Google+ garden party wedding Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: garden party wedding

Libby and Matt’s interview is so full of insight into how they planned for not only their wedding day, but also for their marriage, with intentionality and joy. There is no better a place to show this than during the ceremony! Knowing what a big deal it is to promise your life to someone, Libby and Matt chose to say traditional vows in front of their friends and family, and then personal vows privately during communion. From Matt protecting Libby from spiders, to Libby promising to dance with Matt “anytime, anywhere,” I love that these two wrote vows that reflected their commitment to each other and their relationship, as well as a peek into the fun that they want to carry into married life.

Thank you to Lynnsey Catron for sharing this sweet Kentucky day with us!

I thought I would try on a billion dresses and have a hard time finding “the one.” I ended up only trying on about ten! I was trying to decide between two lace gowns when my soon-to-be mother-in-law pointed to another dress and remarked about how different it was. I tried it on for fun and ended up loving it! It was so different than what I had imagined, but it far exceeded what I could have ever dreamed up!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided not to see each other before the ceremony. Matt in particular felt strongly about not seeing each other until I walked down the aisle. We are so happy that we went with tradition! We did exchange gifts without seeing each other earlier in the day. We got to hold hands and I’ll never forget the feeling. As hard as it was not being able to see each other until later in the day, the anticipation made the walk down the aisle so surreal! There was so much weight and meaning behind that first time seeing each other–it was the culmination of everything we had been through and hoped for!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My grandma read Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you,” and Ephesians 5:1: “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” This was so special because these verses are also my grandparents’ marriage verses. They have been married for over 50 years!

We recited traditional vows in front of our guests during the ceremony. Later, after a time of worship and communion, we read our personal vows to each other privately. This was our favorite and definitely the most emotional time of the ceremony! Promising your life to someone is BIG, but we both had such certainty and peace. My favorite part of Matt’s vows was when he promised to always protect me, especially from spiders. Matt’s favorite part of my vows was when I promised to scratch his neck in the car and to always dance with him, anytime, anywhere.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Two of our friends sang “In Christ Alone,” accompanied by a three-piece string section, while our wedding party processed. My dad walked me down the aisle to “The Butterfly Waltz” by Brian Crain. It sounds like the perfect garden party music–so pretty! One of my bridesmaids sang “Ever Be” by Bethel during our time of communion and personal vows. We love that song and it perfectly explains the relationship we get to have with our Heavenly Father! And finally, we celebrated to Beyonce’s “Love on Top” for the recessional because nothing says “WE’RE MARRIED!!” like Beyonce.

We included lots of Southern traditions in our wedding! We got ready in a beautiful Antebellum-style house with the original furnishings. Our wedding party was huge–the more friends and family included, the better! Our programs doubled as fans for the warm weather that accompanies a summer garden wedding in Kentucky. And most Southern of all: we had a HUGE BBQ dinner! We served brisket, barbecue chicken, mac and cheese, green beans, and sweet tea. Theres nothing more Southern than that!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Matt and I took a walk around the Whitehall gardens one evening after hearing how beautiful the venue is. I didn’t expect to get emotional over a garden, but we could both see our wedding day taking place there and it was so dreamy! There was such peace and joy in that decision; we didn’t even really look at other venues!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was definitely the last minute details. We (cough cough Libby) found ourselves trying to add “just one more” detail on top of one more detail. With the stress of wanting everything to be just right, it was a challenge not to get caught up in the tiniest decisions. The only way to overcome this challenge was to gain some perspective. In 50 years, Matt and I won’t remember if each table had the same excessive number of votive candles. Instead, we will remember what it felt like to spend an entire day celebrating our commitment to each other and making our guests feel welcomed and loved.

Don’t miss Libby and Matt’s highlights film by Bryan Starr Cinematography below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Matt and I met in 2008 when he became friends with my brother through school and baseball. We met again in the summer of 2013 when we were both asked to lead a Bible study for high school students. We got together one day to discuss what the year of Bible study might look like, and ended up talking for four hours. From that point on, we were inseparable and became best friends. I was apprehensive to date due to past experiences, but Matt continued to pursue me with consistency, gentleness, and patience. We began dating months later and the Lord used Matt to re-align my misconstrued idea of love with Godly love and pursuit. Somewhere along the way, I became certain that he was the one I would spend my life with–the best feeling in the world!
Tell us all about the proposal! Matt and I got engaged on November 1, 2014. Matt picked me up for dinner, which he had made himself, complete with roses, candles, and appetizers. After dinner, Matt suggested we go to our favorite spot, a gazebo in historic Middletown Park. We had spent time there dreaming about a future together at the beginning of our relationship and had re-visited the gazebo on special occasions. These visits usually involved slow dancing and being silly together. The night of the engagement, I almost didn’t get out of the car (It was FREEZING outside and I had a dress on!) but Matt wanted to dance (and propose, unbeknownst to me), so I agreed. We danced and Matt told me how much he loved me and that he wanted to spend our lives together. He got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I said YES and cried like a baby. Afterwards, Matt took me to my parents’ house to tell them the news, where I was surprised by a full house of family and friends! He had even gotten my sister from Florida and one of my best friends from Alabama there to celebrate. Cue even more crying like a baby. It was the best night!
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Matt and I did premarital counseling through our church and met with mentors as our wedding day approached. We also did some at-home counseling through a study called “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott. It helped us keep our focus on the importance of the marriage that follows the excitement of the wedding day. We found that we learned a lot about each other and really enjoyed the time we put in to paving the way for a healthy and God-honoring marriage!
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? My bridesmaids were amazing. They would come over for movie nights and sit on the floor putting programs together or helping to assemble table numbers. I would have been far more stressed and spent far more money without them! The same goes for my mom! She is an expert planner and is so good at organizing the tiniest details, which helped save so much money. I would have been lost without her! I made our “Husband” and “Wife” chair signs and our “Just Married” sign for the getaway car. We were blessed with lots of family friends who volunteered to set our reception tables and they did an amazing job. Serving dinner buffet-style instead of plate service helped save money too.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Just relax and have fun! Remember that what happens after the wedding in your marriage is the most important thing. Marriage is a gift and the time spent planning for it is special and unique! Also, definitely spend time finding a photographer/videographer that will capture the day perfectly for you. Looking back is so fun! And just remind yourself that you get to take a vacation with your best friend when it’s all over :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We would love to spend some time traveling in the next few years! Europe is on the top of our list but we would also love to take a trip down the coast of California on Highway 1. We dream about having a big family with lots of babies! And no matter where we are, we want to do ministry and love on people the way we have been loved!

Photographer: Lynnesy Catron | Videographer: Bryan Starr Cinematography | Planner: Aletia Thompson, Debbie Weiss, and Sally Parks | Venue: Whitehall Mansion and Gardens | Florist: Country Squire Florist | Cake Baker: Lady A Cakes | Caterer: Bootleg BBQ | Rentals and Lighting: Reliable Rental | DJ: HAY DJ | Calligraphy: Anna K. Ashley | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: “River” by Blush by Hayley Paige | Bride’s Veil: “Stella” by Sara Gabriel | Hair Stylist: Hali Breitenstein of Hali B & Co. Salon | Makeup Artist: Bethany Tiesman of BEAUTY by Bethany | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style B2078 in New Shell Pink by B2 by Jasmine | String Musicians: Highland Chamber Players

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Wedding: Libby & Matt » Lynnesy Catron Photography reply

    […] seen on Southern Weddings, Libby and Matt’s day was breathtaking.  I could go on and on about how beautiful the […]

  2. avatar Kristin reply

    Would you be able to please tell me where Libby and Matt got their framed seating chart? Thank you!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to:
close

Though Emily is quite familiar with Tuckahoe Plantation from her V5 photo shoot days (you can see the Virginia is for Lovers feature here), we love getting a larger look at the Southern venue from the perspective of Terri + Andrew, whose coral outdoor wedding photographed by Julie Lim is dreamy perfection. Y’all know I never miss calling attention to my favorite string lights, which T + A used to tent their dance floor. I think it only makes their big day even more magical. Of course, the string lights weren’t the most memorable thing about the reception for the bride, who picked out her father-daughter dance as her favorite.

I think Terri summed it up best when she said, “My wedding day was a tremendous blessing for me, where I married my best friend and my other half, thanked my wonderful parents for all of their love, had special moments with my precious sisters, and celebrated my marriage and all that God has done for me. We had good food, lots of desserts, beautiful gardens, many laughs, lots of fun, and I could feel the love from everyone special in our lives.”

I was overwhelmed by the number of dress boutiques in the area, so I prayed and asked God to make it easy for me. I kid you not, the next search I did online brought me to Terri Lynn Bridal. My name is Terri Lynn, so I knew that was the shop! To make it even easier, my dress was the first one I tried on and was within my budget. As soon as I saw myself in the mirror, I began to tear up because it finally hit me that I was getting married. That dress made me feel like a bride. We all agreed it was “the dress.” The bridal consultant said it was the smoothest appointment she’s ever had.

Oh my lovely, that little peony bud boutonniere is officially one of my favorites!

One of my favorite details about the flowers (aside from their beauty) is that they were grown on the plantation. Another was that Hannah did an amazing job making each arrangement unique but complimentary to each other, just like the idea I used for my invitations. Our bouquets and each arrangement were full of the lush peonies from the plantation in various shades of light pink and white. Each bouquet was accented with beautiful corals, peaches, greens, blush pinks, and whites with a variety of flowers. There were two table styles: One with revere bowls and mint julep cups filled with peony arrangements and another with peony arrangements in mason jars, alongside ivory lanterns w/ floral accents.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Pachelbel’s Canon is one of my favorites, so that was used for the bridal party processional. I picked a very special song to play as I walked down the aisle. It comes from the soundtrack of the very first movie Andrew and I saw together. I actually heard the song prior to watching the movie because Andrew sent it in our “novel.” When I listened to the song for the first time, I saw myself walking down the aisle to it! It was crazy for me at the time because Andrew and I were not even dating yet, but I felt like it was the song that was going to start our journey in life together. The song is a beautiful instrumental song played by a string quartet. Andrew worked really hard to find the sheet music, and one of our dear friends helped him find it. We were so blessed to have a string quartet to play that song for our wedding. Because the song is so special to us and it was a bit of an adventure to find the sheet music, we used the same song to walk back up the aisle. It was so sweet! Our first dance song was “Love You” by Jeong Yeop, which Andrew also sent to me through our novel at a very pivotal point in our relationship. The lyrics are so sweet and I also used a few phrases in my vows.

What was your favorite phrase, verse or line from your vows? My favorite line from Andrew’s vows was, “The more I got to know you, the more convinced I was of what God showed me — that you are truly the desire of my heart. You are my beloved and I am yours.” Andrew’s favorite phrase from my vows was, “Together by your side, holding your hand and you holding mine, I ask that you walk with me, always keeping God as our guide.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The most special reading occurred when my Daddy prayed over us and read Genesis 49: 22-25 as the Father’s blessing: “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with the blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessing of the breast and womb.” We also had a few other great Scriptural readings from Genesis 2:24, Ephesians 5:21 and Ephesians 5:25-28.

I grew up in Georgia, so I knew I wanted a Southern garden wedding. What’s more Southern than having a wedding at Tuckahoe Plantation in Virginia? The plantation has beautiful gardens and we even were able to have most of our wedding flowers from the plantation. We danced under the stars and had a great time outdoors. We had some of my favorite comfort food, including mac and cheese, pies, and peach cobbler. We also had sweet tea and lemonade. My bubble and ring boys wore bow ties and I wore a lace wedding dress. In lieu of the typical lawn games, we had board games and cards that we love to play. I also had light green and pink parasols for the ladies as they strolled through the gardens. Although this is not exclusive to Southern weddings, we included a moment of prayer with the family (which was so important to me) prior to walking down the aisle. We had that special moment and we were able to make the ceremony about how great Jesus has been to us while celebrating that He brought us together.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was trying to finalize the guest list. We wanted a small and intimate wedding but found it very difficult to create a guest list to fit what we would consider small. We were blessed that so many people in our lives wanted to celebrate with us that it was difficult to determine to set a limit but we had to stay in budget. Also, it was very difficult to plan the wedding and to take care of the little details because our lives were so busy and we had so many important things going on that we could not put on hold. I did the best I could with the time I had. Although I did not get to finish all the details I planned for, God made it amazing and it turned out great!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Andrew’s most memorable moment was seeing me walk down the aisle, as he was overwhelmed with emotions. My most memorable moment was walking through the garden with my Daddy and turning the corner to see Andrew at the arbor with all of our loved ones surrounding us. Andrew had tears streaming down his face, and I could just see the love in his eyes. Also, dancing with my Daddy is so memorable and special to me. I still tear up now every time I think about it.

Instead of the traditional wedding cake, we wanted something that suited our personalities. I wanted my typical Southern favorites. I say that Andrew and I go together like pie and ice cream and milk and cookies, so that’s what we served. Who doesn’t love either of those? We had a selection of pies, including pecan, lemon chess, apple, and sweet potato, all with either a side of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. We also had chocolate chip, oatmeal and raisin, sugar, and peanut butter cookies with a glass of milk. Last but definitely not least, we had good ol’ fashioned peach cobbler. The caterer did a great job creating a beautiful display with all the desserts. The desserts were so good that people started digging in before the reception officially started!

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story. Andrew and I met at church a few years ago, and I had a bad first impression of him. I thought he was extremely arrogant, so I didn’t talk to him for a long time. It wasn’t until we both started serving in the Young Adult ministry together years later that I started to get to know him. We talked through emails (that we called our Novel — cheesy, I know, but it’s so endearing and cute!) and phone conversations over the summer, but we still never went on a date. Then, we decided that we should seriously consider dating with the intent of marriage, so we prayed for 40 days and also did the Daniel Fast for 21 days during that period. At the end of the prayer period, we came together to share what God had revealed to us. At that time, Andrew told me that God had given him several dreams that I was going to be the one he married. Andrew saw many divine appointments at that time, but I was kind of clueless. Before we went on our first date, which was a week after our 40 days of prayer, he wanted to ask my parents’ permission to date me, but we knew there wasn’t going to be time. Even then, God set it up so that my dad had to go to Baltimore (near Andrew) that week for a business trip. My dad decided to take my mom with him, so in that week before our very first date, my parents went out with Andrew twice! We received our confirmations, and it was such a surreal and peaceful feeling to just trust God with everything! He was in all the details, and it was pretty cool to know who we were going to marry even before we started dating.
Describe the proposal. Andrew and I, along with my parents and two pastors, planed a trip to Israel for our church. One special day there, we decided the six of us should go to the Mount of Olives to pray where Jesus prayed. Prior to going there, though, we went to see this awesome woman who has a special ministry there that helps abused women. She has an amazing gift of prophecy, and one of the pastors arranged for us to meet her. She shared some amazing things with me, but she also said that this trip was going to be the start of my “season of romance.” I knew she was talking about my relationship with God, but little did we know it also had a literal meaning. After visiting her, we went to the Mount of Olives to pray. It was so amazing, so beautiful, and so peaceful! We found this nice flat rock under a tree overlooking Jerusalem. My parents and the pastors decided to go pray in another area nearby, so it was just Andrew and I under the tree. I began to pray. I prayed for everything that was on my heart, and I prayed for Andrew and me also. After I finished praying, Andrew prayed, but his prayer was mainly focused on our relationship. (He said I prayed for everything, so there wasn’t much else to pray for, ha!). As he was closing his prayer, he knelt on one knee in front of me and began to tell me how we started on the foundation of prayer, and he relied on prayer when asking God how to fulfill the next step — to get engaged. He told me that as he prayed for the next step, God showed him to propose to me on the Mount of Olives. For as Jesus will be coming back to the Mount of Olives for His Bride, the Church, Andrew has come to the Mount of Olives, for his bride, me! How sweet, romantic, and deeply spiritual is that?! As Andrew began to propose, my Dad came around the corner recorded the whole thing.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are too many to write but I would say all the DIY details (invitations, programs, ring book, pie topper and signage) because each one had a special meaning to us, and I had so much fun working on each project with my sisters. We also loved the café lights at night. Instead of the traditional flower girls, I had what I called “Bubble Boys!” They carried little bubble guns down the aisle blowing bubbles the whole way. They were adorable.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Pray about the details, and know there isn’t just one right way to have a wedding. Do what you want, and have fun with it! I ran out of time and could not complete all the details that I wanted, so I focused on the few that I was able to complete. More importantly, I focused on the fact that at the end of my wedding day, I was going to be married to my best friend even if the little details weren’t all there.
What’s next for you as a couple?  What are you looking forward to in the future? We were blessed to enjoy a great honeymoon in Fiji and we are planning a few more international trips this year before we think about starting a family. We have been serving together as co-leaders for our Young Adults Ministry as volunteers at our church and it has been a tremendous blessing. We look forward to starting a family soon and to see where God will lead us.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
8 Comments
  1. avatar Michael from Bohemian Weddings reply

    Ohhh Cookies and Milk?! I’m sold! What a cool idea.

    I love the bright natural feel of the imagery and the sprinkle of lovely pastel colours. It really does have a unique feel about it!

  2. avatar Tuckahoe Plantation Wedding : Terri + Andrew » Julie Lim Photography Blog reply

    […] you Southern Weddings to featuring Terri and Andrew’s gorgeous wedding!  Check out our feature […]

  3. avatar Dee Shore reply

    Stunning. Just stunning.

  4. avatar Jess reply

    Where did you find your guys ties? I’m having coral dresses too and need to find ties!

  5. avatar Garden Party Wedding | Merry reply

    […] 2- Lovely Little Details,                   white cake-Style Me Pretty, boutonniere- Southern Weddings, floral cake-It’s All About The […]

  6. avatar Coral, Mint, Peach, Emerald and Navy Bridesmaid Dresses reply

    […] Sources (clockwise from top left): 1- Ali Harper Photography via Landlocked Bride; 2- Isa Photography via Magnolia Rouge; 3- Ella Photography via Offbeat Bride; 4- Half Orange Photography via The Sweetest Occasion; 5- Julie Lim Photography/J.Crew via Southern Weddings […]

  7. avatar Father’s roles in your wedding day! | The Diamond Dossier reply

    […] from Southern […]

  8. avatar 10 Ways to Use Chalkboard Wedding Decor in Your Connecticut Wedding reply

    […] Photography by: Julie Jim Photography via Southern Weddings […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to:
close

Oh my. How does one write the real wedding introduction for one’s own wedding?? There’s so much I could say, and yet, thankfully, the lovely images by Tanja Lippert say more than I ever could. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from adding in a few notes here and there! Since y’all had such a hand in planning it, I very much hope you enjoy this extended look at my and John’s wedding. And if you haven’t yet seen it in print, do pick up a copy of V5 here!

What was the weather like on your big day? It was PERFECT. Bright blue sky, crisp but warm air, mid-70s… we couldn’t have handpicked a better day. I am so thankful it turned out as it did! The only thing I ever really knew I wanted for my someday future wedding was that I wanted it to take place in Connecticut (where both John and I grew up), and I wanted it to take place in September. It’s my absolute favorite month in New England, and the day God delivered was exactly the day I was picturing when I dreamed about a September wedding.

Y’all know I love paper, and I always knew I would have high standards for my one-day wedding invitation. Working with Magpie Paper Works and MM Ink to produce this beauty was a dream come true!

My sister in law drew the custom map below — isn’t it darling?

My wedding dress search spanned three states and five stores. I started the hunt in Charleston, where I fell in love with a Monique Lhuillier and a Vera Wang at Maddison Row. I then looked in Connecticut at The White Dress by the Shore, but didn’t even have a top contender at the end of that trip. My third stop (with just Mom this time) was at Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The first dress I tried on was the “Brisa,” by Christos, and the best way I can describe it is that it just felt like me. I had never seen another bride wear it before, which I didn’t think was important to me, but apparently it was! (And since I work at a wedding magazine, stumping me with a “new” gown is pretty tough.) We visited two more stores after that to make sure, but it was Brisa in the end. The funniest part about wearing my dress was that people asked to touch it all day! I guess the skirt looked very soft :)

Our beautiful horsehair-edged veil was a custom creation by Chaviano Couture. I dreamed it up with John’s sister, who got married exactly two months before John and I did. It’s our hope that our sisters and maybe even children will one day wear it, too!

I struggled for a long time with what to inscribe on our Paloma’s Nest ring bearer bowl, and eventually decided on simply “grateful,” plus our wedding date.

I have a very distinct style when it comes to flowers, and happily, I found my match in Elisabeth from Blush Floral Design. I asked for a lush garden look with garden roses, ranunculus, sweet pea, lambs ear, and anemones in whites, creams, and the palest blushes. The stem of my bouquet (which I loved!) was wrapped in pleated pale blue ribbon I picked up on a special trip to New York City. We incorporated tiny apples and berries into the cocktail hour and reception centerpieces, as well.

You can read more about our decision to do a first look right here. It wasn’t the overwhelmingly emotional part of the day that it is for some people — more joyful — but we were glad we did it and it worked well with our timeline.

My bridesmaids wore long charcoal gray dresses by Dessy. Choosing bridesmaid attire was one of the, if not the, hardest decision I made while wedding planning, though they all looked beautiful in the end!

I adore that photo of our dads! So good.

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: I really loved the boutonniere and bell boards we set up at the church. Upon arrival, gentlemen were invited to pin on a velvet ribbon boutonniere, and ladies could take a little silver bell to ring at the end of our ceremony. I loved that these details made our guests feel special, and included in the celebration, right from the beginning!

In the days and months leading up to our wedding, I wondered often about how my emotions would manifest themselves on the big day. I tend to be pretty unpredictable with crying – I’ll tear up at commercials, but often won’t shed a drop in situations where it’s expected, you know? If anything, I expected to cry while reciting our vows, and during the father daughter dance. Turns out I was wrong on both accounts, though I did get extremely emotional at one point.

Throughout the morning of our wedding, I felt quite calm, and quietly excited. I didn’t feel nervous, and I didn’t feel particularly emotional. Our first look was joyful, not tearful. Since we had already seen each other, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and our families all gathered together in the basement of the church to await the start of the ceremony. Soon it was time for us to line up, and when I was standing next to my Dad in the narthex I felt the first flip in my stomach. I got another one when the string trio began to play the first song of the processional. After the last bridesmaid had begun her walk down the aisle, the doors to the sanctuary closed, and my Dad and I moved into position. I had specifically asked that the doors not be opened until about fifteen seconds into my song, so that we would hit the top of the aisle at the right point in the music. My emotions started to build, and I couldn’t help smiling, while we waited behind the closed doors. When the doors finally opened, I could hear an audible intake of breath from our guests. (That sounds horribly vain, but it’s true!) I think it was in part because I was wearing a blusher veil, which is so unexpected these days but so me, and my Dad looked stunningly handsome in his dress whites (military uniform). I had my eyes locked on John’s the entire time we walked down the aisle, but when we reached our guests, I had to start taking deep breaths in and out to try and control the impending flood. Once we got a little closer, I could hear the entire row of bridesmaids and entire row of groomsmen sniffling, and that finally opened the flood gates for me. We all had tears rolling down our faces throughout the beginning of our ceremony, so much so that our pastor had to remind everyone to take deep breaths before he began.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Besides my grandmothers, and John’s relatives who came from as far away as Taipei and Shanghai, our most special guest was our pastor, Carl. He’s the pastor of our church in North Carolina, and has had such a huge impact on our lives and our life together since we met him two years ago. We were so excited and grateful when he agreed to fly north to lead our ceremony. We were equally as devastated when we found out two months before our wedding that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery about a month before, and happily, was recovered in time to still make the trip. His presence was one of the most special parts of our entire day – our wedding would have felt entirely different (at least to John and me) had he not been a part of it.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? We chose to serve communion to our guests, since we found deep meaning in having our first act as a newly married couple be one of service. We used a silver cup from the church where my grandmother was baptized to hold the wine. We weren’t sure how our guests would react, but many told us communion was their favorite part of the day.
Did you write your own vows? We wrote our own vows and recited traditional vows, as we felt they both brought something meaningful to the ceremony. Our personal vows took the form of promises to each other. My favorite line from John’s vows was “I promise to always be available to and grateful for your love.” His favorite part from mine was the last line: “And if at the end, all I have done is loved you with all of my heart, I promise that for me, that will be enough.”

At some points during the budgeting process, I second-guessed our decision to hire a string trio, but I am SO glad we did. They played so beautifully, and really set the tone for the ceremony. They were accompanied by my childhood piano teacher, and having her there injected one more layer of meaning into the day. The moms walked down the aisle to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” one of my very favorite hymns, and one that just says WEDDING to me (in the best way possible). My bridesmaids entered to “In Christ Alone,” which I had never heard mentioned as a processional, but which we received many compliments on. I loved it. My processional was to “A Thousand Years.” I debated long and hard over what song to use, and worried that I might regret choosing something so contemporary (especially something that first appeared in the Twilight movies – yikes!). But in the end, it was most important to me to have something that pulled at my emotional chords and made me feel something, and “A Thousand Years” most certainly did. If you’ve only heard the radio version, you’ve got to check out Vitamin String Quartet’s rendition! Our congregational hymn was “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” (love!), and our recessional was “Ode to Joy,” the same one my parents and my older sister and her husband used at their weddings.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We grew up in the same small town in Connecticut, and went to different elementary schools, but had many of the same friends. Despite this, we did not meet each other until middle school, when all the elementary schools pooled into one school. I had a crush on John, but sadly, it was not reciprocated. Fast forward to high school, where we were still in interlocking groups of friends, but more acquaintances than anything else. I still thought John was cute, of course, but he was dating someone else. Fast forward again to senior year. We had a class together with a mutual good friend, and so began to hang out more. Unbeknownst to me, John had developed a crush on me, but didn’t really know what to do about it. He even resorted to loudly talking about how much he liked me while sitting a few seats away from my younger sister in the cafeteria (hoping she would overhear and report back), but to no avail. Finally, in January of their senior year, John (with the encouragement of our friend Jeremy) mustered up the courage to say something. He called me up out of the blue and blurted out “So… I think I like you.” To which I responded with nervous giggles, obviously. A first date was eventually arranged (ice skating), and we have been together ever since.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: joyful, thoughtful, and precious
How many guests attended your wedding? About 120
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? I have been studying wedding magazines for about thirteen years now, and working at one for three. So I’ve seen a lot of weddings, and a ton of creative and unique ideas. Though I love almost all of them, I knew the vast majority weren’t right for John and me. Our wedding style was classic, while never taking itself too seriously. We wanted everything to fit seamlessly into our beautiful seaside location, and in the end, I think it did.
What were your wedding colors? This is a tough question! People always looked at me like I had two heads when I tried to explain. Let’s go with powder blue, black and white, blush pink, dove gray, and environmental green. There might have been some peach in there, too.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? Isn’t it always the budget? I almost feel guilty giving that answer, though, because we were extremely lucky to have a larger amount to work with than most, and were so grateful for everything we were able to afford. But when you know what’s out there, it’s hard to stop yourself from wanting more!
What range did your budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your big day? Though we had to wake up earlier than I would have chosen (6:15) to start the hair and makeup process, the morning was perfect – slow and relaxed, and spent with just my sisters, John’s sisters, and our moms. We had reserved a large suite at a cozy local inn, and we had the windows and door open all day, letting in the crisp early fall air. I also made a custom playlist to set the right mood, a tip I’d highly recommend!
Did you have any special readings? We spent much time choosing our readings, and we were so happy with them in the end! We chose one from the Bible, Colossians 3:12-17, and had a good friend with whom we went to high school and college read it. (She also has her Masters of Divinity, so she was extra qualified!) Our second reading was an excerpt from “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, which begins “Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing.” Our dear friend from college read that one. Our final reading was the one we had the most difficulty choosing. After going through a box of old notes we had written to each other over the years, we finally settled on an excerpt from “The Petite Prince” that I had included with a letter to John years before. For those who are familiar with the book, we choose the conversation between the fox and the prince about what it means to be tamed. Our ninth grade English teacher and my mentor of eleven years read it, which was only fitting, as she was the one who had introduced me to it years before.
Who participated in your ceremony? Growing up I had three best friends (all of whom I’m still quite close with), and one of them did us the honor of singing “Set Me As a Seal” and “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” during communion. It was so beautiful!

Inkspot Crow Films and Sperry Tents are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
30 Comments
  1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    I’ve never been more excited about someone else’s wedding than I was about Emily’s. Really, just perfection. I love the color palette because it’s so unique and inventive. I can’t even say enough things about that amazing dress. And Tanja? Man, she’s so talented. Just an incredibly beautiful wedding all around.

  2. avatar Lara reply

    Oh my. I know I’ve already seen these images, but they are as breathtaking as the first time I saw them! You and John radiate with love!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Thank you!! I definitely felt like I was radiating with love that day, and it’s all Tanja’s magic that captured it on film! :)

  3. avatar Shelby reply

    Yay!! Absolutely beautiful photos! I’ve been waiting for this post since last September! Every detail is beautiful, Emily, I am so happy for you & John!

  4. avatar Lauren @ Every Last Detail reply

    Love love love all of your details Emily! Can’t wait to see Part 2!! :)

    • avatar Emily reply

      Thank you so much, Lauren!! That means a lot coming from someone who has seen as many details as you have!

  5. avatar Megan reply

    Emily, can I just say how much I love reading your posts, especially this one? You are such an amazing writer and so descriptive that I could imagine every little detail and moment! Your wedding was absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait for Part 2!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Megan, that is pretty much the nicest compliment anyone has ever given me. I’m so glad you are enjoying the posts!!

  6. avatar Lisa reply

    After seeing bits and pieces of your planning process, it was such a thrill to see your wedding in V5, Emily! And now it’s so exciting to hear more about the details and decisions that went into your gorgeous day, not to mention, see more of Tanja’s breathtaking pictures!

  7. avatar Taylor J reply

    Emily- I have so enjoyed your “Emily plans a wedding series” and to see the end result- I feel as if I’ve had the privilege of attending the wedding of a dear, old friend. What a stunning day. Best wishes to both of you, lovebirds!

  8. avatar Emily reply

    What a compliment, Taylor! I wish I COULD have invited y’all!!

  9. avatar Victoria C reply

    I have LOVED hearing about your planning process and now reading all about the day here, I know you two just had an amazing time. I feel like I was there with you and I am so happy for you! Thank you for all of the help you have provided to me as I’m planning my own wedding (coming up so soon – April 6)!

  10. avatar Graham reply

    AH-MAZ-ING! These are some of my favorite wedding pictures EVER! Emily and John’s wedding was the first thing I flipped to when we got our copy of V5! :)

  11. avatar Kelly reply

    The bells and bows, the INCREDIBLE pleated ribbon bouquet…. oh my heavens, lawdamercy. Just amazing!!!!!!

  12. avatar Mary reply

    I loved everything about this wedding. Emily, you were stunning!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Mary! Thank you so much – that is so kind of you to say!! There’s nothing like having your hair & makeup done by a master, and Tia certainly is one!

  13. avatar Sierra reply

    Em, you were simply breathtaking! Wishing so much happiness to you and John :)

  14. avatar Lisa's Southern Wedding: Our Venues – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] first Southern Weddings gal who, since starting to work at SW, is having a wedding in the South! Emily was married in her home state of Connecticut and Katharine was married at her alma mater in […]

  15. avatar Happy Birthday, Emily! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] of our favorite photos of Emily + John by Tanja Lippert from their wedding day! See their wedding here and here. On the right: Emily showing off her cute-as-pie Smilephoto booth […]

  16. avatar Sponsored Post: The Bride's Maids Shop – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] of the most frequently asked questions from readers when planning my own wedding was about what I was doing for bridesmaid gifts. Everyone, it seems, is looking for a token […]

  17. avatar Southern Newlywed: Date Night with Emily + John – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] in the world under the most perfect blue sky you could imagine. You can take a peek at it all here and […]

  18. avatar Meghan reply

    Emily,
    I love all of the details of your day! I’m especially in LOVE with your boutonniere board. This is a really silly question – but did someone create the board for you? I’d love to do something similar (with ribbons tied similarly and presented similarly) for our escort cards, but I’m a HORRIBLE bow tier and I have no idea how you attached them to the board…haha. I know you posted this a long time ago, but just found it now that I’m in the throws of planning for our May 2nd wedding (which I hope to submit to y’all).

    Thanks a bunch!

  19. avatar Ali reply

    Hi! I just love your style and attention to detail. I see that your bridesmaid dresses are Dessy, After Six but what is the exact color called? I am in love with the color!

    Thank you!

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to:
close
Top