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There are countless ways to honor loved ones at your wedding, and choosing a meaningful venue is one of my favorites. It’s truly a beautiful thing to start your marriage in a place that holds sweet memories or history, and inviting your guests to experience that place too makes it all the more special! That’s exactly why Sarah and Adam chose Bald Head Island for their wedding–Sarah’s grandparents were active members of the BHI community since its development, and Sarah has countless memories of vacations and croquet games (a passion of her grandparents!) on the island. When she and Adam realized how many of their guests would have to travel to be a part of their big day, they decided to choose a place everyone would enjoy as a vacation spot. Bald Head Island was a natural fit, and I’m sure their touching ceremony and celebration added yet another layer of meaning to this special place for both them and their families!

Thanks so much to Rachel Red Photography for sharing this lovely day with us!

My mother flew from Virginia to Houston so that we could look for my dress. We blocked off two full days and booked appointments at salons all over town. Day one, we struck out, and our first appointment on day two went about the same way. I picked out and tried on several dresses, but never fell in love with one. I figured that this was going to be a repeat of the previous day, but then, the sales associate asked if she could pull a gown for me to try. When she brought it over, I was definitely skeptical, but once I saw myself in the dress, I fell in love! It was exactly what I wanted, but didn’t know how to ask for. I bought the dress immediately and couldn’t have been happier with it.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment from our wedding would definitely be when Adam and I saw each other for the first time. Without a doubt! I’m getting all teary-eyed just thinking about it. The look on Adam’s face was absolutely priceless. I could see and feel how much he loved me. It was the perfect way to start off our ceremony and reminded me how lucky I am to have him in my life. I’m so glad that we waited until that moment to see each other and I know that he feels the same way.

We decided not to write our own vows. As much as we love the intimacy of them, there is something about traditional vows that really spoke to us. We wanted to speak the same words that have been spoken for generations and have marked the start of so many amazing love stories. While we didn’t customize our vows, we did sit down with our officiant to discuss the ceremony. We wanted to make sure that it was an expression of our relationship. The instant we met our officiant, Kevin, it felt like we had known him for years. He did such a fantastic job infusing our personalities into the ceremony while still keeping everything classic.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Both of our families have roots in the South, but many have moved away over the years. We wanted to make sure that they were able to experience all of the best aspects of the South while they were down here. We welcomed our guests with tote bags stuffed with koozies, water, and island maps so they would be island-ready. We even included mini flashlights because it gets unbelievably dark on Bald Head Island. We wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous September weather and the fabulous setting by hosting our wedding outside. It was a bit risky considering we were on an island during hurricane season, but we’re from the South and a little weather doesn’t scare us. We did commit a pretty bad sin though–we got married on a football weekend. In our defense, we waited until Sunday afternoon, so we didn’t miss the game. Our rehearsal dinner had barbecue with all the fixin’s, homemade pimento cheese, and SEC football. Go Gamecocks! At the wedding itself, we served spicy shrimp and grits and provided rocking chairs for our guests to sit back and relax on.

There were so many different reasons why we chose to get married on Bald Head Island. Our families are scattered all across the country, and there are even members deployed overseas. We knew that people would have to travel to attend our wedding, no matter where we held it, so we wanted to host the wedding somewhere that everyone would truly enjoy. Beautiful beaches, Southern charm, and a laid back atmosphere…does it get any better? My grandparents built a home on Bald Head Island when it was first being developed, and my family and I have so many amazing memories on the island. Unfortunately, my grandparents are no longer with us, so this was one way for me to have them there and make them a part of my wedding day. We specifically chose the Bald Head Island Club for our wedding as another way to include my grandparents. They were club members for a very long time and were very active in the BHI community. They also happened to LOVE playing croquet and would travel around the country to do so. They brought that love with them to the island and played a huge role in having the croquet green added to the club. So, while we aren’t croquet players by any stretch of the imagination, we took a quick break from the wedding to play a couple of strokes. It was only a few minutes, but it really allowed us to slow down, appreciate the moment, and honor two amazing people.

Describe your wedding flowers. I absolutely loved our wedding flowers!! I wanted something soft, feminine, and romantic. The ladies at Kickstand Events did a fantastic job. They used garden roses, ranunculus, stock, hydrangea, spray roses, roses, and dusty miller in shades of peach, blush, coral, ivory, white, and gray. I really wanted the colors used in the florals to complement the beachy color palette, and they definitely did!

Our wedding cake was DELICIOUS! I am a huge cake fan. I don’t have a sweet tooth–I have an entire mouth full of sweet teeth. This was one of the wedding details that I was most excited about. I have always loved the look of big, traditional wedding cakes, but I usually hate the white cakes inside. Like my mother always says, “If it’s not chocolate, why bother?” I too subscribe to this philosophy on life. Fortunately for me, Adam doesn’t like sweets, so he let me have full control over the cake, and I couldn’t have been happier! One Belle Bakery did a fantastic job bringing everything together. They had the cutest cake names, and I’m a sucker for things like that. The top layers were a variation of their “Hey Y’all-mond” (an almond cake with chocolate fudge), the third tier was the “Lord Have Mercy” (a chocolate-chocolate chip cake with chocolate fudge), and the bottom tier was my own creation, “Orange you Sweet” (a chocolate cake with mandarin orange custard). The cake looked just as good as it tasted, and the team at One Belle Bakery got the cake from the mainland onto the ferry, then onto the island and set up at the club with no issues. I was incredibly worried that something would happen to my cake, and it didn’t! Thank goodness!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Adam: Sarah and I met about nine years ago in Richmond, Virginia through mutual friends. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she was “the” girl. We continued to hang out throughout that summer, and every chance I could, I would invite her to wherever I was. Unfortunately, we were both headed off to different college towns after the summer. There really wasn’t any communication over the next four years, but then we both returned to Richmond to start our “adult” lives. I had started working at an IT company and she started working at a jeweler. One day, I got a call from one of my clients who needed someone there ASAP to take care of an IT problem. I got there and, lo and behold, I saw Sarah. I immediately lit up inside and didn’t know what to do, so I froze. After that second, I knew that I was not going to let her go again. I asked her out to dinner and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! From Adam: We had decided to move to Houston for a job that Sarah couldn’t pass up, but before we left, we wanted to have a going away party. I had spent weeks prior to this trying to find the perfect ring and figure out how to propose to the love of my life before we left all of our friends and family. I decided that there was no better way than with all our friends and family in one place at the party. That night, people had started to gather, and eventually, I got everyone outside for goodbyes and speeches. After everyone had finished saying their words, it was my turn. I started to thank everyone for coming and saying that we would miss them. As I was wrapping up, I told everyone I had a story to tell. Sarah had no idea what was about to happen. I began to tell the story of the song I heard in the car when I was thinking about our future together, and as I ended the story, I looked at Sarah and dropped to one knee. She stumbled backwards as tears started to fill her eyes. I finally got the chance to get the girl I had always known I wanted…and she said yes!
When did y’all get married? September 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 50
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It is so hard for me to pick out a favorite detail from the wedding because I loved absolutely everything. If I had to pick one, it would be the bracelet that I wore. It says “Love you always” and was custom made for me using my stepmother’s handwriting. She passed away when I was 14 years old. She was an absolutely incredible woman and I miss her every day. I couldn’t imagine my wedding without her, so my dad and I had this bracelet made. Every time that I looked down, I was reminded that she was there with me and always would be. I haven’t taken it off since my wedding, and certainly don’t plan to any time soon.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We tried not to skimp on anything, but to make the most of our wedding budget, we reused the bridesmaids’ bouquets as floral decorations on the cake table and sweetheart table. We also split costs and extras with another bride who was getting married on the island. Sharing is caring, right?
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re getting settled into life as a married couple. Now that our wedding planning is done, we can finally have a life and get settled into our new house! That has been on the back burner for months, so we’re really looking forward to making it feel like home.

Photographer: Rachel Red Photography / Planner, Florist, and Paper Products: Kickstand Events / Venue and Caterer: Bald Head Island Club / Wedding Cake: One Belle Bakery / DJ: Active Entertainment / Violinist: Maura Kropke / Bride’s Gown: “Style #504” by Martina Liana / Bride’s Hair Accessories: Brickhouse Bridal / Bridal Jewelry: Hearts on Fire / Bridal Jewelry Store: Thomas Markle Jewelers / Handwriting Bracelet: Anastasia Savenko / Hair Stylist: Larry Davis / Makeup Artist: Wisp Salon & Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: Jos A. Bank

One Belle Bakery is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and Donna Morgan is a delightful SW sponsor!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel Ashcraft reply

    Thank you so much for featuring Sarah and Adam’s wedding! It was the most gorgeous and sentimental day and I can’t imagine another couple more deserving of the spotlight. I appreciate you hard working ladies at Southern Weddings!!

  2. avatar Karen Miller reply

    With a bit of prejudice perhaps, as I am the mother of the groom, I want to say that this was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended. From the spectacular setting, and beautiful color scheme chosen by Sarah, to the incredible efficiency of the wedding planners and staff on the island, it was truly a dream wedding!!!! Thank you Rachel for capturing all of the splendor of this event in your beautiful photographs!

  3. avatar Lindsay reply

    I am obsessed with this wedding! Every details is gorgeous! And the proposal…. Precious!

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I get so excited every time I see a wedding from A Bryan Photo pop up on our blog schedule–without fail, it seems, his couples are undeniably classic, beautifully thoughtful, and as Southern as can be. Kameron and Brian fit this description to a tee! Their farm venue evoked a backyard feel that was perfect for their family-focused celebration, and from Kameron’s gorgeous Heidi Elnora gown to the bottle of bourbon they buried to keep away the rain, there was no shortage of sweet Southern touches at their Alabama wedding.

Thanks so much to A Bryan Photo for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

I stumbled upon Heidi Elnora’s Instagram and immediately fell in love with the Clara Louise dress from her fall 2014 collection. Just two days after Brian and I got engaged, I made an appointment to try it on at the Heidi Elnora Atelier in Birmingham. My Mom was the only one to come with me, and it was such a special experience. The first dress I tried on was the Clara Louise gown–I was immediately in love with it and did not want to take it off. I cried, Mom cried, even the consultant helping us cried! I was the first bride to ever try it, which made it feel even more special! The dress has a removable tulle skirt that goes over the more form-fitting dress, and I loved the versatility and style. I tried on a few (like two) other dresses to make sure, and there was just no comparison! Our consultant sealed the deal when she put me in a cathedral veil and I had a total “bride” moment.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole time during wedding planning I was only concerned with one thing: the weather. Having a mind full of Southern traditions, I knew we had to bury the bourbon to ward off rain. I went out and buried it at the ceremony site thirty days before the wedding on a perfectly sunny day, and prayed hard. Come our wedding morning, the skies were looking gloomy. Brian went out that morning and dug the bourbon out of the ground, and wouldn’t you know, the skies cleared up. Now I credit the good Lord for blessing us with a beautiful sky on our special day, but a little Southern tradition never hurt anyone.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No. Brian and I both agreed we wanted to keep our wedding as traditional as possible, and that included not seeing each other until I was walking down the aisle. Our photographer loves getting images of the genuine moment that happens when a bride and groom see each other for the first time. The emotion was so real and I will never forget how Brian looked at me (and cried) when I headed down the aisle toward him.

I loved the moment of having my mom walking me down the aisle and giving me away to Brian. Having her support and encouragement meant the world. I was focused on Brian and smiling ear to ear, but I could still feel her give my hand a little squeeze as I let go to take Brian’s hand.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Alabama was the perfect venue for us. We wanted a timeless setting with a home-y feeling. The beautiful plantation home, complete with a white picket fence, where we said our vows made it feel like a backyard wedding. Our families stayed in the stunning cottages on the grounds, so we were able to enjoy the special time all together.

Our photographer was hands-down the best decision we made during the whole wedding process. We both wanted classic images that will still be timeless when our grandchildren are looking at them. A Bryan Photo is unparalleled when it comes to wedding photography. The uniqueness of film photography in a digital age sets them apart in the best way. Bryan made us both feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and he really captured the emotion of the day.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was made by a family friend, and it was so chic and simple. Brian and I both decided that we wanted a “wedding cake” rather than bride’s and groom’s cakes. It was placed on a classic white cake stand and topped with a gold script “R.” We did not get to taste much, but from what we had, it was delicious! I can’t wait to eat the top layer on our first anniversary!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. As much as I hate to admit it, our mothers and my aunt actually set us up. They all went to high school together and have stayed in touch over the years, so at a get-together around Christmas in 2012, they conspired to get us together. Brian and I both found ourselves single and willing to meet up for a date around April 2013. Our first date was one for the books–Brian had planned a nice dinner at a restaurant in Birmingham, but the wait was two hours, so we decided to head to a more casual restaurant next door. We sat outside so we wouldn’t have to wait for a table. Everything was fine until we actually got to our table and realized it was freezing outside. I was too nervous and shy to say anything, and I think he was mortified! We now laugh about the fact that he made me sit outside in the freezing cold on our first date! Brian soon took a job in Scottsboro, Alabama, about two hours from Birmingham, but he came back every weekend to see me. We’ve been inseparable ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! After visiting Brian in Scottsboro a few times, I discovered a beautiful park that overlooks the Tennessee River and planned a surprise picnic date for him after work. I brought my great-grandmother’s quilt and picnic basket, along with lots of homemade goodies to snack on. We watched the sunset and everything was perfect. A few months later, Brian told me that he wanted to go on another picnic. He was always doing romantic things for me, so I didn’t suspect anything when he told me he would take care of the details, and that I just needed to be ready. When we arrived at the park, I went around to the trunk of the car to help unload, but then he grabbed my hand and led me to the picnic that was already set up. I immediately began to cry when I saw my great-grandmother’s quilt surrounded by flowers, candles, and a beautiful spread of treats. Brian got down on one knee and vowed to love me forever if I’d make him the happiest man in the world by becoming his wife, and then he presented me with a ring I could have only dreamed of. I don’t remember much, but I think I managed to say “YES!” I was overwhelmed with emotion, and when I saw my mom and future mother-in-law come out, the tears kept coming. It was a perfect day!
When did y’all get married? May 10, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, Brian and I both wanted to say the vows that couples have been vowing to each other for centuries. I love the simplicity of traditional vows.
Describe your wedding flowers. For my bouquet, I carried all-white peony blooms. It was a small bouquet, which fit perfectly in my hands and did not overwhelm me or my dress. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of white and blush pink peonies and garden roses.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was the moment after we were finally married, and we turned, hand in hand, to face all of our loved ones. It was so surreal. We were both so giddy and could not stop smiling or kissing!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my beaded headpiece I wore above my veil, which my two sisters had both worn in their weddings. My something blue was a beautiful tulle garter I ordered from Etsy. My something old was so special to me–it was my great-grandmother’s handkerchief that my mother had saved for me. My something new was a beautiful David Yurman bracelet that Brian gave me as a wedding present.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have moved to Huntsville, Alabama and are settled in with our two pups, Bailey and Harry Winston. We are looking forward to exploring this new city and enjoying life’s daily adventures!

Photographer: A Bryan Photo / Planner: Janet Naramore / Venue, Catering, and Coordination: Pursell Farms / Florist: Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market / Cake Baker: Kathy McCurry / Rentals and Lighting: Special Events / Band: Park Band / Garland and Table Flowers: Fifty Flowers / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Clara Louise” by Heidi Elnora / Bride’s Veil: Heidi Elnora / Bride’s Earrings: BaubleBar / Hair and Makeup: Tori Crocker of The Beauty Bar / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bridesmaids Inc. / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Laura reply

    The black and white photo’s are absolutely gorgeous. The one of the bride in front of the open doors is breath-taking.

  2. avatar Wedding 101 reply

    Absolutely love the details of this wedding!

  3. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Hi,

    Curious where the flower girl dresses are from for this wedding?

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After their first meeting played out more like a classic teen movie than a romantic comedy, Danielle and Chris’ relationship matured and grew into something special over nine years of dating, and their wedding was a true reflection of just that. With the help of their wedding planner, Amy Kristina Weddings, and their family and friends, these two created a wedding that was filled with meaningful details for their guests, as well as for each other. Y’all, the photos that Sam Stroud captured of them opening their wedding day gifts makes my heart skip a beat–be sure to read the story behind Danielle’s gift to Chris–and bring a tissue!

Such happy smiles!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I searched for dresses throughout Virginia and North Carolina, but I was having trouble finding a dress with the unique look I was craving. A friend told me about a non-profit shop called Church Street Bridal in Lynchburg, Virginia that sells donated designer gowns from bridal boutiques in NYC. I decided to check it out on a whim one day while my sister was in town. As soon as we arrived, we were shocked at the selection of beautiful gowns! We immediately called my mom, and within an hour or so, I said “YES” to the dress!! All of the proceeds earned at Church Street Bridal go to the local YWCA of Central Virginia, whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women.

Our favorite detail of the day was the gift that I surprised Chris with before the ceremony. Sadly, Chris’ grandfather passed away eight months before our wedding. After that, Chris casually began searching for a vintage, Belgian-made Browning shotgun, like the one that his grandfather had willed to his father. With a little help from a couple of Chris’ friends and a few of our family members, I was able to track one down in Tennessee two weeks before the wedding. It was in perfect condition and I was so excited that I could barely keep the secret! When Chris opened his gift before the ceremony, he immediately knew the gun’s significance and was overcome with emotion. Luckily for me, I got to re-live this special moment when watching our wedding video!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! I borrowed my grandmother’s engagement ring to wear for the day and my something blue was a monogrammed patch that my mother-in-law made, which was sewn into my dress. An old cameo that belonged to my great-grandmother was pinned to my bouquet, and my Kate Spade shoes were brand new!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose phrases we wanted to recite in our vows to each other. My favorite was “to value your opinions and grow with you.” Relationships inevitably evolve over time, and your willingness to grow with each other is crucial to the success of any marriage.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was one of the most meaningful moments of the night. We danced to “Hungry for Your Love,” originally by Van Morrison, but Chris and I love the mandolin-filled Sam Bush version. We had a local bluegrass band play for our ceremony and cocktail hour, and they also agreed to learn and play our first dance song. One of my favorite verses from the song states “You’re part of me now,” which I had engraved in Chris’ wedding band along with our wedding date.

During cocktail hour, our guests sipped moonshine out of monogrammed mason jars, sampled mini chicken n’ waffle hors d’oeuvres, and enjoyed a live bluegrass band, all while sitting on grandma’s antique furniture. Does it get any more Southern than that?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was your classic teen movie plot: I was a freshman in high school and he was the senior I had a major crush on. On my way to class one day, I tripped and dropped my books in the stairwell. Luckily (or unfortunately), my handsome knight in shining armor was there to help me up and retrieve my books. I was mortified! He didn’t even know my name. A few years later, we were formally introduced by mutual friends and sparks flew immediately. Funny how things work out! After nine years of dating, we finally decided to tie the knot.
Tell us all about the proposal! Last June, we planned an adventurous road trip tour of California. We visited San Francisco, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, destinations along Route 1, and Napa Valley. Four days into our vacation, after a long day of hiking and a beautiful sunset, Chris dropped down to one knee at the Tunnel View overlook in Yosemite and asked me to marry him. The next night, we celebrated in Carmel with delicious cocktails and an amazing dinner, while watching the the sun set over the Pacific. It was most definitely a trip we will never forget!
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have been in love with our venue for years! Chris and I are both from the Roanoke, Virginia area and wanted our wedding to be close to home. Sundara had unbeatable mountain views and the perfect amount of Southern charm.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Homemade cakes and other delicious desserts are key to the conclusion of any great Southern meal. Many of our family members are known for their baking skills, so we saw this as the perfect opportunity to save money and add a bit of Southern swag to the dessert table. We served an assortment of homemade cakes, including strawberry, coconut, lemon pound cake, and cheesecake. We also had my personal favorite, pink cake pops dusted with edible gold glitter! All of the desserts were arranged on top of a vintage buffet that Chris and I painted mint and gold to match our wedding colors.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One of my bridesmaids is a whiz at marketing and design. Luckily for me, she offered to design all of our wedding stationery! She created a custom monogram logo that we used to brand every single detail of our wedding–it was featured on everything from our programs to cornhole boards Chris made.

Photographer: Sam Stroud Photography / Videographer: Michael’s Videography / Planner: Amy McArthur of Amy Kristina Weddings / Venue: Sundara / Florist: Gloriosa / Caterer: Blue Ridge Catering / Band: Blue Moonshine / DJ: RSP Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Paper Products: Richelle Holland / Bridal Salon and Veil: Church Street Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Les Cheveux Salon and Day Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Newbury Long” by Joanna August / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Leann reply

    Yay Sam! Congrats on the feature.

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