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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Talented, professional, compassionate vendors are the backbone of most every smoothly-running wedding day. When you hire people who are great at what they do AND good people to boot, your only job on your wedding day will be to act as a gracious hostess, love your family and friends well, and say “I do.” What a blessing! That’s why we’re passionate about our Blue Ribbon Vendors – because we want y’all to be worrying about those three things, and nothing else. Here are a few we’d love to introduce you to!

Name: Alea Moore Photography
Where you call home: Atlanta, GA
How I got into weddings: I have had a camera in my hands for what feels like forever. In college, I went to school to be a vet, but photographed weddings for my sweet friends to make a little extra pocket money and because I loved it so much. It took a little heart and soul searching to come to the conclusion that I needed something happy every day and though it scared me, I picked up my camera again and never looked back. God was SO good, and I’m beyond thankful to get to do what I love every day!

Name: Astrid and Mercedes
Where you call home: Toronto
Favorite part of a wedding day? The vows… truly, there is no more sacred ground than that you walk upon in marriage and I think the vows set the tone for the life you want to build.

Name: Cherish Creations
Where you call home: Deep in the heart of Texas
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Tradition is always the staple and I love how they are always a family affair.

Name: Cynthia Rose Photography
Where you call home: Havelock, NC
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: I’d write home to my momma, but I happen to reside in the same neighborhood where I grew up, just a few houses down from my parents, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! We’ve been published in local wedding magazines in Eastern North Carolina and a handful of wedding blogs, but we feel our greatest and most important accomplishment is making our clients happy.

Name: Distressed | Rentals & Revival
Where you call home: South Mississippi
How I got into weddings: I ditched the rat race and went for something I loved – design and working with women! This warm style from a much simpler time came so naturally to me and I quickly went from styling homes to weddings. While working on my first few weddings, it drove me crazy that I could not find authentic pieces to use! So I started building and hunting them one by one. From there, my collection grew into something really special – it may now be the largest vintage rental collection in the Southeast!

Name: Early Mountain Vineyards
Where you call home: Madison, VA
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? We love seeing couples incorporate family traditions and heirlooms into their wedding days. Having four defined seasons lends to wonderful colors and creative decor, making each wedding unique.

Name: Everything But the Ring
Location/Coverage: Texas and worldwide
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? When you sit down to dinner, take each other’s hand and stop for a moment. Look around the room and take it all in – this is the only moment in time that all of those people will be in the same room together and it’s all for you. Feel THAT love!

Name: Jaclyn Journey, Jaclyn Journey
Where you call home: Louisville, KY
Favorite part of a wedding day? Quiet mornings before the storm – taking time to rest and be present with your family or bridesmaids is to be cherished. You’ll never forget having coffee and breakfast with them while dreaming about the day that is to come!

Name: Jordan Weiland, Jordan Weiland Photography
Where you call home: Lakeland, Florida
How I got into weddings: I’ve always loved photography. I graduated with a Studio Art degree and a passion for photography. I knew I wanted to be my own boss so I did portrait photography for some time until a friend asked me to shoot a wedding with her. I was hooked.

Name: Emily Kennedy, Kennedy Occasions
Where you call home: Murfreesboro, TN… it’s just a tad south of Nashville!
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The traditions! I love pearls and grandmother’s lace. I love Southern charm and family influence. I love the rolling hills, beautiful blooms, and high school/college sweethearts.

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at southernweddings.com!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    Two years ago, my husband and I moved from a two-bedroom apartment to a four-bedroom house. Even four years post-college, we had only acquired a few pieces of furniture: a sofa, a dining room table, a mattress (but not a headboard!), four hand-me-down chairs, and an Ikea loveseat I’d had since college. Needless to say, we were ready to make some purchases! Furniture, however, is expensive, and we are nothing if not frugal. Very quickly, Craigslist loomed large in our calculations. Since then, I’ve made many purchases on The List. While overwhelming at first, the deals are simply too good to pass up for those looking to feather a newlywed nest on a budget. Today I’m sharing my best tips for searching and buying on Craigslist, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments!

    Photo from Erin + Ben’s home

    TIPS FOR SEARCHING:

    Have a clear idea what you’re looking for. Unlike browsing the aisles at a flea market, simply scrolling around on Craigslist can get very overwhelming very quickly. If you have an infinite amount of time, feel free to simply search for “table,” but your search will be more efficient if you’ve already narrowed in on the look you’re going for and use those terms (“white tulip table” or “farmhouse table”).

    If you want to go one level deeper, make sure you’re nosing all around exactly what you’re looking for. Search using a slew of similar terms, because you never know how a seller might describe the item you want!

    Be patient. You will quickly get frustrated if you expect to log on and find exactly what you’re looking for after one night of searching. The gems are rare on Craigslist, and they go fast! If you’re looking for something specific, check back frequently over a few days or weeks, searching the same terms over and over (new things get added all the time!). And if you’re really serious, know that some people search for 1-2 hours per night!

    Search pic view. Click the button to show thumbnail images next to each listing in a list of results. That way, you can skim quickly over options and avoid opening thirty tabs for obviously wrong items.

    Photo from Abby + Alex’s home by A Bryan Photo

    TIPS FOR BUYING:

    Move fast. If you see something you like, don’t delay: reach out with an email ASAP! However, if you do happen to see something that catches your eye further back in the results, don’t hesitate to reach out – it could have already sold, but it’s just as likely you’ve spotted a diamond in the rough others scrolled right on by. One man’s trash and all that :)

    Start simple. I think this is by far the tip that has been most helpful to me. When you find something you like, make your first email simple. Try to sound put together (good grammar!), friendly, ready and willing, and low maintenance. Most sellers just want the process to be easy! I’ll usually start by simply asking if the item is still available, and I’ll offer to come by that day with cash.

    Ask questions and negotiate. If they respond that the item is available and I have follow up questions, I’ll ask them then. I try to be specific instead of just asking for “more information.” (Is it a non-smoking home? Exact dimensions? Is the color accurate?) This is also the point where you can negotiate. (“Would you take $85 instead of $100?) Do any negotiating before you show up – it’s just rude to agree on a price then show up with less cash in hand. The only exception would be if the item is in a significantly different condition than it appeared in photos when you see it in person.

    Photo from Samantha + Kevin’s home

    Take renovation costs into account. If you’re considering a piece that needs some work and the budget is a concern, factor in extra costs as you compare the total price to buying new. Maybe you’d want to lacquer that side chair, or reupholster (or simply clean) a sofa. Your time is also a cost – how long will it take you to strip, sand, and paint a side table? Do you already have a powder sander or will you have to buy one?

    Think about how you’ll get it home. Don’t assume the seller will be able to help you move the piece into your car. Take the measurements into account, too! Even though we have a small SUV, we rented a Home Depot truck to bring home a large sideboard once. The truck rental cost about $50, but even adding that cost to the cost of the piece was less than we would have paid new.

    Stay safe. Whenever I pick something up, I always make sure John is with me. I also specifically tell the seller my husband will be accompanying me in our email communication. And, I try to always go during daylight hours. All of the people I have worked with on Craigslist have been very sweet, but in this case, it is definitely better to be safe than sorry, friends!

    Photo from Shalyn + Drew’s home

    I’d love to hear: are you a Craigslist maven? Do you have any tips to add, or have any of these tips been helpful for you? What’s your best Craigslist find? Mine was definitely a beautiful solid wood Jenny Lind twin bed for $100!

    emily Written with love by Emily
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      One of my favorite memories of my own wedding day is when BDK took my hand and squeezed it three times right after we were pronounced husband and wife. It reminded me to stop for a second and take in that special moment, so I love that Lisa and Joe made sure to pause during such a whirlwind day, take each other by the hand, and look around together to soak it all in. I know how hard it can be to stay present, but what a sweet way to focus on what matters most…and what a beautiful scene Lisa and Joe had to see! The Farm in Georgia was exactly what they had envisioned for their shabby chic barn wedding that was sophisticated and felt like them.

      Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Bamber Photography for sharing this lovely day!

      After much debate, we decided to do a first look. I have to say, I’m so happy we did! I went back and forth because I wanted that moment when we saw each other as I walked down the aisle to be really special. To my surprise, the more we talked to our photographer about a first look, it seemed like it would be more intimate that way. It was also very important to us to be able to enjoy the reception with our family and guests, and taking the majority of our pictures beforehand allowed us to enjoy that time with them after the ceremony!

      Tell us about finding your wedding dress. When it came to finding my wedding dress, I knew that I didn’t want a strapless dress–that was the one thing I was sure of! I envisioned an elegant, simple dress with delicate sleeves and a tulle skirt. I went dress shopping with my mom and sister, and we went to three different dress shops, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for! I then went back to the first dress shop and decided to try on some strapless dresses, just to see what I thought. I remember walking out in one and my sister saying, “That’s it!” It felt so perfect and made me feel like a princess. Who doesn’t want to feel like a princess on their wedding day, right?! So, lesson learned: know what you want, but don’t be too opposed to trying on other dresses. They might just surprise you!

      We asked my Uncle Kelly, who we are both so close to, if he would marry us. He was so excited and honored, that he quickly got ordained! It meant so much to us to have someone so special and dear to our hearts standing there beside us as we said our vows to one another.

      I wanted classic, elegant flowers in neutrals, whites, and soft pinks. Hydrangeas and peonies are two of my favorite flowers, so I definitely wanted to incorporate those! I knew I wanted my bouquet to be all peonies in a blush pink color. We then decided that the reception flowers would be white hydrangeas with pale pink snapdragons and soft-colored David Austin roses. My bridesmaid bouquets were a combination of snapdragons, David Austin roses, and beautiful wildflowers. I could not have been happier with the way the flowers turned out–they were absolutely stunning!

      What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our ceremony and reception were both at the same venue, The Farm in Rome, Georgia. We knew we wanted an outdoor venue that was sophisticated and felt like us. I had always envisioned a shabby chic barn wedding, and The Farm was only about an hour and a half away from us in Atlanta. It was the first venue we saw, and it just felt right. We both fell in love with it, and seeing as we had both lived in Georgia for a number of years, this is where we met, and we both love being outdoors, we agreed it was the perfect venue for us.

      What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? In Joe’s words to the grooms, learn to say “Yes dear!” I would highly recommend having a day-of coordinator. The number of last-minute details can be overwhelming, and it was extremely helpful to have someone there to help pull everything together the day-of. Other advice that was given to me prior to our wedding was to take my husband’s hand a few times throughout the night, stop, and look around together. Take it all in. You put so much work into that one day. It goes by so fast, so soak it all in the best you can!

      We served very traditional Southern food to go with the Southern theme of the wedding weekend! We had various food stations at the reception where we served chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and fried green tomatoes. We wanted to infuse Southern flair into our wedding, since we’ve spent the majority of our lives in the South and met one another in Georgia!

      Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our first dance, we danced to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud.” When trying to find the perfect first dance song, we heard this song together in the car one day, and it brought tears to our eyes. It was such a beautiful song that expressed exactly how we wanted to grow old together. We immediately decided that it was the one!

      Joe and I aren’t huge cake fans, so we knew we wanted a sweets table with an assortment of desserts for everyone to choose from instead! Some of the desserts we included were cupcakes from a local Atlanta cupcake shop that we love in some of our favorite flavors (white chocolate, salted caramel, and cookies and cream), macaroons, white chocolate-covered pretzels, heart-shaped mints that my Aunt Trish made, and cake pops! We also wanted a small cake that we could cut, and I love the look of the naked cakes, so we also had a six-inch naked cake with a few beautiful peonies on top. Everything was displayed on a beautiful, antique, white-washed buffet table!

      How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Joe and I met on eHarmony! Joe reached out to me by private message, and by that point, I had almost given up on the dating scene. I almost cancelled our date because I was so nervous, but my sister talked me into going, and thank goodness she did! We met at the cutest restaurant for drinks and instantly had such a strong connection. Before we knew it, seven hours had passed and we were on our way to a second drink spot to continue the night! We both look back on that day and agree that after that first date, we both knew this was something special. We could hardly wait to see each other again!
      Tell us all about the proposal! For our second date, Joe took me to Piedmont Park in Atlanta and prepared the most romantic picnic! He picked me up, we went to the park, found the perfect huge oak tree to sit under, and he laid out a blanket. He had a whole picnic basket prepared with cheese, crackers, sushi, wine–the works. I remember being so impressed! The week of our proposal, he mentioned that we hadn’t been back to the park since our second date, and suggested that we go on an impromptu casual date night picnic. I thought it was a great idea! When we arrived, we found our same oak tree, laid our blanket down, and before I could sit down, he bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him! It was the most romantic, beautiful proposal! He then told me he had planned dinner reservations at our first date spot, JCT Kitchen in Atlanta. As we drove there, I was so excited to share my news, and I tried to call my sister, my mom, and my dad, but no one answered. We arrived at the restaurant, and to my surprise, they were all there to surprise me!
      When did y’all get married? May 23, 2015
      How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
      Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! As a traditionalist, I definitely wanted to make sure that I had something borrowed, blue, old, and new! For my something borrowed and old, my mother has the most stunning European jewelry from her Great Aunt Frieda, and I knew I wanted to wear something of hers. I found these beautiful diamond earrings that looked amazing with my wedding dress. It was important to me to incorporate something from my mother in my wedding day attire, and I’m so happy I was able to wear those! For my something blue, my mom and dad had a handkerchief made for me that was white with my name embroidered on it in blue writing. It was so perfect for my something blue! For my something new, I spoiled myself and bought Manolo Blahnik flats that I wore. They were drop dead gorgeous!
      How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Marriage is about compromise and working together as a team. We kept this in mind as we were planning our wedding. It was important to us that this was day was about both of us. We relied on the friendship we have built and the depth of our commitment to one another, which carried us through the ups and downs of wedding planning.
      If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
      What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We both agree our first look was our most memorable moment! I still remember walking toward Joe as his back was turned to me, feeling the butterflies, and telling him to turn around and not to cry, or I would start crying too! He later told me that as soon as he heard my voice, he started to tear up.
      What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We look forward to creating new memories as a married couple, purchasing our first home together, and starting a family!

      Photographer: Bamber Photography / Videographer: Nick Westfall / Venue: The Farm / Florist: Janet Nutt / Cake Baker: Piece of Cake / Dessert Baker: Honeymoon Bakery / Caterer: Zest Catering / Rentals: Heirloom Vintage Rentals / Band: Francisco Vidal Band / Paper Products: Lemon Meringue / Bride’s Gown: “0126174” by Alyne Bridal / Hair Stylist: Drew Delaney / Makeup Artist: Brittini Pearson / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Megan” in Soft Peach by J.Crew / Menswear: Brooks Brothers

      Bamber Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

      marissa Written with love by Marissa
      3 Comments
      1. avatar Clarisa Sian reply

        I`m out of words! I can say only that this unique wedding concept inspires me! Congrats!

        • avatar Lisa Manusakis reply

          Thank you so much Clarisa Sian for such a sweet comment! Thank you Southern Weddings for featuring us on your blog, we are very honored! Xo, Lisa and Joe

      2. avatar Katy reply

        Could you share where you go the fabulous food signs? They are beautiful!

      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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