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When your groom’s aunt and uncle offer their beautiful lakeside estate to you for your wedding, the question of where to tie the knot quickly becomes a no-brainer–at least, it was for Mallory and Alex! They added one more meaningful layer of family history to this special place, and in turn, it gave them a handful of their favorite wedding day moments and memories (be sure to read about Mallory’s favorite detail below). With the details in the capable hands of planner Nicole King and florist Petal and Pine, Mallory and Alex were free to turn their attention to what mattered most to them: preparing for marriage. Y’all know how much we applaud them for that!

Thanks so much to Lynnesy Catron for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted something simple, elegant, timeless, and feminine, but not over the top. My two sisters, my mom, a close friend, and my future mother-in-law went wedding dress shopping with me in Louisville. We started out at Rebecca’s Bridal Boutique and I tried on about 7-10 dresses. There was one dress there that stood out to me–it was unlike anything I had seen before. I felt comfortable in it, and I felt like “me.” I didn’t really say anything because I felt like it was too early to commit. After trying on about six more dresses at another boutique, I kept going back to the other one in my mind. I rushed back to the first store to try the dress on again, and as soon as I had it on, I knew it was the one.

We went back and forth, but eventually decided that we would prefer to see each other before the wedding. As everyone warns you, the day is fleeting, and we knew that after the ceremony, things would go even more quickly and we would have lots of people to visit with. We did a first look not only to help save time with pictures and ease some nerves, but we also wanted to make sure we had a special moment for just the two of us.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our marriage was always more important to us than our actual wedding–I feel like this mindset allowed both of us to be laid back during the planning process. We just wanted to have a fun night of celebrating with friends and family. Our church is very important to us, so we also met with our pastor to ensure that we were spiritually ready for marriage.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we did not write our own vows. Our pastor, Jeremy Linneman, help us select the vows for our special day and also put together a homily that we absolutely loved.

Our venue was very special to us. Greystone Estate is the home of Alex’s aunt and uncle. It is breathtaking from every angle, and was a no-brainer when it was offered to us. Alex’s brother and sister-in-law were married there and Alex’s dad was remarried there.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Greystone Estate sits on the Ohio River, and at sunset, the Louisville Belle came by and blew its horn in celebration. Everyone ran out from under the tent to wave as it went by–it was a detail of the night that we had not planned, but loved so much.

We love the city of Louisville, especially Alex, who grew up here, so we had Derby glasses from all different years that served as the water glass during dinner. They were later packaged up and left on the guest’s tables for them to take home as favors. They added such a great pop of color and a great vintage feel to the wedding. During cocktail hour, we served mini hot browns. For dinner, we didn’t want anything fancy–just a good meal that all would enjoy. We served fried chicken, brisket, biscuits, mac and cheese, green beans, and garlic mashed potatoes. We also made sure a variety of bourbons were served at the wedding.

We found a wonderful lady who makes cakes out of her home. Our cake was three tiers–the largest was a white cake and the top two layers were strawberry with buttercream frosting. We also had an assortment of cookies made by Alex’s mom and a dear friend of the family. As a surprise, Alex’s brother and sister-in-law had Tasty Tuxedo Treats come to the wedding–they showed up on a motorcycle in tuxedos with three different types of ice cream sandwiches.

Our first dance was to “That’s My Kind of Woman” by George Strait. Alex loves George Strait, and it is actually one of the first concerts that we ever went to together. I told him we were dancing to something else and then surprised him with this song. He loved it!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We went to the University of Kentucky together and had many mutual friends, but never met each other while we were in college. I stayed in Lexington to teach after graduation and Alex moved back to his hometown of Louisville to work for Hilliard Lyons. During Labor Day weekend of 2010, I went to visit some friends of mine who lived in Louisville. We went to the Kentucky vs. Louisville game, where I met Alex, and we were pretty much inseparable for the rest of the holiday weekend. Alex traveled to Lexington that same week to take me out on our first official date.
Tell us all about the proposal! During the 2013-2014 school year, I was working on my National Board Certification for Teaching. I was submitting all of my assignments, and to celebrate, Alex had made reservations at our favorite restaurant in Louisville, Jack Fry’s. When Alex came to my house to pick me up for our dinner celebration, he proposed! Not only was I surprised with the proposal, it also turned out that we were not going to Jack Fry’s after all. Instead, Alex had invited my family to town, and both of our families were waiting to celebrate with us over dinner and drinks at The Louisville Boat Club. After dinner, we continued the celebration with a group of our closest friends.
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 230
Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were perfect and exactly what I had envisioned. We went with soft sage-y creams, ivory, and touches of blue, and our florist used open garden roses, peonies, hydrangeas, forget me nots, and berries. I wanted the arrangements to be loose, but not too wild, and I loved the idea of having lots of greenery everywhere. We had beautiful garlands on the head table, and the centerpieces were a mix of milk glass bud bases, vintage wooden candle holders with candles, and wooden boxes.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The weather definitely threw us for a loop. We knew that having both the ceremony and reception outside was risky, but didn’t truly feel the pressures of that until the weeks leading up to the day. The remnants of a hurricane left us with a wedding day forecast of 100% chance of rain with strong winds. God was truly with us on our day–it was a gloomy morning with rain, but then around 2:00, the clouds began to clear and the rest of the afternoon and evening was absolutely perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We both just truly enjoy being with one another, so we are looking forward to the memories we will make now that we are married. We both love kids and would love to have a family of our own someday, but for now, we have a beagle puppy that consumes a lot of our time and love.

Photographer: Lynnesy Catron / Planner: Nicole King / Venue: Greystone Estate / Florist: Petal and Pine / Cake Baker: Melanie Gunn / Caterer: Masterson’s / Rentals: The Rental Depot / Band: 64 West / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Farah” by Watters / Hair Stylist: Whitney Kessinger of Hali B. Salon / Makeup Artist: Sloane Winters of Circe / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D660” in Midnight by Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Twirl Boutique / Menswear: Joseph A. Bank / Table Numbers: The Paper Exchange

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love the look of the wedding party! her dress and flowers are also so pretty!

  2. avatar Wedding: Mallory & Alex » Lynnesy Catron Photography reply

    […] I don’t think I’ve ever photographed at a more beautiful venue, especially here in Louisville.  Check out more of Mallory and Alex’s gorgeous day over at Southern Weddings. […]

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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding in May. In case you missed her introductory post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

One of the very first things Zack and I talked about after getting engaged was where we wanted to get married. Both the city and the type of venue were up for grabs, as I am from Winston-Salem, NC and he is from right outside Knoxville, TN. When we got engaged, he was living in Knoxville and I was living in Nashville, but we knew I would soon be moving to Knoxville, too. So, we had a few options on where to get married!

While I love Winston-Salem and cherish it as my hometown, I’ve never envisioned getting married there. The two of us have made only a few memories in Winston-Salem, and Tennessee felt more like our home. Deciding between Nashville and Knoxville, however, was a little challenging. Nashville has so many beautiful wedding venues, and is such a fun Southern city – somewhere I knew our friends would love to visit! However, Knoxville also has a wide variety of gorgeous venues. The fact that it would be our home both during and after our engagement really sealed the deal for us. We loved the idea of being able to plan all of the details with local vendors, instead of needing to travel to Nashville or Winston-Salem for venue tours and vendor meetings.

After deciding on the city, it was time to brainstorm wedding venues! I had always envisioned a church ceremony and an outdoor garden reception. Zack and I come from different religious backgrounds, and we really wanted to be respectful of both of our families. So, we gave it a lot of thought and decided that having our wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue would be the best option for us. Knowing that, we needed to look at venues that had plenty of space for us to accommodate the different aspects of our wedding day.

One of the first venues that caught my eye was Crescent Bend (above). The formal Italian garden behind the main house is one of the most stunning things I’ve ever laid eyes on! The view of the river from the gardens is also breathtaking. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that a gorgeous view and beautiful gardens do come at a high price point, which was outside the budget we allocated for our venue.

Eden Bliss Weddings

The next venue we considered was The Bleak House. I loved the fact that it is a confederate memorial hall; it has a lot of rich history and gorgeous architectural details. It also has a stunning arbor walkway that leads to a garden, something I had been hoping for. However, the garden was mostly greenery with very few actual flowers, so not quite the picture I had in my head.

Jennie Andrews

We then looked at The Historic Southern Railway Station, kind of by accident! We had been searching for vineyards in Knoxville, but quickly found they are hard to come by. However, the railway station is a part of Blue Slip Winery, and we love our wine! The interior of the Station is breathtaking. The Southern Ballroom has beautiful high ceilings and rich wood paneling, a pretty combination of my feminine style and Zack’s masculine taste. But, the only outdoor option was a platform next to the train station. It lacked greenery, something I couldn’t overlook.

After striking out with our first few options, we decided to think outside the box. Zack loves golfing, and he had the wonderful idea of looking at golf courses for our venue. I loved that idea–a golf course would provide us with the greenery I really wanted, as well as a rain back-up plan in the form of a club house or country club.

The first golf course we toured was Wind River. Zack and I absolutely fell in love when we stepped onto the property! The rolling greens are so gorgeous, the lake view is spectacular, and the country club is made of the most beautiful stone. We thought it was the one, but after speaking with our planners, we realized a few logistical details that would push the venue outside of our budget. The area behind the country club, where we had envisioned our reception, is mostly greenery with a little bit of concrete, meaning that we would need to bring in flooring to go under our tent, a fairly pricey thing to do. Wind River is also a 45-minute drive from downtown Knoxville, making it slightly inconvenient for our guests who will likely be staying in hotels closer to town. While we loved the venue, we had to be cautious about our budget and our guests’ comfort and convenience. So, we looked for other golf courses closer to town!

Bridesmaid photo by JoPhoto

Zack has played in golf tournaments at Gettysvue Golf and Country Club before, and remembered loving the course. While we were smitten by Wind River, after taking a tour, we truly fell in love with Gettysvue! It has the most spectacular view of the mountains, so we are hoping (if Mother Nature plays nice!) to have our ceremony outside at the top of the hill. I can envision it, and it’s stunning!

It also has a beautiful indoor ballroom, which will be the perfect setting for our dinner and possibly more if it does rain. A rain back-up plan was definitely a top priority! And the biggest factor that we love is that the carport area, which is right in front of the rolling green golf course, is the perfect flat spot for dancing, a bar, and a soft-seated lounge. No flooring needed under the tent! Gettysvue is within our budget, absolutely gorgeous, close to town for our guests, and Zack has played there before – making it truly special and personal for us!

While I envisioned one thing for our wedding ceremony and reception before we started in on venue tours, I am so happy with the different, more personal direction we decided to take. I really love that our venue is such a part of Zack’s personality and lifestyle, while some of the other wedding details are more reflective of my personality and ultra feminine style. I can’t wait to see how our amazing wedding planners transform it with all of our design details and an abundance of flowers! If you can’t get married in a garden, bring the garden to your venue – right?!

Friends, I’d love to hear: did you have a venue vision in mind before taking tours? And if so, did that change throughout your planning process, or did you go with your original idea? What helped you make your decision?

In case you missed a post…
The proposal
Choosing a wedding planner
Choosing a wedding photographer
Shopping for a gown

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Oh I bet Gettysvue is great! My roommate got married this past spring in Knoxville and she had her reception at The Foundry. It was fantastic, and guests staying downtown didn’t have to travel far once the party was over. So excited to see the rest of your planning as I live in Knoxville currently. :)

    • avatar Jessica Clinch reply

      Oh how fun Kelly!! The Foundry is beautiful! I love that you’re in Knoxville too, we should meet up sometime! Feel free to email me at simplyjessicamarie@gmail.com :)

  2. avatar Caitlin Alexander reply

    I just HAVE to tell you how much I appreciate how you spoke about your budget!! Seriously! It’s totally refreshing to read a post from someone who is working within a budget to create a stunning day… thank you for being open about that lady! Xo!

    • avatar Jessica Clinch reply

      I’m just now seeing your comment Caitlin! I’m glad you appreciated my honesty about our budget! It is something to definitely consider closely, especially when it comes to wedding venues. While certain venues are gorgeous and I understand why they are a bit more expensive, we could not justify spending the majority of our budget on our venue! Each area of our wedding budget needs love :) xo!!

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It’s true, wedding planning can be stressful, y’all. But, that said, it can also be a time to really grow as a couple–you can learn what is deeply important to your future spouse, and how to compromise. For Lindsay and Josh, their wedding planning served as just that: a way for them to become better partners in life through becoming partners in creating a day that truly reflected their love story. Our Blue Ribbon Vendor Kim Starr Wise even helped them add personal details into their florals by including peaches and oranges, a nod to their home states of Georgia and Florida. Another sweet detail I love? The vintage lights that are now hanging in Lindsay and Josh’s dining room as a daily reminder of the day they became husband and wife!

Big hugs to Kaylynn Marie for sharing this beautiful day with us!

P.S. Extra congratulations to Lindsay and Josh! They’re expecting their first child in December!

Our florist was incredible and spent a ton of time learning about us. At our first meeting, she and Josh were talking about where we are from (Florida and Georgia), and the idea of including peaches and oranges into the wedding was born. Additional inspiration came from our bridesmaid dresses (dark blue) and our love of burlap and lace. I knew that I wanted each table to look different, and our florist took it from there. The chuppah that we were married under was also her creation, and we loved it!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Hands down, weather was our biggest challenge. When we picked our wedding weekend, we knew we were smack dab in the middle of hurricane season and the day after the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We always had to be aware that canceling was a real possibility, and had to ask each and every vendor what their hurricane policy was. As it turned out, our venue had the best policy, and several of our other vendors changed their policies to match the venue’s, so we knew we would be okay in the event we had to cancel. Double planning for everything was a pain, but I’m so glad that we did. The morning of our wedding, it poured! It was so bad that the weather here was making news elsewhere. As soon as we boarded the bus to our backup portrait location, the rain slowed down and we ended up taking almost all of our pictures at a carousel inside City Park. Had it not rained, that part of the park would have been open to the public, but since the rain came, we had the carousel to ourselves and took SO many pictures there. Definitely a blessing in disguise!

Josh and I are super outdoors-y people, so we knew we wanted the venue to speak to that side of us. Finding a venue in New Orleans can be tricky because many, many venues are not big enough for a 200-person wedding, and that narrowed down our options quickly. Additionally, Josh had been to many NOLA weddings and wanted a venue he had never been to before to make our wedding special and different from all the others. We had heard that City Park had several great venues, and two specifically could accommodate our numbers. Both were pretty spectacular, but we ended up choosing Popp Fountain and the Arbor Room for the blank slates that they were. They were also right next to each other so our guests wouldn’t have to change locations after the ceremony–a rarity here. It all ended up being the perfect backdrop for our personalities.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. We had a traditional Jewish ceremony and recited the traditional Jewish vows.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri for me to walk down the aisle to because of our long history. We waited so long for one other, and we’d both wait 1,000 more years if we knew we’d still end up together.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We put so much effort into the branding of the weekend. The person who designed our stationery also designed every other personalized detail that went along with it, from the cocktail napkins, to the program, to the cake topper, to the go-cups and second line hankies (both NOLA standards). We knew what details we were willing to spend extra money on (the J&L vintage lights, our ketubah, the personalized cornhole set), and what meant less to us. I love that the lights now hang in our dining room and are an awesome accent that people always comment on. Our ketubah (marriage license) that hangs in our bedroom is a paper-cut, one-of-a-kind piece that is both a nod to our love of the outdoors and our first meeting at a camp. The trees are even arched to mimic the oak trees that line many New Orleans streets.

Knowing we had to feed a lot of people, we ended up with a four-tiered almond cake with strawberry filling. Our cake topper came from a suggestion by the woman who designed our invitations. We were chatting one day about cake toppers and she said she had someone who could laser cut wood. It sounded awesome and we said yes. I love having that topper in our home, mixed with some dried flowers from our wedding day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The story of “us” begins in the summer of 2002 at summer camp. Josh was a CIT at his summertime home, Camp Coleman in North Georgia, where I had signed on to be a counselor. While neither of us remember actually meeting, I know for a fact that our paths first crossed during color-war when we were placed on the same team. From there, a pretty fabulous friendship was formed, and over the next year, Josh and I grew closer while catching up at youth group events in Atlanta. Our paths didn’t cross very often after that year, as Josh headed off to New Orleans to spend four years at Tulane “studying” and I began my career in youth engagement in Atlanta, then Boston. All the while, we remained in touch and often caught up on the phone during long road trips. In late spring of 2007, Josh decided it was time to visit me and anticipated a fun weekend that would allow us to catch up in person. My roommates quickly fell in love with Josh (they were the smart ones here), and were so excited that I had a friend who could easily be “the one.” I, however, had to make things difficult and decided that a friendship was all I had in mind. After an awkward weekend in New England, Josh headed back to New Orleans, confused and heartbroken. From there, our friendship took a backseat and we lost touch for several years. We reconnected again via Facebook in September 2012, just a few days after my birthday. We picked up right where we left off, and a few months later, we decided it was time to see each other again and put the past in the past. I headed to New Orleans for a long weekend and it was clear very quickly that love was in the air. After a weekend laughing, exploring the town, and meeting many of Josh’s friends, we were a couple. In April 2013, me and my dog, Riley, moved to New Orleans to begin a new chapter in a new city with an old friend.
Tell us all about the proposal! For his birthday dinner, Josh made a reservation for two at his favorite restaurant (also the place we had our first official date). He parked way too far from the restaurant, and after walking over six blocks blocks in heels, I was less than pleased. Dinner and drinks were quickly ordered and I snuck over to tell the host that it was Josh’s birthday. After dinner and a little surprise birthday cheesecake, the bill paid (thanks to Josh’s Aunt Laurie), and a very generous tip left, it was time to trek back to the car. Josh casually mentioned walking along the river, when I felt the need to ask “Why, so you can propose?” Josh recovered nicely, and off to the riverfront we went. Within moments, I noticed a creepy dude following us with a camera, but Josh played it off as a tourist. A random bench appeared with unlit candles around it (it was windy, so the candles didn’t stay lit), and I assumed it was set up for something else, until Josh steered me to the bench, sat me down, and got down on one knee. As a teary-eyed Josh tried to fumble through a pre-planned proposal, I sat there asking ridiculous questions (“Is this for real? Are you sure you know what you’re doing? Is this really happening?”). When the ring appeared from Josh’s sock (because he was afraid I would pat him down!), I knew it was the real deal. The question was asked and I said “Yes!” After a few congratulations from onlookers and a quick hello to the two guys photographing the whole thing, it was time to make calls to our parents before heading to Josh’s “birthday party.” Of course, this was no real birthday party, but a surprise engagement party!
When did y’all get married? August 30, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 180
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Becoming partners in wedding planning truly made us better partners in life. We learned when the other felt something was deeply important and non-negotiable. We learned how to compromise so we both felt connected to a decision. We learned how to navigate our family’s wishes and concerns and weave them into our plans. Ultimately, we learned that effective communication is the key to a solid beginning. We’ve had to rely on each other a lot in the last year and I truly feel that having planned our wedding together helped us take on many of the challenges we faced during our first year of marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re pregnant! Josh and I are expecting our first child in early December and we cannot wait to be a family. In addition, we’re moving into our forever home in just a few weeks and look forward to settling down and making our family’s memories under one roof.

Photographer: Kaylynn Marie Photography / Planner: Lara Mintz / Venue and Caterer: Popp Fountain and Arbor Room at New Orleans City Park / Florist: Kim Starr Wise / Cake Baker: Swiss Confectionery / DJ and Lighting: LA Music Source / Special Details: Plum Street Snoballs / Paper Products: Lionheart Prints / Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau / Bridal Salon: Wedding Belles / Hair Accessory: “Kayla” by Courtney Lee Collection / Jewelry: Hiller Jewelry / Hair and Makeup: Blush and Bashful / / Bride’s Shoes: Abeline Boots / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Kylie” and “Nadia” in Dark Cove by J.Crew / Groom’s Attire: Macy’s

Kim Starr Wise is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Lauren Ashley reply

    Oh my!! Kaylynn, what a fun wedding!!! I am obsessed with the stationary and paper products!!

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