Google+ Emily, Author at Southern Weddings Magazine

Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Emily

Emily and Colby have succeeded in creating a Fort Worth home that’s totally cohesive, totally warm, and totally rooted in place – not an easy thing to do! I love so many of the southwestern details of their home (the tumbleweed on the bar! The cactus wallpaper!), but what I love most is that they’ve intentionally carved out for themselves a cozy and relaxing respite from two very busy careers. Big hugs to the talented Apryl Ann for sharing these photos!

P.S. Don’t miss Emily’s favorite part about marriage, below – I think it’s spot-on!

The couple: Emily Allen, 31, and Colby Allen, 33
Years married: 3
Where you live: Fort Worth, TX
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I’m a baker and designer and own a boutique baking company, Cakewalk Bake Shop, servicing the Dallas/Fort Worth wedding industry. Colby is a graphic design and media teacher by day, but also a videographer specializing in local stories and documentary work by way of his video company You and Yours Productions.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. It started in high school, when I had a crush on him from afar, but we didn’t officially meet until after college – the first time it didn’t work and he moved to California and I to southeast Asia – but we got together a second time around, older and wiser, and we have been by each other’s side every day since.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? That it is a lot of work, ha! You hear it all the time, but it’s one thing to be wildly in love in your twenties and then something else to be getting older with someone day in and day out. Your relationship changes just as you do and it’s work to go through it all with another person in harmony.

Do you rent or own? We are first-time home owners in the most amazing neighborhood, the Fairmount National Historic District in Fort Worth. We could not love our neighborhood more and it was a great factor into our home choice. Our neighbors CARE about community: there are art events, parades all the time, great emphasis on preservation, a community garden, and all within walking distance to the city’s best independent restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to be at this point in our lives and we hope to be here for a long time.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. There was definitely an awkward “blending” phase. Colby’s style is very masculine and he’s drawn to rich, earthy colors whereas mine is very feminine and if I could I would paint the whole house pink! For the first year or so we definitely had rooms that we had each claimed so to speak, but I think it’s like anything else in your relationship – you are in one big blending phase and at a certain point you just start to jive in a way, unknowingly. Fortunately we have very complimentary tastes in just about everything so there’s never really any butting heads too much on design.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? My favorite is the kitchen, and since I spend so much time in there, I better like it, right? I love cacti and feeling surrounded visually by them with the wallpaper and potted plants. It’s also nice to look out into our minimal dining room which is mostly white – it feels very clean and calming. Colby’s favorite is the den, where we watch TV and read. This room is probably the most masculine and folk-inspired in the house and the closest thing to a man cave we have.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Oddly enough my very first Kitchen Aid mixer came from our registry – and I have used it so much that I wore out the motor! We don’t entertain as often as we would like so just the everyday items: dinnerware, pots and pans, bedding.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? While I love everything we were fortunate to receive, I think if I were to go back I would opt for an experience registry. As much as we love beautiful objects, travel is our favorite thing. We aren’t a very traditional couple, and to be honest I can’t even remember a lot of what we registered for, but trips we have shared are easily stored.

Who cooks dinner? If anyone, it’s a combined effort. I started my business because I love to cook but the long hours have turned us into people who eat out far more than we would like.
What are your go-to meals? Our favorite, easiest weeknight meal to cook is actually a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow: roasted tomatoes/peppers, noodles, and an anchovy oreganata. We sub in fish/chicken and other veggies sometimes, but I love this basic meal. Most weekends are limited to Sundays for fun since we work in the event industry, so brunch is a celebrated affair!
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? My favorite cooking blog is Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks. My fave cookbooks are Forest Feast and Super Natural Every Day. Simple, easy recipes that are as tasty as they are beautiful.

What most makes your house feel like home? With the exception of some of the furniture pieces, most of the items in our home are things we’ve found thrifting or collected on travels. When I look around I see beautiful things that hold memories or capture a specific feeling of a place we have loved.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? We had an amazing wedding, full of so many beautiful moments we cherish. Topping the list would be: all the joy and excitement of walking down the aisle, our friend surprising us by singing a special song, and all the fun dancing. Colby’s parents had never danced together before and they ended up dancing all night, even leading a conga line! It was a very happy time for us.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? We only have two photos up. I’d like to have more but framing is something I procrastinate on. For our guest book we had friends type messages on little cards using an old typewriter and we keep the stack displayed and shuffle it from time to time.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? My favorite way to splurge is on textiles. I LOVE to look at rugs, pillows, wallpaper, bedding with interesting graphic patterns and bold colors. I think any room can look beautiful with a bold textile – it can hide ugly furniture (like the throw covering an old futon in our den) or become a focal statement for the room. As we get older, I’m more interested in splurging on furniture but so far we have purchased most of our furniture on sale or by thrifting providence.

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? This is our biggest struggle at the moment – owning a small business and making time for each other. We try to have at least one day to spend completely together, but even that feels short. About every six to eight weeks we try to make a special weekend, whether it be a weekend away or a weekend at home where we set aside time just for us no matter what. Ideally, I’d like to have much more time, but we are working on it.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We don’t have a date night, but it’s always nice to be surprised. I think just having a spontaneous night together – even if it’s staying in and cooking dinner, or going to a class together, or going on a long bike ride – something you don’t typically get to enjoy and out of the ordinary is always a happy time.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Colby has sacrificed an incredible amount of his time to help me start my business, often coming home after work and working deep into the night, and giving up just about every weekend to help me with deliveries. While we started the business together, it is really my dream and I cannot ever express how much it means to me to see him sacrifice that time for me. It’s not a cute thing, but it is deeply appreciated.

How does your family handle finances? We are both creative types so we aren’t as manic about finances as would be best. Fortunately Colby is also extremely organized, so he handles most of our finances, but we communicate thoroughly on the subject quite often.

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… to enjoy as much as you can. Obvious, right? I think as women especially it’s hard to not feel pressure to be on a certain life track at certain times and looking back my one regret is not just wildly enjoying everything – the mistakes, the freedoms, the everything. Just take each moment as it comes and know that things will change, and you will change with them, and it will all work itself out.

What is your favorite part of being married? Getting to know each other better than anyone else and in turn learning how to be better people because of it. Having complete trust in another person to be completely raw and completely uninhibited, it really teaches you so much about who you truly are, what you want to change, and how to be better. It’s a deeper level of insight than anything I’ve ever known.
This year, our family is most excited about… growing and fine-tuning our business, new creative projects, big travels, and making time to enjoy life and our home with friends and family.

We’re so grateful to Emily and Colby for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
Cakewalk Bake Shop
You and Yours Productions
Cakewalk Instagram
Colby’s Instagram
Cakewalk on Facebook

Their home was also featured on Design*Sponge this week, so feel free to hop over for a little more background on some of E+C’s design decisions!

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – 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!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Rachel Brown reply

    This is my dream home! I love everything about their decor choices, and Emily’s comment about her favorite thing about marriage is really beautiful. Could you share where the fantastic cacti wallpaper is from?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Isn’t it amazing?? Here’s the source:

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    I was honestly a little surprised to read that they ever had different styles! It’s so encouraging to see what a beautiful home evolved out of their working together to blend the two :)

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Great post and a beautiful home!

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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Friends! I just checked in with Nicole, and she estimates that V7 layout is about 93% complete – this is great news!! It’s a massive job that always seems like it will never get done, and then it does :)

We’re entering into some very exciting weeks for #MakingSouthernWeddings – in one week (October 3rd) we send the files to our printer! A few days later, on October 7th, we should receive our color proofs back, which will allow us to see how all of the photos are printing (and make final adjustments!) as well as scour the writing for any last edits. Later that week we’ll send in our final final files, and then on October 14th the magazine will begin rolling out of the printing presses!!

All of this to say that there are just days – hours, really! – to become a part of our V7 sponsor family! We have just four pages left and have discounted them considerably in order to fill our book. We anticipate these going extremely fast, so email Marissa (marissa @ ASAP to reserve your spot! We are so very careful in how we present our ads (see above and below for actual spreads from this year’s magazine!!), and readers love love love them. We would be thrilled to have your company join us.

A few words from one of our past advertisers, photographer Katherine Miles Jones: A HUGE THANK YOU to everyone at Southern Weddings for having my ad in the magazine. My amount of inquiries has already started to increase, and I am thrilled! Ad space in Southern Weddings is magical! I’ve already booked a few weddings where the bride has told me in the inquiry that she came straight from the SW mag ad. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Booking just one wedding from your ad can pay for itself, and we have to say – our brides are some of the best around :) Email Marissa to reserve your spot TODAY!

P.S. Pre-order your copy of V7 to have it in hand come November 4!

emily Written with love by Emily

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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This post is brought to you by Mouth – thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

Getting treats in the mail on a semi-regular basis is one of the best parts about working at Southern Weddings, in my opinion. We actually have a whole shelf in the office devoted to sweet and savory goodies! When the kind folks at Mouth offered to send us one of their signature gift packages, we jumped at the opportunity – after all, they love many of the same things we do:

– handmade and small batch food
– discovering the new and the delicious
– beautiful packaging
– tasting things on little wooden spoons (!)

Yes, they really list that last one on their website, which makes us love them all the more. Mouth sent us the Bee Happy Taster, which came packaged in their cute cotton reusable bag.

The goodies were beautifully (and securely – no crushed cookies here!) packaged, and everything was delicious. My favorite was the honey lavender shortbread cookies, while Nicole and Morgan preferred the nectar candies. Of course, this one taster package only whet our appetite for all that Mouth has to offer, which we discovered when we started clicking around their site…

Mouth has SO many options for gifting — perfect for your engagement, when gifting opportunities abound! My husband would love the “pickles every month” subscription (tucking that one away for Christmas!), while I was drooling over the “cookies every night” subscription. I love the story behind the cookie subscription, too – a bedtime cookie and glass of milk was a tradition Mouth’s CEO shared with his Dad as a boy, which is why it’s on the roster today. I love companies with a story behind why they do what they do!

From cocktail hour to coffee, peanut butter and jelly to a grilled cheese taster, there’s something for everyone. Though the whole site is fair game for wedding gifting, they’ve got a special nuptials section, including picks for bridesmaids and groomsmen. There’s also a “gifts under $50” section that’s worth checking out!

Finally, we loved clicking through all the options for wedding favors, starting in the candy section… there’s lots that would leave guests happy here!

The kind folks at Mouth are offering Southern Weddings readers 20% off through the end of November with coupon code Southern20! You can browse all of their delicious offerings right here (though we’d suggest not doing so around lunch time!).

And tell me: What food would you most like to have delivered to your doorstep every month? Like I said, cookies are where it’s at for me, but I also wouldn’t say no to a biscuit subscription…

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    Love the packaging design and my mouth is watering from the pictures. The wedding favor options look fantastic, some must try flavor combinations!

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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I was a little apprehensive when Lisa asked me to take my turn at this column, because John and I do not really do traditional “date nights.” At this point in our lives (sans children), we spend pretty much all of our time together, so it’s not as much of a priority for us as it might be in a few years (plus we are saving for some serious financial goals!). But, when I stopped and thought about it, we do have several things we love to do together, and I hope they might be inspiring to y’all!

Wife’s name: Emily Thomas
Husband’s name: John Thomas
Years married: 2
What do you both do? Emily is the Creative Director at Southern Weddings, and John is a 401k expert
How did you meet? We grew up in the same small town. When we encountered each other in middle school, I immediately had a crush on John, but it wasn’t returned until senior year of high school, when he asked me out on our first date (ice skating!). We’ve been together ever since.
Tell us the story of your wedding, in a few sentences: We celebrated with our favorite people in one of our favorite places in the world under the most perfect blue sky you could imagine. You can take a peek at it all here and here.

Date Night 1. Outdoor movie nights. There are several spots near us that show recently released movies in the summer for $3-$5. We love packing a picnic (Chipotle, anyone?), our special movie chairs (seriously, they save your back when watching a feature length movie!), and a blanket and making a night of it.

Date Night 2. Mystery rides. I have to laugh at this one, because this is actually something my parents used to do when we were kids! Last summer John announced that we were going on an adventure, and I willingly hopped in the car. We took a beautiful country drive to the rural town of Saxapahaw, walked along the Haw River exploring old dams, split a BLT at the Saxapahaw General Store, and finished our afternoon with ice cream at Maple View Farm. It was so fun, and even more exciting because I didn’t know what was coming!

Date Night 3. A walk in the woods. No, I’m not the first one to think of this, but it’s probably the “date” we go on most often, so I have to include it. We love to explore hiking trails in our area. For us, it’s not so much about the exercise, though that is a great bonus. I love walking with John because it’s when we have our best conversations. I think there’s something about being on the move and having uninterrupted, distraction-free time together that just lets the words flow!

Date Night 4. Front porch sittin’. Don’t laugh – I promise we are not 80 years old! John’s parents bought us rockers this spring for our front porch, and a highlight of our summer was sitting out front as the sun went down or late at night, chatting and eating some sort of fruit or dessert. You might feel antsy at first (we do live in a go-go-go world), but if you let yourself just sink into the slower pace, I think you’ll find yourself craving it. No phones allowed, of course.

Date Night 5. Go big or go home. We love trying new restaurants and going out to eat, but we don’t always want to pay for a full meal. We’ve found that a great alternative is to try an exciting specialty food or shop, and really go for it. For example, we finally visited Monuts, a Durham donut shop we’d been wanting to try for months. We went whole hog and split four donuts, and even though that felt very indulgent, we only spent about $11. The possibilities are endless, here, especially as specialty shops and food trucks are cropping up everywhere: crepes, biscuits, hot dogs, pretzels, nachos, popsicles…

I would love to know: Do you consciously set aside time for “date nights,” or do you just kind of wing it? Do you think that might change as you get older?

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Loverly reply

    Those donuts look absolutely delish! Great date ideas Emily!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    So many awesome ideas! Monuts Donuts has been on my must-try list since I moved here, and surprise dates are the best–even if it’s just being taken to Chick Fil A after a long day :)

    • avatar Emily reply

      Monuts = so good! My favorite was the strawberry frosted – it tasted like real mashed berries!

  3. avatar Mandy Volpe reply

    I love the mystery ride idea! Tucking that idea away for the future!!

    Also, now I want donuts. LOL!

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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It’s really a joy to get to introduce y’all to a new set of Blue Ribbon Vendors each month, because I just know any one of them would be a joy to you if you choose to work together! This time around, we’re introducing you to a few of them through their answers to some of our favorite BRV interview questions. Click through to their listings to find out more about them!

Name: Vista West Ranch
Where you call home: Dripping Springs, Texas
Favorite part of a wedding day? For me, it’s when the couple checks in — going over all of the activities, making sure that everything is in order, and being able to talk with them as they arrive at VWR. Seeing all of the excitement that is building up before the festivities start is my favorite part.

Name: Two Sweets Bake Shop
Where you call home: Winter Garden, Florida
Best piece of advice for brides and grooms? When considering your dessert options, give some thought to offering a variety of desserts to your guests. Just about every dessert can be created in small portions, allowing guests to select from several offerings. They’ll love you for it!

Name: Tucker Images
Where you call home: Crandall, Texas
How I got into weddings: Since I was young I knew that I wanted to make people happy for a living. I didn’t have a clue how I was going to do that but my junior year in college when I was hired to work with a wedding photographer I quickly started to realize that shooting weddings embodied everything I love: big moments, joyful people, and pretties!

Name: Tres Beau Weddings
Where you call home: Hoover, Alabama
How I got into weddings: I think it started with my sixth birthday party: a “Here Comes the Bride”-themed party! Then, I joke that I just never got over planning my own wedding in 2001. I also went to culinary school and learned about event management while working at Saks Fifth Avenue’s corporate headquarters!

Name: Tracy Melton Artistry
Where you call home: Dallas, Texas
Favorite part of a wedding day? Well the ‘getting ready’ part, of course! :) I love getting to spend that precious time with brides and their best ladies. It’s always such a fun time filled with laughter, love, hairspray, and lipstick – which just so happen to be a few of my favorite things!!

Name: The Southern Barn
Where you call home: Fort Lonesome, Florida
How I got into weddings: The Southern Barn at Lonesome G Ranch began when our son was married on the ranch. This was the beginning of many weddings for our family and friends. When the word about our passion to create beautiful unique Southern vintage style weddings spread, The Southern Barn name was created.

Name: The Reason
Where you call home: Atlanta, Georgia
How we got into weddings: Our love for marriage got us into weddings. We want to give our clients something that no matter how far in the future, they can always look back and remember why. We’re best friends and married. We get to work together; it’s simply the best thing ever.

Name: The Chef Next Door
Where you call home: Huntsville, Alabama
Favorite part of a wedding day? It’s a tie: either seeing the bride’s face as she sees her reception for the first time… hopefully, her dream come true! Or the hug from the bride and groom at the end of the night. I’m sweaty, my hair is in a dirty bun, and I smell like food, but it’s that hug that makes my job worth doing and solidifies that I am where I am meant to be in the world.

Name: Swanky I Do’s
Where you call home: Orlando, Florida
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? I love the emphasis on details and hospitality, and that venues range from barns to waterfront properties.

Name: Suite Paper
Where you call home: Cameron, North Carolina
Favorite part of a wedding day? I’m a sucker for the kiss!

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!

emily Written with love by Emily

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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