In 2008, Laird, an event planner, and Ross, a financial analyst, met while watching a University of Virginia football game at a local bar in New York City's West Village. The Virginia natives tied the knot three years later on Sea Island, Georgia. The affair included a weekend full of events, and a festive, casual, and Southern rehearsal dinner, on Friday, August 12, 2011.
Following a the first course of Caesar salad, guests went to the adjacent covered porch to load their plates with food from a Southern buffet. It included chicken fried steak, shrimp and grits, slow-cooked beef brisket, marinated tomatoes and cucumbers, creamy horseradish coleslaw, red bliss potato salad, green beans with almonds, and corn muffins. For dessert, a caramel cake was served. Laird often ate this sweet on her August birthday.