Southern Weddings

The when, where, and look of a wedding seem to get all the attention, but don’t overlook the impact you can make with your song selections! Have you ever heard of those couples who make a pact to start swaying together whenever they hear their first dance song, even if it’s the grocery store? I have, and they always make me smile :)

At the same time, don’t despair if you and your fiance don’t have an obvious special song choice for your first dance — many of the Southern Weddings gals didn’t, either, but you can bet the songs we chose are special to us and our husbands now! Incorporating meaningful details from your relationship so far is one of the best ways to celebrate your love story, but your wedding day is also a great opportunity to make new memories.

If you’re looking for a totally fresh idea on the song front, we love the vintage warmth of Eamon’s new single, “Be My Girl” for a fun, upbeat option! Eamon was inspired by newlywed life with his new wife to write it – so sweet! “This is the kind of song that I’ve always wanted to write,” he says, “but it’s never come out of me. I think a lot of that has to do with being newly married and having my best friend as the love of my life.”

Photo by Rebekah Senter Photography from Rose Hill Mansion Wedding by Eventi Floral and Events

We’ve asked so many real brides to share their song selections over the years, and unsurprisingly, their inspiration has run the gamut: maybe it was playing during a pivotal moment in their relationship, it was popular when they were falling in love, or it’s the song they love to sing along to together most often.

Still others have chosen a new song they’ve fallen in love with specifically for their first dance to cement that memory in their minds (in that case, “Be My Girl” would be a perfect pick!). I also love the idea of borrowing a traditional song from your parents’ or grandparents’ first dances!


Photo by The Ganeys from Colorful New Year’s Eve Wedding by Ashton Events

Thanks to the great responses on this #SWFrontPorch post and a little brainstorming from our team, we put together this Spotify playlist for you to sashay around the kitchen to as you try out options with your beau! Here’s a cheat sheet of the tunes in store:

I’d love to hear: What first dance song are you leaning toward, or did you choose? I went with “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin (a classic choice for our seaside wedding!), but “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz was a close second!

This post is sponsored by Red Music. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Dillon and I chose ‘The Wedding Song’ by Matt Maher… The words were everything to us and our story!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    “She’s Like Texas” would be a PRECIOUS first dance song!!

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You have a lot of choices for information and inspiration while wedding planning, but we believe one of the reasons you come to us is for a regular dose of what we like to call “the magic of the South.” Not only can this magical place we call home inspire your wedding day details, but it can provide a healthy dose of perspective and calm during a sometimes stressful season.

What, exactly, is the magic of the South? Well, it’s different for everyone, but here are the things our team finds most magical about life beneath the Mason-Dixon Line…

All photos from our hashtag #SWMagicoftheSouth!

AMBER, our Marketing Director: I find the way community is so natural here to be magical: everyone on their porch chatting about the day, how well we know our neighbors and wouldn’t hesitate to ask them for any kind of help — whether it be an egg or cup of sugar, or helping you track down a missing cat. I also appreciate the gardens, florals, and nature of the South. It was completely new to me when I arrived ten years ago, and I’m constantly learning something new even now.

EMILY, our Creative Director: My favorite thing about the South is the history and community of historic neighborhoods: beautiful old houses, big front porches, gracious old trees, and neighbors who know each other. Think downtown Beaufort, SC; downtown Laurel, MS; 12 South in Nashville; or Oakwood in Raleigh!

LARA, our Founder: I love how the South colored and shaped my grandfather’s personality and legacy. I love driving through small Alabama towns, hot boiled peanuts, the sound of crickets, Peach Park, humble homes, and the distinct smell of magnolias. I grew up going to a place called Hopkin’s Boarding House for Sunday supper where the entire porch was lined in rockers and we’d collect rolly pollies while we waited on a table in the family-style dining area. The food was classic: mashed potatoes, fried chicken, banana pudding, white rice, rolls, and super sweet tea. Overall, I love how the people reflect the history and landscape, creating a unique heritage.

NICOLE, our Art Director: I love the hometown feel that happens in Southern cities. There’s so much pride in local — local businesses, local farms, local history (that’s the funniest!) — and it makes everyone feel connected to the past and involved in the future.

Photo by Jessica Burke with styling by Blue Ribbon Vendor Jacin Fitzgerald from Southern Weddings Volume 6

JESS, our Chief Encourager: My favorite part of the South is knowing that the people here embody true hospitality, willing to jump in and help on the hardest days and thrilled to stand by your side to celebrate the milestones in your life. No one is ever too busy to stop for a hello or hang out for a glass of sweet tea.

MARISSA, our Ad Director: Heaven above, I simply cannot just pick one thing to love about the South! I love the personalities that have never met a stranger, the architecture that is so carefully preserved and restored, the way honeysuckle smells in the spring, how Saturdays in the fall are reserved for college football, how baby girls wear big bows and baby boys wear jon jons, the food (especially biscuits, banana pudding, and cheese grits!) and how it is used as a love language to bring people together. I love the sound of a thick Southern drawl, the pride Southerners have for their t-tiny hometowns (and the South as a whole for that matter!), and the traditions that helps shape every aspect of life in the South from naming babies to the color of your porch ceiling. But, most importantly, I love the feeling of ‘home’ that the combination of these things represent.

KRISTIN, our Editor-in-Chief: Admittedly, it’s hard to pick a favorite part about the South, but if I had to pick just one, it would be the traditions. I love how so many Southern experiences are based on long-honored traditions: pimento cheese sandwiches on Master’s weekend, watermelon and potato salad on the Fourth of July, college football kick-off and tailgating, handwritten thank you notes, seersucker and pearls, eating ‘supper’ instead of dinner. I could go on and on…

How about y’all? Did our favorites immediately bring to mind your own favorite memories, sights, smells, and sounds? Hold them close while wedding planning and long into married life! And as you enjoy them this summer and beyond, do share with us using the hashtag #SWMagicoftheSouth on Instagram – we’d love to see, and we’ll repost our favorites on the Southern Weddings account!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Bride Amanda shares her beach-side wedding on Jekyll Island at Villa Ospo (and sage advice) with us!

Please say ‘hello’ to today’s bride Amanda! She’s a perfectionist by personality and an event host by trade, so I knew her Villa Ospo wedding to Jorge would be completely dreamy. And it absolutely was! But my favorite takeaway from Amanda and Jorge’s feature today isn’t how perfectly all the details looked surrounded by oak trees and dripping Spanish moss! It’s Amanda’s ability to take the sound advice that she was given to heart and soak in each and every moment of their wedding day. She said, “It’s pretty much impossible to narrow it down to just one favorite moment, and I’m proud to say I remember it all.” Curious how she managed to remember so many special moments on what can become a somewhat blur of a day? Her advice for future brides is “to make sure you step back and take in every moment.” Thanks, Amanda!

And thank you kindly to Shauna Veasey for sharing Amanda and Jorge’s Golden Isles wedding with us!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I am such a perfectionist and was honestly pretty nervous about the whole “finding the dress” process. Luckily, I had the best, most supportive crew by my side! My mom and grandmother came up to Atlanta to make a weekend of it with my mother-in-law and a couple of my bridesmaids. We went a few appointments and tried on several dresses at each. We almost missed our first appointment on the second day due to lovely Atlanta traffic, but the sweet sales associate still accommodated us upon our delayed arrival at The White Magnolia. As stereotypical as it sounds, we all knew it was the one as soon as I put it on. My favorite part of the whole process was seeing everyone’s faces filled with joy and happy tears and celebrating with champs!

Did you decide to do a first look? Yes! It was very important for us to have that first moment together, just us two, to embrace all of the love and emotions of the day to come.

What was Southern about your wedding? To us, the venue really was the essence of the South. Beach-side, surrounded by oak trees and dripping Spanish moss, it was the perfect setting for our day. We had a groom’s cake which was a highlight. We also had trolley transportation which is a staple in the Golden Isles. I also did a first look with my dad which was a super special moment. I’ve never seen him so nervous or at a loss for words. Those are some of the most special photographs I have from that day. I also surprised him with an engraved gold fishing lure that he was so proud of he kept in his tux pocket all night.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? I am from the Golden Isles, and with its unique beauty it was a no-brainer that we would have our celebration down there. We looked at several venues on both St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island, but when we discovered Villa Ospo, it was a done deal. It’s a gorgeous venue with so much history. We chose to have our ceremony out on the front lawn in front of the Centennial of the Oaks and our reception inside and behind the villa. Our last name, “Robles” means “oaks,” so it was a very special touch to our wedding that we really loved.

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I host events for part of my profession, so I enjoy having a vision of the event and then executing the tiny details to make it a reality.

We are seriously still in awe over our amazing cakes! I have never been to a wedding where the cake is such a hot topic. We didn’t even get to announce that we were going to cut the cake because the entire reception had already moved inside the villa in anticipation that it was about to happen. They were so unique and exquisite! We are lucky to be friends with one of the best people we know, Joshua John Russell, who is an amazing cake artist. We wanted something outside of the box, and wow did he deliver! We stuck with a coastal theme which he took to the next level. Joshua had molds made from real oyster shells and edible driftwood accents that were all edible. The groom’s cake was the real showstopper. It was a white octopus that stood on it’s own tentacles! The detail was out of this world and still has everyone talking. Joshua has an amazing vision and we are so lucky his amazing work was part of our special day.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. “It’s kinda like a bundle full of everything that’s wonderful – your love for me.” Frank Sinatra
Tell us all about the proposal! We were visiting my family in South Georgia for Christmas, and Jorge wanted to have breakfast on the beach on one of our last days in town. I had an awful allergy attack the night before, and the forecast was severely foggy and humid with a high of 86 at 8am. So the perfect “breakfast on the beach” weather, haha. Jorge asked what I was planning to wear (which should have been a sign) and when I replied, “Probably an over sized t-shirt,” he responded with, “Maybe not a t-shirt.” He supported his case by saying we would probably go shopping or maybe grab lunch while we were on the island so he knew I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a t-shirt all day, which is accurate. When we got to our favorite beach access, Jorge started acting strange. He couldn’t stop staring at his phone and kept making elevator talk about the beach houses near us. We walked down the beach until he abruptly announced this was the spot and I kept looking at the houses. When I scanned the sand dunes, I saw a familiar straw hat and camera pop up. Before I could gasp and look back at Jorge, he was already down on one knee saying the sweetest things and asking me to be his forever. We shared the following moments having the happiest impromptu shoot with my best friend and amazing wedding photog, Anna K Photography, and drinking champagne on the hazy beach.
When did y’all get married? March 18, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130.
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Rev. Tom did an amazing job tailoring our ceremony to us. He did some missionary work in Spain so was able to surprise Jorge’s family by reciting the Lord’s prayer in Spanish. It was difficult keeping such a big secret, but the surprise on their faces was priceless. We also had readings from two very special ladies in our lives: our sister-in-law, Sarah, and my brother’s long time girlfriend, Shelby. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:12-14.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a violinist for ceremony music and a band for the reception. We both love live music so having musicians throughout was important to us. We wanted to keep the ceremony music traditional and have fun with the other songs. I walked down the aisle to the Bridal March, and our first dance was to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Planning our wedding was so much fun, but so stressful! It was hard to coordinate with our vendors because I live five hours away in Atlanta. The hardest part was being such a perfectionist and knowing I wouldn’t be the one on site working the event, as I always am with my job, and things would be out of my hands. Luckily, I had amazing vendors and coordinators that made things run so seamlessly and smoothly. Even if I did drive them crazy stressing about the little details sometimes :)
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? I designed the invitation myself with the help of my maid of honor, Anna Shackleford of Anna K Photography. I knew I wanted something unique and special to us and our venue. A friend from home just started a little painting business, so I had her do a painting of Villa Ospo. It turned out so perfectly that we used Photoshop to import the image and design the rest. It was fun to do together and so nice to have Anna’s expertise! We also had her original painting framed and used that as our guestbook which is hanging in our new home (..that we closed on the week of our wedding)!
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? It’s pretty much impossible to narrow it down to just one moment, and I’m proud to say I remember it all. I really took the advice I was given to heart, that your wedding day is so crazy and goes by so quickly, that you have to actually take time to make memories or it will all be a blur. Jorge and I both made sure we absorbed every moment throughout the weekend and these are memories we will treasure forever!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? I would pass along the advice I received, to make sure you step back and take in every moment.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? It was the most perfect weekend, from the weather to the little details, we’re just still on cloud nine and so happy! That means a lot coming from me who is such a perfectionist :)

Photographer: Shauna Veasey Photography | Videographer: Daniel Shackleford | Planner, Caterer, and Florist: Jay Anderson, Straton Hall Events | Venue: Villa Ospo, Jekyll Island | Wedding Cake Baker: Joshua John Russell | Lighting and Rentals: Beachview Event Rentals & Design | Band: Traveling Riverside Band | Special Details: Cocktails & Details | Invitations Painting: Painted House Co. | Programs and Menus: That Pretty Invitation | Bride’s Gown: “Sadie” by Watters WTOO from The White Magnolia Atlanta | Veil & Earrings: Sara Gabriel | Hair Stylist: Xada Baxter | Makeup Artist: Paula Xoing | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Inesse #1684,” “Cassie #1686,” and “Mira #1682” by Jenny Yoo | Menswear: Macy’s Tuxedo Rental | Ceremony Music: David Song, Violinist from Music By Pegge | Signage: Emily Guy | Koozies: The Drinking Buddy | Transportation: Lighthouse Trolleys

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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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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