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Bride Nena shares her ethereal, outdoor wedding at Seven Springs Farm.

Please meet today’s bride Nena! She and her high school sweetheart Tre worked with their planner, Wood Grain and Lace, to bring their vision of an ethereal, romantic, outdoor celebration to life. And boy did they do a fantastic job! I’m in love with how the muted, neutral colors came to life against the historic backdrop of Seven Springs Farms. I’m also quite inspired with Nena’s simple yet powerful advise for bride’s struggling with narrowing down decisions on design details (and something that can be used across many planning decisions!), she said, “go with what you like…stick to your theme, your personality, and your gut, you can’t go wrong!” Looking for more sage advise from Nena? Be sure to feed why they chose to do a first look. This gal is wise, y’all

Big SW hugs to Meredith Ryncarz for sharing Nena and Tre’s sweet day!

My mom was adamant that buying the dress was of highest priority. To start, just my mom and I went to my initial appointment and I tried on about ten dresses there. I really liked two of my choices, but knew I needed to sleep on it to make the right choice. The next weekend, we went to another bridal shop just to explore other options, but none of them compared. I invited my nana and my maid of honor to the first salon to help me choose between my top two. I ended up choosing a modern, fresh Watters gown. It was perfect for my outdoor venue and went perfectly with the ethereal, romantic vision I was going for – and I felt amazing in it!

Did you decide to do a first look? Yes! We decided to do a first look because we loved the idea of having an intimate, private moment just the two of us. We had heard from other couples that the wedding day would go so fast and we didn’t want to let the day pass us by without just stopping to cherish the moment amidst all the excitement of the day. Not only did we get this special time together, but we got even more amazing photos and it calmed our nerves before the ceremony.

All of the prelude music had a very laid-back vibe and was performed both vocally and with an acoustic guitar. I really wanted my walk down the aisle to be totally different, so I chose “Canon in D.” It sounded so bridal and classic. For our exit song, we chose “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” because it was upbeat and really fit the vibe of our wedding. We chose “Say You Won’t Let Go” for our first dance. We had been going back and forth on different song choices and then one day we were driving down the road listening to the radio when this song came on, and we looked at each other and just knew that it was perfect.

My aunt, college roommate, and close friend officiated our ceremony. Having someone so special to both of us made our ceremony that much more meaningful. The message was not only beautifully written, but incredibly personal. We also wrote notes to one another that we read prior to our first look. During the ceremony, we placed them in a box that we won’t open until our 10th anniversary. It’s killing us not to open it yet, but we know it will be worth it!

What did you serve for your wedding cake? We had a white chocolate raspberry cake along with funfetti macarons, lemon blackberry cupcakes, snickerdoodle cookie sammies, berry hand pies, and funfetti donuts for dessert. We liked the idea of having lots of variety and it looked gorgeous as a display.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We are high school sweethearts!
Tell us all about the proposal! Tre and I met through mutual friends when we were just 16 years old. We spent our first date hanging out by a neighborhood pond watching the sunset. Six years later, just days after our six year anniversary, Tre asked me if I would pick up his nephew from that very pond. I happily agreed. When I arrived, there Tre was standing at the end of the bridge waiting for me. I was quickly reminded that this was the first place we had ever spent time together, just the two of us. He got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. It was absolutely surreal! The whole proposal was so Tre – sweet, thoughtful, and genuine.
When did y’all get married? May 20, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We decided on Seven Springs because it had everything we wanted: gorgeous grounds, privacy, and no one that we knew had ever been married there before!
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The monogrammed handkerchief my nana gave me. Her sister gave it to her before her wedding and my nana passed it on to me before mine. I incorporated it into the base of my bouquet for an heirloom touch. I hope to pass it on to my daughter one day.
What was Southern about your wedding? We buried the bourbon a month before our wedding to ward off bad weather and it worked like a charm! It was 75 and sunny on our big day. I mean absolute perfection! Not to mention we got married outside, in May, in rural Virginia – doesn’t get more Southern than that!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I loved designing the details of our wedding. Deciding what the desserts would be displayed on, where the bars would go, what to get my bridesmaids, all of the fun, creative stuff!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The hardest part was not being able to see everything together before the wedding. You spend months choosing the perfect flowers, what color linens to use, and all these other things and you have no idea if it will look good once it’s all pulled together. I was so pleasantly surprised by how great everything looked on the day of. My best advice to other brides who are struggling over the design details is to go with what you like. It’s hard not to stress about what it will look like all together, but if you stick to your theme, your personality, and your gut, you can’t go wrong!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Hiring a planner! Our coordinator had done hundreds more weddings than we had, so we took her advice on selecting reputable, affordable vendors, and we listened when she told us not to bother with super elaborate wedding favors.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Reading Tre’s letter to me was the most memorable moment for me. I sat alone in the bridal suite as I read it aloud overcome with emotion. It was so special to read a letter that culminated seven years of feelings, thoughts, and memories. That’s when it really hit me that we were about to become husband and wife. It was such an incredible moment.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Soak in every moment. The day flies by so quickly and with everything that’s going on, it can be hard to really appreciate each second, but try your best to slow down, take a breath, say a prayer with your maid of honor, and soak it all in. This will be the best day of your life and you will look back and want to do it over and over again!

Photographer: Meredith Ryncarz Photography | Videographer: Rachael Curry Films | Planner: Christine Greenberg of Wood Grain and Lace Events | Venue: Seven Springs | Florist: Amanda Burnette | Wedding Cake: Arley Cakes | Caterer: Champagne Taste Catering | Rentals: Rent-e-quip and Paisley and Jade | DJ: Cam DiNunzio | Paper Products: Epoch Design | Bride’s Gown: “Maidera” by Willowby by Watters | Bridal Salon and Accessories: Bridal Elegance | Bride’s Jewelry: Kendra Scott | Hair Stylist: Katia Ocampo of Mango Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Gigi Crystal Pointy Toe Flat by Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Fashion: Show Me Your Mumu | Men’s Attire: BLACK by Vera Wang from Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Paisley and Jade reply

    Loved being a part of Nena & Tre’s gorgeous day! Bravo to all of our vendor friends for bringing this lovely vision to life and thanks SW for featuring!

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Bride Shelby shares her classic, formal affair at The William Aiken House!

I’m always excited to introduce y’all to our brides, but when one is named after the movie character I’ve probably quoted the most over my lifetime (can I get a ‘pink is my signature color!’?), I’m bound to use too many exclamation points! Please meet today’s bride, Shelby! Yes, y’all, she is named after one of our favorite Southern belles from the movie “Steel Magnolias” and her Charleston wedding to Alex is sure to have you reaching for your pearls.

With her Savannah roots and current residence in Texas, she and Alex created a wedding that was an amalgamation of Southern styles and traditions. “The Southern hostess in me had to greet our guests with a true Southern cocktail,” she says. “We chose a mint julep — in a monogrammed cup, of course!” But that, friends, was just the beginning: keep reading to hear how our Shelby made her namesake proud with so many sweet Southern details. Spoiler alert: there was no armadillo cake, but there was a classic, all-white one, so we’ll call that a fair trade!

Thanks for sharing, Sara Bee!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We had assigned seats next to one another in Art History class, and the rest was history.
Tell us all about the proposal! Alex proposed on Christmas morning at my grandmother’s lake house. It is a special place for my family and it means a lot that the lake now has special significance for Alex too.

I kept telling the bridal consultants I wanted “more.” I was determined to find a dress with a big impact that was classic and interesting.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The William Aiken House is so stunning! We really liked that the space felt very private even though it is located in the heart of Charleston. I fell in love with the striking white pergola against the green boxwood, I had already picked dark green and white as my wedding colors so it just fit so perfectly! I also appreciated the versatility the venue had to offer.

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Did you write your own vows? We did not write our own vows. I think the most memorable part of the ceremony was when my veil flew off as I walked down the aisle. Everyone laughed and it lightened the mood in the best way possible!

I walked down the aisle to “Meditation” from the opera, Thais. A family friend recommended it and I loved it because it was beautiful and unique. Our first dance song was “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison. It fit really well since I am from the region where Tupelo honey is produced. We tied it all together with our party favor which was a small jar of Savannah Bee Company Tupelo honey. We incorporated the mini jars into the tablescape. Each jar had a note tied to it that said “Love is sweet, Thank you for making our day complete.” This was one of my favorite details!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We kept the cake design pretty simple. Also we cut back on the flowers on the tables and the place settings. No one remembers what the fork they used looked like, just if what they ate off of it was good. We also didn’t have a videographer.

After the ceremony, our guests nibbled on a seafood display of oysters and shrimp cocktail, and passed canapés included tomato pie bites, fried green tomatoes with BBQ on top, and bacon-wrapped scallops. After a traditional plated dinner, Alex and I had our first dance to “Tupelo Honey” by Van Morrison, and then invited our guests to join us as soul band Liquid Pleasure got everyone up and dancing on the rocking chair-lined dance floor.

When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did do a first look. I wanted to share as much of the day with Alex as possible. It also worked better with our timeline so we could spend more time with our guests as well.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it? We served wedding cake. We had lemon cake with lemon mascarpone buttercream frosting and the other flavor was white cake with raspberries and chocolate buttercream frosting. We had it passed and displayed so that we could start the dancing earlier instead of waiting for it to be served.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I loved carrying themes throughout the wedding, like the Tupelo honey as our first dance song and takeaway gift. And including the monogram from the invitation throughout the evening in the program, koozies, drink stirrers, and cocktail napkins. I also provided lounge-type seating around the dance floor with rocking chairs and a sofa so that those who did not want to dance could still be a part of the fun! They were all full all night.
What was Southern about your wedding? Since I am from Savannah, Alex is from Maryland, and we live in Texas, our wedding was an amalgamation of Southern styles and traditions. The Southern hostess in me had to greet our guests with a true Southern cocktail – a mint julep, in a monogrammed cup of course! Our monogram from the invitation was carried throughout the event. For my something old and borrowed, I wore my mother’s pearl earrings. Alex wore a monogrammed tux shirt and Lucchese cowboy boots with his white dinner jacket. All the groomsmen had matching green Vineyard Vines bow ties and showed plenty of high school pride. The bridesmaids donned crisp white button-downs and forest green shantung ball skirts. The ceremony took place under the shade of a beautiful magnolia tree, which was extra special to me since I am named after Shelby from the movie “Steel Magnolia.”
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I loved bringing all of my own ideas to fruition.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Making so many decisions.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? I honestly don’t think I can pick just one! The best advice we got was to pause right after the ceremony, before walking back down the aisle and just look at all your guests. That was a very special moment for Alex and me.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. No one will know the details that are missing! I also found it really helpful to go back and look at my original ideas; it helped me keep it all tied together.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? None of it would have been possible without all the hard work of amazing vendors. Especially with a destination wedding, having wonderful vendors that you can trust and rely on was such a blessing!

Photographer: Sara Bee Photography | Planner: Sweetgrass Social | Venue: The William Aiken House | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Caterer and Wedding Cake: PPHG Catering | Rentals and Lighting: Snyder Event Rentals and EventWorks | Band: Liquid Pleasure | Favors: Savannah Bee Company | Paper Products: Stamped Paper Co. | Bride’s Gown: “Huntington” by Monique Lhuillier | Bridal Salon: Warren Barron Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace | Bride’s Shoes: Christian Dior | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Short Sleeve Shirt and “Dahlia Skirt” by LulaKate from Bella Bridesmaids | Groom’s Attire: Custom tuxedo jacket by Paul Stuart | Groomsmen Bow Ties: “Big Catch Bow Tie” by Vineyard Vines

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Happy Room reply

    Bravo to all of our vendor friends for bringing this lovely vision to life and thanks SW for featuring!…

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Bride Mary shares her classic wedding at Idle Hour Country Club!

Fellow classic brides rejoice: we have we got something so good for you today! Meet the darling Mary. Together with her planner, Shelly Fortune, she and her beau Courtney planned a magical wedding day in Kentucky that is Southern and classic perfection (with just the right about of preppy). Y’all, when I look at these images, all I can think of is how absolutely timeless Mary looks in her fabulous Modern Trousseau ballgown! The fully pleated skirt with embossed floral motif and off the shoulder neckline is giving me all the Jackie Kennedy vibes, and I am LOVE-ing it! Of course, her pearl necklace and all-white cascading bouquet is just the icing on the cake. Keep reading to see more of her delightful day (ending with fireworks!!).

Big SW hugs to Lang Thomas for capturing Mary and Courtney’s sweet day!

We buried bourbon a month before and it did the trick with the weather! It was forecasting 90% rain til the Wednesday before the wedding. We also had a bourbon tasting bar at the reception. We used our married monogram for a few details throughout the ceremony and had gardenias (my grandmother’s and dad’s favorite flower) in floral pieces. My engagement ring was old, my dress was new, and my mom lent me a sapphire ring for something borrowed and blue.

My parents got married at Good Shepherd and had their reception at Idle Hour. I grew up going to both places and was baptized and confirmed at Good Shepherd.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used mostly greens in our arrangements rather than full florals.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had a cake with layers of lemon, pistachio, and raspberry champagne. Courtney wanted an ice cream bar instead of a groom’s cake, so that’s what we did!

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The first dance with my new husband – it was so much fun but still so meaningful to spend that time together with our family surrounding us.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The band! I LOVED how everyone was glued to the dance floor. It was a blast. And the FIREWORKS!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met in medical school in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tell us all about the proposal! Courtney proposed with Mary’s grandmother’s ring as they were leaving for a planned trip to hike Machu Picchu in Peru.
When did y’all get married? June 3, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 310
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I went with my mom, Courtney’s mom, and my two maids of honor who live in New York to Wedding Atelier in New York City.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No. We wanted a traditional wedding.
What was one of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? My brother, Wood Van Meter, sang some of Song of Ruth between the readings. Wood is an actor in Washington, D.C.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Everlasting Love” by Carl Carlton – Courtney picked it!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Shelly Fortune, 100%. She was so laid-back but simultaneously on top of it. I was never stressed.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Being in medical school and simultaneously applying for medical residency! Courtney and I are both at the Mayo Clinic, he for orthopedics and me for obstetrics and gynecology.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Take your time in a longer engagement!

Photographer: Lang Thomas Photography | Videographer: Carl S. Miller Wedding Films | Planner: Shelly Fortune Event Design | Ceremony Venue: Good Shepherd Episcopal Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: Idle Hour Country Club | Florist: Magnolia Floral Design and Interiors | Wedding Cake: Tinker’s Cake Shop | Band: The Big Beyond via Sam Hill Entertainment | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Pink Lou Lou Design Studio | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Paula Dance reply

    Beautiful pictures, very classy wedding. The fireworks picture is a lovely touch :)

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