Google+ Real Southern Weddings Archives - Page 5 of 508 - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Category: Real Southern Weddings

Bride (and dear SW friend!) Stephanie shares her Merrimon-Wynne wedding!

If I had to choose one bride out of the hundreds we’ve featured who most closely mirrors our mission at Southern Weddings — creating a wedding day inspired by your love story’s details, and celebrating not just the wedding but the marriage — let me say first that it would be a very tough competition. Y’all just get it, and we’re so grateful for that!

BUT, that being said, today’s bride, Stephanie, would be near the top of the list. You’ll remember we asked her to share her wedding planning process earlier this year, and it’s with great joy that I’m able to share her wedding to Rob today! I know you’ll be as inspired by the meaning they packed into their celebration as you are by Steph’s joy at tying the knot. Take it away, friend!

Thanks to Blue Ribbon Vendors Ally & Bobby for sharing these wonderful images with us!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. From the moment Rob and I met (online!), we knew we had something incredibly special and lasting; God perfectly orchestrated our relationship and its timing, and we were certainly worth the wait for each other!
Tell us all about the proposal! Everyone asks if I was expecting Rob to propose when he did. I did, and I didn’t, all at the same time! There were only two things I had mentioned in passing to him about a proposal: I wanted it to be private, and I wanted to be totally surprised. On October 1, I worked a 12+ hour day in Chapel Hill at one of my weddings, then drove home to Raleigh. As soon as I pulled up to my home (yes, still wearing my vendor apron from the wedding, and yes, it was 11:50pm), I saw Rob outside waiting for me. He immediately came over and got down on one knee, pulled out a diamond ring, and said the sweetest things in the world. I was still in shock and a little speechless, asking him “wait, what?” a couple times as he told me how much he loves me, how excited he was to spend the rest of our lives together, and how much he wanted me to be his wife. By this point, I was shaking and crying (happy tears, of course!) and beaming! I remember saying “yes, yes, a million times yes” when he asked me to marry him. I’d always dreamed of what it would be like to be proposed to and get to share this news with loved ones, and it was even better than I had imagined.

When did y’all get married? Rob and I were married on April 1, 2017. (Rob always likes to say that “we’re two fools in love” since we got married on April Fool’s Day!)
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? around 200
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. Since we had a shorter engagement, at the very top of my priority list was finding a wedding dress. I have to admit that I have dreamed of going wedding dress shopping almost my entire life, and it was surreal to think that it was finally my turn to be the bride! I thought I found “the dress” at our first appointment (the second dress I ever tried on), and was about to place the order when I decided that I wanted to sleep on it. It turns out that I “slept on it” for over a week without giving the dress much thought, other than that it didn’t feel very “me.” Two weeks after my first appointment, all of our parents were in town to meet and to celebrate our engagement, and my dad was especially insistent that I needed to go try on dresses again that weekend. The night before our appointment, I couldn’t stop thinking about the very first dress I had tried on two weeks prior. It turns out, that dress was the only dress I tried on at our second appointment, and it was THE dress!! As soon as I tried it on again, I literally could not stop beaming! And I mean, beaming. Seeing it and feeling it on me felt so perfect. When we FaceTimed my sister to show her again, all four of us were in tears (all happy tears!).

We easily decided on Raleigh as the location for our wedding, as it’s home for both of us. We both loved the Merrimon-Wynne House, and we really didn’t consider another venue. We had been to a couple events there together, it’s my very favorite venue in Raleigh, we knew that it was the exact aesthetic and ambiance that we wanted, we had a large guest count of 200+, and little decor would be needed to bring our wedding design to life. It’s also in the heart of downtown Raleigh, which was super important to us. 80% of our wedding guests (and 100% of our families) live out of town, so we wanted a venue in Raleigh. As much as we love our church that’s only four blocks away, we knew we would strongly prefer a venue where we could have the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception at one venue – and three separate spaces within that venue.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look, and it was the perfect decision for us! Even as a wedding planner, I’ve known for years that I didn’t want a first look, and when I asked Rob his opinion, he was very firmly anti-first look, too. Rob and I both very much wanted to see each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle to him. That moment was so sacred, emotional, joyful, and special, and it’s one of the most vivid, happy moments from our wedding! We did decide to hold hands and pray around a door before our ceremony, which was one of the best decisions imaginable.

The ceremony was the most important part of our wedding day, and we tried to really focus on making it meaningful and reflective of our love – and most importantly, on Christ’s love for us and for all. We wanted to infuse our personalities into the details as well as keep things reverent and holy. From our vows, to the song choices, to the wedding party prayer, to our pastor’s homily, to serving communion together… we loved our ceremony and all that it symbolized. It was the perfect 74 degrees and sunny day for our outdoor ceremony (I literally prayed it would be 74 and sunny throughout our engagement!), and we said our vows underneath the sunshine, slight breeze, and a wooden cross adorned with Spanish moss and flowers.

Our pastor, whom we also did our premarital counseling with, was our officiant, and his homily was so touching and heartfelt. Our wedding party gathered around us and prayed over us while we were at the altar, and we had two of our favorite Bible passages read by my sister (and matron of honor) and Rob’s groomsman. As our first act together as husband and wife, we served communion to all of our wedding guests. Rob and I decided to use traditional wedding vows, as our parents, grandparents, and generations before had done. We did add an additional line, though, which read: “I vow to always pursue your heart and love you the way God does: unconditionally and never-ending.”

I think selecting music for your wedding is one of those areas in which a couple’s personality really shines through, and that was something we wanted to do! For our grand ceremony exit with streamers, I was absolutely set on walking back down the aisle with my new husband to Ben Rector’s “White Dress.” Rob compromised, and he jokingly suggested that he and his groomsmen walk down the aisle to Star Wars. I think he was shocked when I happily agreed! So our groomsmen walked down the aisle (with a little extra swagger, I’m convinced!) to Star Wars’ “A New Hope, Throne Room.” I love “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and my bridesmaids walked down the aisle to that. In keeping with tradition, Rob and I couldn’t imagine me walking down the aisle towards him to anything but “Canon in D.”

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? We wanted our wedding, ultimately, to glorify God, to celebrate our love, and to celebrate all of our family and friends. I couldn’t wait to see the Carriage House at the Merrimon-Wynne House transformed into our wedding reception, which truly was seeing all of my longtime wedding dreams come to life! Honestly, getting to become husband and wife with Rob and joyfully celebrate by being surrounded by our incredible family and friends was the very best part of our wedding, and it was truly perfect in every way!

What was Southern about your wedding? Everything?! Ha! Most importantly, our wedding focused on marriage, honoring our family and traditions, incorporating and honoring our loved ones who had passed away, Southern hospitality and a feeling of warmth, joy, and welcome. We displayed family wedding pictures on the mantles of the house, we included my grandmas’ favorite flowers in my bouquet and our centerpieces, I carried lace from my mom’s wedding dress around my bouquet, I borrowed my sister’s veil, my grandma crocheted me a garter to wear on our wedding day, and we displayed marriage advice and wisdom that I collected from both sides of our families. We also had a custom leather Bible cover made by a friend with our names and wedding date, and inside, our guests wrote prayers, congratulations, and favorite verses on ribbon-adorned notecards as our guestbook.

I did a first look with my sweet daddy, and Rob and I waited to see each other til I walked down the aisle. My flowers were also very Southern, like the abundant dogwoods and Spanish moss we incorporated. Our venue is a gorgeous white historic Southern home, and it exuded Southern personality, very much setting the tone for our wedding day. And the size of our wedding party was most definitely Southern: we had 24 people in our wedding party! Our best friends are such a cornerstone in our lives, and we wanted to include and honor them as bridesmaids and groomsmen.

What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? I think the two hardest parts about wedding planning, for us, were budget and guest list. Our parents are so incredibly generous and gracious, and we had a sizeable budget (that we also contributed to). We tracked every penny and were super conscientious of what we were spending, as we wanted to honor the budget and stick to it. Many of the weddings and shoots that I have planned have much, much higher budgets than ours, and I tried very hard not to compare, especially since I’m surrounded by high budget weddings every single day. I wanted our wedding to portray us and be beautiful but at the price we were comfortable spending. And we knew that our wedding day was just day one of marriage, and we wanted our marriage to be even more beautiful than our wedding!

During our reception, we chose two of our favorite U2 songs for our wedding party and us to enter to. Our first dance was oh so sweet and special, and we swayed, twirled, and danced to Elvis’ “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” At the very end of the reception, after our guests walked outside for our big exit, we had a private last dance to Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.” It was so incredibly special to be held by my new husband as the very best day of our lives was beginning to wind down, thinking about every moment from our wedding, and relishing every single moment.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it? We served a fairly traditional three-tiered wedding cake, which is honestly the best cake we ever had. We still receive compliments about it to this day, and I love swinging by the bakery to pick up cupcakes in our wedding cake flavors! I never would have said that Rob or I were “cake people” before our cake tasting and wedding, but our wedding cake was absolutely divine, and we still talk about it all the time! I wanted our cake to fit our design and be fun and unique, so we went with a dusty French blue buttercream icing, a soft texture, and a wreath of fresh flowers and greenery. We chose three different flavors for our three tiers: dark chocolate cake with mocha buttercream (Rob’s absolute favorite!), strawberry with fresh strawberry buttercream, and vanilla with salted caramel fleur de sel. Heavenly, delicious, and such a statement!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I like to think we did an excellent job at saving money and sticking to our firm budget! From the beginning, we prioritized what was most and least important to us as individuals and as a couple. This definitely came in handy throughout the wedding planning process, as we saved many, many thousands of dollars in various ways. It does help that I’m in the local wedding industry, which was very advantageous and wonderful. We got to work with the best of the best vendors, whom I already work with regularly and who were exceptional at our wedding. We chose to have all of our wedding (ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception) at one venue so we didn’t need to hire transportation for our guests, we went with just beer and wine for our bar, we hired our favorite DJ instead of having a band, and we opted not to have a videographer (though we thankfully have our entire ceremony and toasts on film!). All of these decisions (and many more smaller ones) drastically impacted our savings, and we are both so glad we prioritized where we did so that we came in on budget and still had the wedding of our dreams!
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? I asked Rob to answer this too, and he said that seeing me walk down the aisle was the most memorable, magical part of our wedding day. He remembers thinking, “there’s my wife!” – and I remember him waving to me as I approached him! Rob also said that our reception entrance was unlike anything he’s ever experienced, as he was hit with a wave and roar of excitement and cheering as we entered our reception! I’m not sure how I can narrow down my most memorable moment from our wedding day, as every single moment is etched in my memory so vividly. Holding hands with Rob around a door and praying and talking together is definitely one of them! I remember Ally, our photographer and dear friend, coming over to me after I had put on my wedding dress and veil saying that it was time to pray with Rob. I was suddenly hit with overwhelming emotion: endless excitement, nervous, giddiness, and happiness! I started tearing up as I walked towards the door, and I couldn’t help it as the tears rolled down my cheeks. Getting to hold my soon-to-be husband’s hand, hear his voice, and pray together was incredibly memorable, touching, and sweet, and I was filled with peace and excitement. It was far and away one of my favorite moments of the day! Every moment of our ceremony is so vivid too, and I remember standing at the altar, facing my handsome husband, holding hands, and seeing his huge smile as we listened to our pastor. I literally heard birds chirping as we recited our vows with the softest breeze through my veil. I remember thinking that life couldn’t get any more perfect in that moment – and how abundantly grateful I was to the Lord for all of it. Moments after our ceremony exit, we ran into the main house, and it was just the two of us for that brief minute as our bridesmaids and groomsmen walked back down the aisle. Our photographer Bobby also happened to be in there, and I remember twirling around with Rob, kissing him over and over again, excitedly exclaiming that we were married, and looking at our rings. I showed off my dress, and he said all of the sweetest things. It was also unbelievably surreal to be surrounded by the most loving, supportive, encouraging, and fun family and friends, all in one place – and to celebrate us! Our wedding day was just plain fun!!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? I also asked Rob to give his answer to this question, and his response is the best. He said that anyone planning a wedding needs to know what’s ultimately most important – and that’s marriage. At the end of the day, your marriage is even more important than your wedding, and I agree with Rob completely. Rob also said to marry a wedding planner, or hire Steph to plan yours! ;)

Photographer: Ally and Bobby | Planner and Designer: Stephanie Shaul Events | Day-of Coordination: Happily Ever After | Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House | Florist: Serendipity Designs | Wedding Cake: The Cupcake Shoppe | Caterer: Beau Catering | Rentals: Cottage Luxe and CE Rental | Brass Candlesticks: Greenhouse Picker Sisters | Ceremony Cross: Homemade Bride | Cocktail Napkins: For Your Party | Ceremony Streamers: Flutter Fetti | Taper Candles: 100 Candles | DJ: Steve Stowe via Bunn DJ Company | Guestbook Bible: IV Leather Goods | Invitations, Programs, and Signage: Sage Paper Co. | Place Cards, Escort Display, and Day-of Signage: Stephanie Shaul Events | Invitation Stamps: Verde Studio | Bride’s Gown: Allure Bridals | Bridal Salon: New York Bride and Groom | Bride’s Earrings: Moon + Lola | Bride’s Bracelet: Kate Spade | Rings: Diamonds Direct | Hair and Makeup: Teighla Norris | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Groom’s Tie: High Cotton Ties | Groomsmen’s Ties: The Tie Bar | Officiant: Tyler Jones from Vintage Church

Ally and Bobby, Cottage Luxe, Serendipity Designs, Stephanie Shaul Events, Bunn DJ Company, High Cotton Ties, and Teighla Norris are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Stephanie Shaul reply

    Hooray!!! Thank you so, so very much for sharing our wedding day; it’s truly such an honor to see it on Southern Weddings! Our wedding day was, without a doubt, the happiest, most wonderful, most fun day of our lives, and it was the best start to marriage we could have ever asked for. We’re so grateful to our incredibly amazing family and friends, as well as all of our unbelievably talented vendors, for making our wedding so perfect and love-filled. It’s so surreal to see our images shared, and it brings back the most vivid, joy-filled memories! And as perfect and beautiful as our wedding day was, marriage is ever better. All our love!!

  2. avatar Alexia Conley reply

    Stephanie, what a gorgeous wedding! I love all the care and detail you and Rob put into your big day. So fun reading your wedding story and finally seeing all the stunning photos!

  3. avatar stella reply


  4. avatar John reply

    Wow! Congratulations on your wedding! :) Gorgeous gorgeous wedding.

  5. avatar Weddingpixie reply

    Wedding cake looks absolutely scrumptious!! Congrats, bride and groom look so happy

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!

Reply to:

Bride Ashley shares her Texas hill country wedding at Boot Ranch.

Much to my husband’s chagrin, I’m not much of an outdoors-y gal, but today’s wedding just might have won me over with its beautiful views of the hill country. I’m delighted to introduce you to today’s bride, Ashley. She and her groom, Aaron, chose to celebrate their big day in Fredericksburg, Texas as a tribute to her late grandfather. Not only had he lived there before his passing, but he left his home to her family, creating many fond memories. Ashley said, “When we are down there, the focus is on enjoying the people around you and being present… all the other stuff and stresses seem to melt away.” I cannot think of a better reason for choosing a wedding locale. Of course, said views of Boot Ranch don’t hurt! Keep reading to learn more about Ashley and Aaron’s Texas wedding and their love story.

Big SW hugs to Feather and Twine for sharing Ashley and Aaron’s wedding with us!

My mom and I shopped for “the dress” for several weekends in Dallas – we called it marathon shopping. It felt like we went to every store in Dallas before I found out that one of the stores was doing a Vera Wang Trunk Show. We decided to go and see if I liked any of the dresses. They also had a photographer and a Vera Wang rep from New York present to tell us all about the dresses I tried on. The moment I tried on my dress I knew it was the perfect dress and the one for me. It was timeless, ethereal, and breath taking. The photographer captured those special moments revealing the dress to my mom. Also, the Vera Wang rep gave me a copy of Vera Wang Weddings book and left a special note in it for me.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our first look – having that special moment between us in such a busy day to just put everything on pause and savor the feelings, emotions, and excitement. I will never forget the look he gave me when he turned around and saw me for the first time – his eyes were filled with so much love and adoration for me and at that moment I knew I couldn’t be more lucky to have him in my life.

I wanted a wedding that was classic, timeless, vintage, and romantic while still being a wedding that people said after the fact “that was such a fun wedding” or “I had the best time!” So I choose to do some things as a nod to old Southern traditions: our family hosted a welcome dinner Thursday night at our Fredericksburg house, I wore my mom’s cathedral-style wedding veil, and we did a hora or chair dance. We chose to display small pictures of our families sprinkled throughout the reception venue because as much as it was about Aaron and me, it was also about two families coming together, and our five-piece band with back-up dancers played music everyone could dance to!

Our ceremony was not a traditional ceremony… Aaron is Jewish, and I am Christian. We decided to have an interfaith rabbi conduct the ceremony. We custom-tailored every part of our wedding ceremony to reflect our personalities and the beliefs/traditions we value. I also decided for my mom to walk me down the aisle and my dad to meet her at the alter to do the hand off since my mom was the person who raised me. Our vows were very meaningful to us as well – “I promise to love you, respect you, laugh with you, and soothe your tears. I promise to share my life openly and honestly with you and to encourage and nurture your growth. Together, we continue this journey of exploration, trust, and communication. I promise to savor each day, reveling in our loving relationship and in our pursuit of happiness.” We felt these words reflected our core values and desire for each other to be the best people we can be.

We had a dessert bar filled with fun candy (hot tomales, twizzlers, sour patch watermelons, M&Ms, skittles, etc.), decorated cookies, and an assortment of macaroons in old-fashioned apothecary candy jars all centered around my cake. I decided to have a butter cream cheese and fresh strawberry yellow cake. I wanted something refreshing and delicious and to stray away from what was typically done. The cake was decorated with laurel like greenery and vibrant flowers pin-tucked into the greenery around the base of the tiered cake.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Timing was everything for us – we had known that we were meant for one another when we dated at LSU, we just had to find out who we were as individuals before we could grow a life together successfully.
Tell us all about the proposal! We had been dating long-distance from Dallas, where Aaron lived, to Nashville, where I lived, for a little over a year. We knew after dating six months that one of us would move so that we could be together and enjoy the little things in life that regular couples get to enjoy, like going to the grocery store together, etc. Well, Aaron flew up to Nashville in January and let me know he had made dinner reservations at this new restaurant I had been wanting to go to. He finished getting ready before I did (as usual), went into my living room, and waited on me to finish up. Shortly after, I walked out of my bedroom all ready and he greeted me and told me how lucky he was to have me in his life and how he couldn’t imagine his life without me. He then got down on one knee and proposed. It was so special and intimate – which was exactly what I wanted. My engagement ring has more meaning than a typical engagement ring does – the center stone is from a ring my grandfather had and left to my mom after he passed away a little less than 5 years ago after a tragic accident. Aaron knew that I adored my grandfather and thought he hung the moon and decided to incorporate a piece/ memory of him into my ring.
When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 156.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our ceremony I decided to have a more traditional approach and went with a harp and two violinists. I wanted to keep it classic but with a fun twist for the music selections. They played songs that I had always loved. Aaron and I chose our first dance song, “You are the Best Thing,” based on the lyrics and how true it resembled our feelings for each other. We also felt like this song would remain somewhat of a classic song. I chose “Wonderful Tonight” for my dad’s song because I felt it was special in the meaning of how much love a parent can have. Aaron chose to dance with his mom to “I Just Called to Say I Love You,” because he used to sing it to his mom when he was little.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I can honestly say it was the most perfect day… I want to go back and relive that day over and over if I could! My wedding was all about the details and making those details reflect Aaron’s and my fun-loving and unique personalities. One of the details I did love was that I chose to wear Kate Spade rose gold sparkly Keds for my wedding shoes. I didn’t want to wear a shoe I couldn’t dance the night away in. So it was kind of funny to have this timeless classic dress and sparkly tennis shoes underneath it!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? The best part was having all the people I loved the most surround and support Aaron and me while we went through this life-changing event. I have never felt so loved and so special!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Stressing over the details and the feeling of having to take everything on.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Some of my vendors were local to Fredericksburg and provided better pricing than other vendors from larger nearby cities. Also, I created all my save-the-dates and wedding invitations on Minted instead of from a traditional paper store.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Do what you want to do and not necessarily what you are expected to do or what someone else wants you to do. Also to keep things in perspective – remember that all this planning is for one day, and the things you stress or get upset about beforehand don’t really matter because at the end of the day it is about you getting married to the love of your life and if that is achieved the wedding was a success!

Photographer: Feather and Twine | Planner: Melanie McKinley from Mayhar Designs | Venue and Caterer: Boot Ranch | Florist: Sprout | Wedding Cake Baker: Sophie’s Bakery | Rentals and Lighting: Whim | Band or DJ: Jordan Kahn Orchestra | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang | Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Stanley Korshak | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Kiss By Katie | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Menswear: The Black Tux

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Jackie reply

    Her bouquet is gorgeous, and I love the different dress the maid/matron of honor wore. It looks so beautiful with the blue dresses.

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!

Reply to:

Bride Taryn shares her pretty, pink wedding at Ravenswood Mansion.

Fellow pink-loving gals, come on in close, and please meet today’s bride Taryn! She said she “wanted the wedding to be rooted in Southern tradition but with elements of surprise.” And y’all I would say that Taryn and her beau Chris did that so well thanks to traditional Southern elements like a receiving line to welcome guests to the Ravenswood Mansion and late night cookies with milkshake shooters for an extra fun twist, plus much more! Keep reading to learn how the newlyweds incorporated family traditions into their romantic wedding day under the clear-top tent!

Big SW hugs to Krisin Sweeting for sharing!

We knew we wanted to have the ceremony in a church. The sanctuary had many design elements that were similar to the church I grew up in back in Mississippi. The reception venue was special because not only were we able to rent the grounds for the reception, but also the gorgeous home that was built in 1825. We used the house all day to get ready that morning, take our first look photos, and then for the reception. The rooms of the home were open and bright, and the grounds were stunning, overlooking the hills of Williamson County. It was the perfect serene backdrop we were looking for.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I went to A LOT of stores. I travel for work, so I took the opportunity to look for the dress in every town I visited. Even though I traveled far and wide, I ultimately found my dress right in Nashville. I immediately fell in love with the flowing organza skirt and unique lace. It was the perfect mix of vintage with a modern twist.

What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Enjoy the process because it will be over so quickly. Focus on a few key elements that really matter to you, and then trust the professionals with the rest. Let go of what you can’t control (and that includes weather!) Most of wedding planning is really for your guests, but try to come up with a few things that mean something just to you!

My grandfather officiated parts of the ceremony. He also officiated my parents’ wedding and my sister’s wedding. It was so special to have him at the altar with us, to administer Communion and announce us man and wife. The most meaningful part of the ceremony for me was when my grandfather led us through Communion. Only Chris and I were taking part while the guests enjoyed a vocal performance. It was such an imitate and precious moment for the three of us.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes. We choose to go with a first look so that we had a moment just for us early in the day. We also thought (correctly) that there would be tears, and wanted to have that real moment. It gave us more time to spend together on that day and more opportunities to take special pictures.

We included Southern details each step of the way. We chose hand calligraphy invitations. The location of Ravenswood as a traditional Southern mansion for the full day of celebrations. My dad and I rode together to the church in a vintage white Jaguar. We had a formal leave from the church and the reception venue. We incorporated a receiving line as guests arrived at Ravenswood, and we were able to greet each and every one. The guests had Southern appetizers during cocktail hour of shrimp and grits and hot chicken mac and cheese. We offered a seated outdoor dinner, and the bride and groom dined at a sweetheart table. We also had a cold snap right before the event so I ordered ivory pashmina shawls that were given out to guests as they arrived. Also, the cake knife and server were a gift from the bride’s parents in the couple’s silver pattern.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The most memorable moment for me was sitting at the sweetheart table with Chris. All our guests were talking and laughing while being seated in the tent, there was a beautiful sunset, and we were officially married. I just remember that moment so well, of taking in the moment that everything had come together just as we had dreamed.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My favorite detail of the wedding was the clear tent. As guests arrived for the beginning of the seated dinner, the sun was just beginning to set. I knew I wanted everyone to enjoy the beautiful, plush landscape, green hills in the distance, and the sunset. The clear tent gave the protection we needed while giving an uninterrupted view for the guests. As the night came, you could see the stars through the tent while the lights inside the tent gave such a romantic feeling.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. A boy from New York City and a girl from Mississippi met on a blind date in Nashville, and we both knew very quickly that this was it!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were supposed to be leaving that day to travel to Mississippi to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday, but Chris had my sister make up a reason that we couldn’t leave until the next morning. So we were on our way to dinner that night when Chris made a detour up to the State Capital Building which sits high on a hill above Nashville. And there, overlooking the city where we met and fell in love, with a gorgeous sunset, Chris got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was just the two of us there, and we were so caught up taking in the moment that eventually his brother called thinking that perhaps something had gone wrong! The next morning we left for Mississippi and surprised my family. My grandmother said it was the best 90th birthday present.
When did y’all get married? May 6, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. During the ceremony, friends of the bride, who are also sisters, sang a beautiful duet of “Wonderful, Merciful Savior.” They sang while the bride and groom took Communion. The song really set the tone for the worshipful moment we wanted to have during the ceremony. I choose “Trumpet Voluntary” to walk down the aisle. The church had an amazing pipe organ, and the song was a great fit for the fanfare of the organ. Plus, I wanted to make a big entrance. Our first dance at the reception was “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis. The groom is a huge Elvis fan, so it was an easy choice for him.
What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it? Each layer of our wedding cake featured a duo serving. Guests were given a slice of vanilla almond with chocolate, vanilla almond with strawberry, or vanilla almond with dreamsicle. Also late in the evening, we served chocolate chip cookies with milkshake shooters.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I really enjoyed putting together the big picture: traditional Southern elegance with a modern twist. I wanted the wedding to be rooted in Southern tradition but with elements of surprise. I really liked planning the logistics of how guests would arrive, move through the house, and then be seated in the tent. I really wanted the guests to feel the Southern hospitality and then just have fun.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The hardest part of planning the wedding was letting go of the “what ifs.”
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We choose less expensive chairs for the seated dinner. I knew the beautiful natural landscape plus the floral arrangements and tabletop decor would create the perfect ambiance without needing an expensive chair.

Photographer: Kristin Sweeting Photography | Videographer: Matt G Video | Planner, Florist, and Lighting: Regalo Design | Ceremony Venue: Forest Hills United Methodist Church | Reception Venue: Ravenswood Mansion | Wedding Cake: Signature Cakes by Vicki | Caterer: Chef Penelope’s Catering | Rentals: Southern Events | Ceremony Music: Silver Strings | Band: The Respectables | Paper Products: The Lyrical Pen | Bride’s Gown: “Odette” by Modern Trousseau | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Cassie” in Blush by Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids | Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse | Transportation: Matchless Transportation

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Wedding Pixie reply

    Stunning bride. Love the Badgley Mischka shoes!

  2. avatar Florent Vidal Photography reply

    Congratulations to the beautiful couple!
    This wedding looks incredible. I agree with the bride, the clear tent must have been such a stunning touch to the reception x

  3. avatar Jackie reply

    Her dress and veil – amazing! I love when friends/family members are officiants for weddings. It always makes it so special.

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!

Reply to: