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I fell for BDK the very first day we met–I simply knew he was the man I was going to marry, so I believe Rachel wholeheartedly when she says she knew right away that Shaman was the one for her. I’m sure the guests at their beautiful Keswick Hall wedding could tell as well! You can see just how in love these two are as you scroll through each photo. I can also see why Rachel knew her dress was the one for her the very first second she saw it–that beadwork, y’all! Talk about a beauty!

Thank you kindly to Paige Jones for sharing this romantic wedding day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. While Shaman and I had been classmates at Roanoke College for three years, we had never spoken to one another until we were home for the summer in Charlottesville, Virginia, just before our senior year. I was interning for UVA Children’s Hospital in the fundraising office, and we were hosting an event at the golf course where Shaman happened to be working for the summer. I spotted him cruising across one of the putting greens and was so delighted to see a fellow classmate! I yelled Shaman’s name and he came over on his cart–we chatted a bit, exchanged phone numbers, and I knew right away he was the one for me. About a week later, while attending the Annual Pink Polo Match at King Family Vineyard, my car battery “unfortunately” died. Shaman was there as well, and I convinced him that he was the only person there that could help me. We remained in constant contact for the rest of the summer, spending every day together, usually eating ice cream and shooting hoops. By the start of school, we were inseparable and totally in love!

My dress was the very first dress I spotted as I walked into the bridal salon and, like my now-husband, I knew it was the one for me the very second I saw it. Five days after we got engaged, I went with my mom and sister to “just try on styles” to get a better idea of what I was looking for. My sister and I walked into the shop together, saw the dress at the same moment, and ran to pull it off the rack. While I tried on a number of other dresses, nothing else compared!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes! My favorite phrase was “I promise to hug you when you leave in the morning, kiss you when you return in the evening, and be thankful for each day I wake up beside you.”

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When we were presented for the first time as Shaman and Rachel Douglass!! Yay!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose our venue for the cozy winter setting–it has historic architecture and beautiful, oversized fireplaces. Food was very important to us, and Keswick is an expert in that area. The level of service is impeccable as well!

We chose to have my mother’s cold oven pound cake recipe (a Southern favorite) with lemon buttercream icing made into eight cakes, which we placed on some of the dinner tables to serve double duty as decor. It is our very favorite cake and we couldn’t imagine NOT having it on our big day. We also chose to have a hot doughnut bar after dinner with every kind of topping you could imagine (chocolate, sprinkles, powdered sugar, and even bacon!), which was a fan favorite with the guests.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It will all fall into place! Remember to take the time to feel loved by those who are helping you celebrate–they are so happy for you, and it is important to recognize how special it is to be surrounded by so many great people.

Don’t miss Rachel and Shaman’s highlights film by Ian’s Creations!

Tell us all about the proposal! I nearly screwed up the proposal! Since I now work at a school, I was home on spring break, and Shaman so thoughtfully took off for the week to spend it with me. On Wednesday, we were both relaxing, and Shaman kept asking if I wanted to go for a hike. I scolded him saying, “No, it’s raining! And, I’m working on emails, AND we need to clean up the house because Lindsey (my best friend) is coming into town tomorrow.” He then had my mother call and ask what we were up to–she too suggested we get out of the house and go for a hike. I thought the two of them were CRAZY! We did not go for the hike, but later in the day, we had an appointment to do our pre-qualification for a home loan. As we were trying to get out the door, Shaman asked if I thought it mattered to the mortgage company that we weren’t engaged yet–I thought he had really lost it, as we had discussed it before and I didn’t understand why he was bringing it up again. I remember looking through my bag, thinking “Whatever, he’s such a guy,” and making a note to pack a snack, when I heard shuffling behind me. When I turned around, he was down on his knee with the ring box open that he had picked out all on his own. I was totally shocked and overjoyed! He explained that this was not how he planned it, but that he couldn’t get me to leave the house! It was perfectly us anyway!
When did y’all get married? February 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! As both of my grandmothers have departed, I had one of my grandmother’s sapphire rings and a hanky from the other side of the family that all the women have carried with them on their walks down the aisle as my borrowed, blue, and old! My something new was the beautiful ruby necklace Shaman gave me as a wedding present. Ruby is my birthstone and one of my favorite jewels!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? What was most Southern about our wedding was the warmth in the room from all of our loved ones! We served fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese as one of our canapés, and our very historical estate venue had some Southern flair. Also, my niece’s dress was made from my mom’s wedding gown by my aunt!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did pre-marital counseling sessions with our pastor and discussed challenging topics, such as money, family dynamics, and career paths. We would encourage everyone to do it and have those open conversations!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Living life and helping our friends celebrate their life events! We were the first to get married and we can’t wait to share in everyone’s adventures.

Photographer: Paige Jones Photography / Videographer: Ian’s Creations / Day-Of Coordinator: Just a Little Ditty / Venue and Catering: Keswick Hall / Florist: Hedge Fine Blooms / Dessert Baker: Country Confections / Draping: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting / DJ: Andrew Hypes / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Style 9100″ in Blush by Allure / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bridal Impressions / Bride’s Earrings and Bridesmaid Rings: Suz Somersall/ Hair Stylist: Claibourne Reppert / Makeup Artist: Stephanie Parker / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Calvin Klein and Adrianna Papell / Groom’s Attire: Simon Spurr and Belgian Shoes

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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I’m pretty sure that if I told you that this wedding had a former Abercrombie & Fitch model for a groom, a bride that rode in on a white horse, and a ceremony that took place on a field covered in yellow wildflowers, you might think I was writing a romance novel. But y’all, it did! For their special day, Kelli and Michael wanted their California friends and family to feel the warmth of Southern hospitality and the fun of a Texas country wedding. With the help of Blue Ribbon Vendor, Two Be Wed, Kelli’s matron of honor’s parents’ ranch became the site of this sweet day, where guests were invited to make themselves at home and celebrate the newlyweds’ love with all things Southern. I love the South, and seeing it shared through our couple’s eyes makes my heart sing–Kelli and Michael even had a good ol’ tractor to transport guests!

We’re so thankful to Christianne Taylor for sharing this lovely day with us in V7!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I was a new sophomore in Santa Barbara, where I had just transferred to my new school, and I didn’t know anyone. My dad and I were downtown at Brooks’ orientation, and we wandered into a coffee shop where Mike worked. I immediately noticed the ridiculously good-looking barista. Mike was literally an Abercrombie & Fitch model at the time, so I was understandably shy, and I made my dad go place the order! Months later, I ended up moving into a house in Montecito with four random roommates. One of the roommates, Lauren, happened to work at the coffee shop with Mike, and she quickly filled me in on the fact that this super handsome guy was only a year older than me, had never had a girlfriend before (crazy, right?!), and apparently was super sweet, soft spoken, and shy. And, he was a Christian and a Young Life leader at Santa Barbara High School! Of course, my crush quickly grew into a full-blown obsession. In the meantime, I had started casually seeing another guy, and that relationship ended just before Valentine’s Day. I went out for a single ladies’ Valentine’s Day dinner with Lauren, and she told me that Mike had been asking about me for months! When I had ended the relationship with the other guy on my own, she felt it was okay to finally let me know about Mike. Mike, in the meantime, didn’t know Lauren was chatting with me or that I had ended things with the other guy, but when I got home that night, he had left me a sweet message, asking me to coffee. We have been together ever since.

I had the amazing opportunity to meet and work with wedding dress designer Hayley Paige on an article for Houston Magazine. She comes to Houston often for trunk shows and has become a close friend. She is just the sweetest and most talented person I know. When Mike and I got engaged, she went above and beyond to make sure my dress was perfect and I had everything I needed. I had the privilege to shoot the owner’s of Now & Forever Bridal Boutique’s wedding in Hawaii the year before Mike and I got married. They, along with Hayley, have also become close friends, and they made my dress buying experience above and beyond wonderful.

What was Southern about your wedding? Everything: the decor, the environment, the horses, the ranch, the boots, the rustic theme, and the tractor.

We tried to do as much of our own stuff as possible. We had SO many friends with unique gifts and talents contribute to our day. We couldn’t have done it without them! I made/printed our save the dates, favors, confetti bags for the ceremony, and chalkboard signs for favors. I also printed and designed our wedding programs, which featured illustrations by Tricia Lowenfield.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? It was all so special. We did communion–our faith is an important part of who we are as individuals and a couple.
Who was your officiant? Why did you choose him/her? Our officiant was our pastor who has known me since I was young. I used to be the youth intern at the church with him, and he has mentored me for a long time. It was special to have him counsel Mike and I leading up to the wedding and to have him as a part of the big day.

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: The horse we had the opportunity to ride in on! I also loved the birch sticks that lined the ceremony aisles–they had cascading ivy, vines, and white flowers on top. The cross at the end of our aisle had matching florals. The sun setting behind it made the water on the lake glisten. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful way to show our family and friends the warmth of the South.

We got married in Marquez, Texas at my best friend’s ranch. She was also my matron of honor and wedding photographer! Their ranch was such a blessing to have on our big day. Her family was so unbelievably hospitable, and they are much like family to me as well, so it couldn’t have been more perfect. The majority of our family and friends were coming from California, so we wanted to give them a real Texas experience. The ranch was the perfect fit! We had horses, a tractor, boots, and all! The ceremony took place on a field covered in yellow wildflowers, overlooking a beautiful lake. I love nature and wanted our wedding to be simple, elegant, and rustic.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: The coffee favors. He’s become a coffee connoisseur and we home-roasted a lot of coffee ourselves. Our wedding favors were bags of coffee from Northstar Coffee Co. that said “Love is Brewing”–we thought this was only appropriate, considering the role it played in our story.

We had one of my close friends make our cake and cupcakes. She has a vegan catering company called Ripe Cuisine, and everything was amazing. We had chocolate and carrot cake for Mike–it’s his favorite!

Date of your wedding: March 16, 2013
Describe the proposal: It was simple and sweet. We had decided to go on a break for a few months before getting engaged. We both had graduated, he moved to Seattle, and I was in Houston. The break made us realize we were ready to be together for life. He made the move to Houston a few months later, and proposed at my parents’ house.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Rustic, elegant, and organic
What was the weather like on your big day? Beautiful. It was in the mid-80’s during the day and the high 60’s at night. We had an outdoor fireplace and fleece blankets in baskets for guests to cozy up with.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 150
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? Logistics! I am a creative, so the nitty gritty and numbers stuff have always been hard for me. I’m SO thankful for the girls at Twobewed–they were a Godsend! I couldn’t have done anything without them.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? It was so important to me that my bridesmaids not feel burdened, but loved the experience of our wedding. I wanted them to encompass our theme, but also be comfortable and embody the warmth of spring in Texas. I picked out some cute, ivory lace, corset-top sundresses from American Eagle that the girls all wore with boots.
What was your reception like? Intimate and informal. We wanted guests to feel at home, and not like there was a routine or regimen that needed to be followed.
What was the design inspiration for your reception? We had hanging string lights and several seating vignettes–lots of chaise lounges–for a cozy, but elegant, backyard ranch feel. The food was served on the porch, set up on rustic wooden doors converted into tables, with vintage wine barrels as the base.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Yes, but it was brief. We displayed chalkboard signs depicting our signature mocktails (it was a dry wedding, as our venue dictated).
What kind of food did you serve? We served upscale barbecue with veggies, prepared by Ara Malkein with Aracan Kitchen. He was the sous chef for Wolfgang Puck for several years in California, and he was such a joy to work with!
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? Our grand entrance featured Mike leading me in on a beautiful white horse, but my horse almost took off with me on the back of it! 

What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff–none of it matters. Just enjoy every moment and take it ALL in. It flies by so quickly.

Photographer: Christianne Taylor / Videographer: Sweet Start / Planner: Two Be Wed / Graphic Designer: Rumford Graphic Design / Venue: Great Rock Ranch / Florals: Joanna Dunton / Caterer: Ara Malekin with Aracan Kitchen / Cake Baker: Ripe Cuisine / Bride’s Gown: “Hattie” by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon and Accessories: Now and Forever Bridal Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Serephine / Bridesmaid Dresses: American Eagle / Hair and Makeup: Shannon Bloodworth / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Groomsmen Attire: H&M / Paper Goods: Vera Wang / Linens and Rentals: Aztec Rentals / DJ and Lighting: Unique Style Productions / Wine Barrels: Katy Barrel Co.

Two Be Wed is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    This is just the sweetest thing! I love the ‘meet cute’ sign!

  2. avatar Tricia Lowenfield reply

    So fun to see this beautiful wedding!! I loved working with the bride on her program illustrations.

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For every bride, there comes that moment when it hits you–you actually feel like a bride, and you’ll soon be marrying your best friend. I remember that moment so clearly during my own engagement, and for Kristen, it came during her dress shopping trip. I imagine that if having her family in tow while dress shopping was special, having 200 of her and Clay’s friends and family present to celebrate their wedding was just incredible! Together with their planner, Lauren Chitwood, Kristen and Clay turned Oxmoor Farm into the beautiful outdoor wedding Kristen had dreamed of, complete with a Lowcountry boil station during cocktail hour and yummy s’mores!

Big hugs to Amy Campbell for sharing this sweet day with us!

One of the most memorable parts of wedding preparation for me was shopping for the perfect dress. That was the day that it felt real, and I felt more like a bride than ever. It was important to me to have my close family with me to pick out the dress. I went shopping with my grandmothers, mom, and sister. At the second store we visited, I put a few dresses on, and then it happened. When I looked in the mirror, I could see myself walking down the aisle and saying “I do” to my best friend. It’s so hard to determine what everything is going to look like on your wedding day, once your dress actually fits and your hair and makeup is done. In the end, it was beautiful and I know I made a great choice.

Clay and I were in agreement that we did not want to see each other before our ceremony. We both wanted that moment to happen when I walked down the aisle and my dad gave me away. It would have been wonderful to have our pictures taken beforehand, but we went with what we felt was right for us.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? It took us awhile to find the readings that we felt were fitting for us. Finally, we agreed on the Irish Blessing of Hands and Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. We each chose one person to read; Clay chose his father and I chose my grandfather. Listening to each of them read on our wedding day was very special and is something that I’ll never forget.

Besides the Southern hot heat on the day of our wedding, the décor had many Southern touches, too. The Lowcountry boil station during cocktail hour was definitely Southern, as were the fire pits and s’mores–nothing says Southern evening like a fire pit and chocolate. Lastly, our venue is deeply rooted in Southern heritage.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Clay was wonderful about our venue–he didn’t really care where we did it, he just knew he wanted to marry me. I wanted to get married outside, and he was supportive of that. He has a huge family, so we also knew we needed a lot of space for a tent. Lauren, our wedding planner, suggested Oxmoor Farms, and after taking a tour of the property, I fell in love with it. I knew Clay would like it too, because he enjoys places with history. Later, I realized that I had actually played in soccer tournaments on the same field where we had our ceremony!

The wedding flowers were absolutely breathtaking. Before I started getting ready, I walked out to the reception area and was just blown away by how everything had come together. My wedding planner and floral designer used hydrangeas, garden roses, and seeded eucalyptus.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We decided on a small cake for us and our wedding party and cupcakes for everyone else. The choice to have a smaller wedding cake helped us save a little money. Our cake had a beautiful sugar flower that is still in our freezer–I’m hoping to re-use it in the future as we build our family!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual coworkers. A good friend I taught with had heard about Clay through her husband, who worked with Clay. Our friends helped us exchange phone numbers, and talked on and off, mainly through text messages. After about a month, we went on a blind date to dinner and a movie. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Clay asked me to dinner early in the week, which was pretty unusual, since he’s more of a spur of the moment kind of guy, but I tried not to think too much about it. We went to dinner at a place called Game, and Clay was very excited. As we waited for a table, Clay was texting like crazy. He told me that he was texting his brother about an Xbox, which I later realized was not exactly the truth. We enjoyed a delicious dinner, and when we left the restaurant, it was cold and nasty outside, so Clay drove home like a mad man. When he got home, I opened the garage door to find something on the ground. As I turned the corner, I saw an entire path of rose petals and candles leading to the living room. Clay ended up dragging me into the living room because I felt like my feet were glued to the floor. He got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. I was in absolute shock! It couldn’t have been any more perfect.
When did y’all get married? June 21, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We discussed writing our own vows, but I knew I’d be too nervous to actually say them, so we decided against it. Looking back, I think I could have said my own vows, because it felt like it was just him and me standing up there. I’m sure I would have been super nervous leading up to it though, so I think we made the right decision!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The best thing that we did to prepare for our marriage was meet with Father Chibundi. He talked with us about the ups and downs of marriage and shared some of his own experiences. He also gave us a questionnaire to fill out about our relationship. He read over both of our answers and discussed them in detail with us. We were then able to discuss some of the harder issues with one another to plan for our life together.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My most memorable moment is definitely when I locked eyes with the man that I was about to marry! It’s a moment I’ll remember forever.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Our next big steps will be to start a family of our own. I can’t wait to see Clay as a father and I am thankful that I have him to lean on for the rest of my life.

Photographer: Amy Campbell / Videographer: Antonio Pantoja/ Planner: Lauren Chitwood / Venue: Oxmoor Farms / Florist: Sarah Harris / Wedding Cake and Desserts: The Sugar Woods / Caterer: Dupree Catering / Rentals: All Occasion Event Rentals / DJ: SUP DJ Brent Rodgers / Bridal Salon: Rebecca’s Wedding Boutique / Hair and Makeup: Kristie Hicks Creative / Bride’s Shoes: Macy’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Twirl / Groom’s Attire: Rebecca’s Black Tie / Table Numbers: Sweet Carolina Collective

Twirl is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Amy Campbell reply

    Thanks so much for the feature! This was a gorgeous day and I’m glad we could share it with others!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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