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Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Marissa

I’m married to my own college sweetheart, so I always love reading about couples who share a similar courtship. Of course, since we all know how deeply college allegiances run in the South, I can’t help but adore Lauren and Casey’s nod to not only their alma mater, but also to their relationship, at their wedding! The Jefferson is a beautiful hotel, and I especially love that these two had both their very first dance and their first dance as husband and wife in the same ballroom there. Lauren said, “we felt it would be very special and fitting to our relationship to get married on campus, where our relationship not only began, but has also grown.” So sweet!

Thanks to Whitebox Photo for sharing such a sentimental day with us!

Aren’t these little gals the cutest?!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding the dress was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning! One long weekend, my parents, sister, and I went dress shopping in Miami. At first, we all had very different opinions on what the dress should look like, but in the end, when I tried on my dress, we all knew it was the one. It had a lace bodice with a full tulle skirt and lace detailing at the bottom. For the church, Chic Parisien made me a custom lace bolero, which I removed for the reception. My favorite part of my look was the cathedral-length veil with lace detailing around the edge.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a “first look.” We wanted to stay traditional on this and have the first time we saw each other to be when I walked down the aisle, so we planned for a longer gap between our ceremony and cocktail hour. This gave us plenty of time to get all the photos we wanted! In the meantime, the guests enjoyed champagne on a scenic shuttle ride down Monument Avenue on their way to the reception site, and had a few minutes to freshen up before the cocktail hour.

Did you write your own vows? No, we opted for traditional vows. We both agreed we did not want the added stress of reading personal vows in public on our wedding day, and we wanted to stay relaxed.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had a traditional Christian ceremony with two readings. My aunt read Colossians 3:12-17, and Casey’s aunt read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. While the parents’ and bridal party’s entrances were traditional wedding songs, I really wanted my entrance song to be different. I spent forever trying to find the right one. The church has a beautiful organ, which we wanted to use, but I also wanted to incorporate a cello. I finally found “Song for Sienna” by Brian Crain, which could be played as a duet by the organist and cellist. It was perfect! It has a 30-second introduction by the organ, and when the deep cello started to play, the doors opened, and I walked down the aisle. Our first dance was Lady Antebellum’s “When You Got A Good Thing.” We have always loved that song and we were so happy that our band, The Boomers, learned it for us.

The University of Richmond is very special to Casey and me. Not only did we meet on campus, but we were also both athletes there and feel a strong sense of school pride. Since we still live five minutes away from campus, we support the Spiders at many home games, go for jogs around campus, and are able to take part in many alumni events. We felt it would be very special and fitting to our relationship to get married on campus where our relationship not only began, but has also grown. Our reception site, The Jefferson Hotel, is an iconic Richmond hotel that has very special meaning to us. Since our first dance at Ring Dance, we have frequently visited the Jefferson for happy hour, dinner, and brunch. It’s the only place we wanted to have our reception!

Describe your wedding cake. I wanted the wedding cake to be a central decor item at our reception. The cake plate was placed on a sparkly gold linen behind our sweetheart table with large flower arrangements on either side. Behind it, French doors opened to overlook the Jefferson’s grand staircase. It was magical! The cake had a simple design with alternating layers of ruffles and sparkly gold detailing. It was so beautiful that I didn’t really want to cut it, but good thing we did, because it was delicious!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? From the iconic Jefferson Hotel to my lace-detailed dress to the song selections played by our band, our wedding had many Southern touches, but to us, the South is all about hospitality. We wanted our guests to feel welcomed and taken care of. When they arrived, our DIY, Virginia-themed welcome bags, complete with Virginia peanuts, Route 11 chips, Hardywood Singel, and more were waiting for them. The night before our wedding, we hosted a dessert and cocktail reception at the Boathouse, which overlooks the James River, so everyone could get to know each other. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed champagne on the shuttle back to the hotel. And our main goal, of course, was to make sure our guests left very well fed. Our cocktail hour featured seasonal, local ingredients, and of course, a couple of Southern classics, including shrimp and grits in mason jars. Our guests enjoyed a plated dinner and our dessert bar featured pecan pies, among many other desserts, which guests could enjoy at the reception or take to-go.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met junior year of college at the University of Richmond. Casey and his teammates were having a party, which my teammates and I went to. Casey and I bonded over being the only two Southerners and the only ones who wanted to listen to country music. A couple of weeks later, we attended “Ring Dance” together, which is a school tradition where junior women are escorted down the grand staircase at the Jefferson Hotel by their fathers and receive their class rings, followed by a dinner and dancing reception. I invited Casey and we shared our first dance together at the Jefferson Hotel. It was so special to later share our first dance as a married couple in the same place.
Tell us all about the proposal! Casey, who can never keep a secret, somehow managed to plan an elaborate engagement with the help of our close family and friends. They completely transformed my backyard with candles, twinkle lights, pictures, champagne, cake, wedding magazines, and our love story. We were so blessed to have both our parents and close friends surrounding us for this special moment, and the next day, we all went out for brunch to celebrate!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Describe your wedding flowers. Vibrant! Given that our main wedding colors were black and gold, I really wanted the flowers to pop and make a statement. I prefer garden-style arrangements that incorporate a lot of greenery along with the flowers. They turned out beautifully and really helped transform the ballroom and church. Our florist, Rick, was fantastic!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Both of our favorite details were food-related. Casey says his favorite was the dessert table with Sugar Shack donuts and pecan pies! Mine was the fusion of Cuban and Southern touches at the cocktail hour. The Cuban sandwiches and shrimp and grits in mason jars were delicious and very “us!”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my hairpiece–my sister (matron of honor) had worn it on her wedding day, and it was so beautiful and made such a statement that I was so thankful when she offered to let me wear it. My maid of honor gave me a blue garter with a pearl pendant to wear on my wedding day. My something old was my great-grandmother’s hand-stitched handkerchief that was pinned to the inside lining of my dress. A lot could fit into the something new category, but my favorite was the pair of David Yurman pearl earrings my parents gave to me the night before my wedding. They were simple, but breathtaking, and went perfectly with my dress.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was planning our wedding far away from our families and trying to make sure that everyone’s wants and needs were fulfilled. Sometimes, this meant taking longer to make decisions.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? A big money saver was having our ceremony floral arrangements reused at the reception venue. Our pew clusters were hung on the sconces around the ballroom and the two large arrangements at the church were placed on either side of our wedding cake at the main entrance.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding would not have been the same without our wedding planner, Lindsay! She is the one who introduced us to all of our fabulous vendors and really took the time to get to know us and our vision for our wedding. Because our families live out of state, she helped us pick out all the small details, attended meetings, and sat down with us on some of the most stressful planning days. She became more than just a wedding planner–we definitely consider her a great friend.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? That would have to be when the preacher accidentally showed up 45 minutes late for our ceremony. Once I knew it wasn’t Casey who had gone missing, I enjoyed the extra time with a bridal portrait session. It is something we will joke about forever, and it all worked out when the preacher made a great recovery in his sermon.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? First, hire a wedding planner. On your big day, you want to be stress-free, relaxed, and confident that someone is behind the scenes making sure every detail is as it should be. Second, relax on your big day and soak up as much of it as you can. It’s over before you know it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Casey and I recently adopted a dog named Harley from the Richmond SPCA, so the three of us are adjusting to our new lives together! I am finishing medical school and Casey is continuing franchise development for sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt. We are excited for all of our family adventures ahead!

Photographer: Whitebox Photo / Videographer: Ginger Topham / Planner: LK Events and Design / Ceremony Venue: Cannon Memorial Chapel / Reception Venue: The Jefferson Hotel / Florist: Rick Lunsford of Blooms at The Jefferson Hotel / Wedding Cake: Sweet Fix / Caterer: Ashton Hassan at The Jefferson Hotel / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design / Band: The Boomers / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3251″ by Lazaro / Bride’s Bolero and Veil: Custom by Chic Parisien / Paper Products: Paper on the Avenue and Elise DiPace / Jewelry: David Yurman / Hair Stylist: Welsy Mourino of Elle Style Studio / Makeup Artist: LaCretia (LC) Baskfield of Ave 42 Style Studio / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Aidan” in Black Luxe Chiffon by Jenny Yoo / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Transportation: James River Transportation and Richmond Trolley Company / Calligraphy: Mary Sue Sanderlin / Save the Dates: Dear June / Eclectic and Vintage Rentals: Paisley and Jade / Custom Stamps for Invitations: Verde Studio

Whitebox Photo is a delightful member of the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    What a beautiful bride!! Love their sentimental venue choice–I’ve been wanting to visit the Jefferson Hotel, but now I want to attend a wedding there even more!

  2. avatar Ashton Toler Hassan reply

    Would you please be so kind as to correct, under the vendors section, Caterer to read: Ashton Hassan at The Jefferson Hotel? It would be most appreciated.

  3. avatar Kelsey reply

    This wedding is just perfection! I am in awe of the bride’s gorgeous dress and hair! Do you know where she got her hair clip? I am looking for one just like it for my wedding!

  4. avatar Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography, LLC reply

    What a beautiful wedding. The reception tables took my breath away.

  5. avatar Lindsay Kennedy reply

    This wedding was just STUNNING! Thank you for the feature!

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From her wedding day attire (a lace gown with buttons running down the back, paired with broken-in cowboy boots), all the way to the amazing blooms on top of whiskey barrels, I’d say Alyssa nailed the rustic chic feel at her and Dayton’s wedding! They also may have one of our best replies yet to the question of what was Southern about their day–ceremony in parents’ front yard? Check! Reception held in their barn? Check! Dance floor with a country band for people to two-step to? Check! Chicken fried steak and smoked chicken for dinner? Double check! Honestly, I’m wondering why my invitation got lost in the mail!

Big SW hugs to Rachel Whyte for sharing such a sweetly Southern day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had always envisioned myself in an all-lace wedding dress with buttons down the back, and I like the cap sleeve look. I went to Bliss Bridal in Fort Worth, and knew I had found the dress before I even put it on. It was the first dress I tried on and I absolutely loved it! I tried on a few more just to be sure, but went right back to the first one. I had an appointment at another salon, but while standing in front of the mirror, I told my mom to cancel it because I had found the dress! It was such a great experience having all my dreams start to come true!

The flowers were absolutely stunning. There was a mixture of light pinks, whites, and greenery in each bouquet. We had two wine barrels with beautiful arrangements on top of each. I had shown a picture of wine barrels with flowers on them to my florist as inspiration, and she surprised me with them on the wedding day. I almost cried when I saw them.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My parents live in the country outside of Decatur, and I have always wanted to get married outdoors or in a barn. We both liked the idea of getting married in the front yard and having the reception in the barn. Plus, the venue was free!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows–we probably would have cried the whole time if we had. Instead, we had Dayton’s dad officiate the ceremony, and he included childhood stories and some life lessons for us to take with us into our marriage.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I have always been more traditional with this aspect of the wedding. I am so glad that we did not do a first look so we could have that moment when I walked down the aisle.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was the barn. The way the tables, flowers, and lighting all came together gave it the rustic chic feel we were looking for.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The ceremony took place in my parents’ front yard, while the reception was held in their barn. We had a dance floor with a country band for people to two-step to. Babe’s Chicken House catered chicken fried steak and smoked chicken for dinner.

The cakes were simple and delicious! The bride’s cake was a three-tiered cake with simple flowers in almond cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. The groom’s cake was one round tier with a golf scene on top and Texas on the front. It was yellow cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Abilene Christian University when Dayton was a senior and I was a junior. Before we even met, one of my very best friends thought we would be perfect for each other. We starting hanging out and went on a ski trip, but remained just friends until the spring of my senior year. One of my guy friends pulled me aside one night and asked what I was waiting on, because if I wanted a guy that would love me, take care of me, and always be by my side, then Dayton was my guy. How could I ignore that? Shortly after, we started dating and it did not take long for us to know that we were in love.
Tell us all about the proposal! It happened on November 16, 2013. Dayton had been wanting to go to my parents’ farm in Canton for awhile, and he told me that week that we needed to go because “the trees would be so pretty.” It had been a busy week at school and I was so tired, so when Saturday came along, I tried to convince Dayton to stay in town and just relax. It did not work. When we got to Canton, we fished for a little while and then went to a restaurant called The Shed for lunch. While we were eating some country fried chicken and chocolate pie, I noticed Dayton had been on his phone more than usual, so I asked him who he was talking to. Dayton said that he and his friend, Jeff, were about to make a fantasy football trade. It was that time of year, so I believed him. While Jeff and Dayton were texting about “fantasy football,” I texted my friend Emily to see if she wanted me to gather some things from Canton so we could make a wreath. When Dayton and I got back to the farm, he told me we should go to the dock. I looked toward the dock and there were mason jars and flowers all along it! We started walking to the dock, and then Dayton said some very sweet things, got down on one knee. and asked me to marry him. I said YESSS! After about five minutes, Emily and Jeff popped out of the bushes and I freaked out again. That’s when I found out that the fantasy football texts were all code for when we were leaving lunch and heading back to the farm!
When did y’all get married? April 5, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 250
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We used all Ben Rector songs for the seating of the parents, grandparents, and wedding party. I walked down the aisle to “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector. I didn’t want to use the traditional wedding march, and I liked the words and pace of this song.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was to not get stressed out over all the little details. I knew that at the end of the day, I would be married to the man of my dreams, so nothing else mattered.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved all the help we got from Celebration Event Rentals and Shag Carpet. My aunt was able to coordinate and decorate the entire barn with the help of her friend there, and we were so grateful to have that expertise.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable part of the wedding for both of us was when I walked down the aisle. It looked like it was going to rain that day, but a few hours before the ceremony, the skies cleared and we were able to get married outside. I remember being so happy it was finally time to walk down the aisle to get married. I did not even care how cold it was–it was so great to see the look on Dayton’s face when I walked to meet him at the altar.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress. All the details get worked out, and at the end of the day, you are married. Nothing else matters as long as you are marrying the right person for you at the end of the day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are most excited to just relax and spend time together. We want to travel and have as many adventures together as we can.

Photographer: Rachel Whyte / Planner: Gayle Pratt and Shelby Holt / Venue: Private residence / Florist: J.H. Davis Designs / Cake Baker: Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery / Caterer: Babe’s Chicken Dinner House /Rentals: Celebration Event Rentals and Shag Carpet Rentals / Lighting: ES Events / Band: Keith Mitchell Band / Bridal Salon: Bliss Bridal Salon / Paper Products: Michael McCarty / Hair Stylist: Emily Warr / Makeup Artist: Amber Joy / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Forever 21 / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

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

    It feels like this could have been one of my friends’ weddings–everything is so sweet and Texan! Love it!

  2. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    So rustic and chic. I love it!

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After meeting as camp counselors one summer (and officially becoming a “kanakouple!”), Katie and Adam spent their courtship and engagement in a long distance relationship. While distance can be a challenge, these two put their experience to good use when planning a wedding while both sides of their family were dispersed geographically. After making, borrowing, or thrifting all of the decor, Katie and Adam made BoBrook Farms feel like it had been in their family for years. Obviously, with our love for farm animals here at Southern Weddings, the livestock on site might be one of our favorite parts, but personally, I’m smitten with Katie’s baby’s breath flower crown!

Big SW hugs to Kati Mallory for sharing this fabulous farm day with with us!

P.S. Be sure to read Adam’s favorite moment from their wedding! Y’all, I swear these grooms are trying to make me cry! ;)

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I made an appointment at a cute bridal shop in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida, where I’m from. It was such a great experience! My mom and sister came with me. I tried on a few dresses and fell in love with my beautiful dress, especially the soft lace details. We all knew it was the one!

Adam and I didn’t think we would do a first look, but after talking to my photographer and Adam about it more, we decided to do one. I am SO glad we did! It was such a relief to see him before the wedding. The day went smoothly because I was just so happy. Everything felt more casual and there really wasn’t any stress. It didn’t help with the tears though! It was definitely still a challenge to hold it together when I saw him waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

Describe your wedding flowers. I’m so thankful I had Tanarah doing my flowers because I couldn’t really picture what I wanted. They turned out so beautifully though, and were exactly what I wanted, even though I didn’t know it. They all coordinated with the mauve bridesmaid dresses and included peonies, spray roses, veronica, white wax flowers, ranunculus, stock flowers, and dahlias.

From Adam: I will never forget the first look. The actual wedding flew by, but the moment when I turned around and saw my future wife for the first time felt like it lasted forever. I was so excited and nervous, and she looked so beautiful. We were standing alone between rows of berry bushes with only the photographers sneaking around us, and in that moment, in the midst of all of the chaos and excitement, it felt like we were the only people in the world. It was an incredible feeling. I knew she was everything I had ever dreamed of.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We picked Little Rock, Arkansas, because it was a central location for our very dispersed family. I didn’t know the area well, so I spent a whole day looking at different venues, and BoBrook was the last one on the schedule for the day. I loved the outdoor space and I just knew it was right for Adam and me.

I really liked the Southern feel of our wedding. It was on a farm that had ongoing livestock and farming operations, the aisle was covered in hay, the reception beverages (including sweet tea) were served from a barn, the groom’s cake was hunting-themed, and we exited in Adam’s four-wheel drive truck. Adam and his groomsmen wore their favorite boots and new leather suspenders too, which was pretty fun.

Describe your wedding cake. The wedding cake was a delicious, rich vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, covered with flowers. The groom’s cake was a surprise for Adam. Since he loves to hunt, we surrounded a chocolate cake with deer antlers. He loved it!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met when we were camp counselors at Kanakuk Kamps in Branson, Missouri during summer 2010. One day on the dock, Adam sat next to me, introduced himself, and gave me his snacks. Little did he know, the way to my heart was through my sweet tooth! The little free time we had that summer was spent writing each other letters, going on walks, and hanging out on group dates. By the time the summer ended, we were an official “kanakouple.” After that, we spent four long years dating long distance between Florida and Arkansas. We fell in love through weekend visits, long Skype dates, phone calls, texts, and joining up for holidays or vacations anytime our schedules aligned. It was so worth it.
Tell us all about the proposal! On December 2, I read an email from my sorority announcing that we were having a Candlelight that night. A Candlelight is a way for a sorority member to announce to all her friends that she got engaged. Everyone stands in a huge circle and passes the candle around three times, and the girl who is engaged blows out the candle on the third round. It’s always a big surprise and lots of fun! All day, girls were asking if it was my Candlelight (since they knew Adam and I had been dating for a long time), and about half of the time I joked around and said yes. Little did I know, it actually was! During all of this, Adam was on a fishing trip in Arkansas, or so I thought. At the Candlelight, everyone began to sing the song, and the candle started to get passed around the circle. On the third time around, the candle got to me, and I tried to pass it on, but Hillary, my best friend and Kappa Delta big sister, would not let me. After a moment of feeling awkward, whispers from the circle make me look up. Adam was walking towards me, and then, in front of 200 of my friends, he got down on one knee.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Over 250
Did you write your own vows? It was a pretty easy decision for us not to, actually. We are both in the health care field and have always been more of the science type than the writer type. We knew how we felt about each other and what we believe the covenant of marriage entails.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? I had three of my really good friends (who drove all the way from Florida!) read some of our favorite Bible verses about marriage.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. One of Adam’s friends sang “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” as I walked down the aisle. During the ceremony, my aunt sang “Be Thou My Vision.” Both songs really echo what we believe about God and how we want Him to be the center of our marriage. For the recessional, I had the DJ play “When I’m With You” by Ben Rector as a surprise to Adam. He always used to tell me to listen to it and imagine he was singing it to me. Our first dance song was “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. He actually used to sing that one to me!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We really loved the colorful handmade pennants Adam’s cousin let us borrow from her wedding!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Relinquishing control. I wanted to DIY and book everything myself. Finally, I realized I couldn’t do it all, and my mom graciously took over. She also had a ton of help from Adam’s mom, my dad, and our wedding coordinator. I am so thankful for all of them!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I either made, borrowed, or thrifted all of the decorations. We also used a DJ instead of a band, and there was still plenty of dancing!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Honestly, every detail and vendor was perfect in my eyes. More than anything though, I am thankful for my parents. I don’t even think the wedding would’ve happened without my dad. He was at the venue all day setting up and fixing every problem that popped up. My mom was with me all day while we got our hair and makeup done. She kept the mood light, got us everywhere on time, and was just a lot of fun.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? One thing people constantly told us, which brought us comfort, was that at the end of the day, no matter how the decorations look, or how the music played, we would be married and that’s what it was all about. That advice helped us enjoy the process instead of stressing.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just moved into our new house in Memphis. Adam is in dental school, and I am a nurse. We are most looking forward to just doing normal, everyday things together. We weren’t ever able to do that before since we were long distance, so to us, it seems like an exciting adventure!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? From Adam: With Katie and I coming from two different churches in two different states, we were having trouble choosing a minister to officiate the wedding. Thankfully, I had the idea to ask one of my mentors at Kanakuk, Tyler Holland, if he would be interested. He was already getting ordained for another wedding and said he would love to. He was there on the dock the first time we met and he was there to marry us on our wedding day. He is a great friend and person. It was really special for us to have him officiate his first wedding with us.

Photographer: Kati Mallory / Planner: Mary Elizabeth Events / Venue: BoBrook Farms / Florist: Tanarah Luxe Floral / Wedding Cake: Tracy Cakes / Caterer: Simply the Best Catering / Rentals: Party Time Rental and Events / DJ: Central Arkansas Entertainment / Succulent Favors: San Pedro Cactus / Bride’s Gown: “Deidre” by Lis Simon / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Floral Crown: Tanarah Luxe Floral / Jewelry: Nordstrom / Hair Stylist: Salon Avatar / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Liquid Jersey dresses in Wild Mushroom by J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Bonobos / Suspenders: NoSlipSuspenders

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

    Ahhh, they are SO cute together! They look like they’re really soaking in every single sweet moment :)

  2. avatar Emily reply

    This wedding makes me SO happy. That photo of them and their friends celebrating after the ceremony is perfection!!

  3. avatar 8 whimsical floral wedding invitations | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

    […] on Southern Weddings invitations by Wedding Paper […]

  4. avatar Nicole – Ottawa Wedding Photographer reply

    This is soooo sweet! Someone send me down south to shoot a stunning country wedding like this!

  5. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies reply

    Such lovely and beautiful wedding! Loved beautiful details of this wedding.

  6. avatar liam smith reply

    beautiful wedding, any idea where the engagement ring is from?

  7. avatar Groomsmen Trend Alert: Leather Suspenders » Local Southern Weddings reply

    […] in tons of rustic chic weddings. We are loving the rich colors and relaxed fit of the suspenders on these groomsmen in […]

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I can’t even find a way to start this post other than with the good ol’ Southern contraction – y’all! Seriously…y’all. Caitlan and BJ’s wedding stole my heart right from the very beginning. These two met through mutual friends and had a self-proclaimed “whirlwind romance,” FaceTiming until their phones died while dating long distance. On their wedding day, jeans and t-shirt-wearing Caitlan donned a gorgeous blush sequined gown from BHDLN that literally took BJ’s breath away. As he said himself, “For as long as I can remember, I have always wondered what it would feel like to have your breath taken away. The moment that Caitlan came into view, that feeling was realized. To watch her clasp onto her father’s arm, trying her hardest to force a smile through her tears of joy (hopefully joy) was the single greatest moment, of not only that day, but of my life.” Are you kidding me? While that’s a bit longer of a quote than we normally include in an introduction, when Lisa and I read it, we both bawled our eyes out, and knew we HAD to share it with y’all. Three words: Love never fails. Now wipe your tears because you don’t want to miss this amazingly sweet day!

Thanks for sharing, Jen Dillender– you know the way to our hearts!

I adore Caitlan’s ridiculously chic, but somehow, completely laid-back look!

Frankly, I prefer jeans and a t-shirt over dressing up any day, so wedding dress shopping was the part of the planning process that I dreaded the most. I went into shopping knowing I wanted something plain with straps, and I HAD to go check out BHLDN. I made my appointment with one dress in mind, totally thinking it was going to be the one. I brought along my brutally honest mother and sister to help with the process. I tried on four dresses total, and the second dress ended up being the one–it’s a rare moment in which all three of us agree on something. The other dresses, including the one I had had my eye on, paled in comparison to the dress I chose. I left with a strapless, blush dress covered in sequins. I advise all brides to go into dress shopping with an open mind. You may surprise yourself!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’m a born and raised Texas girl while BJ is a Nashvillian by way of Oklahoma. We first decided that the wedding would be in Texas–there is nothing more beautiful than the Texas Hill Country, so I knew that was the backdrop I wanted. I had previously attended a wedding out at Camp Lucy, so it was an easy choice. They were just about to open a second venue (Sacred Oaks), and it had us at the mere sight of the oak trees that hung over the ceremony site. We knew that was where we wanted to say our vows.

From Caitlan: Obviously, the moment I locked eyes with BJ was an unforgettable moment, but there was something about the moments leading up to that as I was standing arm-in-arm with my father. Aside from becoming BJ’s wife, walking down the aisle with my dad was my proudest moment. It was fitting to show my guests the man behind the woman I am today, as well as the man who set the bar incredibly high. It was an emotional walk down the aisle, and certainly something that I’ll never forget.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? This was the one battle my sweet husband lost during the wedding planning process. He has a way with words, while I tend to stumble over mine. Thankfully, our officiant (BJ’s best friend) came to our rescue with a heartfelt tribute to us, our love, and our future. It couldn’t have been more perfect and ended up being the highlight of the night to many of our guests. Well done, Trey!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Who needs readings when you have two of your bridesmaids singing? Two of my best friends busted out the guitar and their vocal chords for a pitch-perfect rendition of “Fire and Dynamite” by Drew Holcomb and The Neighbors. It added a beautiful and personal touch to our ceremony.

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted the overall look of the flowers to be very natural and a little messy with lots of green. The in-house floral department at Camp Lucy did a great job incorporating lots of green by using nonconventional greens, including brussel sprouts, cabbage, and kale. The groomsmen donned my favorite craspedia, which tied in perfectly with the bridal bouquet.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. While I love to bake cakes, I don’t like to eat them. My husband, on the other hand, LOVES cake. We opted for a simple, two-tiered funfetti cake for him (because “love is FUN and FETTI sweet”) and a variety of cookies for me, thanks to the oh-so-delicious cookie delivery service, Tiff’s Treats. They never disappoint.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. BJ lived in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was good friends with my friend, Emily. We had spoken briefly in group texts and email chains, and it’s safe to say we were acquaintances. In summary: BJ needed dating advice. Caitlan offered her expertise. Caitlan checked in to see how things went/were going. Things hadn’t worked out. The rest is history–we dated long distance, as I was in Austin, Texas. We traveled many miles, used up hundreds (maybe thousands) of minutes on the phone, and, thanks to technology, spent hours upon hours staring at each other’s faces via FaceTime. It was a whirlwind romance, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder, and stronger.
Tell us all about the proposal! We got engaged on September 14, 2013. Months prior, we had made plans to head to College Station, Texas for College Gameday (gig ‘em). BJ was quick to suggest that we should just go to Houston to watch the game with my family, so we did Gameday, gave BJ a tour of Texas A&M, and then headed home to watch the football game with my family. After watching Johnny Football put forth his best effort, it was time to get ready for dinner. Beej randomly told me to go outside with him, so I did, and the next thing I knew, we were in my dad’s car and he told me to blindfold myself. At this point, I knew something was up. Given the turns he made, I knew we were at Elephant Park (a park I frequented growing up), where he led me out of the car and walked me to a bench, only to inform me that he “forgot something in the car.” Moments later, I heard our family dog, my sweet Bailey boy, panting. When I took off the blindfold, Bailey was in my lap with a note tied to a precious bow tie collar. After reading the sweet letter, I looked up to see my man on his knee with a GORGEOUS ring! I didn’t think the day could get any better, until: 1. I spotted one of my best friends in the woods, where she had been secretly snapping photos. 2. The world’s greatest brother flew in from Raleigh to surprise me. 3. I walked into my house only to be greeted by 20 of my closest friends throwing us an amazing engagement party. It was the most magical day! I found out later that BJ had flown in that Thursday night (when he was supposed to be at a 5th grade retreat) to ask my parents’ and grandfather’s permission.
When did y’all get married? April 4, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 170
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Personally, my favorite part of a wedding is watching the groom’s reaction to his bride when he sees her for the first time. We opted out of a first look to allow our guests to be a part of our special moment. I couldn’t have been more happy with our decision. I knew he would be emotional, but I was shocked at just how emotional I got. Fact: we’re ugly criers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We both agree that our favorite detail was the venue itself. The giant oaks that loomed above the ceremony site were enveloped with tiny lights. It was the perfect combination of rustic and serene.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? What’s more Southern than two born and raised Southerners getting married in the Texas Hill Country, eating fried green tomatoes/pimento cheese/biscuits, and washing them down with Shiner Bock and Lone Star beer?
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning a wedding in Texas while living in Tennessee posed to be more difficult than I thought it would be. We used my parents’ house in The Woodlands, Texas as our “wedding headquarters,” and when it came time to head to Austin, we overestimated what we could fit into our cars. Thankfully, selfless friends and family members helped transport the goods to and from Austin.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I’m always looking for ways to save money! I used online paper vendors (Minted and Wedding Paper Divas) for all of our paper products and printed out our wedding programs myself. My mother and I tackled several DIY projects, including all of the rehearsal dinner decorations and the gift tags for our favors. We also reused flower arrangements from the ceremony as centerpieces at the reception.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our photographer, Jen Dillender. Everyone told me that the wedding day was going to fly by, and boy, did it ever. We are beyond thankful to have the beautiful images that Jen captured to help us relive (and remember) our special day. She is a master of her craft and handles herself with the highest amount of class and grace. We love her, and all of our photos! Also, I have to mention that Camp Lucy is the greatest venue. For someone planning from a distance, their in-house catering and florals were a blessing in disguise!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From BJ: For as long as I can remember, I have always wondered what it would feel like to have your breath taken away. The moment that Caitlan came into view, that feeling was realized. To watch her clasp onto her father’s arm, trying her hardest to force a smile through her tears of joy (hopefully joy) was the single greatest moment, of not only that day, but of my life. The opportunity to lock eyes with her on her walk down the aisle was the icing on the cake. She was the single most gorgeous thing I have ever seen.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 1. ENJOY IT! 2. Stay true to yourselves. Don’t let other people’s weddings and opinions alter your vision. 3. Cherish the engagement/planning process and embrace those who offer a helping hand. I was blessed with parents who wanted to be there every step of the way. The wedding definitely wouldn’t have been the same without them.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life Currently, we’re settling into married life here in Nashville. We’re excited to see what life has in store for us. Hopefully, lots of puppies and cute kiddos :)

Photographer: Jen Dillender Photography / Venue and Florist: Camp Lucy (Sacred Oaks) / Cake Baker: Bride’s Table / Cookies: Tiff’s Treats / Caterer: Whim Hospitality / Rentals: Whim Rentals and Bee Lavish / DJ and Lighting: Greenbelt DJ (Joel Giorgio) / Bride’s Gown and Veil: BHLDN / Save the Dates and Rehearsal Dinner Invites: Minted / Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Programs: Paint the Day Designs / Bride’s Jewelry: J.Crew / Hair and Makeup: Andrea Jaurez / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Men’s Bow Ties: Amy2004Marie’s / Miscellaneous Decorations: Hobby Lobby / Favors: H-E-B

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    As gorgeous as Caitlan’s gown is, her sweet groom’s words are even more beautiful! Always LOVE hearing the gents’ side of things!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    She looks SO stunning, I’m not surprised she took BJ’s breath away! :) Also, totally jealous of guests who got those favors…I stock up on HEB coffee (San Antonio blend!) every time I’m in Texas!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Reading these types of posts always make my day brighter. I have to admit, though, that today’s post is making me tear up! If I wasn’t at work (shhh!) I would be ugly-crying myself! This is so well-written and such a beautiful recap of what must have been an amazing day. Best wishes to these two!

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    P.S. — I’m in LOVE with this bride’s dress! It is for sure stunning!

  5. avatar Bridget reply

    That little Swiss dot cake is the most precious thing ever!

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Hand painted monograms, all-white florals and the most classically perfect navy details? Yes please! Lauren and Jared worked with our darling Blue Ribbon Vendor, Jacqueline from Sweetgrass Social to use personal details that played off the gorgeous Southern scene set by the Legare Waring House. Can you tell I’m smitten? Be sure to catch Lauren’s removable tulle skirt, which added the perfect amount of drama to her look! How fun!

Big hugs to Juliet Elizabeth for sharing such a sweet day with us!

I knew I wanted a dress that had a lace bodice and a simple skirt, but it was hard to find exactly what I was looking for. I visited three stores before going to Modern Trousseau in Charleston, where I was able to combine two dresses to make my custom dress. I also had a two-layer detachable tulle skirt that I decided to wear for only the ceremony and first dance. The first time I tried my dress on, both my mom and I cried–we knew it was perfect.

Describe your wedding flowers. In my mind, the flowers were one of the most important parts of the wedding! I wanted the flowers to be very Southern and match with our color scheme of greens, ivories/creams, and navy. I went to Whitney at Branch Design Studio with my ideas and she created the most beautiful bouquets and arrangements. We decided to use a mix of different arrangements for the tables and incorporated gardenias, magnolias and magnolia leaves, hydrangeas, ranunculus, and navy anemones. We also used a variety of jars, vases, and candle holders in cobalt, mercury glass, and milk glass. All of the flowers were beyond breathtaking!

Y’all may not know this, but I’m completely obsessed with these first touches! They make my heart skip a beat!

The Legare-Waring House was actually the only wedding venue we looked at. We immediately fell in love with the historic Charleston and Southern charm. We especially loved the beauty of the Avenue of Oaks. After visiting, I knew there was nowhere else I could imagine getting married!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had one of our closest friends read Matthew 19:4-6, because we felt it was very important to incorporate Scripture into our ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jared chose “Canon in D” for me to walk down the aisle to because that is his favorite classical song. As a couple, we choose to recess to “I and Love and You” by The Avett Brother, because they are our favorite band and that song has been special to us since we first started dating. Our first dance song was also by The Avett Brothers, and was called “Swept Away (Sentimental Version).” We chose this song after hearing The Avett Brothers perform it at one of their concerts, and we immediately knew it would be our song.

Adorable!

The Southern details in our celebration included the food, monograms, favors, and decorations. The food was buffet-style and consisted of quintessential Southern foods, like barbecue with baked beans, shrimp and grits, and a macaroni and cheese bar. Our appetizers were mini crab cakes, fried green tomato and pimento cheese cornbread sandwiches, and scallop lollipops. I love anything monogrammed, just as any Southern girl does, so I made sure to incorporate that everywhere we could! The favors, which also served as the seating cards, were okra from my dad’s garden that he pickled himself in mason jars.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a planner, whether it be a full-time planner, part-time planner, or a week-of planner! I do not know how I would have gotten everything done without the help of Jacqueline. It will all go by so quickly, so try as hard as you can to relax the week of the wedding and take all of it in! Don’t let yourself get too stressed out about the little things, focus on the fact that you are getting to marry the love of your life! If your parents are paying for your wedding, be sure to thank them and be grateful for everything they do for you. My wedding would not have been possibly without my gracious and loving parents’ help.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The wedding cake was everything I could have ever dreamed of! I went to Molly of D’lish with my ideas for the cake and she sent me a few sample drawings. It was so difficult to choose one because I loved each of the designs she created, so she decided to create a cake design based on all of the sketches. I was a little nervous, but I knew the cake was in excellent hands! On the day of the wedding, when I saw the cake, I almost started crying because it was absolutely perfect. It was also so delicious!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through a friend and bonded over our mutual love of the The OC. After being friends for a few months, Jared asked me to go out for coffee with him. I left for a trip the next day and came back with strep throat, so we did not end up seeing each other for almost a month after our first coffee date! Jared waited that entire time to take me out on our first official date. I knew he was a special guy when he called me every day to check on me. Within two months of dating, we fell in love and knew we were going to get married.
Tell us all about the proposal! Christmas is my favorite holiday and Jared knew I had always wanted to go to the Biltmore Estate at Christmas. We were visiting his parents in South Carolina, and on December 21, we decided to go to Greenville for the day. Outside of Greenville, I asked Jared if we were going the right way, and he said, “I don’t know, why don’t you look at the directions?” I looked down at the directions, and at the bottom, it said Biltmore Estate. We spent the whole day doing various things at the estate, and it even snowed a little bit, which made it even more special. After a candlelight tour of the house, Jared said he wanted to go take a picture of the huge Christmas tree on the lawn. We walked out to it and as he was getting his “camera” out (really the ring), all the lights all over the estate went out! They were out for around ten minutes and then the Christmas tree lights never came back on, so we decided to walk back towards the house. He told me to get my phone out so I could take a picture of the house. Once I looked back over at him, he was on his knee holding the ring. I immediately started crying, and then he proposed and I said yes! The ring is extremely special because the diamond was given to us by my grandmother, who I am very close with. I couldn’t stop smiling. The next thing I knew, his sister popped up and started taking pictures of us. It was a magical, perfect day despite the Christmas tree losing power and changing his proposal plan.
When did y’all get married? March 1, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. We liked the idea of having a very traditional wedding and agreed that we had always wanted to see each other for the first time when I first walked down the aisle. Even though we did not get as many pictures of the two of us together, I will always cherish the moment I first saw Jared at the end of the aisle waiting for me.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, and it was very special to use the same vows our parents and grandparents said when they got married.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge we had to overcome while planning our wedding was the guest list. We originally wanted to have a smaller wedding, but the guest count just kept going up, for many reasons. We had to adjust our plans and budget and reach an agreement.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way we saved money was by not renting a custom bar–instead, we had a bar created out of tables and linens. It ended up looking custom because Marisa of Blue Glass Design hand painted our monogram on a navy blue runner. We also saved money by not doing full draping under the tent. We went with partial navy draping, which ended up being beautiful!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I loved having my mom help me put on my wedding dress and spending time with my bridesmaids while getting ready. However, my most memorable moment was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Jared at the end waiting for me. It was also very special to have my first dance with Jared and then dance with my dad afterwards.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jared is continuing to work as a pharmacist for the VA. I am going to be starting my final year of college in the fall and will be graduating in May 2015 with a degree in Elementary Education. After graduating, I hope to find a job at an elementary school in Charleston. We are most looking forward to traveling together and getting to experience new places and things as a couple.

Photographer: Juliet Elizabeth Photography / Planner: Jacqueline Volz of Sweetgrass Social / Venue: The Legare-Waring House at Charles Towne Landing / Florist: Branch Design Studio / Cake Baker: D’lish Discriminating Desserts / Caterer: Newton Farms Catering / Rentals: Eventworks / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band: Charleston Groove Factory / Bride’s Gown, Belt, and Veil: Modern Trousseau / Paper Products: Blue Glass Design / Hair Stylist, Headband, and Makeup: Ash & Co. / Bride’s Shoes: “New York Cayman Flats” by Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “165″ in Navy by Bill Levkoff / Men’s Attire: Calvin Klein / Tuxedo Rentals: Jean’s Bridal

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Igor – Wedding Photographer reply

    That photo of the veil and the veil itself are absolutely stunning!

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