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Mare and Jake met in Oxford while attending Ole Miss, so for these college sweethearts, their alma mater’s campus proved to be the perfect spot for Mare’s dream wedding. To help bring the wedding she had always pictured–an outdoor celebration complete with a white tent and chandeliers–to life, Jake gifted her with a wedding planner after their engagement! While this was a sweet gesture of his love for her, it was also a way for them to serve their future marriage, since it gave them time to tend to their relationship amidst their wedding plans.

Big hugs to Brian Flint for sending along this fun day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. One afternoon, my mom and I stopped in The Bridal Path in Jackson so I could try on dresses, and as soon as I walked in, I fell in love with a dress on the mannequin. My mom started crying when I tried it on, so I knew it was the one!

I wanted the flowers to be very elegant and classic, but with a Southern twist. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas, so I wanted all of the bridesmaids to carry full white hydrangea bouquets. Large arrangements with hydrangeas, white lilies, cabbage roses, and bell of Ireland were elevated on each guest table at the reception. My bouquet was made up of green hydrangeas, roses, and lilies.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was a gift from my father–he created a diamond necklace with his mother’s engagement diamond. My something blue was my garter, my dress was new, and I borrowed my lipstick from my fabulous makeup artist!

The ceremony music was so special to my family. A family friend, who had also sang at my parents’ wedding, sang “The Lord’s Prayer.” My sister, who was my matron of honor, sang “Surely the Presence” during the lighting of the unity candle. She and I have always loved that song.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our hotel gift boxes included Mississippi cheese straws and we served fried chicken at our reception. We also chose Southern signature cocktails, hired a Memphis soul band, and left our ceremony in a New Orleans-style trolley double decker bus!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding with a white tent and chandeliers. Since we both went to Ole Miss and met in Oxford, we decided that the Ole Miss campus was the perfect place for our outdoor reception.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the candy bar filled with gold and white gum balls, pink and white lollipops, strawberry cheesecake jelly beans, gold-wrapped gummy candy, gummy grapefruit, Reese’s, and sweet taffy.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We were able to focus on our upcoming marriage by hiring a wedding planner. This was a gift from my husband right after our engagement! As he says, “This is the best investment I have ever made.” While we both have busy schedules, we were able to enjoy time with each other when we were off of work, instead of spending that time worrying about our wedding. Pre-marital counseling also had a huge impact on planning for our marriage.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual friends while at Ole Miss. My good friend had gone out with Jake and his best friend, and she told Jake he needed to meet me. A few nights later, she talked me into going out with her so she could introduce us. I did not want anything to do with Jake for the first month, and declined when he asked me out. Finally, my roommate convinced me to go on one date with him to the University Club, and after that, it was history.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jake proposed on May 4, his birthday! I had made reservations to go to Season 52 for his birthday dinner, and then we were planning to head to a friend’s house. We went to dinner, and on the way home, Jake told me that we had to stop by the house so he could get something. When we pulled up to the house, I waited in the car. Jake told me to get out because he had a surprise for me. He said it was “something small that could get bigger.” I was convinced he had gotten a dog, so I was a little aggravated, but then, he came out of the bedroom and proposed. After asking him five times if he was serious, I said yes.
When did y’all get married? May 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Over 300
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We chose a three-tiered cake with homemade almond flavored icing. The cake was accented with sugar tulips trimmed in gold.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I had to realize that my husband was not going to make any wedding planning decisions! He wanted me to have the wedding I dreamed of.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are excited to begin renovating our home that we purchased before the wedding. We are looking forward to traveling back to our honeymoon location once a year, having a family, and growing old together.

Photographer: B. Flint Photography / Videographer: Frameblender Films / Planner: Claire Kiamie of One Fine Day Event / Ceremony Venue: Oxford United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: Ole Miss / Florist: Oxford Floral / Cake Baker: Sweet Things by Janet Smith / Caterer: My Michelle’s LLC / Rentals and Lighting: Magnolia Rental & Sales / Band: DMP Band with Ram Entertainment / Paper Products: Nest Paper Studio / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3415″ by Lazaro / Bride’s Veil: Meringue Veil / Hair Stylist: Bloom Salon & Spa / Makeup Artist: Jessica Mathias / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani from Dillard’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Ball Gown” by Two Birds / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids Memphis / Menswear: Thomas Brothers

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Mare & Jake | An Oxford Mississippi Wedding | b.flint photography | mississippi wedding photographer reply

    […] photography: b.flint photographyevent planning: one fine daycatering: my michelle’sMUAH: bloomreception venue: Ole Miss Campusceremony venue: Oxford-University United Methodist Churchrentals: magnolia rentalreception band: DMPfloral: oxford floralcake: sweet things by janet smithcinematographer: frameblender filmswedding dress: lazaroshoes: antonio melaniphoto booth: the hardin housePUBLISHED IN SOUTHERN WEDDINGS […]

  2. avatar betty simmons reply

    I attended the wedding, and it was simply lovely!! We even brought our children and 4 grandchildren. One said I met a real princess!

  3. avatar Antonio Gual reply

    Stunning wedding– Best wishes!

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Throughout my 4+ years of writing here on Southern Weddings, I’ve written about couples BDK and I have been wedding date twins with, who have similar stories as us, and even a groom that played on the same baseball team as my beau. But, Wendla and Thomas are a very special couple to me, as they’re the very first reception venue twinsies I’ve had the pleasure of writing about! I have always adored the Lakeside Inn for its charm, location, and beautiful porch, and seeing it decked out in gold glitter is so unique! BDK and I had a very traditional reception in the lobby of this historic hotel, and seeing its front lawn transformed into Wendla and Thomas’ pretty navy celebration has me planning a trip to Mount Dora in my head. I can assure you, the adorable town is as magical as their celebration makes it look!

Thank you so much to Kt Crabb for sharing this sweet soiree with us!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The bridesmaid dresses! I knew I wanted gold sparkly dresses, but was having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted. My neighbor, who is also a seamstress, offered to help make them. We searched through many fabric stores and ordered countless fabric swatches until finally finding the winner. Each girl sent her a dress they already had that fit them well, and the seamstress recreated the dresses in my fabric. I was very nervous about how they would look all together, but it turned out perfectly. They glimmered and sparkled all day long!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We wanted our wedding to be traditional, so a first look was just not for us. I was so excited to see Thomas’ expression at the front of the church when I walked down the aisle. And I’m so glad we waited–his face at that moment was my favorite part of the day!

Knowing we would both be anxious on our wedding day, repeating traditional words seemed more realistic for us. As simple as repeating vows seems, I was so excited on our wedding day that I blurted out “I will” before the correct time, much to the amusement of our guests! Thomas’s father is a Methodist minister in Tennessee, and was able to perform half of the ceremony, along with my church’s minister. His homily was perfectly tailored to us and our relationship.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I am from Mount Dora, Florida, and my family has lived here for many generations, so it was important for us to share that with our guests. We were married at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church. My great-grandparents owned the house that used to stand on the property of the church, my grandmother played the piano there many years ago, I was baptized there, and I spent many summers and lots of time after school there with the youth group. With all of those memories, it was the perfect place for Thomas and I to say “I do.” For our reception, we went to the Lakeside Inn during our search and immediately knew that we would have our reception there. It is a historic hotel on the water in the heart of Mount Dora with a large yard in front. Our planner suggested putting a white tent there and making the place exactly what I wanted. I melted at that thought!

I absolutely love hydrangeas. My grandmother had blue ones in her garden when I was growing up, and they were always so gorgeous! I chose whites and light pinks in order to not overpower the striking bridesmaid dresses (my favorite part of my entire wedding, other than my groom). My bouquet was made of white hydrangea, light pink garden roses, and a dusty miller collar. My reception flowers were very special, because they were arranged by my mom’s good friend and nursery operator, who volunteered to make my floral dreams come true. She set up all of the white hydrangeas in my multiple tall and short vases.

We met at a coffee shop to taste cakes made by an adorable lady who works out of her home. Thomas chose two flavors for the head cake: a pink champagne cake (her custom flavor) with cream cheese filling, and white chocolate cake with raspberry filling. I chose the edible gold glitter for the outside of the cake.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in medical school in July 2012. I was an incoming second year student assigned to Thomas, an incoming first year, to be his “big.” I helped him move into his new place and get ready for his first year. I was immediately infatuated by his Southern charm and good looks. I am so grateful for my dear friend who set up the big-little matching! Soon after school began, we started studying together daily. That eventually led to me giving Thomas an ultimatum: either we go on a date, or I had gone too far beyond my big-little responsibilities. He was a true gentleman and won me over on our first date. By the end of the year, we had introduced our families to each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! Thomas completely surprised me! He got my father’s blessing and my family heritage diamond, picked out the setting, and waited for a good time. We were living in different cities and had hectic schedules, and he came into town one weekend for a local gala fundraiser. When I got home from my shift, he was already there with flowers and wine. That wasn’t too out of the ordinary, since he always went above and beyond during the times that we could see each other. He took me out to my family home’s back porch to “look at something in the backyard.” When I turned around to ask what he was looking for, he was down on one knee. I couldn’t believe it! He asked me to marry him and I said “Absolutely!”
When did y’all get married? March 21, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our parents and bridal party entered to a piano rendition of “A Thousand Years,” which we heard on the radio months before the wedding and flagged it to be a part of our big day. Our first dance was to “Come to Me” by the Goo Goo Dolls. Thomas used to sing it to me every time it came on in the car, and one day, I said “Can this be our first dance?” He was very excited!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Nothing says Southern more than family! From the pre-wedding parties to the after-reception soirée, mine and Thomas’ families mixed and mingled like old friends. The people in my hometown went above and beyond to make sure our wedding day (and the whole weekend) was just what we wanted.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Studying for medicine is a task in itself, but adding a wedding to the mix is something else. We truly learned how to communicate and listen during our engagement. We were living in different cities for rotation purposes, and had to schedule and reschedule wedding planning opportunities. This taught us a lot about each other, and even more, it taught us about balancing our careers and marriage.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I matched into pediatrics in Orlando, so we will live together for a year. He will match next year in a military residency program, and will most likely have to move out of state to be on an Air Force base. We will live apart for a few years apart while our careers start, but eventually will be reunited to start a home together. With his military commitments, we have no idea where we will be, but we are excited for the adventures that come with that!

Photographer: Kt Crabb Photography / Ceremony Venue: St Edward’s Episcopal Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Lakeside Inn / Florist: Terri’s Flower Shop / Cake Baker: The Cake Lady / Rentals: Grand Rental / Lighting: Grand Rental / DJ: Accent Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Mikaella Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Pure Aveda Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Vera Wang / Groom’s Coat: itailor / Menswear: Michael Kors / Bow Ties: The Tie Bar

Kt Crabb is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Your article has captured the truly beautiful wedding that it was. The bride and groom are a perfect couple.

  2. avatar Wendla Sensing reply

    thank you Marissa for your beautiful post of our wedding day! So happy we are reception venue twinsies!

  3. avatar Jillian Pottkotter reply

    Love this wedding. The hints of navy and gold are just wonderful. As a fellow married medical school student, I know how hard juggling everything can be. Good luck on your residencies!

  4. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #195 – Floridian Social reply

    […] If gold glitter is your bag, you'll adore this bit of lovely in Mt. Dora. […]

  5. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #194 – Floridian Social reply

    […] If gold glitter is your bag, you'll adore this bit of lovely in Mt. Dora. […]

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Neither Olivia nor Chad is from the South, but after meeting in Charleston, they knew they wanted to start their marriage there, and show their friends and family why they love it so much! Thanks to its beautiful oak trees, big ol’ wraparound porch, and boat access, The Creek Club and its quintessential Lowcountry feel proved to be the perfect place to introduce their guests to the South. With a little help from a fun tradition, the South showed off with a glorious day for Olivia and Chad to say their vows! Speaking of vows, I love that Olivia said, “Knowing we were saying the same vows that our parents and grandparents said before us made it very special for us.”

Boy, we’re happy Kelly Dillon was on hand to capture this sweet day!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did, thanks to our photographer, Kelly. We really loved the idea of an intimate moment for our first look, and we loved that a lot of pictures would be out of the way so that we could enjoy our cocktail hour instead of disappearing for an hour or so. I also don’t think it took away from the walk down the aisle–my heart was still pounding and I still teared up with excitement when I saw Chad waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

For us, our favorite detail had to be our lab, Buoy. Chad has had her since before we met–she is how he got me to come over to his house the first time, and she is with us for literally everything we can incorporate her into. Having her be our flower dog was so important. We may be crazy dog parents, but having her there for our big day made it even more special to us!

My wedding flowers were everything I could have dreamed of and more, thanks to Whitney at Branch Design Studio. With the help of Pinterest, Whitney was able to see what I liked, which turned out to be anything pink! After that, she gave me several books of past weddings she had done so that I could point out what flowers and styles I liked. This was super helpful because before the wedding, I knew the names of very few flowers–I did not even know what a peony was!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Neither of us are from Charleston–we both moved here about five years ago. I am from northern Illinois and he is from western New York. After getting engaged, we knew we would be married in Charleston. We wanted to show all of our friends and family why we live here and why we love this city so much! We wanted the venue to be outside and on the water, things I think every Charlestonian loves. The Creek Club at I’on had everything we could ask for: a large lawn for the ceremony looking out over the creek, Spanish moss, and nice, large oak trees. It had the quintessential Lowcountry feel, thanks to a huge wraparound porch that was perfect for hosting cocktail hour. Chad also loved the venue because it would allow him to arrive and then us to leave together via our boat. This was a unique feature that not many other sites offered.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? For me, it was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Chad, the man of dreams and love of my life, standing there smiling and waiting for me to join him. I may have already seen him that day, but my heart had never skipped a beat like that before.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My maid of honor was coming into town from Chicago for a weekend, so we decided it would be a great time to try on gowns. We went to White on Daniel Island for the first shop of the day, and Jodi, the owner, was the perfect hostess. After a little discussion on what I might like (strapless, sweetheart neckline, a-line, no lace), my MOH, another bridesmaid, Jodi, and I started putting dresses into the fitting room for me to try on. When I put on my gown, I was hesitant at first, but I loved all of the beading and crystals and the fact that it was a little different than most wedding gowns. We decided that this would be my number one choice, but I would continue trying on other dresses. From that point on, I compared every dress I tried on to that one, and nothing compared. The following weekend, we went back to White, I tried on every Jenny Packham gown there was to offer, and put on the gown I loved last. It was still the most gorgeous gown I’d ever seen and it just felt like me. Jodi let me twirl around in it for a good hour or two and popped another bottle of champagne to celebrate!

Not being from the South originally, we wanted to show off some amazing Southern Lowcountry cuisine. To showcase that, we started with appetizers of chicken and waffles, mac and cheese, and sweet BBQ shrimp. In our welcome bags, we included bags of stone ground grits, along with our favorite shrimp and grits recipe, to allow our friends and family members to try it out when they returned home. As far as Southern tradition is concerned, a month before our wedding, we buried a bottle of bourbon to bring us good weather. I’d say it worked because it was the most gorgeous day in early May with the perfect temperature in the upper 70s. Clear skies gave way to a beautiful Charleston sunset!

We love seeing our “I Choose You” print from the Southern Weddings Shop at Olivia and Chad’s reception!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was just perfect for us. It was a four-tiered white and gold foil cake with stenciling. I thought it had just the right amount of elegance and tied in with our wedding colors. Tammy at Cakes by Karsada was amazing to work with. We chose vanilla cake with alternating fillings of raspberry and Italian buttercream and blueberry and Italian buttercream. Sooo good!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chad and I met in December 2010 at Midtown Bar & Grill in Charleston. I had just finished nursing school finals and was about to go home to Illinois for the holidays, and Chad was out with some friends. After mingling and several drinks, he managed to get my real name and number. Over the holidays we texted back and forth and he asked me out on a date when I returned. On January 6, 2011, I almost decided to be a no-show on the date, but I went after some friends told me I should. We met a Pearlz Oyster Bar and ended up having a great time. The rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! A little over three years into our relationship, we were in Breckenridge, Colorado on a ski trip with a few other couples. After a great first day of skiing, Chad said he wanted to get one last run in and asked if I could film him with the “slow-mo” option on my iPhone as he came down the mountain. He did an awesome run and I was so excited that I had gotten it on video that I didn’t notice until after he finished that he had taken off his skis and sat down next me. He finally got my attention and asked me, “Babe, today has been an amazing day, right?” I said, “Yes?” He continued, “Well every day of these past three years have been amazing with you. Will you marry me?” I said yes and couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day.
When did y’all get married? May 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not. This was something that we knew we wanted to keep traditional from the start of our wedding planning. Knowing we were saying the same vows that our parents and grandparents said before us made it very special for us.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Pinterest. It was my best friend and worse enemy. I may have always dreamed of getting married, but colors, flowers, and lighting were all new to me. Pinterest gives you so many options, it’s hard for someone as indecisive as myself to really focus on what I wanted. I actually stopped myself from going on Pinterest after I met with our florist and lighting vendors so that I couldn’t change my mind on anything.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? A huge cost saver for us was that my husband is a graphic designer. He designed our wedding logo, and designed and printed our invitations, ceremony cards, escort cards, and menus for the wedding. We had quite the printing pop-up shop in our home!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax and enjoy your engagement–it will be over in a flash. It’s easier said than done, but at the end of the day, it will all work out and be the most exhilarating day of your life.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are just excited to return to regular life together! We already own a little home on the upper peninsula of Charleston. Chad can now return to doing little projects around the house. I have taken the summer off of graduate school, but I still have one year left to obtain my MSN as a family nurse practitioner. We are also looking forward to adding to our family with the addition of another puppy soon!

Photographer: Kelly Dillon / Planner: Meredith Tanton of Sweetgrass Social / Venue and Catering: Creek Club at I’on / Florist: Branch Design Studio / Cake Baker: Cakes by Karsada / Rentals: Eventworks / Linens: La Tavola Linens / Lighting: TEC / Band: New South Players of East Coast Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: “Daphne” by Jenny Packham / Bridal Salon: White on Daniel Island / Hair and Makeup: A Jolly Occassion / Bride’s Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “2880″ by Dessy / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaid Charleston / Menswear: Brooks Brothers / Ties: Private Stock Ties

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Antonio Gual reply

    What a charming wedding celebration! -Best wishes!

  2. avatar liam smith reply

    beautiful cake

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