Southern Weddings

Author: Lisa

The Southern Weddings office is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and we’re pretty darn lucky to be here–there are countless kind, creative wedding industry folks in this area. In fact, today’s Southern Newlywed couple, Rachel and Seth Linder of Blue Barn Photography, live just a few miles away from me! Rachel and I have become great friends ever since she shot our behind the scenes photos of V9’s Chapel Charm, so I can heartily attest to the fact that she and Seth are as sweet (and stylish!) as they seem. They’ve poured lots of love into their Raleigh home, and turned it into a beautiful, cozy space to spend quality time together, raise their cutie pie son, Ezra, and host their many friends and family members. I’m so thrilled to have them on Southern Newlywed today–enjoy!

The couple: Rachel (26) and Seth (28) Linder
Years married: Six on May 21st
Children’s names and ages: Ezra Grey Linder, 1 year
Where they live: Raleigh, NC
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I grew up in North Raleigh behind a cow farm where some of my fondest memories are of feeding the herds and romping through the open fields. I love to keep my hands creating, so when I’m not photographing love stories or running my business, Blue Barn Photography, I love to spend my free time oil painting and brush lettering, or tending to the backyard garden beds. Seth grew up on 75 acres of fields and forests in Wake Forest–where we spent most of our time dating and later tied the knot. Seth has been a co-owner in Capstone Landscapes since 2007, and spends his work day running a maintenance crew to beautify lawns in the Raleigh area. We met when we were 9 and 11 at church, and started dating when we were 16 and 18. Altogether, we have been together 10 years–we dated for four years, and married each other at 20 and 22! We love slow mornings dreaming over cups of coffee, spending time in God’s word, cooking dinner together, dancing in the kitchen, playing with our son Ezra, and traveling whenever we get the chance! In recent years, we’ve also become passionate about fitness and love our time at the gym together.

Tell us a little bit about where you live. We own a sweet little three-bedroom on the edge of NE Raleigh. I was immediately sold on the marble fireplace and the open space above the garage, which we turned into my home office. We love updating it slowly and I am always dreaming up the next project. We love the community here and the routines we’ve settled into. With both of our businesses and many of our family rooted here as well, it’s a good bet we will stay in the area for a while.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? Moving in together was a bit of a jumble. We both lived with our parents up until our wedding to save money, so we had very little furniture, and much less style at the time. At first, I was all about white furniture, and Seth was all about dark woods. We’ve actually lived in five different places since first getting married, and each move, we seem to refine and blend our style a little more. It takes time to find things that we both love. We’ve found things that worked at one dwelling, but not the next, and have sold those to invest in different pieces. Between my love for whites and Seth’s love for woods, we’ve met in the middle, and most of our furniture has a lighter driftwood stain that we’re both happy with. We both love calm, soothing colors in our home, so most of our rooms have notes of blues, greens, and grays.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our entire downstairs feels like one big room and it’s my favorite because we’ve made the most memories here–between coffee chats on the couch, seeing Ezra explore every nook as we play with him or cook dinner, and hosting an array of gatherings and celebrations with our friends, it’s the heart of our home.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We’ve enjoyed splurges on original art, linens, and light fixtures. We try to save and find deals on more transitional items like seasonal decor, dishes, and wine glasses (which we always break)! My favorite sources for home things include Anthropologie, Target, IKEA, Home Goods, West Elm, World Market, and Goodwill! We also have enjoyed building a few custom items together, like the open shelves in our kitchen.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We use our pots and pans and cutlery several times a day, so that’s definitely the winner!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? As we’ve figured out our style over the years, we’ve replaced many of the original dishes and linens we registered for with more neutral pieces. I also love that you can register for a honeymoon fund now–that would have been fun to include at the time!
Who cooks dinner? Seth cooks dinner 75 percent of the time, I do 15 percent, and we eat out the other 10 percent.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? Tacos will forever have our heart, so we do some kind of taco variation whenever we’re stumped.

What is your favorite part of being married? Rachel: Having a husband who sees every part of me (the good, the bad, the ugly), and loves and supports me through it all. Seth: Having a wife who is always there for me.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? Before we got married, many people cautioned us “Marriage is HARD,” but no one really explained what that actually meant. We found out that marriage can honestly be full of disappointments. You see movies, read books, see lives from the outside, and have certain expectations that you have to correct and address. The most surprising thing about marriage has been turning the disappointments into a stronger bond and connection with one another, and forming an unconditional love that goes much deeper than we could have ever achieved in a dating relationship. We’ve learned through challenging (and sometimes painful) communication that continuing to communicate no matter what either one of us are feeling is the most important thing, and also the best thing!

How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? We live off of one income and try to save the rest for long-term goals. All of our bank accounts are shared and we like the openness and accountability that comes with that. We set budgets, and then come back to refine them every few months to see where our leaks are. It’s a continual process and takes a good amount of communication.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities (work, personal time, extended family, etc.)? Rachel: Create clear, healthy boundaries that allow you to be fully present wherever you are. Seth: Don’t be selfish; always be ready and willing to put forth effort when you come home.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Right after we said “I do,” we exited the ceremony to stand under a giant Pin Oak tree. All of our guests faded away and it was just the two of us for a few moments under the golden sun. We felt so close holding one another, knowing we had just committed our lives to one another and made a covenant before God.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? (Pictures, mementos, etc.) You know the saying about the cobbler’s children never having any shoes? That totally applies here–you’d think as wedding photographers that we’d have lots of our own wedding photos in our home, but in reality, we have very few mementos from our actual wedding day hung in our home right now. However, we definitely have plans for a gallery wall in our living room including wedding photos, along with pictures from all ten years together!

Do you have children? What are your hopes and plans for the future in this area? We have one son, Ezra. He’s just over a year old and brings us so much joy!
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Our favorite recent date happens after Ezra goes to bed–we finish dinner together and then sip wine on the back porch.

What most makes your house feel like home? Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros said it best when they sang “Home is wherever I’m with you.” It doesn’t matter where we live as long as we take time there to invest in each other’s lives.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Rachel: Keeping the house in order (making the bed, doing the laundry, cleaning the bathroom) is a small way I like to show Seth that I care for him and love him. Seth: I like to give Rachel lots of hugs to show her I love her.
This year, our family is most excited about… our summer trip to explore the California coast, from San Diego to San Francisco.

Thanks so much for sharing your hearts and home with us, Rachel and Seth! Follow along with them here:

Blue Barn Photography | Blue Barn Photography on Instagram | Rachel on Instagram | Seth on Instagram

Photography: Tatum Thomas of Blue Barn Photography

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Bri A reply

    Oh these series are always my favorite! I love how intentionally Rachel and Seth share their space and time (the recurring geometric theme in the decor! My heart!). Thanks for sharing!

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Some of the most memorable weddings we feature, in my opinion, are the ones that are undeniably Southern, but that also include traditions from other cultures. There’s truly no one way to have a Southern wedding, and the truer your details are to who you and your fiancé are as a couple, the better! For Dasola and Tomilade, that meant blending their Nigerian roots with their Texan venue. My favorite example of these two things coming together beautifully on their special day? The fashion! Dasola looked gorgeous in her lace-detailed Liancarlo, but the guests who wore traditional Nigerian dress looked pretty fabulous too!

Thank you so much to Civic Photos for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. We decided to do this because we knew the day would go by really quickly, and we wanted one-on-one time, even if it was for a single moment. It was great!

Finding my dress was nothing like I expected. I tried on several dresses at some pretty amazing bridal boutiques, but nothing felt right. When I went to Ivory Atelier Bridal, I found several dresses I wanted to try. After trying on the first dress by Liancarlo, one of my favorite songs, “A Thousand Years” started playing on the radio. I started crying, and my cousin who came with me started crying too. I knew I had found the dress.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My husband didn’t have a lot of must-haves when it came to the wedding, but when it came to the venue, he wanted a venue no one we knew had used before. When we found out that the Citadel in Houston would be ready for operation in 2016, we knew it had to be the place.

Our flowers represented all things I love about spring, even though our wedding was in summer. The flowers were all in bright, beautiful colors. We had pink roses and hydrangeas, white baby’s breath, lavender, and more!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Tomilade and I met in 2013 when my older sister introduced us. After some time, we exchanged numbers. Our first phone conversation lasted over five hours and everything changed. Right from the start, I knew that this was the man I would marry.
Tell us all about the proposal! I moved to Nigeria from 2014 till summer 2016, so we had a long distance relationship with a lot of traveling involved. In August 2015, he let me in on the fact that he would be in Nigeria in September to surprise his mom for her 60th birthday. While in Nigeria, Tomilade told me he wanted us to go out on a dinner date. Of course, I knew I had to get dressed and maybe get my nails done. The thought crossed my mind that he might propose, but after I asked my older sister to help with my nails and she dismissed me, I thought, “If I was getting engaged this weekend, she would have definitely helped a sister out.” On the day of the date, he kept asking why I was so excited–I guess it was just the idea of having one-on-one time again, after what seemed to me like a long time. When we got to the restaurant, he was being extra peppy. He even asked the waiter for wine (he rarely drinks) and for him to take pictures of us. After dinner was dessert, which we decided would be at Hans and Rene, a new place I wanted to try. But first, we stopped to pick up my older sister from my uncle’s house. En route to Hans and Rene, Tomilade decided we had to take a route that would bring us over a picture-perfect bridge on Lagos Island that he had been meaning to drive through before leaving. On the bridge, he claimed the car’s tire felt weird and he had to check it out. To make matters worse, he then asked me to help him get something from the trunk. My first thought was “Dude, I am wearing heels,” but being the awesome partner I am, I had to go help. He popped the trunk of the car, and I saw a huge poster pop out with a sign saying “Omodasola Alatise, will you marry me? I love you sweet pea” and several pictures of us, from the very first day we met to our first date together at Le Colonel and even our last date before the proposal date. It was super amazing. He got down on one knee and before I could gather myself, I saw a car approaching with family and friends, music playing, and flashing lights (which I later realized was a photographer).
When did y’all get married? August 13, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 380
Did you write your own vows? No, we didn’t. We went the traditional route.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our church offers premarital counseling, which was extremely helpful in planning for our marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to being a family, making our own traditions, and falling in love all over again.

Photographer: Civic Photos | Videographer: Double Knot Pictures | Day-of Coordinator: The Upper Room Events | Venue, Catering, Dessert, and Lighting: The Citadel | Florist and Rentals: Perfect Touch | Wedding Cake: Borderline Sinful | Catering: Glorious Feast International Catering | DJ: DJ SM95 | Bride’s Gown: Stye 6814 by Liancarlo | Hair and Makeup: Lyzadora Beauty Consultants | Bride’s Shoes: Nine West | Bride’s Earrings: Kendra Scott | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style VW360197 by Vera Wang | Men’s Suits: Custom by Kimono Kollection

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar The UpperRoom Events reply

    This is awesome! Thank you for the feature!

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Honestly, how awesome is it to be a bride in 2017? From wedding websites to online RSVP tracking to universal registries, there are so many ways technology makes wedding planning easier (is it bad if I actually cringe when I think of our parents having to write down SKU numbers on clipboards when they created their registries? No thank you!). Even with all of the blessings technology provides for brides though, wedding planning is STILL stressful, so whenever we find out about something that can make your life a little easier or save you time, we want to shout it from the rooftops. After all, less time doing mundane planning tasks = more time for date nights and marriage prep with your fiancé, AKA, what matters most!

For years, we’ve been singing the praises of Zola‘s online registry system (our blogger bride, Jessica, even used it when she was engaged!). But now, having heard the concerns and worries of brides everywhere, they’re taking their beautiful interface and amazing customer service to a whole new level…Zola Weddings is now a one-stop site for planning your wedding!

Your Zola Weddings dashboard includes planning checklists, your wedding website, guest list management, and your registry, all in one easy-to-use place. The organizer in me loves the idea of seeing something on a checklist, accomplishing it, and then checking it off, without even leaving the website! Your checklist is custom-created based on your wedding date and the traditions you may want to include in honor of your religion or heritage. Of course, you can also add, remove, and edit tasks to best suit your needs.

Creating a wedding website is SO helpful for your guests (I’d go as far as to call it a gesture of Southern hospitality :)), and Zola Weddings makes it incredibly easy. Their templates are beautiful, the pages are customizable, and the entire thing is mobile-optimized.

One of the handiest features of the all-new Zola Weddings is guest list management. Making the guest list is enough of a headache…managing it doesn’t need to be! In your guest list tab, you’ll be able to add guests and all their information (imported from your contact list, by requesting info via a private link, or by entering it manually), specify what the inner and outer envelopes of your invitation should say, and then mark an invitation sent or not sent. Guests can then RSVP through your wedding website. No more penciling numbers onto the back of reply cards in case someone doesn’t fill out their name!

We have to talk about Zola’s claim to fame: their online registry! They were one of the first companies I ever heard of that allowed couples to add items to their registries from any online retailer, and their easy-to-use system and elegant (also mobile-friendly) interface makes them one of the best options out there. Along with the ability to add physical gifts from over 450 top brands to your registry, they also allow you to register for experiences (like cooking classes, spa visits, and more) and for cash funds for your honeymoon, a house down payment, etc. SO practical, useful, and convenient! I especially love the way this helps your guests understand what’s important to you as a couple, and gives them a glimpse of your hopes and dreams for your future together. To make things super easy on your guests, your registry is seamlessly integrated into your wedding website–people can shop directly from there.

One last feature I’m so excited to tell you about: true to their reputation for amazing customer service, each couple who uses Zola Weddings will have access to a Zola advisor. This person will be able to answer any questions you may have as you use the system, and they’ll guide you through any part of the process you may need some help with.

Friend, we couldn’t be more excited about this new system for keeping all of your wedding planning ducks in a row–we hope you love it as much as we do!

This post is brought to you by Zola Weddings. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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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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