Southern Weddings

Tag: Black by Vera Wang

As much as I love all things classic and traditional, it’s always fun to see a wedding that’s different from anything I’ve ever seen. Monique and Tim’s celebration certainly falls into that category, from the paper crane details (read their proposal story to learn about the significance!), to the hanging chalkboard escort cards boards, to the impressive black, white, and gold dessert display. What I love most about the details they selected for their wedding, though, is that they were super intentional about what they wanted to put time and money toward. While I’m sure interior designer Monique had no shortage of ideas for the wedding’s design, they stuck with the things that were most important to them, and let the rest go–meaning lots more time for weekly date nights and sweet time preparing for marriage during their engagement!

Thank you so much to Alex Michele for sharing Monique and Tim’s fun day with us!

After two negative experiences at big bridal salons, we decided to stop in at a smaller boutique I had heard of as a last try that day. We arrived an hour before the store closed and were welcomed with smiles. I pulled 5-6 dresses into the dressing room and tried them on as the owner of the store helped me. She then brought another dress into the room and encouraged me to give it a shot, even though it was over my budget. I honestly was wary, as I have watched shows where the girls fall in love with dresses they can’t afford, so I was trying dresses on from least expensive to most expensive. Once I got through the first six dresses, I put the last dress on that the owner of the store had brought to me and walked out of the dressing room. Immediately, my mom burst into tears, and both she and Tim’s mom were speechless. The display model fit me perfectly, and had little details that made it unlike any dress I had seen before. We ended up getting a great deal on the dress and it was so perfect!

Tell us all about the proposal! On our third dating anniversary, we went to our favorite restaurant in Gainesville, Manuel’s Vintage Room, a small Italian place downtown. After enjoying a delicious meal, Tim led me to the car and told me he had a surprise for me. He parked in a nearby garage and grabbed the basket of small origami cranes he had made for me throughout our relationship–probably around 100-150 cranes total. After a short walk, we approached Gainesville’s Double Helix bridge, a beautiful new landmark in town we had talked about wanting to visit many times. Tim stopped at the bridge, handed me the basket of cranes, and told me to find the first crane he had ever given me (which he gave me about a month into us dating). I searched through the basket of cranes looking for the one labeled “#1.” I got a little anxious because I wasn’t sure it would be in the basket he had taken from my room–I had them hanging from my apartment ceiling over my bed and had moved twice, so there was no guarantee. After a little searching, I managed to find it, and Tim handed me a new crane and took the basket. Holding the first crane he had given me and the new one he had just placed in my hands, he asked me to unfold both of them. Once the flattened paper squares were unfolded and placed together, the seams of the paper spelled out the letters “MM” (what would be my new married initials) and a drawing of an engagement ring. I looked up to find Tim on his knee, where he proceeded to ask me to marry him. After a few moments, the fireworks show from UF’s homecoming weekend began in the distance and we watched it from the bridge. It was a perfect ending to the night.

I am an interior designer, so the venue was one of the most important things to me, after photography. I was looking for a simple and elegant space that had good architectural lines. I also wanted the color scheme of the venue to be neutral so my wedding colors would really pop! The Ribault Club had just that, and fell perfectly within our budget. The beautiful French doors let in so much light and the space was so bright and airy! It was the perfect backdrop for our wedding colors and details, and allowed us to have our entire wedding in one location, which was very important to us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We really wanted our wedding to feel like a big family celebration. Having it all in one large, historic, Southern plantation house was a great choice for us. We were able to take advantage of the outdoor area and beautiful trees for our ceremony and cocktail hour. We placed corn hole boards in the lawn for our guests during the cocktail hour and offered a popsicle cart as part of our hors d’oeuvres. Having the large venue for our guests to roam around made it feel like a family get-together.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was definitely the food! We were able to express both of our love for food and fun flavors through our food truck dinner, the popsicle cart during cocktail hour, and the large dessert display. We really felt like we hit the jackpot with our food truck. The food was absolutely amazing and reflected our personalities so much better than a typical wedding meal. It was Tim’s idea, and at first, I thought he was crazy, but I finally came around when we met the owners of Funkadelic Food Truck in Jacksonville, Florida. We served a menu with four entrée options (a brisket burger, pork belly sandwich, gourmet pesto grilled cheese, or fish tacos) along with the choice of salad or french fries on the side. Our guests loved the food and are still talking about it to this day!

The dessert table was the star of the show at our wedding! I chose a simple, two-tiered, round, red velvet cake with cream cheese icing for Tim and I to cut. Surrounding that, we filled the dessert display with blueberry and cranberry orange scones, vanilla and peanut butter cookie cake pops, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, triple chocolate cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries, Hershey’s almond kisses, and butter mints. Everything was delicious and perfectly matched the color scheme of our wedding. The cake pops were dipped in white chocolate, placed on black and white paper straws, and sprinkled with gold edible rocks. There wasn’t a single dessert left on the table at the end of the night!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met during our first semester at the University of Florida, on September 27, 2011, to be exact. I was working in my design studio with the other students in my college when Tim stopped by to meet our mutual friend for football tickets. Initially, he planned to simply get the tickets and leave, but he got distracted and sat down by me. He stayed the entire night talking and “studying” while I worked on my project. In the early morning, he walked me to the bus stop and headed home. In the weeks that followed, there were several additional all-nighters and late night conversations in the studio before he asked me for my number. The rest seems like history. We were both immediately interested in each other and that seemed to be understood without a word being spoken. We’ve been together ever since.
When did y’all get married? July 24, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to use the vows from our pastor, as they were very detailed and special to us.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Tim and I did five months of premarital counseling with our pastor prior to the wedding. We really felt this helped us prepare for marriage and understand each other a lot better. It became a stress-free time during the week when we could lay aside all planning and focus on ourselves and why we were getting married in the first place. Our relationship and love for each other is so much more important than the details of one day.
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? The first way we saved money was choosing to host our wedding on a Friday instead of Saturday. This simple compromise cut our venue rental cost almost in half and saved us money on several other vendors. We also chose a venue that was not all-inclusive, allowing us to choose all of our vendors. This was the most beneficial when it came to food. We were able to hire a food truck to serve our food, which cut the catering cost per head in half and provided us a delicious alternative to typical wedding food. Some other small ways we saved money were purchasing our own alcohol, using a regular bakery instead of a wedding-only baker, and having girls nights to create the small details instead of purchasing them, because small costs added up quickly.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle to the love of my life and seeing his eyes well up with tears was definitely the most memorable moment of the day. It reminded me of the purpose of the moment, and the reason behind all the planning for the nine months prior. It was all worth it in that split second.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take it slow and remember to enjoy each moment. Be flexible to small changes and remember, no one besides you knows what things are “supposed” to look like, so if you forget a detail, no one will know! It’s so important to balance planning your wedding with growing your relationship in preparation for marriage. Take time away each week for a date night with no wedding talk, and remember to invest in each other.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying newlywed life. In the near future, we are looking forward to decorating our new home and traveling to Europe. Traveling is definitely something we are both passionate about and we are looking forward to many trips together.

Photographer: Alex Michele Photography / Planner: Micheline Sullivan / Venue: The Ribault Club / Florist: A Happily Ever After Floral / Cake Baker: Publix Bakery / Caterer: Funkadelic Food Truck / Rentals: Luxe Party Rentals / Lighting and DJ: Generation Y Entertainment / Cake Topper: Cake Topper Bliss / Bride’s Gown: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner / Bride’s Veil: Blanca Veils / Bride’s Earrings: “Bella Paisley Drop Earrings” in Gold by ILY / Hair and Makeup: Studio Bride / Bride’s Shoes: “Fay 1” by Lulu’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style 1124 in Champagne by Bill Levkoff / Menswear: “Black by Vera Wang / Popsicles: Guanabana Artisan Ice Pops

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I have a question – when you have a food truck at your wedding, do the guests have to stand in line to get their food? Or is is served to them? I’m thinking about a food truck for my wedding but I’m curious about logistics.

    • avatar Monique reply

      Hi Emily!

    • avatar Monique reply

      Hi Emily!
      My other comment didn’t go through but to answer your question: our DJ hosted a game to dismiss the guests by table and they were served in groups. It did take a little bit for the guests to all eat but once they had food in their mouth they totally forgot how long it took to get it. For 140 guests it was around an hour since the food was made to order. Typically a buffet line would take somewhat near the same amount of time. If you have any other questions feel free to email me. I would be happy to help! (Riles.monique@gmail.com)

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Brandy and Adam tried to keep things professional after meeting at work during a very quick business trip for Adam, but the two simply knew that their connection meant something more! After 52(!) flights between the two or them in just nine months, they said their vows at the beautiful Peachtree House at a wedding that was uniquely them. Passing on floral decor, Brandy and Adam worked with their planner, Lori Ritzie-Wardman, to incorporate over 100 ivory and metallic pumpkins into their celebration. The couple also included Adam’s favorite sweet treat, pecan pie, into their fabulous dessert bar created by our Blue Ribbon Vendor Two Sweets Bake Shop. While the pecan might be Adam’s favorite, I’m eyeing those mini pumpkin pies with perfect-sized dollops of whipped cream!

We’re so glad our Blue Ribbon Vendor Jordan Weiland was on hand to capture this lovely day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went with friends and family to several appointments, and although I tried on many beautiful dresses, none felt like “the one.” I actually found my dress at Calvet Couture during a lunch break by myself! It was really nice to have found it alone because it was truly a surprise to everyone else on the big day.

I chose something different and walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of Beyonce’s “Halo.” It’s really pretty. For our walk back up the aisle, we had “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne played.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Rather than flowers on the tables, we had ivory pumpkins and lanterns. Actually, the ivory pumpkins were everywhere throughout the property, thanks to Lori Ritzie-Wardman! Lori was our wedding coordinator and she made my vision a reality. The pumpkins were wonderfully different and the market lighting made everything feel magical.

We got married and had the reception at The Peachtree House because it is an absolutely gorgeous Florida estate home. Ashlie Darley at The Peachtree House is an amazing hostess and very accommodating. She went out of her way to make our day special!

We had a fabulously delicious dessert bar. Two Sweets did a knock-out job styling the bar and making everything so yummy. We had pies, cupcakes, dessert shooters, cookies, and more. It was a great way to have something for everyone and it was very pretty.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Well, we served pecan pie, Adam’s favorite. Also, where else can you have an outdoor wedding in November?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Everything happened so quickly! Adam flew down from Tennessee to Florida for a one-day business trip and walked into my office on a Thursday in February. We had an immediate connection and did our best to keep it professional, but by the end of the day, we knew better, and he asked me to visit him sometime. Adam returned to Florida to “see if our connection was real” that weekend–needless to say, it was. By the time we married (nine months later in November), there had been 52 flights between us!
Tell us all about the proposal! After only four magical months, we went on our first big vacation together. I thought being able to go to Maui together was amazing enough, and then he surprised me with a sunset proposal!
When did y’all get married? November 15, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes. I thought it would take some pressure off of us and I wanted to take photos before the wedding so that we could focus on our celebration after the ceremony.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Finding 100+ pumpkins at a reasonable price!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire Jordan Weiland if you can! She is an amazingly talented photographer, and we were fortunate enough to have her capture our wedding. A great photographer is a must! Also, hire Lori Ritzie-Wardman. An organized, calming, and knowledgeable wedding coordinator is another must!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are still getting to know each other and every day is an adventure!

Photographer: Jordan Weiland / Planner: Lora Ritzie-Wardman / Venue: Peachtree House / Florist: Lee Forrest / Dessert Baker:Two Sweets Bakeshop / Caterer: Big City Catering / Rentals: Orlando Wedding and Party Rentals / Lighting: Get Lit Productions / DJ: Adam Rubman / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Willow” by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon: Calvet Couture / Hair Stylist: Danielle Watkins / Makeup Artist: Lena Graham / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo / Menswear: BLACK by Vera Wang / Men’s Ties and Bow Ties: Absolutely Fitting

Two Sweets Bakeshop is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Stephanie reply

    LOVE her dress! Beautiful photos Jordan. Congratulations!!!

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #213 – Floridian Social reply

    […] feelin' the architecture and natural beauty surrounding the Peachtree House near historic Winter […]

  3. avatar DJ Orlando FL reply

    Really enjoyed viewing your photos especially the bridesmaids with bouquets and the great candid shots. Gorgeous shots

  4. avatar Paola reply

    Lovely pictures!! How do we get in contact with this venue

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With cooler weather and changing leaves knocking at the door, if you weren’t already craving pumpkin everything and snuggling up for movie nights, Katherine and Weston’s Tennessee wedding will push you right over the edge! Their florist, The Enchanted Florist, brought Katherine’s vision of fall colors mixed with pinks, blush, and cream to life with stunning blooms that only made our Blue Ribbon Vendor venue, CJ’s Off the Square, even more lovely. And, those gold pumpkins at each place setting? I think I need a few for my own dining table!

We’re so happy Amy Nicole was on hand to capture this cozy fall celebration!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I imagined dress shopping would be much more difficult than it was. I found my dress during my first appointment, and it was the last dress I tried on. I had tried on about nine dresses and none really felt like “the one,” when y mother and maid of honor pulled out one more. When I tried it on, I felt like a bride, and everyone started crying!

I only had one meeting with my florist, and she brought exactly what I had shown her to life–the fall colors, the greenery, everything was perfect! I still wanted pinks, green, blush, and cream incorporated, even though it was November, and she was able to make it work.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? At first, we did not want to do a first look, but due to the time of the ceremony, we changed our minds and did one so that there would still be light when we took pictures. I am so glad we decided to do a first look! It got out all of the nerves, and I love the pictures! Amy did such a great job capturing the emotions of the day.

I loved getting ready to walk down the aisle. There were about five minutes when it was just my dad and I, and I was able to reflect on the day and on our relationship.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We set up corn hole for the guests and were able to have an outdoor wedding in November!

Describe your wedding cake. I wanted something simple and classic. I found a cake that I loved on Pinterest, and changed a few things to my liking. We didn’t do a grooms cake, so we made the cake four tiers, each tier in a different flavor.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. He worked at a movie theater and I worked at the Starbucks down the way. I was friends with his boss, and they would come over and get free coffee in exchange for free movie tickets :) We started hanging out more and more that summer, usually grabbing dinner or going to parties together. He finally asked me to be his girlfriend on July 1, 2009!
Tell us all about the proposal! He proposed at the same movie theater we met at! After our movie got out, we were sitting in the lobby just chatting, and I was starting to wonder why we hadn’t left yet. He then said he thought he had seen something in the hallway. When I looked down the hall, all of the movie marquees were lit up and said “Katherine, will you marry me?” I turned around and he was on one knee! It was absolutely perfect and so unexpected.
When did y’all get married? November 8, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I lived in Memphis for about four months of our engagement and then moved to Franklin. Weston didn’t move until three months later. Planning from another city was difficult, and then planning without the groom present was difficult. We had to schedule meetings around his visits, which was tricky, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle! Wedding planning went pretty smoothy overall.
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 are enjoying being married. We definitely are going to start a family, but also want to take a year or two to spend time together and travel.

Photographer: Amy Nicole Photography / Planner, Venue, and Lighting: CJ’s Off the Square / Florist: The Enchanted Florist / Cake Baker and Caterer: Main Event Productions / Rentals: Southern Events Party Rentals / DJ: Jason Middleton of Premier DJs / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Paz” by Augusta Jones / Bride’s Jewelry: BHLDN / Veil: Toni Federici / Hair Stylist: Leah Blanco / Makeup Artist: Lisa Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “165” by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang

CJ’s Off the Square is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Amy Nicole Cherry reply

    Today is SUCH a joy! I’m SO thankful for this beautiful couple to be featured!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  2. avatar Kelsey reply

    That color scheme is to die for! Perfect for fall.

  3. avatar Tricia reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! I love all the colors and florals. Amy Nicole’s images are always so rich and vibrant! Well done!

  4. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love the colors used for this fall wedding! Beautiful flowers too!

  5. avatar lisa johnson reply

    i just love the vibrant colors and details of this wedding! such a lovely sweet bride and family!

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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