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Southern Weddings

Author: Emily

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
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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
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Bride Catherine shares her outdoor Charleston wedding!

Catherine and Thomas’s wedding was one of the first we accepted for our tenth-anniversary issue, and can I tell you a secret? It wasn’t even officially submitted! I happened to see it on Elisa Bricker’s website when she unveiled her redesign, and instantly inquired because I was so enamored with what I saw.

And can y’all blame me? Even though their wedding took place at the loveliest venue and not their family home the Father of the Bride vibes are unmistakable, and I am a forever fan of anything that reminds me of that beloved movie.

Of course, our bride and groom made their celebration their own, from the mint green details of Catherine’s dress, the inclusion of family heirlooms, and a unique route down the aisle. Friends, I think you will love this one! If you’d like to see even more detail, pick up a copy of our newest issue!

Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how your husband chose it. Thomas has a great eye and knew exactly what I would like. My mom has a friend in New York who is a jewelry designer who made it for me. I was so lucky to have someone who has amazing taste and a mom who could turn his ideas into reality.

We got married right outside of Charleston, SC in April. The weather in April in Charleston is perfect for an outdoor wedding. I’ve always wanted a Charleston wedding, and having been to many, we both wanted to find a venue a little different. The view of River Oaks really sold us on the location. The ceremony was at 5:30, which was perfect timing with the sunset at the beginning of cocktail hour and reception, and gave us a long time to celebrate with friends and family.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I wanted to go shopping in New York. I went to a few boutiques but just couldn’t find what I wanted anywhere. I left New York disappointed and not sure what to do next, when the associate at Monique Lhullier emailed me to let me know they were having a trunk show for their new collection and if I found something that day I could have it in time for my wedding. I flew back up and it was the first one I tried on. I loved it immediately. I always said I wasn’t a sparkly wedding gown kind of girl, but as it turns out I am. I fell in love the second I put it on. My favorite part was probably the skirt. It poufed out just enough but it wasn’t heavy at all. And maybe also the mint green beadwork. The sun picked up the color and it was just beautiful.

Tell us about your wedding flowers. They were all white with lots of green. I wanted loose and natural flowers that looked like you could’ve just picked them from the garden. My bouquet was amazing, it was oversized and pouring over, loosely hanging. I tied an antique handkerchief with a broach from my Grandma on it.

The most special part was walking down the aisle. It’s kind of surreal. You plan for so long for this moment, and it’s crazy walking up to the person you’re going to marry when it’s time to say I do. My dad and I actually walked from the front of the guests instead of down a traditional aisle in the back and it was kind of a long walk. It gave me time to soak everything in and see everyone I love there.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? I love color and lots of it. But for some reason, for our wedding I really wanted to tone everything down and just let the beauty of River Oaks stand out. It’s such a beautiful property, we wanted to keep to greens and whites and let the scenery really stand out.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? I can’t pick just one! The flowers, the band, the food, my family and friends!

Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used for your reception. We had so much greenery and flowers and natural elements. I loved the property itself so much, we played off of their landscape. We also did a different dance floor and floral back drop which were some of my favorite things, it wasn’t like a lot of other weddings I had been to.
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? A little bit of everything! Lots of shrimp, that was Thomas’s big request.

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. The wedding cake was beautiful and mimicked the lace on my dress. We also had cotton candy passed around later in the night because it’s my absolute favorite thing.

How did the two of you meet? Thomas and my sister went to college together, so we met at a party for my sister’s grad school graduation. I was actually moving to New York the following Monday, so it definitely wasn’t something either of us thought would work out. After about a year, it just felt right to move back to Charlotte to be with him.
Describe the proposal! We were set to go on this amazing vacation, to Antigua, where I had a feeling he was going to propose. A few days before, we met at our house (we had just started to renovate and it was pretty gutted inside) to see what it looked like. It was dark and chilly and Thomas stood in front of me talking about the future that this house would have for us. That’s about all I remember, other than fussing at him about getting dirt and mud all over his pants if he knelt down. It was, to me, very us. No big production, just us.
How many guests attended your wedding? 225
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? Getting everyone on the same page. Thomas and I really wanted most of the same things, and he trusts my style enough that it wasn’t an issue between us. I think between my mom, wedding planner, and myself it was hard for me personally to stay organized.
What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? There were so many! One of our favorites was that one of my best friends was due any day and wasn’t able to make it. When we were walking down the aisle as husband and wife, I saw her mom and she was facetiming her and it was just a random sweet moment that she could be there!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. It was so stressful! I hate being in front of crowds, and I’m not a great dancer. Thomas is an awesome dancer so that took a little stress off of me.
What were some of the highlights of the reception? Just all the dancing. Our band was spectacular. At the end, because we had a later noise ordinance, Marianne asked if we wanted to keep going and I almost cried and said yes, thank you! We didn’t want the night to end.
Tell us about your grand exit. I always loved the idea of Chinese wish lanterns and seeing them floating off as we leave. We chose to do those and sparklers (in case of bad wind). We ended up with both, which was kind of crazy but it was so fun. The look on everyone’s faces watching the lanterns float away was pretty special. And to top it off, as a total surprise from my wonderful planner Marianne and her husband, as we were pulling out there were fireworks. We were so surprised, it was really sweet.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Enjoy it, and don’t let the pressure from other people get to you. It’s supposed to be fun

Photographer: Elisa Bricker | Planner: Marianne Caldwell | Venue: River Oaks Charleston | Florals: Blossoms Events | Caterer: Cru Catering | Wedding cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal | Bride’s gown and veil: Monique Lhuillier | Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaid dresses: Lela Rose | Hair stylist: Modern Salon and Spa | Paper goods: Feast Fine Art and Calligraphy | Rentals: Ooh! Events | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Transportation: Charleston Style Limo

Elisa Bricker is a lovely member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor directory.

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Pixie Wedding Websites reply

    Love the simplicity of this wedding, just beautiful. The detail on the brides dress is stunning!

  2. avatar Megan reply

    Did they have a videographer? I’d love to see all of this in motion!! 😍

  3. avatar Elisa reply

    Thanks so much for sharing. This wedding, and the feelings and memories it created, is one of my favorites! xo

  4. avatar Introducing Alder: modern botanical wedding invitation inspiration – Bella Figura reply

    […] setting | wedding dress | flowers | cake | boutonniere | rings | greenery […]

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