Google+ Southern Weddings | - Part 12

Southern Weddings

It has been 532 days since my best friend got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife, and in just two short days, I finally will be! I am officially out of the SW office starting today to focus on wrapping up last minute details and welcoming my beloved family and friends to North Carolina, but I couldn’t possibly leave without one last Lisa’s Southern Wedding post. It has been an honor to share snippets of my wedding planning journey with y’all over the last year and a half!

First, y’all found out about our engagement–many just a few minutes after it happened, if you were tuned into the V6 launch party live stream! I’m eternally grateful to Callie Davis for capturing this magical moment in mine and Dave’s lives.

I love our love story–it has taught us so much about faith and trusting in God’s timing. I shared it with y’all (complete with some fun throwback pictures) here!

The first big decision we had to make was where on earth to tie the knot–and from New York to Texas, we had our fair share of options! We finally settled on our new town of Raleigh so that we could say our vows in our beloved church. You can read about our venue search here.

Choosing a photographer and a videographer we love were at the tippy top of our priority list. We are overjoyed that the talented Ryan Ray is making the trip to be our photographer, and that the incredible team at Inkspot Crow will be by his side to capture the day on video! I have utmost confidence in both Ryan and Inkspot Crow, and am already giddy with excitement to see our wedding through their lenses!

Ryan Ray

Speaking of photography, taking our engagement pictures with Ryan was one of the highlights of the last year and a half! You can see some of our inspiration here, and a few peeks at the results scattered throughout my Instagram.

KT Merry, Jose Villa

Flowers are one of my favorite wedding details, and I’ve loved working with Kelly of Philosophy Flowers to dream up beautiful and meaningful bouquets. I can’t WAIT to see how they turn out!

Eric Kelley via Love In Bloom, Jose Villa via Something Blue

I’ve been keeping the details of my wedding day look very secret (only my mom and sisters have seen my dress!), but had fun sharing about what the gents and my bridesmaids will be wearing. I also shared some of my jewelry and beauty inspiration!

Brett Heidebrecht via Style Me Pretty, Jessica Lorren via Once Wed

Sending our save the dates was so exciting! Confession: I have one of them framed on my gallery wall :)

Planning our ceremony has been the most rewarding and exciting part of wedding planning, and I get butterflies in my stomach just thinking about it happening in real life this Saturday. I loved sharing our plans here.

Nancy Ray

Finally, I let y’all in on a few of my favorite details–the things I’ve always dreamed of including in my wedding. I feel so lucky that all four things I mentioned in this post worked out and will indeed be present!

Amanda Dumouchelle via Style Me Pretty

Before signing off, I just want to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of your kind words and comments as I’ve shared our wedding planning journey. I’m truly humbled by your support and am so honored to have shared this time with such a wonderful community!

I also want to give big hugs and thanks to the SW gals–from the way they helped Dave orchestrate his proposal, to the sweetest surprise bridal shower, to the countless words of wisdom and encouragement they’ve shared with me over the last year and a half, I am truly, truly grateful to have them as coworkers and friends!

With that, sweet friends, I’m signing off! You’ll see a few posts from me over the next two weeks, but rest assured, they’ve all been written ahead of time :) I can’t wait to catch up with y’all when I’m back in the office, complete with a new husband and a new monogram. Xoxo!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
14 Comments
  1. avatar Anastasia Kristina reply

    LISA I AM SO SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it’s been so fun following your journey and i’m so overjoyed to see all of your hardwork and love manifested in y’alls big day!!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Annie! Thank you so much–we loved having y’all there! You’re next!! :)

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    Hooray! I’m so excited for you, Lisa! This is the most exciting time for you and Dave and I wish you both all of the very best on Saturday. Praying for gorgeous weather and happiness all around xoxo

  3. avatar Denise L. reply

    Enjoy your day, it goes by so quickly! I hope you share your photos as I’m sure you will be a stunning bride. Sending prayers for your lovely day and beautiful life, together.

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Thank you so much, Denise! I’m so grateful for your prayers–they were felt! :)

  4. avatar Michelle reply

    Congratulations and enjoy your special day together! Thank you for including us on your journey (:

  5. avatar Pamela reply

    Congrats Lisa & Dave, may you truly have a Blessed holy matrimony ,and not just a marriage.
    Have a heartfelt time.
    Be blessed
    Pam

  6. avatar Dana reply

    The most beautiful wedding of all time! I love you mrs. Kirk!!!

  7. avatar mary w reply

    Lisa, it truly was a beautiful day! Father couldn’t have said it better–we really were so honored and blessed to witness something so intimate, sacred, beautiful!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Mary! Thank you so much! We LOVED having y’all there and miss you already!

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During our team retreat, we played a Southern Weddings version of The Newlywed Game. Kristin and I lost to Emily and Lisa by just one point! However, when the question of whether your partner would rather go to Mardi Gras or the Kentucky Derby came up, KNW knew me the best! I love Mardi Gras, but I’ve never been to the Derby, and we often daydream of a Derby double date with our beaus. Lindsey and Ryan’s Derby-inspired wedding only makes me want to go more! I love how they timed their cocktail hour with the race, included mint juleps as their signature drink, and aptly named their tables after past winners, inspired by the guests at the table (be sure to read about that below!). But, despite their love for every special detail, Lindsey and Ryan said “our favorite detail was becoming husband and wife.” That’s the best detail in my book as well!

Big SW hugs to our friend Elaine Palladino for sharing this fun day!

P.S. How fun is it that Lindsey and Ryan are celebrating their first anniversary at the actual Kentucky Derby this weekend? So special!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Mutual friends of ours, Dave and Rachel Gossett, hinted for eight years that we should meet. Living in different cities, we both presumed that it was never really meant to be. Fast forward to Derby Day 2012 when Dave and Rachel were at my annual Derby party and sent Ryan his first picture of me. A little later in the evening, one text was followed by a few clever other ones, that led to a conversation that never stopped. We texted through May into June, talked on the phone for the rest of the summer, and then Ryan came to visit over Labor Day weekend. We met on my front porch for our first date, and though I will admit to being profoundly nervous, we both knew instantly that there was something special between us. We spent the next year and a half dating and being engaged long-distance, while Ryan took care of his ailing father in Jacksonville before making the big move to Miami last spring, just in time for the wedding.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did. I am exceptionally traditional in most areas of my life, and was convinced I’d never do a first look, but when we decided to time the cocktail hour so that it was during the Kentucky Derby, we knew if we wanted to see it, we’d have to do pictures beforehand. It was a good thing we did, because as soon as I was dressed, all I could think about was getting to Ryan. If I had to wait until the ceremony, I might have gone crazy! It was just us for those few moments, and it was fantastic. Well, it was supposed to be just us, until I saw the pictures later of the entire wedding party watching from inside the hotel. :)

I saw my dress on Pinterest almost a year before getting engaged. I saved the picture thinking, “I would love to find a dress like this one day.” The night of my engagement, my sister, who was so excited to start planning wedding details, asked me if I knew the kind of dress I wanted. I shared the picture, just to give her an idea of what I was looking for, but realizing it would be hard to match something to that dress. Somehow, within a couple of days, she had found the dress, identified the designer, found the only store in Miami that sold that designer, and sent me there the following Saturday. I walked in, tried on the dress, and knew it was the one. I am forever grateful to her, more than I could ever express.

We chose orchestral hymns for the seating of the mothers and the processionals. Having both been raised in the Protestant faith, the hymns we chose felt like a natural way to invite the Lord into our day, while also honoring our moms at the same time. Our close friend beautifully sang The Lord’s Prayer at the end of the ceremony for the same reasons. Our first dance was to “Amen” by Dave Barnes. The words remind us that in all things, we are thankful to God and trust in His plans for our future. As a side note, the trumpeter at the wedding decided on his own accord that the bridal processional should start with a lively “Derby” fanfare. It was a surprise to all, and a great laugh.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? It was extremely important to us and our parents that we were married in a church. Our home church doesn’t offer ceremonies on Saturdays, so we chose a beautiful church near the Biltmore Hotel, where our reception was going to be. We wanted our day to be as enjoyable and easy as possible for all of our guests, so we kept everything as convenient as we could. The Biltmore was the perfect backdrop for the feel and style of our wedding.

We encouraged our guests to embrace the theme of the Derby by wearing big hats and bow ties–and boy, did they! We also included mint juleps, pennant mason jars, and a bluegrass band. To top the night off, we opened (and emptied) a long-saved bottle of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle with all of our friends. To represent “South” Florida, we had a cigar roller at the reception.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We named our tables after horses who have won the Derby throughout history, and chose names that best represented the guests sitting at that table (for example, “Behave Yourself” was for the wedding party and “Spend A Buck” was for my parents’ table :)). We also set thank you notes on each table, which we hoped expressed to our family and friends just how much their love meant to us. Honestly though, despite our love for every special detail we included, our favorite detail was becoming husband and wife.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Our first anniversary! We are going to the 2015 Kentucky Derby with our immediate family. None of us have ever been and we thought it would be a wonderful way to celebrate a year of marriage with our families!

Tell us all about the proposal! Each year, my family travels with the Gossetts and all of our extended family to Sanibel for the Fourth of July. Before the weekend, Ryan met with my dad to ask for my hand in marriage. On the night of the 4th, while on the beach, we joked about being married a year from that day. I gave Ryan a hard time, saying “First, we have to get engaged!” Just 20 minutes later, while watching fireworks, Ryan whispered into my ear, “Remind me again what step one is?” I turned around in disbelief and Ryan got down on one knee! It felt like we were the only two people on the beach in those few moments, and then, we turned around to find our families and friends there to greet us with hugs and champagne.
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 275
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We exchanged traditional vows, but we tweaked one line. Instead of saying “to love, honor and cherish,” we added “care for” into the phrase. The way we take care of each other is often our greatest expression of love.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings at the ceremony: Romans 12:1-2, 9-13 and Colossians 3:12-17. Romans spoke to us about how to honor the Lord, each other, and others through our union and love. Colossians taught us how to love each other. Also, Romans 12:13 tells us to “practice hospitality.” This instruction highlights a gift we feel God has given us, as we both find joy in opening our home and hearts to others.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My mom gets the glory for the DIY details. Among the countless, non-crafty details she managed, she still found time to spray paint horseshoes, assemble pennants, and sew napkin rings for nearly 300 people. As a team, we stuffed invitations, assembled programs, hand-wrote the name cards and pennant mason jars, and painted flower boxes and “happily ever after” signs.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make it your own; tell your story. But most importantly, stay calm and remember that everything will turn out okay. It will be more perfect than you can possibly imagine, because at the end of it all, you will be married.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? In lieu of wedding favors, we made a gift to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, in honor of Ryan’s father, Douglas Franklin Parker, who passed away in April 2013. Each guest received a note from the foundation and a chocolate horseshoe from Dr. Parker’s favorite chocolatier, Peterbrooke.

Photographer: Elaine Palladino / Videographer: Michael Burgos Films / Day-Of Coordination: Claudia Glasson and Claudia Santana / Ceremony Venue: Granada Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue, Catering, and Rentals: The Biltmore Hotel / Florals, Rentals, and Lighting: Always Flowers / Wedding Cake: Todo Dulces / Ceremony Musician: Ross DeBardelaben of Miami Virtuosi LLC / Band: Tropics Entertainment / Special Details: Unearthed Vintage / Paper Products: Fresh Impression Letterpress Studio / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Bride’s Shoes: Benjamin Adams / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Sung / Menswear: Jos. A Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Who Gets Married on Kentucky Derby Day | Equestrian Stylist reply

    […] Weddings recently shared a “Kentucky Derby Wedding by Elaine Palladino” post, and check out a few of these […]

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #189 – Floridian Social reply

    […] must have had a blast shooting this fun Kentucky Derby themed affair at the Biltmore […]

  3. avatar Kirsti reply

    I just adore this wedding!! How precious can this be?? I love the derby theme and all of the little details they included in their special day!!

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A month after their intimate ceremony on the beach, Morgan and Brian gathered their family and friends back home together for a fun, casual reception. Even though the design between their Florida ceremony and Oklahoma reception switched from beachy to rustic, the most important thing remained the same: it was a joyful celebration of the love Morgan and Brian share. Y’all please enjoy part two of Morgan and Brian’s wedding, full of gorgeous styling by Kylie Swanson, and captured by the talented Aaron Snow!

Our reception took place on an equestrian farm in Tulsa. The horses were such stunning creatures and made beautiful wedding guests. I love being outdoors, so I really enjoyed the natural touches of the wide open spaces and grassy fields. All of the wood features and tables brought great warmth to the reception, and the greenery along the tables were extra lovely.

What was Southern about your wedding? Farm tables, horses, and the great outdoors!

What kind of food did you serve? We served a combination of some of our favorite foods at both our wedding and our home reception. Both were served buffet-style and were very casual.

Being a bride who never really had a particular “vision” for my wedding day, I honestly left all of the design up to our planner and designer, Kylie Swanson. She really made it her mission to get to know Brian and I as a couple, and that affected the outcome of both our wedding and our reception back home. Aside from having her focus on our aesthetic as a couple, I was drawn to bright colors and I love anything with great natural light.

For our cake in Florida, we chose to stick with something classic, and Kylie adorned it with fresh blooms. Our cakes at our home reception also included flowers and were not only beautiful, but also extremely delicious!

Tell us about your grand exit. We ran through a tunnel of smiles and sparklers and into a vintage hot rod getaway car.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? It was probably the time crunch–we got engaged and married in four months. For couples with short engagements, I recommend hiring a wedding planner, for sure!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. Our first dance was to the original version of “Crazy Love.” It was soft, sweet, slow, and intimate. It felt like we were the only ones there.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? We did both!
Tell us about a way or ways you saved money or cut costs while planning. Kylie not only created two incredible events in a short amount of time, but she was also invaluable in budgeting everything and brought everything together seamlessly. She supplied us with great vendor teams and we trusted not only her vision, but also those she chose to work with.
What’s next for you as a couple? Three months after our wedding, we moved to England to be missionaries.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? We are simply looking forward to doing life together. One of God’s greatest gifts is getting to share your days with your best friend.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Wedding planning can be inevitably stressful, so always keep what your wedding day is really all about in the forefront of your mind! Brian says to make every decision fun and to celebrate when you get something accomplished.

Photographer: Aaron Snow / Videographer: Pen Weddings / Planner, Designer, and Stylist: Kylie Swanson / Ceremony Venue: Marriott Marco Island / Reception Venue: KJM The Farm / Florals: Isn’t She Lovely (Florida) and Poppy Lane Design (Oklahoma) / Catering: Marriott Marco Island (Florida) and Ludger’s (Oklahoma) / Cake Baker: Marriott Marco Island (Florida) and Amy’s Cakes (Oklahoma) / Hair and Makeup: Blo OKC / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon and Veil: JJ Kelly / Bridesmaid Dresses: Dillard’s / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Paper Goods: Gather & Co. / Rentals: Niche Event Rentals (Florida), Kahoy Studios (Oklahoma), and Marianne’s Rentals (Oklahoma) / Transportation: Tulsa Vintage Rides / Lighting: Zach Downing Productions

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Wendy reply

    Thank you so much for the beautiful feature. It was a honor to have Morgan and Brian celebrate their marriage at KJM The Farm! We wish the couple a very happily ever after!

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