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When you combine a dreamy blush Monique Lhuillier gown, an abundance of pastel blooms, a garden that serendipitously shares the groom’s last name, and a couple who is clearly smitten with each other, you know a wedding is going to be incredible! With the help of Sage Nines Event Production, Ellen and Brad loved planning their spring nuptials in the Wills Perennial Garden at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, a place they visited often during their dating years. Besides the lovely, spring-inspired details, the highlight of their wedding was without a doubt the love of their community that surrounded them–their most memorable moment is sweet as can be!

Hugs to Mary Rosenbaum for sending Ellen and Brad’s lovely day our way!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The weekend of dress shopping was so much fun. My sister flew in from LA and several of my bridesmaids were able to come as well. We scheduled the weekend around a Monique Lhuillier trunk show at The Bride Room. Mine was the third dress I tried on, and as soon as I had it on, we all knew it was the one. I called my dad over for the final opinion, and he loved it. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!

My bridal bouquet was a hand-tied bouquet of fresh lavender and lilac, pale pink garden roses, blush astilbe, white lisianthus, light blue delphinium, dusty miller, and light pink ranunculus. The bouquet was very loose and wildflower-inspired. Our centerpieces were in gold mercury glass bottles and goblets and consisted of lavender, stock, light pink spray roses, light pink sweet peas, ivory garden roses, light pink astilbe, light blue delphinium, and light blue hydrangea. They were so elegant and lovely!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet playing songs by The Beatles for the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun,” which was perfect, as we could not have asked for a better day. Brad and the groomsmen came down the aisle to “With a Little Help from My Friends,” a song we thought was fitting for them. Walking back up the aisle, the string quartet played “All You Need is Love.”

Cheekwood Botanical Garden is very near our house, and we would often wind up there when Brad would come to visit our family in Nashville. Cheekwood has such beautiful gardens, and I really wanted a garden wedding and reception. We chose the Wills Perennial Garden (of course, since I was becoming a Wills!) and then tented the back of the mansion for the reception.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? That is such a hard question, as our day turned out practically perfect. But the food was especially unbelievable–Kristen Winston went above and beyond! We still hear about how good the food was at our wedding!

Our cake was a simple, textured buttercream cake, accented with lavender. One layer was chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream and ganache, one layer was European butter with vanilla buttercream, fresh strawberries, and lemon curd, and one layer of cinnamon red velvet with three layers of vanilla buttercream. AMAZING! The groom’s cake was made by a family friend, Chelle Baldwin of SweetAbility Bakery, who incorporated several of Brad’s hobbies and interests into an unbelievable cake!

Since Brad is from Georgia, he and his mom danced to “Georgia on My Mind.” My father and I danced to “Unforgettable.” The first dance was to an Ingrid Michaelson song, “The Way I Am.” The song is about how some of our flaws end up bringing us closer together!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment was when the band played “Home” as the last song. Brad and I stood at the front of the dance floor and basically sang the song to the crowd. Fortunately, they didn’t actually give us the mic! It felt like everyone there was on the dance floor, jumping up and down in unison, and having an amazing time. It was very surreal and symbolic, and we will never forget it.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brad and I met very early in college, when we were in the same small group class. There was also a brief period when we were biology lab partners. We went through most of college seeing each other here and there, but did not really start talking again until senior year. At first I rejected Brad’s dates, but his persistence paid off, and here we are!
Tell us all about the proposal! Since we met at Sewanee, it was the perfect place to get engaged. We planned a weekend trip there to celebrate his birthday, including a hike out to KA Point, a beautiful overlook we’d been to many times before. When we arrived, he pulled roses and a book out from his backpack. He had asked several of our friends to write “proposals” to me and created a book of all of them. On the last page was a picture of Brad on one knee, and when I looked up, there he was on one knee in real life. Both sets of parents met us at the cabin afterwards for a celebratory lunch. The only thing he hadn’t planned for was the three inches of snow!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us! At the wedding, I would be coming down a flight of stone steps into the garden, and I think we all wanted that moment to be extra special.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My Aunt Salley read Song of Solomon 2, which Brad picked out especially for us.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with our minister several times while planning the wedding to discuss our expectations of marriage and address potential problems. We found it extremely helpful and would encourage everyone to do it!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try and stay calm and remember that the most important thing is that you are getting married to the person you love!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After an amazing honeymoon in Switzerland, we moved to Birmingham, where we are doing a medical residency. I am a resident in internal medicine and Brad is in orthopedic surgery. We were in a long distance relationship prior to this residency, as we were at different medical schools, so we are most looking forward to living together and being able to see each other every day!

Photographer: Mary Rosenbaum / Videographer: Full Frame Digital Cinema / Planner: Sage Nines Event Productions / Venue: Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art / Florist: Enchanted Florist / Cake Baker: Dulce Desserts / Caterer: Kristen Winston Catering / Rentals: Liberty Party Rental and Music City Tents and Events / Lighting: Bright Event Productions / Band: The Downtown Band / Paper Products: Deirdre Zimon of Lennah Press / Bride’s Gown: “Candy” in Blush Tulle by Monique Lhuillier / Hair Stylist: Ashlea Mullins / Makeup Artist: Shannon Wright / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: “Classic Black Tuxedo” by Calvin Klein

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Dana reply

    her dress and flowers and stunning!!!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love her dress!

  3. avatar Abbey Angelle reply

    What is the round gold monogrammed item in the first picture?

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We all know that the weather here in the South is unpredictable, to say the least–especially in Florida! After it rained for two days straight, Victoria and Marcus’ outdoor ceremony and reception at the Pebble Hill Plantation had to be moved indoors. With Mother Nature throwing a wrench in your wedding plans like that, it can be easy to get bogged down and frustrated. But, what could have dampened (pun intended!) these lovebirds’ plans instead helped craft one of Victoria’s favorite wedding day memories! She said marrying the man of her dreams in the unpretentious and charming chapel, jam-packed with their family and friends, was both genuine and incredibly beautiful. I must say, their rain plan ended up mighty lovely!

Big thanks to Chelsey Boatwright for sharing such a sweet day with us!

Four generations of women in my family came with me to look for the dress–from my grandmother to my four-year-old niece, Cassidy. While we didn’t have any luck that day, I got a feel for what I was looking for. I began searching online and found a dress that was perfect! The only shop that carried it was in Jacksonville, a four-hour drive from my home in Tampa. I convinced my fiancé to make a pit stop on our trip to Savannah and sit in the car while I tried it on one Friday afternoon. I loved it so much that I had my mom drive from Tallahassee just to see it. The staff at the White Magnolia were absolutely wonderful to work with. Luckily for me, they decided to open a shop in Tampa soon after I ordered the dress, so all of my fittings were very close by!

Marcus and I decided not to do a first look. Our families are very traditional, and we didn’t want to take that moment away from those we love, who really wanted to see it. It was one of the best decisions we made for the big day. Everyone was on pins and needles when the church doors opened and I walked in. I looked at Marcus and he was in tears…along with the entire room, who was watching our moment together. It was priceless.

Describe your wedding flowers. We wanted something that looked romantic and timeless. My colors were white and gray, but our florist convinced us to use a bit more color. He came up with some beautiful, natural arrangements, and was an absolute pleasure to work with. He was very creative and took charge of decorating an entirely new venue, just two days before the wedding.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The decision was pretty difficult, and ultimately, we chose Pebble Hill Plantation for its simple beauty. We planned to have the ceremony and reception outside by the stables, but God had other plans for us. It rained for two days straight before the wedding, so we moved the ceremony to a local chapel down the street, and the reception to Uno Barn on the Pebble Hill property. It turned out better than we could have ever expected.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Saying my vows to the man of my dreams. The chapel was very unpretentious and charming, and we had tons of friends and family crammed into it. It just felt so genuine and unassuming, while also being incredibly beautiful. It felt like we had stepped back in time.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t be crazy! Stay flexible, remember what is most important, and give people the space to do their jobs. I think that our wedding was so successful because we gave our vendors a vision without micromanaging them. We allowed them to use their creativity to do what they do best! With the rain situation, all of our original plans went out the window. I was so happy that we all kept our heads on straight and figured out how to make it work, without over-stressing about something we couldn’t help.

After choosing to get married at a plantation, we took its Southern charm and ran with it! The most Southern aspect of our wedding was probably the menu, which started with a fried green tomato appetizer. Then we moved to the main course, which was fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, grilled pork tenderloin, roasted seasonal vegetables, and homemade biscuits with fig preserves and mayhaw jelly. Then, there were pecan bars for dessert!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met as freshmen at the University of Florida in 2007. Marcus, a new member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, volunteered to pick up a group of girls from the dorms one night for a party, and I was one of those girls. We quickly became friends, but it wasn’t until a few years later (and a great deal of persistence on Marcus’ part) that we began dating. We became inseparable and enjoyed everything from Gator game days and Greek social events to weekend beach trips and travel adventures.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was our three-year anniversary, and all I wanted was a romantic surprise date. Honestly, I wasn’t sure he was going to pull it off; little did I know just how surprised I would be! We started driving to the middle of nowhere, and when we pulled up, Marcus explained that we were at Swallowtail Farm, a farm-to-table restaurant in High Springs, Florida. We walked around the property, and I noticed a table for two in the middle of a gorgeous garden. I was shocked…and a little embarrassed that Marcus went through all of the trouble, just to fulfill my silly request for an over-the-top date night! It was absolutely beautiful. I didn’t realize what he had planned until he started pouring the champagne and I noticed his hands were shaking. Just as I was about to ask him what was wrong, he dropped to his knee and asked me to marry him. It was the most special moment of my life and I, of course, said yes! We laughed and hugged, and then I saw Lanier, Marcus’ sister, and a family friend, Brittany, waving from a barn. They had taken pictures of the whole thing! Then, Marcus told me he had another surprise. We walked along the trails of the farm and meandered over to the farmhouse. I assumed we were going to eat dinner, but then I realized that he had invited our family and close friends to celebrate with us!
When did y’all get married? March 29, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 220
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a small wedding cake (pound cake) as well as mini red velvet and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and pecan bars. The groom’s cake was a giant alligator wearing a construction hat (we are Gator fans, and Marcus works in construction management).
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 chose not to give out favors. We wanted folks to enjoy the open bar, live music, great food, and safe transportation, and felt a parting gift was an unnecessary expense. $2 koozies for 220 people adds up fast!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The dynamic Thomasville Trio: our florist, Ram Singletary, our caterer, Jeanie Bracey, and our day-of coordinator, Emily Beeson. They work with each other on a regular basis, and they made planning our big day so fun and easy. Ram’s passion for all things beautiful coupled with Jeanie’s energetic attitude and Emily’s attention to detail made our day stress-free and even better than expected. We also really enjoyed working with our photographer, Chelsey Boatwright. She was my childhood babysitter who was gracious enough to drive up from South Florida to be a part of our big day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have settled in together in Tampa, Florida and are looking forward to celebrating many of our friends who plan to get married soon. We are most looking forward to spending more time together and creating new memories with each other as a couple. I am also still excited about getting used to a new last name!

Photographer: Chelsey Boatwright / Videographer: Southern Blue / Planner: Emily Beeson / Venue: Pebble Hill Plantation / Florist and Lighting: Singletary’s Flowers / Wedding Cake: Sharyn Brown / Caterer: Janie Bracey / Rentals: Andrew Tent Co Inc. / Band: The Blues Factor Band / Paper Products: Sarah Anne Watson Design / Bride’s Gown: “Leah” by Modern Trousseau / Hair Stylist: Debbie Beers / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar chelsey reply

    So excited to see this amazing wedding featured today!

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #154 – Floridian Weddings reply

    […] a little in love with every bit of this Georgia plantation wedding from our Fave Chelsey Boatwright. Their story is a sweet reminder that you always need to have a […]

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Love the bridesmaid dresses and the huge bouquets of baby’s breath!

  4. avatar Moodboard: mariage ardoise & Slate and chalkboard wedding | Happy Chantilly reply

    […] Olives – 2: Kate Osborne via Oncewed – 3: SNC – 4:  Chelsey Boatwright via Southern weddings – 5:  Tonie Christine via Bridal Musings – 6: Faire-part mariage ardoise / […]

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You know how in the Sweet Tea Society we say that we believe beautiful things have value simply because they make the world a more lovely place? Well, this next V5 editorial is the perfect example of that — it’s just so lovely. Easton Events deserves major kudos for pulling the details together; Eric Kelley photographed everything to perfection. Spring in the South? It doesn’t get much more beautiful than that, friends.

And how beautiful is Charleston?? No wonder it’s such a popular place to vacation and get married.

Sideshow Press designed and printed these gorgeous invitations, with calligraphy by If So Inklined. I think the modern vintage envelope liner is my favorite part!

The flowers throughout this shoot blow me away. Springtime in the South offers plenty of gorgeous blooms, to be sure, but the combinations the gals at Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs came up with take them to another level! All the lilac must have smelled heavenly.

Oh hi, gorgeous bride. Lora Kelley did an impeccable job on the makeup, while Wedding Hair by Charlotte rocked the updos. If I had to guess, I’d say this romantic, classic, natural look is exactly what most Southern brides hope to look like on their wedding days!

Gals down South know that even planning a spring wedding doesn’t guarantee comfortable temps, so we love this popsicle escort card idea! I’d set up the ice tubs at the back of the ceremony space so guests could grab their pops for a refreshing treat on the walk to the reception!

Hand-painted napkins! Also, I seriously adore these creative table numbers — one of my favorite details in the issue, actually. Just stencil on a number with white paint, or use a sticker, and encourage a lucky guest from each table to take home the jar of preserves at the end of the evening!

We were lucky enough to have some fabulous Peter Callahan mini food flown down especially for this shoot! Y’all know I love anything mini, and Peter is the king of that realm!

Dessert measured up, as well, with a towering crepe cake from the Charleston Crepe Company and mini berry pies.

The only way to end this gorgeous affair at Lowndes Grove? A classic getaway car and a fancy picnic basket packed with to-go nibbles for the road.

Be sure to pick up your copy of V5 to see all the details! You can find your copy in stores across the Southeast, or pick one up right here. AND, in celebration of Cyber Monday, we’re offering FREE SHIPPING on boxes of ten magazines! See all the details here!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Ahhh, so excited to Charleston featured! There isn’t a better place for a wedding OR a better place to live<3 Stay tuned for my Charleston wedding, Spring 2014!


  2. avatar Anna ( reply

    That crepe cake is absolutely stunning. I love the little pies, too! The food in general is my favorite part of this shoot.

  3. avatar A Sweet Southern Luncheon – Southern Weddings Magazine | Eric Kelley Photography Inc. reply

    […] Rentals: Festive Fare / Ceremony Benches: Snyder Event Rental / Table and Chairs: FermobUSA / Cake Baker: Charleston Crepe Company /Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bridesmaid […]

  4. avatar Eric Kelley reply

    Thank you so much!! : )

  5. avatar Katie reply

    Love the hand painted napkins, those are gorgeous! I’m getting married in my hometown in VA, but I always tell my fiance (when I get stressed) that we should have just gone to Charleston and eloped. It’s definitely a beautiful place to have a wedding.

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Editorial – Love in Bloom – V5 + Give-away! | Eric Kelley Photography Inc. reply

    […] Rentals: Festive Fare / Ceremony Benches: Snyder Event Rental / Table and Chairs: FermobUSA / Cake Baker: Charleston Crepe Company /Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bridesmaid […]

  7. avatar A Sweet Southern Luncheon by Easton Events and Eric Kelley – Lora Elaine reply

    […] Rentals: Festive Fare / Ceremony Benches: Snyder Event Rental / Table and Chairs: FermobUSA / Cake Baker: Charleston Crepe Company /Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bridesmaid […]

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    […] :: Source :: | :: Source :: […]

  10. avatar SHEA BETHUNE reply

    Where can i buy the above bridesmaid dresses?

  11. avatar Le wedding cake devenu le wedding crêpes {Bonne chandeleur !} | Le blog organiser un mariage reply

    […] {Crédit photo : Southern Weddings} […]

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    […] Justin & Mary via Style Me Pretty| Gown: Elie Saab| Mini pies: Eric Kelley Photography via Southern Weddings| Miu Miu heels: Kelly Dillon Photography via Style Me Pretty| Bridesmaids: Charlotte Jenks Lewis […]

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    […] Image by Southern-Weddings […]

  14. avatar Love In Bloom | Wedding Ideas and Inspiration – reply

    […] Image by Southern-Weddings […]

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    […] cards from Martha Stewart Weddings 4 – lavender centerpiece, image by Eric Kelley via Southern Weddings 5 – lavender gown, image by Elizabeth Messina* 6 – flower girl with lavender […]

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    […] moonshine favors from Southern Weddings, photographed by Melissa Schollaert // invitation suite via Southern Weddings, designed by SlideShow Press, photographed by Eric Kelley // purple ombre cake via Style Me Pretty, […]

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    […] 1: Bride captured by Eric Kelley Photography via Southern Weddings, Purple & Mint Bottles captured by Best Photography via Love and Lavender, Cupcakes via […]

  18. avatar Purple Southern Wedding Ideas | Burnett’s Boards reply

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  19. avatar Popsicles for Summer Weddings | Washington DC Weddings, Maryand Weddings, Virginia Weddings :: United With Love™ :: Fresh Inspiration, Ideas and Vendors reply

    […] Photo Credits: Eric Kelley via Southern Weddings […]

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    […] Credits; Onelove photography via Green Wedding Shoes | Kitchen Treaty | Eric Kelley via Southern Weddings |  White Loft Studio via Style Me Pretty | Etsy | Jose Villa via Snippet and Ink | Jennings […]

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    […] cake photo by Eric Kelley via Southern Weddings and Oreo cake from Martha Stewart Like most traditions, the groom’s cake has evolved over […]

  23. avatar Jessica reply

    Hi Emily…this is an amazing article. My sister is getting married in June and she is also having blush colors be their theme. Do you know or is there a way to find out where they bought those bridesmaid dresses at? I am going to be in her wedding and would love to wear that dress! :) thank you!

  24. avatar Tomato Themed Wedding | Burnett’s Boards reply

    […] via Ruffled, photographed by Elisa B Photography, designed by Nature Composed // sweet tea from Southern Weddings, photographed by Eric […]

  25. avatar Ashley Haydock reply

    Hi, I recently became a fan of your magazine because my photographer, Sabrina Fields, gave me a Southern Weddings Magazine and said that she loved it because it has advice about marriage too. (I think she said she met the editor at a Christian Photography conference.) Anyways, I have a question about the Southern Weddings V5: Love in Bloom post from Nov. 2012. Do you have any idea where the bridesmaid dresses shown are from?

  26. avatar Food For Thought – Piled High Pancake Tower – You Mean The World To Me : You Mean The World To Me reply

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  27. avatar 15 Cascading Bouquets The Bride Link reply

    […]  by Eric Kelly Photography and Southern Blooms via Southern Weddings […]

  28. avatar Brittiny reply

    I would love to know where those bridesmaid dresses are from! Is there anyway I can get that information?

  29. avatar Mint, Peach & Lilac Inspiration Board | SouthBound Bride reply

    […] {Minted}; pastel paints Row 3: Pastel macarons {Melody Gibbs/White Room Events}; mint lemonade; bride with pastel bouquet {Eric Kelley/Easton Events/Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral […]

  30. avatar Inspire Blog – Casamentos Terno bege para noivos – Inspire Blog – Casamentos reply

    […] Kelley via Southern Weddings, Sarah Der Photography via Style Me Pretty, The Wedding Chicks, Studio 1208 via Style Me […]

  31. avatar 11x alternatieve bruidstaarten – reply

    […] Crepe bruidstaart: Deze crepe taart is perfect voor een simpele en elegante bruiloft. Geen glazuur, geen rozen of […]

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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