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A girl after my own heart, Jennifer has a strong love for her family and anything with old Southern charm. Oh, and magnolias and monograms, so we’re basically already besties! We’re also in agreement that Southern summers are too hot, and fall is for football, so a sweet springtime wedding it was!

With 80% of their 300+ guest list traveling into Greenville for their wedding weekend, together with their families Jennifer and Matt threw a weekend-long adventure that she describes as “joyous, exciting, classic, and timeless!” From the welcome cocktails and dessert with a view of the Greenville skyline for out-of-towners to the bridesmaid luncheon on her great-grandmother’s china and my personal favorite, “Bullets & BBQ” for the groomsmen (!), Jennifer and Matt made each and every guest feel special, welcomed, and fully introduced to the South that they love throughout their wedding weekend!

Big hugs to Olivia Griffin for sending along this beautiful day!

Finding my wedding dress was such a wonderful and special weekend with my mother. Since I now live in Cincinnati, OH, we decided for her to fly up for a fun-filled weekend full of champagne, silk, lace, tears, and tons of laughter. We had appointments at the top bridal boutiques in the area and we saved the best for last at Hyde Park Bridal. Amanda and Madison gave us the ultimate mother-daughter bridal experience in their beautiful boutique full of beautiful dresses and such an unbeatable atmosphere. I was very open to different styles but had it slightly narrowed down with this being our final appointment. We tried on several dresses and quickly determined which one was perfect for me! That is right when my mother recommended a final dress that was a little different from the others. I was hesitant at first glance, but once I put it on, it was truly love at first sight for both of us (that is also when we realized I was going to have TWO wedding dresses) and I think that ended up being the perfect decision for us. I am still so in love with my dresses and couldn’t be more pleased with how classic and elegant I felt on my wedding day.

Our florist Greg Foster was a dream to work with throughout the entire wedding process. We had a very clear vision that he was able to bring to life in the most perfect execution. I had dreams of magnolia leaves, peony bulbs, cymbidium orchids with accents of greenery, David Austin roses, lots of draping leaves, exquisite swag, and so much garland. We had highs, lows, swags, garland, and large specialty arrangements, but one of my most favorite pieces was on and around our main boxwood hedge wall situated behind our main bar area. The hedge wall was topped with thick beautiful arrangements highlighting the whites and greens of a truly unique and elegant visual. It was our exact vision brought to reality.

Our story all began in a wonderful place called Clemson, South Carolina. More specifically, Clemson University, where we both attended college. We were both very active in extracurriculars and Greek life at Clemson. In fact, it was my friend and sorority sister that first introduced us when we were blindly set up for my freshman year sorority semi-formal during the fall of 2009. What came next was truly something special. Dances, dates, tailgates, and everything in between, we began to grow and build the relationship that has lead us along this wonderful path to marriage.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. Although we had several discussions about the convenience and timeliness of a first look, ultimately, we wanted to cherish the live moments of our day together. Matt felt strongly about seeing me for the first time walking down the aisle towards him on our wedding day, in the truest and most traditional sense of our moment. We are so pleased with our decision and we will hold those special moments dear in our hearts forever.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We absolutely loved our wedding weekend and how we were able to incorporate some of the most beautiful Southern highlights that Greenville has to offer. I grew up in the area, and through the years Matt and I were in school together, we were able to see Greenville transform into such a special city. We spent many dates including our first Valentine’s Day in Greenville, and it really hit home to be able to share those wonderful memories and charming venues with all of our friends and family.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Personally, I believe that our wedding cake was and is the most beautiful, classic, and perfect wedding cake that I have ever seen. Kathy at Kathy and Company is the sweetest (pun intended) and most talented baker. I was able to sketch out our vision and she created our absolute dream cake. It was four tiers, each a different flavor: almond with almond amaretto filling, white chocolate caramel apple with apple spice filling, chocolate with Reese peanut butter filling, and red velvet with cream cheese filling. YUM. Each layer alternated with buttercream frosting and white chocolate fondant. Two of the layers had raised fondant French dots (to match my veil) that she hand-painted in gold, as well as the painted skinny gold bands around each layer. The cake also had three large stunning sugar magnolia blooms with gorgeous green leaves with touches of gold that looked so lifelike and perfect. To top off all of Kathy’s amazing artistry, we had a custom wooden cake topper of our wedding logo and all of its intricate golden details created by a good friend at Grainwell in Covington, KY. Our cake really did encompass some of my most favorite Southern elements and details all in one.

Tell us all about the proposal! Matt did it. He somehow found a way to surprise me, a feat of its own. Our whole “plan,” because we all know that I love a good plan, was to get engaged after Matt took his bar exam at the end of July that year. I had outfits waiting and nail appointments booked to be fully prepared for August – and that was the kicker. I had absolutely no idea that Matt had been plotting for months ahead and would jump the gun and pop the question early. So, the weekend of June 19-21, while Matt was “supposed to be” buried in his studies for the bar, I headed down to South Carolina for Father’s Day. While I was there, I may or may not have had several meetings booked to meet with some potential photographers that we already liked so that we were fully prepared for the “plan” in August. Well, one of the photographers had to reschedule the day before due to her “babysitter backing out on her” and requested that we meet her quickly in Clemson before she did a different engagement session. I was not pleased, to say the least. My mother and I went to our other meetings, did some shopping, and had lunch all before heading to our meeting in Clemson. I later found out that behind the scenes, Matt, his mom, and my mom were all freaking out. I ended up loving that photographer, Olivia Griffin, and as we were wrapping up our meeting, Olivia asked if we would like to see her in action as she photographed this other couple. I hesitated thinking that it may be awkward, but my mother quickly piped up that it would be fun. So I reluctantly agreed and we were instructed to meet the photographer at the President’s Rotunda on Clemson’s campus. We proceeded to head in that direction in 99-degree weather. We park and are walking down the sidewalk to the rotunda when my mother claims to have forgotten something in the car. I quickly scold her that I am absolutely not walking up on this random couple alone and kept my mother tightly by my side. Just seconds later, we round the corner and there he is – Matt is standing in the center of the rotunda. I am in complete shock as I drop down to my knees and immediately start crying. Matt was supposed to be studying in Ohio, yet here he was in South Carolina standing right there. Still crying, Matt now has me in his arms as he reminds me of the sweet meaning that the rotunda represents: a lifetime of love and happiness for Clemson alumni. He continues with all the warm fuzzies of asking me to spend forever with him while getting down on one knee. Through lots of tears, joy, kisses, and some shaking, we’re 99% sure that I said yes! Moments later, Matt leans me back and says that some people came to celebrate with us… from behind the columns, my teary-eyed dad and mom and Matt’s parents in from Ohio all appear, and I naturally drop again to my crying position that was so popular this day. We all celebrated together while the photographer was capturing everything on camera. We continued the celebrations at the Esso Club, a famous Clemson bar, where again, Matt had organized another surprise. He was feeling pretty good about what my answer would be and so he had the Esso Club place “Congrats Matt & Jennifer, she said yes!” on their sign. Needless to say, the celebrations continued throughout that night.
When did y’all get married? Saturday April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 320
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: With a wedding so jam-packed full of details that are so near and dear to our hearts, it would be impossible to pick just one. Our most favorite detail would have to be the implementation of so many details that, when combined, turned out to be one of the best days of our lives.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! We are very sentimental people and incorporating special elements was an important priority to both of us, so we had several of each. My something borrowed was my great-grandmother’s delicate opal ring (my grandmother’s name is Opal) that I wore on my right hand. My something blue for the ceremony was one of the most touching surprises of the day. My grandparents hand-sew these incredible cathedral quilts and my all-time favorite quilt of theirs is a blue and white chinoiserie pattern. Prior to the wedding day, my mother and my grandmother were able to stitch in one of the blue and white quilted squares inside my gown that triggered all of the waterworks when I spotted it while getting dressed. For the reception, I wore the royal blue Manolo Blahnik ballet flats that I absolutely adore (and that I also had to condition my husband and father that I had my wedding shoes picked out before I picked out my groom and that they were a priority). My something old was the necklace gifted to me that morning from my parents. They had my mother’s original diamond engagement ring setting transitioned into a charm on a simple gold chain necklace. My mother put that around my neck and it has not come off since my wedding day. I am constantly reminded of the growing love of my parents that this charm symbolizes, and having it close to my heart every day is one of those simple things in life that will forever be cherished. I was also able to incorporate my great-great-grandmother’s monogrammed handkerchief that my grandparents gifted to me on my wedding day as another special something old. For my something new, my parents gave me beautiful pearl and diamond earrings to wear that day, and they were just perfect.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? A sweet Southern spring wedding was always a dream. In the South, as you know, the summers are too hot, the falls are for football, and the winters are just okay…we knew we wanted a beautiful South Carolina Southern wedding from the start. I think we really focused on what is important to us and wanted to portray that in a way that reflected our relationship throughout the entire wedding weekend. We had a lot of emphasis on family history, heirlooms, classic white elegance throughout, and true traditions to celebrate our love with all of our most favorite friends and family. From personally drawing our magnolia wedding logo to the beautiful white columns upon the grand stairs of our church, to the hand stitched veil my momma made me, and all the way to the late night country ham Bojangles biscuits. We tried to incorporate some very meaningful details that created a joyous, exciting, classic, and timeless weekend-long adventure. One of my most favorite Southern elements was our favor. I drove down to my grandparents’ house in Georgia for the weekend. With the help of my mother and my mamaw and papaw, we made 300 jars of strawberry preserves from scratch with lots of love and a few arm cramps. We had such a wonderful time making these favors from my great-grandma Dailey’s original canning recipe. My great-grandma Dailey was well known across the GA, NC and SC farmer’s markets for these preserves. We were so thankful for everyone being a part of our special day that we wanted to continue to spread the love by sharing in this special family recipe! Our favor table included a photo of all of us in matching aprons in the kitchen making all of the jam, and it was just such a great experience that I will forever hold dear to my heart! You may be starting to see a theme – I love old Southern charm. All of the beautiful unique gold and crystal bowls, servers, and stands that were used throughout the reception were family antiques directly from my grandparents’ home. I have a deep appreciation for the elegant details and history of these items. Some of the items I had admired since I was a child so for us to be allowed to use those on such a special day meant the world to us! Thanks mamaw and papaw! In true Southern form, we fully embraced the classic monogram. Monogrammed ice sculptures, suspenders, matchbooks, welcome bags, frosted cups, wax seals, flower girl dresses, gold tux buttons, koozies…you name it, it was probably monogrammed.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While planning our wedding, we tried to constantly reflect and take time to enjoy each moment together. It is very easy to get caught up in the lists and stresses of planning a wedding, especially one that takes place 7 hours away. I think being aware of that going into the process enabled us to find the excitement and joy in each situation and to learn from those challenging moments. We learned more about important values and long term goals that will carry us into a long and happy marriage together.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge we overcame while planning our wedding was the distance to South Carolina. I am a very hands-on planner who likes to see, touch, and feel things, so living 7 hours away was a little hard for me at times. Fortunately, I was blessed with an amazing momma as well as a phenomenal planner, Amanda Cox, who lived right in town. They were my eyes, ears, and hands for so much and I could not be more grateful for their love, support, and soothing phone calls that brought our fairy tale wedding to life!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way that we were able to cut cost for our wedding was in the design/crafting area of the budget. I was blessed with some of my momma’s artistic ability that proved very helpful (and fun) in planning our wedding. I drew and designed our wedding logo, digitally laid out our programs, did all of our wax seals, created the signage and sign calligraphy, and more – all things that would have significantly added up on design sites and specialty boutiques. I thoroughly enjoyed letting my creative juices flow and saving my daddy some money in the process!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? One of the most memorable moments of our wedding day was reading the letters that we wrote to each other. As we were in separate locations, our wedding planner delivered our letters to us. We didn’t really set expectations on what the letters were or what they were supposed to be, and what each of us got was so beautiful. In the middle of the hustle and bustle of all things wedding day, it was such a peaceful and heartfelt moment to separate from each of our groups, sit down in a quiet room, and read each other’s thoughts, prayers, and emotions on our wedding day. It was a moment of true feelings, an outpouring of love and of excitement and tears. It was a moment that we will each remember forever.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The most simple advice that we can pass along to the next couple is to have fun and take deep breaths, to make lists and to laugh, cry, and cheers to all of the moments and experiences that will lead to one beautiful ceremony, one fabulous celebration, and ultimately to the rest of your happily married lives together… (and to use the Southern Weddings Planner from day 1)!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re looking forward to enjoying the newlywed life. We are excited about moving forward with purchasing our first home and pretending to be like Chip and Joanna. We are most looking forward to enjoying the small things and cherishing each moment together.

Photographer: Olivia Griffin | Videographer: Carlisle Videography | Planner: Amanda Cox Weddings | Ceremony Venue: Grace Church | Reception Venue and Catering: The Westin Poinsett | Florist: Greg Foster Florist | Wedding Cake: Kathy and Company | Cake Topper: Grainwell | Rentals: Professional Party Rentals, Industry Event Rentals, and All Occasions Event Rental | Lighting: Professional Party Rentals | Band: Ascension via East Coast Entertainment | Personalized Marriage Certificate: The Southern Weddings Shop | Guest Book: Blue Sky Papers | Paper Products: Designs by Dawson | Calligraphy: Calligraphy By Kim | Velvet Ribbon: Creative Trims | Wax Seal and Wax: Back to Zero and Nostalgic Impressions | Vintage Stamps: Magnolia Tree Stamp from Mystic Stamp Company | Bride’s Ceremony Gown and Veil: Custom by Paloma Blanca | Bride’s Reception Gown: Style 2357 by Tara Keely | Bridal Salon: Amanda’s Hyde Park Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Cotton Rouge and Company | Lashes: Verb Beauty Studio | Bride’s Ceremony Shoes: So Kate Pump by Christian Louboutin | Bride’s Reception Shoes: Hangisiflat by Manolo Blahnik | Wedding Rings: The Richter and Phillips Co. | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Bride’s Clutch: Monogram Goods | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Emily” in Cement Shantung by LulaKate from Bella Bridesmaids | Men’s Attire: M. H. Frank Ltd.

East Coast Entertainment is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Erin, Attention to Darling reply

    Such a gorgeous and classic wedding! I had the pleasure of working with Jennifer when I lived in Greenville and it doesn’t surprise me that she pulled off an event so perfect and stunning! Congrats!

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Jessica and Sawyer may have chosen to forgo a few traditions, but they made sure that sweet Southern hospitality was not one of them! Since they had guests coming to town from all over the country, they wanted to give them a taste of what they love about Texas through their venue and menu selection. Opting for a laid-back vibe, these two chose to add only simple decor to the already-lovely Brooks at Weatherford and let their Tex-Mex menu (fajitas and margaritas!) shine! And of course, their dance floor was open all night! I think I might be having guest envy, y’all!

Big SW hugs to< a href="http://www.sarahmckenziephoto.com" target="_blank">Sarah McKenzie for sharing their special day with us!

I knew exactly what I was looking for before dress shopping: something classic with sleeves and lots of lace (think Kate Middleton). I actually only went to two stores, and my wedding dress shopping was complete in one day. It was an overwhelming, but super fun, experience, and my mom and I had a great time.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. I know it’s so hard not to, but seriously, it doesn’t matter! Your guests will not care if you forgot to print the ceremony programs or if you left your guest book at home. Try to remember that this whole wedding thing is about marrying each other!

We didn’t participate in too many traditions, as we wanted the focus of the day to be our marriage and getting to celebrate that with friends and family. However, since we had guests from all over North America, we wanted them to be able to experience all that Texas had to offer. Everything from our venue to our food and drink selections were meant to give guests a taste of what we love about Texas!

Sawyer popped the question in a sweet, private setting when we had a moment alone, which was exactly what I had wanted. We arrived home to a private family celebration, but the big surprise came the following week! I was surprised with a giant engagement celebration, courtesy of our TCU friends. I had friends who drove from all across Texas to attend, and we had an absolute blast, complete with a margarita machine and a freestyle rap battle (it was epic). It was such a sweet surprise and easily one of my favorite memories.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to use a set of vows recommended by our church, and just changed a few pieces to better fit our relationship. This was my favorite verse/line that I read: “Today, I am reminded of James 1:17, which says, ‘Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights who does not change like shifting shadow.’ Besides the gift of salvation, you are the most precious gift God has given me.”

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I think the most memorable moment of our wedding day was eating dinner together in the bridal suite. After the ceremony, we chose to eat alone so we could spend a few minutes relaxing. Our caterer brought in plate after plate of fajita fixings and two margaritas, and we got to sit on the couch, feet up, pigging out together. It was SO nice to have a moment of peace to enjoy our food and process the day before entering the craziness of the reception.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Since we were having Tex-Mex for dinner, we went with a triple Mexican vanilla cake, plus a Texas chocolate sheet cake for the groom’s cake. We wanted to give our out-of-town guests a taste of Texas while they were there!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I think my favorite part of our wedding was the laid-back vibe. We went for simple decor, dinner was fajitas and margaritas, and the dance floor was open all night.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Sawyer and I met pretty early on in our college careers at TCU, through a mutual friend, but didn’t get to know each other until we started working on a philanthropy project together junior year. I needed a date to my sorority’s formal that same fall, and the rest is history!
When did y’all get married? July 22, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look! This was a recommendation from our photographer, Sarah, and was seriously the BEST decision. Taking photos (especially in the July heat) can be a less than fun experience, so getting to take most of our photos pre-ceremony was a huge relief. It also helped calm both of our nerves; Sawyer is my best friend and I didn’t want to spend our entire wedding day apart. We were able to spend more time with friends and family after the ceremony, and we got much more quiet time alone as well. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who is on the fence–walking down the aisle was still incredibly special and emotional!
Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted our flowers to be the focal point of our decor. We wanted lots of neutral shades of white, cream, and dusty blues, along with tons of greenery accents. Our florist, Sage Fine Flowers, executed this beautifully! We had lots of hydrangea, thistle, greenery, and succulents that all came together to create a very light and summery look!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We participated in a marriage class and premarital counseling through our church. It was a great way to get to know each other on a deeper level and prepare to live together as a Christ-centered couple.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge we had was working within our budget. Events are my passion, so it was important to me that this day reflect us as a couple. We ended up having to prioritize what was most important for us and the guests. Things like fancy invitations and monogrammed napkins got cut from our priority list, but we didn’t end up missing them!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? My wedding coordinator, Tracey, really helped keep my stress levels in check. I think that a lot of people assume that if they like planning events, they can get away with coordinating a wedding on their own. My full-time job is planning events, but no matter how experienced you are, it is impossible to enjoy your day as a bride without a dedicated person on-site running interference for you. I wanted to enjoy my day and I wanted my friends and family to do the same, and that would not have been possible without Tracey. She kept things running smoothly, and was crucial in pulling all of the final details together for me so that I had more time to enjoy my engagement season.

What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Sawyer and I are living in Fort Worth and already have what feels like a herd of dogs (it’s actually only two). We are looking forward to experiencing life together, traveling, and spending time with the people we love!

Photographer: Sarah McKenzie Photography | Videographer: Jared Christopher | Planner: Tracey Shellum | Venue: The Brooks at Weatherford | Florist: Sage Fine Flowers | Wedding Cakes: Pennie Miller | Caterer: A Sophisticated Affair | Rentals: Beautiful Event Rentals | Lighting and DJ: Exodus Sound Company | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: Lusan Mandongus | Bridal Salon: Bridal Boutique of Lewisville | Hair and Makeup: Micaela Evans of Kiss and Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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Though Catherine and Will did give a lot of thought to eloping, they ultimately decided they wanted to celebrate their marriage with their friends and family, so a wedding weekend it was! After a whirlwind search that ended with lots of great venues but none that felt exactly right, they found themselves on a tour of Blue Ribbon Vendor RT Lodge. The peaceful atmosphere and opportunity to have the property all to themselves for the weekend sealed the deal!

String lights, bales of hay covered in family quilts, and s’mores by the fire helped create the magical, “grown-up summer camp” feel Catherine and Will were hoping for. And judging from the joy in these photos, I’m thinking they’re pretty glad they didn’t decide to elope!

Thanks to Cody Myers for sharing their sweet Tennessee day with us!

The wedding dress wasn’t a detail of planning that I was especially excited about, so I put off looking until a ways into our engagement. Because we were on a tight timeline, I knew we needed to find something that day. After trying on a few dresses that were definitely not the one at different shops, we went to The Sentimentalist. The dress I ended up going with was flowy and relaxed with great lines. It had the perfect feel for our wedding, and I couldn’t have been happier!

I was very against the idea of not seeing Will until I walked down the aisle, so we both had breakfast at the lodge with our bridesmaids and groomsmen. Seeing him that morning was so nice, and it set a great tone for the day. If it was supposed to be one of the most important days of our life, it didn’t seem right not to spend most of it together! After breakfast, we went our separate ways to get ready with our friends, and then we had a first look in our wedding clothes in the woods at the Lodge.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We gave a lot of thought to eloping, but once we decided to have a wedding weekend, we decided to get married in the mountains in North Carolina. After a whirlwind search, we decided to go look at RT Lodge in Tennessee. It isn’t what I thought we were looking for, but as we toured the property under umbrellas, the peaceful atmosphere pulled us in! It really felt like grown-up summer camp in the woods.

We used traditional Presbyterian vows, and we loved the simplicity and significance of those words that have been said time and again…”in plenty and in want; in joy and in sorrow; in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.” And it was so meaningful to use the words “husband” and “wife” for the first time!

The only readings we had at the ceremony were two Bible verses. One of our officiants read Romans 12:1-2, 9-18, and our other officiant read Colossians 3:12-17. We wanted our ceremony to be simple, meaningful, and very centered on God.

We wanted our ceremony music to be traditional, but walking down the aisle made me nervous, and listening to traditional processional songs made me even more nervous, so we decided to go with a more contemporary song for that part! One of our officiants suggested at an early meeting that we have everyone sing a hymn during the ceremony, and we chose one of our favorites (“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”). We chose to have the hymn be played right after communion, so we were still sitting down in the seats with everyone, which was so sweet.

Will and I danced to Blake Shelton’s “Mine Would Be You” for our first dance. Our bluegrass band played a shortened version of it and it was really fun! My dad and I danced to Elvis’s “Sweet Caroline,” a song he would sing to me when I was a baby.

Our cocktail hour site was a grassy area just behind the ceremony site that had strung lights from trees Alex had planted and hay bales covered in family quilts around a fire. One other really sweet detail we loved was that after our rehearsal dinner, everyone hung out by the fire making s’mores and relaxing. It was the perfect ending to a really great day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Will and I met on my first day of work at the Tennessee governor’s office (I give him a hard time because he doesn’t remember meeting me!). We slowly became office friends, and after a while, things began to shift into the possibility of becoming more. Will finally asked me out on an October Friday to go watch a Braves playoff game after work. After a somewhat bumpy first date (I was really nervous and didn’t even have my ID!), the rest of our story has been an amazing adventure!
Tell us all about the proposal! As soon as our busiest season of work ended, Will planned a trip to the Grove Park Inn in Asheville for a weekend getaway. On Saturday, we drove up the Blue Ridge Parkway to find a place to hike. After a lot of discussion with locals about where to go, we ended up at the summit of the Craggy Gardens Pinnacle trail with 360-degree views. After enjoying the view for a few minutes and taking some pictures, Will began saying some amazing things, and he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him! We were able to enjoy the rest of the day up on the mountain, and then we celebrated with a perfect dinner in downtown Asheville. We didn’t tell anyone the news that day (except for every stranger I encountered!), so on Sunday, we spent the drive home calling friends, and even stopped in Knoxville to tell my mom on Mother’s Day (my dad already knew).
When did y’all get married? October 24, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 105
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: For me, the paper aspect of the wedding were something I was very excited about! I was able to create the save the dates and I painted the fireplace at the lodge and did the calligraphy, and we had Chelsea Petaja create the most wonderful invitation suite. I loved working with her and I couldn’t have been happier with the way everything turned out. I love vintage stationery and stamps, so I started collecting old stamps as soon as we got engaged. Each envelope had six or seven vintage stamps on it! One of our favorite details of the actual wedding was the ceremony and cocktail hour sites–Alex (our coordinator) made those blank canvases come to life!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Making sure I was wearing each category was one of the details that ended up not happening in the chaos of the weekend, so I only had a borrowed veil and new dress/shoes. BUT, there was a lot of “old” strung throughout the wedding, like the old (and blue!) Chevy truck, the cake topper, the film photography, the Super 8 video, my paternal grandparents’ wedding guest book that we used as our guest book. We laugh that our wedding was straight out of the 50s!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? Will had a special bourbon bar during the reception, which was made up of a selection of bourbon from Southern distilleries. For our rehearsal dinner (which took place on the front lawn of RT), we ate barbecue, drank Cokes in glass bottles, and had banana pudding served in the sweetest Spode Woodland bunny bowls. Most of our food had a Southern base, from fried chicken at my bridal luncheon Friday to collards at the reception!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We tried to be very intentional about the fact that the wedding was only one day in the scope of our entire marriage, so we went to a marriage seminar, had counseling with our minister, and read a lot of books together like Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage.”
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We had Campbell Brewer film our wedding in Super 8 video. The nostalgic feel of our video is incredible, and all of our details fit perfectly with that medium. He edited amazing videos for us. Because we had an amazing film photographer (Cody Myers) shoot the weeding, the video truly feels like our photos came to life! I loved using the wedding as an excuse to hire really talented people I know. My friend, artist James Worsham, created our altar–it was so perfect! He really set the scene with the wood altar, the fabric draped over, and the copper flower stands he made! Also, I had an artist I know from high school, Adele Yonchak, paint small canvases for my bridesmaids; they turned out so perfectly, and I loved being able to give them to my closest friends.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It was really important to us that the day be centered around the ceremony. Communion was served during our ceremony, and being able to experience that sacred moment with our closest family and friends while rain lightly fell was so special.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Will loves old trucks, and I was able to borrow an amazing 1960s Chevy pickup truck from a couple I know in Knoxville. There was a road next to our ceremony site, so Will drove us away from the ceremony in that! Our videographers got amazing Super 8 footage from the bed of the truck, and even running alongside while we were driving.

Photographer: Cody Myers | Videographer: Campbell Brewer of Clark Brewer Photography | Planner, Venue, Catering, Rentals, and Lighting: RT Lodge | Florist: Lisa Foster Floral Design | Wedding Cake: Cheryl McMillan Cake Design | Cake Topper: The Delightful Crow | Ceremony Music: Tim West and Adam Cromer | Band: Sweetwater Road Band | Paper Products: Chelsea Petaja | Save the Dates: 23Postcards | Printing: Midtown Printing and For Your Party | Invitation Stamps: Bride and Verde Studio | Bride’s Gown: “Kerry” by Theia | Bridal Salon: The Sentimentalist | Hair Stylist: Eric Patterson and Elisabetta Proietto of Twisted Scissors | Makeup Artist: Patty Watson | Bride’s Shoes: Tali Grand Waterproof Bow Wedge in Canyon Rose by Cole Haan | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Shadow Grey, Mist Grey, and Blush by BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen’s Ties: The Tie Bar | Welcome Bags: Bradley’s | Transportation: Big Love Bus | Altar: Handy Dandy Productions | Bridesmaids’ Gifts: Adele Yonchak

RT Lodge is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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