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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Ariella Chezar flower workshop in Charleston. Early spring turned out to be the perfect time to visit one of my favorite Southern cities, and my short trip was filled with delights for every sense, from the gorgeous blooms to the delicious eats to the charming facades down every charming cobblestone street. Had I not even ventured beyond the gates of my hotel, however, I think I still would have touched on all five senses – Zero George Street is a property that’s clearly been designed to delight!

First, though, the blooms! I wanted to share a snippet from the workshop here to give you a taste of what I experienced, but you can see much more in the current issue of Smitten Magazine!

All photos are by the talented Corbin Gurkin.

If you saw my first instagram upon arrival at Zero George, you might remember that I described it as “the home of your favorite Southern aunt – the one with exquisite taste.” This delightful boutique hotel really does go out of its way to treat guests like family – with warmth, ease, and joy.

Zero George makes it easy to continue my home metaphor, since the concierge desk is located inside the original carriage house and directly adjacent to the property’s (teensy but beautiful and custom) kitchen – the heart of any home.

On our way to my room, I learned a bit more about the property’s history, which is fascinating! The four main buildings all date from the early 19th century — two are original to the property and two were carefully relocated from elsewhere in Charleston, and they are positioned to form a garden courtyard that is the match of any in downtown. (That’s one of my favorite Charleston activities, by the way – peeking into lush and gorgeous gardens through ironwork gates!)

Photo by Meredith Perdue via Map & Menu

Since their transport, the four buildings have been painstakingly renovated with each detail thoughtfully considered. There are now eighteen studios and suites, each featuring original architectural elements like heart pine floors, high ceilings, period millwork details, and classic piazzas.

The particular guest room I stayed in had me rethinking the colorful palette of my own home, with its layers of texture from natural linen fabrics, casual slipcovers, inviting bedding, and sisal weave area rugs. SO calm and relaxing!

Photo on the left by Jamie Beck – I loved the keys!

And the bathrooms – oh, the bathrooms. Crisp, white perfection.

Breakfast is complimentary and served each morning in the main carriage house. It was so yummy I made sure to wake up early enough to partake every day (which is saying a lot for this late riser). Tart yogurt, house-made granola, fresh fruit and juices, pastries, and hard-boiled eggs, among other things, made up the European-style spread.

Personal instagram

Evenings at Zero George kick off with a wine and cheese hour, which quickly became a favorite daily treat. It was also the perfect opportunity to try out the many porches located throughout the property! I didn’t have a chance to sample it, but the Zero Cafe + Bar serves light bites in the evening if you’re worn out from walking the day away.

Photo by Meredith Perdue via Map & Menu

If you didn’t know better, you’d think Zero George had been around for years and years – from their well-proportioned porches to their tucked away drawing rooms, this place combines classic Southern charm with everything you could want in terms of comfort. It could not be a more perfect backdrop for a relaxing Southern getaway, a sweet Southern honeymoon, or even an intimate Southern wedding! (Yep, they do private parties!)

Photos by Jamie Beck

Zero George is situated in the historic Ansonborough neighborhood, which is to the east on the Charleston peninsula but just a short walk from King Street and the French Quarter.

Personal photos from around Charleston!

I promise that if you choose to stay at Zero George on your next trip to Charleston, your hotel will be much, much more than just a place to lay your head at night – it might even be the highlight of your stay. More info on this lovely spot here!

Now, on a bit of a different topic, I would love to hear: What are your favorite places to eat in Charleston? This time around John and I tried Poogan’s Porch, Husk, Hominy Grill, and Xiao Bao Biscuit (all delicious!). Let us know in the comments!

emily Written with love by Emily
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A mountain hike, a car ride, and a breakfast-turned-lunch date were all it took for Annie and Tim to know that they had found something special in each other. While this may have made starting to date an easy decision for most people, they had to consider something unusual before committing to each other–the fact that they would have to be in a really long distance relationship. However, the oceans between Texas and Australia weren’t enough to separate these two, and their months of Skype dates and saving up for plane tickets most certainly paid off. I love the way they combined Southern traditions with favorite things about Australia at their wedding, and in turn, made their celebration completely unique to their amazing love story.

Hugs to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Feather & Twine, for sharing this lovely day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I lived and studied in Sydney, Australia for two years, but even though Tim and I had mutual friends and had been going to the same church the entire time I was there, we didn’t meet until six weeks before I left. Two of my friends invited me to go with them to the mountains, and we met up with some of their friends there, including Tim. I remember thinking he was really cute, but since I was moving home soon, I never imagined we would end up together. On the way home, my friend messed up the axle of the car, we ended up having to leave her car in the national park and ride home with the boys. The next day, Tim drove my two friends and I back to the park, so my friend could get her car towed and fixed. We spent the day together visiting little cafés and going to lookouts until the car was ready. Tim and I literally talked the entire way home, and he asked me to go to breakfast with him the next day so we could continue our conversation. After our first date, we became inseparable, and it took me all of two weeks to completely fall in love with him (which I kept to myself until after he told me he loved me three months later). A week before I moved home, Tim asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes, which was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. We dated long distance for 18 months and did five overseas visits, thousands of Skype calls and millions of text messages. Long distance is definitely challenging, but when two people want it to work, they will make it happen, even if that means spending all of their money on airfare or waking up super early to call each other.

My wedding flowers were amazing! My heart melted every time I looked at my bouquet. It was full of blush roses, anemones, berries, and sprigs of greenery. I wanted something beautiful with a little bit of an earthy feel to it. My bridesmaids’ bouquets were smaller versions of mine without the anemones, and with some brighter pink roses to ensure the bouquets didn’t blend in with their dresses.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, a first look wasn’t even an option for us–we both really wanted the moment I walked down the aisle to be the first time we saw each other on the day. It was so special. I’ll never forget his face when he saw me coming down the aisle, and I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything.

Tim and I share a faith in God, and we wanted our ceremony to reflect this. We started the ceremony with a prayer and a worship song. One of our friends, a pastor from Australia, spoke about the foundations needed for a strong and lasting marriage, and he read from Corinthians in the Bible. My dad, who is a pastor in Texas, led us through our vows and married us, which was really special for me. Before we closed the ceremony, my dad prayed over us and our families stood by us, symbolizing their support in our lives and marriage.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Probably holding Tim’s hand during the ceremony while we were all singing a worship song together. I can’t explain how happy I felt–I was finally going to get to marry Tim, and I knew I was making the best decision of my life. Another great moment was during the cocktail hour when the bridal party drove five minutes away to a huge hayfield to take pictures, and we had so much fun. We ran around the field and were all laughing so hard. I am so glad we had that time with our best friends. Plus, the pictures turned out amazingly!

One of the elements that we really wanted our wedding to have was Southern hospitality. We wanted all of our Australian guests to experience how genuine, friendly, and fun Southerners are! The biggest way we incorporated the Southern traditions in the wedding was with our food. Tim and I LOVE Southern food, and for us, BBQ was a must–you can’t get more Southern than a good BBQ, and we had brisket, smoked chicken, sausage, potato salad, coleslaw, and beans. You can’t get BBQ like that anywhere in Sydney! We also did a pie bar to showcase Southern desserts. Our favors were homemade blackberry and fig jams that I made with my bridesmaids and a family friend. One fun element that we included was when we taught the bridal party a line dance at our rehearsal dinner, and we all performed it at the reception. Everyone joined in, and it was so much fun to see the two cultures come together.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding had a ridiculous amount of desserts. We love food and we wanted our guest to enjoy themselves! Our wedding cake was four layers–two layers of chocolate with raspberry filling, one layer of red velvet and cream cheese filling, and a layer of white cake with lemon filling, all covered in buttercream frosting. We also had a dessert table next to our cake table, which my sister and grandmother made most of the desserts for. They baked mini carrot cake cupcakes (my favorite), cookies in the shape of Australia, and milk and white chocolate covered pretzel sticks. A family friend also baked sweetie cookies for us and we brought over a suitcase full of Tim Tams (famous Australian cookies). At our dinner, we had a pie bar instead of cake, to add some Southern tradition to the day. This was one of my favorite things about the wedding because the pies were made from scratch by a local farm close to our venue, and most of the ingredients came straight from the farm itself. My mom and I had a blast going to the farm and taking home a ridiculous number of pies to taste. We chose seven flavors: coconut cream, apple, chocolate cream, lemon meringue, chocolate pecan, buttermilk, and strawberry cream.

Tell us all about the proposal! It was April 2nd and I hadn’t seen Tim since January 8th. I knew that he was coming to Texas to propose, but I expected him to come in March. He worked really hard to make sure I had no idea when he was coming, which was driving me crazy. He even gave his younger sister his phone so she could send me pre-recorded videos, pictures, and messages while he was flying overseas, because he knew that if I didn’t hear from him for a day, I would know he was coming. One of my best friends, Jamie, was getting married at my venue, Oakwind, in May, and asked me two weeks earlier to go to the venue and do a cake tasting with her because her fiancé had a meeting. I didn’t think a thing of this because I had been helping Jamie with lots of the details for her wedding. When we got to the venue, not only did we do a cake tasting, but we also went over almost every detail of her wedding. Little did I know, Jamie and Ann (the venue coordinator) were stalling for time because Tim’s flight had been canceled because of bad weather, and he miraculously got on a flight with another airline just in time. When we were finally done with the tasting, Jamie and I got into the car to drive back home when she started playing a CD from her car. I soon realized it was Tim’s voice coming through the car speakers. Tim had prerecorded himself telling me how much he loved me and how happy he was I was in his life. At the end of the recording, he said “If you want to continue on this journey with me, come and find me.” I jumped out of the car and ran all over the venue looking for Tim–it was about 9:00 at night and was raining. I ran into the barn, which was lit up with candles, lanterns, and fairy lights, and there he was. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, and I said yes. Jamie and her fiancé, Joshua, came in and we all had champagne and cake together in the barn. It was absolutely perfect, and everyone was amazed they had pulled it off because so many things went wrong! The barn Tim proposed to me in is the same barn where we had our reception. It made the venue even more special for us!
When did y’all get married? February 15, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150 for the ceremony, 100 for our private dinner
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was one of the most difficult things for me–I went to at least ten different bridal stores in Houston. My mom and I even drove all the way to Austin to try on what I thought were my dream dresses, but we still didn’t find the one. I couldn’t believe how picky I was, but I just had this idea of what I wanted in my head, and nothing was quite right. I was moving back to Australia in less than a month and I really wanted to find my dress before I left, so I was definitely praying! One morning, I woke up and decided to try again at a little bridal boutique just 20 minutes from where I live. When I walked into the boutique, the owner remembered me and said, “I think we have exactly what you were describing last time you were here–it just came in.” I tried on the dress, and honestly, all I felt was relief! It was perfect, and EXACTLY what I wanted.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to say the traditional wedding vows, but we also wrote our own vows. I cried the entire time I wrote my vows–there is something so powerful about expressing your commitment for another person in words. I’m glad we did this because it made the ceremony especially personal for us. My favorite phrase from Tim’s vows was “Annie, I have fallen in love with you, and I make a commitment to myself to fall in love with you daily. I do not just say I do, but I choose to love you through everything.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose our songs together, which was a lot of fun. One of the best nights of my life was cuddling with Tim on the couch and looking for the perfect song for me to walk down the aisle to. We chose “Sun” by Sleeping At Last. Our families walked down the aisle to “Kingdom Come” by The Autumn Film, and up the aisle to “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. Our first dance was to “I’ll Keep You Safe” by Sleeping At Last. We picked songs that we both loved that would help give the right “feel” to the day.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The biggest way we did this was buying, borrowing, and doing a lot of the details ourselves. This means you have to plan more, but if you are on a tight budget, it’s definitely the way to go. My mom, grandmother, and I went to about twenty different resale and antique shops to get old tea cups and books for our afternoon tea tables. I also spray painted bird cages from my sister’s wedding for some of the tables. A friend who is a builder tracked down rustic doors and helped me build my photo booth, which looked amazing. Friends really helped us in huge ways.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I am so happy that we chose to invest in great photography and videography. At first, I wasn’t so sure because it took up so much of our budget, but looking back, it is worth it! The day goes by so quickly and I am so happy that we have beautiful pictures and an amazing video to help us remember everything. Tim and I have watched our wedding video again and again, and we love our photos.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I guess the biggest piece of advice I can give is don’t compare your wedding to other weddings. Use blogs, Pinterest, and social media as tools for ideas–they are so helpful, but at the same time, appreciate that your wedding is unique, and you don’t have to have a live band or a five-course dinner for it to be wonderful. If you keep the mindset that the day is going to be perfect because you’re marrying the person you love, you will set yourself up for a win. Also, focus on building a strong marriage with your future husband, and really take time to prepare for your life together. Tim and I read books together, went to pre-marriage counseling, and set up a budget before we got married, which helped us grow as a couple during the engagement and set us up for our marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? So far, I am absolutely loving married life–it really is the best. Tim and I just moved to a cottage in the mountains of Sydney, Australia, and it’s absolutely perfect. There really is nothing like having your own place together. We are both working and studying and enjoying building a life together. I couldn’t imagine a more perfect person to do life with.

Photographer: Feather and Twine Photography / Videographer: LumaVista Productions / Venue and Catering: Oakwind Estates / Florist: The English Florist / Wedding Cake: Norma’s Cakes and Cookies / Pies: Froberg’s Farm / DJ: The DarKer Side DJ / Bride’s Gown: “Jasmine” by Wtoo / Bride’s Earrings: Valentino / Hair Stylist: Erica at Urban Eve / Makeup Artist: Lily Doyle / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Knife Pleated Maxi” in Peach by Victoria’s Secret / Groom’s Attire: SABA / Groomsmen’s Ties: Calvin Klein

Feather & Twine is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sera Petras reply

    Such a lovely wedding! I love all the soft colors and sweet details. The bouquet shot is amazing!

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Beer, wine, lemonade, mint juleps, punch, and yes, sweet tea – you’d expect to find any of them at a Southern wedding reception. But a sweet tea bar? Well, that’s a new one on us! When Ginny from Sleepy Fox Photography emailed to tell us about a new tea company catering to weddings that just popped up in Huntsville, Alabama, we knew we had to share. Hugs to Ginny and White Rabbit Studios for these photos of Piper & Leaf!

Connor, his sister Brigette, and her husband Caleb, unified by a common dream of helping turn Huntsville into a town overflowing with art and beauty, decided to open a farmer’s market booth selling compost. Yep, compost! Tea was thrown in as an afterthought, but it was what sold out their first day (while the compost was left untouched). They quickly became a part of almost every local farmers market, were introduced into local shops, opened an online store, and began selling at nearby shopping malls.

We were most excited to hear about their Artisan Tea Bars for weddings and events, which offer a ritzy, non-alcoholic, and economical alternative to the standard bar package. The experience begins with a personalized tea tasting with a Piper & Leaf sommelier to help you choose your flavors (they can even custom blend flavors for the occasion!) and serving options. The look of the bar can be customized to blend with everything from a black tie affair to a down home bash, and each guest gets a customized glass bottle or jar to take home as a keepsake! Alabama couples can find more details here.

From Piper & Leaf: We’re a family who loves working together, creating community, growing local, and serving delicious tea. Our custom, locally blended teas are created with local herbs and fruits that we grow, pick, forage, or attain from other farmers and friends and mixed with heaping doses of happiness and love. Piper & Leaf Gardens is the unique taste of Alabama in a cup (or jar) of tea.

Will y’all be serving sweet tea at your weddings?

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Erin reply

    What an amazing idea. Sweet tea for life!!!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Love this idea and the story behind their company!

  3. avatar Sally reply

    They grow their own herbs and make custom tea blends? And serve in Mason Jars!?! That is amazing! I love this idea!

  4. avatar Tiffany reply

    That pallet bar is AMAZING! It sounds like a wonderful family. I love the pics. Those puppies are too cute!

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I always know it’s going to be a great Real Wedding when I get an email from Miss Lisa while she’s prepping it, saying how much I’m going to love it. Boy, was she right! Lisa and I both fell in love with not only the beauty of Christina and Tyler’s wedding, but also, their adorable personalities and acute focus on creating an intimate wedding with a feeling so special that it’s palpable even to their future grandchildren. After quite the long courtship, these two absolutely knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together and reflected this throughout their day. They worked with their wedding planner, From This Day Forward, to combine old South with a splash of couture. Right up my alley!

Obviously, Christina’s top knot and tulle ball gown rock my world, but that’s not what truly makes this wedding hit the nail on the head–it’s the heart behind each detail. While glamorous accessories are oh-so-pretty, like Christina said “those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.” Amen!

Big SW hugs to Ariel Renae for sharing this sparkly day with us!

It took me four states, eight bridal boutiques, and countless dresses before I found the one. When I would imagine myself on our wedding day, the same thought always came to mind: that perfect little church and Tyler standing at the end of the aisle after the church doors opened. I wasn’t choosing my dress based on the look of our wedding, our reception location, or anything else. All I was concerned about were those few seconds of Tyler watching me walk towards him. Because we had already been together for so long and he had already seen me in countless dresses, I was determined to find something grand–the type of dress that I would never get the opportunity to wear again. Friends and family members were all pushing for me to choose a mermaid gown, but I had something else in mind. I wanted vintage, yet modern–the type of dress my daughter would one day want to wear. I found that in my Vera Wang. I fell in love with the combination of lace and tulle, but it was the structure of the dress that had me sold. Not to mention, Tyler had stated in years passing that he envisioned me in a ball gown with my hair up… so that is exactly what I gave him.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, my something blue ended up being very special. Leading up to the wedding, my sister and I fell in love with these royal blue suede heels, so I decided to make them my something blue. However, what I didn’t realize was that Tyler’s mom had a very meaningful gift waiting for me in Savannah. The morning before our wedding, she handed me a ring box. In the box was a flawless blue sapphire ring that was previously worn by Tyler’s nanny. Tyler’s nanny was was his world, and unfortunately, God decided to take her sooner than we would have liked. It was such a sweet surprise and an honor to wear that ring on my wedding day. Tyler’s mom said that before she passed away, Tyler’s nanny told her to give the ring to Tyler’s bride. I can’t wait to continue the tradition and one day be able to hand over the ring to my new daughter-in-law. Those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? At first, picking a wedding location seemed like a daunting task. Since I was born and raised in Virginia, we both went to high school and college in Georgia, and we’ve both been living in Florida for the last five years, we really had the entire South to choose from. However, it ended up being one of the easiest decisions for us to make when we started planning our wedding. I had spent months researching churches across the East Coast, and I just so happened to stumble upon Whitefield Chapel. We decided to make a trip up to Savannah to see it in person, and it was love at first sight. We both instantly knew we were meant to wed there.

Too funny!

Describe your wedding flowers. Because I loved the idea of mixing the old South with a splash of couture, I really wanted to pair the look of loose, garden flowers with the glitz and glamour that went with my bridesmaid gowns. I knew I wanted all white blooms, lots of greenery, and lots of texture, to create a Lowcountry feel. My two favorite floral pieces were the garland attached to the back bumper of our vintage Bentley, and my flower crown that the ladies of A to Zinnias constructed for our rehearsal dinner. Simply stunning.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Nope, Team Traditional Vows all the way.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. You can even find this verse written on an old particle board hanging in our living room. Whenever one of us is quick to have a temper, the rule is you must stand in front of the sign and read the entire verse out loud for the other to hear. What may have started out as a joke has turned out to be very conducive.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: From Christina: I really can’t choose just one. I love how we provided the trolley service for our guests, so they wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. I also loved our welcome bags, which included Georgia pecans, glass bottles of coke with Crown Royal, and vintage Savannah postcards. I would guess Tyler’s favorite detail was his dance moves. From Tyler: My favorite detail was the chalkboard sign at the entrance of the chapel that my wife made for me.

Now that is some serious Blue Steel, Mr. Tatum – work!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? By far, my favorite detail of the wedding was displaying our moms’ wedding dresses for all of our guests to see. My mom had found the perfect vintage dress forms online and they went beautifully with the architecture and style of our reception space. Also, instead of using a typical guest book, we decided to use quilt patches that my great-grandmother had sewn decades ago. What better way to remember our wedding guests than by reading their messages on a family heirloom that’s been passed down three generations?

We LOVE seeing how real couples incorporate products from the Southern Weddings Shop into their own weddings!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love.” That song is so special to us because it really connects with what we’ve gone through and endured in our relationship over the last ten years. “There’s no doubt in my mind where you belong…” is probably my favorite line, but I’m pretty sure I whispered every word of the entire song in Tyler’s ear during our first dance.

Our guests came from far and wide to attend our Southern-themed Georgia wedding, so it was only fitting that we offered Georgia peach cake with peach buttercream icing. Yum! In recognition of my daily pumpkin coffee, we also offered a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing–my favorite! When choosing the design of our cake, I was thinking big picture. I knew I wanted to surround our cake with vintage family photos of our loved ones on their wedding days. I had also found the perfect swans to include in the mix, along with a gorgeous calligraphy piece from the Southern Weddings Shop that I had custom framed. When it came time to design the actual cake, I knew I wanted something simple and chic. Tier Luxury Cakes really came through with that understated elegant look I was going for.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Do you have all day? No, but in all seriousness, our love story has been a beautiful mess. It’s definitely not the easiest thing meeting your future husband at the age of 18, yet somehow, we managed to stay together through growing up and finding ourselves. Our story began in the summer of 2004, when we were in our first year at different colleges, after we both graduated from the same high school the year before. Over the next ten years, through butterflies, heartbreaks, deaths, moves, and new adventures, we learned that God definitely used us to shape who the other is today. Moral of the story, trust the man above…especially when he sends a cute boy your way.
Tell us all about the proposal! In the years leading up to the proposal, I had always asked that if he did propose, do it at anytime EXCEPT right before the bar exam. Well, we’re all Southern ladies here, so you can probably predict what happened next…I was finishing up my final semester in law school, gearing up for the bar exam, when Tyler decided it was the perfect time to pop the question. Because my birthday always fell during exams, our tradition was to spend it in the library, cupcakes in hand. For this particular birthday, Tyler kept begging me to spend the night away from my books, and instead, go with him to a special dinner. Little did I know that he had arranged for a private room at Capital Grill with special service, flowers, wine–the whole nine yards. He had even put together a special video filled with our closest friends and family wishing me a happy birthday, which would then lead to the proposal. However, due to my very stubborn and overachieving ways, I refused to celebrate my birthday and insisted that I spend that time studying. To this day, after all of his preparation, I will never understand how Tyler refrained from dragging me to dinner with him. But, he didn’t force me, and things always have a funny way of working out, because although his plan seemed perfect, it may have been too perfect for us. We enjoy the simple things in life–we love our beach bungalow, our chocolate lab, and pedaling the day away on our beach cruisers. He proposed on the beach, early the next morning during sunrise, with Marley, our beloved lab, right by his side. It couldn’t have been more “us.” I then started the grueling process of bar prep with one very large distraction sitting on my left hand, while having learned my first lesson as a newly engaged woman: boys never listen.
When did y’all get married? November 16, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 60
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? You couldn’t have paid us to do a first look. We consider ourselves very traditional when it comes to family and lifetime moments, and after waiting ten years for this occasion, there would be no spoiling it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Oh goodness, probably when I found out that the church had double booked us, which led to us switching reception venues. Or when my bridal suite, a week before the wedding, said that they had scheduled us for the wrong weekend and we no longer had a reservation. Moral of the story, expect at least three meltdowns. Maybe four.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We definitely saved money by having an intimate wedding. It was important to us to only have our closest friends and family members in attendance and we wouldn’t have changed that for the world.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I could rave about all of our vendors because they were ALL amazing. However, I had spent months and months searching for the perfect photographer and it really paid off. I remember the night that I discovered Ariel’s work. It took me three hours just to draft our initial email to see if she’d be interested in shooting our wedding… I was convinced that she’d never choose us. To my surprise, she called me the next day and was by far one of the coolest people I had ever met. Thanks to Ariel, we now have gorgeous shots from our engagement shoot, rehearsal dinner, and of course, our entire wedding day. I’ll treasure them forever and I’m counting down the days until I get to show them to our children. It’s going to be awesome.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Tyler: My most memorable moment from the wedding was standing next to my best friends, seeing my family and friends in the crowd, and hearing Canon in D start playing and the doors opening to my beautiful bride! I’m not an emotional guy at all, but it was so hard to fight back the tears in that moment. It was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I have played guitar for 16 years and always loved that song, but now, every time I hear and play it, I think of that moment and how excited I felt to marry my best friend. She looked absolutely gorgeous and when those doors opened and I saw her for the first time, she could not have looked any more perfect.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? This day is all about you and your future spouse. But, it’s also about your future children, their children, and so on. Therefore, plan your day with the intentions of capturing that special feeling that even your grandchildren will be able to experience through photos alone.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Lots of children and lots of laughter.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? It was awesome. You should have been there.

Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Planner: Weddings From This Day Forward / Ceremony Venue: Whitefield Chapel / Reception Venue: Garibaldi’s Cafe / Florist: A to Zinnias / Wedding Cake: Tier Luxury Cakes / Rentals: Savannah Special Events /  DJ: DJ Nick Fresh / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang / Paper Products & Calligraphy: Lowcountry Paper Co / Hair Stylist: Salon Aqua / Makeup Artist: Lauren Rossi Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: BCBG / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Badgley Mischka via Rent the Runway / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein  / Groomsmen Attire: Mens Wearhouse / Vintage Stamps: Verde Studio / Welcome Bags: Pressed Cotton / Ampersand Coasters: Redbirdink / Gold Glitter Drink Stirrers: dillpicklepicnic / Flower Petal Bags: Howjoyfulshop

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar ariel renae reply

    This was one of my favorite weddings of the year! Such a beautiful day! Thanks for the feature!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Seriously, I just love them! They did such an amazing job staying focused on what really matters, and that love and thoughtfulness is so evident in their wedding pictures!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Oh I LOVE the dress she picked! And that cake table is stunning! Such a gorgeous & classy wedding!!

  4. avatar Aly reply

    This wedding is absolutely beautiful. I love the sparkly bridesmaid dresses, and every detail seems to have been thought of. And the bride? So chic and elegant.

  5. avatar Kathryn reply

    Those bridesmaid dresses are truly stunning… as is the glowing bride. Not only do I feel a kinship, in that I too will be sporting Ms. Wang come September – but the moment I saw that Spanish moss coming off those Live Oaks I knew immediately that was where I’ve called home for the last 5 years; sweet Savannah :) Not to mention I’ll be celebrating my birthday/graduation at Garibaldi’s cafe come the end of next month – and by the looks of it, I definitely have something to look forward to!

  6. avatar Emily reply

    SUCH a beautiful wedding, inside and out! I love how she describes/thinks about her wedding photos in relation to her future kids! :)

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We’re celebrating Kristin’s birthday today! Check out #KNWbirthday on social media to see the “recipe” for what makes her wonderful, and leave her some love!

While I’m an Alabama girl at heart, I’ve spent a good portion of my life in Florida. I would say I know some of the best hidden gems in the state, but I think Beth has a leg up on me–she and her sister write a super fun blog called Palm Beach Lately. While PB is a fabulous place to be, I’d have to say that Rosemary Beach takes the cake! It’s a quaint little beach town filled with the sweetest folks and the prettiest buildings (you can even drive your golf cart or ride your bike everywhere!). I can completly understand why Beth and Lawson fell in love with the town and decided to treat their guests to a wedding weekend filled with relaxing, riding bikes, and playing on the lawns.

Heavens y’all, the Town Hall even made for the most lovely backdrop for Paul Johnson to snap one of my favorite aisle shots! Thanks for sharing, Paul!

What a little doll!

I always envisioned going to New York to find my wedding dress, but when I went, I was torn between two styles. I went online to search for a dress that included what I liked about both dresses in one, and I found a Jim Hjelm dress that was exactly what I was looking for. I looked for the nearest shop that carried the dress and it ended up being the one!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I had visited Rosemary Beach, Florida for a wedding about nine years ago and always thought it was such a magical town for a destination wedding. We live in Palm Beach, but wanted a more intimate wedding. Many people were confused about why we were going to a beach town in Florida, when we already lived in one! When Lawson and I visited Rosemary Beach, he instantly loved the town too, and we knew it was exactly what we wanted for our wedding weekend. The town is quaint and beautiful, complete with intimate restaurants, pristine beaches, and amazing architecture. It was so great to see our guests relaxing, walking from their house rentals or hotels into town for dinner or cocktails, riding bikes, and playing on the lawns.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we did not do a first look. Since I was a little girl, I always imagined walking down the aisle and seeing my groom for the first time. It is the most amazing feeling to see your future husband’s reaction…one of the most significant moments in your life. There is something so special about tradition.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? “These Hands” was read by the woman who set us up on a blind date.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I coordinated a wedding in NYC when I first started in the event business, and the bride walked down the aisle to Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me.” I remember thinking that when I got married, I wanted to walk down the aisle to that song. When we were leaving the church, we played “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. It seemed so fitting once we were pronounced husband and wife. Our first dance was to Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.” We both loved the song and what it stood for, so we knew that it had to be our first dance.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We gave vintage embroidered handkerchiefs to our mothers, grandmothers, and my sister with personal notes. The reception was in a tent on a lawn near the ocean, and the dance floor under the night sky. There was a custom corn hole game in the lawn at cocktail hour, along with a beer boat and koozies. And of course, my handsome southern gentleman.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Being creative with our budget. I love details, so picking what really was important and letting some of the other details go was hard sometimes.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our DJ. We love to dance and we danced the night away. Even a rain storm didn’t stop us! Everyone got under the tent and up on their chairs and kept dancing. We also loved our videographer. Everything went by so quickly, it was so hard to take it all in. We get to relive our wedding day every time we watch our video.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Etsy!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Looking back at the tent and seeing all our friends and family there to celebrate the next chapter in our lives as husband and wife.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something blue was my Gators garter, in honor of my time as a University of Florida Cheerleader, and my something borrowed was my Cartier bracelet from my brother, who owns Gregory James Jewelry.

I’m not a cake gal, but heavens that looks divine! I adore the Swiss dots and pretty peach combo!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. A family friend set me up on a blind date with Lawson, and there was immediate chemistry. We talked and talked and had a great lunch before he headed out of town. I thought he was so cute and sweet, and we had a lot in common. He called me as soon as he got back, and we have been inseparable since.
Tell us all about the proposal! In October 2012, at one of my favorite places, Soho Beach House in Miami, with both of our families there, he asked me to marry him. He could hardly get the question out before I blurted “yes!” It was amazing to share that special moment with our families.
When did y’all get married? November 16, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows. I was hesitant to do so, but Lawson really wanted to and I am so glad we did. Your own vows are a personal expression of your love and commitment to each other. My favorite part of ours was, “In front of those we love, I choose you today and everyday for the rest of our lives.”
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Not to sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in the details, but the most important part of the wedding is to celebrate each other.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We recently moved into our new home and are looking forward to our honeymoon at the end of the year.

Photographer: Paul Johnson Photography / Videographer: Films by Francesco / Planner: Beth Beattie Branding, PR and Events / Ceremony Venue: Town Hall, Rosemary Beach / Reception Venue: Eastern Lawn, Rosemary Beach / Florist: Events by Nouveau Flowers / Wedding Cake: Confections on the Coast / Caterer: Townsend Catering / DJ: DJ Wolf / Bride’s Gown: Jim Hjelm / Paper Products: Palm Beach Parties / Bride’s Jewelry: Gregory James Jewelry / Hair Stylist: Amanda Parisi / Makeup Artist: Jamie Gummere / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Bonobos

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I adore their first dance photo – the clouds coming in make it so dramatic!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    That dress was made for her!!

  3. avatar Mary reply

    This is such an insanely gorgeous wedding!

  4. avatar Mikkel reply

    Beautiful! Love the bridal party portraits and how the cake was captured. LOVE the calligraphy on the menus too! It all looked so gorgeous and like a great party in a beautiful setting!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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