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For fellow college sweethearts Megan and Jack, getting to know each other meant walking to and from their dorm rooms for early morning classes at UVA. But when it came time to plan their wedding, they knew they wanted their celebration to highlight the beauty and history of their hometown of Richmond. With many out of town guests, Megan and Jack wanted to share as much of its charm as possible, so it’s no surprise they chose the beautiful Tuckahoe Plantation as their reception venue! Instead of a traditional sit-down dinner, guests were served family-style as a way to encourage connections — a choice that easily became Megan’s favorite from the night!

Thanks to Ashley Cox for sharing M + J’s beautiful black tie wedding with us!

I love cascading bouquets, and I chose flowers that were mainly white with hints of blue and green. My bridesmaids’ dresses were a neutral color, so I wanted the flowers to provide a small pop of color. Our florist did an amazing job taking my vision and putting together bouquets that reflected my style.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the ceremony, we chose mostly classical music. For walking down the aisle, we wanted something sweet and peaceful, so we chose Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” At the reception, we had an incredible band called Soul Expressions who played mainly Motown and jazz music. We wanted music that would get everyone up and dancing. Our first dance song was “More” by Frank Sinatra. We love his music and felt that this song really encapsulated how we feel about one another.

Our priest, Father Michael Renninger, was wonderful. He met with us many times before the wedding to really get to know us as a couple, and he did a pre-rehearsal rehearsal for just the two of us so that we wouldn’t have to worry about making any decisions the day before the wedding (for example, what we wanted to be introduced to the congregation as). He has been a family friend for many years, but it was great to talk to him as a couple. More than half of our guests are not Catholic, and we think that Father Mike did a great job of making everyone feel welcome and comfortable.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Shopping for my wedding dress was surprisingly easy and stress-free. I went to one salon and only tried on two dresses. I knew exactly what style I wanted, and that I wanted to have a long-sleeved lace jacket made to wear for the ceremony and remove for the reception.

We wanted our wedding to highlight the beauty and history of Richmond. Many of our guests were from out of town and were visiting for the first time, so we wanted them to experience as much of the city, its history, and its charm as possible. The Cathedral is in the heart of downtown Richmond and was built in the late 1800s. It is impressive, but not ostentatious. We didn’t need to fill the space with flowers and decorations because it is beautiful by itself. For our reception, we chose Tuckahoe Plantation. The plantation is about 20 minutes outside of the city, on the James River. Being UVA graduates, we were drawn to Tuckahoe because Thomas Jefferson lived there for several years as a child. The house and gardens were open for our guests to tour, so they had a chance to learn some of the history of the estate.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the family-style dinner. It provided a chance for us to place together groups of people who might not know each other, but who we thought would get along. It was fun to look out during dinner and see everyone passing platters, laughing, and getting to know one another over amazing food. Our caterer did an incredible job of adding beautiful garnishes to the dishes so that each platter looked like a decoration in itself.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jack and I met at UVA. We lived in the same dorm our first year and had the same early morning class first semester. We got to know each other while walking to and from class together. We were close friends for our first two years of school and started dating the summer before our third year. I was in Charlottesville taking a Spanish class, and Jack was interning in DC and would drive down every weekend to visit. For our first date, we went our for chocolate milkshakes at Ben and Jerry’s.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jack proposed the Friday after Thanksgiving in 2014. His family was in Charlottesville for the holiday, and my family was at our house in Richmond. We all drove out to meet at Pippin Hill to spend the afternoon wine tasting and then to get dinner with both families. Shortly after my family arrived, Jack pulled me aside to go on a walk. He proposed in the vineyard’s grapevines.
When did y’all get married? June 25, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was lemon with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. Because it was the middle of summer, we wanted something that was lighter. We decided to have a small, two-tiered wedding cake for the cutting, but we served mini cupcakes to the guests in a variety of flavors (including our wedding cake flavor) so that everyone could taste a few different ones.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed earrings from my mom, and had my new monogram embroidered in blue into the hem of my wedding dress. The diamond in my engagement ring comes from Jack’s great-great-grandmother, I wore a bracelet that Jack’s mom gave me that was given to her by her mother (it dates back to the early twentieth century), and I wore a pair of Ferragamo shoes that were my late grandmother’s as something old. My something new was my wedding dress and veil.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our planning was shockingly stress-free. Both of our families were very helpful in divvying up tasks. The one thing that does stand out as a challenge, though, was the guest list. There were many people that both families wanted to include, so we had to make some difficult decisions. One thing we did decide was to not include any plus-ones.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress about things that don’t go perfectly, because none of the guests know the whole plan, and they will never know if something was or was not meant to happen. For example, our getaway car showed up thirty minutes late, which allowed us to have an impromptu receiving line as our guests were getting on the buses to leave. Everyone thought that it was such a great touch that we got to say goodbye and give hugs, and no one knew that it wasn’t part of our initial plan!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We didn’t live together before we got married, so we are looking forward to setting up our new home and starting this next chapter!

Photographer: Ashley Cox Photography | Planner and Caterer: Lona Crittendon of Cater 2 Events | Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart | Reception Venue: Tuckahoe Plantation | Florist: Vogue Flowers | Wedding Cake: The Mixing Bowl Bakery | Rentals and Lighting: Commonwealth Event Company and Classic Party Rentals of Virginia | Band: Soul Expressions | Paper Products: The Preppy Pink Pony | Bride’s Gown and Accessories: Alyne | Gown Alterations and Bolero: Fariba Bridal Alterations and Design | Hair Stylist: Circle Square Salon | Makeup Artist: Kelsey Dewberry | Bride’s Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” in Mist Grey by BHLDN | Menswear: Vera Wang | Transportation: James River Transportation

marissa Written with love by Marissa

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We were delighted to be invited by eBay to create collections and guides on their site! Lisa and I have been busy bees bringing Southern style to our portfolio, and we hope you’ll find something to inspire your wedding planning or newlywed life!

We’ll be adding to our portfolio as the weeks go by. If there are any topics you’d like to see us cover or goodies you’d like us to round up, feel free to leave a comment below!

Guides: Vintage handkerchiefs | Bridesmaid gifts | Groomsmen gifts | Vintage china | Bridal shower decorating | Vintage silver
Collections: Cake stands | Something blue | Gingham | Lace

Thanks to eBay for partnering with us on this campaign – and thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Anastasia Kristina reply

    oh i love this! i’ve been hunting through ebay looking for things for my wedding. i’m glad i have an ally in the ebay world now haha

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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It doesn’t get much more Southern than a front porch, and when said front porch is the namesake of a beautiful farm venue outside of Nashville, Tennessee, it’s safe to say that you have the attention of the Southern Weddings gals! Christine and Drew chose Front Porch Farms as the venue for their spring wedding, and they loved hosting their out of town family members and friends there. One of their most special guests? The pastor who officiated their ceremony–he had predicted Christine and Drew were perfect for each other a year before they met, and even set them up on their first date!

Thank you so much to our dear Blue Ribbon Vendor friends, Landon and Jordan of Landon Jacob, for sharing this lovely day with us!

The pastor who married us had been trying to set us up for over a year. As chance would have it, we were both in other relationships, but that didn’t stop Matt (our pastor) from still trying to get us together. Finally, when the timing was right, we went on a brunch date. After leaving our first date, Drew called his brother and said, “Mark my words, I am going to marry that girl.”

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes!! I’m a wedding photographer, so I know that the day can already be a bit of a blur. I think the first look can be even more intimate of a moment, and it takes nothing away from walking down the aisle. Drew was not sure about doing a first look, but now that we have done it, he thinks it was the best decision. We got sweet photos before the wedding, and we got to spend more time together by seeing each other before the ceremony. It was a favorite moment of the day!

We chose songs that had personal significance in our relationships with God. The wedding party walked down the aisle to “Before the Throne,” and I walked down the aisle to Phil Wikham’s “Divine Romance.” We also played a bluegrass version of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” They were performed by our talented friends, singer-songwriter Jake Ousley and songwriter Jeff Pardo. After we said our vows, we walked out to “Your Love is Lifting me Higher.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The pastor who married us is the man who predicted our marriage a year before we met, and the one who finally got us to go on a date.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Most of our guests were from out of town, so we wanted a venue that allowed our guests to stay in downtown Nashville and experience all that we love about the city. We also wanted a place that had good lighting, was beautiful and didn’t need much additional decor, and was budget friendly.

We had organic bouquets of peach, burgundy, white, and pink Juliet garden roses, ranunculus, anemones with navy centers, peonies, and Queen Anne’s lace, mixed with an assortment of greenery, including seeded eucalyptus and clematis vine. We tied bouquets with a variety of lace and ribbon, and the boutonnières were also all wrapped with different ribbon or gold wire. The table centerpieces were in wooden boxes, and we mixed in wood slices with milk glass, blue mason jars, old books, and brass candle holders. We also had greenery garlands around the menu and bride and groom chairs.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. This is one area where we saved money, but didn’t feel like we cut corners. We ordered three cakes, all with buttercream icing in different textures, and we added flowers for the decoration. The cakes were delicious, and they were from Publix! Drew LOVES chocolate chip cookies–he is literally a cookie monster! Chocolate chip cookies and milk for the groom’s cake were a no-brainer. We had 2%, skim, and almond milk available for guests to have with the cookies.

Tell us all about the proposal! I love to travel. Early one morning, Drew came to my house and woke me up, Starbucks in hand, and told me to pack my bags while he made us breakfast tacos, because we were headed to a destination that was 70 degrees. I was pretty confused and started to list off the design meetings and engagement session I had scheduled, but he assured me he had contacted all of my clients and taken care of everything. As we scanned our ID’s at the airport, San Diego came up on the screen! Once we arrived, we rented a convertible and headed straight to La Jolla beach, where Drew proposed at sunset. He had made three boxes representing when we met, when he fell in love with me, and then him asking me to be his wife. Each box had journal entries he had written and photos. It was extremely significant and special. After that, we got a glass of wine at Hotel de Coronado, followed by some late night McDonald’s. We were able to stay with some of Drew’s friends in San Diego and spent a few days exploring the city.
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Tristan Prettyman’s “All I Want is You.” One of our favorite memories of the wedding day was our last dance. We had everyone clear out of the reception and we shared our last dance alone to “Wagon Wheel,” which was the first song we ever danced to together.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! My something borrowed was my veil (which I only wore walking down the aisle); it belonged to one of my bridesmaids. My blue was my blue suede Cole Hann wedges. My old was the diamond on my engagement ring; it was my grandmother’s that she gave to me. My new was my Stella York wedding dress!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We recently moved to Fort Worth, Texas from Nashville and bought our first house! Drew is working at Watermark Community Church as the director of student ministries, and I’m working on starting my photography company, Declare Photography, and my interior design company, Christine Zeiler Interiors, in Fort Worth.

Photographer: Landon Jacob / Planner and Paper Products: Christine Zeiler / Venue: Front Porch Farms / Florist: Catherine Wilson / Cake Baker: Publix, Catering: Bacon & Caviar / Rentals: The House Nashville / DJ: Tim Hiber / Calligraphy: Four Hats Press / Print Layout: Arboreal paper / Invitation Template: How Lovely Paper / Bride’s Gown: “5703” by Stella York / Bride’s Jewelry: Jessie Jordan / Hair Stylist: Leslie from Katie Russo / Makeup Artist: Katie Russo / Bride’s Shoes: “Nike Air Wedges” by Cole Haan / Menswear: J.Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Karena Dixon reply

    This is such cute wedding!

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    What a stunning ceremony venue!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    love so many details in this wedding!

  4. avatar darling dogwood details | Merriment Events™ Wedding Planning & Design l Richmond, Virginia reply

    […] image #1 cake by maggie austin, photographed by abby jiu for maria & josh’s wedding; #2 wreath via once wed; #3 cookies for megan + will’s wedding photographed by katie stoops; #4 maids with dogwood bouquets photographed by landon jacob via southern weddings magazine; #5 dogwood arrangement photographed by landon jacob 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!

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