Sheridan Layne Barnes and William “Liam” Francis Grace III met during the first weekend of Mardi Gras in 2008; while Sheridan was living in North Carolina and Liam in Dallas, they were set up on a blind date through a mutual friend. They hit it off and began dating long-distance for a year and a half. Sheridan made the move to Texas and one year later Liam proposed. The two were married three years to the day from when they first met.
The couple wasn’t able to celebrate their second anniversary, but Liam made Sheridan believe they were taking a belated celebration trip to Austin. On their way out of town, Liam convinced Sheridan to stop by the Mansion on Turtle Creek, a classic hotel in Dallas, to visit friends. When Sheridan entered the room she was speechless: There were dozens of bouquets and rose petals covering the room and Liam was on his knee to pop the question. She said “yes” and they spent the rest of the evening sipping champagne with some of their closest friends.
Sheridan and Liam married January 29, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. at the University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, N.C. The couple decided on Chapel Hill because Sheridan is native of North Carolina and she earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of North Carolina.
Sheridan wore an elegant, all-lace, trumpet-style wedding dress with a champagne sash at her waist, topped with a chapel-length veil, also lined in lace. Her mother, Sheila Barnes, wore an all-lace dress when she had gotten married; Sheridan had always envisioned herself in a similar style on her wedding day.
Her bridesmaids wore long, navy chiffon Lela Rose dresses with empire waists and rosettes that lined the scooped-neck collars. Leslie Barnes Jenkins, Sheridan’s sister, served as her matron of honor. Sheridan also had two flower girls in the wedding: Hannah Grace Joyner, a second cousin, and Anne Cameron Prieur, Liam’s niece. The flower girls wore ivory silk dresses with empire waists and navy sashes with their initials monogrammed on the front.
Liam wore a custom-made black tuxedo with light herringbone stripes, a black tie and cummerbund, a studless shirt with gold cufflinks and black lace-up shoes.
His groomsmen also wore black tuxedos with a black tie and cummerbund, silver studs and black lace-up shoes. Robert Downman Grace, Liam’s brother, served as his best man.
The reception was held at the historic Carolina Inn Hotel, which is in the heart of the University of North Carolina Campus. The Inn is a historic landmark in Chapel Hill – it was built in 1924 but was renovated to its original grandeur. Sheridan and Liam love to stay at the Carolina Inn Hotel anytime they visit Chapel Hill.
The ballroom where the reception was held was already beautiful on its own, but the couple wanted to incorporate simple yet elegant floral arrangements. They selected a color scheme of ivory, green and touches of pale peach for the flowers. The arrangements included roses, hydrangeas, orchids and calla lilies.
The hotel provided catering for the reception; there were a carving station with filet, a pasta station with several options, an assortment of fruits and cheeses and a variety of seafood including salmon, crab cakes and shrimp. Hors d’oeuvres were also featured before the reception began. Champagne and wine were served during the cocktail hour and liquor and beer were served during the formal reception.
Sheridan decided after a few tastings that traditional buttercream cake was her favorite. The cake she chose was made of five circular layers and featured white orchids cascading down its sides.
Time for Change, a North Carolina band, provided the music entertainment at the reception. Sheridan and Liam had seen them at several different venues before they were engaged and the band was at the top of their list. The couple’s first dance was to Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love.” The first time Sheridan met Liam’s family was in Sandestin, Fla., and for most of the weekend the family played Van Morrison. Now, when Sheridan and Liam hear a Van Morrison song they remember the time they spent dating long-distance, when they first fell in love.
Immediately after the reception, the happy couple headed off for a two-night stay at the Fearrington House, a resort outside of Chapel Hill. On February 12, 2011, the grandmother and parents of the groom hosted a second reception for friends and family at their home in New Orleans. Guests dined on delicious food by Patty Constantine, who catered the event, and they danced the night away to the band BRW. Liam was still working on his master’s degree, so the couple didn’t get a chance to take a real honeymoon until the end of May, when they spent 16 days touring Italy and France.
Sheridan and Liam are currently living in Uptown New Orleans and are working on renovations to their new house. Sheridan works for Iberia Capital Partners while Liam is working in commercial real estate.