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Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Marissa

I always know it’s going to be a great Real Wedding when I get an email from Miss Lisa while she’s prepping it, saying how much I’m going to love it. Boy, was she right! Lisa and I both fell in love with not only the beauty of Christina and Tyler’s wedding, but also, their adorable personalities and acute focus on creating an intimate wedding with a feeling so special that it’s palpable even to their future grandchildren. After quite the long courtship, these two absolutely knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together and reflected this throughout their day. They worked with their wedding planner, From This Day Forward, to combine old South with a splash of couture. Right up my alley!

Obviously, Christina’s top knot and tulle ball gown rock my world, but that’s not what truly makes this wedding hit the nail on the head–it’s the heart behind each detail. While glamorous accessories are oh-so-pretty, like Christina said “those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.” Amen!

Big SW hugs to Ariel Renae for sharing this sparkly day with us!

It took me four states, eight bridal boutiques, and countless dresses before I found the one. When I would imagine myself on our wedding day, the same thought always came to mind: that perfect little church and Tyler standing at the end of the aisle after the church doors opened. I wasn’t choosing my dress based on the look of our wedding, our reception location, or anything else. All I was concerned about were those few seconds of Tyler watching me walk towards him. Because we had already been together for so long and he had already seen me in countless dresses, I was determined to find something grand–the type of dress that I would never get the opportunity to wear again. Friends and family members were all pushing for me to choose a mermaid gown, but I had something else in mind. I wanted vintage, yet modern–the type of dress my daughter would one day want to wear. I found that in my Vera Wang. I fell in love with the combination of lace and tulle, but it was the structure of the dress that had me sold. Not to mention, Tyler had stated in years passing that he envisioned me in a ball gown with my hair up… so that is exactly what I gave him.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, my something blue ended up being very special. Leading up to the wedding, my sister and I fell in love with these royal blue suede heels, so I decided to make them my something blue. However, what I didn’t realize was that Tyler’s mom had a very meaningful gift waiting for me in Savannah. The morning before our wedding, she handed me a ring box. In the box was a flawless blue sapphire ring that was previously worn by Tyler’s nanny. Tyler’s nanny was was his world, and unfortunately, God decided to take her sooner than we would have liked. It was such a sweet surprise and an honor to wear that ring on my wedding day. Tyler’s mom said that before she passed away, Tyler’s nanny told her to give the ring to Tyler’s bride. I can’t wait to continue the tradition and one day be able to hand over the ring to my new daughter-in-law. Those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? At first, picking a wedding location seemed like a daunting task. Since I was born and raised in Virginia, we both went to high school and college in Georgia, and we’ve both been living in Florida for the last five years, we really had the entire South to choose from. However, it ended up being one of the easiest decisions for us to make when we started planning our wedding. I had spent months researching churches across the East Coast, and I just so happened to stumble upon Whitefield Chapel. We decided to make a trip up to Savannah to see it in person, and it was love at first sight. We both instantly knew we were meant to wed there.

Too funny!

Describe your wedding flowers. Because I loved the idea of mixing the old South with a splash of couture, I really wanted to pair the look of loose, garden flowers with the glitz and glamour that went with my bridesmaid gowns. I knew I wanted all white blooms, lots of greenery, and lots of texture, to create a Lowcountry feel. My two favorite floral pieces were the garland attached to the back bumper of our vintage Bentley, and my flower crown that the ladies of A to Zinnias constructed for our rehearsal dinner. Simply stunning.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Nope, Team Traditional Vows all the way.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. You can even find this verse written on an old particle board hanging in our living room. Whenever one of us is quick to have a temper, the rule is you must stand in front of the sign and read the entire verse out loud for the other to hear. What may have started out as a joke has turned out to be very conducive.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: From Christina: I really can’t choose just one. I love how we provided the trolley service for our guests, so they wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. I also loved our welcome bags, which included Georgia pecans, glass bottles of coke with Crown Royal, and vintage Savannah postcards. I would guess Tyler’s favorite detail was his dance moves. From Tyler: My favorite detail was the chalkboard sign at the entrance of the chapel that my wife made for me.

Now that is some serious Blue Steel, Mr. Tatum – work!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? By far, my favorite detail of the wedding was displaying our moms’ wedding dresses for all of our guests to see. My mom had found the perfect vintage dress forms online and they went beautifully with the architecture and style of our reception space. Also, instead of using a typical guest book, we decided to use quilt patches that my great-grandmother had sewn decades ago. What better way to remember our wedding guests than by reading their messages on a family heirloom that’s been passed down three generations?

We LOVE seeing how real couples incorporate products from the Southern Weddings Shop into their own weddings!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love.” That song is so special to us because it really connects with what we’ve gone through and endured in our relationship over the last ten years. “There’s no doubt in my mind where you belong…” is probably my favorite line, but I’m pretty sure I whispered every word of the entire song in Tyler’s ear during our first dance.

Our guests came from far and wide to attend our Southern-themed Georgia wedding, so it was only fitting that we offered Georgia peach cake with peach buttercream icing. Yum! In recognition of my daily pumpkin coffee, we also offered a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing–my favorite! When choosing the design of our cake, I was thinking big picture. I knew I wanted to surround our cake with vintage family photos of our loved ones on their wedding days. I had also found the perfect swans to include in the mix, along with a gorgeous calligraphy piece from the Southern Weddings Shop that I had custom framed. When it came time to design the actual cake, I knew I wanted something simple and chic. Tier Luxury Cakes really came through with that understated elegant look I was going for.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Do you have all day? No, but in all seriousness, our love story has been a beautiful mess. It’s definitely not the easiest thing meeting your future husband at the age of 18, yet somehow, we managed to stay together through growing up and finding ourselves. Our story began in the summer of 2004, when we were in our first year at different colleges, after we both graduated from the same high school the year before. Over the next ten years, through butterflies, heartbreaks, deaths, moves, and new adventures, we learned that God definitely used us to shape who the other is today. Moral of the story, trust the man above…especially when he sends a cute boy your way.
Tell us all about the proposal! In the years leading up to the proposal, I had always asked that if he did propose, do it at anytime EXCEPT right before the bar exam. Well, we’re all Southern ladies here, so you can probably predict what happened next…I was finishing up my final semester in law school, gearing up for the bar exam, when Tyler decided it was the perfect time to pop the question. Because my birthday always fell during exams, our tradition was to spend it in the library, cupcakes in hand. For this particular birthday, Tyler kept begging me to spend the night away from my books, and instead, go with him to a special dinner. Little did I know that he had arranged for a private room at Capital Grill with special service, flowers, wine–the whole nine yards. He had even put together a special video filled with our closest friends and family wishing me a happy birthday, which would then lead to the proposal. However, due to my very stubborn and overachieving ways, I refused to celebrate my birthday and insisted that I spend that time studying. To this day, after all of his preparation, I will never understand how Tyler refrained from dragging me to dinner with him. But, he didn’t force me, and things always have a funny way of working out, because although his plan seemed perfect, it may have been too perfect for us. We enjoy the simple things in life–we love our beach bungalow, our chocolate lab, and pedaling the day away on our beach cruisers. He proposed on the beach, early the next morning during sunrise, with Marley, our beloved lab, right by his side. It couldn’t have been more “us.” I then started the grueling process of bar prep with one very large distraction sitting on my left hand, while having learned my first lesson as a newly engaged woman: boys never listen.
When did y’all get married? November 16, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 60
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? You couldn’t have paid us to do a first look. We consider ourselves very traditional when it comes to family and lifetime moments, and after waiting ten years for this occasion, there would be no spoiling it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Oh goodness, probably when I found out that the church had double booked us, which led to us switching reception venues. Or when my bridal suite, a week before the wedding, said that they had scheduled us for the wrong weekend and we no longer had a reservation. Moral of the story, expect at least three meltdowns. Maybe four.
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? We definitely saved money by having an intimate wedding. It was important to us to only have our closest friends and family members in attendance and we wouldn’t have changed that for the world.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I could rave about all of our vendors because they were ALL amazing. However, I had spent months and months searching for the perfect photographer and it really paid off. I remember the night that I discovered Ariel’s work. It took me three hours just to draft our initial email to see if she’d be interested in shooting our wedding… I was convinced that she’d never choose us. To my surprise, she called me the next day and was by far one of the coolest people I had ever met. Thanks to Ariel, we now have gorgeous shots from our engagement shoot, rehearsal dinner, and of course, our entire wedding day. I’ll treasure them forever and I’m counting down the days until I get to show them to our children. It’s going to be awesome.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Tyler: My most memorable moment from the wedding was standing next to my best friends, seeing my family and friends in the crowd, and hearing Canon in D start playing and the doors opening to my beautiful bride! I’m not an emotional guy at all, but it was so hard to fight back the tears in that moment. It was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I have played guitar for 16 years and always loved that song, but now, every time I hear and play it, I think of that moment and how excited I felt to marry my best friend. She looked absolutely gorgeous and when those doors opened and I saw her for the first time, she could not have looked any more perfect.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? This day is all about you and your future spouse. But, it’s also about your future children, their children, and so on. Therefore, plan your day with the intentions of capturing that special feeling that even your grandchildren will be able to experience through photos alone.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Lots of children and lots of laughter.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? It was awesome. You should have been there.

Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Planner: Weddings From This Day Forward / Ceremony Venue: Whitefield Chapel / Reception Venue: Garibaldi’s Cafe / Florist: A to Zinnias / Wedding Cake: Tier Luxury Cakes / Rentals: Savannah Special Events /  DJ: DJ Nick Fresh / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang / Paper Products & Calligraphy: Lowcountry Paper Co / Hair Stylist: Salon Aqua / Makeup Artist: Lauren Rossi Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: BCBG / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Badgley Mischka via Rent the Runway / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein  / Groomsmen Attire: Mens Wearhouse / Vintage Stamps: Verde Studio / Welcome Bags: Pressed Cotton / Ampersand Coasters: Redbirdink / Gold Glitter Drink Stirrers: dillpicklepicnic / Flower Petal Bags: Howjoyfulshop

marissa Written with love by Marissa
12 Comments
  1. avatar ariel renae reply

    This was one of my favorite weddings of the year! Such a beautiful day! Thanks for the feature!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Seriously, I just love them! They did such an amazing job staying focused on what really matters, and that love and thoughtfulness is so evident in their wedding pictures!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Oh I LOVE the dress she picked! And that cake table is stunning! Such a gorgeous & classy wedding!!

  4. avatar Aly reply

    This wedding is absolutely beautiful. I love the sparkly bridesmaid dresses, and every detail seems to have been thought of. And the bride? So chic and elegant.

  5. avatar Kathryn reply

    Those bridesmaid dresses are truly stunning… as is the glowing bride. Not only do I feel a kinship, in that I too will be sporting Ms. Wang come September – but the moment I saw that Spanish moss coming off those Live Oaks I knew immediately that was where I’ve called home for the last 5 years; sweet Savannah :) Not to mention I’ll be celebrating my birthday/graduation at Garibaldi’s cafe come the end of next month – and by the looks of it, I definitely have something to look forward to!

  6. avatar Emily reply

    SUCH a beautiful wedding, inside and out! I love how she describes/thinks about her wedding photos in relation to her future kids! :)

  7. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    LOVE the sparkly bridesmaids dresses and the gold details throughout….absolutely stunning!

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

    […] Beth and Lawson loved hosting their wedding guests at one of their favorite places, Rosemary Beach. Christina and Tyler‘s glamorous Savannah wedding was centered around tradition and leaving a legacy. Annie and […]

  9. avatar Abby reply

    Hello! This wedding is exactly what I want in my own this fall. Could the bride possibly say how the experience with renting the bridesmaid’s dresses was? I am considering Rent The Runway for my girls and these are THE dresses I love! Thank you!! -Abby

    • avatar Christina reply

      Hi Abby!! I’ll admit, it was a very risky move on my part, but it turned out better than I could have ever hoped! I just suggest doing your homework, speaking with the ladies at RTR, making sure that all of your girls are ordering the right sizes based on the reviews of other girls who have their same body type, and triple check that the address and orders are correct in the RTR system. If all fails, just remember that RTR can over night you a different size if needed, that is if it is in stock. So long story short, call RTR and discuss your ideas and wishes for your girl’s dresses and they should be able to lead you in the right direction. Hope this helps and wishing you a beautiful wedding!

  10. avatar Christina reply

    Still in awe that our wedding was featured on THE Southern Weddings! Thank you so much to everyone for the sweet comments and hope everyone has a blessed day!

    xoxo MRS. Tatum :)

  11. avatar Melanie Thomas reply

    What Material are the brides maids dresses

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We’re celebrating Kristin’s birthday today! Check out #KNWbirthday on social media to see the “recipe” for what makes her wonderful, and leave her some love!

While I’m an Alabama girl at heart, I’ve spent a good portion of my life in Florida. I would say I know some of the best hidden gems in the state, but I think Beth has a leg up on me–she and her sister write a super fun blog called Palm Beach Lately. While PB is a fabulous place to be, I’d have to say that Rosemary Beach takes the cake! It’s a quaint little beach town filled with the sweetest folks and the prettiest buildings (you can even drive your golf cart or ride your bike everywhere!). I can completly understand why Beth and Lawson fell in love with the town and decided to treat their guests to a wedding weekend filled with relaxing, riding bikes, and playing on the lawns.

Heavens y’all, the Town Hall even made for the most lovely backdrop for Paul Johnson to snap one of my favorite aisle shots! Thanks for sharing, Paul!

What a little doll!

I always envisioned going to New York to find my wedding dress, but when I went, I was torn between two styles. I went online to search for a dress that included what I liked about both dresses in one, and I found a Jim Hjelm dress that was exactly what I was looking for. I looked for the nearest shop that carried the dress and it ended up being the one!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I had visited Rosemary Beach, Florida for a wedding about nine years ago and always thought it was such a magical town for a destination wedding. We live in Palm Beach, but wanted a more intimate wedding. Many people were confused about why we were going to a beach town in Florida, when we already lived in one! When Lawson and I visited Rosemary Beach, he instantly loved the town too, and we knew it was exactly what we wanted for our wedding weekend. The town is quaint and beautiful, complete with intimate restaurants, pristine beaches, and amazing architecture. It was so great to see our guests relaxing, walking from their house rentals or hotels into town for dinner or cocktails, riding bikes, and playing on the lawns.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we did not do a first look. Since I was a little girl, I always imagined walking down the aisle and seeing my groom for the first time. It is the most amazing feeling to see your future husband’s reaction…one of the most significant moments in your life. There is something so special about tradition.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? “These Hands” was read by the woman who set us up on a blind date.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I coordinated a wedding in NYC when I first started in the event business, and the bride walked down the aisle to Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me.” I remember thinking that when I got married, I wanted to walk down the aisle to that song. When we were leaving the church, we played “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers. It seemed so fitting once we were pronounced husband and wife. Our first dance was to Ray LaMontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.” We both loved the song and what it stood for, so we knew that it had to be our first dance.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We gave vintage embroidered handkerchiefs to our mothers, grandmothers, and my sister with personal notes. The reception was in a tent on a lawn near the ocean, and the dance floor under the night sky. There was a custom corn hole game in the lawn at cocktail hour, along with a beer boat and koozies. And of course, my handsome southern gentleman.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Being creative with our budget. I love details, so picking what really was important and letting some of the other details go was hard sometimes.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our DJ. We love to dance and we danced the night away. Even a rain storm didn’t stop us! Everyone got under the tent and up on their chairs and kept dancing. We also loved our videographer. Everything went by so quickly, it was so hard to take it all in. We get to relive our wedding day every time we watch our video.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Etsy!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Looking back at the tent and seeing all our friends and family there to celebrate the next chapter in our lives as husband and wife.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something blue was my Gators garter, in honor of my time as a University of Florida Cheerleader, and my something borrowed was my Cartier bracelet from my brother, who owns Gregory James Jewelry.

I’m not a cake gal, but heavens that looks divine! I adore the Swiss dots and pretty peach combo!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. A family friend set me up on a blind date with Lawson, and there was immediate chemistry. We talked and talked and had a great lunch before he headed out of town. I thought he was so cute and sweet, and we had a lot in common. He called me as soon as he got back, and we have been inseparable since.
Tell us all about the proposal! In October 2012, at one of my favorite places, Soho Beach House in Miami, with both of our families there, he asked me to marry him. He could hardly get the question out before I blurted “yes!” It was amazing to share that special moment with our families.
When did y’all get married? November 16, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows. I was hesitant to do so, but Lawson really wanted to and I am so glad we did. Your own vows are a personal expression of your love and commitment to each other. My favorite part of ours was, “In front of those we love, I choose you today and everyday for the rest of our lives.”
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Not to sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to get caught up in the details, but the most important part of the wedding is to celebrate each other.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We recently moved into our new home and are looking forward to our honeymoon at the end of the year.

Photographer: Paul Johnson Photography / Videographer: Films by Francesco / Planner: Beth Beattie Branding, PR and Events / Ceremony Venue: Town Hall, Rosemary Beach / Reception Venue: Eastern Lawn, Rosemary Beach / Florist: Events by Nouveau Flowers / Wedding Cake: Confections on the Coast / Caterer: Townsend Catering / DJ: DJ Wolf / Bride’s Gown: Jim Hjelm / Paper Products: Palm Beach Parties / Bride’s Jewelry: Gregory James Jewelry / Hair Stylist: Amanda Parisi / Makeup Artist: Jamie Gummere / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Bonobos

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

    I adore their first dance photo – the clouds coming in make it so dramatic!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    That dress was made for her!!

  3. avatar Mary reply

    This is such an insanely gorgeous wedding!

  4. avatar Mikkel reply

    Beautiful! Love the bridal party portraits and how the cake was captured. LOVE the calligraphy on the menus too! It all looked so gorgeous and like a great party in a beautiful setting!

  5. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #136 | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] From Palm Beach to Rosemary Beach for the prettiest little wedding by the sea. […]

  6. avatar Hilary reply

    I love her monogram design on her pillows & koozies, do you know which designer she used for those?

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With its big wraparound porch and brightly colored interior, Katie and Brett knew the William Aiken House would be the perfect venue to show their friends and family how beautiful Charleston historic houses can be. After nine years of living in downtown Charleston, I’d say these two could take us on quite the gorgeous tour! Katie and Brett complemented the classic Southern details of the home with the perfect neutral color palette of gold and taupe neutrals, plus a subtle pop of coral brought in with the bridesmaids’ dresses and florals. I especially love the floating floral installation that accented the gazebo ceremony backdrop!

Hugs to Dana Cubbage for sharing K + B’s big day!

My dress, Babs by Hayley Paige, was the first one I tried on at the first store I went to! A few weeks after Brett proposed, I went to try on dresses with some of my bridesmaids and absolutely loved the first dress. I tried on about twelve more, just to see, but I knew that Babs would be the one. I immediately called my mom and begged her to come to Charleston the next week to see it, so she happily drove down from Richmond!

Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet included peonies, roses, and ranunculus, and was tied with an ivory ribbon. The boutonnieres were coral ranunculus with a touch of greenery, and Brett’s had a white flower in it as well. Each one was tied with twine. The bridesmaid bouquets were mostly white and ivory with a touch of color and greenery, finished with an ivory ribbon. The centerpieces were ivory, coral, and blush flowers in gold vases. We also attached greenery to the lounge chandeliers and tent poles.

We did decide to do a first look, as most of our married friends and our photographer recommended it. I had my doubts, as I wasn’t sure I wanted Brett to see me before the ceremony, but on the day of, I was thrilled we decided to do it. I was extremely nervous and it helped to be able to see Brett and calm my nerves. It was also nice to get the bridal party pictures finished so that after the ceremony, we could just enjoy our reception!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’ve lived in Charleston for nine years now and have always lived downtown! It has a special place in my heart and I have walked past the William Aiken House tons of times. Once in college, I even said that I would love to get married there someday. After we toured a few other venues, we decided it was the best spot for our wedding. It had plenty of space, and we could do the ceremony and reception at the same venue, which was important to us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The house itself is so Southern! It has a big wraparound porch and panel doors, and the interior is full of bright colors and antiques. It really reminded us and our guests how beautiful Charleston historic houses can be. We also had shrimp and grits with fried green tomatoes as one of our food stations!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a four-tiered lace cake with a ribbon on the third tier that matched the sash on my dress. It even had a real peony flower, just like the flower on my sash! The first and last layers were hummingbird, the second layer was red velvet, and the third layer was carrot cake, all finished with cream cheese frosting.

For our first dance, Brett suggested “Come Away With Me” by Norah Jones, and when he played it for me, I knew that it was the one. Her voice is stunning and we both love the song! For the father/daughter dance, I let my dad choose the song, and he picked “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart–I’m the youngest!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brett and I met at a mutual friend’s party when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore at the College of Charleston. We were good friends for almost a year and then started dating at then end of summer 2003. We graduated in 2005 and 2006 respectively and then moved to Greenville before moving back to Charleston in 2009–we missed it so much! We were together for nine years before we got engaged!
Tell us all about the proposal! Brett proposed the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend in 2013. He had asked about going to dinner at a new jazz club, The Mezz, earlier in the week, which I was excited about. On that Thursday, I was feeling tired, so I emailed Brett at work to suggest that we go over the weekend instead. Brett insisted that we go that night, because we had company coming in for the weekend. I have to admit, when he said this, I though, “Hmm, he’s never insistent on dinner plans…could this be the night??” Once that popped into my head, I finished work and went to get my nails done, just in case! :) When I got home, Brett asked me to come up to our rooftop patio for a pre-dinner drink. It was a gorgeous night and he started talking about how long we’d been together. We could even see my college dorm from where we were, and we laughed about the memories from that time in our life. After saying a lot of very sweet things, Brett got down on one knee and proposed!! I immediately said yes and was so happy! Afterwards, we called our friends and family and enjoyed a lovely dinner at The Mezz.
When did y’all get married? March 22, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? I borrowed the pearl necklace I wore from my mom (it was originally my great grandmother’s, and my sister also wore it at her wedding). My something blue was the blue “I Do” undergarment I wore. My something olds were my pearl bracelet and earrings, and my something new was my dress, of course!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Walking down the aisle, I chose “Canon in D” by Pachelbel, because I think the song is so joyful and beautiful! Walking back up the aisle, we chose “The Wedding March” by Felix Mendelssohn. We had a string trio play the songs at both the ceremony and the cocktail hour.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the hardest thing about planning a wedding is picking out each little detail and then just hoping it all fits together! Hiring a wedding planner was the best decision we made.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? The groomsmen bought suits from Jos. A. Bank during the buy three, get one free sale, so they were heavily discounted, which was especially great considering we needed ten of them! We also ordered ties from TieBar.com, which were beautiful silk ties for only $15!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our band! They made the reception so much fun, it almost felt like a concert!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We made a fun sign with our wedding hashtag on it. Not very traditional, but it allowed us to see everyone’s pictures so easily!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment was walking out the door towards the aisle and seeing all my friends and family smiling back at me. My heart was pounding–I was so nervous, but so excited. I can still picture everyones’ faces, including Brett’s!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are hoping to buy a house in the near future, as we’ve been in our two-bedroom condo for almost five years. We are most looking forward to spending the holidays with each other–we have been together for nine years and have never seen each other on Thanksgiving or Christmas! I am now glad we kept holidays separate, because it gives us a lot to look forward to and we will be able to create our own memories and traditions together, as a married couple.

Photographer: Dana Cubbage Weddings /Videographer: KLC Video Productions / Planner: Alexandra Caldwell Fisher / Venue: The William Aiken House / Florist: Tiger Lily / Cake Baker: Ashley Bakery / Caterer: Fish / Rentals: Snyder and Event Works / Lighting: Innovative Event Services / Band: The Dickens Band / Bride’s Gown: “Babs” by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon: White on Daniel Island / Paper Products: MerryMint Designs / Bride’s Hair Clip: Stella Nova / Hair Stylist: Shayla Battle of Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Make-up / Makeup Artist: Kristen Brown of Paper Dolls Wedding Hair & Make-up / Bride’s Shoes: “Veny Wedge Pump” by Vince Camuto / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Zoe” in Terracotta Silk Shantung by Lula Kate / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Banks / Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / String Trio: Classical Charleston / Calligrapher: Paige Tanenbaum / Save The Dates: Wedding Paper Divas

Dana Cubbage and A. Caldwell Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Such a stunning venue–perfect for this downtown Charleston couple!

  2. avatar Wedding reception seating arrangements: Pros and cons for every table layout reply

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As a December bride myself, I always feel a bit attached to fellow December couples, and I especially feel that way today. Maybe it’s nostalgia or possibly the elegant decor of holiday garlands and crisp white florals, but either way, Klaire and Carson’s wedding day roped me in from that first sweet photo of Klaire wiping a tear away, and kept me smitten all the way to their carriage exit. Be sure to read about their fun Atlanta Braves tribute before they hopped into said carriage!

Big thanks to Mark Williams Studio for sharing!

P.S. Fun fact! Does that gorgeous church look familiar? It’s the same church that was featured in the lovely Generations Past shoot from V6!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! I borrowed my veil from my cousin/matron of honor, one of my garters was blue satin ribbon and ivory lace, I wrapped my Gram’s pearl rosary beads around the stems of my bouquet, and my dress and my pearl earrings (my wedding gift from Carson!) were new!

My wedding dress story is definitely not a typical one! I originally planned to wear my cousin/matron of honor’s wedding dress. When she found it, I was just as much in love with it as she was, so when she asked me if I would like to wear it, it was an obvious decision. I absolutely loved the dress and there was so much emotion and sentiment behind wearing it (not to mention, the price was right, right?!). Then one day, my mom called me to meet her at a local bridal store to help my aunt find a dress for the wedding. When I walked in, I saw a beautiful dress on one of the mannequins, but considering it was less than two months until my wedding AND I already had a dress, I ignored my instinct to go look at it. About 15 minutes later, I found myself walking over to it. I was apparently in awe because my mom walked up behind me and told me to go try it on. I was very hesitant, but with encouragement from my mom and aunts, I decided to try it. When I walked out of the dressing room, they all immediately started to cry. I walked over to the mirror to look at myself and started to cry too. For the first time, I felt like a “real bride” with my own dress. We called my soon-to-be mother-in-law and sister-in-law to come up for the final decision. When they walked in, they both cried too and said it looked like the dress was made for me. So, the decision was made and I ordered the dress. We were scared it would not arrive in time, but it came three weeks early. It was truly meant to be!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We knew that we would be living in Savannah after we got married, and we loved the idea of getting married during the most romantic time of year (Christmas) in such a romantic town. We wanted our venues to highlight the Southern charm and grace of Savannah. We had heard about the Whitefield Chapel of Bethesda, and after seeing it for the first time, we immediately knew it was the place that we wanted to exchange our vows. It was so intimate and quaint. The reception venue, Garibaldi’s, was the first place Carson and I had gone to dinner when he moved to Savannah. It is also the place where we had our first “marriage talk!” I even asked our waiter at dinner that night if they had weddings there. When we got engaged, my best friend researched venues for me, and when she mentioned Garibaldi’s, I knew it was the one!

Our wedding was very traditional and Southern in almost every way. We got ready and took pictures in the Old South streets and squares, where trolleys and horses were on every corner. Carson and the ring bearers were true Southern gentlemen in their bow ties and suspenders. I wore my uncle’s mother’s vintage fur jacket from the 1950′s–she was quite the Southern lady. We got married in a chapel surrounded by winding oak trees and beautiful Spanish moss. My mom said the blessing for everyone before the food was served and celebration began. Our reception was celebrated in the heart of downtown Savannah. Magnolia wreathes with berries accented with tiny lights were on every window to bring out the Southern elegance of the winter season.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we loved the traditional vows.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our first reading was 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, the second reading was 1 John 4: 16-19, and the gospel reading was Matthew 19:4-6
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our ceremony music was very traditional and classic. We had two close family friends play the piano during the ceremony. My high school chorus teacher sang “Ave Maria” as Carson’s mom walked down the aisle. I came down the aisle with both of my parents to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” For the reception, our goal was to have a big party full of dancing! When the bridal party was introduced, they danced in to “I’ve Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas. When Carson and I were introduced, we came into “Sparks Fly” by Taylor Swift (my all-time favorite). Our first dance was to “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved how we tried to make each and every detail personal to us, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be our exit details. Carson and I are huge Atlanta Braves fans, so we had foam tomahawks made with our names and wedding date on them. They were handed to each of our guests as they walked out to form a tomahawk “chop line.” Everyone was “chopping” away and singing the Braves’ infamous war chant as we exited and got into our horse-drawn carriage. As we rode away in the carriage, we held up a wooden sign that said, “…and they lived happily ever after.” It was the perfect ending to a wonderful night.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was perfect. It was a three-tiered ivory cake with raised pearl dots. The second tier had our scripted monogram on it. Ranunculus and baby’s breath were arranged on the top and along the sides of the cake. It was very simple, classic, and elegant–definitely the look we were going for. Carson’s groom’s cake was one of my favorite parts of the wedding. Carson got to pick the flavor (chocolate), but he did not know what it was going to look like. Since Carson is in medical school and wants to be a surgeon, I designed an “Operation” cake. Each “operation piece” was specifically tied to him some way. For example, the heart piece said “Belongs to Klaire, 12.28.13″ and the brain piece said, “Georgia on my mind, go Dawgs!” I got to show it to him at the reception and it was one of the most fun moments for us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both grew up in Columbus, Georgia. Our families are friends, we went to the same high school for a year, and we had the same social circle. It was not until Carson returned home after graduating from UGA that our relationship started. We went on several dates, but nothing too serious. A few months down the road, while Carson was studying intensely for his MCAT, I made him a care package to take to his test. I realized that maybe I cared about him a lot more than I wanted to admit…and turns out, those feelings were mutual. From that day on, we started dating, and it did not take long before we knew that we had both found our perfect match!
Tell us all about the proposal! Carson planned a “birthday trip” for me to Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia. It was also his medical school spring break, so I really did not suspect anything. On the day of the proposal, Carson planned a tour around the winery and a fun wine tasting. As we were walking to the hotel to head to our dinner reservation, we stopped by the lounge. I sat down and Carson remained standing as he ordered two glasses of champagne. He then told me that we were not going to be sitting there, and the hotel staff escorted us to one of the balconies on the side of the hotel. On the door to the balcony, it said “Reserved for a Private Party.” I was immediately very hesitant and told Carson that we could not go in. He then told me that the “private party” was for us. He opened the door, and at the end of the balcony, I saw a table set for two. Tears immediately started to flow. There were rose petals leading the way, and two glasses and a bottle of wine from the winery labeled “Klaire & Carson, April 27,2013″ on the table. We went to sit down, and the next thing I knew, Carson was telling me how much he loved me, and then got done on one knee and said, “Klaire Jennings Kirkland, Will you marry me?” I, of course, cried and said YES! As I looked over, Carson’s parents walked out of the back room. They had been taking pictures of the proposal, and they also had a videographer there filming the whole thing! The final surprise came when we made it to our dinner reservation, and all of our family and best friends were there to celebrate. Carson seriously thought of everything to make our engagement so perfect.
When did y’all get married? December 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we did not. We decided to wait to see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle to Carson. Carson and I dated for about two years before we got married, and one year of that was long distance. He had started medical school in Savannah, and I was still working at my job in Columbus, and we decided is was important to wait to live together until after we were married. During the time of living apart, envisioning Carson’s face as I walked down the aisle was what got me through the weeks of not being able to see each other, so it only seemed right to wait to see him until I walked down the aisle. It was so worth it–everything I could have ever dreamed of and more!
Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were very soft and simple. I wanted all creams, whites, ivories and blushes. My bouquet had zinnias, peonies, Juliet garden roses, ranunculus, and with a hint of winter gray dusty miller and brunia berries. The stems were exposed, wrapped in ivory satin ribbon and my grandmother’s pearl rosary beads. My bridesmaids carried hydrangeas, Juliet garden roses and babies breath, accented with dusty miller and brunia berries, wrapped in lace ribbon and pearl beads. The groom and groomsmen wore simple freesia flowers tied with gray brunia berries and dusty miller. The reception flowers were similar, but we used eclectic glass vases and small flower jars for variety throughout each table.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Staying within budget! As we all know, weddings can get expensive really quickly!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My wedding planner and designer, Two Peaches Design, did all of my flowers and floral design. We were able to pay for our flowers at wholesale prices, which saved a lot of money!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our photographers, Julianne and Marielle of Mark Williams Studio. They were so focused on every detail, which was so important to me, and they were so fun and easy to work with. I truly feel that having good photographers is one of the most important parts of a wedding. They were beyond wonderful!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Hands down, the most memorable part of my wedding day was when the chapel doors opened and I saw Carson standing at the end of the aisle, knowing that we were about to become husband and wife. We both radiated with happiness and true joy. It was the best feeling and moment of all time for me!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Wedding planning can be very stressful. When you start to feel that stress, remember the meaning of your wedding day and what it is all about… you and your soon-to-be husband! This time goes by fast and it only happens once, so cherish it. Have fun planning with your mom, family, and best friends. Be thankful for all the love and support that is surrounding you and your fiancé during this time. No matter what, at the end of your big day, you get to be married to the love of your life…it doesn’t get any better than that!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We will be in Savannah for the next few years until Carson finishes medical school. We look forward to continuing to grow together as a husband and wife, and we are very excited to see what God has in store for us…we definitely see little baby Stricklands in the future (when that time is right)! Until then, we are having fun just being together, watching lots of Braves games, and cheering for the Georgia Bulldogs come fall. Go Dawgs!

Photographer: Mark Williams Studio / Videographer: Andrew Clark Films / Planning and Florals: Two Peaches Design / Ceremony Venue: Whitefield Chapel of Bethesda / Reception Venue and Catering: Garibaldi’s / Cake Baker: Tier Luxury Cakes / Band or DJ: All About You Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Oleg Cassini / Paper Products: Everly Calligraphy / Bride’s Veil: J Andrews Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Andrea Nay / Bride’s Shoes: BCBGeneration / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Wooden Signs: Michele Campbell of M. & Co. / Foam Tomahawks and Koozies: Collins Marketing

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Janine reply

    I love this wedding! So elegant! Almost everything is given credit at the bottom — but I was wondering if there was any way to find out where the bride got her robe (and bridesmaid’s robes)? I’ve seen a lot that look similar in my search, but these are perfect!

    • avatar Klaire Strickland reply

      Hey Janine! Thanks for your sweet comments! I got my robe and the bridesmaids’ robes off of “The Knot’s” website/store. They were perfect and the monogram was the perfect touch. Hope this helps!

    • avatar Janine reply

      Thank you so much!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Their reception space looks so cozy + joyful!

  3. avatar Inna Olimpiyuk reply

    Loved this story, cried in many spots, very touching!

  4. avatar Christine reply

    We are considering Savannah for our wedding spot too. Thanks for sharing. So many great ideas and very beautiful.

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Wedding days fly by faster than ice melts on a Southern summer night (trust me!), and are filled with so many wonderful moments that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Reading through each interview, I’m always so amazed at how different and incredibly touching each couple’s favorites are. I tend to cry reading each one, but I haven’t cried in about a week. Well, that record came to an abrupt stop because Josh’s favorite memory just got me good! He said “In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me.” Swoon!

Now can we talk about Ms. Melody and her amazing style? Between the top knot and the fur stole, I think she took chic to another level, not to mention, made me question my haircut choice last week!

Hugs to the darling Courtney Dox for capturing such a pretty day!

She’s working it–what a beauty!

Describe your wedding flowers. This was one of my favorite meetings I had while planning my wedding. Josh actually didn’t attend, which I was thankful for, as he was a VERY involved groom! My planner, Ashley, and I had the opportunity to create some surprises for him with the wonderful Sara York Grimshaw of SYG Designs. Josh and I both loved the rustic look of The Cotton Dock, and Sara was able to create the romantic, rustic atmosphere I wanted with beautiful blue hydrangeas, white anemones, and pinecones.

Bookmarking the photo below for our annual favorites posts–that cotton!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We both decided early on that we wanted to do a first look. Josh was so nervous about messing up the vows and he knew that if he could just see me first, he would be able to say them mistake-free. It ended up being emotional for both of us, so it was nice to have some time to ourselves before the ceremony.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up outside of Charleston, and always wanted to get married at plantation. Boone Hall was a perfect location and had everything we were looking for–Southern charm, rustic appeal, and plenty of opportunities for us to create a wedding that was better than we could have dreamed.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? From Josh: We did not. I would have been even more of a mess if I had to memorize anything!

Getting married at a historic Charleston plantation definitely gave us the perfect backdrop for a fairy tale Southern wedding. We tried to incorporate several things we love about the South for our out-of-town guests to soak in. We had an oyster bar with freshly shucked oysters from various regions, boiled peanuts on our bar, and a Southern classic for our signature drink–Coca-Cola glass bottles with a runner of Jack Daniels on top. Josh also offered up his homemade jalapeño dill pickles to be served with our BBQ sliders, and we had hot spiced wine to help keep our guests warm by the fire!

Our favorite detail of the wedding would have to be the decor. We were stunned when we saw how the lighting, flowers, and furniture all came together. Each table was decorated with flickering candles, sparkling mercury glass, and gorgeous floral arrangements. Rustic Edison bulbs dangling from the ceiling gave the whole venue a totally different feel then when we saw it at first.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My MOH, Mallory Imlach, took charge of all of these items and it was a complete surprise to me! She gave me a new sixpence for good luck that I wore in my shoe. My blue item was a “bride” tank to wear en route to our honeymoon. My something old was so special–it was a photo of my parents on their wedding day that she tied to my bouquet. Along with their photo, she tied a little piece of her wedding dress to it. My something borrowed was her cuff bracelet she wore on her wedding day that had the saying “And she lived happily ever after” inside of it.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a beautiful three-tiered cake by the amazing Jim Smeal. He used our color palette of blues to create a stunning ombre ruffled cake with three large flowers to add a little more detail. I chose all the flavors, as Josh is not the dessert type–key lime coconut, chocolate kahlúa, and pecan praline. I would be lying if I said the thought of opening up our anniversary cake a little early hadn’t crossed my mind a time or two!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were so lucky on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, when we bumped into each other at a local pub. Introductions were made by a mutual friend and I instantly knew this guy was something. Ten days later, at the Carolina Cup horse race in Camden, SC, Josh made it “official” and we have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! Josh always had a special place in his heart for fall. One beautiful day in October, we made plans to meet our long-time friends outside of Greenville at a farm that had a pumpkin patch. We started walking through the pumpkins, looking for the perfect one. Little did I know, a few steps away, Josh had arranged to have “M-A-R-R-Y-M-E-?” painted out on on a row of pumpkins. Just as he got down on one knee and I said yes, a hayride of people went by and joined in our excitement with cheers. It was perfect!
When did y’all get married? December 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. During a last minute trip to visit my matron of honor in Greenville, SC, she surprised me with a trip to look for dresses. We walked into The Poinsett Bride in downtown Greenville and I just had a good feeling. A few dresses later, I had found the dress! With the help of the amazing seamstress at The Poinsett Bride, she and I were able to customize a one-of-a-kind dress that I absolutely loved. We added thin spaghetti straps and deepened the back to give the dress a little more drama, while still being classy and elegant.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Honestly this was the last thing on my mind. All I cared about was the handsome guy standing at the end of the aisle! But, to make sure everyone heard lovely sounds, we had a guitarist and my cousin played her viola. Our first dance was picked out by Josh, “To Love Somebody” by The BeeGees/Michael Buble. When he played it for me for the first time, I just melted. It was perfect!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The guest list! This is the hardest thing people don’t always tell you about. We decided early on that we wanted a smaller wedding, and after we had our lists from both sides of the family, the hard work began.
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? I think one way we really saved so much was hiring a wedding coordinator. I know there is a cost for this service, but I also know without a doubt that we would have spent more without the help of Ashely Wenz, our incredible planner!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Cru Catering did all of the food and drinks at our wedding. It was fantastic! We wanted Southern-inspired food and drinks, and they really took that notion and ran with it. They were able to blend classic Southern dishes with some flair–like collard green wontons, pulled pork sliders with Asian slaw, and shrimp and grits that were to die for!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Melody: The moment I saw Josh for the first time is my most cherished memory. His face was just so priceless and the time we got to spend together, just the two of us, took all the nerves away. My second favorite moment was when my Daddy and my uncles serenaded me, barbershop quartet style, with a song they had written together all about me! It was a complete surprise and it was so sweet and unexpected–absolutely something I will never forget! Josh: My most memorable moment would have to be when I saw Melody coming down the aisle toward me. Even though it wasn’t the first time that I saw her in her wedding dress, it was the first time that everything sunk in for me. In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me. Even though we were surrounded by our family and friends, it was like it was the two of just us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to immediately agree to a lot of additions and extra things you want, but things add up. There were a few things in our planning process that we thought we couldn’t live without, but when the day finally comes, you will be surprised by how easily you forget about them. At the end of the day, its about being in the fellowship of your closest family and friends, and celebrating the commitment you just made to one another.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Right now, we are enjoying spending time with our two puppies, and in the future, we are planning on buying our first home and starting a family together.

Photographer: Courtney Dox Photography / Planner: Ashely Wenz of Boutique Planning / Venue: Boone Hall Plantation / Florist: SYG Designs / Wedding Cake: Jim Smeal / Caterer: Cru Catering / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band or DJ: Nu South Playas / Bride’s Gown: “Gobi” by Watters / Bridal Salon: The Poinsett Bride / Paper Products: Spencer Syfrig / Hair and Makeup: MiKel Rumsey / Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Gardenia” by Watters / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

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

    Their most memorable moments are so incredibly sweet! Also can’t get enough of their style–the bow ties, the hairstyle change, her dress…I love it all!

  2. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Oh my word, I LOVE this wedding!! Everything is absolute perfection and the bride is soo beautiful~! I love how she changed her hair to party at the reception afterwards too! :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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