Google+ Marissa, Author at Southern Weddings - Page 3 of 162

Southern Weddings

Author: Marissa

With a love for the mountains and fond memories of Charlottesville, Lauren and Andrew chose to celebrate their wedding in her home state of Virginia. After a whirlwind tour of venues, they settled on a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills at The Market at Grelen. A six-month engagement meant a spring date for their celebration and a venue in full bloom, so Andrew and Lauren worked with their florist to accentuate the already lovely landscape with local flowers. So local, in fact, that the magnolia blooms in Lauren’s bouquet were plucked from the magnolia trees that line the road leading to their venue! Continuing to play off the beauty of Virginia, their clear tent was the perfect place to top off their lovely day with dancing under the stars.

Thanks to Sera Petras for capturing Lauren and Andrew’s dreamy day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my wedding dress on the first day of “the search,” which was quite the outcome considering, like any good Southern woman, I can sometimes take my time making big decisions! Since Andrew and I were engaged over Thanksgiving and wanted a spring wedding in Virginia, I only had six months to plan everything. When I learned that some women give themselves a full six months to find their wedding dress alone, I started to internally panic! The pressure was on, but I tried to keep it at bay and enjoy our new engagement until January, when my future mother-in-law (thankfully!) decided to help kick-start my dress search by making a couple of appointments at boutiques that her daughter had visited a few years before. I fell in love with the lace on a gown at the first boutique we visited, but decided to give the second boutique a try. After trying on a few more dresses, I came out in one that I felt really pretty in–and the looks on my friend and mother-in-law’s faces sealed the deal. When I looked in the mirror, I knew I had found the dress I wanted to get married in–I only wished that my mother, who lived in Virginia, had been there there to witness the moment. We took plenty of photos and video for her! I also had my dress customized, replacing some rhinestones in the center of the magnolia flowers on the back with pearls.

Our wedding flowers were dreamy. We were very lucky to have our wedding on a beautiful hilltop venue that was in full bloom to begin with, so we were far from working with a blank slate. I worked with our amazing florist, Whimsical Floral, to design a floral spread that complimented and accentuated the venue with flowers that were local to Virginia and also went with the springtime color story I had envisioned: soft pinks, greens, and shades of white. I really wanted to incorporate magnolias into our wedding flowers, as an ode to my memory of growing up with two giant magnolia trees in my yard, and the trees started flowering about a week before our wedding. In fact, the road leading up to the venue was lined with magnolia trees in full bloom, and my florist was able to sneak a fresh magnolia bloom from one of those trees into my bouquet, which made me happy as a clam. She also picked fresh pink peonies right from our venue’s peony field and incorporated some other gorgeous pinks and whites into my and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. Our centerpieces were a mix of gold pedestal bowls filled with mixed greens, pink and white honeysuckle, peonies, hydrangea, mock orange, and magnolia leaves with magnolia blossoms. We also had a hanging centerpiece over the head table, covered in peonies and magnolia leaves and blooms. One of my favorite parts of the wedding was creating a vision for the flowers!

We exchanged the traditional wedding vows and also shared some personal sentiments with each other during the ceremony. The ceremony felt exponentially more special because we were able to share such personal thoughts about each other in front of all of our family and close friends.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I would say that our wedding was definitely Southern, from having an outdoor wedding with a magnolia theme, to our officiant’s very charming Virginia accent! I couldn’t imagine wearing anything but pearls on my wedding day. Our Southern signature cocktail was bourbon-based (we buried a bottle of bourbon in spirit since we lived out of state at that time!), and we chose a Southern-leaning local menu, including truffle mac and cheese, cornbread, and sauces galore, buffet-style so our guests could get up and mingle with each other at their leisure. I also surprised Andrew with a life-sized basketball groom’s cake (he played in college) at the rehearsal dinner–he is from New England, so he was completely taken aback by this fun Southern tradition!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We lived in Boston, but decided to get married in my home state of Virginia, in the beautiful rolling hills near UVA, where I went to college. We both love the mountains and had made some fun memories together in Charlottesville, so we took a whirlwind tour of several venues in the area about a month after we were engaged. We had such a great feeling after visiting the Market at Grelen and meeting Sarah, and the fact that we could have our wedding the Saturday of Memorial Day (we wanted a long weekend so our guests could enjoy the area) sealed the deal. We really wanted a spring wedding (spring in Virginia is so special) and we were enamored with the venue’s surroundings and natural beauty. Our venue felt sophisticated, but unpretentious; it was a perfect blend of the outdoor elements with indoor comforts (inside the tent). We also loved that we were able to have our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception in three completely separate spaces, each with their own unique look and feel, but all within close proximity. The flow of the evening and the spaces felt very organic, with each location getting a little more spectacular leading up to the reception tent. The clear top (and sides) tent was also a big selling factor–it allowed us to feel like we were outside while we were still protected from the elements. We had a spectacular sunset and we danced under the sunset and stars–it was magical.

Our wedding cake was three layers, consisting of lemon and white cake with white frosting. My favorite part of the cake was the fondant magnolia blooms–our baker did a spectacular job of making them look true to life. We also had our new monogram on the top layer, which was a nice personal touch. A close friend of mine, Cakes by Colleen, makes beautiful mini cakes, and I had her make three different flavors (almond, red velvet, and chocolate) to add another dessert option for our guests. In addition, we had a fire pit with a s’mores station outside the tent for our guests to enjoy while sitting under the stars.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In a not-so-traditional way: Tinder! The app was brand new and we were both out of the typical “Tinder generation” and in our early/mid 30’s, but out of curiosity, we thought we’d give it a go. Andrew was traveling a lot when we first “matched,” so it took a couple of tries to line up our first date, but what I remember about that first night (besides it being one of the chilliest December nights in Boston I can remember) is that Andrew was all smiles, and he laughed at all of my dorky jokes. He didn’t even give me a hard time for being late to what turned out to be a very important date! Two weeks after we met, I went on a trip to Kenya for two weeks; when I told him I would be photographing school kids in Nairobi, he sent me with a suitcase full of brand new running shoes from the company he worked for to give to them. The whole experience melted my heart. We stayed in touch over WhatsApp daily while I was away, and when I returned, we spent an entire weekend together instead of catching up with friends. That’s when I knew we had something really special.
Tell us all about the proposal! The proposal came as a complete surprise to me! Though we had lived together for six months and had talked about the longer term plan to get married, we had not talked timing as far as getting engaged. I was a bit surprised when he said he wanted to treat me to a nice dinner out at our favorite restaurant in Cambridge, Craigie on Main, the night before Thanksgiving. However, he said he owed me a nice meal because he had been out of town for the past week for work, so I gladly agreed to his fancy idea. Completely unaware of his master plan, I even had him push back the reservation an hour so we could meet a few of our friends for drinks in Boston before dinner! Looking back on it, I can’t believe how many road blocks I unknowingly created for him that day–patience is one of his greatest virtues. We enjoyed our entire meal in the corner booth where we sat for our very first Valentine’s Day, and after our last course, he started talking about how wonderful the past two years had been, how he couldn’t wait for our future together, and that he had a little present for me. That’s when he took out a little blue box. I was so shocked, I couldn’t stop saying, “Are you serious? Is this happening right now??” It was an evening I’ll never forget. The chef sent out a beautiful congratulatory dessert and champagne and the table beside us took pictures. After all of the excitement at Craigie, we went home, popped another bottle of bubbly, called all of our family and friends (my dad knew because Andrew had asked for his blessing) and danced the night away to Bruce Springsteen (Andrew’s favorite) in our apartment. The next day, we shared the great news with his family in person in Rhode Island. It was a Thanksgiving to remember.
When did y’all get married? May 28, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 145
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look after a close friend told us that it was the best decision they made for their wedding day. We were hesitant at first because we always imagined seeing each other for the first time when I was walking down the aisle, but the first look was so special because we got to embrace each other right away and spend a few moments saying what first came to our minds–something we could not have done by seeing each other at the altar for the first time. The joy we felt was beyond measure, and it took away some of the pre-ceremony nerves so that walking down the aisle was filled with even more excitement. It also helped to get through some of our tears (of joy!) out before the ceremony so that we could keep it together for our vows.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Although we hired a DJ for most of our reception music, our first dance was performed by Andrew’s brother-in-law, professional musician Will Evans. “Life is Just a Photograph” is one of our longtime favorite songs written by Will, and it speaks to lifelong love and commitment. It was very special and emotional to have one of our close family members perform this song live as we danced together for the first time as a married couple.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was planning a wedding from afar in less than six months, while also working full-time and planning/managing a cross-country move. Needless to say, we did not have much downtime in the months leading up to the wedding! Thankfully we caught up on sleep when we got to California.
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? Music is very important to Andrew especially, and we went with a DJ over a live band to cut costs; however, with a live performance for our first dance and the harpist at our ceremony, we were able to get the feeling of live music without a band’s price tag.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Divide and conquer! For the creative, planner-type brides like me, one piece of advice: it does not make you any less of a bride to hand off tasks to your groom. In fact, you will breathe easier by doing so and he will probably enjoy helping you out and having input over certain aspects! I waited longer than I should have to realize this :) Enjoy your engagement and set some sacred time aside each day for just the two of you, when there is no mention of the wedding planning. Prepare for your marriage, and talk about your mutual goals and aspirations.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are very excited about this new adventure we’ve embarked on in California! We are both East Coasters, so this has been a major move for us, but we truly feel it is a unique opportunity to build a strong foundation for the rest of our married lives. Wherever we go, we have each other–and at the end of the day, that’s all we really need.

Photographer: Sera Petras Photography | Videographer: Joygaba Photo | Planner: Two Byrds Events and Design | Day-Of Coordinators: Colleen McCabe and Helen Osinga | Venue: The Market at Grelen | Florist: Whimsical Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Pao Cakes and Cakes by Colleen | Caterer: The Local Restaurant and Catering | Rentals: MS Events | DJ: Frank Smith via Prime Time Sound & DJ Services | Harpist: Kristen Eye | Decor: A Grand Affair Events | Paper Products: Lattice Tree Studio | Bride’s Gown: “Selena” by Watters | Bridal Salon: Cristina’s Bridal | Bride’s Veil: Tiffanys Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Emily Hair & Makeup Artistry | Bride’s Shoes: “Lesta Slingback” by Anne Klein | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Long Tulle Convertible Versa” in Petal by David’s Bridal | Menswear: J. Crew

The Market at Grelen is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Thank you for featuring this lovely spring wedding! It was such a dream to photograph! I am always thrilled to see my couples on Southern Weddings!

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!

Reply to:
close

Though our darling Lisa is out on maternity leave, I couldn’t help but give her a “hi, bye” call this week. In between my gushing of how beautiful her baby boy is we chatted about our shared love of the classics. You know: lace gowns, pale pink details, lush florals…basically, what we have here today, so I’m extra excited to share this beautiful wedding with you!

Ashley and Coleman knew exactly what kind of wedding they wanted: traditional and classic. But when it came to seeing each other at the ceremony versus a fist look, Ashley listened to her sweet beau and they opted to buck tradition for a few moments alone to calm their nerves. Though she might not have been on board at first, it ended up being her favorite part of their entire wedding! Let’s swoon over the whole day together, shall we?

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Elisabeth Carol for sharing Ashley and Coleman’s wedding with us!

I had pictures of about five dresses saved, all of which looked pretty similar: soft, flowing ball gowns. I am a pretty indecisive person, so having decided on a style of dress was huge for me. I had always dreamed of wearing a ball gown at my wedding…until I started trying them on. They all looked really nice, but not one gave me “the feeling” I had always heard about. My stylist kept encouraging me to try a specific dress, from the moment I walked into the store, but I just kept saying, “No, that style isn’t me.” After trying on 20 dresses and feeling defeated, I gave in and tried on the dress. When I looked into the mirror and saw my mom holding back tears, I knew instantly that this was my dress!! Turns out, my stylist knew exactly what she was talking about!

I was very hesitant to do a first look–I wanted the church doors to open and for me to see my future husband standing there waiting for me to walk down the aisle, tears and all. I wanted the guests to feel what we were feeling–all of the emotions in that one moment. However, Coleman expressed to me that the first look was something he wanted to do and that it would mean a lot to him if we did one. For him to speak up about wanting something about the wedding was huge, so I knew this was important and I listened to him. I have to admit, it was my favorite part of our entire wedding. After all of the emotions and being apart the entire day leading up to the ceremony, having a moment to ourselves was exactly what we needed to calm our nerves.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We both knew exactly what we wanted for our wedding: traditional and classic. Our venues were our first choices and the only ones we went and looked at. We fell in love with them immediately and knew they were perfect for us.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had a live painter at the wedding reception painting our first dance. Not only was it unique, but it provided great entertainment for the guests. The painting is now showcased in our new home, and will be a great keepsake for the rest of our lives.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were able to reuse the altar flowers at our reception–they would have been thrown out otherwise, and I couldn’t bring myself to let that happen. They were too pretty!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while we were students at Texas A&M University. We both attended the 2010 Chilifest, a country concert right outside of College Station, and found each other in the crowd of 50,000 people. My friends and I were celebrating my birthday and stumbled upon Coleman’s fraternity’s tent. He knew just the way to get my attention: the entire tent sang the most memorable “Happy Birthday” to me. A few months later, we met again at a mutual friend’s lake house, only to realize we had more in common than country music. Our friendship grew for a couple of years until we knew we were meant to be more than friends.
Tell us all about the proposal! I had mentioned to Coleman that I had always wanted to go to Fredericksburg for a quick getaway, so Coleman devised a plan to pop the question in the Texas wine country. He rented a small bed and breakfast for the weekend and asked me to join him. After dinner the first night, Coleman asked me to go on a hike around the house. I agreed and changed into workout gear. However, Coleman stayed in his dinner clothes; while I thought it was odd, I brushed it off. When we reached the overlook, I immediately pulled out my phone to capture the scene. To my surprise, there was Coleman standing behind me, shaking and preparing to get down on one knee. I was so incredibly shocked and surprised, and I remember screaming “Wait, is this real?” The next day, we celebrated at Grape Creek Vineyards and came back to our B&B to find two bottles of champagne that were sent over by dear friends.
When did y’all get married? July 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 150
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding monogram–what is more Southern than having your monogram on everything?
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The first look and the last dance, both moments between just the two of us, and memories we will forever cherish.

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol Photography | Videographer: Emily Paige Films | Ceremony Venue: Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist University | Reception Venue: The Room on Main | Coordinator: Whitney Bailey of Chic Fleur Weddings and Events | Florist and Rentals: Something Pretty Floral | Wedding Cake: Sugar Bee Sweets | Caterer: CN Catering | Lighting: Le Force Entertainment | Band: Cover Down | Reception Painter: Julia Pappas McNally | Paper Products and Wedding Logo: Lolo Lincoln | Bride’s Gown: “8659” by Justin Alexander | Bride’s Lace Jacket: “A085” by Justin Alexander | Bridal Salon: Bridal Boutique of Lewisville | Bride’s Belt: Watters | Bride’s Earrings: Nordstrom | Hair and Makeup: The Styling Stewardess | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Brooklyn” in Taupe by Adrianna Papell | Menswear: Culwell & Son | Getting Ready Hotel: Hotel Lumen | Calligraphy: Dixie Script | Koozies: Rook Design Company | Napkins: Sip Hip Hooray | Bride’s Robe: “Lambkin” by Plum Pretty Sugar | Bridesmaids’ Robes: Le Rose Gifts | Bridal Pouch and Hanger: BHLDN | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Confetti Poppers: Inspire Lovely

Elisabeth Carol and Sugar Bee Sweets are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Elisabeth Carol reply

    Best day ever!!! Thanks so much for sharing, ladies!!

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!

Reply to:
close

Though my husband and I are college sweethearts ourselves, I have always been a bit envious of high school sweethearts. Knowing you have found your one at a young age, like Taylor and Darrell, has always held some extra special magic to me. After meeting in high school, these two instantly became each other’s best friend and forever soulmates. One super sweet proposal, and a surprise engagement party later – Taylor and Darrell planned a joyful wedding at the Gaylord-Pickens Museum. Bright pops of red florals from Poppy Lane Designs added a colorful addition to their classic wedding venue and globe string lights added a whimsical atmosphere, and also Taylor’s favorite detail!

Thanks to Magnolia Adams for sharing Taylor and Darrel’s wedding with us!

After a full day of trying on gorgeous wedding gowns, the dress I chose ended up being the very first one I had tried on. The feeling of “saying yes to the dress” will be something I’ll cherish forever.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us. We wanted to save the special moment for the ceremony, and it was perfect.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose our venue because we wanted to have the ceremony and reception at the same place. We had many out-of-town guests, so not needing them to drive from the ceremony to reception was perfect!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did premarital counseling with my pastor, which was great, and we recommend it to all couples. It opens up discussion and topics that are critical for a healthy marriage.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Using Minted for save the dates, choosing simple but elegant table linens, and using Easy.com for the ceremony program. Plus, our venue was tax-deductible!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The globe string lighting we used above the dance floor and behind the cake table. I’m in love with hanging lights–they create such a whimsical and happy atmosphere!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Darrell and I met in high school many, many years ago. We instantly became each other’s best friend, encourager, supporter, person to laugh with, shoulder to cry on, and forever soulmates.
Tell us all about the proposal! We had planned a weekend getaway to Washington D.C. to meet up with friends, and decided to drive up early from Richmond to beat traffic. On the morning of May 1, I woke up early to finish packing, and that’s when the proposal happened! Darrell had secretly placed a ring box and a letter on my nightstand in the middle of the night. By the time I finished reading the letter, Darrell was on his knee asking me to be his wife! After the proposal, Darrell informed me that we weren’t going to Washington D.C. for the weekend–that was just a scheme so I’d be packed! We were actually flying to Oklahoma to surprise my parents at a dinner that my sisters planned. My first thought was, “You didn’t ask my dad to marry me?” But he quickly told me he asked many months ago–they just didn’t know when it would happen. I was quickly relieved, as well as beyond joyful because my family is my world and I couldn’t wait to get home! My sisters were at the airport to pick us up, and we headed straight to my parents’ house to surprise them. When we pulled up to the house, we saw 60 of our closest friends and family in the lawn with a sign that said “She Said Yes!” My parents had known the whole time, and I wasn’t there to surprise them–they were surprising ME with the best engagement party! To this day, I still get goosebumps about all of the planning that went into this proposal, and I am beyond thankful.
When did y’all get married? June 25, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? All the men in the wedding wore polka dot bow ties. We also served Buffalo Trace bourbon and had mini chicken and waffles for late night snacks!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning while living 1,200 miles away from our venue. I am thankful for FaceTime and the most wonderful mother–there is no way I could have done it without her!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Start planning and booking early! Also once you decide on something, don’t dwell on it or continue looking for the same thing–it will drive you crazy.

Photographer: Magnolia Adams Photography | Planner: Leslie Herring Events | Venue: Gaylord Pickens Museum | Florist: Poppy Lane Design | Wedding Cake: Mishelle Handy Cakes | Caterer: Abbey Road Catering | Rentals: Marianne’s Rentals | Lighting: Innovative Event Solutions | Paper Products: No Regrets | Bride’s Gown: “Janine” by Leanne Marshall | Bride’s Hair Accessory: “Crystal Head Wrap” by Jennifer Behr | Hair Stylist: Natasha Shipley Artistry | Makeup Artist: Chelsey Ann Artistry | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Morgan” in Dove Grey by Donna Morgan | Menswear: Allton’s

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Taylor Guttery reply

    This is just so perfect! Thank you for such a beautiful and heart humbling post! Also, thank you to Southern Weddings for so many inspirations and ideas (within our budget!)to help plan our dream wedding!

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!

Reply to:
close
Top