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Category: Real Southern Weddings

We were chatting in the office the other day about how 2013 was the year of rainy weddings. While sweet brides across the South may have been sad about this at first, it takes just a few clicks through our Real Wedding galleries to see that rain truly doesn’t ruin a wedding! High school sweethearts Hannah and Graham experienced this firsthand–it poured on and off throughout their wedding day, but thanks to their wonderful attitudes and a fantastic team of vendors, their outdoor celebration was absolutely beautiful. We especially love their “taste of Athens, taste of home”-themed food–even the snacks they served were meaningful!

Thank you so much to Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy of Amy Arrington Photography for sharing Hannah and Graham’s wedding with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Graham and I met in high school, where he was the cool older guy with a shaggy haircut who drove a gold 1989 Jeep Wrangler (that may as well have been a golden chariot as far as my freshman self was concerned–I mean, he had a CAR!), and it was puppy love at first sight! We dated throughout high school and then college at the University of Georgia.
Tell us all about the proposal! After graduating from college, I got a job that allowed me to travel the country, but it meant spending a lot of time away from home. A few days before I left for my job training, Graham popped the question. The ring’s stone was his great grandmother’s! I cried hysterically, and of course, said, “YES!”

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something old was Graham’s great grandmother’s handkerchief, which I used in my bouquet. I wore my great grandmother’s aquamarine necklace on a chain borrowed from my bridesmaid, Ashleigh, as my something blue and borrowed. My something new was my shoes, which I love!

My wedding dress was by Tara Keely. I got it at J. Andrew’s Bridal in Peachtree City–they are so great there! The dress had a sweetheart neckline, allover alençon lace, a tiered bottom, and a long train.

Describe your wedding flowers. I have loved hydrangeas ever since my sister used them in her wedding, so we used those, along with white football mums, white ranunculus, and scabiosa pods. We used cotton in some of the arrangements too!

The day was super rainy–I mean, it POURED. We thought we would have to go to plan B and have the ceremony under the tent instead of out in front of the house. All of the sudden, the rain stopped, and there was a mad rush to get in the car, get the guests to their seats, and get on with it! I hopped in the car with my dad, and there was a short moment of calm before the storm that I was able to share with him. I think I’ll remember that forever!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Amy Arrington, our photographer, made our wedding photos turn out BEAUTIFULLY. The day was so rainy, but she made it look like the most beautiful day ever. Also, Epting Events kept everything together for us. They did so much behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly. The food was amazing and I am so thankful for their expertise!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We wanted our wedding to be a true representation of our lives: Southern, relaxed, and fun. Our first dance was to “Hey Pretty Girl,” by Kip Moore. My dance with my dad was to “Crazy Love” by Van Morrsion, and Graham and his mom danced to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Our band was the Brandy Brothers Band and they were so much fun!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was a tribute to our home in Athens, our state, and the South in general. Our food was themed, “a taste of Athens, a taste of home.” We had Georgia pecan brittle, roasted peanuts inspired by General Beauregard’s in Athens, and pimiento cheese (my favorite food) from two of our favorite Athens restaurants, Marty’s at Miday and The Branded Butcher. We had GooGo Clusters in honor of Graham’s grandmother, who he calls “GooGoo,” as well as Moonpies for my dad, because my nephews call him “Moonpie,” strawberry and peach sangria, and, of course, glass bottles of Coke (because what true Southerner doesn’t love that?). We also used Georgia staples like cotton and peaches in a lot of our decor.

Our wedding cake was an Athens classic: Cecilia’s cake! The top layer was red velvet, the middle was Spanish lemon, and the bottom was Italian cream.

When did y’all get married? September 21, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We are pretty traditional, so we decided to not do a first look. It ended up working out pretty well, since it was so rainy before the ceremony that we would have gotten soaked had we done one!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had so many details that we loved! I think the “Taste of Athens, Taste of Home” theme that we used for the food was a favorite of both ours and our guests!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I had to plan a lot of the wedding while I was on the road, so having to plan things without seeing them in person was a real challenge! Graham was an amazing help though. He found the venue and the band!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress! There’s a lot of pressure to have the perfect wedding, but no one’s wedding is perfect. It’s about your relationship and sharing that with family and friends. As long as you keep that in focus, everything else will fall into place.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just got an adorable Weimaraner puppy named Todd. He’s definitely a handful! We’re excited to start our lives together in Athens!

Photographer: Amy Arrington / Planner: Bethanny of Epting Events / Venue: Fair Havens Plantation / Florist: Michael Berry / Cake Baker: Cecilia’s Cakes (via Epting Events) / Catering: Epting Events / Rentals and Lighting: Goodwin Event Rentals / Band: Brandy Brothers / Bride’s Gown: Style 2206 by Tara Keely / Paper Products and Veil: Lettered Lace (the bride) / Hair Stylist: Lindsey Melder / Makeup Artist: Julie Earnhart / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mishka / Bridesmaid Dresses: Rebecca Taylor / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Pimiento Cheese: Marty’s at Miday and The Branded Butcher

Amy Arrington Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Fair Havens Plantation Wedding : Graham + Hannah reply

    […] you SOUTHERN WEDDINGS for featuring their […]

  2. avatar Dana reply

    beautiful dress!

  3. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    Such great details! I love those shoes first of all! Stunning! Love that the little flower girls wore monograms. So cute!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    I love the community that rallies around rainy day weddings! Never what the bride + groom would choose, probably, but they always seem to turn out beautifully.

  5. avatar Renee reply

    So cool when you met the person being featured.

  6. avatar emily reply

    where did the bride get her bridesmaids’ robes from? I love them! They are adorable!

  7. avatar Katie reply

    Could you please let me know where you got your bridesmaids’ robes? Lovely. Thanks! :)

  8. avatar Happy Mother's Day from Southern Weddings! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Photo by Amy Arrington from Hannah + Graham’s wedding […]

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One of my favorite things about the South is that we have equally amazing cities and countrysides. While this makes the South so versatile, it can also present a challenge for brides–swanky city wedding or laid-back country celebration? I struggled with this decision myself recently, so I love Dana and Jeben‘s perfect solution–do both! Their ceremony and cocktail hour were held at the gorgeous Walnut Way Farm in the heart of Kentucky horse country, and then guests adjourned to the historic Henry Clay in downtown Louisville for dinner and dancing. As a result, their many out-of-town guests had a full Kentucky experience, and Dana and Jeben got to enjoy what they love most about both settings!

Thanks so much to Lang Thomas for sharing Dana and Jeben’s wedding with us!

We met in 2008 when we were both were working at Google (me in NYC, Jeben in California) and would often work on projects together. In early 2010, I transferred to San Francisco, and in the daunting process of looking for a place to live, Jeben conveniently rushed to my aid. He offered up his insight into the city and his car to help chauffeur me from Craigslist appointment to open house, and in the process of seeing over 33 apartments, the seeds of love were being planted. We got engaged a few years later in early 2013, and were married that fall.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my dress at Jin Wang Bridal in San Francisco with one of my bridesmaids, Lee. In order to make the deadline, I had to confirm it was “the dress” in 12 hours (not enough time for my mom to fly out from Kentucky!). The store wouldn’t allow photographs, but would allow video calls, so we did a video chat with my parents and sister on the farm in Kentucky. While I wished my mom and bridesmaids could have all been there, it was a ridiculously memorable, long-distance, technology-enabled process.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We have many friends who contributed their artistic talents to the wedding in the form of hand-painted murals, a custom monogram, hand-painted signs, bride and groom sculptures, a hanging string installation in the wedding barn (which we made ourselves and installed with brave friends), a custom quilt, a costume for our “flower girl” miniature pony Peekaboo, a monogrammed bourbon barrel, tables and chairs made from a felled tree from the Walnut Way Farm property, and more.

We followed the Southern tradition of burying a bourbon bottle one month in advance of the wedding, and it certainly paid off with perfect 78-and-sunny weather on our wedding day! To us, Walnut Way Farm epitomizes the best of the South and Kentucky’s horse country, so the setting provided the perfect Southern backdrop. We were so lucky to have Walnut Way Farm’s champion horses and historic carriages to bring the parents, flower girl, and me to the wedding ceremony barn. We had the official bugler to the Kentucky Derby/Churchill Downs announce the arrival of the carriages to the wedding location, and during the cocktail hour at the stables and gardens, we featured a local bluegrass band, The Slow Charleston.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows, and attempted to answer three things during them: what do you mean to me, how will I honor you for the rest of my life, and how am I better because of you. Our vows ended up very different in format, but we both touched on those themes. And we wanted to keep them at two minutes or less!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? In addition to our officiant’s remarks about loving one another, we had a reading of “The Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, a poem that we feel reflects a universal approach to love and sharing a life together. This poem was also an important passage for my family and has been shared before at previous family weddings.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Walnut Way Farm, our ceremony and cocktail reception venue. It was a dream come true location–the perfect venue for a contemporary, yet classic, Southern wedding. Our guests couldn’t stop raving about the farm and everything it provided. Their only complaint was that they wanted to stay there longer!

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted a Southern-sophisticated-romantic-classic look (think more Ralph Lauren than rustic), with a touch of whimsy. It also needed to be appropriate for the farm setting, but able to transition to the downtown reception. Luckily, our florist was a genius and translated my vision into amazing arrangements at the farm and all throughout the reception. They featured soft whites, ivories, light pinks and peaches with lots of dusty miller and seeded eucalyptus. The bridesmaids wore three colors of dresses, so we opted for all-white bouquets of long-stemmed roses and astilbe. I grew up riding horses, so we displayed the flowers in silver trophies that I had won over the years, as well as other trophies from Marilyn MacFarlane (owner of Walnut Way Farm). It was both personal to me and appropriate for the farm!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Logistics! We had grand visions for our guests (80 percent of whom were out-of-towners) to enjoy as much of Kentucky as possible, so we had a lot to coordinate. Our guests stayed in downtown Louisville, our wedding ceremony was on a hill in the back of the 300-acre Walnut Way Farm property, our cocktail hour was down the hill at the stables and gardens at Walnut Way Farm, and our reception was at the historic Henry Clay in downtown Louisville. We were able to work it out, though, thanks to several shuttles and detailed logistics. Everyone got to experience several picturesque locations across the farm, a Kentucky sunset at Walnut Way, and the charm of downtown and the Henry Clay.

We opted to not have a wedding cake, and instead, had a spread of Silver Spoon desserts for everyone to enjoy and try–from bread pudding to chocolate ganache. We did, however, have a “Father of the Bride” cake, which was a dark chocolate cake with a Maker’s Mark-inspired red glaze over the top, and a groom’s cake which featured two of Jeben’s favorite things: a Nike Blazer shoe box with his Boston Terrier, Wally, popping out of it.

Tell us all about the proposal! Jeben created an elaborate book chronicling our relationship through photos, stories, poems and private memories, and planned to propose with the book in early February. However, when the book arrived, all the text had been erroneously replaced with hieroglyphics and WingDings font, rendering the book absolute gibberish. Jeben contacted the book company and was told to expect a replacement in mid-March. On March 1, after a long week, we left work a bit early and spontaneously went to a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, where we enjoyed a bottle of wine, kettle chips, and a couple un-winning lottery scratchers. When we went home, Jeben saw a book-shaped delivery sitting on the doorstep, earlier than expected. Sensing the timing was right, he presented the book and proposed as I read the final pages.
When did y’all get married? September 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we wanted the songs to be familiar, but also to capture the reverence of the moment and the beautiful farm setting, so we chose contemporary songs performed by a string quartet. Our mothers and bridesmaids walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” and “What a Wonderful World,” respectively. Dana walked down the aisle to “To Make You Feel My Love,” and we walked out to “Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch.” Our first dance was to “How Glad I Am” by Nancy Wilson. We first heard the song on a road trip to Palm Springs before we were engaged, and it immediately became our anthem.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed an antique pearl bracelet from my mom, wrapped my bouquet in satin from her old wedding dress, wore a new custom veil, and donned some blue undergarments!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Standing together during the ceremony in the quiet Kentucky field, under the big blue sky, surrounded by all of our favorite people in the world. We’ll never forget it.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? First, push yourself to write your own vows or say something personal at the wedding. It’s challenging, but in this once-in-a-lifetime moment, you’ll be glad you did, and your guests will enjoy hearing it more than you think. Second, work on projects as a couple or enlist your friends and family to contribute–it makes the entire experience a collaborative and memorable process, and produces one-of-a-kind details for the wedding.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We’re looking forward to throwing anniversary parties forever. The wedding was so much fun that we want to celebrate in style with friends and family for years to come.

Photographer: Lang Thomas Photography / Ceremony Venue: Walnut Way Farm / Reception Venue: The Henry Clay / Flowers & Decor: Joe Devers / Cake Baker: Desserts By Helen / Catering and Desserts: The Silver Spoon / Rentals: Millenium Events + Florals / Lighting: Sound Specialist / Cocktail Hour Band: The Slow Charleston / Reception Band: The Trendells / DJ: DJ Klavical / Bride’s Dress: Blue by Enzoani / Invitations & Stationery: Whitefield Design / Bride’s Jewelry: Custom by Bride and After Glow / Hairstylist: Shea Carey of J. Michaels Salon / Makeup Artist: Rick Bancroft / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dresses: "6613" by After Six in Cameo, Taupe, and Platinum / Groom’s Attire: Custom by Spoon Tailors / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Ties: J. Crew / Logistics: Beth Torstrick of Fairy Godmothers / Ceremony Musicians: SMT Music / Landscape and Horse Photography: Erin Rudder / Additional Photography: Robbie Jeffers / Signage: Ken Davis / Mural Painting: Aden Catalani / Monogram Design: Marcos LaFarga / Quilt: Ashley Pinkard
lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    What an amazing experience Dana + Jeben created for their guests! I would have loved to attend this wedding!

  2. avatar Jessica reply

    I LOVE the “you make me a happy camper” card. Absolutely adore these lovely letterpress beauties!

  3. avatar Shelby H. reply

    I must know who did these invitations! I tried perusing around to find credits but I’m too excited to stay focused.

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Get ready for your heart to be melted, because we have a sweet-as-can-be Texas love story to share with y’all today! Kristy and Cory are college sweethearts, and three years after their first kiss at the State Capitol in Austin, Cory proposed in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. They were married at his aunt and uncle’s ranch on a hot day in June, but I can only imagine how little the heat mattered when everyone was focused on their deeply meaningful ceremony. The pictures from Kristy’s walk down the aisle are some of the most touching I’ve ever seen!

Thanks so much to Sara & Rocky for sharing Kristy and Cory’s wedding with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. All the dresses I tried on were beautiful. After trying on tons of dresses and loving all of them, I finally asked Cory’s opinion. He described to me the dress he imagined in boy terms, which was adorable and awesome. He ended up describing a lace fit and flare dress with small straps. I went dress shopping the next day with my mom and sister at a precious boutique in Austin, and the experience was so fun and peaceful. I found a dress like one he described and knew instantly that it was the one.

Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were dreamy and beautiful! Cory’s aunt arranged the flowers and designed the ceremony and reception. We sat down many times as I described flowers I loved and we looked at Pinterest over and over. She took all of the flowers I liked and designed the most beautiful bouquet. It was wild, colorful, and big!

The size of the wedding party was definitely Southern! We each had 13 bridesmaids and groomsmen and I had six girls in my house party. We are both blessed with precious, lifelong friends. The weather was also pretty typical for the South–we got married in late June outside, and it was hot! We made our programs into fans so that our guests could cool themselves off.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We didn’t do a first look. We weren’t nervous or anxious for our big day–I always say that marrying Cory was the most natural thing I have ever done. We wanted the moment of seeing each other for the first time to be a part of our ceremony–a moment of our hearts bursting with pure joy!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. It was really special getting to craft them together! We did the same opening and closing lines, with the middle part of our vows unique for a man and woman’s roles in marriage. Our favorite lines were “With deepest joy and humble gratitude, I accept you as my perfect provision from Christ. This love is not from ourselves–it is originated in Him who loved us and sacrificed for us first.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had three readings done by dear friends. They were Psalm 84, a scripture Cory’s dad shared with him before he started dating, which we held onto during our dating relationship, Proverbs 3:3 and Romans 15:5-6, all scripture that helped shape our engagement.

The most memorable moment for the two of us was right after the ceremony. We stood on the porch of the barn, just the two of us, and held each other tightly. They were our first still moments together as husband and wife.

Cory’s aunt and uncle have a ranch outside of Cleburne, Texas, where they recently built a wedding barn. We loved the idea of getting married at a place Cory grew up visiting, and that Cory’s aunt and uncle ran. Thistle Springs Ranch is overflowing with love and sweet memories, and getting to work with Cory’s aunt and uncle to plan the wedding was the best. The only challenge was planning a wedding in a town that neither of us are from. I had no idea about a hair stylist, a location for the bridal luncheon, etc. My family and I spent a day walking around Cleburne stopping in at salons, tasting cakes at bakeries, and discovering cute restaurants. What was originally a challenge ended up being so much fun, and we loved every vendor we ended up using!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We did a wedding cake and mini pies! The wedding cake was a simple three-tiered cake with the stroke marks of the icing visible. I am gluten and dairy free, so the top layer of our cake was made so that I could eat it! Cory’s aunt put the most perfect flowers on it. Instead of a traditional cake topper, I made a tiny banner that said our names for the top layer. We also had about six different flavors of miniature pies, all of which sat under a banner that said “love is sweet.”

Our advice is to not stress about the details. While the music, food, and decorations are fun, they are added blessings. At the end of the day, all that matters is the covenant you make. If something goes wrong (which it probably will) or doesn’t get planned, that’s okay! You will still walk away as husband and wife. I always said that my dream wedding was one where I was married to Cory at the end.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. During our freshman year of college at Texas A&M, we started to see each other more and more within our group of friends. Our first impression of each other was that we looked so familiar–like we had seen each other or met somewhere else. We still haven’t figured that out. On the first day back at A&M for sophomore year, I saw Cory locking his bike outside of his classroom. My heart leapt, and I smiled and said, “Cory?” He looked up and smiled. So many of our thoughts and dreams over the summer were confirmed and exceeded in that moment. In October 2009, after a few dates and “coincidental” time together, Cory told me that he was serious about our relationship, and wanted to protect it in such a way that we would be ready to marry when we left college. We spent the last year and a half of our relationship long distance, and though neither of us preferred it, we are confident that this allowed us to see clearly the importance of our relationship, learn creative communication and affection, and cherish every moment together. Now, we delight in getting to walk each day side by side.
Tell us all about the proposal! In the nine months prior to our wedding, Cory had moved to Washington, D.C. for an internship and seminary courses, while I had decided to help a friend start a company in Houston. I had always said that when I got engaged, I wanted a party with all our friends and family there to celebrate with us. Cory knew this, but his plan came with a little bit different of a timeline. Right when Cory moved to DC, I had booked flights for a visit in the middle of October. Because of my expectations, I had no idea that he would think about proposing while I was visiting. Cory picked me up from the airport that weekend and took me straight to dinner and a concert. When we left the concert early, Cory suggested we go and look at some national monuments. Since we’re always going on adventures together, I didn’t think that this was out of the ordinary. We got to the Capitol building and walked hand in hand, humbled by the greatness and beauty of the building. We started reminiscing on the sweetness of our relationship over the years and talked about sharing our first kiss at the Texas state capitol in Austin. Cory then said, “What if we shared our first kiss as an engaged couple at the nation’s capitol?” I started going numb and couldn’t really speak–I was in shock! I finally believed him when I saw my grandmother’s ring. After the feeling came back to my body, I mustered a “YES!” and started crying tears of joy! Although Cory proposed in a different state and there was no party with friends and family, it was perfect. Instead of bringing friends and family into the first moments of our soon-to-be covenant marriage, we got to spend the evening just the two of us, establishing ourselves as an engaged couple and talking about the magnitude of being a picture of the gospel. I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 280
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. One of my sweet girlfriends played “Before the Throne” and a mash-up of our favorite hymns on the piano during the processional. During the ceremony, Cory and I took communion together while my sister and a friend sang/played “In Christ Alone.” Our first dance was to “Love Like That” by Ben Rector. We first heard the song at one of his concerts while we were dating and immediately loved it!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was getting to celebrate with our friends and family! We made a point to love on and talk to everyone at the wedding, and we hope we succeeded! The conversations, hugs, and encouragement we got from our community is something that we will always cherish.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? For our favors, my mom and I made homemade peach jam. Cory and I are Aggies, so of course, we did the Aggie War Hymn at the end of the reception! It’s one of our favorite Aggie wedding traditions.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved our photographers, Sara and Rocky Photography. They were the first vendor we booked when we got engaged! We knew our photographs of the wedding would be precious to us forever, so we were very intentional when choosing photographers. Sara and Rocky are so friendly, creative, and crazy gifted!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Before we even met, we both desired to work in outdoor Christian ministry in the mountains. We worked towards that dream together for our whole relationship and the Lord blessed us greatly! Graciously, He provided a job for us helping to develop a camp in the mountains in New Mexico. We moved to New Mexico the month after our wedding and get to work side by side. We are still in awe that we get to live together and love on each other day in and day out. Because of our long distance, we delight in every second together and pinch ourselves that we get to live with our best friend!

Photographer: Sara & Rocky / Venue: Thistle Springs Ranch / Florist: Groom’s aunt, Ann Wright / Cake and Pies: La Trattoria / Catering: Pappas Catering / DJ: Ryan Lee / Bride’s Gown: San Patrick / Bridal Salon and Veil: Blush Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Jewelry: Nordstrom / Bride’s Shoes: Tom’s / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Men’s Attire: Vera Wang

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    Oh goodness, my eyes watered just looking at that photo of the groom seeing his bride for the first time!

    • avatar Kristin reply

      Me too, Nicole! His sweet reaction had me in tears. Oh my — such emotion.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Their ceremony photos ARE so sweet! And I love Kristy’s thought that she wasn’t nervous or anxious because marrying Cory was the most natural thing she’s done!

  3. avatar Sara Garza reply

    Thanks SO much for featuring Kristy and Cory’s wedding, it looks wonderful. You guys are great.

  4. avatar Dana reply

    the pictures of her walking down the aisle are sooo perfect!!!

  5. avatar Bobbi Jo reply

    What a sweet story and wedding! They both sound like good people. I feel like we could be friends!

  6. avatar Natalie reply

    Beautiful wedding, beautiful couple, and beautiful story. Thanks for sharing!

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There is nothing quite like the sight of rolling Virginia hills. I imagine that anyone who lives in Virginia at some point, myself included, has a soft spot for these sweeping views, and it is easy to see why Lindsay and Bryan cite their venue as their favorite wedding detail! Once they selected the gorgeous location, they worked with vendors they love (including many family and friends) to fill their wedding with sentimental details that nodded to their relationship and the place they call home. And of course, since Lindsay works for the incredible Southern Blooms team in Charlottesville, it’s no surprise that her fall-inspired florals were breathtaking!

Thank you so much to Jen Fariello for capturing Lindsay and Bryan’s day so beautifully, and then sharing it with us!

Bryan proposed during a baseball game six months after our first date, on July 15, 2012–he played for a local league. He asked a friend who pilots antique airplanes to fly over the field with a banner: “Lindsay, will you marry me?” Turns out, everyone at the game knew about it (but me!) and both of our parents were there to celebrate. It was such a special day!

Describe your wedding flowers. They were incredible! For the palette, we were inspired by the rich and vibrant colors of fall in Virginia, and loved the idea of using local foliage and flowers in the bouquets and decor. Southern Blooms nailed it and truly outdid themselves–it was everything we could have hoped for and beyond anything we could have imagined. They are an amazing team of designers!!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The venue. Bryan and I knew we wanted to be married outside with a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so my dad suggested visiting his friend’s farm. We knew right away that it was the perfect spot! We were drawn to the wide open space and the panoramic view of the mountains.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided against doing a first look. I guess we’re a bit traditional that way, but also, I couldn’t wait to see his expression as I walked down the aisle! There’s something so special about that moment: being dressed in a gown you’ve been hiding for months, wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue. Even though you are standing in front of everyone you love most in the world, it’s as if they all melt away and the universe only consists of two.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? E.E. Cumming’s “I Carry Your Heart.” This poem spoke to us in such a way that there was no question of whether or not to include it in the ceremony. To carry the heart of another, to carry it in our hearts, is to carry the whole of our emotional lives–the good and the bad. This type of love creates a new identity through the unity of two hearts living for each other. On our wedding, day we promised to carry each others’ heart within our own.

The biggest challenge of planning an outdoor wedding was coming to terms with the possibility of bad weather and convincing myself to not be afraid of the rain. Whenever I found myself stressing about an inclement weather plan or what to do in case of a late season hurricane, I would look up beautiful weddings of couples who got caught in the rain: romantic photos of drizzly ceremonies, colorful rain boots and flower girls splashing in puddles, dreamy shots of the bride and groom beneath an umbrella. I even found myself secretly hoping for a little precipitation!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? So many Southerns details were a part of our wedding, from the farm venue to the locally-grown flowers and foliage in the bouquets, to the sweet potato pie and corn pudding on the buffet table. We loved the idea of incorporating family heirlooms and little personal touches, like an old mantle displaying family wedding photos. Bryan’s bout included a fishing fly, and his old baseball glove was used as the ring bearer’s pillow. The bridesmaids were transported to the ceremony site via hay wagon and an antique tractor, a nod to my family’s farming roots. We used my great grandparents’ china on the head table, my dad’s homegrown sorghum syrup as favors, and Bryan’s mother’s cranberry glassware for the bride and groom.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We are blessed to call all of our vendors, who worked so hard making our day seamless and perfect, our friends. My father works for Mill Valley BBQ, who provided the delicious Southern-infused meal. Shindig’s seriously talented and organized Meghan Streit was my Young Life leader in high school, our dear friend Tod baked the wedding cake, and Bryan’s childhood minister presided over the ceremony. We were honored to have the stunning flowers provided by Southern Blooms’ skillful crew. I am so lucky to work for this amazing design company, whose owners have a great eye for detail and an unbelievable collection of everything from lanterns to the spectacular arbor they constructed of old windows salvaged from a barn in Pennsylvania. And we knew, without a doubt, that our photos taken by Jen Fariello would be gorgeous reminders of the most important day of our lives.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When others offer a helping hand, take them up on it! We absolutely could not have planned our wedding without the support and help from our wonderful parents, family, and friends. Trust your vendors and designers: they’ve been there, done that, and know what is best.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our mothers have known one another for years and worked together at a private school in Culpeper, VA–they even hatched a plan to set us up when we were in college. Despite this, we didn’t meet until a blind date years later in January 2012, when our good friend decided to play matchmaker.
When did y’all get married? September 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I went dress shopping on a whim–we were in Richmond running errands and dropped by a bridal shop. I tried on several styles, including one I had fallen in love while looking online. That dress was the first that I tried on and I knew that it was the one!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Walking down the aisle, “Arioso in A” was performed by violin and cello. “Ave Maria” was sung by Sherry Spencer, who wears many hats and is also lead designer/co-owner of Southern Blooms. Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love” performed by Garth Brooks was our first dance. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole was the father/daughter and mother/son dance. The last dance was to “Ain’t That Love?” by Ray Charles.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our friend who introduced us is also an accomplished chef and baked our wedding cake. Each layer had different flavors and fillings, and it was as beautiful as it was delicious!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! My borrowed was my friend’s sixpence, the old was a pair of pearl earrings that Bryan gave me, blue was my grandmother’s blue handkerchief, and my dress was new.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were so many special moments! Riding in the 1949 Ford truck to the ceremony. Seeing Bryan for the first time while walking down the aisle and not realizing how fast I was moving until my dad whispered “slow down!” The surprise petal toss as we exited the ceremony. Our first dance and looking out at all of the people that we love in one space–that was an incredible feeling. Seeing our parents’ smiling faces, because none of this would have been possible without their love and support. The moment the sun broke through the clouds after the ceremony. Looking across the field after dark and seeing the illuminated cross on the ceremony altar. The sparkler exit and leaving on the old hay wagon, only to find our Jeep completely and thoroughly decorated.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Married life is great! Bryan and I are very excited to build our new home and to start a family.

Photographer: Jen Fariello / Planner: Meghan Streit / Venue: Buckner Farm / Florals, Farm Tables, Lounge Furniture, Altar: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs / Cake Baker: Tod Dodson / Catering and Pies: Mill Valley BBQ / Linens, Glassware, Flatware, Chairs, Round Tables: Festive Fare / Sperry Tent and Lighting: Skyline Tent Co. / DJ: Adam Smith / Bride’s Gown and Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Necklace: Ananda Fashions / Hair Stylist: Gena Mills of At Last Salon / Makeup Artist: Kara Spangler of Studio 500 / Bride’s Shoes: J. Renee / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Antique 1949 Ford Truck: Tony Morris

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | DESTIN FLORIDA reply

    Absolutely stunning!! I adore the all the gorgeous blooms and details!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Love these rich fall colors! This looks like it would have been a magical wedding to attend :)

  3. avatar Dana reply

    the most perfect VA venue!

  4. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    I was completely drawn to this gorgeous Bride’s statement necklace. I love a statement necklace on a bride!

  5. avatar Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs reply

    Thank you so much for featuring Lindsay and Bryan’s wedding. We are so honored to see our work on the Southern Weddings blog!

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

    […] so surprise that the flowers at her and Bryan‘s fall wedding were especially stunning! See it here. As seen in V6, Erin and Stephen‘s Georgia wedding was full of Southern hospitality and […]

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    […] u moře. Dokonalá kombinace ať už pro exotickou svatbu nebo pro společné vysněné líbánky. Korsáž // Nevím, zda našim partnerům vůbec záleží na tom, jak bude vypadat jejich korsáž, ale […]

  8. avatar Festive Fare Featured in Southern Weddings | Classic Party Rentals reply

    […] spectacular products. Be sure to read more about the couple’s special day. Thank you again, Southern Weddings, for the […]

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It is sweet enough to know that Erin and Stephen are high school sweethearts, married in a small Georgia town just as spring began to turn into summer, but knowing how much love and thought they put into their wedding makes it all the better. As Erin said, “My number one goal of the wedding was to get married–-anything else would be a bonus! My second goal, however, was to make sure that each and every one of our guests felt appreciated and important.” From the personal, handwritten notes Erin and Stephen wrote to each of their guests, to the family-style meal that was served, we can only imagine how honored each guest felt to be a part of this special day. We were certainly honored to share it in V6!

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Jeremy Harwell, of Harwell Photography, for sharing Erin and Stephen’s beautiful wedding with us!

We both enrolled in a program that allowed us to take college classes full-time while still in high school, and we met during the college orientation events leading up to the first week of classes. The first event was a meteor shower viewing, where we gazed at the stars until 2 a.m. and hit it off talking about everything from our favorite music and books to our life ambitions. After six years, we still haven’t run out of things to talk about.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I have always loved Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, so when I saw a similar-looking dress in the window, I had to try it on. It was perfect–it didn’t even need any alterations! I guess it was meant to be.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? We were so grateful that a longtime friend and minister was able to officiate our wedding. It made the ceremony that much more personalized and heartfelt. The most special part of our ceremony was taking communion together; it was the perfect way to begin our life as a married couple.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My parents had displayed a hand-blown glass dove at their wedding in remembrance my dad’s deceased father. We displayed the same dove during our ceremony to remember him and other family members who have passed away.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Yes! We had a wonderful cocktail hour. Immediately after we exited the church, a bluegrass band that was waiting outside began to play. As the guests exited the church, the band strolled down the street playing music and leading our guests to the party! Once at the venue, our guests enjoyed pimento cheese and other local cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy.

I was lucky enough to get to pick the recipes I wanted to use for the menu, which were simple and delicious! We had all the dishes in big bowls on the table so guests could serve themselves and eat in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: From Stephen: The whiskey bar was a really cool touch. The bartender was super friendly and knowledgeable, and he served small tastings so people could try several different whiskeys. Erin’s mom also made an amazing light fixture out of vintage olive baskets that we used above the bar.

What was your reception like? Our reception was in the backyard of the Bed and Breakfast on a grassy lawn next to a beautiful red barn. Trees surrounded the eating area, but the center of the dance floor was completely open to the night sky. We wrote handwritten letters to each of our guests, which also served as escort cards for each guest to find their seat. We had a mix of round tables and long farm tables. The tables surrounded the dance floor, where Goodwin Tents and Events had draped strings of cafe lights to illuminate the reception area. To the side of the dance floor, we had two bars: a “girls” martini bar and a “guys” whiskey-tasting bar! The reception was magical to say the least. I couldn’t believe all that Amy Osaba and our other vendors had done to make the space so breathtaking!

All of the design inspiration for the reception started with my dress! I wanted our reception to have an “organic elegance” to it. Amy Osaba really helped this elegance come to life by pairing silver vases with floral arrangements that looked handpicked from the garden. In terms of color, we used a lot of whites, greens, and gray, but we also included some pops of pink– a very fun and creative touch on Amy’s part!

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Besides getting to marry the man of my dreams, the best part of the wedding was being completely surrounded by the people who love and support us. It was such an overwhelming feeling walking down the aisle and seeing all of the family and friends who had traveled so far to celebrate our wedding. That love and energy was truly amazing.

Tell us about a date you’ll always remember. It was our second date–I was sixteen and had never dated anyone before. He was seventeen, and I thought he was the funniest, smartest, most handsome guy I had ever met. Naturally, I was very nervous. We had a picnic by the Chattahoochee River. He couldn’t have timed the date more perfectly–the sun was setting, the water looked gorgeous, and the crisp fall air had begun to settle in. We finished our dinner, and as the conversation drew quiet, he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. After I said “yes,” he went in for the much-awaited kiss. Our lips barely touched and I burst into tears out of sheer nervousness. Thankfully, he was unfazed, and after calming me down, we got to work “practicing” our kissing skills!
Describe the proposal: I knew we were going to get engaged that winter break, which made it hard for him to surprise me, but he still did! He picked a day full of family events so that I wouldn’t expect it–we had my little brother’s wrestling meet during the day and a family dinner party that night. I arrived home from the wrestling meet to find the house normal as ever, but in my room was a note to get ready for a special night for two. When I had finished getting ready, I opened my door to find the house transformed, with rose petals, candles, and hand-written notes lining the hallway and a beautifully set dinner for two in front of the fireplace. Hands shaking, he got down on one knee. Of course, I said yes!
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My grandmother (who passed away April 2012) left me a beautiful diamond to incorporate in my engagement band. We wanted something that would accentuate the stone’s natural beauty in a classic but unique way. We chose a stunning J.B Star setting that frames the center stone with two pear diamonds.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 175
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? The guys spent their morning relaxing and then went to get old-fashioned, straight-razor shaves! All of the bridal party spent the night before the wedding at the Bed and Breakfast, and the morning of the wedding, we all excitedly strolled to downtown Senoia for a delicious breakfast!
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Whenever I spoke with a wedding vendor, I always told them my number one goal of the wedding was to get married–anything else would be a bonus! My second goal, however, was to make sure that each and every one of our guests felt appreciated and important. In that sense, I would say that each guest was very special to us.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to “You and Me” by Dave Matthews Band. It’s a really sweet song about following each other to the end of the world and being able to do anything together.
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? I’d say the funniest moment would be the bouquet toss. In mid-air, the bouquet hit the lights strung over the dance floor, but that didn’t stop one bridesmaid and a good friend from literally diving onto the floor to get to the fallen flowers before anyone else. There were actually two points during the reception where the power went out completely, but that didn’t stop anyone from continuing to party.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We were very excited to have some stress-free time to ourselves after the wedding. We honeymooned on Peter Island, a small resort island in the British Virgin Islands. It was relaxing and isolated and serene.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are adapting to life in New York City and are enjoying its vibrancy, but we plan to eventually return to the South to settle down and start a family. In the more near future, the things we look forward to most are the simple things, like getting to have breakfast together every morning and taking long walks through Central Park.

Photographer: Harwell Photography / Floral and event design: Amy Osaba Events / Ceremony venue: Senoia United Methodist Church / Reception venue: Veranda Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn / Ceremony coordination and reception food design: Kathy Black / Bride’s dress: Sassi Holford / Bridal salon: Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta / Bride’s accessories: Haute Bride / Bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Sung / Mother of the Bride dress: Mon Cheri / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: J. Andrews Bridal / Alterations: Betty Harrah / Hair and nails: Ici Paris Day Spa and Salon / Makeup: Katie Gant / Cocktail hour band: Sourwood Honey / Cocktail hour appetizers and cheese: Sweet Grass Dairy / Invitation print consultant: The Paperie at Sam Flax / Bartender: Mobile Cocktails ATL / DJ: BeatHouse Productions / Cake: Blooming Flour Bakery / Tables, chairs, dance floor, lighting: Goodwin Rentals / Bars, highboys, serving dishes: Peachtree Tent and Events / Paper Products: Designs by Robyn Love / Calligrapher: Donna Dow / Linens: I Do Linens / Gallery artwork and map watercolor: Georgia Water Color Society / Monogrammed napkins: Mactees Inc

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

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    Hand-written letters to each guest? I LOVE this personal detail. And of course, I an 100% on board with Erin’s goals in planning her wedding!!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    This was such a beautiful story! Love the photos too! Added one to my wedding board on Pinterest! xoxo

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Beautiful wedding!! Such a perfect mix of classic & playful. Love it!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    So, so many details to love in this wedding, from their beautifully-wrapped bread to their citrus cake! Love them all, and this sweet couple!

  5. avatar Dana reply

    very pretty flowers and such a silly second date story!

  6. avatar Erin & Stephen | harwell photography reply

    […] Published in Print and online in Southern Weddings Magazine […]

  7. avatar Jeremy Harwell reply

    I am so honored to have this beautiful wedding on Southern Weddings! Erin & Stephen were such an amazing couple to work with, and the vendors involved provided such beauty for me to photograph! Thanks so much for the post!

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    […] Source […]

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    […] Image Sources Placecards // Wild Flowers // Alfresco tables // Beaded Gown // Monogram […]

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