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There is something so incredibly sweet about Libbie and Alan’s Georgia wedding, and I think it all stems from the fact that they kept their guest list super small. Childhood friends-turned-sweethearts, I’m sure it would have been easy for them to invite anyone and everyone they grew up with, but instead, they kept their guest list to just extended family and eight close friends. This meant that every single person at the wedding knew the two of them well and was ready to play an active role in encouraging their marriage in the years to come. Especially with their own little belle on the way now, I can only imagine how grateful Libbie and Alan are for their loving community!

Thank you kindly to Eliza Morrill for sharing this special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I looked and looked, found a dress, and then started having second thoughts. I’m a very whimsical/ethereal type of gal and the dress just didn’t fit the bill. My stepmother and I, with very little time to spare, stepped into an adorable wedding dress shop, Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta, and there it was…the most perfect dress. It fit like a glove–all we had to do was hem the bottom and add the bustle! It was fate!

My favorite detail was the flowers, because they were simply perfect, but another favorite was that our dog LB, aka Lady Blue, was there to spend the day with us. She is a blue pit/lab mix and was my something blue. She is the sweetest thing you will ever meet and knew this day was a special one to be a part of. She smiled like a good girl for the pictures and sat quietly with my best friends for the ceremony.

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Four of my closest friends and four of his, and then just our aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, and immediate family members! It was a very intimate wedding.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both of our families had spent Thanksgiving at Barnsley Gardens on separate occasions and it is truly a magical place. We knew we wanted an outdoor, destination wedding and my stepmother even remembered me saying I wanted to get married there during our visit many years before. When we returned, I just knew it was the perfect place for Alan and I to be married–there were flowers upon flowers, beautiful trees, and rolling hills.

The wedding flowers were definitely one of my favorite details of the day–they were stunning. I carried a whimsical bouquet designed with all white and green blooms, which included ranunculus, white Veronica, white stock, Queen Anne’s lace, white larkspur, white scabiosa, mini green hydrangea, mixed succulents, Green Jade roses, and a variety of eucalyptus. My bridesmaid’s bouquets were smaller, but equally as stunning, using the same flowers. My flower crown (I wish I could wear it every day of my life!) was designed with small succulents, larkspur, ranunculus, and mixed greenery.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My father’s speech was so unbelievably heartfelt–he could barely get through it, he got so choked up. He said things he had been trying to say for years and spoke about my mother, who passed away when I was 13 and would have given anything to be there that day. He had the whole wedding party in tears. It was beautiful.

We had a simple, three-tiered vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries between the layers. My florist added flowers cascading all the way down the cake. Honeymoon Bakery in Rome, Georgia hit it out the park! I could eat this cake for every meal, and I am counting down the days until our first anniversary!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Eliza Morril Photography, for sure–we went to school together since we were very young, played soccer together, and our big brother were great friends! She did an outstanding job, and as someone who hates posing for pictures, she actually made it pretty fun!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We went to school together since we were six years old and have always been such great friends. However, we didn’t start dating until about two years ago, and the minute we stared dating, we just knew it would last forever.
Tell us all about the proposal! He put the ring under his family’s dog’s collar and said “LuLu has a present for you!” She was so excited, it was like she knew she was delivering something very special. He then said, “I have loved you since the fifth grade and have known I wanted to marry you since the moment we started dating.” The ring he gave me was my deceased mother’s wedding ring and it is the most beautiful thing I own. Wearing it every day is an honor. I get to carry a piece of her with me for the rest of my life.
When did y’all get married? April 17, 2016
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The string quartet played as the bridesmaids and mothers walked down the aisle to different songs by The Beatles, and I walked to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard. We walked back up the aisle together to the upbeat part of “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros. It was all simply perfect!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The groom’s best man was his father, which is just about as Southern as you can get! The location of the wedding, Barnsley Gardens, is also right in the heart of Southern Georgia.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My stepmother is a woman of many trades; she cut the little birchwood place holders for the reception, sewed the burlap tablecloths for the reception, made the wedding programs, made the dog’s flower collar, and sewed the junior bridesmaid dress herself!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t let the details stress you out too much, and take things day by day. The vendors know what they are doing, so let them help you and trust them!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have a baby coming soon, so we are now planning for her arrival! We are also moving to Nashville in September!

Photographer: Eliza Morril Photography | Videographer: Peerless Films | Planner: Heather Rabinowitz | Venue, Catering, and Rentals: Barnsley Gardens | Florist: Bloom | Cake Baker: Honeymoon Bakery | DJ: Gresham Cash Trip | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Bride’s Shoes: Nine West | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN and Donna Morgan | Menswear: Collared Greens

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

    Those pictures in the flowers, omg!!!! And the doggy :)

  2. avatar Catherine reply

    Love her gown! Beautiful!

  3. avatar Elle reply

    That dress is to die for!

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Every year, we do our best to fill our annual print edition with advice and tips that will help you not only plan your wedding, but also (more importantly), help you and your fiancé prepare for marriage. We ask every couple we feature how they go about preparing for life after the big day, and were so happy to include many of their answers in V8. Please enjoy their words of wisdom every Sunday here on Southern Weddings!

Amalie Orrange Photography

We planned for our marriage by attending an eight-week wedding prep class at Watermark Community Church in Dallas. We learned about roles in marriage, communication, finances, expectations, etc., in regards to our upcoming marriage and life together. It was a great way to have discussions on important topics that aren’t always the most fun to talk about, but that are so important when deciding to share your life with someone.
Brooke + Bryan

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary (!!) earlier this month, and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I felt around this time a year ago. Excited was the number one adjective, of course, but if I’m being totally honest, I was a little bit nervous, too–I had heard so many times that “the first year of marriage is the hardest.” A year later, I can confidently and gratefully say that this year has been the best of my life. There were hard moments, certainly, but thanks to the preparation we did before our wedding day and the commitment we had made to living out our vows daily, I’m so proud to have made it to our first anniversary more in love with my husband than ever. As we’ve heard time and time again in real wedding interviews, preparing for marriage intentionally plays a big role in setting couples up for success once they make their sparkler exit and real life settles in. You can find tons of inspiration and ideas for marriage prep in this year’s Sweet Tea Sunday series, and today, we thought we’d round up some favorite reads from our team, plus some friends, that helped us prepare for marriage!

Photo by Anna Paschal

Love Does. While there are so many great books to help prepare for marriage, Love Does is one of my all-time favorite books, period. It’s full of sweet stories of love in action, and the faith it takes to not only love someone, but take action on that love. One of the best lessons to learn pre-marriage! – Marissa

I actually read His Needs, Her Needs a few years after getting married, but I’d recommend it for engaged couples as well as those married longer–not necessarily because I agreed with everything the author said (I didn’t), but because it is guaranteed to prompt interesting and lively conversation about lots of sticky subjects if you read it together. I appreciated the author’s practical approach and emphasis on making changes yourself instead of “working on” your spouse! – Emily

This recommendation is especially for my Catholic sisters :) I first read Theology of the Body Explained for Beginners (Christopher West’s synopsis of Pope John Paul II’s Man and Woman He Created Them) in college, and it was a game-changer in the way I viewed the meaning and purpose of marriage. Dave and I both re-read it while we were engaged, and it definitely helped us enter into marriage with our minds and hearts in the right place. – Lisa

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. I discovered this book several years into our marriage and I wish I had had it from the beginning! This book is a wonderful resource full of practical advice for navigating common struggles in marriage and strengthening your relationship through the power of prayer. – Amber

The Five Love Languages. KPW and I met in a Interpersonal Communication class and fell in love over a shared interested in Tar Heel basketball and communication theory. We love learning about ways to communicate better and the reasons why we communicate the way to we do. Learning about the different love languages and how to use them to love each other better was a powerful lesson during our marriage prep and something we still refer to on a regular basis! – Kristin

The Love Languages Devotional Bible. This is our favorite devotional to read together. It has really helped us to carve out time together to be still, while strengthening our relationship. Learning each other’s love language and how we can each show love in that specific way, has made our marriage more intentional, fun and has helped us “rekindle the flame” when life gets hectic! – Laura

The book that I would recommend is kind of more for after you’re married, but it is one of my favorites and I think it would be worth digging into even before getting married. The title of the book is Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. I was gifted the book by my brother and sister-in-law for my birthday shortly after getting married and it holds so much amazing content. It is all about looking at the true purpose of marriage and how it can be a way to grow closer to God. It has been a great way for me to connect on a deeper level with my husband and grow in my own faith. – Rachel Green

I loved reading The Meaning of Marriage because it allowed me to see my marriage with new perspective. So often, couples think that it is their spouse’s duty to make them “happy” and that is simply not true. That mindset and expectation will have horrible repercussions down the road in any relationship. That is a lot of pressure and responsibility for your husband/wife to carry and it’s nearly impossible to achieve. The Meaning of Marriage taught me that my view of marriage had always been so self-focused, and it needed to change. I find purpose as a wife and as a woman through my relationship with God. He gives me purpose and peace that passes all understanding, and because of that, I have the freedom to love Michael without expecting ridiculous things in return from him. This book lives in my bedside table and has changed my life. I HIGHLY recommend it to ANY couple! – Katelyn James

What books would you add to this list? We’d love to hear!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Newlywed: Books to Read to Prepare for Marriage | Wedding Trends By Drawde reply

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  2. avatar Annie – The Ranting Latina reply

    I’d also recommend ‘The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands’ and ‘The Proper Care & Feeding of Marriage” both by Dr. Laura. They’re SO good!
    I’ve read them as a fiancé and I like how they match the way I was raised and how commonsense their teachings are for treating a partner in marriage. We’re not married yet but I’ve been able to implement what they advocate to help ensure a good, nurturing union and engagement period.
    If the guy wants his own, then he can also read ‘The Proper Care & Feeding of Wives.’
    I’m bookmarking this list. Thanks for sharing :).

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