Google+ Marissa | Southern Weddings - Part 5

Southern Weddings

Author: Marissa

One of the best parts of Kristin’s and my jobs is connecting the amazing vendors the South has to offer with our darling brides through the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! It is also a joy to see our Blue Ribbon Vendors work together to create beautiful events. Molly and Richard worked with four of our delightful members for their wedding day, which was filled with lovely details, nods to their families, and the Southern hospitality to host 400 joyful guests. One of my personal favorite details (beside’s Molly’s super chic gown!) is that they decorated with Molly’s grandmother’s china, silver, and crystal that was passed down to her when she got married. So special!

Big hugs to our friends Landon Jacob for sharing this Columbia wedding day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I had to have my mom and my best friend come with me to find my dress. We went to the most beautiful bridal shop in Charlotte, J. Majors Bridal. It felt just like the movies–I tried on all these wedding dresses and knew exactly which one was the right one the second I put it on. When I walked out in the dress, my best friend started crying, and my mom and I both got teary too. I didn’t want to make the final decision until my dad and sister-and-law saw it, and they both loved it immediately too.

When I went to the church to make the final music decisions, it was truly a magical experience. My parents came with me and we walked up several flights of stairs to the music director’s office of Richard’s church, which has been around for over 200 years. His office was beautiful, complete with huge windows, and the music director played all the songs we liked on the piano so we could get an idea of how it would all sound together. We were all very impressed and left extremely excited for the ceremony, knowing we were in good hands. The song my bridesmaids walked down to was Canon in D–I love this song and I feel like it really sets the mood for a wedding ceremony. My dad and I walked down to Trumpet Tune. We had the hymn “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” played during the ceremony because it is one of my favorites, and it seems so holy when an entire church is singing the same song. The song Richard and I walked out of the church to was Toccata, From Symphony V, which was so joyful!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing Richard in the church for the first time. The aisle in the church is so long and my dad and I waited for what felt like forever before he walked me down the aisle to Richard. It was magical, just liked I had imagined it would be!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My mom and all her siblings got married in the same church, and I have always thought that was so special. When I realized I could get married in the same church my brother and his wife got married in, I knew that’s what I wanted. For the reception, I wished I could have had the entire reception outside, but I didn’t want to worry about the weather during the entire 11 months of our engagement. My mom and I visited several beautiful venues that could hold 400 people, but knew immediately when we walked into Forest Lake that it was perfect. The ballroom is so grand and beautiful, and the outside area looks out over the lake. To me, it doesn’t get much better than that!

The flowers were the most important detail to me out of everything. I grew up going to my aunts house in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and she has the most exquisite garden I have ever seen. I used to spend hours walking around with her outside when I was a little girl, so I wanted the flowers to look like they were fresh out of a garden. I could not have been happier with how they turned out. I wanted as much color as possible and my florist gave me exactly that, while sticking to a fall color palette.

I told the bakery I wanted the cake to be as smooth as possible. I asked the florist to drape flowers down the five tiers, and I placed it on a gold cake stand. A gold cake stand is not easy to find, but my wonderful wedding planner made it happen! The cake was placed in the foyer of the ballroom and it was the first thing guests saw when they walked in. I am a huge lover of chocolate, so it just didn’t feel like my wedding until I finally added the most delicious and beautiful chocolate truffles made by the in-house pastry chef at Forest Lake to our dessert offerings. They were placed on beautiful vintage trays and served to the guests. I made sure I ate three of them while I was at the reception, and I asked my wedding planner to pack some up for the car ride after the reception, too!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Richard and I went to the same high school and college, but we didn’t start dating until after college when we were both living back in our hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. We ran into each other one night and he asked me to go to the South Carolina football game with him the next day. Thinking I would ride with him and meet up with my friends once we got there, I said yes. He picked me up, and our drive was the first time I had ever been with him without our friends around. He was the most interesting person I had ever met. We have been together ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Richard’s mother had been planning a birthday dinner for him. They invited my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, Richard’s sister and her husband, and one of his best friends. He was living in Charlotte, North Carolina and I was in Columbia, South Carolina at the time. Dinner was planned for Thursday night in Columbia, and then Richard was going to take Friday off so we could go to the beach for a long weekend. He came into town and picked me up to go out for a drink downtown before dinner, since we hadn’t seen each other all week. We were on the way to the restaurant when Richard decided to take a side street by my church to avoid the downtown rush hour traffic. I was on the phone with my best friend, so I wasn’t really paying attention. Richard stopped the car in front of my church and said he wanted to get out for a minute to wait out the traffic. I got off the phone and we walked toward the benches in front of my church. There were cars everywhere, but Richard got down on one knee and proposed in front of my church. After lots of excitement and shock, we went to dinner, where everyone was waiting for us!
When did y’all get married? October 11, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 400
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The ceremony was held at a large, historical, downtown church that has been around since the Civil War. The church grounds have ancient Southern oaks and magnolias all over the property, and Southern generals and Revolutionary War heroes are buried in the graveyards. The menu for the reception consisted of ham biscuits, fried okra, fried chicken, figs, shrimp and corn fritters, and fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, to name a few. The table outside was decorated with my Grandmother’s china, silver, and crystal that had been passed down to me when I got married.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun and be happy. All of the planning is for something that is so joyful, so be happy planning it! I felt so lucky to be able to plan such a special event in our lives.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are living in Charlotte and are excited to finally be in the same city. We are most looking forward to doing normal day-to-day things together, like waking up together and eating meals together at our house!

Photographer: Landon Jacob / Videographer: Caravan / Planner: Jessica Rourke / Ceremony Venue: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral / Reception Venue and Catering: Forest Lake Club / Florist: Fern Studio / Cake Baker: Parkland Cakes / Rentals: Ooh Events! / Lighting: Tony Sharp / Band: CEO / Paper Products: Brian Faulkenberry / Bride’s Gown: “Paz” by Augusta Jones / Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Augusta Jones / Hair and Makeup: Greg Garrett at Metropolis Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Tory Burch / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo / Menswear: Granger Owens / Calligraphy: Lydia Hendrix / Signage: Lady Letterpress

EastCoast Entertainment, Lydia Robins Hendrix, Fern Studio, and Jessica Rourke are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    So beautiful! Love the florals behind the bar and the deep color palette! And grandmas china, so sweet!

  2. avatar Claire reply

    What a timeless and elegant wedding! That dress!! A sweetheart neckline with a lace overlay has my heart pitter pattering, for sure!

  3. avatar Michael and Carina reply

    This wedding is absolutely stunning, and Landon’s photography captured it perfectly!

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Planning a wedding at a private residence can be quite stressful (thanks to the whole “starting from scratch” thing!), but boy, can they result in some of the prettiest and most personal wedding days. For Amy and Mike, there was no question of where they were going to tie the knot–the side yard of Amy’s childhood home, next to a beautiful lake. Through DIY decor, the help of Amy’s parents, and some good ol’ Southern traditions, they created a mint and gold wedding that felt intimate and personal, even with a guest list of over 200. Amy’s father had two large doors cemented into the yard to make her ceremony entrance even more special!

We’re so glad Amalie Orrange shared this pretty day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! We had always wanted to do the swan paddle boats on Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando, where we live. He planned a simple morning of going to the farmer’s market, followed by a quick swan boat ride, because in three years, we had still never done it. I thought nothing of it–I was just so excited he was actually making plans! In the middle of Lake Eola, he proposed. The best part was that once he paddled my blubbering self back to shore, both of our families and closest friends were all there to celebrate. It was incredible!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at my childhood home in the side yard on the lake. I had lived in this home since I was born, and it is on the largest lake in Clermont, Florida. There was no question about where our wedding would be!

I walked down the aisle to the Vitamin String Quartet version of “Secrets” by One Republic. It is such a moving song, and our trio string band, The Holcomb Brothers, nailed it. My father had 10-foot doors cemented into the middle of the yard, and we waited for an entire verse of this song before they opened, building up the suspense for everyone.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? When you plan a wedding outside in Florida, you have to expect the worst: hot, humid, bugs, rain, rain, and more rain. When we planned for November, the “driest” month of the year, we still knew we wouldn’t be safe. So, a month before the wedding, we had a bourbon burying party! We buried a bottle of bourbon from Clermont, Kentucky upside down at the site of the ceremony in my parent’s yard (my mother also buried TWO more bottles later, just to be safe). Needless to say, the moment after we said “I do” on the most perfect Saturday, we opened all three bottles and passed them around to all the guests! It rained every other Saturday in November but our wedding day.

I love tulips, but tulips do not like November and they are very expensive! My florist was amazing, so she brought together all of the colors that went with our mint and gold color scheme and made an incredible bouquet full of ranunculus, dusty miller (in honor of our new last name), Queen Anne’s lace, wax flowers, and tons of greenery. To top it off, she found tulips, and it was perfection!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I designed the entire cake table myself. It was made from an old dresser I picked up from a consignment shop for $30. We had it stripped down, painted white with mint trim, and had a huge mirror attached that was painted sparkly gold. The entire table probably cost $60, but with cheap antique vases, candles, knick knacks from around my parents’ house, our initials on the mirror, and the sparkliest runner, it was a sight in itself. Neither of us are cake people, but we had to have a pretty one for pictures! We did white cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting. The cake toppers were the best–they were two little swans.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our families were friends and business partners long before we knew the other existed. I became close friends with Mike’s sister and cousins, and even backpacked through Europe with his cousin! When Mike moved home from school, he pursued me for a few weeks, and I finally gave in. We dated for three years and were engaged for one!
When did y’all get married? November 15, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 230
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we did not–I am very traditional when it comes to weddings. The build-up of not even speaking to each other for the entire wedding day made that moment when I first saw him even more “HOLY COW” than I ever could have expected. Who would have ever thought it would be him who started crying at that moment? It is something I would not trade for my life.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We had all of the plans to do so, but we are both so terrible about public speaking, we decided not to add one more thing to stress about that day!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! I borrowed my mom’s pearls. Mu something blue was my initials and our wedding date embroidered into my dress. My mother gave me my grandmother’s diamond ring on my wedding day as my something old. My something new was my dress!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Getting so many people into one yard and making sure it was the best wedding we could throw. My parents took the majority of that burden, so I won’t even try to take any credit!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We made all of the decorations (except the flowers) ourselves. My father found the doors and trellis, I made the cake table and bought all of the lanterns at a resell store, and my aunt made all of our cocktail decorations from old, spray-painted wine barrels.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I do have to say that the best money I personally spent was on my photographer and videographer. The day is over and it honestly went by so fast. The only way we keep getting to relive it and see the moments we missed are with our photos and video. I don’t care how much it costs, do not skimp on this part! I am beyond thankful for these two vendors, as they exceeded expectations beyond words!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are just starting a renovation on the house I bought before we were married. We cannot wait to be in our “new house!” It’s been 2+ months since our wedding and we still think about that day all the time. :)

Photographer: Amalie Orrange Photography / Videographer: Seltzer Films / Planner: Bonnie Dutka of Mobella Events / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Atmospheres Floral and Decor / Cake: Cut the Cake / Caterer: Arthur’s Catering / Rentals: Chair Affair / Linens: Over the Top / Dance Floor: Letz Dance Floor / Lighting: Get Lit Productions / Band: The Leonard Brothers / Ceremony Musicians: The Holcomb Brothers / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3258″ by Lazaro / Hair and Makeup: Jasmine Doublette of Brides Be Beautiful / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Wedding Dress Bee / Menswear: Absolutely Fitting

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Amalie Orrange reply

    We cannot thank you enough for featuring Amy and Mike’s wedding! Such a kind and amazing couple, we were thrilled to be a part of their big day. XO~Amalie

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Mint is such a lovely color to include in a wedding palette! Amy and Mike did a wonderful job incorporating it in with their neutrals (the suspenders and bowtie are my favorite pops of color!).

  3. avatar Amalie Orrange reply

    Also a big thank you to my amazing associate shooter Ashley McCormick!! And Amy’s dress was from The Collection in Winter Park Florida.

  4. avatar Amy & Mike’s Orlando Wedding | Southern Weddings featured photographer » Amalie Orrange Photography Blog reply

    […] the feature on Southern Weddings |  Check out their wedding post here | See their engagement session […]

  5. avatar Emily reply

    Y’all’s ceremony spot is pretty epic, especially with those doors and that light! Just beautiful!

  6. avatar Stephanie reply

    Such a beautiful, soft, joyful wedding! The ceremony location is especially meaningful and gorgeous, and I’m obsessed with the string lights hanging over the reception!!

  7. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #180 – Floridian Social reply

    […] up at a lakefront home on a property as gorgeous as this one, it's only proper that you host your big Southern wedding there and treat your guests to minty […]

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One thing I love witnessing at weddings is the unabashed vulnerability of the couple and their guests, whether it’s a groom who just can’t contain his tears after first seeing his bride, or the emotion of the first look with the bride’s daddy. There is just something so beautiful about the raw emotions. I think that’s why I love this line from Molly and Kevin’s sweet secret letter so much. We Southern women are a strong (and strong-willed!) bunch, which makes Molly’s sweet vow to Kevin so romantic and vulnerable, all at the same time! She said “You are my leader and I will gladly follow wherever you go.” Oh my stars! I’m sure their ceremony at the beautiful Lowndes Groves Plantation was a joy to witness, and their reception looks like it was a blast, too!

Big hugs to Caroline Ro for sharing Molly and Kevin’s wedding with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. In April 2014, my sister, two bridesmaids, my mother-in-law, my mother, and I enjoyed two appointments and about 50 dresses. At the first shop, I tried on about 30. It was an amazing experience and I got very very close to saying yes to one, but then my mom told me I needed to attend both appointments before I decided. Thank goodness I listened to her, because the next morning, we showed up at White on Daniel Island. I was about 10 dresses in before I tried on the one. I knew right away that this was it, and so did my family. It’s true that you do get that feeling, “This is my dress!!!”

My wedding flowers were absolutely stunning, filled with chocolate orchids, eucalyptus, a white rose in honor of the Thayer women (these ladies all carried 13 white roses on their wedding days), white hydrangeas, purple hellebores, dusty millers (my favorite), and ivory ranunculus. My bouquet was wrapped in my grandmother’s blue handkerchief and I pinned a picture of each of our grandmothers to the stems.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Kevin didn’t want me to tell him what I was walking down the aisle to, so I surprised him with my processional to Gabriel’s “Oboe.” I chose this song because it reminded me of my grandmother. She loved her instrumental music and I remember sitting in the back of her car listening to it. She was so excited for our “big Southern military wedding.” Unfortunately, she passed away just a few short weeks before Kevin and I got engaged. She and my mother were my inspirations for our entire wedding.

We did not write our own vows, but our pastor had us write secret letters to each other prior to our wedding, and he read a few passages from each. We didn’t get to read the whole letters until right before we left on our honeymoon. My favorite line of Kevin’s was: “You have been, and will continue to be, the center and foundation of our relationship and household. Being the man of the household means nothing without a solid foundation”. Kevin’s favorite line that I wrote to him was: “You have taught me to give my heart fully and have made me realize that I cannot do this life without you. You are my leader and I will gladly follow wherever you go.”

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our pastor was amazing!! He is the pastor at Kevin’s church in Greenville, and we have known him for years. His passion and message brought out the true message of the day: commitment. Lowndes Grove was also amazing, and their staff, coupled with the location, made it a day we’ll never forget. The hand-rolled cigar bar was a huge hit with everyone and was an awesome way for everyone to take a break from dancing.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We prioritized the flavor rather than design. We kept the design simple, and chose a lemon cake with buttercream icing and red velvet with sweetened cream cheese icing. We cut the cake with Kevin’s Marine officer’s sword, which added our own little flair to the tradition.

Lowndes Grove Plantation was the first and only place we really looked. Kevin had been to a wedding there before, and, having grown up in Charleston, I knew how amazing of a place it was. The way the setting sun shined across the water and through the Spanish moss on the trees epitomized my mental picture of a Southern plantation. When it came to the food, we had good old Southern barbecue, shrimp and grits, bacon-wrapped scallops, and some great bourbon to bring it all together.

There are so many moments, but the most memorable was when Kevin and I were able to break away from everything and look over our wedding as outsiders. We followed the advice of some of our friends and have passed it on to all of our friends with upcoming weddings because it meant so much to us. We went all the way to the back of the tent and stood up on the brick ledge, holding each other close and just watched everyone having a fabulous time at this beautiful setting. It was magical, and the “snapshot” in time will remain with us forever!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Kevin and I met at Clemson University in 2007. He was the big bad senior, and I was the new freshman looking for fun and adventure. We were introduced during the Sigma Nu Mountain Weekend at Camp Wayfarer by my roommate, who knew him from high school. The moment I met him, I knew he was going to be someone special in my life, but of course, we were there with different dates! We saw each other occasionally after that, and I invited him to the Alpha Delta Pi Mallard Ball. Our on and off dating continued until 2011, when he returned from his first deployment to Afghanistan and I graduated from nursing school. After being separated by so many miles and for so many months, we knew we wanted to start taking things seriously. During his second deployment to Afghanistan, he called and asked me to move with him when he was to be reassigned to Quantico, Virginia when he returned home. We have been living in Fredericksburg, Virginia since November 2012. We bought our boxer puppy, Reagan, in February 2013, and I kept hinting to Kevin to make it official–I would tell Reagan in front of Kevin how jealous I was that he had the same last name as daddy! Kevin got the hint and proposed on January 24th, 2014!!!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Kevin: My plan: have a nice dinner, have some good convo, head back to the car, propose, go get a celebratory beer, and surprise Molly with all of our friends there. Throughout dinner, I blamed my fidgeting in my chair on being sick. The topic of conversation led to our friends who were recently engaged, which caused Molly to drop the bomb on me of “Well, I guess they know what they wanted…” Boom, the ring in my pocket got exponentially heavier while we continued to converse. Following dinner, we made our way back to the car to drop off our leftovers, and on the corner of the street, I pulled her close and told her how much I loved her and how much she meant to me. I then started to drop to a knee and grabbed her hand. Molly said, “Kevin, what are you doing? The ground is wet! What are you doing?” I pulled out the ring and asked her to marry me, to which she replied, “Kevin…what is that??? Who is that for?? What is that???” I asked the question a second time, to which she finally replied with a teary “YES!” We then went to get a celebratory beer from Capital Ale House, and Molly was surprised again with a tremendous cheer and applause from all of our friends who were waiting for us.
When did y’all get married? December 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Kevin: The second I was allowed to turn around and see Molly coming down the aisle. Even as a US Marine, it took everything I had to not cry. She was so absolutely stunning as she made her way down the aisle that I was completely tunnel visioned. I can’t even remember the song that was playing for her processional.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Even if you are not very close with your soon-to-be mother-in-law, like I am with mine, get her involved. Invite her to your dress shopping appointments, fittings, bridal showers, etc. You won’t regret it, and she will never forget it. My mother-in-law is a mother to three boys, so doing all the girly things just made her year! Also, get a videographer. I fought my mom on getting one, but she insisted. I now watch our wedding video at least once a day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Having known each other and been together for so long prior to marriage, we are ready for the ultimate big step: building our family! This is the reason we went to Africa for our Safari honeymoon–we asked ourselves prior to booking: what would we regret not doing before having kids? We had a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Photographer: Caroline Ro / Videographer: Dock House Digital / Planner: Megan Chandler of Ooh! Events / Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation / Florist: Out of the Garden / Catering and Cake Baker: Fish / Rentals: Snyder Rentals and Ooh! Events / Lighting: Ooh! Events / Band: Men of Distinction from EastCoast Entertainment / Paper Products: Lydia’s / Bride’s Gown: “C207″ by Allure / Hair and Makeup: Charlotte Belk / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 485″ in Plum by Bill Levkoff / Ceremony String Trio: Classical Charleston

East Coast Entertainment is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Just a gorgeous wedding and I love the men in their uniforms!

  2. avatar Kimberly reply

    My beautiful daughter and now son in law are so lucky to now share a fabulous life together! The wedding day was filled with so many luscious memories for me! Everything was perfect.

  3. avatar Charmaine reply

    Grilled finger sandwiches … yes please.. Beautiful wedding

  4. avatar Charleston Wedding Videographer reply

    Such a beautiful day and beautiful couple. We were so honored to capture Molly & Kevin’s special day on film!

  5. avatar Jeffrey newton reply

    It was a beautiful wedding! Please tag us for the transportation :)

  6. avatar Megan Chandler reply

    So excited to see this stunning wedding shared! Love this couple!

  7. avatar Molly+Kevin // Married // Charleston » CarolineRo // Blog reply

    […] to top everything off, Southern Weddings kindly featured Molly and Kevin’s day […]

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