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Southern Weddings

Author: Kristin

Georgia bride Kimberly shares her peach-filled wedding at Vinewood Plantation!

Between meeting her husband while standing in line for brunch (it was love at first sight!) to her love of all things peachy, I’m fairly confident that Kimberly and I would be fast friends. Aside from our similarities, her words about exchanging vows with her husband transported me right back to my own wedding day feelings. “We looked into each other’s eyes and for a moment,” she says, “it felt like nobody else was there. At the same time, it was so meaningful to declare how we would love each other in front of our family and friends!”

Kimberly admitted to not having looked at any wedding inspiration until after getting engaged (when she promptly ordered every back issue of Southern Weddings!), and it’s so clear that every detail and decision she and Peter made came from a place of love and intention… which makes my SW-mission-filled heart beam with joy.

Kimberly, let us know if you have any extra peach wedding cake or are willing to share that bourbon peach sweet tea punch recipe :) Thank you to Rustic White for sharing this sweet day!

I surprisingly found my dress the one time I went dress shopping alone! I visited almost every bridal boutique in the DC area over the summer, and I had brought someone with me for every one. Every time, there was a dress that someone else thought was the one, but I never felt like it was quite right. When I tried on my Modern Trousseau dress, I knew I had found the one! It was so special to get in my dress for the first time on my wedding day when no one but me had ever seen it.!

I wanted to get married in my Georgia hometown because I think there is something so meaningful about returning to your home to begin your journey into your new life as a married couple. It reminds you of your roots and all of the lessons you’ve learned that you carry into your marriage. Since Peter and I are not from the same place, we wanted to find a venue that reflected both of our pasts. Vinewood was such a beautiful setting for a wedding and Peter grew up on a farm in Wisconsin, so having a barn wedding in my hometown felt like the best way to honor both of our childhoods.

Did you decide to do a first look? Yes, we did do a first look and I’m so glad we did! Peter and I weren’t sure about it at first because we thought it was a little too non-traditional, but we decided on a first look because it would give us more time with each other and with our family and friends – and because I was really afraid I would cry if I saw Peter for the first time during the ceremony!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? One of my favorite details was the cross we had a cross built for our ceremony altar. Peter and I originally wanted to have our wedding in the church, but we were so amazed by the beauty of Vinewood that we decided to create a church atmosphere outside instead. Now the cross is in our home as a reminder of our wedding and God’s presence in our marriage.

My other favorite detail is that my grandmama let me wear the promise ring my granddaddy gave her when they were teenagers. It’s a very dainty golden ring with a little diamond in it – my granddaddy borrowed the money to buy it from the cook at the boys’ school he attended because he knew my grandmama was the girl for him. My grandparents’ marriage is the model I aspire to in my own marriage with Peter and I was so thankful to have that first promise they made to each other with me during the ceremony.

What was Southern about your wedding? Since Peter’s family is from Wisconsin, I wanted to introduce them to the South and show them some good Southern hospitality. We did this in so many ways throughout the day, from inviting participation from our congregation of guests during the ceremony, to sitting family style at the reception so we could all feel like we were at a big family dinner together, to spending quality time with each of our guests.

The most fun Southern thing about our wedding was our Georgia peach theme — it was so fun coming up with all of the little ways we could incorporate it throughout the day! During our cocktail hour, we served a bourbon and peach sweet tea punch created by our wedding planner, who turned out to be an expert mixologist. We used fresh peaches in our decor. Since Peter and I are both lawyers, we had a set of scales of justice on display that was filled with flowers and peaches. During the reception, we served a menu of Southern food that my mama and grandmama created, including brandied peaches with goat cheese. And for dessert, we even had a peach wedding cake!

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Believe it or not, before getting engaged I hadn’t looked at any wedding inspiration, so right after Peter proposed, I ordered every issue of Southern Weddings Magazine and dove right into planning! We read all of the magazines together and it was so fun to start a project with my now husband.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had a peach wedding cake with cream cheese icing! We had a lot of guests from out of state, so the peach theme was really fun for them. And I’m happy to say that the cake was a huge hit – we were lucky the top wasn’t eaten, too!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Peter and I met a little over two years ago while waiting in line for a popular brunch spot in Washington, DC and have been inseparable ever since – it was love at first sight!
Tell us all about the proposal! Peter and I were visiting my family’s lake house in Alabama for Memorial Day weekend. The lake house was a really special place to my family and me and I had told Peter lots of stories from my childhood there, so he knew how much being there meant to me. Shortly before the trip, my father sold the house to move to the beach in Florida since he wanted to retire where he grew up. So Memorial Day weekend was going to be our last weekend together at the lake house. On the last day of the trip, Peter woke me up early in the morning before anyone else was awake and asked me if I’d like to go on a walk around the lake. We walked down to the water and sat down next to each other in a little clearing by the edge of the lake. Peter held my hands, looked into my eyes, and told me that he knew how special the lake was to me and that he wanted to give me one final really good memory before I left for the last time. Then he said “Marry me, Miss Huey” and pulled out the most beautiful engagement ring I had ever seen. I was so happy I felt like I was in a dream and I asked him, “Is this really happening?” And then of course I said yes! Peter couldn’t have given me a better memory than saying yes to spending the rest of my life with my love and best friend!
When did y’all get married? May 19, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 80
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Did you write your own vows? Have any special readings, traditions, or participants? Tell us! We had nine members of the congregation stand and give the Prayers of the People asking for blessings in our marriage and our future together. Our three siblings gave the readings and were members of the wedding party. Having so many family members and friends participate in the ceremony was such a strong testament to the work God has done in our lives building a community of support for us as we embark on the journey of marriage! Peter and I wanted very traditional wedding vows, so we took the language from an old Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. We loved that we were making the same vows to each other as our ancestors had done in the past.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. One of our favorite things to do together is seeing live music. We fell in love going to concerts together, so during the reception we played songs from many of the artists we had seen. We had an amazing DJ who did such a good job of incorporating all of the different types of music we like into the reception. People were dancing all night! We decided to do our first dance to “When You Say Nothing At All” by Alison Krauss because it was a song we both loved before we knew each other and perfectly said how we felt about each other.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Since we live in Washington, DC, we had to plan the wedding from a distance, which could be tricky at times. Luckily my sister, who was also my maid of honor, lives near Vinewood Plantation and helped with a lot of details. We also had an amazing wedding planner who did a ton of work for us and was really helpful! She helped us find all of our vendors and could go meet with them so we didn’t have to make as many trips!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? There was a couple getting married at the same venue the next day! We shared some of our rental items, like fans and chandeliers, and it really saved us a lot! Adding one more day to a rental often costs very little.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The most memorable moment was when Peter and I exchanged our vows. We looked into each other’s eyes and for a moment, it felt like nobody else was there. At the same time, it was so meaningful to declare how we would love each other in front of our family and friends!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There are so many little details that go into planning a wedding, and as you get closer to the date, it can feel like a lot of work, especially if you have a full-time job. Fortunately, my mother and my wedding planner were so helpful and I was able to rely on them to take care of all the things I couldn’t do myself. Remember that your loved ones want to make the day amazing too, and they’re always happy to help!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Peter’s and my wedding was the very best day of our lives and we are so happy to share it with y’all!

Photographer: Rustic White Photography | Planner: Southern Flair Events | Venue: Vinewood Plantation | Florist: The Funky Shack | Wedding Cake: Cutie Pies and Cakery | Caterer: Tulla White Cuisine and Catering | Rentals: Crush Event Rentals | DJ: Brian Sires via Amp’d Entertainment | Special Details: Southern Vintage | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: “Katie” by Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Jaime Marsau Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo | Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

kristin Written with love by Kristin
1 Comment
  1. avatar Pixie Wedding Websites reply

    Love the pink blush bridesmaids dresses, so pretty!

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Can you feel the extra sparkle in the air? That sizzle? It’s not fall, friends — I’m pretty sure it’s coming straight from Chapel Hill and all our excitement over our tenth anniversary issue!! After finally selecting a cover (holy goodness, she’s going to blow your socks off!) and nailing down the final few real weddings, we’re moving full steam ahead with wrapping up this gorgeous book and sending her off to the printer at the end of the month. The sweet tea and biscuits are at the ready for a big party once Nicole presses that final send button!

We’re gearing up for our biggest celebration to date when Volume 10 hits newsstands on November 9th, and we know we couldn’t have gotten here without all of y’all. We’re truly grateful. And, we’re thrilled to be able to include you in the celebrations in a brand new way this year by inviting you to join our official Southern Weddings Tenth Anniversary Launch Team!

The launch team will help us spread the news of Volume 10 and the Southern Weddings mission. Why? Because we believe that our mission for cultivating relationships and telling meaningful love stories matters, and that the simplest way to include others to join in the magic is to invite them. And who better to do that than the best hostesses we know? (You!!)

Launch team members will have:
• Special access to sneak peeks from the upcoming issue
• Exclusive membership to a private Facebook group
• Behind the scenes time with the editorial team
• Access to launch team only giveaways
• Loads of fun and more!!

Applications close Monday, September 25, so scoot along and apply today if you’re interested!

The fun doesn’t stop with the launch team! Pre-orders are going on sale soon (ahem, October 9th). I’m hard at work nailing down details for a blockbuster launch party celebration at our beloved Carolina Inn. AND we need your help with a few final details for this issue, so stay tuned to our social channels to vote on a few Southern favorites and for the chance to get your responses published in print!

The countdown to our tenth anniversary issue is on!!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
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Y’all know I’m the first in line for a big bow or beautiful monogram, but I also understand they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. (Though, if you’re here at Southern Weddings reading, I’d say there’s a better than average chance they are!) In everything from your aesthetic choices to the words you say when you vow forever to each other, we want you to choose what’s right for you and what most helps to tell your unique story – not what looks good or what someone else is doing.

In that spirit, today we’re chatting about a few wedding ceremony traditions you might want to consider including in your big day. Traditions can make your ceremony even more meaningful by underscoring or illustrating the more important moments, but they’ll fall flat if they’re not rooted in what matters to you. Take a peek and see which ones speak to you – we can’t wait to see what you choose!

Bamber Photography

Military saber arch: For military brides and grooms, one of the most recognizable (and beloved!) wedding traditions is the saber arch—a ceremony exit that both celebrates the newlyweds, and acknowledges that serving our country is truly a family commitment.

Traditionally, the saber arch is performed by 6-8 uniformed service members (often guests or groomsmen/bridesmaids) immediately following the ceremony. On the command, the saber team raises their sabers into a high arch, which the newlyweds enter as they are announced by one of the members. As the bride and groom pass through, the two saber bearers in the front traditionally lower their sabers before the couple can proceed out of the arch.

This is when the saber bearer to the couple’s left gives the non-military member of the couple a gentle tap on the backside and a welcome to the applicable branch! After a kiss, the newlyweds are free to proceed and the saber team recovers on command and dissolves formation.

Unity candle: Typically the unity candle ceremony uses two taper candles with a large pillar candle in the center. At the beginning of the ceremony, a family representative from each side (usually the mothers of the bride and groom) light the two taper candles. Later during the ceremony, the bride and groom use the two light candles to jointly light the large center candle to symbolize the joining together of two families.

Anna Shackleford

Foot washing: Washing one another’s feet is a newer wedding tradition that stems from the biblical story of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17) as a gesture of service and humility. Christian couples especially may find deep symbolism in recreating this moment during their wedding ceremony, while promising to serve one another selflessly in marriage, but any couple committed to living out these qualities in their future may find it meaningful.

During the ceremony, the bride and groom simply take turns sitting down on a chair in front of a basin of water, while their significant other kneels in front of them, removes their shoe(s), and washes their feet with water. Another option: because a foot washing ceremony is so intimate, some couples choose to wash each other’s feet in a more private setting, perhaps during their first look, or after returning to their ceremony site post-recessional and after their guests have been dismissed.

Jumping the broom: This tradition has a history tied back to nineteenth-century slave communities in the South, but it has gained richness and deeper meaning for couples who choose to include it in their ceremonies today. The act of jumping can represent crossing the threshold into marriage, the beginning of making a home together, their dedication to working together through difficult and joyful tasks, and a sweeping away of the old and a welcoming of the new. The humble broom becomes quite beautiful when used in this way, and many are dressed up for the occasion!

A Bryan Photo

Carrying a white Bible: For families that have Bibles that have been passed down from generation to generation, carrying this heirloom down the aisle is a way for a bride to honor her heritage. Whether or not it’s an heirloom, Christians brides often carry a white Bible as an outward representation of their faith on this incredibly special day. Bibles and small white prayer books can be tucked into your bouquet or embellished with ribbons or flowers and carried solo. If you decide not to carry a Bible but are looking for another nod to your faith, we love the idea of wrapping your favorite verse into or around your bouquet or placing a family bible on the altar at your ceremony.

Ring warming: In a ring warming ceremony, the wedding bands are passed hand to hand through the congregation before being exchanged (tie them to a pillow or place them in a special bag to minimize the risk of dropping them!). Your officiant can ask each guest to hold the rings for a few moments, “warming” them with their prayers, blessings, and good wishes for your marriage. When they’re returned to you ready to wear, they’ll be symbolically fortified for your lifelong marriage to come!

We have heaps more ceremony planning advice and recommendations in our Joyful Wedding Planner. If you’re passionate about telling your unique love story through your wedding, this is the product for you!

Anna Shackleford and Bamber Photographer are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
1 Comment
  1. avatar Wedding Pixie reply

    Love these ideas, hand fasting is another tradition I love!

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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