Happy Memorial Day, friends! Though many of us are enjoying the day off, barbecuing with friends and getting a tan (yes, the Southern Weddings ladies are doing all of that!), we hope y’all will take a few moments to remember our dedicated men and women who are serving and have served our country.
We think Lindsay + Chris’ wedding is too perfect for today. According to Lindsay, they wanted to keep the feel organic and relaxed, but like most Southerners, wanted to incorporate the traditions that were most important to them, including some military ones. We love that Chris surprised his new bride with a sword arch and a song from the Citadel cadets! Among the other details, we love the couple’s dessert offerings and pretty cakes, the soft and lush flowers that decorated the space and Chris’ dress whites (who doesn’t love a man in uniform?). We’re dishing out big hugs to Heather Forsythe for sharing this with us!
P.S. Good luck to Chris who is shipping out on a submarine next year!
I wanted my bridesmaids’ bouquets to be in a coral-y light pink, and I wanted mine to match, but be all whites and greys. My maid of honor’s bouquet was a mix of the two. I gave my florist my budget, a list of flowers I loved, flowers I hated, flowers that I liked and some inspiration photos. All I really wanted was fiddleheads in my bouquet and in my maid of honor’s because it reminded me of Canada, where we’re both from. I also wanted a pink carnation, my sorority’s flower, to be tucked into the bridesmaids’ and maid of honor’s bouquet somewhere.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look. We didn’t want to feel pressured to have all our pictures taken between the ceremony and reception. We also knew that we wanted that moment when we first saw each other in our wedding day attire to be private instead of in front of 80 people. There’s something to be said for having that very personal moment, and I think we felt we could be a lot more unrestrained with our emotions.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that finding a fantastic dress for a reasonable price was going to take some hunting, but I was willing. Little did I know, the universe smiled on me, and everything fell into place. One weekend when one of my bridesmaids was in town, we decided to go try on dresses and play dress up. I wasn’t prepared to buy, but I wanted to see what looked good, and just have a good time. We went to a tiny boutique in south Atlanta and had a fantastic experience. The staff was incredibly friendly and our consultant said that she knew that it was my first time dress shopping and I should not to feel pressured to buy anything. I found a dress I really liked, but since my bridesmaid and I were just playing dress up, I wasn’t at all in the “need to buy” mindset. When I got home, I did a search for the dress on preownedweddingdress.com, not really expecting much since it was a pretty old design. But the dress popped up, in my size, and was brand new! I knew I was going to spend a fortune on alterations since I’m so short and wanted straps, so I negotiated a bit got my dress for about 80% off. I sort of regret not having the big dress shopping experience with my mom and everyone, but I knew that the universe was trying to tell me that this was THE dress. One should not quibble with the universe.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Mark 10:6-9,13-16, read by my good friend Corrie.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We wanted to give our guests a Southern experience, particularly my family who’s from Canada. Chris and I both wanted a bluegrass band for the ceremony and cocktail hour. I knew I wanted instrumental songs for the bridal party’s walk down the aisle and a lively song for the recessional, but I really left a lot up to the professionals, and all our vendors did a fantastic job. Our band, Riverboy was no exception.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? First of all, Boone Hall Plantation just exudes everything Southern, particularly the long Avenue of Oaks with that beautiful Spanish moss. In keeping with that tradition, we wanted everything to feel very organic and relaxed. Chris and I bought hundreds of mason jars, and I made him wire them with handles so we could hang them from the trees. We also wanted the food to be Southern. My Canadian family was very unacquainted with the South. We served fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, fried chicken and Chris’ requested hush puppies. My favorite thing was the macaroni and cheese buffet. We asked our caterers for macaroni and cheese, but wanted lots of fixins for it like bacon and scallions. We also served Mason Dixons (Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade) and Arnold Palmers. “Southern” though is really all about traditions. Chris is half Filipino and they have a dish called lumpia, similar to a small egg roll. Chris’ dad and one of my dad’s Filipino co-workers made hundreds of these little guys. Our caterer was more than willing to fry them for us and put them on the menu. We had that awesome Bluegrass band for the ceremony, too!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: My favorite Canadian dessert is a butter tart, so I had some close family friends pick some up in Canada, smuggle them across the border, and drive them all the way to Charleston so I would have them on my wedding day. We also had pecan pie, which is my favorite pie. Chris and our planner also schemed and had mini Ben and Jerry’s tubs served since our first date was at Ben and Jerry’s.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: The Citadel cadets! Lindsay has been pestering me about a sword arch for as long as I’ve been dating her, but every opportunity where we could have gone through one, there was always some reason why we couldn’t participate. I went through some of my work contacts and rounded up the best group of guys and girls from The Citadel and asked them to wear their uniforms and give up a sword arch. They were amazing and turned out to be the life of the party, dancing with all the ladies! At Navy weddings, it’s always a tradition that the Navy guys sing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” to the bride as an ode to the scene from Top Gun. The Citadel cadets were more than willing to play along and sing to her so she could get everything she wanted that day.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) My first time meeting Lindsay was when I walked into the television room of my fraternity house. She was wearing a Detroit Red Wings jersey and sitting next to my roommate. He thought an angel had come to visit him because he had just woken up from a nap next to a cute chick in the hockey jersey of his favorite team. I immediately walked out because I was so disgusted that a cute sorority chick would waste her time on the most hated team in the NHL. My roommate and I also played on the same roller hockey team for our university, and she came to many of our games. I kept seeing and noticing Lindsay. I tried to ignore her so I wouldn’t get caught up in a love triangle since my roommate had a secret crush on her. I tried avoiding her, but it was tough since she was so darn cute. I decided to throw caution to the wind, and on the last day of the semester, I called and met up with her at Ben and Jerry’s for Free Cone Day. We shared a moment, and I knew immediately that this was going to be something special.
Describe the proposal. Chris is in the Navy, and a few years ago, was re-stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. We were excited, because a five hour drive didn’t seem quite as daunting as halfway around the world. We both had a free weekend, so I decided to drive down to see him. I left around 9:30 in the morning, wanting to get there as soon as I could. I was about 90 miles from home when I realized I had left my wallet and purse, and had to turn around. I then took a wrong turn and lost another hour and by the time I got a chance to leave again, I hit the beginnings of Atlanta’s Friday rush hour. I was frustrated and called Chris to tell him I was giving up and just going to stay the night at home and would just leave for Jacksonville in the morning. He begged me to come that night, and even though I was worn out, I kept driving. After further delays, I arrived just before 10pm. He tried to get me to say hello to our pet rabbit, Bunny, but I was hungry and cranky and insisted we go straight out to eat. When we got back to his place, I was ready to shower and go to bed, but he told me to go say goodnight to Bunny first. I sighed and decided it would be easier to humor him. I noticed that Bunny had his collar on, which he hates. I was lecturing Chris and telling him he shouldn’t bother Bunny, but stopped mid rant – as I took the collar off, I noticed something sparkly attached. A RING! I turned around and he looked at me and said, “I know Bunny was the one to give you the ring, but I hope you’ll marry me instead.” Of course I said, “Yes!”
In what month did you get married? November
How many guests attended your wedding? 80
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge, and I think many brides will back me up on this, is dealing with family. Weddings have a way of amplifying family dynamics, don’t they? It’s difficult to gracefully acknowledge other people’s suggestions of what they think. Many times we got suggestions of what we “should” do which did not coincide with what we wanted to do. Chris and I were pretty definitive in what we wanted, and it was hard to constantly tell family and friends, “that’s a great idea, we’ll keep that in mind.”
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography, by a long shot. Heather Forsythe was like manna from heaven when we finally met her. All the other photographers we were so hesitant about—they were good, but not great. Heather had everything we were looking for. Her photos were classic and I knew they would stand the test of time. She didn’t play around with very trendy filters and post-processing techniques. She was also just easy to be around, which was wonderful since I knew that I would probably see more of her than any other person that day. I couldn’t be happier with the pictures, they turned out great.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? (From the groom) Our reception band, Permanent Vacation, learned a song just for us to play for our first dance. Lindsay let me surprise her with our first dance. She said I could pick whatever I wanted, but I had to run it by her maid of honor first (just in case!). It wasn’t in our band’s repertoire, but I asked them if they knew it. Turns out, they were more than willing to learn it for us. Surprising Lindsay with “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton (her major celebrity crush) was by far my favorite moment.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep in mind, that at the end of the day, you’re getting married to the person that you love. The rest is all details. It doesn’t matter if things don’t go exactly as planned. Allow the professionals to do their job to the best of their ability. Flexibility in what you want will allow your vendors give you the absolute best they can in your budget, and I think vendors are more likely to throw in “extras” when you give them creative freedom. Most of them are artists, after all. Plus, it’s nice to have a few surprises along the way. Having perspective on what matters and just sort of rolling with things will make the day wonderful. Dwelling on things that don’t go right means you will forever remember your wedding as something that didn’t make you happy.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We have moved to DC. I have a job for a law firm there and Chris is studying for his masters and will ship out to sea on a submarine next year.