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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hey y’all!  Well, I’ve been a busy bee here in the office as usual.  We’re working hard on V3 — which I have to say is the most beautiful thing on earth so far — and I’ve been deep into a few big projects.  But, without further ado… this month’s It List!  This is a very special edition — I’ve given you a few of my favorites, and have asked a few of the lovely ladies I work with to give one of their favorites, too!

Congrats to the last feature‘s top voter’s pick, Meghan McSweeney. I loved the powerful story behind that photograph.

PREVIOUSLY: Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3

How this works: VOTE for your favorite photograph by leaving a comment here and (combining our office votes with yours) we’ll award the top image of the month.  All of those images will then be in the running for Image of the Year at the end of 2010.  The best part?  If your image makes the cut, there’s a strong possibility it will make our print edition (of course, with the photographer’s permission).

My picks:

One of the brides in our upcoming print edition tried on 108 dresses.  Yes, 108.  I believe her.  I, oddly, get her.  When we went to Kleinfeld to help Katharine say yes to her dress, I was overwhelmed with schoolgirl giddiness.  My good friend Randy showed us around the massive store, including back rooms filled to the brim with fluffy white designer goodness.  Had I been granted three wishes in that moment, they would have been:

1. Have Randy pick out a dress for me.

2. Try on every dress in that store.

3. Rinse and repeat every day of the week.

Ladies, help me out here… I cannot be the only one!  You try being surrounded by Vera, Carolina and Monique…  hello temptation! So, naturally, this gorgeous photograph from David Murray reminds me of that divine feeling of slipping into “The One” for the first time.  Perfection…

I have a mental file of my favorite images of all time.  This file is easy to keep organized because there are very few photographs inside of it.  Well, it just got a little fatter with this gem from Ben Chrisman.  I audibly gasped when I saw it.  I love movement in images, as well as anticipation and surprise.  Her curled veil is like the cherry delectably placed on top of the perfect decadent wedding sundae.  In a breath, in a moment… their lives just changed.  Oh, my words just aren’t big enough for this photograph.  I suppose that’s the beauty of phenomenal moments captured – a picture contains so much more than 1,000 words.

There is an appropriate onomatopoeia in Alec Vanderboom’s name.  Like magic, this couple is surrounded by a rainbow of light and smoke… boom! Love love love.

It would be a natural tendency to label this image from Tanja Lippert “classic” … but classic denotes that it has been done before, has a timeless quality or is a perfect example of a particular style.  I would dare to say I have not seen this image before, nor done better.  The bride emerging into the light, the fullness of her dress, her graceful fingers extended as if she is saying hello to the first day of the rest of her life… need I go on?  Breathtaking.

My taste, as you can see, is varied.  I love anything that catches me and I love a photograph that shows strength.  This bride’s veil and the push of her hand cuts the air like a knife.  Direct, strong, sexy.  Thank you, Daniel Aguilar, for submitting this stunner.

I will confess that today is a tough day for me.  I’m reflecting on a personal experience one year ago that shook me to my core and still lingers.  It’s making me more reserved, quieter than my usual boisterous self, and a bit sad.  I had a great conversation with Dane Sanders last week where he asked me pointedly why I am passionate about photography.  My honest answer: photography changes me.  I am captivated, moved, uplifted by imagery.  This photograph from The Parsons is a prime example.  Hard day turns soft when I drink in the light, airy love in this image.  I can imagine her on the beach, wind in her hair, carefree and full of anticipation and love.  You can feel the sunlight, smell the ocean breeze, and without a doubt you know she feels really good in her own skin.  The power of photography.  I just went on a mini mental vacay. Thank you, Ashley and Jeremy.

I have long loved this sweet ceremony shot from Jasmine Star.  The adoration in the groom’s eyes, pride and happy tears from Dad, and the bride offering Dad a bit of comfort with a gentle touch on the back.  There are fireworks in this moment.  Just brilliant.  Gets me every time.

Awesomesauce.  That’s what these kids, captured by Michele Waite, are full of.  All dressed up with somewhere to go.  (That place, apparently, is Super Mario Kart land.  OK, I think just dated myself.  Kids probably don’t play that anymore, do they?)  Regardless, I love how sweet this image is — kids just being kids, contrasted, of course, by their wedding duds.

Picking a favorite image from this wedding by A Bryan Photo was an impossibility.  Southern perfection captured perfectly on classic beautiful film.

The moment I saw these images from Dixie Pixel, I imagined one of our office walls covered in this shot.  From top to bottom, the light, the movement, the look of joyful abandon in the groom’s face and… her dress.  Oh my, that dress!  As my friend Lydia says, Ack, I die!

There you have it friends!  I am known for epic posts and I have hundreds of favorite images, but those are just a little peek into what’s inspiring me right now.

Now, as promised, here are a few picks from Katharine, Emily, and one of our awesome interns, Nicole!

Nicole: Here is one of my favorites. I’ve had this photo from Bobbi and Mike saved for awhile because it just makes me laugh. Practice makes perfect, and what better time to learn to how to tie a tie than on your wedding day? For me, this photo perfectly describes all the little steps everyone takes to get ready on the big day and I’m sure the men in this photo are taking the responsibility of bow ties very seriously.

Emily: Ever since I saw this image from the ladies at Vue Photography, I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  The soft movement and creamy colors are so beautiful.  Plus, this mid-leap snap brings back my 12 years as a ballet dancer… just replace the wedding dress with a tutu, and I’d be good to go.

OK, Katharine is actually out of the office today doing wedding stuff, so we took it upon ourselves to pick an image we knew she would just loooovvvve.  Her two loves: babies and candy.  There are no signs of sugar in this shot and, technically, it’s not from a wedding, but it’s hilarious and the rest of this post will make you weep.   Shannon Sewell is brilliant.

Congrats to this month’s IT LIST picks and thank you for inspiring me!

I search high and low for a lot of these, but you can submit, too!  Here are the rules:

1. You can only submit one image per week, and…

2. …only via Twitpic (or the Twitter image service of your choice).  Follow and tweet your images to @LaraCasey with the hashtag #itlist to be considered. If your image is chosen, you’ll get a direct message requesting the shot.  This is a Twitter-only submissions system.  No email submissions or links to blog posts accepted.  Don’t have a Twitter account?  Sign up or have someone submit the image for you! If you need help learning Twitter or how to post an image, just leave a comment here and we’ll be glad to help : )

Images can come from anywhere in the world.  What I’m looking for: details, portraits, engagements, proposals, anything that makes you stop to take the image in.  I’m looking for that Mona Lisa factor… something that captures you!

Which one is your favorite?




P.S. If you are a photographer or wedding pro and want to learn the secrets to getting published and my take on phenomenal branding, you don’t want to miss this.

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
  1. avatar Julia reply

    my vote, the airy love picture from The Parsons

  2. avatar lydia {ever ours} reply

    there are QUITE few "ack. i die." moments in this post, Lara! :) thanks for the shoutout.

  3. avatar Kelly Langner Sauer reply

    I’m gonna have to go with that shot from The Parsons. Gorgeous. This whole post just makes me want to weep at the beauty.

  4. avatar Melanie ~ but you can call me Mel! reply

    My vote is for "Awesomesauce".Michele shot my wedding in Hawaii almost 10 years ago and I must say I am kind of biased. LOLLove all the pic’s geat choices.~m

  5. avatar Jasmine* reply

    I love you. Backwards and forwards. That is all.

  6. avatar Melissa reply

    hands down Dixie Pixel! Amazing light captured there!

  7. avatar Jaymie reply

    I vote Michele Waite’s shot with the kids!

  8. avatar nataliem reply

    my vote–the shot by ben chrisman..impeccable timing. can’t wait to enter

  9. avatar Rachel reply

    The shot by Jasmine Star. Palpable emotion.

  10. avatar Kathy reply

    Nothing better than catching kids in a "supposed to be moment" instead doing what kids do…fall deeply into their own moment. You caught it Michele!

  11. avatar Brooks reply

    My vote has to go to the classic elegance of Tanja Lippert’s beautiful shot. What a great moment in time!

  12. avatar the parsons reply

    OH MY GOODNESS, lara! what a huge honor to be named with such great talents. thank you for your incredibly kind words about our work! xoxo

  13. avatar Stephanie reply

    The Dixie Pixel Image is amazing! Does anyone know anything about the dress in the picture? Designer maybe?

  14. avatar Jenna reply

    The Parsons! Incredible shot.

  15. avatar tess reply

    After you upload a picture to TwitPic, how do you post it onto @LaraCasey’s feed? Thank you!

  16. avatar liz reply

    That photo by the Parsons is stunning! Magical. It definitely gets my vote.

  17. avatar hootenannie reply

    The Parsons’ image is so dreamy. That gets my vote.

  18. avatar maria casteel reply

    i vote for the parsons! they are just incredible.

  19. avatar Thomas reply


  20. avatar Bev reply

    Tough decision but I say the Parsons have m vote, STELLAR IMAGE guys!

  21. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Hi Tess, you just post the link to the image as an "@ reply" to LaraCasey from your own twitter account. Example: Good luck! Emily

  22. avatar Alana reply

    I’m gonna have to go with that shot from The Parsons. I love it, and was also taken to a very soft, beach-y, lovely, happy place with this image. Great shot y’all!

  23. avatar Fernando Cañas reply

    Stunning picture of Daniel Aguilar.My vote for him.

  24. avatar McKenzie Powell reply

    Michele M. Waite! Such a great moment to have captured!

  25. avatar kim reply

    i vote for the parsons. fabulous. and can i also comment that we have 2 MO photographers representing?! outstanding.

  26. avatar Katrina reply

    The Parsons shot, hands down!

  27. avatar Becca P reply

    Parsons! Parsons!

  28. avatar jen reply

    michele! so lady like.

  29. avatar Ashlee reply

    Ben Chrisman’s. that picture is incredible!

  30. avatar fer juaristi reply

    Daniell Aguilar pcitures is amazing!

  31. avatar Lupita Ramirez reply

    Love Daniel Aguilar’s pic!!

  32. avatar Peter Conrey reply

    Ben Chrisman’s is my favorite. Beautiful fleeting moment.

  33. avatar Adrienne Ayala reply

    THE Parsons is AWESOMENESS at it’s finest. They get my vote!

  34. avatar erin kate reply

    My favorite…Ben Chrisman’s photo.

  35. avatar Emily reply

    Love Michele M. Waite’s photo. She’s amazing!

  36. avatar Lucia reply

    Love that first picture by David Murray!

  37. avatar Vicki Grafton reply

    I adore The Parsons image, it really makes me feel how happy the bride is.

  38. avatar erica reply

    VUE all the way, baby!!!

  39. avatar Janice Carnevale reply

    Dixie Pixel is doing it got me!

  40. avatar Elizabeth reply

    There are three that strike me most:A Bryan’s bouquet shot, Alec Vanderboom’s wonderful smokey shot, and The Parsons’ candid beauty!

  41. avatar Mike S. reply

    The photo Michele Waite took of the kids is my favorite. I’ve seen a lot of her work and she always captures people, places and moments in a unique way.

  42. avatar Jude reply

    Dixi Pixel is the one.

  43. avatar Aubrey Johnson reply

    Michele M. Waite. That photo is too endearing!

  44. avatar jamie delaine reply

    oh sweet! i love michele. i second-shot that wedding with her in vancouver last year. so fun.

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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We love engagement shoots, and we know y’all love engagement shoots.  What better place to showcase your soon-to-be wedded love than on the tennis courts, where love is a part of the game?  Avid tennis players and all-around Southern cuties Stacy + Jeff took their love to the court with these fun and vintage-inspired engagement shoots from Kristin Vining Lindsey Reagan Thorne was the hair + makeup genius behind Stacy’s classic courtside look.

“We wanted some fun, yet classic, and these pictures really capture who we are and show something we can always share together,” the bride-to-be says of their shoot at the Myers Park Country Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Fun fact: Stacy was Whitney’s sorority sister at UNC!  We’re just a little bit jealous.

We love that S+J picked a setting that showed off their fun personalities and told us a little more about them as a couple.  What did or would you choose for an engagement session with your betrothed?  I’m thinking a candy store.  With bow ties.  Lots of candy, and lots of bow ties!

P.S. This isn’t the first engagement shoot we’ve featured from Kristin Vining + Lindsey Reagan Thorne.  The dynamic Southern duo also teamed up for Jessica + Scott’s sweet strawberry soiree!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
1 Comment
  1. avatar Liz reply

    Adorable! This shoot is so fun! The bride is SO cute; I love that they can pose for silly photos.

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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From the beginning, we’ve been open about the fact that the part of wedding planning that most excites Katharine is the cake.  For those of you familiar with her affinity for sugar, this should come as no surprise.  Though Katharine has been a little bit indecisive in other areas of wedding planning, the look — and taste — of the cake was an easy decision.

From Katharine: For a self-proclaimed sugar addict, it’s hard not to get excited about the wedding cake.  But even before I thought about the flavors we’d serve, I was trawling Google Images looking for inspiration.  My requests were (fairly) simple: something simple and elegant, with a touch of glamour and maybe a hint of drama if we were lucky.  (I’m pretty sure I used those same words when describing my dream wedding dress.  Ask Randy and Emily for confirmation.)

My dislikes were also pretty straightforward, but equally stringent: nothing flowery, cutesie or overly girly.  Afterall, this is going to be our wedding cake, not just mine.  I want Kyle to like our cake and not feel embarrassed by an over-the-top confection that screams “here comes the bride!” and forgets about her equally-important groom.

A black and white wedding cake seemed appropriately masculine and a must for our B&W evening affair, but it was a special cake feature in Oregon Bride’s Spring/Summer 2010 issue that turned me on to fun embellishments that transform a simple multi-tiered cake into a work of art.  Think ribbon, rhinestones, old-fashioned brooches and lace accents.  Gor-geous, and so unique!  (Not to mention those string of adjectives I like to throw around whenever talking about our wedding: classic, traditional, elegant, and so on…)

When this cake from Jay Qualls at Maples Wedding Cakes popped up in my search for “black and white rhinestone cakes,” I knew I had found the one.  And, unlike my vacillation on paper (black vs. gold ink?), and flowers (all-rose vs. mixed bouquets), I never gave our cake a second thought.  (The only other wedding decision I can say I have been equally confident about is the groom.  Truth.)

What I love about this cake?  The clean black and white exterior is Katharine-approved simple and Kyle-sanctioned manly, but the sleek black ribbon and glitzy rhinestone brooches makes it subtly glamorous.  There, folks, is our wedding in a nutshell.  (Fingers crossed!)

Image credit: Dove Wedding Photography

From Emily: Gorgeous!  There is no denying the simple yet glamorous beauty of the Maples wedding cake.  Any of you Southern belles getting married in Tennessee should hire Jay immediately, on order of Katharine.  For those of you ladies not in TN and still looking for black and white inspiration, we rounded up a few more possibilities:

Image credits, clockwise from top left: Sweet Sensations, Maple Wedding Cakes (photo by Dove Wedding Photography), unknown, Kate Sullivan, Real Simple, Maple Wedding Cakes (photo by Dove Wedding Photography), Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides via Wedding Paper Divas, My Sweet and Saucy (photo by Jasmine Star), Maple Wedding Cakes (photo by Dove Wedding Photography)

From Katharine: So we had the cake.  Easy.  Done.  Moving on.  But with only a few months to go before the big day, it was time to start thinking about the kind of cake + icing we wanted to serve, and who was going to design and make our fabulous confection.  Luckily, my fiancé is no stranger to cakes (see pictures below) and Boston is riddled with some of the best bakeries in the country, so I knew we’d have no trouble checking this off our to-do list.

Since it was Kyle who, truth be told, actually put the finishing touches on our wedding cake and took full responsibility for this sweet project, who better to hand over the blogging reigns to than the future Mr. Katharine Waterman himself?

Enter my groom, best friend and better half, Kyle Gibler:

From Kyle: Thanks, ladies, for the gracious introduction.  If there’s one thing I know in life, it’s video games.  If I had to choose a second, though, it’d be cake.  I have been a lover of baked goods all my life, and for me, cake is the ultimate.  Naturally my main (read: only) job in the planning of this wedding was to nail down the deets of our cake.  Thanks to Katharine (and most likely her helper Emily), we knew what the cake was going to look like on the outside.  But just like my mom always told me, I believe it’s what’s on the inside that counts.  I’ve been a chocolate fan for most of my life, but I wanted to try something a little bit more out there for our wedding.  After all, what’s a black and white affair without a little color?  (Note: Since I am, in fact, color blind, seeing said colors presents a bit of a challenge.)

Ever since I can remember, my mom has baked me Funfetti® cakes and cupcakes for my birthday.  She even got Katharine hooked on the flavor when she started shipping me birthday cakes in college.  When Kat asked me what flavor the wedding cake should be, I thought it only appropriate to choose the sprinkle-flavored goodness.  So that’s it, right?  My job was over.  Not quite…

Kyle enjoying Funfetti through the years

Apparently, cake tasting is a “must” in the wedding world, and we would be having ours at Montilio’s.  Now I was really excited!  A bit of background: this Boston-based bakery provided the cake for JFK’s wedding, Presidents Bush and Reagan’s inaugural balls, Bill Cosby’s birthday and Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Boston.  Montilio’s even baked a cake for the Pope, for God’s sake!  (Pun intended.)

Needless to say, the 63-year old Beantown bakery had an impressive resume, but would its cakes live up to its reputation?  My parents, Katharine and I attempted to find out last Thursday when we visited Montilio’s for an official cake tasting.  As soon as we entered the showroom, I was immediately impressed by the elaborate designs of their display cakes.  My eyes were drawn to a pink birthday cake with black and white zebra stripes, but Katharine vetoed that one.  Walking around the showroom, I knew I had found a haven for cake creators and cake lovers alike!  While the family-run Montilio’s certainly produces cakes that resemble art more than dessert, I secretly was crossing my fingers that their cakes would taste just as good as they looked.

That’s when we met Mia, Montilio’s lead cake designer and our hostess for the day.  Mia laid out a variety of cake slices to sample, and encouraged me to get to work!  And here’s my official verdict: Montilio’s cakes, like my bride-to-be, are almost as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside!  While I was at first sad to hear that Montilio’s didn’t carry the Pillsbury Funfetti brand, I was soon consoled by Mia’s revelation that the bakery had its own equivalent: Confetti.  So it was settled: Confetti all the way!

But as we continued to taste the various offerings, my dad and I shared a special moment over a slice of chocolate fudge cake.  (I’m not kidding: it was that good!)  While I went into our tasting thinking I knew exactly what I wanted in a wedding cake, I surprised myself (and my bride!) when I realized I was smitten with chocolate fudge.  I told Mia about my predicament, and she suggested we have two tiers of Confetti and two tiers of chocolate fudge.  My mom said having two flavors is a plus and that guests likely would appreciate the choice.  I was sold.  (Thanks, Mom + Mia!)

So now the cake will reflect Katharine’s dream on the outside and mine on the inside.   And I will be one happy groom, which is what’s really important here.

From Katharine: I’m pretty sure lovely Mia, cake designer extraordinaire, is Kyle’s new best friend (no joke), so hopefully she isn’t too surprised if she receives an invitation to share in our cake happiness this September from the groom himself.  What can I say: the boy loves his cake.

A huge thank-you to Mia and the entire Montilio’s staff for treating us to such a sweet experience in their main show room.  We left fatter + happier than we came – plus with a hand-drawn design of our wedding cake from Mia herself! – so I’d venture to say the trip was a great success  The only thing we’re more excited about is seeing the final product in September!

Up next? The groom’s look!

Weigh in: what will your cake look like?


Intros + Inspiration Boards

The Bridesmaid Dress

The Photographer

The Wedding Website

SW Goes to Kleinfeld

The Paper

The Flowers

Neither Maples Wedding Cakes nor Montilio’s is an SW advertiser and no free services are being received. Katharine’s planning posts are written to share her experiences and personal recommendations, not as advertisement for vendors.  We don’t even tell the vendor that the post is being written.  We just love em : )

Written with love by Katharine
  1. avatar WeddingXpert reply

    I don’t think there’s anything more elegant than a black and white cake! I’m swooning (and drooling!)

  2. avatar Kristin reply

    I’m grinning ear to ear that someone out there shares my affinity for all things Funfetti! :)

  3. avatar Alicepubl Wedding Blog reply

    Wow, so many kinds of wedding cakes, they are not only beautiful with so many decoration, but also delicious. I really want to have a taste at them one by one.

  4. avatar Shannon reply

    Maples is A-MAZ-ING! Hands down the best cake designer in Nashville!

  5. avatar Alisha reply

    I also fell in love with the Maples wedding cake above and had the pastry chef at the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta recreate it for my recent wedding. We used antique brooches my mom had collected over the years and I think it turned out really well!

  6. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Alisha, you’ll have to send me a picture of your cake! We’re basically cake twins :) I love the idea of using brooches your mother collected before your big day. So special! xo, Katharine @ Southern Weddings

  7. avatar Erin reply

    Katharine, The brooches are GORGEOUS!! What size did you guys end up having to buy? I would think that regular brooches would end up being too small?BEAUTIFUL!!!

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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