Southern Weddings


Bride Kristina shares all the details on her blue and peach wedding at The Farmhouse!

I’m excited to introduce you to today’s bride, Kristina, and have her share a peek into the planning behind her sweet wedding to Kevin. Kristina met Kevin at a young adult bible study, and though they did not start dating immediately, as soon as they did they knew very quickly they were meant to be. In Kristina’s words, “We were in love and wanted to spend our lives together. After about 4 months of dating he proposed, and six months later we got married!” I, too, knew within a very short time that my husband was the man I would marry, so I love hearing from other couples that simply just know.

Kristina also knew that The Farmhouse was the perfect place for them to start their married life together… even without seeing it finished! “I just knew from the moment that I saw it that this was the place where I wanted to exchange my vows and to spend the evening celebrating with family and friends,” Kristina says. Keep reading to learn more about their darling story and wedding planning journey.

Thank you kindly to Erin Wilson (also the bride’s sister!) for sharing Kristina and Kevin’s wedding with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? I borrowed my beautiful pearl earrings from my mom for my wedding! My something blue was the blue stone on my garter that I wore, and my something new were my beautiful Badgley Mischka shoes. I did not have something old.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I put on the first dress, and I remember thinking in my head that I thought that this one looked really pretty on me, and then she put the belt on with it and this huge smile just came to my face. I walked out to show everyone, and within seconds my mom started crying which made me cry, and everyone else to follow. I knew that this was the dress and that Kevin would love it too!

Our flowers for our wedding were absolutely beautiful. They were an organic take on classic Southern style/Southern elegance. There were lush blooms with big petal counts and an assortment of greenery types to give it that organic feel. Everything was very natural and textured.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Kevin and I wanted to be able to share that very special moment of seeing each other for the first time between the two of us. A first look to me is a moment frozen in time between a soon to be husband and wife that will forever be ingrained in your mind for the rest of your life. The nerves that come right before you get to see each other will always stand out to you, and the smiles and hugs that you exchange within those first few minutes are priceless. A first look allows you to block out the rest of the world for just a few minutes and soak up the fact that you finally get to be with the one whom your soul loves!

I had so many people comment on how much the loved the venue and how beautiful it was. We couldn’t have picked a better place.

My youth pastor from when I was in high school did our ceremony, and when he got to the vows he did it in such a way that made Kevin jump to saying “I do” before he was supposed to and before my youth pastor even finished saying the vows. The entire room filled with laughter, including Kevin and I. In Kevin’s laughter he whispered to me and asked me if he was red, and I just looked at him and said “This is why I love you!” It really cut any tension that might have been in the room, plus who can say that their husband said “I do” twice! It is my favorite memory and moment from our wedding!

Outside of our premarital counseling Kevin and I spent a lot of time talking about our expectations for marriage whether that was what a normal day might look for us or what our finances would look like, all the way to talking about what we wanted for a family in the future. We set goals together, and dreamed up what we wanted life to look like for us in a year, five years, and down the road.

What was Southern about your wedding? One of the Southern details included in our wedding was the actual venue itself. It was a beautiful white sophisticated barn that mixed classic style with Southern elegance. We also served sweet tea and lemonade during the cocktail hour, as well as brisket and other southern dishes for dinner. Also a lot of our greenery and flowers added to the Southern details, like beautiful Southern gardens. My favorite Southern thing that we did had to be the ice cream bar! Who from the South doesn’t love ice cream?!

My sister-in-law is a design major, and she helped with digitally creating our programs, seating chart pages, and name plates. She also did a lot of our chalkboard writing and the handwritten calligraphy on the table numbers and tapestry behind the cake. She helped save a lot of money by not having to hire a calligrapher!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was the Ice Cream bar! Ice cream was something that Kevin and I ate a lot of while we were dating. So we knew that we wanted to include ice cream in our wedding somehow. We had vanilla ice cream for everyone, and all sorts of toppings. You could choose whatever your heart desired, and we knew you would feel like a little kid again! We wanted to take everyone back to the days when they were kids and there wasn’t a care in the world, and to remind them that “Love is Sweet!”

Tell us your love story in one sentence. I was invited by some long-time family friends to go to a young adults’ Bible study, and (reluctantly) I ended up going! That first night the young adults played a game called “Fast Friends”. It was basically speed dating, but in a way for you to get to meet both guys and girls in room filled with 75 people in a nonthreatening way. You would meet one person and then have 2 minutes to strike up conversation with them, and Kevin ended up being about the 5th or 6th person that I met that night. Needless to say the two minutes was not enough time for either of us, and it kept us wanting to know more about the other person. I ended up continuing to go every week, and over time conversation with Kevin continued to grow. About two months after the last night of meetings for the semester, Kevin asked me out on date. The first date was enough for both of us to know that this was going to be something really good! The dating process went fast, and the both of us knew within the first couple months that we were in love and wanted to spend our lives together. After about 4 months of dating he proposed, and six months later we got married!
Tell us all about the proposal! It was the day before my birthday, and I knew that the proposal could be happening at any time, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I kept my excitement to myself. We had planned to spend the evening before my birthday celebrating so that we could celebrate with my family on my actual birthday. So Kevin was able to disguise a few things and make me think that it was all because it was my birthday. That Friday morning at work (I’m a teacher), I got a phone call from the front office telling the me that “I had the most beautiful arrangement of flowers that I needed to come pick up.” As I entered the office my mouth dropped to the floor, because it was the most beautiful arrangement that anyone had ever gotten me filled with 2 dozen beautiful red roses. I read the card and it said “Happy Early Birthday. Love, Kevin”. I took it back to my classroom and all my teacher friends kept joking and asking me if there was a ring attached in there somewhere! That evening he picked me up to take me out to a fancy dinner at a restaurant called Peli Peli. On the way to dinner I was kind of on to him, because he kept breathing really deeply, and I kept asking him if he was ok and his response was “Yeah, I’m fine. Why?” It was humorous. During dinner one of the managers stopped to ask if we were celebrating something special and we said it was my birthday but he did it in such a way that it was like he was up to something. So she gave us dessert on the house, and I thought at that point that maybe Kevin was in on the whole thing. Come to find out that was just coincidence, and something to laugh about later. After dinner we came back to my apartment, and Kevin asked me to dance with him in the living room. It is something that we do often and holds very precious memories and moments. I told him yes, and we danced to Pat Green’s song called “Crazy”. After the song we hugged each other tight, and within seconds I could feel Kevin’s heart beating super fast and his body started heating up like a furnace, and I knew at that point that he was about to propose. He looked at me and told me that he had a gift for me but that I had to turn around to get it. Then he told me that I could turn back around, and when I did he was down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I am pretty sure that I probably told him “Yes” about twenty times!
When did y’all get married? March 10, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it?
Our wedding cake was 4 tiers with each layer being a different flavor. Some of the layers included vanilla cake with a white chocolate raspberry icing, a chocolate layer with dulce de leche icing, and an Italian cream layer with vanilla icing. The outside was decorated with a white stucco type icing covering the entire cake. I then had flowers inserted in a diagonal slope downwards towards the bottom. It was beautiful and everything that I wanted it to be! It looked amazing in front of the greenery and the tapestry that said “I’ve found the one whom my soul loves.” Song of Solomon 3:4.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding?
One way that I was able to cut costs was through my amazing sister, Erin. She was also my photographer, and her gift to us was to be our photographer on our wedding day. I know that most people don’t have the luxury of having an amazing photographer as their sister, but that was certainly one way I was able to do everything within my budget.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding?
This is such a hard question but I have to say my photographer, because she is also my sister. I loved knowing that my sister was getting to capture all of the precious moments from our wedding that I know will last for years and years. I wouldn’t have wanted to share any of those moments with anyone else, and I am so blessed and lucky to have had her capture our special day!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Advice that I would give to anyone planning a wedding is don’t sweat the small stuff. I know that in the moment of planning there are a lot of little things that seem so huge to you, but on your wedding day those things end up being something that you don’t even notice. Also make sure to enjoy the planning, because the wedding day will come in go so quickly. At the end of the wedding day when it is just you and your husband, you will look at each other and say “Where did the day go?” So make sure to enjoy the family time that you have while planning and all the celebrations that go along with it. I would say that planning a wedding is one of the greatest times in your life, and you want to be able to look back on it and smile!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together?
For us a couple, right now we want to enjoy the next few years where it is just the two of us without any kids. We want to truly take this time to get to know each other and see what life is like for the two of us. Included in that is finding a church for the two of us. Before we were dating Kevin and I both had our own church that we were involved in, and now that we are married we are looking to find the place that is perfect for us to be able to get involved and serve. Also we currently live in a quaint one bedroom apartment, and we are looking to start the search for a house in the next year or so. We love our apartment, but we also want to be able to plant our roots somewhere permanently in the near future. Also something that we have talked about is wanting to go on some sort of vacation together every year. Our honeymoon was amazing, and we loved those memories that we made. We hope to be able to do that every year:)
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
Something else I would like to share about our wedding is that as a gift to Kevin on the wedding day, I gave him a journal that contained letters I had been writing him starting from about a month into our dating relationship. Like I said before, I just knew Kevin was going to be the guy that I would spend my life with, and I didn’t want to go one day without documenting our journey together!

Photographer: Erin Wilson Photography | Videographer: Reverent Media | Planner: The Farmhouse | Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Farmhouse | Florist: Magnolia Belle Floral | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Dolce Designs | Caterer: A Taste of Catering | Band or DJ: J&A Entertainment | Special Details (tapestry, table numbers, seating chart, chalkboards, name plates): Emily Joiner Design | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: Essense of Australia, STYLE D2122, Ivory | Bride’s Veil: Veil-Bel Aire, V7263C, Ivory | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Updo Gypsy | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff, Style 976, Slate | Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Ceremony Music: Third Floor Strings

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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Bride Cathleen shares a look at her classic, magnolia-leaf wedding at the Charlotte Country Club.

I’m excited to introduce y’all to today’s darling bride, Cathleen! Her classic wedding to Thomas at Charlotte Country Club is not only beautiful, but the way they honored their families is so very sweet.

Cathleen was the fifth person in her family to wear a dress that was originally purchased by her grandmother in 1953 (!) — the monogram of each bride who has worn the gown is stitched on the skirt. “My aunt wore the dress next in 1983, and then my mom in 1984. My cousin Catherine was the first in our generation to wear the dress, and lastly, I was able to walk down the aisle in the dress this past October,” she says. “My grandmother is no longer with us, which made the chance to wear her wedding dress even more special.” What a remarkable piece of family history!

Keep reading for Cathleen’s favorite wedding details, how she worked with her parents to stay on budget, and lots more about their big day! Thanks to Caroline Lima for sharing this North Carolina wedding wth us!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? My cousin Catherine who also wore the same wedding dress that I did owns her own invitation company, Catherine Kraft Designs out of Atlanta, GA. She branded our entire weekend started with our hand painted save the dates, custom hand painted map used in the welcome packet, stunning welcome bags, and custom dinner menus to name a few!

On the skirt of my wedding dress every person in my family who had worn the dress had their maiden name monogram in a pale blue.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? People! We both come from large families and have lots of friends – if it was up to my husband we would have invited the world. My parents were beyond generous with the number we invited but having to narrow down our lists was probably the biggest challenge.

There were so many traditions and details but one that sticks out is my husband is from South Carolina and really wanted to tie in his heritage during our wedding day so one of his groomsmen gifts were navy blue socks with the South Carolina Palmetto tree on them.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My parents asked us to make a list of what was most important to us to least important. For instance the photographer and videographer we choose were very important to us but the cake not as much. By doing this we were able to allocate our budget based on importance… This made the process so much smoother and made it easier to cut costs and see the bigger pictures.

My husband honestly didn’t care about many things during the wedding process but a first look was one of them. From the day we got engaged he made it very known that he did not want to see me until I walked down the aisle. He felt that you could not take away the feeling when the church doors open for the first time and you see your bride walking down the aisle towards you.

While I grew up only 30 minutes away and attended the same church my whole life we really wanted to get married where we would grow as a family. It was very important to us that we get married where we saw our children being baptized and so on.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. So when I said my husband didn’t really have an opinion about much the only other thing he was dead set on was a bagpipe player playing Highland Cathedral as I walked down the aisle. Throughout the whole wedding process, he kept saying “I promise when those doors open and highland cathedral is being played by the bagpipe player there will not be a dry eye in the house.”

The country club has amazing hardwood floors throughout but I really wanted to define the dinner area and the dancing area so we did a large black and white dance floor.

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted all white everything mixed in with greenery. Jay from InBloom has worked with my mother for years as well as our wedding planner so when they both heard that was my vision they both immediately said we need to call Jay. He used a mix of vintage silver pieces like champagne buckets, candelabras, and mint julep cups to mix in the white flowers and the greenery. One of my favorite things was the magnolia garland surrounding the entrance to the church which was very inviting for guests and served as a beautiful backdrop for photos.

As a surprise to my stepfather my husband and I hired a cigar roller to hand roll cigars in the bar of the Country Club – we also had custom cigar matches made with our initials and wedding date.

The table where the cake was displayed was very special to us – on the table the champagne bucket that was used was my husbands grandmothers that his father gave to us when we bought our first home, along with a cake knife my mother gave us in our silver pattern our first Christmas we were engaged, and champagne flutes in our crystal pattern. We will always look back on these items and have such special memories!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was the end of the summer of 2013 when all of my girlfriends went over to a friends house to watch Georgia play South Carolina in football. Quickly after we arrived Thomas, who I had never met, approached me. He asked me your typical “get to know you” questions like what is your name, where did you go to college, where are you from? When he learned I grew up in Gastonia, NC he quickly mentioned a fraternity brother of his was from Gastonia. The funny part about this was he was referring to my stepbrother. Once we made that connection we went our separate ways that night (if you ask him I really didn’t give him the time of day). I remember the next morning telling my roommate what do you know about that Thomas Hipp guy he was pretty cute. I ran into him again two weeks later on a Saturday night and he quickly approached me. He said “I have had a crush on you since I met you could I take you to dinner?” How do you say no to that? That Thursday we went on our first date and have been inseparable ever since
Tell us all about the proposal! I swear Thomas’ main goal was to made me as mad as possible before he popped the question! He tricked me into thinking we had his work Christmas party on our one Friday night we were home in December so it didn’t start off on the best note. He then said just come over to my apartment and we will head uptown to the party. Immediately I was upset we were going to HIS Christmas Party he could pick me up! He of course did not and told me to just “take an uber” and hung up on me. For some reason when I went to call an uber there was a 7x surcharge so I called a yellow cab. Upon arriving outside his building I called him 3 times for him to come down but he never answered. At this point I was really mad my poor cab driver probably thought I was a crazy person! I marched up his apartment stairs and whipped open his door and immediately started sobbing. He had covered his apartment with flowers, champagne, and the song we had always joked would be our first dance was playing. It could not have been more perfect! I of course wanted to call everyone but he would not let me because my mom and stepfather were “on a plane to California and he didn’t want her feelings hurt if she didn’t find out first.” Let me tell you my entire family as well as his was in on the surprise! Thomas told me we had dinner reservations at one of our favorite uptown restaurants and once we finished dinner my parents would have landed so we could call everyone. Once again he tricked me! I walked into the restaurant and our ENTIRE families were waiting to surprise us. Two of Thomas’ siblings flew in from Texas to surprise us – it truly could not have been more perfect. Come to find out his whole family had been in Charlotte all day, he had ditched worked and they had been celebrating early. We spent the rest of the weekend with family. It was one of the best!
When did y’all get married? October 15, 2016
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our weekend was truly amazing but if I had to give one piece of advice it would did it would be to hire our wedding planners Sara and Elizabeth. I know full service wedding planners are not in everyone’s budget but I would look into planners that offer month of or even day of. We cannot even begin to describe how truly amazing they were – we both come from big blended families which gave us a bit of anxiety during the planning process but this team could not have made the entire planning and weekend of run any smoother! They helped us choose the best vendors who made it just as special and I cannot imagine our weekend without them. Having planners or coordinators will make sure that you enjoy your day and you are not worrying over the small stuff.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have purchased our first home together and renovated it so we are excited to move in and get settled.

Photographer: Caroline Lima Photography | Videographer: Reel Weddings | Planner: Hall & Webb Event Design | Ceremony Venue: Christ Church | Reception Venue, Caterer, and Wedding Cake: Charlotte Country Club | Florist: InBloom | Rentals: Party Reflections | Band: Sol Fusion via East Coast Entertainment | Paper Products: Catherine Kraft Designs | Bride’s Gown and Veil: Family heirlooms | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Who’s the Fairest | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung via Bella Bridesmaids Atlanta | Groom’s Attire: Vera Wang Black | Groomsmen Socks: Southern Socks | Calligrapher: Calligraphy by Kim P | Bagpiper: Dave McKenzie | Boxwood Wall: AFR | Draping: Party Tables | Escort Card Prints: Sealed Design Studio | Formal Wedding Invitations: Hive Design | Transportation: CLT Express | Trolley: Sunway Charters | Getaway Car: English Carriage Company | Cigar Roller: Salem Cigar Factory

East Coast Entertainment is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Erin McLean reply

    This is so gorgeous!! Her gown is phenomenal!! Makes me want to go make sure mine is preserved!

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Abigail and Leonardo’s backyard celebration is beautiful and filled with so much joy! I love hearing why they chose to marry in her family’s backyard and how they used the space to not only stay within their budget but create a wedding filled with so much charm. I’ll let Abigail give you a little more insight into their wedding planning and sweet day!

Special thanks to Nikki Neswick for capturing their day!

How did y’all meet? I was at dinner with my family while he was at the next table over having dinner with his family. Neither one of us introduced ourselves, but as fate would have it, we saw each other later that night at a mutual friend’s party and didn’t introduce ourselves! Thankfully, we saw each other again the following night and this time, Leo did his best to make an impression on me – he made sure he introduced himself and he basically swept me off my feet at that moment.

Tell me about finding your wedding dress. Willowby by Watters designed my dress, it was actually the first dress I ever tried on. It stuck out to me because of the details and how wonderful I felt wearing it.

I love greenery, ferns, and vines. I love flowers and I appreciate their beauty, but I wanted our bouquets to look very natural with the backyard. Leo’s godmother made them for us; they were full of lush green eucalyptus, stock flower, green hydrangea, and baby’s breath.

We got married in my parents’ backyard – I have lived in that house since I was five years old. We shared many memories there together as a couple and with our families and our friends. Their backyard is amazing, backing up to a forest of massive old oak trees and pines.

We did not have a first look. We ended up deciding to share that intimate moment of me walking down the aisle with our families and loved ones.

Never in my life have I felt so beautiful, loved, and appreciated. He is the kindest and most selfless person I know.

What range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000
What was one way you saved money at your wedding? Getting married in my mom and dad’s backyard was a huge budget saver!

I know this will sound so cliche, but the whole day/evening was amazing and our photographer captured the moments in such a beautiful way!

Tell us all about the proposal! The most amazing and romantic thing that has ever happened! My family members are so important to me – Leo knows this and took that into account for our engagement. For years, I have traveled to Central America with my family and I have the most wonderful memories in Nicaragua. I thought this was going to be just a trip, a wonderful trip nonetheless, but I could never have imagined how wonderful it was going to be! Leo planned the whole trip behind my back for months, made sure all my immediate family was able to fly down, and took off a week of work. The second day into the trip, we are all at the pool overlooking the ocean, and Leo pulls me aside – I did not suspect anything until this moment. He brought me out to this point on the side of a tiny cliff facing out to the ocean. He begins to reassure everything I already knew about how much he loves me and cares for our relationship – obviously I’m crying like a baby.
When did y’all get married? March 11, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? Yes, we wrote our own vows.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had Leo’s mother read a bible verse in Spanish and English – 1 Corinthians 13:4-13. My brother also read a bible verse for us.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We actually had a small cake that Leo and I cut, but for our guests, we went with gourmet donuts because they are so amazing! We got our donuts from Jupiter Donut Factory in Stuart, Fl.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I wore a necklace that my mom bought for my sister for her to wear at her wedding. I also wore an old emerald bracelet from my mother, and my best friend loaned me her blue opal ring that her grandmother gave to her.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We incorporated native Floridian plants in our wedding decor: air plants, orchids, and ferns. My dad works in the citrus industry and my parents have orange trees in their yard, and the orange blossoms were in full bloom – it smelt like heaven.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Leo and I went to marriage counseling which was super helpful and gave us a great template and outline on how we want to handle our marriage.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We had to decide and remember that we need to focus on each other and the love we share, that the wedding, the guests, and the food were all just background noise. Not getting caught up in the extra things was important to remember – as long as we got married is all that counted to us.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? True Love Vintage Decor from Stuart, FL. This company rented all of our decor for our wedding, and they totally nailed the whole shabby chic/enchanted/whimsical look we were going for! Our photographer Nikki Neswick did an amazing job coordinating all of the moving parts and massive families that we have.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Breathe! You will be married by the end of the night so that is what is important.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are living together (finally!) and planning our next trip to Nicaragua! We are so excited that our wedding went as planned – it was honestly a dream and we are on cloud nine!

Photographer: Nikki Neswick | Venue: Family Home | Dessert Baker: Jupiter Donuts | Caterer: Caracas Italian Grill | Rentals and Lighting: True Love Decor | Ceremony Music: Josh Mullen and Elizier Lancelot | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: Willowby by Watters | Hair Stylist: Amanda Wilson | Makeup Artist: Makeup by Danielle Nicole | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lulus | Men’s Attire: H&M

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Bran reply

    Where did you get the bridesmaid dresses? I love them!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Bran! The lovely bridesmaid dresses are from Lulus. xo!

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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