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Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Marissa

One of BDK and I’s favorite things to do is reminisce about when we met. There is just something so fun about remembering our first date, as well as my absolute favorite, the silly get-to-know-you games we used to play while sitting in his hammock on the balcony of his college apartment! So, of course, I appreciated Jaimi and Mike’s super sweet proposal story all the more! I also appreciate how Jaimi defined a Southern wedding as a “close-knit support system filled with love and faith…your favorite people, supporting you in the biggest decision of your lives.” I don’t believe we could have said it better ourselves! Jaimi, you make the Sweet Tea Society proud!

Big thanks to Brooke Images for sharing this beautiful day with us!

From the time I started paying attention to wedding dress designers (probably about 10 years ago), I loved Monique Lhuillier lace dresses. My budget, however, was never going to allow me my dream Monique gown. Luckily for me, I have a very generous aunt, and upon getting engaged, she told me to pick out whatever dress I wanted and it would be her wedding gift to me. After the initial shock, excitement, and gratitude, I started my search. Then I found out that Monique Lhuillier was having a trunk sale at my favorite bridal gown shop in Atlanta, Joan Pillow! I had to wait two weeks, which was so hard because I was so excited! The fourth dress I tried on was THE dress. I was crying, my mom was crying, and even the sales person was tearing up. It was exactly what I was looking for, and I will never forget sharing that sweet moment with my mom.

My most memorable moment of the wedding was our first look. I had no expectation of what it was going to be like, and maybe because of that, I was so surprised by how much I loved having that personal moment. Due to the rain, our photographers positioned me in one spot and had Mike walk up to me. I loved that because he got to see me before I saw him, and when I turned around to see my groom, my heart just melted. Our eyes locked and there was so much raw emotion in that moment. He was shaking, I was shaking, and we both had tears in our eyes–it was just so cool!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Finding the perfect spot for our wedding was actually a huge challenge for me. I knew I did not want to do it in Atlanta (where we live), and I wanted a place with a destination feel that wasn’t super far away. I had heard great things about Amelia Island, so Mike and I went down to check it out. Not only was the property of Walker’s Landing gorgeous, but the space for the reception was warm and open and filled with huge windows to let in natural light. After seeing so many venues that did not work, I know when I saw this venue that it WOULD work.

We did not write our own vows, but we spent time piecing together our favorite lines from wedding ceremonies we found online and through our officiant. My favorite line was, “Mike and Jaimi, may you pledge to each other to be loving friends and partners in marriage. To talk and to listen, to trust and appreciate one another; to respect and cherish each other’s uniqueness, and to support, comfort, and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows. May you promise to share hopes, thoughts, and dreams as you build your lives together. May your lives be ever intertwined, your love keeping you together.”

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My worst nightmare was that it was going to rain on my wedding day and my outdoor ceremony was going to move inside. Well, that happened, but you know what? It did not change the outcome of the day. I still married my best friend and we still danced the night away with our family and friends, and it was meaningful and beautiful. So, my biggest advice for a bride who is planning an outdoor wedding is to have a legit backup plan–not some small, dingy room in the basement of a hotel. Really put some thought into it. Go over the rain plan with your vendors so that everyone is on the same page. And at the end of the day, just enjoy it all!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: In lieu of table numbers, we designated a destination we had been together to each table. On each table card was a name of the place we’d been, and on the other side was a story about when we were there, and what we remembered/loved about it. Writing out these stories was such a fun walk through our memories together. I also loved the chalkboards for our food stations that I had ordered from a lovely lady I found on Etsy. There is something about hand lettering that makes me so happy, and our vendor delivered that in spades!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? To me, a Southern wedding means a close-knit support system filled with love and faith. Our day was filled with our favorite people, supporting us in the biggest decision of our lives. We are so lucky that both of our parents have been happily married for almost 30 years each. Additionally, this Southern wedding would not be complete without a slider station filled with barbecue pulled pork, classic cheeseburgers, and fried green tomatoes!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was two different flavors. One was called “For the Love of Chocolate” and included chocolate sponge cake, chocolate ganache, and chocolate truffle mousse. We added a raspberry drizzle since my groom loves chocolate and raspberry. The second flavor was something I came up with: coconut pound cake with raspberry and key lime cream and buttercream icing. It was so light and refreshing. As well as our large cake, we also served donuts to our guests!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on a blind date! In November 2009, I got a text from a girlfriend from college (we were sorority sisters at FSU, go Noles!), who said she had a guy friend she had known since high school that I should meet. After a little Facebook investigation, I agreed. Meanwhile, Mike was doing the exact same thing (I guess there is no such thing as a complete blind date anymore with social media!). After exchanging some Facebook messages, we met in Buckhead, Atlanta at a fun restaurant called BluePointe. We immediately hit it off and the conversation was effortless–it was by far one of the best first dates I had been on. After that wonderful evening, Mike asked me out on a couple more dates, and from there, we became official and best friends (as cheesy as that sounds). During our courtship, we conquered the Atlanta restaurant scene–we both love to eat!
Tell us all about the proposal! On a Friday night, I got a call from Mike while I was at work. He said that he had made surprise dinner plans for us, but he would not tell me where we were going. Before we had dinner, I had plans with a girlfriend to get our nails done. A long time ago, I told Mike to never propose unless my nails were looking right, so he asked one of our good friends to go to the nail salon with me that evening. Between the manicures and surprise dinner plans, I had a good feeling about where this night was headed. When I arrived at our place, Mike had our favorite bottle of wine chilling for us to drink before dinner. It was a bottle of wine we had gotten in my hometown of Santa Barbara on a trip we took together in 2010. The name of this bottle of wine was called “Mrs,” and I always thought/hoped that we would one day drink it when I was his Mrs. It was December, so it was pretty chilly out, but our condo has a gorgeous view of the Atlanta skyline, so Mike suggested that we enjoy the “Mrs” outside. I had left my jacket in my car, so I grabbed his. He came out to see me wearing his winter coat and immediately gave me a different jacket (little did I know, the ring was in his coat pocket!). I could tell Mike was nervous, but we settled into our seats on our patio. He said “Let’s play a game–you tell one of your favorite stories about us, then I will, and we will cheers each time.” I LOVED this game and I started from the very beginning. We talked for two hours about everything we loved about the last three years we had shared together. When the time was just right, Mike got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. I could not have been more happy and excited and speechless after the entire conversation! It was perfect and so us.
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 97
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I chose to walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. I have always loved that song. and my mom used to call me Sunshine was I was little, so the song was a nod to that. It turned out to be the perfect choice, because it rained the entire day until I walked down the aisle, when the sun came out as the song was played!
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 talked the minimum down at our venue because we felt strongly that we were going to have a smaller wedding and did not want to have to spend a certain amount on food and beverages if our guest list would not accommodate that. I also used the bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces on the head table, so right after the ceremony, my wedding planner scooped them up and put them into the vases that were waiting for them.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Oh my goodness, our band! They completely rocked our night! People were raving all night about how much fun they were. I’ve always said that if people are dancing so much, they forget to eat their cake, the wedding is a success–and ours was!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking for a house in Atlanta! We are excited for the adventures to come with home ownership and are soaking in the bliss of having nothing to do after work. We hope to travel somewhere abroad next year!

Photographer: Brooke Images / Day-Of Coordination: Flaire Weddings and Events / Venue: Walker’s Landing / Florist: Shea Hopely Flowers / Catering and Cake: Omni Hotels / Rentals: Jax Chair Boutique / Band: The Rivertown Band / Chalkboard Menus: Mary and Jack / Bride’s Gown: “Amaranth” by Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal Atlanta / Paper Products: Paper Daisies Stationery / Hair Stylist: Chelsea of Fifth Avenue Hair / Makeup Artist: Face by Maori / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff in Petal Pink / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Officiant: Michele Donnovan from Sensational Celebrations / Ketubah: Jennifer Raichman / Cake Topper: Better Off Wed

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

    That dress is stunning!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    They look so happy! Beautiful couple and a beautiful wedding!

  3. avatar Ashley reply

    Loved this wedding! Thank you so much for publishing it!

  4. avatar The Wedding Printer reply

    What a cute cake topper! And that cake was stunning too.

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

    […] Jaimi and Mike had to resort to their rain plan at their Florida wedding, but everything was just as beautiful. Hayley and Barton‘s Texas ballroom wedding was equally elegant and super fun! Emily and Justin were married on Emily’s family’s gorgeous farm–a dream come true for this sweet bride. […]

  6. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    You can tell the couple really enjoyed themselves, even with the rain. Peonies are always beautiful and I love how there is a touch of yellow blooming from the soft pink in her bouquet.

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I can spot a Louisiana wedding from a mile away! There is something so Southern and classic about them, but at the same time, a sense of modern chicness! That makes sense, right y’all? Maybe it’s Mia’s adorable short hair/birdcage veil combo or their use of succulents, but Mia and Ian’s wedding is a perfect example! To bring in that sweetly Southern feel? The wraparound porch at The Audubon Institute, of course! I don’t know many Southerners who don’t love gorgeous wraparound porches as a backdrop for celebrations with friends and family. I know I’m smitten!

Big hugs to Ms. Paige Reaux for sharing their day with us!

I did all of my dress shopping in one day because Ian’s mom had come down from Indianapolis to be with me while I tried dresses on. She, my mom, my MawMaw, and most of my bridesmaids were able to come. When I finally found my dress, I knew it was mine because I just wouldn’t take it off! I think I wore it for over an hour in the store while my bridesmaids and our mothers started trying on their dresses as well. I’m sure we drove the sweet shop crazy, but it was a very memorable day.

Thanks to Pinterest, I had been obsessed with having succulents as my wedding flowers since before we started planning. I ordered 100 succulent clippings, and together with my mom, I handmade each of the boutonnieres. We also wired succulents to insert into bouquets of fresh flowers for my bridesmaids. I ordered my bouquet from Succulently Urban, and it was more than I could have hoped for! I had so much help with the bridesmaids’ bouquets from my bridesmaid, Stephanie. Two days before the wedding, we went to Whole Foods and picked out fresh flowers to arrange. They included snapdragons, mini hydrangeas, and some berries. We arranged them with the succulents and ended up making really amazing bouquets. I couldn’t have done it without her.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? At first, we didn’t want to do a first look, but after talking to Paige and discussing it with Ian, we decided a first look was more fitting for us. We really wanted to have that time together before the ceremony to just soak everything in. I’m really glad we did it that way. All I wanted to do all day was to see Ian. After I finally saw him, everything was smooth sailing, and it really did make our wedding extremely relaxing and enjoyable.

We did not write our own vows, but we did exchange letters during our first look. We decided to do this as a way to make our vows more private. We spent our first year of dating apart because Ian was getting his master’s degree in London. We wrote letters to each other for most of that time, and having that vow-like gift at our wedding was really important to us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think that the wraparound porch on the clubhouse was a huge part of what made our wedding feel Southern. My whole family is from the South, and I have many memories of just sitting on my MawMaw’s front porch, relaxing and talking. After we saw the venue, I remember calling my mom, and when I told her about the porch, she told me that it was perfect since we are “porch people.” I knew it was the place for us.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our cake was a white cake with raspberry cream cheese filling. The design was very simple, and our baker added succulents to each tier. We had it displayed on a cut of cypress tree wood instead of a cake stand. I loved that touch because that was a cut from a tree that used to stand in my Oma’s (my grandmother’s) yard.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Louisiana State University. I was a freshman moving into the dorms and Ian was a group leader who was helping to welcome students. My roommate, Stephanie, was in his group, and since I though Ian was cute, I tagged along with them a bit. After that, Ian and I didn’t see each other again until we took a class in the Honors College called FOCUS, which centered around a summer program that helped students from under-resourced schools in Baton Rouge. He taught philosophy and I taught dance. We did this for two summers, and slowly over that time, we got to know each other. He finally asked me out during the second summer!
Tell us all about the proposal! On our first real date, Ian came over to my apartment and cooked for me. Ever since then, cooking and eating together has been one of our favorite things to do. For his proposal, Ian invited my sister Amy over and said he wanted to try making a big, multi-course meal. Ian cooked pretty much the whole time, while Amy and I hung out. I later found out that Ian was too nervous to talk, so he just kept busy cooking! The meal was made up of courses that reminded him of dishes we had made together or other memories we had shared. Finally, he brought out the last “course,” which was the ring.
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did have one short reading at our wedding. Early in our relationship, Ian had told me about this passage from Plato’s Symposium: “And so, when a person meets the half that is his very own…then something wonderful happens: the two are struck from their senses by love, by a sense of belonging to one another, and by desire, and they don’t want to be separated from one another, not even for a moment.” That short sentiment really struck both of us, so we decided to include it in our ceremony.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I knew that having a June wedding in the South meant a possibility of rain. The wedding was on a beautiful day, but it did drizzle from the moment our officiant started speaking until the moment we walked back up the aisle. I remember finally getting to Ian at the end of the aisle and we just laughed as the rain started. While it was something I had dreaded, it ended up making the ceremony even more memorable.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are moving to Chapel Hill, North Carolina! Ian is going to start his Ph.D. in Philosophy in the fall. The move has us really excited and we are looking forward to exploring a new part of the country together. We are also taking care of our new puppy, Gumbo! :)

Photographer: Paige Reaux Photography / Venue and Caterer: Audubon Park Clubhouse and Oak Grove / Bride’s Bouquet: Succulently Urban / Wedding Cake: The Sweet Life Bakery / Ceremony Music: Michael Legendre / Reception Band: Royal Dukes Band / Bridal Salon: Southern Bridal / Paper Product Design: Amy Ferriss / Paper Product Printing: Vistaprint / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy Group / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic / Groom’s Shirt: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Johnston and Murphy / Men’s Ties: The Tie Bar / Macarons: Sucre

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar chapel2chapel reply

    LOVE that they’re moving to Chapel Hill soon! Knew there was something about this couple that we liked the moment we saw this post! :-)

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    So so sweet! And I love her bouquet!

  3. avatar Loverly reply

    This is so charming! Love the clean and elegant color choices!

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Lisa and I always talk about how we knew we’d be friends even before she started working at Southern Weddings, and that we’d love to hang out and just gush over gorgeous weddings and epic love stories! Well, I feel that same way about Blakely, and I know Lisa would absolutely accompany me with sweet tea in hand to a front porch chat with her!

Not only is Blakely my kind of gal, but her and Curtis’ wedding was also full of sweetly crafted details and meaningful decisions that made their day a perfect reflection of their joy! Based on the gorgeous photo from Natalie Franke of the twinkle lights and the completely packed checkerboard dance floor, I can’t help but imagine how fun their wedding must have been. Be sure to read their adorable interview below for even more cuteness, like this line from their vows: “I promise to have a crush on you always, and to flirt with you even when we are old and wrinkly.” Gah, I love it!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Curtis and I both grew up on the Severn River in Annapolis, Maryland, but we did not meet until he was a junior and I was a freshman at the College of Charleston. I thought he was devastatingly handsome and completely out of my league. For fall break, I was driving back to Charleston from Annapolis with a friend, and Curtis was flying, so he met up with us so that we could drive some of his stuff back, but I had no idea. As soon as I pulled up, I swore to my mom that I couldn’t get out of the car–Curtis Little was there and I was wearing my “Saturday jeans” (my frumpy jeans). My mom forced me out of the car anyway. Curtis offered to help me carry some of my luggage, and on top of my laundry basket that he picked up was one of my paintings. He held it up and exclaimed, “This is amazing! Did you paint this?” “Yes,” I replied, “but you’re actually holding it upside down.” Mortified at the whole situation, I got into the car and decided to avoid Curtis for the rest of my life. Curtis says it was the first time he really saw me for me, a painter in my Saturday jeans. He decided that the next time he saw me, he would ask me on a date. And for two months, whenever I saw Curtis on campus, I walked the other direction, hid in an alcove, or delved into conversation with the nearest stranger. Finally, on a cold and grey day in December, I was walking out of the library when Curtis came flying down the street on his bike. The way Curtis tells it is, “Among all the black and grey winter coats, there was my girl in a red flower coat and turquoise high tops.” Curtis slammed on the brakes, hopped off his bike, and ran toward me. There, he asked me out on a lunch date. I’ve adored him ever since, and that painting that first made Curtis notice me is hanging in our dining room, upside down!

So darn cute!

I kept telling dress shops that I wanted something that looked like a white oyster shell or whipped cream, with no sparkles. I ended up finding a dress that I thought was the one, but after putting it on at my first alteration appointment, I realized that I did not like it anymore. I thought I would just have to fake it and pretend, but my mom looked at me and said, “I know you don’t like that dress, and you are only getting married once, so let’s find YOUR dress.” She was only in Charleston for one more day, so we searched and searched. We ended up at Bridals by Jodi in North Charleston. There, they had one section where you could you mix and match tops with bridal skirts. I fell in love with this skirt right away–it was a huge mix of tulle with no rhyme or reason. Our amazing seamstress, Nayada, took the skirt, helped me design a really simple top, and built it all into one dream wedding gown.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose two readings for our ceremony. The first was 1 John 4:16-19 and the second was Matthew 19:4-6. We wanted our whole wedding to show how our relationship with God is first and foremost. Without God’s love for us or our relationships with God, we would never be able to love one another. We felt those two verses truly captured how we wanted to put Christ at the center of our life and wedding, but still showed joy and fun!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have always dreamed of having my wedding in our 100-year-old colonial-style home. We moved there while I was in elementary school, and it has weathered birthday parties, graduations, proms, and much more. On that back porch was where Curtis decided he loved me, and in our family room was where I decided that I loved him. It was perfect. I got ready in my parents’ room, where I could see guests arriving though the back window. We had the ceremony out back, overlooking the Severn River. Guests then moved to the front yard for lawn games, hor d’oeuvres, and cocktails. We rang the dinner bell that came with the house when it was first built, and guests then headed to the tent for dinner. Finally, we paraded to the backyard for dancing and dessert. The backyard had been totally transformed from ceremony site to dance floor, complete with twinkly lights. It was magical!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a John Daly as our signature cocktail, which is a combo of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade. We called it “A Little Southern Charm,” because I figured we should play up our last name, Little. Our other drinks were served out of a rowboat. We also had a brass band play through dinner, and they led a parade from the dinner to the dancing in our backyard. The backyard was transformed with a checkered dance floor, twinkly lights, and lanterns hanging off the porch. These elements combined to give us the fun, laid-back atmosphere that defines what we adore about the South.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. For our wedding cake, we did lots of little cakes on different shades of turquoise cake stands. They were all round, but were many different sizes and texture of frosting. My brother said it was the best cake he’d ever had, and admitted to having four pieces the next day. Curtis’ favorite thing in the world is ice cream, so we rented an ice cream cart filled with cookie sandwiches, Choco Tacos, Reese’s Ice Cream Bars, and more. The guests loved this little surprise. It was perfect for a summer night.

Be sure to watch Drawn to the Image‘s film of Blakely and Curtis’ big day–it’s so very sweet, you won’t want to miss it!

Tell us all about the proposal! After Curtis graduated from CofC, he moved to DC. We started long distance and wrote to one another in a book. I expected to get engaged the next summer, and I wanted him to write about getting the ring, asking my dad, and on and on. Curtis had more ambitious plans to surprise me. I was studying abroad for my spring semester at an art school in Florence, Italy, so for my spring break, Curtis and I decided we would meet in Greece and visit Athens and Santorini. My family told us that it was unsafe for me to travel from Italy to Greece alone, so they were going to come along. When Curtis arrived in Greece, he made it very clear that we were going on a walk in the morning so that could could have some time alone, since we hadn’t seen one another in three months. That morning, we got breakfast and walked to the top of a cliff overlooking the most beautiful turquoise water I’d ever seen. I was raving about the water and the view, my art classes, and Europe itself, when I brought up the book we were supposed to be writing in. Curtis looked at me and said, “Blakely, I can’t write in the book about all those things because I’ve actually already done all those things.” I was extremely confused and thought he was joking until he pulled out the ring. He got down on one knee, told me I was the woman the Lord had made for him, and asked me to marry him. All I could do was scream with excitement!
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows together about a week before the wedding so that we could practice and not sob through the whole thing. Curtis and I made our vows match in the beginning and ending phrases. In the middle, we made them personal to one another. One of my favorite lines that we both used was, “I promise to follow the Truth, and speak truth to you; to pray for you, and help you remain firm in your faith.” My favorite line that Curtis vowed to me was, “I promise to care for you and love you through color, through turquoise; I will laugh with you until it hurts and will always smile when I hear your sweet name.” Curtis’ favorite line that I said was, “I promise to live with you by the sea in a home overflowing with laughter and enthusiasm for life. I promise to have a crush on you always, and to flirt with you even when we are old and wrinkly.” I’m crying just rereading these!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I am super lucky to have a singer/songwriter as my best friend. Becky Kinder (her song “Taken” is actually written about Curtis and I!) sang “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us” during the ceremony, and it brought everyone to tears. I could truly feel the Lord’s presence. Curtis and I danced our first dance to “You and Me” by Penny and the Quarters. We chose it because it throws you back in time and is such a sweet, feel-good song. My dad and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra because when I was young, I told everyone that it would be the song my future husband and I would dance to. Since my dad knew I loved it so much, he would always dance with me if it came on. Quickly, it became our song. My brother and I are really close, and he is an amazing dancer, so we had our own dance to “You Make Me Feel So Young” by Frank Sinatra, which was one of my favorite parts of the night. Finally, in honor of Curtis’ late grandpa, we finished the night with “New York, New York.” Curtis’ family are huge Yankees fans because of his grandpa, and after the Yankees win, they play “New York, New York” as the fans leave the stadium. I loved being able to look at Curtis as we were belting the song and say “WE WON! We get to keep each other forever! We really won!”
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The turquoise door! My mom is the most fun person you’ll ever meet, and one of her “things” is that she is always painting the color of our front door to match the season or event that we are holding at our home. It’s been red, yellow, coral, hot pink, and now turquoise! She and I picked the color to match the invitations, and I thought it looked perfect!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Curtis and I moved into a sweet little apartment in downtown Charleston. We are so excited to just be together! Learning to cook dinner and eating ice cream if it fails, loving those around us well and welcoming them into our crazy home, and just praying and holding hands. Curtis has been working as a commercial real estate broker here for about a year, which basically means he knows all the cool new spots in the area. I will be continuing my career as an artist in both my paintings at Blakely Made and in floral design at Charleston Stems.

Photographer: Natalie Franke / Videographer: Patrick McNamara / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Charleston Stems / Wedding Cake: Debbie Kupfer / Caterer: Ken’s Creative Kitchen / Rentals: Rental Works / Bridal Salon: Bridals by Jodi / Paper Products: Sara Metzger Designs / Bride’s Belt: BHLDN / Makeup Artist: Bare Minerals / Bride’s Shoes: Banana Republic / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Macy’s / Alterations and Gown Top: Nadya D Custom Design & Alterations / Ice Cream: Scoops2u

Natalie Franke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Natalie reply

    Oh my goodness! It is such an honor to see my photographs on Southern Weddings today! Blakely and Curtis are two of the sweetest people you could ever imagine meeting… and I am so happy that you are sharing their love story!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    Oh goodness, their vows almost made me cry at my desk!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Seriously, they could not be more adorable!! Love their story and how lovely and intentional their wedding was!

  4. avatar Stephanie reply

    Does anyone know where she got her mother of the bride’s dress? I love it!

  5. avatar Alana Klein reply

    Beautiful story! It just made me so excited for me wedding, even though it’s 11 months away! Do you know where they purchased the flag with their initials? I am looking for something just like it!!

  6. avatar Sara reply

    I have to echo what Natalie said – it is an honor to have my invitations featured on Southern Weddings! It was one of the happiest moments of my life to be a part of their big day and celebrate my dearest friends.

    Alana, I designed the flag, but the mother of the groom had it made by Watermark, a company in Annapolis.

  7. avatar Laura reply

    I got the dress at Neiman Marcus. It was full length originally.

  8. avatar seaside maryland wedding. reply

    […] sky, and joy in the air, and I got to marry my dear Curtis! We were lucky enough to get featured on Southern Weddings Blog this week! There you will find all the details to our love story, and our wedding day + amazing […]

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  10. avatar This Week at the Patch: August 2-8 | The Dandelion Patch reply

    […] vibrant seaside Maryland wedding {Southern Weddings} Shannon and John’s laid-back SoCal nuptials {Grey Likes Weddings} A […]

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After a long distance romance, Amanda and Adam took to planning a beach wedding that told the story of their love! They mixed Southern touches in honor of their roots with chic vintage decor to create a lovely bohemian vibe. The contrast of the dapper gents in black bow ties and the organic handpicked wildflowers play off each other perfectly! I must say, I love Amanda’s advice for folks planning a wedding: “You can’t avoid the craziness, so just embrace it!” Such sage advice that can be applied to all aspects of life!

Special SW thanks to Kaytee Lauren for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

Could these fellas get any more dapper? So very GQ!

Since our wedding encompassed a vintage and bohemian vibe, I knew immediately that I wanted organic, handpicked wildflowers to complement the antique and rustic decor. We had every type of colorful wildflower you could imagine, with pops of pink peonies and bright billy balls. My favorite floral detail was the magnolia leaf garland we hung from our driftwood arbor and our sweetheart table. It was absolutely stunning.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The Outer Banks is one our favorite places in the world. We have both spent a lot of time there over the years, but more importantly, it was the first place we visited and spent time together as a couple, almost five years ago to the day that we got married.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to recite traditional vows, though we exchanged letters to each other prior to the ceremony that expressed our love to each other in our own words.

No first look for us. As much as we wanted to shy away from a lot of the formalities of a traditional wedding, there were still a few traditions that we wanted to retain. There’s something truly romantic about waiting to share that first look moment right before the ceremony–we will cherish that for the rest of our lives.

Adam’s late grandfather was a Baptist minister, and he had married countless couples over many years. He had a prayer he said for every ceremony that we incorporated into ours. It was beautiful.

Both of our rings hold special meaning. Mine were custom-made by a small, family-owned jeweler in NYC. They symbolize the start of our marriage in one of the greatest cities in the world. Adam decided to use his late grandfather’s wedding band. He and Adam’s grandmother were married for over 60 years. Adam had the inside of the band engraved with his grandfather’s initials, followed by his own, with the intention of passing it on through our family.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We did a simple buttercream cake for cutting, but also wanted to offer a variety of our favorites desserts for our guests to enjoy: key lime pie, glazed doughnut holes, and cupcakes.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Adam: Amanda and I met in 2008 through work and mutual friends. Just as we began to feel our relationship could be something more, Amanda moved to Nashville, Tennessee to finish school. Almost six months after she moved, I flew to Nashville with a buddy for a weekend. Amanda and I reconnected and I ended up canceling my flight home so that I could stay an extra day. From then on, we traveled to see each other whenever we could, and lived for the moments that we got to spend together, even if they were only a weekend at a time. We knew that if we could make that situation work, we could get through anything together.
Tell us all about the proposal! My family was vacationing in Virginia Beach, where I was raised. The night before we headed home, we went out to dinner and then decided to take a walk to enjoy our last night of vacation. When we got to the street I grew up on, Adam took my hand and we walked out onto the beach. The sun was going down and it was gorgeous. We stood there together just looking out at the ocean when Adam turned to me and dropped down on one knee. The next few moments were a bit of a blur, but it was incredible to be able to say YES!” in a place that means so much to me.
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I think finding my wedding dress was the easiest part of the whole wedding planning process. From day one, I knew the exact vibe I was going for and I immediately fell in love with a Sarah Seven gown I had seen online. I booked an appointment at Lovely Bride in NYC, and after trying on the “Practically Perfect,” I was sold. It was the perfect beachy boho dress.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We wanted to stay true to our Southern roots without going over the top, and we knew that food was the easiest way to get that right. We served Carolina BBQ, coleslaw and potato salad–as traditional as it gets. Burlap and vintage doilies covered the tables and we used mason jars for glassware. In lieu of a traditional guest book, we had our guests sign vintage postcards from our favorite Southern cities.
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 saved money by choosing our venue, Pelican’s Landing. It’s the perfect classic beach house located on the oceanfront in Corolla. It’s a one-stop shop that includes everything from ceremony benches to place settings. The property owner also owns a local catering company, which we used to cater our wedding, and our guests couldn’t stop raving about the food.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax, don’t sweat the small stuff, and enjoy every second. You can’t avoid the craziness, so just embrace it! You’re getting married and that is the most important thing. Also, don’t skimp on a day-of coordinator–they are life savers!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are enjoying life in New York City and looking forward to what the future holds. We’re getting the chance to begin our journey as husband and wife in a place neither of us had ever imagined, so we are living for the moment and making the most of each day.

Photographer: Kaytee Lauren Photography / Planner: A Premiere Event / Venue: Pelican’s Landing / Florist: Bells & Whistles / Cake Baker: Hibou Pastries / Caterer: Coastal Provisions / Rentals: Metro Rental / DJ: Outer Banks Music Masters / Bride’s Gown: “Practically Perfect” by Sarah Seven / Bride’s Accessories: Ivy & Aster / Makeup Artist: Rebecca Wood / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Groom’s Attire: Zara / Groomsmen Attire: J. Crew / Ties: The Tie Bar

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

    Kaytee is my photographer too! She did such an amazing job on this wedding and I can’t wait until mine in September! :)

  2. avatar kristin partin reply

    yeah kaytee get it girl!! these are incredible.

  3. avatar Loverly reply

    Absolutely stunning! Looks like a dream-come-true wedding!

  4. avatar chapel2chapel reply

    Wow! Loved this. The groom’s suit–fit, texture, the whole nine–was absolutely amazing!

  5. avatar Emily reply

    Reminds me a bit of the portraits at my wedding – also black tie on the beach! Of course I love :)

  6. avatar katelyn james reply

    Awww! So fun!!! Small world! This is Michael’s cousin and his beautiful bride!! :) Yay!!! Love this Marissa!!!! xoxo

  7. avatar Wedding Venue TX reply

    I love the concept about this black tie beach wedding, looks like a music video with a happy ending, lovely couple and the beach just make the day perfect

  8. avatar Lisa's Southern Wedding: The Gents' Attire – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Top: Ryan Ray, bottom: Kaytee Lauren via Southern Weddings […]

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With Steel Magnolias at the tip top of my favorite movie list, you can imagine my excitement when Sarah and Nick’s “blush and bashful” wedding came through our doors! Sarah is one our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendors, so we were especially tickled to see her looking lovely with her handsome beau. Add in the absolutely adorable chapel at Northwest Forest and perfectly pink details created by fellow Blue Ribbon Vendor, Two Be Wed and I’m smitten! Best of all, Sarah and Nick’s wedding day was a reflection of their sweet relationship and exactly what they dreamed it to be. I’m sure Nicole would be tickled to see the gluten-free cookie favors!

Big hugs to Mustard Seed Photography for sharing this precious pink day with us!

I am a curvy girl, so I was super nervous to go dress shopping, but at Brickhouse Bridal, the consultant was so helpful and showed me what would look good on me. It ended up being the easiest day ever and I chose the fourth dress I tried on!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide on a first look. I am a wedding photographer, so I know it helps a wedding day flow better, and we are not superstitious, so that helped in the decision! Post-ceremony, we got to go right into our reception and have fun without making our guests wait an hour for us. I highly recommend first looks to anyone I can!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose our wedding venue because it was close to home and Nick’s grandmother used to work there–there is even an island on the lake there named after her!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We felt that a wedding ceremony with handwritten vows was perfect for us. The last year has been really hard for us, and writing our own vows was a way to tell each other and our guests how thankful we were to have each other to lean on.

Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were one of the most important things to me. I looooove flowers! I had always wanted a spring wedding because I wanted peonies all over the place. Fawn was an amazing florist and we were lucky to have her!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We love cake, so of course, we had to have the best cake baker in Houston! Cakes by Gina was the one! Her cakes are just so tasty and her creations are amazing. The inside of my bridal cake was vanilla with raspberry cream filling and Nick’s cake was chocolate with chocolate filling.

For our favors, we made homemade cookies. My mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies were a must, as were my favorite cookie, macarons. Nick is half Hispanic, so his mom got Mexican wedding cookies as another option!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After much thought and nudging from friends, we each gave online dating a try! I, Sarah, was on for about a year before we got “matched,” and Nick was only on for two weeks! I made the first move by telling him how cute his beard was. After a few weeks of emailing and texting, we met for our first date. We sat in the restaurant for about three hours before we realized how late it had gotten, and I remember thinking that I didn’t want to leave! When we hugged goodbye, he laughed and said, “Oh, I am definitely going to call you!” Well, he did, and now here we are!
Tell us all about the proposal! I had a wedding in Colorado over the 4th of July and flew back super early on Sunday morning. As I walked out of baggage claim, Nick was standing there holding my dog, Barkley, who wearing a plaid shirt, vest, and bow tie! I didn’t think anything of it, but about halfway to the car, I realized, THIS IS IT! He got down on one knee and popped the question with the ring around Barkley’s neck. It was truly the best surprise ever!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge to overcome was the opinions. A lot of people have strong opinions about weddings, but it was important to us that we stayed true to ourselves. Our wedding was exactly what we wanted and we were glad we didn’t listen to anyone but each other.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding coordinator! They are the key to making wedding planning as stress-free as possible. Also, plan your wedding the way you want it. The day is about you and your spouse becoming one, not about anyone else.

Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography / Planner: Two Be Wed / Venue and Catering: Northwest Forest / Florist: F. Dellit Designs / Wedding Cake: Cakes by Gina / Rentals: Recollection Vintage Rentals and Rent Some Vintage / DJ: Jose of LG Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Paper Products: Nib & Pixel / Hair and Makeup: Kara and Nastasia of Adorne Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo / Groom’s Attire: Versione Houston / Groomsmen Attire: Al’s Formal Wear / Macarons: Macaron by Patisse

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

    Ekkkkk thank you so much for featuring our wedding day!!! It was the best day ever and captured perfectly by Kat! xoxoxo

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    Hi! Would you mind sharing where those beautiful pink watercolor seating cards are from? Thank you!

  3. avatar liam smith reply

    beautifully shot, the dog bowtie is quality

  4. avatar Kat of Mustard Seed Photography reply

    Thank you so much for featuring this lovely wedding we had the honor of photographing this past May! Congrats to the happy couple!! XOXO!

    PS: Kelly, the pink watercolor cards were handmade by Nib & Pixel.

  5. avatar Mikkel reply

    Such great details! I love all the soft pink…and the bride and groom look so happy! Congrats to Sara and Nick and Mustard Seed Photography for capturing it so beautifully!

  6. avatar Recent Publications » Mustard Seed Photography reply

    […] Sarah + Nick on Southern Weddings […]

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