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Today we’re thrilled to share our tenth anniversary cover editorial, Azalea Romance!

Let me tell you a secret… when it comes to our editorials, we all have favorites! And if you know me at all, you know that this one was destined to always and forever be mine. From the memories we made at the shoot to how stunning it turned out to the way the story intersects with my own, I can’t help it: I’m smitten.

Growing up in Mobile, Alabama I always dreamed I’d be an Azalea Trail Maid — I even dressed up as one for Halloween one year! When Emily shared in one of our early editorial meetings that we were staging an editorial in my hometown AND that it would be inspired by this historic institution, I was thrilled. Throughout the months of planning, we worked to create a modern representation of the colorful dresses and antebellum style the Maids are known for, and I have to say that our bride’s look — the skirt of an Amsale gown combined with a Heidi Elnora lace crop top — was just one of the places where all the pieces came together perfectly.

Shot at the historic Fort Conde Inn, we had so much fun working with fellow Alabama gals Invision Events to bring this sweet story to life!

Thank you so much to our dear friend Anna Shackleford for capturing these joyful photos! See the whole feature in Southern Weddings 10, on newsstands now and in the Southern Weddings Shop!

Happy launch day, y’all!!

My talented friend Brittany Massey made all my Southern girl hair and makeup dreams come true with our model’s fresh and feminine makeup, and our bride’s voluminous waves!

Y’all, when I say these bridesmaids’ dresses were a labor of love, I am not kidding. Emily and I worked for months to find just the perfect combination of color and style to represent the Trail Maids. We even had the darling Mary Kendall from Bella Bridesmaids Mobile bring two of these gowns just a few short hours before we started shooting!

We even had my own mama create a dress patch to honor the sisterhood of the Azalea Trail Maids. It might be one of my personal favorite details!

Y’all, it is legitimately not possible for our real-life husband and wife models to be any cuter! They were so much fun to work with and their love for each other is such a great addition to this feature.

I think bright and poppy florals that Laura from Marked created are such a happy addition to the neutral linens and gold detailing!

Y’all! These two. That dress. I can’t.

Want to see more of this beauty in print? You’re in luck! Our Tenth Anniversary issue is officially on newsstands today! We’ve packed this issue with real weddings from every corner of the South, beautiful love stories, Southern editorials, your favorite wedding vendors, practical wedding planning tips, and insightful marriage advice, and we hope you love her as much as we do! Head to your local bookstore or Target to find her on newsstands, or purchase your copy from the shop so you don’t have to hunt her down! We hope you love her as much as we do!

Planner and Stylist: Invision Events | Photographer: Anna Shackleford | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Venue: The Fort Conde Inn | Portrait Location: Bellingrath Gardens | Florals: Marked | Hair and Makeup: Hair and Makeup by BBM | Desserts: Elisabeth and Butter | Cake: Lush Cakery | Vintage Rentals: Southern Vintage | Chair Rentals: Crush Event Design | Table Linen: Party Tables Linen and Drapery | Custom Napkins and Wine Bag: The French Table | Paper Goods: Holly Hollon for Dixie Design | Croquet Set: Blue Eyed Yonder | Bride’s Gown: “Saylor” by Amsale | Bride’s Topper: “Chloe Crop Top Extended” by Heidi Elnora | Bridesmaid Dresses: “Maggie” in Scarlet Begonias and Summertime by Joanna August and “The Off the Shoulder Gown” in Fuchsia and Azalea by Natalie Deayala from Bella Bridesmaids Mobile | Gloves: David’s Bridal | Parasols: Luna Bazaar | Custom Parasol Painting: Momental Designs | Pearl Bracelets and Necklace: Kiel James Patrick | Pearl Earrings: BHLDN | Hat: ASOS | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Pocket Square: Kaye Hannabuss Textiles

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Shelby S. reply

    I love it! Can’t wait to pick up my copy of V10 this evening after work!!

  2. avatar Courtney reply

    It’s beyond magical! <3

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Have y’all heard?! Jess in our office is engaged!! We could NOT be more excited for her (like, really could not). The last few weeks have been about celebrating, but since she’s planning on a shorter engagement, I, the resident wedding planning guru in the office (!), am excited to get down to brass tacks with her soon!

Having a newly-engaged gal on our team has made us appreciate all over again anything that can simplify the wedding planning process. Enter: Zola, our favorite one-stop site that’s reinventing the wedding registry and planning experience!

From engagement, to your wedding, to decorating your first home, Zola is with you every step of the way. Here’s how:

Your Zola Weddings dashboard includes planning checklists, your wedding website, guest list management, and your registry, all in one easy-to-use place. Your checklist is custom-created based on your wedding date and the traditions you may want to include in honor of your religion or heritage. Of course, you can also add, remove, and edit tasks to best suit your needs.

In your guest list tab, you can add guests and all their information (imported from your contact list, by requesting info via a private link, or by entering it manually), specify what the inner and outer envelopes of your invitation should say, and then mark an invitation sent or not sent. Guests can then RSVP through your wedding website so you can track them in real time. No more penciling numbers onto the back of reply cards in case someone doesn’t fill out their name!

Creating a wedding website is SO helpful for your guests (we’d even call it a gesture of Southern hospitality!), and Zola Weddings makes it incredibly easy. Their 50+ templates are beautiful (and free!), the pages are customizable, and the entire thing is mobile-optimized.

We have to talk about Zola’s claim to fame: their online registry! With the ability to add gifts from over 500 top brands, like Waterford, Le Creuset, and KitchenAid, Zola is like your and your family’s favorite department store. BUT, unlike a department store, you can also register for experiences (like cooking classes, spa visits, and more), for newlywed staples like Blue Apron meals, and for cash funds for your honeymoon or a house down payment!

True to their reputation for amazing customer service, each couple who uses Zola Weddings will have access to a Zola advisor. This person will be able to answer any questions you may have as you use the system, and they’ll even walk your more technophobic guests through your registry!

Cheers to making the wedding planning process simple, so you can focus on what matters during your engagement. We hope you love this awesome service as much as we do!

This post is brought to you by Zola Weddings. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily

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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Bride Katie shares the details of her Texas Hill Country wedding!

We sure love to see a couple relaxing and soaking up their wedding day around here in the Southern Weddings office (just search #SWWeddingDayJoy on Instagram!), and Katie and Cameron just exude joy. Katie’s memories from their beautiful day go back to celebrating and not sweating the small stuff again and again. “We loved being out on the dance floor with our family and friends! Dancing is one of our favorite things in the whole world, so seeing all the faces of people we love around us jamming out and having a great time, was a memorable highlight!”

With that heart for hospitality, it should come as no surprise that Katie notes, “It was important to Cameron and me that our first act of marriage was serving others, so we served communion to our immediate family and wedding party.” This is such a beautiful reminder to look for ways to take the focus off yourself and serve your guests through your wedding. Those moments will likely become your favorite highlights!

And if you need another example for inspiration, I personally would feel very loved by their donut wall. (Friends planning weddings, please make this a trend!)

When did y’all get married? June 30, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My favorite detail from our wedding was our flowers. The Heirloom Table stole the show with stunning bouquets and table centerpieces, the most beautiful blooms, and touches of greenery. Mercedez was incredible to work with and she went above and beyond my expectations with her floral creations!

My favorite participant in the ceremony is our flower girl, Tre’yah. Tre’yah is a very close friend of ours that we met while we were at Texas A&M through Younglife Capernaum, a ministry whose target audience is people with special needs. She is 20 years old and has Down Syndrome. Tre’yah is full of joy, so sweet and caring, and has the best dance moves!

We had communion at our ceremony for everyone. It was important to Cameron and me that our first act of marriage was serving others, so we served communion to our immediate family and wedding party. Communion was also served to the wedding guests. It made the ceremony so intimate and beautiful. We loved sharing that moment with our friends and family.

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. My family lives in Fort Worth, and I teach kindergarten in San Antonio, so the highlight of finding my dress was that my mother and both of my grandmothers drove down to spend the day with me. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law were there too! It was unanimous, and my dress was the first one I tried on!

Cameron and I wrote our vows together. My favorite line in our vows is, “asking that you be no one other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know, praying that our marriage is a living testimony to God’s love and grace.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? I had always wanted to get married in the Texas Hill Country. Cameron and I did a lot of Googling and found Canyonwood Ridge (along with some other awesome venues in Dripping Springs). We booked it without even seeing it in person, because we both knew it was perfect for us and the wedding we had envisioned.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I used Etsy for all our signs and table numbers. There are so many calligraphy fonts to choose from! I was able to find exactly what I wanted, and it was so easy to use the templates to create simple, classic decorations.

Cameron and I both love the movie, “A Walk to Remember” (with Mandy Moore, who is apparently my celebrity look-alike). One of our favorite songs is from the movie called, “Only Hope.” Cameron likes to play it on the piano, and we listen to it a lot together. It’s a special song for us! I surprised him with it as I walked down the aisle. We had two musicians (piano and violin) with incredible voices and it was so beautiful. The look on his face was priceless! Our song walking back up was “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” by Natalie Cole because its such a happy song and we love singing and dancing to it in the car! Our first dance song was “Ain’t No Mountain.” Cameron and I love to dance, so we wanted something fun and upbeat. Our band made it so fun to dance to, and it helped set up the lively party atmosphere we wanted!

My wedding cake had three tiers! I chose wedding white with raspberry filling. It was simply iced with white buttercream and had some of our bright colorful flowers on it! Cameron doesn’t care for sweets, but he loves pies and donuts! We decided to do a donut wall with chocolate, glazed, strawberry, and vanilla donuts. It was so unique and fun. Plus, Cameron made both of the donut walls himself, so it was a great project for him leading up to the wedding!

What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was traditional and classic, the way a good Southern wedding should be! My favorite Southern detail was the Aggie War Hymn! In the middle of the dancing, it came on and all the Aggies circled up and sang and swayed and whooped. It was awesome and so memorable!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Cameron and I started out as friends, then became best friends, then flirty best friends, and then we fell in love.
Tell us all about the proposal! Cameron was about to start medical school and had started hinting to me about proposing…four years from then after he finished! I believed him, so when he got down on one knee, I was caught completely off guard. We had started planning a surprise birthday weekend for his dad in Fredericksburg, TX months before. Little did I know his dad knew about everything about it, and I was helping plan my own proposal. Before we met up with the family to kick off the weekend, Cameron suggested that we visit a winery. It was October 14th. Before we left, he asked if I wanted to walk down near the vines. I turned a corner and there was a huge oak tree strung with lights and pictures of us. He had made a rocking chair for me with our new monogram, and there was a huge bouquet of colorful flowers (which you’ll see later are my favorite)!! It was a picture-perfect proposal.
Did you decide to do a first look? Cameron and I are old souls and more traditional when it came to the first look. We chose not to do a first look, and I am so happy with our decision, because I will never forget the doors opening and seeing Cameron’s face when he first saw me!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I loved talking to our vendors and watching my vision slowly come to life! It was like a wedding puzzle that was being put together piece by piece! I also loved that Cameron had opinions about things and helped me make a lot of the decisions.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? For me, the hardest part of wedding planning was delegating the work. I had so many resources and people there who wanted to help me! In the end, I learned to ask for help when I needed it and to not try to do everything by myself.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff! All those tiny details you’re worrying about and obsessing over? No one notices! Save yourself the stress and enjoy the planning process. At the end of the day, you’re marrying your best friend and you won’t remember how the table numbers looked or what kind of pen was used for the guestbook.

Photographer: Hannah Mayson | Videographer: byDesign Films | Wedding Coordinator: Stephanie Middleton at Canyonwood Ridge | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Canyonwood Ridge | Florist:  The Heirloom Table | Wedding Cake Baker: Sweet Treets Bakery | Caterer: Austin Catering | Band: Icehouse Band | Paper Products: Tag and Company | Bride’s Gown: “Style MD205” by Eddy K Milano from Bridal Galleria of Texas | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Lola Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Louise” Tulle Skirt in “Sea Glass” and “Cleo” Top in “Harbor Mist” by BHLDN | Menswear: The Black Tux | Bar: Bar Divas of Austin

Written with love by Catherine
1 Comment
  1. avatar Zookbinders reply

    Beautiful wedding. Gown is perfection! The bride looks perfectly stunning. Great photography


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: