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Southern Weddings

Author: Lisa

About two years ago, we reached out to our friend, photographer Anna Shackleford, about doing a home tour for our Southern Newlywed series. We went back and forth for a little while working on the logistics, but then the hustle and bustle of wedding season put our plans on hold. When I reconnected with her to pick up where we left off, she replied with something along the lines of “I’d love to, but we’re actually about to sell almost everything we own, renovate a camper, and spend the next year or two on the road, so I don’t know if you would still want to feature us!” My response? Heck YES, we do! We were so excited to hear about Anna and Daniel’s unique new living situation, they inspired the Southern Newlywed “Home Sweet Home” feature in V9, in which we profiled different types of newlywed homes. I hope you love this peek at their “on the go” home as much as we did!

The couple: Anna and Daniel Shackleford
How many years have you been married? Four years!
Tell us a little bit about your unique living situation. We are currently living on the road full-time in a 28-foot travel trailer that we pull with a truck. We’ve always dreamed of traveling together, and after many discussions and prayers, we decided that we couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this. We were in the perfect season of life to pursue the adventure: newlyweds, without children, without a mortgage, and in careers that provide relatively flexible schedules. Before we moved in to our travel trailer, we repainted the entire interior, reupholstered the furniture, and decorated it like we would any other house. It’s a cozy little space that we love calling home.

Tell us about the process of moving from a house to a camper. How did you decide what to bring with you, store, or get rid of? We first thought about the type of life that we wanted to live together. We knew we wanted to live more simply, spend more time with friends and family, and explore the outdoors. Once we nailed down the life that we wanted, honestly, picking the items that we wanted to bring with us was easy. The downsizing process was incredibly freeing. When you know you only have 225 square feet to live in, it gets pretty easy to make decisions about what is necessary and what is not. We stored a few pieces of heirloom furniture, photos, and paintings, but other than that, we sold almost everything that we owned. Getting rid of all of the clutter gave us clarity about what was truly important.

What most makes your camper feel like home? Bella, our sweet, eight-year-old golden lab that we absolutely adore. Having her with us on the road is just the greatest thing ever!

What are the biggest challenges of being on the road? We had both thought that moving into such a small space would be the biggest challenge, but oddly enough, that has been one of our favorite parts. Everything has a place and it’s clutter-free! We wouldn’t think that in 2016 finding reliable Wi-Fi would be an issue, but it has been a big challenge for us!

What is your favorite part of being on the road? It’s hard to choose just one thing! Seeing all of the diversity that the US has to offer across different landscapes has been incredible—we especially love spending time out west. But honestly, this experience has taught us to trust others more than we ever have before. There are so many good, kind people in this world, and we’ve loved getting the chance to meet so many of them along our journey.

What are some of your dreams and plans for where you live over the next five years? We want to explore as much of the US and Canada as we can while we are living on the road. We plan to continue living on the road for at least a few years, but we have major baby fever, so who knows how that will impact our travels!

Photography: Anna Shackleford

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Alexandra P. reply

    How wonderful! I love how the camper looks like a real house — so many are not well designed. I would love more details on where the furnishings/paint/decor came from

  2. avatar Elizabeth Burns reply

    I LOVE this! It’s great how all different types of housing are highlighted in this series, not just single family homes. And that sweet pup!!! <3

  3. avatar Lyndi and Jason Redfern reply

    This is beautiful! It’s surprisingly spacious and so well laid out that it’s hard to believe it’s a camper!

  4. avatar Bri A reply

    Oh my goodness!! I couldn’t believe these photos were from a camper – how gorgeous. I’m not sure I could live on the road like they are, but these sweet pictures made me want to give it a try!

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Whether you’re clicking through wedding blogs on your lunch break or catching up with us once you get home from work and switch gears to planning mode, consider today’s post a little breather. We’re all about the practical and the pretty around these parts, but sometimes, we don’t want you to worry about filing away important info or looking for details to pin…we just want you to get excited for your big day! Besides, when else in your life do you get to wear a stunning gown, dance the night away with both your sorority sisters and your grandparents, AND (last but far from least!) commit your life to your best friend? Jaicee and Kolton’s wedding film by Hampton Road Studios will hopefully be a sweet reminder of all of the above and more. We loved this peek into their special day beneath the most gorgeous Spanish moss!

P.S. See more from Jaicee and Kolton’s wedding here!

From the bride:

We had originally planned to have our ceremony and reception on St. Simons Island, Georgia, but after visiting my grandparent’s coastal house so much and remembering why we loved that location, we couldn’t pass up the beautiful Spanish moss-covered oak trees and the chance for a waterfront reception.

Southern grace and God’s presence are so important to us, so the prayer before the ceremony (instead of a first look) was so special! The emotion of seeing each other for the first time down the aisle was simply breathtaking. We also decided to write our own vows, which we will cherish forever.

A Southern wedding is not complete without a long farm table, so we chose that as our head table. The tables were lined with driftwood, English roses, oyster shells, succulents and Spanish moss. My mom takes pride in her beautiful ferns, so we had to include those, too! We served two of our favorite Southern hors d’oeuvres; crab cake balls and chicken salad pastries. My dad hand made our dance floor out of wooden pallets. I also took up calligraphy in my spare time and designed each of our signs at our wedding. It was so special to see each of those in the photos and video knowing that I did them myself!

Venue: Sutherland Bluff Plantation | Videography: Hampton Road Studios | Photography: Chloé Giancola Photography | Planner: Ally Moline Events | Florals and design: RAZZ Jackson Design | Hair & Makeup: Kelsey Kinsman, Kate Davis, Natalie Scarborough, Fonda Davis Salon | Dress: Alyne Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu | Catering: Tasteful Temptations Catering | Rentals: Tasteful Temptations and Carlson’s Premier Events & Rentals | DJ: Island Sound

lisa Written with love by Lisa
14 Comments
  1. avatar Ashley Hampton reply

    We are so in love with Jaicee and Kolton’s wedding! Thank you for featuring their sweet wedding!

  2. avatar Cali reply

    LOVE!! What a great video, love this feature. Thanks for sharing!

  3. avatar Meg Simone reply

    Ashley! This is a beautiful film! Your story telling never fails to give goosies! Love love love :) Even better the video is featured solo! Nothing is lost in all the details :) Congrats :)

  4. avatar Shire reply

    What a beautiful wedding film!!!

  5. avatar Rebecca reply

    Such a beautiful wedding! Great job Hampton Roads Studios!

    Thanks for being willing to publish stand-alone video features like this! I love it!

  6. avatar Naomi reply

    This video is absolutely stunning! What a treasure for the bride and groom to keep! This is why videography is so important on wedding days! ❤️

  7. avatar Maura reply

    What a beautiful video! Capturing those words from Dad and so many beautiful emotions with a video just can’t be compared! LOVELY!

  8. avatar Brittany reply

    This is so beautiful!!!

  9. avatar Angela Burch Brewton reply

    Mom of the Bride here!!!! This wedding was amazing and everything Jaicee wanted it to be! All things Southern!
    Thanks for featuring them!

  10. avatar Paul A Drawdy reply

    Possibly the best wedding video I’ve seen. No, it is the best wedding video I’ve seen. Great job Hampton Road

  11. avatar Tammy reply

    Oh my goodness!! I absolutely LOVE this wedding film. What a great way to capture the day. I love the audio in this film and it is beautifully shot and edited. Great job!!! Please feature more wedding films….I could just sit here and binge watch them all day long.

  12. avatar Amy Cheree reply

    BEAUTIFUL wedding and BEAUTIFUL film!! There are so many special moments captured that I know will serve as a lifelong keepsake. Great job Hampton Roads Studio and congrats to the happy couple! <3

  13. avatar Shayna Banfe reply

    I love all the beauty and sweetness of the day that was captured!!! So dreamy.

  14. avatar vicky reply

    Jaicee, i love your earrings! if you don’t mind me asking, where did you get them? thanks in advance!

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Is it weird to have a wedding bucket list? While I obviously have no control over where and when my friends and family members get married, I have all my fingers crossed that someday, I’ll get to be a guest at a New Year’s Eve wedding. The sparkle and excitement of NYE is fun enough as it is, but add a joyful bride and groom and a rockin’ reception to the mix? Seriously…it doesn’t get better. While we’ve featured plenty of glam, black-tie NYE weddings over the years, I love that Kathryn and Chad took a different approach, incorporating gorgeous colors, Florida-inspired blooms, and incredible painted details into their day (all with the help of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Ashton Events). Their details were the perfect way to blend their festive wedding date with their sentimental at-home venue, and we’re so glad The Ganeys were on hand to capture all the loveliness!

P.S. I have written hundreds of real wedding posts over the years, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen an interview filled out by the groom! Thanks for sharing, Chad!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Despite our many mutual friends and the fact that we grew up in neighboring towns in rural Central Florida, Kathryn and I first met in Washington, DC. I had been working in DC as a lawyer for about a year when Kathryn moved up to begin a new job at the Department of Justice. A mutual friend invited us to–of all things–an election party, which is where Kathryn and I met for the first time. Our mutual friend told me about Kathryn ahead of time, so I was naturally very excited to meet her, and struck up a conversation with her as soon as I got to the party. Kathryn was not so informed. “I had no idea he was a set-up,” she would always say. “I just thought he was really friendly.” Although our mutual friend thought we would get along, she had no clue we grew up 30 minutes away from each other, nor did she know we would hit it off so well. We spent the next few hours talking and laughing as we reminisced about all the quirks of our tiny hometowns. The whole night was great, except for one tragic mistake: I didn’t get her number! I told myself that the next time I saw her, I wouldn’t make the same mistake again. My next chance came in January, when we saw each other at a meeting for lawyers. Although she didn’t recognize me at first (ouch), she remembered as soon as I told her where I was from. Our first date was a couple of days later, near the end of January, and in December of that year, we got engaged after 11 months of dating.

I didn’t have a ton of preferences for the wedding, but I knew I wanted the first time I saw Kathryn to be as she was walking down the aisle. And it was worth the wait! Nothing will ever beat that moment when time stopped as the church doors swung open and Kathryn walked in. There was an audible gasp in the audience as every person in the room entertained the same thought: this is the most beautiful bride.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Between our afternoon ceremony and evening reception, Kathryn and I were able to go back to the house we were renting and watch the sun set over the lake. It was the perfect break and a truly special time for Kathryn and me to slow down and appreciate the beauty of that day. It also allowed us to recharge so we could dance the night away and ring in the New Year!

Our initial reception venue cancelled about a month before our wedding. With so little time to find another venue, we decided to host the reception in Kathryn’s parents’ backyard. Although it was not our first choice, our team of wedding designers made it absolutely perfect. It was better than we ever could have imagined, and because it was at Kathryn’s parents’ house, we got to be more creative with the lighting, decorations, and furniture than we would have been able to be at another venue. Now, every time we visit Kathryn’s parents, we look at the backyard and remember how great our wedding day was.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved a lot of money by cutting the sit-down dinner and doing BBQ and taco stations instead. Also, for decor, we decorated Kathryn’s parents’ backyard with original oil paintings done by Kathryn’s aunt. We had dozens of our favorite oil paintings hanging from trees throughout the yard.

Our Southern heritage informs everything we do. From our classic bourbon and tea signature cocktail to the BBQ and grit cakes we served at the reception, to a special area of the wedding venue dedicated to smoking cigars, we tried to give all of our wedding guests a taste of the South.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many things that we loved, but my favorite was the champagne toast at midnight. We served a delicious sparking rosé via a classic champagne tower waterfall. The toast was great because everyone was crowded onto the dance floor as we wrapped our arms around each other and sang “Auld Lang Syne.”

Tell us all about the proposal! We were traveling down to Florida for Christmas. We were set to fly into Tampa, but I changed our tickets and surprised Kat with a layover for a few days in Asheville. As we were driving into Asheville, I took her to a beautiful outdoor chapel known as “Pretty Place” at the top of a mountain. I had a photographer at the back of the chapel waiting for us, so we were able to capture the entire moment. The best part was that Kathryn had no clue it was coming.
When did y’all get married? December 31, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? Kathryn and I are both Catholic, so we used the traditional marriage vows from the Catholic Church. Our ceremony was sacred and reverent, and the music was absolutely beautiful. The organist and soloist played “O Magnum Mysterium” by Lauridsen, a piece that has special significance to me. But my favorite part of the ceremony was how light and jovial it was. The hallmark came when the celebrant, a sweet old retired priest, called me Clyde instead of Chad. Everyone was dying laughing, including me.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My favorite reading was from John 17, where Jesus prays that the disciples will be one as He and the Father are one. This verse served as the inspiration for the engraving inside Kathryn’s wedding band: One Forever.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Kathryn’s father is a musician and music teacher. I also have a background in classical music, so picking the wedding music was a great opportunity for us to come together over our shared love of classical music and select pieces that we both like. We ended up going with beautiful selections by Bach, Beethoven, and Schubert.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Kathryn and I took marriage preparation classes at the local parish in DC, where we were both living as we planned our wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Although we really want to get back to Florida in the next few years, Kathryn and I are excited about our new life together in DC. I predict lots of long walks, late-night ice cream runs, and bike rides in our future.

Photographer: The Ganeys | Planner and Florist: Ashton Events | Ceremony Venue: St. Joseph Catholic Church | Wedding Cake: J’aime Cakes | Dessert Baker: Katara Confectionery | Caterer: 4 Rivers Smokehouse | DJ: Corey Barron via Grant Hemond and Associates | Bride’s Gown: “Destiny” by Romona Keveza | Hair and Makeup: Kaitlin Lang | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN | Groom’s Tuxedo: Custom by Tom James Company | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Linens: Kate Ryan Linens | Chairs, Dance Floor, and Rentals: A Chair Affair | Tent and Lighting: Premier Party | Hair and Makeup: A Cherished Bride

Ashton Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Laura reply

    Ah! Such fun. We loved this day, and we loved working with K+C! Chad’s dinner jacket & Kat’s dress change were of our favorite moments of the night. What a way to ring in 2017!

  2. avatar Catherine reply

    I love a good DC lawyer love story, and this is a beautiful one! The groom did a wonderful job on his interview, and what a beautiful day it was!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful event! We absolutely adore Kat and Chad and feel so grateful that we could ring in the new year with them!!

  4. avatar Ivon reply

    Such a beautiful wedding! Love all the details and how well they were captured!

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