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Southern Weddings Magazine

Category: Fashion and Style

While we don’t feature many bridal portrait sessions on Southern Weddings, this one was too charming to resist! Mallory is radiant in her Mori Lee gown, and she looks just as comfortable in her floral crown as she does in her lace-edged veil. Are your own bridal portraits coming up? Keep things simple and focus on your look and your location–you’ll be so beautiful, the pictures won’t need much else, and this session is a perfect example!

Thank you kindly to Heather Rowland for sharing these lovely images with us!

Photography: Heather Rowland Photography / Coordination: Tara Wilson Events / Venue: Howell Family Farms / Florist: Enchanted Florist / Bride’s Dress: Mori Lee / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Hair and Makeup: Erin Blair Makeup & Hair Design

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Erin reply

    Hello SW ladies! Is there any way you could tell me the style number of this Mori Lee gown? It’s beautiful! Thanks!

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This post is brought to you by Bip & Bop – thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

Let’s dive right into it – one of the number one questions we receive from y’all is about ideas for bridal party gifts. You want something personal, meaningful, lovely… and, of course, that fits in the budget whether you have two or ten bridesmaids! We’re so happy to share a few picks from Bip & Bop today – her custom jewelry pieces are perfect for bridal party gifts!

Nicole makes bracelets, earrings, and necklaces that are perfect for bridesmaid gifts. Each comes individually wrapped and ready for giving, and includes a customizable note!

Bip & Bop also stocks pieces perfect for using at your wedding, like her bouquet charms – they can be customized with your initials or wedding date, or to honor a loved one who’s passed away.

As nice as it is to give gifts, sometimes it’s fun to snap up something for yourself, too – and a Bip & Bop piece with your new monogram, new last name, or wedding date is a lovely way to commemorate becoming a Mrs.! :)

Lucky for us, Bip & Bop is offering up a giveaway! Enter below for a chance to win $100 to shop their store.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And finally, if you’re ready to get to shopping, enter code southernweddings for 20% off all orders! The code is good until Friday, June 27, 2014.

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Bethany reply

    I think you mean we should follow @bipandbop – @luckyluxecouture is the other giveaway being featured!

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Hello, and happy Tuesday, friends! I can’t believe we are already on our third #merefoundherbeau post – time sure is flying! Last week we hit the four-month mark (yahoo!) on our six-month planning journey, and I felt the “butterflies” really turn up a notch. I may or may not still be doing a little happy dance inside celebrating this mini milestone! I have so much goodness to share with you all today – prepare your eyes for way too many pictures and your hearts for lots of light, pastel beauty. We’re talking wedding attire for my beautiful bridesmaids, dashing groomsmen, handsome fiancé, and me (squeal!). There’s plenty to cover, so I’m going to dive right in… ladies first :)

Bridesmaids! Planning for my ladies, although fun, involved one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make so far. I have a pretty little image in my head of how I would like my wedding day to look and feel, and it includes the bridesmaids dresses. When I began my bridesmaid dress search, I had this “feel” in mind – as well as something that fit with our color scheme and was reasonably priced, re-wearable, and not too toasty (there’s the weather again!). I wanted something with a light and airy feel that flowed — similar to an ocean breeze.

Judy Pak Photography

I quickly realized two things as I began my search: not only is it difficult to find the perfect dress to match the beautiful image in your head, but it is also not an easy task to find NINE different available sizes when you DO find the perfect dress that matches the image in your head. Every time I found a possible dress, it was as if the sizes were fleeing from store inventory with each click of the refresh button.

As my search grew increasingly frustrating, I decided to loosen my search criteria to include dresses that were a little less flowy, but still the right color, and perhaps with a hint of sparkle :) I remembered a dress I had seen while browsing Anthropologie a while back, and figured I’d hop on over to their site to see if it had wandered to the sale section yet.

Hallelujah, praise the Lord! The pretty, unique, and sparkly number I had fallen in love with was not only on sale, but SUPER sale. Although online options were slim, I was able to contact individual stores to have their inventory shipped our way (thanks for the tip, Nicole!!). Whew! One decision down, one thousand more to go :)

On to our gents… and thankfully, they were much easier to dress! As I pulled inspiration images for our handsome fellas, I realized that I was drawn to the “jacket-less look,” an ensemble that would be both cute and practical for the battling heat AND the budget.

Before we could buy the suit pants for our groomsmen, we needed to figure out which suit my handsome beau would be wearing. Knowing the suit styles and colors we were interested in, we set a goal for our upcoming Valentine’s visit: find a cute and comfy suit that actually fits Beau properly. The two styles I envisioned were a light grey suit or a blazer/suit combo, like the one below:

KT Merry

After visiting four different stores, Beau and I decided we were not in love with any of the chambray blue jackets we tried on, and that we liked the look of the light grey suit better than the mismatched option. Happily, we found the perfect suit for Beau at J. Crew – their Ludlow collection is amazing! The Ludlow suit in Italian Oxford Cloth was the perfect shade of light grey, and it fit great (this is a rare thing when it comes to Beau’s athletic build!). The price was a little more than we were hoping to spend, but when we switched the groomsmen from wearing the Ludlow suit pant to the less expensive Bowery pant, took off a generous 20% discount thanks to J. Crew, and got a bit of cash back through the fabulous, we began to cross over from “absolutely no way” to “okay, this is doable.” Making these last minute money-savvy decisions ended up helping quite a bit, but we glad to know that Beau and his groomsmen would end up with a nice suit with a great fit for use long after the wedding.

To complete the look, we purchased the white, wrinkle-free oxford shirt from J. Crew Factory (through Ebates, as well), some brown oxford shoes from, and a lovely bow tie, of course! Funny story about our bow tie… I at first wanted polka dot bow ties (I love dots), and Beau said he would agree to that for me. I then I tried to push the bar a bit – I really love velvet bow ties in a soft ocean color, and I thought they would match the “feel” I was going for, literally and figuratively :) Beau quickly put his foot down at that suggestion, so we will not be having velvet bow ties, but equally amazing cotton ones from Lumina, a shop in Raleigh – similar to the one in the left image.

Now, I’ve saved the best for last :) Two weeks after I got engaged, it was still sinking in that I was going to need to look for a wedding dress, and plan a wedding – in six and a half months, for that matter! I had to get things rolling, and could think of no better way to start than on my birthday and with a few of my favorite people on this planet. The morning of December 28th my mom, sister, sister-in-law, baby niece, and I drove up to our first stop, JJ Kelly Bridal in Oklahoma City. I had saved quite a few inspiration images on my phone, all of had at least two things in common: they were fitted through at least the waist, and they had some sort of sheer detailing or overlay.

Some of my inspiration – a Tara Keely, a Jenny Packham, and a Monique Lhuillier

Going in, I knew I loved the detailing of a sheer overlay across the chest or arms, soft and flow-y tulle, and sweetheart necklines, but I was open to trying anything. I had heard many people say that you come in wanting one thing, and you go out with another, so I figured it would be better to just keep my mind open! I thought a mermaid/trumpet gown or an A-line/ball gown would be the most flattering for my body type, and would help accentuate my height (or lack thereof). To my surprise, I loved both of those styles the best! I had five favorites from the dresses I tried on:

Top row: Watters and “Emotion” by Monique Lhuillier, second and third row: both Reem Acra, fourth row: “Sofia” by Matthew Christopher

Each dress we loved just as much as the one before, but I could sense my mom’s favorite (the Monique Lhuillier) and my sister’s favorite (the Watters). I’m typically an indecisive person, so we decided to write these down and make an appointment for the following week. On my second trip up to JJ Kelly, I brought my mom and future mother-in-law with me, and it was much more successful! We had gotten over the initial giddy excitement of slipping on that first dress, and now were able to make clear and decisive choices, leading to my final decision… which I cannot reveal because my fiancé reads these posts :)

I’m more than happy about all of our attire decisions, and excited for how they will pull together to create the lovely “feel” we are going for. But, I’m doing my best to focus on our true desire: to have a “marriage more beautiful than our wedding.” Weddings are something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl, and they are beautiful in every way, but the union of two people under our heavenly Father is even more exciting. We can’t wait for this next season of joy and celebration!

Tell me: Do you have a favorite? Are our choices similar to what you or your bridal party wearing?

Missed a post? Check them all out here:
An Introduction + Proposal
The Venue

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Marie reply

    I am wearing Sofia in a month!

    • avatar Meredith reply

      The Detail on the Sofia gown was very beautiful, unique and flattering! I loved that the inside said “the greatest of these is love” :) you picked a great one!

  2. avatar Jessica reply

    We decided to go the “jacket-less” route as well, as we are getting married in June in Charleston (trying to beat the heat as well)! We went with a light gray pants and vest for our groomsmen. Love all of your choices!

  3. avatar Dane reply

    The bow ties are always cute! I love the shot of the groomsmen!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    I adore all of these gowns, and they’re so similar to ones I was looking at in my search! That Reem Acra with the dainty sleeves will ALWAYS be one of my favorites!

  5. avatar Mere Found Her Beau: The Ceremony – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] handsome groom, read the proposal (what a sweetheart), seen our lovely venue, got a sneak look at what we’ll be wearing, and peeked at our wedding’s décor and style, but let me tell you, I’ve saved the best (and […]

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Bridesmaid dress shopping is generally not the easiest part of wedding dress shopping. In fact, I’ve written previously about how challenging the search was for my own wedding! I love hearing about anything that makes the process easier, which is why I’m delighted to introduce you to Little Borrowed Dress – bridesmaid dresses you can rent, for a surprisingly affordable price!

Little Borrowed Dress offers an easy solution to finding a stylish, affordable dress for your bridesmaids. And yes, we really do mean affordable — most short styles are $50 to rent, and most long dresses are $75. The dresses are also available for purchase, if your bridesmaids prefer, and those prices are great, too! (Generally $150 to $185.) If you’d like your bridal party to wear a long gown, I think LBD is an especially great option, because most long styles tend to be a minimum of $250, and even if your gals like the dress, they probably won’t have too many other opportunities to wear it. (If only we got to get gussied up and go somewhere fancy every day!)

Little Borrowed Dress offers 12 lovely styles in 18 colors (and you can order three free fabric swatches!). Every dress is made in New York, which helps keep the quality high. We also love that LBD shows women of all shapes and sizes modeling their dresses on their website, giving you a more accurate idea of what the dresses might look like on your gals. They even have options for pregnant friends! Here are a few of our favorites:

Wondering how it works? Once you’ve made your color and style decisions, place your rental reservation online. Your dresses will arrive two weeks before the wedding ready to wear, and they even include a second size with every rental just in case! Post-wedding, drop them in the mail in pre-paid packaging, and LBD will take care of the rest.

Lucky for us, Little Borrowed Dress is offering up a goodness gracious giveaway! To enter for the chance to outfit up to four bridesmaids for free, just take a peek at all of the dress styles on Little Borrowed Dress and leave a comment here telling us which is your favorite before March 31. One winner will be picked at random on April 1! For full terms and conditions, see here.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Rachel reply

    Love the Madison dress!

  2. avatar Nicki reply

    I like the Olivia !

  3. avatar Victoria reply

    I love the Emma style!!

  4. avatar Chelsea Smith reply

    I absolutely LOVE the Little Borrowed Dresses, and I would love even more for my maids to wear them!

  5. avatar Chelsea Smith reply

    Whoops! My favorite is the Emma!

  6. avatar C.H. reply

    I’d love to put my girls in any one of the long dresses. The Catherine is classic!

  7. avatar Danielle OMalley reply

    My favorite style is Jane!

  8. avatar Vickey Tsai reply

    I love Ann and Olivia styles – I want my bridesmaids to wear something with a strap so that they’ll be comfortable all day and not feel like they need to tug or pull on their falling strapless dresses. The Ann and Olivia are both classic and beautiful designs with pleating around the waistline that allows for movement to hide any full bellies :)

  9. avatar Amanda reply

    If I have to choose one, I think Jane is my favorite. However, I really like the idea of letting my bridesmaids choose which style they like after I’ve chosen the color (probably skipper).

  10. avatar jennifer reply

    I like the Madison.

  11. avatar Hilari reply

    The “Kate” and “Emma” dresses are my favorite! What a fabulous idea!!

  12. avatar Cydney S. reply

    I love the Jane dress in Sea Glass!

  13. avatar Danielle Michels reply

    I just ordered some swatches from LBD! So glad y’all are doing this giveaway!

    I love the Madison style since it’s flattering for almost every shape!

  14. avatar Samantha reply

    I’m in LOVE with the Emma dress!!

  15. avatar Logan B. reply

    Short dresses with straps are definitely my favorite — they’re so versatile and are sure to look great on any bridesmaid!

  16. avatar Kelly reply

    Love the Kate style!

  17. avatar Mykl reply

    I loveeeee the Cheryl! Love it in the mint color especially:)

  18. avatar Bianca reply

    I love the Jane!

  19. avatar Jordan Troublefield reply

    Oh what a great idea it is to rent!
    Loving the Hillary in the butter yellow color!

  20. avatar Laura Beth Mullins reply

    I love the Jane dress in Skipper! I would love for my bridesmaids to wear this dress!

  21. avatar Alison reply

    I love the Catherine and Jane dresses! My ‘maids would look stunning in them!!

  22. avatar Sara reply

    I would let my girls choose the style best suited for them and I would pick the color — cream. I love the Olivia as a rehearsal dinner option for myself though!

  23. avatar Elizabeth Cox reply

    Loooooving the Olivia style! It would compliment our bride’s dress beautifully! :)

  24. avatar Jessica Walker reply

    I love the Ann style dress in mint! It’s just what I’m looking for my bridesmaids to wear in our winter wedding!

  25. avatar Olivia Foster reply

    I absolutely love the Ann dress one shoulder dresses are my soft spot :) But I have fallen equally in love with the Olivia (I love the name

  26. avatar Leah Barber reply

    My favorite style is the Madison. It’s perfect!

  27. avatar Christine Schultz reply

    I love the Hillary dress!

  28. avatar Lauren reply

    I love the Kate! LBD is such a great idea.

  29. avatar Kristin Jolly reply

    My favorite dress style from little borrowed dress is definitely the long sweetheart neckline dress. So elegant and classic.

  30. avatar Mallary reply

    I love bridesmaids in mismatched styles. All the same color, just a different dress for each individual bridesmaid.

  31. avatar Kim reply

    Love the Jane in Sage!

  32. avatar Sadie Schureck reply

    What a wonderful concept! Long, mismatched styles in Slate would be a great way for each bridesmaid to choose what she feels most comfortable wearing!

  33. avatar Nicole reply

    LOVE the long dress that is green in the picture, but I would prefer it in blush coloring!

  34. avatar Angela reply

    I love the Catherine dress! My girls would look great in this one-shouldered look! :) It would be so amazing to win a drawing like this– thanks for the opportunity!

  35. avatar Veronica V reply

    My favorite styles are the Hillary and the Mia. I like these because they are perfect for a beach wedding.

  36. avatar Elisha Dudley reply

    I like the Jane!

  37. avatar Alyssa Thiele reply

    I love the Jane! It has the vintage, romantic look that I am looking for and would flatter all body types.

  38. avatar Melody Chapman reply

    My favorite is the Madison style. I love how flowy it is at the bottom and the criss-cross top would flatter everyone!

  39. avatar Amanda Gardner reply

    I LOVE the Jane dress! It is exactly the style I have in mind for my wedding!

  40. avatar Emily Zorn reply

    I love the Grace and Jane styles! Classic :)

  41. avatar Meredith reply

    I love the Ann in Papaya. That color is so pretty!

  42. avatar Kayla reply

    I love the Catherine dress. It is a flattering style and would look great on anyone!

  43. avatar Mary reply

    Oooh, the Catherine has been a favorite of mine for a long time! Whether I win this wonderful contest or not, we’re still using LBD for my June wedding. :)

  44. avatar Camry reply

    Jane :) So pretty and flowy

  45. avatar Jena reply

    I love the Jane! Would really love for my girls to wear them to my beach wedding!!

  46. avatar Elisabeth reply

    This is such a great idea, thanks for introducing me to the site. I loved the Kate most of all! I ordered some color swatches from them just now :)

  47. avatar Kira reply

    I love the Jane! Crossing my fingers!!

  48. avatar Allyssia reply

    Hillary has to be my favorite style but same color different style is still a possibility.

  49. avatar mmhines reply

    What a great idea – I have been having a hard time coming up with suggestions for my bmaids because they all live in different states, so renting could be a killer option for them. I LOVE the Ann style!

  50. avatar Ruth Carmon reply

    My favorite style for bridesmaids is the Hillary and for the maid of honor the Grace

  51. avatar Britni reply

    Heard about LBD a few weeks ago and kicking myself for not thinking of this idea first :) For my wedding, I would like the girls in long dresses so I’m gravitating towards Madison as the fave – but I’m all for the (controlled) mix-matched styles!

  52. avatar Shannon reply

    Olivia is my favorite, this would be SO COOL to win!

  53. avatar Laurel reply

    Madison & Ann are my favorites :)

  54. avatar Megan reply


  55. avatar Anna reply

    I REALLY like the style “Ann”, especially in Plum. I mean how could I not like that style, with an awesome name like Ann? ;)

  56. avatar Brittany Lau reply

    I love leigh and Cheryl

  57. avatar Christina C reply

    I love the Catherine Dress

  58. avatar Christina C reply

    forgot to include the link!

  59. avatar Tabitha reply

    I’ve been planning on getting my bridesmaid dresses from Little Borrowed Dress, because the styles are so cute but won’t break the bank (important for kids fresh out of school). My favorite style is the Emma- I really love that gathered neckline!

  60. avatar Kacey Capps reply

    My favorite dresses are Catherine! I also love Hillary!

  61. avatar Meghan reply

    Kate is my favorite and it will flatter all body types!

  62. avatar Caitlyn Kryston reply

    I love the Catherine or Emma. What a great idea!

  63. avatar Cherin reply

    Its a touch decision but I would put my bridesmaid in the Mai in Papaya and my Matron of honor in the Mia in but in Blush or Peach. Not sure which so I just ordered the 3 free swatches. Fingers crossed

  64. avatar Kari reply

    Love the Madison!

  65. avatar Jenna reply

    I love them all! But the Emma in Sea Glass is my favorite :)

  66. avatar Amanda Gardner reply

    I love the Jane! It is exactly what I have been imagining for my wedding, and powder blue is the PERFECT color.

  67. avatar Amanda reply

    I love Jane! I forgot to link the website earlier. :) I just adore this dress!

  68. avatar Kathleen Q. reply

    I love love LOVE the Catherine dress in Blush! This dress would beautifully compliment my girls, who are all different sizes! I hope I win :)

  69. avatar Tricia reply

    The Jane is the exact style I have been looking for. The perfect dress to belt and it can be rented! How have I never heard of this?

  70. avatar Lindsay Kerins reply

    I love the Emma I feel like it could be really flattering on any figure!

  71. avatar Monica reply

    I love the dress Hilary! Too cute!!!

  72. avatar Sarah E. reply

    I love the Madison in Steel. I like that my bridesmaids could mix and match styles and still go together perfectly.

  73. avatar Heather R reply

    I think my favorite is the Madison, but I also really like Olivia, Catherine….ok, most of the dresses haha

  74. avatar Gabby P reply

    I Love the Hillary style!

  75. avatar Katie reply

    Love the long flowing style! This would be a great fit for my full chested girls and still flatter my not-so-full chested maids ;)

  76. avatar Melissa Kay reply

    Oh m goodness, I have never heard of the opportunity to rent bridesmaids dresses and found it so unfair since groomsmen can easily borrow a tux the day of.

    The Catherine style would look fantastic on my bridesmaids; even if I don’t win I’m directing these lovely ladies to this website.

    My colors are purple so Iris and Plum alternating coloring would be stunning.

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  77. avatar Katrina Holloway reply

    Kate in Sage would be perfect for my maid of honor. She’s really busty and has an olive skin tone. The back up size offer is so cool since she has problems finding a correct size for her chest. :) <3

  78. avatar Olivia S. reply

    So lovely! My itty bitty bridesmaids would look like little princesses in the blush colored floor length Ann design.

  79. avatar Kathleen K reply

    Wow! These seem so high quality and renting is a really cool option.

    Eeeeeeh! The Leight is totally amazing.

    Maybe in sea glass?

  80. avatar ShaRi reply

    Madison, Jane, or Ann are my favorites. I feel no matter what time or season these are timeless and elegant and fit all body types.

  81. avatar Janelle reply

    The Cheryl is a fantastic look! :)

  82. avatar Claudia reply

    The Olivia dress is fabulous!

  83. avatar Amber reply

    I love the “Madison,” which was surprising because I typically go for short dresses! They are all wonderful.

  84. avatar Carol reply

    I love the Jane style. So pretty!

  85. avatar Latoya smith reply

    Short dresses

  86. avatar Latoya cherry reply


  87. avatar Harrelle Porter reply

    Dear Little Borrowed Dress,

    I am in love with “Jane!” She is a beauty and would love for my bridesmaids to be able to walk down the aisle in this flattering piece. This dress will fit any figure which makes it very versatile which is a very important.

    You can find Ms. “Jane” below:

    Yours truly,
    Harrelle Porter future Mrs. Thompson

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

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Longtime readers of the Southern Weddings blog will know that we are big fans of Donna Morgan. We called in several of her bridesmaid dresses for V6′s Blackberry Beauty editorial…

Lauren Kinsey

…and our own Marissa wore a Donna Morgan beauty for this year’s team photos!

Landon Jacob

So of course, we were thrilled to hear about the newest addition to the Donna Morgan family! Blaire is their first convertible design — she can be worn eight different ways, including with a strap (or two!) or without.

The way Blaire works is actually really fascinating and really cool — the convertability comes from extra skirt panels, which can be twisted and tucked into a one-shoulder, halter, twist front, or two-strap style, among others! The design is super flexible and easy to use.

Blaire comes in every color offered by Donna Morgan (25!) including lemonade and spearmint, the two shown here. We also love the look of spearmint paired with the Orchid print Rhea dress!

If you have a large bridal party like so many of our belles here in the South, a convertible dress is the perfect way to please a variety of figures and aesthetics. And just like all of the Donna Morgan dresses, Blaire is available off the rack (once pre-order ends in February!), making shopping a snap for each of your gals.

Are you embracing the mix and match look for your bridesmaids? What color are they wearing? We’d love to hear!

Donna Morgan photos are by Trent Bailey with styling by Jacqueline Weppner for Merci New York and hair and makeup by Facetime Beauty Concierge.

Landon Jacob is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Sarah Bradshaw reply

    My bridesmaids wore a LOVELY mix-and-match of grey tones. You can see the pictures here:

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

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