Google+ Emily, Author at Southern Weddings Magazine

Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Emily

My first thought when I saw Meg Sutton’s home was, “Good golly, this is ridiculously adorable.” My second thought was, “It’s like her products came to life!” As some of y’all might know, Meg is the amazingly talented Southerner behind Belle & Union Co., a staple of the Southern Weddings Shop. Since her product collection is impeccably curated, it’s no surprise to me that her home is, too, with not one of the 800 square feet marred by unnecessary clutter. It is, however, filled with plenty of meaningful mementos from their life together. Please enjoy this peek into the lovely Texas home and studio of Meg and Josh Sutton!

Big hugs to Amanda Marie for these lovely photos! And P.S.: scroll down to the bottom of the post for an exclusive Belle & Union discount!

Introducing: Joshua and Meg Sutton
Years married: 5
Where you live: College Station, Texas (whoop!)
Tell us your love story in one sentence. The art student and soldier fall in love along the sandy beaches of Tybee Island and beneath the mossy oaks of Savannah, Georgia. There was exactly one year between our first date and our wedding day. (Crazy kids!)

Do you rent or own? Currently, we rent our little carriage house–800 square feet of living space above the garage, which acts as studio space for Belle & Union. We know we most likely will not stay in College Station forever, as we are here while Josh is in school. We previously owned our home in Savannah, and can’t wait until the day that we buy again. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a fixer upper! Someday, we hope to own a little store with a studio in the back for me, and maybe a café next door for him, on a quaint little main street in smalltown USA.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. When we bought our first home, Josh was actually on the other side of the world, quite literally, serving a tour in Afghanistan. The house-picking process was one for the books, and I had to move everything from our little rental into the house myself. I then had three months before he came home to get everything all set up. I frustrated him quite a bit because I refused to share photos that entire time! I think it was all worth it for both of us when he walked in and said immediately that it just felt like home.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? I have to admit, the registry was more for Josh than it was for me! That being said, I asked him this question and he was quick to answer his knife set and the pots and pans. Safe to say, he is the chef around here.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? White! I wish we had registered for white stoneware from the beginning. We picked red stoneware, which was fun, but we got tired of it very quickly. I would suggest sticking with classic pieces, and adding the fun into your linens and other accessories that can be easily changed without a lot of expense.
Who cooks dinner? Josh is the chef. He loves to experiment in the kitchen, and is currently studying food science at Texas A&M. He cooks, I clean, and everyone is happy.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? I don’t think we have a regular meal… Josh loves to experiment in the kitchen! But we do probably have Tex Mex at least once a week.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? My creativity is all on paper, but for Josh, it is with food. We have a stack of cookbooks in the kitchen, but for the most part, he just starts creating. Sometimes, it’s like an episode of Chopped in our kitchen. I’ll pull out a few random ingredients and let him go to town. I haven’t had a bad meal yet!

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? This is a trick question, since our house is basically one big room! All of the natural light makes it a wonderful spot to just sit and enjoy each other’s company. We were worried that moving from a 1500 square foot house to essentially an 800 square foot studio apartment would make us feel cramped and on top of each other. But honestly, I think we’ve loved living with less. You definitely learn what is more important to you in a smaller space.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? My best source has to be my husband. If I can’t seem to find just the right piece, I ask him to build it. Usually, it turns out better than I could have ever dreamed or imagined, and it costs a lot less money! He has built furniture, tiled a kitchen backsplash, and has even sewn roman shades for our kitchen! On the other hand, I do love a good day of junkin’! I currently have a weakness for all things typewriters, oil cans, and windmills.

How do you remember your wedding in your home? We have a few of our favorite wedding photos scattered around the house, but my favorite memento is our cake topper. It’s one of the first things I see every morning when I wake up, and it always brings a smile to my face.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? My favorite memory is walking back up the aisle arm in arm after we were pronounced husband and wife. There was a bugler playing in the background (a surprise to my husband), and I remember turning and looking at him as we exited the chapel and feeling as if the world stopped spinning for just a moment.

Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We tend to be homebodies, so there’s nothing either of us quite enjoys more than just cuddling on the couch while watching a movie. During football season though, we love to hang out with 80,000 of our closest friends and watch the Aggies BTHO whatever team we’re playing that week.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? I think a lot of brides (and grooms) expect any problems before the wedding to magically disappear after. Marriage doesn’t solve your problems–you have to do that yourselves, together!

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? With Josh in school and me working what feels like 24/7, it helps to be able to share what we do. He certainly helps me more with the business than I help him with homework (organic chemistry? No, thank you), but having a support system is invaluable. Knowing when the other person is stressed out and being able to step in, even if it’s something as simple as me giving him a ride to class, or him packaging cards for an order, helps us show love to one another, and thus grow closer together. But, probably the most important thing I can share is communication. Despite popular belief and expectations, we can’t read each other’s minds! Open and honest communication keeps us on the same page.

Do you have children? Currently, we just have one fur baby, our rescue dog, Ellie. The business is a baby all on its own, and combined with Josh in school, there’s a lot on our plates. We’d like to have children someday, once we are settled after Josh has completed school.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? When we were first married, it was common for us to leave little love notes around the house for each other to find. We both found our love languages to be words of affirmation (side note: read The Five Love Languages–it rocks). Being able to find a surprise full of kind words was always an instant day-brightener, and the notes were something that could be kept and treasured. For us, it all ties back to the importance of communication. That’s one reason I love what I do so much. For me, the Belle & Union line is not about the greeting card itself–it’s about the message it shares. It’s the opportunity to build, strengthen, and sometimes mend a relationship, connecting people in a thoughtful and tangible way. That’s what we try to do for each other in our marriage through those kind words and acts of love.

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… love is a choice, a choice that you each have to make every single day. Josh and I have been through our fair shares of ups and downs, many we have put on ourselves, and others, such as hardships like physical separation while he was in the Army. We’ve had to grow up a lot, as individuals, and as a couple, in a very short amount of time. I think it’s key to know those are two very different things! The other person is not responsible for your happiness. They can certainly add to it, but you have to choose to be who you are, and whom you are with.
What is your favorite part of being married? I love knowing without a doubt that he is the man God intended me to be with. Even on days when I may not like him very much, I’m always reminded that he is exactly who I need.

We’re so grateful to Meg and Josh for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with Meg at @belleandunionco and the Belle & Union site. We’re also offering 15% off all Belle & Union products in the Southern Weddings Shop, including tea towels, cards, recipe cards, and magnets! Enter code ILOVEBELLE&UNION at checkout until August 15.

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
7 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    What a beautifully curated home! I’m such a fan of small, functional and clutter-free spaces!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Not surprised at all that her house is so darling, and I LOVE her interview!

  3. avatar Mary reply

    MEG! Can we be BFFs?
    I just loved this feature so much! As a fellow Aggie, former military spouse, and lover of junkin – I think it’s just meant to be!
    Beautiful home, beautiful views on marriage, and such a wonderful company!

  4. avatar Meg reply

    I’m still absolutely giddy about this! Thank y’all so much for featuring us and our little home. XOXO!

  5. avatar Maria @ ritzy bee reply

    Great feature – your place is awesome Meg…just like you!!! xo

  6. avatar Lindsay reply

    I love how they decorated their home!

  7. avatar Stephanie Creekmur reply

    I am in love with every detail! So beautiful and cozy! I’m definitely envious of that gorgeous studio! :)

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Though they’re also the dog days of summer, July and August are our busiest months for magazine prep! We’ve been sharing sneak peeks on social media (find #MakingSouthernWeddings on instagram!) as we work with amazing vendors to create inspiration for y’all to enjoy this fall. In the meantime, Marissa and Kristin have been equally hard at work building a roster of stellar advertisers for our book! Here’s a little sneak peek at a few of the folks who will be joining us for V7…

P.S. Haven’t purchased your magazines yet? Just a friendly tip between pals – there are only TWELVE (!!!) copies of Southern Weddings V4 left, and then they are gone forever! Go grab your copy now!

Donna Morgan makes some of the prettiest bridesmaid dresses we’ve ever seen – in fact, we’ve used them in several of our editorials because they’re so lovely! You can spot them in our Blackberry Beauty feature, and check out all of their (shipping immediately!) styles and colors here.

The Art of Creating seems to have a lock on beautiful things in Charleston. Between Ooh! Events (their talented event planning and design firm), their amazing rental collection, Ooh! Beautiful (an organic Charleston beauty bar), Out of Hand (their jewel box of a retail store), and more, there is so much to explore with this company!

Photo by Ben Lowry from Cassidy and Mark’s wedding

The Outer Banks is a beloved long weekend destination in our office, and it’s perfect for weddings, too! If you’re looking to be married on the beach, the Outer Banks Wedding Association has you covered, with vendor recommendations, real wedding inspiration, and tons of info.

Photo by Sarah Der

If we’re talking about beloved, the Carolina Inn without a doubt needs a mention – it’s an all-time favorite with the Southern Weddings crew. Their ballrooms are modern, fresh, and colorful, and their service is impeccable. It would be hard to dream up a better hotel to host your reception!

Scotti Cline Designs is the home of wedding paper loveliness. From wedding invitations to save the dates, menus to programs, they’ve got you taken care of in style.

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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When one of your first encounters with someone involves frantic email exchanges involving highly-secret public proposal plans, you know they’re not afraid to dive right in and become one of the team. Such is the case with Dave, Lisa’s fiance and one of our newer Southern Gents. He’s been gung-ho and encouraging about all things Southern Weddings since Day One, and we love him for it! Please join me in welcoming Mr. Dave Kirk to the blog this morning…

Ryan Ray

Name: David Kirk
What do you do for a job? Financial analyst
Your Southern Weddings gal: The lovely Miss Lisa Janel Olson
How and when you became a Southern Weddings gent: Y’all may have read Lisa’s version on the blog, so my shortened version is: we met studying abroad in Austria four years ago, tried not to fall in love, lost touch, reconnected early last year, (quickly) fell in love, (quickly) got engaged, and we are getting married in May!

What is your favorite SW memory? Aside from the obvious, asking Lisa to marry me while at an SW event, it was incredible hearing from Lisa on the phone the day she got her dream job. That was a really special moment and I could not have been more proud of her!
What is the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of SW? While this wasn’t in the name of SW, I proposed at the V6 Launch Party… I’d say that’s as crazy as it gets.
What contributions have you made to SW that people may not realize? I conveniently manage to show up to shoots/events just in the nick of time to move furniture around. I hope this experience pays off in married life. Also, I make the spreadsheets for all our wedding planning, so I’m hoping to contribute some excel templates to the blog at some point.

What is something you shouldn’t know about weddings, but do, thanks to SW? I can correctly pronounce Monique Lhuillier and can identify a Sperry tent within seconds.
Have you ever been recognized by a stranger because of SW? I am still waiting for that special moment.
What percentage of your social media followers come from SW? Less than half, but I’m hoping this post will make it grow.
What is the best thing about being an SW gent? Being able to be a part (by a small degree of separation) of such an incredible small business whose mission is so noble. There are few things in this world as important and sacred as faith, marriage, and family, and to have my fiancée work for an organization that holds these things in such high regard is inspiring.
What is your least favorite thing about being an SW gent? You never know when something is going to wind up on Instagram. See me car singing here.

If given the chance, would you become a Southern Weddings employee? Of course.
Favorite Southern food? I’m a Yankee by birth, so being recently introduced to Southern foods has been the best year of my life. My favorite is probably biscuits, closely followed by fried chicken. If you put them together, that’s another favorite.
Anything else you want to add? I’m relatively new to the exclusive SW Gents club, but I can say that the SW ladies are truly passionate about what they do and they are amazingly talented at how they do it. The result is a magazine whose mission permeates the pages, content that inspires so many, and weddings that would make even the bravest men tear up (myself included… Lisa and I are a perfect match).

Catch up with the other SW gents!
Ari
John
Brandon
Taylor
Kyle

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

    Ok, so the obvious question is, “Does Dave have a brother?” Or cloning technology? What a sweet, articulate, gracious guy. I don’t know Lisa but I’m just so happy for her after reading this post. He’s a keeper for sure!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    He’s the best :)

  3. avatar Lisa Hays reply

    I hope he has a bunch of brothers! The world could use more gents like him.

  4. avatar Dana reply

    my fave SW gent!!

  5. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Definitely a stand up guy, that Dave. Even though you are from the North, you’ve definitely got the charm of a Southern gentleman! Loved this post!

  6. avatar Jennifer Rose Smith reply

    Great interview! It’s been such fun to watch Lisa and Dave’s story unfold online. He seems so supportive and sincere and open-minded. A great match for Lisa! Can’t wait for the reveal of the big day… xoxo

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Erin Carroll is a very special member of the Southern Weddings family. Her wedding to Todd was featured in our very first issue back in 2008, and since then, we’ve followed along with her growing family on her blog, Blue-Eyed Bride. She’s even been to Making Things Happen, and contributed to the marriage advice feature in our latest issue! Her South Carolina home is the kind of nest that many of us want – lovely, yes, but also filled with encouraging words, lots and lots of photo memories, and passed-down items with history.

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Courtney Dox for these lovely photos. Friends, please enjoy meeting the Carroll family!

Who lives in this lovely home? Erin and Todd, married six years, Hudson (5), and Hayes (3)
Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met and fell in love at work, thanks to our common love for Gamecock football and Home Alone, got married, and are now raising two wild and precious boys.
What is your favorite part of being married? Being able to experience all of life’s big moments, small moments, ups, and downs with my best friend.

Do you rent or own? We own. We bought a house together right before we got married, and we lived there for five years. After two kids, we were bursting at the seams. We lived with Todd’s grandmother for a year while we built our current home.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Todd is not very opinionated when it comes to style. He didn’t have many opinions when planning our wedding, and he has taken the same approach with decorating. When he does have an opinion, I sit back, listen, and try really hard to be considerate of his wishes. He has so few opinions, I feel I should at least respect the ones he does have!
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? I love our kitchen. It is open to the family room, and we spend so much time in both of those rooms. I love the light and the fact that I can be doing my thing in the kitchen while still being able to see the boys and Todd while they hang out in the family room.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Our everyday dishes are my favorite thing. We still don’t have the entire set, but I just love the pattern. We even use them for holidays because I love them more than our fine china. I also love my All Clad pots and pans. I never would have bought them for myself, so I’m super thankful to have them.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? I wouldn’t have registered for things like cookie decorating kits and pancake batter dispensers. Those things have never been used in six years!
Who cooks dinner? I do. I meal plan on Sundays, shop on Monday mornings, and usually cook four meals per week. We do leftovers at least once for every meal I make, and on Saturdays, I make a crockpot meal. I get it started in the morning and then we can enjoy our day without having to spend much time in the kitchen.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? I’ve recently given up grains and sugar, so I haven’t eaten this in a while, but I love Kevin and Amanda’s Spicy Sausage Pasta. It is amazing and a total splurge, but it’s a crowd pleaser! On the weekends, I love to make The Pioneer Woman’s Pot Roast or Skinny Taste’s Chicken Santa Fe.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? I have a huge collection of Junior League cookbooks, and each one of them is filled with tried and true, passed down recipes. I also love Skinny Taste, The Pioneer Woman, and Ina Garten. Now I’m getting hungry!

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? I splurge on lighting. Light fixtures can really define a space and make a big statement. I’m fortunate that my mom is a decorator and I am a buyer for her company, so I’ve been able to save a lot by getting really beautiful things at wholesale cost. I’ve also purchased a few antiques at antique markets–Scott’s in Atlanta is full of beautiful treasures, and they will bargain with you! I talked a guy down by half the cost when I purchased my dining room chairs. I found them and they were exactly what I had dreamed of, but I had a budget. I told him I wouldn’t spend more than my budget allowed, and he called me 20 minutes later to tell me that he’d sell them to me at the price I named.

What most makes your house feel like home? I am a strong believer in filling our home with things we love. Books we’ve read. Souvenirs from travels. Local pottery. Family photographs. When I’m accessorizing, it is so important to me not to have anything that is just “filler,” so it sometimes takes me awhile to finish decorating a room. Our home tells our story, so every little thing here also seems to have a story.

I spy some Lara Casey Shop products!

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? This gets so tough. I feel like with every season, we have to reevaluate and set new boundaries. Todd works long hours, and as a blogger, it’s easy for me to get very distracted by letting in too many “voices” via other blogs, social media, responding to blog comments, etc. I’ve found that I have to start my day early if I want to take care of my personal needs, like my quiet time and Bible reading, exercise, and any other things that just serve me. I stay at home with the boys, so the rest of my day is all about them. Todd is home between 6:30 and 7:00 every night, so that time for dinner and bedtime is sacred. We really value the weekends. I have a monthly Sunday girls night, but otherwise, the weekends are for family. Our favorite weekends are the lazy ones spent at home watching movies and playing outside with the boys.

Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? When Hudson was a baby, we used to just get in the car and let him sleep while we drove around, looked at houses, and saw new things popping up in our town. These days, we love to go out to dinner and to see a movie. Movies are a real treat! When we can’t get out, we put the kids to bed and watch a movie together on Amazon Prime. Our Blu-ray player has been such a great thing for binge-watching TV shows together and seeing movies we never got to see in the theater.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? I’ve realized that Todd is so happy and so much less stressed when I am financially responsible and respectful of our budget. When I don’t go to Target or make random little Amazon purchases, it makes him so happy.

Do you have children? We have two boys, aged five and three. Things are still up in the air in regards to whether or not there will be more children, but right now, we’re so happy with these boys.

Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? Our relationships with Jesus Christ are the most important things to us. We want our children to see that in us, and when we find that we’re not making time for Him, we stop and reevaluate and decide what we need to change. It is amazing how much of a difference we see when we allow God to lead us and we stop trying to do things on our own. Life gets really crazy and can be very distracting, but we know that when we put God first and allow Him to be in control, He does work all things together for our good.

What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? The wedding is just the beginning. It’s not always pretty after that, but the memories trump the wedding by a million!
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… to let go of all expectations and understand that two different upbringings are going to require making big decisions together. It’s not about a fairy tale and it’s not about instant gratification. The beauty of marriage is experiencing the memories along the way.

In 2014, our family is most excited about… being settled! We spent 2013 living with Todd’s grandmother, and we are so thankful for that time, but it is nice to be back to living in our own home with just the four of us, making memories. We’re looking forward to a summer full of days at the pool and doing our best to unplug.

We’re so grateful to Erin and Todd for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with Erin on her blog or on instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.

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
6 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Love Erin! Her perspective on filling their home with things that matter is so inspiring, and her meal planning strategy just might convince me to finally try cooking with a crockpot!

    • avatar Erin reply

      Thank you, friend! The key to the crockpot is finding a really great recipe because they’re not all great. ;) But I promise it can change your week if you make one or two crockpot meals! So excited for you!

  2. avatar Kristin reply

    I am packing my bags and heading to Erin’s house!! I am pretty sure her kitchen was made for entertaining. It makes my hostess heart beat a little faster. I am also quite envious of her cookbook collection ;)

  3. avatar Erin reply

    Kristin, my door is always open for you! Come on down and we’ll cook from those old Junior League cookbooks and you can teach me some things about the kitchen!

  4. avatar aimee broussard reply

    Adore Erin! Her home is lovely, but her heart is golden. She’s one of my favorite blogs/instagram accounts because her sweetness and faith shines through everything she does. Love this series!

  5. avatar Megan Bryant reply

    Love this post! I have been reading Erin’s blog for quite some time and her new home is absolutely beautiful. A dream home for sure. Her family is what we all hope and pray for as little girl’s and when we walk down the aisle on our wedding day.

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In addition to all of the conceptualizing, planning, organizing, writing, shooting, and designing we’ve been doing for Southern Weddings V7 over the last few months, we’ve also been busily working on several exciting projects behind the scenes! One we gave a sneak peek of yesterday on instagram

…and several others will debut in our shop over the next few weeks! We are SO excited to introduce you to the first new Southern Weddings signature product today: our ceremonial marriage certificate!

Hopefully y’all know by now how much we love marriage in addition to weddings. The ceremony has always been our favorite part of a wedding day, and we’re giddy that this beautiful piece will be a part of so many memories for so many couples, preserving them in the loveliest way possible.

The certificate is printed in gold foil and matte black letterpress, both on thick cotton stock. Our talented friend Moya Minns of MM Ink contributed the gorgeous calligraphy – isn’t it lovely??

We could not be more proud of this heirloom piece, and know it will look beautiful for years to come in newlywed homes around the South. We hope you adore it as much as we do!!

Take a peek at our shop to see the black and gold versions, as well as the rest of our goodies!

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    Congratulations on this launch!! The marriage certificate is definitely a beautiful heirloom piece, and I’m already planning on purchasing several for upcoming weddings for friends & clients! Thank you for celebrating marriage so marvelously.

  2. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    This is absolutely beautiful!! I wish normal marriage certificates looked this lovely. It seems like modern marriage certificates are just downright boring! Would love to order this and frame it for my husband and I!

  3. avatar Laura reply

    LOVE this! Such a beautiful piece to display in your home. Do you think it would be odd to ask our Maid of Honor, Best Man, and Pastor to sign this 2 years after our wedding? :)

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