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Southern Weddings

Author: Marissa

Both Lisa and Emily know I’m a sucker for pink and gold weddings–I simply adore them. Kelsie and Evan’s wedding took my pink and gold love affair up a notch with their addition of bright, bold pops of coral! I’ve always professed not to be a flower person, but Kelsie’s bouquet of lush coral charm peonies, peony tulips, and David Austin roses has me wondering if the tide is changing. After dancing the night away under a ceiling of flowers, I imagine any guests with my hesitations became converts too! Silks a Bloom brought the outside in with their ornate installation, complete with Edison lights woven within the flowers to up the romantic atmosphere. A surprise late night snack of Chick Fil A nuggets just might be the only thing able to challenge those stunning blooms for the title of favorite detail from this fun celebration!

We’re sure glad Weddings by Christopher and Nancy shared this beautiful day with us!

P.S. Have you signed up for our Fruitful Summer series yet? There’s so much goodness in store whether you’re dating, engaged, newly married, or have a few years under your belt! See it all here.

I had an early morning appointment scheduled at Proposals Boutique in Little Rock, Arkansas with my mom and my older sister. It was such a special day because it was the first time I truly felt butterflies about our wedding day. We were the first customers at the store and were helped by an old family friend, Betsy. She made the day so special and memorable for us, and even shared a few happy tears! I went in with a completely open mind. Betsy had me try on all different types of dresses and materials. I had my heart set on the third dress that I tried on and thought it was the perfect one. Betsy was about to have me try it on one last time after about nine dresses, just to see if the spark and excitement were still there. At the last minute, my mom found a dress hanging on the rack and suggested I try it on, just to see what it looked like. As soon as I tried on the tenth dress, I pictured Evan’s reaction to seeing me in this dress. Betsy added the veil and the belt, and my eyes began to water. Betsy knew it was the dress for me because she commented on how I kept touching the dress, swaying in it, and moving so differently in this one compared to the others. After walking around the store a few more times, I knew I had found “the dress.” It was perfect, and even more special that it was picked out by my mom. We popped a bottle of champagne after Betsy asked me if I wanted to “say yes to the dress,” and it truly felt like my wedding planning had really kicked off!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The florals! Dancing all night under a cloud of flowers was probably one of the best parts of the day. I also loved my bouquet so much that I sent it off the day after the wedding to have it preserved in a shadowbox. I cannot wait to see how it will look in a few weeks!

We were so thrilled to do a first look! This was something we knew right off the bat that we wanted to do. I had seen one of my friends do one and saw how special it was for them. We both knew it would be a meaningful moment we could share together, and it would help calm our nerves before the ceremony. Our photographers, Christopher and Nancy, also suggested it, and we are so glad we went with our gut instincts. It was one of the most memorable moments from our wedding day.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows! It was something we had decided on months before the wedding, although we ended up writing them a few days before/the night before the wedding. My favorite line was “I promise to continually see the good in you every day, and I will no longer roll my eyes at you, but with you.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had our date for May 29, 2016 already set, and knew that with it being a late spring/early summer wedding, we would want to get married outside. The Terry House was the perfect location! I had seen pictures of friends who had been married there and remembered that the set-up was so accommodating. We wanted our ceremony and reception to be close by, and having them at the same place was even better!

Our wedding colors included different shades of coral and gold. I remember meeting with my wedding planner, Anne Claire, and my florist, Dale, and telling them that I was hoping for bright, bold pops of color! They sure made this request a reality. They built us a ceiling of flowers for our tent that we danced under, which was threaded with Edison lighting to help create a romantic and whimsical atmosphere for the reception. The flowers included pink and coral charm peonies, salmon pink peony tulips, and peach David Austin roses, mixed in with roses and lisianthus. In addition, watermelon snapdragons, assorted poppies, and scabiosa were mixed in, along with maidenhair fern, variegated greenery, and hydrangeas. The flowers truly made my dream wedding come true!

We had a four-tiered wedding cake covered in textured cream cheese frosting. The bottom two layers were chocolate and vanilla, and the top two were lemon with raspberry filling. It was to die for! The groom’s cake was a little unconventional. Evan decided he wanted ice cream sandwiches instead! They were made of two chocolate chip cookies with vanilla or mint chocolate chip ice cream squished in the middle. A refreshing treat on a hot summer day!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We made sure our food reflected the best of our Southern roots. Evan and I met in Memphis, home of the best barbecue in the South! We made sure some form of barbecue was served (sliders), as well as fried mac and cheese bites. To everyone’s surprise, our biggest Southern detail of the wedding was the late night snack: Chick Fil-A nuggets!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In 2008, Evan and I met during the summer of my sophomore year of college. He and I were the only two students selected to participate in a medical summer internship in Memphis. We had briefly met a few times during various club meetings and in passing on campus, but never had any meaningful interactions until then. Evan didn’t know this at the time, but I had a secret crush on him before we were chosen to work together that summer. I seriously believed it was fate, and now I know it truly was! About halfway through the internship, Evan asked me to go to the Memphis Zoo with him one day after work. We realized that we liked a lot of the same animals, and it was in the herpetarium when I realized Evan actually liked me! While looking at the turtles, he nervously asked me out on a date to go see a movie at the drive-in theater. I misunderstood that he was planning that for another time and not for later that evening. Oops! I insisted that we look up movie times and get dinner beforehand. That night, we sat in the hatchback of his car to watch the Disney-Pixar movie, Wall-E. Of course, something else had to go wrong on our first date, and it did–neither of us had any bug spray, so I got bitten by a ton of mosquitos! I remember we counted exactly 38 bites on my legs and arms, while Evan had maybe only five. We spent the rest of the night laughing about what happened, and soon after that was when I realized that Evan was the only one I wanted to watch all my movies with…but only indoors with air conditioning, or maybe with a can of bug spray nearby.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Evan: Kelsie was living with me in Norfolk for the month while she was doing an away rotation. To cap off a great month and celebrate our six-year anniversary, I planned a special getaway weekend in Williamsburg, Virginia. We checked into our hotel at Colonial Williamsburg, and went to explore the historical town in search for a good place for a picnic. We stopped by The Cheese Shop in downtown Williamsburg and picked up bread, cheese, and some wine. Unfortunately, it was late enough that all of the Colonial Williamsburg attractions had closed, so we adventured on to the nearby campus of The College of William & Mary. It was very reminiscent of our time at Rhodes, where we met. We picnicked in the quad and drank A LOT wine. I had researched a romantic part of the campus in the woods many weeks before, so after our picnic, we went into the woods and I somehow convinced her to follow me (I think the wine helped with this). After a small trek, we came across the Crim Dell bridge, hidden in the woods of the campus. She initially ran across the bridge, while I slowly walked to the crest, looking up something special for her to read on my phone. She came back and asked what I was doing. I had her read the story about the bridge’s significance, which said that if two lovers were to meet at the crest of the bridge and kiss, they would be together forever. After she read the story, we kissed and then I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me. Little did we know that on the other side of the bridge, about a hundred yards away, was a group of college girls who witnessed the whole thing. When she said “yes,” a roar of cheers were heard. I had just become the luckiest guy in the world!
When did y’all get married? May 29, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our officiant, Chaplain West, offered to enroll us in a premarital course online called Prepare Enrich. We took a test at the beginning about ourselves and it analyzed the results so that we could discuss it with our officiant. We had weekly premarital counseling sessions with him every Wednesday night for about six months before the wedding. Because we were planning our wedding long distance, we had to have our weekly sessions over the phone, which worked out perfectly well for all of our schedules. We finally met our officiant in person a few days before the wedding and it was as if we had known him our whole lives!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was making sure we stayed within our budget. This was definitely made possible by having a wedding planner. Anne Claire was wonderful at giving us different pricing options when it came to vendors. She had things laid out for us so we could compare what we were willing to splurge on versus things we wanted to save money on. In the end, we were able to stay within our budget!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Every month, Evan and I would set aside a certain amount of money from each our paychecks into our wedding savings account. This really helped us not only learn how to save money for the future, but also allowed us to contribute as much as we could towards the wedding. This way, we could ease the burden off of our families and have more wiggle room to add on fun details at the last minute.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were so happy to have our Filipino and my Indian culture represented in our wedding. This was exemplified throughout the whole evening, from the food, to the attire, and even the ceremony and dancing. Evan and I incorporated the traditional Filipino wedding traditions into our ceremony: coins, cord, veil, and candle. We also had Filipino primary and secondary sponsors as part of our wedding, who wore the traditional Filipino clothing (barong) during the ceremony. I had traditional Indian henna done on both of my hands to represent the other side of my heritage. We served Indian samosas as passed appetizers and had traditional Filipino pancit (noodles) and lumpia (egg rolls) as part of the dinner buffet. Finally, we performed a Filipino money dance, where guests took turn dancing with Evan and I, and pinning money onto us as they did so. It was so fun to see how our guests responded to all the different traditions!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are about to get a puppy! We have been patiently waiting for this day to come and it will probably be the second happiest day of our lives! We are also looking forward to finally taking our honeymoon this August to Maui, Hawaii! We are planning for a mix of relaxing activities, as well as a lot of adventure, hiking, snorkeling, and maybe even surfing. But let’s be honest, we’re most excited about the food!

Photographer: Weddings by Christopher & Nancy | Videographer: Brad Fugere | Planner: Anne-Claire Allen | Venue: The Terry House | Florist: Silks A Bloom | Cake Baker: Sweet Love | Caterer: Simply The Best Catering | Rentals: Confetti’s Party Rentals | Lighting: Central Arkansas Entertainment | DJ: Mario Luna | Henna: Priyanka Badhwar | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: Style 14716 by Wtoo | Bride’s Accessories and Bridal Salon: Proposals Boutique | Hair Stylist: Kakki Jones | Makeup Artist: Lorena Somers Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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Though I have lived all over the country, I have always felt that there is something magical about the South. Of course, I am sure I’m a bit partial having grown up below the Mason-Dixon, but if Veronica and Patrick are any indication, my love is justified! Veronica and Patrick visited Trump Winery while dating and were quite smitten, so post-engagement, they didn’t have to look around much before deciding to invite their friends and family there to celebrate their marriage with a destination wedding. These two might not have a drop of Southern blood in them, but with the help of Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events, they planned a sweetly Southern soirée, complete with a family-style dinner that’d make even a born-and-bred Southerner feel right at home!

Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing this Charlottesville beauty!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was a pair of beautiful earrings from my mother-in-law. My something old was my veil, which is about 180 years old and has been worn by every bride in Pat’s family! My something new was easy, my dress. We kind of forgot the something blue, so we took a piece of baby blue string from a pair of pajamas and tied it around my bouquet for a bit.

I had a pretty precise idea of what I wanted. I actually went to a few different shops with friends, but ended up finding my dress by myself during my lunch break. My mom didn’t even see it until my first fitting!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not. For as long as I can remember, at every wedding I’ve gone to, when the bride comes down the aisle, I always watch the groom instead of the bride. The look on the groom’s face when he sees the bride for the first time is so telling, it’s so hard to hide your emotions at that point! That moment was really important to me, and I didn’t want to miss out on it.

I had a pretty specific vision for the flowers, and Amy at Blue Ridge Floral Design executed it perfectly. I didn’t want anything too put together or perfect. I wanted something that looked like it was just picked from a garden–very natural and beautiful with lots of greens and more muted tones. My bouquet was my favorite, full of peonies, garden roses, jasmine and Veronica flowers, which Amy included as a surprise.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? While Pat was in law school in D.C. and I was still living in Miami (long before we were engaged), we made an effort to try and take short trips on the weekends I came to visit. We visited Charlottesville during a long weekend and did a winery tour. Our driver snuck us up to the top of the Trump Winery, and we loved it. When we got engaged, we didn’t look around much.

This is a little embarrassing, but our cake was so good that I took a tupperware full of it on my flight to our honeymoon! Rachel from Cakes by Rachel is apparently some sort of magician. The cake was really beautiful, and simply decorated with fresh fruit and some of the flowers we used. I’ve been eyeing the top part in the freezer for a few weeks–not sure if it’ll make it to the one-year mark!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Patrick and I met when we were 15 years old. Two of our best friends were dating and they introduced us, but sparks didn’t fly just yet. A few years later, we became Words with Friends opponents. Funnily enough, I read an article about a couple that met and got married via Words with Friends, and I jokingly sent him a message letting him know I wouldn’t be able to play with him anymore because I needed to play others in order to find a husband. Fast forward a couple of years, I was moving into my new apartment with my best friend (who was really excited for us to have this awesome bachelorette pad together). Patrick’s friend lived in the building, and when we asked him for help bringing up a couple of things, Patrick was there. Within a few weeks, we were dating, and my best friend’s bachelorette pad dreams vanished.
Tell us all about the proposal! Oh, this is a good one! Pat is from Peru, and we took a family trip to Machu Picchu. The day before we hiked up the Huayna Picchu, Pat watched a three-hour video of a guy who recorded his entire hike up with a GoPro strapped to his head. I was pretty annoyed, but I didn’t realize he was trying to stake out a good spot to propose! The next morning, we woke up at 4 A.M. and took a bus up a very narrow, winding path to the mountain. His sister insisted on braiding my hair, but I was so tired, I didn’t protest. When we got to the top of the mountain, I peered over a rock to look down at the bottom. When I turned around, Pat had gotten down on one knee, and his brother and sister were behind him photographing and videotaping us!
When did y’all get married? April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. All of our songs were pretty special to us–music is an important part of our relationship. Pat and I decided on “Something” by The Beatles for our first dance. For months before the wedding, I searched for songs that would be fitting for my dad and I. We are both huge Pink Floyd fans, and a few days before the wedding, we decided that we didn’t really care to be traditional and chose “Wish You Were Here.” Pat surprised us and played the guitar during our dance! Pat and his mom danced to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys, which was so fitting for them.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My family is from Nicaragua and Pat’s is from Peru, and for the most part, our friends are all Latin as well. We don’t have a drop of Southern blood in us, so it was a lot of fun to have our wedding in Charlottesville because it was such an adventure for everyone! I’d say the most Southern thing was the cuisine, especially because it was served family-style! Harvest Moon did an amazing job–we had chicken and waffle skewers, salted butter corn bread, beef short ribs, and mac and cheese.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think the biggest way I cut costs was actually by hiring a wedding planner. Cinda at White Birch Events is truly a wizard. She reviewed all of my estimates and told me where I could cut costs, figured out where to repurpose my flowers with my florist, and simply brought me back down to earth when I would mention something that was outside of my budget or unnecessary.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Travel! We have a huge list of places we want to visit, but limited PTO…

Photographer: Ashley Cox | Videographer: Carly Rae Productions | Planner: Cinda Hoege of White Birch Events | Venue: Trump Winery | Florist: Blue Ridge Florals | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Rachel | Caterer: Harvest Moon Catering | Band: The Finns | DJ: Slable | Bride’s Gown: “Calla” by Monique Lhuillier | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Rouge 9 Makeup Studio | Bride’s Shoes: Gucci | Groom’s Attire: Ermenegildo Zegna | Groomsmen Attire: Hugo Boss and Armani | Photo Booth: Mox Box | Get Away Car: Albemarle Limousine | Buses: Easy Riders

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar VERONICA + PATRICK | Ashley Cox Photography reply

    […] So honored to have this gorgeous wedding featured on Southern Weddings! […]

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During a beach-side bike ride on one of my and Brandon’s first vacations together, we explored the construction site that is now Alys Beach. We were even able to walk through the half-built homes as they were being constructed, and now, every time I see a wedding there, it brings back such sweet memories of our dating life. With their favorite wedding detail being their venue, and Emily and Reed’s plans to vacation there each year for their anniversary, I’m positive those future trips will be filled with joyous memories of their beautiful wedding on the Central Park Green! Playing off the modern white architecture, Emily and Reed worked with Lauren Chitwood Events to bring in rustic driftwood and succulents combined with lush peonies and protea. That gorgeous custom driftwood arch had guests talking for months!

Thank you kindly to Amy Campbell for sharing Emily and Reed’s wedding with us!

I found my dress in Nashville at B. Hughes. I had previously looked in Birmingham, where my sister lives, and liked a few dresses, but knew I couldn’t make any decisions until I visited this shop. I tried on a strapless Reem Acra dress and knew it was the one for me. I felt so pretty in it and didn’t want to take it off. I still love it a year later!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows, but did speak to our officiant about the flow and words we wanted him to use during the ceremony. The vows were very simple, but those words are so meaningful. While saying my vows to Reed, I started crying. I’m not a big crier, so I started laughing at myself for crying. It was a sweet moment we’ll both remember forever.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My best friend, Maggie, read Colossians 3:12-14. This was a verse Reed and I kept reading during our premarital exercises. I love the words in this verse and thought it would be special for her to read it.

I grew up going to the beach near Sandestin and Seaside, Florida. Every wedding I’d seen along Highway 30A was so beautiful, and we loved the idea of getting married at the beach. We looked at multiple venues in Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach, and the Central Park Green at Alys Beach was the exact look I wanted. The small green is surrounded by trees and a breathtaking modern pool and restaurant. It turned out to be a perfect venue and I couldn’t have been happier!

Describe your wedding flowers. Lauren and I discussed many different looks, but we ultimately decided to mix the rustic look of driftwood and succulents with peonies and protea. She sent me examples of what she thought I would like, and after seeing a photo that included a gorgeous driftwood arch, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Lauren and her florist created one for our wedding and it was the most beautiful arch I’ve ever seen. It was so memorable–people talked about it months after the wedding.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money by trimming down the guest list. Initially, we wanted around 300 guests, but after talking with our planner, Lauren, we decided to invite 170. It was hard to exclude some people but in the end it felt intimate and was a great size for the venue.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both went to college at Ole Miss. I always knew who he was and had a crush on him, so a mutual friend introduced us after I told him I thought Reed was cute. For a few months after meeting, we would see each other around Oxford and always seemed to get into long conversations. He finally asked me out on a date, and we dated for five years before getting married.
Tell us all about the proposal! Reed and I went to my parents’ house in Mississippi for Thanksgiving. We all decided to cook outside because the weather was so nice. Reed had planned everything with my family beforehand, and to give him time to propose, they all snuck back into the house. Due to lack of sleep from working the night before, I didn’t even notice their attempts to leave us alone. While we were outside talking, my sisters and my mom attached the ring to our dog, Daisy, and then let her back outside. Daisy immediately ran up to us, sat down, and I noticed the ring tied around her neck with a bow. Reed got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. We spent the night celebrating with my family and calling friends to tell them the news.
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of our wedding was the venue. After getting married there, we now want to go back to Alys Beach every year! It’s the most beautiful place I’ve been in the United States.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My husband and I are both from Mississippi and he is a passionate Ole Miss football fan. One of my favorite memories of the night was when Reed took the mic onstage, spouted Ole Miss football statistics, and led our mostly Mississippi reception in the Hotty Toddy cheer.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our wedding officiant, Gary Wingo, introduced us to a premarital workbook, “Before You Say I Do.” This helped us prepare for marriage and discuss things we otherwise may not have discussed. As a result, we grew closer and learned how to handle certain situations should they arise.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Originally, Reed and I were going to marry on May 16, 2015. After we set the date, we had trouble finding vendors who were available that day. After a few minor meltdowns, we decided to change our wedding date to June 13. I’m so happy we did, because everything worked out perfectly.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment for me was seeing Reed for the first time. Having my dad walk me down the aisle to my husband was such a great feeling. When I finally saw Reed and he had a big smile on his face, it was the exact moment I’d pictured for my entire life. The ceremony was definitely my favorite part of the whole wedding day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying life in Nashville as a family of three (we have a French bulldog named Willis). I have so much fun with Reed, even when we’re doing simple, daily activities. I hope we continue having fun together, and maybe one day add to our little family.

Photographer: Amy Campbell | Planner and Florist: Lauren Chitwood | Venue: Central Park Green in Alys Beach | Wedding Cake: KaraBoo Bakery | Caterer: Townsend Catering | Band: The Heather Hayes Experience | Paper Products: Dement Printing and Fresh Ink | Bride’s Gown: Reem Acra | Hair and Makeup Stylist: Ana Crane | Bride’s Shoes: “Fearne” by Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Macey reply

    Everything looks like a dream! Beautiful.

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

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