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Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Marissa

Y’all, we could not have been more thankful to celebrate with so many of you (or toasted y’all from afar!) last night at the V7 Launch Party! While we may still be picking glitter out of our hair, Liza and David’s sweet wedding is the perfect cure for the post-party blues!

In true Southern fashion, Liza and David’s first date involved college sports superstitions and warm weather! But, not everything is traditional with these two–they chose to tie the knot at Camp Pinnacle, where many members of Liza’s family spent their summers growing up. Even though they were in a nontraditional venue, they chose to recite traditional vows, and even omitted the ring exchange per pre-WWII tradition, creating a sweet moment you can’t miss in their interview below.

Big thanks to Olivia Griffin for sharing this lovely day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom, my sister, and David’s sister all came to Charleston to go dress shopping with me. We headed to a store called Fabulous Frocks, which sells new, once-worn, and sample designer bridal gowns. We were running late for the appointment and didn’t have time for lunch, so we recruited David to get some food for us. Instead of going to the front door, David walked right up to the side window where I was trying on the dress that ended up being “the one.” Whoops! The people at the shop were amazing–they were incredibly helpful and patient. It was such a pleasant experience!

We got married at Camp Pinnacle in Hendersonville, North Carolina. My dad, mom, sister, grandmother, and I all went to the camp growing up. David and I really wanted a wedding where all our friends could meet, hang out, and play together for the whole weekend. Most of our friends stayed in the cabins and got to enjoy all the canoeing, hiking, volleyball, and paintball the camp has to offer.

Recognize these lovely bridesmaid dresses? Nicole wore this Amsale print in our V6 team photos, and we loved it so much, we put it on our cover this year!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were two moments from the wedding that stand out to me. Keeping with traditions of pre-WWII, David didn’t want to wear a ring, so we omitted the ring exchange from the ceremony. After the guests had left the ceremony, David’s brother and best man, William, pulled the two of us and our two families aside for a small, impromptu ring ceremony. The second moment was during the reception, when my grandmother asked me, “What do you think people would say if I were to get up and dance?” I pulled her onto the dance floor and we had a blast; it was so fun to watch her living it up!!

Taste was most important to us as far as the cake was concerned, and although Brick Street Café in Greenville, South Carolina does not do traditional wedding cakes, they have the best cakes we have ever tasted. Their sweet potato cake with cream cheese icing is to die for! We opted for several cakes instead of one large traditional cake, and went with the sweet potato, red velvet, and patty cake with German chocolate, raspberry drizzle, and almond cream cheese icing.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From David: After three years of working for Liza’s father’s law firm, I had not been fired, but quickly realized my days were numbered. As chance would have it, I saw a beautiful girl at the law firm summer party. When I realized that this beautiful girl was a partner’s daughter, I set out to secure my job. It only took a little bit of convincing to get Liza to say yes to a date. While I tried to take her out to a nice dinner, she insisted on staying in so she could watch the USC National Championship baseball game. Liza wore her lucky sweatshirt, despite the warm weather–she had to take it off at every commercial break, thanks to her notoriously hot nature. The Gamecocks won the National Championship that year, which must have been a good sign. The rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! We got engaged on Friday, August 16, 2013 at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Despite David’s best efforts to keep the proposal a secret, I found the engagement ring when David not-so-sneakily stuffed it in the couch. Not wanting to ruin the surprise, I pretended to see nothing. After a long first semester in physical therapy school, I needed a break, and David suggested Asheville. He planned to propose at the Biltmore Estate; however, he forgot to see if it was actually open, and it was not. Luckily, the back half of the property and the winery were open. After a wine tasting and a nice stroll, David found a perfect spot next to a stream to pop the question. The real surprise, however, occurred when we went back to the Grove Park Inn where we were staying, and found both of our families waiting in rocking chairs on the deck! I was so caught up in the moment that I almost walked right past my own family! When I finally realized they were there, I was totally shocked. Festivities ensued, and both families spent the whole weekend celebrating and rafting.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Even though we were in a nontraditional venue, we still wanted to say traditional vows.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Once the wedding day has arrived, have fun and don’t worry about the details or the things that may go wrong. Although I thought our wedding was perfect because everyone had a great time, there were some details that were left out or forgotten. In the end, I don’t think anyone noticed or cared. Most importantly, if your mom offers to help, let her!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are living in Charleston, South Carolina. I am finishing up physical therapy school at MUSC while David is enjoying being his own boss at his solo law practice. It’s so great to be in a new city that is as beautiful as Charleston to start our life together. We really look forward to all the activities and adventures that we will experience together.

Photographer: Olivia Griffin / Planner, Florals, Rentals, and Lighting: Cricket Newman / Venue: Camp Pinnacle / Cake Baker: Brick Street Cafe / Catering: Classic Catering / Band: Celebrity Allstars / Bride’s Gown: “Amelie” by Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon: Fabulous Frocks / Bride’s Earrings: Caroline Shook / Hair and Makeup Artist: Bliss / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Amore” in Shell Silk Chiffon by Amsale / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew / Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein / Ties: High Cotton Ties / Officiating Minister: Amos Disasa / Ceremony Music: Split Rail / Rehearsal Dinner Band: West End String Band

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments

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When your father is a cotton farmer, and your groom works at the farm too, there might not be a more perfect venue than one named Cottontop Plantation! I always love reading about why our sweet couples choose their venues, and Rebecca and Russell’s story is so fun. Their venue isn’t the only element of their wedding where meaningful details reigned–can y’all believe that Rebecca’s stunning gown is actually a family heirloom? It was worn by her paternal grandmother in 1958, and then by her aunt 1983. Not only is the dress in beautiful shape for an heirloom, it is also completely timeless and so very chic!

Big hugs to Britt Croft for sharing their lovely day with us!

P.S. I must say, I feel a bit akin to Rebecca, as my own dear husband tends to rock a beard as well!

My wedding dress is a family heirloom. My paternal grandmother wore the dress in 1958, and then my aunt wore it in 1983. The dress was handmade by a friend of the family who worked for a tailor in Columbia, South Carolina. I tried on many dresses, but could never find the vintage lace I was looking for. I asked my Mimi if I could try on her dress, and with tears in her eyes, she said she’d love that. Well, I fell in love with her dress! It was just what I wanted, and it was in really good shape for being that old. I had a friend of mine who does embroidery work sew three patches with all of our initials and wedding dates on them and my mom sewed them into the inside of the skirt.

Describe your wedding flowers. I carried a large bouquet of eucalyptus, dusty miller, brasilia berries, peach astilbe, peach roses, and white hydrangeas. I had the florist make two huge arrangements of the same flowers that were placed in white urns and displayed at the base of the porch steps where the ceremony took place. The farm tables we ate at were draped with a garland made of the same combination of flowers, plus silver candelabras and hurricane globes. The aisle was strewn with ivory rose petals.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The name of the venue was Cottontop Plantation. It is out in the middle of the country, just seven miles from our house. My dad is a cotton farmer, and Russell works at the farm as well, so besides the venue being very convenient and beautiful, my family and I loved the name Cottontop.

We had two pastors perform our ceremony–one is a family friend we’ve known since I was a little girl, who wrote our introductory thoughts and vows. Our current pastor at our church performed the exchange of rings and the vows. He put a personal touch on it, which made us and our guests more relaxed.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The venue was at a cotton plantation and we used farm tables at the reception. We buried a bottle of bourbon exactly one month before the wedding to keep the rain away and it worked. It’s Southern tradition! I wore pearls as my jewelry and we served sweet tea and lemonade. I had bridal portraits taken at Boone Hall Plantation. We served our guests mac and cheese, chicken, green beans, potatoes, yeast rolls, and salad–a menu you could find on any Southern dining room table on any given Sunday at a family lunch.

My wedding cake was a two-tiered textured white buttercream cake. The tiers were tall and embellished with real roses. We kept it on display near our dinner tables on an old circular oak table with claw feet, draped with my aunt’s lace wedding veil–the same aunt who had worn my wedding dress before me.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Russell and I met back in high school when we were both new students. We had several of the same classes, even though Russell was two years older than me. He was the quarterback of the school’s football team and I was a cheerleader. We dated several years in high school and into college when I got the bug to date other people for a while. I dated several other people, only to realize how much Russell and I were meant for each other. During that time (three years), Russell never dated anyone–he never gave up on me.
Tell us all about the proposal! On April 10, I arrived home from work to find a beautiful Rent the Runway gown hanging up next to some shoes and jewelry. Beside it was a note saying, “1. Put the dress on 2. Fix your hair and makeup 3. Be ready at 7 PM. Ignore the cameras and don’t ask any questions.” My sisters and mom were there to help me get ready. At 7, my sister blindfolded me and drove me up to what was to be mine and Russell’s future home. When I got out of the car, she took off the blindfold and I stood there speechless. There was a gazebo strung with lights, a table for dinner, and candles. I was told to sit down at the table to read a note from Russell, and when I looked up, I saw him walking toward me with three roses. He said, “This first rose is for our past, second for our present and the third for our future. He then got down on his knee and proposed. After that, we sat down for dinner just as the sun was setting, and after dinner, we danced under the lights. It was like something out of a fairy tale! Here is the proposal video my sister, Roxanne (a photographer) made.
When did y’all get married? September 27, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We used a string quartet on the porch of the plantation. I didn’t think of using anything but timeless classical music, which sounds so beautiful on strings.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment that I will cherish forever was wearing my grandmothers wedding dress. All the months planning and leading up to the wedding, my grandmother was so proud that I chose to wear her dress.

Photographer: Britt Croft Photography / Videographer: Roxanne Photography / Venue: Cottontop Plantation / Florist: Dyson Designs / Wedding Cake: Teresa Reed / Caterer: Sweet Magnolia’s Catering / Rentals: Simply Elegant Party and Event Rentals and Celebrations / DJ: Bob Bonnett / Invitations: Alicia’s Gifts and Invites / Bride’s Veil: Vera Wang for Davids Bridal / Bride’s Brooch: Tiger Lilly / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Menswear: Greg Norman

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Fotograf Warszawa reply

    Brilliant colors. Especially the last photo of the bulbs.

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Y’all know I’m a pink and gold glitter kind of girl. However, despite what I’m traditionally smitten with, Mary Courtney and Kit’s rustic mountain wedding has me completely in love. I was talking to BDK about this wedding, and I told him that while the wedding is absolutely beautifully designed by Chad Biggs (he agreed!), I think one of the reasons I love it so much is the sweetest interview from Mary Courtney, and the way she and Kit kept their planning focused on creating a wedding full of meaningful moments, and a foundation to build their marriage upon.

Big hugs to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Graham Terhune for sharing this sweet day with us!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Katie, who did my hair, was such a blessing! I have really curly, thick hair, so I was very nervous to have someone try to style it. I met Katie about a month and a half before the wedding for a trial, and from the moment I met her, I felt like she was one of my best friends. She is so gentle and encouraging! My mom, my sister, and I laughed and cried with her talking about life, the wedding, and our shared faith in Jesus. I was so excited to see her again on my wedding day!

We had a shorter engagement, so I did not have much time to waste! I decided to try a store near my parents’ house in Raleigh, Traditions by Anna. At Traditions, I tried on a few different styles and ended up loving the first dress I tried on! It was lace and had straps and a low back, which was exactly what I wanted. There was a detachable train that we originally did not pay any attention to, but we ended up loving it! It made the dress so unique because it was all tulle, so it was a different fabric than the rest of the dress. Our seamstress created a really unique bustle with it. I loved my dress and wish I had another event to wear it to!

We decided to stick to the tradition of not seeing each other on our wedding day until I walked down the aisle. Before the ceremony, we stood holding hands around the corner of a door and were able to pray together without seeing each other. That was such a sweet moment and it was nice to be able to hold his hand and hear his voice after not talking all day!

Our favorite detail was that all our favorite people were a part of our wedding day! Our best friends were our bridesmaids and groomsmen (which is why there were so many). Dave, who married us, also married my parents almost 30 years ago! Our videographer was one of Kit’s old roommates. I lived with a family in Charlotte last year, and the little girls I lived with became like little sisters to me, so they were our flower girls (they thought we were asking them to marry Kit when we asked them to be our flower girls–I can understand, he’s cute)! Our parents were a huge part in helping us pull everything together and covering our day in prayer. All our different vendors felt like old friends to us because they cared for us so well throughout the process.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We wanted our wedding to point to Jesus and how he has changed our lives. We also wanted our wedding to be a celebration, so that helped us choose the songs we used for our ceremony! I walked down the aisle to “10,000 Reasons,” which is a song we both love and felt was a beautiful worship song to celebrate us getting married! We sang “In Christ Alone” as a congregation during the wedding, and when our bridal party laid hands on us and prayed for us during the ceremony, “Death In His Grave” was played.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We wanted to get married in the mountains of North Carolina, and Claxton Farm is right near Windy Gap! Windy Gap is a Young Life camp where we will go on weekend and summer camp trips with Young Life for years to come. We thought it would be special to be able to drive by and say, “Hey, remember when we got married there and it was the best day ever!?” Windy Gap is also where my dad met the Lord when he was in high school and our family went there growing up, so it was a special place for my whole family.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We loved being able to have dinner by ourselves after our ceremony before joining the party again! Some of our best friends did this at their wedding and suggested it to us. It was the perfect amount of time to be alone, since we had not talked to each other all day. It was a sweet moment to realize WOW! We are husband and wife! This is awesome!

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted beautiful flowers that looked very natural and organic with a garden feel. I don’t love bright colors, so I asked our florist for the flowers to be mostly white and green. She threw in some succulents and different textures and created bouquets, wreaths, and arrangements more beautiful and unique than I could have imagined!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our desserts were incredible! Our friends at Ruth & Randshaw created the most delicious pies. We picked out a few different flavors that everyone would LOVE: strawberry rhubarb, chocolate oreo, pecan, and apple pie! I was so glad they packed us a to-go box of every flavor! Ruth & Randshaw also catered a brunch for my parents and their friends for the morning after the wedding–they are unbelievable bakers and the sweetest sisters!

I was really excited about our first dance because Kit is an incredible dancer and loves to cut a rug! I let him pick our first dance song, so naturally, he picked his favorite song to swing and shag to, which is “You Make My Dreams Come True.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kit and I met at Clemson University, where Kit was actually the Clemson Tiger for three years during school! We met during my freshman year, Kit’s sophomore year, at my sorority’s spring formal, but it wasn’t until the next year when Kit and his friends lived in the apartment next to me that we started to get to know each other. My roommate was on his Young Life team and in the same major so he was over a lot working on projects and skits for Young Life. Kit says he realized quickly that he was coming over more to see me than to work on projects. He asked me on our first date by mailing me a postcard from Vermont (where he is from) when he went home to visit his family one weekend. We went on a few dates, and then we were off to different parts of the country for the summer. Kit continued to pray for our relationship and that if this was in the Lord’s will, it would work. Finally, that fall when we got, back to Clemson the Lord made it clear that I was supposed to date this boy. It took seven months after our first date before we officially became a couple. The Lord has been a continual thread throughout our relationship and I am grateful He gave me the courage to trust this sweet boy!
Tell us all about the proposal! I was having a really hard day when Kit picked me up in Charlotte on Friday, January 17 to drive home to Raleigh for a wedding that weekend. I cried to him in the car about how I missed him and the distance was wearing on me. Kit sat in the driver’s seat, smiling. I was so annoyed–I didn’t know why he was taking this so lightly! The next morning, we had plans to go on a run, but I was taking my time, not noticing that everyone was trying to get me out the door. My sister tried to get me to wear something cute, but I said, “Tessa, it is 30 degrees outside–I need to be warm!” Soon enough, we were running toward the trail and I wanted to turn a different way than he did, but told him we would come back the way he wanted to go. As we were passing where he wanted to run, I saw a blanket, some flowers, and some books. I stopped and said “Wait, is this for me?” Kit held my hand and walked me over to the blanket, where he gave me a book that had the inside hollowed out and a letter inside. He had written the letter a year and a half earlier, saying he knew he wanted to marry me. I cried, read it twice, and couldn’t stop saying “Oh my gosh!” Then, he handed me a bible that had my new name engraved on it, grabbed my hands, got down on one knee, told me how much he loved me and wanted to serve me and put the Lord at the center of our marriage, pulled out the most beautiful ring, and then asked me if I wanted to marry him. I screamed YES! Back at my parents’ house, I was surprised by his parents who flew down from Vermont, plus a bunch of other friends and family who had come a long way to see us!
When did y’all get married? August 30, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 290
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One of my family friends from growing up designed our invitations, programs, napkins–she is very talented!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Kit always says, “Don’t sweat the petty things.” Planning will seem so overwhelming at times, but if you can take a step back and go on a walk or play outside with your fiancé, take advantage of it! Laugh, cry, talk about things other than the wedding, and remind each other why you are so pumped to start life together. Your wedding day is the best day ever, and guess what? Marriage is a blast–you get to do life with your best friend in the whole world!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just moved to Columbia, South Carolina to be on Young Life staff! We are so happy to be living in the same city again and working together! Kit is my boss (woah!) and it has been so much fun to work alongside each other, loving college and high school students while sharing who Jesus is and what he did for us. It is such an adventure to move to a new place with your best friend, and we are loving it so far!

Photographer: Graham Terhune Photography / Videographer: Earthswell / Planner: Chad Biggs / Venue: Claxton Farm / Florist: Expressions of Love Florist / Dessert Baker: Ruth & Randshaw / Caterer and Rentals: m7 / Band: Rubberband / Paper Products: Anna Grace Photography and Design / Bridal Salon and Veil: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Katie Manselle / Makeup Artist: Melissa Doeber / Bride’s Shoes: Anthropologie / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

Graham Terhune is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Mary Courtney and Kit are the most beautiful couple, inside and out! Their joy and the community around them is so inspiring…and I also love their darling pie display :)

  2. avatar Cheryl Ann reply

    Loved it all, especially the couple’s only dinner. But no pictures of the invite? Being a stationer I NEED to see them, lol…I’m sure they were unique!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    MC is rocking that floral crown like a natural! Such beautiful work, Graham!

  4. avatar Callie Davis reply

    Mary Courtney and Kit, your love is so contagious! I’m so happy to relive this unforgettable day on Southern Weddings!

  5. avatar Graham reply

    Absolutely love this wedding! Thank y’all so much for the feature!!!

  6. avatar Samantha reply

    Thank you so much for this beautiful feature! We are honored to see MC and Kit’s lovely wedding – especially on such an exciting week. Congratulations to all of you ladies on such a beautiful planner and magazine! We are so happy for you and are our hearts full to be a part of such beautiful work! xoxo

  7. avatar callen papy reply

    Where did you get your bridesmaid dresses from?

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For today’s groom, just writing about the memory of their proposal gets him all choked up, so it’s no surprise that when Emily and Jim tied the knot, their day was sweet and completely romantic! Paired with lots of delicate lace and the prettiest peachy pink color palette, Emily and Jim created a fun barbecue atmosphere, complete with a Coke toast, to ensure their day felt Southern, comfortable and welcoming! Obviously, in addition to their gorgeous day, we also love the adorable snuggling sheep Annamarie Akins captured at Hunt Club Farm!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I sure did! My something borrowed was a pair of pearl earrings from my mother. My something blue was an “I Do” sticker for the bottom of my shoes from my MOH. My something old was a vintage pearl ring that my grandmother had given my mother on her 16th birthday, which she passed down to me at my bridal shower. My something new was my sparkly gold Badgley Mischka shoes!

Finding my wedding dress wasn’t as easy as I had hoped it would be. When I first went shopping, I took everyone with me. It came down to two different dresses that I couldn’t decide between–my group’s preferences were split in half. Finally, I decided if either was the “one,” I would have known it. I continued my search and went to Pure English with just my mom and her best friend. The dress I ended up purchasing was the one for me, and I knew it when I kept wanting to put it back on!

Always so fun seeing Southern Weddings Shop products incorporated into real weddings!

My aunt Melanie officiated our ceremony, and when we were determining the readings for the ceremony, this one really stuck out: “Before I pronounce you married partners, I have just one more thing I want you to do. Your wedding day is one that seems to fly. It’s a day filled with emotion, friends, rings, and dances. Many people remember how fleeting their own wedding day was. So I want you to take a few seconds to look into each others’ eyes. Think about the happiness that you are feeling in this place, in this moment. Really let that feeling register in your heart and your mind. Now, I want you to think about your life together in 20 years. Where are you? What are you doing? We all know that your visions of the future are not identical, but always complimentary. John Lennon once said, ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together, THAT is reality.’ That new reality starts now.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? When we were first engaged, I saw that a friend had been married at Hunt Club. I asked Jim if he wanted to check it out as a venue. We went, and as soon as the Hunt Club coordinator told him that there was a BBQ company that would come and cook onsite all day, he was sold. That was it!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole vibe of the wedding was Southern! From the friendly and fun atmosphere to the BBQ, to the drinks out of mason jars, to the coke toast, we felt like our day was comfortable, welcoming, and laid back–which is what being Southern is all about.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Which one?! We had so many desserts, and it was because we simply couldn’t decide on one. Jim’s absolute favorite dessert is blueberry cheesecake, so Emma from Sweet Emma Lou put cheesecakes in small mason jars. I love apple and peach crisps, so she made them into mason jar desserts for me as well! We also had white almond raspberry and cookies and cream cupcakes, candy, macarons, donuts, and a six-inch cake for us to cut. We definitely went all out on desserts!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Jim: Floating around different projects at work, I was fortunate enough to be taking the spot of the most beautiful woman in the company, as she was moving to a new job. We had a week of transition, and I flirted a little. I waited a month or two before asking her out, and we started dating. A year later we moved to Virginia beach, and a year after that, we were engaged. Here we are three years later, married!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Jim: The adventure started in San Francisco where we bee-bopped around town for a few days without any set plans–just a goal to explore. To depart San Francisco in style, we rented a red Corvette convertible. Needless to say, it made the cruise down Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, to Monterey a little more enjoyable. Monterey was a blast, and on the next to last day, Emily said, “My friend mentioned this one park we should go check out, Point Lobos.” Unbeknownst to her, she would be engaged to me the next day, in that very park! I said we could check it out tomorrow, no big deal, which was playing into the plan of being there at EXACTLY 2 p.m. That day, we wandered down to Hidden Beach in Point Lobos and looked around. I said to Emily, “Do you want to do something crazy?” “Sure,” Emily responded. “Do you want to marry me?” Writing it gets me choked up again, just like it did that day. She jumped around for a minute or two before actually saying yes…but she did. The whole experience was captured by a photographer hidden in the woods.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. When choosing our wedding songs, we thought about the people and time periods in our lives that they would represent. I walked down the aisle to Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life.” That song tells the story of meeting someone and how it feels like your life begins right in that moment. For the bouquet toss, instead of the classic “Single Ladies,” I chose “Settlin’” by Sugarland, a song that reminds my friends and me of the time in our 20′s when there wasn’t a care in the world, and we wouldn’t settle for anything less than what we deserved.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? BBQ! Mobile Pignic showed up onsite six hours before the wedding, smoked ribs and chicken, and then served it as a family-style buffet. It was perfect for the vibe and saved us a ton of money over traditional wedding caterers. Plus, no one had to answer chicken or beef on their invite.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun with it. You aren’t going to please everyone, so try not to worry about making everyone happy. I know it’s easier said than done, but try to remember that your wedding is all about you and your future husband.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? As a couple, we’ve accomplished a lot this past year… we bought a house, planned a wedding, and had the most amazing wedding day ever. We think we will take a break and relax for a little while, plan some adventures, and enjoy life at home with our two boxer pups, Coral and Reef.

Photographer: Annamarie Akins Photography / Planner: Hannah Hildebrandt Events / Venue: Hunt Club Farm / Florist: Johnson’s Gardens Inc. / Dessert Baker: Sweet Emma Lou / Catering: Mobile Pignic / Rentals: Bluebird’s Garage / DJ: Rodney Charles of Astro Entertainment / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Bridal Salon: Pure English / Hair and Makeup: Aubrey Lynn of Behind the Veil Studios / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff / Menswear: Jim’s Formal Wear

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Michael and Carina reply

    This wedding is absolutely lovely!!!
    So many gorgeous details <3
    xoxo M+C

  2. avatar Jan Pruden reply

    We felt so very blessed to witness these two and their families come together as ONE bigger and happier family. The LOVE was truly in the air! And so so many special thoughtful touches. Jim and Emily are the sweetest couple. May God bless them with everything wonderful!

  3. avatar Annamarie Akins reply

    Thank you so much for featuring Emily and Jim!! They are the best and I am so excited about this! Dream come true! :)

  4. avatar Cheryl Trebi reply

    I was the “best friend” that accompanied my best friend, Emily’s Mom, to “Pure English” where the gorgeous bridal gown was found! Being a mom of two sons, this was absolutely thrilling for me! I love this beautiful love story of Emily & Jim – they “glowed” in every picture, and still do!

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It’s a good week here at Southern Weddings for my fellow pink and gold glitter-loving gals! After thoroughly gushing over yesterday’s wedding, I considered reigning in my enthusiasm a little for Katey and Matt’s post, but decided against it. If you know me, you know that when I get excited, I talk WAY too fast, so please read this quickly and drink in all the prettiness below!

As a wedding planner herself, Katey had so many creative ideas, but she knew she didn’t want to go overboard. Armed with Kate Spade as her inspiration and the beautiful Sanderling Resort as her backdrop, she created a perfectly preppy celebration! I think she found just the right balance of big and bright (hello ah-mazing paper flowers at the ceremony) and sweet and subtle (that LulaKate bow belt)! It’s also completely romantic that Katey and Matt held their wedding weekend in the same place where she realized he was the one for her–swoon!

I’m so glad Meaghan Elliot was there to capture this wedding!

Tell us all about the proposal! We were with my family in the Bahamas over the holidays. Although it seemed like the perfect time to propose, I had no idea it was coming, as we had briefly talked about getting engaged sometime in 2014 and then getting married in 2015. This vacation was in 2012! My sister and I gifted our parents with professional family photos on the beach as a Christmas present. While the photographer was snapping pictures, I turned around to check out the sunset, and when I turned back around, Matt was on one knee. It was the shock of a lifetime!

Oh, nelly! Wedding dress shopping was so much fun! For the first shopping trip, I brought my mom, sister, best friend, and a few aunts. We had a large group, but it was such a special time to share with some of the most important women in my life. I went back with just two ladies a few weeks later and found my dress! To make it more “me,” I found the perfect bow belt from LulaKate and a veil with three stripes on the bottom, which really helped complete my look and personalize it a bit.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! I felt as though nothing would take away from that iconic moment when I walked down the aisle with my dad and saw Matt at the end waiting for me–even if we had seen each other before. I loved being able to see him and it helped settle a few nerves. We were able to get some pictures together and with the bridal party, which allowed us to enjoy more time with our guests after the ceremony.

Our bridal party walked down the aisle to “In My Life” by The Beatles, We thought that was a great song to celebrate all of our friendships with our bridal party. We went very traditional for the other songs–I walked down the aisle to “Bridal March,” and “Wedding Chorus” played when we were announced man and wife.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Matt and I were taking pictures on the beach at sunset when we came up over the dune to join everyone else who was already dancing. We stood up on top of the dune for a few minutes and watched our friends and family celebrating our marriage at one of our favorite places. The sun dipped into the bay and we went to join in on the party…we’ll never forget that!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It sounds corny, but it was so amazing to have so many of our friends and family not only in the same state, but in the same 400-foot radius. Our loved ones are spread out all over the country and to have them all in the Outer Banks for a few days was so nice. As for the details, we didn’t even plan this, but guys ended up putting their escort card flowers on their shirt or suit pockets, so it was like all the men had boutonnieres. It really added a fun pop of color to the wedding in an unexpected place.

Describe your wedding flowers. Working with Renee Landry was fantastic, and with my ideas and her creative genius, we ended up with three looks for the tables. They were all rectangle or square and were inspired by a bright, colorful, Kate Spade look. We did small bud vases with massive peonies in them for the longer tables, and we sprinkled in garden roses as well. Everything was bright and bold and I loved it! We also spray painted artichokes gold to stick the table numbers in, and they turned out beautifully!

Since my family is from Pittsburgh and we are Italian, we followed a big Italian tradition in Pittsburgh of a cookie bar, where tons of family members bake cookies and serve them at the wedding. Since we had a destination wedding, we knew this wouldn’t exactly be possible. I ended up doing a cookie display with cookies that represented some of our favorite things–our hobbies, dogs, favorite sports teams, and of course, our monogram!

To see more of this gorgeous wedding, take a peek at Katey and Matt’s video by our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Blueberry Creative!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I lived in DC for awhile working on Capitol Hill, and then headed up to Baltimore to pursue a career in advertising. Mutual Virginia Tech alumni friends brought us together a few times, but it wasn’t until Halloween that we finally met while aboard the Urban Pirate Ship that sails around in the inner harbor in Baltimore (kind of a hilarious place to meet!).
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up going to the Outer Banks, and some of my fondest memories have happened there. After about a year of dating, Matt and I and some friends went to OBX in October for a long weekend. It was the first time many of my friends who didn’t live close by were able to meet Matt and hang out with him. Everything went so well (I figured it would, of course!), and it was on that vacation that I realized he was the one for me. How special to go back and marry him there! Guests stayed at The Sanderling, and we celebrated the welcome party, ceremony, reception, and brunch there. We wanted our wedding weekend to be a vacation for everyone.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had our bridesmaids read our wishes and promises to each other instead of readings. Some were funny and others were more serious–one wished us a lifetime of love, laughter, and strength through life’s ups and downs. In another, I promised not to not force Matt to eat all of the crazy healthy meals I make, like cauliflower pizza!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Being a wedding planner and working in weddings every day, it was hard to “stop.” I wanted to do so many things and had so many ideas/etc, but I didn’t want to go overboard or over budget. There’s just so much inspiration out there and it’s hard to narrow down ideas.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I had our bridesmaids carry the boxes with the wishes instead of flowers. Since I chose a very expensive flower for the reception, I knew we needed to save somewhere. It was a fun unique twist for bridesmaids, and it saved me from having to buy 12 bridesmaid bouquets! A few of the girls carried huge paper flowers too.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When you and your fiancé need to do some planning, go to an interesting place, like a park, a bench on the water, a restaurant (with Internet of course), etc. That way, even if you’re talking about less fun topics, it is not as bad if you’re eating a great meal or watching sailboats go by–we did lots of planning on Baltimore’s waterfront! Also, it’s never too soon to start purchasing things for the wedding! After you nail down your color palette and vision for the day, if you see a cocktail napkin design on Etsy you love, order it, even if the wedding is still five months away. Nothing is worse than praying for a shipment to get in on time!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. We’re in such a great time in our lives–so many of our friends are having babies, buying homes, and creating their lives together. We can’t wait to join in the fun with them!

Photographer: Meaghan Elliott Photography / Videographer: Blueberry Creative / Planner: lemon & lime event design / Day-of Coordinator: Orangerie Events / Venue and Catering: The Sanderling Resort / Florist: Renee Landry Style / Cake Baker: Patti Cakes / Rentals: AFR / Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen / Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting / Band: Burnt Sienna / Paper Products: Fig2 Design Company / Bride’s Gown: “1103″ by Blush by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon: Garnish Boutique / Bride’s Jewelry: Kate Spade / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel / Hair and Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers / Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate / Menswear: Perry Ellis / Dog Cookies: Sweet Kiera / Monogram Cookies: Sweet Goosie Girl / Beach/Ski Cookies: Miss Lizzy Cakes / College Cookies: Ruthie’s Cookies / Watercolor Calligraphy: Perch Paper Company / Cheers Signs and Bridesmaids’ Flowers: Lovelyfest Goods / Ceremony Music: Club Violin / Cocktail Hour Music: Hear Steel Drums Play / Escort Card Paper Flowers: Land of Flowers / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbon: Oatmeal Lace Design / Wedding Signs: Sweet NC Collective / Custom Clutches: Bobbie K Designs / Table Numbers: Better Off Wed / Instagram Clay Vases: Hadley Clay / Koozies: Rouge and Co

Blueberry Creative, Orangerie Events, and the Sanderling Resort are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Jenn – Wedding Supplies reply

    Amazing details for each any every component of this wedding design – adorable!

  2. avatar Calling Local Mama’s…. | Meaghan Elliott Photography Blog reply

    […] brides (Katey & Matt) weddings (think Kate Spade meets nautical… Outer Banks wedding) is featured on their site today! […]

  3. avatar Hadley reply

    What a beautiful, inspiring wedding! I’m SO thrilled my little instagram bud vase was included! XO

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    What a fun wedding!! Love all the creative ways they used navy and white stripes, and that ceremony space is a show stopper!

  5. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Katie and Evan did our blush and bashful-loving hearts proud at their beautiful Arkansas wedding! Katey and Matt‘s Kate Spade-inspired wedding took place at a sentimental beach […]

  6. avatar Wedding Video Wednesday XVIIII » Borrowed and Blue Occasions reply

    […] came across this video on one of Southern Weddings posts last week and fell in love with the paper flowers! No detail was over looked and they could […]

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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