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I already knew I was going to love Catherine and William’s wedding when Emily snuck me a peek of Catherine’s custom Heidi Elnora ball gown, their snowy portraits, and their twinkling opera house reception, but all of my expectations were blown out of the water when I read Catherine’s interview. I think she said it best when she wrote, “I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are.” Catherine and William stuck to this sentiment so thoroughly throughout their engagement, and with the help of Catherine’s talented mama, every moment and detail of this Missouri celebration expressed their love story and their hearts. Even after all of the magic of the day, one of Catherine and William’s favorite moments was the end of the night when they poured a glass of champagne at their hotel room and excitedly recapped the entire wedding. I’m positive that with their sweet attitudes and their hearts for what matters most, there are so many more celebrations in Catherine and William’s future!

Thank you so much to Mike Cassimatis of MNC Photography for sending this sparkly day our way!

P.S. Y’all, I just HAVE to mention this…but how perfect is it that Catherine and William incorporated a few nods to their British heritages into their wedding, AND they share names with the beloved royal couple? Clearly, they were meant to be ;)

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were both law students at Vanderbilt, but we hadn’t met yet my first semester (or so I thought). Fortunately, we both had friends who convinced us at the last minute to come back to Nashville early for a New Year’s Eve party at a mutual friend’s house. When Will started talking to me, I thought it was rude that he didn’t properly introduce himself. Well, as it turns out, we had already met at a Christmas party at the same house, but I didn’t remember him! I left to go to another party, got on a friend for “giving my number out to random guys,” and told Will I couldn’t go out with him because my mom was coming into town on the 2nd for a girls’ week. Well, folks, I underestimated Will’s determination and found myself sipping an Old Fashioned with him at Whiskey Kitchen the very next night. A Tim McGraw sing-a-long later, and on the 2nd, I was telling my mom what a nice guy I had met!

My something borrowed was my favorite piece of my grandmother’s jewelry, a diamond bangle my grandfather gave her on their fifteenth wedding anniversary. My something old was a fur my grandfather on the other side gave my mom years ago, and my something new was my brand new Heidi Elnora dress. I was supposed to wear a blue garter but forgot to put it on!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did. We wanted to have that private moment between just the two of us, and we wanted to be able to relax and celebrate after the ceremony. It was really nice to see each other for the first time without any distractions, and we had so much fun spending our wedding day together with our wedding party!

My mom and I planned an epic dress quest across the South with appointments in Nashville, Huntsville, Birmingham and Atlanta. I tried on so many beautiful gowns, but with each one that got close, I kept asking, “Can we change the lace?” or “Can we add a bow?” or “Can we lower the waistline?” Nothing seemed exactly right. We walked into the Heidi Elnora Atelier at the very end of the day, exhausted and not expecting much until Heidi herself came out and changed everything! She is such a sweet, strong, spunky Southern woman. She started from scratch asking me about my vision and nailing down a silhouette. From there, we created a custom gown that was so very me! It was my favorite part of the wedding planning process by far, and I cherished my trips to Birmingham to visit with Heidi and her team and watch my gown come to life. The first thing Will said when he saw me in the dress was, “It’s so you!”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I’m a farmer’s daughter originally from a very small town in Southeast Missouri, but I always knew I wanted to get married in St. Louis and take photos at my alma mater (Washington University). We both love tradition and any excuse to dress up, so we dreamed up a classic (and sparkly!) black-tie evening with British touches to reflect both of our family heritages. I was initially disappointed to hear that we couldn’t get married at the church I attended during college, but when we heard Memorial Presbyterian was available, we couldn’t believe how perfect it was. It is next door to Wash U, is our denomination, and had the perfect grand, Gothic ambiance for our English-inspired ceremony.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The whole ceremony! Our pastor gave a beautiful charge about God’s purpose for marriage, and at one point, asked us to turn and face the congregation. The room was glowing with loved ones’ faces. We just smiled at each other and soaked in that coziest, happiest moment.

We chose a brass quartet for the ceremony music because Will grew up playing the trumpet, and we thought it would be fun to bring his love of brass into our wedding day! For the ceremony music, we decided to stick mostly to our favorite classic hymns. I walked down the aisle to “O God Beyond All Praising,” which we sing all the time at our church in Nashville. The congregation sang two hymns during the ceremony (thanks, friends!), “Be Thou my Vision” and “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” A bagpiper played through the snow as we exited the church in traditional British fashion

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? As my poor friends and family can tell you, I was an absolute mess stressing out about snow and ice, starting around Thanksgiving. The weather in St. Louis can really be anything anytime, and I was completely convinced that a huge blizzard would befall us and no one would make it to our wedding. I tried to convince Will and my mom that we needed to move the date, and when that failed, that we needed to make a special trip to St. Louis to bury the bourbon. They just shook their heads, so I had my small group praying for the weather for weeks! Well, when the sparkly snowflakes started to fall during our photo shoot, I laughed and exclaimed, “Thank you, Jesus, for the snow!” I could not imagine a more romantic finishing touch for our winter wedding, and the snowy photos are my absolute favorite reminders that God’s plans are better than mine. It made me think of how much I love the way snow slows life down and gives you time to just be still, which is how I wanted our wedding day to feel. Sure, our antique getaway car became an SUV, and guests’ flights home were canceled on Sunday, but boy did the snow look beautiful coming down out the windows of our reception!

For our reception, it was important to us to find a space with character and significance that wasn’t exclusively a reception venue. We joked that if each of us could choose our favorite non-geographical location, Will would choose a courtroom and I would choose a theater. (I was a theater major in college and worked in theater management in New York before law school.) Naturally, I won, and the 1934 Peabody Opera House was a dream! We fell in love with its opulent ceilings, gilded accents and cozy-but-stately feel. It screams black-tie winter wedding!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A detail that was so special to me was that once the dancing got underway, I changed into the 1981 Priscilla of Boston gown my mom married my dad in. The only alteration we made was to remove the train, and it was perfect for dancing! I added a flower crown to look just like she did, and it was a really special moment. My dad was thrilled, and other relatives enjoyed telling me “I know that dress!” Some little details that I thought really added to the day included the strung lights that added ambiance over our reception, the couches that lined the dance floor for guests to take a break without leaving the action, and the band that had our guests dancing all night long!

Our décor was mostly ivory and gold, so we wanted to bring in some subtle blush pinks with the flowers. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas (which Will wrote down very early in our relationship), so we used a lot of them, along with roses, snapdragons, garden roses, and ranunculus. Our florist created an amazing canopy of elevated flowers hanging above our 34-person head table!

We had a traditional tiered cake with alternating layers of vanilla and caramel decorated with gold, and a groom’s cake with alternating layers of chocolate and red velvet, which is Will’s favorite. For a late night treat, we served my favorite St. Louis specialty: Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I’m not going to tell you not to stress about wedding planning, because let’s be real, it will inevitably be stressful. However, try to spend the weekend itself focusing on the people around you who love you enough to be there on your special day (and maybe even stand outside with sparklers at 11:00 P.M. in the snow!). All those people will never be in the same room with you again, and spending time with them is so much more important than the little details that go awry.

Tell us all about the proposal! We were in the middle of finals when Will suggested that we go for a hike before church the next morning to watch the sun rise over downtown Nashville. I thought it was a little suspicious when he kept changing the time that he wanted to pick me up, but with his hardest exam on Monday, I thought it would be the last day he would pick to propose. As we climbed the steep hill to Love Circle, I saw a picnic blanket with roses, photos of us, and my favorite breakfast sandwiches. I didn’t know what to do! Of course, I started crying, and as the sun rose behind us, Will took my hands and said a bunch of nice things I don’t remember until he got to “Catherine Elizabeth Moreton, will you marry me?” Our friend Ellen was there to capture the whole thing, and it was so much fun to share our news with our wonderful Nashville church family and then celebrate with worship and Sunday brunch.
When did y’all get married? February 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we did memorize our vows! We wanted to make the same commitments that so many great couples before us have made to each other, but we also wanted the vows to feel more personal, so we bravely opted not to repeat after our pastor. Thankfully, we remembered them!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think what makes a wedding Southern is how a couple thoughtfully incorporates faith, family, tradition, and hospitality in meaningful ways throughout the day to celebrate their love story and the people who brought them to where they are. I hope we accomplished that, because we tried! To start, my beautiful bridesmaids wore gold sequins to look similar to my gold sequined New Year’s Eve dress that caught Will’s eye the night we met. Our signature drinks were a “Make-her-Marks” Old Fashioned, because that is what we had on our first date in Nashville; and “Seaside Bride” champagne, because we went to Seaside for our honeymoon. One of the reasons for the date was that we met and fell in love in the winter. We tried to bring as much of our lives in Nashville into the day as possible, starting with having our pastor from Nashville marry us. That was a nice way to bring our church home to Missouri. We also served shrimp and grits at the cocktail hour, and included Will’s darling cousins from North Carolina to hand out programs and be our flower girl and ring bearer. Our invitations were hand-pressed at the Hound Dog Press in Louisville, Kentucky, where my mom and I had a great weekend designing everything with Nick on his antique machines. The gifts exchanged during the day also had a lot of Southern touches and meaning to us. On Friday night, my uncle gave Will his name carved out of wood to hang up with all the rest of the family names that hang on the porch of our lake house in Kentucky. I gave Will a journal I had been writing in to him since 2002. On our wedding day, he gave me a signet ring with my new monogram engraved on it, and I gave him a family Bible with our wedding as the first entry (as well as an in-progress needlepoint belt that is, unfortunately, still a work in progress). I gave my mom an engraved frame thanking her for everything, and my dad and brother got embroidered handkerchiefs.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We had great marriage counseling meetings with our pastor in Nashville, and we had marriage books all over our apartments, on tape in the car, everywhere! Tim Keller’s “The Meaning of Marriage” is such a blessing, honestly. We also had a great workbook that helped us talk through our plans and ideas about what we want our marriage to look like. We had fun with endless “1,001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married” types of books, especially on road trips!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We enlisted the talents of my incredible mama! She is a wedding coordinator and calligrapher, so we didn’t have to hire either. I knew the macro-level planning was in good hands with her at the helm, and she lovingly addressed all 250+ save the dates and 250+ invitations.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Besides the ceremony itself, Will and I both agree our favorite moment of the day was when we got back to our suite at the Ritz, collapsed onto the couch, poured a glass of champagne, and rehashed the entire day. Questions included: “Were you freezing waiting for me for the first look?” “What was your favorite part?” “What were you thinking when I was walking down the aisle?” It was our first moment of normalcy as a married couple, and we will never forget how thrilled we were!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are so excited to deck our Arlington, Virginia apartment out for Christmas (multiple trees!) and establish some Marks family Christmas traditions!

Photographer: Mike Cassimatis / Videographer: Lovebird Studios / Planner: Nancy Moreton (Bride’s mother) / Ceremony Venue: Memorial Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue and Caterer: Peabody Opera House / Florist: Lisa Molitor / Cake Baker: Sarah’s Cake Shop / Rentals: Amerevent Group / Lighting: Exclusive Events / Band: Griffin and the Gargoyles / Signage: Buffy Weddings / Party Favors: Trophy House Treasures / Paper Products: Hound Dog Press / Bride’s Gown and Veil: Heidi Elnora / Hair Accessories: Jennifer Behr and Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart / Hair Stylist: Christy Parsons / Makeup Artist: Emily Miller Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Blouson Bodice Sequin Mesh Gown in Gold by JS Collections / Attendant Dresses: Alfred Sung / Bridesmaid Furs: Tulip Bridal / Groom’s Attire: The Knot Standard / Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Attire: J. Crew / Getting Ready Location: The Ritz Carlton / Ceremony Musicians: Clarion Brass / Girls’ Getting Ready Robes: Just Cottons / Custom Invitation Design: Sarah Hanna / Wedding Logo Design: Folisi Design Studio / Photo Booth: Photography and Video Innovations / Late Night Snack: Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Alexandra reply

    Wow oh wow! This is such a beautiful wedding! I love all the personal touches throughout — it seems so personal. Thanks for sharing.

  2. avatar Meredith Sledge reply

    WOW! Phenomenal images!!

  3. avatar Bubbling Brides reply

    The sparkle accents are amazing. The sequin bridesmaid dresses are the best!

    XoXo,
    The Bubbling Brides Team
    Bubbling Brides

  4. avatar kelly reply

    oh i agree, this interview hands down is one of the very best!

  5. avatar Catherine reply

    We’re so honored to be included in the Southern Weddings family, and it was so fun to relive the day! Thank you so much Lisa and Emily!

  6. avatar Dana reply

    This is quite the royal looking winter wedding!

  7. avatar Wedding Wednesday No. 1: Our Proposal Story – Classic Catherine reply

    […] Once that nerve-wracking bit had passed and the surreal feeling of being engaged started to set in, everything comes back into sharper focus in my memory. Then, of course, it was time to check out that ring! I LOVE SPARKLY THINGS. […]

  8. avatar Baby’s First Snow! – Attention to Darling reply

    […] both featured on Southern Weddings. So happy she did! See their GORGEOUS winter wedding here and our home feature here. Finally, just for perspective, here’s a before picture […]

  9. avatar Big News, Big Praise, and Big Gratitude: I've Joined the Southern Weddings and Cultivate What Matters Team! – Classic Catherine reply

    […] Fast forward to sometime in the spring of 2015 when I received my wedding photos and asked our photographer if I could submit them to Southern Weddings for consideration for publication. I knew it was a very long shot, as Missouri is not technically one of the states included in SW’s list of Southeastern states (reeeeally tempted to throw my plug in here, but this post is going to be too long already), but to my surprise, Emily emailed me right back to accept! […]

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I imagine many Southern belles can relate to Rachel and Brett’s story–they met at an SEC school, and years later, couldn’t imagine tying the knot anywhere but their beloved alma mater! Just like that, these two decided to host a destination wedding at their old stomping grounds of Mizzou, complete with football field portraits, a visit from Truman the Tiger, and a performance by the marching band. As well as showcasing their college pride, Rachel and Brett were also sure to tie in plenty of other nods to their sweet relationship, from playing their favorite song for their walk up the aisle as husband and wife, to the bacon bar Rachel surprised Brett with. Yum!

Thanks so much to Scott Patrick Myers for sharing this fun day with us!

I had so much fun trying on dresses that I was a little sad once I had found “the dress!” I knew that it was 100 percent the dress for me when months later, my mom and I were at the dress store for a fitting and I pulled a dress from a rack and said, “Oh Mom, if I hadn’t already found a dress, this would be the one.” I took a closer look, and turns out, it was my dress! I did make a few alterations to the dress to make it truly mine. I added pearl buttons all the way down the train and had Swarovski crystals sewed into some of the lace flowers on the back. I also wore a fuller slip to give the skirt more volume and added a bow to the front. The bow was by far my favorite part of the dress!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Although we kept our ceremony very traditional, we walked back up the aisle after being introduced as husband and wife to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.” This is one of our favorite songs, and we couldn’t think of a better song to celebrate becoming husband and wife.

We chose to get married at our alma mater, the University of Missouri, because not only was it the place where we met, it also holds so many special memories for both of us. Because this was a destination wedding for most of our family and friends, we loved planning a weekend of events that showed off the spirit of Mizzou. Although we were planning a destination wedding, it was important to us to still have someone with a personal connection marry us. Brett’s fraternity chaplain is now a priest in a city close to Columbia, and he agreed to officiate the wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Although we live in Chicago, Missouri is technically a Southern state and we did want to incorporate a few Southern touches. We both love BBQ and Brett does a great job of finding BBQ restaurants for us to try whenever we are traveling. As favors for our guests, we gave out jars of BBQ rub from the restaurant Brett worked at growing up. As an SEC school, football is a big part of Mizzou, so once we decided to get married on campus, Brett knew he wanted to take photos on the football field. I also had the robes I gave my wedding party monogrammed.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We wanted to plan a few surprises for our guests throughout the day, one of which was having the mascot, Truman the Tiger, and Marching Mizzou show up and play at our cocktail hour. When they played the fight song and alma mater, it was so much fun to see our Mizzou friends alongside our other guests, all singing along together.

We had a small cutting cake and a dessert bar with all our favorites desserts, including doughnuts, chocolate-covered strawberries, rice krispie treats, and gooey butter cake, a St. Louis specialty. We also had chocolate chip cookies delivered to our guests’ hotel rooms the night of the wedding with cards that said “Sweet dreams from the bride and groom.” I wanted to plan something special for Brett on our wedding day, and anyone who knows him knows how much he loves bacon. I worked with our caterers to surprise him with a bacon bar that opened up after dinner. We had three different kinds of bacon along with dipping sauces, plus bacon-flavored popcorn. Our guests loved it!

Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! Absolutely! This was very important to us because we wanted our wedding to represent who we are as a couple. Our welcome bags included treats from Chicago and St. Louis, as well as homemade coconut macaroons, one of our favorite desserts, which we made together the week before the wedding. The doughnuts on the dessert bar were inspired by the doughnuts from our favorite bakery, Firecakes, in Chicago–we often end up there after date nights. The marching band represented all of the fun at football games we’ve had over the years. In our welcome bags, in addition to including treats from our hometowns, we also included a handwritten note to each guest. We were so excited to have our guests be a part of the day, and we wanted them to know how much we appreciated them making the trip.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brett and I met in college at the University of Missouri in fall 2006. We were introduced through mutual friends and our paths continue to cross over the next few years. When Brett accepted a job in Chicago in 2012, he got in touch. We spent that fall getting to know each other again, and by the end of the year, we knew we were meant to be together.
Tell us all about the proposal! Brett and I had planned a trip to Jamaica for his 30th birthday in February 2014. Our trip started off a little rocky when we found out the night before we were to leave that the hotel had overbooked and moved us to a different resort in a different city. I was so upset that our trip wasn’t going according to plan, but Brett was as calm as could be. I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t more upset! When we got to our hotel and settled in, Brett told me he had planned to have a photographer take some photos for me to use on my blog. Once we got down to the beach, he gave the photographer a nod, got down on one knee, and proposed. He told me he’d been so calm despite our travel mishaps because he knew that at the end of the day, he would be asking me to spend the rest of our lives together. It was so special to have a few days together to celebrate our engagement before we went home to share the news with our family and friends.
When did y’all get married? May 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. It was important to both of us that we saw each other for the first time when the church doors opened before my walk down the aisle. Our hotel rooms were on the same floor the morning of the wedding, and I was so worried we would accidentally bump into each other! Thankfully, our photographers and wedding party did a great job of keeping track of both of us.
Describe your wedding flowers. We kept our flowers very simple. I knew I didn’t want anything too elaborate, so we ordered hundreds of white roses in bulk and then had a friend who does floral design arrange them. This saved us a ton of money without sacrificing on quality. Since we were married on Derby Day, we used mint julep cups as vases on the food and drink tables.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Planning a wedding in a city you don’t live in is always a challenge, but we did our best to make the most of our limited time each time we visited Columbia. I can’t imagine having our wedding any place other than Mizzou though, so it was all worth it!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Brett: Watching my niece walk down the aisle carrying a sign that said “Uncle Brett Here Comes Your Bride,” and then seeing the doors open to Rachel. From Rachel: A piece of advice my mom gave us before the wedding was to make sure we took some time to ourselves after the ceremony. We went up to the choir loft for a few private moments and we were able to look down at all our closest friends and family who had just witnessed us becoming husband and wife. I’ll always remember how happy I felt in that moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are hoping to buy a home within the next year so that we can start making memories in a place we can call our own. We also plan to keep traveling and exploring new cities and countries together.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? When we decided on a campus wedding, the stage where we held the cocktail hour had not been built. We got to be the first wedding to be held on Traditions Plaza, and we have a brick on the plaza with our names and wedding date engraved on it. Brett’s parents also met at Mizzou, so they have a brick right next to ours with their wedding date. I can’t wait to one day bring our children to campus and show the bricks to them!

Photographer: Scott Patrick Myers Photography / Videographer: Big Day Productions / Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Catholic Church / Reception Venue: University of Missouri / Floral Design and Day-of Coordinator: Alissa Hagan / Cake Baker: Harold’s Doughnuts / Caterer: University Club of MU / Rentals: A1 Party Rental / Music: Lifetime Entertainment / Paper Products: http://www.sarahjulton.com/ / Bride’s Gown: “Style 2716” by Allure Bridal / Bride’s Accessories: Nordstrom / Hair and Makeup: The Clip Joint / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Polka Dot Jacquard Fit & Flare Dress” by Eliza J from Nordstrom / Menswear: Savvi Formalwear / BBQ Rub: Charlotte’s Rib

Rachel’s Blog: An Eventful Life

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar SEC Wedding Inspiration • An Eventful Life reply

    […] sharing my favorites tomorrow, but I wanted to drop in today to say that our wedding is featured on Southern Weddings! When planning my wedding Southern Weddings was my absolute favorite place for inspiration (and […]

  2. avatar Ashton Dreyer reply

    I love the bridesmaid dresses. Very classic with a unique twist!

  3. avatar Rachel reply

    Always nice to see a happy couple on their wedding day. Nice set of photos by the way!

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I am a big believer in the idea that when it comes to the person you’re meant to be with, when you know, you know. Today’s beautiful bride and groom, Erica and Danny, are the perfect example of this. They met when they were kids, but they didn’t start their relationship till years later. When they finally got together, they both knew right away that they had found “the one” and committed wholeheartedly. I love how Erica described their first year together when she said, “We confidently jumped in head first and never once considered putting floaties on.” That takes courage, y’all, and as you can see here in their overflowing-with-love wedding pictures, it was completely worth it.

Thank you so much to Megan Thiele for sharing Erica and Danny’s wedding with us!

I put off wedding dress shopping for a year. I didn’t feel great about my body after being pregnant, but I was worried that if I waited any longer, I wouldn’t be able to get the dress of my dreams in time for the big day. To my surprise, I loved almost every dress I tried on. I planned to buy one of the dresses from the first boutique I went to, but my mom convinced me to try one more place. At the Wedding Gallery in historic downtown St. Charles, I tried on three dresses and again, loved them all. The dresses were now starting to run together, so my mom suggested trying something different than the lace mermaid gowns I had been trying on, and I agreed. The wedding dress specialist asked me what I envisioned I would look like on my wedding day. I laughed and said, “A princess, of course!” I told her I loved beaded dresses but was afraid that with a rustic venue and wedding, I would look out of place. She said, “I think I have something” and brought out a beautiful Martina Liana beaded and lace dress. I thought the lace gave it the vintage, rustic look I was going for, but the beads gave it a glamorous look too. I had my mom wait outside the room until I had the belt and veil on too. When she walked in, she didn’t say a word. My mom is not a crier, so I knew I wasn’t going to get any tears out of her, but I thought she’d at least have something to say about it, so I asked “Well, aren’t you going to say something?” She replied, “You look like a princess.” Needless to say, that was the dress I wore on my wedding day.

Mismatched navy dresses, cowboy boots, and some seriously gorgeous bouquets? This bridal party has style in spades!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Danny and I have known one another since we were kids, but the stars just never quite aligned — that is, until New Year’s Eve 2010. I truly believe we were always meant to end up together, just not until then. I believe it takes heartache and mistakes to learn what you want in a relationship and who you want to be in a relationship. I also think it takes knowing what “wrong” feels like in order to know what “right” feels like. With that being said, when Danny and I had started dating, we both knew right away, this was right. This was it. We confidently jumped in head first and never once considered putting floaties on. Within the first year of our relationship, we moved in together, bought and built our first home, got engaged, and brought a beautiful baby boy into this world.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were two moments in particular that will most definitely stick with me forever. First was when Danny started to cry while reading his vows. In the many years I’ve known Danny and the three years we’ve been together, I have never seen him cry. I think everyone was shocked and it caused quite the chain reaction. The second one was when my dad said in his speech, which will make me cry writing this, “I love my daughter with all my heart and I know Danny does too, but nobody could possibly love her as much as that little blonde-haired, blue-eyed grandson of mine does.” Everyone knows how much I adore my little boy and Connor is most definitely a mama’s boy, but hearing my dad say that really tugged at my heart strings. I felt that my father was really proud of the person and mother I had become and that I was doing a good job as Connor’s mom.

If I had to choose one detail that was my most favorite, it would be the table design. I wouldn’t say it was one detail, but every part of it was so well thought out and detailed. We had navy linens on the guest tables, and on the head table, we used hemstitched tablecloths over navy linens. Each person had a chevron, polka dot, or stripe placemat with a rattan charger on top and a light blue linen napkin. Each place setting had a vintage mismatched flowered china plate, just like my grandma’s! The silverware was wrapped in twine and had a yellow billy ball and blue thistle tucked into it. My centerpieces were flowers in wood boxes or mason jars on top of wood slabs or wood pillars, and there were metallic candle holders all around them. Our guest sat in white chiavari chairs, and Danny and I each had an oversized wood chair with signs that said “Better” and “Together.”

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Susie G’s Bakery made us three simple but delicious wedding cakes. They were white cake with raspberry filling, covered with buttercream icing. Our dessert bar was much more elaborate. We had assorted cakes in mini mason jars and yummy chewies that were inspired by Danny’s love for turtles, provided by Susie G’s Bakery. We also had a variety of freshly baked cookies from Grandma’s Cookies, s’mores cupcakes from Sarah’s Cake Shop, and assorted fruit pies from Sugaree Bakery. At the end of the night, my wedding planner said she had never seen a dessert bar picked over as much as ours was. Both my family and Danny’s have a sweet tooth!

Tell us all about the proposal! Danny asked me to marry him on October 14, 2011. I was eight months pregnant and we had just built and moved in to our new home. I was a bit overwhelmed with everything, so although I knew a ring would eventually come, I definitely did not think it would come then. Danny and I were both born on the 13th and Connor was not only due on the 13th, but on my birthday. I had dropped a few hints that the 13th is a great day and it would be fun if all the important things in our lives happened on the 13th, hint hint. So, on October 13, Danny spent half the day trying to carve a pumpkin that said “will you marry me,” but since he couldn’t finish before I got home from work, he decided to throw the 13th idea out the window. On October 14, I came home from work to see the carved pumpkin surrounded by flowers and candy corn (great gesture for a pregnant woman). Like a gentleman, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. He said he didn’t just love me during our good times, but that he loved me all the time, even in the worst of times, and that he never wanted to see me sad or stressed. He said his goal in life was to always take care of our family, and promised that if I would be his wife, he would never stop working to make sure our family had everything they need.
When did y’all get married? June 8, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did. Our ceremony didn’t start until 5 p.m. and I just didn’t think it made sense to be apart from my best friend for most of the day on one of the most important days of our lives.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, Danny’s vows were amazing from top to bottom, but my favorite part was when he said, “I am a major believer that everything that happens in life happens for a reason, and for some reason, the man upstairs has blessed me with a beautiful angel and the sweetest baby boy a father could ever ask for.” Danny’s favorite part of my vows was, “You and Connor are what make my heart beat and one lifetime with you could never be enough”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our good friends, Jamie and Andy Pusateri, each wrote an original reading for our wedding. We honestly couldn’t have asked two better people. Jamie wrote and read “Love Through the Eyes of Little Ones,” which was beautiful and extremely appropriate, as she knows exactly the love we have for our child. Andy wrote and read “Love Defined.” He memorized it completely and it was honestly the best reading we have ever heard at any wedding. We told him he really needs to consider having it published!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to the keyboardist and violinist playing David Grey’s “This Year’s Love.” The first time we heard it, it gave me chills. Danny and I had our first dance to Ingrid Michaelson’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” This song is the anthem to our relationship. I even based my vows around the quote “Only fools rush in where angels fear to tread” and ended them saying “but I just couldn’t help falling in love with you.” My dad and I danced to “My Girl,” by The Temptations. My favorite movie growing up was My Girl and I always told my friends that that would be the song I would dance with my dad to on my wedding day. It was a really hard song to slow dance to, but my dad and I took a dance lesson and practiced every morning in my living room until my wedding. Connor and I heard it on the radio the other day and he immediately started humming and dancing—he knew it was baba (what Connor calls my dad) and mama’s song!
Describe your wedding flowers. Tina Barrera did an unbelievable job on our flowers. I knew I wanted them to have a lot of pink and I wanted a rustic look, but without too much greenery or too many berries. The bridal bouquet consisted of coral peonies, white astilbe, hot pink ranunculus, ivory peonies, magenta stock, blue thistle, yellow billy balls and silver brunei berries hand-tied with lace. The bridesmaids’ flowers were the same as the bridal bouquet, except they had less white throughout and were wrapped in burlap instead of lace. All of the men in the wedding wore coral spray roses, hot pink ranunculus, billy ball and thistle boutonnieres. At our ceremony, we hung mason jars down the aisle filled with hot pink stock, coral roses, blue thistle, silver brunei, pink garden roses, yellow billy balls and white hydrangeas, which were also placed on wooden pillars of various heights on the head table. Throughout the reception venue, we used wood box centerpieces, mason jars on wood slabs, tin cans, and birch vases, filled with the same flowers that were spread throughout the venue. Upstairs, where we held cocktail hour, we had small clusters of all-white hydrangeas, stock and roses in small mason jars.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Everything! I may be from the city but I am a country girl at heart, and Danny is most definitely a country boy! For attire, Danny and the groomsmen all wore bow ties and vests and had matching navy and light blue striped socks. The bridesmaids and I wore cowboy boots. The ceremony was at a winery and took place outdoors near a pond, and the reception was in a big red barn. At the ceremony, they handed out signature wine slushies with monogramed straws. We had a lemonade and tea station, hay barrels with quilts around the dance floor, and a bonfire. We had an H monogrammed on the dance floor in chalk. Our ring bearers and flower girl came out in an old western wagon with tin cans attached and rustic signs that said “Here Comes the Bride” and “My Mommy and Daddy are Getting Married.” At our dessert station, we had tons of wicker monogrammed E+D and H signs, as well as burlap and quilt banners with cute sayings on them. Also, we were in the country, so the scenery was high grass, grape vines and corn fields. On the way there, you passed sheep and cows and other farm animals. And of course, we had mason jars galore, tin cans, wood slabs, birch vases and old wood boxes all over the venue.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something blues were my necklace and earrings. I wore Danny’s birthstone, aquamarine. My something old was my grandmother’s ring. It was passed down to her from her Grandmother and she passed it down to me! My something new was an earring of mine and Connor’s birthstone, from one of my maids of honor. I borrowed one of my mom’s rings, that included Danny’s birthstone, which I wrapped with twine around my bouquet.
What is the one details or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Katie Fogerty, owner of Kate & Co would be first. My wedding wouldn’t have been what it was without Katie. I am a complete perfectionist, and get anxiety about the smallest things not being perfect. Anything Katie and her crew were responsible for was perfect, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I also have to say my seamstress, Connie Simpson, owner of R & M Design. When I bought my wedding dress, I was still trying to get baby weight off and was also still nursing my son. By the time the dress arrived, I had lost all the baby weight, and then some. It didn’t even look like the same dress. Connie took it in six times and miraculously made me have some curves again (in the places I wanted them)! When I had my final fitting, I fell in love with the dress all over again. Also, my wedding photographer—she didn’t miss a detail and I can keep reliving the day over and over. Plus, she saved the day and drove the hubby and me to our ceremony when our trolley broke down!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Raising a baby while planning a wedding. I felt guilty focusing on the wedding and not giving Connor my 100 percent undivided attention. I didn’t think it was fair to him, so I did the timely stuff after he fell asleep or super early in the morning before he woke up. Anything that needed to be done during business hours, I did at nap time. I can’t even tell you how many of my vendors probably got emails from me at midnight.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? To do a same-day edit film, especially if you are doing pictures before the ceremony. It was extremely important to me that since we weren’t going to see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle that everyone would be able to see our first look at the reception. It was the most beautiful short film I’ve ever seen and I’m not exaggerating when I say there was not a dry eye in the entire place. The staff was even tearing up! It started the night off just right, and those five minutes were worth every penny!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Expanding our little family. Connor is such a miracle and I hope God blesses us with more little miracles.

lisa Written with love by Lisa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Lauren reply

    What a beautiful story! I love the beading on her dress and the contrast with the ivory of the gown.

  2. avatar Dana reply

    what an adorable, happy family. i love what her dad said at the wedding!

  3. avatar Charissa reply

    What a darling wedding, love the brides white cowboy boots!

  4. avatar Joel reply

    Beautiful!

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  8. avatar Ashley reply

    Who is the designer of these bridesmaids dresses!?! I LOVE Them!!!
    Thanks!
    XOXO

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