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Southern Weddings Magazine

The ads in our print editions aren’t an afterthought, and they’re not clumped together like so much filler to be flipped quickly through. They are exquisite peeks into companies that can help make your wedding day and newlywed life beautiful, and memorable, and meaningful. If you’ve never seen an issue of our magazine, I promise you, in this way (and many others!), we are like no one else on the market. (And goodness – if you haven’t seen an issue of our magazine, what are you waiting for??)

We’re so grateful for the print sponsors we had the pleasure of working with on V6, and are excited to link to them here!

Earthmuse Photography captures the magic and joy of their clients’ wedding days unobtrusively, honestly, and joyfully. We love the contemporary, fresh style and sleek elegance of their work!

Studio 222

The team at Blush by Brandee Gaar knows that details matter because they create the atmosphere of your wedding — one that’s informed at every step by your love story and the story you want to tell your guests about the life you’re embarking on. Florida brides, take a peek!

Our darling Blue Ribbon Vendor Elaine Palladino also hails from the great state of Florida. Her work is full of light, love, and pure, unabashed fun, capturing everything as it unfolds on your wedding day.

Another Blue Ribbon Vendor, Heba Salama Photography, takes images that are vibrant and colorful, and filled with true emotion always. She’s based in NC.

Julie Paisley’s images are sweet and happy and wonderfully pretty, and the experience as her client is pretty much the same, from what we can gather – happy and sweet and affirming! Tennessee brides, take a peek!

We still have spots open for V7, and we would love to have YOU join the Southern Weddings sponsor family! This is not an issue you want to miss, so be in touch with Marissa as quick as butter melting on a biscuit!

emily Written with love by Emily
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The best engagement photos capture the sweet season of life between proposal and vows as it really is. I love the idea of a session at home, because for most people, home is where life happens, and we believe the everyday pieces of a life lived together – coffee and strawberries in the morning, belly laughs on the couch, an afternoon neighborhood walk – are worthy of being celebrated and recorded. Newlyweds, take note, too: an at-home session would be a perfect way to celebrate your first anniversary!

Big hugs to Kate Belle for these photos!

P.S. Make sure to like our Facebook page – we feature a new engagement session over there every Friday!

emily Written with love by Emily
3 Comments
  1. avatar admin reply

    Love the jumping on the bed photo!!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    These are very sweet! I really like the idea of doing this at home.

  3. avatar Breanna reply

    I love this idea! It’s so simple and pure. You truly can get a sense of who the couple really is and what they are like. Such a great session and so sweet. Totally captures the couple in all their love and happiness.

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One of our favorite things about weddings in the South is the community they bring together–not only on the day of the wedding, but also in the months leading up to it. Every piece of Hannah and Jacob’s wedding was lovingly touched by a family member or friend–from the wood reception tables that their dads built together, to the cakes made by the same lady who made Jacob’s birthday cakes each year, to the music at the ceremony and reception performed by talented loved ones. The result was an intimate, joyful wedding that was as meaningful as it was beautiful!

Thanks so much to Rachel Moore for sharing Hannah and Jacob’s wedding with us!

We were married at Jacob’s parents’ house, so it was very personal and family-centered. Growing up, Jacob was an adventurous boy who loved his family’s open farmland and the creek that ran along one side of their property. It was a great way for him to seal his childhood and connection to home while planting the seed for his new family. We held the ceremony on a rock jutting out into the middle of the creek and held the reception in his family’s barn.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Being an English academic, I actually wrote the entire wedding script, vows and all. Our “official” quote for the day was one by Robert Fulghum: “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love.” But my favorite quote was one by a favorite author of mine, Kurt Vonnegut: “And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.” I loved this because it captures the immense feeling you sense on your wedding day when you want to freeze time so badly. What you must remember, and what this quote reminded me, is that the happiness and wholeness you experience on the big day is something that you will carry with you forever.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of our wedding was definitely standing on our wedding rock and listening to my brother, who read as lector, and Jacob’s father, who served as the officiant, read the words we wrote together. Holding our hands up triumphantly after our kiss and seeing all of our loved ones cheering was also a phenomenal moment.

Jacob, his father, and my father built all the wooden tables for the reception with wood cut from Jacob’s parents’ land. Jacob’s father and his best friend built the barn that we held the reception in, including a bar that was built into one corner. They also built the dance floor from scratch, and my father set up the entire lighting system. The only major thing we had to rent were the chairs. Jacob’s mother made the salad dressing, herbed butter for the bread, and all the vegetarian dishes. I made my own homemade limoncello for the toast and bought thrift store coffee mugs to fill with Starbucks instant coffee and biscotti for the favors.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were married on a Southern Tennessee farm, held the ceremony on the banks of a creek, and had the reception in and outside the family barn. Another Southern touch was that we had family and friends helping out in every way. Even our reception dinner was quintessentially Southern, with family-style servings. We also had a Budweiser trailer with beer taps, and our custom cocktails were a spiked blueberry lemonade and a Lynchburg Lemonade. Our musical guests sang country classics like “Ring of Fire” and “Rocky Top.” The most Southern thing of all, though, was when Jacob’s family’s neighbor rode over on his tractor to hand deliver our wedding gift of homemade wine and join in on the celebration!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was the family-centered nature of it all. Having family and friends sing through the ceremony and the reception made the day so personal and touching. During the reception, my father, brother, and cousin joined Kevin and Lucas, our vocalist and guitarist for the ceremony, and they played music like nobody’s business. My cousin, Cody Huber, performed mind-blowing Johnny Cash covers that astounded our wedding guests. Jacob and I are University of Tennessee alumni, along with many of our wedding guests, so when my dad, also an alumni, performed the song “Rocky Top,” the entire crowd went wild!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I attended a Greek date party with an abysmal blind date and was about to head home when I saw the most beautiful man’s face beaming above the crowd. Jacob was surrounded by women that he was a good foot taller than, making his smiling face readily apparent. I then saw that it was my own sorority little sister dancing with him. Since they were on the complete other side of the bar, I decided to call it a night and go home. A few weeks later, I was introduced to Jacob at a party, and learned that he was only a platonic friend of my sorority little sister, as well as a best friend of her older brother. Jacob was, apparently, as smitten with my smile as I had been with his weeks prior. We dated, fell in love, and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! A week before New Year’s Eve, Jacob told me he was planning the night for me, since I am usually the planner. It wasn’t until we pulled up to the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville that I found out where we would be celebrating the holiday. I asked Jacob how he could afford a night in such a lavish hotel, and he replied, “With what I had left.” He quickly added, nervously, “of my Christmas money.” This response was odd because I knew what he had gotten for Christmas and none of it was money. It dawned on me that he may have actually meant that the money was leftover after purchasing an engagement ring. I was excited, but I reminded myself that I had no idea if this was true. Getting ready for our evening, Jacob came to the bathroom where I was fixing my hair and, with the most grave expression, said, “I forgot something VERY important.” I immediately assumed he meant the engagement ring. Well, apparently a black belt for a formal event was just as important. He had forgotten his and took off on a mission to buy one at one of the hotel’s clothing stores. When he returned, he seemed surprised that I wasn’t ready yet, but my hands had been shaking from nerves and anticipation and I could barely apply my makeup. After another thirty minutes of primping, I was finally ready. When I heard the song, “You and Me” by the Dave Matthews Band coming from the other room, I knew my intuition had been correct. Jacob, a beautiful writer, had written something breathtaking that he read aloud. He got down on one knee, and before he could even finish the question, I excitedly said “Yes!” After a bottle of bubbly and a lovely Italian meal, we were joined by our best friends, who had just gotten engaged days before. We celebrated in the Opryland ballroom with a midnight countdown and late night dancing!
When did y’all get married? May 24, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cakes came from a sweet lady who lives just down the road from Jacob’s parent’s home. She is largely retired from her business, but was happy to provide her services for Jacob’s mom, who has been ordering her cakes for Jacob’s birthday for over a decade! I handcrafted monogram-style letters to go on each cake and had Jess add some lovely floral touches. Words cannot describe how delicious and lovely they were in their sweet simplicity!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be realistic about your wedding budget. When beginning the planning process, you think that it will be so easy to cut things that you may want. However, when it comes down to it, you may end up splurging on a few things. Also, don’t take on all the responsibilities yourself. I thought I could get away with planning everything, but ended up hiring a coordinator a few months out and was so thankful for her!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Since the wedding, Jacob and I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where Jacob started his radiology residency at the Mayo Clinic. I will be starting my PhD program studying American literature at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Jacob’s work schedule is crazy, so we just like to savor our beach days and hiking adventures when we can!

Photographer: Rachel Moore Photography / Videographer: That’s Classic Media / Planner: Porsche Kristina / Venue: Private residence / Florist, Lighting, and Bridal Party Wreathes: Jessica Fell Davis of SOULflowers / Caterer: Gondola Pizza and Steakhouse Restaurant, River Cafe, and Family / Rentals: Christopher Equipment and Southern Events Party Rental Company / DJ: Josh Hearing / Beer Trailer: Budweiser / Paper Products: Beth of All Trades / Bride’s Gown: “MB3491″ by Galina / Bridal Salon: David’s Bridal / Jewelry: Kristen Stancher / Hair and Makeup: Jessica Steingard / Bride’s Shoes: Toms Burlap Wedges / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Free People, Flying Tomato, Express, and Altar’d State / Groom’s Attire: ASOS

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Jessica reply

    I love the character in each of these photos! Rachel absolutely captured the joy in this special day. Beautiful!

  2. avatar Breanna reply

    I have never seen such a beautiful ceremony site! The wedding rock was amazing. Completely took my breath away. I love the little meaning behind everything in the entire wedding. There was such sentiment in every piece of this celebration and the photography caught the love in every shot. Gorgeous!

  3. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #153 – Floridian Weddings reply

    […] feeling like this Tennessee ceremony spot is straight out of a Fern Gully […]

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Introducing Married in the South!

by in News on

As some of you may have seen on instagram, Lara and I traveled to Birmingham for an exciting meeting with our friends at Southern Living in June. (For the background on our partnership, see here!) We discussed lots of ways to continue our shared mission, and left with renewed gratitude for Southern Living’s passion for propelling our heart for strong marriages and meaningful weddings to an ever-expanding audience.

We also left with the beginnings of a very exciting collaboration, which we’re SO very excited to share with you today. It’s called Married in the South!

You’ve all heard of the Today Show Throws a Wedding, yes? Well, this project will be similar in that we’ll choose a couple and y’all will get to vote on some aspects of their celebration, but rest assured, the whole thing will have a decidedly Southern Weddings spin. As we well know, there is a certain magic about weddings in the South that captivates hearts around the globe. Our hope is to help one very special couple plan a deeply meaningful beginning to married life and celebrate the rich culture of this place we call home. Aside from being beautiful, we just know it will be an event that will inspire us all to love more deeply and celebrate what matters most!

Photo by Tanja Lippert from Paige + Adam’s wedding

We’ll be partnering with the best and brightest in the South to not only plan and execute our special couple’s wedding, but to come alongside us and contribute to blog posts and video features that are perfect for anyone planning their Southern celebration. Our vendors are not only incredibly talented and creative, they also have the hugest hearts. We could not be more elated that the Easton Events team has signed on to be our lead planner. (If you’re not familiar with their stunning work, see more here, here, here, and here!)

Photo by Ryan Ray from Southern Weddings V5

We know y’all will have questions, and we have answers!

How will you find the couple?
With your help, hopefully! Entries are officially open here. You can either nominate yourself or another deserving couple you know. Couples must be engaged and must NOT have booked any vendors for their wedding. They also must be willing to give over much creative control of their celebration (with, of course, the reassurance that their wedding will be in the very best of hands!).

When will the wedding take place?
The wedding will take place in June 2015 at the 2015 Southern Living Idea House, being built in Charlottesville, VA. We are SO excited to celebrate at SL’s gorgeous property, and in such an iconic Southern town!

How will we get to participate?
After we choose our couple (by the end of the year), their wedding planning will kick into high gear! You can expect to see weekly posts on the Southern Weddings blog throughout the winter and spring (hooray!), including helpful, practical tips and fun opportunities to vote at every step. Though we’re excited for the couple we choose, we’re also giddy at the opportunity to inspire so many other love stories and celebrations along the way!

Photo by Mary Rosenbaum from Toree + Forrest’s wedding

We couldn’t be more excited to kick off this project, and are already itching with excitement to read the Married in the South entries as they come in – and for June 2015 to get here!! We would love y’all’s help as we search for one very special couple, so please share our page and encourage any wonderful, deserving couples you know to apply!

emily Written with love by Emily
3 Comments
  1. avatar T Brown reply

    I can’t find a way to nominate a couple- even the Southern Living link sends you to a ‘refresh’ of their Facebook page… :/. Help?

  2. avatar Mikkel reply

    That is SO SO SO exciting!!! Such a great idea and awesome partnership. I can’t wait to see the lucky couple chosen and follow along as it all comes together!

  3. avatar Jessica Taylor reply

    We are having to pay for our own wedding. We would be honored to win. It would be such a help starting a new life together

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I couldn’t help but smile when I read Sally Ward and Patrick’s love story–they met when they were both dating other people and became friends–keeping their relationship platonic for three years before realizing that they felt something more for each other. The beginning of mine and Dave’s relationship was similar, and I’ve said ever since then that you can’t meet your soul mate without it having an effect on you. Sally Ward and Patrick are further proof of this, and every detail of their wedding expressed their joy and gratitude for their relationship and their story!

Thank you so much to Geneoh Photography for sharing this gorgeous, meaningful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I took three trips to various stores in Nashville without any luck. I knew what I wanted, but I wasn’t finding it! One Sunday morning, my sister-in-law, Caroline Brewer, called me and told me The Bride Room was having a sale, so we went to go take a look. We didn’t have any expectations of finding the dress, but when I put on the second dress, I just knew I had found it! We quickly called my mom and asked her to bring her veil to see if it worked with the dress, and it was the sweetest match!

We did not do a first look, and here’s why: I believe the moment that the groom sees his bride for the first time is a really holy, sacred, and extremely symbolic experience. I wanted to be in the church for this moment, and to wait and see each other until we were living out that significance. Patrick was told that me walking down the aisle to him would be the closest thing to heaven he would ever experience until he gets to the Kingdom. Also, I wanted to walk to him and vow my life to him in the presence of all of our people. That way, that powerful moment that embodies indescribable emotion was seen by “our great cloud of witnesses.”

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our readings were read by two of our favorite and most life-giving couple friends. These two couples are friends with both of us and walk with us in our everyday lives. They read Hebrews 12:1-2 and John 15:1-5.

We loved the second line march from the church to the trolley in the park. We danced, laughed, and waved our flags with all our friends behind us for four blocks, and when we got to the park, we popped champagne before hopping onto the trolley!

See any familiar faces below? Caroline and Clark are on the right–Clark is Sally Ward’s brother!

We felt strongly about getting married in a church. We chose our church as the ceremony venue because it is where we had been going for a year and a half together, and it is in the middle of our neighborhood that we love. We knew that every Sunday would be a reminder of our vows, and that felt really exciting to us. The reception venue belongs to our family friends, and they just started hosting weddings recently. We didn’t want to use the barn because I didn’t want a rustic look, so instead, the barn was a beautiful backdrop to our event (and a nice rain plan!). We knew we wanted the reception to be outdoors–it just fits our personalities, and this farm is simply gorgeous.

I grew up loving to climb trees, and I was especially fond of a great big magnolia tree that sat to the left of my childhood home, so I thought, how cool would it be if I picked leaves from THAT tree and made them the place cards at the wedding? I wanted every detail to hold meaning, and that house is so special–it made me so delighted to see a piece of my childhood with us on our wedding day. Sarah Tate did the most beautiful job writing everyone’s names in white ink on the bottom of the leaves.

Describe your wedding flowers. Simple, elegant, and organic. I wanted to use greenery with some white thrown in just about everywhere. For my bouquet, we paired budding peonies with olive leaves–it was timeless and elegant. For the bridesmaids, we paired silver dollar eucalyptus with budding white tulips, which was a pretty complement to the long blush dresses. On the tables, we ran greenery down the middle of the tables and added touches of white florals. For the arrangements, we used some silver dollar eucalyptus and a few white and pink peonies from our garden!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There are so many, I honestly can’t decide! The first dance was so memorable. Patrick surprised me with Sanders singing “Somewhere.” The lights were on us, and we never even realized that people were watching us! It felt like it was just the two of us dancing around the living room. When the band took a break, Patrick had lined up a list of monumental songs from our past, with friends from all stages of our relationship. It was absolutely priceless and something I will never forget. Patrick also surprised me with a huge fireworks show as we were leaving! It was so gorgeous and overwhelmingly magical.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I dated one of Patrick’s friends/roommates my freshman year of college in 2006, and he introduced Patrick and I on a double date. Crazy, huh!? We quickly became friends and remained just friends for three years. We later discussed that we always felt a magnetic connection when we were together–it’s hard to describe, but I always knew that he was very special! During our last year at Ole Miss, we ended up being the only two of our friends who wanted to go watch a meteor shower out in the country. Patrick kissed me that night for the first time under the gorgeous fall sky as some deer pranced around us! We completely fell in love that summer in 2010, and our hearts hurt when we had to split ways as he had committed to working for Peru Mission for a year after college. We continued to fall in love via handwritten letters sent across the ocean and our third-wheel friend, Skype. When Patrick launched his company, Nisolo, in Peru, I joined him for several months to help, as well as teach English to the Peruvian community. What an adventure! In June 2012, Patrick moved Nisolo to Nashville, my hometown, and we began our lives in the same city again. Bliss!
Tell us all about the proposal! Patrick spent the summer of 2013 in Boulder, Colorado, and I went and visited him at the end of the summer. We planned to drive to Montana for a friend’s wedding and then on to Yellowstone and Jackson, Wyoming. The thought had crossed my mind that he might be proposing that week because he was looking at me in a different way, but I tried not to get ahead of myself at every breathtaking view, wondering if he might drop to his knee! Our last stop was Jackson, where we found a campsite in the middle of nowhere, and he asked me if we could go on a walk. Before I knew it, Patrick was walking me through how he felt and his journey to get to where we are today, and after a lot of really beautiful and powerful words, he proposed! We looked around in complete amazement at what had just happened and saw crazy storm clouds quickly approaching, so we ran back to our car to take cover and head into Jackson Hole to celebrate. During our short drive, we stopped to get out of the car–just then, the sun peeked out of the clouds and there was a crazy brightness on our faces! Overwhelmed with emotion, I cried as I felt the sun on my face and saw the sun beaming out of the darkness. Then, we turned away from the view of the Tetons to the opposite side of the road to find a rainbow stretching across the entire field of sage. It was so beautiful, and we truly felt God’s presence there with us, affirming us in this decision. We will never ever forget that day.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 315
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I could not choose just one flavor, so the top layer was strawberry, the middle was almond buttercream, and the base tier was pistachio, all with cream cheese icing. It was divine, and made by a dear family friend who just relaunched her local bake shop! We loved the simple white design with touches of greenery and color. We positioned the cake under a hanging wreath that was lit up, and placed it on a silver platter that made it look so elegant.
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? Ask for what you need (from both vendors and friends)! I had several moments when I had to openly tell vendors where we were with our budget, and many of them found ways to make things work so that it was still beneficial for both of us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Truly think about what makes your relationship special and embrace that in every detail. Whether it is song choices, readings, activities, venues, or props, choose them because they embody your story. I believe it makes the day so personal and incredibly meaningful to you as the bride and groom. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help! People love LOVE and feel honored to play a part in your day. Finally, stay organized along the way. Get to know Google Docs if you don’t already!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Not having to say goodbye every night! We are so thankful for the time we get to share together now by just coming home! More importantly, marriage has a way of sharpening us, and I am really excited about that.

Photographer: Geneoh Photography / Videographer: Clark Brewer, Campbell Brewer, and Darius Fitz / Planner: Linley Stokes / Ceremony Venue: Midtown Fellowship – 12 South / Reception Venue and Lighting: Hidden Trace Farms / Florist: Mayfield Flowers & Events / Wedding Cake: Franklin Bake Shop / Caterer: Chef Penelope / Rentals: 12th Table and Liberty Party Rental / Band: Erik Blue Band / Invitations: Chelsea Petaja / Paper Map: Anna Woodyard / Bride’s Gown: “JH8360″ in Ivory by Jim Hjelm / Hair and Makeup Artist: Giovani Diaz / Bride’s Shoes: “Bolivar Wedge” by Nisolo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “DC Long” in Tiny Dancer by Ceremony by Joanna August / Men’s Suits: Street Tuxedo / Men’s Shoes: Nisolo / Invitation Envelope Calligraphy: Megan Henrich / Place Cards Lettering: Sarah Tate

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Corinna Hoffman reply

    Love the rustic and nature theme of this wedding!

  2. avatar Amy reply

    Beautiful wedding and great imagery Gene!! Stunning!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I completely identify with everything Sally Ward wrote about her ceremony – love the idea of being reminded of your vows every Sunday at church, and of a “cloud of witnesses” gathering.

  4. avatar Loverly reply

    Love the big bow ties- they look great on the groomsmen! And the leaf name cards are so creative!

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