Google+ Marissa | Southern Weddings - Part 3

Southern Weddings

Author: Marissa

We often talk about the mission of Southern Weddings, and how we want to inspire couples to celebrate their families, the culture of the South, and what matters most to them. Y’all, nothing makes us happier than when we see couples do just that! Jen and Schuyler’s wedding had us seriously swooning when we featured it in V7. By incorporating Jen’s heritage into artwork in front of their escort table, and celebrating their big day in Virginia wine country–a place Jen and Schuyler both love–their wedding is such a lovely example of how details can be as meaningful as they are beautiful.

Thanks to Abby Jiu for sharing this sweet day with us!

I wanted the bridesmaid gifts to be really special, so I put together a bag of personalized gifts, such as monogrammed compacts with the quote “The best mirror is an old friend” engraved on the back, and ring holders with each lady’s name and an imprint of a gray dress imprinted on them. For our welcome bags, we had Antiquaria (the same company that did our invitations and day-of stationery) create a custom stamp for us, which we used to stamp the gift bags with our personal touch. We included snacks and a Virginia wine map. My favorite snack was chocolates from Cocoa Vienna, which are the best chocolates we have ever had. Some of the flavors included red velvet cake truffles and pumpkin truffles.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I have always known that I wanted some element of color for my wedding dress, but I was never sure what that element of color would be. I was being terribly picky and running out of time. Finally, at the last minute on a Friday, I scheduled an appointment at Hitched Salon in Georgetown for the next day. That weekend, Austin Scarlett was bringing in his creations straight off the runway for a trunk show. After trying on a few dresses in the store, the Camellia gown by Austin caught my eye and I asked my consultant if I could try it on. Once I put it on, it was so amazing. It was elegant and classic and so incredibly light, it was like walking on a cloud. Austin Scarlett was there with his business partner, Allison, and they were just the sweetest (it was really neat to have the designer there and to be able to talk with him and ask him questions about the dress!). On a whim, I asked Austin if it would be possible to recreate the dress in blush, and he said of course! When I finally got my dress, the blush tulle was just so stunning and subtle. The dress was really perfect, because it was exactly what I wanted and I was truly able to make the dress my own–no one else has a dress exactly like it!

When we were choosing a place to get married, the obvious choice was Charlottesville. It is a special place to both of us and has the most stunning views and scenery. We love great wine, and Veritas had some of our favorites from the region. They did an amazing job on the day of our wedding, and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. I wanted to give the bridesmaids a chance to show their own styles, and I didn’t want a “matchy-matchy” wedding party, so I gave the bridesmaids guidelines on the dress (gray and long, a pattern would be okay), and sent them some examples. Some of the ladies rented their dresses from Rent the Runway and some bought their dresses, and in the end, everyone looked amazing. I loved seeing the spectrum of unique gray dresses and how cohesive everything looked together.

We know that the bridal party typically stands with the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony. Although we thought that was great (it is so comforting to have your best friends and family standing with you), we also wanted the ceremony to be very intimate between us, with no distractions. Therefore, we decided to have our wedding party sit during the ceremony so that it would just be the two of us standing.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Early in the planning process, we were drawn to subtle, beautiful colors, like blush, whites, and greens. We loved the French toile print we chose for our cocktail tables, and that quickly became an inspiration for our black tie vineyard wedding. We were drawn to the natural and timeless look of the toile, and loved how the European formality of the print elevated our more casual venue. Throughout the planning process, the subtle, soft blush color of my dress also remained a constant source of inspiration, which led to a feminine color palette accented with gold for the evening. Being inspired by the French toile print naturally led the design to subtle Parisian accents, like bistro lights, gauzy organza runners, filigree votives, and romantic floral décor.

What kind of food did you serve? Our menu included butternut squash soup with apple chutney, roasted sirloin steak with horseradish mashed potato, citrus shrimp, seared red snapper with roasted eggplant, cabbage ragout with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, and truffle risotto with ratatouille and red wine reduction with fried leeks.

One of the most unique parts of our wedding was the painter who painted our wedding, Dan Nelson. As our wedding gift, Schuyler’s aunt brought him in to paint our ceremony. He not only painted the scene of our ceremony, but he also stayed throughout the entire reception to finish the painting as part of the evening’s entertainment. All our guests loved it and couldn’t stop talking about it after the wedding–he was so fun to watch! The final oil painting turned out so beautifully and is now hanging in our home. It is such a perfect reminder of our wedding day, and we love seeing it every day.

What was the funniest moment? I fell off the chair during the Hora!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We first met when we were 15 years old at a summer camp. We knew each other, but were not really friends, and did not keep in touch after the summer ended. By chance, we both ended up going to UVA for college, and ran into each other during my fourth year (his third year) at the gym. We recognized each other and chatted for a bit. We did not start dating, however, until a few years later, after we had both graduated. Even after that, we were long distance for awhile (due to grad schools, jobs, etc.), but were finally able to settle down in the same city.
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We chose a date in late fall (October 26, 2013) because we knew the changing colors of the leaves would make for beautiful photos. We love Virginia wine country and wanted to invite our guests to a venue that was fun and special for us.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Refined, personal, and classic
How many guests attended your wedding? 131
What did the groom and groomsmen wear? Schuyler wore a custom English-tailored tuxedo with his grandfather’s gold cuff links. The groomsmen wore tuxedos of their own choosing, paired with gifts from the groom: mix-and-match gray silk pocket squares and cuff links.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I wanted to incorporate something from my heritage, but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. I proposed the traditional paper cut-out double-happiness characters to Kate (our planner), and wanted to know if there was an elegant way to incorporate it somewhere. Kate suggested that we create artwork for in front of the escort card table. I thought it was a wonderful plan, so we had Nikki, our calligrapher (an amazing artist) design the paper cut-out of the Chinese characters, as well as the other elements of the display. We framed them in mirrored frames, and our florist and decor vendor, Beehive Events, provided the draping to hang the artwork on. It was a great personal touch, and now we get to hang the artwork in our home!

Photographer: Abby Jiu / Videographer: Underground Short Films / Planning and Design: Kate Harlan of Simply Chic Events / Venue and Catering: Veritas Winery and Vineyard / Florist: Beehive Events / Cake Baker: Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations / Bride’s Gown: “Camellia” by Austin Scarlett / Bridal Salon: Hitched / Bride’s Shoes: Lola Cruz / Bridesmaid Dresses: Robert Rodriguez, BCBG MAXAZRIA, Liz Fields, and David’s Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Joy Pfister of Faces by Joy / Paper Goods: Antiquaria / Rentals: Beehive Events and Festive Fare / Transportation: Ambassador Limo / Live Painting Artist: Daniel Nelson

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Wow! So pretty! I just love the bridesmaid dresses!

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    This is where I’m having my wedding in just 4 months!! Looks absolutely beautiful!!

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Colorful weddings can be fun, but there is something so beautiful about the understated elegance of Kelly and Barrett’s black and white affair. Accented with gorgeous gold details, the William Aiken House looks extra romantic and timeless! For two people who met at a wedding, I’m sure there was a bit of pressure to make their own day equally memorable. With venues deeply rooted in Southern history and a band that kept their guests dancing into the night, I’m sure Kelly and Barrett won’t soon forget how special their day was!

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Virgil Bunao for sharing this pretty day with us!

My dress ended up being the first dress I picked out! I decided to go to Maddison Row in Charleston because they were having a Monique Lhuillier trunk show. I love and appreciate fashion, so I wanted something unique and classic. Monique Lhuillier’s Renoir gown was a great mix between the two and I loved it as soon as I tried it on! I spent the next couple of months looking for a dress I liked better, and I just couldn’t find one. It was the most beautiful piece of clothing I’ve ever worn and, as a bonus, it was comfortable too!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Having the whole shebang in Charleston, one of the most iconic Southern cities, was very important for both of us. Both of our venues are deeply rooted in Southern history–the First Baptist church of Charleston was the first Baptist church in the South, and the William Aiken House is a historical landmark with a gorgeous garden and a sprawling piazza!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? I had my aunt read Colossians 3:12-17. I love this verse because it is simple advice for how we should live every day together as husband and wife.

We were extremely blessed to have all the vendors that we had. The moment I heard Liquid Pleasure at a formal in college, I knew I wanted them to be the band for our wedding, and they made for a memorable dance floor! Virgil made everyone feel so comfortable, and his pictures make us both look good!! Also, having Ellen Robinson as a wedding planner was very comforting through all the planning, and especially on the big day. She was truly incredible.

Describe your wedding flowers. Sarah York Grimshaw Designs did a fabulous job with our flowers! My bouquet was made up of white ranunculus, ivory garden roses, sweet pea, astilbe, pieris japonica, parrot tulips, jasmine vine, olive branches, and other greenery, wrapped in ivory silk dupioni ribbon. She also did a great job with our bar setup–she designed a hanging greenery and branch installation over the bar with hanging candle votives. We loved it!

Jim Smeal designed our wedding cake to resemble the intricacies of my dress. He did an amazing job, while making it taste extremely delicious! The flavors were chocolate kahlua, hazelnut and coconut with key lime.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved our dance floor! The band kept our guests dancing from the first to the last song. At one point, I remember being onstage with my mother and bridesmaids, singing and dancing to “Proud Mary” and forming dance trains. We also provided funny props to guests on the dance floor, which made for some hilarious photos.

I wanted a venue that was gorgeous, but also accessible for guests. I loved that the William Aiken House was walkable from many accommodations, and that at night, it felt like a secret garden with a gorgeous glow in the middle of busy Upper King.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We actually met at wedding! He asked me to dance and we talked for the rest of the night. We were long distance between Charlotte and Charleston and drove back and forth as much as we could. Almost exactly three years after meeting, we were married!
Tell us all about the proposal! We planned a beach weekend at my parents’ beach house near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, and I decided to go down a day early to stay the night in Charleston. Barrett planned to take me to one of my favorite restaurants (Fulton Five, yum!) that night as a late birthday dinner. We left a bit early to “meet” one of his friends, who was in town for business, for a drink before our reservation (later, I found out that the friend wasn’t in town at all). Barrett told me we were meeting him at “his hotel” downtown, a small B&B off King Street. We got to his room, which is when Barrett pulled out a key and I saw that the room was full of rose petals. Then, he got down on one knee! We went to dinner afterwards and got to spend the rest of the weekend with family and friends to celebrate.
When did y’all get married? October 11, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the first dance, we chose “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers. Our entire relationship was long distance, so this song really resonated with us, and we love that it’s a classic!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just bought our first home in Barrett’s hometown, Hickory, North Carolina. It is wonderful being together and close to family.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao / Planner: Ellen Cohn Robinson / Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church of Charleston / Reception Venue: The William Aiken House / Florist: Sarah York Grimshaw / Cake Baker: Jim Smeal / Caterer: Fish Restaurant / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band: Liquid Pleasure / Paper Products: Studio R Design / Bride’s Gown: “Renoir” by Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Veil: Monique Lhuillier / Hair Stylist: Tanesha Dupree / Makeup Artist: Kelly Campbell / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaid Charleston / Groom’s Attire: Saint Laurent / Groomsmen Attire: Charleston Tuxedo

Virgil Bunao and Studio R Design are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Loving the cake under that grand arch! Gorgeous wedding.

  2. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The black bridesmaid dresses are bold, but I love how it is softened with the chiffon on one shoulder. Beautiful color palette.

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When my darling BDK and I got married, one of the first things we did when planning was create a “non-negotiables” list. These were things that we both really wanted for our wedding, and throughout our planning, we focused on honoring each other’s wishes–minus his idea of white batting gloves on the boys! It helped us to realize what was important to the other person, and really aided us in making big decisions when our budget was involved. So, of course, I love Alice and Dan’s advice: “Have fun and build on your list of musts!” Alice knew she wanted classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy, and Dan added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to their list. Together, they created a wedding that was as filled with Southern hospitality as it was lovely!

P.S. If you know me, you know how much I value the perfect Southern bump. Alice knocked it out of the park!

Thanks to Jacqueline Campbell for sharing this pretty day with us!

Every woman in my family gets married with an antique light blue polka dot handkerchief pinned inside her wedding dress! This covered my something blue and old. My something borrowed was my sister in law’s earrings from her wedding day. My something new was my dress!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did a first look underneath a weeping willow tree. It was so special to have a private moment with Dan before we got married. We also wanted to be able to take photos before the wedding so we could enjoy the party.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We both wanted to get married on the water, but didn’t want to venture too far from Washington D.C. We love the feeling (and the food!) at the Inn at Perry Cabin.

Our favorite moment from our wedding was when it started to rain right before our vows. All of a sudden, the crowd and our wedding party put up big Inn at Perry Cabin umbrellas, and everyone laughed! The pictures of the rain and storm clouds turned out so beautifully. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun came out for first kiss and cocktail hour.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun and build on your list of musts! Planning a wedding is a lot of hard work, but it is such a special time in your life and in your relationship. I always knew I wanted a classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy. Daniel was a great supporter of my wedding dreams, and added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to our list of wedding musts.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a formal, but very relaxed, fun, hospitable celebration. One of our speciality cocktails was an Old Fashioned, which is Dan’s favorite! We served oysters at cocktail hour and crab cakes for dinner. Some of our favorite details were our display of blue toile-clipped escort cards, our pale pink wedding cake, and the table arrangements full of white and green flowers, lanterns, and candles.

We had a pale pink wedding cake, decorated with a cascade of fresh flowers. The cake was chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and each tier had three layers filled with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Dan: We met at a party in 2006. I was immediately head over heels, but Alice rebutted my advances. Over the next few years, we both dated other people and saw each other occasionally. Each time we ran into each other, there was a clear connection. Eventually, I heard she was single, and so was I, so I gathered up the courage to ask her out. She agreed, and we’ve been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Dan: I bought a ring that needed to be shipped to me, and planned the proposal to take place on the delivery date. My plan was to tell her that I needed a new suit, and then bring her to Nordstrom to watch me try on various choices. I would change into a suit in the dressing room, come out with the ring in my pocket, and propose to her then and there. The day before the ring came, we spent the night at my brother’s house a few hours away, and then drove home to Chicago very early the following morning. During the drive, I tried to convince her that it was logical to stop at FedEx so I could pick up “an urgent package for work,” and then drive straight to Nordstrom to try on suits. She made it clear that she preferred to go home. We drove straight back into town, stopped at FedEx, and finally drove home to our apartment in downtown Chicago. Instead of taking the elevators up to our floor, I told her there was a new hot tub installed outside by our building’s pool, and that we should go look at it before we went upstairs. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and you could see the entire Chicago skyline from the pool deck. Alice asked me where the hot tub was. I took her hands, said something that I hope was memorable, took the ring out of my pocket, got down on one knee, and popped the question. After she said yes, I took her on a picnic on a boat on the Chicago River, complete with crab cakes, champagne, and chocolate.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we chose a few passages and poems for friends and family to read during the ceremony. Our absolute favorite was “The Silken Tent” by Robert Frost.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to the Water Music Suite by Handel, which is what my parents had used at their wedding. Our string quartet played lots of Cole Porter and The Beatles at our cocktail hour, and our band played some Talking Heads at the groom’s request.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used the Inn at Perry Cabin china instead of renting our own. Their china is very ornate and has a beautiful antique look. We loved it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are going to have a baby this summer!

Photographer: Jacqueline Campbell / Planner: Pineapple Productions / Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Inn at Perry Cabin / Florist and Lighting: Dragonfly Wedding Flowers and Event Design / Rentals: D.C. Rental / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Chesapeake Strings / Band: Round Midnight / Invitations: Smock via The Dandelion Patch D.C. / Paper Goods: Empress Stationery / Bride’s Gown: “Carmen” by Lea Ann Belter / Hair Stylist: Sonja Gregorie / Makeup Artist: Amie Decker Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / Calligrapher: Arney Walker Calligraphy

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Suzan@long island wedding venues reply

    Amazing pictures and I just loved the bride’s hair style , she is looking lovely.

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