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Amber and Jordan met as camp counselors, and on the last night of the summer, they stayed up until 4 A.M. trying to figure out how to make their new relationship work long-distance. For a couple who took such care planning for their courtship, I’m sure they were equally as invested in planning for their marriage! From Jordan’s sweet post-proposal video of their family and friends sharing encouragement, to reading their personal wedding vows the day before their wedding, these two stayed focused on what matters most: their marriage and their community. Family was certainly a priority for Amber and Jordan, and I am smitten with the way they chose to display their family photos. What a beautiful nod to their loved ones!

Big hugs to our friend Emily March Photography for sharing this sweet celebration with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed and old was a pearl bracelet that my mother had worn on her wedding day. My something new was my dress and my jewelry that Jordan gave to me as a wedding gift, and last but not least, my something blue was my garter!

I went to Celebration Bridal Shop in downtown Lynchburg, Virginia and tried on several dresses. I only tried on a few before I figured out that I was looking for: a classic, timeless, and comfortable dress. My dress was a simple ball gown with a sweetheart neckline. It even had pockets! I added a beaded floral belt and an elegant lace bolero to top it off, because it needed just a little something extra to make it mine.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows; however, we said them to each other the night before and said traditional vows during the ceremony. We decided to do this because we thought it was important to express to each other what we expect in marriage and to promise to the other person what we are going to do to make it last. Because of my lack of public speaking skills, we thought reading our vows in private would be better than in front of 100 people.

We both agree that our most memorable moment from our wedding day was the seeing each other as I walked down the aisle. We also enjoyed the time we spent taking pictures together out in the wilderness!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was held at a historic estate in Central Virginia. We included monograms and plenty of fresh flowers, country music, whiskey, sweet tea, and above all, two families that celebrated the marriage of their children in union with Christ! The groomsmen also all wore socks in the colors of their favorite sports teams.

Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! Our table numbers at the wedding were coordinates of memorable places in our relationship, such as where we met, where we had our first date, our church, where Jordan proposed, and where we grew up. I think it was memorable for our guests as well!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved a lot of money by doing DIY projects. Jordan made our centerpiece boxes and I painted them. I made the jewelry for the bridesmaids, my headpiece, the escort cards, our card box, the ladder picture stand, the table numbers, the monogrammed wreath on the front door, and all of the signage for the entire wedding!

My wedding flowers were so beautiful and I wish I could have preserved them forever! We used a mix of peonies, lamb’s ear, roses, and anemones. They were the perfect balance between soft, subtle colors and greenery. I was very impressed with Irvington Spring Farms and the work they did!

Our wedding cake was gorgeous, and it tasted amazing as well! Geisel Nye did an awesome job combining three different cakes that I liked into our perfect wedding cake! One layer was Boston cream pie and the other two smaller layers were banana cake with Nutella frosting and chocolate ganache.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in 2012 while working at a Christian summer camp, Shiloh Adventure Camp in Cocoa, Florida. We were the only two counselors that year who were crazy enough to take on the entire summer! After the kids had left on the last day of camp, we decided to relax together a little before the end-of-summer party at a local church. When we left the party, we ended up sitting in his truck until around 4 A.M., just talking and getting to know each other better. Even though we didn’t want that night to end, we had to go to bed, and Jordan kissed my forehead before I left. We got maybe two hours of sleep that night, and then had to tear down camp the next day. After that long day of work, we decided to go to the beach to hang out for a little bit before I started my drive back home. We ended up trying to figure out how to make a long-distance relationship work. Over the next two years, we dated long-distance, and while it was difficult at times, we trusted the plan God had given us and enjoyed every second. Jordan moved up to Lynchburg after graduating college at UCF in June 2014!
Tell us all about the proposal! Jordan cleverly worked with my roommates to create an amazing day for me! My roommates drove his truck down to Smith Mountain Lake, parked it by the water, and decorated the bed of the truck with flowers and blankets and pillows. All the while, Jordan and I were on our way to the lake for a charity home tour that we had wanted to do for a while. Right before we got to the dock to pick up the boat, he pulled off to the side of the road and told me to come for a walk, which I thought was weird because it was raining! He then proceeded to walk to a gate that clearly stated “No Trespassing.” I quickly said, “I don’t think we should be here.” Jordan laughed at my typical adherence to rules, and we continued to walk toward the water. When I saw the truck, I knew what was about to happen. He proposed on bended knee in the rain and mud with the most beautiful ring I had ever seen, and it was perfect! After the proposal, he washed my feet and made several promises to me. He then surprised me with a video that he had put together (with the help of his brother) starring our families and friends. They talked about when they knew we might get married and how we have changed for the better since meeting each other. It was better than I could have ever imagined. All in all, it was perfect and I could not have asked for anything better!
When did y’all get married? May 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to keep with the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding. I wanted the first time Jordan saw me to be when I walked down the aisle. I didn’t care about getting first look pictures or getting photos out of the way–I cared about Jordan and that special moment when we would first lay our eyes on each other on our wedding day. (However, I did get a few peeks at him through a window!)
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose West Manor Estate because even though we visited on a dreary, rainy day, we still loved the beauty of the grounds and the elegance of the inside of the house! I told myself that if I loved it this much on a cold, rainy day in October, how much more would I love it on a warm, sunny day in May?
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We read “Foundations Of Marriage” by Regina Hill.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We attended pre-marital counseling at our church. This kept us focused on our marriage instead of our wedding day! I believe this should be a priority for anyone getting married–it gave us the opportunity to take a step back from planning and focus on our relationship.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Just more of the same! We are looking forward to living life together, going grocery shopping, exercising, and watching our puppy grow up! What could be better than doing life with your best friend?

Photographer: Emily March Photography / Venue and Caterer: West Manor Estate / Florist: Irvington Spring Farm / Cake Baker: Geisel Nye of Cakeview llc. / DJ: Alan Dever Entertainment / Paper Products: A Paper Wedding / Bride’s Gown: Sophia and Camilla / Bride’s Veil: Belles Veils / Hair and Makeup: Spa4109 / Bride’s Shoes: Modcloth / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: RenzRags / Menswear: Giorgio Napoli

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Wedding Venues reply

    Great photo-relation ! thx for sharing, the shots are perfect !

  2. avatar Arlene Bass Grandmother reply

    We are so happy for Amber and Jordan add hope they have lots of happiness in all the years to come. The wedding was so beautiful. This is such a special treat for all to see. Thank you. All our love for this special couple. All our Love and Kisses, Grandma and Granddad Bill. See you soon.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Love the beautiful card box!

  4. avatar Tulle Convertible Bridesmaid Dresses with Different Color Options | reply

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Emily and I, along with our lovely spring interns, had the pleasure of visiting The Merrimon-Wynne House a few weeks ago, and we have been raving about it ever since! Words like “photographer’s dream” and “perfectly Southern” have floated around our office while describing it to the other ladies, so you can imagine our delight when Sarah and Cam’s beautiful wedding came our way. Sure enough, every nook and cranny of this historic Raleigh home was a perfect fit for these high school sweethearts’ summer celebration. Sarah worked with Orangerie Events (one of our Blue Ribbon Vendors!) to bring her sweet, elegant wedding vision to life, and from the family photo display in adorable mint frames (such a fun place to bring in a pop of color!), to the Cheerwine bottles guests grabbed for the road, the love and graciousness these newlyweds exuded is inspiring!

Thank you so much to another Blue Ribbon Vendor, Robyn Van Dyke, for sharing Sarah and Cam’s special day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something borrowed, I wore my cousin’s veil. For something blue, I wore turquoise wedges (super comfortable, I danced in them all night long!). For something old, my mom pinned her gold cross charm to the inside of my dress, and for something new, I wore diamond and green quartz earrings that Cam had bought for me as a wedding gift.

We decided to stick with tradition and not do a first look. This was one decision Cam felt strongly about–he loved the idea of seeing me for the first time when I was walking down the aisle. Although we did not see each other before the ceremony, we shared a sweet moment of prayer that I will never forget. I loved being able to hold Cam’s hands and give God praise and glory for preparing the way for us to be united as husband and wife!

Describe your wedding flowers. My amazing florist took all my scattered pins, emails, and text messages and made the bouquets works of art. He included things I had not thought of, and they turned out more beautifully than I had ever envisioned! I loved how the jasmine vines and eucalyptus gave it an effortless look. My favorite flowers from my bouquet were the coral garden roses–I still daydream about them!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The ceremony music is still one of my favorite memories about our wedding. Our church recorded the entire ceremony and I love going back and listening to the music from that special day. We chose several hymns to be played while guests and family were being seated, including “In Christ Alone,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “How Deep the Father’s Love,” and “Come Thou Fount.” I walked down the aisle to a popular wedding piece, Pachelbel’s Canon in D. There is something so special and beautiful to me about that song played on a piano and violin; I knew growing up that it would be the song that I would walk down the aisle to. We included “Rising Sun” by All Sons and Daughters during a moment of prayer, and our recessional song was “You are My Vision” by Rend Collective.

We chose to have our ceremony at our church, Church of the Apostles, because we did not want to worry about rain, wind, or heat disrupting our ceremony, the most significant part of the day! For our reception, the Merrimon-Wynne House was an absolute dream. We loved the outdoor garden feel of the tent and with the gorgeous interior of the home.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The Merrimon-Wynne House exuded Southern elegance. Our guests enjoyed Southern cuisine all night long, including biscuits, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes and pimento cheese, peach cobbler, and of course, banana pudding.

At first, we were just going to have mini treats for dessert, but my dad joked, “You can’t have a wedding without a wedding cake,” so a few weeks before the wedding, we chose a simple chocolate and vanilla cake with buttercream icing. We also had the most delicious mini desserts, including berry crisp, peach cobbler, s’more bites, and banana pudding.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We enjoyed reading “The Meaning of Marriage” by Tim Keller during premarital counseling. This passage is so beautiful and so true: “Marriage has the power to set the course of your life as a whole. If your marriage is strong, even if all the circumstances in your life around you are filled with trouble and weakness, it won’t matter. You will be able to move out into the world in strength.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
We met when we were sophomores in high school and I had just transferred to Cam’s high school. The summer before our junior year of high school, Cam was dating one of my friends and I was dating one of Cam’s friends, but we both secretly had crushes on each other. Both of our relationships fizzled, and it wasn’t long before Cam asked me on a date. We were high school sweethearts and I could not imagine being apart. However, God had different plans. We broke up at the beginning of our freshman year of college, and although I was devastated and heartbroken, I knew it was what the Lord wanted for us. Fast forward two years, and God weaved our paths back together when Cam called and asked if he could treat me to ice cream. The rest is history and we were engaged two and a half years later!
Tell us all about the proposal! 
Cam surprised me with a scavenger hunt around Raleigh. The hunt ended with me being blindfolded and brought to N.C. State’s Court of Carolinas, where Cam read scripture, prayed over our relationship, and popped the question!
When did y’all get married? June 14, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We had to learn to make quick decisions and be confident in what we decided, since we only had six months to plan the wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Instead of ordering custom name cards, programs, and menus, we printed our own. Also, our florist decorated the tent chandeliers with magnolia leaves from my family’s front yard!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved all our vendors, but I am especially thankful for Priscilla of Orangerie Events–my family did not have to worry about a thing on the wedding day, thanks to her and her team! Also, Robyn Van Dyke captured our wedding day beautifully!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? By far, our most memorable moment was praying together for the first time as husband and wife. God’s presence was so tangible during those precious moments after our vows. I sobbed happy tears the whole time!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After we got married, we moved into our first place together! I am finishing up graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology and Cam is working full time in Raleigh. Our favorite part about marriage is knowing we have our best friend to come home to everyday!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke / Videographer: Oak City Studios / Planner: Priscilla Erwin of Orangerie Events / Ceremony Venue: Church of the Apostles / Reception Venue: Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Brides & Bouquets / Cake: Whole Foods / Catering and Desserts: Belle’s Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Linens: CE Rental / Band: Swingin’ Richards / Paper Products: Corie Designs / Bride’s Gown: “1317” by Monique Lhuillier Bliss / Hair Stylist: Heather Clark of Primp Salon / Makeup Artist: Benefit Cosmetics / Bride’s Shoes: Lucky Brand / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew in Dusty Shale / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank / Ties: Ralph Lauren / Robes: JCPenney / Custom Signs and Cake Backdrop: Jennifer Erwin / Ceremony Pianist: Brian Warring Music

Robyn Van Dyke and Orangerie Events are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar featured: southern weddings » Robyn Van Dyke Photography Blog reply

    […] We are so honored to have Sarah & Cameron‘s gorgeous summer wedding featured on Southern Weddings today! It was an absolute dream shooting at the Merrimon-Wynne and working with Priscilla of […]

  2. avatar Michelle reply

    Amazing photos and a beautiful wedding !

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For these high school sweethearts (who actually first met in elementary school!), planning for their wedding also meant preparing for marriage and the journey of the new life together they were about to embark on. While the details were important too, planning for their marriage was undoubtedly the most important thing to Brittany and Michael, and we love that! When it came to the beautiful details, this sweet couple turned the reigns over to their planner, Some Kind of Wonderful, and their florals to none other than our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Holly Chapple. I’m pretty sure I’m Team Brittany when it comes to choosing a favorite detail of their wedding–her choice (and mine!), that stunning bridal bouquet! Hello, dahlias!

Big SW hugs to another Blue Ribbon Vendor, Katelyn James for capturing this fun day!

My favorite detail was my bridal bouquet. I think it completed our pictures and my bridal look so perfectly, with the pops of color and the beautiful dahlias. It was so much more than I expected! I never knew I could love a bouquet so much–I wish it could have lasted forever!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of our day was seeing Michael for the first time during our first look. We had such an amazing day and there are so many moments that stick out in my mind, but walking down the steps at the front of the house and seeing the look on his face when we first saw each other is something I will never forget. I have never felt more beautiful. It was so special to just have those few minutes together to take it all in.

We said traditional vows during the ceremony, but we also wanted to make our ceremony personal. Before the wedding, we wrote lists of “10 Things I Love About You,” which we kept secret from each other until we read them aloud during the ceremony. This was such a fun way to make the ceremony personal to the two of us. One my favorite things he wrote was “I love that we can spend nonstop time together and I still feel like it’s not enough.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think having our wedding on an estate in the horse country of Virginia definitely added some Southern elements to our day. Some of the horses even photo bombed our pictures! We also had our reception in a barn. Our venue, The Maples, is a historic home that was used (and was nearly burned to the ground) during the Civil War.

We really wanted a rustic barn venue, and after doing some research, we found a few, but then Michael found The Maples through a coworker. When we pulled up the gravel driveway, surrounded by the orange and yellow fall trees, we looked at each other and knew that this was the place! It is such an amazing home and the family was kind enough to let us have our wedding there. I can’t imagine having our day anywhere else.

We wanted a cake that would represent our day, so we were looking for something that was simple, beautiful, and rustic. We had a three-tiered cake with white icing that had pink flowers on it. Placing the cake on a tree stump gave it a rustic look that went perfectly with the feel of our day.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? I feel like so much of being engaged is about preparing for the wedding day, and when you think about it, the wedding only lasts for a few hours. What you are really preparing for is the marriage, which is a lifetime together! There is so much focus on the details, the dress, and the flowers–which are all important and I obsessed over, don’t get me wrong! But preparing for marriage and the journey of life you’re about to be on together is the most important thing. We spent about four months meeting with a mentor couple at our church once a week, going through a marriage preparation book. I cannot tell you how helpful and important this was! We talked about so many important things, which really helped us realize the commitment we were making to each other and how to communicate.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Michael and I met when we were in elementary school. We were neighbors and he came to vacation Bible school at my house. We lost touch over the next few years and then reconnected during physics class in high school. He started flirting with me over a game of spoons. We started dating at the end of my junior year, so we are high school sweethearts! We both went to Virginia Tech and got engaged a few months after graduating. After six years of dating, we could not have been more excited to be engaged and to start planning our wedding!
Tell us all about the proposal! Michael and I were driving out in the plains of Virginia in the fall. It was SO beautiful and such a perfect day! I found out later that he had picked up the ring that morning, so it was definitely burning a hole in his pocket. As we were driving home, he decided to pull over into a field as the sun was setting. I thought we were just stopping to take some pictures, because he knows that’s something I love to do! But then, he asked me to follow him into the middle of the field, and as we were standing there, he got down on one knee. I honestly don’t remember what he said as he was asking me to marry him because I started crying as soon as I realized what was happening!
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I bought a dress a month after we got engaged, and a few days later, I felt like I hadn’t made the right decision. I waited until it came in, took it home, and tried it on again, and I knew it wasn’t the perfect dress for my day. I felt so upset because of the money that we had already spent, but Michael was so supportive and told me we had waited for this day for so long and he wanted me to feel like the most beautiful bride on our wedding day. I went out and found the most perfect dress a few days later, and I could not have been happier with that decision!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. My biggest reason was because we had the world’s most amazing photographer–Katelyn James! I have followed her blog for years and have seen all the amazing moments she captures during a first look. It was so special for the two of us to have a few quiet moments together. You really don’t get too many of those on the wedding day. It was so nice to be able to see each other, pray together and take in the day before the everything got started.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My grandpa, who married us, read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-13 at the ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A song we really wanted to have played as we walked back up the aisle was “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors. We blasted this song in the car together all summer as we drove to and from wedding appointments, so we knew we wanted this song to play right after we got married. This reminded us what an amazing and fun day it was going to be! My dad and I danced to “It Won’t Be Like This for Long” by Darius Rucker. When I was listening to songs in the car, thinking about our father/daughter dance, this one made me cry, so I knew it was the one we had to dance to.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When the planning gets stressful and you start to take that stress out on each other (trust me, it happens!), take a deep breath and refocus on the end goal. You’re planning your life together and you’ve found your best friend. When you think about that, it takes all the stress out of the seating chart, the napkin colors, or the guest list. At the end of the day, it will all work out and you will be married to your favorite person in the world! Sometimes, you just need to take a weekend or a night off from wedding planning and go on a date together. :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? These past five months of being married have been the best of our relationship. Getting to spend life together, coming home to each other every day and just doing boring things together, like grocery shopping, is so much more fun with your best friend! We are in the process of buying a townhouse that we are going to do some reno work on, and we are so excited!

Photographer: Katelyn James / Planner: Some Kind of Wonderful / Venue: The Maples / Florist: Holly Chapple Flowers / Cake Baker: Market Salmander / Caterer: Magnolia at the Mill / Rentals: Capital Party Rentals / Lighting: Evan Chapple / Paper Products: Paper & Lace Collections / Bride’s Gown: “April” by Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Veil: Maggie Sottero / Bride’s Jewelry: Nadri / Hair Stylist: Tracie Sekol / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Morgan” in Beach Glass by Donna Morgan / Groom’s Attire: Ted Baker / Groomsmen Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Katelyn James and Holly Chapple Flowers are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Allister Freeman reply

    Wow, the colours are absolutely stunning, beautiful photography

  2. avatar Jenni reply

    So much inspiration in this post! I can’t stop being googly-eyed over the flowers!

  3. avatar Lisa Hays reply

    Gorgeous bride. I have to agree with her on her bouquet – I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a prettier bouquet.

  4. avatar katelyn james reply

    Thank you girls!!! Such an honor!!!

  5. avatar Audrey Ruth Photography reply

    This wedding is SO GORGEOUS! I’m swooning over that bouquet!

  6. avatar Weddings + Events | Loves {89} reply

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    […] {Photographer: Katelyn James, Florist: Holly Chapple Flowers, via Southern Weddings} […]

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  11. avatar Rachel Parbs reply

    Love the bouquet! Can you tell me what types of flowers were used? Thank you!

  12. avatar Samantha reply

    All photo are unique style. Both are nice place and capture quality is awesome.

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