Google+ Emily, Author at Southern Weddings Magazine

Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Emily

The mission of Southern Weddings is to inspire brides to cultivate a life full of love — celebrating their families, the culture of the South, and what matters most to them — and then to draw from that rich well to create a meaningful beginning to married life. Last week our team was inspired to share on instagram exactly what our mission means to each of us and why it is so important. It was a great day, and we loved hearing your thoughts! We noticed in the comments that our mission was new to many of you – which makes us so glad we posted it, and also made us want to share it here on the blog, just in case someone will be hearing it for the first time. Without further ado…

From our Art Director, @NicoleAYang: The other day, I struck up a great conversation with an urban planner who was sitting across from me and a friend at a restaurant. We talked about everything from good food to technology, our outlooks on the next 20 years, economics, politics and the clean water crisis. At the end, after finding out that I worked at a wedding magazine, he said he was surprised to have such a thorough conversation with me, given my field of work. It occurred to me that many of my friends may not know exactly what I do WITH my work. I feel compelled to clarify it now and say that there is NOTHING frivolous about celebrating weddings and focusing on marriage. And that inherent in that passion comes a concern for our families, the world around us, and the sustainability of our habits. I am proud that I work with a group of women who are yes, stylish, peppy and kind, but are incredibly intelligent, creative and FIERCE business women. I hope that no one assumes that our place in the wedding world is marked by an obsession with pretty things, but rather with a heart for relationships in general, whether it be to others or to our surroundings.

From our #BlueRibbonVendor Director, @KN_Winchester: I believe that life – the big and small moments – is meant to be celebrated in a way that is deeply meaningful and rooted in what matters most. I believe that relationships matter and that creating and cultivating meaningful relationships is the secret sauce to a life well-lived. I also believe that strong marriages can change the world, which I find to be both powerful and empowering. At its core, I find the SW mission statement a simple, yet sturdy recipe that empowers brides and grooms (and their families) to dig deep, focus on what matters, celebrate their wedding, and establish a meaningful beginning to married life. I am driven by a love of the South, a love of marriage and a belief that true love always, always wins.

From our Creative Director, @EmilyAyerThomas: To me, marriage is the gift that keeps on giving. The everyday things of life — from grocery shopping, to after-dinner walks around our neighborhood, to kisses on the way out the door in the morning — are so precious to me because I get to do them alongside my best friend. I LOVE that I get to be a part of a publication that celebrates that, and encourages couples in their everyday together lives. As much as I love weddings, after five years at SW, I believe working at any other wedding magazine would feel hollow, because a wedding means nothing without a marriage. We believe marriage is doable, and joyful, and worth it, and if you do, too, that’s what will build a generation of strong marriages… and that’s what will change the world.

From our editor, @Lisa_Janel: I believe that a wedding–a marriage–means the beginning of a family, and that there is nothing more important, dignified, or beautiful than that. Strong marriages are the very core of society, and I have been learning daily as I plan my own wedding that one tangible way a couple can show their appreciation and understanding of what a big deal marriage is is by planning an intentional, deeply meaningful wedding. That doesn’t mean a wedding filled with perfect details, as wonderful as those things can be–it means planning a wedding that points people’s minds and hearts straight to what is really happening on that day, and what really matters. I am grateful that at Southern Weddings, we help equip couples to do just that.

From our Shop Manager and Junior Designer, @MorganEMoore: Inspiring love is the heartbeat of Southern Weddings. Providing our readers with stories, ideas, and shop products work to welcome y’all into a community where you can be inspired to cultivate meaning in your lives and marriages. I am so passionate about living a life focused on loving others and making them feel taken care of. Whether packaging Southern Weddings shop orders as sweet gifts or designing engaging brand materials that draw our readers to our mission of meaningful celebrations, I’m overjoyed to be a part of such an intentional, mission-focused team.

From our Advertising Director, @MarissaKloess: To me, our mission means truly believing that love never fails, that what matters most should not be at the mercy of what matters least, and that there is always a happily ever after (whatever that may be, or even if it involves hard work!). It means that chivalry is not dead, that a little grace for your significant other (and for yourself!) can go a long way, and that holding hands with your beau should always make your heart skip a beat! With a young baby, and having been married for almost six (!) years, our mission holds a special place in my heart and reminds me daily to not only fight for my marriage, but also to build a strong foundation for our girl to learn from and build upon with her relationships in the future. Our mission doesn’t mean that things are perfect–it means that there is purpose. Living out the importance of our mission and refocusing on our core and the values that deeply matter melts away the laundry, makes me savor those 3 a.m. cuddles that won’t last forever, and helps me remember to never be afraid to be the one who loves the most.

From our Editor-in-Chief @LaraaCasey: I believe in the impossible. I believe that a marriage built on a solid foundation — or one that is rebuilt on new ground — can change the world. I don’t say that lightly. Our world is heavy with despair and people are hungry for love. Real love. The kind of love that changes things, brings people together, and heals what feels impossible. A revolution of love starts with just one action, friends. And you can help us make that happen. Because, we are stronger together than we are apart. I believe that we — and YOU — are a part of something bigger than us. My own marriage was a mess and I felt like it would never change. I felt completely alone and lost. But. But! God changed it all. That’s why I do what I do at Southern Weddings and why I wake up every day fired up about encouraging marriages, because I once was lost but now I’m found. I once was hopeless and now I know for sure that the best is yet to come. It’s not about having a perfect marriage, it’s about living and breathing a purposeful marriage where you keep. choosing. love.

All photos except Morgan’s by our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Landon Jacob Photography!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Love you ladies. Your hearts are beautiful. Thank you for not only believing in such a powerful mission, but living it as well. xoxo

  2. avatar Erin reply

    This is so sweet! With my own wedding approaching in just a handful of weeks, I have to say how much I’ve loved reading Southern Weddings (even though I live in southern Missouri!), not just because of the stunning wedding features, but because I love the mission behind it all! Y’all have truly helped inspire me to create and build a marriage more beautiful than my wedding, so thank you!

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Erin!! Oh my gracious. Sending you biggest hugs! Enjoy these last few weeks before your wedding. Excited for your new adventure into married life! xo.

  3. avatar Linda at Cedarwood Weddings reply

    I LOVE this….sharing the “inside” helps us appreciate the “outside” so much more.

  4. avatar Kim reply

    You ladies are for real bringing happy tears to my eyes again with this one! As a relative newbie to the wedding field (and a NYer but don’t judge me), I just recently discovered Southern Weddings and I am just smitten with what you do and how you do it. My husband and I just crossed over our two year anniversary, and marriage is not easy, but I truly believe that God gives us the grace to keep going and that every good marriage is a win for the kingdom and for our communities. Loved reading this!

  5. avatar Alexandra Hansen Stockton reply

    Absolutely adore this post and your sweet, kind hearts! Thank you for being so authentic!

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The ads in our print editions aren’t an afterthought, and they’re not clumped together like so much filler to be flipped quickly through. They are exquisite peeks into companies that can help make your wedding day and newlywed life beautiful, and memorable, and meaningful. If you’ve never seen an issue of our magazine, I promise you, in this way (and many others!), we are like no one else on the market. (And goodness – if you haven’t seen an issue of our magazine, what are you waiting for??)

We’re so grateful for the print sponsors we had the pleasure of working with on V6, and are excited to link to them here!

Earthmuse Photography captures the magic and joy of their clients’ wedding days unobtrusively, honestly, and joyfully. We love the contemporary, fresh style and sleek elegance of their work!

Studio 222

The team at Blush by Brandee Gaar knows that details matter because they create the atmosphere of your wedding — one that’s informed at every step by your love story and the story you want to tell your guests about the life you’re embarking on. Florida brides, take a peek!

Our darling Blue Ribbon Vendor Elaine Palladino also hails from the great state of Florida. Her work is full of light, love, and pure, unabashed fun, capturing everything as it unfolds on your wedding day.

Another Blue Ribbon Vendor, Heba Salama Photography, takes images that are vibrant and colorful, and filled with true emotion always. She’s based in NC.

Julie Paisley’s images are sweet and happy and wonderfully pretty, and the experience as her client is pretty much the same, from what we can gather – happy and sweet and affirming! Tennessee brides, take a peek!

We still have spots open for V7, and we would love to have YOU join the Southern Weddings sponsor family! This is not an issue you want to miss, so be in touch with Marissa as quick as butter melting on a biscuit!

emily Written with love by Emily
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The best engagement photos capture the sweet season of life between proposal and vows as it really is. I love the idea of a session at home, because for most people, home is where life happens, and we believe the everyday pieces of a life lived together – coffee and strawberries in the morning, belly laughs on the couch, an afternoon neighborhood walk – are worthy of being celebrated and recorded. Newlyweds, take note, too: an at-home session would be a perfect way to celebrate your first anniversary!

Big hugs to Kate Belle for these photos!

P.S. Make sure to like our Facebook page – we feature a new engagement session over there every Friday!

emily Written with love by Emily
3 Comments
  1. avatar admin reply

    Love the jumping on the bed photo!!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    These are very sweet! I really like the idea of doing this at home.

  3. avatar Breanna reply

    I love this idea! It’s so simple and pure. You truly can get a sense of who the couple really is and what they are like. Such a great session and so sweet. Totally captures the couple in all their love and happiness.

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Introducing Married in the South!

by in News on

As some of you may have seen on instagram, Lara and I traveled to Birmingham for an exciting meeting with our friends at Southern Living in June. (For the background on our partnership, see here!) We discussed lots of ways to continue our shared mission, and left with renewed gratitude for Southern Living’s passion for propelling our heart for strong marriages and meaningful weddings to an ever-expanding audience.

We also left with the beginnings of a very exciting collaboration, which we’re SO very excited to share with you today. It’s called Married in the South!!

You’ve all heard of the Today Show Throws a Wedding, yes? Well, this project will be similar in that we’ll choose a couple and y’all will get to vote on some aspects of their celebration, but rest assured, the whole thing will have a decidedly Southern Weddings spin. As we well know, there is a certain magic about weddings in the South that captivates hearts around the globe. Our hope is to help one very special couple plan a deeply meaningful beginning to married life and celebrate the rich culture of this place we call home. Aside from being beautiful, we just know it will be an event that will inspire us all to love more deeply and celebrate what matters most!

Photo by Tanja Lippert from Paige + Adam’s wedding

We’ll be partnering with the best and brightest in the South to not only plan and execute our special couple’s wedding, but to come alongside us and contribute to blog posts and video features that are perfect for anyone planning their Southern celebration. Our vendors are not only incredibly talented and creative, they also have the hugest hearts. We could not be more elated that the Easton Events team has signed on to be our lead planner. (If you’re not familiar with their stunning work, see more here, here, here, and here!)

Photo by Ryan Ray from Southern Weddings V5

We know y’all will have questions, and we have answers!

How will you find the couple?
With your help, hopefully! Entries are officially open here. You can either nominate yourself or another deserving couple you know. Couples must be engaged and must NOT have booked any vendors for their wedding. They also must be willing to give over much creative control of their celebration (with, of course, the reassurance that their wedding will be in the very best of hands!).

When will the wedding take place?
The wedding will take place in June 2015 at the 2015 Southern Living Idea House, being built in Charlottesville, VA. We are SO excited to celebrate at SL’s gorgeous property, and in such an iconic Southern town!

How will we get to participate?
After we choose our couple (by the end of the year), their wedding planning will kick into high gear! You can expect to see weekly posts on the Southern Weddings blog throughout the winter and spring (hooray!), including helpful, practical tips and fun opportunities to vote at every step. Though we’re excited for the couple we choose, we’re also giddy at the opportunity to inspire so many other love stories and celebrations along the way!

Photo by Mary Rosenbaum from Toree + Forrest’s wedding

We couldn’t be more excited to kick off this project, and are already itching with excitement to read the Married in the South entries as they come in – and for June 2015 to get here!! We would love y’all’s help as we search for one very special couple, so please share our page and encourage any wonderful, deserving couples you know to apply!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar T Brown reply

    I can’t find a way to nominate a couple- even the Southern Living link sends you to a ‘refresh’ of their Facebook page… :/. Help?

  2. avatar Mikkel reply

    That is SO SO SO exciting!!! Such a great idea and awesome partnership. I can’t wait to see the lucky couple chosen and follow along as it all comes together!

  3. avatar Jessica Taylor reply

    We are having to pay for our own wedding. We would be honored to win. It would be such a help starting a new life together

  4. avatar Jessica K reply

    How do you nominate a couple? The link takes me to Facebook, but I don’t see anything about the contest. Thank you in advance! *kisses*

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The word I kept coming back to when I read through Caroline and Clark’s interview, and looked through their photos, is simple. They seem to enjoy the simple things in life (Jeni’s included!); they strive for simple, clutter-free, meaningful spaces in their home; and their relationship seems simple and uncomplicated in the best way possible. Simple doesn’t have to mean stark, though, and in the case of the Brewers, it definitely does not. Their home is warm and inviting, thanks, I’m sure, to Caroline’s touch (she’s a stylist and visual merchandiser at Anthropologie!). Think she’d make the trip to North Carolina to work a little magic on my home?! Friends, please enjoy this lovely Nashville family!

Big hugs to Clark for taking these photos, and our friend Tec Petaja for the photos of Clark and Caroline! P.S. How much do we love that Clark titled the wedding day gallery on his site “marriage”? A lot! :)

The Southern Newlyweds: Caroline and Clark Brewer
Years married: 4
Where you live: Nashville, Tennessee.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met at a high school soccer game when I was 15 and he was 18 – it was love at first sight!

Do you rent or own? We bought our home a little over two years ago in the 12th South area. We love it so much that I don’t think we will ever leave! Clark says he wants to die in this house :) We are really central to most everything in Nashville and we are basically surrounded by all of our closest friends, so we’re excited to sink our roots down here.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Since we’ve been married, our style has really changed, morphed, and blended into “our style.” We often collaborate on decorating decisions and we trust each other’s opinions–which has been really fun. My tip would be to buy what you love, not just things particularly for a certain space. If you love it, it will all come together!

What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? I would have registered for more serving pieces. We love opening up our home and entertaining those we love. More serving pieces would definitely get put to use!
Who cooks dinner? It’s usually a joint effort. I cook and he cleans, or we cook together.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? Our go-to meal when we are super busy is out! Either Burger Up, Crankie’s Pizza Truck, or DeSano’s pizza. If you are ever in Nashville, you can’t go wrong with any of those spots! If we stay in, an easy, go-to meal is chicken fajitas with all the fixin’s.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? Lately, I have been really into Against All Grain, by Danielle Walker. If I am looking for comfort food or something foolproof, Pioneer Woman never disappoints.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? This spring, we decided to clear out our guest room, paint the walls white, and add some plants to it. We already have a guest bed upstairs and we felt like the bed in the guest room was just taking up space, so we decided to simplify. It has created the perfect haven for practicing yoga after a long day at work. It feels calming and tranquil.
What most makes your house feel like home? I think having it filled with friends and family. Clark and I love to entertain, so our house feels most like home when tunes are playing and the house is filled with laughter and the smell of something good cooking in the oven.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? We have invested in classic staple pieces, like our couch and art, and try to save on quirky, decorative accessories. I often find fun things that I may not love forever at Target and TJ Maxx.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? It sounds so cliché, but my wedding day really was the best day of my life! I think my favorite part of the day was walking down the aisle to my sweet husband. Knowing the meaning of the promise we were about to make was thrilling and overwhelming.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? We love prints and we have our favorites from our wedding framed around the house. Also, our photographer gave us a print box and a wedding album that we look at from time to time to remember the day.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Life can get crazy when we are both working, hanging out with friends, and trying to keep up with the hustle and bustle of life! Finding the time to slow down, sit across from each other at the dinner table, and connect face-to-face really helps us refocus on what is truly important.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Taking a walk is one of our favorite things to do together. It’s a fun way to enjoy our neighborhood, and it’s free! Some of our best conversations and ideas have come from just being outside without any distractions. Leave your phone at home!

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? One way Clark serves me, which I love, is that he leaves me notes when he makes my lunch. He is the sweetest!
Do you have children? We don’t have kids yet, but can’t wait for this one day!
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… how hard it is to divide time between both families during the holidays! Having both in-laws in Nashville, we often feel spread thin trying to see everyone in such a limited amount of time.

What is your favorite part of being married? Getting to do life every day with my best friend–does it get any better?
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? How much fun it is! So many people give you advice before you get married and it can be a bit discouraging. I think if you are both on the same team working towards the same goal, it can make a huge difference. And it doesn’t hurt that we laugh A LOT!
In 2014, our family is most excited about… some upcoming job changes–I am currently working at Anthropologie as the Visual Merchandiser, but will soon be stepping out to pursue other freelance opportunities, as well as help Clark with his photography business. This change is bittersweet, as I love my job at Anthropologie, but we both feel like this is the right time to make the change. Wish me luck! :)

We’re so grateful to Clark and Caroline for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
Clark Brewer Photography | Clark on Instagram
Caroline Brewer Styling | Caroline on Instagram

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
5 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    These two could not be cooler! Love their cozy home and their favorite/most surprising things about marriage!

  2. avatar Morgan Moore reply

    This house is SO cool and Clark and Caroline are absolutely adorable!

  3. avatar Josh Gruetzmacher reply

    Love their space! That painting on the mantle is especially rad.

  4. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The colors and artwork are fantastic. Love that light blue wallpaper in the bedroom, a statement piece!

  5. avatar Charlotte Turtle reply

    This home is too cute and so inspirational. I’m taking notes!

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