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As we count down to our tenth anniversary issue this fall (!!!), we wanted to spend this year celebrating not only how far we’ve come as a publication and company, but how much the wedding community in the Southeast has grown and changed alongside us. Today, we are truly blessed to have some of the most talented, kind, professional, and thoughtful vendors in the world beneath the Mason-Dixon Line!

And though we sing their praises every day here on the blog and on social media (and, of course, in our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and in print!), we thought it would be fun to do something extra-special in this anniversary year. And so, I introduce to you: The Pineys!

The Best of the South Wedding Awards (a.k.a. The Pineys, named after the golden pineapple winners will receive!) is our way to honor the best the Southeastern wedding community has to offer, as voted by y’all! There are 22 categories, including everything from Prettiest Chapel and Best Barn Venue to Best Band and Best Honeymoon Destination.

How will it work? Nominations are open for two weeks, beginning today. Click here to nominate your favorite wedding professionals in each category! And, encourage your friends to vote early and often, because…

The finals: After two weeks, we’ll choose the top vote-getters in each category for a round of finalist voting. Voting will again be open for two weeks, with the top vote-getter in each category bringing home the prize.

Prize, you say? Oh yes! In addition to the aforementioned golden pineapple trophy and the considerable honor of being named best of the best, winners will receive a gift basket filled with some of the best the South has to offer in the goodies category (yum!). Winners will also be celebrated in a special feature in our tenth-anniversary issue, which we’re extremely excited about! We may have a few other tricks up our sleeve, too – y’all will just have to wait and see! :)

Hooray, friends! We think this is not only a super-fun way to celebrate our anniversary year, but to truly help y’all find some of the most talented vendors for your weddings. We can’t wait to see who you nominate!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Fairly often, I get a quick message from a friend asking for help on behalf of a recently engaged sister, cousin, or best friend. They’re looking for recommendations for venues, photographers, wedding planners, or florists, and I’m quick to point them towards our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory because it’s full of the best and brightest wedding talent the South has to offer! Every single member has been personally vetted by the Southern Weddings team, so I feel like I’m sharing my very own “word of mouth” referrals. We’ve added some new faces, and I’m thrilled to introduce you to them:

Name: A Fox Event
Category: Event Planning and Design
Where you call home: Charleston, South Carolina
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Planners are here to make your dreams come true and will do everything in their power to make sure your day is absolutely perfect!

Name: 2 Sisters Events and Design
Category: Event Planning & Design
Where you call home: Lakeland, Florida
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Manners and etiquette are still going strong in the South, which pleases me to no end!

Name: Bellelina Studio
Category: Beauty
Where you call home: Charleston, South Carolina
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: Makeup artist for Charleston Fashion Week, 2009-2012; published in Unveiled Magazine, Charleston Weddings Magazine, Lowcountry Weddings Magazine, Charleston magazine, and House Calls Magazine

Name: Bow Tie Collaborative
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Holly Springs, North Carolina
Favorite Southern city? Savannah! All the Spanish moss…gimme, gimme!

Name: Cheryl Sullivan Events
Category: Event Planning and Design
Where you call home: West Virginia
How I got into weddings: For as long as I can remember, I have always loved hosting celebrations for my loved ones, from Sunday dinners to showers to holiday reunions. I fell deeply in love with weddings and the strong family traditions they honored. After a few years of planning weddings, I knew I was hooked. I took a chance and started a business doing what I love. I’ve never looked back!

Name: Forage + Film
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Raleigh, North Carolina
Favorite part of a wedding day? We love portrait time. We crave intimate images that capture our couple’s love, so that one-on-one time with them in the midst of all the wedding fun is just perfection.

Name: Heidi Elnora Atelier
Category: Fashion
Where you call home: Birmingham, Alabama
How I got into weddings: L.O.V.E. It’s as simple and complicated as that. Being hit by a drunk driver in 2005 brought me back home to Alabama where I met and fell in love with my husband, Jeff. Moving back home motivated me to turn my dream of designing wedding gowns into my reality, and in 2006, Heidi Elnora was created.

Name: Heirloom Collective
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Raleigh, North Carolina
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Try to be present on your wedding day. Take a few breaks throughout the day to look around and feel gratitude for the love that surrounds you.

Name: Simply Jessica Marie
Category: Invitations and Paper Goods
Where you call home: Knoxville, Tennessee
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: Honestly, the thing I will always be the most excited about is that our own wedding (featuring some of my favorite custom designs to date!) was featured on the Southern Weddings blog! It was absolutely something I wrote home to my Momma about, and something I will share with my kids and grandbabies one day. More so than any of the other blog and magazine features, I am simply most proud of the fact that I get to work with the absolute sweetest and most creatively-trusting brides and grooms imaginable!

Name: sMm Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Charlotte, North Carolina
Favorite part of a wedding day? I love when I arrive to the bridal suite and I hear the bride’s mama explaining where the garter came from and who wore it before she did, and that her veil is a treasure from her grandmother’s wedding…details matter when they build the story of your wedding day. I also really love the quiet moment that the bride and her father share right before the doors of the church open.

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!), send us an email!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
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Gracious, friends, it has been far too long since we introduced y’all to some of our newest Blue Ribbon Vendors! Searching for vendors can easily become one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning because you’re not only entrusting these folks with the vision for your big day, you’re also entrusting them with photographing/feeding/caring for/etc. the most special people in your and your groom’s lives. Every single BRV member has been carefully vetted by the SW team, and we’re confident they’ll take great care of all the above should you choose to make them part of your wedding team!

Name: Annamarie Akins Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Richmond, VA
Favorite part of a wedding day? I love the getting ready portion of the day! I think it sets the tone and gives the chance for anticipation to build. It’s so beautiful to spend that time with a bride as she prepares to walk down the aisle!

Name: Audra Wrisley Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Alexandria, VA
Favorite Southern city? Charleston, South Carolina is probably my favorite city. My family used to vacation there while I was growing up, and it is still the epitome of summer to me, filled with long days on the beach and nights with delicious, Southern food.

Name: Chips & Salsa Designs
Category: Invitations and Paper Goods
Where you call home: Texas
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Enjoy the ride. The hard times make you appreciate the sweet moments, and the mundane “every days” make up a glorious, well-lived life.

Name: Eliza Gwendalyn
Category: Calligraphy, Invitations and Paper Goods
Where you call home: New York
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? I like how Southern weddings have a romantic, rustic vibe to most of them, and how most Southern brides appreciate anything handmade and hand-lettered. They understand the charm and craft.

Name: Frozen Exposure
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Nashville, TN
Favorite part of a wedding day? My favorite part of the wedding day is when the bride and groom are pronounced husband and wife. I get to witness this major transformation in their lives–they just went from being fiancés to HUSBAND AND WIFE!

Name: Happily Ever After
Category: Event Planning and Design
Where you call home: Raleigh, NC
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? As much as family involvement is integral to every aspect of your wedding day, we hope our clients will be true to themselves and make their day their own. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and come up with your own traditions and personal touches.

Name: Meredith Sledge Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Charlottesville, VA
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? I absolutely adore plantation weddings, vineyard weddings, and anything outdoors, but what I feel is so special about Southern weddings is that beyond the beautiful decor and stunning locations, the day is centered around family and creating a relaxed environment for everyone to enjoy the day.

Name: Ryan & Rach Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Outer Banks, NC
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Sweet tea, bourbon, bread pudding, lightin’ bug catching, sayings like “bless your heart,” and words like “y’all.”

Name: Sarah Bohl Designs
Category: Calligraphy
Where you call home: Arlington, VA
How I got into weddings: I have loved weddings ever since I was a little girl and admired my Nana’s guest suite–it was decorated with wedding photos and invitations from all the women in my family. We all followed similar traditions for our weddings, and holding fast to those while providing modern touches really makes my heart sing! I also LOVE weddings that really make each guest feel special–which is where I feel calligraphy fits in!

Name: The Reason
Category: Videography
Where you call home: Atlanta, GA
How we got into weddings: Our love for marriage got us into weddings. We want to give our clients something that no matter how far in the future, they can always look back and remember why. We’re best friends and married. We get to work together; it’s simply the best thing ever.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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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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