Google+ Emily, Author at Southern Weddings Magazine

Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Emily

Every January, the Southern Weddings gals sit down and come up with a list of team goals for the year. One of our most important goals for 2014 was to create a space in the SW world for our married readers. There are a lot of y’all! We love that you’ve stuck around past your own I do’s, and want to honor that. We had no interest in starting a spin-off site, though — given our mission, including content in our mix for newlyweds just makes sense. After all, we adore weddings, but we adore life after the wedding, too.

We are very delighted to say that Fridays are the new home of the Southern Newlywed column (there’s a new category for these posts, too!). Regular weddings content will continue Monday-Thursday (and most Saturdays and Sundays!), but at the end of the week you can expect to find inspiration for life as a newlywed, straight from the hearts and homes of some of our favorite Southern couples. We are already giddy with excitement over our upcoming features, and hope you love them as much as we do! Most especially, we hope that you’ll find our Newlywed posts have the same heartbeat as the rest of our content – and that they help in the lifelong journey of building a marriage more beautiful than your wedding.

But on to today’s post! Y’all already know our dear Kristin, but we figured there was no one better to kick off our “in the kitchen” posts than this prize-winning baker and all-around lovable gal. Big hugs to Laura’s Focus for these sweet photos!

By day: Kyle loves colleges sports and does sales and marketing for Virginia Teach Athletics (Go Hokies!). Kristin loves marriage and does sales and client relations for a wedding magazine (Go Southern Weddings!).

How they met: We met during our fall semester of college in Chapel Hill. During the first few weeks, we exchanged pleasantries before, during, and after class. Fast-forward to early October. I needed someone for my sorority grab-a-date function and thought I might ask Kyle (after some serious advance research and networking through connected friends). Unknowingly, I had caught Kyle’s eye on the first day of classes so when I asked, he said yes. The rest is history (a long, juicy, marvelous kind of history that I will happily tell you over coffee, just ask). You can read more on his side of the story here.

Their wedding: It was the most lovely, heart-filled day. We got to celebrate with the people that mean the world to us, and we got to eat Thanksgiving dinner in June (I was like a pig in slop). Even with scorching summer temperatures, and temporarily losing the departure candles, it was the most perfect weekend filled with what mattered most to us — family, faith and fun! Oh, and it all took place smack dab in the middle of Chapel Hill, which is one of my most favorite places on the planet. You can see some of our favorite photos here.

Meal planning: We sit down on Sunday afternoon and I meal plan. Wonderful Nicole made my messy notes into a printable – download three versions here. I ask Kyle for feedback on anything he is in the mood for, and I also use the weekly grocery sales flyer to help me make decisions. We have a few go-to meals that make the rotation each week to reduce the stress of having to come up with 5+ new suppers (I tried this during our first few months of marriage and it eventually wore me out).

Admittedly, I love to cook, but I am cautious with trying no more than two new recipes each week, depending on how much available ‘free time’ I have in the evening. I try to go to the grocery on Sundays and then once during the middle of the week to pick up fresh bananas, fish, and milk, as needed. Because of our schedules and commitments, meal planning is a must, otherwise we would eat cereal for supper at 9:00 every night. It gives us a roadmap for the week, as well as the ability to detour when something unexpected happens. It also helps protect regular meals at the table, which are incredibly important to us.

The cooking: I love to cook, so I take responsibility for this “chore” most nights. Kyle is a great sous-chef when I need a little help getting supper on the table (see: salad prep, setting the table, drinks, etc.).

Favorite meal-related memory: After dating long distance for nearly six years, I don’t take the chance to eat together at our dinner table during the week for granted. However, if I had to pick, I think my favorite “meal-related” memories involve birthdays. Growing up, during your birthday week, you got to pick out your favorite meals and mama made them (she can cook circles around me). We have brought this tradition over into our little family — celebrating with our most favorite foods and meals during the given birthday week each year!

Favorite meal-related disaster: I tried a new recipe and didn’t pay attention and added way too much spice. The results were inedible. Kyle tried to choke it down, but after a few bites, he gave up. We threw the meal in the garbage, opened a bottle of wine, and waited on the pizza delivery man (definition of a detour).

Top ten favorite recipes:
1. Heidi Swanson’s Baked Oatmeal: This recipe reheats great and will last for a few days — you can even make ahead on Sunday and reheat a serving each morning. You can get creative with fruit — use whatever is in season/fresh/available. I love to make it with with blackberries, peaches or raspberries. I also like to mix the oat mixture and milk mixture together before adding to the baking dish because I think it blends better and cooks more evenly.

2. Roasted Cauliflower and Aged White Cheddar Soup: My favorite soup, EVER. It is delicious, and similar to potato soup (disclaimer, it does still have a cauliflower flavor so you must like cauliflower). We eat it at lunch, but it can also be served for supper with paninis or a big salad.

3. Roast Vegetables: This is the only way I eat cooked carrots. We love to roast vegetables in the oven. Chop everything ahead of time to reduce prep time. Great with grilled fish or grilled chicken for an easy (healthy) supper.

4. Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and Cranberries: One of our 2013 goals was to try one new food each month, and as a result, we fell in love with roasted brussels sprouts. We probably have them once a week. We roast and eat them plain, with fresh squeezed lemon, or with just straight balsamic when they come out of the oven (I don’t make the PW recommended syrup).

5. and 6. Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken and Embarrassingly Easy Crock Pot Salsa Chicken Thighs: With our busy schedules, crock pot meals are a lifesaver. These two variations of Mexican chicken make a regular appearance at our dinner table: over rice, on salad, in soup, in tacos, etc. The shredded chicken freezes and reheats really well for those nights when you need supper in a pinch!

7. Chicken Rollatini with Spinach Alla Parmigiana: Easy Italian and the leftovers can be frozen? Yes, please! I love that you can make the filling ahead of time, buy the thin-cut chicken, and prepare dinner in a matter of moments. I serve this stuffed chicken with a big garden salad and some homemade garlic bread.

8. Black Bean Cakes: The actual restaurant recipe for my favorite dish at Lucky 32? I almost passed out when I stumbled across this recipe online. These are remarkable — great with roasted sweet potatoes and a green vegetable for a meatless meal. They can also be flash frozen before being cooked for future meals!

9. Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas: Can you tell I love Mexican food? I also love recipes that can use similar ingredients in different ways (hello, crock pot shredded chicken) or can utilize my favorite ‘semi-homemade’ rotisserie chicken from the grocery.

10. Salted Chocolate Chip and Sour Cherry Cookies: This recipe took the crown last year during my family’s annual cookie competition. I am a big fan of simple desserts — chocolate chip cookies, Rice Krispie treats, preacher cookies — but this Salted Cherry Chocolate Chip cookie is prize-winning and sure to be a crowd pleaser!

In honor of our Southern Newlywed kick-off, we’re giving away a copy of The Newlywed Cookbook! Someone gave this book to John and I during our engagement, and it’s turned out to be one of our favorites – it’s very thoughtfully done, and both realistic and adventurous, a tricky combination to pull off! Enter to win a copy using the Rafflecopter widget below – we’ll choose a winner next Friday.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Last but certainly not least: We have great things in the works for this column, but we’d love your help! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also, your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

Until next week, friends!

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar Mary reply

    Oh I am SO excited for this!! And Kristin is just too cute!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Love this peek into Kristin’s heart and home, and can’t wait to try out her genius meal planning system!

  3. avatar Christina L Frederick reply

    What a wonderful new column! I am excited for southern newlywed Friday’s and adore Kristin’s post to kick off the series! I’d love a piece of that pie!
    xo Christina

  4. avatar Abi Losli reply

    I love this column already! What a great idea, thank you.

  5. avatar Erin reply

    Such a good idea for a new column! Can’t wait to see more! :)

  6. avatar Mandy V reply

    Love this new series for us Married gals!

  7. avatar Laura reply

    Loving this new column! Can’t wait to see more!

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

    […] editorials that help inspire your own meaningful beginnings to married life to the secrets behind Kristin’s meal planning, we hope you love it all as much as we […]

  9. avatar Happy Birthday, Kristin! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] be sharing “ingredients” to the “recipe that makes KNW wonderful”—did I mention she’s a fabulous cook?—on social media. Follow along with the hashtag […]

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Friends! I’m so happy to welcome our Southern Bride of the Month for April! All of our Southern Brides are special to us, but we have a special connection to Miss Whitney because in 2011, she was one of our reader models in V4′s South Carolina Polo Prep editorial! Here she is on the left in those famous striped skirts :)

A Bryan Photo

Please help me welcome her to the blog… again! :)

Hi! What’s your name?
Whitney Anne Rosenkampff

What’s your fiancé’s name?
John William Perry, but he goes by Will

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Our story begins our senior year of high school, when Will began coaching our senior girls’ powderpuff team. (Really, it started much earlier, when my mom pointed Will out at our middle school awards show as “the smart guy I should date” and when Will told his mom that I was the most beautiful girl at school.) The very first thing my dad ever said when he met Will was, “Hey, you’re the kid who toilet papered our house!” Who knew, five years later, he would be talking to the same man about marrying his daughter. We both were accepted early admission to UGA, and even though it took some convincing for Will to drop his allegiance to Georgia Tech, we both started in Athens the following August. Many Sanford stadium games, formals, and Varsity hot dogs later, we graduated from our beloved alma mater in May, then moved to Augusta in the fall when Will started medical school and I began my first job as a nurse. We love to cook, travel to our nearby Charleston, eat whole buckets of popcorn at the movies, sing the wrong words to songs in the car, see who can eat the most oysters at happy hour, have lots of medical discussions and spend weekends with our friends on the lake!

Engagement session by Twin Hearts!

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
The plan was for me to come to Athens, go shopping all day with my best friend, and celebrate our belated birthdays before she moved to Texas for two months. While we were shopping, Kelsey told me that she had left my birthday present at our sorority house (we were both AOII at UGA) but her sister, Taylor, was going to bring it by on her way to class. Seeing as it was a short walk from downtown Athens, I agreed to meet up. We met Taylor near the Founders Garden, and she wished me happy birthday as she handed me the bag. I grabbed the card out of the present, opened it, and read “Forever and Ever Quidnunc, Turn Around.” Will has always called me Quidnunc, since we started dating almost six years ago. I knew when I read it that no one would have written that besides Will. I immediately turned around and saw him standing there with a small box in his hand. I started crying and Kelsey started crying and grabbed a camera to snap pictures. He lead me into the garden and proposed, shopping bags in hand and all. After the proposal, Will had my whole family waiting to eat dinner at our favorite restaurant. What makes it even more special is that we got engaged the same day my mimi and papa were married, and they are a couple I have always looked up to as a model of love, devotion, and timelessness.

When’s the big day?
June 14, 2014

Where might you two be tying the knot?
The Hill in Athens, GA

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
We chose to have both our ceremony and reception at The Hill in Athens, GA. We knew two things going into our wedding planning: we wanted our wedding to be in Athens, our favorite place in the world, and we wanted it to be outside. I had researched a couple places before we went to go look at The Hill, but once we arrived we knew it was the place for us. Owned by Lee Epting, the man behind Epting Events, it is a collection of beautiful old houses restored by Lee himself among gorgeous landscapes and gardens. We also love that our families are able to stay in the houses all weekend, too. Our ceremony spot, the Sunken Garden, is just breathtaking, green and peaceful and surrounded by brick walls. Our reception will be in a large tent in front of the house framed by big trees. I love the fact that our venue allows us to mix a bohemian garden feel with a classic Southern tent wedding. We’re going to have garden string lights, a big band, a black and white dance floor, and a classic Southern feast that includes smoked beef brisket and fried chicken (of course!)!

A ceremony at the Sunken Garden by Twin Hearts!

Tell us a little bit about the wedding you’re planning: style, theme, feel, colors?
I tell everyone I am going for a “bohemian inspired classic Southern wedding” – I want guests to feel they’re in a dreamy garden with soft colors. We’re going to compliment our beautiful setting with creams, blushes, green, and touches of black. The groomsmen will be in sharp black tuxes with cream rose boutonnieres, and my bridesmaids are wearing a long dress with oatmeal-colored lace on top and a cream bottom. I chose to go with simple baby’s breath bouquets for the bridesmaids. My bouquet is going to be full of peonies, hydrangeas, cream anemones, and dusty miller. Epting Events has some amazing pieces we are using in the wedding, like handmade bars from old homes that we are combining with touches from our own home, like my mom’s typewriter.

Dress on the right from Sarah Janks

Who or what has been most helpful and/or inspiring in the wedding planning process?
We are using Chancey Charm Events, and our planner Marilisa has been great — we are so blessed to have her! My mom has also been so much fun and such a help. I am the only girl, so this is our time to shine, and we have had a great time planning everything. Also, my maid of honor and best friend, Kelsey, has been wonderful at keeping my worries at bay and helping me plan out every detail.

How have you involved your “community” (friends, family, etc.) in the wedding planning process?
It was important to us to keep things local to reflect our love for Athens. Our wedding planner is local to Athens. Our photographers, Twin Hearts Photography, are Athens based. Epting Events is based in Athens. My papa is saying a blessing before we all eat. My brother is playing all of our ceremony music. I have all my cousins as junior bridesmaids.

Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
Our vision has become more focused over time. At the beginning, you think, wow, I have to fit every idea I have ever seen into one six hour time slot! Yikes!! Eventually, I had to put my blinders on and really think about what would best reflect Will and I.

What part of wedding planning, if any, has made you the most anxious?
I think most of my anxiety has come from Pinterest. At one point, I promised myself I wouldn’t look at anything else — I love my wedding style, but get overwhelmed by too many ideas.

What wedding-related decision have you been the most indecisive on?
Flowers, oh my goodness. I have gone back and forth on my bridesmaids’ bouquets and my bouquet. My florist, Ginger Bradshaw from Ginger Lily Events, is absolutely an angel! She keeps up with my Pinterest board and together we have found a beautiful mix within our budget.

Bouquet photo on the left by Laura Ivanova via Elizabeth Anne Designs and bouquet photo on the right by Kay English from Kelly + Ted’s wedding

Which part of your wedding have you been most intentional about planning?
The most intentional and intimate part of our wedding will be the ceremony and the music. Will and I are being married by one of my dad’s best friends who also happens to be family friends with Will’s parents. I have Will’s three sisters as my bridesmaids and Will has my two brothers as his groomsmen. All of our ceremony music will be done by my brother — it’s important to us that each song be something that reflects where Will and I come from, so guests shouldn’t be surprised if they hear everything from need2breathe to Jack White! I want people to be able to feel like they are part of our family during the whole thing.

Tell us about the one that got away. Is there one dream thing or vendor you wish you could have fit into your budget?
A couple of months ago my dad hosted a charity event for his company and had this amazing 20-piece band play. They had three horns, a guy who sang like Louis Armstrong, three string players, four singers… let’s just say they blew us away! That would be my dream band. Yes, it would have cost my whole budget to hire them, but a girl can dream!

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Yes!! It was my absolute favorite part of planning so far! My mom, mimi and I went to three stores. At the first store I found one I loved, but wanted to try more. At the second store I also found a beautiful dress, but then I happened to Google “different wedding dress stores in Atlanta” and found Kelly’s Closet. As soon as we walked in, I was in love with the vintage cuts, beautiful beading, and cap sleeve goodness from their designers. I ended up choosing a beautiful Claire Pettibone gown that I knew was the one as soon as I tried it on. It is ethereal and feels heavenly! When I put it on I feel like a bohemian bride perfect for the garden ceremony.

Photo on the right by Jose Villa via Once Wed

Do you have a favorite Etsy or independent store you’d love to tell us about?
My wedding has been dubbed the “Etsy Wedding” — we are even registered on Etsy! We used Puddleduck Paper Company for Will’s “Will you be my groomsmen” cards. Will ordered beautiful hand carved bottle openers for his groomsmen from Uncorked Originals, and Tammy from Fancie Strands created a beautiful headband for me to wear at our reception.

What do you wish you would have known at the beginning of your engagement?
Don’t wish your engagement away — it’s the best time, enjoy it.

Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
Yes! We somehow found time between Will’s medical school and my nurse practitioner school. We are going to St. John and staying at The Westin. It was important to us to be able to get out and explore, so we are renting a jeep and planning to drive around to all the different bays.

Engagement session by Twin Hearts

What are you most looking forward to about marriage?
Being able to share each day with my best friend. I feel so lucky that God found this awesome man for me to spend my life with, and I can’t wait to begin this chapter as our own little family. We are excited about cooking in our new kitchen, saving our money to travel to Europe one day, and being parents to our sweet black lab! Once we found this kind of love, having a life with each other is the most exciting thing we can think of.

Where do you hope to be on your fiftieth anniversary?
Our dream is to renovate an old house, somewhere in the Lowcountry on the water, and fill it with kiddos and dogs!

Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
When you go to weddings, what do you look forward to the most? Is it the ceremony, or the band, or the food? I’d love to know!

Thank you so much, Whitney! Readers, interested in being featured as a future Southern Bride of the Month? Take a peek at this page for all of the details!

emily Written with love by Emily
5 Comments
  1. avatar Michelle reply

    I loved reading your story, Whitney! We share a wedding date, and for some reason reading this made me calm and confident that we are ready for the big day. As a fellow UGA alum, Go Dawgs and Best Wishes!

  2. avatar Cardin McKenna reply

    You are going to be the most incredible bride, Whit, and I feel so honored to be standing beside you. This entire interview is so graceful, so honest, and so beautiful–just like you. We all cannot wait to celebrate the Perry’s in t-minus 2 months and see all of your handwork and visions come to life–but most importantly be witnesses to y’all’s incredible love! xo

  3. avatar Kat reply

    I’m such a romantic… I love hearing personal vows during the ceremony!! Reception entertainment is always something I look forward to, too… a band & a black and white dance floor sound amazing!!!

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

    […] of our favorite topics: monograms. I revealed who will be photographing my wedding! We welcomed our April Southern Bride of the Month. We introduced our brand new Friday series: Southern Newlywed. Don’t forget to enter the […]

  5. avatar Hannah Shaffer reply

    Love the engagement shoot and the gorgeous lace! Thank you for sharing :).

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Happy Birthday, Lisa!

by in In The Office on

Lisa has been with our team for less than a year, but it’s already hard to imagine what we would do without her. One of her most important contributions to what we do y’all are familiar with – her wonderful way with introducing the couples you meet on our blog every day. As our “hopeful romantic,” every story is genuinely unique and special to her – and, more often than not, moves her to tears. So in honor of her birthday, we’ve rounded up seven of the moments most likely to set off the office waterworks – and interspersed our own little love letter to this gal in between.

Sweet relationships between sisters and moms (like in Abby and Cameron’s wedding by Jess Barfield)

From Nicole: Lisa! I’m happy as a pup with two tails to know you! You’re beautiful inside and out — always seeing the bright side of situations and the best version of other people. You have a knack for making friends almost instantly, and you keep them around with your big heart, love for adventure, and thoughtfulness. I am so lucky to be celebrating another year of you because in big and small ways, you inspire the best in people. (Plus, hooray for another year of playing the Country BBQ Pandora station, gushing over puppies, and lunches outside!)

Friends who overflow with genuine happiness (like in Kat + Matt’s wedding by Katelyn James)

From Morgan: Happy Birthday, Lisa! I hope you have a great day! I have learned so much from you and am very thankful for the time you’ve invested in teaching me the Shop Manager roles. You’re such a joy to be around and I love hearing your many stories from all of your adventures!

Tears at a first look (like in Leah + Austen’s wedding by Nancy Ray).

From Marissa: Happy birthday, Lisa! I hope that not only is your birthday filled with joy, but your entire year is filled with all the love and happiness your heart can hold! Make sure Dave spoils you today. From one teary-eyed editor to another, XOXO!

Anytime a couple has weathered major storms (like Beth and Brody, photographed by Jeremy & Kristin).

From Emily: Lisa, everything I thought I knew about you before I ever met you has been confirmed a hundredfold in the time we’ve spent together. That says so much to me – that you are just as thoughtful, kind, driven, purposeful, and delightful day in and day out as you seem on first glance. I am so grateful that we get to be each other’s sidekick, and there’s no one I’d rather show up dressed the same as nine days out of ten.

Grooms crying at the ceremony (like in Laura and Micah’s wedding by Ryan Price).

Grooms crying, period (like in Kristy and Cory’s wedding by Sara & Rocky).

From Kristin: Happy birthday to the one who loves, love! Lisa, your genuine love of heartfelt stories and ability to emotionally connect to what really matters inspires me to love better, stronger, and more fiercely each day. You are a blessing to the SW family and add a sweet Texas touch to our team. I hope you birthday is filled with love, joy and a tear-jerking wedding video or two.

Intergenerational anything (like in Molly Gee and Justin’s wedding by b mo foto).

From Lara: Lisa, our “Hopeful Romantic,” we are so blessed to have you as a part of our lives! I am also blessed to have you as a neighbor. As we celebrate your birthday, we celebrate all you have added to our lives — that calls for a lot of celebration! I am so grateful for you and wish you the most joyful year ahead! P.S. Grace will no doubt be singing you several renditions of “Happy Birthday” today as well :)

Dads and daughters (like in Laura and Shannon’s wedding by Paul Johnson).

We’d love for you to leave a little love note for Lisa in the comments, too!

emily Written with love by Emily
14 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, thank you so much for this super sweet post! Love y’all! :)

  2. avatar Erin reply

    Happy Birthday Lisa! I love reading your Real Wedding introductions, and I hope you have an amazing day!! :)

  3. avatar Jadzia reply

    I didn’t tear up until I saw the grooms! Beautiful post, thank you SW ladies for celebrating my wonderful daughter in this way!

  4. avatar Abby reply

    Happy Birthday sweet Lisa! You’ve been an awesome addition to the SW team and I enjoy your posts! :)

  5. avatar Sara Velordi reply

    Happy, happy birthday Lisa!! So grateful to have worked with you for a few weeks :) I hope your day is amazing!!

  6. avatar Kat reply

    Oh happy, happy birthday, Lisa!!!!!

  7. avatar Samantha Cordialini reply

    Wishing you the happiest of birthday’s, Lisa! I hope your day is full of joy, laughter, and love! xoxo

  8. avatar Catherine Grace reply

    Happy Birthday to you Lisa, your kindness and graciousness is so evident even 12,000km away. You are incredible at what you do. :)

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It has been so neat to hear from so many of you over the past weeks and months about vendors you think should be added to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. I love that it’s a resource y’all can both add to and draw from – either from or for your own wedding! Here are a few more recently added creative partners that we think you should meet:

Marissa Joy is a kind and intuitive photographer, making it easy for her to genuinely portray both intimate and candid moments. Her natural style is elegant, and, combined with the personality of her couples, results in heartfelt and personal work. She shoots primarily in North Carolina, Maryland, and Washington, DC.

Traci’s work is atmospheric and intimate. She has a knack for capturing quiet, unnoticed moments that will be treasured for years to come. Anne Marie Photography is based in New Braunfels, Texas.

Jillian’s designs are just gorgeous to look at, aren’t they? We love the juxtaposition of wild and elegant she achieves with her art for loose arranging and selecting the most beautiful blooms. Mimi Nicole Events is based in South Carolina.

Mint’s work is simply lovely. These two gals have a beautiful and unique way of seeing the world, one that allows them to capture the beauty, intimacy, and love between their couples in a soft and peaceful way. Mint Photography is based in San Antonio.

Francesca and her team’s work is elegant, soft, and sophisticated — just like a Southern belle! We love Pure Luxe’s focus on creating “genuine” weddings — totally in line with the SW manifesto. They are based in South Carolina.

Chloe’s wild and wonderful blooms are the perfect mix of texture, color, and composition. We adore her work!
Supposey Wedding Florals is based in Florida.

Tamara is a sweet and earnest soul, and is about as hardworking as they come. Her flowers are lush and romantic, but we especially adore her passion for nurturing strong marriages as well as beautiful weddings! Tamara Menges Designs is based in Groves, Texas.

We love Abby’s sweet heart and love for what she does, and think it shows in her images! They’re simple and timeless, just like the weddings she most enjoys capturing. Abby Grace Photography is based in Virginia and Washington, DC.

Brittany’s work is polished but natural — she is a genius at making gals look like the most beautiful version of themselves! We can’t decide whether we prefer her gorgeous updos or beautiful waves more, but we know we’d be happy with either on our wedding day. She and her team work throughout the Southeast – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee!

Heidi and the folks at The Dandelion Patch just get it – they have a keen eye for what brides want, and carry a selection of some of the most beautiful stationery and invitations we’ve seen. You won’t regret stopping for a peek at their collection! They have locations in Vienna and Reston Virginia, and in Washington, DC.

As always, if you think there’s a talented vendor we should be introduced to, send me an email! I’d love to hear. In the meantime, you can see all of our Blue Ribbon Vendors (and search by state and category) right here.

emily Written with love by Emily
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Psst… have you voted in the championship round of Mason-Dixon Madness yet? We’re revealing the winner later today!

Based on your survey feedback, we know that most of you prefer real weddings over styled shoots. And I have to say, I’m with you for the most part – especially because I see piles of submissions every week that are just so clearly not a fit for what we’re about. But I’m not ready to give up on inspirational editorials completely, because I still think, when done right, they can be both useful and, yep, inspiring. We don’t want or expect you to replicate every element from every shoot – but I do believe that every shoot has at least one takeaway for almost every couple.

Maybe one will introduce you to a vendor that perfectly clicks with your style. Maybe one will show you a new way to tie your bouquet or a clever idea for numbering your tables. Maybe you’ll spot your dream dress in one, or the perfect bow tie for your groom. Or, like me, maybe you love editorials because they introduce you to a part of the South you’re not familiar with – like this one, which takes us into the orange groves of Louisiana. I didn’t even know there were such things, but I’m so glad Blue Ribbon Vendor Sarah Becker Photo has shown me!

From the event planner and stylist, Brooke: Belle Chasse, Louisiana is the epitome of a small town! Everyone knows one another, stores are family-owned and you won’t find any tall buildings blocking your view of the sunset. Born and raised here, I’ve always admired the beauty of this small town, particularly the orange groves that blossom along the main road. As I began designing weddings, I knew I would jump at the chance to showcase this area! Then enters Sarah Becker Lillard. Sarah’s bubbly personality and enthusiasm at the idea of the orange grove shoot gave me the little push I needed to say “Let’s make this thing happen.” After meeting with Sarah to brainstorm on ideas for the shoot, the rest of the vendor team seemed like such an obvious choice.

I have admired Poppy & Mint since the first day I saw Destiny’s work. Julia, owner and event designer at Mrs. Vintage, fit the mold perfectly when I was looking for the props for the shoot. Her farm table, whiskey barrel and wooden crates were a clear part of my vision since Day 1. Her vintage sugar mold was the perfect piece to complete the main floral design!

Amanda, Hattiesburg-native and owner of Fine Print Calligraphy, adds a Southern touch to many of her designs. I knew she would design something that captivated the essence of the orange groves in Southern Louisiana. Amanda created custom ink colors for the calligraphy on the envelopes as well as the watercolor for the menu and invitation that gave the shoot that personal touch.

My favorite part of the shoot has to be the modeling debut of my two pups, Jake and Levi. It is amazing what a few pieces of ham as bribery can do.

Event Planner: Southern Charm Weddings | Photographer: Sarah Becker Photo | Floral Designer: Poppy & Mint | Stationery: Fine Print Calligraphy | Bridal Salon: Wedding Belles | Hair & Makeup: Chelsea Adam with Breck & Co. | Vintage Rentals: Mrs. Vintage | Cake Designer: The Sweet Life Bakery | Groom’s Suit: John’s Tuxedos | Chairs, Plates, and Flatware: Event Rental | Orange Groves: Saxon-Becnel & Sons |

Sarah Becker Photo and Mrs. Vintage are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
15 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    The oranges in the bouquet are such a great detail!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    That cake! Talk about gorgeous — this shoot is like my heaven.

  3. avatar Julia Hohne reply

    Hooray!! So excited to be featured, this shoot was so beautiful! Congrats to all the vendors involved!

  4. avatar Sarah Becker Lillard reply

    YIPPEEE! SO proud of all the amazing vendors involved in this shoot – definitely my favorite to date! Thank y’all so much for sharing it with the world! Who woulda thunk there are acres and acres of orange groves just 20 minutes south of New Orleans?!

  5. avatar Mary reply

    I love this shoot so much! The ribbon on the bouquet! The dress! The cake! The NAPKINS! The menu!

  6. avatar Carolyn reply

    SO lovely! I am literally drooling over that cake! and bouquet! and the pups! Beautiful work Sarah!

  7. avatar Brooke Casey reply

    Oh my goodness! So honored to be featured on Southern Weddings!! The pictures are lovely and all of the vendors did a wonderful job! Yay us!!

  8. avatar Inna Olimpiyuk reply

    The Bride’s Bouquet is simply Stunning and Wedding Cake is very Beautiful! Love this shoot!

  9. avatar Wedding Rentals Supplies reply

    Truly inspiring! Loved this beautiful wedding theme.

  10. avatar Sarah Becker Photography | Orange Grove Shoot | New Orleans Wedding Photography reply

    […] I am still on top of the world from this Orange Grove styled shoot being featured on Southern Weddings yesterday! This has been my absolute favorite wedding blog for years, and as my brides know I give […]

  11. avatar lisa freeman reply

    I’m drooling over this shoot right now. All the special touches add up to a big wow! Love the invitations by Fine Print Calligraphy.

  12. avatar Ashley Minck reply

    This wedding is everything I dream of and more!

  13. avatar Stephanie reply

    This is a beautiful shoot and is close to my heart because I am born and raised in Plaquemines Parish. The stand that they are pictured in front of is actually my grandparents house not Saxons but Saxon’s brother Hewitt. It makes me happy to see my family and our farms displayed so beautifully. Thanks for the shout out to the citrus farmers and the inspiration for my possible future wedding.

  14. avatar Abi Losli reply

    I just can’t stop smiling about this shoot! So bright, happy, and whimsical. And those pups! Just adorable. Thanks for once again providing the perfect little pop of inspiration to get me going with my day.

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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