Google+ Marissa | Southern Weddings - Part 5

Southern Weddings

Author: Marissa

There are many things that can make a wedding Southern: the locale, the details, the traditions, you name it! I particularly love how Jennifer and Zachary chose to focus on sweet Southern hospitality! Vital to the heartbeat of the South, hospitality can turn any event into a meaningful celebration. With welcome boxes, wool shawls, hot hands, handkerchiefs, and more, I know that guests felt welcome and completely at home, just like Jennifer and Zachary had hoped. With friends and sorority sisters-turned-wedding vendors on hand, community is one more great aspect of the South that these two embraced on their beautiful wedding day.

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor, Amanda Watson, for sharing this gilded day with us!

We met in graduate school in Oklahoma City in 2010. At first, I didn’t really talk to Zac. I was very focused on school and sat toward the front of the classroom. Zac sat behind me and later told me he thought I was cute, smart, and motivated, but he was sure I was in a relationship. Once I was confident my grades were in order, I began to notice him. As the semester progressed, we started talking more and spending time together. One day before class, he blurted out, “Let’s go to the Thunder game.” That was our first official date!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we decided to do a first look. We wanted to be able to see each other before the wedding and have some time to enjoy the moment alone. We loved walking hand and hand in the gardens, taking in the beautiful evening light and the willow trees, flowers, and trails near the water.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern part of our wedding was the effort we made to make our guests feel welcome and at home, no matter where they came from. From welcome boxes to wool shawls, hand warmers to handkerchiefs, we focused on Southern hospitality.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. Both Zac and I found comfort in hearing and repeating the vows that have been lovingly spoken by couples for hundreds of years,
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. My mother hired OCU’s string quartet for our ceremony. Zac and I did not want to walk down the aisle to anything traditional–we love to laugh and we wanted to make people smile. We decided to walk down the aisle to “Don’t Stop Believing.” After the ceremony, we walked back up the aisle to “We are the Champions.” It was great to watch everyone’s faces in the crowd as they recognized the songs.

I fell in love with Coles Garden the first day I went there. It had a gorgeous garden area for the ceremony and a wonderful indoor and outdoor reception area. I really wanted café lights and Coles provided the perfect place to dance under the stars.

Katie from Birdies, a fourth generation florist, designed my wedding flowers. I was on the dance team at OU with Katie, so she was the first person I thought of! We did a mix of ivory, white, and blush flowers with greenery for my bouquet, and I loved that it wasn’t too traditional. Our guests loved the details Katie used to create a casual, yet elegant, look at our reception. She hand-painted lanterns gold and designed wreaths to surround them, created a wall of flowers on the welcome table, and arranged vines and nosegays for the port bar and the sweetheart table.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The cakes were made by my good friend and OU sorority little sister, Olivia. I really don’t like the taste of fondant, but I love how it looks on cakes. She came up with the idea to do displays with a cutting layer for my cakes, as well as sheet cakes with whatever icing I preferred. The main wedding cake was decorated with stunning metallic gold and ivory finishes and topped off with delicate paper flowers. The two groom’s cakes paid tribute to Zac’s loves of hunting and OU. Guests were served their choice of carrot cake with cream cheese icing, chocolate cake with buttercream and chocolate ganache, and vanilla bean cake with strawberry filling. For a late night snack, we had a s’mores bar designed by the caterer, complete with marshmallows on a stick, warmed chocolate, and crushed graham crackers. Guests were sent home with cake slices of their choice in gold boxes with whimsical wooden forks.

Tell us all about the proposal! Every year around Christmas, Zac and I go somewhere to look at the lights. The night we exchanged gifts, before we went to celebrate with our families, was an icy one. Zac’s first gift for me was had hand warmers–he said he had planned to take me on a helicopter ride over the city to look at the Christmas lights, but had just received a call that flights were grounded because of ice. He was upset, but I told him we could go out to dinner instead. We went to a restaurant by the lake, and after dinner, we walked out to the lighthouse, where he proposed. He said he was originally planning to propose while we were flying over the Christmas lights. I know he was upset it didn’t go as planned, but I still thought the night was magical! Even though we didn’t go on the helicopter ride, his proposal in front of the lighthouse in the rain was just as romantic.
When did y’all get married? November 1, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 130
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? I always loved that my 83-year-old grandparents still held hands. When I first read “The Art of Marriage,” by Wilfred Arlan Peterson, the words spoke to that kind of love: “In the art of marriage, the little things are the big things. It’s never being too old to hold hands.” Our officiant did a touching reading of the poem during the ceremony.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something borrowed, my mother gave me the lace trim from her wedding dress and we wrapped it around my bouquet. We then pinned on my grandfathers’ enamel police and military badges for my something blue. He is no longer with us, so that was my way of having him there with me in spirit. My parents gifted me with a new diamond necklace and a silver sparrow charm, designed to honor my close friend and bridesmaid who passed away unexpectedly before the wedding.
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 got our friends involved. As a wedding gift, one of my bridesmaids made our guest book. My sorority sisters and good friends made the invitations and cake. It was a great way to showcase my friends’ talents and build their portfolios, and we were both so proud of how well everything turned out. It was better than we could have imagined!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax! Planning a wedding should be fun, but it can get stressful. Try not to lose sight of what is important. It is easy for friends and family to chime in and suggest what they think you need to do or add to the wedding. Just remember that at the end of the day, the important thing is how you and your husband picture your wedding day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have enjoyed being a newlywed couple, and we are ready to start a family!

Photographer: Amanda Watson / Planner: Camden Chitwood / Venue: Coles Garden / Florist: Birdie Blooms / Cake Baker: Olivia Abel / Caterer: Catering Connection / Rentals: Marianne’s Rentals / Lighting: Innovative Event Solutions / DJ: BTP Productions / Calligraphy: Sooner Calligraphy / Illustrations: Lana’s Shop / Paper Products: Melinda Russell Designs / Bride’s Gown: Allure / Bride’s Veil: Toni Federici / Hair Stylist: Chelse Lasher / Makeup Artist: Blo Bar / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Groomsmen’s Ties and Vests: Custom by Lihn’s Bridal / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein / Photo Booth: The SNL Photo Booth / Ceremony Musicians: Oklahoma City String Quartet / Cigar Roller: The Leaf 405 / Coffee Catering: Cafe Evoke

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

    What a beautiful, heartfelt wedding to get to be apart of. Thank you so much for the feature!

  2. avatar Jenn & Zac: Southern Weddings reply

    […] See more from this gorgeous wedding over on Southern Weddings! […]

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For these high school sweethearts (who actually first met in elementary school!), planning for their wedding also meant preparing for marriage and the journey of the new life together they were about to embark on. While the details were important too, planning for their marriage was undoubtedly the most important thing to Brittany and Michael, and we love that! When it came to the beautiful details, this sweet couple turned the reigns over to their planner, Some Kind of Wonderful, and their florals to none other than our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Holly Chapple. I’m pretty sure I’m Team Brittany when it comes to choosing a favorite detail of their wedding–her choice (and mine!), that stunning bridal bouquet! Hello, dahlias!

Big SW hugs to another Blue Ribbon Vendor, Katelyn James for capturing this fun day!

My favorite detail was my bridal bouquet. I think it completed our pictures and my bridal look so perfectly, with the pops of color and the beautiful dahlias. It was so much more than I expected! I never knew I could love a bouquet so much–I wish it could have lasted forever!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of our day was seeing Michael for the first time during our first look. We had such an amazing day and there are so many moments that stick out in my mind, but walking down the steps at the front of the house and seeing the look on his face when we first saw each other is something I will never forget. I have never felt more beautiful. It was so special to just have those few minutes together to take it all in.

We said traditional vows during the ceremony, but we also wanted to make our ceremony personal. Before the wedding, we wrote lists of “10 Things I Love About You,” which we kept secret from each other until we read them aloud during the ceremony. This was such a fun way to make the ceremony personal to the two of us. One my favorite things he wrote was “I love that we can spend nonstop time together and I still feel like it’s not enough.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think having our wedding on an estate in the horse country of Virginia definitely added some Southern elements to our day. Some of the horses even photo bombed our pictures! We also had our reception in a barn. Our venue, The Maples, is a historic home that was used (and was nearly burned to the ground) during the Civil War.

We really wanted a rustic barn venue, and after doing some research, we found a few, but then Michael found The Maples through a coworker. When we pulled up the gravel driveway, surrounded by the orange and yellow fall trees, we looked at each other and knew that this was the place! It is such an amazing home and the family was kind enough to let us have our wedding there. I can’t imagine having our day anywhere else.

We wanted a cake that would represent our day, so we were looking for something that was simple, beautiful, and rustic. We had a three-tiered cake with white icing that had pink flowers on it. Placing the cake on a tree stump gave it a rustic look that went perfectly with the feel of our day.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? I feel like so much of being engaged is about preparing for the wedding day, and when you think about it, the wedding only lasts for a few hours. What you are really preparing for is the marriage, which is a lifetime together! There is so much focus on the details, the dress, and the flowers–which are all important and I obsessed over, don’t get me wrong! But preparing for marriage and the journey of life you’re about to be on together is the most important thing. We spent about four months meeting with a mentor couple at our church once a week, going through a marriage preparation book. I cannot tell you how helpful and important this was! We talked about so many important things, which really helped us realize the commitment we were making to each other and how to communicate.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Michael and I met when we were in elementary school. We were neighbors and he came to vacation Bible school at my house. We lost touch over the next few years and then reconnected during physics class in high school. He started flirting with me over a game of spoons. We started dating at the end of my junior year, so we are high school sweethearts! We both went to Virginia Tech and got engaged a few months after graduating. After six years of dating, we could not have been more excited to be engaged and to start planning our wedding!
Tell us all about the proposal! Michael and I were driving out in the plains of Virginia in the fall. It was SO beautiful and such a perfect day! I found out later that he had picked up the ring that morning, so it was definitely burning a hole in his pocket. As we were driving home, he decided to pull over into a field as the sun was setting. I thought we were just stopping to take some pictures, because he knows that’s something I love to do! But then, he asked me to follow him into the middle of the field, and as we were standing there, he got down on one knee. I honestly don’t remember what he said as he was asking me to marry him because I started crying as soon as I realized what was happening!
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I bought a dress a month after we got engaged, and a few days later, I felt like I hadn’t made the right decision. I waited until it came in, took it home, and tried it on again, and I knew it wasn’t the perfect dress for my day. I felt so upset because of the money that we had already spent, but Michael was so supportive and told me we had waited for this day for so long and he wanted me to feel like the most beautiful bride on our wedding day. I went out and found the most perfect dress a few days later, and I could not have been happier with that decision!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. My biggest reason was because we had the world’s most amazing photographer–Katelyn James! I have followed her blog for years and have seen all the amazing moments she captures during a first look. It was so special for the two of us to have a few quiet moments together. You really don’t get too many of those on the wedding day. It was so nice to be able to see each other, pray together and take in the day before the everything got started.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My grandpa, who married us, read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 at the ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A song we really wanted to have played as we walked back up the aisle was “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. We blasted this song in the car together all summer as we drove to and from wedding appointments, so we knew we wanted this song to play right after we got married. This reminded us what an amazing and fun day it was going to be! My dad and I danced to “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker. When I was listening to songs in the car, thinking about our father/daughter dance, this one made me cry, so I knew it was the one we had to dance to.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When the planning gets stressful and you start to take that stress out on each other (trust me, it happens!), take a deep breath and refocus on the end goal. You’re planning your life together and you’ve found your best friend. When you think about that, it takes all the stress out of the seating chart, the napkin colors, or the guest list. At the end of the day, it will all work out and you will be married to your favorite person in the world! Sometimes, you just need to take a weekend or a night off from wedding planning and go on a date together. :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? These past five months of being married have been the best of our relationship. Getting to spend life together, coming home to each other every day and just doing boring things together, like grocery shopping, is so much more fun with your best friend! We are in the process of buying a townhouse that we are going to do some reno work on, and we are so excited!

Photographer: Katelyn James / Planner: Some Kind of Wonderful / Venue: The Maples / Florist: Holly Chapple Flowers / Cake Baker: Market Salmander / Caterer: Magnolia at the Mill / Rentals: Capital Party Rentals / Lighting: Evan Chapple / Paper Products: Paper & Lace Collections / Bride’s Gown: “April” by Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Veil: Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Jewelry: Nadri / Hair Stylist: Tracie Sekol / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Morgan” in Beach Glass by Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Ted Baker / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Katelyn James and Holly Chapple Flowers are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Wow, the colours are absolutely stunning, beautiful photography

  2. avatar Jenni reply

    So much inspiration in this post! I can’t stop being googly-eyed over the flowers!

  3. avatar Lisa Hays reply

    Gorgeous bride. I have to agree with her on her bouquet – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a prettier bouquet.

  4. avatar katelyn james reply

    Thank you girls!!! Such an honor!!!

  5. avatar Audrey Ruth Photography reply

    This wedding is SO GORGEOUS! I’m swooning over that bouquet!

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We often talk about the mission of Southern Weddings, and how we want to inspire couples to celebrate their families, the culture of the South, and what matters most to them. Y’all, nothing makes us happier than when we see couples do just that! Jen and Schuyler’s wedding had us seriously swooning when we featured it in V7. By incorporating Jen’s heritage into artwork in front of their escort table, and celebrating their big day in Virginia wine country–a place Jen and Schuyler both love–their wedding is such a lovely example of how details can be as meaningful as they are beautiful.

Thanks to Abby Jiu for sharing this sweet day with us!

I wanted the bridesmaid gifts to be really special, so I put together a bag of personalized gifts, such as monogrammed compacts with the quote “The best mirror is an old friend” engraved on the back, and ring holders with each lady’s name and an imprint of a gray dress imprinted on them. For our welcome bags, we had Antiquaria (the same company that did our invitations and day-of stationery) create a custom stamp for us, which we used to stamp the gift bags with our personal touch. We included snacks and a Virginia wine map. My favorite snack was chocolates from Cocoa Vienna, which are the best chocolates we have ever had. Some of the flavors included red velvet cake truffles and pumpkin truffles.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I have always known that I wanted some element of color for my wedding dress, but I was never sure what that element of color would be. I was being terribly picky and running out of time. Finally, at the last minute on a Friday, I scheduled an appointment at Hitched Salon in Georgetown for the next day. That weekend, Austin Scarlett was bringing in his creations straight off the runway for a trunk show. After trying on a few dresses in the store, the Camellia gown by Austin caught my eye and I asked my consultant if I could try it on. Once I put it on, it was so amazing. It was elegant and classic and so incredibly light, it was like walking on a cloud. Austin Scarlett was there with his business partner, Allison, and they were just the sweetest (it was really neat to have the designer there and to be able to talk with him and ask him questions about the dress!). On a whim, I asked Austin if it would be possible to recreate the dress in blush, and he said of course! When I finally got my dress, the blush tulle was just so stunning and subtle. The dress was really perfect, because it was exactly what I wanted and I was truly able to make the dress my own–no one else has a dress exactly like it!

When we were choosing a place to get married, the obvious choice was Charlottesville. It is a special place to both of us and has the most stunning views and scenery. We love great wine, and Veritas had some of our favorites from the region. They did an amazing job on the day of our wedding, and we couldn’t have been happier with our choice.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. I wanted to give the bridesmaids a chance to show their own styles, and I didn’t want a “matchy-matchy” wedding party, so I gave the bridesmaids guidelines on the dress (gray and long, a pattern would be okay), and sent them some examples. Some of the ladies rented their dresses from Rent the Runway and some bought their dresses, and in the end, everyone looked amazing. I loved seeing the spectrum of unique gray dresses and how cohesive everything looked together.

We know that the bridal party typically stands with the bride and groom during the wedding ceremony. Although we thought that was great (it is so comforting to have your best friends and family standing with you), we also wanted the ceremony to be very intimate between us, with no distractions. Therefore, we decided to have our wedding party sit during the ceremony so that it would just be the two of us standing.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Early in the planning process, we were drawn to subtle, beautiful colors, like blush, whites, and greens. We loved the French toile print we chose for our cocktail tables, and that quickly became an inspiration for our black tie vineyard wedding. We were drawn to the natural and timeless look of the toile, and loved how the European formality of the print elevated our more casual venue. Throughout the planning process, the subtle, soft blush color of my dress also remained a constant source of inspiration, which led to a feminine color palette accented with gold for the evening. Being inspired by the French toile print naturally led the design to subtle Parisian accents, like bistro lights, gauzy organza runners, filigree votives, and romantic floral décor.

What kind of food did you serve? Our menu included butternut squash soup with apple chutney, roasted sirloin steak with horseradish mashed potato, citrus shrimp, seared red snapper with roasted eggplant, cabbage ragout with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, and truffle risotto with ratatouille and red wine reduction with fried leeks.

One of the most unique parts of our wedding was the painter who painted our wedding, Dan Nelson. As our wedding gift, Schuyler’s aunt brought him in to paint our ceremony. He not only painted the scene of our ceremony, but he also stayed throughout the entire reception to finish the painting as part of the evening’s entertainment. All our guests loved it and couldn’t stop talking about it after the wedding–he was so fun to watch! The final oil painting turned out so beautifully and is now hanging in our home. It is such a perfect reminder of our wedding day, and we love seeing it every day.

What was the funniest moment? I fell off the chair during the Hora!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We first met when we were 15 years old at a summer camp. We knew each other, but were not really friends, and did not keep in touch after the summer ended. By chance, we both ended up going to UVA for college, and ran into each other during my fourth year (his third year) at the gym. We recognized each other and chatted for a bit. We did not start dating, however, until a few years later, after we had both graduated. Even after that, we were long distance for awhile (due to grad schools, jobs, etc.), but were finally able to settle down in the same city.
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We chose a date in late fall (October 26, 2013) because we knew the changing colors of the leaves would make for beautiful photos. We love Virginia wine country and wanted to invite our guests to a venue that was fun and special for us.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Refined, personal, and classic
How many guests attended your wedding? 131
What did the groom and groomsmen wear? Schuyler wore a custom English-tailored tuxedo with his grandfather’s gold cuff links. The groomsmen wore tuxedos of their own choosing, paired with gifts from the groom: mix-and-match gray silk pocket squares and cuff links.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I wanted to incorporate something from my heritage, but I wasn’t sure how to go about doing it. I proposed the traditional paper cut-out double-happiness characters to Kate (our planner), and wanted to know if there was an elegant way to incorporate it somewhere. Kate suggested that we create artwork for in front of the escort card table. I thought it was a wonderful plan, so we had Nikki, our calligrapher (an amazing artist) design the paper cut-out of the Chinese characters, as well as the other elements of the display. We framed them in mirrored frames, and our florist and decor vendor, Beehive Events, provided the draping to hang the artwork on. It was a great personal touch, and now we get to hang the artwork in our home!

Photographer: Abby Jiu / Videographer: Underground Short Films / Planning and Design: Kate Harlan of Simply Chic Events / Venue and Catering: Veritas Winery and Vineyard / Florist: Beehive Events / Cake Baker: Anita Gupta of Maliha Creations / Bride’s Gown: “Camellia” by Austin Scarlett / Bridal Salon: Hitched / Bride’s Shoes: Lola Cruz / Bridesmaid Dresses: Robert Rodriguez, BCBG MAXAZRIA, Liz Fields, and David’s Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Joy Pfister of Faces by Joy / Paper Goods: Antiquaria / Rentals: Beehive Events and Festive Fare / Transportation: Ambassador Limo / Live Painting Artist: Daniel Nelson

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Wow! So pretty! I just love the bridesmaid dresses!

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    This is where I’m having my wedding in just 4 months!! Looks absolutely beautiful!!

  3. avatar Caitlin reply

    I adore the ring holders that the bride customized for her maids. Any idea on where they are from?

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