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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Hi friends! We’re a mere six weeks (!!!) away from our wedding day, and I’m feeling both incredibly joyful at the thought of marrying my best friend so soon… and a little bit overwhelmed by all that’s left to do! Luckily, I’ve planned more than a few weddings, so I know we’re at a great place in the grand scheme of things and what’s left on our to-do list are the little details you’d expect as our wedding draws closer. RSVP cards are filling my mailbox every day (it’s a highlight of our day to open them together in the evening!), I have a final dress fitting tomorrow, travel plans have been booked for our guests, our wedding bands are picked out, and Rob and I are both excitedly counting down the days til we’re husband and wife!

Photo by Jenna Walker via Style Me Pretty

I’ve been keeping the design and details of our wedding day pretty private, as I really want to surprise our family and friends when they arrive to celebrate our marriage. I’m also known for my love of surprising people, so it’s only fitting that we keep many elements of our day under wraps! Today, however, I want to share with you some ways we are making our ceremony and reception personalized and meaningful, all while on a budget.

I’ve learned more and more throughout planning our wedding how important it is to us to stick to our budget, which also helps us (me, especially) prioritize what’s most important to us and what novelties we are able to do without. It’s been both demanding and liberating to stick to our set budget, knowing that we could easily spend much more money… but also knowing that we do not want to do so. We’re sticking to our biggest priorities: loving our family and friends well, showing them genuine Southern hospitality, celebrating our marriage alongside our loved ones, and glorifying God through it all!

Bouquet by Philosophy Flowers and photo by Landon Jacob from this editorial

We chose to work with Alana from Serendipity Designs as our wedding florist, and I couldn’t be happier with our choice! Flowers are one my favorite wedding details, and they’re also something I notice right away as a guest. I love (love!!) flowers, and I have no doubt Serendipity Designs will make all of my floral dreams come true on our wedding day.

Many of my very favorite Southern blooms (most of them with great meaning to me) will be present in my bouquet and throughout our wedding design. We’ll be using O’Hara garden roses as a nod to my paternal grandma, as she and I share a deep love of the book Gone With the Wind and all things Scarlett O’Hara. And to pay tribute to my maternal grandma, who passed away a few months ago, we’ll be using Queen Anne’s lace, a beautiful flower that reminds me of her. My sweet mama is also letting me use a ribbon of lace from her wedding dress to tie around my bridal bouquet, as my sister did a couple years ago. I love knowing that I’ll be carrying such significant, sentimental nods to the most important ladies in my life as I marry Rob!

Photo by Amy Arrington from Lauren and Kristian’s wedding

For our ceremony, we hoping to portray our faith and God’s love for us in all aspects. One of the very first things I did after getting engaged was to rent a wooden cross for our ceremony (local Triangle brides, check out Homemade Bride!), as we want Christ to be the center of our wedding and our marriage. Even though we’re getting married outside under the trees, as I’ve envisioned my entire life, we know that we can still have a church-like ceremony, especially with a cross at the center of it all. And, as a nod to our engagement session under the Spanish moss and my love of Spanish moss, our florist will be adorning the cross with Spanish moss, a little detail I’m incredibly excited about it.

Photo by Nancy Ray Photography from Callie and Jamie’s wedding

During our ceremony, as one of our first acts together as husband and wife, we will be serving communion to all of our guests. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, and I tear up when I stop and think about the ceremony: walking down the aisle with my daddy, having our best friends stand by our side, saying our vows to one another and marrying Rob, praying with our pastor and our wedding party during the ceremony, singing our favorite hymns, and serving our family and friends communion. I can only imagine how many times I’ll cry happy tears on our wedding day!

Photo by Davy Whitener from this editorial

One of our biggest hopes for our details is that they showcase our love of our family. Rob and I both are blessed to have marvelous families, and we are grateful for the legacy of lifelong, abundantly loving marriages for all of our grandparents and parents. All of our grandparents and parents (and their marriages) have made a profound impact on us, and paying homage to those marriages at our wedding is something we’re very excited to do. Our beautiful venue, The Merrimon-Wynne House, has gorgeous white mantles in almost every room, which are the perfect spaces to display wedding photos of our grandparents and parents. I am also working on compiling marriage advice from our families, and we will be displaying their wisdom in a beautiful way, too.

Photo by Haley Sheffield from Emily and Joe’s wedding

Goodness, designing all of these details is something that makes my wedding-loving heart so happy, and knowing they are for OUR wedding is icing on the cake! I am truly giddy about the thought of it all and seeing these meaningful details come to life on our wedding day.

Tell me: if you already got married, what were the most personalized details you chose to incorporate that are a nod to your love story? And if you haven’t planned your wedding yet, are there any details you are absolutely set on having? (I used to want a black and white checked dance floor (and I still do!), but it simply isn’t in our budget and wasn’t an absolute priority for me!)

P.S. In case you missed a post:
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress
Bridesmaid style
Engagement photos

Landon Jacob, Amy Arrington, Nancy Ray, and Davy Whitener are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Photo by Jose Villa via Once Wed

Hello, hello! I’m excited to share another installment from our wedding planning journey, especially since we’re right at 100 days til we say “I do”! Our engagement has flown by in the best of ways, and it’s exhilarating (and only a little anxiety-inducing) to think we are three months away from our wedding day.

I’m so pleased to report that I finally made a decision and pulled the trigger on bridesmaid dresses! Choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses has felt like one of the biggest tasks on my priority list, so I’m especially excited to have come to a decision after much browsing and searching.

Photo by Justine Milton via Style Me Pretty

I feel so unbelievably blessed to have eleven of my closest friends standing by my side on our wedding day. My amazing sister and best friend, Bridgette, is my matron of honor, and then ten of my best friends from college and my time in D.C. round out the group. These incredible, beautiful friends mean so very much to me, and I am honored and grateful that they are in my bridal party! (Rob has eleven groomsmen, and yes, we know we have a very large wedding party – but this is the South, after all!)

Given that I have a large number of bridesmaids, you can imagine that they live all over. Only one of my bridesmaids lives near me in the Triangle, and the rest are spread all over the East Coast and South. I knew that going bridesmaid dress shopping in person wasn’t really an option, and I also knew that I needed to make a decision fairly quickly, given our six month engagement. I wanted to be especially mindful of budgets (especially since I knew I’d be going with a long gown) and body shapes/fit. (I have bridesmaids ranging from 5’2 to 5’11 and one who will be seven months pregnant!)

Photo by Julie Cate via Style Me Pretty

Today, I’m sharing several gorgeous inspiration images I’ve collected that reflect the look I’m envisioning for our wedding. I knew I wanted long gowns for my ladies, and I knew the general color palette. The hunt was on for the perfect shade(s) of dresses in the most flattering, beautiful styles… all at a reasonable price.

As you can tell from the photos I’ve collected, I love long gowns (perfect for a spring garden wedding); mismatched but complementary styles; soft, flowing, romantic gowns; a particular color palette (any guesses on the final color(s)?); and, of course, bouquets with contrasting flowing ribbons!

Photo by Nancy Ray via Southern Weddings

It took a long time and much searching, but I am so thrilled that I finally found exactly what I was looking for! Styles and color have been decided, dresses have been ordered, and now I cannot wait to see my lovely, wonderful bridesmaids looking oh-so-gorgeous on our wedding day! It’ll be the first time I see it all together — eek!

I’d love to hear how the bridesmaid dress journey/decision was for you! Did you run into any obstacles or shift ideas completely? I didn’t expect it to be so hard to find dresses in the exact style and color I was envisioning, but I’m glad we persevered. By the way, when I was younger, I always thought my bridesmaids would wear yellow! :)

P.S. In case you missed a post…
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress

Nancy Ray is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
0 Comments

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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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Portraits at the Merrimon-Wynne by Julie Livingston from Erin and Sean’s wedding

While Rob and I are still drinking celebratory champagne and have enjoyed every second of our engagement celebrations, we also moved fairly quickly into thinking about those looming big details pretty soon after his proposal: budget, guest count, venue, and wedding date!

Even before the proposal, we had a general timeline in mind for our wedding, and we also knew we didn’t want a long engagement. As a wedding planner in Raleigh, I have an excellent grasp on what it takes to plan a wedding, how long I think I need to do so, and a good read on the venues and vendors in the area. With the weddings already on my calendar for 2017, we were thinking a late summer wedding – or possibly late spring – would work well. All of this, of course, depended on when he proposed!

From Sarah and Cam’s wedding by Robyn Van Dyke

Rob asked me to be his wife on October 1, 2016, and it just so happens that we’ll be married exactly six months later on April 1, 2017! (Yes, April Fool’s Day – we’re two fools in love, as he says!) Once we were engaged, we discussed the location and potential venues for our wedding. We easily decided on Raleigh, North Carolina, as it’s both of our home now, and will be after the wedding, too. I went to college just down the road in Chapel Hill, and Rob has lived in Raleigh since graduating from NC State. We also met and fell in love here, so it’s only fitting that we tie the knot in our great city!

We inquired about pricing and availability at only a handful of venues, keeping in mind a few things: our large-ish guest count, the ambiance and aesthetic we wanted, the budget we had in mind, and a location central to Raleigh. The Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown was our first choice from the very beginning! We quickly heard back from them that they had one available Saturday in a seven-month window of time in 2017, which just so happened to be April 1. After mulling it over and talking with our parents, we decided to go for it! Our engagement might be a smidge shorter than anticipated, but we feel so great about our decision and the venue that we’ve chosen! We’ve gone together to a couple events at the Merrimon-Wynne, and I love that Rob loves this gorgeous venue just as much as I do. We cannot wait to transform it in April for our wedding and tie the knot as this special place in the heart of our city!!

Portraits just outside the Merrimon-Wynne by Julie Livingston from Erin and Sean’s wedding

One of the other biggest decisions we made early on was our photographer. This was one of the decisions that was really hard in some ways, and really easy in others. I am so fortunate that many of my closest friends in the area are wedding photographers. Rob and I regularly hang out with and are dear friends with some incredibly talented folks, and I looked with trepidation to the day when we’d have to choose just one. However, I know our friends completely understand and support us, and they often joked about who we would choose. (I, on the other hand, used to joke I’d hire each photographer for an hour of our wedding so we could use them all!)

Rob and I are thrilled to have Ally and Bobby Willix as our wedding photographers! We made the decision together, as I want Rob’s input and opinion on every major decision. We talked through a lot of options, looked at pricing, looked through portfolios of wedding work, and envisioned who we wanted there on our wedding day capturing all of those intimate, special, wonderful moments. Rob and I came to the same consensus that our amazing – and supremely talented – friends Ally and Bobby would be the perfect fit. We are so, so excited about this (and we know they are too, based off of their reactions when we called to tell them the good news!). We celebrated with them over champagne last week, and had so much fun talking all things wedding together!

If you’re a bride-to-be or have already planned your wedding, how long was your engagement? And what were the very first decisions you and your fiancé made for your wedding? I’d love to hear!

Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Shelby Vanhoy reply

    Love this Stephanie! You picked the most beautiful venue and Ally and Bobby will capture the most beautiful moments. So excited for you & Rob!!

    xo, Shelby

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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