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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Hey, y’all! I just got back from New York City, where I was reveling in one of my favorite weeks of the year – the week of the National Stationery Show!! For four days, stationers and designers big and small converge on a massive convention center in Manhattan. They set up adorable booths displaying their best and newest designs, and then buyers (from both online and brick and mortar stores) and members of the press (like me!) walk the floor checking everything out. It’s bliss, I tell you!

I did my best to capture the gloriousness with my iPhone and tweets in the moment, but thankfully photographer Cyn Kain was at my side doing what she does best. Her photos showcase the beautiful designs far better than mine ever could!

We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started!

Our first booth of the day – Jan Sevadjian! I was all tingly with excitement at this point. Jan makes beautiful silk-wrapped photo albums and keepsake boxes that would be perfect for the classic bride.

The Macbeth Collection is a preppy’s paradise – for real, y’all. There pattern play is amazing, and I loved all the monogrammed goodness! Marissa tweeted that she hoped I would sneak one of the bins out for her, and I would have, if only I thought it would have fit under my shirt. Maybe next time? And how perfect would these be holding ceremony programs, or cold drinks at the reception, or given as bridesmaid gifts? Perfectly perfect.

There was so much fun ephemera – most of it glittery – at Tinsel Trading. I particularly loved the glitter letters (which would be so cute used in chair back decor, like at this wedding) and the cheerful ceremony or exit flags.

Cyn and I both loved these romantic heart-shaped cards from Oblation Papers & Press. Such beautiful letterpress!

Oh my! Next up was the Lifeguard Press booth, home of the one and only Lilly Pulitzer. It was almost too much pink to handle! (But not really, I totally loved it :) We didn’t snap a pic of them, but there were the most adorable patterned iPhone cases on display!

I loved the design of Smudge Ink’s booth, and I enjoyed looking through their new wedding albums, too. Their gift wrap and cards were adorable! (Photo on the bottom left nabbed from Nole of Oh So Beautiful Paper!)

Thank you so much to Cyn for these great photos! I’ll be back with much more soon!

Cyn Kain is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
8 Comments
  1. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I would love to go to the NSS one day. Emily, I love your tunic. Is it Boden?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Elizabeth! Why, thank you so much! Yes, it’s Boden :)

  2. avatar Liz reply

    Thanks so much for the recap! I can’t wait to go to NSS next year!
    Liz

  3. avatar Mary Kate reply

    All of the booths look like such fun! I am currently on the hunt for horse racing/keeneland themed invites, do you ladies have any suggestions on where I might be able to find or design something along those lines?

    Thanks!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Mary Kate! I didn’t spot anything ready-made at the show that fits what you’re looking for, but my best advice would be to get in touch with Belle & Union (coming up in my recaps next week!). They have an amazing Southern sensibility, and I’m sure they’d design something you’d love!

  4. avatar Lindsay{LCVintage} reply

    Thanks for sharing! The Macbeth Collection is my favorite! I love, love all of their stuff. I have the utensil holder that I have used to hold my pens at work for the last six years. I always get so many compliments on it.

  5. avatar My Favorite Things: Day 4 « Ashley Morgan Arts reply

    […] more, check out the Southern Weddings recap of the 2012 National Stationery Show: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and […]

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Melanie + Cale are just full of good ideas that made their big day even more special. Dress shopping with mom was one-upped by Melanie’s talented mama who crocheted her entire dress based off a design that they both came up with. The result is not only one-of-a-kind, but perfectly detailed and gorgeous. This is the first time we’ve seen a ceremony set up like M +C’s. They sat hay bales in a spiral formation so that the bride would be able to pass by each guest on her way to the altar (LOVE!). Aside from the sweet touches, this wedding is just beautiful. You would never even guess that flowers were sourced and assembled at the very last minute! (Yikes! Read more on that below.) We’re dishin’ out big hugs to The Reason who shared M + C’s day with us.

I knew I wanted a different sort of dress. My mother happens to be very talented at crocheting, among other things. When I brought up the idea of a crocheted wedding dress, we began looking for patterns. We found our inspiration in a 1960s Vogue Crochet magazine. From that, she and I began to design a dress for my perfect day. The dress took countless hours and about eight months to finish. It was exciting and scary not knowing exactly how the dress would turn out, since neither of us had seen a crocheted wedding dress in person, not to mention this one was our personal design. When I put on the dress for the final time, about a week before the wedding, I said “yes” to the dress! I never once doubted it would be perfect, I never even tried on one single wedding dress but that one. My sister designed the sash after I showed her several pictures of inspiration. My mother also crocheted seed pearls into the top part of my dress for an extra Southern touch. I am confident in saying I had the most perfect wedding dress!

Describe your wedding flowers: We actually had a wedding flower dilemma at first. I had my flowers grown for me in a local greenhouse, but due to an unusually mild winter, they bloomed entirely too early and a week before the wedding, I did not have any flowers. A family friend (and retired florist) who putting the flowers together for me began to search online wholesale sites and we were able to get in a few Helga piaget roses, mini peach carnations, peonies, and an assortment of white flowers that included lilies, snap dragons, and anomies, and much more. We just ordered an array of flowers within budget and mixed them with borrowed greenery from a local nursery and grapevine we cut and dried. This was one mistake that turned into beautiful bliss!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes. We always said we wouldn’t, but when looking at our timeline for the day, we thought it would be best for photos. It turns out to be one of the best decisions we made. That moment of just the two of us seeing each other and getting to appreciate the look on Cale’s face was priceless. The love we both felt at that very moment was overwhelming.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did not do any readings, but we did add a unique touch to the ceremony by watering a “unity” tree. Cale and I picked out a tree together that we would take and plant at our new home. To us, the tree symbolized our new growth together. The tree also reflected the work of marriage to both of us. We even picked a fruit tree because we wanted that to symbolize a “fruitful” marriage, and we know fruit trees require more attention. The tree also fit nicely with the overall theme of our wedding.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We both envisioned just having an acoustic guitar for our ceremony, so we asked one of our dear and talented friends to play all of the songs during our ceremony. He played “Marry Me” by Train as the wedding party walked in. I walked down the aisle to “1000 Years” by Christina Perri. Walking back up the aisle was my favorite. I had our musician learn “She Said Yes” by Mumford & Sons. Our first dance was to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, which was also our real first dance when we first became a couple. The daddy-daughter dance was to Willie Nelson’s “Angles Flying to Close to the Ground”, and the mother-son dance was to “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I think having our loved ones surrounding us in the spiral hay bale formation during our ceremony was the most special. Being able to walk by every person and smile at them both going down and coming back up the aisle was extremely warming.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The first look! Seeing Cale see me for the first time made my heart drop. There are no words to express the feelings we both had when we saw each other.

I think the most Southern part of our wedding was that it was truly was a family feat. We all enjoyed catching up and visiting, even though we were doing physical labor. My uncle and his son did all the electrical work and hanging of lights. Everyone tossed hay bales. We scrubbed, set up the flatbed tailor as our stage, and moved furniture, but most of all, we just enjoyed being family. Cale and I both grew up on farms, so our Southern roots run deep. The hay bales we sat on were baled right on our farm, our centerpieces on our guest tables included drift wood and sand from my family’s sandbar on the Altamaha River, where we were married. One of our party favors was a mason jar for the guest to drink out of for the evening. Our cocktail hour included mint luleps in honor of the Kentucky Derby and pink lemonade margaritas in honor of a Southern Cinco de Mayo. Our “Best Day Ever” Banner was made with burlap. We let both our bridesmaids and groomsmen wear their favorite pair of Southern boots — Cale and I even wore ours!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy it, have fun, and be yourself. Our wedding was so great because we incorporated who we were into every element. We enjoy humor and have a passion for Southern hospitality. We wanted our guests to leave feeling like they had spent good time with Cale and me, all the while enjoying good food, company, and drinks. We pictured our wedding as a place to relax, celebrate and sit in fine company.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: Cale does not care for cake, and I love it!! We decided to go with a small traditional wedding cake of pound cake and buttercream icing and then a variety of other Southern cakes iced in white. Our cake designer produced key lime, double chocolate, raspberry swirl, and coconut cakes. We made most of our cake stands out of vintage plates and candle sticks that our grandparents collected for us when they went antiquing.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We literally grew up on opposite sides of the railroad tracks, about 10 miles from one another, in a small town in Georgia called Odum. We both graduated from the University of Georgia in 2009; Cale with his degree in Accounting, and myself with a degree in Nutrition Science. Cale stayed in Athens to obtain a Masters in Accounting and I went to Miami, FL to attend Barry University to obtain my Masters in Biomedical Sciences. In July of 2010, I returned back to Athens to stay with my sister for the summer months. Cale was in Atlanta doing an internship at Price Water House Coopers and saw that I was in Athens and contacted me over Facebook, suggesting we catch up. We got together for dinner one night and it was then that I noticed something was different. I just couldn’t put my finger on exactly what. We joked, had good conversation and caught up like old friends. I can remember running into him at a red light on the way back home from dinner where he rolled down his window and said that if we both were not married by thirty, we would just marry each other. I laughed, agreed and drove off. Throughout that month, we hung out a few more times. Then one day it just clicked.
Describe the proposal. Cale set up a way for me to spend the entire day “family centered,” without me noticing. I went and got my nails done with my sister, then spent the day by the pool with my mother, sisters and friends. That evening, I knew I was going to meet Cale’s grandparents for the first time and Cale promised me a fun date after they had visited. I began to get suspicious when Cale did not turn to go into the city of Jesup for dinner, instead driving toward my house in Odum. He took me out to my favorite spot on my grandfather’s farm and had packed a picnic. At the picnic, Cale began to tell me how special I was to him, and he was acting very nervous. He told me he had another surprise for me and went to the truck to get something. He asked me to stand up and close my eyes and then placed a wrapped present in my hands and told me to open it. I was ecstatic to unwrap a Bible that read, “Melanie and Cale Harris.” Cale got down on one knee and asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, at the same time, unveiling a beautiful rusty nail bent into the shape of a ring. (I always joked with Cale that the type of engagement ring I wanted was just an old rusty nail.) He then revealed the “real” engagement ring, a beautiful blue sapphire, and I said YES! Cale had both family and friends waiting down at the family River house for dinner and celebration.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 350 +
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Using The Reason as our photographers. Their raw talent for capturing all the right moments of a wedding day is priceless. At the end of the day, when everything is said and done, all you have left are photos and a video. I can say the way they documented our wedding was more than perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? We just recently relocated from Atlanta, Georgia back to our hometown in South Georgia. Cale will be running a local accounting firm, and I will maintain my position as the Nutritional Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Agriculture. We are excited to begin our new lives together surrounded by our families in a town we hold so dear. We just recently bought a charming older home, and are looking forward to making it our own We are you looking forward to deep roots and new beginnings! Above all the wedding stuff, we are best friends, and we are just excited to see what path the Lord will lead us on as a couple.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
32 Comments
  1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    Hands down, my favorite dress I’ve ever seen. Kudos to them. It’s truly gorgeous. I love the spiral idea too! Such a sweet and personal wedding!

  2. avatar Stephanie @ Our Marriage Adventure reply

    I love it – honestly, the dress is AH-MAZE-ING. The entire thing though, is just gorgeous and I wish I had you to plan mine when I got hitched back in 2009.

  3. avatar Cheryl Cannington reply

    Love it! The bride’s belt is so pretty. Love the door with the sign “No Turning Back”!

  4. avatar Abby reply

    Love the corn hole lawn game boards! Is there any way to find out if they made these or purchased them somewhere???

    • avatar Melanie reply

      Abby: Happy Friday Abby! The creation of the corn hole boards was a family effort, aka a fun DIY project. If you love them and are interested in a possible order email me at melanie.h.harris@gmail.com. Best, Melanie

    • avatar Melanie reply

      Thank you for the compliments everyone! We enjoyed our day!

    • avatar Heather Flint reply

      Melanie: Absolutely breathtaking. I cried reading this and looking at the pictures. Melanie, where did you get the wedding programs? That type of “layout” is exactly what I have been looking for!!! You can email me at hileymarie@hotmail.com . Thanks SO much, and congratulations once again!

  5. avatar Melissa Vause reply

    Your wedding looked amazing and so much fun! Your sister designed such a beautiful sash and your mom did a PHENOMENAL job on your wedding dress!! Hair, makeup, everything just gorgeous gorgeous!

  6. avatar Lorri Adair reply

    What an awesome wedding! I love all the details!

  7. avatar Friday Favorites: 06/01/12 | | Brazos Valley Bride reply

    […] 1 | This wedding combines so many of my favorite things. But the best part is, hands down, the bride’s dress. Lovingly crafted by her mother, this crochet gown is a stunner. http://iloveswmag.com/2012/05/30/georgia-outdoor-chapel-wedding-by-the-reason/ […]

  8. avatar Heather Gardner reply

    Coming from a small town in Wyoming, I can relate to many of these details in this wedding, which is the reason that by far, one of my all-time faves. I LOVE how the couple kept it tasteful and made it their own. They weren’t afraid to do what they wanted and all the while, celebrating their family and friends. What an amazing day – love the details.

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  10. avatar Rebecca reply

    I ADORE those signs on your chairs (I’m his Mrs. and I’m her Mr.), did you make those as well? This whole wedding is just an absolute dream. I love how true to yourselves you were while still making sure the guests had a good time and were part of the experience. The spiral setting is just genius!

    • avatar Melanie reply

      Rebecca: Yes we did make the chair signs! A last min. craft decision :-)

  11. avatar Rustic Wedding Inspiration | Bridesmaids and Weddings reply

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  18. avatar Ashley reply

    Your wedding was absolutely beautiful!! I love your dress, it was beautiful and unique. This is a crazy question, but what did you use to write on your chalkboards? It didn’t look like chalk… I am using chalkboards that I made from silver trays and old picture frames in my wedding as well, and so far the chalk isn’t really working on them.

    • avatar Melanie reply

      Ashley: I used plain ol’ chalk on the chalkboard windows, and a white paintpen on the silver trey menus.

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  24. avatar Brenda Harris reply

    I love the “tree” sticker on your silverware bags. Would you mind sharing where you got those?

  25. avatar Lauren reply

    Where did you find your boots?? Those are amazing!

  26. avatar Go Out With A Bang |Wedding Exit Ideas » Lace and Loyalty reply

    […] Sparklers!!! Image Above: The Reason via Southern Weddings […]

  27. avatar Carlie Stump reply

    Your dress is absolutely beautiful! My grandmother is also very talented and loves to crochet. I was wondering if you would be willing to share any information on how you made your dress! you can email me if you would like at stump@findlay.edu

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Hi, y’all! Squeaking in right at the end of the month is May’s Southern Bride of the Month, Mignon! She is getting married to her love, Thomas, in Alabama this August. I can’t wait for you to learn more about her and the wedding she’s planning through her interview and photos!

Hi! What’s your name?
Mignon Arrington

What’s your fiancé’s name?
Thomas Lunsford

Graham Terhune

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Thomas and I both went to college at UNC, and while we had a lot of mutual friends and lived in the same apartment complex, our paths never crossed until the spring of our junior year. I was out with some friends one night and got separated from the group. Luckily, I ran into another friend (now bridesmaid!) who was headed over to a party at Thomas’s apartment and offered to walk me home since we were headed in the same direction. Instead of going home, though, I went to Thomas’s party, where we met for the first time. A few nights later, Thomas very chivalrously saved me from the advances of some less than desirable gentlemen, and won my heart in the process. We’ve been inseparable ever since!

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
We got engaged on June 19, 2011. I had moved home for the summer for work and went back up to Chapel Hill for our friends’ wedding (the bride was the same friend who had introduced Thomas and me 4 years earlier!). That Saturday morning, while I was getting ready for the wedding, Thomas snuck back to his house in Durham where he decorated his entire place in orange flowers – my favorite color! The morning after the wedding, we stopped by his house before he took me to the airport. When I opened the door, I saw all the beautiful flowers, but I still wasn’t sure what was going on. He had made a trail of love notes and rose petals leading from the living room to the bedroom, with the final note lying on the bed in the middle of a heart made out of roses. I read each note along the trail—tearing up more with each one and beginning to understand what was about to happen! When I turned around after reading the last note, Thomas was down on one knee! It was beautiful – I’m actually not sure I ever said yes because I was crying so hard!

Graham Terhune

When’s the big day?
August 4, 2012

Where might you two be tying the knot?
We are getting married in Birmingham at my childhood church, the Cathedral Church of the Advent, and having the reception at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
There was never a doubt in my mind that I wanted to have the ceremony at The Advent. I have been going there since I was born and think is it such a stunning and majestic church. It has the most beautiful stained glass windows and a nice, long aisle so I can fully take in the excitement of the ceremony as I walk to meet Thomas at the altar! The museum was an easy choice too – I love how open and clean the space is. There is a beautiful staircase that descends in front of a large, floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the museum garden where Thomas and I will make our grand entrance into the reception as husband and wife – I think I am most excited about that tableau! It is also just across the street from The Advent, separated only by a park. I love the idea of our guests not having to travel much to get to the reception – no time for the celebration or excitement to dwindle!

The Birmingham Museum of Art, where Mignon and Thomas’s reception will be!

Who or what has been most inspiring in the wedding planning process?
Thomas has been my biggest source of inspiration. He has been so unbelievably patient and understanding throughout the entire planning process and really helps me remember what our wedding is all about – getting to spend the rest our lives together! Getting to talk to him and discuss our relationship and future together helps remind me of what we as a couple are truly about, and it is that expression of love and individualism that I really want our wedding to convey. He keeps me grounded and excited which is the best inspiration a girl could ask for!

Who or what has been most helpful in the wedding planning process?
My mother has been amazing throughout the entire wedding planning process! I honestly don’t think I could have done any of the planning or coordinating without her! Because I was in school in North Carolina while trying to plan a wedding in Alabama, she had to take on a lot of the responsibility of contacting and meeting with vendors. She has done an incredible job and has been completely gracious every step of the way – we have somewhat different tastes and ideas about how things should look, and she has always deferred to my choices in making decisions to ensure the wedding is everything I envision. She’s been incredible!

Pretty hairstyles that are inspiring Mignon! The photo on the left is by Ai-ling Chang via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings (updo by Tiffony Simpson of Ony Salon) and the one on the right is by Christina Watkins.

Which part of your wedding are you most invested in?
The pictures. I want to make sure that I remember every last detail of the day, and I think pictures are the best way to do that. I also think that pictures allow a couple to convey the wedding’s uniqueness and personality that they’ve worked so hard to create. I have spent countless hours thinking about the timeline of when various pictures need to be taken, where certain shots should be, and who needs to be included in each photo. It’s exhausting, but I want to make sure that each moment is captured! Of course, having an amazing photographer definitely helps, and I have complete faith that our photographer will get plenty of priceless shots that will make it all worth it!

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
My dress was one of the first decisions I made! My mother and I found it last summer, maybe just two weeks after I got engaged. It was one of the first dresses I tried on and even though I tried on a lot of other dresses, I kept going back to that one. When I tried it on, Mama and I both got teary eyed – it’s just perfect! It’s from the Grace Kelly collection and is everything I wanted in a dress – elegant, (hopefully) timeless, and not overly flashy. I don’t want to reveal too much, because I want it to be a complete surprise to the groom.

Floral inspiration that’s inspiring Mignon! The photo on the left is by Jennifer Lindberg (bouquet by Stems Custom Floral) and the photo on the left is by Aaron Delesie (arrangement by Flower Wild).

Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
My photographer, Graham Terhune. Graham is a close friend of ours, and I am so excited for him to capture our wedding day. He is great behind the camera, but more than that, he is one of the kindest and most down-to-earth people I know, which makes everyone he shoots comfortable and at ease in front of the camera.

What do you love most about Southern weddings?
The tradition. I love that there are certain elements of the big day that Southern brides have been doing for centuries! For my wedding, I am wearing my grandmother’s garter that all the other women in my family have worn – it’s tradition!

Do you have a favorite Etsy store you’d love to tell us about?
I love LovliDay Wedding Designs and Family Trees. Jessica Steury, the shop owner, was so easy to work with and made an amazing vintage movie-style poster for us to use at the entrances to the reception. It is the perfect touch to tie together the Old Hollywood feel of the reception that we are going for!

Another pretty bouquet favorite of Mignon’s, this photo by Bonnie Berry via Elizabeth Anne Designs

What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
Managing the stress! You don’t realize until you are planning your own wedding just how many things there are to coordinate and consider. It is definitely overwhelming at times and managing that stress has been a huge challenge for me – especially since it came during my last year of law school!

What do you wish you would have known at the beginning of your engagement?
The longer the engagement, the more time you have to change your mind and obsess over things. A short engagement not only means that you get to be married sooner (!) but also that you have less time to stress and fret over the details.

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
There are two moments in particular that I can’t wait for: (1) Our first look when I get to see Thomas for the first time in our wedding attire and (2) Our first dance – sharing that moment as husband and wife with all our friends and family looking on – I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it

Beautiful first dance captured by Jonathan Canlas via Southern Weddings

Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
We are going to Northern California for our honeymoon – neither of us has ever been to that part of the country before. We are spending three nights in Sonoma, then driving down the coast to Monterrey for a few nights and then finishing up the trip in San Francisco. Thomas and I love nature and food, so hopefully the trip will be filled with both of those things!

Question for y’all: What would you like to see us ask our Southern Brides of the Month? Is there a particular question we’re not asking that you’d find interesting or helpful? Please comment and let us know!!

Thank you so much for playing along, Mignon! 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. Ready for more? Check out these posts:
Another Birmingham Southern Bride of the Month
Another Birmingham wedding in an art gallery
Graham Terhune’s wedding!

Graham Terhune is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Graham reply

    YAY Mignon and Thomas!!! So happy to see Mignon as a Southern Weddings Bride of the Month! I cannot WAIT for August 4th!!! :)

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