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Between the Boxwood

Real Hazen Bride: Mary-Ashley Kurian


Real Hazen Bride: Mary-Ashley Kurian

Mary-Ashley Seabrook and Arjun Durian wed on Friday, October 15, 2021
at Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, Tennessee

In three words, describe your wedding style?

Elegant, vibrant, and autumnal

What provided the most inspiration for your wedding?

Aesthetically, the jewel tones of fall that we get to play up against the deep blues and champagne of our table linens at the reception and the metallic look of the dew-drop-colored bridesmaid dresses were a huge inspiration for the fall wedding I have always wanted! More than anything, the inspiration was the heart of the day, the whole purpose of it all – our marriage! The planning and the event are the cherry on top of the inspiration God gave us in August 2020 when Arjun and I first went on a walk together. The Lord’s inspiration propelled the thought that we might have more of a connection than only being godparents together, and step-by-step He has guided our path to clarity and confidence of our calling to spend our lives together. At the end of the day, that’s enough inspiration for a lifetime.

What aspect of wedding planning was most exciting to you?

Arjun is originally from India and his family is spread out over many countries (parents in India, sister’s family in Sweden, cousins in Canada/Australia/England) and because I have lived in several states where wedding guests would be traveling from (Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, and Missouri) it was important and exciting to us to plan an experience that honored our guests’ role in our lives and the effort and time it took to travel to celebrate with us. From including some “barbeque-tinis” and a peanut butter & chocolate dessert at the rehearsal dinner to represent the Memphis BBQ scene and Elvis, to placing a priority on maximizing face-time with people at the reception, we really wanted the occasion of our marriage to be conjoined with special, intentional reunions with people from all seasons of our life. It was thrilling to fill in the “holes” of people we had heard about in each other’s lives and to be thoughtful in anticipating spending time with those people as we planned. [And just in case you’re wondering, Arjun and I met because we’re godparents to the same little girl. Our paths crossed because of her parents and the rest is history!] It was also a joy to do all of the prep together. Arjun is not the “hand it over to the bride and I will just show up” kind of guy. As he said, “it’s our day and I want to plan it together,” which meant that every part of planning from picking the food for the rehearsal dinner and reception, to selecting the scripture for the ceremony, and our cake flavors was more meaningful because both of us were invested in the process and anticipating how it would all come together on the wedding day.

What made you decide on Hazen for your big day?

It was barely a decision at all when you call the Hazen founder a dear friend! Taylor and I became connected through my mom who met Taylor at a trunk show at Gild the Lilly in Memphis in 2011. My mom called and said she had given my number to a jewelry designer who was going to be a freshman at SMU (where I attended) the next year. While I wanted to tell my mom to stop giving my number so freely to people (!!), I am so glad she passed it along to Taylor. We became friends in college and that friendship has continued to the present. I would be so bold as to put myself up as one of her greatest and consistent “friend-customers.” I was a faithful attender of her house shows in college and whenever I am in Dallas, I love to pop in the Hazen store. There was only one place to go as I thought about bridesmaid earrings, my earrings, and gifts for my flower girls and future mother-in-law. It is SO special to support a friend’s business and simultaneously represent our friendship as Hazen jewels pop on many pairs of ears walking down the aisle!

Wedding Vendors 

Ceremony Location: Christ United Methodist Church. My great grandfather, James Seabrook, helped start the church in 1955 and one of the worship spaces is named after him. It’s very meaningful to be getting married in Seabrook Hall and to be the first ceremony to ever take place in the space!

Reception Location: Memphis Botanic Garden – the indoor/outdoor experience of Hardin Hall offered the space we needed while giving multiple atmospheric options for our guests. We loved offering some lounge furniture and string lights for the outdoor part of the party! Planner: Ellen Thomas (Oxford, Mississippi) Ellen is a delight and made the process fun, calm, and joyful. Her personality helped the marriage stay at center stage because I had confidence she was going to work out the details of the event and make it a wonderful affair to celebrate the commitment at the heart of it all!

Event Design: Memphis Botanic Garden and White Door Events

Floral Design: John Mark Enterprises. John Mark met all expectations for a creative, innovative, and personal floral experience. He is flexible and easy to work with – completely unassuming characteristics for someone so talented.

Wedding Dress Designer: Allure Bridals (I found my dress and the bridesmaid dress at The Bridal Path in Jackson, Mississippi).

Bridesmaid Dress Designer: Mori Lee

Hair Stylist: Juve Salon (Memphis) Jodi Rochelle has been doing my mom’s hair since she was pregnant with me! Jodi and Annie from Juve came to the house on the river all the girls were getting ready at and Annie took care of the bridesmaids, while Jodi did my hair, my mom’s, and sister’s.

Makeup Artist: Heather Boutique (Memphis) Mallory was our makeup artist and she came highly recommended from the owner, Heather Balkunas. The Heather products are light weight and meant to last the length of the wedding day without weighing on your skin!

Invitations: Stovall Collection (Memphis) From the invitations for the wedding and rehearsal dinner, to the ceremony programs, thank you notes, and the monogrammed cups and napkins at the reception, Stovall’s product quality was impeccable and their contributions received much praise from our guests!

Cake: The Flour Garden (Memphis) Laura Jackson is an absolutely magnificent cake artist! After her cheesecake and groom’s cake were hits at my brother’s wedding, I knew the right person to turn to when it was time to think about cake! The wedding cake was always my favorite part of a wedding as a child (and now!), so it was an important part of the planning experience for me. My cake was a mix of banana chocolate chip, vanilla, and chocolate cake, while Arjun had four separate cakes – red velvet, caramel, almond cake with raspberry filling, and strawberry. We had a little something for everyone!

Photographer: Taylor Square Photography (Oxford, Mississippi) Ann-Marie Wyatt was professional, organized, and focused from the start. One of the things I loved about her is that she photographs with the wedding album in mind and gives you options for the album as you’re picking a package. She is a one-stop-shop, which was such a benefit to working with her!

Entertainment: The Jeremy Shrader Band (Memphis). Arjun and I decided that because our wedding was going to include so many out-of-town people we don’t usually get to see, we wanted our entertainment to be high-class and enjoyable, but have the ability to complement the party instead of taking it over. This Hollywood jazz band was the perfect choice to let our dancers have some freedom to do their thing, while Arjun and I got to enjoy the background music as we mixed and mingled.

Anything else you'd like to add: Don’t underestimate the advantages of a Friday wedding! Because we wanted a shorter engagement, we had to be a little strategic about our date since we knew Saturdays in the fall were filled by the time we were engaged. A Friday gets you a price break at most venues (and for sure a price break on doing a Thursday night rehearsal dinner) and lets guests enjoy your wedding while still having their weekend left to spend some time at home or make a trip out of coming into town!

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