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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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Arielle says she has known all her life that she would someday be married on the beach. When it came time to decide where she and Chris would tie the knot, Seaside, Florida was the perfect choice–this Austin-dwelling couple has visited Seaside every year since their first year of dating! While I’m quite the fan of their location choice, I think their vow selection has my heart (be sure to read their favorite lines). They pieced together phrases that fit their relationship perfectly, saying that “every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!” That’s the sweet stuff right there, y’all!

We’re so delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor, Dear Wesleyann was there to capture their lovely day!

I went to visit my family in Cincinnati and we went to the Reading Bridal District. I have a very boho style and have known all my life that I would get married on a beach, so it was a given that I had to find something wispy and light. We went into Yours Truly Kelly for our first stop, and there it was: a light tulle gown with little petals flowing down the train. It was too big, so my mom convinced me to try another shop, but I couldn’t get the dress off my mind! The next day, I went back and purchased the dress, and worked with a seamstress here in Austin to tailor it to my body, which required redesigning the bodice. We also added a belt made out of a hand-beaded fabric from a local shop in Austin.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We worked with the pastor from our church in Houston, Ecclesia, to piece together our vows. In my vows, I especially loved a phrase that said “I take you, Chris, to be my constant friend and faithful partner…I promise to love you unconditionally and support your goals from this day forward.” Chris loved this part of his vows: “I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the woman you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.” These phrases fit us so perfectly because we have really grown up together. Every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!

Chris walked my grandma down the aisle to “Edelweiss,” which is her favorite song. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “What a Wonderful World,” because he and I always listened to Eva Cassidy growing up, and we both love that song. Our friend played songs by Zac Brown Band on a ukulele while we did our knot-tying ceremony, which brought us back to our time in Nashville! Our first dance was to “Wagon Wheel,” because it was kind of our song when we first started dating, after lots of fun nights dancing and singing to it together at the bars with friends!

Describe your wedding flowers. I cried the moment I saw my bouquet. Marja from Florals by the Sea did the most incredible job using coral peonies, white anemones, white roses, lamb’s ear, and bright green foliage. It was breathtaking and looked so beautiful against the ocean and the sand.

If there’s one thing we heard most while planning our destination wedding, it was “Why Seaside?” Simply put, when Chris and I are there, it feels like the rest of the world could not be further away, and we enjoy a simpler way of life, if only for a few days. We’ve visited Seaside every year since our first year of dating! We invited guests to take time during the wedding weekend to walk through the Seaside farmer’s market, have a beer on the porch of the Great Southern, walk through the Perspicasity market, and pick up a few Seaside t-shirts along the way. Ultimately, we wanted our friends and family to fall in love with Seaside for the same reasons we did. Because of that hope, this quiet little beach town was the perfect choice for our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The colors, the clothing, the bow ties (Vineyard Vines), the entire look and feel, the architecture of Seaside, Southern food (chicken and waffle skewers, shrimp and grits, and local brews), the music choices, and all of our Southern friends and family…I could go on and on!

The most memorable moment of our wedding day was the very end of the reception. As the night concluded, Chris and I walked up the stairs to the Bud & Alley’s bar, and I just remember looking down at our guests and seeing so much love. Everyone was beaming with joy. It was beautiful and I feel so blessed to have that memory to think back on every day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while attending Belmont University in Nashville. I was having a dinner party with some of our fraternity and sorority friends, and one of them brought Chris, who had just transferred to Belmont, along. We became very good friends in the following months, and began dating about a year later. We haven’t looked back since!
Tell us all about the proposal! We had moved to Houston, Texas for work. My family was planning to visit for Thanksgiving, so I had an inclination that Chris would possibly propose during their visit, but I suppose he couldn’t wait! It was a Thursday evening and we got in the car to go out for a late dinner. We had decided to go to Dolce Vita, our favorite spot in Montrose, but Chris started driving in the opposite direction towards Houston’s mall, The Galleria. I remember being so confused (and hungry!). He kept talking on and on (much more than usual) about our new church and our life in our new city. Eventually, he parked in the mall parking garage and told me he wanted to check out some sort of art display. This was very unusual, because he isn’t really the art type! I followed him and the next thing I knew, we were in an unlit park with a large cement wall, most commonly referred to as the Water Wall. Usually, the wall is lit up, but on this night in particular, they were doing some maintenance and there was a boom lift in the middle of it. I looked at Chris and said something along the lines of “Why are we at this dark park…it’s not even open, and there’s construction stuff everywhere!” I turned around to walk away when he stopped me and said, “Well, I was going to ask you to marry me!” I turned around in utter disbelief and laughed, asking if he was joking. After he assured me that he was serious, I, of course, said yes, and then we went to have a celebratory dinner at Dolce Vita!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Probably the cake table, because it was so close to our hearts. The cake stand was handmade by Chris’ dad, and my grandparents’ cake topper from their wedding sat beside it. The hand-beaded starfish chandelier that my mom so lovingly made for us added to the beautiful display.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my veil from my best friend Katie (we were in each other’s weddings, too!). My something old was a family locket with photos of my grandfather and my grandma (God rest her soul) inside, which I tied to my bouquet. My something blue was a handmade garter (seersucker, of course!) from my mother-in-law, Lori, and my earrings from BHLDN were new!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did a full marriage course with our church. We highly recommend doing this. It helped us to work through tough questions that we will eventually face in the future and taught us to communicate openly and respectfully with one another. It has helped our relationship immensely and I’m forever grateful to our pastors, Paul Randall and Chris Seay.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Chris and I spent a lot of time talking about our wedding, but he always reminded me when we needed to maintain our real life. In the days leading up to the wedding, we spent time just enjoying the moment–we checked into a sweet little cottage and sat inside, drinking wine and listening to the rain. We enjoyed lots of rest and time with family and friends, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. All I can say is to just remember that your wedding is about the rest of your life together and that life goes beyond the wedding day. It’s where your story begins!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right after the wedding, Chris and I made plans to move from Houston to Austin. We both took new jobs and made the official move in January 2015. We are now making plans to buy our first house. Hopefully, it will be a fixer-upper, because we both love a good project! Aside from that, we’re in the middle of planning our next Seaside reunion trip for Labor Day weekend with our best friends!

Photographer: Dear Wesleyann / Videographer: Gilmore Pictures / Planner: Heather Archdeacon Williams of Defining Moments Weddings and Events / Ceremony Venue: Coleman Beach / Reception Venue and Catering: Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant / Florist: Florals by the Sea / Cake Baker: Publix / DJ: B Boy Productions / Paper Products: Simply Fetching Paper / Bride’s Gown: La Sposa / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bride’s Necklace: Liz James / Hair Stylist: Kallie Warner and Ilyssa Glover Goddin / Makeup Artist: Kallie Warner / Bride’s Shoes: “Buti” in Metallic by Castaner / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “778” in Capri by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Pants: Bonobos / Groom’s Shirt: Façonnable / Groom’s Bow Tie: Brooks Brothers / Groomsmens’ Pants: “Chinos” in Navy by Dockers / Groomsmens’ Shirts and Bow Ties: Vineyard Vines / Nautical Rope Table Numbers: Karen’s Wedding Shop

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Irving Gil reply

    Arielle and Chris were such a pleasure to work with and their wedding was so beautiful. Seaside is one of my favorite cities and I was so happy to be a part of their special day!

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #197 – Floridian Social reply

    […] get enough of this colorful beach wedding, especially the groom's poppin' pastel […]

  3. avatar Candance reply

    This is amazing. Gorgeous. The details are absolutely flawless.

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Friends, as you know we have been working our way through sharing our V7 print weddings with y’all on the blog. We had a bumper crop in our last issue (17!), so it’s taken us quite awhile. But here we are, at the last one! I would never play favorites, and so I won’t say we saved the best for last… but Abby and Alex’s celebration certainly holds a special place in our hearts. We had the pleasure of featuring their adorable Birmingham bungalow in our Southern Newlywed column just a few months after they tied the knot, and across all the ways we’ve gotten to know this sweet couple, we’ve been so tickled by the ways they embody our brand. They love each other deeply, find joy in doing life together, and know that a good marriage is one that’s never perfected, but always growing. Their family-centered, love-filled wedding was truly a beautiful, and meaningful beginning to married life.

As always, A Bryan Photo captured so beautifully the little moments that make up a wedding day for those of us who were not there…

In true small town fashion, Alex and I heard about each other after his grandmother cut my aunt’s hair (beauty shop talk–straight-up Steel Magnolias, y’all). They decided we would be perfect for each other and should meet… unfortunately, I headed on the World Race (an 11-month mission trip) soon after, and Alex flew to Northern California to serve at JH Ranch. During our time on different continents, a mutual friend told me that Alex was keeping up with my World Race blog. My interest was piqued, and I kept this mystery man in the back of my mind for the rest of the journey. When I came home, the Lord opened doors for me to move to Birmingham (where Alex lived), and I was finally able to meet the blue-eyed hunk I had heard so much about. He got my number (from his grandmother, who got it from my aunt), and asked me to lunch. It took all of about half an hour of nervously eating a salad to know I wanted to marry the guy.

Describe the proposal: Just the best day ever. Alex took me on a day trip last August to Mentone, Alabama. I wasn’t anywhere close to wanting to go home when Alex announced a “stomachache” and a need to hit the road. On the way back to Birmingham, he suggested stopping at his parents’ farm for medicine. Odd things started happening as we approached. I noticed cars in their barn, all of the lights turned out at their house, and twinkle lights on a distant tree in the field. When Alex opened my car door, no longer seeming sickly, but grinning from ear to ear, I knew exactly what was happening. Speechless, I let him lead me down a path through the field to a straight-from-a-fairy-tale scene of flickering lights beneath a big oak tree. All we can remember from his proposal speech is “I want to have babies and adopt babies with you,” to which I tearfully exclaimed, “PLEASE!” He placed the most beautiful bling I’ve ever seen on my finger before we trekked back to the house and were met by our family and closest friends. Magic.

I carried a large, hand-tied bouquet featuring a variety of peonies, garden roses, Japanese ranunculus, frilly-edged tulips, parrot tulips, dahlia, veronica, dusty miller, and maidenhair fern. One day, in the middle of wedding planning, my mom brought her veil out of our attic for me to try on. It was stunning! My mom offered to let me cut some of lace to use as my “something old.” I immediately knew that I wanted to wrap it around the stems of my bouquet to carry with me throughout the day. Used as the base for three coordinating colors of silk ribbon, lace from her veil was the perfect heirloom touch.

What was the weather like on your big day? I feel like this question defines my wedding planning process. While I was never too worried about the weather, my precious mom was so nervous that rain or cold would impede the joy of our day. She committed to pray over our day, the weather, and the hearts of our guests long before spring. Soon, the topic was in our daily conversation. “Well,” she would say, “I just talked to our florist and now she’s praying over April 12 too.” When the 10-day forecast finally came? It predicted no rain, clear skies, and moderate temperatures. When our wedding day arrived, we received just that–the most beautiful, warm day with only a slight breeze. Even the birds sang through our ceremony. My mom and I love to recount the nerves that turned to devoted prayer, that turned to a day so full of beauty and love. Only the Father could have orchestrated it.

How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? Confession: we broke the rules! The morning of our wedding, Alex and I met in the lobby of the hotel where our guests were staying to grab a cup of coffee and spend a bit of time together. We ended up taking a walk, hand-in-hand, around Auburn’s campus as we basked in the reality that our day had finally come! I am thankful that Alex didn’t see me in my dress before the ceremony. That moment was still sacred and incredibly emotional. I’m also thankful that I got to have a special moment with him at the beginning of the day to calm both of our nerves–the perfect compromise!

The arbor that we stood upon during the ceremony was my absolute favorite detail. I had a “vision” (one of many, as my family likes to joke), and it was truly a team effort to execute. My precious dad and I collaborated on sketching the structure, which he then built and stained. He has always had a servant’s heart, and it was especially overflowing during wedding season! The fabric that draped the arbor was the hardest thing to find. I knew I wanted something full, organic, textured, and natural. Nothing was fitting into the vision until my mom found extra-long canvas drop cloths–score! She expertly draped the fabric, and my insanely talented florist added the eucalyptus garland and floral clusters. Truly, it was the perfect backdrop for the most emotionally charged moments of my life. I’m forever thankful for the love that went into building the arbor, the place where Alex and I stood as we began building our marriage.

The amazingly talented Abby taught herself calligraphy and handlettered these programs, their invitation, and many other details. Can you believe it??

Our wedding party included my six nieces and nephews as flower girls and ring bearers. Alex’s five younger cousins served as junior bridesmaids and junior groomsmen. I loved having so many family members (including our collective five siblings as well) standing with us as we said our vows. I wish I could have witnessed my nieces walking down the aisle–the four of them held hands in their angelic heirloom dresses and floral wreaths. My youngest niece, Hadley, was only one at the time. Everyone recounted how she had such a look of determination, stomping down the aisle in an attempt to keep up with her big sisters and cousin. It was the very definition of precious.

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? I will never forget Alex’s face as I walked down the aisle. He had been nervous about turning into a blubbering mess during our ceremony, and it was obvious that he was fighting tears as I approached him. When I finally reached him and the ceremony began, he kept looking away as to not lose control of his emotions. As touching as it was to see him so emotional, I also kept thinking, “Hey, this is our wedding. You have to LOOK at me!” It only took a few hand squeezes and a quick wink to get him to lock eyes with me–and that’s where we stayed for the rest of the ceremony, completely absorbed in the monumental change that was happening as we were joined as husband and wife.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? In keeping with the themes of family and entering a Christ-centered marriage, our parents and grandparents came to the arbor to circle us in a prayer of blessing over our marriage. Alex and I both come from a long line of healthy and lifelong marriages; what a blessing it was to have those generational blessings symbolically passed on to us during our ceremony.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? While color palette and texture played key roles in the design, our focus was for all of our guests to feel like family. Our reception was created to feel like one huge Italian family dinner. Long tables with organic greenery joined guests together for an intimate dinner experience. A seating chart greeted our friends and family to the reception with their names and table numbers hand-lettered on gold foil signage. The goal for our wedding was for each guest to feel valued, and I think that our design and attention to detail achieved just that.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? I think the hardest part of wedding planning was just the reality of it all. You dream about the day your whole life. All of a sudden, it’s really happening, and you only get one shot. I found myself worrying about the logistics of the day and wondering if guests would enjoy themselves. Thankfully, I was surrounded by ever-encouraging family and friends who helped to keep me more focused on my love for Alex and our upcoming marriage, and less focused on the logistics of the day.

What kind of food did you serve? Italian food is my favorite, and it fit perfectly with the family-style seating arrangement! Guests enjoyed bruschetta and stuffed artichoke heart hors d’oeuvres. Dinner was comprised of caprese salad, Italian sausage farfalle pasta with light cream and mozzarella, grilled chicken penne pasta, broccolini, and a roasted garlic pomodoro. It was delicious. Our Italian theme continued with various wines to accompany the pasta!

One of our favorite design elements was our dessert table. Instead of opting for two tables for the bride’s cake and groom’s cake, we chose a large farm table to display them both. My bride’s cake was a four-tiered white cake with buttercream icing and lemon curd between the layers. To die for. Since the thought of an unbalanced table would KILL me, we opted for two groom’s cakes to bookend the taller bride’s cake. This definitely worked in Alex’s favor, as he couldn’t decide between chocolate, coconut, and red velvet cake. With two groom’s cakes, he was able to include ALL of his favorite flavors in the multiple tiers. I planned to learn how to make macarons before the big day (ummm…when would that have happened? No idea). Instead, my ever-kind and gracious aunt took the task upon herself. She studied YouTube videos, took sugar temperatures, and perfected the French recipe!

Date of your wedding: April 12, 2014
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We wanted an outdoor wedding, and we wanted it as soon as possible! Since we got engaged in August, April was the first month that met all of our requirements: 1) The probability of nice weather, 2) bright blooms in season, and 3) enough time to plan the details! Auburn was the perfect place to wed because it is just outside of my hometown, and all of our friends were excited to spend a weekend celebrating in the town of our alma mater. After visiting just a few venues, Moore’s Mill Club became the obvious choice because of its beautiful, natural ceremony site and rustic pavilion. I was expecting to find a place I would need to completely transform, but Moore’s Mill is beautiful no matter which direction you look.
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I knew early on that I wanted to go with coordinating, but different, colored dresses. In order to complement the natural beauty of Moore’s Mill, I decided that the color palette would consist of an array of greens and neutrals. Thankfully, one of my two maids of honor (and BFF since first grade), Sam, is a graphic designer with a great eye for color. We met on our lunch break one day at our local Bella Bridesmaid and were given total reign in their showroom. It was designer heaven. When we decided on our palette, I assigned a color to each of my bridesmaids (taking skin tone into account) and let each one choose her style. I LOVE the way each of my girls could be unique while coordinating so beautifully.
Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? So many guests commented after the ceremony about how reverent and sweet it was. We decided early on that giving glory to God would be our goal in choosing what would be shared during our ceremony. My brother, Adam, has a Master of Divinity degree and has always been a spiritual mentor to me. He led a charge to our guests to remember Christ’s sacrifice and our own call to sacrifice in marriage. Sharing Ruth’s story from the Old Testament served as an example of servitude in marriage, as well as a devotion to the new families we would each be gaining. Adam’s charge was by far one of the most powerful parts of the ceremony. Alex’s sister, Caroline, read from Revelation 19 before our pastor gave a message regarding the church as Christ’s bride.
What songs did you use for your ceremony? From Alex: The music was one of the few aspects of our wedding that I was in charge of, and I strived to make our music as worshipful and natural as possible. We decided to have only one instrumentalist, a friend of mine who is an incredible guitarist. Abby and I gave him a list of the songs we wanted to be played. They were pretty traditional ones: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” while the parents and grandparents were seated, “Canon in D” during the processional, “Bridal Chorus” when Abby walked down the aisle, and “Ode to Joy” as we were leaving. The acoustic guitar was perfect–calm and mellow, traditional in the song choice, but updated by the instrument. The one song that was sung was a hymn, “Come Thou Fount,” and we invited all of our guests to join in.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? Intentionality was a key factor in our wedding. We wanted each guest to feel valued and involved. Along with the hand-lettered envelopes that carried our invitations and the prepared seats for each guest, Alex and I love that everyone was invited to join in a hymn during our ceremony and to later dance the night away. Our hope was that no one would leave our wedding feeling like just one of the crowd, but that our love for each person would be displayed in our intentionality and bear hugs.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? Even in the past four months, Alex and I have grown in our depth of knowledge and understanding of each other. With years of marriage comes years of experience–learning personality traits, finding ways to serve the other, and knowing how to make each other laugh. I look forward to our connection growing deeper as our marriage marches on.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? I would love to encourage people (especially lovely brides) to extend grace to all parties involved in the wedding planning process. Family members, friends, and vendors alike can potentially showcase strong opinions or–worse yet–not care about every single little detail like you do (gasp!). Remember that relationships come before dresses, cakes, or invitations. Continue to hang with your girls, love on your family members, and be a caring person in general while you have this whole wedding-planning side gig going on.

Photographer and Videographer: A Bryan Photo / Venue and Caterer: Moore’s Mill Club / Florist and Decor: Nimblee / Wedding Cake: 1220 Cafe / Bride’s Gown: “Loren Corset” and “Sabrina Skirt” by Watters / Bridal Salon: The White Room / Bride’s Shoes: “Madalyn Pump” by Badgley Mischka / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale, Donna Morgan, Dessy Group, and Ceremony by Joanna August / Menswear: The Black Tux / Paper Goods and Designer: Abby Bowlin Designs / Letterpress: Four Hats Press / Rentals, Linens, and Lighting: The Event Group

The Event Group is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Bryan Johnson reply

    Love these guys. So blessed to be part of their wedding!

  2. avatar Richard Photo Lab reply

    […] CREDITS (in order of appearance): Adam Barnes – Pink Virginia Wedding A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Katie Stoops – Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding (design by Karson Butler Events) A Bryan Photo […]

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