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Southern Weddings

Author: Jess Metcalf

On a recent call, Emily said, “I just assigned a real wedding to you, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it!” Patience is not a virtue I possess, so I immediately high-tailed it over to the blog schedule and started pouring through Hanna and Grant’s photos! As a UNC alum myself with a heart that bleeds Carolina Blue, I’ve spent many hours walking through the campus where Hanna and Grant met, fell in love, and celebrated the beginning of their married life! To see how they wove their story and their love of Chapel Hill into their big day in an elegant and understated way made me feel right at home, and I’m certain each guest felt the same way! Hanna and Grant, I hope to run into you tonight on Franklin Street after our big win! *fingers crossed*

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Faith Teasley for sharing this day with us!

Searching for my wedding dress was one of my favorite activities! I decided that I wanted to go to Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) because I love Georgetown and they have plenty of beautiful bridal salons. I ended up inviting all of my bridesmaids (four were able to come), my mom, and my mother-in-law to join in on the search. Our first appointment was at Hitched Salon. I loved everything about their salon! They were so sweet and really tailored the appointment to my needs. We were given a room in the back and I ended up falling in love with the third dress. I tried on a few more dresses just to make sure, but I kept coming back to the third dress. I teared up every time I put it on! We cancelled our next two appointments and were able to enjoy the rest of the day together. I love that I was able to share this moment with some of my favorite people.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? With both of us being UNC grads, me growing up in Chapel Hill, and many of our best friends being UNC alums, we wanted a historic Chapel Hill feel. The Forest Theater and Horace Williams House provided that while being walking distance from each other.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had a good friend of Grant’s read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. We love this reading because it is short and simple, but sums up what we believe about love and marriage.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For my walk down the aisle, we went with Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” This was a classic that Grant loved, so I thought that it would be the perfect song to walk down the aisle to.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The slight references to UNC. We used UNC golf carts to transport the wedding party and photographer, UNC stadium cups for beer, and UNC pint glasses for our favors. We love UNC and had many alumni as guests. We loved how we were able to incorporate UNC without being over the top and cheesy.

I love flowers that are light and airy with a lot of greenery. I felt like our florist did a great job giving us exactly that. We stuck to white and pale pink flowers to give that light and airy look, and used all types of flowers and greenery, including rosemary! My favorite thing about our flowers was that our florist cut most of them from her backyard garden.

We served Southern BBQ to our guests. We feel that BBQ is easy and everyone likes it–plus, it gave our Northern guests a chance to experience Southern BBQ. For dessert, we went with chocolate chip cookies, as that is Grant’s favorite dessert. We felt there was enough attention on us for the weekend that we didn’t need to do a cake cutting, so we just went with something simple and easy. We used a variety of silver platters from my family to display the cookies. We loved how all of the platters were the same color, but were still so different.

Our first dance was to Ray Lamontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.” We love the pace and meaning of this song! For the reception, we wanted to make sure that we played music that was easy to dance to. All of our family members and friends love to dance. We requested that the DJ play a mix with a slight emphasis on 70s Motown. It worked and the dance floor was packed the entire night.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a soccer alumni event at the Crunkleton on October 5, 2013. My brother Chipper was a current soccer player, and current families were invited to attend the annual alumni event. We decided that we would go for a little bit. I met Grant and stayed a little longer than expected. (Fun fact: we can almost see the Crunkleton from our new house.)
Tell us all about the proposal! We have a golden retriever named Cooper that we love to take on walks. We used to have a path that we would take daily. On Easter morning of 2015, Grant suggested that we go on a walk in the morning before we went to my parents’ for an Easter celebration. During our walk, Grant suggested that we go into the gazebo that we passed every day. When we got there, there was a vase of flowers and a card waiting. Grant got on one knee and asked me to marry him.
When did y’all get married? May 28, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 185
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We bought a 1938 cottage in Chapel Hill four months prior to our wedding, so in addition to wedding planning, we were remodeling our first home together. While it wasn’t easy at the time, starting our marriage in a home that we had a say in design-wise was special to us.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Well, cookies instead of cake saved some money. We hired some of the UNC soccer players to help us with wedding set-up and breakdown, and they also transported the bridal party from preparations to the wedding site. My dad built the altar used in the Forest Theater, as well as two bars for the serving stations at the Horace Williams House, one of which is in our home today.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We got UNC golf carts to transport the wedding party around campus for pictures after the ceremony. Once the bridal party was done with photos and we finished our alone shots, we had a quiet golf cart ride to ourselves from the Bell Tower on campus to the Horace Williams House. While the ceremony, family, friends, dancing, and everything else were special moments that we will always remember, that moment to ourselves to take a breath and realize we were officially married was something we cherished.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I think I would tell others to really enjoy the process and trust that it will all work out. I also think it is important to think about what is best for you as a couple and make sure that the day reflects you. It is okay to stray from what is considered “the norm” at a wedding. For example, we cut out the bouquet toss, garter toss, and cake cutting.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? As simple as it sounds, we are excited to just be married. We aren’t really sure what is next, but we can’t wait to find out!

Photographer: Faith Teasley | Ceremony Venue: The Forest Theatre | Reception Venue: The Horace Williams House | Florist: Springwell Gardens | Dessert Baker: Harris Teeter | Caterer: The Original Q Shack | Rentals: DeeJay’s Event Rentals and American Party Rentals | Lighting: DeeJay’s Event Rentals | Ceremony Music: Arioso Strings | DJ: A & A Disc Jockey Service | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: “Tara” by Amy Kuschel | Bride’s Accessories: Hitched Bridal Couture | Hair and Makeup: Wedding Hair by Liz | Bride’s Shoes: “Chic” Flat by Ivanka Trump | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various in Shell Pink by J. Crew | Men’s Attire: The Ludlow Suit in Stone by J. Crew

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
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  1. avatar Bri A reply

    Oh my, this was beautiful beyond belief! I LOVE the Forest Theater as a ceremony spot and now, the Horace Williams House is on my dream reception list. ;) What a gorgeous celebration. Thank you for sharing your special day with us, Hanna and Grant!

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Update: We’ve secured our models for the Raleigh shoot on March 23, but we’re still accepting model submissions for our upcoming Mobile, AL and Laurel, MS shoots!

The onset of March has the SW ladies excited about sunshine-filled days, our own version of March Madness, and most importantly, kicking off editorial season for our tenth anniversary issue! We’ve spent months dreaming up our best ideas to celebrate 10 issues of Southern Weddings, and we’re going to need your help to bring those visions to life!

There are few things we love more than featuring your lovely faces on the pages of our magazine, so keep reading if you’re located in Raleigh, NC, Mobile, AL, or Laurel, MS! We’d love for some of y’all to join us!

Raleigh, NC on Thursday, March 23
We’re looking for a bride and groom between the ages 25-35. If you’re interested, please send an email to howdy (at) southernweddings.com with the subject line: V10 Raleigh Model Call. 

Mobile, AL on Tuesday, April 25
We’re looking for a bride and groom and bridesmaids. If you’re interested, please send an email to howdy (at) southernweddings.com with the subject line: V10 Mobile Model Call. 

Laurel, MS on Thursday, April 27
We’re looking for bride and groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, parents of the bride and groom, and kids (ages 4-9). If you’re interested, please send an email to howdy (at) southernweddings.com with the subject line: V10 Laurel Model Call. 

All hair/skin colors are welcome! If chosen, we will need you to be available on site from about noon – 8 p.m. We might start later or end earlier, but we want you to be prepared! Please note that you must be 18 or older to apply and we are not able to compensate for travel/participation.

If you’re interested, please send an email to howdy (at) southernweddings.com with the subject line listed above (this will help us make sure we haven’t missed your email!) Be sure to include a recent headshot (no need for professional photos, we just want to see your lovely face!), a few candid photos, and your height. We promise it’s going to be a blast!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
1 Comment
  1. avatar Lorie gregg reply

    Hello. My name is lorie gregg and I sell a beautiful line of jewelry designed in NY called Chloe and Isabel. I would LOVE to provide jewelry for this shoot if you are in need. Check out the site mentioned above and let me know. I’ve worked several bridal shows in the past and the majority of my retail experience prior to my 3 years with chloe and isabel was with anthropologie in Southern California. Thanks so much!
    Lorie Gregg

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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While the biggest moments on your wedding day are the ones between you and your groom, we also have a soft spot for the moments that naturally occur when you’re surrounded by your sisters and your best girlfriends. Chances are, these ladies have seen you at your best and at your worst (middle school, anyone?), and it’s such a sweet comfort to know that even as you enter a new stage of life, they’ll always be there for you. We love when brides go the extra mile to make sure their bridesmaids look and feel beautiful, and we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite looks from 2016 below!

Erica’s mismatched long blue dresses from The Dessy Group (photo by Anna Shackleford)

Caroline’s long pastel bridesmaid dresses by Joanna August and Nouvelle by Amsale (photo by Kristin Kilpatrick)

Brent’s navy one-shoulder bridesmaid gowns by Amsale (photo by Anna Routh)

Nicole’s kelly green Alfred Sung bridesmaid dresses with black and white bouquet ribbons (photo by Jennifer Blair)

Peyton’s vibrant red White Lace & Promises dresses with fur stoles (photo by Finch Photography)

Caroline’s teal, aqua, and petal pink bridesmaid dress combination (photo by Lexie Bush)

Katie’s Anthro forest green short dresses with chocolate shawls (photo by Lauren Carnes)

Sarah’s gauzy, white eyelet bridesmaid dresses by Cate Lyon (photo by Rach Loves Troy)

Veronica’s long glam bridesmaid dresses (photo by Ashley Cox)

Last but certainly not least, Ally’s sweet, traditional flower girls (photo by Kati Mallory)

Anna Shackleford, Kati Mallory, Anna Routh, and Kristen Kilpatrick are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and Joanna August is a wonderful Southern Weddings sponsor!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
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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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