Whitlows’ wedding hits it outta the park
Tiffany Jordan had a strategic game plan.
Tiffany decided on formations, fielded a dedicated team and scheduled the home field. Under the guise of a birthday party, Tiffany surprised her fiance, Louis Whitlow, with their wedding on the turf at Toyota Field in Town Madison.
Louis proposed to Tiffany on her birthday, October 30, 2018. “I really haven’t had a sense of urgency to get married and was content with our relationship,” Tiffany said. “However, I know Daddy (Louis) really wanted to solidify our relationship … ‘the right way.’”
Tiffany started to plan Louis’ 40th birthday and she realized the answer: merge the wedding and birthday on July 20. “Due to COVID-19, I figured it would be better for the guests to attend a joint celebration of the engagement, marriage and his birthday,” Tiffany said.
“Momma Lyn Knox (my ‘second mom’) came up with a brilliant idea to pretend we would wed at their lake house in August-September. Louis and I could have a wedding registry and a reason to celebrate the engagement on his birthday,” Tiffany said.
“Why a baseball field? Because the man of my dreams loves baseball. I’m unbelievably lucky to have him in my life,” Tiffany said. “He’s making an impact in lives of many North Alabama youth (as baseball coach and hitting/batting instructor),” she said. “We hit a homerun with that.”
Chanda Crutcher, a mentor to Tiffany and Louis, officiated the ceremony. Tiffany nixed a conventional bridal party but welcomed invaluable help from best friends Ashley Davis, Chelsea McKinney, Cynthia Parker and Joy Reed “who went way beyond the call of duty to ensure the day was perfect.” Tiffany did wear a ‘traditional’ wedding gown, a fit-like-a-glove design perfect for her.
On wedding day, Tiffany and their children kept the party location secret until the last minute. Art Nelson, Louis’ friend in Alabaster, Alabama, drove himself and Louis to keep the plans on schedule … “even though they were 30 minutes late!” Tiffany joked.
Most guests — immediate family, Louis’ baseball team, close friends and mentors — were excited for their first visit to Toyota Field. “It does take your breath away!” Tiffany said.
“I first thought (the event) was an amazing surprise birthday party,” Louis said upon seeing their relatives and buddies. On the field, Louis watched a video, ending with Tiffany asking, “Why not now?”
“I turned around … to an absolutely beautiful woman decked out ready to marry me,” Louis said. “All the small touches were awesome and non-traditional, which we always said we wanted. It couldn’t have turned out any better. Tiffany really hit it out of the park.”
“Love her dearly! My wife did an amazing job. Words do it no justice!” Louis said.
During the ceremony, Louis, Tiffany, her son David Faulk and his son Lamir Whitlow hit baseballs from a tee to symbolize knocking out generational curses that can hurt a marriage. “We stepped up to bat in order — David, Lamir, Tiffany and finally the head of the Whitlow household, Mr. Louis Whitlow,” Tiffany said. Simultaneously, the crowd recited “The Lord’s Prayer.”
At the reception, guests enjoyed Louis’ favorites — chicken wings, hamburger sliders, nacho bar and pasta bar. Sigh Photo Booth played music, along with LaShay B from WEUP radio who kept the party going with deejay services. Jeff White was photographer.
Decor followed a baseball theme, in addition to a tribute table for Louis’ late grandmother who greatly influenced his life. “I arranged a special table in the room for my Oma, Papa and parents,” Tiffany said. Decorations included baseballs, tealights, signage and bats. “I’m very nontraditional so I didn’t want flowers that would die.”
“As an attendee, I thought it was such a unique, out-of-the-box idea during this pandemic,” friend Alice Lessmann said. “My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
“Tiffany’s invitation told of a surprise birthday party, engagement party and a third surprise that we would not want to miss. That really intrigued us and made it all the more exciting,” Lessmann said.
“Madison now has an alternative wedding venue,” friend Ashley Davis said. “Tiffany saw a vision for the stadium that maybe they hadn’t dreamed of themselves. We love creating non-traditional revenue sources and out-of-the-ordinary events. This was a grand slam.”
“I’m still floating in amazement that (our wedding) really happened,” Tiffany said. “I hope we inspire other couples … remember that tomorrow is not promised, and we need to enjoy each and every moment together. The sky is the limit!”