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Thanks to this year’s very long winter, I feel like I have been dreaming of summer for months, and Maria and Jack’s cheery wedding is the perfect eye candy to hold me over until June! A talented graphic designer, Maria took great care in creating branding for the day that perfectly captured their whimsical, colorful, Southern style. From the invitations down to their favors (jam jars in honor of their new married monogram: JAM!), every detail of Maria and Jack’s big day was thoughtful and joyful!

Thank you so much to Whitebox Photo for sharing this fun day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our invitation said it best: “Maria and Jack met at The Baseball Tavern in October 2008. She was new to town. He was visiting from Vermont. They struck up a conversation and he got her number. As luck would have it, he had a job interview in Boston the following week. He asked her to lunch and that was the beginning of their long-distance relationship. It went like this for seven months: Maria visited Jack in Vermont. Jack visited Maria in Boston. Jack graduated, passed for the bar, (fished when he could), and got a job in Maine. Maria began her adventure – living, working, and enjoying life in Beantown. Their journey continued for another two years and three months. Maria bused up to Maine. Jack (and Mac) drove down to Boston. Eventually, the stars aligned and Maria ventured north. They made a home together on Maple Street. After just a few short months, true to form, the call of duty brought them to Buffalo. It took about three and a half years, five cities, 16,737 miles, 37 bus tickets, and 1,040 phone calls to realize that a fleeting moment can become forever.”

As many brides do, I fell in love with a dress I saw in a magazine. I knew I was going to be in Atlanta for a weekend that spring, so I called around, found the dress at a local boutique, and gathered all the ladies in my family for a fun day of dress shopping. I tried it on and absolutely loved it, but I had a feeling I should keep looking, so we headed over to Bridals by Lori to try on a few more. As soon as we arrived, my Nana insisted I try on a Spanish-inspired dress she saw on the mannequin (Nana was born and raised in Spain, so it was a must). As soon as I tried on Nana’s pick, I immediately knew it was “the one”–we all did. It was the perfect way to incorporate my Spanish heritage into our wedding, especially because Nana had picked it out.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not do a first look on our wedding day because we loved the idea of seeing each other at the altar for the first time. That being said, I’m Catholic but we wanted to be married outside, so in order to be married in the Catholic church, we had a small ceremony on Friday before the rehearsal dinner. It was such a special, intimate experience shared with only our immediate families, and it allowed us to be jitter-free the following day.

We stayed the weekend, got ready, were married, celebrated, and danced the night away just steps from my parents’ home in the North Carolina mountains at Mountaintop Golf and Lake. I would highly recommend doing as much as you can in a single location–it made for a stress-free day!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We exchanged traditional Catholic vows. We loved the simplicity and meaning behind those vows, and although they have been repeated by millions of couples, these vows were ours and ours alone. On a somewhat related note, the priest that married Jack and I had also married my parents (who are celebrating their 30th anniversary this fall!). We always knew that we wanted him to marry us, and when he agreed, we knew the ceremony was going to be incredibly special.

My something old was the diamond in my engagement ring, which was Jack’s grandmother’s. My something new was my fabulous dress. My something borrowed were gold coins called arras, lent to us by a relative from Spain that she used during her wedding ceremony. My something blue was actually a surprise–my dad’s parents have passed, so my family had one of my grandmother’s handkerchiefs sewn into the underside of my dress and embroidered in blue with a lyric from “I Hope You Dance,” a song that is very special to our family.

I would classify our wedding as rustic chic with lots of fun Southern details. Guests received welcome bags that included a wedding weekend itinerary with a thoughtful introduction to the North Carolina mountains, a local brew from Jack’s hometown, Georgia peach gummies, and North Carolina peanuts. Upon arriving to the ceremony, guests received mason jars filled with sweet tea and a Kraft paper bag program holding a pair of branded white wayfarers, because the ceremony was facing the sun. Mint juleps were served at cocktail hour, an assortment of mini pies were for dessert, and we had a whiskey/cigar bar to enjoy during dance breaks. My favorite Southern detail was the branded jar of jam, because our monogram is JAM!

Describe your wedding flowers. I absolutely love mixing and matching bold colors, patterns, and textures, so we chose a dozen different fabrics within our poppy and mint color scheme and had runners made for our gorgeous farm tables. Every other table had a different runner and different flower arrangements. There were heads of cabbage in wooden boxes, poppies in clear glass bottles, peonies in milk glass vases, hydrangeas in vintage tins, and succulents in mercury glass vases. Every table was so fun and different, while keeping a cohesive overall look. With a TON of help from my mom, sister, planner, and florist, my vision was brought to life, and let me tell you, it was even prettier in person.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Instead of traditional wedding cake, we opted for a variety of pies. We make rhubarb pies every other weekend during the summer, so we shared a rhubarb pie while our guests chose from blueberry, apple, cherry, and rhubarb. For the groom’s cake, I surprised Jack with hundreds of Oreos (he’s obsessed!) stacked in the shape of a cake. It was a hit!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jack and I shared our first dance as husband and wife to “Swept Away” by the Avett Brothers. We went to their concert on our second date and we’ve always loved their music, especially the lyrics to that song. My dad and I danced to “My Maria” by Brooks & Dunn, a song we had danced to many times before/since, but none of which were nearly as special as on that day.

Tell us all about the proposal! Jack proposed on March 9, 2012, shortly after we moved to Buffalo, NY. It started out just like any other Friday night. I had not yet started my new job, so I ran a bunch of errands earlier that day and had just come from the gym to pick Jack up from work. My birthday was earlier that week, so the plan was for us to walk our dog along the Lake Erie waterfront and head home to get ready for dinner. As we were walking and talking, I mentioned that I had found a great deal on his favorite shaving cream, to which he replied, “Oh, I got you something today too.” Just as I was thinking, What could it possibly be, you were at the office all day! he said, “Well, I thought we could get married next spring” and pulled out a little black box. Although we had been dating for over three years (most of which was long distance), moved together twice, and talked about marriage numerous times, that sentence stopped me dead in my tracks (and made me drop our dog’s leash…we’re still not sure where he ran off to during those five minutes of sheer bliss). Jack got down on one knee, poured his heart out, and asked me to be his wife. It was casual, unexpected, and more perfect than I could have ever imagined. To top it all off, Jack surprised me with my parents and sister who had come into town to celebrate for the weekend.
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 177
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We each selected a reading that was meaningful to us. I fell in love with Genesis 2:18-24 and Jack chose a quote from A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. Together, these two readings represent us as a couple.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was hands down our wedding paper suite. The paper goods were extremely important to me, so I teamed up with a friend to create the wedding suite of my dreams. From (literally) telling the craziness that is our love story with letterpressed invitations, to naming table numbers after places that are near and dear to our hearts, to designing labels for the sweet little jam jar favors, we created a beautiful, cohesive brand for our wedding that truly captured the essence of who we are as a couple.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was planning from afar. From video chats with vendors, to early morning phone calls, to venue visits (both with and without me and Jack), we are forever indebted to our parents, siblings, planner, and everyone who helped make this challenge a blessing in disguise.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We did some serious homework when it came to selecting vendors. We made sure that each and every vendor was not only a good fit for us and our vision, but our budget. We identified and focused our budget on the specific things that were very important to us and saved on other areas that we agreed we could do without.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? As my dad and I spent some amazing quality father/daughter time, we watched guests arrive and the ceremony begin. I’ll never forget seeing Jack walk down the stairs to the altar. As soon as the doors opened and my dad and I started walking down the aisle, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. After my mom and dad gave me away, Jack was so excited he tried to kiss me the second we got to the altar!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice may seem like an oxymoron, but it would be to plan and enjoy. Put in the legwork up front by allowing family and friends to chip in, building an all-star team of vendors, putting together a timeline, and a list of “must haves.” By doing each of these things, you’ll be able to truly enjoy every moment of the day you’ve been looking forward to your entire life.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We spent an unbelievable honeymoon bike riding through Spain and (reluctantly) returned back to real life. We genuinely love Buffalo, but once we start thinking about a family of our own, we’re hoping to venture South to be closer to our families. Also, shortly after our wedding, the friend I had worked with to create our wedding paper suite started a wedding branding company called Mia Maria Design!

Photographer: Whitebox Photo / Videographer: Caravan / Planner: Asheville Event Company /  Ceremony, Reception Venue, Caterer and Dessert Baker: Mountaintop Golf and Lake Club / Florist: Blossoms at Biltmore Park / Rentals and Lighting: Classic Event Rental / Band: Rupert’s Orchestra / Jam: Sweet Carolina Jams / Sunglasses: Sunglassville /  Bride’s Gown: “Style 301” Amalia Carrara from Eve of Milady / Paper Products: Mia Maria Design / Bride’s Hair Comb: Bridal House Etsy Shop / Hair Stylist: Lori Kurtz of Sola Salon Studios / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

Whitebox Photo is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Erin reply

    What an adorable proposal! Would love to have something like that someday :)

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    That dress!!

  3. avatar Melissa Porter reply

    I absolutely loved working with Mia, Jack and their families – such a special day filled with love and fun! And the color palette of poppy and mint green was one of my favorites! Thanks for letting me share in your day! xoxo

  4. avatar Katrina Wallace reply

    Oh how I LOVE that you feature images with moments and not just details! LOVE your blog!!!

  5. avatar Happy Father's Day! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Whitebox Photo from Maria + Jack’s wedding […]

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I love jam and mason jars, both separately and together — and mostly at weddings! In fact, the other day, my friend called me from the grocery store in a jam conundrum — which to choose? Thank goodness I was available, in my infinite wisdom, to guide him through the options. Unfortunately, I’m not the best at canning things in general, so this handy DIY from the lovely ladies at Yours is the Earth will have all us reaping the benefits!

This fun jam recipe is meant to be stored in the refrigerator, so you don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of actual canning. (But feel free to use pretty jars, regardless!) Our friends at Yours is the Earth have provided us with canning labels, too! Perfect to personalizing those jam wedding favors, no? I love a homemade touch at weddings and I think guests really appreciate it, too.

What you’ll need:

2 pints ripe strawberries (or about 5 cups), hulled and chopped
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
The juice of a whole lemon

What to do:

Bring all of these ingredients to a simmer in a dutch oven. Mascerate the strawberries until you have a bright, sticky, slightly chunky jam. Transfer to sterilized glass jars with tight-fitting lids. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, if you can make it last that long! Those biscuits are calling!

If you are feeling really adventurous, add a drizzle of balsamic and a few cracks of pepper to the jam while it’s cooking.

For the labels:

Download our PDF template here, and print onto regular paper or sticker paper. Cut along the black outline with scissors. If you’re using regular paper or cardstock, place the label on top of a mason jar lid, then screw the metal ring on top of it. Or, punch a hole through the top and hang it around your jar with a bit of twine or ribbon.

If you’re using sticker paper, cut out and place that pretty little label anywhere your heart desires.

Thanks to our friends at Yours is the Earth for sharing this DIY! Now tell us, what will your wedding favors be?

If you found this DIY helpful, you might like these, too!
Ashley Brooke Designs’ Tote Bag DIY
How to: Preserve Fruits
How to: Biscuit Bar

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
16 Comments
  1. avatar Rustic Weddings and DIY Mason Jars! « The Aspen Shops – Owner Blog reply

    […] how to utilize Mason jars to complete your perfect Rustic wedding (even some FREE labels found on Southern Weddings provided by Yours Is The Earth) or how to utilize them in every day life! For more instructions on […]

  2. avatar Vanessa reply

    I love these! Definitely saving this for a later use :)

  3. avatar Allie@HoneyBeeInvites reply

    I love these labels! So amazing!

  4. avatar Friday Link Lovin’ » Yours is the Earth reply

    […] GATHER For a tomato canning party! Arm yourselves with your favorite canning jars, a great book of recipes, and a huge pot. That will get you started. It really is easier than it looks, especially when using an acidic food, like tomatoes. Don’t you want to savor all of those market or garden-fresh beauties for the dark days of winter? Now is a great time to start. Our canning lid labels make for pretty and useful storage. Give them as gifts to your guests! If you’re up for it, there’s still a free download available here. […]

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  7. avatar Jen’s Bridal Shower « MishMash-E reply

    […] for the different juice types (which she can now have for her place). We downloaded some free label templates (sis Steph found on pinterest) for labeling the different pitchers (which we also used for favors […]

  8. avatar Claudine Greer reply

    As the rain falls outside here in the northwest, my heart is looking forward to summer canning, and jamming, and all the yuminess of the process …. Love your labels! Could you tell me what font did you use? :)

  9. avatar {Imprimibles} 10 diseños 100% molones para etiquetar tu comida casera (y gratis) | Cosas Molonas | Blog de Inspiración & DIY | reply

    […] 2. Fresh Love, de Southern Weddings […]

  10. avatar Alan Diaz reply

    How I may get the labels????!!

  11. avatar Homemade Cinnamon Honey Butter—Simple, Delicious & A Great Gift! | Livin' The Mom Life reply

    […] I got the super cute mason jar lid labels HERE. Aren’t they […]

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  13. avatar jessica reply

    me gusta mucho

  14. avatar Zen reply

    We were looking for cool but simple labels for our homemade gifts (bath salts, salsas, pickled beans, granola…) and found your post. THANK YOU for sharing your designs!

  15. avatar Cristina Álvarez García reply

    I love it

  16. avatar 10 of the best… Food Printables | The Loveliest Food reply

    […] 7. Jam jar labels by Southern Weddings – click here […]

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I LOVE (love love) that Ali + Matt had a theme without being too “theme-y.” Since Matt travels for work during the week, they wanted to bring a feeling of “house and home” to their whole celebration, and I think they did it in a really unique way — incorporating tea kettles and keys into their decor, hanging fabric wreaths on the door, placing family photos on the mantle, and giving each guest a napkin hand-embroidered by Ali’s Mom (yes, all 100!!). Ali herself pitched in with the paper goods — all self-designed, and printed by Mirabel Press. The Frogtown Winery was truly transformed into a home away from home, from the looks of it. The mini cake came courtesy of a dear friend, while the pie bar was baked by Razzle Dazzle Bakery. Guests took home mini jars of jam (made from wine — how appropriate!) from Emily G’s Jam of Love. And the lovely photographs that recorded this most special day? That was all Jill Thomas.

For even more details from Ali + Matt’s wedding, pick up a copy of V3!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Corinna Hoffman reply

    Oh wow, I’m in love with this wedding!! I particularly love their guestbook :) Thank you for sharing :)

  2. avatar Southern Hospitality :: Atlanta Tote « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Jam of Love ($8.00). An Atlanta favorite, featured in the V3 wedding of Ali + Matt (see here + here!). Carlee joined forces with her talented friend Joni of Chocolate Butterbean to create THE cutest […]

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

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