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I had to stop myself from saying “Amen” out loud while reading Casey and Jordan’s love story–while everyone’s story is different, I think we can all relate to these words in one way or another: “We have learned to embrace our imperfect story and understand that all of life is a process. Our relationship has seen brokenness, but it has taught us that the most beautiful things come out of that brokenness.” One of those beautiful things that came out of Casey and Jordan’s story was none other than the special day we’re sharing with y’all today! These two were married in a relaxed and joyful celebration that centered around the vows they wrote for one another, their families (love the story behind their maple syrup favors!), and the shared vision they had come up with for their dream celebration. A blank slate venue involved lots of coordination, but I’m sure you’ll agree that they pulled it off wonderfully!

Thank you so much to Flora + Fauna for sending Casey and Jordan’s day our way!

We met in college at a campus ministry event when we were both freshman. I was drawn to him immediately and thought he would be someone I would like to spend time with. We ended up reconnecting the next school year and dated for a few months before parting ways. We were only 19, after all, and not prepared to be in a serious relationship! We decided to give it another go a few years later. Jordan moved overseas to do a year of ministry and, while over there, ended the relationship. A few months after our break up, I moved to DC for my dream internship. Shortly into my time in there, I found myself sitting across a table from Jordan, shocked to be listening to him as he told me that he had moved to DC for an internship, in hopes to pursue me again. I needed time to figure out what I wanted, and Jordan waited patiently. It was a process for me of allowing my heart to trust Jordan again and become more peaceful, joyful, and in love. We have learned to embrace our imperfect story and understand that all of life is a process. Our relationship has seen brokenness, but it has taught us that the most beautiful things come out of that brokenness. Our story was better and more perfect than one we could have dreamed up, and we are better people for it.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. For whatever reason, I really don’t like most wedding dresses! I was really struggling with what I wanted to do because I knew I wouldn’t find something I liked at a traditional bridal boutique (and wasn’t into the prices either). My mom found the Dreamers & Lovers website and sent it to me, and I was immediately drawn to the laid back, boho feel of the dresses. Plus, the prices were more reasonable, as well. They have a home try-on option on their website, so I ordered two to try on, loved one of them, and that was it!

We decided to do a first look because Jordan wanted to be able to see me and have some alone time before we were with all of our friends and family. It was really special and worth it for us to have that time together. We also really wanted to be at the cocktail hour to maximize time spent with all our loved ones, so logistically, it made more sense to take all of the photos before the ceremony.

Describe your wedding flowers. I didn’t have a very specific vision for the bouquets–just a few general things I knew I liked. I wanted there to be lots of greens with not a ton of color. Our florist also suggested including herbs, which was an awesome and great-smelling idea. They turned out beautifully!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We read Isaiah 58:6-12 at the ceremony. Jordan read those verses to me when he proposed and they are our life verses that we want to live out together. Jordan’s dad also read a prayer that was read at his own wedding. Our favorite line is, “Grant to them, we pray You, a long, rich, and fruitful ministry in the service of Jesus Christ; and when their days on earth are done, and the sun is setting, may they then be found, then as now, hand in hand, still thanking God for each other. May they serve You joyfully and faithfully together until at last one shall lay each other in the arms of God.”

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows, and we highly recommend it. My favorite line that Jordan wrote me was, “I will always seek to know your heart and understand your perspective with tenderness.” Jordan’s favorite line that I wrote was, “I promise to follow you, for where you go I will go and where you stay I will stay.”

We really wanted full creative freedom and a blank slate. The venue we decided on was cheap, totally hands off, and laid back. We could do whatever we wanted! Although it was much more work for us to plan and coordinate all of the vendors and details, from food and drinks to flatware and tables, it was worth it for us. The property itself was so beautiful with its Spanish moss and trees, so we decided to have the ceremony right outside of the reception venue.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our photographers were amazing. We had such a fun time with them and really cherish the photos and video from our wedding. Another meaningful detail we loved was our favors. Jordan’s family is from Ohio, so we got maple syrup from Richard’s Maple Syrup in Chardon, Ohio shipped down and gave it out in little glass bottles as wedding favors. About four months after our wedding, we visited his grandparents in Ohio and actually got to go to Richard’s and see it in person!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? As a recovering people-pleaser, I know how hard and daunting it can be thinking about two families coming together and wanting everyone to be happy. Don’t be consumed by the temptation to make decisions solely based on other’s opinions or expectations. As much as you can, embrace the fact that someone will ALWAYS have an opinion on something–from etiquette to traditions, to things you should or shouldn’t do–and let it go! Don’t be afraid to execute your vision, even if others don’t understand it. You as a couple are going to look back on your wedding day and love everything about it, and that’s all that matters.

Tell us all about the proposal! From Jordan: I wanted to have a private engagement moment, so we went hiking in a local state park in St. Augustine on the intracoastal. I took my big camera and camera bag, but instead of accessories and extra lenses, I stuffed it full of wine and celebratory snacks, hoping she wouldn’t look in the bag! We ended up reading on a private beach. I was pretty worried about finding the perfect place to read, which only made sense to her later! After reading together for a while, I asked to read a letter I wrote to her on a typewriter I gave her as a Christmas gift. At first, she thought it was part of her Christmas present, but then she eventually realized it was more than that. I read the note and got down on one knee. She giggled for a while and finally said yes. It was a perfect place to sit and enjoy the moment, and we eventually went back to her parents’ house to celebrate with our families.
When did y’all get married? August 8, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our dessert was made by my incredibly talented and servant-hearted roommate, Megan Beaudin. I don’t really like cake and was floored when I found out how much wedding cake cost, so I knew it wouldn’t be worth it for us. My roommate at the time of our engagement is an amazing baker, so I talked to her about the idea of making all of the dessert for our wedding. For some crazy reason, she said yes (thankfully!). She tested out different recipes, I gave her some ideas, and we finally decided on the final list. Everything was so dang goooood!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: From Jordan: My favorite wedding detail was my dad reading a prayer over us that was read over my parents at their wedding. I also liked Casey’s dress. And her hair smelled really good. From Casey: My favorite wedding detail was Jordan surprising me by bringing a Polaroid camera to take photos of each other before we got married. It was such a great idea and special that we took them of each other.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We read a book together called “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. We would get together and talk through chapters, or even read chapters out loud to each other. Having structured time was a great way to prepare for marriage. We also did premarital counseling, which was very helpful!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We wanted to be able to use our creative freedom and vision, but going that route provides its challenges. It was way more time consuming to have separate vendors for each individual part of our wedding, and we always felt like we didn’t have enough time. Being in graduate school and planning a wedding was hard! Also, neither of us are planners by nature, but are energized by ideas. We would have all of these ideas floating around, but actually taking the time to plan out the logistics was exhausting for us.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are moving to Alaska this summer and will be working as tour directors! We both have a permanent case of wanderlust and wanted to take some time to travel before we get jobs. We both just graduated with our master’s degrees and are thrilled to be taking a break to see new places. When we get back, we will both get jobs in our fields–Casey as a social worker and Jordan as an urban planner. And we’re pretty excited about that, too, because we love what we do. We look forward to following God’s call and trusting Him to lead our lives.

Photographer and Videographer: Flora + Fauna | Day-Of Coordinator: Coastal Coordinating | Ceremony and Reception Venue: St. Augustine Rod and Gun Club | Florist, Special Details, and Bride’s Accessories: The Conservatorie | Cake and Dessert Baker: Megan Beaudin | Caterer: 4 Rivers Smokehouse | Rentals: St. Johns Illuminations | DJ: Travis Tosi | Paper Products: Artisan2 | Bride’s Gown: “Catherine Backless Lace Dress” by Dreamers & Lovers | Hair and Makeup: Casey Powell | Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic | Guest Favors: Richard’s Maple Syrup | Signage: Audra Jean Calligraphy

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Even before their engagement, Katie had already envisioned her dream setting for her and Scott’s wedding, and when she spotted Murray Hill in a local magazine, she knew it was the perfect place to carry out that vision. With the help and guidance of their planner Grit & Grace, plus stunning blooms by Holly Heider Chapple, Katie and Scott welcomed guests to an understated, yet completely beautiful, wedding celebration. And, while their wedding cake was the focal point of their dessert buffet, how fun is it that they had “his and her favorites” up for grabs, including cookies and dairy milk for Scott and mini cannoli and French macarons for Katie? Personalized touches like that are always so special!

Big hugs to our friends and Blue Ribbon Vendors Jodi and Kurt Photography for sharing this sweet day with us!

I was absolutely in love with my wedding flowers. Holly was so spot on with her floral design. We wanted to include subtle shades of green, white, and yellow, with pops of coral poppies. Unfortunately, the time of year made poppies a bit harder to find, so Holly warned me early on that she would do her best but couldn’t guarantee that she would be able to get them. However, the day of, when I received my bouquet, it was overflowing with poppies. Holly had managed to find them from a local grower, and they couldn’t have been more beautiful.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did premarital counseling with Scott’s brother, who officiated the wedding, and his wife. The premarital counseling was very helpful for us, as we were able to continue to learn more about each other and how we approach life and faith.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. We both struggled with finding the perfect words to describe our love for each other, but knew that we both wanted to try to use our own words in front of our family and friends. Scott’s favorite line of my vows was when I promised to continue to listen to country music as long as it wasn’t too twangy (I didn’t like country music prior to meeting Scott, but now am a huge fan!). My favorite part of Scott’s vows was, “From the first time we met in the parking lot of a softball field, I knew that you were going to be someone very special to me. Your laugh, your smile, your eyes, and your yoga pants all told me I had finally found the partner I had been longing for.”

On our way home from getting engaged, Scott had already downloaded a local wedding magazine on his iPad for me to look through. I already had a vision in mind for the setting, and while flipping through the pages, I stumbled upon one of the real weddings featured in the magazine that fit my vision perfectly. It was a barn wedding with Edison string lights that were simple, understated, and so beautiful. I immediately told Scott that that was where I wanted to have our wedding. The following week, we visited Murray Hill and fell in love with the property and it’s owners, Peggy and John. With a ceremony location overlooking the Potomac River, a beautiful garden and reflecting pool for the cocktail hour, and a whimsical stroll through the woods to get to the three-sided barn on the property, they had everything that we had envisioned for our special day. We knew we didn’t need to look any further and booked our wedding date that same day.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Without a doubt, our wedding would not have been as big of a success without Megan Pollard from Grit and Grace. We had looked into several other vendors in the area, but, by chance, interviewed Megan first. We left that first meeting with Megan and cancelled all other interviews with other planners. She was exactly who we were looking for. Megan was there day and night to provide her professional (and personal) opinion on anything and everything we needed. She understood what we wanted and knew how to make it happen. As our big day came to an end, marking the end of our professional relationship with Megan, we texted her as we rode away from the venue to ask if we could be friends now. She simply replied, “I’m glad you feel it too.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Some of our favorite details of our wedding were our table numbers and guest book. Each table was the name of a city that Scott and I were fortunate enough to travel to over the course of our relationship. To tie into the travel theme, our guest book was a vintage atlas with a sign that said “Eat Well & Travel Often–Let Us Know Where We Should Go.” We wanted our guests to show us their favorite spots in the world and give us some ideas of where we should travel to in the future.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We both are big bourbon lovers. Our signature cocktail during the cocktail hour and reception was Woodford Bourbon and Ginger Beer. Although, in true Southern style, we spent most of the evening enjoying the Woodford on the rocks!

During our first few weeks of dating, Scott was set on convincing me to like country music. He kept sending me lists of songs to listen to and I kept putting it off until he finally sent along Hunter Hayes’ “Wanted.” He said next to it “I think you’re really going to like this one.” When I finally listened to it, I realized all the lyrics perfectly described my feelings for him…I was hooked. I knew at that moment that that would be our song. The father/daughter dance was to The Cranberries’ “Dreams” (acoustic by Katey Sweeney and Jonathan Padden). The first concert I ever went to was with my dad to see The Cranberries on my 10th birthday. The concert was unforgettable and such a special moment for me and my dad that I wanted to honor it by having one of the songs for our dance. I also spent months trying to convince my son, Malcolm (10 years old), to dance with me at the wedding. He was a little shy and said he didn’t know how to slow dance. I said that it didn’t have to be a slow song and that he could even choose a country song if he wanted. Malcolm decided on one of his favorite country singers, Luke Bryan, and had an absolute blast dancing that night. It was the perfect way to start off the party and invite our guests to come join us on the dance floor.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Scott and I met through mutual friends while playing co-ed softball. Scott was new to the Northern Virginia area after growing up in Virginia Beach. The softball team was short a few players one Saturday morning, so his roommate invited him to come out and play. The first person Scott met as he strolled onto the field was me! After a few more softball games and a trip to a wine festival, we realized we had a connection, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! I joined Scott at a business conference at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, Florida. After coordinating with the hotel staff and his co-workers, the stage was set for the big event. The backdrop would be the hotel’s beach club at sunset, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Using a book we had been working through, “101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged,” Scott began to go through questions he had created to set up the big question. The final question Scott asked was, “Will you marry me?”
When did y’all get married? May 30, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 187
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding a wedding dress was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I am more of an independent dresser–not one to go out and shop with others because I hate the pressure. Having a slew of people join me as I picked out one of the most important garments of my life was a little overwhelming. I bought a dress that was beautiful and timeless, but it wasn’t me. When it came in nine months later, I realized I made a mistake. I quickly started researching other options and stumbled upon Nicole Miller’s Janey Gown from BHLDN and fell in love. It was everything I wanted in a gown, and had a quick turnaround time so it arrived just in time for the big day.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Scott and I decided not to do a first look, since we had both always dreamed of that moment when you turn the corner and see your husband/wife for the first time as they walk down aisle. We were a little more traditional in that sense and feared we would regret missing out on that opportunity. However, in hindsight, that is one aspect of our wedding we had wished we had been more open to. I was able to do a first look with my dad and son, and the pictures we captured from that moment were some of my favorites from the day. It also would have probably helped to calm my nerves to see Scott beforehand.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and Ephesians 5:21-33
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. While we had a wedding cake, the focal point was our dessert buffet. Scott grew up in a household where–to this day–his family receives milk from a milkman who delivers directly to their home. He and his brothers had a ritual every night of having Oreos with dairy milk. I, on the other hand, have a deep love for cannolis and macarons. We decided for our wedding day that the desserts would speak to “his and her favorites,” including chocolate chip and Oreo cookies with shots of dairy milk, mini cannolis, French macarons, and sugar cookies in the shapes of softballs and baseball bats.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were able to save money by purchasing our own alcohol for the wedding. It was a little extra work to coordinate amounts and make sure it got to the venue, but in the end, it was worth it for the money we were able to save.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At one point during the reception, everyone was on the dance floor and “Wagon Wheel” came on. Everyone started singing in unison and then all of a sudden, Scott, Malcolm, and I all got hoisted up on people’s shoulders and were sitting above the crowd watching all the happiness and joy around us. We felt completely supported (both physically and emotionally) by all our loved ones and were absolutely elated.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t forget about the real reason you’re getting married; you love your partner and want to spend the rest of your life with them. Wedding planning is filled with deadlines, stress, and compromise. At the end of the day, always realize being married and planning a wedding are two different things, with one distinctly more enjoyable than the other!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Since our big day, we’ve added a four-legged friend to our family. Harper is a beagle/lab mix that we rescued from South Carolina. She is a Southern belle at heart, but won’t hesitate to enjoy a good pair of leather shoes from time to time. We will continue to travel and eat our way through our bucket list of vacation spots.

Photographer: Jodi and Kurt Photography | Planner: Grit & Grace | Venue: Murray Hill | Florist and Lighting: Holly Heider Chapple | Caterer, Cake, and Dessert Baker: Ridgewells Catering | Rentals: DC Rentals | DJ: Premier DJ Services | Signs: Sweet Carolina Collective | Paper Products: Brave Creative Design | Bride’s Gown: “Janey” by Nicole Miller | Bride’s Headpiece and Earrings: Ayajewellery | Hair and Makeup: Claudine Fay | Bride’s Shoes: Seychelles | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew | Menswear: Jos. A. Banks | Dance Floor, Chalkboard Escort Card Board, and Furniture: Revolution Event Design & Production | Tent: Capital Party Rentals | Welcome Bag Cookies: Fresh Bakes | Ceremony Musicians: St. Charles String Quartet | Floral Linens and Cocktail Tables: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Invitation Suite: Haute Papier | Custom Koozies: Christine Meahan Designs

Grit & Grace and Jodi Miller Photography are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Jane Nash reply

    What a beautifully written piece perfectly describing my daughter, Katie and son-in-law, Scott’s wedding! It was an absolutely magical day filled with so much happiness, joy and LOVE! Great attention to every detail created a true weekend that all of their guests truly enjoyed. We are so fortunate to live in Loudoun County with an abundance of highly artistic, experienced and professional wedding providers. From the venue, the gorgeous flowers, the dresses, delicious food and cake, music and so much more, it was an extraordinary and special wedding event always to be remembered leaving memories to be celebrated year after year! Congratulations on your upcoming 1st wedding anniversary, Katie and Scott!

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Every year, we do our best to fill our annual print edition with advice and tips that will help you not only plan your wedding, but also (more importantly), help you and your fiancé prepare for marriage. We ask every couple we feature how they go about preparing for life after the big day, and were so happy to include many of their answers in V8. Please enjoy their words of wisdom every Sunday here on Southern Weddings!

Michelle Lyerly

We met with my former youth pastor and the minister for the wedding, Danny Byers, for premarital counseling. No matter how well you know a person, it’s so important to make sure your goals, values, and thoughts on faith work well together.
Abigail + Adam

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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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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