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Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that not everything is going to be perfect at your wedding–however, there are moments that absolutely will be! For Audrey, that moment came as she was walking down the aisle with her father by her side, surrounded by their friends and family. Though the Marlsgate Planation and beautiful weather certainly helped, the best part was the realization that she was about to marry her best friend, Kasper. With sweet Southern details woven throughout their wedding day, Audrey and Kasper celebrated their marriage with a seated dinner that would make any Southern grandmother proud–it included fried chicken, collard greens, and cheese grits, just to name a few!

Gracious, I’m sure glad Amanda Watson shared this lovely day with us!

P.S. Can we please take a moment to talk about Audrey’s amazing Southern bump and custom Lea-Ann Belter gown? I positive this look just shot to the top of my list of classic Southern style favorites!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mother and sister met me in Dallas and we made a weekend of it! After a long, super exhausting (but fun!) day on Saturday, we narrowed it down to one dress at each boutique, but I still didn’t feel like any of them was “the one.” Our last appointment was at the Bridal Boutique in Lewisville, Texas, which I chose because they are the only boutique in DFW that carries Berta. The dress I had in mind was lace with long sleeves. After trying several of this style on, the store was closing and I still didn’t feel like I had found the right dress. Our stylist said “Hang on a minute, I have something in the back that you might like.” She brought out a fitted, dupioni silk dress with a trumpet skirt and a dramatic train. When I put it on, we all knew that it was the dress that I would walk down the aisle in. It was a one-of-a-kind design that they were sending back to the designer. Our stylist called Lea-Ann Belter in Toronto, and she agreed to design a custom dress just for me! It fit like a glove and was absolutely perfect!

We decided to do a first look in the English gardens beside the plantation house. We really wanted to have that moment together in private to see each other and soak in what the day was all about before the craziness began. Also, it made taking pictures so much easier, as we got all the group pictures over with before the ceremony and were able to go straight to the reception without holding up the dinner.

My most memorable moment was when my dad walked me down the aisle and I saw Kasper standing on the porch. The whole view of the plantation was perfect, the weather was perfect, the string quartet on the balcony was perfect, the wedding party looked amazing, and all of our friends and family were there. I couldn’t believe that it had all come together so perfectly and I was actually getting married to my very best friend. It was surreal and I will remember that forever.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was the event branding by my sister, Jessie Russell. Jessie is an art director with a Master’s degree in Communication Design from the Pratt Institute in NYC. She pulled the whole wedding together, from the invitations, to the programs, to the menus, and even the wax seal design that we used on the envelopes and the rice bags. We were truly blessed to have Jessie to make every detail cohesive.

Charlie Roberts designed the perfect cake for our big day. It was a classic and elegant, five-tiered cake with alternating flavors of strawberry and vanilla. It had white buttercream icing with a layered rake design. The base of each tier had a string of white edible pearls. It was topped off with beautiful flowers and the base was decorated with eucalyptus garland.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The Southern thread was woven all throughout our wedding. For starters, the venue was an old, Southern plantation that has been around since 1885. The reception was a seated dinner that comprised of a lovely watermelon/pecan spinach salad with pepper jelly vinaigrette dressing, bone-in fried chicken (the ultimate Southern dish), sautéed collard greens served in a mini mason jar, cheese grits, cornbread muffins, and sweet potato biscuits, with sweet tea to wash it all down! All of the guests were given mini bags of rice that were thrown during our send-off. My husband, Kasper, comes from a family of rice farmers, so the traditional rice had to be used.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the fall of 2012 when we were introduced by our mutual friends. We went to dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas and ended up talking until the restaurant closed. The chemistry was undeniable and it was apparent to both of us that this was the beginning of something special.
Tell us all about the proposal! One Saturday morning in May 2015, Kasper took me to the farmers market in Fayetteville, Arkansas to walk around and listen to the music. We got coffee and then walked by these beautiful flowers in the middle of the town square. Kasper got down on one knee, and I was in such shock that all I remember is saying “YES!!!” and then turning around to see my brother, sister, cousins, Kasper’s sister, and several friends cheering and taking pictures. We all went to lunch together and celebrated for the rest of the day. It was the best day of my life, until the wedding, of course.
When did y’all get married? May 21, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had our wedding officiant read from 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, as well as Ephesians 5:22-33. He also read the seven things we love most about each other (our planner, Catherine Tapp, had us send them to her without us knowing what she was going to do with them). It was a fun surprise and the guests loved hearing them and seeing our reactions.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We wanted the ceremony to be very traditional. The John Jarboe String quartet sat on the balcony of the plantation and played Canon in D for the bridesmaids processional, the Bridal Chorus when I walked out, and the Wedding March for the exit. One special song that played was “Sunrise, Sunset” from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” That is one of my mother’s favorite musicals, so they played that for the seating of the parents. Of course, my mom cried the whole way down the aisle!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Kasper and I went to premarital counseling with his hometown preacher from the Jonesboro Church of Christ, Chris Harrell. We also did a couples devotional and listened to the wise advice that our parents shared with us.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are making our home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Kasper is an attorney and I am a physician recruiter. We are looking forward to summer fun at the lake, relaxing evenings at home, cheering on the Razorbacks this fall, and holidays with friends and family.

Photographer: Amanda Watson | Videographer: Jessie Swaffar | Planner: Catherine Tapp | Venue: Marlsgate Plantation | Florist: Carly Jones | Cake Baker: Charlie Roberts | Caterer: Simply the Best Catering | DJ: Ryan Thetford | Special Details and Photo Stylist: Lindsey Zamora | Paper Products: Jessie Russell | Bride’s Gown: Lea-Ann Belter | Bride’s Jewelry: Sissy’s Log Cabin | Hair Stylist: Sara Beth Leader | Makeup Artist: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Groom’s Attire: Walker Brothers | Groomsmen Attire: Generation Tux | String Quartet: The Jarboe String Quartet | Audio Visual and Ceiling Draping: Central Arkansas Entertainment | After-Party Venue: Little Rock Marriott Hotel

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    There’s nothing better than celebrating an engagement with a sweet bride-to-be via Instagram or our Engaged Reader Round-Ups, and then seeing her wedding a few months later! Such was the case for Nicole and Todd, who shared their adorable proposal story with us last year for this post. As you can read below, it’s quite the memorable one, and I must say, their Charleston wedding, complete with a buried bottle of bourbon, Nicole’s lace gown, and the loveliest monogrammed napkins, is pretty darn memorable as well!

    Thank you so much to Jenn Hopkins for sharing this lovely day with us!

    Tell us all about the proposal! Todd and I had been dating for a little over three years and Christmas was coming up. I really wanted to send out photo Christmas cards that year because receiving them is one of our favorite things about the holiday season. I contacted our favorite photographer (Jenn Hopkins) and asked if she could do a quick session with us–but nothing too mushy because we were just dating. Todd had given me a little grief because he had to come home from work early to get ready for our pictures (little did I know, he was just trying to cover up what was about to happen!). We are both awkward in pictures, so as soon as we met up with Jenn and she started taking “test shots,” the jokes started coming. I remember saying “I don’t know what to do with my hands” and then looking at Todd, wondering why he was kneeling in the dirt. I immediately thought, “Really funny Todd, acting like you’re proposing just to make Jenn laugh.” And…I tried to push him over. Only after I noticed he was digging in his pocket and he pulled out a ring did I realize he was being serious! The bonus is that Jenn got pictures of the whole thing–I love that!

    I knew exactly what style of dress I wanted–all lace, a high neckline, and some sort of cap sleeve. I made appointments at a few bridal stores in town and took my sister with me for a second opinion. At the first store, I found a dress that fit all my requirements, but it was almost twice my budget! I ended up finding my gown on the sample sale rack at the second store. It was made of a beautiful guipure lace, and after a few small alterations to bring the neckline up and create a little sleeve, it became exactly what I wanted! And, it was less than half my dress budget!

    Curious about the Southern tradition of burying the bourbon? Check out our post about it here!

    Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. Our venue is part of a state park that does not allow events to start until the park is closed at 5:00 P.M….just when the sun is fading fast in November. We had to do a first look if we wanted to use any natural light for pictures. I must say, our first look was one of my favorite parts of the whole day. For those few moments, we felt like we were the only two people for miles. This whirlwind of a day just seemed to stop and it was just the two of us. I am so glad that we had that time together, and I can promise you, it won’t make walking down the aisle to your groom any less special!

    Todd and I love Charleston, so it was an easy decision to get married there and share it with our families, but finding a venue was a little more challenging. There is no shortage of gorgeous venues in the Holy City, but I wanted to simplify our wedding day by having the ceremony and reception at the same location. I also wanted our wedding to feel like an alfresco dinner party at a beautiful home, rather than an event space. Not only is the Legare Waring House a beautiful home, it is also surrounded by the most amazing old oak trees that gave us plenty of places to take pictures. When you have such a beautiful backdrop, you don’t need a bunch of decorations, which helped keep our budget in check.

    Our pastor and good friend (who came from Florida with his wife and newborn!), Matt, performed the ceremony, and it was truly tailored to fit us. He did an amazing job explaining our roles to each other as they relate to our lives in Christ; starting with our call to leave our parents, cleave to one another, and weave our lives together as we form our family. Following the vows, we were told over and over that this was one of our guests’ favorite parts of the entire wedding!

    Describe your wedding flowers. Flowers are one of my absolute favorite things. I chose shades of white garden roses and ranunculus with lots of dusty greenery. Our florist surpassed all of my expectations–they were truly the most beautiful (and best smelling) flowers I have ever seen. After our wedding, my green-thumbed husband rooted a few of the clippings from my bouquet so I can always have flowers from our wedding.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I purchased a vintage monogram from my favorite monogram shop, Number Four Eleven, in Savannah. I used it for the wax seal and stamps on our invitations, cocktail napkins, and our linen dinner napkins. The vintage monograms from Number Four Eleven are so elegant, and I plan on using it forever. Our food was classically Southern: crab cakes, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. We knew both of our families would love it! We also buried a bottle of bourbon. I think we probably broke some park rules by burying a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the property, but it worked–there wasn’t a single drop of rain on our wedding day.

    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our day-of coordinator (and florist), Beth, was like a fairy godmother. I truly do not know how anyone has a wedding without her. If anything went wrong, I didn’t hear even the slightest hint of it. Without her, I don’t think Todd and I would have been able to relax and enjoy our wedding. Also, our photographer and her second shooter were truly amazing. They traveled from Florida for us and we couldn’t be more thankful. It was such a relief to have a photographer that we trusted with such an important day!

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My groom was my favorite wedding detail! Months after our wedding, I still can’t believe I got to marry him. He is my husband! Isn’t that just the craziest thing!?

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Todd and I met through a mutual friend when he was living in Georgia and I was in Florida. We talked on the phone for about three months (that Alabama accent of his did me in on the first night!) before he made the six-hour trip to take me out on a date. I don’t think we’ve spent more than two weeks apart since then!
    When did y’all get married? November 21, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 90
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went through several weeks of premarital counseling, which was recommend by our pastor. We were both a little apprehensive in the beginning, but we were amazed by how much we learned about our relationship. We actually really enjoyed it.
    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? A few months after we started wedding planning, we found out that the house I had been renting was going to be put on the market. We had both grown to love that house (and neighbors!) so much and had planned on making it our home once we were married. Paying for a wedding and buying a house in the same year wasn’t part of the plan, but neither was moving! My dad told me, “There is never a perfect time for anything” and it’s true. Life is filled with things that happen at the worst possible times (or so it seems), and if you wait around for everything to become perfectly aligned, you’ll probably miss out on some great moments. We compromised, adjusted our wedding budget, made a lot of tough decisions, and had many stressful days (did I mention it was a six-month short sale?), but in the end, we got both our house and a beautiful wedding.
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Todd and I figured out which things were most important to us, splurged on those, and saved on the rest. Something as simple as using the plastic cups the bartender provides versus renting wine glasses can save you a few hundred dollars. There isn’t a single plastic cup in any of our pictures either! We also got married on a Friday, which saved quite a bit on our venue, and more vendors were available and willing to work with us since it wasn’t a Saturday.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are going on a delayed honeymoon in a few months–we haven’t picked a location yet, but we’re thinking about Switzerland or France. We also have a mile-long list of things we want to do to our house!

    Photographer: Jenn Hopkins Photography / Day-of Coordinator, Florist, and Lighting: WildFlowers Inc. / Venue: Legare Waring House / Cake Baker: D’Lish Dessert / Caterer: Lowcountry Eats / Rentals: Snyder Events and EventWorks / DJ: EPIC / Paper Products: Scotti Cline / Bride’s Gown: “C249” by Allure / Bride’s Accessories: Nordstrom and Ann Taylor / Hair and Makeup: Ash & Co / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D568” by Alfred Sung / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Cole Haan / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank and Brooks Brothers

    Scotti Cline is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    4 Comments
    1. avatar Allyson-Happy Planning reply

      This wedding is adorable! I love the navy bridesmaids dresses, cake table and menu sounds deliciously Southern.

    2. avatar Claire Cowman reply

      That wax seal! I love how they implemented the monogram into so many small details. What a sweet momentum to have and to hold after the wedding!

    3. avatar FDH Limousines reply

      WoW Amazing! Bride looks so gorgeous, beautiful and clear capturing really love the ideas, Have seen a good art of capturing.

    4. avatar 6 Party Ideas for Bourbon Lovers – Kate Aspen Blog reply

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    My best friend and her husband celebrated their third anniversary on Tuesday, so I have been reminiscing about their Williamsburg wedding all week. One of my favorite memories from their wedding weekend is their rehearsal dinner at Kingsmill, so you can imagine my delight when I opened up these pictures from Courtney and Jared’s big day, at that same beautiful place! I love the sweeping Virginia scenery that framed their celebration, but I think my favorite thing about Courtney and Jared’s wedding is their use of monograms and their heart behind them. As Courtney said, “We love how a monogram serves as a unique representation of us as a couple.” Shouldn’t every wedding detail do just that?

    Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Katelyn James, for sharing this joyful day with us!

    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I love this sweet tradition! My something blue was my seersucker monogrammed garter. I had a lot of something news, including my dress, shoes, and jewelry. For my something old and borrowed, I incorporated all of my grandparents’ wedding rings into my bouquet. Unfortunately, all of my grandparents are no longer with us, and I thought that having their rings close to me when we said “I do” would be a great way to honor them and their long-lasting marriages.

    We knew that we wanted to get married in Williamsburg since it’s where we met. We had played golf together at Kingsmill when we were in college, and once we toured the grounds again with a wedding-planning mindset, we knew that it was the perfect place for us!

    Describe your wedding flowers. Flowers are one of my favorite parts of a wedding, so I knew I wanted to incorporate lots of flowers into our special day! Karen Roa of Aleen Floral Design was an absolute joy to work with–she is amazingly talented and brought all of my flower ideas to life! I love softer blooms like hydrangeas and peonies, so we tried to incorporate them as much as possible in arrangements. My favorite piece that Karen created was an ombré pink bed of hydrangeas that we used to display all of the escort cards.

    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to combine traditional vows with a personalized phrase at the end.
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our officiant read an excerpt from “Union” by Robert Fulghum, and my sister read “I Carry Your Heart” by E.E. Cummings.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We love how a monogram serves as a unique representation of us as a couple, so we incorporated them in as many places as we could! Both of us grew up in Virginia and wanted to give our out-of-town guests a taste of the Old Dominion in their welcome bags. We included Virginia peanuts and Forbes’ saltwater taffy, made in my hometown of Virginia Beach.

    We chose a traditional four-tiered wedding cake with our monogram displayed on the top layer. The cake was a vanilla cake soaked in Bailey’s with hazelnut buttercream and milk chocolate truffles between the layers. Soaking the cake made it super moist, and we were enjoying it for days after the wedding! I love the tradition of a groom’s cake, so I surprised Jared with one right after we cut our wedding cake–he loves Chipotle and the pastry chef at Kingsmill did an amazing job creating a red velvet “burrito” cake complete with chips and guacamole!

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Hands down, our favorite part of the wedding was the fireworks show we surprised our guests with towards the end of the evening! Only five people knew about it leading up to the big day, and it was so much fun to have something unexpected for our guests.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the fall of 2010 when we were both students at the College of William and Mary. We had both been roaming the halls of the business school for several years, but had never crossed paths until we were both chosen by a professor to participate in a special 10-person class that competed in a national tax competition at the end of the semester. We have been together ever since, and our professor and his wife attended the wedding!
    Tell us all about the proposal! In the summer of 2012, Jared organized a long weekend getaway in Virginia wine country so we could celebrate his last few weeks of freedom before starting a full-time job. We love visiting this area together, and I was ecstatic to be spending a few nights at the beautiful Clifton Inn! After visiting a few wineries during the day and having an amazing dinner at the Boar’s Head Inn, we decided to go for a walk around Clifton’s property. I had just purchased a new camera, so I was eager to snap some pictures, so I handed Jared my black lens cap as we made our way onto the dock of the lake. After snapping a few pictures down on the water, I asked for my lens cap back, and instead, Jared placed a black velvet box in my hand! He clasped my hands and then proceeded to get down on one knee and ask me to marry him!
    When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 175
    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? About six months before our wedding, we were informed that the LPGA was changing the date of its annual tournament at Kingsmill from its usual weekend to the weekend of our wedding. Hearing that tens of thousands of people would be roaming the property and the Golf Channel would be live broadcasting while we were saying “I do” was more than a little unnerving. After working closely with Kingsmill management, we took some extra precautions to ensure that our wedding ceremony wouldn’t be affected. The entire evening went off without a hitch!
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My mother is a talented calligrapher, so we were able to save costs on addressing all of our invitations and place cards ourselves.
    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? All of our vendors were truly great to work with throughout the entire planning process, but we were most eager to work with our photographer, Katelyn James! I instantly fell in love with her work and knew she would be perfect for our most special day. To top it off, Katelyn and her husband, Michael, are one of the sweetest, most genuine couples we have ever met. We couldn’t be happier with our wedding pictures and will cherish them for the rest of our lives.
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take the time to enjoy being engaged! We chose to have a long engagement so that we could have more time to plan and secure all of the vendors that we wanted. Even after almost two years of planning, I thought it all went by so quickly and I wish I could relive it all over again!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? A week after we returned from our honeymoon, we put an offer in to buy our first home, and shortly thereafter, we became homeowners! We are enjoying the process of making our first house a home and tackling DIY projects together.

    Photographer: Katelyn James / Videographer: Jason Faulkner / Planner: Brittany Richardson / Venue, Catering, Rentals, Lighting, and Cake: Kingsmill Resort / Florist: Aleen Floral Design / Band: The Jangling Reinharts / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbon: Oatmeal Lace Designs / Paper Products: William Arthur / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3018” by Lazaro / Bridal Salon: Hannelore’s of Olde Town / Bride’s Jewelry: Thomas Knoell / Hair Stylist: Chelsea Styles / Makeup Artist: Kristine Marie French / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers, Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Heidi” by J.Crew / Men’s Attire: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / String Quartet: Fitz Pro Musicians / Fireworks: Virginia Skypainters

    Katelyn James is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    8 Comments
    1. avatar Finley / Engagement Rings reply

      What a pretty color combination! Love this!

    2. avatar Loverly reply

      Those tablescapes are divine!

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      […] Steve loved introducing their family and friends to Nolan’s romantic New Orleans hometown. Courtney and Jared incorporated meaningful monograms into their big […]

    4. avatar Leon Bailey reply

      Lovely wedding! Love the blue color that was used.

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      […] Photo Credits: Photo 1,3,5 via Heart Love Always/via Southern Weddings/ […]

    7. avatar Dahlia reply

      I am in dire need of a seersucker garter set! Where did you get it?

    8. avatar Party Decoration Theme with Unique and Glamorous Style – Hupehome reply

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