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While the number of wedding gown options may feel a little overwhelming when you start dress shopping, here’s the good news: it means there’s something out there for every bride! Whether you’re a classic gal through and through, or you’re looking for something that will make a major statement, the details are what set one white dress apart from another. Allure Bridals’ Fall 2016 collection is all about those details, and from beading, to floral appliqués, to dramatic backs, to perfect draping, each dress is designed to make a bride feel special and like herself on her big day. Even though none of the SW gals are in a wedding dress shopping season right now, we each picked a favorite dress from Allure’s newest Bridals, Romance, and Couture collections–here are the styles that stood out to us!

Lisa‘s favorite: Allure 2951
“I always love a classic ball gown with a twist, and I think this dress would make any bride feel like a modern Grace Kelly! The ivory lace combined with palest blush satin is elegant, but memorable.”

Marissa‘s favorite: Allure C380
“The dramatic crystal beadwork and layers upon layers of organza ruffles on this dress give me all the heart eyes. Perfect for a black-tie wedding, this dress is a showstopper in my book!”

Nicole‘s favorite: Allure 2966
“I love when a wedding dress combines sweet lace and an easy silhouette with a show-stopping details, like a blush underlay, beaded back, and killer train! This dress would make any bride feel at home in her skin while wearing it, but is also worthy of being worn on the most special day of her life!”

Amber‘s favorite: Allure 9371
“I am in love with this gorgeous lace sheath that is the perfect combination of romance and style. The detailing around the neckline and the dramatic back are sure to wow everyone as you walk down the aisle and dance the night away!”

Emily‘s favorite: Allure 2959
“I am a sucker for big skirts and sweetheart necklines–it’s what I chose for my own wedding day! The lace detail and scalloped hem on this beauty are perfectly feminine and romantic.”

Kristin‘s favorite: Allure 9357
“While I’m traditionally a ‘the simpler, the better’ kind of gal, this satin beaded ball gown has won my heart. The detailing on the bodice is a fun way to add some sparkle to a timeless silhouette!”

Jess‘ favorite: Allure 2953
“We all know that on your wedding day, all eyes are on the bride, so make sure the back of your dress is just as beautiful as the front! The combination of tulle, lace, and buttons down the back of this gown provide just enough interest, while still letting the bride shine on her special day!”

Love these dresses as much as we do, or do you have a different top pick? Find your nearest Allure retailer to see where you can try them on in person!

This post is brought to you by Allure Bridals–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa

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Packing for your honeymoon does not always mean bathing suits and sundresses. Brandon and I went to France (in December!) for our honeymoon, so we were actually packing the opposite: jackets and boots! If you’re planning a honeymoon this fall to a locale filled with cool, crip air, and you’re not sure what to pack, I’ve got you covered. Think simple pieces that can easily be layered as the evenings get chillier, and mix and matched to create extra outfits, depending on the length of your vacation. Pairing a cute dress with tights and the same booties you wore with skinny jeans and a warm sweater for exploring the town will help both your suitcase and your wallet!

I like to plan ahead, but I know that it can be challenging to find adorable and affordable fall pieces during the summer. Fellow bargain shoppers rejoice, I am here to help with some really great deals from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale and some of our other favorite places! This way, you can save your pennies and use that extra bit in your budget for a special dinner on your honeymoon.

Long sleeve tunic | Plaid blanket wrap | Black leggings | Leather riding boots | Fringe sweater | Striped sweater | Skinny jeans | Suede booties | Pink dress | Navy and white striped dress | Lace appliqué dress| Black flats

Travel tip: always wear your boots and heaviest sweater/coat on the plane. Not only are planes usually quite chilly, but you’ll save on luggage space! Don’t forget an expandable tote, makeup palette perfect for taking you from day to night, and heavy moisturizer to protect against extra dry air.

Travel blowdryer | Makeup palette | Peplum coat | Expandable tote | Skin Savior Balm | Hair care set | Duffel bag | Backpack

I’m so excited for Southern Style to be a more regular column here on Southern Weddings! I’ll be covering Southern fashion, beauty, and even Southern fashion etiquette in this feature. Have any questions or something you’d like to see? Email me! I’d sure love to hear from you.

marissa Written with love by Marissa

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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When you combine a family farm, fluffy spring blooms, and a couple that is clearly smitten with one another, you know a wedding is going to be a good one, and that is certainly the case for Julie and Jonathan! Even though they were planning their wedding during a super busy season of life, they were dedicated to preparing for marriage and incorporating as many intentional moments into their celebration as they could. Some of those were planned, like their first look and foot washing ceremony, while others were a surprise–Julie was shocked when she and her parents rounded the corner to find Jonathan singing and playing her processional song on guitar at the other end of the aisle!

Thanks so much to Bella Grace Studios for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. A few months after the engagement, Jonathan’s parents invited my parents and I to a short vacation in Destin, Florida. That week, we had so much fun cooking meals together and relaxing on the beach. Later on in the week, when rain came our way, I decided that I wanted to go dress shopping while I had both my mom and my soon-to-be mother-in-law in one place. It was such a sweet time together. I only tried on three dresses, and the last dress (which my mother-in-law picked off the rack for me) was everything I had ever wanted. I never thought I would pick a dress that quickly, but my mother-in-law knew me better than I had expected!

Jonathan and I chose to do a first look. It was just us and our photographer on a nearby road nestled under a tunnel of trees. In all honesty, I was very skeptical about the first look, because I thought it would take the “wow factor” away when I walked down the aisle. But oh, how wrong I was! It ended up being one of the best decisions we made during the day and made everything so stress-free. Plus, little did I know that the “wow factor” wasn’t missing in the least–as I turned the corner to walk down the aisle, my groom was singing/playing my favorite song to me as I walked closer to becoming his wife.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our song is “My Only Love” by Matt Maher, and we had planned on Andrew, the best man playing and singing it as I walked down the aisle. But Jonathan surprised me, and he sang and played it instead! Oh my heart!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The best detail of our wedding was the two old doors and rug that served as our “spot” at the ceremony. We loved how the doors and floral arrangements on top framed us perfectly and contrasted so well with the lush green trees behind them. We get to keep those doors in our family now, and the rug sits in our apartment. We plan for that to always be in our home as a sweet reminder of where we stood when we became husband and wife.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Jonathan’s favorite part of my vows was, “I promise to always set my affection and devotion on you as we both pour out our love on the feet of Jesus together for the rest of our lives.” My favorite part of Jonathan’s vows: “Julie, my bride, my dear, to God and to you, I vow to say yes to you for the rest of my life. To dream with you not only of places we want to go, but also of the miraculous things we want to see God do.”

The most memorable moment of our wedding day for both of us was washing each other’s feet during our ceremony. Not only because Jonathan’s feet stunk (SO BAD), but mostly because of the symbolism it was for us and our relationship. We were following the example that Jesus left for His disciples when he humbled Himself to wash their feet, to serve them, and love them when they didn’t deserve to experience that type of love from the King of Kings. We feel that way about our relationship; we have done nothing to deserve the sweet love and affection God has given us for each other, so we want to be good stewards of that gift and serve each other in love for the rest of our lives. When I was washing his feet, I began to weep, and realized what a gift Jonathan really has been to me, and he felt the same. Such a sweet moment.

Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were soft and full with a muted color palette that matched the atmosphere we created perfectly. I had white and peach roses with soft green dusty miller greenery in my bouquet, while the bridesmaids had assorted white roses and soft greenery in theirs. My sweet florist made a flower crown for me to wear for the reception as well. The men wore eucalyptus boutonnieres and Jonathan had a white rose added to his, which contrasted so well with his scruffy beard. In addition to the bridal party flowers, a close friend and I arranged a huge assortment of flowers on top of two old painted doors that we used at the ceremony. That was such a fun DIY to tackle together.

Our ceremony and reception were both held at a family farm outside of Lexington, Kentucky. It was significant because it was in my hometown, and family and friends from college were all close by. The reason we chose the venue was because we knew and trusted the family that owned the farm, and it would allow us to have the outdoor wedding and barn reception that we wanted, all in the same place. We were very happy that it was away from the city as well, so there were no loud noises or distractions.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jonathan and I met through mutual friends during my first week of college. He is a year older than me, and I thought that the group of guys he ran around with were so funny–there is never a dull moment with that crew. He grew up in the Nashville area and came to Kentucky for college, so we had so much to talk about and learn from each other. Neither of us was looking for anything serious, but I knew that he wasn’t just any guy. As we spent more and more time together, we became best friends. He asked me to be his girl and the rest is history. Three and a half years later, I still get butterflies when I’m on my way to see him!
Tell us all about the proposal! We spent our last summer in college apart–Jonathan was working at Spring Hill Camps in Cincinnati, Ohio and I was an intern at Compassion International in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While we were both living out dreams and having the best summers of our lives, we would talk over FaceTime each night and say “I miss you” way too many times to count. At the end of the summer, I was about to start my journey back to Kentucky, so Jonathan flew out to help me with the 20-hour drive! Before we left Colorado, I told him that I wanted to take him to my favorite spot I had explored over the summer, Dream Lake in Estes Park. We had the best day talking about our summers and just enjoying each other’s company as we hiked up to the magical spot that I was so in love with. We got to the lake, and after taking in the view, I turned around and he was on his knee asking me to marry him. I cried and said yes! Little did I know that two sweet friends I made that summer were recording and photographing the entire thing! Jonathan had been planning it for months. He is just the best.
When did y’all get married? May 28, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 275 sweet friends and family!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had four flavors of wedding cake served at our reception: lemon, chocolate mousse, strawberry, and bourbon, of course, since we were in Kentucky!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We are so blessed to have amazing examples of marriage in both of our lives, so we felt very prepared going into all of this! We went through marriage counseling with our mentors, who we have know for our entire season of dating. They walked us through “The Mingling of Two Souls” by Matt and Lauren Chandler and had endless conversations with us covering principles of marriage that you might not always see from the outside. They prayed with us and over us and continue to challenge and encourage us!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One thing I did to save money was to do all of the hair and makeup myself! The morning of the wedding was so fun–we relaxed and the bridesmaids did each other’s makeup while I curled everyone’s hair, including my own. I’ve always been notorious for playing with my friends’ hair while hanging out, so why would I do it any differently on my wedding day?
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Spread out the planning so you can enjoy it! I had so much fun slowly checking things off my list–setting deadlines in a planner (I used the Southern Wedding Planner!) is great way to not get overwhelmed. Also, allow people to help. I’m a designer, so I love making things by myself, but some of my favorite memories were painting old doors with friends and going shopping with my mom and making decisions with her. Wedding planning can and should bring you closer to the people around you–they want to celebrate this season of your life with you and your fiancé!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are making our home in Franklin, Tennessee, where we both work and live. We are looking forward to traveling together, learning from our mistakes and victories, and serving the community around us as our marriage and family grow. We also can’t wait to see Tennessee beat Kentucky in football for years to come.

Photographer: Bella Grace Studios | Venue and Catering: Gilkison Farm | Florist: Chambliss Designs | Wedding Cake: Sweet Lilu’s Catering | Rentals: Bryant’s Rent-All | DJ: Chase Scott | Vows Books: Seliz Design | Bride’s Gown: “KP3695” by David’s Bridal | Veil: “WPD16266M” by David’s Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: “Kivah” by INC International Concepts | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Midi Bandeau” by ASOS | Groom’s Attire: Levi’s | Bow Ties: “BC578ST” by The Tie Bar

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Dana reply

    What a sweet proposal story!

  2. avatar Josh Merideth reply

    Thank you so much for sharing… Such a sweet beautiful couple!!

  3. avatar Amy reply

    Such an adorable bride and groom, Loved all the photos!

    We at wish them a lifetime of love and happiness xxxoo

  4. avatar Julie Hay reply

    here is our proposal video too! :)

  5. avatar Skylar Caitlin reply

    Bella Grace Studios did a fantastic job capturing this couple! I can feel their genuinely sweet spirits flowing off the screen.

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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