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Southern Weddings

Author: Emily

Like the ladies of SW, St. Clair Photography is a big fan of film, and their talent clearly shows in Danielle + Nathan’s lovely wedding.  Though located in Hamilton, New Zealand, the gorgeous estate (Sarnia Park) where the reception and ceremony took place have the same feel as a true Southern plantation (Drayton Hall in Charleston pops immediately to mind).  The highly-edited details this couple chose to include would be equally at home at a Southern soiree, I think!  The bride’s dress is by Temperley London, and the delicate florals were put together by Flower Concepts.  More soon!

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story.  We were introduced by a mutual friend, Rachael, who worked with Nathan. On the day that he got his new job, he was out celebrating at the pub all afternoon, and we met in the local pool hall where I hung out a lot with Rachael. I took his number but didn’t want to give mine, as I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend at that time. At some insistence from Rachael, I called him later the next week and arranged to go on a “proper date” with him at a little Italian restaurant. He was nervous, which was cute, and I was late, as usual, and we got on like a house on fire. Plus he let me eat both of the desserts I ordered for us, which is definitely one way to win over a keen dessert person!
Describe the proposal.
We were on holiday in Madrid, and I didn’t realize Nathan had a ring in his backpack. We were wandering around a beautiful secluded garden in the Casa de Campo and Nathan kept trying to get me to sit and rest in the shade with him. I was too hot and in desperate need for a drink of water, so I was very uncooperative and basically ruined the moment. He ended up waiting until after we’d had our siesta and a cool shower before asking me a simple “Will you marry me?” over dessert at the restaurant.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was:
The rose petal aisle and the after-dinner indulgence table filled with goodies!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress:
I had looked in a few different places around London, but there wasn’t anything in my price range with wow-factor, so I ended up at a boutique in Notting Hill that I knew was going to be out of my budget.  There were so many gorgeous dresses that were “my style,” and then I tried on the Long Jean Dress and knew it was the one!

emily Written with love by Emily
5 Comments
  1. avatar Oakstream Photography reply

    Beautiful wedding! One that some bride’s can only dream of! It is breathtaking. Look at that mansion..WOW!

  2. avatar Album Boutique Team reply

    What a beautiful wedding! I love the pale pink accents and the gown is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  3. avatar Kelly @ Notable Inspiration reply

    Ah! I’m so in love with that Temperley London dress!!

  4. avatar Feuza reply

    beautiful, love how colorful the images are

  5. avatar Dennis reply

    Beautiful wedding, definitely with Southern feel to it. The bridesmaid gown is simply amazing.

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WHEW!  Y’all blew up the comments section on this one!  The final tally was 1,844, far more than any other giveaway we’ve hosted, and split pretty darn evenly between our three equally-deserving finalists.  We take this as a testament to Brion Hopkins’ talent, as well as the desire of our readers to give in a meaningful way to Haiti Relief.

Without further ado, our winning couple is Sarah and Ryan!  They wrote:

“We are getting married in an intimate evening ceremony in the stables of the Belle Meade Plantation, with an elegant ‘barn party’ reception to follow in the carriage house.  The ceremony will highlight the natural beauty of the wooden stables, with magnolia garland, numerous candles, and an iron and candle chandelier.  The wedding attire will have an earthy, vintage feel.  The flowers will be a lot of greens, ivories, and some winter berries.  The reception will feature a bluegrass band playing in the carriage house, and will be decorated with a ceiling strung full of lights.  We’re using antique harvest tables to display the buffet of home-style Texas and Tennessee favorites, as well as winter desserts, including large jars full of cookies with small burlap sacks stamped with horses, hearts and ‘I Do’ for guests to take as favors.  The tables will be filled with candles as well as vintage vases and apothecary jars full of winter flowers and berries.  We also plan to have baskets displayed of pine cones, clementines, and berries.  And, in the hallways, vintage benches with cozy plaid blankets draped across them.”

Congratulations to Sarah and Ryan!  I know Brion is excited to work with you, and the SW ladies can’t wait to see your wedding!  Thank you to everyone who entered, and most especially to our three final couples.  We (and we know Brion, too) really wish we could have declared all of you joint winners.

Readers: stay tuned for more great giveaways in the next few weeks!  We’ve got some fairly fabulous things in the works as we gear up for the next print edition and celebrate a big milestone…

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Whitney reply

    Congratulations, Sarah and Ryan!!-Whitney and John :-)

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Radiant.  Yep, I think that pretty well sums up Quiana’s look on her wedding day.  It was the stunning (seriously: stunning) black and white portrait midway down that first caught my eye on Gandy Photographers’ teaser post, and though Quiana + Jon’s Florida destination wedding has some lovely details, it was really the love this couple has for each other that told me we had to share this wedding.  Of course, Quiana’s custom dress from the Tailored Edge (tailorededge@yahoo.com) and Bird Cage Veils head piece, the florals by Convington’s Catering, and the cakes, by Yes It’s Cake, don’t hurt.  We also like that the couple picked a ceremony and reception location — the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center in Lake City — with personal history behind it.

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story. We met on the island of St. Croix at a going away party for a mutual friend, and the sparks flew.  Sparks aside, we didn’t start dating for almost two years after that initial meeting.
Describe the proposal. The proposal was a two-part affair. We took a trip to St. Lucia for Jon’s 30th birthday. It had been a while since we had been on a couple’s vacation, so were very excited! On Jon’s birthday, he called my mother to ask her for her blessing while I was out of the room. That evening, Jon popped the question while we were watching the sunset from the deck of our bungalow. Very sweet, very romantic, very simple, very us!  In his haste to get to the airport at the start of our trip, however, he had forgotten the ring! But before we had even had a chance to bring our suitcases in from the car at the end of our trip, Jon got the ring from the bedside table and proposed to me again in our living room. I told him I wouldn’t mine him proposing every day!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Fun, easy and natural.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Everything! I was amazed that we (our families included) could pull our wedding together in only eight weeks. We were engaged in September and married the day after Thanksgiving.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Because Jon and I live in the US Virgin Islands – not to mention the handicap of planning a wedding in 8 weeks – I searched for a dress on the internet. I have a friend and former client who is a fabulously talented seamstress. Once I found the design I loved, I went to one of the two fabric stores on the island and browsed through their bridal laces, which were very limited. I really left it up to fate to decide because I was not leaving the store until I had my bridal lace! As fate would have it, I found a lace that was perfect and it was the last three yards! I took my own measurements sent the fabric to my seamstress who lived 42 miles away on another island. She had a dress made in three days. I had my first fitting later that week. The following week, I had my final fitting and my dress was ready to go!
Describe your wedding flowers: My wedding flowers were a mix of pinky/orange roses and deep plum tulips.
Describe your wedding cake:  We served a sour cream cake with apricot and amaretto cheesecake filling. It had white chocolate fondant with pearl embellishments around the seam of each layer.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When Jon and I saw each other for the first time, and every time we danced together.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?  We are looking forward to starting a family and building on our land here in the Virgin Islands.

Congratulations, Quiana + Jon!  Hugs and kisses from your friends at Southern Weddings!

emily Written with love by Emily
22 Comments
  1. avatar Leslie Brewster reply

    What a beautiful bride!!!!!!

  2. avatar Album Boutique Team reply

    Wow, she has an AMAZING dress!!! I love all the little details of the wedding, including the groom’s cake. And they look adorably radiant together. Thanks for sharing!

  3. avatar Christie O. reply

    I love that Quiana is a short hair bride who chose a natural look for her locks. The bird cage veil pulls the look together with such elegance. As a women who took the natural short haired look for her own wedding, I always appreciate short haired inspiration. Thanks for sharing this beautiful wedding!

  4. avatar Karen Wise reply

    I love the life in these pictures. What a beautiful and happy looking couple!

  5. avatar Kim King Smith Events reply

    I love the luggage groom’s cake. It is just adorable.Km King Smith Events

  6. avatar Chinonye O. reply

    Gorgeous, the Bride is beautiful and her dress is amazing. Seriously leaning to short hair.

  7. avatar Destin Beach Weddings reply

    Love all the great Wedding pictures. You had a great photographer.

  8. avatar Amelia McIntyre reply

    Q & J are both beautiful people outside and inside! So glad to get to be a part of their joy!

  9. avatar dognbird reply

    Loving everything about this!

  10. avatar Sarabeth reply

    I love the picture of them walking down the aisle – the smile on her face and the way he’s looking at her…such happiness!! Congratulations to you both!

  11. avatar Vermont Bride reply

    Priceless moments. You did a good job for hiring a professional photographer. Love is really in the air of these pictures and yes, I love the bride her happiness can’t be denied.Congrats!

  12. avatar Cait reply

    Love the Cakes! They are absolutely amazing, as well as the dress!

  13. avatar www.yesitscake.com reply

    When i was first contacted by Quiana about the cakes, she invited me to go to their wedding website in order to get to know them. When I read what Jon had to say I couldn’t help but know that Quiana’s future with Jon would never be boring, his personality came through with laughter in my home as I read to my husband Jon’s experience growing up. As we began the drive to deliver the cakes we never dreamed our destination would be so beautiful, Gandy photographers truly captured the personality of this wedding!

  14. avatar hc reply

    The cakes looked awesome. I bet they were also delicious.

  15. avatar Sherri reply

    The wedding was beautiul. I especially like to suitcase cake, what a great idea.

  16. avatar Cindy reply

    What an amazing story. I LOVE the cakes!!! The grooms cake was so realistic! "Yesitscake" is certainly talented!

  17. avatar wholesale roses reply

    The dress is amazing and it doesn’t hurt that the bride looks like a model! Great choice of roses and tulips for the centerpieces.

  18. avatar Debbie Mathis reply

    Beautiful wedding and grooms’ cake .

  19. avatar Lisa Hancock reply

    I love the cakes, they had to be done by a famous cake designer!!!!!

  20. avatar Cathy Helms reply

    Amazing cakes — especially love the suitcase groom’s cake!

  21. avatar dg reply

    Love the cakes!! The wedding cake is so beautiful it doesn’t even look real. Great idea for the groom’s cake.!

  22. avatar Courtney reply

    Cakes look amazing! Hopefully I can have ‘yesitscake’ make me one someday.

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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