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Charlottesville, Virginia is one of my favorite Southern wedding destinations–so much so that my fiancé and I considered it for our own wedding! I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I read that Jane and Marty selected the gorgeous Pippin Hill Farm for their wedding after falling in love with its sweeping Blue Ridge Mountains views. Not only was it a breathtaking backdrop for their elegant spring wedding, it was also a perfect place for Jane and Marty to give their mostly Northern guests a little taste of Virginia. We can only imagine how much they loved it!

Thank you so much to Candi Coffman for sharing Jane and Marty’s wedding with us!

I selected Nicole Miller’s “Lauren” dress, which I bought at the Nicole Miller store in SOHO in NYC. I loved the lace back and how lightweight the dress was. I was able to dance the night away in it.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look so that we could spend a little bit of time alone together before the wedding. It worked out well because we also got to spend more time with friends and family after the ceremony.

How pretty is Jane’s pastel bouquet? Pat and Sherry of Pat’s Floral Designs used peonies and ranunculus in the softest blush.

Music was a really significant part of our ceremony and we were lucky to have several musicians contribute. First, we had a wonderful classical guitarist play our ceremony music. The bridal party processed down the aisle to “Sheep May Safely Graze” by Bach. Then, both my mom and dad walked me down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” This was their wedding song as well, so it was really special to have them both there with me. Our wedding officiant is a family friend who also plays the banjo in a band, so he played “River” by Al Petteway as a musical interlude during the ceremony. Finally, our reception band snuck in and surprised everyone by playing “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles while we processed out. Everyone sang along and it was such a happy moment that I know I will remember for the rest of my life.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? When I first saw Pippin Hill, I fell in love with the magnificent view of the mountains and knew it was where I wanted to be married. We are from Maryland and most of our guests were coming from Maryland and DC, so Charlottesville, Virginia was a mini-destination for us.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Colleen Miller, our day-of coordinator, was a life-saver. Leading up to the wedding, she had a ton of advice on vendor selection, planning the ceremony, etc. On the day, she took care of everything so that I was able to actually enjoy the day, and she was a wonderful, calming force. I highly recommend hiring a day-of coordinator if your venue doesn’t provide one. They make a world of difference.

I love dessert–it’s my favorite meal of the day! We decided to have a smaller cake and a dessert bar that included cake pops, petit fours, brownies, lemon bars, and more. My wedding coordinator, Colleen Miller, helped me to surprised my husband, who is a huge doughnut fan, with a tiered “doughnut” cake. Needless to say, he was thrilled!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Marty and I were introduced by a friend in college. We went to different schools and I moved abroad for a year after college, so Marty ended up chasing me around for about two years before we finally got together. We joke that Marty had to be really persistent to win me over!
Tell us all about the proposal! Marty and I live in New York City and he proposed to me during a walk in Central Park near the promenade. Afterwards, we went to dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at the London Hotel and got a tour of the kitchen, which was really fun.
When did y’all get married? May 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows. I think it was a great way for us to reflect on our relationship and think about the things that are really important to us. Weddings can be big and crazy and stressful, but the most important thing about the day is that you are making a commitment in front of your closest friends and family to be with the person you love most for the rest of your life. When we exchanged rings, we both said to each other, “With this ring, I give you my heart. I have no greater gift to give.” That meant a lot to me and I still think about it when I look at my ring.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did two readings, the Apache Wedding Blessing and a reading from The Velveteen Rabbit.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Marty surprised me on the day of the wedding with a gift and a print of a quote from one of my favorite poems by Pablo Neruda, “My love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live, it will be in your arms without leaving mine.”
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I have a few pieces of advice: 1. Prioritize the things that are important to you about your wedding and invest in those things. For example, having a great band was really important to us and we splurged there, but we built our own photobooth because we didn’t want to pay to rent one. I know that everyone says this, but it is easy to get sucked into thinking you have to spend a million dollars on everything, but if you don’t care about the invitations (for example), don’t spend a ton of money on them! 2. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to “DIY” too many things. Take on manageable projects and make sure you allow enough time to complete them. 3. On that point, allow more time than you think you need for everything and try to get everything done a week before the wedding so you can relax a bit! 4. Be very selective about your vendors; they make or break your wedding day. We loved all of our vendors and I think they were a big reason why our wedding was such a fun day!

Photographer: Candi Coffman / Videographer: Ginger Topham / Day-of Coordinator: Colleen Miller / Venue and Catering: Pippin Hill Farm / Florist: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Design / Wedding Cake: Favorite Cakes / Lighting: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting / Band: Attraction / Ceremony Music: Rafael Scarfullery / Bride’s Gown: “Lauren” by Nicole Miller / Paper Products: Paper in the Park / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Jennifer Saunders / Bride’s Shoes: “Sage” by Kate Spade / Bridesmaid Dresses: Bari Jay / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

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

    The prettiest gown, and I adore that heart-shaped poem – and their donut stack!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    It gives me chills thinking about all of their guests singing as they walked back up the aisle!

  3. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    LOVE everything about this gorgeous day! the blooms, the aubergine bridesmaids dresses, the beautiful images… *sigh*

  4. avatar Dana reply

    virginia is sooo pretty!

  5. avatar Colleen Miller Events » Southern Weddings Feature reply

    […] Marty were featured on the Southern Weddings blog yesterday. If you missed the feature, click here to hear Jane tell all of the details of her stunning soiree. Jane is definitely a girl after my own […]

  6. avatar Catherine reply

    Adore her dress …. and their dessert bar!!

  7. avatar Colleen Miller Events » Mardi Gras! reply

    […] while you’re over there don’t forget to read about Colleen Miller Event’s own Jane & Marty and their beautiful wedding at Pippin Hill […]

  8. avatar Mikkel reply

    This wedding is swoon-worthy in every way. LOVE the banjo player, the colors of the bridesmaids against the green lush hills and the love you can feel through the photos of the couple! Congrats Jane and Marty!!!

  9. avatar Jane and Marty Featured on Southern Weddings! reply

    […] heard that Candi Coffman‘s images from Jane and Marty’s Pippin Hill wedding were being published on the Southern Weddings blog. This wedding has everything that Charlottesville brides dream of – a fabulous groom, a […]

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I’m attending a wedding at RiverOaks Charleston in a few months, and since I’ve been admiring today’s gorgeous wedding ever since we accepted it for V6 last year, I am so excited to see the venue in person soon! After deciding against being married at Shannon’s parents’ beloved Lowcountry cottage, Shannon and Clay chose RiverOaks for its beautiful views and undeniable focus on Southern hospitality, which they were committed to showing their family and friends. With the help of an impressive collection of vintage tablecloths, delectable, locally-sourced food, and subtle star details inspired by Clay’s proposal, this wedding is as springtime-sweet as it gets. We’re so grateful to Virgil Bunao for capturing it so beautifully and sharing it with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I originally thought I would wear my twin sister’s wedding dress to help cut costs. Since we are identical twins, I wanted to alter it slightly to make it my “own,” so I consulted with an old friend whom I knew was now designing wedding gowns–Katherine McDonald, owner and designer of LulaKate in Charleston. Our meeting quickly went from altering my sister’s 12-year-old wedding dress to me trying on Katherine’s gorgeous gowns, which are pieces of artworks themselves. It took no time to decide on the dress for me. Her LaMour wedding dress was stunning–it had a pleated tulle bodice, cap sleeves, and embroidered floral detail. Perfect for a garden wedding! My favorite thing about it was knowing that I was the first bride ever to wear the newly-designed dress!

I got the idea to use two shades of green bridesmaid dresses from the “Virginia is for Lovers” shoot in Southern Weddings V5. I wanted the LulaKate dresses to be short, since it was an outdoor wedding, but I let each bridesmaid pick their neckline, which added a nice personal touch–they chose Zoe, Kristyn, and Jessica in the colors garden and grass.The wedding party was all family, so I just had to include the little ones as my sweet maidens! Since this wedding was held on the “royal wedding” weekend, I used the term “maidens” because that is what the English call their bridesmaids. I had five maidens that included my two step daughters and three nieces. My youngest niece was the flower girl, and my nephew was the ring bearer.

I have spent lots of family time out at our country home on the water in Meggett, South Carolina, and it is truly a gem of our beautiful Lowcountry. Clay and I both spent time there together while dating. I didn’t want to burden my parents by hosting our wedding there, so RiverOaks was the perfect venue for a Lowcountry plantation-style wedding with a similar feel. The color scheme evolved into shades of green, gold, and ivory, with splashes of peaches and pinks. We wanted it to feel fresh, fun, and spring-inspired.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? The reception started with a cocktail hour on the front lawn by the pond. We had a self-serve bar with lemonade and ice tea in my mom’s vintage glasses and a specialty cocktail of blueberry lemonade vodka, garnished with mint and served in mason jars. A large community table covered in butcher paper displayed a spread of local cheeses, honey, jams, and chutneys, which were all family favorites from either Charleston, my hometown, or Asheville, Clay’s hometown.
What was the design inspiration for your reception? We were inspired by the “from the earth and home” feel that we enjoy so much at my parents’ cottage. A few words we used to describe our wedding were Southern, local, family, plantation, picnic, casual, and fun. The color scheme of greens, golds, and ivory with touches of peach and pinks was inspired by springtime and the colors in my mom’s vintage tablecloths. The star details were inspired by our shooting star proposal story.

The food was local, Southern, and seasonal, and it was all sourced from farms on nearby John’s Island. At the cocktail hour, we passed around two appetizers of artichoke and goat cheese bruschetta and prosciutto-wrapped melon skewers. The seated family-style dinner began with a bibb wedge salad with smoked bacon, local tomato, cucumber, and a chive blue cheese dressing. Dinner proceeded with large dishes passing around a choice of local shrimp pasta in a caper, garlic, lemon butter and fresh herbs, or applewood bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with red pepper relish. For sides, we served garlicky local greens, creamy corn pudding served in husks, and a caprese salad with heirloom tomato and buffalo mozzarella drizzled in pesto.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our personal wedding cake was an almond amaretto cake with buttercream icing and blueberries on top from Sugar Bakery, decorated with my parents’ wedding cake topper. Their cake topper had been damaged over time from storage, so Jill Templeton repaired it by sewing on a piece of my mom’s wedding dress fabric. Our wedding cake was the centerpiece on a large round table of local Southern cakes from our favorite bakeries. Our Southern Cake Bar was made up of coconut cake from SALT at Station 22, caramel cake from Carter’s Kitchen, seven-layer chocolate cake from Square Onion, and red velvet cake, carrot cake, and strawberry cake from Sewee Restaurant and Village Bakery. The little maidens were about to pop waiting to get into those cakes!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We just so happened to live in the same neighborhood, right around the corner from each other! We were familiar faces due to the highly social nature of our young neighborhood. When we ran into one another at Zac Brown’s Southern Ground Music and Food Festival on Daniel Island in October 2011, a little spark ignited and our love story began!
Tell us all about the proposal! The date was December 14, 2012. We had been out to dinner at Carter’s Kitchen in Ion of Mount Pleasant and decided to go to the beach on Sullivan’s Island to try to see the Gemini Meteor Shower. We walked out on Station 16, which has a perfect view of Charleston’s harbor and skyline. We stood there for a good fifteen minutes before we finally saw one beautiful shooting star out of the east. I think Clay was waiting on one, because then, he leaned over and asked, “So…what are you doing for the next 50 years of your life?” I replied, “Hopefully, spending it with this great guy named Clay,” not realizing he was leading into a proposal! That’s when he popped the question! I was so surprised and soooo happy!!!! Needless to say, I was truly floating on “cloud nine,” or should I say, “star nine!”
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Genuine, personal, loving
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: I did an ink drawing of an old oak tree on my parents’ property in Meggett, SC, which is quite the gathering place for my family on weekends and holidays. I included a tiny shooting star hidden in the foliage of the tree. I had the drawing letterpressed onto our invitations in gold ink by Reaves Engraving printing company. My framer, Carol Williams of A Simple Tree, surprised me with a framed collage of the original drawing, the silver plate, and the letterpressed invitation. We had it proudly displayed at the ceremony.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: Without a doubt, the bagpiper that Shannon surprised me with! He played “Highland Cathedral” as she walked down the aisle. I have Scottish heritage and appreciation, and I belong to the McLean Clan of Duart. I was really pushing to have a bagpiper play at our wedding, but it wasn’t appearing to work out in the planning process. She got me good!
Describe your wedding flowers: My hand-tied bouquet held a very sentimental branch of kousa dogwood from my parent’s home, which will bloom every year on our anniversary. It also included a lush mix of white blooms, including scabiosa, fringe tulips, sweet peas, and peonies, with touches of blush pink in the rice flower, astilbe, and ranunculus. We also included patience and juliet garden roses, with a hint of super green roses. The bouquet was wrapped with a vintage satin ecru ribbon and I pinned on Clay’s mother’s white lace handkerchief with her gorgeous antique diamond brooch.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we did the traditional Presbyterian vow exchange.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? We started a new family tradition at my ceremony. The ring bearer pillow was custom made by Jill Templeton of Circa Children. She designed and crafted it with a combination of fabric samples from my mom and sister’s wedding dresses. I plan to pin on a small piece of my wedding dress fabric to the pillow and then pass it down to the next generation of brides in our family, where they will each pin on their samples too.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to Zac Brown’s “Free” because we met at his concert and that song had a lot of meaning to us. Our first dance was the most I got to talk to Clay one-on-one all night!
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? No, I am an older bride (41), so most of my friends are married! This was my first marriage and Clay was well worth the wait. Good things really do come to those who wait!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We have just completed my art studio in an unfinished room over the garage. I am transitioning into step-motherhood and am enjoying my instant family. We also hope to have a child of our own if we are so blessed!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? At some point during your ceremony, be sure to take a pause and look around, make eye contact with your guests, and remember that moment on your special day. It is all so busy and goes by so quickly that to simply stop and take in a sweet moment will live in you forever. My pastor, Rev. John Hage, gave us this advice, and I am so thankful for it! John also had us write letters about how we fell in love and why we loved and wanted to marry each other so that we could share them after the wedding. What a treasure to have and reread on our anniversaries! I would encourage couples to do the same.

Photographer: Virgil Bunao Photography / Planning and Design: Marianne Caldwell, Lauren Heuber, and Jennigray Hewitt of RiverOaks Charleston / Venue: RiverOaks Charleston / Florist: Deborah Gibson Design / Caterer: Harvest Catering / Cake Baker: Sugar Bakeshop / Southern Cake Bar: Sewee Restaurant, Village Bakery, SALT at Station 22, Square Onion, and Carter’s Kitchen / Bride’s Gown: “LaMour” by LulaKate / Bride’s Shoes: Nina Culver and LulaKate / Bride’s Earrings: Skatells / Bride’s Bracelet: David Yurman / Bride’s Veil and Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate / Maidens’ Dresses: Us Angels / Flower Girl Dress: David’s Bridal / Hair Stylist: Dianna Reine of Salon Jolie / Makeup Artist: Kristin Pavao of Finger Paint Makeup / Men’s Attire: Jos. A Bank / Ties and Pocket Squares: Custom by Ben Silver / Paper Products: Reaves Engraving Inc. / Tabletop Rental: Event Works / Unique Rentals: Muster Branch Vintage Rentals and RiverOaks Charleston / Bar Service: Squeeze Onsite / Sailcloth Tent: Sperry Tents / Linens: RiverOaks Charleston and personal / Shuttle Bus: ACW Limo Service / Lighting: RiverOaks Charleston / Ceremony Officiant: Rev. John Hage of Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church / Ceremony Musicians: Kelly Graham and Ben Drechsler / Soloist: Rev. Courtney Mills Jones Willis / Bagpiper: John Weed / Band: Tony Howard Band, The Willis Blume Agency / Apron and Invitation Artwork: Bride and Shannon Smith Hughes / “Southern Ground” and “Just Married” Signs: Sarah Jeffers Beauchene of Reclaimed Artistry / Getaway Car: 1956 Oldsmobile Holiday / Framing: Carol Williams of A Simple Tree / Bridesmaids and Maidens’ Jewelry: Felice Designs / Custom Ring Bearer Pillow: Circa Children

RiverOaks Charleston is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    what a sweet proposal! love her flowers, too!

  2. avatar Jehnel Oboza reply

    Gosh, Virgil. Beautiful, as always.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    I fell in love with those glittery star wands as soon as I saw them, but when I heard the significance behind them, my appreciation went to a whole new level! The shooting star references were my favorite detail from this wedding!

  4. avatar Lytle reply

    Virgil is awesome!

  5. avatar Marianne reply

    We could not have asked for a sweeter couple and family. Both the bride and her mother are artists so they embraced our planning, design and styling based on their vision with ease and appreciation. The relationships formed through this journey will always be treasured.

  6. avatar Mood Board Monday | Tulle Wedding Skirts reply

    […] 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image […]

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Something we hear frequently from brides is how overwhelming the many sources of wedding inspiration can be. As wonderful as wedding blogs (yes, even this one) and Pinterest are, it can be far too easy to lose sight of what’s important after you’ve been scrolling through ideas for what seems like hours. That’s one of the many reasons we created the Sweet Tea Society: to remind us–and you!–what really matters when planning your big day. One of my favorite lines is “We believe in history and heritage, and honoring both to create a deeply meaningful beginning to married life.” Farris and Taylor did this in spades. From the big things like the chapel where they were married (Farris was the third generation in her family to say “I do” there!) to the little details, like the s’mores bar lovingly crafted by Taylor’s mama, everything about their Nashville wedding was personal and sentimental.

Hugs to Kristyn Hogan for sharing Farris and Taylor’s wedding with us!

We met through mutual friends during our sophomore year at the University of Tennessee. The attraction was definitely always there and it was obvious to the many friends that kept encouraging us to date. One night, we were watching a movie with a bunch of friends, and before we knew it, all of them had left and lit a ton of candles on their way out. We looked at each other and just laughed because I don’t think either one of us was ready for a relationship at that point. Fast forward a couple years, there was a girl who liked Taylor and would not leave him alone. She decided to come to town to visit him and he did what any man would do–asked me to be his fake girlfriend. Of course, I agreed, and our friends decided we should hold hands to “make it look official.” Believe it or not, that was one powerful hand hold…the rest was history. Funny fact: the girl did not even show up. ;)

Tell us all about the proposal! My family has a cottage in Monteagle that is very special to our family. Taylor and I were spending Thanksgiving apart, but we decided that he would meet me the day after Thanksgiving in Monteagle. When he arrived, he asked to take a walk to “The Point” (our favorite cliff top view). He laid out a blanket on the cliff and we were enjoying the views when he pulled out a book. He had written an entire book on our story! He read the entire story to me, and at the end, he read, “On November 23rd, Taylor proposed to Farris.” I remember thinking, “When is November 23rd??” but before I could finish my thought, he pulled me on my feet, got on one knee, and asked me to be his wife! Of course, I said yes, and after much rejoicing, he pointed out his brother hiding in the woods with a camera. We walked down the path to an opening where both of our families were there to congratulate us. It was absolutely perfect.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did! I get nervous easily and Taylor can always calm my nerves, so we decided to see each other and pray together alone before the ceremony. Best decision I’ve ever made.

My great grandmother and my grandmother were both married in the same chapel as I was. There is something magical about memories that happen in the same place over a period of time.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We started writing our vows when we happened to come across my parents’ vows and realized that they promised everything we wanted to promise to each other. We changed some wording in their vows and made it our own. My two favorite lines were “By God’s grace, I will affirm and challenge you in becoming all that God has purposed you to be to the church and the world, and will serve Him together with you as one, giving Him the glory and honor” and “I will support you in the pursuit of your dreams and cherish you above all the possessions and honors of this life.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8. The typical wedding scripture is usually verses 4-8 but I actually love verses 1-3 the most: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.”

I knew I wanted Kristyn Hogan as our photographer and wouldn’t budge on that and I am SO happy I didn’t…I mean, just look at these pictures! The pictures are the one thing you will keep from your wedding for the rest of your lives to help you remember what a blessed day it was!

Describe your wedding flowers. Amazing. My mom works at Village of Flowers and they are loads of fun! Everyone at Village of Flowers chipped in and made it all possible. I could not have been more happy with how beautiful the flowers made both venues look!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The s’mores bar and fire pit at our reception. My mother-in-law worked on every little detail from the s’mores bar inspiration I had collected on Pinterest and my dreams came true when I saw the final product! My parents brought in the fire pit to roast the marshmallows. It was a hit at the reception!

When did y’all get married? October 12, 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. Walking down the aisle, we had Matt Wertz singing “I Will Not Take My Love Away.” It is such a beautiful song about unconditional love, and it reminds me of the love of Christ that made our relationship possible. Walking back up the aisle, Sam Levine played “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay, just because we love it and it sounds awesome with a band.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our venue was also quite Southern, as it was a gorgeous barn on a local Nashville farm.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Learning that nothing will be perfect. God had to teach me that the wedding was not the part we needed to be most prepared for…it was the marriage. I was so caught up in every little detail that I sometimes forgot that the whole reason for the celebration was my marriage to Taylor. I am a perfectionist, so it was hard to let go of the small stuff and begin spending time on the relationship stuff–the stuff that really matters AFTER the wedding!
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? It was very special to have one of our favorite artists, Matt Wertz, and my cousin, Joelle May, sing at our ceremony. It was breathtaking, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the chapel.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I knew there was something special about our first kiss after we became husband and wife, but later, we heard why from our parents. They told us that as soon as we kissed, the sun shown so brightly through the windows, straight on the two of us like a spotlight. I also loved walking down the aisle and seeing all the amazing people who have supported and loved us, and then looking up to see my amazing husband crying. I don’t think I have ever felt so much love!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? During the planning process, keep your sole focus on your relationship with your fiancé. We both got so much out of pre-marital counseling. Marriage brings about a lot of changes that you never had to deal with as a dating couple. No one can ever be fully prepared for marriage, but preparing yourself enough to get through it together is worth it.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We bought a sweet little house and have been decorating it together and making it our own. We love to travel and hope to travel around the world within the next couple of years. We looked forward to living together and boy, is it fun! It’s just like living with your best friend who you also happen to be in love with. It is amazing how much you learn about a person just by living with them. We have been surprised by how much we work as a team when cooking and doing dishes together. I love that no one has to hold the weight of any one thing–we have an equal-responsibility household. We love to go on walks together and have recently got into “juicing.” Our honeymoon in St. Lucia was absolutely amazing, and my favorite part about getting back to real life was returning to our new home together and being able to make dinner, eat by candlelight, and talk about all the amazing memories we had made over the past week.

Photographer: Kristyn Hogan / Videographer: Kip Kubin / Planner: Danielle Loeffler from Catalyst Weddings and Events / Ceremony Venue: Scarritt Bennett / Reception Venue: The Grange at Green Door Gourmet / Florist: A Village of Flowers / Cake Baker: B. Jacksons Bakery / Caterer: Sargents Catering / Rentals: Music City Tents and Events / Lighting: Bright Event Productions / Ceremony Musician: Sam Levine / Reception Band: AVENUE 615, David Deloach / Bride’s Gown: “Ebie” by Olia Zavozina / Programs: Darby Cards / Invitations: Emily O. Holmes / Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Barbara / Bride’s Accessories: Olia Zavozina / Hair Stylist: Leslie at Katie Russo Beauty / Makeup Artist: Katie Russo at Katie Russo Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Gianni Bini from Dillards / Bridesmaid Dresses: Coren Moore in Blush and Joanna August in “All Tomorrows Parties” / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaid / Men’s Attire: “Egara” suit from Men’s Wearhouse / Ties: Otis James / Rolls Royce Rental: Grand Avenue Worldwide / Trolly: FADDS Party Bus / Photo Booth: Shutterbooth

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

    That photo of the little boy taking the newlyweds’ picture is ADORABLE.

  2. avatar Kristyn Hogan reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this lovely wedding! Farris & Taylor are such a joy and their wedding day reflected every bit of that!

  3. avatar Amanda {Planning It All} reply

    I love the s’mores bar!

  4. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    A sweet beautiful wedding. We love these pretty details and the florals are to adore!

    xo

    http://www.PlumPrettySugar.blogspot.com

  5. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    So stunning! Love the monogram clutches.

  6. avatar Dana reply

    so many things to love in this wedding!

  7. avatar Rachel reply

    I’m currently planning a wedding, and I would LOVE to know where you purchased the flower girl dresses.

  8. avatar 6 cool flower girl ideas reply

    […] Whole flowers. Instead of flower petals, buy some fabric flowers at the craft store. […]

  9. avatar 6 cool flower girl ideas | Brooklyn Bride – Modern Wedding Blog reply

    […] Whole flowers. Instead of flower petals, buy some fabric flowers at the craft store. […]

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I think some of the best love stories begin in friendship, and Marenda and Jonathan’s story is no exception. After meeting in the dining hall during their first year of college and getting to know each over trigonometry class, they were friends for years as they each focused on growing as individuals. In time, they fell in love, and were married in a celebration that highlighted the two things most important to them: faith and family. I love the way they incorporated the traditions that were the most meaningful to them as a couple, from their sweet first look to their touching foot-washing ceremony.

Hugs to Anna K. Photography for sharing Marenda and Jonathan’s special day with us!

I had always planned to wear my mom’s dress and have it remade to fit me, but my mom insisted I find “my own.” I knew I wanted something simple and classy with some lace. I went to a place in Valdosta with my matron and maid of honor and my mama and fell in love with two dresses. After a few months had passed, I still could not get either dress out of my head, so I went back and tried both on again. The two were similar, and the one I ultimately chose had some beading on it that “sparkled.” The girls encouraged me by saying, “It’s the one day you are allowed to sparkle and shine; might as well make it count.” I absolutely loved my dress. It was perfect!

Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet was pure Southern elegance, and it was wrapped in lace from my mama’s wedding gown. The bridesmaids’ bouquets and the flowers throughout the ceremony were very natural and vintage. We used a lot of whites (garden roses, ranunculus) with peach/blush tones, as well as succulents throughout.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did! I never thought I would want to growing up, but it was what we both ended up wanting to do. I wanted time with him before we were with everyone else for the remainder of the day. We didn’t want to see each other for the first time in front of 300 of our friends and then not be able to tell each other our thoughts and express our love right away.

The venue was a farm, complete with pecan trees, horses, a stable, a farm house, a small cottage, and a pond–all of which remind me of growing up in the South. My daddy used wood from an old barn to build doors for me to walk out of and an altar. He also built the frame for a wagon that we used to pull my niece down the aisle.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jonathan chose “Nothing Fancy” by Dave Barnes for me to walk down the aisle to, which I loved and thought was wonderful. It was a “secular” song, which I was concerned about at first, but the musicians (very dear friends) encouraged me that Jonathan and I would reflect the gospel and we didn’t have to plan on a song doing that. During the washing of the feet, we played the song “Divine Romance” by Phil Wickham. We both love this song and the display of the gospel in it.

A memorable moment was when we washed one another’s feet. Right after we had made our vows and exchanged rings, I washed his feet first and then he did mine. We chose to wash one one another’s feet because in order to wash someone’s feet or have your own feet washed, you must be humbled and in the position of prayer. Once we finished washing one another’s feet, three couples prayed over us and the guests were all asked to join in prayer. It was overwhelming to feel this love and support from so many people that are dear to us.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our venue. I believe having the wedding outdoors on a farm really set the tone for our wedding. It was like a huge family reunion and there was tons of space for people to explore.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We chose to do a smaller cake that was vanilla with buttercream frosting, decorated with rosettes, and an assortment of pies and cobblers, because it reminded us of family gatherings. Jonathan is not a huge dessert person, but he has a weakness for Oreos. I surprised him with a “groom’s cake” that was stacks of Oreos formed like a cake, accompanied by shot glasses of milk.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both attended Valdosta State University, where I joined Kappa Delta sorority and he joined Kappa Sigma fraternity during our freshman year. We met in our dining hall, eating with a huge group of pledge brothers and sisters. We then figured out we had signed up for the same trig class, which happened to follow that lunch! We sat next to one another in trig and our friendship grew. Over the next year and half, we liked one another off and on, but it was never “time.” Our junior year, Jonathan stayed home in Cumming, Georgia and commuted to a nearby school. During this year, my walk with the Lord grew more in that short time that it had in the 15 years leading up to it. In July 2010, I was the first person that Jonathan told he would be returning to Valdosta. We built a strong friendship with one another in the next few months, and Jonathan even spent Christmas day with my family when he couldn’t travel home. After this day, some of my walls started to come down. We spent more time with groups in fellowship and Jonathan began pursuing me, but I still only wanted to be friends. In June, I left for a weeklong trip to Haiti and Jonathan left for a week and half in Alaska. Once we arrived home, he drove to my parents’ house and we spent that afternoon talking about everything we had learned while overseas and on the mission field. It wasn’t until the next day that we both confessed our feelings and intentions.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jonathan and I were visiting his mom in Budapest during my week of summer break. Jonathan had been excited all week about visiting Matthias Church, so we decided to save it for the last day. That day, Mrs. Kelly joined us to go to the church, and once inside, Jonathan got a little upset because the church was being renovated. Once we had spent time in the church, we walked around the castle. I walked off from Jonathan to take some more photos of the church, which gave Jonathan time to come up with another plan. We took a walk to the park in front of the castle and decided to sit and chat while Mrs. Kelly attended to some other business. During our chat, Jonathan shared many words from his heart that the two of us will remember forever. He told me he loved me for the very first time, reached into a bag, and dropped to his knee. He told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life pursuing me as we pursued the Lord together. Then he said, “Marenda Kate Ricketson, will you marry me?” I honestly don’t remember saying “yes,” but Jonathan says I did!
When did y’all get married? September 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 325
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not. We thought traditional vows would be a perfect way to honor God and the ones who have taken those same vows before us.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We used Psalm 34:3, Matthew 28:18-20, Ruth 1:16-17, 1 Corinthians 13 and Ephesians 5.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my jewelry (earrings and bracelet). My something blue was my shoes. I used lace from my mama’s wedding dress on my wedding bouquet and in my hairpiece. My wedding dress was my something new.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We used old antiques from my family to decorate, including my great grandmother’s old piano stool, her wooden sewing board, and handmade quilts. I also gave my mama, daddy, and mother-in-law hankies with embroidered notes. I think hankies are a thing of the past, but I love them so. They remind me of my younger years with my papa, because he has always carried one in his pocket.
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? All of my vendors were PHENOMENAL! Anna Shackleford of Anna K. Photography was phenomenal. She answered countless questions and was just a true friend during the whole process. I can’t say enough about her! We also loved J&D Designs–John and Archie both know me, so they took my ideas and personality and made everything come together just as I dreamed! They made the day a fairytale and brought tears to my eyes.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Think about the words you want to use to describe your day and go from there. With Pinterest, it is so easy to get lost in all of the ideas and get confused about what you truly want. Make it yours. You don’t have to stick to tradition. This is your day, a day to worship the Lord and celebrate with family! Keep that in mind and take it all in.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are now living in Cumming, Georgia (where Jonathan is from) and working for our first year at our “real” jobs. We are looking forward to seeing how God will use us in this stage of life and where he will use the two of us now that we are married. Currently, we look forward to the weekends when we can sleep a little later, Jonathan makes breakfast, and we are able to spend a few hours just soaking in time together.

Photographer: Anna K Photography / Videographer: Andrew Lanier / Wedding Director: Wendy Cook / Planner, Florist, Catering and Dessert: J&D Designs / Venue: High Grove Farms / Rentals: Special Occasions / Lighting: Jimmy Ricketson / Bride’s Hairpiece and Alterations: Barabara Chestnut / Bride’s Gown: “Adalee” by Maggie Sottero / Bridal Salon: White Weddings Valdosta / Bride’s Veil: White Weddings / Bride’s Earrings and Bracelet: Steel’s Jewelry / Hair Stylist: Abby Hart / Makeup Artist: Brittany Wallace / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jasmine Bridal / Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank

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

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

    Love the sweet dance photos, and the Oreo cookie “cake” is perfect!

    • avatar Marenda reply

      Thank you! I wish the day would have lasted longer so we could have all danced more! :) :)

  2. avatar Shannon reply

    Beautiful wedding!! Any idea where the bridesmaids’ necklaces are from? I love them!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Shannon! Marenda said the necklaces are from http://www.aliexpress.com/ – she said the shipping takes awhile but everyone love them! :)

  3. avatar Stephanie reply

    Goodness, this wedding is seriously beautiful in so many ways – I LOVE that the couple washed each others’ feet, the mint green dresses are so elegant, and I love how evident their love of each other + the Lord is!

    • avatar Marenda reply

      Hey Stephanie! Thanks soo much! It was a wonderful beginning to our marriage :) We couldn’t have asked for a better day! :)

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

    […] that nodded to their families and their love story. We especially loved the prayerful traditions Marenda and Jonathan incorporated into their ceremony. Farris and Taylor were married at the same chapel where both her […]

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As if I wasn’t already anxious enough for warm weather, Lara-Anne and Chad’s wedding encompasses so many of the sweetest things about the great outdoors. Their love for nature and adventure is evident in so many of their big moments–from their meeting in one of the world’s most scenic places, New Zealand, to Chad’s camping trip proposal–so it was only fitting that they brought their love for all things outdoors-y into their North Carolina wedding. I can practically feel the crisp mountain air while scrolling though their beautiful pictures!

Thank you so much to Jim Trice for sharing Lara-Anne and Chad’s wedding with us!

Chad proposed June 30, 2012 while we were camping in the middle of nowhere in New Hampshire. Upon returning to our campsite after a hike, we walked down to a lily pad pond, where I told him how much the whole setting reminded me of my beloved summer camp in western North Carolina. As I turned around, I found Chad on one knee. Tears and laughter followed, and we spent the rest of the night drinking champagne and enjoying baked stuffed lobsters over a campfire.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I wouldn’t be one of those brides who started crying at the bridal boutique, so I was open-minded from the beginning about the process of finding a dress. I knew I wanted something that I would feel comfortable in throughout the night, and that had a touch of bohemian. I ended up ordering the Luella Gown by Catherine Deane from BHLDN. I wish I could wear it again and again, but I absolutely destroyed it.

The church had white hydrangea blooms tied with ribbon on each pew, and the altar flowers were large white hydrangea arrangements. We really wanted to keep the flowers inside All Saints simple, so as not to distract from the church’s natural beauty. My bouquet was a mix of white ranunculus, white garden roses, green hydrangea, green celosia, ferns, and succulents. The bridesmaid bouquets were a mix of red celosia, orange ranunculus, green hydrangea, lamb’s ear, and ferns. All of the bouquets were wrapped with burlap ribbon.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Even though I knew a first look could alleviate some anxiety, I felt very strongly about not doing one. Whether I cried hysterically or laughed uncontrollably from nerves, so be it! I wanted our photographer to capture the raw emotion of us first seeing each other when that church door opened.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? One of the hors d’oeuvres was whole fried okra and the dinner menu included shrimp & grits and fried green tomatoes. We did a tribute to my hometown of Winston-Salem, North Carolina by displaying a R.J. Reynolds tobacco selection and mini Texas Pete hot sauces. We also served late-night Krispy Kreme donuts. Chad was a Kappa Alpha at Elon, and it’s tradition for the groom and his fraternity brothers to sing the KA rose song to the bride and each hand her a red rose at the end of the song. This was slightly embarrassing, but more hilarious than anything.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was modeled after the Aspen tree; it looked so real. It was a three-tiered white butter cake with lemon curd buttercream. The cake had “C & LA” carved in a heart on the side and a moss “B” monogram topper for Bradley, and was displayed on top of moss and a wooden cake stand.

Chad and I danced to “Little Baby” by the Rolling Stones and my dad and I danced to “She’s A Rainbow” by the Rolling Stones. Notice the trend? The Stokes family is a gang of diehard Rolling Stones fans who love and appreciate good ‘ole rock ‘n’ roll. Our band brought down the house and had wedding guests limboing under trumpets and saxophones on the dance floor. The last song of the night had me crying the happiest tears ever.

We loved our send-off at the end of the night. Our guests lined the path leading down to the water with sparklers. Once Chad and I arrived at the boat house, we got into a canoe and paddled off across the pond into the night. It gave us a few minutes to talk about how special the evening had been and how lucky we felt…and to prepare for the after-party!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chad and I met during our junior year of college at Elon University while studying abroad in New Zealand. At the risk of sounding hokey, we spent the remainder of the program attached at the hip. Once we returned to the States, we were inseparable. After graduating, we moved west to Aspen, Colorado to follow our dreams of being ski bums. It was a life-changing move that quickly reassured us of not only the love we have for each other but also our shared love for all that the Rocky Mountains had to offer.
When did y’all get married? September 14, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had my cousin, Allison Elsee, read an excerpt from “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we had a trio of students from the Winston-Salem School of the Arts join the church organist, which created a powerful sound in our quaint little mountain church. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “Prince of Denmark’s March,” and Chad and I walked out to “The Wedding March” from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My borrowed and blue was my mom’s diamond and sapphire anniversary band that my dad had given her, my something old was a thin gold chain that had been my grandmother’s, and my new was my wedding dress.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? While we were engaged, we were living in Boston, so planning from afar wasn’t always the most convenient thing. Luckily, both my mom and our wedding planners were in the Carolinas, so they made the process as easy as it could have been. I am so thankful for their time, patience, and help throughout the process.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding planners from Sweetgrass Social absolutely made our wedding what it was. From day one, they were available anytime we needed them, whether it was for a two-minute call or a two-hour call. They were honest about our design ideas, very thorough, insanely organized, and super communicative to us and to our vendors. This alleviated so much stress, especially since I was planning from New England. Walking into our reception was overwhelming; every detail we had discussed over the past fifteen months was right before us and I couldn’t have imagined it looking any better than it did. Having them be a part of wedding weekend from the start was one of the smartest moves we made.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Do I have to choose? Our band pulled Chad and I onto the stage for the last song of the night, and looking out at all of our guests was just awesome. We were surrounded by our supportive families and our closest friends, and you could literally feel the love and happiness in the room. It brought me to tears. I also have to mention my other most memorable moment: seeing my sweet dad’s face when he rounded the corner after I was dressed and ready to head to the church. I will never forget it for as long as I live. It’s one of those moments you dream of when you’re a little girl and I wish I could re-live it over and over.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? R-E-L-A-X. Seriously. Take a deep breath. Don’t get so caught up in the details and the planning that you forget why you’re even having a wedding. It all works out, so enjoy it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After returning from our honeymoon, we moved back out west to Aspen. We love being back in our favorite mountain town and skiing together every weekend. Next up for us is a road trip to the Pacific Northwest in our Volkswagen Westfalia, Bernie!

Photographer: Jim Trice Photography / Videographer: Whit Haynes Films & Photography / Planner: Sweetgrass Social / Ceremony Venue: All Saints Episcopal Church / Reception Venue: Camp Yonahnoka at the Eseeola Lodge / Florist: Callista Designs / Cake Baker: Christina Banner Cakes / Caterer: The Eseeola Lodge / Band: Sol Fusion / Bride’s Gown: “Luella” by BHLDN Paper Products: Invitations Only / Bride’s Flower Crown: Callista Designs / Bride’s Earrings and Pearl Bracelet: BHLDN / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Beautiful Bride on Location / Bride’s Shoes: Tom’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Heidi in Graphite by J.Crew / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank / Men’s Shoes: Converse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    This wedding is just beautiful and the theme is well played!

  2. avatar Amy reply

    I would LOVE to know the designer of the cake topper !!!!

  3. avatar Heather reply

    This wedding is so beautiful! The flowers are absolutely gorgeous!

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