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When it comes to weddings, and many other things for that matter, I’m a firm believer that simple is often best. A few carefully chosen, purposeful, beautiful details that can stand on their own without being cluttered by too much “stuff” can have such an impact, and more importantly, this approach leaves guests the mental space to focus on you and your new husband, rather than be distracted as they try to take in countless activities and displays. Lauren and Jeremiah are a perfect example of this lovely restraint–they selected a naturally beautiful venue, accented it with a few meaningful touches (the lily of the valley bouquet Jeremiah had sent to Lauren’s bridal suite, and the strawberry shortcake they cut into that nodded to Lauren’s childhood tradition, to name a few), and focused on enjoying their day with their many out-of-town guests. I can only imagine what beautiful memories they have of the time they got to spend with the ones they love on their wedding day!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was looking for a combination of delicate, classic, bohemian, and breezy. The designer Rosa Clara really unified these aspirations and included the subtlest hint of sexy. Miraculously, during a weekend off, there was a Rosa Clara trunk show in Raleigh! I was completely enamored with the second dress I tried on. My mother and sisters live in Michigan, so we had to resort to FaceTime for their approval–which was unanimous.

We chose to do a first look because we wanted to maximize our time spent with out-of-town guests. Many of our family and friends traveled from the Northeast and Midwest to North Carolina to celebrate our wedding. It was the perfect choice for us–I do not believe I could have waited until the evening to kiss him!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had both our ceremony and reception at the spectacular Merrimon-Wynne house. It was important to us to provide our guests with an easy experience, due to the fact that many had traveled to share the weekend with us. I looked at a number of places and none could compare with the elegance and glamour of Merrimon-Wynne. The clincher was the insanely gorgeous bridal suites (yes, there are two!), where we primped and preened all morning.

There was beautiful sunny and breezy weather throughout our wedding day, until the moment I walked down the aisle. When our reverend began speaking, the skies opened up and poured rain! The wedding party scurried inside and we completed the marriage ceremony in a cozy, ornate hallway, surrounded by our loved ones who were spilling into rooms and peering around staircases. The intimacy of the ceremony reinforced that marriage is ultimately about love and family.

Describe your wedding flowers. We chose a miscellany of shades of green and white. The flowers were free-flowing and loose, with ample herbs incorporated. My mother and I purchased a variety of mercury glass vessels and used them to make the centerpieces. Jeremiah has a green thumb and filled the vases with potted sage and lavender. He also gifted a lily of the valley (my childhood favorite flower) bouquet to the bridal suite, which perfectly matched our color scheme.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jeremiah’s siblings are incredibly talented musicians and vocalists, and they kindly performed a song by Kishi Bashi called “Q&A” during our ceremony. The song reads like poetry and lent itself well to an acoustic performance. Our first dance was to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet. The movie “Once” was the first movie for which I stayed awake for the entirety of the film, so it had some playful meaning, and Jeremiah thought the tempo lent itself well to a foxtrot.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first crossed paths during my Tufts Medical School years while Jeremiah was completing his residency program in Otolaryngology. There was a definite attraction, but we were very work-oriented during those years! Our romance (inconveniently) began when I moved to North Carolina to start my own surgical training. After one whirlwind and surreal travel weekend, we both knew there was something special between us that was worth the effort and occasional pain of long distance.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremiah and I had a standing Friday night champagne date to treat ourselves after travel. The evening started like most others–he had to work late, so I fell asleep on his couch. We were casually enjoying our bubbles on the couch when he completely surprised me by bending down on one knee and promising to make my smile his lifelong goal. After I tearfully and happily agreed, he whisked me off to a romantic French dinner in Cambridge, followed by a romantic getaway weekend at a cabin in Maine. The weekend was complete with skis, lobsters, and rare sunny Maine snow!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we crafted our entire ceremony with Reverend Renteria. It was an enjoyable experience to pick and choose the different aspects of the ceremony together. Our mutual favorite phrase was a playful and all-encompassing quote from George Bernard Shaw: “You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallion fellow vagabond, my tempter and star.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My family has a long-standing tradition of enjoying strawberry shortcakes on summer evenings, and since strawberries are in season in May, we opted for strawberry shortcakes with lemon cream and thyme. To simplify our lives, Posh Nosh Catering created the dessert as well as our dinner.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! I did a lot of wedding planning in the early morning hours between consults and responded to emails between surgical cases. It was a nightmare to schedule my dress fittings during regular work hours!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to make the experience as playful as possible, because it can easily become very stressful. I accomplished this by convincing my fiancé to walk in the woods or head to a brewery so we could discuss wedding details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I need to finish my residency and Jeremiah is starting a new job, then we can finally embark on a more “normal” life together. We are running a marathon and share a mutual enjoyment of hiking and adventuring.

Photographer: Perry Vaile / Venue and Planning: The Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Watered Garden / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Posh Nosh Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Band: The Reckless Brothers / Bride’s Gown: “Ubeda” by Rosa Clara / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar / Makeup Artist: Thuy Larker / Bride’s Shoes: “Landmark Metallic Strappy Heel” by Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Officiant: Reverend Robin Renteria

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Abby and David deeply desire to “live their lives in a way that leaves a legacy of compassion,” and they wanted their wedding to be a reflection of intentionality and authenticity. I think it’s safe to say that this worthy goal was definitely felt throughout their sweet wedding day! Abby and David hosted their guests at Abby’s beautiful family home, where it was easy to create a comfortable and welcoming environment. Abby’s mama, the owner of Brown Eyed Girl Antiques, helped them bring their eclectic aesthetic to life while focusing on keeping guests warm and cozy, complete with family quilts, warm cider, and lots of fire pits for chatting around. If their ear-to-ear smiles are any indication, I’m sure guests were ever so grateful for this hospitality!

Thanks to Someplace Wild for sharing this lovely day with us!

Shortly after David proposed, my family traveled to St. Augustine, Florida where my mom, sister, stepdad, and I went to a few local wedding shops. Choosing my dress was one of the fastest decisions of the wedding planning process! At one store, the owner said she knew just the dress for me. I walked out wearing it, my stepdad got teary-eyed, and I knew that was the one. I had never seen him cry in my life! It was also the perfect fit–I was able to buy it off the rack, which was good because our engagement was only five months long. When we returned to our car, I looked through my wedding folder and found a magazine page of the EXACT dress I had just purchased. It was definitely meant to be!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I loved being able to have Someplace Wild as our photographer. Christina has an amazing talent of making everyone feel comfortable. I can see every emotion in the faces of guests that she captured. Having her present during my wedding day was a complete joy. I will cherish what she created for years to come.

We had a lot of music throughout the ceremony. David is a musician so this was his area of expertise. We chose “Found a Heart” by Emily Hearn while the bridal party walked down the aisle–we love this song because it really expresses the excitement and magnitude of the wedding day.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We chose to reserve our first look for the ceremony. It took my breath away to see him as I walked down the aisle, and made that moment really special!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think the key to saving money was keeping the guest list to an intimate size. This was difficult to do, but really helped in the end.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We got married at my family home. It created a comfortable and cherished environment for our wedding day!

My favorite detail of the wedding was having it in my family home and how much of an impact my mom’s decorative style had on the evening. She owns an antique booth called Brown Eyed Girl Antiques, so she was able to salvage and create various environments throughout the night. My favorite pieces were the lanterns with lit candles hanging in the trees! She was a part of every detail and her industrial, eclectic style shined throughout the night. We had a wonderful time working together as a family to create this weekend, with surprisingly minimal arguments :) Many guests stayed late into the night visiting and socializing, even after we had departed. This was a great aspect of having an at-home wedding.

We had a very bohemian-styled cake, courtesy of Caken’ it Easy, that was a textured, three-tiered cake in a classic white with mossy green accents. Lynn Bottoms and Betty Cox, who are local family friends, also made their specialty desserts and added variety to the selection!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The meal was provided by ROUX, a local Southern restaurant. We served cajun shrimp and grits and Lowcountry boil on vintage Blue Willow plates. My stepdad, grandfather, and a local carpenter built a wooden cross as the centerpiece for the ceremony. The wood was obtained from the floor of an old local barn. We provided hand-sewn quilts for our guests as they sat during the ceremony. I gave my bridesmaids vintage brooches to place in their bouquets. I picked them based on personality, hoping they could wear these brooches again! We also had fire pits throughout the yard for guests to sit around and enjoy watching the dancing!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. David and I met through mutual friends at a wedding. I snuck over to his table and ended up spending the majority of the night talking with him! He instantly caught me off guard with his humor and genuine demeanor–I wasn’t even afraid to tell him about my fear of wearing red at weddings or that I had almost read the COMPLETELY wrong scripture during the ceremony (John and 1 John…there is a difference). From the beginning, our friendship was simple and real. We continued to see each other at various events over the next few months. I literally lit up inside every time I saw him, but neither of us had decided to pursue one another quite yet…..until the marriage of the previously mentioned mutual friends! At their wedding, David finally asked for my number and called a few days later. Our first date was at La Fonda, where we spent hours trying to decide what to order between our endless chatter and laughter. We went with the chicken tacos, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! One of the things on our dating bucket list was to hike Stone Mountain and watch the sunrise. David picked me up one Sunday morning at 5:42. I don’t even think I brushed my hair that day…too early. We started our hike around 6:30 am. About halfway up the mountain, I began wondering if maybe we should call it a day and watch the sunrise from the bottom, but David quickly persuaded me to keep going. The view from the top was beautiful, and we picked a rock to sit on and enjoy the sunrise. At one point, I asked David if he had any water in the backpack he had carried up the mountain. He looked at me and said, “No, but you know what I do have in this backpack?” He then got down on one knee with a ring and asked me to be his WIFE! After a few seconds of elation, I turned around to find a few of our best friends, who had trekked up the mountain before dawn to surprise me! As if that was not enough, David had planned a surprise breakfast with our close friends and family when we hiked back down. I cannot tell you how many times I cried tears of joy on this day!
When did y’all get married? November 15, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had meetings with our pastor for premarital counseling and also read the book “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller. A lot of our focus was on our marriage–we really did not fret over details of the wedding. With the help of our family, I knew it would all come together just as it was meant to.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I would say my most memorable moment was my stepfather and dad walking me down the aisle. My parents separated when I was five years old. A few years later, my mom remarried and my stepdad came into the picture. My stepdad has been a rock in my life and is the most dependable man I know. My father and him get along well, and my dad has also been very active and supportive in my life. Their relationship has always been jovial and supportive. Having these two walk me down the aisle was a great moment of healing and happiness for me and my family. Also, my stepdad is a man of few words. He has always been the provider and “go-getter” rather than the “let’s talk about it” type. He made it clear he wasn’t wanting to make a speech, and requested that my mother give the welcome speech for both of them! This was fine with me, and the planning continued. However, midway through dinner the night of the wedding, my stepdad stood up and asked for the crowd’s attention. I thought he was going to make a general statement about where to go once dinner was completed. Instead, he gave the most eloquent, authentic speech about how proud he was of me and how supportive he was of our marriage. Almost every guest was left speechless and teary-eyed. It was standing ovation-worthy. I will never forget it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We want to leave a legacy of compassion. We want to be remembered as a couple who cares and who can be dependable in a time of need. We want to be remembered as intentional and authentic. I hope the details of our wedding captured this, but we also try to live this principle out in our daily lives as well.

Photographer: Christina Devictor / Planner: Beth Miller and Laura Hintz / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Funky Mountain Flowers / Wedding Cake: Cake’n It Easy / Caterer: Roux on Canton / Rentals: Tents, Tents, Tents / Lighting and Special Details: Brown Eyed Girl Antiques / Music: Jim Drennan and Tory Fallis / DJ: Omar of Spectrum Events / Hair and Makeup: Elle Cardenas / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style #F15555 in Mercury by David’s Bridal / Menswear: The Black Tux

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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There are so many things to decide on when planning a wedding, and whether or not to do a first look can be a tough choice for many couples. For Rachel and Tyler, however, it was easy as pie! Rachel shared that they chose to do a first look because “we wanted nothing more than to be together that day.” While the decision of a first look may be different for many couples, I would venture to guess that spending as much time together on your wedding day is something everyone hopes for. One thing I always tell my engaged friends is to stay together at the reception–hold hands and don’t let go! It’s easy to get separated with hosting duties, but nearly seven years later, I still remember visiting with all our guests hand-in-hand with BDK. I am sure Rachel and Tyler can say the same!

P.S. How stunning are these florals by Magnolia Alley? Rachel’s bouquet might be one of my favorites ever!

I’m so glad that Love, Chloe Lane not only orchestrated Rachel and Tyler’s meeting, but was also on hand to capture their sweet day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My grandmother was sick from liver cancer, so she, my mom, and I went dress shopping together, just the three of us. I wasn’t expecting to find anything the first time looking, but then I fell in love with the first dress I tried on. It ended up being the only time my grandmother got to see my in my dress, and it was the sweetest moment.

My flowers were the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen! Our florist included my favorite flowers, peonies, along with some pops of burgundy to match the wedding colors.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. We wanted nothing more than to be together that day, so seeing each other before the ceremony just made sense for us to make our day more special.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. My favorite line Tyler read to me was, “As I look at you, words cannot describe how blessed I am to have such a beautiful bride looking back.” Tyler’s favorite line I read to him was, “I am so thankful that we were best friends before we were together–that made falling in love with you so easy.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I’m a Southern belle, so every detail, in my opinion, had some Southern class to it, from the flowers, to the cakes, to the country music. All the people who attended were pretty Southern, too!

My dad and I did a crazy dance for our father-daughter dance. We took everyone by surprise because NO ONE knew about it! People are still telling me how great that dance was!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My mother and I decided to please everyone and serve a variety of cakes. We had white, chocolate, strawberry, red velvet, and Italian cream. They were all delicious!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Four years ago, my best friend, Chloe (our wedding photographer!) tried to convince me to go to prom because her friend Tyler was dateless. Chloe worked her magic and convinced Tyler to ask me. Since then, we have been best friends!
Tell us all about the proposal! Tyler and I had just gotten back from a family vacation on a cruise. We had so much fun that we decided to book another one for the very next month. One night, we were walking around the back of the ship watching the sunset when Tyler knelt down, poured his heart out, and asked me to marry him. Of course, I said yes! It was so hard not having any communication with family or friends right away to tell them the big news, but it made those few days before we arrived home all the more sweet for just the two of us!
When did y’all get married? October 10, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 250
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My sweet grandmother gave me the most beautiful handkerchief embroidered with lace before she passed, knowing I would need it on our special day. My mom also let me borrow the first ring my granddaddy gave to my grandmother to wear on my right hand.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? During our engagement, Tyler and I started going to church together. It’s so important to keep Christ number one in your life and marriage, so we made sure to make that part of our relationship.
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? Enjoy every moment through this process. It’s so easy to be stressed out, but just take a step back and breathe. I wish so badly I could do it all over again, because the wedding seriously was the best day of my life!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Our honeymoon has been postponed until December because I’m currently in school, so we are looking forward to that…as well as having babies, of course!!

Photographer: Love, Chloe Lane / Videographer: Equilateral Productions / Venue: A Barn Affair at Turkey Trot Farms / Florist: Magnolia Alley / Cake Baker: Barbra Overstreet / Caterer: Bobby Marcum / Rentals: M & H Rentals / DJ and Lighting: Shawn Boon / Paper Products: How Lovely Paper / Bride’s Gown: “Londyn” by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon: Twirl Boutique / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel / Hair Stylist: Donna Wolford at Visions Salon / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Tricks of the Trade” Maxi Dress by LuLu’s / Menswear: Mitchell’s Menswear

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar mark mcf reply

    it was a beautiful wedding. we had a great time

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