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Southern Weddings

Category: Inspirations

We have had the thrill of traveling to so many iconic Southern destinations in ten years of publishing our magazine, but still, some stand apart. There are few destinations that hold as much history as North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate, and though staging an editorial shoot there was not without its difficulties (ahem, 4:00 AM wakeup time to begin shooting before guests arrived on the property!), all of the negotiations and accommodations were more than worth it.

With a love for history, literature, and the mountains, the couple we dreamed up looked right at home on the Biltmore’s terraces and grounds. We truly couldn’t have pulled it all together without our planner and stylist, Rebecca Rose Events, and our photographer, Henry Photography — we’re so grateful to both of them!

Each Southern Weddings gal has her own not-so-secret favorite V10 editorial, and this, my friends, is mine. Pride and Prejudice is our bride’s (and also my) favorite book, and our couple fell in love in a literature class in college. Though I did not meet my sweet husband until law school, my Jane Austen class happened to be one of my very favorite courses as well. If there’s anything dreamier than escaping to a countryside estate through reading, it’s bringing the whole scene to life and toasting to a real love story on the Biltmore’s terrace!

The lines on these beautiful ribbons (penned by Simply Jessica Marie) are from favorite Southern novels, but there are so many meaningful ways you could use this idea! You could write special notes to each of your bridesmaids on ribbons tied around their bouquets. Or, you could include meaningful phrases, song lyrics, or inside jokes you share with your future husband on your own bouquet ribbons!

Amber Housley and I were both tiara-wearing brides, and I support this particular accessory wholeheartedly. But if you want to add a little glamour without going over the top, this Emma Katzka headpiece is the ideal bohemian middle ground.

It doesn’t get much more romantic that this! These are the shots that made us happy to have that 4am wake-up call! One thing to consider if you fall in love with a venue that may be a bit over-budget: if you have a backdrop and setting that is simply gorgeous on its own, you can really save in your floral and decor budget! Some venues need little additional adornment, and the Biltmore is definitely one of those venues!

Escort card displays are a great opportunity to get creative and let your personality and love story shine. This vintage escort card display is a collection of thrift-store books wrapped in coordinating paper to create a romantic, literary station for guests to find their table numbers! The seating assignments themselves were calligraphied in large coffee table books guests could peruse to find their names.

The Biltmore is the largest privately-owned home in the United States, and the 8,000 acre estate grows beef, lamb, eggs, vegetables, herbs, and fruit on site to create their delicious menus. The Estate also hosts its own vineyard, creating the (very) local wine your guests can enjoy at your reception!

This couple’s unique, historical and literary wedding cake is ringed by a line from Henry James: “It has made me better, loving you.” Heirloom cake toppers were displayed around the cake table to celebrate the couple’s personal history as well.

For more from this story, pick up your copy of our tenth anniversary issue in our shop and on newsstands around the South!

Planner, stylist, and florals: Rebecca Rose Events | Photography: Henry Photography | Film Processing: PhotoVision | Venue and caterer: The Biltmore Estate | Hair and makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne | Wholesale flowers: Fifty Flowers | Silk bouquet ribbon: Adorn Company and Of the Earth | Bouquet ribbon calligraphy: Simply Jessica Marie | Head chairs and vintage rentals: The Prettiest Pieces | Candlesticks and cake serving set: BHLDN | Chairs, glassware, china, and flatware: Professional Party Rentals | Linens: Nuage Designs | Chargers: Wayfair | Wooden sign: Rebecca Rose Events with lettering by Sarah Hanna Calligraphy & Design | Invitation suite, menu cards, and bookmarks: Bella Figura, Envelope calligraphy: Sarah Hanna | Seating chart calligraphy: Calligraphy by Carole | Chocolate favors: Sugar Cloud Baking Company | Welcome basket contents: French Broad Chocolates, Poppy Handcrafted Popcorn, Vanderbilt Reserve Wine | Vintage cake toppers: Patricia Minish Designs, Over the Top Studios, and Dorothy Kinghorn Huggins | Vintage car: Air Haven Limousine | Bride’s gown: “Andie” by Carolina Herrera | Crown: “Camellia” by Emma Katzka | Bride’s earrings: Bailey Banks & Biddle | Red heels: “Cirrus” by Jessica Simpson from Amazon | Clutch: Ted Baker London from Nordstrom | Bridesmaid dresses: “Madison” in Dusty Rose by Katie May for BHLDN | Groom’s pants and vest: Bonobos | Groom’s jacket: ASOS | Tie: The Tie Bar

Written with love by Catherine
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Sharing the homegrown Savannah editorial from our newest issue!

Though we try to represent a generous cross-section of Southern life in every issue, a volume of our magazine just doesn’t seem complete without a farm-centric, homegrown editorial. There’s just something about rolling fields, humble materials, and family-focused details that keeps us rooted in what matters most!

Our Farm Fresh Fete editorial checks all those boxes and more and is a perfect addition to the SW farm canon. Thanks to The Happy Bloom and Design Studio South for bringing this beauty to life!

That invitation suite!! Oh my. Every detail from the patterned envelope liner to the tone-on-tone map to the chic blue ribbon is sweet perfection!

These little chamomile blooms are the sweetest accent to our bride’s bouquet! August Floral Design did a fabulous job, as usual. Kim was responsible for our last cover bouquet, too!

Hosting an outdoor wedding? The Southern tradition of bourbon burying is for you! Read all about it on page 56 of our new issue.

For a farm-fresh twist on a confetti toss, we handed out petite bags of corn kernels to guests to toss for our newlyweds’ big getaway!

Haven’t heard of a pie walk? You’re not alone! It’s our twist on the classic cakewalk, itself a variation of musical chairs where the winner is the one standing next to the correctly-numbered chair when the music stops. You can read more about this couple’s story in the issue, but since their meet-cute involved a freshly-baked pie, a pie walk was a shoo-in for cocktail hour entertainment!

Because of the volume needed for a full look, produce centerpieces like this may or may not be less expensive than conventional floral ones. One benefit, though? They can easily double as favors and go home with your guests to be put to good use in the kitchen! To let guests know your intentions, display clear signage and set up paper bags or other to-go containers to make taking their bounty home simple!

A dinner bell! The sweetest way to call your guests to supper.

Banana pudding, homemade waffle cones, and freshly-baked pies… hold on, we’re coming right over!

See more from this editorial in our newest issue, available in our shop and on newsstands around the South!

Planner and Stylist: Design Studio South | Photographer: The Happy Bloom | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab | Venue: Wavering Place Plantation | Florals: August Floral & Event Design | Hair and Makeup: Cucumber & Mint | Catering: Current Catering | Pies: Izzabee’s | Rentals: Lillian’s China | Paper Goods and Banner: Cake | Floral Paper: Papercraft Miracles | Welcome Gift: A Signature Welcome | Ribbon: The Poetry of Silk and Shy Myrtle | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Shoes: Lulus | Bride’s Getaway Top and Men’s Tops: J. Crew | Bride’s Getaway Skirt: Adrianna Papell | Bridesmaid Tops: Target | Bridesmaid Skirts: Bergdorf Goodman | Maid of Honor Dress: ModCloth | Men’s Blazer and Pants: Belk | Groom’s Bow Tie: High Cotton | Ring Bearer Bow Tie: Tiemart | Jewelry: Susie Saltzman | Earrings: BHLDN

The Happy Bloom is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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  1. avatar The Happy Bloom reply

    Thank you so much for having us be a part of such a GREAT issue! We are truly honored. Can’t wait for Volume 11! :) xoxo!

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Sharing our Home Town Celebration editorial from our tenth anniversary issue, inspired by Laurel, Mississippi!

We have the privilege of traveling all across the Southeast while making Southern Weddings, exploring pockets of the Southeast and dreaming up beautiful love stories along the way! It’s no secret that this particular story is inspired by our own hometown heroes, Erin and Ben Napier. After featuring their home tour back in 2014, it’s been our joy to see their love story and small town make it big on HGTV. Their love for each other and their passion for Laurel’s revitalization was a huge inspiration for this editorial, and we’re grateful for all the ways they made it possible for us to shoot in their sweet Mississippi town!

When we thought about the heart of hospitality behind this shoot, we knew there would be no better photographer than our dear friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Davy Whitener. This editorial holds a special place in my heart, because Davy is shooting my wedding this April! After our V9 Cover Editorial, one of our former editors came back to the office and said to me, “I know you’re not getting married right now, but I’m pretty positive Davy Whitener is the perfect person to shoot your wedding when it comes time.” And she was right!

After working with Davy on this shoot, and getting engaged a few months later, he was one of the first people I emailed. His heart for hospitality, love for people, and ability to capture the often-unseen moments gave us the beautiful images you see here!

After arriving in Laurel, Emily and I headed straight to Laurel Mercantile Co. to pick up some of the goodies you see above in the welcome crates, including the darling City Beautiful Pennant you see tucked above!

While we ran errands, Lauren Soley of Lovegood Wedding & Event Rentals and her team were unloading and prepping the Rogers-Green House for the shoot. We couldn’t have pulled off our Home Town Celebration editorial without her!

I’m not at all embarrassed to tell you how often I think about the flowers Josie and Christine of The Petaler Co. created for us! The sunny pop of yellow in the Sally Homes roses, peonies, and white lilacs mixed with the sprigs of mint and oregano were such a unique combination that I still ooh and ahh over!

There are few things more Southern than a porch swing for bridal portraits! Our HGTV Home Town fans might recognize Bill and Jody’s porch swing from an episode in Season One. Not only did they open their home to us for shooting, but they graciously gave us a tour that evening and joined us for dinner. Trust me when I tell you there is no shortage of Southern hospitality in Laurel, MS!

Gingham dresses that can be worn again paired with embroidered monogram hankies are a sweet way to honor your special ladies!

Isn’t this the most darling lemonade stand you’ve ever seen? Our flower girls and ring bearers were the perfect lemonade hosts, making sure our entire team stayed refreshed all day long.

Keeping with the heart of the shoot and home town feel, two of Davy’s children suited up for the big day and Lauren’s cousins sported their biggest bows as flower girls.

Can you imagine the emotions going through our bride’s head as the doors to her childhood church are about to open? Knowing she’ll see her groom for the very first time in the same church she grew up in admittedly gives me some watery eyes!

Ask your caterer to prepare a private picnic basket or meal for you and your groom to enjoy together post-ceremony before heading into your reception. Bonus points if you’re able to cozy up in the back of a pick-up truck!

Is there anything more Southern than fried chicken, tomato pies, and pancakes? I think not! Lola Fleur outdid themselves with all the delicious food! I can say that because I was able to sneak a few bites in :)

These were genuine smiles from our tiniest models when we told them they could snack on our strawberry shortcake desserts.

Laurel, you were a gem! Thank you for inviting us into your community with open arms!

See more of this feature in our tenth anniversary issue, on newsstands now and in our shop!

Planner and Vintage Rentals: Lovegood Wedding & Event Rentals | Photographer: Davy Whitener | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Videography: Bride Film | Ceremony Venue: Laurel First United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: The Rogers-Green House | Florals: The Petaler Co. | Hair and Makeup: Blush Salon | Catering: Lola Fleur | Lighting: Celebrations | Paper Goods and “Just Married” Banner: Southern Fried Paper | Strawberry Shortcake Boats: Shop Sweet Lulu | Escort Card Board: Minted | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Hanky Embroidery: Needleworks | Bride’s Gown: “Heloise” by Leanne Marshall via The Sentimentalist | Veil: “Phoenix” by Sara Gabriel | Jewelry: ExVoto Vintage | Ring: Trumpet & Horn | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Bridesmaid Dresses: Anthropologie | Groom’s Blue Blazer: Bonobos | Ties: Macy’s | Flower Girl Dresses: Rachel Riley | Hair Bows: Wee Ones | Welcome Box and Napkins: Laurel Mercantile

Lovegood Wedding & Event Rentals and Southern Fried Paper are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
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