The Meridian Star
Keely Elizabeth Phillips and James McAbee Sexton were united in marriage on the evening of April 13, 2013, at First Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The candlelit ceremony was officiated by Father Rick E. Byrum of Los Angeles, Calif.
The bride is the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Mark Theodore Phillips of Meridian. She is the granddaughter of Mrs. Ouida Joseph of Vicksburg, and Mr. and Mrs. Donald Joseph of Ridgeland, and Mrs. Florence Phillips and the late Mr. Carl Phillips, both of Brandon.
The bridegroom is the son of The Honorable and Mrs. Edmund Manges Sexton Sr. of Los Angeles, Calif., and Tuscaloosa, Ala., respectively. He is the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Leroy McAbee Sr. of Tuscaloosa, Ala., and the late Mr. and Mrs. James Joseph Sexton Jr. of Columbus, Ohio.
Music for the ceremony was provided by organist Mrs. Jane Joseph, aunt of the bride; soloist was Elizabeth Joseph, cousin of the bride, both from Clinton. Pianist was Mrs. Barbara Smith and violinists were The Lamb Family, all from Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Escorted by her father, the bride wore a couture Lazaro gown of Ivory English tulle and silk. It featured a sculpted bodice with a sweetheart neckline, a circular chapel-length skirt, a delicate scalloped hemline embellished with elaborate silver hand beading and accented with Swarovski crystals. She wore a matching Lazaro cathedral-length veil. She carried a bouquet of white peonies and roses, hand-tied with a ribbon of rhinestones. She created and designed her second bouquet with vintage and heirloom brooches that were given to her by her grandmother and great- grandmother. This was used at the rehearsal and on display at the reception.
Attending the bride as maid of honor was her sister, Alexandra Anne Phillips of Oxford.
Bridesmaids were Renee Nicole Barone of Chicago, Ill.; Frances Elizabeth Berry of Memphis, Tenn.; Emily Mareth Jemison of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Ashley Ann Joseph of Vicksburg; Elizabeth Sellers Landis of Greenville, S.C.; Babe Ruth Peckham, Carol Ann Peckham, Leah Ashley Peckham all from Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Rachel Elizabeth Poindexter and Melissa Billings Wood, both from Birmingham, Ala. Attendants wore a Grecian style gown with sequins and beads designed by Adrianna Papell.
Flower girls were Jordan Cate McAbee and Dakota McAbee. Ring Bearer was Leroy McAbee III. All are cousins of the bridegroom and from Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Edmund Manges Sexton Sr. of Los Angeles, Calif., stood by his side as best man.
Groomsmen were James Winchester Attridge of Washington, D.C.; Evan Austin Charnov of West Hollywood, Calif.; Matthew Edward Clinton of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Christian Godoy of Darien, Conn.; Richard Allen Henry of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Garrett Bentley Jemison of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Ruben Olmos of Bellflower, Calif.; Ryan Gilbert Ortiz of La Habra, Calif.; Jason William Pearson of Long Beach, Calif.; Taylor Paul Phillips of Starkville; Edmund Manges Sexton Jr. of Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Mason Taylor of Vincennes, Ind.; and Ashley Wayne Weeks of Decatur, Ga.
Following the ceremony the bride’s parents hosted a reception at Water Oaks Farm. The main foyer featured the vintage bridal gowns of both mothers and the maternal grandmother of the bridegroom. The reception area was completely draped in white fabric and featured a Southern gourmet cocktail dinner catered by Pretty Presentations of Meridian. Guests enjoyed music by Compozition and the couple left the reception in a 1959 white Jaguar.
On the eve of the wedding, the bridegroom’s parents hosted a rehearsal dinner honoring the couple at the Cypress Inn Pavilion in Tuscaloosa. Friends of the bridegroom’s family hosted a brunch for out-of-town guests at Indian Hills Country Club on the morning of the wedding.
The couple is at home in Los Angeles, Calif., where the bride is currently a student at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and owner of Malick and Grace Vintage Jewelry. The bridegroom is employed by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and is currently earning his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Southern California.