Y’all, this month’s Southern Bride of the Month is getting married THIS WEEKEND!! Rachel graciously took time out of what I can only imagine was a busy week of wedding prep to answer a few questions for us. Please join me in making her feel welcome! (And be sure to leave some sugar at the end for her wedding weekend!)
Hi! What’s your name?
What’s your fiancé’s name?
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
We were at a mutual friend’s house for a birthday party. Josh was introduced to me, and when he walked away, I turned and said “dibs” to my friends! I was a smitten kitten, but too nervous to talk to him. A year later, he asked me out on a date and we have been inseparable since.
From their engagement session with Nathan Westerfield… see more here!
Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
Josh and I love to take weekend vacations, and travel together whenever possible. This particular weekend, we decided to visit Asheville to tour the Biltmore and visit a city we’d heard so many good things about. I had absolutely no idea what the weekend had in store, as we had never even mentioned the word “engagement,” even though we had been dating for almost two years!
After an amazing tour of the Biltmore, we went for a walk around the grounds and ended up at the top of a hill overlooking Bass Pond. We sat down for a few minutes, and while I enjoyed the view of the gorgeous fall trees, I eventually got bored and suggested we walk a little more. Josh patted the ground, and asked if I could just sit next to him a bit longer (he was sitting in grass while wearing khakis and a blazer — this should’ve been a dead giveaway that something was up!). We didn’t say much while sitting there, other than “I love you,” before he turned to me and said, “Well, will you marry me?” (I thought I was about to have a heart attack, y’all!)
I immediately began crying and laughing and said, “Are you serious?” and then “Yes!”, followed by him explaining that he had had the ring for an entire month and how he had talked to my family about proposing, which made me cry even more. We were able to sit there together, alone, for a little while longer, and those will forever be some of my favorite moments of my life.
When’s the big day?
September 1, 2012
Where might you two be tying the knot?
West End Church of Christ in Nashville
How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
First, I wanted everything indoors. I wasn’t willing to gamble with Tennessee weather! We picked West End Church based on my love for a long center aisle. Also, the sanctuary is a gorgeous Tiffany blue color!
We chose the University Club because my parents’ reception was at there thirty years ago, and Chef Nick is a Southern food extraordinaire! We will have fried green tomatoes, chicken and biscuits, shrimp n’ grits, and all kind of good fixin’s at our reception!
Rachel loved this idea we shared for labeling food, and we love the sound of her Southern fixin’s! (Photos by Dave Lapham via Southern Weddings and Ingalls Photography)
Who or what has been most inspiring in the wedding planning process?
Most definitely Southern Weddings! I have folded pages, circled, highlighted — you name it — from every issue, and the blog is on my daily iPad reading list!
Who or what has been most helpful in the wedding planning process?
My mom. She deserves most of the credit!
Which part of your wedding are you most invested in?
We are big music lovers and go to the Bonnaroo music festival every year, so that was important to us. We meticulously chose our music and I can’t wait for our first dance together!
A sweet embroidered patch Rachel is thinking about adding to her gown (photo by Melissa Schollaert)
Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
I had a really difficult time finding a dress. I knew exactly what I wanted, and I tried on just about every dress in Nashville, but I never had ‘a moment’ with a dress, like I had always dreamed of. My phrase throughout the process was “I didn’t settle on a man, and I refuse to settle on a dress!”
I had applied to be on Randy to the Rescue, and had been through about four interviews to be on the show when it happened… I was helping a friend of mine find her dress, and we went into Olia Zavozina’s shop. She and I both found dresses there that night! I called my mom, she picked up my grandmother, and I knew after their reactions I had found “The One”! I can’t give too much away yet, but it’s a custom-made strapless ball gown with a sweetheart neckline. It was an amazing experience, and well worth the wait!
Since we obviously can’t show you Rachel’s dress, here’s a peek at her color scheme! Love the fresh navy + green! (Photo by Ashley Hoskins via Style Me Pretty
Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
Nathan Westerfield, our amazing photographer! We interviewed about ten others before deciding on him, and I know he will capture our wedding perfectly! He is one of the most talented wedding photographers I have met, but he is also down to earth and listens to my ideas, which is important to us!
What do you love most about Southern weddings?
The traditions, monograms, the pearls, seersucker, heritage, the flowers, bow ties, the food, the huge bridal parties, the use of lace, burlap, doilies, groom’s cakes… you name it, I love it, and I want it in our wedding!
Tell us about the one that got away. Is there one dream thing or vendor you wish you could have fit into your budget?
Sigh. Plum Pretty Sugar robes, but with eleven bridesmaids, it was way out of our budget to outfit everyone. I’d highly recommend them to any other bride with a smaller bridal party, though!
Wedding cake and groom “cake” inspiration! (Photos by The McCartneys via Style Me Pretty and via Tara Guerard Soiree)
What has been the best part of wedding planning?
Some of the best parts for me have been creating and crafting some of the personal details. I drew our wedding program by hand (complete with map!) and handmade our ring pillow, among many other things.
What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
Our biggest challenge so far would have to be managing our large wedding party — 24 people in total! We are blessed to have so many friends and family, but coordinating them all has been a small challenge. Thank goodness for our wedding planner! Also, it was a challenge to find a good weekend that didn’t conflict with the SEC football schedule! (Go Vols!)
A perfect photo opp for state-proud couples like Rachel and Joshua! (Photo by Kristyn Hogan)
What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Our first look. Just thinking about it makes me tear up and get chills! This is one tradition I don’t mind breaking, because I am so excited to have a moment together that’s just ours. Josh is looking forward to his “groom’s cake” pie bar. Also: me bawling my way down the aisle with my dad (it’s inevitable). Of course, we are both excited for the part where we say “I do”!
Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
We’re headed to Saint Lucia, y’all! We are looking forward to a week of relaxation, with some exploring and snorkeling sprinkled in.
Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
I have passed along the Little Borrowed Dress site to every bride I can! If you are like me and want to save your girls some money, check it out. For $75, they can rent a floor length dress in any color, which is what we are doing: the Hillary Jane dress in navy.
Thank you so much for joining us today, Rachel! Best wishes this weekend!! 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!
Melissa Schollaert is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!