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Southern Weddings Magazine

Author: Marissa

Happy National Pecan Pie Day, y’all! Well, a few days early–it’s really on July 12, but who’s counting? Especially when it comes to matters of pecan pie!

It’s been said that pecan pie originated with boiled pecans in Alabama, sugar pie recipes in Texas, candied pecans in Louisiana, or a discovery by the wife of a Karo Syrup executive. That’s why it’s sometimes called Karo Pie! Either way, I think it’s safe to say that pecan pie is Southern born and bred.

Now the fun thing about pecan pie is that it’s not just for holidays, though of course, if I’m invited to your home for Thanksgiving and it’s missing, we might need to have a chat. From mini-pies (oh so cute!) to pops, there are so many great ways incorporate this yummy desert into your wedding day or rehearsal dinner.

Like most good Southern things, pecan pie is made up of a good amount of sugar! Powdered sugar, corn syrup, brown sugar, refined sugar, and a whole lot of pecans mix together (with a few other ingredients) to make up this sweet treat. The pecan-encrusted top melts right into the custard-y center placed upon a flaky crust–I’m getting a craving just thinking about it! Y’all have to try this Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie recipe; I heard about it from my sister-in-law, and while I haven’t tried it yet, it’s her favorite! Or, just scoop up one of our handy dandy tea towels. You can read the recipe and then wipe the flour off of your cheek!

While the origins of this yummy treat are vague, it’s certainly a favorite Southern dessert. So, dust off your mixer, put on your apron, whip up a pie, and share it with your friends! Hey, you could even check off number six AND number nine of our #SouthernDoins with one sweet treat!

P.S. How do YOU say it? Pee-can? Peh-cahn? Pee-cahn?

From top to bottom, photos by Joey + Jessica from Blue Ribbon Bounty, Michelle Boyd from Kim and Sal’s wedding, Ulmer Studios from Jamie and Dan’s wedding, Caroline Joy from Audrey + Jordan’s wedding, Flora and Fauna from Summer and Jonathan’s wedding, Jillian Zamora from Amy + Kenny’s wedding, Braedon Flynn, last two by KT Crabb from Brittany + Joel’s wedding

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

    That tea towel is so cute!!

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After reading about how these two met at a college football tailgate and then got engaged at an Atlanta Braves game (be sure to read about this special nod to Keely’s late father), I knew Keely and Hill’s wedding would be sweet, Southern, and full of personal details. And, y’all, they did not disappoint! Together with their planner, The Graceful Host, Keely and Hill created a romantic wedding with blush pink and monogrammed details that any Southerner would be proud of. Keely said “Who we are and where we come from is something us Southerners take pride in,” and I couldn’t agree more!

Big hugs to Lauren Friday for sharing this lovely day with us!

My something blue was the blue monogram of my father’s tie that was sewn into the back of my dress with his initials and our wedding date. My something new was my Valentino peep toe shoes. My something old was my father’s tie, which happens to be the only “blush” tie in his tie box. My something borrowed was the cameo that belonged to my great-grandmother, which was worn by my grandmother and mother on their wedding days. I had it tied and wrapped up into my bouquet.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our wedding party! That’s a detail right?! I had ten of the most beautiful, giving, and carefree group of girls, while Hill had ten guys that were as dapper as they were funny. Together, they all made our whole entire wedding weekend so much fun.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to keep it traditional. After the 1,000 decisions that we had to make, this was by far the easiest. While I was walking down the aisle, it was as if all of our guests had disappeared and the only thing that we could both focus on was each other! Even with 200 pairs of eyes on us, it still felt so intimate.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We both feel like there is nothing more romantic and beautiful than the sounds of Webber, Pachelbel, Wagner, and Handel coming from a live string quartet. Hill and I are fans of Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, and very seldom hear some of those pieces without shedding a tear! I kept it a secret from Hill that my first processional song would be “Music of the Night” by Webber. As I walked from the house down to the start of the ceremony chairs, it then transitioned into a more traditional sound, “Bridal Chorus” by Wagner. We choose “Hornpipe in D” by Handel in honor of Hill’s parents, who used it for their wedding recessional 48 years ago.

We treated our guests to a shrimp and grits bar, loaded potato bar, fried macaroni and cheese pops, and even served late night snacks of milk and cookies and mini pizzas in our signature monogrammed pizza boxes! Our monogram was EVERYWHERE. Who we are and where we come from is something us Southerners take pride in, so Deb at Olive Paper created a signature “H” monogram that was used on everything from our save The dates all the way to our custom koozies and pillows on the rocking chairs. Hill had actually gifted me my new monogram on a Moon and Lola gold necklace earlier that day, which I switched to wearing after we said our I do’s! Even Hill had his own special monogram–his late grandfather had left him his gold monogrammed cufflinks, and in his honor, Hill carried a buckeye, which you could always count on his grandfather having in his pocket every time you saw him!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Hill and I were introduced in 2011 by mutual friends at an Appalachian State University football tailgate. Immediately, there was a mutual attraction, but the timing with our ten-year age difference made it a little complicated at first! We lived two hours apart, and as you can imagine, our worlds were very different at the time! Our lives continued to go in different directions, but we remained in touch. During that period of time, I decided to pack my bags to live and work in Germany for a year. After countless emails from 4,558 miles away and many Skype calls, one thing was certain: we didn’t want to be without each other. In January 2012, Hill decided to take his first flight overseas to meet me in Vienna, Austria. We spent the most magical New Year’s Eve together and explored what would be the first of many European cities together! After my year in Germany ended, I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina to finally be close to Hill.
Tell us all about the proposal! In June 2013, Hill decided to plan a surprise trip, which is nothing out of the ordinary–I hit the romance jackpot with this guy. He had planned a quick weekend trip down to Atlanta. Growing up, it was my dad’s “thing” to spend quality time as a family at Atlanta Braves games. For as long as I can remember, Atlanta has always held a special place in my heart for this reason, even after my father passed away when I was 13. After Hill and I enjoyed a Braves game, we headed back to get ready for dinner. As we walked out of the hotel room, Hill said “Wait a minute, I have something for you to wear tonight.” He went over to a box and pulled out a candy ring pop. I had always told him I didn’t care about a ring, and when the time was right, that a ring pop would do just fine. Bright, shiny, and cherry it was! He placed the ring pop on my finger and smiled. Before I could even speak, he laughed and said “Oh, that’s the wrong one.” He then dropped to his knee and pulled out the most gorgeous cushion-cut diamond I have ever seen. My jaw dropped as Hill asked me to be his bride, and somehow between the laughing and crying, I managed to get a yes in there! Later, I found out that Hill had asked my mother and my brother’s permission for my hand in marriage earlier that week, just like a true Southern gentleman should! It still gives me goosebumps to think about how much thought Hill put into making our proposal so special, and, most importantly, connecting it to my father.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Aside from actually committing my love to Hill in front of our friends and family, finding my wedding dress was one of my favorite moments of our wedding process! My sister-in-law had purchased her gown from Monica at Bellissima of Salisbury a few years ago, and from the moment I walked into the store, I knew that I would be coming back for my dress someday! My first time trying on dresses was overwhelming because I fell in love with so many different dresses. I left that day knowing my dress would come to me; I just need some good ol’ fashioned “sleep on it” advice from my momma! During that time, Monica contacted me and asked me if I would be her model for a photo shoot she was doing for her Southern Weddings magazine ad! ;) Of course, I was honored and humbled! During that shoot, I started to gain a better understanding of what I liked, and Monica told me I would love the Kelly Faetanini gowns she had coming in soon. I had my eye on “Emmy” from browsing her gowns online, and the day that I went to try on the collection, I saved the best for last and knew “Emmy” was my girl!
Did you write your own vows? We like to stick to tradition! There is something to be said about saying the same vows our grandparents and parents used!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Hiring our wedding planner, Ashley of The Graceful Host. Having a wedding planner helped us put our money where it was most important to us!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner and don’t get caught up in the fluff of things. At the end the day, you are going to be married and that is the most IMPORTANT thing. Also, don’t skip the videographer just because you have the pictures covered! Hiring Shamus Coney, our videographer, was one of the best decisions we made throughout this process! You will not be sorry when you get those videos back! See ours here.

Photographer: Lauren Friday Photography / Videographer: Shamus Coney Films / Planner: Ashley Cash of The Graceful Host / Venue: Boxwood Estate / Florist: North Carolina New Creations Flower Company / Wedding Cake: Wow Factor Cakes / Caterer: Something Classic / Rentals and Lighting: Party Reflections / Band: Loose Chain / Bride’s Gown: “Emmy” by Kelly Faetanini / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bellissima of Salisbury / Paper Products: Olive Paper / Bride’s Jewelry: Kelly Faetanini at Nordstrom / Hair Stylist: Sara Mardis & Lisa Freeze / Makeup Artist: Sara Mardis / Bride’s Shoes: Valentino / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier at Bellissima of Salisbury / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Koozies, Monogrammed Pillow, Cocktail Napkins: Mom and Pop’s Print Shop / Ceremony Music: Elegant Ensembles

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

    These photos are beautiful love that wedding cake!

  2. avatar Ashley reply

    Thank y’all so, so much for featuring this sweet couple today! We absolutely adored working with Keely and Hill, and I’m so excited that the readers of SW Mag got to learn more about their beautiful love story … and to catch a glimpse of their gorgeous wedding day! XO

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    Keely is a gal after my own heart–peonies, Valentino bows pumps, and long curls? Bridal perfection in my book!

  4. avatar Breanna reply

    Those photographs are absolutely gorgeous! And I love what Keely said about not missing out on videography just because you have photos covered. That is such a tempting thing to cut when eying the budget, but there is something special about having that video too. The way Keely and Hill incorporated so many traditions and kept their parents weddings in mind when planning their own was so sweet! So much class and so much romance all wrapped up in this fabulous wedding.

  5. avatar 14 wedding themes and ideas | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

    […] Southern Weddings photography by Lauren Friday […]

  6. avatar Boxwood Estate Wedding – Keely & Hill – Featured on Southern Weddings » Lauren Friday Photography reply

    […] feature and read more about the details of their day (coordinated by the fabulous Graceful Host), click here!  How gorgeous and stylish is this […]

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After their first meeting played out more like a classic teen movie than a romantic comedy, Danielle and Chris’ relationship matured and grew into something special over nine years of dating, and their wedding was a true reflection of just that. With the help of their wedding planner, Amy Kristina Weddings, and their family and friends, these two created a wedding that was filled with meaningful details for their guests, as well as for each other. Y’all, the photos that Sam Stroud captured of them opening their wedding day gifts makes my heart skip a beat–be sure to read the story behind Danielle’s gift to Chris–and bring a tissue!

Such happy smiles!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I searched for dresses throughout Virginia and North Carolina, but I was having trouble finding a dress with the unique look I was craving. A friend told me about a non-profit shop called Church Street Bridal in Lynchburg, Virginia that sells donated designer gowns from bridal boutiques in NYC. I decided to check it out on a whim one day while my sister was in town. As soon as we arrived, we were shocked at the selection of beautiful gowns! We immediately called my mom, and within an hour or so, I said “YES” to the dress!! All of the proceeds earned at Church Street Bridal go to the local YWCA of Central Virginia, whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women.

Our favorite detail of the day was the gift that I surprised Chris with before the ceremony. Sadly, Chris’ grandfather passed away eight months before our wedding. After that, Chris casually began searching for a vintage, Belgian-made Browning shotgun, like the one that his grandfather had willed to his father. With a little help from a couple of Chris’ friends and a few of our family members, I was able to track one down in Tennessee two weeks before the wedding. It was in perfect condition and I was so excited that I could barely keep the secret! When Chris opened his gift before the ceremony, he immediately knew the gun’s significance and was overcome with emotion. Luckily for me, I got to re-live this special moment when watching our wedding video!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! I borrowed my grandmother’s engagement ring to wear for the day and my something blue was a monogrammed patch that my mother-in-law made, which was sewn into my dress. An old cameo that belonged to my great-grandmother was pinned to my bouquet, and my Kate Spade shoes were brand new!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose phrases we wanted to recite in our vows to each other. My favorite was “to value your opinions and grow with you.” Relationships inevitably evolve over time, and your willingness to grow with each other is crucial to the success of any marriage.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was one of the most meaningful moments of the night. We danced to “Hungry for Your Love,” originally by Van Morrison, but Chris and I love the mandolin-filled Sam Bush version. We had a local bluegrass band play for our ceremony and cocktail hour, and they also agreed to learn and play our first dance song. One of my favorite verses from the song states “You’re part of me now,” which I had engraved in Chris’ wedding band along with our wedding date.

During cocktail hour, our guests sipped moonshine out of monogrammed mason jars, sampled mini chicken n’ waffle hors d’oeuvres, and enjoyed a live bluegrass band, all while sitting on grandma’s antique furniture. Does it get any more Southern than that?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was your classic teen movie plot: I was a freshman in high school and he was the senior I had a major crush on. On my way to class one day, I tripped and dropped my books in the stairwell. Luckily (or unfortunately), my handsome knight in shining armor was there to help me up and retrieve my books. I was mortified! He didn’t even know my name. A few years later, we were formally introduced by mutual friends and sparks flew immediately. Funny how things work out! After nine years of dating, we finally decided to tie the knot.
Tell us all about the proposal! Last June, we planned an adventurous road trip tour of California. We visited San Francisco, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, destinations along Route 1, and Napa Valley. Four days into our vacation, after a long day of hiking and a beautiful sunset, Chris dropped down to one knee at the Tunnel View overlook in Yosemite and asked me to marry him. The next night, we celebrated in Carmel with delicious cocktails and an amazing dinner, while watching the the sun set over the Pacific. It was most definitely a trip we will never forget!
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have been in love with our venue for years! Chris and I are both from the Roanoke, Virginia area and wanted our wedding to be close to home. Sundara had unbeatable mountain views and the perfect amount of Southern charm.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Homemade cakes and other delicious desserts are key to the conclusion of any great Southern meal. Many of our family members are known for their baking skills, so we saw this as the perfect opportunity to save money and add a bit of Southern swag to the dessert table. We served an assortment of homemade cakes, including strawberry, coconut, lemon pound cake, and cheesecake. We also had my personal favorite, pink cake pops dusted with edible gold glitter! All of the desserts were arranged on top of a vintage buffet that Chris and I painted mint and gold to match our wedding colors.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One of my bridesmaids is a whiz at marketing and design. Luckily for me, she offered to design all of our wedding stationery! She created a custom monogram logo that we used to brand every single detail of our wedding–it was featured on everything from our programs to cornhole boards Chris made.

Photographer: Sam Stroud Photography / Videographer: Michael’s Videography / Planner: Amy McArthur of Amy Kristina Weddings / Venue: Sundara / Florist: Gloriosa / Caterer: Blue Ridge Catering / Band: Blue Moonshine / DJ: RSP Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Paper Products: Richelle Holland / Bridal Salon and Veil: Church Street Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Les Cheveux Salon and Day Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Newbury Long” by Joanna August / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang

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

    Yay Sam! Congrats on the feature.

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I’ve always loved beach weddings, but I must admit, I didn’t truly understand their magic until I was a bridesmaid at one a few weeks ago and dinner was served literally inches away from the water. Now, I completely understand how unbelievably romantic it can be to have the sand beneath your feet and the ocean as your backdrop at your wedding! Alex and Joey’s wedding falls right into that magical category–with its old Florida feel and sweet and meaningful details (the ceremony benches were made from reclaimed wood from Alex’s parents’ home!), these two threw a celebration that was good ol’ Southern fun!

Big thanks to Rodeo and Co for sharing these dreamy photos with us!

See! Absolutely dreamy!

My mother and I were in Burlington, Vermont when we decided to see what Sewly Yours Bridal had. I knew I wanted a vintage dress, but I only saw one that I wanted to try on. It fit perfectly! A week later, I tried it on again for my sister to see. This time, one of the ladies working there asked, “Can you see yourself getting married in this dress?” I started crying because I knew the answer was yes!

Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet was made of Juliet garden roses, light peach roses, pink Sophie roses, white majolica spray roses, white hydrangeas, and white ranunculus. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of light peach roses and white majolica spray roses. Joey’s parents grew roses when he was younger, so we wanted to have lots of roses at our wedding.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My mother, stepfather, and brother made our ceremony benches using floor boards from my parents’ in Fort Myers house that they’re remodeling. I loved the lounge area my mother created with four love seats, ottomans, and a bamboo table. There was a fish detail on the flatware and we used ocean blue glass plates. My grandmother’s large crystal bowl was filled with roses on the entry table.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I was born in Fort Myers, Florida and most of my family still lives down there. We decided to have the wedding right on Fort Myers Beach. My uncle, Les Morgan, who is a minister in LaBelle, Florida, performed the ceremony. We had a very Southern dinner that included a shrimp and grits station. We also served pulled pork, three-cheese macaroni, collard greens, black eye peas, sweet corn bread muffins, and buttermilk biscuits with berry jam. It was so good! I highly recommend Gwendolyn’s Café and Catering in Fort Myers.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Being the fifth generation in Fort Myers, Florida, I wanted the wedding to have an old Florida, romantic feel. We’re very laid back and wanted everyone to enjoy themselves, so the beach was perfect for that. When I saw the Stella-Maris, I fell in love with its historic charm.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. A mutual friend secretly wanted us to meet. At first, neither of us thought anything of it, but by the end of the night, Joey was walking me to the train and kissing me goodnight. We’ve been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! I had a feeling he was going to propose soon because he kept getting up early on Saturday mornings, saying he was going shopping, but he never came back with anything! A couple of weeks later, we were in his hometown of Rochester, New York, and he drove us to Mendon Ponds, where there is a big open field next to the water. It was very pretty, and our dog, Danger, was running around, all happy. The next thing I knew, Joey was on one knee with a beautiful ring, asking me to marry him. I said yes! We celebrated that evening with his family.
When did y’all get married? April 27, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 95
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We were planning to write our own vows, but then I came across some traditional vows that said everything I wanted to say and more. I tear up every time I read them.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my mom’s vintage coral earrings. My something old was my vintage 1920′s dress. My something blue was the ribbon my sister-in-law used in the garter she made for me out of the extra fabric from my dress. My something new was my Marc Jacobs sandals.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We didn’t hire a DJ–instead, we made one continuous playlist for the whole event, from the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dance party, and late night. We also bought our own beer and wine.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Rodeo and Co. Photography. Meg is my sister’s best friend and she did such a great job capturing the love and happiness of our wedding day. My sister was a second shooter for her (as well as my matron of honor) and I can’t thank them both enough! Sometimes, we forget how amazing family is, but I will never forget all the help we had for our wedding!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I loved seeing Joey standing up there looking so calm and handsome, just waiting for me. The look on his face when I stepped out onto the aisle was priceless. That made everything worth it.

Photographer: Rodeo and Co. Photography / Planner: Monica Johnson / Venue: Stella-Maris / Florist: Libby’s Flowers / Cake Baker: Publix / Caterer: Gwendolyn’s Café and Catering / Rentals: Caloosa Tent & Rentals and Creative Events & Rentals / Lighting: Caloosa Tent & Rentals / Bridal Salon: Sewly Yours Bridal / Calligraphy: Laura Lavender / Bride’s Hair Flowers: Libby’s Flowers / Hair Stylist: Esterra Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Marc Jacobs / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: ModCloth / Matron of Honor’s Dress: Chic Wish / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

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

    everything about this day was magical & full of love…I feel so grateful that I was able to document it for them {plus, knowing alex since she was a little girl…it made it extra special for me} thank you for putting this together so beautifully! xo

  2. avatar Bridget reply

    An absolutely beautiful wedding! I am so happy to see the bride in a vintage gown from Sewly Yours in Vermont – I’ve known the owner Debbie Wells for about 20 years, and she restores original vintage dresses like no one else :)

  3. avatar Dana L reply

    love love love! so beautiful!

  4. avatar The Wedding Printer reply

    Beautiful wedding! Love the photo of the groom swinging the bride around…so cute!!

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I’m married to my own college sweetheart, so I always love reading about couples who share a similar courtship. Of course, since we all know how deeply college allegiances run in the South, I can’t help but adore Lauren and Casey’s nod to not only their alma mater, but also to their relationship, at their wedding! The Jefferson is a beautiful hotel, and I especially love that these two had both their very first dance and their first dance as husband and wife in the same ballroom there. Lauren said, “we felt it would be very special and fitting to our relationship to get married on campus, where our relationship not only began, but has also grown.” So sweet!

Thanks to Whitebox Photo for sharing such a sentimental day with us!

Aren’t these little gals the cutest?!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding the dress was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning! One long weekend, my parents, sister, and I went dress shopping in Miami. At first, we all had very different opinions on what the dress should look like, but in the end, when I tried on my dress, we all knew it was the one. It had a lace bodice with a full tulle skirt and lace detailing at the bottom. For the church, Chic Parisien made me a custom lace bolero, which I removed for the reception. My favorite part of my look was the cathedral-length veil with lace detailing around the edge.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a “first look.” We wanted to stay traditional on this and have the first time we saw each other to be when I walked down the aisle, so we planned for a longer gap between our ceremony and cocktail hour. This gave us plenty of time to get all the photos we wanted! In the meantime, the guests enjoyed champagne on a scenic shuttle ride down Monument Avenue on their way to the reception site, and had a few minutes to freshen up before the cocktail hour.

Did you write your own vows? No, we opted for traditional vows. We both agreed we did not want the added stress of reading personal vows in public on our wedding day, and we wanted to stay relaxed.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had a traditional Christian ceremony with two readings. My aunt read Colossians 3:12-17, and Casey’s aunt read 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. While the parents’ and bridal party’s entrances were traditional wedding songs, I really wanted my entrance song to be different. I spent forever trying to find the right one. The church has a beautiful organ, which we wanted to use, but I also wanted to incorporate a cello. I finally found “Song for Sienna” by Brian Crain, which could be played as a duet by the organist and cellist. It was perfect! It has a 30-second introduction by the organ, and when the deep cello started to play, the doors opened, and I walked down the aisle. Our first dance was Lady Antebellum’s “When You Got A Good Thing.” We have always loved that song and we were so happy that our band, The Boomers, learned it for us.

The University of Richmond is very special to Casey and me. Not only did we meet on campus, but we were also both athletes there and feel a strong sense of school pride. Since we still live five minutes away from campus, we support the Spiders at many home games, go for jogs around campus, and are able to take part in many alumni events. We felt it would be very special and fitting to our relationship to get married on campus where our relationship not only began, but has also grown. Our reception site, The Jefferson Hotel, is an iconic Richmond hotel that has very special meaning to us. Since our first dance at Ring Dance, we have frequently visited the Jefferson for happy hour, dinner, and brunch. It’s the only place we wanted to have our reception!

Describe your wedding cake. I wanted the wedding cake to be a central decor item at our reception. The cake plate was placed on a sparkly gold linen behind our sweetheart table with large flower arrangements on either side. Behind it, French doors opened to overlook the Jefferson’s grand staircase. It was magical! The cake had a simple design with alternating layers of ruffles and sparkly gold detailing. It was so beautiful that I didn’t really want to cut it, but good thing we did, because it was delicious!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? From the iconic Jefferson Hotel to my lace-detailed dress to the song selections played by our band, our wedding had many Southern touches, but to us, the South is all about hospitality. We wanted our guests to feel welcomed and taken care of. When they arrived, our DIY, Virginia-themed welcome bags, complete with Virginia peanuts, Route 11 chips, Hardywood Singel, and more were waiting for them. The night before our wedding, we hosted a dessert and cocktail reception at the Boathouse, which overlooks the James River, so everyone could get to know each other. After the ceremony, guests enjoyed champagne on the shuttle back to the hotel. And our main goal, of course, was to make sure our guests left very well fed. Our cocktail hour featured seasonal, local ingredients, and of course, a couple of Southern classics, including shrimp and grits in mason jars. Our guests enjoyed a plated dinner and our dessert bar featured pecan pies, among many other desserts, which guests could enjoy at the reception or take to-go.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met junior year of college at the University of Richmond. Casey and his teammates were having a party, which my teammates and I went to. Casey and I bonded over being the only two Southerners and the only ones who wanted to listen to country music. A couple of weeks later, we attended “Ring Dance” together, which is a school tradition where junior women are escorted down the grand staircase at the Jefferson Hotel by their fathers and receive their class rings, followed by a dinner and dancing reception. I invited Casey and we shared our first dance together at the Jefferson Hotel. It was so special to later share our first dance as a married couple in the same place.
Tell us all about the proposal! Casey, who can never keep a secret, somehow managed to plan an elaborate engagement with the help of our close family and friends. They completely transformed my backyard with candles, twinkle lights, pictures, champagne, cake, wedding magazines, and our love story. We were so blessed to have both our parents and close friends surrounding us for this special moment, and the next day, we all went out for brunch to celebrate!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Describe your wedding flowers. Vibrant! Given that our main wedding colors were black and gold, I really wanted the flowers to pop and make a statement. I prefer garden-style arrangements that incorporate a lot of greenery along with the flowers. They turned out beautifully and really helped transform the ballroom and church. Our florist, Rick, was fantastic!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Both of our favorite details were food-related. Casey says his favorite was the dessert table with Sugar Shack donuts and pecan pies! Mine was the fusion of Cuban and Southern touches at the cocktail hour. The Cuban sandwiches and shrimp and grits in mason jars were delicious and very “us!”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my hairpiece–my sister (matron of honor) had worn it on her wedding day, and it was so beautiful and made such a statement that I was so thankful when she offered to let me wear it. My maid of honor gave me a blue garter with a pearl pendant to wear on my wedding day. My something old was my great-grandmother’s hand-stitched handkerchief that was pinned to the inside lining of my dress. A lot could fit into the something new category, but my favorite was the pair of David Yurman pearl earrings my parents gave to me the night before my wedding. They were simple, but breathtaking, and went perfectly with my dress.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was planning our wedding far away from our families and trying to make sure that everyone’s wants and needs were fulfilled. Sometimes, this meant taking longer to make decisions.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? A big money saver was having our ceremony floral arrangements reused at the reception venue. Our pew clusters were hung on the sconces around the ballroom and the two large arrangements at the church were placed on either side of our wedding cake at the main entrance.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding would not have been the same without our wedding planner, Lindsay! She is the one who introduced us to all of our fabulous vendors and really took the time to get to know us and our vision for our wedding. Because our families live out of state, she helped us pick out all the small details, attended meetings, and sat down with us on some of the most stressful planning days. She became more than just a wedding planner–we definitely consider her a great friend.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? That would have to be when the preacher accidentally showed up 45 minutes late for our ceremony. Once I knew it wasn’t Casey who had gone missing, I enjoyed the extra time with a bridal portrait session. It is something we will joke about forever, and it all worked out when the preacher made a great recovery in his sermon.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? First, hire a wedding planner. On your big day, you want to be stress-free, relaxed, and confident that someone is behind the scenes making sure every detail is as it should be. Second, relax on your big day and soak up as much of it as you can. It’s over before you know it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Casey and I recently adopted a dog named Harley from the Richmond SPCA, so the three of us are adjusting to our new lives together! I am finishing medical school and Casey is continuing franchise development for sweetFrog Frozen Yogurt. We are excited for all of our family adventures ahead!

Photographer: Whitebox Photo / Videographer: Ginger Topham / Planner: LK Events and Design / Ceremony Venue: Cannon Memorial Chapel / Reception Venue: The Jefferson Hotel / Florist: Rick Lunsford of Blooms at The Jefferson Hotel / Wedding Cake: Sweet Fix / Caterer: Ashton Hassan at The Jefferson Hotel / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting Design / Band: The Boomers / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3251″ by Lazaro / Bride’s Bolero and Veil: Custom by Chic Parisien / Paper Products: Paper on the Avenue and Elise DiPace / Jewelry: David Yurman / Hair Stylist: Welsy Mourino of Elle Style Studio / Makeup Artist: LaCretia (LC) Baskfield of Ave 42 Style Studio / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Aidan” in Black Luxe Chiffon by Jenny Yoo / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Transportation: James River Transportation and Richmond Trolley Company / Calligraphy: Mary Sue Sanderlin / Save the Dates: Dear June / Eclectic and Vintage Rentals: Paisley and Jade / Custom Stamps for Invitations: Verde Studio

Whitebox Photo is a delightful member of the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    What a beautiful bride!! Love their sentimental venue choice–I’ve been wanting to visit the Jefferson Hotel, but now I want to attend a wedding there even more!

  2. avatar Ashton Toler Hassan reply

    Would you please be so kind as to correct, under the vendors section, Caterer to read: Ashton Hassan at The Jefferson Hotel? It would be most appreciated.

  3. avatar Kelsey reply

    This wedding is just perfection! I am in awe of the bride’s gorgeous dress and hair! Do you know where she got her hair clip? I am looking for one just like it for my wedding!

  4. avatar Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography, LLC reply

    What a beautiful wedding. The reception tables took my breath away.

  5. avatar Lindsay Kennedy reply

    This wedding was just STUNNING! Thank you for the feature!

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