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With Steel Magnolias at the tip top of my favorite movie list, you can imagine my excitement when Sarah and Nick’s “blush and bashful” wedding came through our doors! Sarah is one our delightful Blue Ribbon Vendors, so we were especially tickled to see her looking lovely with her handsome beau. Add in the absolutely adorable chapel at Northwest Forest and perfectly pink details created by fellow Blue Ribbon Vendor, Two Be Wed and I’m smitten! Best of all, Sarah and Nick’s wedding day was a reflection of their sweet relationship and exactly what they dreamed it to be. I’m sure Nicole would be tickled to see the gluten-free cookie favors!

Big hugs to Mustard Seed Photography for sharing this precious pink day with us!

I am a curvy girl, so I was super nervous to go dress shopping, but at Brickhouse Bridal, the consultant was so helpful and showed me what would look good on me. It ended up being the easiest day ever and I chose the fourth dress I tried on!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide on a first look. I am a wedding photographer, so I know it helps a wedding day flow better, and we are not superstitious, so that helped in the decision! Post-ceremony, we got to go right into our reception and have fun without making our guests wait an hour for us. I highly recommend first looks to anyone I can!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose our wedding venue because it was close to home and Nick’s grandmother used to work there–there is even an island on the lake there named after her!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We felt that a wedding ceremony with handwritten vows was perfect for us. The last year has been really hard for us, and writing our own vows was a way to tell each other and our guests how thankful we were to have each other to lean on.

Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were one of the most important things to me. I looooove flowers! I had always wanted a spring wedding because I wanted peonies all over the place. Fawn was an amazing florist and we were lucky to have her!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We love cake, so of course, we had to have the best cake baker in Houston! Cakes by Gina was the one! Her cakes are just so tasty and her creations are amazing. The inside of my bridal cake was vanilla with raspberry cream filling and Nick’s cake was chocolate with chocolate filling.

For our favors, we made homemade cookies. My mom’s famous chocolate chip cookies were a must, as were my favorite cookie, macarons. Nick is half Hispanic, so his mom got Mexican wedding cookies as another option!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After much thought and nudging from friends, we each gave online dating a try! I, Sarah, was on for about a year before we got “matched,” and Nick was only on for two weeks! I made the first move by telling him how cute his beard was. After a few weeks of emailing and texting, we met for our first date. We sat in the restaurant for about three hours before we realized how late it had gotten, and I remember thinking that I didn’t want to leave! When we hugged goodbye, he laughed and said, “Oh, I am definitely going to call you!” Well, he did, and now here we are!
Tell us all about the proposal! I had a wedding in Colorado over the 4th of July and flew back super early on Sunday morning. As I walked out of baggage claim, Nick was standing there holding my dog, Barkley, who wearing a plaid shirt, vest, and bow tie! I didn’t think anything of it, but about halfway to the car, I realized, THIS IS IT! He got down on one knee and popped the question with the ring around Barkley’s neck. It was truly the best surprise ever!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge to overcome was the opinions. A lot of people have strong opinions about weddings, but it was important to us that we stayed true to ourselves. Our wedding was exactly what we wanted and we were glad we didn’t listen to anyone but each other.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding coordinator! They are the key to making wedding planning as stress-free as possible. Also, plan your wedding the way you want it. The day is about you and your spouse becoming one, not about anyone else.

Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography / Planner: Two Be Wed / Venue and Catering: Northwest Forest / Florist: F. Dellit Designs / Wedding Cake: Cakes by Gina / Rentals: Recollection Vintage Rentals and Rent Some Vintage / DJ: Jose of LG Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Paper Products: Nib & Pixel / Hair and Makeup: Kara and Nastasia of Adorne Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo / Groom’s Attire: Versione Houston / Groomsmen Attire: Al’s Formal Wear / Macarons: Macaron by Patisse

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

    Ekkkkk thank you so much for featuring our wedding day!!! It was the best day ever and captured perfectly by Kat! xoxoxo

  2. avatar Kelly reply

    Hi! Would you mind sharing where those beautiful pink watercolor seating cards are from? Thank you!

  3. avatar liam smith reply

    beautifully shot, the dog bowtie is quality

  4. avatar Kat of Mustard Seed Photography reply

    Thank you so much for featuring this lovely wedding we had the honor of photographing this past May! Congrats to the happy couple!! XOXO!

    PS: Kelly, the pink watercolor cards were handmade by Nib & Pixel.

  5. avatar Mikkel reply

    Such great details! I love all the soft pink…and the bride and groom look so happy! Congrats to Sara and Nick and Mustard Seed Photography for capturing it so beautifully!

  6. avatar Recent Publications » Mustard Seed Photography reply

    […] Sarah + Nick on Southern Weddings […]

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I want to jump right through my computer screen and into today’s darling wedding! From the beautiful location, to the sentimental “somethings” Kelsey chose, to the cake that sounds like a slice of heaven, Kelsey and Zane took every opportunity to make sure their wedding day reflected their personalities and their amazing love story. I remember chatting with their photographer, Shalyn of Love, The Nelsons, in Austin over a year ago and hearing about how excited she was to fly to Charleston to capture this special wedding, and having read K and Z’s interview, I can completely see why. These two are sweeter than the Benne wafers they included in their guests’ welcome bags, and their wedding is overflowing with so much love for their family, friends, and most of all, each other!

My something old was very precious to me. My grandmother’s wedding dress is no longer in wearable condition, so my mom had a piece of each sleeve of the dress made into a handkerchief for my sister and I. In blue stitching, she added my Nana’s initials and wedding date, her initials and wedding date, and my initials and wedding date. I pinned it to the inside of my dress so that I would have it with me all day. My something new was my earrings (that I won in an amazing Southern Weddings giveaway!) and my wedding shoes. My something borroweds were the ribbon to tie a charm around my bouquet and perfume from one of my bridesmaids (though that wasn’t planned)! My something blue was the blue topaz ring that my parents had given me for graduating from the University of North Carolina.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had looked through tons of magazines and photos online, but I wanted my mom and sister by my side when I actually went shopping for THE dress. We planned a weekend for them to come out to Texas to shop with me, and I absolutely loved the experience! From all the weddings I went to as a little girl and all of those I saw on television (think Princess Di and The Sound of Music), I remember the gorgeous backs and trains that you saw as the bride walked down the aisle. On the second day of shopping, I found a dress that I couldn’t stop staring at. I had never seen anything like the back of this dress; it had a gorgeous V in the back that was covered with beautiful lace, buttons down the back, and a special ribbon. The ladies helped me add a veil, and for the first time, I didn’t see the mirror–I saw Zane at the end of the aisle. It felt so real and brought tears to my eyes.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we decided to do a first look and are so glad we did! We spoke to several recently married friends of ours, some who had done a first look and some who hadn’t. No one who had done a first look regretted it, but some of those who didn’t wished they had more photos of just the two of them. It was such an intimate moment for us and one I’ll never forget. We got to talk and hug and relax. Then we were ready to get married!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose to have three readings at our ceremony. One traditional Bible verse, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, one reading that had special meaning to Zane, and one reading that had special meaning to me. Zane loved The Velveteen Rabbit as a child, and it has such a sweet message about the meaning of love, so we asked a close friend to read a passage from the book. I chose a reading called “Marriage Joins Two People In The Circle Of Its Love” by Edmund O’Neill. I love the message that it shares: that marriage deepens and enriches every facet of life, and that it is a promise that is worked on for a lifetime.

I loved walking down the aisle and seeing so many faces of people that I love, hearing my brother playing the guitar, feeling my dad holding on to me tightly, and then locking eyes with Zane and having this amazing feeling of warmth and happiness. By the end of it, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Zane and I always knew that we would be married in Charleston–it is the city where we fell in love. One of the only specific things Zane asked for was if we could be married in the chapel at his school, The Summerall Chapel. It is absolutely beautiful and has great significance to Citadel cadets. For our reception, we wanted our guests to experience the historic charm of downtown Charleston, but I am also a beach baby and had dreamed of being by the water. We found the perfect mix of both in the Historic Rice Mill!

My favorite Southern aspects of our wedding were the people and place. Charleston is so rich in history and Southern charm, and the hospitality and warmth from all of our friends and family was contagious. Even those who had just met became fast friends, swapped stories, and danced the shag! To make sure that everyone made the most of their visit, we gave them welcome bags filled with treats (Benne wafers, anyone?) and information about the area.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We decided to have a small wedding cake displayed for the formal cake cutting and then served sheet cake from the kitchen. Zane loves absolutely anything with Nutella on it, and we both love strawberries, so our display cake was a vanilla cake filled with Nutella and fresh strawberries. The cake that we served to our guests was made by my absolute favorite bakery back in Chapel Hill! Nantucket Grill has this amazing mile-high strawberry shortcake with whipped cream icing and fresh strawberries in each layer. It is so delicious! In college, my girlfriends and I would go have cake there for dinner. A dear family friend grabbed the cake on the way down to Charleston and kept it cool for us. Our guests loved it!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Zane and I are from the same hometown in South Carolina, but went to different schools. We met during high school on a spring break trip to Folly Beach. Some mutual friends knew each other, so both of our groups decided to meet up to hang out. Zane and I ended up being paired together on a team to play “Sardines” (like hide and seek, but once you find someone, you have to hide with them until only one team is left). Our hiding places were ridiculous and we kept each other laughing all night. After spring break ended, Zane and I continued to become really good friends. On May 28, 2007, I came home with my family from our beach house in North Carolina. Zane had been taking care of our two dogs for the week, and when we pulled into the driveway, there was writing on my car that said “Will you be my girlfriend?” I was so excited to say yes, and he brought over a movie to watch for our first date as a couple. Zane and I dated long distance all the way through college while I was in Chapel Hill attending UNC, and Zane was in Charleston at The Citadel. I quickly realized that this guy was my best friend and I could not imagine life without him. We were finally able to spend one semester of college together while studying abroad in Australia. It was the adventure of a lifetime, and I couldn’t have imagined a better person to share it with!
Tell us all about the proposal! On August 3, 2012, we had planned a big date night out for Houston Restaurant Week. When I finished getting ready and came out of the bathroom, I stepped on a note on the floor. I looked up and saw a trail of notes leading out of my room around the apartment. Each note had a reason why Zane loves me written on it. The trail led me into the living room, where candles and flowers were set up. As I was reading the last note, Zane came around the corner and got down on one knee. Of course, I said yes, and barely waited for him to stand up before jumping and hugging him. I was on cloud nine!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 200
Did you write your own vows? We chose to recite traditional vows. We found it really romantic to be saying the same wedding vows that our parents and grandparents recited to each other to be joined in marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Now that we live in Texas, planning a wedding back in South Carolina was definitely challenging. I had to make the most out of the time I was back home by strategically planning appointments with vendors and describing the vision I had in my head effectively. Having a long engagement helped because it gave us the time to research venues and vendors before making decisions. I did a lot of looking around online to narrow things down before I actually met vendors in person in Charleston.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We absolutely love being married. I smile every time I say “husband!” We are planning to take a trip somewhere new each year as our anniversary present to each other. Even just around the states, we are excited to make those memories together. And we are most looking forward to our next big steps: buying a house and starting a family. No matter when or how things happen, I am so happy and proud to spend the rest of my life with Zane, and I know that it will be full of joy and laughter!

Photographer: Love, The Nelsons / Videographer: Chap Films / Planner: Southern Bells Events / Ceremony Venue: The Summerall Chapel / Reception Venue: Historic Rice Mill / Florist: Country and Lace / Wedding Cake: Ally & Eloise Bakeshop and Nantucket Grill / Caterer: Good Food Catering / Rentals: EventHaus Rentals / Band: Rubberband / Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving / Bride’s Veil: Marry Go Round Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LaRoque / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Officiant: Pastor Greg V. Mason of Wedding Minister in Charleston / Bouquet Charm: Bip and Bop / Decorative Pillows: Two Peaches Design / Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Cake Forks: Eve Of Joy / Transportation: Limos For Less, LLC.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Shalyn reply

    Thanks so much for the feature sweet ladies!!! It was such a fun day! Y’all are the bomb.com! <3

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    We are obsessing over this classic southern wedding. So gorgeous!

  3. avatar Sarah reply

    What a sweet proposal! I love it!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    Love the sweet embroidered patch, and of course the sword arch! Beautiful wedding!

  5. avatar Bridget reply

    Goodness, I would love to go to a wedding with Chick-Fil-A fries! And I adore those perfect Kelly green bridesmaid dresses.

  6. avatar Dimitri Fotografo reply

    So sweet wedding, love it a lot, congratulation for the perfect choice of photographer.

  7. avatar Kelsey reply

    I may just have to re-read this every year. :) This is such a special way to remember our story! Thanks so much y’all!

  8. avatar Stephanie reply

    I would love to see the back of the dress! Beautiful wedding! I love Kelly green!

    • avatar julie reply

      Can email pictures of back of dress if you like.
      Thanks for your comments, we had so much fun!!
      Mother of the Bride

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Confession: I have been wanting to see Katie and Josh’s wedding ever since I caught a sneak peek of it on Instagram, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that they had graciously shared their big day with Southern Weddings! There are few things more lovely than spring in North Carolina, and I love how these two embraced the natural beauty of their venue (an SW favorite, Fearrington!), while also incorporating a healthy dose of glamour and gold. While their reception was exquisite, they clearly put so much love and thought into planning their ceremony as well, and it shows in these beautiful pictures by Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography!

I found my wedding dress at Alexia’s Bridal in Raleigh, and it happened to be my first time shopping for a gown. I had always dreamed of wearing a Monique Lhuillier gown, and to my surprise, Alexia’s was holding a trunk show sale on the same day as my bridal appointment! The first time I tried on THE gown, I immediately fell in love with the light organza fabric and detailed rose pattern on the skirt. Finding my dress was actually the first thing checked off of my wedding to-do list!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! YES! The most special was my something blue: my grandmother’s sapphire diamond bracelet, gifted to her by my grandfather. All of my girl cousins have worn it on their wedding days, and it has become a family tradition. It’s our way of remembering our dear grandfather, who loved all of us unconditionally.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose Fearrington because of its rustic, yet elegant, charm. I knew that the gardens would be blooming with spring flowers in May, and I had heard that Chef Bedford’s cooking was exquisite. I am originally from Northern Virginia and Josh is from Michigan, so we wanted to give our guests a little taste of classic Southern comfort.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make your ceremony special. Oftentimes, couples overlook planning special things for the ceremony because they figure they will only be there for 30-60 minutes. I love looking back at the pictures of our beautiful pews, chandelier, and bureau table. After all, the ceremony is the most important and intimate part of your whole wedding!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? For the ceremony, we decided to rent old doors and white distressed pews to make the ceremony feel more church-like. I think the Fearrington Barn’s tree branch chandeliers were the icing on the cake.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Choosing a color palette and theme. It started out rustic, but we slowly incorporated more gold tones and spring flowers. Eventually, everything came together, but for a few months, I was having a difficult time envisioning the look of the wedding. Kaitlin Holland helped us pull it all together.

Music can make or break the party–it’s worth it to splurge on a wedding band. Our guests, young and old, are still raving about how much they enjoyed a night filled with dancing!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual friends while I was a senior at East Carolina University. One of my girlfriends convinced me to go out with her to hang out with a guy she was interested in. Josh had already graduated from ECU, but was working in Greenville and happened to live at the house we were going to. Josh and I hit it off immediately–his friends always tell me that the day after Josh met me, he admitted, “I love her, I love her, and I don’t care who knows it!” We were inseparable for two weeks after meeting, until he found out that he had landed a job in San Diego. I figured we would attempt the long distance, but just assumed it wouldn’t work. The next thing I knew, we were flying out to see each other almost every other month! Josh left his job as soon as I graduated and moved back to Northern Virginia with me, even though we had only been dating for eight months.
Tell us all about the proposal! Josh planned a trip to California for us to visit his brother, who lives in Laguna Hills, and we also planned to spend a night in San Diego. Josh and I decided to go to our favorite restaurant in Ocean Beach to indulge in some of the best fish tacos we’d ever eaten. Before going into the restaurant, we took a quick walk out onto the pier nearby to take a couple of pictures, and before I knew it, Josh was on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I’m usually a difficult person to surprise, but Josh really got me, considering we didn’t even go ring shopping together. We headed into the restaurant, where I planned on calling my family to tell them the good news, but then I saw them all waiting for us inside! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Huge props to Josh on this one!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 165
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we decided to go the traditional route. My favorite part of any wedding is seeing the groom’s reaction the first time he sees his bride.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved a lot of money when it came to the tiny details. My family is full with DIY-ers who went out of their way to help. My future sister-in-law and her mom made and canned all of the peach preserves that were given as favors, along with all of the wooden ceremony signs and chalkboard signs. My dad built the mailboxes that were used to hold the programs. Luckily, my parents own a security printing company, so any of the tags/card stock that we used for escort cards, party favors, and programs came from their printing plant!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The owner of Simply Put Vintage, Kaitlin Holland! My mom and I originally did not think we would need a wedding planner, but then we both started getting tied up with school and work. Kaitlin was our saving grace. My mom met her at the SPV warehouse to check out the old doors we wanted for our ceremony, and was so impressed with the collection that she asked Kaitlin to style the wedding. I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I saw the set-up of the ceremony for the first time–it was simply perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? I will be graduating from UNCG with my second degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in Spring 2015 and hope to pursue a career as a registered dietitian. Josh is currently working for a start-up company as a business development manager. Kids are definitely next for us! Josh and I adore our nieces and nephews. We have been living together for almost three years now and just purchased our first home in May 2013, so we are ready to expand our family in the near future.

Photographer: Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography / Videographer: Innerloupe / Planner: Kaitlin Holland Creative / Venue and Catering: The Fearrington / Florist: Mary Stevens of Fearrington / Wedding Cake: Maxie B’s / Rentals: Simply Put Vintage Rentals and CE Rentals / Band: Elegance / Bride’s Gown: “1206″ by Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Paper Products: The Dandelion Patch / Bride’s Veil: Jennifer Leigh / Bride’s Crystal Sash: Monique Lhuillier / Hair and Makeup: Makeup For Your Day / Bride’s Shoes: Ann Taylor Bridal Collection / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Groom’s Attire: Baroni Prive / Groomsmen Attire: Gordon’s Menswear Rentals / Pews: Carolina Rustic Rentals / Strings: Arioso Strings

Nancy Ray Photography, Simply Put Vintage Rentals, and The Dandelion Patch are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Loverly reply

    Every part of this wedding is absolutely stunning! We are swooning over the bride’s gown and loving the different colors and styles of the bridesmaids dresses!

  2. avatar Featured! | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] and Josh's Fearrington Wedding Featured on the Southern Weddings Blog Photographer: Callie […]

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Anyone who has been to South Carolina can attest to the fact that the Lowcountry is easy to fall in love with. Ever since a memorable summer Leah spent in Charleston, she and her family had a hunch that her wedding would someday take place in that neck of the woods! Leah and Tripp met while both visiting their alma mater, Auburn University, and after talking a little, then found out that they both lived in Atlanta and he drove past her street daily. The cherry on top? Tripp is a South Carolina boy, making Leah’s dream wedding destination even more of a reality. The talented ladies of A Charleston Bride (including Haley, whose wedding was featured in V6!) helped bring their sentimental Southern vision to life at the beautiful Brookland Pointe, and Leah and Tripp loved hosting their nearest and dearest there!

Thank you to Tim Willoughby for sharing this sweet day with us!

Tripp and I went to college at Auburn University, but we didn’t meet until after we both graduated. We met on October 23, 2010 after the Auburn vs. LSU football game. I had a hard time finding a place to park for the game, so I decided to park my car by Tripp’s old fraternity house. After the game was over, my friend and I went back to get the car, and Tripp and his friends were there hanging out at the house, celebrating his birthday. Although we had a drive ahead of us, he convinced us to stay and hang out for a little while. Tripp and I began talking, and quickly realized that we both now lived in Atlanta–he actually drove past my street each day on his way to work! After he walked us to our car later that night, he made sure that he had my phone number!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed came from one of my matrons of honor the day of the wedding–a gorgeous hair comb that she had worn in her wedding seven years before! Something old was my grandmother’s diamond bracelet, which had diamonds in a quatrefoil design–so perfect! I wore blue on my garter, which was very special. The garter had two layers of lace, with lave from my mom’s garter underneath, and new lace on top, with the same peach material on the elastic band that my matrons of honors’ dresses were made of. My mom also collected small charms of different Charleston landmarks and had them sewn all around the garter. It is topped off with a small blue bow from her original garter. I’m saving it in case Tripp and I have a daughter one day! My something new came from Tripp; it was a beautiful silver necklace with a square charm on it showing a palmetto tree on one side and a picture of the scrolling gates that you see all around Charleston on the other side! These days, I’m rarely seen without it on!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I spent a summer in Charleston while I was in college, and the memories I made with my roommates there will last a lifetime. I think my family and I always knew that I would get married in a Lowcountry setting someday. Tripp is from South Carolina and spent many summers vacationing on Edisto Beach. Brookland Pointe was the first venue we visited, and we felt like it encompassed all of the elements we both wanted.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to go traditional with our vows. Tripp thought he might have a hard time handling his emotions if we wrote our own. :)
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose Colossians 3:12-17 for our ceremony. We want this to be the foundation on which we build our marriage, and our lives! We wanted our relationship with the Lord to be the focus of our wedding, acknowledging that He was the one who brought us together and we give all thanks to Him!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: For me, it would probably be the aisle signage we had, with the words from the hymn “How Great Thou Art” painted on them. For Tripp, it would probably be the three types of beer that he brewed and prepared himself, with the help one of his groomsmen and closest friends, for our reception! He had a honey witbier, a blueberry cream ale, and a rosemary IPA. They were all a huge hit! We also were in LOVE with our tent–it was a clear-topped tent with gorgeous peach draping and two wagon wheel chandeliers hanging from the top of it. It was the perfect representation of both of our styles!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had magnolia blossoms and leaves draped over our seats at the reception, which I loved because I am obsessed with magnolias! Our food was amazing, and undeniably Southern! It started with passed hors d’oeuvres of mini fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, bacon-wrapped quail, and mini she-crab soups (my personal favorite!). We had the most delicious shrimp and grits I’ve ever tasted, a four-cheese mac and cheese station, and a pulled pork barbecue station with three different sauces–a South Carolina mustard-based sauce, a North Carolina vinegar-based sauce, and a honey bourbon sauce!

Our wedding cake was unbelievable! It was four layers, with a gorgeous spearmint-colored background and a white quatrefoil design on two of the layers, and two white layers. The top and bottom layers were yellow almond cake with buttercream filling. One middle layer was marble with buttercream filling, and the other was sour cream pound cake with whipped cream and strawberry filling. We used quatrefoil as a theme in all of our printed items, so our cake was the sweetest addition!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our favorite moment was probably our departure, when all of our family and friends threw paper airplanes as we walked down the dock and left on a boat! This was a nod to Tripp, who is finishing up flight school to become a pilot.

Tell us all about the proposal! Tripp really surprised me! One Friday night, after a long day at work, Tripp came over with our favorite Thai food. I noticed that he wasn’t eating much, which was unusual for him, and that we were eating very early. After we finished, he said he hoped I had room for dessert. I was so full, but since it was just a fortune cookie, I had to have one! My fortune read, “Will you marry me, Leah? -Tripp” I immediately asked if this was some kind of a joke–I was completely shocked–but then Tripp got down on one knee, holding my ring!!! Once I realized it was real, I said yes!! He then suggested we go out to celebrate at our favorite spot, JCT Kitchen, where a group of friends and family were waiting to surprise me. In true fashion, I took forever to get ready and dressed, because I had a feeling our friends might be there!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? After a lot of consideration, we did decide on a first look! I originally didn’t want to see Tripp before the ceremony, because I love watching the groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time, but Tripp felt that it would help calm pre-wedding jitters, and it did. We had our first look under some gorgeous trees, and the light was just perfect! I also don’t think it took anything away from when he saw me walk down the aisle–that moment was filled with emotion, and some tears!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We stayed pretty traditional with our song choices for the wedding. I walked down the aisle to Canon in D, and then we recessed to Trumpet Voluntary. A dear friend of mine, Sarah Kuhlers, sang a beautiful song, “Captivate Us,” by Watermark, during our ceremony. Our first dance was to a song called “Dancing Shoes” by Green River Ordinance, and is so sweet. Our wedding planner, Haley, actually said it reminded her of us, and when we first listened to it, we knew it was our song! Our band learned it for us, and they nailed it!!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs by cutting out things that were not “must-haves” for our day. I was set on a clear tent, so we spent money on that, but other things, like a lit-up sign spelling out LOVE that we would have liked but didn’t need, we ultimately removed.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding planner, Haley, and the ladies from A Charleston Bride were our best decision! Most of our vendors that were a part of wedding day were recommended by A Charleston Bride. We were over the moon happy about all of our vendors, and because of them, we were able to enjoy our day with the people we treasure the most!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I think it’s important to remember that if you do have to remove things to cut costs, those things will never be missed by your guests. They will just be happy to be there to celebrate with you! Invest in a good photographer and videographer because the day really does go by SO quickly, and you will keep your pictures and video for a lifetime!

Photographer: Tim Will / Videographer: Life In Rewind Films / Planner: Haley Kelly, A Charleston Bride / Venue: Brookland Pointe at Brookland Plantation / Florist: A Charleston Bride / Cake Baker: Ashley Bakery / Caterer: CRU Catering / Rentals: Event Works and Snyder Rentals / Linens: La Tavola Linens / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band: The Root Doctors / Bride’s Gown: “Laren” by Pronovias / Bride’s Getaway Dress: Rebecca Taylor / Paper Products: Smock and Lytle Fober / Bride’s Veil: “V2753″ by Pronovias / Bride’s Earrings and Reception Bracelet: J. Crew / Bride’s Brooch: Twigs & Honey / Hair Stylist: Carrie McLeod of Paper Dolls / Makeup Artist: Elina Mille / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Laura” and “Julie by Donna Morgan in Peach Fuzz and Spearmint / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Day-Of Assistance: Cacky’s Bride Aid

A Charleston Bride is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love sooo many details of this wedding! It is beautiful!

  2. avatar Julie reply

    How elegant! It is so beautiful. It is elegant southern charm at its best. Charleston bride knows how to produce a classic wedding!

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    What a beautiful wedding! I love the flowers and bridesmaid dresses! And their exit was awesome!

  4. avatar Christina reply

    I can’t get over this sweet story! Also, her dress is stunning!

  5. avatar Mikkel reply

    Great post, Lisa! I love so many details! The cake, of course, the magnolia garland, the amazing clear tent, and even the sweet napkins. I did spy a bacon-wrapped shrimp. :-) Yum! Congrats to Leah and Tripp!

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With our own long distance relationship experiences, Lisa, Kristin, and I can all relate to Sarah and Mike’s love story. We know too well the challenges being far away can cause, but also, the incredible growth it can produce in relationships! Distance absolutely can make the heart grow fonder, and these two are a wonderful example of that. Being apart from family can also be a tough, so I especially love how Sarah and Mike included their family members throughout their wedding day by including loved ones’ signature desserts on the sweets table, as well as tying the knot just around the corner from where Sarah grew up. Magnolia leaf details and hay rides around Summerfield Farm during cocktail hour round out this sweet Southern day!

Big hugs to our lovely Blue Ribbon Vendor, Robyn Van Dyke for sharing this beautiful day with us!

I wore my sister-in-law’s veil as my something borrowed. My mom’s handkerchief that she had used on her wedding day was my something blue, since it had a blue flower detail. My Maw Maw’s diamond earrings were my something old, and my something new were my shoes!

This prayer photo is so sweet, I smile every single time I scroll past it!

Y’all may not catch this “I spy,” but that adorable blonde third from the right is Mrs. Callie Pitts Davis, our friend Nancy Ray’s associate photographer!

Describe your wedding flowers. We used a wonderful florist, Stacy at The Farmer’s Wife. We were given her name by word of mouth–the only advertising they use! She was wonderful to work with and helped me make a lot of decisions along the way. Our colors were white and green, so we used hydrangeas and magnolia leaves. There were also some berries in the bouquets that added some grey/blue tones.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We both agree that our first look was the most memorable part of the day. Being able to see each other for the first time and being able to talk about how we were feeling was special. Plus, I loved being the only one who got to experience Mike’s reaction! The day goes by so fast and can be overwhelming, and those few quiet moments with the person who matters the most were the best.

After looking at several different venues all over North Carolina, my parents told me that if I got married in Greensboro, they would make sure I got a Maxie B’s cake! I started looking in my hometown, and by chance, found our venue. At the time, they were starting to do renovations, so I had no real idea what it would look like on our wedding day. I knew it was going to be special though, because it was a few miles away from everything I knew growing up–my parents’ house, the schools I attended, and lots of loved ones. Plus, my dad loved the idea of treating guests to a hay ride during cocktail hour!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to say traditional wedding vows, keeping the ceremony simple for the two of us! I had our wedding vows written in calligraphy to display on a table in our reception area and now in our home.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We each chose a reading for our ceremony. I chose Jeremiah 17:8 and Mike chose Philippians 2:5-11. Both verses were meaningful to our relationship and what we hope for in our marriage.

Growing up in Greensboro, you have to love Maxie B’s. My high school friends and I spent our nights eating cake and talking about life in the little corner of Maxie B’s, so I knew my wedding cake would come from them. We did a pumpkin chocolate chip cake for the base and their fresh strawberry cake for the top layer. I also have some wonderful grandmas who make amazing cakes, so I asked them if they would each make their signature cakes for us and they agreed. My Maw Maw made a strawberry cake and a blackberry cake, and my grandma made a coconut cake and pound cake. More family members then offered to make their signature desserts, and it all added up to one of the most delicious dessert bars!

Don’t miss Sarah + Mike’s highlight film by Jeff Brewer!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met during our freshman year of college at NC State through Young Life. We were eventually placed on the same Young Life team and became great friends. At the end of our senior year, we admitted that there were some feelings there, but since we were going to continue to be leaders on the same team, we could not date until the end of the next school year. After we finished our time as Young Life leaders, we went on our first date, which was the rehearsal dinner of two of our close friends. We began dating that summer, and in September, Mike accepted a job and moved to Napa, California. We made trips to see each other about every other month. It was really hard being in different time zones and so far apart, but we made it work with lots of FaceTiming and emailing!
Tell us all about the proposal! Mike was back from Carolina for two weeks during Christmas, and before he got home, we talked about taking some day trips to spend time together. When he mentioned a trip to Washington D.C on New Years Eve, I thought nothing out of the ordinary. We left early and spent our day sightseeing, even though it was so cold that day. As we neared the end, Mike told me he really wanted to see the Jefferson Memorial and I disagreed–I was ready to sit in the warm car! I even said, “This had better be worth it!” as we began walking over! Once we got to the memorial, Mike sat me down to tell me he was ready to begin talking about getting married and making a plan for what our future might hold. After our conversation, he prayed for us and asked if I wanted to take some pictures. While I was turned around taking a picture, I heard Mike say my name, and when I looked over, he was down on one knee. He asked me to marry him and I said yes! We had a long car ride home full of calls to our family and friends to tell them we were engaged!
When did y’all get married? November 9, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: One of the most meaningful details was our guest book. William Mangum is a local artist who lives in Greensboro, and he paints beautiful watercolors of North Carolina. He had a book called “North Carolina Beautiful” full of images familiar to both Mike and I of the state we know and love. We made a table of contents so that our friends and family could find and sign pages that were significant to them as well. There were pictures from all over the state and it was such a wonderful piece to take with us to our new home in California. Plus, William Mangum wrote a message and signed it too!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We both have family in the wine industry, so we were able to save a lot of money stocking our bar. Our florist also made great strides to make sure we stayed within budget. I made all of our place cards and programs.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t compare. With social media, blogs, and Pinterest, there is so much out there that can help or harm the wedding planning process. Our story was so different and it was so easy to compare it to what others have. I am so grateful that I married a man who does not care about all the little details and reminds me of the real truth of what our marriage means!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are now living in Napa and are happy that we are finally living our lives together. It has been challenging, but also rewarding, to live a life where we are far away from everything we know, and it has been really fun to explore the West Coast together!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke / Videographer: Jeff Brewer / Day-Of Coordination: Melissa Lewkowicz / Venue: Summerfield Farms / Florist: The Farmer’s Wife / Wedding Cake: Maxie B’s / Caterer: Fresh. Local. Good. Food Group / Band: JAVA / Calligraphy: Rachel Velasquez / Bride’s Gown: “5802″ by Liancarlo / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Accessories: Nitsa’s / Hair Stylist: Amy Gooch / Bride’s Shoes: Born / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Custom by Maura Stewart / Men’s Attire: Jos. A Bank

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

    I’m in love with those bridesmaid dresses–what a perfect color for a fall wedding, and so perfect with the magnolia leaf details!

  2. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] so honored to have Sarah & Mike‘s gorgeous wedding featured on Southern Weddings today!! Hooray!! Big hugs as always to all the lovely ladies at our favorite wedding blog and […]

  3. avatar Laura reply

    I love that guest book idea! What a treasure to keep for years to come! And as a Greensboro transplant, I definitely understand the need for Maxie B’s cake!

  4. avatar Chelsea reply

    Love love love the magnolia leaf accents! That rich green with the white hydrangea is just gorgeous!

  5. avatar Melody reply

    This is my beautiful niece and her handsome husband. The wedding was wonderful and a special day to us all. Sarah & Mike are such a sweet couple. What a surprise to see it posted and shared with others.

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  8. avatar Candice reply

    My sister is getting married on New Years Eve and we absolutely love the bridesmaid dresses! Can anyone tell me where to find these or if they were custom made? Thank you so much! This wedding was absolutely gorgeous! Love it!!!

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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