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Lucy and Will’s wedding makes my heart sing a little, because with every image, I can imagine them looking back on their wedding in five, ten, and even fifty, years, and still loving everything about it. As they planned their special day with the help of Carson Castellaw at Bella Flora, they included special nods to their families (like Lucy’s heirloom veil and a gorgeous family photo display), their love story (they were married in the church that led to their first meeting!), and even the married life they were creating through their wedding (they coincidentally both gifted one another with monogrammed wedding gifts). All of those meaningful elements were set against a timeless green and white color palette and arranged under a clear-top tent to create a lovely beginning to Lucy and Will’s marriage!

Thank you so much to Sarah Kate Photography for sharing this celebration with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My parents and I went to New York City for my brother’s engagement in January. The engagement was a surprise, so we did not want to run into them anywhere, and decided to spend our day where we knew they would not be: bridal salons. I tried on a few dresses with only my parents there and found the one. I kept it a secret to everyone but my family until the day of, which was hard, but so worth it!!

We didn’t mean to, but we both gave each other monogrammed gifts the day of the wedding. He gave me a necklace with my new monogram and I gave him a monogrammed cummerbund!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I think the most memorable moment of our wedding day was the ceremony. It was the part of the wedding that we were most looking forward to: committing to one another in front of God and our family and friends.

I absolutely love flowers and I think they were my favorite part of the whole event! Carson, our wedding planner, and Lucy at Bella Flora went above and beyond on the flowers, making sure they were exactly what I was imagining. We wanted the reception to feel very natural and rustic, but still elegant, and used a combination of white and green flowers.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think our wedding had a lot of Southern flair, especially the reception! The venue itself is a ranch, but the clear tent and hanging lanterns made us feel like we were outside the whole time. The food at our reception was so good–we had guacamole and salsa tostadas, quail legs, cheese grit tacos, and more.

We had a bride’s cake and a groom’s cake. The bride’s cake was a five-tier white cake with my new monogram and flowers all over it. Will’s cake was two-tired, covered in chocolate shavings and succulents. We are both pretty traditional when it comes to cake flavors, so mine was white cake with white icing and his was all chocolate. I actually never saw the groom’s cake amidst the craziness of the reception, but it looks beautiful in the pictures!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy the process! It is a short season that is so much more fun when it’s enjoyable, rather than stressful.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both grew up in Fort Worth, Texas, but didn’t cross paths until our junior year of high school. Will first noticed me at a mission trip preparation meeting. We started dating not long after, and have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! Will proposed on December 20, 2013 at his family’s lake house. He told me that since the Christmas season is always busy, the 20th would be the best night for us to celebrate and exchange gifts. He gave me my gift first, which was an iPad, and I was shocked. He had set the iPad background to a photo of him holding the ring, so when I turned it on, I saw the picture. When I looked up, he was down on one knee. He asked me if I would marry him, and I said yes! Afterwards, he surprised me again with all our closest friends and family waiting to celebrate at my parents’ house. It was the perfect night!
When did y’all get married? September 20, 2014
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We had a hard time deciding whether or not to do a first look, but in the end, we decided not to, and I’m so glad! For us, it made the ceremony even more special and sacred.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Christ Chapel Bible Church was an easy choice for us, as it was the church both of us grew up attending. We decided on Heart of the Ranch for our reception because I wanted an outdoor venue where I could create a new look from scratch. Heart of the Ranch was the perfect place for us!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed the veil that my grandmother, mom, and aunts have all worn, and am excited to continue to pass it down. My something blue was my garter, old was my earrings, and new was my shoes.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We made sure to take time out of wedding planning and focus on us and the future of our marriage. We did premarital counseling through our church, which was so great and fun!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking forward to life slowing down post-engagement and settling into married life together in Dallas!

Photographer: Sarah Kate Photography / Videographer: Elle Films / Planner: Carson Castellaw of Bella Flora / Ceremony Venue: Christ Chapel Bible Church / Reception Venue: Heart of the Ranch / Florist: Bella Flora / Cake Baker: Creme de la Creme / Caterer: Bonnell’s / Band: The Project Band / Paper Products: Southern Fried Paper / Bride’s Gown: Oscar de la Renta / Hair and Makeup: Maitee Miles / Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “9327″ by Alvina Maids / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Southern Fried Paper is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    This wedding is a stunner!! I love her showstopper of a dress, and I have always loved the idea of keeping your dress a surprise til your wedding day. My sister did this (only my mom and I saw it beforehand), and I think it was an amazing decision. I also love how this couple wanted to keep the wedding natural and rustic, yet elegant – and it’s perfectly all of that!

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Unique Venues at W Austin

by in Sponsor Love on

As you may have seen on Instagram, Emily and I just got back from a whirlwind trip in Texas, including one of my favorite cities in the world/my college stomping grounds: Austin. I’ve always admired the fabulously swanky W Austin, right in the heart of downtown, so I loved learning about some of the options they have available for weddings and celebrations. Brides and grooms who love ATX and are looking for a venue that is as unique as the city itself, take a peek below!

The Terrace: For creative brides, The Terrace provides a lovely blank slate that can be customized to fit your wedding day vision–it can even be tented! I personally think this is the perfect option for couples planning a destination wedding in Austin, since it overlooks bustling 2nd Street, and is attached to the iconic ACL-LIVE at the Moody Theater music venue.

Ashley Garmon Photographers

The Great Room: The largest event space at W Austin, The Great Room seats up to 250 guests. The space can be broken up into three rooms if needed, and can be easily flipped from ceremony to reception, thanks to the cocktail hour-ready hallway just outside. The carpeting and walls are neutral (always a great quality for a ballroom to have!), and the Murano glass chandeliers are gorgeous!

Ashley Garmon Photographers

The Records Room: Austin is chock full of music lovers, and if you and your groom are some of them, the Records Room is such a cool spot for your wedding! The walls are lined with 8,000 vinyl records, an iconic piece of Austin art hangs over the fireplace, and Gary Clark Jr. even shot his “Ain’t Messin’ Round” music video there.

Trace: I’m sure many Austinites are already familiar with Trace, but did you know it can be rented as an event space? This modern, art deco-inspired room has an indoor/outdoor feel, thanks to the doors that open up to the patio, and there are lots of unique seating options throughout. The Trace team will also work with you to create a delicious, customized menu.

The Mullers

WET Deck: This is a spot your guests will rave about for years–the WET deck overlooks beautiful downtown Austin to create an urban, eclectic feel for your wedding. Individual cabanas serve as prep areas or even food stations–so fun for a unique dinner!

This post is brought to you by W Austin — thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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When I hear a bride say she wants a dress “big and dramatic enough for Scarlett O’Hara,” my ears instantly perk up! So of course, I was already excited to see this stunning wedding from Blue Ribbon Vendor (and personal friend of mine!), Desiree Dawn Events, and, y’all, it did not disappoint! Mary Grace and Jason incorporated meaningful traditions into their wedding to honor the past, while also celebrating their future. There was plenty of sweet Southern hospitality and lots of special details, including hosting their reception in the same ballroom at The Biltmore that held their law school orientation dinner seven years prior! Jason even had an armadillo-shaped groom’s cake in honor of their favorite movie, Steel Magnolias. So fun!

Big hugs to Flora + Fauna for capturing this beautiful day!

I wanted a dress that was big and dramatic enough for Scarlett O’Hara–something that was Southern chic, with lace, a statement back, and a classic bow. I started my search by browsing images of dresses online, and came across Sheridan by Hayley Paige. When a dress takes your breath away, like when you have your first kiss with your husband-to-be, it must be the one!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, even though I’m very superstitious! We wanted to be able to savor that first moment of seeing one another on our wedding day–just the two of us, without all of our guests watching–and having that instant reaction and tender moment documented. A first look is a unique experience for each couple, so the way we saw each other for the first time on the most important day of our lives only added to our love story.


The Biltmore Hotel is the most storied landmark in Florida, and it holds special meaning to both of us. During orientation, our law school held a dinner at the Biltmore’s Country Club Ballroom. That dinner was one of the first times Jason and I crossed paths. Our reception took place in the same ballroom seven years later!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The moment that stands out the most was our ride to and from the ceremony. Since our ride was a vintage car, the mirrors weren’t tinted, so everyone driving by could see us clearly through the glass. They tooted, waved, and hollered at us as they passed by, rolling down their windows to congratulate us. That moment, of seeing perfect strangers being joyful and genuinely excited for us on our day, has stayed fresh in our minds.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Goodness gracious! Where do I begin? I wanted to incorporate meaningful traditions with my family to honor the past while celebrating our future, so I did a first look with my daddy and presented him with his gift–an embroidered handkerchief that can be passed down for generations. We gave miniature bottles of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and mini jars of delicious Southern honey (for our youngest guests) as favors, which also doubled as escort cards. We served our signature drinks in mason jars with colorful striped straws that guests could take home. We had a family-style layout with long farmhouse tables and mismatched chairs, surrounded by round tables with lace overlays, which gave a sense of warmth and family. Our table names were common Southern sayings, which filled our wedding with nods to the South. To give our guests a taste of good ol’ fashion Southern hospitality, we served classic Southern staples during cocktail hour, including a whole hog that was served with mac and cheese and honey cornbread. And we couldn’t do without everyone’s favorite Southern tradition: the groom’s cake. Our groom’s cake was in the shape of an armadillo because we (and especially Jason) love Steel Magnolias. During cake cutting, we even gave ourselves the tail piece, just like what Ouiser served to Drum! At the end of the night, we were certain our guests felt truly hosted, and not just entertained, because though the details, our wedding was an outpouring of genuine love for our friends and family.

Our flowers were reminiscent of fall in the South, thanks to an overgrown/organic look with lots of greenery, purple and wine tones, burgundy, palest peach and blush, and pops of coral. We also incorporated blackberries into the bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces for that extra touch of Southern charm!

Check out their wedding film by Flora + Fauna here!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jason and I started law school at the University of Miami at the same time. We lived around the corner from each other, but we didn’t meet until October. My roommates and I threw a Halloween party (we dressed up as characters from The Wizard of Oz and I was the Scarecrow). Jason came and noticed me in my costume, which was enough to light a spark!
Tell us all about the proposal! One sunny morning, Jason took me back to the UM campus. We walked by our law school and stopped at a fountain. He proposed there, and told me that was the spot where he had first seen me.
When did y’all get married? We were married on November 9, 2014, seven years from the day we went on our first date. Our Canes were on a bye week that weekend, so it was meant to be!
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Describe your wedding cake. The inspiration for our wedding cake was Southern elegance. The bottom tier was light gold with textured buttercream icing and the other tiers had smoother icing with some texture and were a similar shade of ivory to my dress. Our florist incorporated fresh flowers, red berries, and blackberries around the cake. The top tier of our cake was spice cake with apple cheesecake filling–perfectly appropriate for a fall wedding! The second tier was marble cake with chocolate Godiva filling, and the third was half chocolate and half vanilla cake with cappuccino filling. The bottom tier was Jason’s favorite: vanilla rum. We tried each flavor during our tasting, and they were all slices of heaven!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, to all of the above! My something old was my pearl necklace, which Jason helped me pick out when we were dating. My something new was my pearl bracelet, a wedding gift from my parents. My something borrowed was my sister’s Tory Burch perfume, which was literally and figuratively near and dear to my heart! My something blue was a sparkling blue crystal on the sole of my shoes. To complete my look, The White Magnolia sent me a sixpence for my shoe.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When you’re planning your wedding, YOGMO–you only get married once! If you’re on a budget, but there is something that tugs at your heartstrings, do it and figure out where you can save money in other places. After the cake is cut and the last guest leaves, you’ll look back on your day without any regrets.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We were so busy planning our wedding that we didn’t have time to plan our honeymoon! Waiting until after we said “I do” turned out for the best because we both had the post-wedding blues, and planning our honeymoon has filled that void. We’ll be glamping in Montana in a honeymoon tent at The Resort at Paws Up this September.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? A little rain became a downpour. We got wet, and so did our guests, but it didn’t put a damper on our day, and actually added a bit of romance to the air. So brides, have no fear of some rain, because there’s something about it that’ll make your day beyond magical!

Photographer and Videographer: Flora + Fauna / Planner: Desiree Dawn Events / Ceremony Venue: St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: The Biltmore Hotel / Personal Flowers: Julia Rohde Designs / Reception Flowers: Petal Productions / Cake Baker: Elegant Temptations / Rentals: Hitched Event Rentals / Vintage Rentals and Table Runners: Unearthed Vintage / Lighting and Band: AAMusicians / Linens & Overlays: Petal Productions / Chargers: Tastebuds Catering / Cake Stand: BHLDN / Paper Products: Make Merry! / Bride’s Gown: “Sheridan” by Hayley Paige / Veil: Cynthia Kay from The White Magnolia / Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. / Hair and Makeup: Amy Palma of South Beach Makeup Studio / Bride’s Shoes: “Conrad” by Something Bleu / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Lacey” by Joanna August / Photo Booth: Sideshow Booth Co. / Late-Night Snacks: Yardbird Southern Table & Bar / Groom’s Cake Baker: Todo Dulces / Menswear: The Black Tux / Groom’s Bow Tie & Pocket Square: Everett K Handcrafted Ties & Bow Ties / Groomsmen’s Ties: The Tie Bar / Flower Girls’ Dresses: “43312″ in Oatmeal by Seahorse / Choreographer: Luis Lopez of Arthur Murray Dance Center / Vintage Car: Florian’s Classics

Desiree Dawn Events and Make Merry! are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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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