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For Southern Weddings V9, we asked a few of our wisest, most creative, and just plain fun friends how they celebrate their anniversaries. From simple takeout dinners served on wedding china, to trips back to honeymoon destinations, and everything in between, their ideas spanned every timeframe, budget, and tradition we can think of. Whether you’ll be celebrating your first anniversary or your fifteenth this year, we hope these ideas inspire you–we’ll be sharing a new one each Sunday!

Jen Dillender

With two little ones, it’s difficult to make a long, extravagant, kid-free trip happen to celebrate our anniversary. Instead, last summer, we took two mini kid-free weekend getaways to celebrate our fifth anniversary, and it was so much fun! We road tripped to new cities with zero agenda, and filled them with lots of sleep, relaxation, great food and drink, and uninterrupted conversation! It was the best way to celebrate five years.
– Laura Kashner of Southern Weddings, married 5 years

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About two years ago, we reached out to our friend, photographer Anna Shackleford, about doing a home tour for our Southern Newlywed series. We went back and forth for a little while working on the logistics, but then the hustle and bustle of wedding season put our plans on hold. When I reconnected with her to pick up where we left off, she replied with something along the lines of “I’d love to, but we’re actually about to sell almost everything we own, renovate a camper, and spend the next year or two on the road, so I don’t know if you would still want to feature us!” My response? Heck YES, we do! We were so excited to hear about Anna and Daniel’s unique new living situation, they inspired the Southern Newlywed “Home Sweet Home” feature in V9, in which we profiled different types of newlywed homes. I hope you love this peek at their “on the go” home as much as we did!

The couple: Anna and Daniel Shackleford
How many years have you been married? Four years!
Tell us a little bit about your unique living situation. We are currently living on the road full-time in a 28-foot travel trailer that we pull with a truck. We’ve always dreamed of traveling together, and after many discussions and prayers, we decided that we couldn’t pass up an opportunity like this. We were in the perfect season of life to pursue the adventure: newlyweds, without children, without a mortgage, and in careers that provide relatively flexible schedules. Before we moved in to our travel trailer, we repainted the entire interior, reupholstered the furniture, and decorated it like we would any other house. It’s a cozy little space that we love calling home.

Tell us about the process of moving from a house to a camper. How did you decide what to bring with you, store, or get rid of? We first thought about the type of life that we wanted to live together. We knew we wanted to live more simply, spend more time with friends and family, and explore the outdoors. Once we nailed down the life that we wanted, honestly, picking the items that we wanted to bring with us was easy. The downsizing process was incredibly freeing. When you know you only have 225 square feet to live in, it gets pretty easy to make decisions about what is necessary and what is not. We stored a few pieces of heirloom furniture, photos, and paintings, but other than that, we sold almost everything that we owned. Getting rid of all of the clutter gave us clarity about what was truly important.

What most makes your camper feel like home? Bella, our sweet, eight-year-old golden lab that we absolutely adore. Having her with us on the road is just the greatest thing ever!

What are the biggest challenges of being on the road? We had both thought that moving into such a small space would be the biggest challenge, but oddly enough, that has been one of our favorite parts. Everything has a place and it’s clutter-free! We wouldn’t think that in 2016 finding reliable Wi-Fi would be an issue, but it has been a big challenge for us!

What is your favorite part of being on the road? It’s hard to choose just one thing! Seeing all of the diversity that the US has to offer across different landscapes has been incredible—we especially love spending time out west. But honestly, this experience has taught us to trust others more than we ever have before. There are so many good, kind people in this world, and we’ve loved getting the chance to meet so many of them along our journey.

What are some of your dreams and plans for where you live over the next five years? We want to explore as much of the US and Canada as we can while we are living on the road. We plan to continue living on the road for at least a few years, but we have major baby fever, so who knows how that will impact our travels!

Photography: Anna Shackleford

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Alexandra P. reply

    How wonderful! I love how the camper looks like a real house — so many are not well designed. I would love more details on where the furnishings/paint/decor came from

  2. avatar Elizabeth Burns reply

    I LOVE this! It’s great how all different types of housing are highlighted in this series, not just single family homes. And that sweet pup!!! <3

  3. avatar Lyndi and Jason Redfern reply

    This is beautiful! It’s surprisingly spacious and so well laid out that it’s hard to believe it’s a camper!

  4. avatar Bri A reply

    Oh my goodness!! I couldn’t believe these photos were from a camper – how gorgeous. I’m not sure I could live on the road like they are, but these sweet pictures made me want to give it a try!

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After looking at their fair share of wedding venues (eight!), Dani and Andrew knew that Legare Waring House was the one for them. They were drawn to the pristine beauty of the plantation, and especially loved the Avenue of Oaks (how could you not?)! With this beautiful backdrop chosen, they worked with their planner and florist, Fox Events, to create wild and natural florals that were not only sweetly feminine, but also the perfect complement to the glamorous mix of metallic elements in their design. And how fun is it that their officiant was the same friend who introduced them on a blind date five and a half years prior?

Big SW hugs to Aaron & Jillian for sharing their sweet day with us!

I probably tried on close to 50 dresses from at least five bridal boutiques before I found THE ONE at Sarah Seven. I went with my sister-in-law and a close friend, and the minute I walked out of the dressing room, they both screamed, “THAT’S IT!”

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, there was no question whether or not we were going to do one! First look photos are my favorite pictures from weddings–they’re always so sweet.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend, who ended up officiating our wedding. I knew Andrew’s sister prior to meeting Andrew, but it wasn’t until a Christmas party when this mutual friend suggested to Andrew that he had to meet “this girl, Dani” that we were set up.

We each wrote our own vows, which was fun, but challenging! It’s hard to express those feelings in just a few sentences. We think our videographer’s favorite line from the vows was Andrew’s line: “The joy you have given me over the past five and a half years has saturated my soul, and I promise for the rest of my life to try with every fiber of my being to repay you.” He included it in both our trailer and full video!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? After Lauren Fox took us to eight wedding venues, we knew that Legare Waring House was the one for us. We couldn’t get over the pristine beauty of the venue–so stunning and green, and we ESPECIALLY loved the Avenue of Oaks!

Our wedding flowers were wild and natural, yet utterly feminine, and fit the outdoor plantation perfectly! The color scheme played nicely with the grays and natural wood elements of our wedding, while the mix of metallic elements added the perfect amount of glamour.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The florals were stunning and the food, superb. The band, Super Deluxe, nailed every song; we’ve received so many compliments about them! Cru Catering provided the best wedding food we’ve ever tried, period. Overall, we could not have asked for a more perfect day!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take care of all the big things first (find a wedding planner, book photographers, videographers, a band), and then take your time choosing all of the smaller details. But don’t procrastinate too much–the last thing you want is to be stressed about things close to your big day!

Tell us all about the proposal! Andrew’s sister was going to be in Chicago for a visit to see friends. Recognizing the opportunity, Andrew set the wheels in motion. He flew to St. Louis to ask my father for my hand in marriage, put the finishing touches on the ring, and invited family to Chicago for the weekend to (hopefully) celebrate. After planning an elaborate ruse revolving around a fake Cubs game, brunch, and a photographer, Andrew’s plan was thrown into chaos when I realized I needed to work most of the day on Friday, April 17. Panicked (even more than he already was), Andrew proposed in our apartment, just the two of us. He had arranged for a celebratory brunch at a restaurant, where the entire family was there to surprise me! Later that night, Andrew invited all of our closest friends/family over for the perfect engagement party.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We repurposed the “blessing over the wine,” which was read by my great uncle and his wife. It was a beautiful tribute to both of our heritages.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Wild Flour did the most beautiful-two layer cake. The larger bottom tier was vanilla cake with dulce de leche buttercream and salted caramel; the smaller top tier was vanilla cake with lemon curd, coconut buttercream, and toasted coconut.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It can be challenging to stay within a budget. It’s great to have wedding planners (like ours) who are there to help guide you to stay within your budget, and to advise you on areas where you can make cuts that won’t jeopardize the look you’re trying to accomplish!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just got back from a delayed honeymoon in Antigua, which was incredible! We look forward to enjoying time together before we add to our family in a few years :) We also look forward to celebrating with all of our friends with weddings around the corner!

Photographer: Aaron and Jillian Photography | Videographer: Dock House Digital | Planner and Florist: Fox Events | Venue: Legare Waring House | Wedding Cake: WildFlour Pastry | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Events | Lighting: Innovative Event Services | Band: Super Deluxe | Paper Products: Studio R Design | Bride’s Gown: Sarah Seven | Bride’s Accessories: Katherine Jessica Collections | Hair and Makeup: Wedding Hair by Charlotte | Bride’s Shoes: “Lovely” Embellished Wedge Sandal by Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Alana” in Sea Glass, Palest Pink, and Dusty Pink by BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: Custom by Trunk Club | Men’s Bow Ties: The Tie Bar

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Charleston Wedding Videographer reply

    Yay for this feature! Stunning photos! We loved capturing this special day for two incredibly sweet people XoXo

  2. avatar Cyprus wedding photographer reply

    Wow these are really amazing shots! And the location is just perfect!

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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