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Author: Lisa

I am especially delighted to share today’s wedding, because Riley and Bryant just so happen to represent the two states closest to my heart! Planning a Texas wedding while living in Bryant’s home state of North Carolina presented its challenges, but with the help of Riley’s mother and the event planning team at Grit & Gold, the intimate ceremony and charming reception came together so beautifully. If there’s one thing we love more than anything else here at Southern Weddings, it’s a wedding centered on the marriage rather than the details. Riley and Bryant never lost sight of the true meaning of their wedding day, and their joy is so evident in all of their beautiful pictures!

A big thank you to Kassie Moore for sharing Riley and Bryant’s big day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! We were in Miami for the Bama national championship game to watch my brother play. He surprised me the night after Bama won at dinner while sitting in a cabana in the rain. He presented me with a box that he made himself out of olive wood from Bethlehem with the most beautiful ring inside!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. We had waited for a lot of things in our relationship and decided to wait to see each other as well. It was so special for me to walk into the chapel and see him for the first time.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking into the church, no question. I was so overwhelmed by how much I love Bryant. I was so happy to see him and to be marrying him!

My heart skipped a beat seeing their expressions in this picture. He looks so proud, and she looks so happy!

Our flowers were gorgeous!! We used pops of coral with blush undertones. Our florist, we plus you, included succulents, which was my favorite touch!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The deer sheds that were included in the decor. Bryant is a hunter, so we incorporated the theme “the hunt is over” as a tribute to him.

We had several different layer cakes. My favorite was salted caramel, but we also had traditional white, chocolate, and white cake with chocolate icing. They were the most delicious cakes I’ve ever tasted in my life. They were iced very simply with vintage cake toppers.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at UNC. We were both athletes and got to know each other through Bible study. I liked him for a couple of months before he asked me on a first date to go to Cookout for a milkshake. From there we went fishing and the rest was history.
When did y’all get married? July 6, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 80 to the ceremony and 180 to the reception. We kept the ceremony small because it was so sacred to us.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to Bliss in Fort Worth. I knew I wanted something simple so that I could dance it in. I went with a strapless column style dress with a blush bow detail. I wore a birdcage veil that finished the outfit perfectly!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We used Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 as the central piece for our ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. During the unity candle lighting, we chose “In Your Presence” by Elevation Worship. After we were married, we walked back down the aisle to “O Happy Day.”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mom’s beautiful gold earrings that had a tiny blue gem in the middle. They were given to her by her friends.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Bryant is from Charlotte and I’m from Texas, so it was a great melding of the best of each state! At the rehearsal dinner, his family included Cheerwine with dinner, which was such a fun touch for my family and friends who had never heard of it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? They biggest challenge was planning the wedding in Texas while living in North Carolina. My mom thought of everything to make the day so special, but it meant that I had to give her free reign on design since I couldn’t see everything. She made it more special that I ever dreamed it would be!!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The florist did an incredible arrangement on the altar for the ceremony. It was in a turquoise McCoy pot that my mom had collected. It was absolutely stunning.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day, the two of you will be married. Remember to make it about the marriage, not the wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We waited to live together until we got married, so I am looking forward to waking up to my sweet husband in the morning!

Photographer: Kassie Moore | Planner: Grit + Gold | Ceremony Venue: Whites Chapel | Reception Venue: Joe T. Garcias | Florist: Amanda Ferguson | Cake Baker: The Cake Guys | DJ: Jeff Hornok | Special Details: BHLDN | Bride’s Gown: Bliss Bridal, Pronovias Ucayal Style | Paper Products: AMG Design Co | Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel, Collette Style | Hair Stylist: Christine Larsen Legacy Salon and Spa | Makeup Artist: Bobbi Brown Makeup Artist | Bride’s Shoes: J.Crew | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Anthropologie | Groom’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank Suit, J.Crew Tie | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank Suit, Tie from The Tie Bar

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Devid Clark reply

    I’d Like the white Wedding Dress, Absolutely stunning.

  2. avatar Kelly Foster reply

    So excited to see Riley and Bryant’s wedding on your website !! The only magazine I bought after Riley got engaged was Southern Weddings ~ it was all the inspiration I needed !! What a joy it was creating this special wedding for them. I had so many amazing friends help me with collecting decor … the vintage books, the antlers, and the 200 antique china dessert plates for the cake table. Our family all loaded the UHaul on July 4th to take all the decor from our home to the reception. It was so reassuring that Riley trusted me with all the details of their special day. Our photographer, Kassie, did an incredible job of capturing all the emotions of the day ~ Amanda from We Plus You Florists designed the most amazing bouquets and flowers for the day, Grit and Gold was the “day of ” planner, The Cake Guys cakes were delicious, Emily Meyers and Courtney Binkle were so much help with signage and construction DIY, Founder’s Chapel was so intimate and Joe T Garcia’s was the perfect setting for the celebration !! It was just a magical day …
    Kelly ~ mother of the bride

  3. avatar Leila reply

    Riley looked stunning with her handsome groom! This was such a gorgeous wedding and couple! Every detail was lovingly planned by the MOB Kelly Foster. Kelly did such a wonderful job of personalizing the wedding and reception with vintage creative touches. Loved seeing this wedding on Southern Weddings!

  4. avatar Blair Erickson reply

    Love this wedding! SUPER cute and the picture of her walking in….I can’t even handle it. So adorable!

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  6. avatar Dana reply

    seriously love his boutonniere!

  7. avatar Lotus Eyes Photography reply

    Love all the light beautiful colors, and rustic look.

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When I first read Koli‘s interview, I couldn’t stop thinking about a line from our Sweet Tea Society manifesto: “We believe that there is nothing on this earth more important than family.” From Koli’s lifelong dream of wearing her mother’s wedding dress, to the reception held at the barn her older brother built, Koli and Dylan’s wedding was a family affair in every way. The celebration and value of family is one of my absolute favorite things about the South (and I’m sure yours too!), and seeing all of Koli’s family’s gifts and talents come together to create this beautiful country wedding just warms my heart!

Big hugs to Leah Savage Photography for sharing Koli and Dylan’s day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. My best friend told me about this guy that he had been hanging out with that he thought I would really like. One night, we were having a bonfire in the pasture at my house and my best friend invited him. That was the first time we had saw each other. We never spoke that night, but we definitely noticed each other. The next time we saw each other and the first time we spoke was at my high school graduation, when he came to watch my best friend graduate. He didn’t ask for my number then, but later got it from my best friend, who was one of his best friends now too. He texted me that night and the rest is history.

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to wear my mother’s dress, but unfortunately, it was too small for me. I looked in boutique after boutique and never found anything that I liked or hadn’t seen a hundred times. Because I am a thrift store junkie, I knew I could find something there that I could make my own. I already had three dresses I was planning to take apart and make into a new one when my mom brought home this gorgeous Givenchy dress she found at the thrift store for $30. It fit PERFECTLY! I wanted to incorporate my mom’s dress somehow, so we decided we would take the lace off of her dress and attach it to the thrift store Givenchy. We started taking the lace off of her dress when she insisted that I try it on one last time before we ripped it apart, so I did. It zipped right up. I had been exercising and eating healthy, but it fitting was a big surprise to me. I was so excited and we immediately stopped taking it apart. The only thing I wanted to change were the sleeves in her dress, so I took them out and my grandmother sewed the sleeve holes up. We had it cleaned and it was absolutely perfect.

Because my mother was a photographer and I had helped her with countless weddings, I knew that I didn’t want to make all of our guests wait for us to do photos after the ceremony. Instead of having the first look at the ceremony, my great photographer, Leah Savage, suggested that we do a private first look before the ceremony. That turned out to be the best and most stress-free option for us.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I think the most memorable moment was when the ceremony had just ended. Dylan and I were finally married, and we got to kiss and talk to each other as husband and wife.

I love this sweet picture of Koli with her parents. It captures their close relationship so perfectly!

The wedding cake was a simple tiered cake with “messy” icing, as I call it. It had different flowers cascading down the front. I didn’t want my cake to be fancy and smooth, but rather, I wanted something that was simple, beautiful, and delicious, and our cake was definitely all three. For dessert, we had my mother’s from-scratch bread pudding that she had made that morning, four of my grandmother’s delicious homemade red velvet cakes, and my famous chocolate chip cookies I made from scratch the day before. We also had pies from Twix-n-Tween in Centreville, AL, as well as Dylan’s favorite Lemon Pie from the Downtowner Restaurant in Selma, AL. I think more love was poured into the desert table than any other detail.

Tell us all about the proposal! I had the feeling that it was coming soon, but I wasn’t sure exactly when it was going to happen. On January 31, I had just gone to get my hair done when he called me to stop by his house for a second. I got there and found a note on the door that sent me somewhere else. After the fourth note, he sent me to where he was waiting with the ring. Needless to say, I was so excited! After calling all of our families and getting all the excitement out, I went home and immediately painted my nails because I knew I would be showing the gorgeous ring to EVERYONE in the upcoming days.
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our preacher, who is also Dylan’s grandfather, read a few verses of 1st Corinthians.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. My mom always was a fan of Van Morrison and I grew to love his music as well, so for a long time, I knew that I wanted “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison to be my wedding song. Dylan left that decision up to me.
Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were a complete surprise to me. Before the pictures were taken, my mom showed me the two options. One was a more woodsy looking bouquet with hydrangeas and greenery and the other was a solid peony bouquet. I immediately fell in love with them both, but the peonies were so sweet and simple, I chose that one. As far as the flowers we decorated with goes, we used beautiful hydrangeas my sister-in-law cut out of her mother’s garden a few days before the wedding.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It is so hard to pick only one detail, but I think the thing that made the night so fun was the band, Over the Mountain. They were so good and everyone, especially the kids, had fun dancing to their music. The whole reception area was fit around the stage and it gave the reception such a laid-back, fun vibe.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had the wedding on my family’s farm at my oldest brother’s barn he built, with the cattle grazing in the pasture that we used as the ceremony background. We had bread pudding made from my mothers from scratch biscuits. The band played country, bluegrass, folk and oldies music. My second oldest brother made the bench seating, as well as the arbor we stood in front of. There were also touches of the South all throughout the decor. It definitely had southern charm.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Every single one of the vendors we used was absolutely perfect, from the photographer to the caterer, band, and, of course, my personal decorator, my mother. It all worked together perfectly to make the day a special one that Dylan and I will never forget.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t get so caught up in planning that you don’t have fun.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Right now, we are just enjoying each other. After I graduate college and become a Home Ec. teacher, we plan on starting a family.

Photographer: Leah Savage Photography | Planner: Mother of the Bride | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Brother of the Bride’s barn | Florist: Tina Sibley | Wedding Cake Baker & Caterer: Labbe’s Cakes and Catering | Rentals: ABZ Rental & Beauty Mark | Band: Over the Mountain | Bride’s Gown & Veil: Mother of the Bride’s | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Hair Stylist & Makeup Artist: Bride | Groom’s Attire: Thrift Store Finds

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar La Jolla Wedding reply

    Stunning venue!

  2. avatar Madi Reid Sanders reply

    Love love love the sweetness in this post!
    Koli- If you’re reading this 1) Best wishes to you and your groom! You were a stunning bride!!!! 2) I’m such a nerd and I have to ask where the sheep skin rug in one of the first few photos is from!

  3. avatar Ashley @ Details Nashville reply

    I really love these photos! What a simple and elegant southern wedding. My two favorite aspects is her train on her dress and the invitations (black, with pink roses). Looks like it was a great event!

  4. avatar Dana reply

    love the wedding cake and her engagement ring! it is perfect!

  5. avatar Koli Nichols reply

    Madi, thank you so much!!!! The rug came from Costco! I think it was around $100…

    Thank you everyone for your kind words!

  6. avatar Taylor reply

    Koli if your family ever decides to rent the barn out for a wedding I would be very interested! It is gorgeous! Get in touch with me if it is even a remote possibility.. thattaylorchick12@hotmail.com

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Hi y’all! As Nicole mentioned last week, I’ll be taking over Weekly Round-Ups from now on. We have had some seriously gorgeous weddings, a few tear-jerking stories, and lots of great advice on the blog this week, so let’s dive right in!

Kristin shared her heart through a list of 10(+1) hints for a happy marriage. Married friends, we’d love to hear your advice as well!

Our resident etiquette expert/my deskmate, Emily, addressed the tricky question of how to reschedule a wedding.

Ryan Ray is shooting something amazing for V6 next week, and we’re still in need of a few more bridesmaid models! If you’re available on July 26 in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, check out our model call post for more information.

Oh, how I loved this week’s Real Weddings!

Brittany and Matt’s first look pictures are some of our all-time favorites! See their classic turquoise wedding here.

Claire and Michael’s wedding was overflowing with fabulous Southern details. Since their wedding was my first post on the blog, I’m always going to have a soft spot for their gorgeous day! See it here.

Rachel and Daniel’s sweet proposal story brought me to tears, and y’all fell hard for the dreamy Vera Wang she wore in their wedding! See it here.

Speaking of stories that brought on a few tears, the story of how Mariana chose her lace dress had both Marissa and me reaching for tissues. Mariana and Jacob also had the most fabulous dessert selection at their beautiful wedding! See it here.

A few fun things!

Be sure to check out our Facebook Friday for an engagement shoot by Revival Photography!

One of our delightful BRV members, George Street Photo & Video, is hosting a giveaway next week for four mini chevron bags by Ooh Baby Designs! Enter on their Facebook page between July 22-29.

Have a wonderful weekend!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Ginnie Reed reply

    Hey Lisa! You’ve done a great job at SW so far! Congrats on such an amazing opportunity! On another note, I live in North Texas and would LOVE to be a model (or honestly just help out with the shoot) next week! I sent an email but haven’t heard back from anyone. I’ll even promise to bring homemade baked goods if I need to bribe my way in! Thanks, Ginnie

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Ginnie! Thank you so much for your kind words! I believe we already have all of our models for this shoot. Thank you so much for applying though, and hopefully we can work with you on something in the future! :)

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