Southern Weddings

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There are few things more Southern than a community coming together, which is one of the many reasons Erica and Daniel’s wedding was so magical! Their family and friends helped with everything from offering up their gorgeous property as a venue, to building and crafting reception details, to bartending and cutting the cake on the night-of. Getting married at a private residence is no easy feat, but with all hands on deck, Shiloh Farms certainly turned into the perfect home for this joyful celebration. Erica and Daniel also went out of their way to get to know their vendors on a personal level, so even the folks who started out as strangers became part of the community that made this day extra special!

Many thanks to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Anna Shackleford for sharing this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to my first appointment at Affordable Bridal, Inc. in Buford, Georgia. I had heard great things about the shop from friends who bought their dresses there. I arrived to my appointment with my mother, sister, and maid of honor, and was instantly greeted by two smiling women who respected my budget and went straight to picking out dresses in the style I had in mind. I tried on about ten dresses before finding the one. Once I put on that beautiful, lace, fit and flare gown with cap sleeves and a keyhole back, I knew it was going to be the dress that I married Daniel in, and so did the rest of the women there. Just when I didn’t think it couldn’t get any better, the stylist placed a cathedral veil on my head and I was done for. Not to mention, I was able to buy the dress off the rack and at an additional 15 percent off. It was the perfect dress, and I will never forget how beautiful it made me feel!

We decided to do a first look and I am so happy we did. We knew that with a wedding party and guest list as big as ours, we wouldn’t have that much alone time. Having a first look gave us an opportunity to enjoy each other, check each other out in our wedding attire, cry, laugh, and pray. We even took that time to read letters that we had written to each other. Afterwards, we washed each other’s feet as a sign of humbling ourselves before the other, serving one another for a lifetime, and loving each other just like Christ loves His church. It was the most intimate moment. The first look did not take away the anticipation of me walking down the aisle to Daniel. In fact, we think it made it that much better.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to have our wedding at Shiloh Farms, the property of our dear friends who are like family to us. I stayed at the farm when I would visit Daniel over the course of our long-distance relationship. It is special to us because it is truly where our romance developed, as well as where Daniel proposed. We dreamed of having a wedding there and are blessed to have shared this simple, yet magical place with our family and friends.

Music is so important to Daniel and I. Daniel plays the guitar, bass, and piano, and he performs in the worship team at our church. I wouldn’t say I’m a professional, but I am a fan of musicians (obviously) and I love going to concerts. We knew that music had to be a key element in our wedding. Our friends and members of the worship team at our church sang during the ceremony while the bridal party walked down the aisle and during the communion. Here are the songs: “Take My Heart” by Emily Hackett feat. Will Anderson (Daniel’s song walking down), “Fall Afresh” by Bethel (bridesmaid and bridal processional), “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” by All Sons and Daughters (communion), and “Brand New” by Ben Rector (recessional).

Our favorite detail of the wedding was the cedarwood bar my dad handmade for the reception. He worked so hard on it for two and a half months. He will tell you that it was one of his favorite projects, and it was definitely a hit at the reception! He loved showing it off, and our guests loved hanging around it to enjoy drinks and conversation. It was such a special gift, and we now proudly display it on our backyard patio.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Daniel’s family is extremely talented and his sisters helped by making our wedding signs that were displayed during the ceremony and reception, as well as creating a design for each welcome bag that went to our guests staying at hotels. We created a DIY photo booth by borrowing furniture and picture frames. We asked friends to bartend during the reception and had two ladies offer to cut our cake so we didn’t have to pay a cake cutting fee. We decided not to have wedding favors to reduce the cost.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. When people ask how we met, we usually keep things simple and say “at a wedding,” but here is the real story. Daniel and I attended a wedding of mutual friends, separately. He saw me sitting at a table alone “in a red dress” (he likes to add), and due to unforeseen circumstances, we never actually talked at the wedding. However, Daniel found out who I was through a mutual friend and added me on Facebook later that night. Two weeks later, Daniel messaged me saying that he saw me at the wedding, and was wondering if he could get to know me over coffee. One thing led to another and Daniel made the grueling trek from Valdosta, Georgia to Atlanta, where we talked over coffee for three hours. On Labor Day, he drove up again for our first “real” date, where we went hiking, ate our favorite Italian food, and went to the movies. After that, I found myself making the trip down to Valdosta to visit Daniel for the first time. It was then when Daniel told me that he wanted to pursue me with the intentions of marriage. Since then, we have embarked on a whirlwind romance full of new adventures that ultimately led to me moving down to Valdosta to be with him. Our friends and family would agree that the crazy way our relationship has come about is truly God’s work at hand. We are full of immeasurable joy as we embrace this new chapter as husband and wife!
Tell us all about the proposal! On Labor Day, one year from when we went on our first date, we were at one of our favorite restaurants in town when Daniel mentioned that our friends, the owners of Shiloh Farms, wanted us to come see them. I was less inclined to go because I had to work the next day and needed to go to the grocery store. Daniel insisted that we go, saying we needed to pick up my kayak, which was at the farm. On the drive there, I was looking on social media, and at least three people I knew had gotten engaged. I kept going on and on about it and joked with Daniel that he would probably propose with a ring hiding in food since he loves food so much. We pulled up to the front of the house and I noticed flower arrangements sitting in their gazebo. I didn’t think twice about it and started to walk inside the house. Daniel grabbed my hand and said we should go check out the flowers. When we walked inside the gazebo, I noticed that there were rose petals on the ground. I felt Daniel take a step back, and when I looked to see what he was doing, I saw tears in his eyes…and that’s when I knew. Daniel got down on one knee and popped the question. My jaw dropped and I went through a process of being speechless and in shock to saying, “oh my gosh” and “is this real,” to finally saying “YES!” Afterwards, he turned and pointed back at the house to where his sister, Ashley, was hanging out of the second story window taking pictures of the whole thing. We literally could not stop smiling, freaking out, hugging, kissing, and laughing. It was the best, most surreal moment of pure joy and happiness.
When did y’all get married? April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided not to write our own vows. We kept it traditional and we both found that they were just as powerful. We both had tears in our eyes, and I could hardly keep it together as he said, “For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Daniel’s sister, Alison, read Ephesians 5:22-31. Daniel and I found this scripture to be so vital during our marriage counseling and we wanted to incorporate it into our ceremony.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge we faced was adjusting the menu to feed 300 guests while staying within our budget. We went back and forth with our caterer so many times because of our guest list grew weekly. Thankfully, she was willing to work with us and did everything she could to give us want we wanted. We paid a little more than we had originally planned for, but it all worked out in the end and the food was a hit.
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? It takes a lot of time to plan a wedding on your own, especially at a private venue. If you have the money, I would suggest hiring a planner and selecting a venue that takes care of everything. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding, but it just caused a lot of unnecessary stress. To the brides, be sure to include your groom in the planning. They may want something special that you wouldn’t have originally thought of. To the grooms, know that the special woman you are about to marry has probably dreamed of this day for a long time. Respect her during the stressful times and be there to listen and offer encouragement when she needs it. To the couple, understand that this is just one day. It is a very special day, but it goes by so fast. Enjoy the planning, but take time to go on dates and eliminate wedding talk.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Daniel and I are excited to be buying our first home together. I work as a nurse on night shift and he works as a general contractor, so with our crazy schedules, we are looking forward to a time of rest and enjoying each other in our home with our two dogs, Maddie and Cooper. We are looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us during our marriage, getting involved in ministry, being successful with our jobs, creating life-giving relationships with family and friends, and traveling to new places.

Photographer: Anna Shackleford | Videographer: Lucas Hicks Video and Photography | Planner: Jamie Lea Shiver | Venue: Shiloh Farms | Florist: Hilary Colyer | Cake Baker: Pam Vickers | Caterer: Covington’s Dining and Catering | Rentals and Lighting: International Tent Inc. and Shindig | Decor: The Squirrel’s Nest | DJ: Tom Hochschild | Champagne Glasses and Cake Cutting Set: Oriental Trading Company | Paper Products: Shutterfly, Etsy, and Staples | Bride’s Gown: “Bronwyn” by Maggie Sottero | Bride’s Hairpiece and Veil: Affordable Bridal, Inc. | Bride’s Earrings: Steel’s Jewelry | Hair Stylist: Anna Beth Purvis | Makeup Artist: Claire Rice | Bride’s Shoes and Groomsmen Attire: JCPenney | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Dessy Group | Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom | Officiant: Brinson Barker | Acoustics: Event Point

Anna Shackleford is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Elisabeth reply

    I really love these bridesmaids dresses. Can anyone tell me what specific color or collection they’re from?

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I went to college in Austin, so I have an extra soft spot for all our ATX couples–especially when they’re as sweet as Rachel and Chris! These high school sweethearts grew up together, and when the time finally came for them to tie the knot, I can only imagine how incredible the energy at the Barr Mansion was as their loved ones gathered to be a part of their next chapter. Everyone was completely present as Rachel and Chris saw each other for the first time when Rachel walked down the aisle, they recited traditional vows, and they read touching letters to one another during their ceremony. As Rachel said, “I think maybe it’s because we had both waited so long for that moment, there was no way we weren’t going to be totally focused and enjoy it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy than I did when I was up there with Chris!”

Thank you so much to The Nichols for sending this lovely day our way!

The dress I wore (Brisa by Christos) was the first dress I ever tried on. When I first tried it on, I really liked it, but it was significantly over our price range, so I decided to just block it out of my mind. Over the course of a year, I would try on dresses and think I found the one… but when it came down to purchasing one, I could never get myself to do it. It got to the point where I had seen every dress in Austin and I didn’t feel like I had found one I wanted to wear. I was so frustrated! Then, one day, I was looking through Instagram and saw the pictures of Emily (Southern Weddings gal!) wearing the Brisa dress and I realized that I had to have that dress. I had always felt so bad asking for it because of the price, but at this point, my mom knew how desperate I was, so I thought maybe it would be okay. I asked my mom if we could go back so I could try it on and she said yes! When we arrived at the store, I told the woman what dress I wanted to try on again and she just gave me this look…I knew instantly what had happened. About a month prior, the dress had been discontinued, never to be made again. When she told me, I didn’t cry…but boy, was I crying on the inside. She brought out several dresses for me to try on, but I didn’t like any of them. Then she told me she still had the size 10 sample Brisa dress in the back and she brought it out. I thought maybe I could get it altered to fit me. The dress was the floor model and it looked pretty bad, but I was convinced I could get it all fixed up! As I was looking in the mirror convincing myself that this plan would work, the consultant remembered that she sold the dress in my size to a girl eight months prior. She decided to text the girl and ask if she would want to sell her dress to me. The girl immediately responded and said she already had it in a resale shop in town and that it hadn’t sold yet! My mom and I sped over there and we got my dream dress for a great price. It was a crazy day that I’ll always remember!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Barr Mansion is just so beautiful. I didn’t look anywhere else because I knew that was the place I wanted to get married.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No. Chris and I have always talked about that moment and how special it would be to see each other for the first time during our ceremony. There is something so awesome about walking down the aisle to your groom and seeing the look on their face. I couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

We wrote letters in addition to saying traditional vows. My favorite thing Chris wrote was: “From this day forward, our lives will be one binding thread, and each new knot we tie will be a decision that we make as one. I won’t ever leave you behind or wandering, I’ll catch you when you stumble, I’ll dry your tears when you cry, and I’ll revel in your joys. I will always be faithful to you, and I will never, ever stop praying for you.” His favorite thing I wrote was: “Yes, we’ve gone through many arguments and times of disappoint in each other, but no obstacle has ever pushed us apart and no obstacle ever will. I give you that promise on this day, I will never give up on our love and if I ever think about it, I will run towards the Lord until he brings me right back to you. We’ve always found a way back to each other’s arms and I know that we always will.”

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Right after we got engaged, we took a marriage class at our church for newly married/engaged couples. We learned so much about the true meaning of marriage and how to make God the center of it all. It got our minds focused on what really matters and reiterated how serious the commitment we were making is. About four months before our wedding, we also began premarital counseling with the pastor of the church Chris grew up at. We dug so deep and solved so many issues. One thing we are so happy that we did, and would recommend to anyone getting married, is to make sure there is nothing you are keeping or have kept from the other person. Being completely honest and open with one another about everything in our lives brought us even closer than we could have imagined, and it has made our transition into married life feel so much more natural and easy.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Think about your guests. It was so important to us that people had a good time at our wedding, and it made it that much more fun for us to see people enjoying themselves throughout the night. We tried to pick music that would get people up and dancing, food and drinks they would enjoy, and we tried to talk to as many people as we could. All of that made it feel like an awesome party.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Not going over budget! There are so many beautiful options out there and so many cute, extra things to add, but we had to say no to some things.

Our desserts were made by Barr Mansion and were the yummiest desserts we’ve ever eaten. Chris decided on the homemade apple cobbler and I chose the four-berry naked cake with whipped cream. As if it couldn’t get any better, we also had ice cream from Lick (my favorite ice cream shop ever–it’s better than the gelato in Italy!). The flavors we chose were Hill Country Honey Vanilla Bean and Ladybird Lavender Crisp.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I met in high school and started dating a few months later. I had never felt so comfortable around someone as I did around Chris. He is not just the love of my life, but also my closest friend. I love that we’ve grown into adulthood together. We have some of the best stories since we’ve been together through high school and college! I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.
Tell us all about the proposal! I pretty much saw the entire thing coming, but that didn’t make it any less special. We went on vacation with my parents to Martha’s Vineyard, and one night, they told me we were going to dinner. We drove for a very long time–it looked like we were headed to the middle of nowhere. As it turns out, Chris was taking me to the most beautiful beach. He definitely set the scene perfectly. He walked me down to the beach and we didn’t speak–we were both just smiling because we both knew that the other knew what was coming. It was after a walk down the beach that he asked me to marry him. It was a very sweet moment and I’ll never forget how excited we both were. One of my favorite memories from our proposal is that he put the engagement ring on the wrong finger. It was pretty cute!
When did y’all get married? May 7, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 165
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We began choosing music together very early on in the process, and it was probably one of the most fun and collaborative parts of planning our wedding. We wanted to choose music that everyone would enjoy, but that still felt special to us. I walked down the aisle to the main theme from the movie “One Day” by Rachael Portman. Chris and I love that movie and could watch it together over and over again. The score is so lovely and emotional; just hearing the sound of those strings in the main theme can make me start to tear up. We walked back up the aisle to the second, upbeat half of “Lover’s Carvings” by Bibio, which was a great way to signal that the party had officially started. For our first dance, we danced to “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. Our dancing music was a mix of so many things: top 40, 70s dance music, rap, country, and classic wedding songs.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We didn’t have a full bar–just wine and beer. It was still so much fun and literally everyone was dancing.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our ceremony is something we will never forget. People had told us that it would zoom by and that we wouldn’t remember anything, but we were both so present, it was almost unbelievable. I think maybe it’s because we had both waited so long for that moment, there was no way we weren’t going to be totally focused and enjoy it. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy than I did when I was up there with Chris!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Our honeymoon in Tulum was so beautiful and fun, it made us excited to plan our next trip together. Chris and I really want to see as many pretty places and eat as much delicious food as we can over the course of our lives. Right now, we are just working and enjoying our nights together. I love to cook, so after work, I normally come home and make something tasty. We’re also excited to continue to decorate our apartment together; it’s so fun when your place really starts to feel like the two of you. We recently bought a plant and we are very excited about that!

Photographer: The Nichols | Videographer: Michael Larkin | Venue, Caterer, Dessert and Rentals: Barr Mansion | Florist and Rentals: Stems | Lighting and DJ: Greenbelt DJ | Paper Products: Oak & Orchid | Bride’s Gown: “Brisa” by Christos | Veil: “Peony” by Christos | Jewelry: Nordstrom | Hair Stylist: Jeni Hoover Brady | Makeup Artist: Maris Malone Calderon | Bride’s Shoes: “Felicia” by Sam Edelman | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Banana Republic | Groom’s Attire: “Hugo Boss | Ties: The Tie Bar

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    love so many details in this wedding!

  2. avatar Jennifer Nichols reply

    Thank you Southern Weddings for sharing this beautiful wedding that we were fortunate enough to document! Congrats to Rachel and Chris!

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Confession: I have been secretly looking forward to writing this post for over a year! Maghon is a very dear friend of Southern Weddings (if you’ve tuned in to our launch party live stream over the last two years, you may recognize her!), and she and her beau, Chris, were married last May. After 20 years of love and friendship, they had plenty of memories to draw from for wedding inspiration, and as a result, their day was packed with meaningful details, plus plenty of Maghon’s cheery calligraphy–she’s the talent behind All She Wrote Notes, after all! As if that wasn’t enough to love about this colorful North Carolina celebration, Maghon and Chris also have a huge passion for their Southern roots, and adopted “Cheers, y’all!” as their official wedding day motto. Join me in raising a glass (or coffee cup!) to toast the Taylors, and enjoy this recap of their joyful day!

We’re so glad our Blue Ribbon Vendor Anna Paschal was on hand to capture every fun moment!

I knew in my head exactly what I wanted in a dress: I wanted to feel like myself. I am marrying a guy who has played basketball with me since first grade, so I wanted to walk down the aisle and have Chris see the girl he’s always known. I also LOVE fun jewelry and accessories, so I wanted a simple dress that didn’t compete and wasn’t too much. My friend (and wedding photographer) Anna suggested I try the J. Crew Warehouse in Virginia, and that same day, we hopped in the car and drove there! I found the EXACT dress I had in mind, and the best part is–y’all won’t even believe this–it was $73! I could have cried, I was so excited!

Describe your wedding flowers. Coral. Charm. Peonies. I wanted a big, beautiful, pink bouquet with peonies, and Kat with Dear Sweetheart Events absolutely nailed it. I knew I was going to give it away to Chris’ grandmother in honor of their 56 years of beautiful marriage later in the evening, so I wanted it to be extra special!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did and it was my absolute favorite part of our whole day! I knew that Chris and I would both be pulled in different directions all day and I really wanted a moment that was just for us. We knew from the very beginning that we would do a first look, and our venue even had a porch swing for it! I walked around the corner to see my sweet man, and I don’t ever want to forget the way he looked at me. It was the most simple and comfortable moment, and all of our favorite photos are from those few minutes together. It gave me such a sense of peace and calm to have had that time with him before the ceremony, and I will always be grateful that we did it!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I can’t even pick just one. I truly loved everything, but my absolute favorite was our invitation envelopes. Molly at Ply took my crazy idea and made it happen and it was even more awesome than I could have even imagined. Chris and I exchanged notes every day when we were kids, and when I was moving a few years ago, I stumbled across the box where I had saved every single one he wrote me. He would draw this little heart at the bottom of each one with an arrow going through, and from the moment I found that note, I knew I wanted it to be incorporated into our wedding somehow. Molly took Chris’ original pencil drawing and turned it into an amazing envelope liner that also included a cute message to explain that Chris drew this for me when we were 10 years old. That note is my most prized possession, so it was absolutely the most meaningful detail to me.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to stick with traditional vows, but with one little addition. Chris and I both admittedly have had a crush on each other since first grade and want to make sure we always do. We added the line “to have a crush on you always” to our vows, and that will forever be my favorite! That’s a promise I can’t even wait to keep.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My best friend from high school, Rachel, read 1 Corinthians 13. Rachel has been such an inspiration to me spiritually over the years and there isn’t anyone else I would have chosen to do that special reading.

Chris and I have known each other almost our entire lives, but we knew we still had a lot to learn. We met weekly with our amazing pastor, Josh Sands, and discussed a different marriage topic every week, from communication to budgeting, family, and everything in between. I was sad when those sessions were over because I loved them so much!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think making our guests feel like family was the most important Southern tradition that we incorporated. Growing up, my family always held hands around the dinner table to pray, so I got on the mic and explained this tradition to our guests. Before dinner, all 150 of us held hands in a circle and prayed to bless the food and our marriage. My brother did this at his wedding too and I was proud to continue the tradition. We served Eastern and Western North Carolina BBQ with all the fixin’s, and a dessert table that made you feel like you were at a family picnic. Starting from our save the date, the theme of our wedding was “Cheers, Y’all!” and we incorporated that into our signage, coasters, koozies, napkins and anywhere else we could! That’s one of my favorite sayings and totally fits our personality as a couple.

My FAVORITE songs are the ones for our first dance. Part 1: Chris and I both fondly remember our very first middle school dance in sixth grade, when we danced (very awkwardly) to “All My Life” by K Ci and Jo Jo. Every time I’ve heard that song over the past 20 years, I always thought about Chris Taylor. When the music started, we decided to throw it back to middle school and have our arms WAY extended out like little kids do, to make everyone laugh. Part 2: The moment I knew I was going to marry Chris was when we were in the car on the way to watch a Carolina game and he played “Jump Around” by House of Pain. That is the “get hype” song for UNC and the song that they always play before a jump ball. We have gone to dozens of games ever since and I always grab his hand during that song and remember that first moment. So we knew that this would need to be part of our first dance too! We had planned with our DJ to cut out of “All My Life” and into “Jump Around,” but what Chris didn’t know was that I had an even bigger surprise planned (and the only secret I’ve ever kept). My friends at the General Alumni Association helped me invite the UNC mascot, Rameses, to the festivities, and he joined us during our first dance as a HUGE surprise to all of our guests, including the groom!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I have two. A few weeks before our wedding, we got some amazing advice from our friends who said that we should steal away for just a few minutes, step back, and just watch the party happen. Chris and I snuck away in a corner for a little while during our reception and just beamed at all of our family and friends. Love was so, so present at every moment for the entire day, but that’s the picture in my mind when I think back about all of it. My other favorite is that I couldn’t get Chris’ ring on his finger! They warn you that this may happen, but most brides would remain calm and just let the show go on. Not me. I waited almost 30 years for this! Chris gave me a look and said “go for it,” so I practically man handled his finger to get his ring on! We both died laughing and so did the crowd. Chris then looked at everyone and gave them a thumbs up! It was perfect.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I met in the first grade!! I had a crush on him for as long as I can remember, and he officially asked me to be his girlfriend when we were 10 years old. He was my first slow dance, first kiss, and first guy I ever said “I love you” to. We were boyfriend/girlfriend in sixth and seventh grade, but we weren’t quite ready for forever back then, so we remained friends through high school and college. We reconnected at our five-year high school reunion, exchanged numbers, and started hanging out. It wasn’t until a few years later that we finally went on our first date to play golf in our hometown and we’ve been PAR-TEE-ing ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Lots of important life moments for me, and my best memories as a child, have taken place in a porch swing, and our proposal was no different. When I purchased my first home, my daddy built a swing for my porch that is a replica of the one that was on my playhouse when I was a little girl. Every Sunday, Chris and I love to hang out on the porch, me in the swing and him in an heirloom rocking chair that came from my grandparents. We listen to music, catch up on our week, and just chat about life and love. This particular Sunday, we were enjoying our regular porch party when he walked towards me like he was walking in the house, but instead, he got down on one knee and asked me if I would make him the happiest guy ever and be Maghon Walker Taylor! I was SO excited that the first thing I blurted out was “Thank you” instead of yes!! It was so special, so laid back, and so us! Every weekend when I am out there now, swinging in the swing still gives me butterflies. The biggest surprise was that Chris had actually called and booked my dream wedding venue just a few weeks before he proposed, so not only did I have a brand new fiancé, we already had a date and the venue I had always wanted!
When did y’all get married? May 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our bridesmaids walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “Carolina on my Mind” by James Taylor because Chris and I are both Tar Heel fanatics. I walked down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys, and chose it because even though we didn’t play the words, I love what they say. For our walk back down the aisle, I have waited on this one forever and always pictured our kiss and walk every time it came on the radio. It was “Gone Gone Gone” by Phillip Phillips. I LOVE every word and feel that Chris and I take turns living out those words for each other every day.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. If you ask Chris or myself what we are having for dessert, it’s almost always going to be banana pudding! We opted for a dessert bar instead of a traditional wedding cake and we asked each one of our moms and grandmothers to make our favorite desserts. They each have their own specialty and it was so much fun to see it all come together. We also had Carolina blue cotton candy from Sweet Puff Candy and Chapel Hill Toffee, which are some of my favorites from two sweet friends.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Chris and I paid for our wedding ourselves, so as much as that certainly was a challenge, we loved working together to have the day that was exactly what we wanted. The hardest part for me was choosing my bridesmaids. I have been blessed with SO many amazing girlfriends throughout my life and if I could have had every single woman there stand up at the front with me, I would have.
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? I am a calligrapher, so I addressed our invitations, worked with an amazing stationer to put a handwritten touch on our invites, and created our signage, place cards, and decor. There was so much calligraphy that at one point, Chris was like, “May, we get it that you write cursive for a living! That’s probably enough!” :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just welcomed a new golden doodle puppy, Mr. Teddy Confetti, to our household a few weeks ago and we are looking to move into a larger place. I’ve lived in our current home for four years and started running my business out of our home before Chris moved in. We are so blessed that All She Wrote Notes has continued to expand, but Chris is tired of finding confetti everywhere, so we need a little more space! I am excited to channel my inner Joanna Gaines and make a beautiful home for us wherever we’re supposed to be. God’s plans have been bigger (and far better) than our own throughout our whole journey to find each other, so we can’t even wait to see what He has in store. Right now, we are just enjoying the ride.

Photographer: Anna Paschal Photography | Videographer: Dansby Productions | Planner and Florist: Dear Sweetheart Events | Venue: The Gardens at Gray Gables | Caterer: Prissy Polly’s BBQ | DJ: Mike Marshall of Triad DJ and Events | Guest Appearance: Rameses the UNC Mascot and UNC Pom Pons | Paper Products: Ply Fine Paper | Bride’s Gown: “Miranda” by J. Crew | Bride’s Jewelry: Moon and Lola | Birdcage Veil: David’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Jourdan Gallman | Bride’s Shoes: Fan Feet | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Urban Outfitters, Old Navy, Red Dress Boutique | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic, Saks 5th Avenue, Nike | Groomsmen Attire: Express | Calligraphy, Cake Topper, Signage, and Decor: All She Wrote Notes | Cotton Candy: Sweet Puff Candy | Toffee: Chapel Hill Toffee | Tassel Garlands: Studio Mucci | Ring Bearer Bow Ties: Little Brotique

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Skylar Caitlin reply

    How fun and absolutely adorable is this bride?!? I love the energy and joy that is conveyed through their design choices as well as through Anna Paschal’s images. And those par-tee escort cards, genius! Dear Sweetheart Events really hit this one out of the park (oops, incidental sports pun)

  2. avatar Kristin reply

    Not even kidding. I laughed and cried my way through this whole interview. I love the details + joy + ALL the color!! Such a blessed Southern PAR-TEE indeed!!

  3. avatar Evangeline Smoot reply

    Did anyone notice the bridesmaids dresses? I like that these dresses were different for each body type. This complements the women in them and the color scheme for the dresses blended nicely with the bouquets and the groomsmen attire. Good choices for great ladies.

  4. avatar Vanessa Hodge reply

    This is really colorful and that too from everywhere. It’s always good to see something unique, interesting and different. Thanks for sharing!

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