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It’s true, wedding planning can be stressful, y’all. But, that said, it can also be a time to really grow as a couple–you can learn what is deeply important to your future spouse, and how to compromise. For Lindsay and Josh, their wedding planning served as just that: a way for them to become better partners in life through becoming partners in creating a day that truly reflected their love story. Our Blue Ribbon Vendor Kim Starr Wise even helped them add personal details into their florals by including peaches and oranges, a nod to their home states of Georgia and Florida. Another sweet detail I love? The vintage lights that are now hanging in Lindsay and Josh’s dining room as a daily reminder of the day they became husband and wife!

Big hugs to Kaylynn Marie for sharing this beautiful day with us!

P.S. Extra congratulations to Lindsay and Josh! They’re expecting their first child in December!

Our florist was incredible and spent a ton of time learning about us. At our first meeting, she and Josh were talking about where we are from (Florida and Georgia), and the idea of including peaches and oranges into the wedding was born. Additional inspiration came from our bridesmaid dresses (dark blue) and our love of burlap and lace. I knew that I wanted each table to look different, and our florist took it from there. The chuppah that we were married under was also her creation, and we loved it!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Hands down, weather was our biggest challenge. When we picked our wedding weekend, we knew we were smack dab in the middle of hurricane season and the day after the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. We always had to be aware that canceling was a real possibility, and had to ask each and every vendor what their hurricane policy was. As it turned out, our venue had the best policy, and several of our other vendors changed their policies to match the venue’s, so we knew we would be okay in the event we had to cancel. Double planning for everything was a pain, but I’m so glad that we did. The morning of our wedding, it poured! It was so bad that the weather here was making news elsewhere. As soon as we boarded the bus to our backup portrait location, the rain slowed down and we ended up taking almost all of our pictures at a carousel inside City Park. Had it not rained, that part of the park would have been open to the public, but since the rain came, we had the carousel to ourselves and took SO many pictures there. Definitely a blessing in disguise!

Josh and I are super outdoors-y people, so we knew we wanted the venue to speak to that side of us. Finding a venue in New Orleans can be tricky because many, many venues are not big enough for a 200-person wedding, and that narrowed down our options quickly. Additionally, Josh had been to many NOLA weddings and wanted a venue he had never been to before to make our wedding special and different from all the others. We had heard that City Park had several great venues, and two specifically could accommodate our numbers. Both were pretty spectacular, but we ended up choosing Popp Fountain and the Arbor Room for the blank slates that they were. They were also right next to each other so our guests wouldn’t have to change locations after the ceremony–a rarity here. It all ended up being the perfect backdrop for our personalities.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. We had a traditional Jewish ceremony and recited the traditional Jewish vows.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri for me to walk down the aisle to because of our long history. We waited so long for one other, and we’d both wait 1,000 more years if we knew we’d still end up together.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We put so much effort into the branding of the weekend. The person who designed our stationery also designed every other personalized detail that went along with it, from the cocktail napkins, to the program, to the cake topper, to the go-cups and second line hankies (both NOLA standards). We knew what details we were willing to spend extra money on (the J&L vintage lights, our ketubah, the personalized cornhole set), and what meant less to us. I love that the lights now hang in our dining room and are an awesome accent that people always comment on. Our ketubah (marriage license) that hangs in our bedroom is a paper-cut, one-of-a-kind piece that is both a nod to our love of the outdoors and our first meeting at a camp. The trees are even arched to mimic the oak trees that line many New Orleans streets.

Knowing we had to feed a lot of people, we ended up with a four-tiered almond cake with strawberry filling. Our cake topper came from a suggestion by the woman who designed our invitations. We were chatting one day about cake toppers and she said she had someone who could laser cut wood. It sounded awesome and we said yes. I love having that topper in our home, mixed with some dried flowers from our wedding day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The story of “us” begins in the summer of 2002 at summer camp. Josh was a CIT at his summertime home, Camp Coleman in North Georgia, where I had signed on to be a counselor. While neither of us remember actually meeting, I know for a fact that our paths first crossed during color-war when we were placed on the same team. From there, a pretty fabulous friendship was formed, and over the next year, Josh and I grew closer while catching up at youth group events in Atlanta. Our paths didn’t cross very often after that year, as Josh headed off to New Orleans to spend four years at Tulane “studying” and I began my career in youth engagement in Atlanta, then Boston. All the while, we remained in touch and often caught up on the phone during long road trips. In late spring of 2007, Josh decided it was time to visit me and anticipated a fun weekend that would allow us to catch up in person. My roommates quickly fell in love with Josh (they were the smart ones here), and were so excited that I had a friend who could easily be “the one.” I, however, had to make things difficult and decided that a friendship was all I had in mind. After an awkward weekend in New England, Josh headed back to New Orleans, confused and heartbroken. From there, our friendship took a backseat and we lost touch for several years. We reconnected again via Facebook in September 2012, just a few days after my birthday. We picked up right where we left off, and a few months later, we decided it was time to see each other again and put the past in the past. I headed to New Orleans for a long weekend and it was clear very quickly that love was in the air. After a weekend laughing, exploring the town, and meeting many of Josh’s friends, we were a couple. In April 2013, me and my dog, Riley, moved to New Orleans to begin a new chapter in a new city with an old friend.
Tell us all about the proposal! For his birthday dinner, Josh made a reservation for two at his favorite restaurant (also the place we had our first official date). He parked way too far from the restaurant, and after walking over six blocks blocks in heels, I was less than pleased. Dinner and drinks were quickly ordered and I snuck over to tell the host that it was Josh’s birthday. After dinner and a little surprise birthday cheesecake, the bill paid (thanks to Josh’s Aunt Laurie), and a very generous tip left, it was time to trek back to the car. Josh casually mentioned walking along the river, when I felt the need to ask “Why, so you can propose?” Josh recovered nicely, and off to the riverfront we went. Within moments, I noticed a creepy dude following us with a camera, but Josh played it off as a tourist. A random bench appeared with unlit candles around it (it was windy, so the candles didn’t stay lit), and I assumed it was set up for something else, until Josh steered me to the bench, sat me down, and got down on one knee. As a teary-eyed Josh tried to fumble through a pre-planned proposal, I sat there asking ridiculous questions (“Is this for real? Are you sure you know what you’re doing? Is this really happening?”). When the ring appeared from Josh’s sock (because he was afraid I would pat him down!), I knew it was the real deal. The question was asked and I said “Yes!” After a few congratulations from onlookers and a quick hello to the two guys photographing the whole thing, it was time to make calls to our parents before heading to Josh’s “birthday party.” Of course, this was no real birthday party, but a surprise engagement party!
When did y’all get married? August 30, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 180
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Becoming partners in wedding planning truly made us better partners in life. We learned when the other felt something was deeply important and non-negotiable. We learned how to compromise so we both felt connected to a decision. We learned how to navigate our family’s wishes and concerns and weave them into our plans. Ultimately, we learned that effective communication is the key to a solid beginning. We’ve had to rely on each other a lot in the last year and I truly feel that having planned our wedding together helped us take on many of the challenges we faced during our first year of marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re pregnant! Josh and I are expecting our first child in early December and we cannot wait to be a family. In addition, we’re moving into our forever home in just a few weeks and look forward to settling down and making our family’s memories under one roof.

Photographer: Kaylynn Marie Photography / Planner: Lara Mintz / Venue and Caterer: Popp Fountain and Arbor Room at New Orleans City Park / Florist: Kim Starr Wise / Cake Baker: Swiss Confectionery / DJ and Lighting: LA Music Source / Special Details: Plum Street Snoballs / Paper Products: Lionheart Prints / Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau / Bridal Salon: Wedding Belles / Hair Accessory: “Kayla” by Courtney Lee Collection / Jewelry: Hiller Jewelry / Hair and Makeup: Blush and Bashful / / Bride’s Shoes: Abeline Boots / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Kylie” and “Nadia” in Dark Cove by J.Crew / Groom’s Attire: Macy’s

Kim Starr Wise is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Lauren Ashley reply

    Oh my!! Kaylynn, what a fun wedding!!! I am obsessed with the stationary and paper products!!

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Can y’all believe it? V5 is on it’s way! Pre-order your copy here.

As far as pink weddings go, I am always a fan. However, I love that Sarah + Keith juxtaposed the pretty pink blooms and soft details throughout their wedding with the rustic McKinney Cotton Mill. Those giant planters overflowing with hydrangeas set in front of the distressed brick wall of S + K’s ceremony just kill me! I’m sure that for guests, however, the pretty decor was overshadowed by Sarah’s sweet processional (as it should). Her dad, in his military best, walked Sarah down the aisle to Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight” and I bet there was nary a dry eye in the place! Big hugs to Krystal Akin for sharing this wedding with us!

I LOVE the lotus pods that were included in Sarah’s bouquet — they’re a pretty but graphic pop of green in her romantic blooms.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Since the surprise was busted and I was moving to Houston from my hometown in McKinney in November, my mom and I decided to do a little “pre-shopping.” I’d always heard how hard it was to find a dress, so I certainly didn’t expect to find it on my first trip. I tried on three dresses before the shop owner suggested I try the beautiful dress they had on display in the front. When I came out of the changing room, my seven-year-old brother goes, “WOW!” and he hadn’t even said anything all afternoon. It was great having my little brother and mom there!

Who else is a fan of Keith’s cotton boll boutonniere? Dapper, indeed.

For Keith, an Aggie, a Texas A&M groom’s cake was a must! We think it would make a fine addition to our SEC Wedding Round-Up!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We went against tradition and I had a chocolate bridal cake and he had a vanilla groom’s cake. Although I only got a bite of each one, the chocolate with chocolate buttercream and raspberry filling was delicious. It was beautiful, with the light pink sugar roses on white fondant. I loved Keith’s because it had the Texas A&M logo on it in maroon and white. I can’t wait for our one year anniversary so that we can get our topper! Luckily, the bakery we chose makes us a fresh topper for our one year.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Keith and I met the first day of tenth grade. The first class we had together was a computer class and we had to do a “first day of class” activity requiring us to go around and find out different things about our classmates. I found out that Keith was from Canada and he had just gotten back from living overseas in Paris. I had a huge crush on him from day one! Turns out, we had a lot of classes together and started going out at the end of that year!
Describe the proposal. It was Keith’s last year of college. I had graduated early, nine months before. Being old fashion as we both are, he asked my dad for permission. Unfortunately my dad didn’t get the message that it was that special time and he certainly wasn’t ready for it. Keith called several times to no avail. Finally, my dad asked me if I knew why Keith kept calling him and my mom and I had to spell it out for him, that it was probably Keith asking for permission! After finally getting my dad to call back, set up a day to meet and eventually asking my dad, my dad actually ruined the “surprise.” He wanted to pray over this proposal and union with my entire family. Fast forward two weeks. I went down for a weekend to see Keith in College Station (home of the Texas A&M Aggies). A&M has a cute tradition that if you walk under the century tree on campus with someone, you will marry them. If you propose under the tree, you will be married for a lifetime. On November 4th, 2011, Keith told me he left something on campus and he needed to go get it. I didn’t understand that he was going to propose or why he wanted to go to campus right then. As we neared the tree, I finally understood and it was a wonderful proposal!
In what month did you get married? June
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 150 people
Did you decide to do a “first look”? No, I am very old fashioned and didn’t want to ruin the surprise of the first look. Keith agreed and definitely didn’t want the first look down the aisle to be ruined, either.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Our parents walked down the aisle to “Have I Told You Lately” played by Vitamin String Quartet. Our bridal party walked down to “Here Comes the Sun” played by Vitamin String Quartet (as you can see, I was a little obsessed). I walked down with my dad to “Wonderful Tonight” played by Vitamin String Quartet. “Wonderful Tonight” is one of my favorite songs by Eric Clapton because Keith was always trying to get me to like his music and this one I really loved. Our first dance was “Falling in Love in a Coffee Shop” by Landon Pigg.
Describe your wedding flowers: I loved the pastel, romantic flowers with lots of texture. My florist captured all that I wanted and more! There were soft pink peonies, green lotus pods, green lisianthus, ivory ranunculus, soft pink spray roses, ivory sweet peas and seeded eucalyptus. In contrast to the dark browns and rustic theme of the Cotton Mill, I think the flowers looked beautiful with their light colors and blooms.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Everyone’s different expectations was the hardest thing for us to overcome, including our own.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The venue, for sure.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When the officiant went to announce us, he accidentally announced us as “Mr. & Mr. Driedger.” There is a really funny picture of us laughing really hard at this announcement.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax and realize that the most important thing is that at the end of all the planning, you will be a Mrs. despite any of the hang-ups and bang-ups.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Right now we are both working jobs that we love and we look forward to buying a house soon!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
4 Comments
  1. avatar Anna reply

    I love the floral arrangements for this wedding! Also, the bride’s bouquet is stunning. The lotus pods really make it. The cotton boll the groom wore, too, added a down-to-earth vibe. It really shows the roots of the couple.

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If their second date story was any indication of what Megan + David’s wedding would be like, a good sense of humor was what we expected. The newlyweds delivered with a ceremony and reception that was full of witty signage, fun bridesmaids and wide grins. Of course, honoring heritage and home are not far behind in things you’ll notice about their wedding. From the theme (cotton, a nod to Megan’s grandparents who grew it in Texas) to the sweets (cookies shaped in home states), Southern charm abounds. We’re giving out big hugs to Color and Dust who shared this wedding with us!

One of our wedding themes was cotton. My grandparents were cotton farmers in west Texas and my uncle still farms there today. When we started contemplating flower arrangements cotton, just seemed like a special way to pay tribute to my heritage. Much of the cotton used in our wedding came from my uncle’s farm, which was such a sweet gift, especially since there was a drought and a lot of the cotton did not make it that year. Our sweet photographer, Kelsey, introduced us to her friend Tristian from Gracy Lu Originals who made all of our bouquets, boutonnières, corsages, my hairpiece and garter, and our flower girl’s headband. For our table arrangements, the drought really worked in our favor. My friend Kalli had the great idea to go out to my parent’s property, a place that holds a lot of special childhood memories, and cut dried wild flowers and plants to place on the tables.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. David’s uncle and cousin gifted us with their violin and viola musical talents and played our pre-wedding music selections and the hymns we sang during the ceremony. Our processional was “All of My Days” by Alexi Murdoch, my entrance was the end of “Sigh No More” by Mumford and Sons, our recessional was “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Our first dance was to “In My Life” by Johnny Cash and the father-daughter dance was to “Waltz Across Texas” by Ernest Tubb. During our cake cutting, we played “When I’m Sixty Four” by The Beatles and during the bouquet toss, “You Never Can Tell” by Chuck Berry. The Grand March was a 10-15 minute montage of Frankie Yankovic Polkas, my favorite being The Pennsylvania Polka.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My family is Czech and anyone who has ever been to a Texas-Czech wedding knows that the party doesn’t get started until the dance floor is opened up with the Grand March, a traditional Czech wedding dance that my sweet aunts and uncles led all of our guests in. Only the people leading the dance have to know the steps and everyone else just follows hand in hand through all the twists and turns. It was so much fun and all our guests were laughing as they got tangled up in knots. With the help of Randy’s Bar-B-Que, our guests were served a fine Texas spread with all of the fixin’s. Our caterer even incorporated a traditional Czech sausage from grandparent’s hometown in West Texas. Guests were encouraged to BYOB (bring your own bib) for dinner and vintage hankies were provided for those that forgot. My dad and David painted all of the signs for our wedding with favorite Southern phrases and put together a ceremony backdrop out of old wooden fence panels. Our wedding was held in my hometown at the Chautauqua where I grew up performing community theatre with my mom, sister, and bridesmaid Jennifer.

Megan + David’s wedding was BYOB — Bring your own bib! Southern fare sure does get messy, luckily the newlyweds provided some vintage hankies for those guests who forgot to bring their own.

We had several vintage-style cakes made with different flavors and icings by 4 Goodness Cakes in Ennis, Texas, so everyone could find something they liked. Our cake stands and the wood for our centerpieces were made from wood that David’s dad cut down from their family cabin on the lake. David’s mom and dad lugged it all the way across the country for us. The rest of our wedding desserts were made by my sweet aunts and grandma who really gifted us with a labor of love making Kolaches (a traditional Czech dessert), pecan pies (a Texas favorite), mini pecan tarts, and icing cookies in the shapes of Texas, Minnesota (David’s home state), cotton, and loons (Minnesota’s state bird and a favorite visitor at David’s family cabin).

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. David and I met at a training we both attended for work. On our first date, we ate dinner and talked for few hours and then went for a walk and talked some more. I was intrigued but it was really our second date that had me hooked. We live in DC so David picked me up and drove me to the National Mall where all the monuments are, handed me a camera (he had another for himself) and told me there were only three rules: we could only take pictures of things that were awkward, inappropriate, or amazing. Whoever had the best picture at the end of the night would win. We spent the next hours running around the mall snapping pictures in what became a wonderful game of truth or dare involving unwitting tourists and some tricky acrobatics. Following the game, we ate dinner at a Lebanese hole-in-the-wall that has since become one of our favorites and ended the night smoking cigars and dangling our feet off the edge of a dock overlooking the Potomac River. That was the night that I decided I wasn’t going to date anyone else until I saw where things went with David. We never really looked back. David ended up proposing just steps away from that same dock less than a year later.
In what month did you get married? October
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: Because we were planning our wedding long-distance I was not sure if I would be able to fly home before the wedding to go dress shopping with my mom. A couple months after we got engaged, David and my friends surprised me by flying my mom up to DC to go dress shopping with me. We didn’t find “the one” on that shopping trip, but it was still such a special memory. Ultimately, it was my mom who located the dress shop I ended buying my dress from. She called the shop owner and told her about the dress I was looking for and explained that I was having to do this part without my mom. When I showed up to the shop, the owner, Surki, gave me a hug and said “I told your mom I’d take care of you like she would,” and she really did take care of me every step of the way.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did. Leading up to our wedding, David and I knew we would be really busy on that day. Before we shared our union with all of our guests, we wanted to share an intimate moment with just the two of us and the first look was really such a special way to do that.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Romans 5:1-11 (ESV) and Romans 8:38-39 (ESV).
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning a DIY wedding long-distance. David and I flew into town one week before the wedding so we absolutely could not have planned this wedding long-distance if my parents had not played such a big role in helping us by running around taking pictures of different wedding venues, tasting cakes and catering, etc. The week leading up to our wedding and our wedding day was one of the most loving experiences David and I have had. We had such a sweet group of family (on both sides) and friends that helped bring all the moving parts together. The greatest wedding gift we received was that special day they all gave us.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Ask your loved ones to be a part of your day. We were showered with so much love through gifts of people’s service.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Marriage is a life-long lesson in selflessness. I look at the couple we are today and how much we have grown together in the Lord in this short time and I cannot wait to see where we will be five years from now, let alone twenty-five years from now.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
10 Comments
  1. avatar Charlotte reply

    I am obsessed with these cotton weddings. My family is one of the oldest cotton farms in the country (3rd oldest) and my wedding is going to be cotton themed, but very chic and exquisite with the country touch! Love looking at these photos for inspiration!! Thanks for sharing.

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  6. avatar Katie reply

    Could someone tell me where Megan and David got their invitations? I am in love!

  7. avatar Katie Morris reply

    Does anyone know where the invitations from Megan + David’s wedding came from? Thank you!

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  9. avatar Heather Simmons reply

    Hi there! I know that this is a longshot, but I too am having a cotton themed wedding, and was wondering if there were any way I could find out where these invitations were ordered from? Thanks so much!

  10. avatar BIVY reply

    I don’t know if having an old cotton plantation in the southern United States is something I would be celebrating at my wedding. It’s a little difficult to ignore the dark history behind every cotton blossom.

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