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Southern Weddings

Author: Emily

Friends, we have been looking forward to this weekend for a long time (and one very special member of our team has been looking forward to it for even longer!). Lisa and Dave are getting married today!!! We can’t wait to get dressed in our springiest dresses (I’m wearing my Lula Kate from a past launch party!), sniffle at her ceremony, bee bop on her dance floor, and eat the delicious cake she and Dave have chosen. I know she covets your prayers and well wishes for a peaceful and joyful day, so if you have a moment today, send up a good thought for our girl!

See more from this engagement session by Abigail Thomas on our Facebook page!

In case you missed it this week…

Our girl crush and hair genius Kate Bryan of The Small Things blog shared her favorite thing about marriage with us.
We were inspired by Donna Morgan’s blue floral “Stephanie” print.
We are looking for some bridesmaids and groomsmen to join us in Charleston for an SWV8 shoot! Apply here!
After bringing us into her wedding planning journey, Lisa shared some final reflections before becoming a Mrs.!
Beth and Lawson’s fabulous Florida home is a perfect fit for this fun Florida couple.

Lindsey and Greg had the most dreamy beach ceremony – and she wore a blush gown!
Todd and Amy said their vows in a blooming Alabama garden; he was one of the sweetest grooms we’ve ever seen.
As seen in V7, Morgan and Brian’s intimate beach wedding was one for the books, while their Oklahoma reception was rustic and fun!
Lindsey and Ryan met at a Derby party and hosted a Derby-themed wedding two years later.

Sponsor Corner

Everything old is new again, isn’t it? If you’re anything like me, you’ve seen lots of mentions of essential oils popping up around the interwebs for the last year or so. We loved hearing from Ashley, of Evening Grace Essential Oils, on the difference oils have made in her life: “As someone who prefers to do things naturally, oils have really filled in the gaps for chemical and unnatural products I’ve gotten rid of. Oils have helped when I’m sick, helped me to sleep better, gave relief from stress, and helped with emotional and hormonal balancing. They are a great addition to yoga and exercise, natural housecleaning products, and DIY beauty products.” To learn more, ask questions, and purchase your own oils, connect with Ashley on her site!

Have a lovely weekend, and congratulations to anyone getting married!

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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We’re just smitten with our new Blue Ribbon Vendors and we can’t wait to share them with you! Each one of these vendors was hand picked, and I’m confident working with whichever one you choose would be a joy. Get to know these ladies and gents through some of our favorite interview questions, then click through to their listings to find out more!

Name: Laura McCarty, Marked
Where you call home: Birmingham, Alabama
Favorite part of a wedding day? The sweetest and most beautiful part of any wedding day is when the groom sees his bride walk down the aisle. His face says it all… and as my sweet husband always says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing!” (Proverbs 18:22)

Name: Ashley Bateman, NOLA Flora
Where do you call home: New Orleans
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Family traditions, family heirlooms, and family recipes

Name: Anna Echols, One Belle Bakery
Where you call home: Wilmington, NC
How I got into weddings: I helped one of my college friends set up her reception on her wedding day. I used to plan alumnae events for Meredith College after I graduated, but helping with a wedding was a whole new ball game. I enjoyed every minute of helping her that day, and although I never had the urge to be in charge of an entire wedding, I knew it would somehow become a part of my career!

Name: Rebecca Hassee, PEWS
Where you call home: Birmingham, Alabama
Favorite part of a wedding day? When the bride and groom walk back down the aisle as husband and wife for the first time. The joy, the cheers, the laughing, and the beautiful wedding party that follows them – it’s all so beautiful and joyous!

Name: Perkins Morgan & Morgan Montgomery, Paisley & Jade
Where you call home: Richmond, Virginia
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? We love the traditions and family history that Southern couples embrace and incorporate into their day!! Being curators of all things vintage ourselves, we love nothing more than a good story – whether it’s family wedding portraits on display at cocktail hour, a piece of the bride’s grandmother’s dress incorporated into her bouquet, or vows that have been spoken by generations before.

Name: Pasha Belman, Pasha Belman Photography
Where you call home: Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The beautiful outdoors draw me to the South. There is a huge variety of perfect wedding locations, from romantic sandy beaches and elegant flower gardens to glamorous country clubs and historic plantations. Dream Southern-style wedding locations create impressive wedding photography opportunities for me. I can never get enough of this gorgeous weddingland filled with sunlight-kissed celebrations.

Name: Emily Shaya, Pret a Fete
Where you call home: New Orleans
Favorite part of a wedding day? The ceremony. Although they don’t usually last very long, the ceremony is something the bride and groom will never forget. There is something special about saying vows that your grandparents (and their parents) said before you!

Name: Angela Higgenbotham, Rocking H Ranch
Where you call home: Lakeland, Florida
Favorite part of a wedding day? The “first look,” seeing the groom catch his breath at first glimpse of his bride!

Name: Sarah Becker Lillard, Sarah Becker Photography
Where you call home: New Orleans, Louisiana and Chattanooga, Tennessee. I was born in Texas, so that great state is also home to me!
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Meaningful traditions, tearful toasts, embroidered handkerchiefs, handwritten vows, cake pulls, second lines, brass bands, and gulping up sweet tea in between photographing all the above!

Name: Scotti Cline, Scotti Cline Designs
Where you call home: Atlanta, Georgia
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? What’s not to love about a Southern wedding?! Southern traditions, beautiful venues, lovely weather, powerful family moments, genuine people, and personal touches. No two weddings are the same and whether you’re a bride, guest, or vendor, you’re going to have an amazing experience.

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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Yep, Bess and Ben’s home is beeee-autiful. (But then again, I would expect nothing less from the director of a curated online shop!) At work, Bess’ mantra is to “live with things you love;” at home, it’s clear the number one priority is “live with whom you love.” These two love each other a lot and have plenty of wisdom to share from their 1.5 years of married life. Friends, please enjoy this peek inside Bess and Ben’s Charleston home!

Big hugs to Olivia Rae James for these photos!

The couple: Bess (31) and Ben (30)
Years married: 1.5
Where they live: Charleston, SC
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. We met 5 years ago in London, England, while Bess was researching her master’s thesis at Sotheby’s and Ben was living and working. We were married 1.5 years ago in Nantucket, MA, and recently moved to Charleston where we’re loving settling into life in the low country.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. It was a typical rainy summer night in London where only a local pub would suffice; the vacant seat within lead to a remarkable journey to Charleston, the other side of the world (or as we now call it, home).
What is your favorite part of being married? Living with your best friend.
Do you rent or own? We recently completed a five month renovation of our first home. We love living in an older house which has been updated to our specifications. We purchased our home because we adore the area and think that it has potential for us to grow into it. The schools are wonderful and we love our neighbors and the historic community here.

Tell us about the process of moving in together. Ben: Without a doubt Bess’ career experience with renovation and interior design guided most of our decisions for the house. Luckily, we both like to mix styles. It’s fun to throw her a curve ball that breaks convention and see how she fits it all in!
What most makes your house feel like home? Having items which have been passed down to us from both sides of the family. We’re big antique people and love living with a mix of old and new pieces together.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? Bess has been collecting furniture and design pieces throughout her career. We splurge in our kitchen and master bedroom, but save on items found at estate sales or at one of our favorite home stores, Ikea…

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Try to give each other what you need. Most weekdays we reconnect by taking our dog, George, for a walk in the evening and discussing our day together. We both need time to unwind and we make sure to try and spend as much time by the water as possible. It’s a great stress reliever.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Date night for us is different every time and we find the most memorable ones tend to reflect the time preceding it. If we’ve been traveling for work, then nothing can beat an intimate dinner at home with a simple meal and the dog at our feet. A picnic at the beach around sunset is pretty idyllic, too… Simple evenings are best and we try to avoid routine and crowds.

What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you know now? We would have focused more on what we use for entertaining friends. We love having friends over for cocktails and food and I wish there were more registries focused on these types of items. Our great friends recently opened a wedding registry site focused on fabulous items for entertaining. I wish they had been around when we were registering!

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our kitchen – it’s where we spend most of our time – we both love to cook and entertain.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Our kitchen items are what we use most often – a beautiful cutting board, everyday cutlery, and cocktail glasses.
Who cooks dinner? Mostly Bess, however we shop together and enjoy joining forces when we host. We tend to throw ourselves into the deep end in the kitchen and like to experiment. This usually allows for Ben’s scientific approach to clash with Bess’ creative flair!

What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? Weeknights are quick and easy. We like our local Trader Joe’s or the fish market for fresh meat/veggies and seafood. On the weekends we splurge by grilling out with friends or trying a new restaurant downtown.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? We love traditional cookbooks – old classics like Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and new icons like Gwenyth’s It’s All Good. I also love great food blogs like Food 52 and Feed Me Phoebe.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? There are so many wonderful memories, but recapping the night when it was just the two of us after the reception was so special. We stayed up late drinking champagne and laughing, never wanting it to end!
How do you remember your wedding in your home? We treasure our wedding photos which are framed throughout our home. We also love watching our wedding video on special occasions!
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Ben: I wash her car for her on the weekends – the pollen during spring in Charleston is brutal, and I know she loves a clean car. Bess: I keep his favorite breakfast and dessert foods on hand at all times, and I make sure he always has clean socks.

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? How fast time flies. I feel like I’ve known Ben my whole life, yet our wedding day still feels like yesterday!
Please finish the sentence: Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… Ben: …how exciting being married would be. Routine and process was an urban myth. Never have I been busier and achieved so much.
This year, our family is most excited about… planting roots in our new home and discovering new things about our (fairly) new city and community.

We’re so grateful to Bess and Ben for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to check out Bess’ beautiful online shop, Lola & Bess.

A little reminder: we’d love to hear from you! 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!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Jehnel Oboza-Davison reply

    Holy smokes! This home is gorgeous! Welcome to Charleston, Bess and Ben! I hope your stay has been the bee’s knees so far. ^_^

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!

Reply to: