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Author: Emily

Bride Ivana shares her glam Texas ballroom wedding!

Any professional football fans reading today? :) I wouldn’t necessarily count myself amongst your ranks, but Ivana and Jordan’s wedding (featured in our tenth-anniversary issue!) has given me a new reason to care about the upcoming Super Bowl! Jordan plays for the Eagles, and so I, having fallen in love with this sweet couple and having no other existing allegiances, will definitely be rooting for Philadelphia on Sunday.

Of course, you can sport another team’s jersey and still cheer for Team Hicks – they’ve made it easy! From their surprise first dance to their thoughts on serving communion at their ceremony, theirs was a ballroom wedding that oozed personality.

Thanks to Blue Ribbon Vendor Jen Dillender for sharing these beautiful photos!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met through a mutual friend Jordan’s sophomore year, my junior year, in college. My friend Lydia and I were talking at a picnic table in the heart of campus as Jordan was walking by. Lydia calls him over to say hi and he briefly introduced himself to me. A day later, he reached out to Lydia asking about me, and and before I knew it, I was seeing him more and more around our 40 acre campus. We eventually exchanged numbers which led to us going on our first date. Since then, we have been inseparable!

How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? Jordan was in (football) season, so we did marriage counseling with the Eagles team chaplain and his wife. We went through many exercises doing all that we could to set a solid foundation before we were actually married. It truly was a blessing to have them guide and prepare us in this new season in life.
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We had an evening June wedding at the Barton Creek Hotel in Austin, Texas on June 24th, 2017 at 6pm. With Jordan’s schedule, we had to choose a time when he wasn’t in season or in spring training, but it turned out to be the most perfect June wedding.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? I wanted an elegant, romantic setting with lush peonies and candles everywhere. The colors were blush, white, and gold.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? My favorite detail of the wedding was taking communion right after we said our vows.

Tell us about your wedding flowers. I love peonies, and knew that I wanted them in my wedding. I had a mix of peonies, pink garden roses, and white orchids. They are flowers that are timeless, beautiful, and make a statement.
Did you write your own vows? We did. My favorite verse that I wrote was: “I promise to be loving, faithful, and true to you always! I promise to uplift you, motivate you, and stand with you when you’re low. I promise to always celebrate, admire, and treasure your highs. I promise to always be your best friend!”

Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used. One decor element I wanted to see everywhere were candles. I wanted the room to be lit up for a romantic setting.
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? To start, we served a Mexican wedge salad. For the entree, guests had the option to choose between the jalapeno-brined chicken with smoked tomato butter and the seared sea bass with tomato caper relish. Both were served with garlic rosemary mashed potatoes, and seasonal roasted vegetables.

Tell us a bit about your first dance. Jordan and I surprised our guests with a Latin dance by Marc Anthony as soon as our first dance ended. It was so much fun, especially for him to take part in my Latin culture. Our friends and family loved it!
Tell us about your wedding cake! Our cake was a six layer white cake with beautiful fresh flowers that consisted of two flavors. Our flavors were orange, and chocolate cake with strawberry and grand marnier whipped cream filling.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? We really tried to cater to our guests. Every person there had impacted us in some way, so we wanted to make everyone feel special and as if they were being catered to.

Describe the proposal! At the time Jordan and I were long distance because he had relocated from Austin to Philadelphia to play for the Eagles, so we planned a trip to Turks & Caicos I was very much looking forward to. We took a private boat ride, and 20 minutes or so into our sail, Captain Tim tells us we’re about to pass what many believe is the most beautiful part of Turks & Caicos. Jordan gets up to quickly refill his drink, but when he returned, he returned with much more than a refill. He gave me his hand to help stand me up. Not a word was said as we locked our eyes together. I knew IT was about to happen. He promised me a lifelong love, and made me the happiest girl in the world as he asked me to marry him. Jon, ‘the crew member,’ came over to re-introduce himself to me as ‘Jon, the photographer.’ Afterwards, we celebrated, did our engagement shoot around the islands, and even got to swim with wild dolphins which was a sweet ending to our perfect day.
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
What was Jordan’s favorite detail of the wedding? (From Jordan) My favorite detail of the wedding was the surprise first dance. I am not much of a dancer and was nervous to do it all the way up until the music began playing. Once we started dancing everything happened perfectly, even better than we had practiced. For me, it was fun to step out of my comfort zone and be able to bring excitement to the reception.
What was your reception like? It was so much fun! We couldn’t get off the dance floor and neither could our guests. For the last dance, we surprised everyone with gold and white confetti poppers that added the perfect touch to the night.
What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding revolved around our faith. This was what was most important to us: that not only did people see our love for one another, but for Jesus Christ as well. The first thing we did as husband and wife was take communion, vowing that our foundation will be found in Him.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? My advice is that if you’re planning a wedding from afar, I highly recommend hiring a planner. It is so important to hire someone that you instantly connect with! Remember, you’ll be talking, texting, emailing, and meeting with them for the entire process, so choose someone you can imagine building a friendship with. Plus, it just makes the process that much more fun, and stress-free.

Photographer: Jen Dillender | Videographer: Wes Raitt | Planner and Designer: Brock + Co Events | Ceremony and Reception Venue:Barton Creek Resort + Spa | Florals: Botanical No.9 | Wedding Cake Baker: Simon Lee Bakery | Bride’s Gown: “Fiona” by Galia Lahav | Bridal Salon: Ivory Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bride’s Jewelry: Russell Korman Jewelry | Bride’s Veil: Galia Lahav | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Lola Beauty | Groom’s Fashion: Soto & Co | Rentals: Whim Hospitality | Linens: Nuage Designs | Decor: Townsley Designs | Favors: Cornucopia Popcorn | Lighting: Filo Productions

emily Written with love by Emily
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Belles, we have a treat for you today!!

Early last year, our friends at Southern-staple Lauren James told us a VERY exciting secret: they were working on a one-stop bridesmaid shop for their signature LJ dresses!

We pretty much started jumping up and down, as nothing could make more sense: Lauren’s dresses are PERFECT for Southern gals, and they’re already being used in weddings around the world! Now, the geniuses at LJ have simply streamlined the shopping and ordering process for your entire bridal party, making it easier to deck your belles in bows on your wedding day. Here’s how:

Head to the “Made for You” section of the Lauren James site to create an account and set up your own bridal suite. This will be your custom landing page, where you’ll enter information about your wedding and each bridal party member.

Choose from a wide range of options to assign each bridesmaid a color, fabric (100% cotton or seersucker), and dress style choice. You can give each gal several styles to choose from, or assign one option to everyone. Bridesmaids can order a dress with added length too!

Once you’ve made all of your selections, the system will send an email to each bridal party member welcoming her to the bridal suite and showing her the style options you’ve chosen with links to shop on the website. From there, each gal can order her outfit of choice directly from Lauren James.

As the bride, you’ll be able to see who has ordered what, and when, eliminating so many headaches and the hassle of chasing down your girls! Hallelujah!!

All dresses are made to order in the United States and take up to ten weeks for delivery.

Genius, right?! You already know Lauren James dresses are the epitome of “wear it again after the wedding,” and now, they’ve made the whole process simple and fun for everyone involved. We could not be more excited to see more LJ bows show up in our real wedding features from here on out!

To check out the Bridal Suite for yourself and scope out the dresses featured in these photos (the Morgan, Emerson, and Livingston), head to the Lauren James site!

Photography: Bamber Photography | Venue: Leslie-Alford-Mims House | Hair and makeup: Teighla Norris | Flowers: Amanda Day Rose | Cake: Ashley Cakes

This post is sponsored by Lauren James. Thanks for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

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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Bride Devon shares her Pippin Hill wedding!

Talk about a dream of a wedding, folks – have we got one for you today! And not just because it ends with Chick-fil-a on the dance floor :) Devon and Zach (along with their planner, Blue Ribbon Vendor Jacin Fitzgerald), combined everything they love about the South into a celebration their guests could really be a part of, instead of just sitting back and watching. From the tactile table settings to the beautiful blooms (that arch must have smelled heavenly!) to the charcuterie board cocktail hour inspired by the newlyweds’ favorite dinner-out indulgence, this Virginia wedding was filled with meaningful and beautiful details. Enjoy these lovely photographs from Lucy Cuneo that take you right into the action!

P.S. Need this wedding for your inspiration board? Pick up a copy of our tenth-anniversary issue, where it’s tucked inside!

How did the two of you meet? We met during our sophomore year of high school, when I (Devon) cut Zach in the lunch line, despite having never spoken to him before. We couldn’t tell you what was for lunch that day, but clearly it was something appealing! We started dating a few months later, and have been together ever since. The year we got married was very significant to us because it marked our tenth year together.

Describe the proposal: I (Zach) told Devon I was attending a Patriots game with some friends, and left early in the morning to “tailgate.” Devon’s friend Bella forced her out of the house for lunch in the city, despite Devon’s insistence on staying in for the day. Bella brought Devon to the Custom House in Boston, a clocktower building central to the city’s skyline. Much to Devon’s surprise, when she arrived upstairs at the outdoor deck, I was waiting to propose, with Devon’s family waiting around the corner.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring: I (Devon) picked the ring myself, an elongated cushion-cut Henri Daussi ring, which was true to the classic vibe I wanted but also had a bit of vintage feel.

My wedding dress was a dress I had actually pinned 5 or 6 times on Pinterest. The funny thing is that when I went wedding dress shopping, I had completely forgotten about the particular dress. At the very end of my appointment at Vera Wang, the consultant asked if there were any other designs I was interested in, at which point I remembered the one I had pinned. I knew I loved it when I tried it on, but because it was one of the first stores I went shopping in, I felt like I still needed to try others. Ultimately, I came back to it, and knew the second I put it back on that it was the one. My favorite thing about the dress was how dramatic it was, while still having a very classic feel, which really matched the aesthetic of the wedding.

What was your favorite detail of the wedding? Without a doubt our stunning flower arch. I told Jacin I wanted an over-the-top arch, and she really delivered, using every single flower she ordered. It made for the perfect complement to the striking Blue Ridge Mountain-scape in photos.

We were married at Pippin Hill Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia, in July of 2017. We had an outdoor, evening ceremony, and the weather was absolutely ideal. My parents both went to the University of Virginia and have relocated there in retirement, so given the amount of time we have both spent there, it seemed like a perfect fit for our wedding. We chose Pippin Hill after being blown away by how detail-oriented the staff was during our visit, and how incredible the food was. There is nothing we love more than a good meal and we wanted to ensure that our guests would remember our wedding food.

Our officiant, Carlos, a close family friend of mine and someone who has known me since I was a baby, was a really special part of our day. One thing that was kind of unique about our ceremony is that we recited letters that we wrote to one another in addition to the traditional vows. In a somewhat panic-inducing moment, we realized that I forgot my vows while we were standing at the altar, which nearly gave Carlos a heart attack. Before anyone could realize what happened, they were given to Zach’s groomsmen, who quickly passed them down the line to Carlos. Most of our guests didn’t even realize it happened!

Did you try anything new in your ceremony? We included a communal vow, where our guests were asked to stand and partake in vows pledging their support in our married life. It was so amazing to stand back and see all the people we love and care about making the commitment to stand by us as we take the next step into marriage.

Our recessional was “Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay, and our interlude was “1000 Years” by Christina Perri. Both were played by a string quartet.

How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? Since our ceremony was at 6pm, we had a leisurely morning and afternoon prior to the wedding. We actually bucked tradition and had breakfast together with a couple of our best friends, who brought us Chick-fil-a and Starbucks, our two obsessions.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We did, though we never truly made it there, as we were taking photos and chatting with friends and family. The cocktail hour was outside on Pippin’s porch and lawn area, where we had live music, drinks, and passed hors d’oeuvres. One of our favorite things to have when we go out to eat is a charcuterie board, so we had a big charcuterie and cheese spread at the cocktail hour.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? French country mixed with a modern aesthetic. I love the color white, so the wedding was heavy on neutrals. I loved the classic vibe of gold foil but wanted something a little different, so we went with rose gold to add a more modern feel. There were rose gold touches throughout the paper goods and the tablescape to add just a hint of sparkle.

We hung classic, crystal chandeliers in the reception space. Even though we were in a more rustic setting, we wanted to really elevate the room and give it a more formal feel. My favorite element was the rose gold flatware. Jacin and I spent months searching for it, and nearly gave up, before finally finding a vendor who had literally just purchased it (we were the first to rent!).

Did you try anything new or nontraditional? We didn’t do anything particularly nontraditional, but we did cut out a lot of the traditions that we just didn’t feel were that important to us. One example was our long head table, where the entire wedding party and dates sat with us. We thought this would be a lot more fun than a standard sweetheart table, and it gave us a bit of a break from being the center of attention.

Our reception was definitely a big party; we tried to get all of the traditions completed in the first hour. Once dinner finished, our incredible band immediately got people on the dance floor, and almost everyone stayed there right up to our sparkler send-off.

For the reception, we had a surf-and-turf comprised of a filet and lobster tail. We wanted to incorporate our New England roots, and a lobster tail was the perfect way to do that, while also giving our guests something we knew they would love.

Our wedding cake was two different flavors: lemon with raspberry filling, and double-dark chocolate with Nutella and hazelnut crunch filling.

I actually asked for the first dance song to be a surprise, so Zach chose “Die a Happy Man” by Thomas Rhett. We’re both country music fans, and he thought the message behind the song was sweet and true to our relationship.

What was the funniest moment of the day? Without a doubt when the Chick-fil-a cow mascot arrived later in the night, handing out mini chicken sandwiches to our guests! I arranged this as a surprise for Zach, and it made for arguably one of our favorite photos of the night: the two of us locking arms around the Chick-fil-a cow.

How many guests attended your wedding? About 175.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? I changed jobs mid-wedding planning, which added a semi-stressful wrinkle to the equation. Not getting married locally was definitely a challenge, but it gave us an excuse to take a lot of fun weekend trips to Charlottesville in preparation.
Tell us about your flowers: I challenged Jacin to make the biggest bouquet of peonies she had ever made and she certainly delivered. Carrying my bouquet was a workout!
Tell us about your grand exit. The entire band led the guests out of the venue, where they waited with sparklers. We made our way through the line of guests into an antique 1960s Mercedes convertible for our getaway.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Keep things in perspective and don’t get overly bogged-down in the little details. You need to trust the vendors and planners you’ve hired, and let them do what they do best. At the end of the day, the wedding is a celebration of you the couple, and no matter what kind of bumps in the road you encounter, the day will be absolutely perfect.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: The best advice we received was to take a minute, and realize how important the moment you are in is. The wedding was an out-of-body experience, and it flew by, so it was important to make sure we really cherished the moment.

Photographer: Lucy Cuneo | Videographer: Life in Rewind Films | Wedding planning, design and florals: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Venue and caterer: Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards | Wedding cake: Maliha Creations | Bride’s gown and veil: Vera Wang | Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bride’s jewelry: David Yurman | Garter: La Gartier | Bridesmaid dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo in Blush | Hair and makeup stylist: Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Groom’s fashion: 9Tailors Tux, Tom Ford bow tie, Shinola watch | Groomsmen fashion: The Black Tux and Tom Ford bow ties | Table rentals: Festive Fare Charlottesville | Specialty bouquet ribbon: Stella Wolfe | Ghost chair rentals: DC Rental | Crossback chairs, upholstered chairs, chargers and arch rentals: Beehive Events | Salt cellar and antique tray rentals: Southern Vintage | Getaway car tin cans: Zoë Nolton of Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Rose gold flatware rental: Presentime Rentals | Linens: La Tavola Linens | AV & lighting and stage fascia production: Blue Ridge A/V | Ceremony string trio: Linden Trio | Cocktail hour musician: Austin Ellis | Band: Party on the Moon | Wedding stationery design: Written Word Calligraphy | Seating chart and signage production: Paper Birch Designs | Custom napkins and frosted cup production: Southern Fried Paper | Shuttle buses: Ambassador Limo | Band shuttle buses: Camryn Executive Transportation | Late night snack: Chick-fil-a

Jacin Fitzgerald Events and Southern Fried Paper are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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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