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Today’s couple’s story is a little different from most of the brides and grooms who grace Southern Weddings! Jeremy proposed spontaneously in Vegas, and he and Ashley were married in a chic, casual elopement ceremony the very next day. While their whirlwind 36-hour engagement was perfectly them, they were excited to share their joy with family and friends, too. A year and a half after their first wedding in Vegas, these wedding industry cuties were pronounced “still married” at a beautiful Virginia barn.

Thanks so much to Justin & Mary for sharing Ashley and Jeremy’s wedding day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! It was about 3 a.m. at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant inside the MGM Grand during the 2012 WPPI, a photographer’s conference (I am a wedding photographer and Jeremy is a wedding cinematographer). Through a crazy turn of events, Jeremy decided that he was going to propose to me as soon as I returned to the table. He borrowed a sterling silver ring from a friend, got down on one knee to the shrieks of our friends, and asked me to marry him! We were engaged and married within 36 hours in the most amazing elopement ceremony EVER! You can see our elopement film here and the images here. It was a complete whirlwind but SO us.

Even though our wedding was in the fall, I wanted pastels, pastels, and more pastels! I wanted our florals to feel lush, inviting, soft, romantic, and pretty, with a touch of glam. Rachel, our florist, did an absolutely amazing job with every single piece throughout the day. She even created a little flower collar for our dog to wear down the aisle! My favorites were the huge succulents and giant dahlias that she found and incorporated throughout the wedding!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Of course! There were several reasons we chose to do a first look. One, of course, being a wedding photographer myself, I knew the value of having that extra time on the wedding day for portraits, which were so important to us. We did not have the weather on our side on our wedding day, and if we hadn’t done a first look, all of our portraits would have been in the rain. I’ve also had the privilege of seeing so many couples have a first look, and the emotions and love that comes from them cemented my desire to have one. Jeremy is my best friend and all I wanted to do was see him and hang out before the ceremony!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did! In my vows, I spoke about the book “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” and how, in that book, the ultimate answer to everything in the universe is the number 42. Through some strange coincidences, that number in particular is very meaningful to us, and I expressed to Jeremy that I was so thankful that “the ultimate answer to everything in my universe was you.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our ceremony was short and sweet. We had one of our great friends, Dave, officiate for us, so it was amazing hearing him tell the story of how we met, offer some advice, and pronounce us “still married.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our food was most decidedly Southern–we wanted upscale, small-plated Southern tapas, and Jodi with Sweetwater more than delivered! We had an entire biscuit bar with homemade jams and jellies, mini mac n’ cheese, mini pot pies, mini grilled cheese paninis with tomato soup, butter beans with cornbread, mini shrimp po’boys…my mouth waters just thinking about it! So many people told us the food was the best they had had at any wedding. Our venue was also so beautifully Southern–a gorgeous home that dated back to the 1800s, tucked away in a tiny Virginia town. I also think our decision to keep the wedding as intimate as possible was Southern too–growing up, we had backyard BBQs and pool parties and were always surrounded by a close knit group of friends and family. I wanted to keep that same feeling alive by not “meeting” anyone at my wedding for the first time!

When we started planning our wedding, I wrote down in my notebook that my dream venue would be a barn with chandeliers. I stumbled across Silverbrook, immediately emailed and spoke to Dot, the owner, and when she said the chandeliers were part of the barn, I couldn’t arrange a site visit fast enough! We chose the venue based on the location and vibe, but we never expected to fall as in love with Dot as much as we did–she was such an amazing part of our day.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had an entire table of Southern dessert favorites! My daddy made his famous banana pudding, which was served in tiny flip-top mason jars. Our incredible caterer, Jodi, put together hand pies on sticks (the chocolate ones were to die for!), miniature Coke floats, and mason jar strawberry shortcakes. We went this direction in lieu of a traditional cake and it was so much fun letting everyone pick their favorites (or try them all!).

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met about eight years ago when I bought car parts from Jeremy and he installed them on my car. Romantic, right? We are both big car nerds and happened to have the same type of car at that time. It wasn’t until about three years later that we saw each other again when a group of our mutual friends organized a snowboarding trip. We annoyed all of our friends by staying up late and talking while everyone else was trying to sleep. It was pretty much “game over” after that!
When did y’all get married? The first time, February 22, 2012. This time, October 12, 2013!
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted this particular Vera dress from the minute I saw it. My only fear was that it wasn’t going to fit me right, so as soon as we picked a date for the wedding, I ran to the store and tried it on. To my absolute relief, it was exactly what I had imagined! With a few tweaks (I added a sweetheart neckline), it was my dream wedding dress. I also picked out a fun BHLDN dress for the reception so that I could show off my favorite accessory, my sparkly gold Kate Spade shoes!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Music is a huge part of our lives, so our music choices were very deliberate! The song I walked down the aisle to was “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros, and we walked back up the aisle to American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life.” Our first dance song was Bright Eyes’ “First Day of My Life,” and the rest of our playlist consisted of super fun old-school songs that kept everyone on the dance floor all night long!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the overall combination of the items we chose to include in each part of the day–each choice was made with the intention to not only describe us and our relationship, but to provide a fun, Southern party for all of our best friends to come together at. I think one of the detail highlights was Jeremy’s signature drink–a “pickleback,” which is whiskey and pickle juice. Everyone was scared at first, but by the end of the night, everyone was requesting how to make them, and it was so fun seeing everyone cheers-ing with their newfound favorite drink.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The weather! I know that being in the wedding industry, I should know better than to get upset over the weather, but we had a freak nor’easter roll through Virginia the week of our wedding and it would NOT stop raining. I tried very hard to “let go” during the week, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit helpless. However, when the rehearsal rolled around and I was surrounded by my friends and family, I realized it truly did not matter in the least what the weather brought–everything was going to be perfect no matter what. And truthfully, the overcast skies and the foggy mountains made our wedding absolutely magical.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I couldn’t pick just one! Our vendors were amazing and we chose them not only because of their talents, but because of who they are as people. They not only did their jobs, they treated us like family every step of the way, and when we looked around on the wedding night, it made us so happy to see them dancing and enjoying themselves just as much as we did. We had the best team of vendors ever!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There was a point when Jeremy and I were looking around and we realized that even though we had invited lots of family and friends from all different parts of our lives, there was absolutely no sign that these people hadn’t known each other for more than two hours. All of our friends, from all over the country, from all different parts of our story, were dancing, laughing, and cheers-ing together. That was by far my favorite memory–seeing all of our favorite people meet and become friends with all of our other favorite people!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? As hard as it is, and as cliche as it is, at some point you have to let go and know that your marriage is far more important than your wedding. There are going to be things that are out of your control, but what is in your control is how you react, and how you communicate with your soon-to-be hubby in the face of a stressful situation. Know that in your heart, you are marrying someone amazing, and at the end of the day, that is what matters. I promise, everything will fall into place just as it should. You will look back and see the things that went “wrong” as sweet memories that made the day all the better. It will all be okay!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Married life has been incredible!! We are just looking forward to continuing to build our life together, hand in hand, side by side. He’s my best friend and he saves me in the smallest of ways, every day. I can never truly show him how much I love him, but I darn well am going to try! Oh, and hopefully purchasing our first home together soon–we can’t wait!

Photographer: Justin & Mary Photography / Videographer: Josh Gooden / Planner: Antonia Christianson Events / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Silverbrook Farm / Florist: Floral and Bloom / Dessert Baker and Caterer: Sweetwater Cuisine / DJ: Amanda pearl of Fat Cat Productions / Photo Booth: Liz & Ryan / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang “White” / Paper Products: PaperDolls Design / Hair Stylist: Ian McCabe / Makeup Artist: Sarah Rillon / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Levi Denim, J.Crew Shirt, Forever 21 Blazer, Etsy Bow Tie, and Aldo Shoes / Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew Shirt, Levi Denim, and H&M Shoes / Chalkboards, place cards, and window panes: Coastal Calligraphy and Design

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Ashley Mitchell reply

    Ahhhh! What an amazing honor and treat to see our wedding grace the “pages” of Southern Weddings this morning!!! We are so stinking excited!!! Thank you so much!!

  2. avatar Emilia Jane reply

    AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! Love you two and I just can’t get enough of your wedding photos :-D <3

  3. avatar Suzy VanDyke reply

    Justin and Mary are amazing photographers, and Ashley & Jeremy are a wonderful couple! I love this wedding!

  4. avatar Liz and Ryan reply

    Ahhh! We just love reliving Ashley and Jeremy’s special day! ;) (x2) So gorgeous! And so perfect! Love you A&J! Ohh and of course AMAZING photographs J&M!!! ;) Love all around! ;)

  5. avatar Rustic wedding inspiration | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

    […] Weddings Virginia Wedding by Justin & Mary By Justin & Mary […]

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Louise’s wedding gown (above)–and so did we! See hers and Billy’s wedding here. Ashley and Jeremy were pronounced “still married” at their sparkly barn wedding. Lauren and Cole‘s […]

  7. avatar Virginia Wedding Film by Josh Gooden – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] who declared Ashley and Jeremy the cutest couple ever after reading their story and admiring their sparkly barn wedding this week! That notion was only reinforced when Josh Gooden sent over their wedding video, which […]

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:

Bridesmaid dress shopping is generally not the easiest part of wedding dress shopping. In fact, I’ve written previously about how challenging the search was for my own wedding! I love hearing about anything that makes the process easier, which is why I’m delighted to introduce you to Little Borrowed Dress – bridesmaid dresses you can rent, for a surprisingly affordable price!

Little Borrowed Dress offers an easy solution to finding a stylish, affordable dress for your bridesmaids. And yes, we really do mean affordable — most short styles are $50 to rent, and most long dresses are $75. The dresses are also available for purchase, if your bridesmaids prefer, and those prices are great, too! (Generally $150 to $185.) If you’d like your bridal party to wear a long gown, I think LBD is an especially great option, because most long styles tend to be a minimum of $250, and even if your gals like the dress, they probably won’t have too many other opportunities to wear it. (If only we got to get gussied up and go somewhere fancy every day!)

Little Borrowed Dress offers 12 lovely styles in 18 colors (and you can order three free fabric swatches!). Every dress is made in New York, which helps keep the quality high. We also love that LBD shows women of all shapes and sizes modeling their dresses on their website, giving you a more accurate idea of what the dresses might look like on your gals. They even have options for pregnant friends! Here are a few of our favorites:

Wondering how it works? Once you’ve made your color and style decisions, place your rental reservation online. Your dresses will arrive two weeks before the wedding ready to wear, and they even include a second size with every rental just in case! Post-wedding, drop them in the mail in pre-paid packaging, and LBD will take care of the rest.

Lucky for us, Little Borrowed Dress is offering up a goodness gracious giveaway! To enter for the chance to outfit up to four bridesmaids for free, just take a peek at all of the dress styles on Little Borrowed Dress and leave a comment here telling us which is your favorite before March 31. One winner will be picked at random on April 1! For full terms and conditions, see here.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Rachel reply

    Love the Madison dress!

  2. avatar Nicki reply

    I like the Olivia !

  3. avatar Victoria reply

    I love the Emma style!!

  4. avatar Chelsea Smith reply

    I absolutely LOVE the Little Borrowed Dresses, and I would love even more for my maids to wear them!

  5. avatar Chelsea Smith reply

    Whoops! My favorite is the Emma!

  6. avatar C.H. reply

    I’d love to put my girls in any one of the long dresses. The Catherine is classic!

  7. avatar Danielle OMalley reply

    My favorite style is Jane!

  8. avatar Vickey Tsai reply

    I love Ann and Olivia styles – I want my bridesmaids to wear something with a strap so that they’ll be comfortable all day and not feel like they need to tug or pull on their falling strapless dresses. The Ann and Olivia are both classic and beautiful designs with pleating around the waistline that allows for movement to hide any full bellies :)

  9. avatar Amanda reply

    If I have to choose one, I think Jane is my favorite. However, I really like the idea of letting my bridesmaids choose which style they like after I’ve chosen the color (probably skipper).

  10. avatar jennifer reply

    I like the Madison.

  11. avatar Hilari reply

    The “Kate” and “Emma” dresses are my favorite! What a fabulous idea!!

  12. avatar Cydney S. reply

    I love the Jane dress in Sea Glass!

  13. avatar Danielle Michels reply

    I just ordered some swatches from LBD! So glad y’all are doing this giveaway!

    I love the Madison style since it’s flattering for almost every shape!

  14. avatar Samantha reply

    I’m in LOVE with the Emma dress!!

  15. avatar Logan B. reply

    Short dresses with straps are definitely my favorite — they’re so versatile and are sure to look great on any bridesmaid!

  16. avatar Kelly reply

    Love the Kate style!

  17. avatar Mykl reply

    I loveeeee the Cheryl! Love it in the mint color especially:)

  18. avatar Bianca reply

    I love the Jane!

  19. avatar Jordan Troublefield reply

    Oh what a great idea it is to rent!
    Loving the Hillary in the butter yellow color!

  20. avatar Laura Beth Mullins reply

    I love the Jane dress in Skipper! I would love for my bridesmaids to wear this dress!

  21. avatar Alison reply

    I love the Catherine and Jane dresses! My ‘maids would look stunning in them!!

  22. avatar Sara reply

    I would let my girls choose the style best suited for them and I would pick the color — cream. I love the Olivia as a rehearsal dinner option for myself though!

  23. avatar Elizabeth Cox reply

    Loooooving the Olivia style! It would compliment our bride’s dress beautifully! :)

  24. avatar Jessica Walker reply

    I love the Ann style dress in mint! It’s just what I’m looking for my bridesmaids to wear in our winter wedding!

  25. avatar Olivia Foster reply

    I absolutely love the Ann dress one shoulder dresses are my soft spot :) But I have fallen equally in love with the Olivia (I love the name

  26. avatar Leah Barber reply

    My favorite style is the Madison. It’s perfect!

  27. avatar Christine Schultz reply

    I love the Hillary dress!

  28. avatar Lauren reply

    I love the Kate! LBD is such a great idea.

  29. avatar Kristin Jolly reply

    My favorite dress style from little borrowed dress is definitely the long sweetheart neckline dress. So elegant and classic.

  30. avatar Mallary reply

    I love bridesmaids in mismatched styles. All the same color, just a different dress for each individual bridesmaid.

  31. avatar Kim reply

    Love the Jane in Sage!

  32. avatar Sadie Schureck reply

    What a wonderful concept! Long, mismatched styles in Slate would be a great way for each bridesmaid to choose what she feels most comfortable wearing!

  33. avatar Nicole reply

    LOVE the long dress that is green in the picture, but I would prefer it in blush coloring!

  34. avatar Angela reply

    I love the Catherine dress! My girls would look great in this one-shouldered look! :) It would be so amazing to win a drawing like this– thanks for the opportunity!

  35. avatar Veronica V reply

    My favorite styles are the Hillary and the Mia. I like these because they are perfect for a beach wedding.

  36. avatar Elisha Dudley reply

    I like the Jane!

  37. avatar Alyssa Thiele reply

    I love the Jane! It has the vintage, romantic look that I am looking for and would flatter all body types.

  38. avatar Melody Chapman reply

    My favorite is the Madison style. I love how flowy it is at the bottom and the criss-cross top would flatter everyone!

  39. avatar Amanda Gardner reply

    I LOVE the Jane dress! It is exactly the style I have in mind for my wedding!

  40. avatar Emily Zorn reply

    I love the Grace and Jane styles! Classic :)

  41. avatar Meredith reply

    I love the Ann in Papaya. That color is so pretty!

  42. avatar Kayla reply

    I love the Catherine dress. It is a flattering style and would look great on anyone!

  43. avatar Mary reply

    Oooh, the Catherine has been a favorite of mine for a long time! Whether I win this wonderful contest or not, we’re still using LBD for my June wedding. :)

  44. avatar Camry reply

    Jane :) So pretty and flowy

  45. avatar Jena reply

    I love the Jane! Would really love for my girls to wear them to my beach wedding!!

  46. avatar Elisabeth reply

    This is such a great idea, thanks for introducing me to the site. I loved the Kate most of all! I ordered some color swatches from them just now :)

  47. avatar Kira reply

    I love the Jane! Crossing my fingers!!

  48. avatar Allyssia reply

    Hillary has to be my favorite style but same color different style is still a possibility.

  49. avatar mmhines reply

    What a great idea – I have been having a hard time coming up with suggestions for my bmaids because they all live in different states, so renting could be a killer option for them. I LOVE the Ann style!

  50. avatar Ruth Carmon reply

    My favorite style for bridesmaids is the Hillary and for the maid of honor the Grace

  51. avatar Britni reply

    Heard about LBD a few weeks ago and kicking myself for not thinking of this idea first :) For my wedding, I would like the girls in long dresses so I’m gravitating towards Madison as the fave – but I’m all for the (controlled) mix-matched styles!

  52. avatar Shannon reply

    Olivia is my favorite, this would be SO COOL to win!

  53. avatar Laurel reply

    Madison & Ann are my favorites :)

  54. avatar Megan reply


  55. avatar Anna reply

    I REALLY like the style “Ann”, especially in Plum. I mean how could I not like that style, with an awesome name like Ann? ;)

  56. avatar Brittany Lau reply

    I love leigh and Cheryl

  57. avatar Christina C reply

    I love the Catherine Dress

  58. avatar Christina C reply

    forgot to include the link!

  59. avatar Tabitha reply

    I’ve been planning on getting my bridesmaid dresses from Little Borrowed Dress, because the styles are so cute but won’t break the bank (important for kids fresh out of school). My favorite style is the Emma- I really love that gathered neckline!

  60. avatar Kacey Capps reply

    My favorite dresses are Catherine! I also love Hillary!

  61. avatar Meghan reply

    Kate is my favorite and it will flatter all body types!

  62. avatar Caitlyn Kryston reply

    I love the Catherine or Emma. What a great idea!

  63. avatar Cherin reply

    Its a touch decision but I would put my bridesmaid in the Mai in Papaya and my Matron of honor in the Mia in but in Blush or Peach. Not sure which so I just ordered the 3 free swatches. Fingers crossed

  64. avatar Kari reply

    Love the Madison!

  65. avatar Jenna reply

    I love them all! But the Emma in Sea Glass is my favorite :)

  66. avatar Amanda Gardner reply

    I love the Jane! It is exactly what I have been imagining for my wedding, and powder blue is the PERFECT color.

  67. avatar Amanda reply

    I love Jane! I forgot to link the website earlier. :) I just adore this dress!

  68. avatar Kathleen Q. reply

    I love love LOVE the Catherine dress in Blush! This dress would beautifully compliment my girls, who are all different sizes! I hope I win :)

  69. avatar Tricia reply

    The Jane is the exact style I have been looking for. The perfect dress to belt and it can be rented! How have I never heard of this?

  70. avatar Lindsay Kerins reply

    I love the Emma I feel like it could be really flattering on any figure!

  71. avatar Monica reply

    I love the dress Hilary! Too cute!!!

  72. avatar Sarah E. reply

    I love the Madison in Steel. I like that my bridesmaids could mix and match styles and still go together perfectly.

  73. avatar Heather R reply

    I think my favorite is the Madison, but I also really like Olivia, Catherine….ok, most of the dresses haha

  74. avatar Gabby P reply

    I Love the Hillary style!

  75. avatar Katie reply

    Love the long flowing style! This would be a great fit for my full chested girls and still flatter my not-so-full chested maids ;)

  76. avatar Melissa Kay reply

    Oh m goodness, I have never heard of the opportunity to rent bridesmaids dresses and found it so unfair since groomsmen can easily borrow a tux the day of.

    The Catherine style would look fantastic on my bridesmaids; even if I don’t win I’m directing these lovely ladies to this website.

    My colors are purple so Iris and Plum alternating coloring would be stunning.

    Thanks for this giveaway!

  77. avatar Katrina Holloway reply

    Kate in Sage would be perfect for my maid of honor. She’s really busty and has an olive skin tone. The back up size offer is so cool since she has problems finding a correct size for her chest. :) <3

  78. avatar Olivia S. reply

    So lovely! My itty bitty bridesmaids would look like little princesses in the blush colored floor length Ann design.

  79. avatar Kathleen K reply

    Wow! These seem so high quality and renting is a really cool option.

    Eeeeeeh! The Leight is totally amazing.

    Maybe in sea glass?

  80. avatar ShaRi reply

    Madison, Jane, or Ann are my favorites. I feel no matter what time or season these are timeless and elegant and fit all body types.

  81. avatar Janelle reply

    The Cheryl is a fantastic look! :)

  82. avatar Claudia reply

    The Olivia dress is fabulous!

  83. avatar Amber reply

    I love the “Madison,” which was surprising because I typically go for short dresses! They are all wonderful.

  84. avatar Carol reply

    I love the Jane style. So pretty!

  85. avatar Latoya smith reply

    Short dresses

  86. avatar Latoya cherry reply


  87. avatar Harrelle Porter reply

    Dear Little Borrowed Dress,

    I am in love with “Jane!” She is a beauty and would love for my bridesmaids to be able to walk down the aisle in this flattering piece. This dress will fit any figure which makes it very versatile which is a very important.

    You can find Ms. “Jane” below:

    Yours truly,
    Harrelle Porter future Mrs. Thompson

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:

The team at Mariée Ami is amazing at crafting timeless Southern weddings, so it’s no surprise that when one of their own talented planners said “I do,” the celebration was one to be remembered! At their summer Alabama wedding, Louise and Billy combined their classic style with details that reflected their personalities, like Louise’s lace gown with a fabulous orchid hairpiece, a welcome bag featuring a special gift for guests’ dogs, and even their intricate monogram with bright stadium cups. The end result was an undeniably elegant wedding that was still full of personality!

We’re so grateful to A Bryan Photo for capturing Louise and Billy’s wedding day and sharing it with us in V6!

I love wedding dresses and think you can really tell a lot about a girl and the wedding she wants by the dress she picks out. I see girls every weekend in dresses that I think are beautiful, but it was hard for me to imagine myself in any of my brides’ dresses. I have worn several wedding dresses in the past during debutante balls, so I wanted something more bridal: lace and straight lined. The Lela Rose “Spring” dress was exactly what I wanted. It was the first dress I tried on during my trip to Ivory and White and nothing after that measured up! It was the hardest thing to keep from my nosey groom.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I wanted something a little different. It was going to be a black-tie wedding, so they needed to be long. I played with the idea of doing a pattern, but never really found anything I liked enough. Amsale has beautiful long dresses, so I decided to go with their line. To make it different, I decided to split up the bridesmaids into to three different colors (five in dove, five in graphite, five in French blue).
What did the groomsmen wear? Tuxes with white dinner jackets–white dinner jackets are a Southern thing!

Who participated in your ceremony? I had a huge wedding party, so all of our closest friends were a part of the ceremony. My two cousins, who have always been like sisters to me, read scripture. Since my boss/wedding planner is one of my dearest friends, she carried my dress until I walked down the aisle.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Seeing Billy’s smile at the end of the aisle when he saw me for the first time!

There was no question as to where we were getting married. I love my hometown, Mobile, Alabama, and my parents would not have had it any other way. We chose to get married in August for a few reasons: we did not want a long engagement, a wedding during football season was out of the question, and it was the only open weekend I had as a wedding planner. I was worried about the heat in Mobile in August, so we chose an indoor venue, rather than the outdoor bay wedding I had always dreamed of. Ft. Whiting was the largest indoor venue we could find, and I knew we could accomplish exactly what we wanted in the big, open space.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We love the water and always dreamed of being married in a large tent overlooking the water. While the outdoors was out of the question, a tent was still something I wanted. I knew I wanted navy as the basis of the wedding. I love a mix of garden-inspired design and modern pieces, the crispness of true white, and the preppy touches of boxwoods and ribbon.

When it came to the details, my mind was going 100 miles a minute. My favorites were all the little gifts and favors we had. The hypercolor cups for cocktails once the party got started and the linen cocktail napkins used at the bars were two of my favorite reception details. The hotel gifts also really came together well– we wanted to incorporate my dog into the details, so we had a local artist do a sketch. We used this sketch on canvas bags for the hotel guests, and included frisbees that could be taken home by fellow dog lovers, koozies, and a guest favorite, monogrammed playing cards.

My wedding cake design inspiration actually came very early on in the planning. I wanted a more modern design that still had a classic look. We opted for the design to be in sage green with calla lilies used sparingly on each layer. The groom’s cake was a chocolate fly fishing basket that celebrated Billy’s love for fishing. My favorite part about the cakes was the area in which they were displayed. We had a beautiful lattice designed covered in greenery as a backdrop. Green boxwood walls enclosing the cake area made it feel like an English garden.

Tell us a bit about your first dance. Billy has always been a great dancer, so our first dance was fun! We chose “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green and loved seeing the guests smile and clap as we spun around the dance floor.

Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? Both of our cakes were served on large silver trays that have been in my family for years. The tablecloths for the cake table were also family heirlooms that mean a lot to my family. I was given a toasting cup from my grandmother that both she and my mother used at their wedding receptions.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Our best friends, who are now married as well, set us up. They love reminding us how much we should thank them!
Describe the proposal: I have always loved the water and Mobile Bay. Billy proposed on Mobile Bay on a rainy day in March with our dog, Mae.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Well-planned, gorgeous, and perfect!!!
How many guests attended your wedding? 500
Briefly describe your wedding flowers: The flowers were green and white with a dusty gray. Very free-flowing, like a French garden. I love that flowers today have taken a more natural and unique look. White peonies and garden roses made up most of my bouquet. Since I was going for a touch of whimsy, beautiful ivory, taupe and white satin ribbons hung from my bouquet. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias. For boutonnieres, something simple and small was my only wish. Anything too large seems to stick out on a white dinner jacket.
Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? The entire party was like a huge cocktail party. Two signature drinks were served: sweet tea and vodka slushies as guests walked in and the famous Mobile Crisy vodka milkshake at the end.
What kind of food did you serve? My guests love good food, but they also love to talk and drink. We had three huge square tables in the middle of the reception that allowed for guests to pick and eat directly from the tables. There were oyster, shrimp, tuna, hot sausage with melted cheese, a variety of salads, and antipasti presentations. We couldn’t end the night without the groom’s favorite thing: mini fried chicken pieces on Sister Schubert rolls and beignets covered in powdered sugar!
What were some of the highlights of the reception? The band was incredible. We love hiring the Atlanta Showstopper for other brides and think they are truly the best. Every guest was on dance floor, having the times of their life. Even our three-year-old, music-loving nephew had to be dragged off the dance floor.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? I did toss the bouquet. I had the florist make six small bouquets that I could hold as one. When I went to throw the bouquet, it split into six so that more than one girl could soon have their dream wedding.
Tell us about your grand exit. Billy and I decided to change out of our wedding attire. We went with a classic look. I wore a fitted, short white dress with just enough flare. Billy wore a blue tweed blazer and slacks. We ran past our guests, who were holding sparkers, and jumped into a black town car that whisked us away. Firework rockets shot off every couple of feet as the car drove away. It was a perfect ending to a perfect night.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We took a week-long vacation to Jade Mountain in St. Lucia! It was amazing and the perfect time to relax and talk about everything that had transpired in the previous two weeks: I got my cast off, Billy took the bar, and we had the most incredible weekend with family and friends that we could have asked for.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are excited about getting settled into our home together with our dog, Mae, and getting into a routine of a working couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Hire a wedding planner and do things differently than you see all the time. Even though I’m a wedding planner by day, I did not do one thing from Wednesday on. While I had my team doing what they do every weekend, it was so nice to be the bride and let someone else handle the details!

Photographer: Bryan Johnson of A Bryan Photo / Videographer: A Bryan Photo / Planning, design, linens and paper goods: Mariée Ami / Ceremony venue: Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral / Reception venue: Fort Whiting / Ceremony florist: Zimlich Bros / Reception and personal florist: Buffy Hargett / Catering: Clifton Morrissette / Cake: Barb’s Cakes / Bride’s gown: “Spring” by Lela Rose / Bridal salon and veil: Ivory and White / Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid dresses: Amsale in French Blue, Graphite, and Dove / Hair stylist: Greg Andrews / Makeup: Ashley Mitchell / Calligraphy: Jan Pruitt / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Bar paintings: Liz Legg Designs / Lighting: AG Lighting / Band: Atlanta Showstoppers

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Liza B reply

    Do you know who did their custom wedding monogram?

  2. avatar lena reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  3. avatar Leon Bailey reply

    Classic is definitely the word for this wedding. Love the design of their cake. :) Beautiful photography!

  4. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] for Louise’s wedding gown (above)–and so did we! See hers and Billy’s wedding here. Ashley and Jeremy were pronounced “still married” at their sparkly barn wedding. […]

  5. avatar Taylor W reply

    Beautiful wedding! Would love to know who did the monogram and where they got their koozies from.


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Welcome back to our newest “real bride” series, Mere Found Her Beau! If you missed last week’s post, you can meet Meredith and her fiance right here. Today, she’s back to tell us about where they’re getting married and how they chose their venues! – Emily

Our families are getting so excited about my and Beau’s special day in one of our most favorite places, and I’m excited to share the details with you all! Being in a long distance relationship and traveling back and forth between states, Florida has always been the one constant place for us. We’ve spent many happy summer weeks there with family, filled with stillness, rest, and relaxation. When it came time to chose a wedding location, Beau and I didn’t hesitate for a moment: Rosemary Beach, Florida, hands down. Well, that was our dream, of course, but lots of things had to fall into place before it could become our reality. Let’s rewind a bit, shall we?

In the summer of 2010, and Beau and I decided to go on an after dinner walk through the town of Rosemary Beach. We already knew it as a dream-like fairytale during the day, but we fell even more in love with it that night. I can remember the two of us strolling past the Eastern Green, holding hands, and allowing our hearts to dream big “what-ifs” as we discussed the possibility and hope of a future wedding:

“Ooh! What if we were married right here on this lawn? What if we had a reception out here? Oooh, yes. An outdoor reception. With twinkly lights! I love twinkly lights!” We were getting a little carried away… or maybe I was. Oh, who cares who it was :) All we knew was our hearts shared a love for a little town at the east end of 30A, and an even deeper love for one another.

Dear Wesleyann

I know I’m making this sound like we made a snappy decision, made one quick call, and BOOM: our venue search was done. That would have been lovely, but it’s not exactly how things played out. Wanting to view and discuss a few things in person before we made any final decisions, my mother and I quickly arranged a (whirlwind) weekend, made a list of our favorite venues, and flew down to Florida to continue the search for our perfect venue.

Our first visit was with Alys Beach. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe Alys’ atmosphere… let’s go with dazzling. From the moment we met with our wedding specialist on their grounds, we were wowed as they offered us coffee, escorted us around in a futuristic white golf cart, and kindly showed us each of the available venues in their area. Based on our tour of the town, we knew a few things:

– Alys is beyond beautiful. I mean, there was a glistening sunset reflecting off the ocean in the distance just over two of their perfectly-trimmed greens (that detail alone – gracious!).
– The soft feel of the town, and the all white architecture, would have fit my wedding style perfectly.
– There was a pretty hefty minimum on weekly rentals that had to be met in order to book a green on their grounds. Since our date is during “busy season,” prices seemed to be even higher than we had imagined (not easy on a budget).
– Beau and I are getting married in July. Florida’s summer heat and humidity are not very forgiving, and without any air conditioned option, it was hard to imagine Alys as the location for our wedding and reception.

Lauren Kinsey

All three (main) greens were super lovely, but by the end of the tour, my mom and I had decided that they would visually be a great fit for our wedding, but not practically, so with that, we zoomed off to the next venue.

The second place we viewed was good ole Rosemary (we’re on a first name basis these days). Obviously, I was going in already loving this venue. When my mom and I arrived at our meeting, we were given a key to view the Town Hall and a highlighted map to view the available greens. In our previous research, we had learned that the Eastern Green was no longer available to summer brides due to wear-and-tear from the “busy season.” This was upsetting for about all of three seconds, before it clicked (again) that we were getting married in July (hot!). With that in mind, we headed to view the St. Augustine Green first, and the Town Hall second. Both were even lovelier than we remembered, but had pros and cons that we needed to reason through:

– St. Augustine Green would allow me to fulfill my dream of an outdoor, tented reception, whereas The Town Hall would provide a lovely air-conditioned venue, as well as a small courtyard to the side for something fun… say, twinkly lights, perhaps? :)
– Rosemary’s venues had the light, white architecture and feel that would nicely accentuate my wedding style, just like Alys.
– St. Augustine Green had an area to its left that was under construction, but we were assured that it had not been an issue for brides in the past and was easily blocked off by event décor, tents, etc.
– The Town Hall was quaint and lovely, but could possibly to be a little snug inside or outside during the reception with our guest count.
– Rosemary Beach had a rental requirement number higher than any of the other venues we looked at.

Lauren Kinsey

My mother and I knew two things when leaving Rosemary Beach: we were not certain that the suggested décor to hide the construction would be a style we would love, and we still felt uneasy about our guests being outside for the entire night without any indoor option. With these things in mind, we were able to cross off the St. Augustine Green, and head to our third visit: Carillon, or “the village by the sea”.

I hate to admit this, but since Carillon was more of a “spur of the moment” visit, my mother and I took our final tour into our own hands (making it more of a “trespassing browse” of Carillon, rather than a tour). As we moseyed down the main street, we began to realize how sweet this town was, complete with soft colors and a warm elegance – truly a village by the sea! Eventually, we stumbled upon the Carillon wedding chapel and green, and immediately ooh’d and ahh’d over how darling they were. The back wall of the building was mostly glass, opening up to the dune lake that sits in the middle of Carillon — very romantic. I could have easily pictured my wedding in this venue: cute and quaint, with many possible areas for those twinkle lights I envisioned. The only problem: size. Carillon was definitely too small for our guest count, an unfortunate problem that is difficult to wiggle your way out of. We quickly crossed it off our list.

Vue Photography via Southern Weddings

After many meetings, tours (and “tours”), and long chats over warm cups of coffee, we made a decision: we would be married at our dream venue, Rosemary Beach! My indecisive heart had officially found peace. Although my initial vision included a large, tented, outdoor ceremony and reception on a green, when considering all of the factors (most importantly heat!), providing adequate comfort for our traveling guests was of much greater importance to Beau and I than aesthetics. On July 11, 2014, I will be marrying my beau in the Rosemary Beach Town Hall, and I could not picture a more perfect location to choose forever with my best friend!

Where are y’all getting married? Have you ever visited this part of Florida? I’d love to hear!

Missed a post? Check them all out here:
An Introduction + Proposal

Dear Wesleyann is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Emily reply

    My husband and I got married at Eden Gardens along Hwy 98 and on the bay side. It was an awesome outdoor venue. BEAUTIFUL in pictures. I’d recommend for anyone considering a 30A wedding.

  2. avatar Kelsey reply

    I’m not a Southern bride (although I certainly wish I was!) but my fiancé and I are getting married one day after Meredith & Beau! Fun fact :) Congratulations, Meredith! It looks like such a beautiful place!

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    I’ve only ever driven through a little part of Florida on my way to NC from Texas, but these venue pictures have me anxious to take a real trip there! Rosemary Beach looks beautiful and oh-so-perfect for Meredith and Beau!

  4. avatar Rachel reply

    A seriously beautiful wedding venue!

  5. avatar Samantha reply

    I live in Panama City, FL. We go to the Rosemary Beach area quite often, it’s so beautiful!

  6. avatar Kristyn Monaghan reply

    Rosemary Beach is one of my favorite places! Perfect for a wedding! I hope it’s everything you imagined and more!

  7. avatar Leon Bailey reply

    Will have to take a trip to visit this venue as it is in Florida. It’s incredibly beautiful! :)

  8. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] of 32–vote for your favorite Southern delicacies here. Meredith shared the story behind her wedding venue search. Emily outlined some super helpful tips for creating a wedding day timeline. We love real […]

  9. avatar KHBride reply

    I love the Jane dress! Wonderful idea!

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Fair warning, y’all–today’s couple is really cute. I loved reading Lauren and Cole’s story, getting a peek at their secretly-videotaped proposal, and finally, admiring the way their gorgeous fall wedding came together. Lauren described the venue as the “perfect merging” of their personalities, but it goes beyond that as well–there are so many details at their wedding that represent them both individually and as a couple. I think every bride and groom wants their guests to leave their wedding saying the celebration was “so them,” and I can only imagine how much Lauren and Cole were told those exact words!

Thanks so much to Sara & Rocky for sharing this beautiful wedding with us!

The first time I went to try dresses on, I brought a group of six special women with me. I tried on some amazing dresses that day and had a blast, but didn’t find the dress for me. My mom and I spent a few more weekends searching and finally ended up at the Neiman Marcus bridal salon. Ironically, this salon was where my aunt, mom, and cousin all found their wedding dresses. I tried on a few dresses, all with lots of texture, and had some great options, but when I put on Vera Wang’s Jasmine dress, I fell in love. As much as I didn’t think it would happen to me, I started glowing and couldn’t stop smiling. It was the dress I knew I could walk toward Cole in.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did. It was more about logistics in the beginning, but I am so glad we did it. It was harder than I had thought it would be to not see Cole all day on the biggest day of our relationship so far. Our first look was a reality check of what this day was about–Cole, me, and God. When we finally saw each other, I felt so joyful and at ease.

What made you choose your venue? It was absolutely gorgeous and we wanted to have a destination wedding without it being a true “destination.” Since Cole and I went to different colleges in different states, we have so many friends spread across the country. We figured they all had to travel anyway, so why not have them come to a city that has so much to offer our guests? Camp Lucy was the perfect merging of mine and Cole’s personalities–relaxed and natural, but elegant.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we decided there were vows out there that were already beautifully written. My favorite part of our vows read: “I promise to love you with all of my heart, and to be true and faithful, patient, kind, and unselfish in this love.”
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? This is a hard question–so much of it is incredibly memorable. One that sticks out specifically was during our ceremony. When we were exchanging vows, Ocho, our dog, spoke up too with a grunt-moan noise. It was hilarious! The crowd laughed and our pastor announced that Ocho said “yes” too.

Describe your wedding flowers. UNBELIEVABLE! The ladies at Gypsy Floral outdid themselves. They made my mood board of dreamy images come to life. The flowers were incredibly lush and elegant, and they made the whole venue feel complete and magical.

My mom handmade Mr. and Mrs. pillows for our sweetheart table, which each had pins and keepsakes about Cole and I, like a vintage Jayhawk badge and a vintage Alabama banner. My mom also made beautiful boards displaying all of our family wedding photos, going back to our great grandmothers. The wooden cross we used during the ceremony was the same cross my best friend used for her wedding. We even pulled a selection of vintages and labels of Cabernet Savignon from my parents’ wine cellar to serve at the reception.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The bride’s cake was a simple four-tier cake with a combination of lemon cake with lemon mousse and white cake with strawberry Grand Marnier filling. It had a wonderful buttercream icing applied with textured detail and lined with greenery by our florists. The groom’s cake was a round chocolate cake filled with a layer of chocolate mousse and raspberry purée and covered with chocolate ganache. It was topped with a large University of Alabama seal in fondant.

For our first dance, we had our band, Blind Date, learn Josh Abbot Band’s “She’s Like Texas.” During our long-distance relationship, it was one of the songs Cole sent me the lyrics to, and it has been one of “our” songs since then. We knew our first dance had to be a country song and something we could two-step to.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met sometime between sixth and seventh grade. Our families were connected through several people and activities, so we just got used to seeing each other around. We “dated” in middle school, if you can even call it that, for about a month before I broke up with him the day after Valentine’s Day! From then until our freshman year of college, we were good friends–he was the guy I could always depend on. He was even my prom date! We went our separate ways in college; he attended the University of Alabama and I went to the University of Kansas. At the beginning of sophomore year, I couldn’t deny my feelings anymore–I decided the moment I saw Cole back home over Thanksgiving break that I was going to tell him how I felt. Thankfully, our families planned to spend Thanksgiving together at our lake house, so I knew I would have the opportunity. After dinner one evening, we walked up to the top of the boat dock to look at the stars and I told him that I wanted a relationship with him. Thank goodness he felt the same way and had since 7th grade!
Tell us all about the proposal! Cole invited a few of our friends to the lake house the last weekend in September. It was cool and rainy outside, so we were all hanging out on the boat dock. Between rounds of a card game, Cole walked upstairs to the top of our dock. I eventually wandered up there to see what he was doing in the rain! He started hugging me and I heard his heart pounding in his chest. Then, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said yes, of course, and then our friends ran upstairs screaming. Little did I know, all of this was being filmed on a GoPro camera. It can be seen here. Cole then made up a pretty convincing story that our good friends called and said there was something wrong with their neighbor’s dock. Cole, being the great guy he is, offered to go check it out, so we all loaded up in the car, drove over to their house, and got one of the biggest surprises! Everyone–our families, some of my friends, and his friends–were waiting for us. He even flew in my sister from Portland and my dearest cousin from Montana! When I saw them, I lost all control–it was definitely one of the best days of my life. We proceeded to party from noon till midnight.
When did y’all get married? November 23, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a wonderful quartet for music during seating and through our cocktail hour. Cole is a man of tradition and used to play the cello, so he wanted me to walk down the aisle to “Canon in D.” Cole also picked our recessional–much less traditional, but very fun, “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns and Roses. One of my favorite things about our ceremony was when my aunt and cousin sang the Lennon and Maisy version of “I won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz during communion.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my cousin’s garter, which both she and my sister wore at their weddings. My something old was my emerald necklace, given to me by my grandmother when I was a child. She and my grandfather had purchased one for each granddaughter on a trip to Africa. My something new was a gift from Cole–emerald earrings that he gave me the morning of the wedding to match my necklace.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Cowboy boots all around! Cole’s were his custom-made Alabama boots that seem to be glued to his feet! The groomsmen sported eggplant bow ties. All the meats served were local game meats: quail, venison and beef. We also served local Dripping Springs vodka, Tito’s vodka, Shiner Bock, and Fireman’s 4 beers.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning was surprisingly smooth. The most difficult thing overall was probably planning the wedding from out of town, since we had limited time to meet with different vendors. Thankfully, we had a great wedding planner who filtered through various vendors and would set up 2-3 options for us to meet with when we could.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our wedding would not have been the same without ALL the vendors, but I was exceptionally happy to have the ladies of Gypsy Floral. They understood my vision for the wedding and I had complete faith in their ability to transform the venue into my dream space.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have a detailed rain plan!! Although, I refused to think about the possibility of it raining, our wedding planner, Ashlee Voda, made sure we had one in place, just in case. Well, we were in that “case,” not just because of the moisture, but because of the 35 degree temperatures! Be prepared so that if it comes to that, the stress won’t make the situation worse.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We bought a house a couple of months before we got married so we could begin to do some work on it. Absolutely crazy idea–talk about a lot going on! But, it was amazing to come home from our honeymoon and spend our first night in our new home together.

Photographer: Sara & Rocky Photography / Videographer: Don Nguyen of ILC Films / Planner: Ashlee Voda of Mrs. Planner Weddings & Events / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Camp Lucy / Florist: Gyspy Floral / Wedding Cake Baker: Judy Lee of Simon Lee Bakery / Caterer: Royal Fig / Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals, Bee Lavish, and Whim Event Rentals / Lighting: Katherine McCommon of ILD Lighting / Band: Blind Date / Ceremony Strings: Terra Vista Strings / Bride’s Gown: “Jasmine” by Vera Wang / Paper Products: Lauren Maibach (bride) / Envelopes and Liner: Paper Source / Wood Invitations: Cards of Wood / Calligraphy and Letterpress: Scribbles and Swirls / Bride’s Veil and Fur: Neiman Marcus / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Chancy Cone from Adore Makeup Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Vince Camuto / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew in Eggplant Chiffon / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse and The Man’s Shop / Photo Booth: The Photo Toaster

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Rocky Garza reply

    Thank you so much for the feature ladies! It looks wonderful and we are so thankful for your support!

  2. avatar Lauren + Cole | sara & rocky reply

    […] been a joy to photograph both Maibach daughters weddings and now we get to see Lauren’s on Southern Weddings today! Thank you both for allowing us to be a part of your story and tell Ocho (the dog) we said […]

  3. avatar cindy reply

    absolutely beautiful!

  4. avatar Texas Hill Country Wedding reply

    […] Speaking of southern pride, Lauren & Cole were recently featured on Southern Weddings – click here to read all about it! […]

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