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Southern Weddings

Author: Lara Casey

Six years ago, this blog didn’t exist, the magazine was just an idea in my head and I was living in Pensacola, Florida, planning weddings and training people at the gym a few days a week. One fine day, a tall handsome Navy gent glanced at me while doing squats on the Smith machine (which admittedly I thought was like cheating sissy squats at the time!) and the rest is history. We eloped to Vegas after just five months of dating. (And yes, the only thing I wish we would have done differently is hire a professional photographer…)

Here I sit, six years later, with a team of ladies to do great work with – work that fires me up! – and a magazine and blog that mean something and a cooing happy baby next to me and a husband who loves me deeply. We are not the same people we were when we first met that day in the gym. I am so grateful for what these six years have brought. I’m so grateful for the big risks and leaps of faith and all the amazing wonderful encouraging friends I’ve met along the way. If I was to write a letter to myself six years ago, I would simply say, “The best is yet to come! Do what matters and forget the rest.” Ari and I have certainly learned a lot about marriage since our tiny wedding in Vegas. The little chapel where we had our ceremony gave us a list of “Marriage Rules” as we left and little did we know how true some of them would be today. Ari and I adapted those rules a little bit and are happy to share our version here:

We’re celebrating today by having a picnic in the park by our house with Grace. The North Carolina flowers are almost in full bloom and the air feels finer than a frog’s hair split four ways! We’re celebrating YOU today, too. What I love most about what we do at Southern Weddings is encouraging couples to focus in what matters. Your wedding is one important day that marks the beginning of the good stuff. Marriage wins! Wishing you all blessed marriages ahead. The best is truly yet to come! Love, Lara (and Gracie who had a blast at the SW Yard Sale yesterday!)

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
9 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding Invitations reply

    I just sent this to my fiance :D hahaha! Awesome post as always!

  2. avatar Frank Myers :: Raleigh Wedding Photographer reply

    Having been happily married for 21 years, I think these are all pretty darn good. In our photobooth this past weekend Elizabeth asked the parents to write a piece of advice starting with the word remember to the their daughter and new son-in-law. They wrote “remember to talk to each other, not matter what!”

  3. avatar Kristin Wilson reply

    Lara,

    Thank you for sharing this, both your personal side of it and the 10 rules for a happy marriage! Your magazine/business is fantastic and you should be very proud of yourself for a continuing job well done. From one Pensacol-ian to another, keep up the great work!! (and ps – your baby girl is so stinkin’ cute!! :) )

    Kristin

    • avatar Lara reply

      Thank you SO much, Kristin! And yay for Pensacola!!! I miss home : )

  4. avatar Amy Arrington Photography reply

    Lara, the picture of your Gracie wearing the sunglasses just laughing and smiling at you might be the cutest picture that I’ve ever seen! So sweet!

  5. avatar Tina reply

    I love you rules for a happy marriage. My husband and I have been married 41 years. He was twenty one and I was eighteen. We met and were married within seven months. Anyone who says it won’t last when you are only together for that long prior to getting married are wrong. We know how to compromise, love, laugh and fail together and we know that things will always get better. You need to be friends as well as lovers. He is my best friend. You need to help each other and not keep score. Love makes everything possible. Great website…Congratulations and always dream together.

  6. avatar Dallas Wedding and Event Planner – Ebony Peoples Events & Design » Blog Archive » 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage! reply

    [...] Happy Thursday!  Today I’d like to share a few words of wisdom for all of my married friends and those preparing to jump the broom!  We could all use a refresher from time to time.  Check out these 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage Courtesy of Southern Weddings: [...]

  7. avatar Dallas Wedding and Event Planner — 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage! reply

    [...] Happy Thursday!  Today I’d like to share a few words of wisdom for all of my married friends and those preparing to jump the broom!  We could all use a refresher from time to time.  Check out these 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage courtesy of Southern Weddings: [...]

  8. avatar Brisbane Wedding Stationery reply

    I got so inspired with your 10 Rules for a Happy Marriage I decided to share it on Facebook. BTW, you got a really adorable girl!

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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In all my years of blogging, there hasn’t been a harder post for me to write.  Whitney has been with us here at Southern Weddings since day one and to see her head to the Big Apple next week to be near her sweet boyfriend, Scott, will sincerely be one of my saddest days.  She’s seen me through ups and downs in life and in business, through moves and four gorgeous issues and now into my years as a mother.  Y’all, I just can’t even put into words how much I am going to miss her around these parts.  Grace has come to know her as a favorite “Auntie” already (blame the red hair and Whitney’s electric smile!) and I feel like she’s always been family. And she always will be.

The day Whitney told me she was moving to New York, my first thought was YOU GO GIRL!!!!  My second was, oh my goodness please don’t go!  I’ll miss you too much.  It’s a bittersweet goodbye.  We’re all so excited about what’s ahead of her, but there will be a lot of tears next Friday when she officially says farewell.  There already have been a lot of tears.  We all have been quietly moping around the office a bit lately, unable to really talk about Whitney leaving without having a cry fest start to well up.  Thankfully, she’s only a quick plane ride away and has promised many visits home to Chapel Hill!

Whitney…. oh, hello tears again… I love you, beautiful lady.  Thank you for being a true friend and for giving your all to our dear brides here and for working your tail off to make all of our lives happier every day.  You are a remarkable woman.  You’ve weathered so much over these last four years that I’ve known you and you’ve grown faster than kudzu on a corn patch.  I will sincerely miss seeing your smiling face here every day.  We all will.  But, you have great paths ahead and so much joy waiting for you in that big city.  You will be fabulous.  There’s no other option.  It’s just who you are.  Warm, witty, resilient, charming and full of Southern spark.   Dear NYC, I’m jealous that you will have Miss Davis soon to make your world a little brighter.   W.E.D (best initials ever!), thank you, to the moon an back, for four years of your very best.  The best is yet to come…  xo Lara

A little love from all of us…


My dear Whitney,  I can still remember seeing your face for the first time in an SW blog post (before I came to work here!)… and thinking you were 25.  Though it turned out I was WAY off on your age, it seems appropriate – you have always possessed a maturity, strength, and graciousness beyond your years.  In the almost three years that we’ve known each other, you have only grown into a more wonderful person.  You have a knack for making everyone feel at ease and welcome, you’re quite stylish, and you’re an extremely hard worker.  I have been so lucky to call you a colleague, and I know that your future co-workers will feel the same way — and that they, too, will quickly call you a friend.  I can’t wait to hear all about your Big Apple adventures!!  Much love, Emily

Dear Whitney, I am so sad to be writing this goodbye to you, but SO incredibly excited for you at the same time! I know that you will be amazing, and brighten everyone’s day that you meet! I will: however, miss a long list of things about you. Not limited to: laughing until my stomach hurts while making (ripping) tissue poms, sending thousands of emails back and forth, getting dressed in lobby bathrooms, riding in cabs with crazy drivers, gushing over gorgeous wedding gowns (and trying them on!), Pinkberry at midnight, you rocking red lipstick at the Ace Hotel, and most importantly my PIC! And I had to narrow this list down!  I am so grateful to call you my friend, and I cannot wait to come visit you in New York! I officially call dibs on your couch!  SO much love,   Marissa

Whitney dearest, there are so many things I want to say to you! Before I even met you, I knew you had some fierce drive and ambition. Seeing you move to New York and making your dreams come true (cheesiness not intended) was like the cherry on top of all the wonderful things I already think of you. I admire you so much for not only being passionate about every task and project you undertake, but for being a lovely person and a great friend. When I finally met you two years ago while we were both working at a wedding, I was so happy to have met another person who was sweet, smart and funny! You are incredibly easy to talk to, and I’m forever grateful for the endless advice and encouragement you’ve given me. I refuse to let our bonding over coffee and baked goods and jokes in the office end! Expect texts, tweets, emails, Skype calls and smoke signals coming from the SW office as I update you on the funny proposal stories we get, wedding madness and of course, if I ever meet a boy from the J-School. I know for a fact that whatever the next few months and years bring to you, you will knock everyone out of the water, take on the world with a smile on your face and still be that wonderful, down-to-earth girl I met two years ago.  Also, let’s please meet again soon so we can bake macaroons! You do know I’m coming to visit you in New York, right?  So much love and coffee and Kate Spade,  Nic

Needless to say, you will be missed Miss Davis.  Don’t forget to always over-sweeten your tea and teach every cabbie you meet that very important word… y’all.  We love you!!!!!  And now, a little trip down memory lane…. (break out the tissues, y’all!!!)

 

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
8 Comments
  1. avatar Linda at Cedarwood Weddings reply

    What a privilege to work with people you love and honor and respect this much. Whitney, best wishes with your move.

  2. avatar Desiree reply

    As an advertiser, I had the pleasure of corresponding with this lovely lady for a while now. What an example of a true Southern lady. Whitney, God Bless You in these exciting endeavors and I wish you loads of luck in NYC. And to the rest of the SW ladies…Although W.E.D. is irreplaceable, I can’t wait to see who you come up with to work with all of us – no doubt another fabulous lady!

  3. avatar Brent and Anna – Live View Studios reply

    Aww – we’ll miss Whitney! But best wishes in all of your future plans. So sweet of you to move to NYC to be near Scott! Moving to NC to be near Anna was the reason I moved long distance – and I know it ain’t easy to leave all that you know! But your relationship will be rewarded for it in the end, and as long as you have each other, you have everything :)

    Hugs, Brent (and Anna)

  4. avatar Natalie Norton reply

    Whitney + Lara + all the rest-a-y’all, Here’s to friendship, fierce focus, weathering growing pains together and MAKING LIFE HAPPEN together AND when life pulls you (geographically) apart. All my love! N

  5. avatar Whitney reply

    Y’all!! This sweet, sweet post left me bawling like a baby. Thank you so much for all of your support. My time with Southern Weddings has been nothing short of phenomenal and I am so thankful for all of the friends that I have made along the way. Xo

  6. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Dearest Whitney, I am so thankful to call you a friend. My heart feels sad knowing that I won’t be seeing your beautiful, bright smile when I visit the SW office, but I know an incredible future lies ahead of you! Please, please stay in touch! I can’t wait to see how your adventurous life unfolds! xoxo

  7. avatar Melissa reply

    Best wishes on your new venture in NYC, Whitney!

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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Today is a very special day here at Southern Weddings, dear friends!  Miss Emily Ayer is celebrating a birthday and we plan to celebrate the good ‘ole Southern way – BIG!  As many of you know, Emily is our resident Art Director, wedding guru and crafting queen.  This is Emily’s 3rd birthday with SW and we couldn’t be happier!  From day one (read the story of how she came to work at SW here), she has made all of our lives happier and well…. prettier!    We are so grateful for you, Em.  Since you are the director ‘o art around here, we had to make your birthday wishes finer than a frog’s hair sanded twice and split four ways!  Happy birthday!!!  Let the festivities begin!  YEEHAW!!!

Special extra birthday love from some people who love you dearly


Happy Birthday Emily! I hope your day is every bit as fabulous as you are! I know that this year is going to be a truly great one for you, enjoy! – Amber


For my beautiful sister Emily, I share with you these wishes for your birthday: First, I hope that today, of all days, you realize how very loved you are. Second, I hope that in September you experience the happy and beautiful continuation of your love story, and know that it will be perfect no matter what. Third, I wish for you many sunny and sea-filled days in Maine, Trains and Catan to help you laugh, challenges to help you grow, late night conversations to bring us closer, and that our family remains at the very core of our lives. I hope this year brings you happiness and laughter, challenges and the strength to overcome them, sadness to make you appreciate the happy days, and, most of all, love, because you deserve it more than anyone I know. Finally, I hope we continue to only grow closer to each other and to God, together. We are so different, but I love you so very much. Happy birthday, Emilia, you deserve a wonderful one. – Kim


Happy birthday, Em! You have incredible talents, and I love that you’re always willing to share them. I’m proud to call you my sister. I hope this year is better than you can even imagine. Love, Kate


And one last birthday wish from your husband-to-be!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
5 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Happy birthday, Emily!!! Have a wonderful, beautiful day!! :)

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Y’all are the sweetest!!! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes!!

  3. avatar Meredith Perdue reply

    Happy birthday, Emily! I hope you have the most wonderful day!

  4. avatar Brent and Anna – Live View Studios reply

    Happy birthday Emily!

  5. avatar Lauren l dwellanddine reply

    Happy Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great day.

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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