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Category: Real Southern Weddings

Today’s couple’s story is a little different from most of the brides and grooms who grace Southern Weddings! Jeremy proposed spontaneously in Vegas, and he and Ashley were married in a chic, casual elopement ceremony the very next day. While their whirlwind 36-hour engagement was perfectly them, they were excited to share their joy with family and friends, too. A year and a half after their first wedding in Vegas, these wedding industry cuties were pronounced “still married” at a beautiful Virginia barn.

Thanks so much to Justin & Mary for sharing Ashley and Jeremy’s wedding day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! It was about 3 a.m. at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant inside the MGM Grand during the 2012 WPPI, a photographer’s conference (I am a wedding photographer and Jeremy is a wedding cinematographer). Through a crazy turn of events, Jeremy decided that he was going to propose to me as soon as I returned to the table. He borrowed a sterling silver ring from a friend, got down on one knee to the shrieks of our friends, and asked me to marry him! We were engaged and married within 36 hours in the most amazing elopement ceremony EVER! You can see our elopement film here and the images here. It was a complete whirlwind but SO us.

Even though our wedding was in the fall, I wanted pastels, pastels, and more pastels! I wanted our florals to feel lush, inviting, soft, romantic, and pretty, with a touch of glam. Rachel, our florist, did an absolutely amazing job with every single piece throughout the day. She even created a little flower collar for our dog to wear down the aisle! My favorites were the huge succulents and giant dahlias that she found and incorporated throughout the wedding!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Of course! There were several reasons we chose to do a first look. One, of course, being a wedding photographer myself, I knew the value of having that extra time on the wedding day for portraits, which were so important to us. We did not have the weather on our side on our wedding day, and if we hadn’t done a first look, all of our portraits would have been in the rain. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing so many couples have a first look, and the emotions and love that comes from them cemented my desire to have one. Jeremy is my best friend and all I wanted to do was see him and hang out before the ceremony!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did! In my vows, I spoke about the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and how, in that book, the ultimate answer to everything in the universe is the number 42. Through some strange coincidences, that number in particular is very meaningful to us, and I expressed to Jeremy that I was so thankful that “the ultimate answer to everything in my universe was you.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our ceremony was short and sweet. We had one of our great friends, Dave, officiate for us, so it was amazing hearing him tell the story of how we met, offer some advice, and pronounce us “still married.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our food was most decidedly Southern–we wanted upscale, small-plated Southern tapas, and Jodi with Sweetwater more than delivered! We had an entire biscuit bar with homemade jams and jellies, mini mac n’ cheese, mini pot pies, mini grilled cheese paninis with tomato soup, butter beans with cornbread, mini shrimp po’boys…my mouth waters just thinking about it! So many people told us the food was the best they had had at any wedding. Our venue was also so beautifully Southern–a gorgeous home that dated back to the 1800s, tucked away in a tiny Virginia town. I also think our decision to keep the wedding as intimate as possible was Southern too–growing up, we had backyard BBQs and pool parties and were always surrounded by a close knit group of friends and family. I wanted to keep that same feeling alive by not “meeting” anyone at my wedding for the first time!

When we started planning our wedding, I wrote down in my notebook that my dream venue would be a barn with chandeliers. I stumbled across Silverbrook, immediately emailed and spoke to Dot, the owner, and when she said the chandeliers were part of the barn, I couldn’t arrange a site visit fast enough! We chose the venue based on the location and vibe, but we never expected to fall as in love with Dot as much as we did–she was such an amazing part of our day.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had an entire table of Southern dessert favorites! My daddy made his famous banana pudding, which was served in tiny flip-top mason jars. Our incredible caterer, Jodi, put together hand pies on sticks (the chocolate ones were to die for!), miniature Coke floats, and mason jar strawberry shortcakes. We went this direction in lieu of a traditional cake and it was so much fun letting everyone pick their favorites (or try them all!).

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met about eight years ago when I bought car parts from Jeremy and he installed them on my car. Romantic, right? We are both big car nerds and happened to have the same type of car at that time. It wasn’t until about three years later that we saw each other again when a group of our mutual friends organized a snowboarding trip. We annoyed all of our friends by staying up late and talking while everyone else was trying to sleep. It was pretty much “game over” after that!
When did y’all get married? The first time, February 22, 2012. This time, October 12, 2013!
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted this particular Vera dress from the minute I saw it. My only fear was that it wasn’t going to fit me right, so as soon as we picked a date for the wedding, I ran to the store and tried it on. To my absolute relief, it was exactly what I had imagined! With a few tweaks (I added a sweetheart neckline), it was my dream wedding dress. I also picked out a fun BHLDN dress for the reception so that I could show off my favorite accessory, my sparkly gold Kate Spade shoes!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Music is a huge part of our lives, so our music choices were very deliberate! The song I walked down the aisle to was “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros, and we walked back up the aisle to American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life.” Our first dance song was Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life,” and the rest of our playlist consisted of super fun old-school songs that kept everyone on the dance floor all night long!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the overall combination of the items we chose to include in each part of the day–each choice was made with the intention to not only describe us and our relationship, but to provide a fun, Southern party for all of our best friends to come together at. I think one of the detail highlights was Jeremy’s signature drink–a “pickleback,” which is whiskey and pickle juice. Everyone was scared at first, but by the end of the night, everyone was requesting how to make them, and it was so fun seeing everyone cheers-ing with their newfound favorite drink.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The weather! I know that being in the wedding industry, I should know better than to get upset over the weather, but we had a freak nor’easter roll through Virginia the week of our wedding and it would NOT stop raining. I tried very hard to “let go” during the week, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit helpless. However, when the rehearsal rolled around and I was surrounded by my friends and family, I realized it truly did not matter in the least what the weather brought–everything was going to be perfect no matter what. And truthfully, the overcast skies and the foggy mountains made our wedding absolutely magical.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I couldn’t pick just one! Our vendors were amazing and we chose them not only because of their talents, but because of who they are as people. They not only did their jobs, they treated us like family every step of the way, and when we looked around on the wedding night, it made us so happy to see them dancing and enjoying themselves just as much as we did. We had the best team of vendors ever!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There was a point when Jeremy and I were looking around and we realized that even though we had invited lots of family and friends from all different parts of our lives, there was absolutely no sign that these people hadn’t known each other for more than two hours. All of our friends, from all over the country, from all different parts of our story, were dancing, laughing, and cheers-ing together. That was by far my favorite memory–seeing all of our favorite people meet and become friends with all of our other favorite people!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? As hard as it is, and as cliche as it is, at some point you have to let go and know that your marriage is far more important than your wedding. There are going to be things that are out of your control, but what is in your control is how you react, and how you communicate with your soon-to-be hubby in the face of a stressful situation. Know that in your heart, you are marrying someone amazing, and at the end of the day, that is what matters. I promise, everything will fall into place just as it should. You will look back and see the things that went “wrong” as sweet memories that made the day all the better. It will all be okay!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Married life has been incredible!! We are just looking forward to continuing to build our life together, hand in hand, side by side. He’s my best friend and he saves me in the smallest of ways, every day. I can never truly show him how much I love him, but I darn well am going to try! Oh, and hopefully purchasing our first home together soon–we can’t wait!

Photographer: Justin & Mary Photography / Videographer: Josh Gooden / Planner: Antonia Christianson Events / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Silverbrook Farm / Florist: Floral and Bloom / Dessert Baker and Caterer: Sweetwater Cuisine / DJ: Amanda pearl of Fat Cat Productions / Photo Booth: Liz & Ryan / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang “White” / Paper Products: PaperDolls Design / Hair Stylist: Ian McCabe / Makeup Artist: Sarah Rillon / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Levi Denim, J.Crew Shirt, Forever 21 Blazer, Etsy Bow Tie, and Aldo Shoes / Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew Shirt, Levi Denim, and H&M Shoes / Chalkboards, place cards, and window panes: Coastal Calligraphy and Design

lisa Written with love by Lisa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Ashley Mitchell reply

    Ahhhh! What an amazing honor and treat to see our wedding grace the “pages” of Southern Weddings this morning!!! We are so stinking excited!!! Thank you so much!!

  2. avatar Emilia Jane reply

    AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Love you two and I just can’t get enough of your wedding photos :-D <3

  3. avatar Suzy VanDyke reply

    Justin and Mary are amazing photographers, and Ashley & Jeremy are a wonderful couple! I love this wedding!

  4. avatar Liz and Ryan reply

    Ahhh! We just love reliving Ashley and Jeremy’s special day! ;) (x2) So gorgeous! And so perfect! Love you A&J! Ohh and of course AMAZING photographs J&M!!! ;) Love all around! ;)

  5. avatar Rustic wedding inspiration | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

    […] Weddings Virginia Wedding by Justin & Mary By Justin & Mary […]

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Louise’s wedding gown (above)–and so did we! See hers and Billy’s wedding here. Ashley and Jeremy were pronounced “still married” at their sparkly barn wedding. Lauren and Cole‘s […]

  7. avatar Virginia Wedding Film by Josh Gooden – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] who declared Ashley and Jeremy the cutest couple ever after reading their story and admiring their sparkly barn wedding this week! That notion was only reinforced when Josh Gooden sent over their wedding video, which […]

  8. avatar Daniella reply

    Where are your bridesmaids earrings from….I love them!! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous!!

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The team at Mariée Ami is amazing at crafting timeless Southern weddings, so it’s no surprise that when one of their own talented planners said “I do,” the celebration was one to be remembered! At their summer Alabama wedding, Louise and Billy combined their classic style with details that reflected their personalities, like Louise’s lace gown with a fabulous orchid hairpiece, a welcome bag featuring a special gift for guests’ dogs, and even their intricate monogram with bright stadium cups. The end result was an undeniably elegant wedding that was still full of personality!

We’re so grateful to A Bryan Photo for capturing Louise and Billy’s wedding day and sharing it with us in V6!

I love wedding dresses and think you can really tell a lot about a girl and the wedding she wants by the dress she picks out. I see girls every weekend in dresses that I think are beautiful, but it was hard for me to imagine myself in any of my brides’ dresses. I have worn several wedding dresses in the past during debutante balls, so I wanted something more bridal: lace and straight lined. The Lela Rose “Spring” dress was exactly what I wanted. It was the first dress I tried on during my trip to Ivory and White and nothing after that measured up! It was the hardest thing to keep from my nosey groom.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I wanted something a little different. It was going to be a black-tie wedding, so they needed to be long. I played with the idea of doing a pattern, but never really found anything I liked enough. Amsale has beautiful long dresses, so I decided to go with their line. To make it different, I decided to split up the bridesmaids into to three different colors (five in dove, five in graphite, five in French blue).
What did the groomsmen wear? Tuxes with white dinner jackets–white dinner jackets are a Southern thing!

Who participated in your ceremony? I had a huge wedding party, so all of our closest friends were a part of the ceremony. My two cousins, who have always been like sisters to me, read scripture. Since my boss/wedding planner is one of my dearest friends, she carried my dress until I walked down the aisle.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Seeing Billy’s smile at the end of the aisle when he saw me for the first time!

There was no question as to where we were getting married. I love my hometown, Mobile, Alabama, and my parents would not have had it any other way. We chose to get married in August for a few reasons: we did not want a long engagement, a wedding during football season was out of the question, and it was the only open weekend I had as a wedding planner. I was worried about the heat in Mobile in August, so we chose an indoor venue, rather than the outdoor bay wedding I had always dreamed of. Ft. Whiting was the largest indoor venue we could find, and I knew we could accomplish exactly what we wanted in the big, open space.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We love the water and always dreamed of being married in a large tent overlooking the water. While the outdoors was out of the question, a tent was still something I wanted. I knew I wanted navy as the basis of the wedding. I love a mix of garden-inspired design and modern pieces, the crispness of true white, and the preppy touches of boxwoods and ribbon.

When it came to the details, my mind was going 100 miles a minute. My favorites were all the little gifts and favors we had. The hypercolor cups for cocktails once the party got started and the linen cocktail napkins used at the bars were two of my favorite reception details. The hotel gifts also really came together well– we wanted to incorporate my dog into the details, so we had a local artist do a sketch. We used this sketch on canvas bags for the hotel guests, and included frisbees that could be taken home by fellow dog lovers, koozies, and a guest favorite, monogrammed playing cards.

My wedding cake design inspiration actually came very early on in the planning. I wanted a more modern design that still had a classic look. We opted for the design to be in sage green with calla lilies used sparingly on each layer. The groom’s cake was a chocolate fly fishing basket that celebrated Billy’s love for fishing. My favorite part about the cakes was the area in which they were displayed. We had a beautiful lattice designed covered in greenery as a backdrop. Green boxwood walls enclosing the cake area made it feel like an English garden.

Tell us a bit about your first dance. Billy has always been a great dancer, so our first dance was fun! We chose “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green and loved seeing the guests smile and clap as we spun around the dance floor.

Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? Both of our cakes were served on large silver trays that have been in my family for years. The tablecloths for the cake table were also family heirlooms that mean a lot to my family. I was given a toasting cup from my grandmother that both she and my mother used at their wedding receptions.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Our best friends, who are now married as well, set us up. They love reminding us how much we should thank them!
Describe the proposal: I have always loved the water and Mobile Bay. Billy proposed on Mobile Bay on a rainy day in March with our dog, Mae.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Well-planned, gorgeous, and perfect!!!
How many guests attended your wedding? 500
Briefly describe your wedding flowers: The flowers were green and white with a dusty gray. Very free-flowing, like a French garden. I love that flowers today have taken a more natural and unique look. White peonies and garden roses made up most of my bouquet. Since I was going for a touch of whimsy, beautiful ivory, taupe and white satin ribbons hung from my bouquet. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias. For boutonnieres, something simple and small was my only wish. Anything too large seems to stick out on a white dinner jacket.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? The entire party was like a huge cocktail party. Two signature drinks were served: sweet tea and vodka slushies as guests walked in and the famous Mobile Crisy vodka milkshake at the end.
What kind of food did you serve? My guests love good food, but they also love to talk and drink. We had three huge square tables in the middle of the reception that allowed for guests to pick and eat directly from the tables. There were oyster, shrimp, tuna, hot sausage with melted cheese, a variety of salads, and antipasti presentations. We couldn’t end the night without the groom’s favorite thing: mini fried chicken pieces on Sister Schubert rolls and beignets covered in powdered sugar!
What were some of the highlights of the reception? The band was incredible. We love hiring the Atlanta Showstopper for other brides and think they are truly the best. Every guest was on dance floor, having the times of their life. Even our three-year-old, music-loving nephew had to be dragged off the dance floor.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? I did toss the bouquet. I had the florist make six small bouquets that I could hold as one. When I went to throw the bouquet, it split into six so that more than one girl could soon have their dream wedding.
Tell us about your grand exit. Billy and I decided to change out of our wedding attire. We went with a classic look. I wore a fitted, short white dress with just enough flare. Billy wore a blue tweed blazer and slacks. We ran past our guests, who were holding sparkers, and jumped into a black town car that whisked us away. Firework rockets shot off every couple of feet as the car drove away. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We took a week-long vacation to Jade Mountain in St. Lucia! It was amazing and the perfect time to relax and talk about everything that had transpired in the previous two weeks: I got my cast off, Billy took the bar, and we had the most incredible weekend with family and friends that we could have asked for.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are excited about getting settled into our home together with our dog, Mae, and getting into a routine of a working couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Hire a wedding planner and do things differently than you see all the time. Even though I’m a wedding planner by day, I did not do one thing from Wednesday on. While I had my team doing what they do every weekend, it was so nice to be the bride and let someone else handle the details!

Photographer: Bryan Johnson of A Bryan Photo / Videographer: A Bryan Photo / Planning, design, linens and paper goods: Mariée Ami / Ceremony venue: Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral / Reception venue: Fort Whiting / Ceremony florist: Zimlich Bros / Reception and personal florist: Buffy Hargett / Catering: Clifton Morrissette / Cake: Barb’s Cakes / Bride’s gown: “Spring” by Lela Rose / Bridal salon and veil: Ivory and White / Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid dresses: Amsale in French Blue, Graphite, and Dove / Hair stylist: Greg Andrews / Makeup: Ashley Mitchell / Calligraphy: Jan Pruitt / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Bar paintings: Liz Legg Designs / Lighting: AG Lighting / Band: Atlanta Showstoppers / Monogram: Allison R. Banks Designs / Dog Illustration: Kara Henley

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Liza B reply

    Do you know who did their custom wedding monogram?

  2. avatar lena reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  3. avatar Leon Bailey reply

    Classic is definitely the word for this wedding. Love the design of their cake. :) Beautiful photography!

  4. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] for Louise’s wedding gown (above)–and so did we! See hers and Billy’s wedding here. Ashley and Jeremy were pronounced “still married” at their sparkly barn wedding. […]

  5. avatar Taylor W reply

    Beautiful wedding! Would love to know who did the monogram and where they got their koozies from.

    Thanks!

  6. avatar Jillian reply

    Can we get details on where the koozies were bought/who did the dog and monograms?

  7. avatar Lisa reply

    The monogram is by Allison Banks Calligraphy, the calligraphy on the koozies is by Jan Pruitt, and the dog illustration is by Kara Henley at ecameron@sterneagee.com :)

  8. avatar Andrea reply

    This wedding is beautiful. I would love to know where the flower girl dresses are from, they are divine.

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Fair warning, y’all–today’s couple is really cute. I loved reading Lauren and Cole’s story, getting a peek at their secretly-videotaped proposal, and finally, admiring the way their gorgeous fall wedding came together. Lauren described the venue as the “perfect merging” of their personalities, but it goes beyond that as well–there are so many details at their wedding that represent them both individually and as a couple. I think every bride and groom wants their guests to leave their wedding saying the celebration was “so them,” and I can only imagine how much Lauren and Cole were told those exact words!

Thanks so much to Sara & Rocky for sharing this beautiful wedding with us!

The first time I went to try dresses on, I brought a group of six special women with me. I tried on some amazing dresses that day and had a blast, but didn’t find the dress for me. My mom and I spent a few more weekends searching and finally ended up at the Neiman Marcus bridal salon. Ironically, this salon was where my aunt, mom, and cousin all found their wedding dresses. I tried on a few dresses, all with lots of texture, and had some great options, but when I put on Vera Wang’s Jasmine dress, I fell in love. As much as I didn’t think it would happen to me, I started glowing and couldn’t stop smiling. It was the dress I knew I could walk toward Cole in.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did. It was more about logistics in the beginning, but I am so glad we did it. It was harder than I had thought it would be to not see Cole all day on the biggest day of our relationship so far. Our first look was a reality check of what this day was about–Cole, me, and God. When we finally saw each other, I felt so joyful and at ease.

What made you choose your venue? It was absolutely gorgeous and we wanted to have a destination wedding without it being a true “destination.” Since Cole and I went to different colleges in different states, we have so many friends spread across the country. We figured they all had to travel anyway, so why not have them come to a city that has so much to offer our guests? Camp Lucy was the perfect merging of mine and Cole’s personalities–relaxed and natural, but elegant.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we decided there were vows out there that were already beautifully written. My favorite part of our vows read: “I promise to love you with all of my heart, and to be true and faithful, patient, kind, and unselfish in this love.”
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? This is a hard question–so much of it is incredibly memorable. One that sticks out specifically was during our ceremony. When we were exchanging vows, Ocho, our dog, spoke up too with a grunt-moan noise. It was hilarious! The crowd laughed and our pastor announced that Ocho said “yes” too.

Describe your wedding flowers. UNBELIEVABLE! The ladies at Gypsy Floral outdid themselves. They made my mood board of dreamy images come to life. The flowers were incredibly lush and elegant, and they made the whole venue feel complete and magical.

My mom handmade Mr. and Mrs. pillows for our sweetheart table, which each had pins and keepsakes about Cole and I, like a vintage Jayhawk badge and a vintage Alabama banner. My mom also made beautiful boards displaying all of our family wedding photos, going back to our great grandmothers. The wooden cross we used during the ceremony was the same cross my best friend used for her wedding. We even pulled a selection of vintages and labels of Cabernet Savignon from my parents’ wine cellar to serve at the reception.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The bride’s cake was a simple four-tier cake with a combination of lemon cake with lemon mousse and white cake with strawberry Grand Marnier filling. It had a wonderful buttercream icing applied with textured detail and lined with greenery by our florists. The groom’s cake was a round chocolate cake filled with a layer of chocolate mousse and raspberry purée and covered with chocolate ganache. It was topped with a large University of Alabama seal in fondant.

For our first dance, we had our band, Blind Date, learn Josh Abbot Band’s “She’s Like Texas.” During our long-distance relationship, it was one of the songs Cole sent me the lyrics to, and it has been one of “our” songs since then. We knew our first dance had to be a country song and something we could two-step to.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met sometime between sixth and seventh grade. Our families were connected through several people and activities, so we just got used to seeing each other around. We “dated” in middle school, if you can even call it that, for about a month before I broke up with him the day after Valentine’s Day! From then until our freshman year of college, we were good friends–he was the guy I could always depend on. He was even my prom date! We went our separate ways in college; he attended the University of Alabama and I went to the University of Kansas. At the beginning of sophomore year, I couldn’t deny my feelings anymore–I decided the moment I saw Cole back home over Thanksgiving break that I was going to tell him how I felt. Thankfully, our families planned to spend Thanksgiving together at our lake house, so I knew I would have the opportunity. After dinner one evening, we walked up to the top of the boat dock to look at the stars and I told him that I wanted a relationship with him. Thank goodness he felt the same way and had since 7th grade!
Tell us all about the proposal! Cole invited a few of our friends to the lake house the last weekend in September. It was cool and rainy outside, so we were all hanging out on the boat dock. Between rounds of a card game, Cole walked upstairs to the top of our dock. I eventually wandered up there to see what he was doing in the rain! He started hugging me and I heard his heart pounding in his chest. Then, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course, and then our friends ran upstairs screaming. Little did I know, all of this was being filmed on a GoPro camera. It can be seen here. Cole then made up a pretty convincing story that our good friends called and said there was something wrong with their neighbor’s dock. Cole, being the great guy he is, offered to go check it out, so we all loaded up in the car, drove over to their house, and got one of the biggest surprises! Everyone–our families, some of my friends, and his friends–were waiting for us. He even flew in my sister from Portland and my dearest cousin from Montana! When I saw them, I lost all control–it was definitely one of the best days of my life. We proceeded to party from noon till midnight.
When did y’all get married? November 23, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a wonderful quartet for music during seating and through our cocktail hour. Cole is a man of tradition and used to play the cello, so he wanted me to walk down the aisle to “Canon in D.” Cole also picked our recessional–much less traditional, but very fun, “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns and Roses. One of my favorite things about our ceremony was when my aunt and cousin sang the Lennon and Maisy version of “I won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz during communion.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my cousin’s garter, which both she and my sister wore at their weddings. My something old was my emerald necklace, given to me by my grandmother when I was a child. She and my grandfather had purchased one for each granddaughter on a trip to Africa. My something new was a gift from Cole–emerald earrings that he gave me the morning of the wedding to match my necklace.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Cowboy boots all around! Cole’s were his custom-made Alabama boots that seem to be glued to his feet! The groomsmen sported eggplant bow ties. All the meats served were local game meats: quail, venison and beef. We also served local Dripping Springs vodka, Tito’s vodka, Shiner Bock, and Fireman’s 4 beers.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning was surprisingly smooth. The most difficult thing overall was probably planning the wedding from out of town, since we had limited time to meet with different vendors. Thankfully, we had a great wedding planner who filtered through various vendors and would set up 2-3 options for us to meet with when we could.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding would not have been the same without ALL the vendors, but I was exceptionally happy to have the ladies of Gypsy Floral. They understood my vision for the wedding and I had complete faith in their ability to transform the venue into my dream space.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have a detailed rain plan!! Although, I refused to think about the possibility of it raining, our wedding planner, Ashlee Voda, made sure we had one in place, just in case. Well, we were in that “case,” not just because of the moisture, but because of the 35 degree temperatures! Be prepared so that if it comes to that, the stress won’t make the situation worse.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We bought a house a couple of months before we got married so we could begin to do some work on it. Absolutely crazy idea–talk about a lot going on! But, it was amazing to come home from our honeymoon and spend our first night in our new home together.

Photographer: Sara & Rocky Photography / Videographer: Don Nguyen of ILC Films / Planner: Ashlee Voda of Mrs. Planner Weddings & Events / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Camp Lucy / Florist: Gyspy Floral / Wedding Cake Baker: Judy Lee of Simon Lee Bakery / Caterer: Royal Fig / Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals, Bee Lavish, and Whim Event Rentals / Lighting: Katherine McCommon of ILD Lighting / Band: Blind Date / Ceremony Strings: Terra Vista Strings / Bride’s Gown: “Jasmine” by Vera Wang / Paper Products: Lauren Maibach (bride) / Envelopes and Liner: Paper Source / Wood Invitations: Cards of Wood / Calligraphy and Letterpress: Scribbles and Swirls / Bride’s Veil and Fur: Neiman Marcus / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Chancy Cone from Adore Makeup Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Vince Camuto / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew in Eggplant Chiffon / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse and The Man’s Shop / Photo Booth: The Photo Toaster

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Rocky Garza reply

    Thank you so much for the feature ladies! It looks wonderful and we are so thankful for your support!

  2. avatar Lauren + Cole | sara & rocky reply

    […] been a joy to photograph both Maibach daughters weddings and now we get to see Lauren’s on Southern Weddings today! Thank you both for allowing us to be a part of your story and tell Ocho (the dog) we said […]

  3. avatar cindy reply

    absolutely beautiful!

  4. avatar Texas Hill Country Wedding reply

    […] Speaking of southern pride, Lauren & Cole were recently featured on Southern Weddings – click here to read all about it! […]

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The more New Orleans weddings I see, the more anxious I get to attend one–they all look so fabulous and fun! Donielle and Vince’s wedding was certainly no exception, and from the Creole cuisine they served to their lively second line, they filled their wedding with nods to their exciting locale. Even more than all of the beautiful details they used on their big day though, I can’t stop admiring their portraits. Their love is so evident in the way they laughed together at their first look, stared into each others’ eyes during their ceremony, and so much more. Dark Roux, their photographers and members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory, did a truly wonderful job!

Wedding dress shopping was one of the happiest planning moments for me. I decided to set up initial appointments with only my wedding planner to ensure I would get the dress I really wanted and not rely on anyone else’s opinions. I always knew I wanted a lace dress, but I was unsure of the fit, so I tried one dress in each silhouette on before narrowing my search to the mermaid style. I decided to go with an ivory lace gown by Tara Keely, which had a strapless sweetheart neckline, an elongated bodice, and a chapel train. I glammed the dress up with a diamond studded belt.

Describe your wedding flowers. In one word, they were impeccable. Our florist was amazing! Dee was so good, I just gave her my wedding color palette and trusted she would deliver. I didn’t even schedule a follow-up appointment after my initial consultation visit. My first time seeing our flowers was the day of the wedding and I was blown away.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes we did. I wanted the photographer to capture both of our initial expressions seeing one another in one single shot. Seeing each other before the wedding gave us a moment to share our most intimate thoughts before we had to turn our attention to our wedding guests. It was also beneficial because we did not have to take away time from the reception to get the traditional bride and groom shots.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we decided to stick to the traditional vows. We liked the idea of reciting the timeless and classic words that united so many other prosperous marriages.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings at our wedding. The first was “I Love You” by Roy Croft and the second was the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was our sweetheart canopy accented with a crystal chandelier. Not only was it a gorgeous statement piece, it also acted as the focal point of our reception. It was nice to be able to eat and spend time with each other under the canopy without leaving our guests.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our menu consisted of many famous Creole dishes. In New Orleans, food is an important part of our culture, so it is only right that it played an important role in our wedding. We also incorporated a second line band. The second line tradition stemmed from the African American jazz funerals and has evolved to become part of all New Orleans weddings. It signifies the start of a new beginning for the bride and groom. We led the second line twirling black and white umbrellas, followed by our guests dancing and waving monogrammed handkerchiefs to the live jazz band.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In December 2007, I received a phone call from one of my best guy friends, Kristian. Kristian and I had known each other for years and were great friends. Our lives were so busy, it was difficult to keep in touch. When I finally received a phone call from him, I was excited to catch up, but instead, he told me a story that went like so: “Well, I was at work looking at your Facebook page today. Out of nowhere, my co-worker/friend Vince asked me ‘How do you know her?’ and I told him you were my childhood friend. He proceeded to tell me that he saw you at a party in Baton Rouge and he couldn’t get you off of his mind. Since that conversation, he has been constantly asking me to throw him a little interference, so I was wondering if it would be okay if I gave him your phone number.” I hesitated, but since I valued Kristian’s opinion, I did not oppose. Vince finally called me and we engaged in many long conversations. I found him to be very smart, business savvy, and funny. However, he was still a mystery man because we never met face to face, so we finally set up a date night. I was really nervous because I had never been on a “real” date before, so I gathered my friends to help me get ready. When I opened the door and saw him, he smiled and said hello. It was then I noticed the train tracks in his mouth. My first words were, “OMG, you didn’t tell me you had braces!” I am soooooo ashamed of this, but it was a typical Donielle moment–I am an extremely blunt person and my thoughts are always written on my face! Vince just laughed it off. Our date night consisted of dinner at an upscale Baton Rouge restaurant, Juban’s, followed by a stroll downtown that ended at the Shaw Center. We talked for hours. When I returned home, I called my girlfriends and told them, “I am going to marry that man.”
Tell us all about the proposal! The day we got engaged started off as a low-spirited day for me. To cheer me up, Vince decided to take me to my favorite restaurant, J Alexander’s, for dinner. To make me feel even better, he took me shopping for a new dress and shoes to wear for the evening. The day was starting to look up for me. While shopping, he asked if he could invite some of our friends who were in town to dinner. I agreed–we have the best time with our friends. While at dinner, we received a phone call from our friend Josh, who invited us all to help celebrate his birthday with drinks downtown, so we finished dinner and headed downtown to the Tsunami Restaurant in the Shaw Center. The restaurant has a rooftop with an amazing view overlooking the Mississippi River. I noticed Vince was a little nervous, which was so unlike him, but I continued to have a friendly debate with one of our friends. When I turned around to get Vince’s support of my argument, he was on one knee with a gorgeous diamond! I was extremely caught off guard and couldn’t believe it! He had managed to gather all our friends (near and far) and propose where we ended our very first date. The entire day was staged and I had had no clue!
When did y’all get married? March 8, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We love the beautiful sounds of the harp, so a harpist played all the songs for the wedding ceremony, including “Here Comes the Bride” for my walk down the aisle. Our first dance was to John Legend’s song “So High,” which we chose because of the lyrics, “So high…walking on cloud nine.” It was the perfect song for us. Other songs were: “Mama” by Boyz II Men for the mother/son dance, “Dance with my Father” by Luther Vandross for the father/daughter dance, “Single Ladies” by Beyonce for the bouquet toss, and “Pony” by Ginuwine for the garter toss.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge I had to overcome when planning my wedding was distance. I had already moved to Dallas, Texas and the wedding was in New Orleans, Louisiana. Although I had a wedding planner, it was still quite difficult to align our meeting availability. The use of technology definitely helped aid the situation; however, I would have liked to be physically present to experience the vendor meetings.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? First, our photographer, Dark Roux. When picking our photographer, it was very important for us to find someone who possessed the photography style we desired and who had personalities we both connected with. This down to earth husband-wife duo was perfect for us–they were creative, funny, and very professional. Most importantly, they captured amazing wedding photos that we will cherish forever. Our other most important vendor was our wedding planner. On our wedding day, I did not have a care in the world because Mrs. Audi had every detail under control. She was always professional, punctual, and patient. She truly took the time to make this the best day of our lives, and it was.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The best part of the wedding for me was my father walking me down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams. I am such a “daddy’s girl” and being able to have him by my side to share this special day meant the world to me. This simple gesture was also confirmation that my father accepted and approved of my husband-to-be. For my husband, his most cherished moment was the first look.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do not rush the process. You want to give yourself enough time to plan every detail, and managing your time will eliminate the stress factor. Wedding planning should be an exciting process for both the groom and bride, but when stress is involved, it can become draining.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? The next step is starting our new life together in Dallas, Texas. We are most looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together and growing as one. We would like to accomplish our dreams and goals as a unit as well as expand our family.

Photographer: Dark Roux Photography / Videographer: Bride Film LLC / Planner: Occasions By Audi / Ceremony Venue: City Parks Botanical Gardens / Reception Venue and Caterer: City Parks Pavilion of Two Sisters / Florist: Bella Blooms Floral / Wedding Cake: La Louisiane Bakery / Groom’s Cake: Haydel’s Bakery / Rentals: Event Rental, Big Easy Photobooth and New Orleans Limo Service / Lighting: Event Rental / Harpist: Ashley Toman DJ: DJ Hollaback / Band: 21st Century Brass Band / Bride’s Gown: Tara Keely / Hair Stylist: Shena O. Cox / Makeup Artist: Kisha Williams from The Makeup Lab Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alvina Valenta / Men’s Attire: Brown & Brown Custom Clothiers

Dark Roux Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    What a perfect bridal look – love her bun + gown!

  2. avatar Happy Father's Day! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Dark Roux from Donielle + Vince’s wedding […]

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Today’s wedding hits close to home for me–it took place less than an hour away from my parents’ house, and is where one of my sweet college sorority sisters is getting married this fall! As with many of our Texan couples, Summer and Jonathan did not shy away from including some state pride in their wedding day. Country tunes and two-stepping at the reception? Check. Cowboy boots for all? A no-brainer. A getaway pickup truck? Absolutely. Jonathan and his groomsmen even wore Texas star-shaped sherrif badges as boutonnieres–so fun!

Thank you kindly to Flora and Fauna for sharing Summer and Jonathan’s wedding with us!

Jonathan is an incredible date-planner. We’ve had meals “around-the-world,” starlit picnics with tea light candles in mason jars, and fancy nights out on the town. But it’s always the same: he knows, and I don’t. So, when he whisked me off to an adventurous date in Chappell Hill one day, I was clueless. We met the owner of a ranch, and it was almost as if she wasn’t expecting us. Accompanied by a cowboy named Chris, we bridled our horses, locked our boots into place, and rode off through a field of wildflowers. The bluebonnets were in bloom, the cows, calves, and longhorns were really busy eating grass, and the sun bent beams through the clouds–I was in heaven, and Jon knew it! Rather abruptly, Chris remembered he needed to take care of something that had to do with ranch life, so he tied up our horses and we grabbed two lawn chairs and took in the beauty around us. Jon said, “Let’s go to the fence.” Then, he took me in his arms and proclaimed his undying love for me. He got down on one knee to the beat of my “What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?” and asked me to be his wife.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jon washing my feet. It’s a biblical parallel to when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. In that day, and any day for that matter, it was a humbling thing for a man to do for someone. It came to represent the humility necessary to serve others, a mandate for all Christians. The Bible tells men to serve their wives, as Christ served the church. Jon got down on the ground in his suit, took off my boots, and washed my feet in front of the crowd to display his commitment to serve me for the rest of our days.

Our first dance song commemorated the night that Jon wanted to kiss me but didn’t–we had gotten dressed up cowboy/cowgirl style and went to the Humble, Texas rodeo to listen to our favorite band, the Josh Abbott Band. They cleared the floor of animals and we headed down with the crowd to dance. They played “Oh Tonight” which has a line that says “Go on and kiss me on the mouth, you know you want to and you should’ve done it by now.” I was sure that all those elements–the lights, the privacy of being in a crowd, my dress, the closeness of our faces, THAT LINE– would’ve made for the perfect first kiss story. After months of leading up to it, surely, SURELY, but he didn’t do it. We had a good laugh dancing to the song and kissing at that part at our wedding.

We aren’t just Southern–we’re Texan! We ordered pecan, pumpkin, and apple pies from a local bakery in Montgomery, Texas. We played country music and two-stepped. We left our reception in a hay-filled truck bed. Our wedding cake was even made by the sweetest old lady from backwoods Texas named Barbie, who ran her shop out of her trailer. It doesn’t get more country than that.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a fightin’ Texas Aggie tailgate and Jonathan was head over boots. Me, not so much, but I was excited about the prospect of new friends in Houston. I started going to his church’s young adult service, and Jonathan became more and more charming and impressive over the weeks. Since he was my small group leader, we couldn’t date, so we proceeded to be “just friends” over weekly frozen yogurt, weekends with my family, and an absurd amount of text messages. Finally, we went on our first date, but something just didn’t feel right, so I ended it. For about two months, we barely spoke. Suddenly, on New Year’s Eve, I realized I actually cared a lot about Jonathan, and I knew I had to tell him, so I wrote him a card and sent it in the mail. He wrote me back, clearly misreading the intent, so I realized I had to tell him to his face. When I saw him at a meeting with the other small group leaders, we had an awkward interchange, and then in front of everyone, I told him how I felt. We finished the conversation at his house, on his porch. He, understandably, was blindsided, but he gave me hope. As we sat on his porch, I saw it–60 years from then, gray, worn, joyful. Rocking back and forth and holding hands and looking at the life we built. I knew that night that I loved him. Three days later, he came over for a Bananagrams, homemade wine (his!), record-playing, windows-open kind of evening. We became best friends that night, and three and a half months later, he asked me to be his wife. I’m sure glad I wrote that card. :)
When did y’all get married? October 27, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I walked into the first bridal store I could find and picked the first dress I tried on!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We didn’t. We wanted that moment of seeing each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle, and it was so special. I’ll never forget his face: full of pure joy. I felt like I was coming home.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the Church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves Himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:21-33
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I began teaching 11th grade English at a charter school in August. I had training through all of July and our biggest round of exams fell right after the wedding, so my husband planned most of the wedding and organized EVERYTHING around it. He’s a good one!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Round Top Collection. They are family friends of ours and supported us by supplying a bunch of sweet antique items for us to use to decorate.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It’s cliché, but I loved when I saw Jon’s face as I walked down the aisle. He has a particular smile he uses when he’s REALLY happy, and he was also a little teary. It was wonderful.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Marry a man who is invested in it. This isn’t “your” thing–it’s both of yours.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are currently applying to a program that will take us on an adventure around the world!

Photographer: Flora and Fauna / Venue: Olde Dobbin Station / Florist: Carter’s Florist / Wedding Cake Baker: Cakes by Blondie / Caterer: Carol’s Catering Service / Special Details: The Round Top Collection / Bride’s Gown: Essense of Australia / Paper Products: DIY / Hair Stylist: Lauren Neat and Karen Robare / Makeup Artist: Ashley Dickson / Groom’s Attire: J.Crew

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Kim reply

    Lovely! My favorite part was the pecan, pumpkin, and apple pies !!! Here is a fantastic guide for all those details weddin related: http://www.floridaweddingdestination.com/

  2. avatar Dana reply

    so much to love in this wedding! texas forever!

  3. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #129 | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] Star State recently: swooning over the pale blues and bold red paper details in Dallas and these sheriff badge boutonnieres stole my southern […]

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