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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Exciting things are happening left and right in the Southern Weddings office! We send the first round of V7 files to our printer on Friday. Lisa and I are headed back to New York next week for Bridal Market (after her whirlwind trip a few days ago for a fun project with Zales!). We’re cooking up new episodes for Southern Weddings TV. And I spent Friday proofing a very exciting, as-yet-to-be-revealed project… any guesses what it is?

To help us (and you!) keep track of all this excitement, as well as all of the amazing opportunities the Southern and bridal worlds have to offer, we introduce our newest site addition: the Southern Community Calendar!

You can find the link to it in our righthand sidebar. We’ll add events as they come to our attention, but feel free to submit your own! State fairs, festivals, trunk shows, Miss Biscuit pageants… they’re all fair game.

Wishing you all a wonderful fall full of exciting engagement plans and seasonal Southern Doin’s!

emily Written with love by Emily
3 Comments
  1. avatar Natalie reply

    This calendar is so fun! Are y’all coming out with Falldoins!?

  2. avatar Amanda reply

    Yay! This is so much fun! If you want to add the Virginia State Fair, that is going on now through October 6th ;)

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] save the date for the V7 launch party! We introduced our new community calendar, a space for the best festivals and events across the South. Red velvet cake, and more of what we […]

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If you weren’t already itching to pull out your riding boots, scoop up a #PSL and watch the leaves change, Danielle and Jonathan’s Tennessee wedding will easily have you ready for fall. I’m not sure if it’s the deep violet bridesmaid dresses or the dark wood accents, but it definitely got Lisa and I excited for the fall weddings that will start rolling in soon! After meeting while training for a triathlon (!), Danielle and Jonathan’s relationship grew through a shared love of the outdoors and active lifestyles. When they visited CJ’s Off the Square, they knew right away it was the perfect place for them to pledge their lives to each other!

Thanks to Brandon Chesbro for sending along this gorgeous day!

My something borrowed was a pair of pearl earrings that my friend had worn in her wedding. My something old and blue was a heart cut from my dad’s old blue work shirt that was sewn into my dress.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my dress at The Bride Room in Nashville with my maid of honor. I chose a lace trumpet-style gown from the Monique Lhuillier Bliss collection. It was only the third dress I tried on! My mom lives in Florida, so she came a month later to see it. When I tried it on for her, we both cried. I definitely knew it was the one.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet play the processional, ceremony, and recessional music. “Canon in D” played when I walked down the aisle. Our first dance was to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. We loved the song and meaning. The father-daughter dance was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole. As a baby, my parents had a toy in my baby crib that played that song. I actually forgot about the toy and the significance of the song until my mom gave it to me a few weeks before the wedding. We both cried.

We said traditional vows, but also included a personal message to each other. My favorite part of Jonathan’s message was that I brought him closer to God.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? CJ’s Off the Square was the first location we looked at in person, and we absolutely fell in love with it. It was an intimate setting that we felt was perfect for our wedding day. We didn’t even look at another venue after that!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? It was an outdoor wedding in downtown Franklin, Tennessee, so that’s pretty Southern to begin with! The food included beef and grits and fried green tomatoes, and we served local craft beer. Our décor included vintage furniture, old whiskey barrels, and burlap and lace table linens.

Describe your wedding cake. Our cake was three tiers with white fondant and raffia around each layer. Two wooden birds that we bought on Etsy, engraved with our wedding date and initials, sat on top of the cake.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Since my family has a dairy farming background, we served cookies and milk as a late-night snack.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in July 2011 at the Vanderbilt University pool. We are both triathletes and were training for the Music City Triathlon in Nashville at the time.
Tell us all about the proposal! We got engaged on September 7, 2012. It was simple! We were at home one night, sitting on our couch, and I had an eyelash on my cheek (which worked out perfectly for Jonathan). He asked me what my wish was. I had been wanting him to propose to me for months, so I said, “I don’t want to say my wish out loud.” Jonathan replied, “Just close your eyes and say it.” So I said in a quiet voice, with my eyes closed, “I wish you would propose.” When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee in front of me with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen.
When did y’all get married? October 19, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Since CJ’s off the Square is in an all-inclusive venue, we didn’t have many other vendors. Outside of CJ’s, our photographer, Brandon Chesbro, was amazing and so talented. He captured our wedding day and emotions perfectly.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? We are big fans of the all-inclusive venue experience. It simplified the planning process and allowed us to focus on our love for each other and looking forward to our wedding day. I wouldn’t say planning a wedding is “stress-free,” but our venue certainly made it as stress-free as possible. We planned our entire wedding through 2-3 visits with our planner.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Two weeks after the wedding, we raced the Ironman Florida Triathlon as a kick-off to our honeymoon. We look forward to continuing an active lifestyle that we both enjoy, supporting each other in our careers, and having kids in a couple of years.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? As a wedding gift, Jonathan gave me a journal that he wrote in daily for five months prior to the wedding about how we met, our dates, significant events, and wedding planning. My gift to Jonathan was a personalized leather-bound Bible with our wedding date and a prayer I wrote for our marriage.

Photographer: Brandon Chesbro / Videographer: Brian Johnson / Planner: Amy Parman of CJ’s Off the Square / Venue, Catering, Cake, and Lighting: CJ’s Off the Square / Florist: Enchanted Florist / Rentals: Southern Events Party Rental / DJ: Jason Middleton of Premier DJs of Nashville / Bride’s Gown: “BL1208” by Monique Lhuillier Bliss / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Augusta Jones / Hair and Makeup: Amy Lynn Larwig / Bride’s Shoes: Tory Burch / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G558C” by Amsale / Men’s Attire: Vera Wang

CJ’s Off the Square is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Laura reply

    I love the decor of the reception. You can’t go wrong with mercury glass and baby’s breath.

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Such a gorgeous wedding! I love the flowers they chose–just fall-like enough!

  3. avatar Hallie Deyton reply

    I thought this wedding was very tasteful. Everything from the venue, to her wedding dress, to her bridesmaids shoes was perfection. Love this wedding and the venue space! The flower centerpieces at the table were not overdone and I loved that. It added to the rustic feel of the venue.

  4. avatar Kati reply

    What a sweet proposal story! Made me cry at work! We also did an all-inclusive venue and it really does make things so much simpler (especially because we were planning from another state.) Best wishes to the happy couple!

  5. avatar Taylor Smith reply

    I love the Bible gift she gave him! What a beautiful idea! The pictures are gorgeous and it looks like it was a wonderful day for a sweet couple!

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The Atlanta skyline is an amazing one, so I was not surprised at all to hear that when Abby and Matt first saw Ventanas, they knew they had found the venue for their future wedding, even before they were engaged! With the help of Park Avenue Events, they planned a chic rooftop ceremony and reception, being sure to incorporate nods to both of their hometowns and their families. They weren’t afraid to break from tradition when it came to things like song choices and cake flavors, and as a result, every detail of their wedding rang true to their personalities and style!

Thanks to Our Labor of Love for sharing Abby and Matt’s wedding with us, and getting our week started on such a lovely note!

My bouquet was a mix of blush and black anemones, roses, and gardenias. I wanted to keep it simple and elegant, with a little touch of my Southern roots. My grandma and godmother also started collecting new and antique brooches (which they presented to me at different showers over the year we were engaged) to add to the bouquet later. It was gorgeous! I loved my bouquet, and most of all, I loved carrying a part of my family tradition down the aisle with me.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our venue had a helicopter pad overlooking the entire city, and it was the most amazingly clear spring day. We chose to do our first look and bridal party photos up there (brave party). Walking what seemed like into the sky to see my soon-to-be husband was something I’ll never forget!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? To be honest, it was the first and only place we visited. I have had a few girlfriends get married before me, so I found Ventanas a year before Matt proposed, while I was “researching” for a girlfriend. I showed it to Matt and we both knew that it was our venue, even before we were engaged. I am an interior designer, so the blank space and views were all I needed to see. It was just as perfect as we could have imagined!

My best friend’s dad, who has been married for over 30 years, got ordained just for us, which was an honor. We are hoping some of that marriage luck might rub off on us! We had him read our favorite Bible verse about love from Corinthians 13:4-13.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? To be honest, the guest list! We decided on our venue so quickly, we didn’t realize that the capacity restraints for the ceremony were much smaller than what we had in mind. In the end, we were able to accommodate all our family and most of our friends to make the day perfect! Our design team really found a way to comfortably pack in as many people as we could. We also made the executive decision to invite some guests to just the reception, which accommodated much more. Weddings are definitely give and take, and we were happy with our decision.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My husband would definitely say the candy bar (I am pretty sure he is still eating it). I would say our guest book. I bought a Vogue Weddings coffee table book and had people sign that. I loved being able to see where people decided to sign, and the clever comments they made next to some of the greatest wedding dresses in history. The best part is that it actually sits on our coffee table, so we really use it and are constantly reminded of our favorite day and all the people who love us!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I would say the most obvious was our split menu. We had gourmet chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, collard greens, and fried green tomatoes, as only A Legendary Event can do. The other half of the menu represented my Italian New Yorker husband, with hanger steak, fingerling potatoes, caprese salad, and a pasta bar. People are still talking about the food!

I found our wedding cake pretty much immediately. I knew exactly what I wanted: a simple white with a big cascading flower. I let Matt pick his favorite flavors (as crazy as they were). We had an apple cake with caramel filling, and I made sure one layer was red velvet with cream cheese icing, my Southern staple. My event designer, Christine, took the look to the next level with the acrylic stand filled with rose petals!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was Thanksgiving weekend, 10 years ago, at Dos Copas in my hometown of Alpharetta, Georgia. I was a girl in art school, and he was a boy in a band, playing in Canada. Many phone calls and a seven-year courtship later, we finally went on our first date. Fireworks went off between us, and three “short” years later, Matt made the best decision of his life…he proposed, and it was a done deal.
Tell us all about the proposal! After the most perfect out-of-town wedding weekend for our best friends, all I wanted was some Taco Bell (classy, I know). Little did I know that Matt had a big surprise up his sleeve. Since I am known to be just a little OCD, Matt had hidden a sparkly surprise in my weekender bag. Despite desperately wanting to eat my lunch and take a nap, I just couldn’t fight the urge to unpack as soon as we got home. With one falsie eyelash was still hanging on and I was rocking my favorite sweat pants, I unpacked my bag, found something that delayed my meal, made me cry, and changed our lives forever. Matt just loves when a good plan comes together!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look! We decided to do it after much debate (we are pretty superstitious), but when it came down to it, we decided it was more important for us to have a less stressful wedding after the ceremony and a longer reception. We are now so happy we did it! It was probably the only part of the day that was just for us. I loved seeing his reaction before anyone else, and it all became so real. I totally recommend it!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our last seating song was “Moon River” by Audrey Hepburn. It’s my all time favorite, and it set the mood for the entire wedding. For walking down the aisle, my husband chose “Crazy Love” by Michael Bublé. We walked back up the aisle to “I’m The Man” by Aloe Blacc, which was also my husband’s choice–funny, and it got the point across. Our first dance was to “Feels Like Home” by Chantal Kreviazuk, an oldie but such a goodie from Dawson’s Creek. My husband is a DJ, and I sometimes think I should have been, so songs were probably the toughest decisions we had to make. We tried to go with music that reflected each of us, told our story, and wasn’t something you’ve heard 100 times at a wedding.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! My something borrowed was my bracelet…well, part of it. I had a feathered cuff from BHLDN that I ordered and loved, but the clasp broke on the day of the wedding. My aunt/godmother used one of her antique brooches to clasp it–it was a diamond bow and actually looked better then the original! My something blue was for my mom. It was a handkerchief monogrammed with our wedding date and initials, for those happy cries. My something new was my day-of gift from my husband: a surprise second wedding band! One for our day and one for what was to come.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The menu. In my experience, towards the end of planning is when you realize you may have gone a bit more above your budget than you thought. The easiest way for us to solve this problem was to cut down our menu. We realized we had overestimated numbers and had one too many options. Even with the cut, my husband and I had a more-than-generous late-night snack!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to enjoy it! Don’t let the little things take over your mind. Honestly, nobody will ever notice. Enjoy planning with your partner! Guys have ideas, and it’s a big day for him too. Plus, it’s much more fun to share the responsibility!

Photographer: Our Labor of Love / Planner: Park Avenue Events / Venue: Ventanas / Florist: Perfect Petals / Cake Baker: Perfect Wedding Cake / Catering: A Legendary Event / Lighting: Active / DJ: Marquee Events / Paper Products: Sandi Spells Designs / Bride’s Gown: Manuel Mota / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Cécile Boccara / Hair Stylist: Christine Lopez / Makeup Artist: Amanda Ford / Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Splended Angel Dress” by Xenia / Men’s Attire: Savvi Formal Wear

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Loverly reply

    What gorgeous pastels! A truly beautiful wedding.

  2. avatar Heidi Geldhauser reply

    thank you for sharing this fun wedding – I especially love how this venue shows off Atlanta!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Their Atlanta city skyline first look is perfection! :)

  4. avatar Alison Ulshoffer Events reply

    Gorgeous as always Heidi!

  5. avatar All You Need To Know About Grooms' Cakes reply

    […] Cake, Perfect Wedding Cake, Photo by Our Labor of Love via Southern Weddings […]

  6. avatar Abbey reply

    Is there any way of finding out where the monogrammed bridesmaid bags came from? I absolutely love them!

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