Southern Weddings

Monthly Archives: November 2014

Belles! We hope you had a wonderful, delicious Thanksgiving! We’re still home with our families, as we hope you are, too, but we wanted to sneak in a quick post with some of our favorite “to do’s” for the upcoming holiday season. There’s no better time than December to indulge in favorite traditions and make new ones with your significant other. Here are a few of our favorites to get you started!

If you’d like to print one out for your fridge, we have a formatted download right here!

Any favorite holiday traditions you’re looking forward to, belles? We’d love to hear!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Friends, we are signing off for the next few days to love on our friends and family and eat lots of delicious fixins! Don’t forget about our post-Thanksgiving shop sale, starting on Friday and running through Monday – 20% off all prints and free shipping on EVERYTHING! Yes, planners included! We hope you have a cozy and relaxing holiday, and we’ll see you back here on Friday to share our wintery couple’s to do list!

But first, a little bit about what we’ll be doing while we’re away…

How we’ll be spending Thanksgiving:
Nicole: I’ll be heading to my sister’s in-laws, where both of our families (all the kids, grandkids and aunts and uncles) are gathering for the first time since the wedding a year ago. Bonus: all of the family dogs will be in one place!
Lisa: Dave and I are driving up north to Syracuse to spend Thanksgiving with his family–my first holiday with my future in-laws!
Morgan: I’m so excited to visit my mom’s side of the family in western North Carolina. Aunts, uncles, and cousins will all be meeting at my Nana’s house to enjoy a very Southern and very delicious Thanksgiving meal!
Marissa: BDK, EKK, and I will celebrate her very first Thanksgiving with his family. Since it will be just a few short days after my sister-in-law’s big wedding, we opted to have lunch at their family’s country club with BDK’s parents, grandparents, and a few aunts and uncles. LOTS of generations of Kloesses!
Lara: Ari, Grace and I are spending Thanksgiving with friends here at home. I will be cooking the turkey and all the fixings, and then we’re going to play board games!
Kristin: ​We will be gassing up the car, packing some snacks and criss-crossing North Carolina to spend Thanksgiving day with both our families before heading back to VA for our last football game of 2014 on Friday!
Emily: John and I will be spending our first ever Thanksgiving meal NOT with family – but with dear friends at their parents’ house, which is almost as good! Friday night we’re getting together with very extended family (fourth cousins!) for dinner.

Photo by Joey + Jessica Seawell from Blue Ribbon Bounty

A few things we are most thankful for currently:
Nicole: A fully stocked fridge, snuggles with Taylor, phones to keep in touch with my now spread-out family, and the amazing SW gals.
Lisa: I am so thankful for my loving family, the technology that keeps us all connected, and the blessing of seeing Dave every single day–no small gift after being long-distance!
Morgan: I’m most thankful for feeling settled after a transitional year of graduating college, moving back home, and starting my full time position at Southern Weddings; my sweet parents (and current roomies); my adoring boyfriend, Kevin; that my lab puppy learned fetch; and that my twin sister is coming home from grad school in Tennessee for Thanksgiving!
Marissa: I am most thankful for the blessing God gave us not too long ago, our adorable EKK! I am also so thankful for my darling husband, my sweet family, and the few cold days we’ve had in Alabama when I got to wear my boots and drink cider by the fire pit!
Lara: I am so thankful for my little family and that, for the first time in years, my husband doesn’t have to work on Thanksgiving Day. I’m really looking forward to this time together.
Kristin: My gratitude list is never short, but I am currently most thankful for the daily reminders of God’s grace and unending love; my adorable husband and the chance to spend this holiday with our families; for our community of friends and our church family–the sweet souls that support, encourage and show us love daily; for good health; and finally, for my grandma’s homemade pimento cheese (Thanksgiving breakfast of champions!!).
Emily: I am most thankful for my sweet husband, our families, and dear friends. Also, for the opportunity to decorate for Christmas in just a few days, for a warm house, and for our new king-size bed!!

Photo by Joey + Jessica Seawell from Blue Ribbon Bounty

Our favorite Thanksgiving foods:
Nicole: It changes every year! I love anything that comes in casserole form, like baked mac and cheese, sweet potatoes or green beans. Anything in a pie crust also tops the list!
Lisa: I can never resist a second helping of green bean casserole or my mom’s chocolate chip pecan pie.
Morgan: My absolute favorite has to be my Nana’s dressing – it’s particularly wonderful and she does not make it at any other holiday, which makes it an especially special treat.
Marissa: Hands down, pumpkin pie! Plop a scoop of Cool Whip on that baby, and I’m a happy girl!
Lara: My favorite is mashed turnips, a tradition in our family. They are better than mashed potatoes!
Kristin: While I love my mama’s mashed potatoes with my whole heart, my favorite Thanksgiving food is my grandma’s dressing. I know there are a million varieties of ‘stuffing/dressing’ but I think Eleanor’s wins top prize!
Emily: Since we served “Thanksgiving” at our wedding, I have to say that my favorite is really the combination of all those flavors together – put if I had to pick, then stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

emily Written with love by Emily
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  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Happy Thanksgiving ladies! I have an extra grateful heart this year after that wonderful trip to North Carolina with my mama a few weeks ago :)

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After reading that Emily and Vance met during a welcome picnic in college, when Vance used the successful pickup line “I like your pants,” I knew their wedding would be anything but ordinary! For these two actors, the Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater was the perfect place to say their own vows, that included such sweet sentiments as Emily’s vow to put Vance before herself, and that it was “the greatest gift to do that so entirely organically and without hesitation.” I just love that so much! These now-New Yorkers knew they wanted to get married in their college town in West Virginia, and they felt right at home on the rooftop of the boutique Chestnut Hotel for their reception. Of course, the addition of some good ol’ Southern food always helps!

Big hugs to Veronica Varos for sending this lovely day our way!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My best friend was coming to town, so I googled a couple of places in NYC to go dress shopping. I’m so happy I found Saja, a small designer boutique in SOHO where everyone was lovely, and all the dresses were simple and elegant–perfect for chill, approachable brides like myself. I tried on five, and I thought, “Well, it’s for sure one of those five, and I have no interest in going anywhere else!” I narrowed it down to two, and went back a couple of weeks later with another friend. I walked out in my dress, and she said “That’s it!”

We knew we wanted to get married in our college town. Since we weren’t able to be there all the time, we enlisted the help of my sister, who was local. She was the one who suggested both the locations for the ceremony and the reception, and after visiting a couple of places, we were sold. We held our ceremony at the Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater, which is on the water, has a gorgeous view, and had a stage feel, perfect for us actors. The reception was at the Rock Top Lounge at the Chestnut Hotel–a sweet little boutique hotel where we all stayed. The rooftop was PERFECT! It felt so New York-esque, and as New Yorkers now, we just fell in love with it.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did! My favorite line of mine was: “This is the greatest thing I could ever do–marry you. We’ve already started a life together, and I sincerely love living every day with two hearts. I put yours before mine, and it’s the greatest gift to do that so entirely organically and without hesitation. I will love you every day as hard as I can until I love you more than I love myself….You’re everything I could ever need to live a happy, happy life.” My favorite part of his: “Through all the changes, we just keep falling in love with each other…As human beings, we change. Life happens. And this might be weird, but I promise to continue to grow–to evolve with each other. To learn from you. And I’m so glad I have the opportunity to keep falling in love with you time and time again.”

My flowers were absolutely perfect! My florist was so patient with me. I had so many images in my head, like desert meets neon meets bohemian meets funk meets watercolors. I gave her a wide variety of color schemes and told her what kinds of flowers I liked. Then, she made magic happen! She had never seen my husband’s shirt, but somehow, she matched all the flowers to his shirt and our kooky color scheme perfectly!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be true to YOU! Everyone was blown away by our wedding (so humbling to hear that!), and it’s because they had “never been to a wedding like that before!”–the highest compliment. So be creative, and put your funky stamp on all of it!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? All of it was memorable, but I’d say the moment when my husband and I were up on the stage with our dream band playing our favorite song, and we were dancing like nobody was watching, was my absolute favorite! It was pure joy! I took a deep breath to try to soak up that moment, and I will never let it go!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were both theatre majors, and we spotted each other at orientation during our first year of college. At the welcome picnic, he approached me with a really good pickup line: “I like your pants.” Well, I was hooked. We ate pizza together by a tree and giggled as I got to know the most different and charming boy I’d ever met. We went on our first date three days later. He asked me to be his girlfriend the very next day, and I freaked out a little bit because I barely knew him. It was weird for a few months, but having almost every class together, we became friends. We both dated other folks for a few years, and during our junior year, we were forced to do a love scene together and spent a lot of time together rehearsing. We realized, “What are we doing!? We’re in love!” We started dating in January 2007 and got married in 2014.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was my birthday, and Vance had planned a fun-filled day with many little surprise events that friends could join in on: dinner, the zoo, a movie…ending with a huge private room just for us and our friends at a laser tag arena (mind you, this is something we never do, but we’re adventurous, so I was up for it!). Vance and I were on the same team with a couple of our friends. I was getting super into it, and mid-match, I said, “Where should we hide!?” to Vance. He replied, “Over there! By the inflatable tank!” I army crawled over there, and once I made it, I asked him, “Now what!?” He pulled out the ring and said, “Well, how about you marry me?” I toppled over in tears and giggled with excitement as I said yes, and we had about four minutes of the most lovely private time together, even though we were surrounded by chaos. Then, we half-heartedly continued the match, until our team lost. While the other team was shoving it in our faces, I lifted my hand and was immediately met with cheers of joy. It was perfect. Silly, so us, and both private and lovely, followed by a celebration with my best friends.
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? A little over 200
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I come from a huge Italian family, so as per tradition, all the moms, aunts, cousins, and grandmas baked a boatload of cookies. As if over 2000 cookies wasn’t enough, I still wanted to have a ceremonial cake to cut, so my aunt made us an Italian cream wedding cake, decorated with coconut and raspberries. It was so amazing!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our entire menu was Southern fare: pulled pork, BBQ chicken, corn on the cob, asparagus, biscuits, salad (with my aunt’s homemade dressing), and more.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Anywhere we could save, we did. Since our ceremony venue was at a state park, it was wonderfully cheap!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have been together for a long time, so not much about our day-to-day has changed, but the energy has most certainly changed. My best friend described it as being “freeing”–knowing you can go forth and conquer the world, as an individual and as a couple. I feel so blessed that we earned this marriage… we went though so much together in our long relationship pre-wedding. We’re looking forward to our honeymoon to Mexico in January!

Photographer: Veronica Varos / Videographer: Pictory Productions / Ceremony Venue: Hazel Ruby McQuain Amphitheater / Reception Venue: The Chestnut Hotel / Florist: Blooms Florist / Band: Wesley Bright & the Hi-Lites / Bride’s Gown: Saja

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

    Colorful and Lovely photography!

  2. avatar Veronica Varos reply

    Thank you for sharing Emily + Vance’s story, SWM! <3

  3. avatar “Your Wedding, Your Life, Your Joy” | Rustic Acres Farm reply

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  4. avatar “Your Wedding, Your Life, Your Joy” » Rustic Acres reply

    […] work has recently been featured on publications such as the Today Show, BRIDES, Whirl Magazine, Southern Weddings, and Style Me […]

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    […] via Southern Weddings / Image by Veronica […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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