Southern Weddings

Sometimes when I sit down to write these posts, I see so many wonderful details that I don’t even know where to start! Jillian + Marcus’s wedding was lovely, combining unique touches with the tried-and-true details that we never fail to love over and over again. Hay bale ceremony seating? We always love it. But a flower girl in plaid and lace carrying a galvanized steel bucket? Double brownie points! Scroll down and you’ll see more images by Dave Lapham to fawn over — include the bride’s and bridesmaids’ bouquets and the sweet notes J + M left at each place setting.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I found the one the week after I was engaged! Don’t be tricked by the tears. I cried with my second try-on, but the reality of it all was just settling in! When I tried on my dress, I was all smiles and twirls. I never wanted to take it off! That’s how I knew!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We couldn’t wait to see each other but we wanted the thrill of the reveal.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Walking down the aisle, walking back up the aisle, first dance? Oh, I agonized over picking the perfect songs that were unique but appropriate! I ended up just picking my absolute favorite songs and it turned out so perfectly. I don’t know why that didn’t dawn on me sooner. The groomsmen/groom processional was to “I’ll Be Seeing You” by Billie Holiday, the bridesmaid processional was to “C’est La Mort” by The Civil Wars, my processional was to “Till Kingdom Come” by Coldplay (the most beautiful song ever!), the recessional was to “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by The Beach Boys and our first dance was to “Forever and Ever, Amen” by Randy Travis. We were also VERY clear that “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins be played at least three times throughout the reception.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern characteristic was the pure atmosphere of celebration we wanted to create! We also had BBQ pork sandwiches with sweet potato fries served with homemade blackberry pie and sweet tea, a live band with string lights over the dance floor to encourage all night boogie-ing, and a ceremony with our friend and groomsman singing a hymn while our loved ones sat on hay bales.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Everything was so us. So many people at the wedding came up and just gushed about the fact that there was no denying that this wedding was ours! It had our name written all over it! From the wildflowers, the stripes and the glitter to the local and delicious buffet spread, kettle corn booth, and home-made pie, the day was definitely a celebration made for the people we love!
Describe your wedding flowers: They turned out SO beautifully, but boy was it a lot of work. Marcus and I picked up the boxes of uncut wildflowers from a wholesale florist on Thursday morning. By Thursday night, the middle of my apartment was converted into a full-fledged florist’s workshop with what felt like millions of flowers and mason jars to fill up! With friends, who are the hardest working angels in the whole world, we potted plants and arranged flowers ‘til the cows came home. We may or may not have danced a little, too.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We decided to go nontraditional in SO many areas of our wedding and this was one. Wedding cakes can be such a huge part of the budget and we didn’t feel strongly that we even wanted it! Also, the whole shoving-cake-in-your-new-spouse’s-mouth thing baffled us. We wanted something yummy, inexpensive, and simple to serve, but still wanted it to feel special. There is an Amish bakery in our hometown that we both grew up on that literally makes every flavor of pie in the whole world. We decided to order a bunch of those and call it a day. They were such a huge hit that we didn’t even get to taste it!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We had been friends for a few years before it dawned on us that we were madly in love with each other. It happened when I was in my best friend’s wedding and he was in the audience. We couldn’t stop looking at one another! We haven’t stopped since :)
Describe the proposal. I had been expecting it to happen soon, but then when Marcus actually asked me it was so unexpected! We were walking through some gardens on our way to the downtown farmer’s market, our Saturday morning ritual. Marcus led me down a different path, but I was impatient to get to my coffee! When I turned around, he was on his knee and I was speechless! It is the most beautiful ring in the world and from the best man I’ll ever know. Obviously, I said yes.
In what month did you get married? March
How many guests attended your wedding? 175
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I am so bad with long term goals! We had a four and a half month engagement, but it felt like a lifetime to me! If it weren’t for our planner, Laura, I would have quit half-way through. By the end, there were multiple details that I simply deferred to Laura. Other than my short-sightedness, it was wonderful and smooth. I prayed a lot.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000 – $50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? I really don’t feel like we splurged on anything! Every single thing was under budget when it came down to it. I tried SO hard to be realistic with all of the budgeting! The only thing I thought we splurged on was a live band. So many people go with a DJ because of the lower price, but it was so worth it! Every single person was on the dance floor by the end of the night. They were like pied pipers!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? So many great moments! My mom and I crying together when my pastor was praying before the ceremony, giggle-crying my way through our vows, our Footloose dance-off, the car ride home with us exclaiming, “Whoa!” and “That was awesome!” We had the time of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? So many people say to enjoy it, but really some people just don’t like planning weddings. That’s ok! There were so many aspects I enjoyed, but I am so glad I never have to do it again! My best advice is to keep sight of the reason for all of the decisions and hard-work! You are about to marry your best friend, the best man you know, and the person that will always love you and point you to Christ. It is the most exciting thing in the world! If everything fell apart and nothing went right, at the end of the day, Marcus would be my husband and I would be his wife. That kept me going and kept me calm!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are currently packing our apartment up and taking off to Australia for the next six months so that I can attend culinary school in Perth. We can’t wait to make adventures together!

Ashton Events is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    I love that bouquet and the lavender!!! The striped ribbon is SO fab. I love her dress and I love the decor hanging from the trees. What a sweet and personal wedding! I can’t believe they planned it in such a short period of time! Very impressive!

  2. avatar C. Lapham reply

    Love the photos – Proud Dad

  3. avatar C. Lapham reply

    David – Great settings and original looks.

  4. avatar DC Wedding Photographer reply

    AMAZING! Truly inspiring images!

  5. avatar Kelly reply

    GORGEOUS. I love love love the pie tin signs, the striped ribbon, his gingham shirt… I could eat this wedding up!

  6. avatar naomi reply

    This wedding is just adorable. I love the programs, and the centerpieces are just perfect! Not one detail was overlooked. So lovely!

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  12. avatar Krystal reply

    This is BEAUTIFUL!!! I would love to get a hold of J&M Ranch (where the venue is, right?) but I can’t find any contact info! Do you have any? Planning a country wedding for next November :) Thanks!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Krystal! Congratulations on your engagement! :) I couldn’t find the venue’s contact information either, so I emailed Laura from Ashton Events to see if she has it. Hopefully, we’ll be able to find it soon and get back to you!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi again! Laura just let me know that J&M Ranch is privately owned and no longer rents to the public. If you’re looking for some other great ranches in Central FL though, Laura said she’d be happy to recommend some! You can email her at laura@ashtonevents.com. Hope this helps! :)

    • avatar Krystal reply

      Lisa: Thanks so much! I will E-mail her :)

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