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Last week, we asked if you were planning to recite traditional or custom vows over on our Instagram, and the answers were so interesting. My husband and I recited traditional vows ourselves, but I always love hearing the sweet promises and personal vows our couples write. While I know some people are a bit intimidated by the idea of writing their own vows, I think Laura and Alex’s process is a great way to ease the nerves! Sitting at “their table” at a favorite vineyard that is filled with memories of past dates, they wrote the words they would exchange together. Laura and Alex not only took the time to create personal details that reflected their relationship at their wedding, but made the effort to honor their families as well. Especially since their families played an important role in their story, from the fact that their parents lived in the same town (though they had never met!), to being present when Alex proposed, including them in a special way at the ceremony was an obvious decision. Their parents were honored with a parents’ blessing that I’m sure left more than a few eyes misty. Be sure to read the sweet sentiments, but grab your tissues first!

Thanks to Landon Jacob for sharing Laura and Alex’s South Carolina celebration.

Describe your wedding flowers. I really know nothing about flowers. I told Karin Jeffcoat that I wanted them to feel like spring. She had free creative rein with just two requests: anemones and Scottish thistle. We chose the anemones for the deep navy centers and the thistle to honor Alex’s Scottish ancestry. We used a lot of greenery and soft ivory, peach, and silver. My favorite part was that Karin added mint to the arrangements to balance the delicate floral scent with a fresh herb. It smelled amazing.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed my clutch from Rent the Runway. My old was a family heirloom tea cup and monogrammed silver spoon. My blue was an embroidered handkerchief from my aunts. My new was my bridal jewelry. My mom also got me a sixpence from England for my shoe.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. Alex wanted a very traditional wedding ceremony. I was a little disappointed at first, but he was totally right. When we saw each other for the first time with our family and friends surrounding us, it was perfect.
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 of his was “I will guide you on new adventures.” My favorite line of mine was “I will navigate our way.” We always joke that he leads the hikes looking for the safest path and easiest way for me and I navigate making sure that he doesn’t get lost. I loved writing our vows together. We went to a vineyard where we are both members and have shared wonderful dates, sat on the front porch at “our table,” and wrote them together.

We chose our venue after losing our original location. We were planning a South Carolina wedding from Oregon and I panicked when we found out in June that our first option wasn’t going to work. We had been to a wedding at our venue before and we both loved it. I called, and as it turned out, they were available and everything fell into place.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We buried a bottle of bourbon to keep the rain away. Our menu was geared toward Southern food–we had grits, fried catfish, BBQ, and pickles. The Krispy Kreme doughnuts were also a big Southern element. We focused our florals around local farms and flowers. One of our signature cocktails was bourbon-based. We also incorporated our Clemson traditions with music, photo booth props, and chants.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our event designer and florist, Karin. From the moment I met her, I was in love. She knew who I was and my taste even when I couldn’t communicate it well. She went above and beyond to make everything personal and special. She is the kind of woman that epitomizes a Southern lady–she is polite, smart, loving, caring, and so strong. Her taste is beyond reproach and she goes above and beyond with everything.

We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake. Instead, we had wheels of Oregon-made cheese stacked to look like a cake. We also had a Krispy Kreme doughnut tower, because Krispy Kreme is my granddaddy’s favorite food.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take time to create personal details not just for you and your husband, but for your family as well. We honored both families with details, from the flowers to desserts. The family blessing was another way that we wanted to make everyone a part of this special day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in Oregon, where we now live. We were working for the same engineering firm and met at a happy hour. I was talking about books and Alex haughtily said, “You look like the kind of person who reads Harry Potter.” I countered with, “You look like the kind of person who can’t read.” He was shocked that I picked back so quickly. After that, we realized that we both went to Clemson University at the same time and that our parents actually live in the same town. We slowly developed a friendship and realized how much we loved the same things: hiking, exploring our new city of Portland, good food and wine, photography, and silly movies. We have now hiked over 400 miles of trails and traveled all over the country together.
Tell us all about the proposal! My favorite holiday is Christmas. I may or may not go a little overboard with family traditions and cookies. That particular winter was very cold in Oregon and I told him that all I wanted was an ice scraper with a glove. Alex insisted that on Christmas morning, my mom and I come to his parents’ house to open presents. Everyone was opening one present at a time and Alex was getting very impatient. Finally, everyone had opened all of their presents. Alex told me to sit on the couch and that my “big” present was next. I couldn’t imagine what it could be. He placed a shirt box in my lap that was almost weightless. I opened it to find the gloved ice scraper. I couldn’t figure out why he had made such a big deal about it, but then, he told me to try it on. I was a little exasperated and just shoved my hand in. My middle finger got stuck on something and I couldn’t get my hand out. He kept saying pull hard, get your hand out, etc. Finally, I got my hand out with a mighty tug. Alex had sewn my engagement ring into the ice scraper! He proposed with both of our families around us. After many tears and hugs, his mom exclaimed, “OH Alex! You shouldn’t have surprised all of us, what if she had wanted to say no?” As it turns out, Alex had only told his best friend what he was planning so that it was a complete surprise to everyone!
When did y’all get married? April 17, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 80
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did a parents’ blessing and a reading. We wanted to involve our families as much as possible. The parents’ blessing was: “A marriage is not only the joining together of two individuals, it is also a joining together of two families. The care, support, and nurture which have been extended to Alex and Laura by their families is as important now as it has ever been. In fact, it needs to be extended now to include another person. Both families need to be committed to support both partners in this marriage. Lance and Wendy, you are not losing a son, but rather, you are gaining a daughter. Do you promise to love and encourage Laura as you would your own? If so, answer ‘We will.’ Janet, you are not losing a daughter but rather, you are gaining a son. Do you promise to love and encourage Alex as you would your own? If so, answer ‘I will.'”
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was very organic. We would talk about how we compromised or leaned on each other for wedding planning, and made those things part of our marriage plan. We also spent time with our minister to talk about the importance of faith, respect, and love.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We DIY-ed our photo booth and favors, potted succulents. Surprisingly, the cake of cheese was also a major cost saving; all of the cheese was only $250. We did a cocktail hour with only our signature cocktails to limit bar costs, and then switched to beer and wine for the rest of the reception.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing each other for the first time is something that we will always cherish. I couldn’t keep still during the ceremony because I was so happy to finally marry Alex. People laughed at me because I was bouncing during the ceremony.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are on our way to Japan to celebrate a belated honeymoon. We will be cruising around the island, visiting, and hiking for 11 days. We are so excited to go to a new country that neither of us has ever been to. We’re also excited about the little memories and traditions that we are building in our home.

Photographer: Landon Jacob Photography | Planner: By Invitation Only Event Planning and Design | Venue: 701 Whaley | Designer and Florist: Cote Designs | Caterer: Southern Way | Rentals: 428 Main | Ceremony Music: Micah Gangwer | DJ: Dave Gilbert via PartyTime DJ’s | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: Style 106 by Marisa | Bride’s Jewelry: Freida Rothman | Bride’s Clutch: Gela Clutch by Inge Christopher via Rent the Runway | Hair Stylist: Mikel Rumsey | Makeup Artist: Dannon K. Collard | Bride’s Shoes: “Gwinee” by Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Scoop Lace Sheath by Josie Natori via Rent the Runway | Menswear: Vera Wang via Men’s Wearhouse

Cote Designs is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    The Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the wedding cake is such a cute idea. Love all of the details of this wedding and how personalized it is. Truly feels like a southern wedding!

  2. avatar Laura & Alex – MiKel Rumsey : MiKel Rumsey reply

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When you think of a Texas ranch wedding complete with tacos and line dancing, I bet Scottish bagpipes and kilts aren’t what you picture along with it–but that’s exactly what makes Laura and Callum’s wedding so amazing! These Scottish sweethearts welcomed their loved ones to their new home of Houston for their wedding, so naturally, they had to pull out all the stops showing everyone a true Southern celebration. Even though they decided to tie the knot an ocean away from home, though, their wedding wasn’t without some incredibly special nods to their home country, from the Scottish thistle Agave Estates included in the boutonnieres to the Robert Burns poem Laura’s aunt read during the ceremony. I loved seeing how Laura and Callum brought Scottish and Texan cultures together on this special day, and am so glad Leighanne Herr was on hand to capture it all!

We picked Pine Lake Ranch for both the ceremony and reception. I fell in love with the setting of the ranch, especially the big old oak tree where the ceremony took place. We loved that we had a venue that could hold all of our family and friends in one location. The ranch was beautiful, scenic, and spacious.

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted the flowers to be simple but beautiful. My florist selected the sahara and blush roses to put into my bouquet, along with seeded eucalyptus. My bridesmaids had beautiful peach stock and seeded eucalyptus bouquets. My florist gave my dad an English sahara rose for his jacket pocket and my husband and his groomsmen had Scottish thistle for their kilt waistcoats.

Instead of writing vows, we wrote three things we loved about each other, which we gave to our minister before the big day to read to us. Additionally, we also did a unity box as part of the ceremony. We wrote letters to each other, which we popped into the box during the ceremony with a bottle of red wine and nailed the box shut. We plan to open the box when we reach our first anniversary.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Highland Cathedral” played by the talented bagpiper Jason Dunn. “Highland Cathedral” is a very traditional song played at Scottish weddings. As Scotland is very dear to us and where we both call home, we wanted to incorporate a little bit of home into our ceremony.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The taco truck. We really wanted to give all our family and friends a sample of the food we have fallen in love with since we moved to Texas. We decided to hire a taco truck for the cocktail hour for all of our guests to enjoy. My only regret was not getting to have one!

Whisk Bakery did a fantastic job with our wedding cake and dessert bar. The cake was an absolute work of art, and the pecan pies and brownies were a great success with our guests. We had nothing to take back with us, as it all got eaten; luckily, my day-of coordinator managed to save the top tier of our wedding cake, so we enjoyed a slice of the yummy cake the following morning.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? As our wedding took place in Texas, we thought it would be fun to have a dance instructor come in and teach our guests some Texas line dancing. We got all of the guests up to line dance to Steve Earl’s “Copperhead Road.” It was so much fun!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in Edinburgh in 2007 where we were both studying at university. Like the start of any good love story, we met in a night club. Callum was sitting down because he doesn’t dance, and I needed some rest from dancing and sat down beside him. Callum asked for my number and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! After finishing university in Edinburgh, a move to Aberdeen to start our careers, and an adventure across the pond to live in Houston, Texas, Callum popped the question in October 2014 on a weekend away in Dallas. After a few “Is this really happening?!” and “It’s only been seven years, are you sure we are ready?!” I finally said “Yes!!!”
When did y’all get married? April 2, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 92
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Shopping for my wedding dress was a little stressful. I never knew I was so picky with dresses until I started researching what I wanted. In the end, I settled on a fit and flare mermaid dress. As a word of warning to all future brides, if you like to dance and/or move, this dress style is not ideal.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My aunt beautifully read a Scottish poem by Robert Burns, “My Luve is like a Red, Red Rose.”
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Borrowed: My auntie Sue gave me her beautiful bracelet to wear, and my auntie Kathy made my garter with blue bow details embroidered on it. My grandmother’s brooch was my something old. For my something new, my maid of honor gave me a lovely white horseshoe which I carried down the aisle with me.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was difficult not to get caught up in the planning stage. We had such an amazing and supportive minister. Meeting with him was a vital part of keeping us focused on why we were planning a wedding and the planning of our marriage.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At the very end of the evening, both my husband and I were on the dance floor, “Loch Lomond” by Runrig was playing, and we had all of our family and friends in a large circle around us, singing. We remember saying to each other that we couldn’t have been more thankful and blessed to have everyone at our wedding to celebrate our next adventure together as husband and wife.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are still living in Houston, Texas and loving every minute of living here. We are excited to announce that we are expecting and will be welcoming a little one to our family at the end of April! We are so excited and can’t wait to meet the little one.

Photographer: Leighanne Herr Photography | Planner: Bundle Bride | Venue: Pine Lake Ranch | Florist: Agave Estates | Wedding Cake: Whisk Bakery | Caterer: Taco Nuts | Band: Royal Dukes Band | Bagpiper: Jason Gunn via Drones N Drums | Paper Products: 4 Love Polka Dots | Bride’s Gown: Winnie Couture | Bride’s Accessories and Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN | Hair and Makeup: Adorne Artistry | Bride’s Shoes: Ivanka Trump

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

    These details are amazing! Loved the florals around the tree and the cake especially! The couple looked really fun and unique, too :)

  2. avatar this week's clicks: ovaries before brovaries. – KORULY reply

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Planning a wedding from afar can be challenging, but Tara and Henry knew they wanted to get married at the the historic Belle Meade Plantation… even without seeing it in person. With the help of Elliott Events, they planned a sweet, Southern soirée in her home state of Tennessee, all while residing in New York City. Of course, after a trip to Belle Meade, their expectations were exceeded–I’m sure a sigh of relief was had by all! With a venue filled with so much character, Tara and Henry decided to keep the things simple, with classic Southern details and minimal embellishments to truly showcase the history and charm of the plantation. A wise choice, in my opinion!

Thanks to Alex Bee for sharing Tara and Henry’s joyous day!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One of my bridesmaids is an incredible hair stylist, so she did my hair for the wedding. That was really special for me. The guys’ tuxes all came from a store called Peppers in Sydney, so it was really cool for Henry to have something from home as a part of the wedding. And it was so special for both of us to be married by our pastor from our church in New York City, Josh Kelsey from C3 Brooklyn.

We wanted to get married in Nashville because it’s near where I grew up, and we both love the city so much. We love the way Belle Meade is beautiful and well-preserved, but still so authentic, and it has so much history. We actually booked it before we even had a chance to visit. There were so few dates available in the spring, and we didn’t want to miss out on our chance to book it. Luckily, when we went to visit a month later, it exceeded all our expectations.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Choosing the songs was very important to us! We love music, and we have so many special memories connected to songs. To name a few: “Magic” by Coldplay played before the ceremony; the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to “Like Real People Do” by Hozier; I walked down the aisle to “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen; and walking back up the aisle, we played “O-o-oh Child” by Nina Simone. Our first dance was to “Horses” by Daryl Braithwaite, and the bouquet toss and the garter throw were to “Two of a Kind” by Garth Brooks.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew that I wanted a pretty traditional dress.I went to look at one store with one of my bridesmaids, and when I tried one dress on, my friend told me I had to get it. It was bigger and heavier than I’d imagined though, so I held off. A few weeks later, I went to a different store with a few of my other best friends. That store happened to have the same dress, so I tried it on again. They all had the exact same reaction–they told me it had to be the one. I trusted my friends’ judgment, and I’m glad I did! I never would have picked it on my own, but I ended up being so happy with it!

It was a little difficult planning from New York, but we had an amazing wedding planner who made it so much easier! Tiffanie Elliott looked after every detail, presented us with options that we loved, and gave us a push whenever we were lagging with making decisions. If it’s feasible for you budget-wise, I really recommend hiring a planner (Tiffanie, if she’s available!). It relieved so much of the stress and fuss and allowed us to enjoy our engagement. This is the only time in your relationship that you’ll ever be each other’s fiancé, so remember to enjoy it!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We tried to maintain a classic Southern style throughout, while keeping things elegant and simple. We felt that the venue had so much character that we didn’t need to embellish it much.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking into dinner in the carriage house when we were presented and seeing all of our friends and family together. It was an unbelievably happy moment.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and Henry is from Sydney, Australia. I spent a year in Sydney for grad school, then moved to New York City. Henry happened to move from Sydney to New York at almost the exact same time. In New York, I became good friends with an Australian couple who had also moved to the city. The guy was working on plans to open a cafe, and Henry was his business partner. Despite the fact that we had mutual friends, we didn’t meet for more than two years after that, when the cafe opened and I helped out for the first week. Henry asked me on a date, and we went to a jazz club that night. Before long, we were in love and inseparable! Ten months later, we were engaged.
Tell us all about the proposal! For my birthday, Henry had gotten us a night at a beautiful resort in Big Sur. About six weeks later, we arrived at the gorgeous property. Henry wanted to take a walk before dinner, but the trail we tried to go on was too steep and rocky for me in my heels. Then he started to lead me to a grassy patch, but there was a huge snake there! So, he suggested we go back to the porch off our room for a drink before dinner. He asked me to marry him and pulled out an incredible ring he had designed using a sapphire his mom had given him when he was 12 years old. I was absolutely shocked and so happy!
When did y’all get married? April 2, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Henry’s sister Lucy read the lyrics of a song that’s very special to us, and our friend Serena read a passage from Ephesians in the Bible.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Henry owns a cafe and a restaurant, and I am an author. We both work at Henry’s restaurant, and I am also writing a new book. We love being able to work together and support each other. Whenever we can, we spend time together and with friends, going to restaurants and shows in the city. We look forward to buying a house someday where we can go to get away and enjoy nature (eventually, with our kids!).

Photographer: Alex Bee Photo | Second shooter: Sur la Lune Photography | Videographer: Loomis Films | Planner and Florist: Elliott Events | Venue: Belle Meade Plantation | Wedding Cake: Dessert Designs | Caterer: G Catering | Rentals: Music City Tents and Events | Band: Emerald Empire Band | Bride’s Gown: Hayley Paige | Bridal Salon: Lovely New York | Hair Stylist: Marissa Martoni and Abigail Swan | Makeup Artist: Katie Russo Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: Aldo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Sleeveless Tulle over Lace Dress by White by Vera Wang | Menswear: Peppers

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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