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While we’re always sure not to step on dear Thanksgiving’s toes during the holiday season, it is a sort of the opening ceremony for holiday cheer, gatherings full of joy, and lots of sugary treats. We’re not going to waste another minute, then, to invite you to our Seventh (!!) Annual Gingerbread Barn Building Competition!

This holiday tradition has become a favorite for us and for our competitors—we can’t wait to see how y’all up the ante this year! Anyone can come—so if you have a love of sugary holiday treats, a competitive spirit, and a festive apron, please RSVP! Most attendees choose to work in groups to build their gingerbread barns, so grab your friends, family, or fella and join in on the fun. (Just make sure everyone in your group purchases a ticket individually so we know how many graham crackers and icing to buy!)

Buy your tickets here.

Want to start scheming and need some gingerbread inspiration? Take a look at our past recaps:
Gingerbread Barn Building 2013
Gingerbread Barn Building 2014
Gingerbread Barn Building 2015
Gingerbread Barn Building 2016

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
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My home is light, airy, and quite colorful. And I love it! But, like clockwork, as the calendar flips to fall, I start craving deeper colors and comfier textiles to up the cozy factor in our little nest. The intentional decisions about what we choose to bring into our homes can make such a difference in how we feel when we’re there, in our relationships, and how we feel when we go out into the world, can’t they?

Thinking of what you’ll want and need in your home through each season is a great way to structure your wedding registry and make sure you’re not missing anything. Today, we’re sharing a few favorite picks from Crate and Barrel (where I registered six years ago!) to help build a comfortable, stylish home no matter the season – but especially in the cooler months :)

1. Aiden velvet apartment sofa | 2. Brenner velvet pillow | 3. Lakin recycled teak sideboard | 4. Garbo leather wingback chair | 5. Twig standing coat rack | 6. Siesta blanket | 7. Birney round grey rattan basket

Don’t be afraid to register for a few larger items, like a sofa or beautiful wooden piece – your guests might want to go in on them together, or your parents or grandparents might be looking for the perfect larger gift!

Like I mentioned, I was a Crate and Barrel bride six years ago. I love their clean, warm, and exclusive collection of housewares and furniture; their style is flexible, and a perfect fit for so many homes. I also loved that instead of a one-time registry discount post-wedding, they offer 10% off anything in store and online (even furniture!) for six months after your event, for as many shopping trips as you want! You can read more about their registry benefits here.

1. Marin white dinner plate | 2. Couture copper place setting | 3. Stainless steel cocktail shaker with copper finish | 4. Set of Roscoe platters | 5. Artesia bread baskets| 6. Heritage serving boards | 7. Welcome mug | 8. Laguiole olivewood cheese knife set | 9. Le Creuset French oven | 10. Crawford serving bowl | 11. Gabriel taper candle holder

Registering can be both a very fun and very pressure-filled part of your engagement. (It was hard for me to narrow down the pieces for this post, and they’re not even going to end up in my home!) At Crate and Barrel, creating a registry is a celebration, starting with their Private Registry Events where you can get one-on-one attention and advice from registry experts and get a free gift. Find one near you here!

Ready to get cozy? Create your Crate and Barrel registry right now! And tell me: do you have a seasonal nesting urge like I do? :)

This post is sponsored by Crate and Barrel, a brand we’ve loved for years. Thanks for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Bride Mary shares her classic wedding at Idle Hour Country Club!

Fellow classic brides rejoice: we have we got something so good for you today! Meet the darling Mary. Together with her planner, Shelly Fortune, she and her beau Courtney planned a magical wedding day in Kentucky that is Southern and classic perfection (with just the right about of preppy). Y’all, when I look at these images, all I can think of is how absolutely timeless Mary looks in her fabulous Modern Trousseau ballgown! The fully pleated skirt with embossed floral motif and off the shoulder neckline is giving me all the Jackie Kennedy vibes, and I am LOVE-ing it! Of course, her pearl necklace and all-white cascading bouquet is just the icing on the cake. Keep reading to see more of her delightful day (ending with fireworks!!).

Big SW hugs to Lang Thomas for capturing Mary and Courtney’s sweet day!

We buried bourbon a month before and it did the trick with the weather! It was forecasting 90% rain til the Wednesday before the wedding. We also had a bourbon tasting bar at the reception. We used our married monogram for a few details throughout the ceremony and had gardenias (my grandmother’s and dad’s favorite flower) in floral pieces. My engagement ring was old, my dress was new, and my mom lent me a sapphire ring for something borrowed and blue.

My parents got married at Good Shepherd and had their reception at Idle Hour. I grew up going to both places and was baptized and confirmed at Good Shepherd.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used mostly greens in our arrangements rather than full florals.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had a cake with layers of lemon, pistachio, and raspberry champagne. Courtney wanted an ice cream bar instead of a groom’s cake, so that’s what we did!

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The first dance with my new husband – it was so much fun but still so meaningful to spend that time together with our family surrounding us.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The band! I LOVED how everyone was glued to the dance floor. It was a blast. And the FIREWORKS!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met in medical school in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tell us all about the proposal! Courtney proposed with Mary’s grandmother’s ring as they were leaving for a planned trip to hike Machu Picchu in Peru.
When did y’all get married? June 3, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 310
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I went with my mom, Courtney’s mom, and my two maids of honor who live in New York to Wedding Atelier in New York City.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No. We wanted a traditional wedding.
What was one of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? My brother, Wood Van Meter, sang some of Song of Ruth between the readings. Wood is an actor in Washington, D.C.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Everlasting Love” by Carl Carlton – Courtney picked it!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Shelly Fortune, 100%. She was so laid-back but simultaneously on top of it. I was never stressed.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Being in medical school and simultaneously applying for medical residency! Courtney and I are both at the Mayo Clinic, he for orthopedics and me for obstetrics and gynecology.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Take your time in a longer engagement!

Photographer: Lang Thomas Photography | Videographer: Carl S. Miller Wedding Films | Planner: Shelly Fortune Event Design | Ceremony Venue: Good Shepherd Episcopal Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: Idle Hour Country Club | Florist: Magnolia Floral Design and Interiors | Wedding Cake: Tinker’s Cake Shop | Band: The Big Beyond via Sam Hill Entertainment | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Pink Lou Lou Design Studio | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Paula Dance reply

    Beautiful pictures, very classy wedding. The fireworks picture is a lovely touch :)

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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