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Southern Weddings

Author: Emily

A few weeks ago, we gathered at the beautiful Carolina Inn to enjoy one of our favorite Southern Weddings Christmas traditions–our annual Gingerbread Barn Building Competition! It’s the perfect way to kick off the festive season, and we’re always impressed with the creations y’all devise. (In fact, I’m kind of glad my role as judge keeps me out of the competition!)

Big hugs to Taylor Lovette of Blue Barn Photography, who captured every graham cracker roof, pretzel path, and animal cracker reindeer!

With Lisa home with flu-like symptoms and Kristin at home in Florida, it was just Nicole, Lara, and I on duty to greet our largest crowd ever! We were so glad that many friends joined us in donning festive aprons – a Gingerbread Barns staple.

As construction got underway, it was so fun to see blueprints and napkin sketches come to life. Inspiration ranged from a family farm, to the retirement dream of two friends, to the Biltmore Estate, to a favorite flea market!

Yes, that’s what the creators dubbed a “barñata”!

After some impromptu caroling by our youngest guests (that’s Lara’s daughter Grace up there on the right!) and lots of deliberation between Nicole and myself, we handed out the grand prize and honorable mentions, including Most Architecturally Creative, Most Structurally Sound, and Best Story. The competition is fierce for every category!

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us at this year’s competition, and to The Carolina Inn for hosting us all–we can’t wait to see what y’all come up with next year!

emily Written with love by Emily
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  1. avatar Nikki reply

    We had so much fun! Thanks for having us :-)

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Anyone who’s had the delight of walking out of Bloomingdale’s with a little, medium, or big brown bag knows the pleasure of shopping this iconic department store! Even Southerners aren’t immune to this big-city icon — and rightly so, since their classic, chic offerings are at home in every Southern belle’s abode. We adore their stylish and meaningful approach to building a wedding registry, and can’t wait to tell you more about it today!

To start, we couldn’t love this more from Bloomingdale’s registry guide: “Beginning with your ceremony, every day of your marriage is marked by the vows you make to each other. It’s how you write your own unique story as a couple. We want you to view your marriage as an awesome adventure, and to build a home together that reflects all your many vows, be they silly, serious or just plain sweet.” Yes! For example, the corresponding vow for the image above is, I vow to celebrate our first anniversary the traditional way – with a paper gift (concert tickets, perhaps?).

From top to bottom: “I vow to celebrate my better half’s birthday with an all-out bash,” “I vow to learn to make pasta like an 80-year-old Italian grandma,” and “I vow to celebrate our first New Year’s with messy confetti and endless kisses.”

We’ve sprinkled a few of our favorite newlywed vows throughout the post, but how fun would it be to use these as inspiration to write your own? We love that Bloomingdale’s wants you to think about your registry from the perspective of your newlywed life (an idea close to SW’s heart!), and to fill your home with things that can help lead to the life you want to live.

“I vow to keep our picnic game strong.”

Bloomingdale’s makes the actual process of registering seamless and fun, freeing you up for all that good newlywed dreaming (and wedding planning!). It all starts with your personal Registry Consultant, who is always available for you either by phone or email. They’ll guide you through several registry appointments to minimize pressure, then release you to use the Big Brown Bag app or their special scanners to choose items in-store. You can also add favorites to your registry in your PJs, before or after a store visit, on their website!

“I vow to commit to lazy Sundays for life.”

A sweet bonus? Anyone who’s popped inside a Bloomingdale’s knows how helpful they’d be for all the exciting moments between now and your big day, too. They’re here to help on the fashion and beauty front, so be sure to take advantage of their Registry perks program for exclusive discounts throughout the store!

Ready to make your own registry vow? Head to Bloomingdale’s wedding registry to sign up or get more information!

This post is brought to you by Bloomingdale’s–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

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emily Written with love by Emily
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As much as we love our wedding features around these parts, we have a special space in our hearts for our Southern Newlywed At Home column. From adorable spaces to insightful interviews, it’s been such a joy to get a peek into the hearts and homes of some of our favorite couples this year! We were inspired by each and every one of the 14 newlywed nests we featured this year, and thought we’d take a walk down memory lane before kicking off 2016 with a whole new group of married friends!

Best minimal style: Valerie and Tyler’s Lafayette home (photo by Ashleigh Jayne)

Quirkiest style: Shalyn and Drew’s Austin home (photo by Ever and Anon)

Most lived-in rental: Mattie and Jon’s Columbus home (photo by Kaitie Bryant)

Most classic style: Mary Hester and Andrew’s Atlanta home (photo by Anna K Photography)

Best mix of grown-up and youthful style: Bess and Ben’s Charleston home (photo by Olivia Rae James)

Best modern style: Beth and Lawson’s Palm Beach home (photo by Shea Christine)

Best use of the color brown: Mary-Kate and Nick’s St. Augustine home (photo by Anna K Photography)

Coziest rental: Samantha and Kevin’s Charlotte home (photo by Ashley Bosnick)

Best mix of “his and her” style: Jordan and Dave’s Tampa home (photo by Bax Miller)

Most colorful: Emily and John’s Triangle, NC home (photo by Anna Routh)

Best collected finds: Anna and Amir’s Chapel Hill home (photo by Graham Terhune)

Best coastal style: Megan and Josh’s Wilmington home (photo by Blueberry Creative)

Best use of neutrals: Victoria and Ben’s Fort Worth home (photo by Dyan Kethley)

Best use of pattern: Erin and Ryan’s Virginia home (photo by Elizabeth Fogarty)

Ready for more? Check out our Southern Newlywed Most Memorable 2014 here. And stay tuned to the blog the week after Christmas, when we’ll be sharing our Most Memorable moments from a year of weddings!

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

    Ahh love this! These are some of my favorite features! I’m currently in the process of renovating and these posts give me so many great ideas and inspiration!

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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