A light and airy Oklahoma greenhouse was the perfect setting for Brittany and Tommy’s intimate brunch wedding where XO Events + Design worked their magic with every gorgeous detail from the florals to the charming personal touches (hello adorable bicycles!) The delicious aroma of brunch food from Cafe 7 filled the reception which included the cute-as-can-be rental items from Mood Party Rentals. Thanks to Kristina Gaines Photography for capturing all the loveliness, including that stunning sparkler from BC Clark Jewelers. Cheers to Brittany and Tommy!
Photos // Kristina Gaines Photography
Written by Abby Broyles
The sunlight poured into the conservatory. The space was airy and light with a soothing peacefulness set in the heart of a historic park in Oklahoma City. Greenery and bright punches of color swirled through floral arrangements. The sounds of children laughing, the smooth voice of Frank Sinatra, and the scent of nostalgic breakfast cuisine filled the air. It was a beautiful morning for a wedding between two people whose closely aligned paths had finally intertwined.
Brittany and Tommy met in June 2016 at the Federal Aviation Administration where they both worked near the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. They had actually both worked at the FAA for more than seven years but somehow never crossed paths until that summer day when they were both picking up their kids from daycare at the facility. Brittany inquired about him, and as fate would have it, they soon met. “The moment we met, his dry wit, love for his family, and soft and easy demeanor made him so special. I literally felt like I had known him all my life, but was just waiting for him to appear in person. We hit it off quickly,” Brittany says. They spent the next several months falling in love and bonding over their experiences as single parents, in disbelief they had never run into each other in so many years working under the same roof. “I am 34 years old, and prior to me meeting Brittany, I had come to the conclusion that I wasn’t sure if I would ever meet ‘the one,’ which I was fine with. I wasn’t necessarily out searching for ‘Miss Right,’ but I was open to meeting her if she ever came along,” Tommy remembers “[Brittany] is truly ‘the one’ and only person I would want to spend the rest of my life with.”
took a trip over to Elk Mountain Wildlife Refuge near Lawton in March 2017. After a long hike soaking in the scenery, Tommy took out a stunning diamond ring and asked Brittany to spend the rest of her life with him. Brittany was thrilled and said an enthusiastic “yes” to the man who’d caught her eye less than a year before. “If ‘love at first sight’ truly exists, I believe I experienced it,” Brittany says. The couple jumped on wedding planning for a ceremony just six months later.
The couple wanted a small, simple, yet romantic ceremony. They also wanted what has become a big trend in weddings: a brunch wedding. They hired wedding planners Ashtin Rock and Haleigh Kenney of XO Flowers + Events to coordinate all the details of the big day. Ashtin and Haleigh were the ones who drew the couple’s attention to the Ed Lycan Conservatory at Will Rogers Park. Brittany initially wanted a neutral color scheme but was quickly persuaded to a bright color palette to pop against the ethereal setting of the Conservatory. While the planning process was relatively short, Brittany says her only challenge was finding the perfect gown for the big day.
The morning of September 2, 2017, fifty friends and family members arrived at Will Rogers Park for the marriage of Brittany Whipple and Tommy Neff. The ceremony site was warm with the sun shining through the glass and illuminating everything inside. “The venue looked like a watercolor painting that you would just want to sit down and enjoy,” Brittany remembers. “I was blown away how [the wedding planners] had transformed an empty room into such an elegant wedding,” Tommy remembers. The wedding party was small, just how the bride and groom wanted it. Tommy’s daughter, Aspen, and Brittany’s son, Parker, served as their attendants.
Escorted down the aisle by her father, the bride wore a short-sleeved ivory beaded gown by BHLDN with a short tulle veil, and she carried a colorful bouquet that looked like it was just picked from a spring garden. “I was a little nervous, but once I laid eyes on Tommy, I saw nothing else. Tommy was smiling like I’ve never seen him before. It was a pretty special moment for us,” Brittany says. The ceremony was traditional from the vows to the sacred scripture from 1 Corinthians about love. The couple exchanged rings and concluded the union when Tommy kissed his lovely bride.
The reception began as the bride and groom took family photos around the gardens. Guests made their way to the mimosa and Bloody Mary bars as the music started. One of Tommy’s favorite parts of the reception was the DJ’s announcement of “Mr. and Mrs. Neff.” “Because I didn’t think that would ever happen for me… [my favorite part was] walking out of the reception with the woman I would be spending the rest of my life with,” he remembers. The bride and groom shared their first dance to “Mean to Me” by Brett Eldredge. The dancing continued as Tommy shared a dance with his mother to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts, and Brittany danced with her father to “Come Fly With Me” by Frank Sinatra, a nod to his love for Frank Sinatra and longtime career as a Southwest Airlines pilot.
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee, biscuits and gravy, and scrambled eggs filled the room as brunch from Café 7 was served. It was a lively occasion with kids skipping around the gardens and longtime friends sharing stories about the newlyweds. “There were so many smiles, handshakes, [and] hugs that just filled the room with love,” Tommy says. “The lighting coming through the Conservatory rooftop was so perfect, the sun literally seemed to set off every piece of crystal, the flowers, and definitely brightened the faces of everyone there,” Brittany remembers. By the time the reception came to an end, it was afternoon. Plenty of dancing had ensued and mimosas enjoyed. Loved ones gathered with ribbon wands for the newlyweds’ big exit. The Conservatory was still bright, filled with family photos on display from the reception and plenty of new memories made there. To the cheers of the crowd, Mr. and Mrs. Neff waved goodbye to start their new life together that after so many years had finally unfolded.