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Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Marissa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Adorable!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Hayden and Logan met when they were just tykes, and the two grew up together, spending their Friday nights the good ol’ Southern way–at high school football games (Emily, our resident Friday Night Lights fan, will love this detail)! H + L knew they were meant for each other, and by the time their wedding came around, their marriage had been a long time coming (eight years to be exact!). The two planned a beautifully touching day at Hayden’s family farm. Of course, the venue was gorgeous, and there were even chandeliers in the tree and cows that overlooked the ceremony(!), but my favorite part of this wedding has to be Logan’s response to his favorite part of the day: “I couldn’t tell you who was in the crowd that day because my eyes were glued to the only thing that mattered. She was beautiful and perfect and about to be my WIFE! It was the best feeling in the world.” I joked with Lisa that she sent me a note about how pretty this wedding was, but didn’t warn me that I’d cry while reading their interview!

Thanks to Tucker Images for sharing such a romantic day with us!

My mom, grandmother, and two sisters flew down to Houston for a day of dress shopping. After going to two places with no luck, we finally headed to my favorite boutique. I was so sure about the style I wanted: trumpet, sweetheart neckline, and no lace. I went to that store to try on a particular dress I just knew was perfect, but when I tried it on, it just wasn’t the one. My heart was crushed that the dress I had been dreaming about wasn’t for me. I then tried on one more that my sister had found, and it was beautiful, but it had lace, so I was a little hesitant. When I came out to look in the mirror, I couldn’t stop smiling, and seeing my family’s reaction, I just knew that was the one. It was even better than what I had envisioned for myself!

Describe your wedding flowers. We went for a soft, garden-like feel with creams, whites, blushes, and peaches. We used ranunculus, Juliet garden roses, peonies, white lilac, eucalyptus leaves, O’Hara garden roses, hydrangeas, and snapdragons.

The Homeplace is my family farm, and it is so dear to our hearts. My family has been spending holidays and summers there since before I was born. Countless memories have been made, from picking out Christmas trees on the hayride with all the cousins, to hunting in the deer stand all afternoon with Logan. Logan has learned to love the farm almost as much as I do–he has been visiting it with me for seven years, after all! The ceremony was held under The Elephant Tree, a century-old oak tree that my great-great-grandmother planted years ago. Growing up, my cousins and I have climbed that tree countless times, spending hours in it. When thinking of venues, we couldn’t imagine our wedding being anywhere other than our favorite place in the world.

These two are so stinkin’ cute!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had cafe lights strung in a zigzag fashion inside the tent and draped over the dance floor outside. Without them, our venue wouldn’t have felt as intimate as we wanted it do. Another one of my favorite details was all of the signs that were staked in the ground. Logan pulled up part of an old fence in our backyard and sawed them into arrows, and my mom and I stayed up late one night at the farm painting them all while listening to the sounds of the outdoors. That one night of peacefulness with her during a hectic week is a wonderful memory.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Since we got married in the middle of nowhere, we used this little country bakery, who had actually been on Cupcake Wars! They are so talented! I showed them a picture of what I wanted and they knew exactly how to make it, adding in a little of their own creativity. My cake was three tiers with a taller middle tier. The surface was buttercream frosting with horizontal ridges in it. There were different flavors in each layer: New York strawberry cheesecake, lemon, and (my favorite) orange Dreamscicle. I also surprised Logan with a groom’s cake. Since he is in the Air Force and is training to be a fighter pilot, we had a 3D F-16 plane made out of raspberry chocolate fudge. It was all so delicious!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I can’t remember the moment we met because we always kind of knew of each other. Even though we played in the same soccer organization and were both in middle school band, we never said much more than hi to each other. Finally, by the end of eighth grade, Logan informed our mutual friend that he thought I was cute. We instant messaged each other for a couple of months before we bumped it up a notch and went to the movies together. He asked me to be his girlfriend while we were waiting for his parents to pick us up! After that, we fell for each other fast, knowing the Lord was already preparing us for marriage at such a young age. High school consisted of watching Logan quarterback for our football team as a cheerleader on the sideline every Friday night. After we graduated from high school, we went to two separate colleges–he went to the University of South Carolina and I went to Texas A&M. We weren’t sure how we were going to handle long distance, but I’d say it worked out pretty well. :)
Tell us all about the proposal! After dating for almost seven years, Logan finally asked me to be his wife at his Air Force graduation. He had gone off to boot camp for two months, so I could only talk to him through letters. I was so diligent about writing him every day. His graduation finally came and the day couldn’t have gotten any better. Both of our families flew down for it, and we planned to take some pictures to commemorate it all with Logan in his Air Force uniform. Logan led me down a path by ourselves to scope out a good spot for us to take pictures, and I could tell something was different. He wasn’t saying much and his hands were clammy. I immediately knew it was happening and my heart started fluttering as he led me to the garden. He proceeded to tell me he had waited long enough to call me his wife and that God had prepared his heart so much after being away from each other for two months. He then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, and my family all came out from hiding after they watched it all! Once it was all over, Logan told me that he had no idea he was going to propose at his graduation before he left, so he had exchanged letters with my grandmother during boot camp, asking for one of her loose diamonds to make into a ring. My grandmother and his dad did everything to make sure the ring was perfect by graduation. It couldn’t have been more special.
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 220
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. When we discussed it in the beginning, Logan said that he really wanted to see me for the first time walking down the aisle to be his wife, so that’s what we did. I loved building the anticipation and wondering all day what he was going to think of me. We did, however, hold hands around a corner and talk for a little while to alleviate some of the nerves, which we were so thankful we did, because it calmed us down during the hectic-ness of the day.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? One of the biggest visions we had for our wedding was to make it feel personal and intimate. We wanted our guests to feel like they were included in our relationship, which every one of them was, and for them to understand our love for each other. With that in mind, we decided to write our own vows. We each wrote our own, which was so special. My favorite vow of his was, “I promise to fight for our marriage and pursue you from this day forth. To protect you from your fears and to guard you heart.” My favorite vow of mine was, “I promise to support you as the leader of our family and follow you wherever God leads you.”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had our friends play the violin, viola, and guitar throughout the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Canon in D. I dreamed of walking down the aisle to this song since I was a little girl and knew it was perfect. During communion, they played “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and helped us center the commitment we were making on God. We played “Gone Gone Gone” by Phillip Phillips for our recessional, which kicked off the party with its upbeat rhythm. Our first dance was “You are Mine” by Spencer Combs. I had never heard of this song before, but stumbled upon it while watching wedding videos. The words were so true and meaningful for us.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something borrowed (and old), I wore my great-great-grandmother’s gold wedding band. For my something blue, I wore a blue topaz ring that my grandmother bought each of my sisters and my mom on our 18th birthdays. For my something new, I wore my veil (which I ripped on the day of my bridals, but superglued back together!).
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern detail about our wedding was having it at our family farm in the countryside while the cows overlooked our ceremony. Logan also built corn hole for our guests to play during the reception. And the night wasn’t complete without lots and lots of sweet tea!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge for me, besides trying to stay within budget, was planning a wedding while finishing nursing school. I was five hours away from my family and six hours away from where we were getting married. It was so hard to stay focused and be diligent with my studies, while at the same time, needing to make decisions on napkins and meet with vendors. My grandmother really stepped up and helped me by constantly calling me and seeing what needed to be done. She would call me at least three times a week and tell me what she had done, and it just felt like such a relief each time she would say something was marked off. She really was my wedding go-to girl and I’m so thankful for my Nanners! Our wedding wouldn’t have been possible without her.
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? We cut costs by having the wedding at our farm. This saved us by avoiding a venue fee and being able to choose our own catering company. We have a family friend who owns a yummy Mexican restaurant, so he helped us out a lot! I also had my high school friend DJ for us, which made it so much more personal and fun.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were so thankful for our photographers, Britney and Ben Tarno, from Tucker Images. We had met them right after we got engaged and knew that they were so talented, but we had no idea what down-to-earth, Jesus-loving, kind people they were. The wedding day wouldn’t have been the same without them. They kept us comfortable and sane all day and gave us amazing direction when it came time to take pictures. To us, it is most important to spend your money on great photographers, because that’s what you’re going to have to remember your day by. And let me just tell you, we were so impressed by ours. Britney and Ben just completely made our day.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Hayden: It is so hard to pick one most memorable moment, but I would have to say it was driving away in our little car after everything was over, and being able to step back and realize that we were finally husband and wife after eight years! It was the first time no one else was around and we could replay all of the wonderful, intimate moments of our day. From Logan: Hands down, it was seeing her come through the curtains and walk down the aisle to me. The anticipation had been built up so much, and after years of imagining what that moment would be like, it was finally here. She looked stunning and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. I couldn’t tell you who was in the crowd that day because my eyes were glued to the only thing that mattered. She was beautiful and perfect and about to be my WIFE! It was the best feeling in the world.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff! I would get so bogged down in little details that didn’t matter or that would work themselves out. I was so nervous that no one would know where to put my decorations on the wedding that I actually sticky-noted each and every little thing and told them where to put it. In the end, that stuff didn’t even matter. I would also advise taking the time to really talk to your fiancé, and I don’t mean going on dates and talking about the wedding. Make a pact that you will only talk about wedding details for a certain amount of time each day. This way, you can focus on the commitment you are about to make and get your heart and your mind ready.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are living in Dallas and I just got a job as a nurse at UT Southwestern Hospital. Logan works at SBM Management at Bell Helicopter and is in the South Carolina Air National Guard, training to be an F-16 fighter pilot. We are praying fervently that God will open up a position for him within the year, which could possibly take us anywhere in the US. Coming from big families and long distance, it was hard for us to get any alone time together. After eight years of dating, we finally have a place to call ours where we can make our life together. We love getting into a daily routine and figuring out where to grocery shop, what church we want to join, and all of the little decisions a family makes. We are so excited to see where God takes us!

Photographer: Tucker Images / Venue: Private residence / Florist: La Tee Da / Cake Baker: The Luscious Crumb / Caterer: Carmona’s Tex-Mex and Cantina / Rentals: All American Party and Tent Rentals and Iron Inspired / Bride’s Gown: “Sabrina” by Matthew Christopher / Bride’s Veil: Patsy’s Bridal Boutique / Hair and Makeup: Micaela Soto / Bride’s Shoes and Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

Tucker Images is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    So beautiful! I love their proposal story, and all of their portraits are absolutely dreamy!

  2. avatar Kat reply

    Loving her centerpieces! Gorgeous!

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Believe it or not, Emily and Chris met during an Animal House-themed frat party! These two never thought they’d meet their better halves while donning togas, but after chatting, their common interests proved to take this meet cute right to relationship! Now, these two spend their time making way too much jam (be sure to read their adorable interview!), and dating each other even after their wedding–love that! Emily’s best advice for brides? “Continue to date each other and set aside time together that does not involve wedding planning.” We couldn’t agree more!

Big thanks to Graham Terhune for sharing this gorgeous day that had Lisa and I swooning all last week! We could barely wait to share it!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my mom’s sixpence that she wore in her shoe on her wedding day. For my something blue, I honored both of my sweet grandmothers by wrapping a piece of my Grandmama’s blue wedding dress and my Granny’s blue handkerchief around my bouquet. My something old was my Papa’s fraternity ring that he wore every day. My something new was my sparkly Jimmy Choos!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes and we’re so glad that we did! Our “first look” pictures are some of our favorites. Although we were initially hesitant to stray from tradition, we agreed to give it a shot for the sake of getting to spend more time with our guests at the reception and being able to enjoy a quiet moment together. Walking down the aisle to my groom was equally as exciting and emotional!

I walked down the aisle to a bagpipe and organ duet of “Highland Cathedral.” Bagpipes have a special significance in Western North Carolina and I had always dreamed of walking down the aisle to this song. One of our favorite wedding planning moments was a private concert with our amazingly talented organist to select our music. We chose “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” for our Gospel hymn and my all-time favorite, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” for our communion hymn. We walked back up the aisle to “Hornpipe” by G.F. Handel. Our bagpiper was playing out on the lawn as guests exited the cathedral to board trolleys to the reception. Selecting our first dance song was perhaps the most difficult decision we made! We decided on “That’s How Strong My Love Is” by Otis Redding. My dad and I danced to “Tupelo Honey” by our favorite artist, Van Morrison. Chris and his mother danced the Carolina shag to “I Love Beach Music” by The Embers in honor of Chris’ late father, who played in a beach music band.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We incorporated several pieces of custom artwork. We worked with an incredibly talented family friend and artist to create a Quaker marriage certificate for guests to sign and a bar menu with our signature drinks and beer and wine selections. We also purchased a watercolor wedding map to include in our welcome bags and a custom painted monogram to use as a label for our strawberry jam wedding favors. Each of these are now hanging on the wall in our home and serve as a lovely reminder of our wedding day.

Describe your wedding flowers. Since most of our guests were from out of town, we wanted our reception to feel casual and welcoming, like a dinner party among friends. Stacey from the Bloom Room gave our venue the romantic, homey vibe that we envisioned with low arrangements of flowers that were lush, but not over the top. We used anemones, garden roses, peonies, hydrangea, and delicate greenery in an eclectic mix of antique silver, crystal, and mercury glass vases.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. It was divine! Our cake was funfetti with vanilla buttercream filling and frosting. The icing had a subtle, soft texture with our new married monogram on the top layer. Each layer had a piped beaded border and touches of fresh flowers.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think one of the biggest things that sets Southern weddings apart is the value placed on honoring family traditions. For us, the most special of those was that we were married on my parents’ anniversary! One of my favorite details was a handkerchief I gave my mom with both of our monograms and wedding dates. We included the cake pull tradition at the bridal luncheon the day before, and then each bridesmaid tied their charm around their bouquet. We also served several classic Southern comfort foods at our reception. We had mini trout cakes and pimento cheese crackers for cocktail hour and buttermilk fried chicken (tossed in NC’s Texas Pete hot sauce!), green beans, and macaroni and cheese for dinner.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris at I met during the fall semester of our senior year at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. We knew of each other through friends; however, we officially met at an “Animal House”-themed mixer for his fraternity and my sorority. I never would have guessed that I would meet my husband at a toga party! We exchanged phone numbers and quickly found that we had a lot in common. We had our first date later that week with dinner at our favorite Greek restaurant and a walk through the arboretum.
Tell us all about the proposal! We planned a trip to the mountains to visit my parents for the weekend. On that Saturday, December 15, the four of us decided to head to Asheville to see the annual gingerbread house competition at the Grove Park Inn. After we spent time looking at the exhibit, Chris suggested that we walk around the resort a bit and get a picture together. We stopped to pose for a picture on a terrace overlooking a beautiful sunset over the Blue Ridge mountains. Just as my mom was getting ready to snap the picture, Chris got down on one knee and proposed! Then, as the icing on the cake, Chris’ mom and sister came running out to congratulate us. Little did I know, they had followed us from a distance throughout the gingerbread exhibit and around the resort. After that, we celebrated with dinner and champagne with our families.
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Before we were engaged, I fell in love with a dreamy tulle cap sleeve gown that I saw on Pinterest. When I started shopping for my wedding dress, I realized that the chances of finding that gown were slim to none, as it was an older design. I hoped to find something similar from the same designer, so I scheduled an appointment at Nitsa’s in Charlotte and invited my mom, sister, both grandmothers, and my best friend. As we began pulling dresses to try on, I was so excited to find that my dream dress was still available! The dress was everything that I hoped it would be: soft, feminine, and perfect for twirling!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My family is from a very small town near Asheville. We knew that our church would be too small to accommodate our guests, and reception venue options in my hometown would be limited. We decided to get married in Asheville, the city where Chris proposed and a place we love to visit together. We had our ceremony at the historic All Souls Cathedral. All Souls was commissioned in 1896 by George Washington Vanderbilt III, developer of the Biltmore Estate. For our reception, we loved the intimate atmosphere of the Century Room, with its exposed brick walls and views of downtown Asheville.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We recited traditional Episcopalian vows and wrote our own personal vows to each other that were read on the morning of our wedding.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My granddaddy read Philippians 4:4-9. This reading comforted us during the chaos of the final months of wedding planning and kept us focused on the meaning of marriage. Our other readings were Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, read by Chris’ sister, and Matthew 5:1-10 for our Gospel reading.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was definitely the guest list. We made the unfortunate mistake of booking a reception venue before we created our guest list. We spent so much time analyzing room diagrams and sending desperate emails to the event coordinator at the Century Room. In the end, I think we were able to maximize the space as best we could.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Chris and I love to cook together, so we decided to make strawberry jam for our wedding favors. We slightly underestimated the amount of time that it would take to make 170 jars of jam and ended up spending an entire weekend in the kitchen, but it was well worth it. We also took on a few other DIY projects, including our escort card display and a sidewalk sign.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We are so grateful to have had Graham Terhune Photography! Graham and his wife, Samantha, are the sweetest, most genuine people that we had the pleasure of working with. They made us feel so comfortable on our wedding day and they didn’t miss one second of action. One of the best moments for my mom was watching Graham chase after our getaway car to ensure he got a great shot!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We will never forget when our priest asked us to turn around and glance around the church during the homily. Seeing so many of our favorite people from all different parts of our lives gathered together to celebrate with us was such an overwhelming feeling!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It can be so easy to lose sight of the purpose of your wedding, especially when you get wrapped up in all of the details you “have to have.” Continue to date each other and set aside time together that does not involve wedding planning.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We’re enjoying life as husband and wife and spending time with our dog, Betsey. On our wedding day, Chris surprised me with 12 dates to celebrate each month in our first year of marriage. Next month, we’re headed to the U.S. Open!

Photographer: Graham Terhune Photography / Videographer: Good Earth Films / Ceremony Venue: The Cathedral of All Souls / Reception Venue: The Century Room / Florist: The Bloom Room / Cake Baker: City Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: Classic Event Rental / DJ: Mitch Fortune Productions / Bride’s Gown: “Julianna” by Christos / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving / Bridal Salon and Veil: Nitsa’s / Bride’s Earrings: The Bride’s Maids Shop / Bride’s Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. / Hair and Makeup: L.A. Beauty Bar /Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G763C” by Amsale / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang / Wedding Coordinator: Joseph W. Lane Events / Transportation: Gray Line Trolley / Reception Dress: Kate Spade / Getting Ready Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar / Cufflinks: Smathers & Branson / Calligraphy: Dottie McKesson and Brinkley McNeil / Wedding Map: Caligrafia Bella / Quaker Marriage Certificate and Bar Menu: Lauren Gray Weddings

Graham Terhune is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Oh my goodness, I love this wedding so much! Emily and Chris are absolutely beautiful together, and the details they chose are so lovely and thoughtful.

  2. avatar Graham reply

    We love seeing Emily and Chris’ gorgeous Asheville wedding featured on SW today! Thank y’all so much the feature!

  3. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    That dress is absolutely dreamy! Also…homemade strawberry jam? Fantastic idea for favors!

  4. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Well done, friends! This is stunning!

  5. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Oh goodness! What a stunning couple! It is such a treat to have our robes be a part of their wedding day! We send love and so many congratulations. So much!

    xo

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I think that all weddings are filled with joy (as they should be!), but sometimes, we feature weddings of couples so bubbling over with joy, one can’t help but smile while looking through the photos! That’s how I feel about Caroline and Will. I swear, Caroline has the biggest, most contagious smile in almost every photo Robyn Van Dyke captured! After years of long distance dating, deployments, and many moves, it’s no wonder these two are all smiles on their wedding day. Throw in perfectly classic details and boys in their military uniforms, and you’ve got the recipe for one sweet Southern soirée!

With Memorial Day right around the corner, we’re so honored to share this wedding made up of just a few of the brave men and women who protect and serve our great country. Big hugs to our friend Robyn for sharing it with us!

Girls after my own heart! I spy a few pairs of Jack Rogers to go with their monogrammed robes!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of our dearest friends and groomsmen read Revelation 19:5-9 right before they opened the doors and I walked down the aisle with my dad. Our other sweet friend read Ephesians 4:32-5:2 later in the service. Both the scriptures and the readers made our ceremony very special, and we couldn’t have loved it more. Our pastor, Russ Andrews, did an amazing job of keeping our ceremony focused on Jesus Christ. Russ gave a small sermon to make sure our families and friends knew Will and I weren’t taking any credit for finding each other, and that our marriage was going to be based on our faith in the Lord.

Describe your wedding flowers. Our florist was Kelly Odom, and his work is absolutely flawless. I told him my colors and asked for white and very pale pink flowers. I told him as long as the bouquets were round and full with those colors, he could choose the rest. The flowers were breathtaking and exactly what I wanted.

Since Will is in the military as a Navy pilot, we had all military attendees wear their military uniforms, and we had a sword arch out of the church, announcing Will and I as husband and wife for the first time. We had a pretty large wedding party with eight bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, and eight flower girls/ring bearers. We served lots of Southern food at our reception, including shrimp and grits, chicken tenders, and BBQ sandwich sliders. The most important thing to both Will and I are our families and friends, which I like to think comes from us being from the South. We could not have been happier having all the people we love the most under one roof, dancing the night away.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Will and I decided that we wanted that moment of seeing each other for the first time to be when I was walking down the aisle to him to become his wife. There is something so special and amazing about seeing each other in that moment after a long day of preparation and chaos, and knowing that your future starts right there.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Will and I knew we wanted to get married in a church, but my parents’ church was in transition and was meeting at my old high school auditorium at the time. I knew there was absolutely no way Will would get married at his rival high school, so that was out. Will’s family are members at Edenton Street United Methodist church in downtown Raleigh, and once I walked into the empty sanctuary with the gorgeous chandeliers, tall ceilings, and stained glass everywhere, I knew that was it. I had been to a service there before, but seeing it empty and imagining our wedding there was perfect. The reception venue was the Carolina Country Club, where I grew up going with my family. We had made so many memories there in the past that it seemed fitting to make one of our biggest memories there as well.

LOVE Caroline’s face in this shot!!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge during our ten months of engagement was planning our wedding while I was in North Carolina and Will was in Texas. We were both in school, and trying to find time to plan was a little harder then we had expected.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The church where we got married has an amazing organ with the most talented organist. He helped me choose the music for the seating of the guests, grandmothers and mothers. I didn’t really have a preference on those songs as long as it was played by him. I walked down the aisle to “Love Never Fails.” When I first listened to the words of this song, I got chills everywhere. It seemed so appropriate for a bride walking to her groom to be bound in love through Jesus Christ. Our first dance song wasn’t really up for discussion because we both knew what it would be. Coming from oldies-loving families, we decided on “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. It was perfect.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It’s hard to choose a most memorable moment, but Will and I think it was the dancing and gathering of our friends. Being a part of the military, most of our friends are spread out all over the country or deployed overseas. Getting to see everyone at the same time is very rare, and even though we still had some dear friends missing, sharing our wedding with those who could make it was so special. Our military friends have no problem starting the dance party!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Will and I met our senior year in high school in 2007. My best friend was dating his best friend, and after being introduced by them one night, I decided he wasn’t going to get away. Will played soccer for his school, and for the last few games of the season, I made sure I was at every one. I don’t think it took Will too long to notice, so he asked me if we could hang out after school one day so I could give him a haircut…very smooth of him. That afternoon led to more after-school get-togethers, movie nights with our friends, and both of our senior proms. After high school, Will was going to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland while I was staying at Meredith College in our hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina. We knew this was going to mean a lot of long distance and an unknown future, but being without each other would be harder then any of that. We decided to give it a chance. From June-August while he was at boot camp, all we could do was write letters to stay in contact, and that’s exactly what we did. It was a hard summer for both of us but we know it made us so much stronger in the end.
Tell us all about the proposal! Will was in flight school to become an F-18 pilot in Kingsville, Texas at the time. We had been doing long distance for about five years at this point. During my fall break from school in October 2012, I flew to Texas. There isn’t a whole lot to do in the small town of Kingsville, so we drove to Fredericksburg, a little German town with vineyards everywhere. Neither Will nor I had ever been to a vineyard, so that Saturday, we had the best time doing tours and wine tastings. After we were ready to go to dinner, Will started driving up a hill, the opposite direction from town. He kept telling me he just wanted to see if we could see the sunset from the top, and of course, I was fine with that. As we drove to the top, all we could see were construction signs and tape and we couldn’t drive any further. Thinking about it now, I know Will’s stomach must have dropped because he didn’t really have a plan B. He had also taken the ring out of the box and placed it by itself in his pocket, so we drove on to dinner and Will spent the whole night clenching his right jean pocket! That night, we got back to our place, and as we stood on the porch about to walk inside, Will pulled me close and began to tell me how much he loved me and some other things I can’t remember, because he got down on one knee and I’m pretty sure I blacked out. Once I caught my breath, I had to ask him if I had even told him yes–I was so shocked and so overwhelmed with joy and love! I had been waiting for this moment for five long years and it couldn’t have been more perfect.
When did y’all get married? August 24, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 350
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my dress was probably the thing I was looking forward to the most during wedding planning. My mom and my aunt drove with me to Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. I am in love with any kind of shopping, so we prepared ourselves for what we thought was going to be a full day of me trying on every dress in the store. As I was looking through the racks, one dress in particular caught my eye. I had to try it on and I wanted it to be the first one. I had never understood why girls cry when they try on wedding dresses or find the dress of their dreams, but I became that girl that day. I saw myself in the mirror and it was so surreal. It was the exact dress I had pictured myself in and I knew Will was going to love it too. I tried on a few more dresses to see if any compared, but none did.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Will and I were very excited about the wedding cake! Cinda’s Creative Cakes gave us amazing cake design and flavor options. Our cake was four tiers high and round. Cinda copied the look of the beaded band around my wedding dress on each tier on the cake, and used all white frosting and flowers on the top tier. The end result was beautiful and absolutely delicious. The flavors we chose were strawberry, funfetti (with pink sprinkles), chocolate, and cinnamon swirl. We can’t wait until our anniversary so we can eat it all over again!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Having the sword arch as a part of our wedding was probably my favorite detail. I have seen it done at many other military weddings, but seeing it from the bride’s view walking out with her new husband is indescribable.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We couldn’t have been happier with our pictures taken by Robyn Van Dyke and her husband Jordan. Because of their amazing talent, we will never forget one detail of our special day. The other vendor that played a huge part in our wedding day was our band, Black & Blue. My parents had heard them for the first time at a friend’s wedding a year before, and she knew right away that we would love them too. To say we had a dance party is an understatement. Will and I still talk about how much fun we had and how we wish we could have our reception all over again!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Always remember the real reason you are having the wedding. Planning a wedding can be stressful, even when you think it’s going to be a breeze, so don’t let the little things cause issues in your relationships. Enjoy every second because it goes by so fast, including the planning!!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are stationed in Virginia Beach for now. It is going to be a huge change for me because I have never left Raleigh or my family, but after six years of distance, I would have gone anywhere to finally start our lives together. We have waited so long for this and could not feel more blessed to be close to home and finally have each other in the same time zone!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke / Ceremony Venue: Edenton Street United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: Carolina Country Club / Florist: Kelly Odom / Cake Baker: Cinda’s Creative Cakes / Band: Black & Blue / Bride’s Gown: “Mackenzie” by Amsale / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Images by Denise / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Groomsmen’s Suits: and Suits by Mantoni from Ticknors

Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    What a beautiful couple!! All of the military traditions they included are so special–loved reading about her going through the sword arch from a bride’s point of view!

  2. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] happy day, y’all! It’s always such an incredible honor to be featured on Southern Weddings, and we’re soo excited to have Caroline & Will‘s gorgeous military wedding featured […]

  3. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    “Russ gave a small sermon to make sure our families and friends knew Will and I weren’t taking any credit for finding each other, and that our marriage was going to be based on our faith in the Lord.” – I love that! I think basing your marriage on Christ from the very beginning is a beautiful and hugely important thing.

    Also, using a sword to cut the cake? Epic.

  4. avatar Julianne Bussey reply

    This whole article is flawless! I love every part of the wedding from the scripture readings and prayers to the sword arch! I love that you really tried to keep it focused around Jesus Christ :) What’s funny is that I live in Virginia Beach and totally didn’t expect to see that you are stationed here!

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We love seeing gorgeous Real Weddings (obvi!), but there is something so magical about actually attending one! I was honored to be a bridesmaid in a dear friend’s wedding over the weekend (and y’all, it was amazing–complete with corn hole on the beach!). While it was completely wonderful to attend, I can’t help but have a greater appreciation for Laura and Grayson’s beautiful day after being reminded firsthand of all that goes into a wedding! After knowing each other for over ten years, Laura and Grayson’s courtship began more recently and fell into place to create Laura’s favorite part of their sweet ceremony. I must say, I swooned over this line as well: “God has been slowly weaving His two masterpieces together, and today, you become one.”

Big hugs to Kelly at Mint Photography for sharing their big day with us!

Describe your wedding flowers. They had a romantic feel with pastel colors and deep green and purple succulents. We also decided to bring in driftwood and moss to add a rustic touch. My bouquet was vintage-inspired with creamy dahlias, pale pink spray roses, creamy and purple astilbe, light purple veronica, cream scabiosa, and pale peach garden roses. My favorite part was the metal “C”–I ordered it from Land of Nod and Posh Floral did an amazing job filling it with florals.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew that I wanted something timeless and unique. I started looking up a ton of designers and kept going back to Hayley Paige. Her designs are to die for and it was love at first sight! I didn’t even try my dress on until it came in for my first fitting!

With breathtaking views of Lake Travis and an estate that will make you drool, Villa del Lago was the venue of our dreams! We weren’t inviting a ton of people to our wedding and I knew that I wanted one long table for dinner so that it could feel “family style.” I knew as soon as we pulled up that I could picture the entire day happening at this location, and it took absolutely no convincing Grayson–he knew it too!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Grayson’s fraternity brother and college roommate officiated our ceremony. Although we didn’t write our own vows, we had a huge part in choosing each portion of our ceremony. My favorite line from our ceremony was, “Grayson and Laura, you have known each other for well over a decade, but in the past three years, God has been orchestrating and preparing you for this moment. Even though perhaps no one would have guessed you two would end up together all those years ago, God has been slowly weaving his two masterpieces together, and today, you become one.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of my favorite parts of our ceremony was the Celtic hand fasting. We had of our very best friends read “These Hands.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The lounge area from Loot Vintage Rentals was my favorite part of the wedding. Their warehouse is amazing and I was like a little kid in a candy store in it! I knew the colors our floral would be when we visited, so I was able to pick things that I knew would coordinate. I loved how everyone was lounging around the dance floor and relaxing on some of the cutest furniture!

Having an outdoor venue presented its challenges. I had a countdown to when I could see the 10-day forecast, and I was checking it morning, noon, and night. Getting a tent was the best decision we made. We decided to have it regardless of weather, and making that decision early helped, because I was able to choose some amazing lighting to dress it up.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I am a sucker for the naked cake trend and we decided to do something smaller and then have an ice cream sandwich food truck come later in the evening. The truck pulled up during our first dance and I remember how excited I was seeing it for the first time. It was so cute!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Grayson and I went to high school together. We reconnected years later when Grayson was working for the Dallas Stars and my dad was buying tickets from him. We ran into each other at a hockey game, and of course, I then became a huge hockey fan!
Tell us all about the proposal! Grayson planned the entire thing around my birthday. He took me on a horse-drawn carriage ride in Highland Park to see the Christmas lights. The carriage pulled up to a gazebo, where we got out to take some pictures. I knew right then that something was about to happen. I literally said “I am so excited right now, it feels like the first day of school!” We walked up to the gazebo and he got down on one knee and gave me the most gorgeous ring!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. We cut so many traditional things out of our wedding, like the cake cutting and bouquet toss, so we decided this was the one tradition we would keep, and I am so glad we did! There was something so calming about walking down the aisle with both of my parents and seeing Grayson standing there.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The bridal party walked down the aisle to Norah Jones’ “Come Away With Me” and I walked down to Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” During the ceremony, Grayson’s cousin and her fiancé sang “Amazing Grace” in honor of those who couldn’t be with us on that day. When we were leaving the band played The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun.”
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? It is easy when you first start planning to go crazy with every vendor you meet with. As we got closer to the wedding, I had discussions with each vendor to see where we could make necessary cuts. We tried to cut things that people wouldn’t notice and that we wouldn’t miss. For example, passed appetizers during cocktail hour wasn’t a necessity for us.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were blessed with so many amazing vendors but I’ll begin with Angie at Posh Floral. She made each bouquet and centerpiece for our wedding because she wanted us to love everything! Then there’s Kelly at Mint Photography. I will forever cherish the photos she took that day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be organized! I had spreadsheets coming out of my ears! I kept everything in a binder with sheet protectors for each different vendor and contract. When we went to meetings, I was ready with photos that I loved and specific questions to ask. Looking back, one thing I wish I would have done differently is set up an email address to be used just for communication with vendors.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my new hubby! Planning a wedding can be like a second job, so now it’s time to soak up all of this free time! We want to travel as much as we can before we start planning for a family.

Photographer: Mint Photography / Day-of Coordination: Megan Metzger of Pearl Events / Venue: Villa Del Lago / Florist: Posh Floral Designs / Cake Baker: Sugar Mamas Bakeshop / Caterer: The Peached Tortilla / Tent and Rentals: Premiere Party Central / Lighting: Intelligent Lighting Design / Band: Goga Music / Bride’s Gown: “Anya” by Hayley Paige / Invitations: Minted / Hair Stylist: Kim Wolbrink / Makeup Artist: Christine Harrington of Nisa Nicole / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: 6697 and 6680 by After Six, 2879, 2863, and 2845 by Dessy, all in Frost / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Ties: Burberry / Vintage Furniture: Loot Vintage Rentals / Ice Cream Truck: Cool Haus / Cotton Candy: Cloud9 / Map: The Seaside Press / Welcome Kit Candy Wrappers and Water Labels: Tableau Party / Airstream Photo Booth: Austin Imagery

Mint Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Your desserts were fabulous, y’all – ice cream truck + naked cake? Yum!!

  2. avatar Southern Weddings – May 19, 2014 | Pearl Events Austin | Pearl Events Austin reply

    […] wedding was featured on Southern Weddings blog! Check out the entire article on their Elegant Texas Wedding by Mint […]

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