Hi, friends! I am so happy to introduce our October Southern Bride of the Month! Megan is getting married in less than two weeks (!!), but was kind enough to pause last-minute preparations long enough to answer a few questions. I hope you enjoy her interview — I know I sure did!
Hi! What’s your name?
What’s your fiancé’s name?
Nico Evers Swindell
What do y’all do for a living?
I like to say I am a stay-at-home actress. My dad does not think that’s funny. But for real, we both are actors and live in Los Angeles.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Three years ago we were both living in New York City and had several mutual friends. I had heard that Nico was cute, from New Zealand and an actor and thought to myself, that sounds terrrrrible. I had never dated another actor – there can only be so much crazy in one relationship. But luckily, Nico came to my Christmas Party and we ended up having a smooch! We’ve been together ever since.
Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
We flew from Los Angeles to New Zealand to visit Nico’s home last December. I had chatted about and thought about a proposal probably every day for the previous few months EXCEPT for the day it happened! We had gotten off of a 12-hour flight, made it to his home, and I was a wee bit cranky and jet lagged when Nico just asked. Very simply and sincerely. I said yes, and then he ran around the corner to get the ring, which was hidden in a piece of china on the kitchen counter! Because NZ is so far away, we couldn’t call friends or family for at least six hours, so we had it all to ourselves for a whole evening.
When’s the big day?
October 29, 2011
Where might you two be tying the knot?
At my parent’s home in Thomasville, Georgia
The driveway leading to Megan’s house! Love the Spanish moss :)
How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
I have always wanted to be married outside and at my home. I think it’s so wonderful to have a wedding ceremony at home, since a wedding is about the bride and groom becoming family!
The back porch of Megan’s house, where the ceremony will take place
Who or what has been most inspiring in the wedding planning process?
My friends’ weddings! This has been one of those wonderful years where several of my dear friends have gotten married. Each wedding has been so personal to the couple and full of amazing details! One friend served bourbon smash in mint julep cups, and another had antlers throughout her floral arrangements. Creativity is contagious.
Who or what has been most helpful in the wedding planning process?
My wedding co-captain, Nan Myers! Nan is a friend, first and foremost, who runs this fabulous store in Thomasville called Firefly. I have always admired her style, and so I thought she would be the perfect woman to help plan our wedding! Neither of us has ever planned a wedding before, but Nan has the perfect combination of retail savvy and creative spark and I am half bridezilla. She has taken care of a lot of the nitty gritty with rentals and vendors, which has allowed me to stay relatively calm. Also, Google Docs, y’all! Seriously. Put all of your lists, budgets, and RSVPs onto Google Docs. That way, a select group of people can edit the same document and everyone can stay up to date!
Modern tented wedding reception inspiration from Fete
Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
I watched plenty of “Say Yes to the Dress” marathons (original, Atlanta, and Big Bliss) before it was my time to dress shop, and always scoffed when the bride’s entourage didn’t love the dress that she loved. Then, I put on this amazing, romantic J. Mendel gown, cut on the bias with unfinished hem, and fell in love. I walked out of the dressing room fully expecting to say YES to the dress, and I got a room full of “nah-uh’s” instead. Not even Randy from Kleinfeld could have sold that dress! Cut to several months later, and not being in love with any other dress, I tried on a BLUE, FLORAL ready-to-wear Monique Lhuillier gown and my Mom, Dad, and maidens of honor all cried at once! I can’t show y’all a picture, because what if Nico suddenly takes an interest in wedding blogs and sees the dress before the big day?! Okay, sneak peak of the fabric below!
Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
I love all of our vendors! Mae Mae Paperie made heavenly save the dates & Rifle Paper Co made the most magical wedding invites on the planet! I can’t wait for the Flashdance team (Smilebooth, Sharkpig and the Human Jukebox) Betsy Dunlap’s calligraphy makes me so happy. Hugh Acheson from Empire State South is cooking up a feast for us – this bride WILL have two pieces of fried chicken thank you very much! Christian Oth Photography will make me look pretty by hook or by crook.
Above: Megan + Nico’s gold foil and kraft paper save the dates by MaeMae Paperie (see more here!). I am in love!
What do you love most about Southern weddings?
Tradition! I am saying goodnight to the groom after the rehearsal dinner and won’t see him again until I walk down the aisle. We also buried a bottle of bourbon at the site of the ceremony one month before the wedding so that it won’t rain! Nico wants to dig up the bottle on the way back down the aisle, but I’m not sure that would go over very well with our officiant. I am having a “Bleedin’ Kiwi Groom’s Cake” – my take on the Steel Magnolias classic red velvet groom’s cake.
A gorgeous invitation suite from Rifle Paper Co (via Oh So Beautiful Paper). This isn’t Megan + Nico’s design, but it sure is lovely!
If you had to pick three top priorities for your budget, what would they be and why?
Photography, food, and music. A lot of people won’t remember what your flowers, plates or linens looked like, but they will remember if they liked the food and if they danced! Photos are for remembering everything else!
What has been the best part of wedding planning? The worst part?
The worst part happened today, when I called the hotels to check on our reservations and both hotels told me that they have sold our room block rooms to non-wedding guests by accident… we are still sorting this one out. Most guests have rooms, but we are having to house others with local friends. It will probably end up being more fun for those guests anyway!
Above: Champagne tower from Kate Moss’s wedding via Once Wed (photo by Mario Testino for Vogue) and Megan’s rose bouquet inspiration
Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
Ask former brides for advice and help! Many of my closest friends passed on all of their old rental lists, budgets, seating charts and catering invoices and they were a great reference. I also occasionally asked friends their favorite and least favorite moments of other weddings to get a sense of what a guest’s experience is like and how to make it seamless! But most of all, create a day that is special for you and your groom. Y’all are the guests of honor! Take a breath (or sob for ten minutes) when it feels overwhelming and come back to planning the next day. It’s a magical time – enjoy!
Thank you so much for joining us today, Megan! Readers, if you’d like to apply to be a Southern Bride of the Month, check out this post for all the details! If you’ve already emailed me, you’re still in the running for future months!
P.S. Looking for even more Southern Bride goodness?
Texan childhood sweethearts planning a church wedding and country club reception
Floridians planning a garden wedding full of amazing Southern eats
A sometimes-long-distance couple planning a destination wedding in Georgia
The Southern Bride of the Month header was designed by our Assistant Art Director Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company!