native Clay Dubach grew up knowing of each other, but not really knowing each other. Their paths didn't cross until one day in November 2015 he spotted her from across the aisle at the grocery store. He immediately got her contact info from a mutual friend and they went on an official date a few weeks later.
Two years later, Laura and her friends were getting antsy for Clay to propose. The couple went on a trip to Rosemary Beach with her best friend, Madelyn, and Clay worked with Madelyn to set up a surprise beach proposal. Under the ruse of taking beach pictures before dinner, Clay proposed to Laura in front of their friends.
The couple wed in a perfectly Southern ceremony on March 24, 2018, in Helena. Laura's calls her wedding style "shabby chic." They relied on the talent of friends and family to make their wedding day dreams come true. The day included abundant greenery and a romantic flair.
Here are a few snaps of Laura and Clay's big day and the stories behind them:
On the bridesmaid looks: "When I envisioned a spring wedding with a garden/greenery vibe, I pictured my bridesmaids in something light and flowy. Their dresses were exactly that with a sweetheart neckline and off-the-shoulder sleeves. I, like most brides, went to Pinterest. I kept coming back to these dresses with off the shoulder details, so that’s what we went looking for. When we went to try them on and they looked good on everyone, I knew that was the one!"
On having a DIY wedding: Our wedding was a labor of love. Big, well-known vendors were not used other than the DJ and photographer (Jo was my grand-big in Chi Omega at the U of A). The wedding was what it was due to our two small communities coming together. The day was only possible due to family and friends who contributed time and talents to make the day special. Our wedding cakes were a gift from Mrs. Carol. The drinks for the reception were a gift from my older brother. Two of my bridesmaid’s family helped cater food. My mother-in-law’s good friend played the piano for the wedding. My mom’s friends Norma and Mary helped decorate, set-up, and tear down. Mrs. Norma provided linens, pew bows, decorated the arbor, helped make food and SO MUCH MORE. Mrs. Norma is my fairy godmother."
On wedding florals: "I wanted a full bouquet with light/neutral flowers and flowing greenery. The Blossom Shop provided that and added a rose gold ribbon detail around the middle of the stems. The bouquets consisted of white roses of various sizes, eucalyptus leaves, and exposed stems. The boutonnieres were a single white rose with a touch of the rose gold ribbon."
On the ceremony venue: “Clay and I both grew up in Baptist churches. It was important to us as well as our families that the venue reflected our upbringing. My grandmother, who I’m named for, is no longer with us, but we felt it would be important to her especially as her church was her world. Second Baptist is not our home church, but they were gracious enough to host us so we would have a big enough space. Fun fact: The preacher that married us is the grandson of the preacher who baptized me and my mother.”
On their first dance song: "When Clay and I first began dating, I was still in college at the University of Arkansas, about 3 and a half hours away. We dated long distance for most of the time before we got engaged. The distance put us through many ups and downs, so when we heard John Legend’s 'Stay with You,' and how he described staying together through all of the ups and downs, we felt that was the match for us."
On the cake: "Our wedding cake was a simple, three-tier, textured vanilla cake with buttercream icing. Greenery surrounding each tier and it was topped with a rose gold topper. Clay’s groom’s cake was a two-tier chocolate cake with a Chicago Cubs theme — his favorite baseball team since he was 7."
On having a small-town wedding: My other favorite moment was right before my dad and I walked down the aisle. My brother looked at me and said, 'It’s a packed house!' Clay and I have so many sorority and fraternity friends who are so spread out now after college. Plus, we live in a very small-town area. We just couldn’t fathom how far everyone traveled and how much effort they put in to celebrate us. We felt so special."
Photographer: Jo Johnson Photography
Event planners: Kelly Leoppard, Norma Thrift & Mary Cunningham
Day-of coordinator: Karen Schwantz
Florist: The Blossom Shop, Helena
Cakes: Carol Catlett
Caterer: Helena Country Club; Prince of Pork BBQ
Drinks service: Messina’s Wine & Spirits, Helena; Helena Country Club
DJ: Central Arkansas Entertainment, Little Rock
Save-the-dates & invitations: Ann’s Bargain Bridals
Programs: VineWedding via Etsy
Bridal boutique: Low’s Bridal & Formal, Brinkley
Bridesmaids attire: Low’s Bridal & Formal, Brinkley
Groom/groomsmen attire: Men’s Wearhouse
Jeweler: Blue Nile & Zales
Hair: Micah Harper
Makeup: Scout Mauch