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Though they may be romantics, Sarah and Wes knew that they wanted to have a simple celebration when it came to their wedding festivities. The couple opted for a morning ceremony in front of a beautiful, yet understated, wall of roses and vines, followed by a brunch at one of their favorite Memphis eateries, Acre Restaurant. With such a lovely venue, they didn’t need to add much more decor, but of course, the talented Haute Horticulture added just the right amount. She filled the tables with vintage milk glass, fresh flowers, and locally harvested peaches that flawlessly showcased Sarah and Wes’ sweet peach, blush, and light blue color palette!

Their simple and refreshing wedding was the perfect addition to our ninth issue! We’re thrilled their planner and photographer, Annabella Charles, shared it with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I bought my dress at Low’s Bridal, and I think I tried on maybe seven dresses before I decided this was the one. My favorite parts were the lace and the train. I have wanted a dress with lace and a train since I was a teenager!

I chose my colors (peach, blush and light blue), and let the florist have fun from there. We didn’t want peachy pink flowers against peachy pink bridesmaid dresses, so we went outside the box and went with these pretty light blue flowers called nigella wrapped with a matching light blue ribbon.

Our wedding was on August 1 at 10:00 A.M. at Acre Restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee. The wedding ceremony was held outside and the reception was inside the restaurant. It was absolutely stunningly beautiful. Acre is located in our favorite part of Memphis, where we spend a lot of time. We had a fairly small wedding, so the venue was perfect for us.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Wes: We got to choose our own music, so we walked back up aisle at the end to the theme song of our favorite TV show, The Office. Sarah: I loved that we got to choose our own music too. We also wrote our own vows, which was special.
Who participated in your ceremony? Family members, friends? If so, what did they do? Everyone in the bridal party was a family member. My sister was the maid of honor and my sister-in-law was the second bridesmaid. Wes’ father was his best man, and his brother and his sister’s boyfriend were groomsmen. Wes’ daughter was the flower girl.

What kind of food did you serve at your reception? We went with a brunch theme because of the early ceremony. We had bacon towers, doughnuts, chicken and waffles, and so much more. It was incredible.

What was the design inspiration for your reception? The great thing about the venue was that it is already designed so beautifully that very little was needed. Our amazing florist created this beautiful wall of roses and vines for the ceremony and reception, and the tables had vintage milk glass with flowers and locally harvested peaches in them. Since all of the fruit was handpicked locally and inexpensive, we were able to incorporate it everywhere in the décor. We tried to keep everything within the season to keep costs down.

Our cake was so beautifully crafted by Laura of The Flour Garden. To go along with our theme, the cake was put on a peach-harvesting basket from the orchard that the peaches were from. It was surrounded by beautiful fruit and flowers.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met in a local service program. We quickly became friends, and over time, our friendship grew, and eventually, we fell in love. We are both so grateful that we remained friends for a while before dating. This friendship is our foundation.
Describe the proposal: It was on Halloween, and neither of us likes Halloween, so now, the holiday has special meaning. He said that he needed to run an errand, and we drove to a local theater where we parked in this spot that is very special to us. It is a spot where we would go to sit and talk for hours–a spot where our relationship grew. It was just the two of us, and he asked me to marry him. It was the most romantic and intimate way he could’ve proposed to me.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? Asking every couple we know in a long marriage what the “secret” is, and we went to marriage counseling for a little while before the wedding.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We both love anything romantic, but neither of us cares for anything over the top. We prefer things simple. We chose some colors we like, I chose some flowers I liked, and we let Annabella (our planner) take care of pretty much the rest of it.
What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? Sarah: Seeing my husband-to-be standing and waiting for me at the end of the aisle. Wes: Taking my WIFE to a movie that night.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? We decided not to do several of the traditional wedding festivities, like tossing the garter/bouquet, first dances, etc. Our focus during wedding planning was on what is most important to us: spending time with family and each other…and food!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are taking time to enjoy being married for a little while–continuing to date, going on some vacations, and just learning about each other and growing!

Photographer and Planner: Annabella Charles | Venue and Caterer: Acre Restaurant | Florals: Haute Horticulture | Wedding Cake: The Flour Garden | Bride’s Gown: Casablanca | Bridal Salon: Low’s Bridal | Bridesmaid Dresses: Francesca’s | Men’s Bow Ties: J. Crew | Paper Goods: Archer and Olive

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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It’s always fun to see the traditions and details a wedding planner chooses when she ties the knot herself, and for Katie of Shindig Weddings and Events…well, let’s just say she is certainly in the right profession! After she and Halston got engaged at Blue Ridge Farm, they decided to be married at the same place, and that was only the first of many details that paid tribute to their love story and their roots. We always encourage couples to look to their own stories for wedding inspiration, and Katie and Halston are a perfect example of a couple who did just that–and as a result, their entire wedding was unique, celebratory, fun, and so true to who they are! What more could a bride ask for?

We’re thrilled Jen Fariello and Shindig Weddings shared this amazing day with us for V9!

I chose to wear my mom’s wedding dress, which was originally my grandmother’s. I actually never went to a bridal salon or tried on any new dresses. I wanted to try my mom’s dress from day one of wedding planning, and when it fit like a glove, I knew it was “the dress.”

Tell us about your wedding flowers. I more or less just chose the florist, not the flowers. I love flowers, but know very little about them. I am amazed time and time again by the work of Southern Blooms. By hiring them, I knew I would have the most beautiful flowers! Each bridesmaid bouquet was tied with a muslin bow with each maid’s name written on it. I loved this unique detail!

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? Very traditional! It was on the beach area of the pond. Though we were outdoors, it felt very cozy. We decided to forego amplification, which added to the intimacy. In many ways, we brought the church outdoors. Our altar was adorned with a cross, and every other guest seat had a hymnal on it. The congregational hymn was marked in each hymnal with a beautiful velvet ribbon.

Did you write your own vows? No, we stuck with traditional wedding vows. That was important to us!
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? We had the entire wedding party walk down the aisle together in the processional while my cousin sang “As I Went Down to the River to Pray” a cappella. It was beautiful and powerful.

We centered everything on the water, both the ceremony and reception. The color blue became a central design element. We attempted to embrace “lakeside” without going nautical. We also wanted to properly acknowledge the Fourth of July without going full-on patriotic. There was a lot we considered in our attempt to do something completely unique.

We had snow cones at cocktail hour! We were concerned about a wedding cake melting outside in the potential July heat, so we opted for a shortbread bar instead. We offered three different kinds of shortbread with a variety of berry toppings.

From Shindig Events: Perhaps the most charming detail was the chance Katie and Halston gave their guests to win a fish. This notion went back to the road trip they took to the Georgia State Fair, where Katie won a goldfish at the traditional carnival game, and then proceeded to drive him all the way back home to Charlottesville, where he (the fish) is still thriving today. That trip was a pivotal time for them as a couple and holds a special place in their hearts, and when it came time to decide how we were going to convey table assignments, we decided to present each guest with a ping-pong ball with his/her name/table assignment written on it, and then allow them to toss it and win a goldfish! A sweet poem was painted on a large sign to help guests get the concept. Our venue owner was gracious and allowed any “won but unwanted” goldfish to be released into her pond, but many, many goldfish went home with happy wedding guests as prizes! And we were certain to make sure we were purchasing “feeder” goldfish anyway, and followed all of the directions given to us by the pet store about proper care until their distribution :)

What kind of food did you serve at your reception? We served dinner station-style, with a wood grill, summer salads, and fried catfish.

We really built the reception design around a brand new Charlottesville wedding element, Cedar Space. This structure is a transportable, open-air pergola. We used that to design the most beautiful head table of all time. From there, we tied in the rest of the wedding reception using open air space and a stunning Sperry tent.

What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? Our wedding was different in such a special way because it was a labor of love from all of our wedding vendors. The wedding community in Charlottesville is truly a family, and each person who worked our wedding is not just a vendor–they are my friends! I knew every face I saw on our wedding day, and it was such an indescribable feeling to be so celebrated and loved by these wonderful people I work with week in and week out. It was beautifully humbling and oh so exciting!

In addition to our most fabulous band, the Adrian Duke Project, we incorporated a couple of fun things into the reception. I went to school at the University of Alabama, where football is a big deal. Hot dogs in the stadium are called Denny Dogs, and they are the best! We replicated Denny Dogs for our late night snack, fondly referring to them as the Mini Denny. We also had buckets of red, white, and blue glow-in-the-dark gear for our wedding guests.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Though Halston and I tell somewhat different renditions of this story, we first met in the fall of 2014. I had been living in Charlottesville for two years at the time, and Halston had just moved to town for a new job. Through mutual friends, we ended up at the same parties two nights in a row–one was my housewarming party and the other was a football watching party at Halston’s apartment. Our conversations were brief on those evenings, but we both left intrigued by the other. Over the course of the next year, we dated, we broke up, we became best friends, and we fell in love. In September 2015, a year to the day after we met, Halston told me that he loved me. We spent the fall by each other’s side, and on January 8, 2016, Halston got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. Without hesitation, I said YES because if I had learned one thing in the past year, it was that life is better when Halston and I are together.
Describe the proposal: Where do I even begin? The proposal was simply amazing. Halston and I had just gotten back to Charlottesville from our trips home for Christmas. I knew that a proposal was probably on the horizon, but I thought it was still probably a couple of months off. What I didn’t know was that Halston already had the ring but had accidentally left it at home in Georgia over Christmas. His mom shipped it up to Charlottesville, and the day it arrived, he decided he couldn’t wait any longer. So, he and Meghan, my sweet friend (and boss), immediately started scheming. They tricked me into thinking I was heading to a local wedding venue to be interviewed by a potential bride. When we showed up, Meghan and I started walking around, scouting out the property. At one point, I casually turned around to see Halston walking down the yard, wearing a suit, and looking a little nervous. It should have clicked in that moment, but instead, I was utterly confused. Halston got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. He and Meghan had set up a lovely spread in the venue’s barn. We toasted with champagne and simply soaked it all in. From there, we headed back into town and had dinner together at what has now become our favorite restaurant. It was so important to me to have a private engagement, and Halston knocked it out of the park. What makes our engagement even more special is that we ended up having our wedding at the same venue. It wasn’t necessarily the plan at the time, but it certainly couldn’t have worked out any better!
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 120
Tell us about your grand exit. We got married Saturday of the July 4th weekend, so we decided to end our reception with the song “God Bless the USA.” As the song ended, everyone was given sparklers. Halston and I ran through a tunnel of sparklers and rode off in his parents’ red Jeep Wrangler, which was all decked out with decorations. I stood and waved to the guests out the roof of the Jeep as Halston drove us away!
What was Southern about your wedding? I am from Alabama and Halston is from Georgia, so pretty much everything from the wedding guests (and their accents), to the food, to our song choices was Southern. We served lots of delicious fried food (think okra and catfish). I danced with my father to “Sweet Home Alabama,” and Halston danced with his mom to “Georgia On My Mind.” We did bury the bourbon to keep the rain away, and we revved the engine of our Jeep Wrangler as we pulled away at the end of the night!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are looking forward to laying low for a little while. We are spending time with our animals and pouring way too much time into fixing up our rental house, but home is important to both of us. Normal life feels good after months of planning!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Hire a planner. I think people can have the misconception that by hiring a planner, they don’t get to be involved in as much of the planning process as they would like. That is far from true, and having a planner to walk alongside you makes the process much more streamlined and enjoyable!

Photographer: Jen Fariello Photography | Planner and Designer: Shindig Weddings and Events | Venue: Blue Ridge Farm | Florals: Southern Blooms | Caterer: The Catering Outfit | Bride’s Shoes: Anthropologie | Bride’s Jewelry: The Impeccable Pig | Bridesmaid Outfits: Cleo Top in Ivory and Louise Tulle Skirt in Hydrangea by BHLDN | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Rouge 9 | Menswear: Jos. A. Bank, Banana Republic, and The Tie Bar | Paper Goods: Sue Corral Ink | Rentals: Festive Fare and Stonegate Event Rentals | Linens: Festive Fare | Reception Décor: Cedar Space by Maya Wood | Band: The Adrian Duke Project via Sam Hill Entertainment | Welcome Bags: The Detail Darling | Transportation: Southern Star Valet | Tent and Lighting: Skyline Tent Company

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Emma reply

    This seems like the perfect balance of modern ideas and classic southern style! Katie’s dress is so classic. I love that they weren’t afraid of serving food that many see as “casual.”

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After saying their vows beneath the beautiful Georgia pines, Jacqueline and Jamaar celebrated becoming husband and wife with a classic and romantic reception. While their reception may have taken place indoors, so much of the inspiration for Jacqueline and Jamaar’s wedding was pulled from nature and how connected they feel to one another while being outdoors. Goodness gracious, I love the way they combined that with inspiration from Jacquelyn’s rose gold engagement ring! With the help of Brie Owens of Chancey Charm Weddings and Andy Beach and Co., they used shades of blush, cream, and white to create a day that was “filled with as much beauty as we feel love for one another.” Jacqueline and Jamaar’s ceremony was not only filled with flowers, but with details that honored her Ghanaian culture and their family members.

We sure were thrilled to be able to share this sweet Georgia day in V9, and big thanks to Harwell Photography for capturing it!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I wore a mermaid-style wedding gown with off-white Alençon lace by Matthew Christopher. Having tried on several dresses, I knew that it was the one because it made me feel like the most beautiful version of myself! The champagne lining ended up being my favorite thing about the dress. Choosing a dress with a hint of color, rather than a traditional white gown, represented my courage to be uniquely me. I finished the look with an off-white lace-edged veil, pearl jewelry, and peep-toe shoes from Badgley Mischka.
What did the groom and groomsmen wear? From Jamaar: I wore a blue shawl lapel tuxedo with a black bow tie, covered placket white shirt, black patent leather shoes, and a white pocket square. The groomsmen wore navy blue suits, black ties, covered placket white shirts, black patent leather shoes, and white pocket squares. We all wore black rosebud flower lapel pins for a modern take on the traditional boutonniere.

We were married in September in Alpharetta, Georgia. The evening ceremony was held outdoors underneath a beautifully decorated gazebo, overlooking a small river. Being outdoors is when we feel the most connected to one another, so we knew that was where we wanted to say our vows.

How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? The union of our marriage is very sacred to us, one which we were intentional about entering into reverently. We read his and hers companion books by Tony Allen: “For Married Men Only” and “For Married Women Only.” We also completed premarital counseling.

Did you have any special pre-ceremony activities? Being of Ghanaian decent, it was important to me that I acknowledged my heritage during this special time in my life. Prior to the wedding, we held a traditional Ghanaian engagement ceremony that involved our parents.

The most special part of the wedding was having a ceremony that reflected our faith and reverence for God, which brought us together. We included Kente cloth in our ceremony for the officiant to wear. I wanted to highlight the Kente cloth as part of my culture and as symbolism for the occasion.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Inspired by nature, we wanted to design a wedding that was filled with as much beauty as we feel love for one another. It was also important to us that our guests felt surrounded by the joy and happiness that we wanted to represent in our new beginning as husband and wife.

Your wedding should always be infused with things that you love…and I love flowers! They were the center of the wedding design. We wanted to create an atmosphere that was classic and romantic. I was inspired by my rose gold engagement ring to use shades of blush, cream, and white. I chose to incorporate my favorite flowers, which included orchids, garden roses, and hydrangea.

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. We chose individual almond cupcakes with buttercream, adorned with a blush petal flower with a gold center. We also served a non-traditional 8” tall carrot cake decorated with fresh ivory and blush colored roses.

Describe the proposal: After weeks of secretly planning a romantic getaway to the Bahamas for Jamaar’s birthday, I was the one who ended up with the surprise of a lifetime! At the end of our one-week vacation, Jamaar proposed on the shore of the beautifully secluded Love Beach. Apparently, the proposal was a long time in the making! He had had the ring for a while and had asked for my parents’ blessings in advance. Jamaar bending down on one knee and me crying tears of joy was all secretly captured on video as part of his perfect plan!
How many guests attended your wedding? 100
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? On the most special day of our lives, we wished to lovingly remember those close to our hearts who were no longer with us or unable to attend. We honored our grandmothers by placing their photos in special reserved seats in the front row of the ceremony.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to Lalah Hathaway’s cover of the Anita Baker song “Angel.” The moment was amazing–it felt as if we were the only two people in the room.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Adding children to our family!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? The best advice we can give to other couples is to consider that there is life after your wedding. Plan accordingly, budget, be flexible, consider each other’s feelings during the planning, and remember that life begins after the “I do’s.” To future brides, when you make a major decision, go with it and move on! You can drive yourselves nuts if you are constantly doubting and re-thinking every decision. Be yourselves. Your guests love you and are there to celebrate you. Incorporate as much of your personality and culture as you can. Finally, be as present with the experience as you possibly can every step of the way, because it goes by fast!

Photographer: Harwell Photography | Coordinator: Brie Owens of Chancey Charm Weddings | Event Consultant: Beth Teal Events | Florals: Andy Beach and Co. | Caterer: Talk of the Town | Wedding Cake: Cakes by Carissa | Reception Linens: I Do Linens | Bride’s Gown: “Amelie” by Matthew Christopher | Bridal Salon: Bridals by Lori | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: “Cadence” in Blush by BHLDN | Makeup Artist: The iQueen | Hair Stylist: Salon Method ATL | Groom’s Fashion: Suit Supply | Groomsmen Fashion: The Black Tux | Paper Goods: Studio LMC | Ceremony Music: Cobalt Strings | Jazz Band: Eric Thomas and Elevate the Quest | DJ: Mark Battle of One Sound and Entertainment

Chancey Charm and The Black Tux are delightful Southern Weddings sponsors!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Jeremy Harwell reply

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post! This couple was so authentic, loving and everything true love represents. Congratulations Jacqueline & Jamaar!

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