North Fulton resident brings personal style to fashion designs
By Michelle Martin
Long before launching Wylee fashion designs in 2006, Leighanne Littrell had a love for fashion at an early age — often playing “Fashion Show” with her older sister, Suzanne, when they were little girls. “We would dress up in our mother’s skirts, put a belt around them, and wear them as dresses. We looked so great and grown up!” Leighanne says. “Even then, I guess we had a knack for taking something we already had and making it into something new, even better, with a simple twist of our own.” As the sisters grew older, they parlayed their at-home “Fashion Show” talents into modeling professionally for local department stores.
Leighanne’s flair for fashion, creativity and ingenuity emerged again when she custom designed her own baby bag for her infant son, Baylee, now 12. With a busy travel schedule supporting her husband’s career in the entertainment industry (Brian Littrell, with the Backstreet Boys), Leighanne often found herself dissatisfied with the baby bags available on the market at the time. “Diaper bags weren’t as stylish then as they are now. Almost everything for boys had some type of character on it,” she says. “I couldn’t find anything in a stylish design, durable fabric, and with the function that I needed, especially when flying or traveling with my son — something large enough to carry and protect his Boppy pillow for nursing, diapers, bottles, blankets, toys, and my own personal items. Finally, I decided to make my own bag with all the features that I needed.”
With no sewing experience of any kind, Leighanne started by buying a basic sewing machine, a simple pattern, and some fabric. “I took Shop Class in high school, not Home Economics. I didn’t even know how to thread a needle!” she says. “But, our grandmother was a great seamstress who made beautiful clothes and draperies. Maybe there’s a little bit of her in me.” After tweaking different patterns and trying different fabrics, Leighanne had custom designed several backpacks and cross-body bags that she and her husband used while traveling and at home. “It was important for me that the bags not only look good but also be versatile and made of quality, durable fabric that would last for years,” she says, adding that family and friends soon requested their own bags.
A clothing designer in Los Angeles also took notice of Leighanne’s custom bags and encouraged her to sell them to the public. “I always had that idea in the back of my mind, but I didn’t know how I could do it as a busy mom and wife. So, I started with a small production of different bags and sold them through my website, Wylee.com. Everything just grew from there.”
Wylee by Leighanne Littrell has expanded to include a variety of bags and totes in versatile styles suited for women and men, along with clothing and accessories for kids, teens and misses. A new line, Wylee B&G, offers unisex-style pants, T-shirts, and turtlenecks that feature classic lines and fabrics that complement both women and men. “I’m very hands-on in every part of the business,” Leighanne says. “I wear and carry every piece before it goes into production to make sure the style and fabric will work for consumers. If I don’t like something about it, chances are consumers won’t either. So, I might cut something out here or add something there — whatever it takes to make the piece better.”
Style, fit, function and value always have been at the heart of every Wylee by Leighanne Littrell design. “I try to keep the price points realistic. There’s something for every budget — from a $15 scarf to a $1,000 leather-embossed backpack, and lots of great items in between,” she says. “It’s also important that the items be versatile and durable. I try to choose wearable fabrics that won’t wrinkle or require costly dry cleaning. I also like to design pieces that can be worn several different ways and can transition from day to night, casual to dressy, so that consumers get three or four items out of a single piece.” Clothing is available in sizes XS-XL, as well as some larger custom orders. In addition, every Wylee by Leighanne Littrell piece is made in the United States.
One of the most popular and best-selling items is Wylee’s Faux Wrap Dress, available in a variety of solid colors and patterns. While she loves the classic wrap dress, Leighanne says she wanted to put her own twist on it and make it even better. “The classic wrap dress is prone to fly open with a strong wind and the tie can come loose, so it’s not always a practical choice. Our Faux Wrap Dress offers the same look in a more wearable style that women literally can just throw on and go. It’s a great dress that looks good on different body types; the different patterns are very flattering and forgiving.” Other Wylee favorites include the Maja La Playa Dress, which is named for a loyal, longtime customer and features a tank-style top and a flowy skirt; Fabby Pants, which look similar to dressy yoga pants and come in funky retro patterns; sequined shorts; hachi T-shirts; and Wylee’s signature backpacks, just to name a few.
New fall fashions include a three-quarter-inch-sleeve dress with a cow neck, available in black and three other patterns; a turtleneck dress; and the Shirley Ann Blouse, which features sheer, flowy sleeves and can be worn over a tank top, dress, shorts, or leggings. Leighanne is also excited about the new Wylee B&G line. “We tested the pieces out on women and men to make sure the styles would work for both,” Leighanne says. “For example, we took special care in designing the pants pockets so that they won’t look ‘hippy’ on women. Men can wear the longer Wylee B&G shirts with pants or jeans, while women can wear them over leggings or with a belt for a great look.”
All of Wylee by Leighanne Littrell designs are available on Wylee.com, as well as through the Wylee mobile store — a Wylee-wrapped Airstream trailer filled with fabulous Wylee fashions, which usually can be found wherever Leighanne’s husband is performing. “We’ve had great success through our online and mobile stores, and our customers have been instrumental in promoting Wylee just by word of mouth,” Leighanne says. “But, now we’re ready to take Wylee to the next level.”
Leighanne’s sister, Suzanne Grover, recently joined the Wylee team to market the brand to new opportunities. “I am so proud of what Leighanne has done with Wylee,” she says. “I am excited to be a part of Wylee and to help it to expand into new areas. Growing up, we always said that Leighanne is the spark and I am the flame. Now it’s time for Wylee to blow up!” Suzanne says she hopes to bring Wylee into retailers, boutiques, and area pop-up stores for the holiday season. “It’s easy to sell something when you believe in it. I’ve been wearing Wylee designs for years.”
Suzanne, Leighanne, and their families live in the North Fulton area and support a number of charitable organizations, so naturally their expansion efforts include promoting the Wylee brand locally. “It would be fantastic to make Wylee more known throughout our own community and to see more people wearing Wylee,” says Leighanne. “We are incredibly blessed and find so much inspiration from everyone around us. It is important for us to try to be an inspiration to others as well and to give back.”
Wylee by Leighanne Littrell
12460 Crabapple Road,
Suite 202-365, Alpharetta
404-368-1222 | 404-368-3746 Wylee.com
*U.S. and international shipping available
Oh how I have been dying to show you today’s feature! We’ve got allllll the pretty, romantic details from the vow renewal celebration between Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell and his wife of ten (!) years, Leighanne. Held at their beautiful Atlanta home, the night was themed “Barbie Meets Joe Black” — now is that a theme, or what? Get ready for synchronized swimmers, FOUR outfit changes, to-die-for details and two very special performances….Planning by Soiree Catering and Events and shot by Ben Vigil, sit back with that second cup and enjoy.
What inspired the theme or style? Leighanne’s love for that time period, their vows, family and friends.
Can you give us an overview of the event? 10 Year Anniversary wedding vow renewal at the couples private home outside of Atlanta for the couples closest friends and family. Seated dinner and dancing, synchronized swimmers in the pool during cocktail hour, and fireworks to cap off the night.
Was there a specific theme or style? Barbie meets Joe Black, Pink,Black and Silver was the color scheme.
What were your playful twists that made the event unique? Synchronized Swimmers for cocktail hour with custom suits by Wylee, Leighanne’s designs. Old Fashioned Champagne Cocktails, and Fireworks. The couple gave Wylee scarved as favors to the guests.
What kind of energy did your entertainment give the event? Music ranged from Sinatra tunes to a live pianist, and a solo from the Backstreet boy himself, Brian Littrell. The guests were dancing all night!
Tell us about the food and desserts. Soiree Catering and Events kept a classic theme throughout the menu, as well as some of the couple’s favorite items. Passed hors d’oeuvres included Calamari, Southern Greens with Goat Cheese, Cured Salmon in Cucumber Cups, and Flatbread Bites with Grilled Chicken, Rosemary, Sundried Tomatoes and Feta Cheese. The Seated Dinner began with an Appetizer course of Seared Sea Scallops over Succotash salad. The main course included Filet Mignon and Georgia White Shrimp, along with our layered Gruyere Potatoes and Asparagus. Mark Lotti with Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes designed and made the cake, which was covered in handmade sugar flowers- it was just stunning!
What was the most memorable moment? When Brian serenaded Leighanne with a special song he wrote for her, “Ten”, representing all the years they have spent together. Their son Baylee also jumped onstage and performed a few songs of his own.
If there was one thing you could change, what would it be? The rain! As soon as guests entered the tent for dinner, the down pour started. At least they were all under cover in time- but we always wish for clear skies.
Posted in Article on Aug. 17th, 2013 | Comments Off on Brian Littrell Vow Renewal by Ben Vigil Photographers
Expectant dad, Backstreet Boys star Brian Littrell, is excited to discover that his wife Leighanne will be giving birth to a boy.
The singer, 27, and his 33-year-old spouse are expecting to welcome their first child at the end of the year, and although they have yet to decide on a name for their offspring, they’re excitedly preparing for the addition to their family.
Littrell says of the pregnancy, “We were a little surprised, but it’s a good time because our schedules are lightening up a little bit.”
“I’ve always wanted kids. I have a great relationship with both of my parents and now I want to share that with my kid. I’ll have to pass out gifts this year at Christmas.”
Posted in Announcement, Baylee on Jul. 21st, 2013 | Comments Off on It’s A Boy – Sept 2002
It was a happy rite of passage for Baylee Littrell: His first tooth wiggled free in late February after a fried chicken dinner at the Johnboy’s Home Cooking restaurant near his home in Atlanta. “The tooth fairy came!” Baylee says proudly. “He brought me a dollar.”
At age 6, Baylee has had to endure much scarier milestones. Two months earlier the son of Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell and his wife, Leighanne, an accessories designer, was hospitalized after a series of symptoms — high fevers, full-body rash, swollen lymph nodes, and blisters that coated his throat — tortured his little body.
The diagnosis: atypical Kawasaki Disease, an inflammation of the blood vessels that in extreme cases can lead to aneurysms and sudden death. Says Brian: “We didn’t know what we were dealing with until we found his coronary artery three times the size it should be.”
Mark Leibowitz for PEOPLE for use on CBB
It took doctors almost two nerve-racking weeks to correctly diagnose Baylee. “You feel helpless as a parent because you’re relying on people who are educated about these things,” says Brian, 34, of the frustration he and his wife of eight years felt as doctors tested for, then eventually ruled out, strep throat, hand, foot and mouth disease, and an allergic reaction to antibiotics.
Although Baylee was traumatized by the needles and tests, he remained in good spirits, which comforted his parents. “He got a sponge bath, and he goes, ‘This is the life!’ He was amazing,” says Leighanne, 39. But “I knew there was something really wrong.” So she spent hours online researching her son’s symptoms and even suggested to doctors that it might be KD. (John Travolta’s son Jett, who died at 16 following a seizure, had the disease as a child.)
But that too was initially ruled out because Baylee’s case wasn’t typical. “Everybody doesn’t come in with textbook symptoms,” explains family friend and pediatrician Greg Cabrera, one of eight doctors who worked on the case. “Baylee didn’t fit all the criteria. It was very, very difficult.”
To read how atypical Kawasaki Disease was diagnosed and to see another photo, click below.
Mark Leibowitz for PEOPLE for use on CBB
The Littrells were also worried about what Baylee called “heart strikes,” occasional electrical feelings in his chest.
(Brian could relate: He was born with a heart murmur and underwent open-heart surgery at 23; he later founded the charity Healthy Heart Club for Kids.)
They insisted that doctors at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite hospital perform an echocardiogram — an ultrasound of Baylee’s heart — which solved the mystery and may ultimately have saved his life.
“Without the echo they were going home that day,” says Cabrera. “It stopped everybody in their tracks.” (In a follow-up visit, the Littrells say Baylee’s cardiologist told them the chest sensations Baylee still feels are unrelated to KD.)
Immediately Baylee began the standard treatment of a 12-hour course of IVIG, a medication designed to reduce arterial inflammation.
He was sent home less than two days later with orders to rest and take aspirin to prevent clotting, and just a week later, tests showed his coronary artery had already started to shrink.
Seven weeks later it was even smaller. “Baylee’s cardiologist thinks he’s going to make a full recovery and be able to do whatever he wants,” says Cabrera.
These days that means school (he’s taught at home), karate (he’s now an orange belt) and entertaining guests with his impersonation of TV mega-minister Joel Osteen. Aside from tiring more easily, “Baylee is pretty much back to normal,” says his dad. “It’s been an emotional roller coaster. Fans all over the world were praying for Baylee. We felt that love.”
Meanwhile the Littrells hope other parents can learn from their experience. “Never give up,” Brian says. “Doctors are not always right, but they are there to help. Be an advocate for your child.” Adds Leighanne, “I don’t know how we could love him any more, but we do. Every day is a gift.”
What is Kawasaki Disease? The condition, named for the doctor who first described it in 1967, causes inflammation of blood vessels, including the coronary arteries. It has no known cause and is diagnosed in about 4,000 Americans a year (usually boys ages 2 to 5 and children of Asian descent). Symptoms include fever over 102 degrees for more than five days, rash, red eyes and mouth, and swollen lymph nodes.
It’s been a trying week for singer Brian Littrell and his family following the hospitalization of his son Baylee and the six-year-old’s subsequent diagnosis with atypical Kawasaki’s Syndrome, an inflammation of the arteries around the heart.
Not only have Brian and his wife Leighanne had to deal with this personal matter, they’ve had to do so in the media spotlight, which often gets details wrong in the rush for a juicy bit of news.
“There were a lot of stories going around, a lot of wrong information on what was going on,” Leighanne tells OK! in an exclusive interview. “I had heard stories that his heart had hardened or people thought he had cancer, and I just didn’t want it to get so blown up.”
But it’s not just the press that’s been wrong with the details of Baylee’s story. According to Leighanne, before doctor’s reached the Kawasaki’s conclusion, the boy had been diagnosed with everything from strep throat to hand, foot and mouth disease.
One small positive thing Leighanne is taking away from the massive media interest in Baylee’s condition is that it’s a chance to educate people about the facts and fictions surrounding Kawasaki’s. “What I’d like to do is talk to some people about what we went through and make parents aware of our steps and actions so that maybe their kid won’t get misdiagnosed.”
Now that Baylee is home for the holidays, the Littrells are attempting to get back to a normal life. “We’ve had probably the craziest six days of our entire life and I hope that that’s the worst it gets,” says Leighanne. “Baylee’s just running around in his Batman costume and he’s feeling so much better and his attitude is fantastic.”
Of course, all this distress has taken its toll on the actual gift-giving part of Christmas, something the Littrells are trying to make up for now. “We’re trying to order a Santa because we’ve been in the hospital for so long,” she tells OK!. “We didn’t get to shop or anything because we were in the hospital so now we’re shopping last-minute for all his family members.”
So what do Brian and Leighanne want to see under their tree on Thursday morning? Just their little boy. “We’re literally thanking every minute of every day because it’s actually the best Christmas present we’ve ever gotten.”
Be sure to pick up the next issue of OK! for the entire story of little Baylee’s battle.
Leighanne Littrell, wife of Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell, has just launched her own line of bags. Being a mom, she understands all too well the diaper bag dilemma — there is just no such thing as a perfect one. So she designed her own, one that met all her needs and then some. She describes her inspiration on her wyleebags.com site.
After I had my son [Baylee Littrell], we started flying with him by the age of 3 months. I was breastfeeding at the time and used a breastfeeding pillow. I loved having the breastfeeding pillow on the plane with me because it was perfect for Baylee to sleep on as well as to feed him on. The only problem with this is that the pillow is a funny shape and I didn’t have a bag that would hold the pillow and all the other things that go into a diaper bag: diapers, baby wipes, medicines, etc.
So one day I bought a sewing machine (I never sewed on one in my life) and took a sheet and started making a bag. I made the pattern and started using the bag. Before long I worked out the kinks and viola, I had the perfect bag for me. People would give me compliments and I ended up making a few for gifts, and then started selling quite a few.
What started as a desire for the perfect diaper bag has expanded into a complete bag line of back packs, hand bags, handy sacks, clutches and of course the diaper bag! The diaper bags come in a backpack style because Leighanne loved having her hands free when toting Baylee around.
I made this diaper bag a backpack for a reason. Often I would use a carrier to hold Baylee so I could have my hands free, not to mention that babies seem to really like them. And when we would travel, it was great to have him on my front and the diaper bag on my back. The diaper bag stays secure so when I lean over it doesn’t fall off my shoulder. I still have my arms free! Alas, I can still hold tickets, purchase food,……whatever and not have to put anything down or worry about holding Baylee.
The name of the line, Wylee Bags, was inspired by her son as well, Baylee’s full name is Baylee Thomas Wylee Littrell. The prices range from $336 to more then $600 and she is still working on launching the site. When all is said and done it looks like she will have bags, bag charms and a jewelry line.
Posted in Article, Wylee on Jul. 21st, 2013 | Comments Off on Backstreet Boys Brian Littrell’s wife Leighanne launches bag line – November 2007
Leighanne Littrell knows a thing or two about traveling around the world with a pop star husband, Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys and baby, Baylee Thomas Wylee, now 5, in tow. It’s no wonder that she created the Wylee Bags line. CBB got the chance to pick 38-year-old Leighanne’s brain about her new bag line and her family life in an exclusive interview.
In the Bag:
My son inspired me to make my bags. We used to travel a lot and I was breastfeeding. And we had the Boppy and it was so great on planes because I would just sit him right there and he would just breastfeed during takeoff and landing. The [Boppy] was so awkward, and the only bag I could find looked like a little suitcase. So I came home and said, “We have to go buy a sewing machine. I don’t know how to sew, but we’re going to do it.”
I got a machine and a sheet and I just cut out a pattern and started working on it. I literally, at one point, had pinned a ribbon from one side of the Boppy to the other and carried it on my shoulder to get through the airport. It’s so awkward, but yet your lifesaver when you want your hands free.
So that’s the reason why I did the baby bags. I could put my Boppy in there and have the whole entire middle section for diapers, bottles or whatever you need to put in it. Then the front pockets are for cell phones or your keys … so you can get to them easily. more…
Posted in Article, Interview, Wylee on Jul. 21st, 2013 | Comments Off on CBB Exclusive: Leighanne Littrell discusses Wylee Bags and her family – March 2008
Former Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell and his wife, Leighanne, were confronted with the horror of an unknown disease, as their 6-year-old son, Baylee, broke out in a full-body rash in early December, with blisters in his throat and a 103-degree fever.
After numerous tests and three misdiagnoses, the couple asked doctors to perform an echocardiogram, which showed damage to Baylee’s coronary arteries. It was determined that Baylee suffered from atypical Kawasaki disease. He’s been released from Atlanta’s Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital after receiving treatment, and now Brian and Leighanne are reaching out to other parents. “If you feel like something is wrong, follow our instinct,” says Leighanne, who talks to OK! about the fight for her son’s life.
OK!: How is Baylee doing, now that he’s home?
Good. He is running around in his Batman costume, feeling so much better, and his attitude is fantastic.
OK!!: When did he first get sick?
Around his birthday, Nov. 26. He felt nauseous and had diarrhea. His grandpa also noticed his lymph nodes were a little swollen. Baylee wasn’t running a fever, so we let him have his party. We went to the doctor, who diagnosed him with strep throat and put him on amoxicillin.
OK!: But the symptoms didn’t go away?
We spent an early Christmas with Brian’s family in Kentucky. On the way back home, Baylee had a fever of 103. We took him to the doctor, and he had blisters in his throat. He was diagnosed with hand, foot and mouth disease, a viral illness that causes blisters. But he developed a rash on his body, and the doctors then thought he had erythema multiforme, a reaction to the amoxicillin. We got home, and the rash looked like a chemical burn; his eyes were swollen shut. We went straight to the emergency room.
OK!: What were you thinking at this point?
Well, you’re frustrated. There is no way you can believe a doctor who is telling you to go home and this will go away on its own. But Baylee had said he had been feeling these little heart murmurs – he calls them “heart sparks.” So Brian and I wanted him to have an echocardiogram. The doctors rolled their eyes, like, “They’re just being paranoid parents.” But the results came back and showed damage to his coronary arteries, and inflammation. He was finally diagnosed with atypical Kawasaki disease.
When Brian Littrell and wife Leighanne renewed their vows on September 11, they were not only renewing their love for each other after ten years of marriage, but also celebrating their lives on a day most consider to be a somber anniversary.
Now parents to Baylee, 7, the Backstreet Boy, 35, and his bride, 41, tell all about the celebration and reveal why September 11 is special to them, how they keep their marriage strong and where they see themselves as a couple in ten more years.
Why did you choose to renew your vows? Brian: I think it’s rededicating one another’s life to each other, and showing that we are for marriage, we are for togetherness, we are for family. I think that signifies a lot of things in today’s world. Me, being a Backstreet Boy, and traveling the world and how people glorify the entertainer’s life … they also like to glorify how things fall apart tragically a lot in our world that we live in. In rededicating our vows to each other, it signifies how in choosing a companion and in choosing to love one in the first place, you want to be able to continue to be able to re-choose them and choose them over and over and find new ways to love them. After ten years and over thirteen years together, we still choose one another. I think that speaks volumes to what our love represents.
Why did you choose September 11? Brian: It’s funny. We were trying to do it the weekend before, but the Backstreet Boys were wrapping up our Canadian and U.S. leg of the tour – of the This is Us tour. We wanted to have more time to prepare when we got home. It ended up falling on September 11, and what is signified about September 11 is not only were we celebrating our vows and renewing each other, but we were also celebrating life.
My wife Leighanne was scheduled to be on the American Airlines flight that morning out of Boston to California on the morning of September 11. The Backstreet Boys had just performed five sold-out nights at the Fleet Center there in Boston, and we were traveling to Toronto. My wife had scheduled to fly on the American Airlines flight back to L.A.
We as a group lost one of the crew members, a gentleman by the name of Daniel Lee, who was traveling on that same flight to surprise his wife for the birth of their second child. He went into the towers with the plane.
It’s amazing how it all worked out. If I did not have my wife, I wouldn’t be married, I wouldn’t have the life that I have and I wouldn’t have my wonderful baby boy who’s not a baby anymore – he’s going to be eight-years-old.
It’s a celebration of life with how it fell on that day. It’s a meaningful time in our lives. I think we celebrated two anniversaries almost.
Why did you get out of the flight, Leighanne? Leighanne: The craziest thing was the night before I had this horrible feeling. I told Husband – you weren’t Husband yet, were you? – I told Brian “I feel really, really bad about going. I don’t know what it is.” He was like “Leighanne, you’ve got an audition, you’ve got a dentist appointment, you’ve got all these things to go back for – you just need to go.” And something kept telling me “you can’t go.” I can’t explain the overwhelming feeling in my soul that there was no matter what I couldn’t get on the plane.
I broke down to him and said “I can’t do it.” He goes, “well, God, if you feel that strongly about it, cancel it.” My family and friends thought I was on the flight, so the morning of, we happened to be sleeping in, and our phones were ringing like crazy. We got up in time to see the plane that I was supposed to be on hit the tower.
That’s incredible. What special touches did you have that made the ceremony personal? Brian: Everything. [laughs]
Leighanne: Husband seems to think that one of the greatest things was our son got to walk down the aisle to celebrate ten years together. We want to celebrate family and celebrate love. Like Husband said, you don’t get enough of that in our industry anymore. Everywhere we go, we make our situation love, life and happiness. We surround ourselves with it. On this occasion, we invited 80 people who are close friends to us who always support marriage and love.
A crazy idea we had had – I was swimming in a pool one day, and I said ‘oh my gosh, Husband, we need to have synchronized swimmers in our pool!’ Because we enjoy our home and our love so much that we love to make things special and make things eventful. Pretty much everything we do, we do with everything we have – with all our hearts and souls. We started planning this fun, crazy party that everyone would enjoy and that would be a surprise to us all.
We started with synchronized swimmers in our pool because we love what old Hollywood represents as far as talent and the real meaning of Hollywood where it was not just about being famous, but it was about what you could bring entertainment-wise.
Brian: And being classic as well.
Leighanne: Yes, the class. Bringing the class back. It was all about class.
Brian: When Leighanne and I were first married, we had a beautiful reception on the whole fourth floor of a top-notch hotel. It was an amazing event, and it was an amazing time in our lives, but I’ll tell you Leighanne and I both, looking back on our ten-year anniversary, we had more fun then than we had at our very own wedding.
It’s cool to be in the situation where – everybody should be in that situation – where they can do whatever they want when it comes to spending time with those that they love. Having the right company there, and having the event and what they want going on. We had a huge, big band – an eight-piece band. It was so cool. All our guests kept saying “it’s like old Hollywood.” Leighanne and I kept being reaffirmed all night that that’s exactly what we wanted from the evening. We had tap dancers, we had a beautiful renewing of our vows. A good friend of mine, Matthew Crouch, his family owns the Trinity Broadcasting Network … he held the ceremony for us. It was cool.
We had the luxury of having our beautiful boy walk down the aisle with us, and signify how two can become one and become better at the same time. But now we’re three.
Leighanne: We had tappers and singers who did a number to Heaven Hop. We had another Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin-style singer, and then we had a dancer. So we had acts in the middle of it all, so it was like being at a Broadway show. When we were eating, we had entertainment. It brought everybody in and made them feel comfortable and not feel intimidated but have a good time. It was important to have people around us and help them enjoy and feel comfortable but also have a good time.
What did you think of the cake? Leighanne: Our cake was amazing. The gentleman at Classic Cheesecakes, Mark, that did our wedding cake … ever since he did our first cake, he’s done all of our cakes since then. He is amazing. He’s done Baylee’s birthday cakes, our shower cakes, our Christmas cakes. It’s amazing. They taste as good as they look.
What flavor? Leighanne: They had Bailey’s Irish Cream. They were all pound cakes – vanilla and a Heath Bar.
How did the Heath Bar version taste? Leighanne: It turned out well. This is the first time he’d done it for a party, so it actually turned out well. My pediatrician loved it. [laughs] He dove right in.
What was the highlight of the evening? Leighanne: Baylee singing Jackson Five. Baylee got onstage and pretty much stole the show.
Brian: I think the highlight of the evening was the ceremony and the intimate setting of how everything came together, and the whole atmosphere. I think the whole atmosphere about the event set the mood. We had couples who had been married from 55, almost 60 years … the atmosphere and the ceremony was the best for me because I do choose Leighanne and I will choose Leighanne over and over and over. It was great because it was cool. Like all of our family and friends, I can’t wait until our fifteenth or our twentieth when we can do it again because Leighanne can throw a hell of a party, and it was amazing.
How did it feel to have your son on hand this time?
It was great to have him be part of the ceremony. He actually sang a song with the band, which was great. He sang I Want You Back by the Jackson Five, and tore down the house.
The funny thing about it would be the actual reception when we were all in the tent having dinner together, Baylee stands up on stage and he wants to do a few songs. He does I Want You Back as well as Straight Through My Heart from the Backstreet Boys.
The cool thing for me is everybody comes up to me after I do a song I wrote for Leighanne called Ten that talks about our anniversary. It was written for that very moment. But after I got offstage, everyone’s like “that’s a great job, you did amazing, you’re so talented, but that son of yours is out of this world.” I was like “uh-oh, there we go.”
Leighanne: Your song was amazing, too.
Brian: It’s hard to pick one. The atmosphere that we created for the couples and our guests and our family that was here set the tone for an amazing evening. It doesn’t matter what we were doing – we were having an amazing time. Apparently my son stole the show even though it was our anniversary party.
Leighanne and I were going to sing Unforgettable to each other, but it turned out that with preparation and getting ready and putting everything together, it didn’t work out. I didn’t have time. But I will assure you there will be more anniversary parties in the future, so maybe we’ll get an exclusive with OK!
What gifts did you receive? Leighanne: We asked for no gifts because we have so much, but probably the best thing was people made donations to our Healthy Heart Club for Kids, and liquor. They gave us a lot of liquor. What do you think that says about us? Vodka…
Brian: Wine, wine holders…
What’s the secret to a happy marriage? Brian: A happy wife is a happy life. [laughs]
Leighanne: Communication. When we can’t be together, we’re always talking on the phone. You have to laugh a lot. When Pastor Collins told us – the pastor who married us – he would’ve been here to marry us again, but he was in Germany – but he told us in the beginning “don’t ever go to bed angry.” You don’t always have to be right. Even if you know you’re right, you don’t have to say you’re right. We always try to practice humility with each other and communication. Always talk and always laugh, because at the end of the day, it wasn’t that important.
Brian: Some of the best advice I got from a close friend is marriage is always looked at from the world as 50/50 as to working together to make that 100 percent. My advice that I can share that’s not my own but was given to me is marriage should be looked at as 100 and 100 so that you’re always giving of yourself, you’re always sharing your thoughts and expanding on what Leighanne was saying about communicating and understanding one another is you have to know yourself first before you can know yourself in a marriage. You have to be so giving of yourself in order to give yourself to someone else, so I think having that 100% – and you don’t always get there. Marriage can be work, it can be difficult, it can be hard, but I think working through those times makes you stronger as a couple and as a unit.
Where do you see yourselves as a couple in ten more years? Leighanne: If we could be any happier, hopefully not adding on again, but here enjoying life. We had more fun at this party than we did at our wedding. Learning to love life and love each other and knowing what’s important.
So many people don’t value their relationships and their lives, and end up in two or three marriages and miserable. We see each other always improving on our relationship, loving as much as we can and hopefully teaching our son to do the same thing.
He actually got married when he was five because he wanted to be married so bad. His birthday party was a wedding, and believe me, we had a full-on wedding. The pictures are amazing. He married his cousin because [jokes] you can do that in Georgia and Kentucky. It was the coolest thing.
To know that that’s the way he thinks, whatever we’re doing, whether we’re doing children’s album – Baylee has his own career, he’s probably going to be in the arts – working as a family, and Brian’s solo career, always being together – that’s why we homeschool and creating and making positive projects, and hopefully impacting the world in the most positive way we can.
Brian: If it’s possible, I know my wife will be much more gorgeous in ten years. She’s prettier today to me than she ever has been before. Adding on another ten, she will be even more gorgeous.
Posted in Interview on Jul. 21st, 2013 | Comments Off on Backstreet Boy Brian Littrell Talks Vow Renewal