Whoo-wee, y’all!! Yesterday was quite a doozy! We’re still riding high from seeing the first #SouthernWeddingsV8 photos pop up on Instagram (keep ’em coming!), but in the meantime, we’ve got some fall weddings to celebrate! In honor of Cozy Fall, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite fall weddings from our archives – there are so many gems here that I had almost forgotten about! If you’re planning a fall wedding yourself, we hope the ideas these couples chose inspire you. Click through to each original post to read more about their special days!
I can’t think of a sweeter way to spend this Tuesday morning than getting lost in Stephanie and Glenn’s wedding! These two met and became best friends during late nights of studying in medical school, and it wasn’t long before their feelings grew into something more. Once Glenn surprised the notoriously hard-to-surprise Stephanie with a proposal, they began planning their Virginia wine country wedding with so much intention and purpose. Everything from their venue to their table names to the flowers was meaningful, and thanks to Stephanie’s lovely taste and Glenn’s secret creative side, it was beautiful, too!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Monograms, monograms, monograms! We printed our custom monogram on our invitations, programs, menu, place cards, guest book, and more. We even crafted our monogram out of 300+ wine corks and placed it over the mantle in the tasting room during cocktail hour. We bought our bridesmaids and groomsmen monogrammed items as gifts (big oxfords for the girls to get ready in and tervis tumblers, and cuff links for the boys). My gift to Glenn on our wedding day was a monogrammed tie clip with our wedding date on the back. He got me a gold monogrammed necklace with my new initials that I wore at our reception. I also wore monogrammed gold Jack Rogers sandals with my new initials for the reception. Also, PEARLS! A Southern girl is never without her pearls. I gave my bridesmaids pearl earrings and necklaces and wore a beautiful family heirloom pearl ring for the ceremony.
I had always wanted to go dress shopping with just my mom and my best friend since childhood, Megan. A few weeks after the proposal, they drove down to Richmond to meet me on my day off and we went to Bella Rosa Bridal. I had seen a picture of a dress on Bella Rosa’s blog that was brand new to the store and asked to try it on. The first six or seven dresses that I tried on were all beautiful, but I knew I couldn’t make a decision until I tried the blog dress on. When I tried it on, I felt so beautiful. I absolutely loved the raw silk skirt and the illusion neckline, but it was so different from what I had pictured myself in–there was no lace! I felt torn, but when I looked at my mom and Megan’s faces, I knew that this was the one. The wonderful ladies at Bella Rosa were able to adapt the dress when I suggested we cut out the majority of the back and make it into a big wide “V” back. I also added a large bow with long, streaming ties. I have always wanted a bow on my wedding dress and knew it wouldn’t be complete without it! On the day of my wedding, I couldn’t wait to get into my beautiful dress. It was so perfectly me, and I had so much fun dancing the night away in my big skirt with the bow floating behind me!
Describe your wedding flowers. My mom is an incredible gardener and our lawn is always overflowing with beautiful blooms. She taught me a love of flowers from an early age, so choosing which flowers we wanted at the wedding was easy! I chose a loose, hand-tied bouquet in shades of ivory, soft peach, and blush with ranunculus, garden roses, parrot tulips, coral charm peonies, clematis, viburnum, and sweet peas, with lots of dusty miller and greenery. The sweet peas were especially important to me because my parents have been calling me “Sweet Pea” as a nickname since birth. I also wanted clematis because my mother has an incredible trellis of clematis at our family home, and I’ve always thought they were so simple and beautiful. All of the flowers for the bouquets were tied with ribbon streamers in champagne, ivory, and blush.
What I didn’t anticipate was how nervous I’d be on the wedding day! While getting my hair and makeup done, I was getting anxious and shaky about reading the vows we had written in front of so many people, and I really just wanted to see Glenn! The moment that he turned around and saw me in my dress for the first time is a moment I’ll never forget. Just holding his hand and giving him a kiss immediately calmed me and helped me relax and get excited for the rest of the evening. After that, it was smooth sailing!
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I first visited Veritas Winery when I was in undergrad at UVA. I fell in love with it instantly: the location at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the gorgeous draped ballroom, and (of course!) the amazing wine. After my first visit there, I jokingly told my parents that I was going to get married there someday! Over the years, my family has spent many afternoons wine tasting at Veritas. When Glenn and I first became friends, I took him on a trip to Charlottesville to visit wineries, and Veritas was our first stop. I remember thinking then how special Veritas will always be to me. After we got engaged and decided the wedding would be in Virginia wine country, we browsed a few different places, but Veritas was always in the back of my mind. When Glenn’s sister came to visit just two weeks after our engagement, we took her to Veritas and showed her the ballroom. She turned to us and said, “Why is there even any question? This place is just perfect for the two of you!” That really sealed the deal!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did, and it was tougher than I had expected! We didn’t consult each other on them at all, but we did compare word counts to make sure they were a similar length. When we sent them to our officiant, she replied, “Oh, you two are just too perfect for each other, just you wait!” Glenn and I know each other so well that we both included nearly the exact same things: we joked about teaching our kids to root for both the UVA Hoos and the UCLA Bruins, we talked about supporting each other through all of the adventures of life, and we promised to listen to each other and never take a simple “I love you” for granted, amongst many others. They were so perfect.
Glenn and I both envisioned a non-traditional, outdoor wedding ceremony. My dad has always been a music lover and we have spent countless hours in the car together jamming to our favorites: The Beatles and Queen. Glenn has always been an oldies fan and is a die-hard motown fan, so our wedding quickly developed a retro music vibe. My dad and I walked down the aisle to my favorite childhood song, “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. When the ceremony was over, Glenn and I recessed to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, one of our all-time favorites!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Too hard to choose! Maybe taking sunset photos with our vintage Packard car while our guests were at cocktail hour–it was so dreamy and romantic and private, and we loved it! Our other favorite detail was all of the table names and the guest book that Glenn drew by hand. We are big foodies, so we named our tables after our favorite restaurants in different cities across the U.S., and Glenn drew each restaurant’s logo by hand. He also made a huge canvas guest book with the states of Virginia and California on it, featuring pictures of our favorite places in each state. The guest book and our table numbers are now in our new home and we will cherish them forever!
Describe your dessert. Neither Glenn nor I are huge cake fans, and we wanted to find a way to bring some of Richmond, our home for the past four years, to Charlottesville. We decided to bring desserts from two of our favorite local Richmond vendors to Veritas. We served pies (apple, mixed berry streusel, coconut cream, and banoffee) from Proper Pie at the reception and gave out twelve varieties of the most delicious doughnuts you’ve ever had from Sugar Shack Donuts (a place we visit almost once a week!) as favors. We served them with to-go cups of coffee and waters for guests to take on the buses home, and they were a huge hit! We did want a small cake to do the ceremonial cutting with, so we got a delicious raspberry chai cake with buttercream icing.
Our first dance was to another oldie-but-goodie cover that we discovered on one of our very first dates: “Baby I’m Yours” by the Arctic Monkeys. We had an incredible reception band, The Dickens, and they played such an awesome variety–everything from motown to hip hop. The dance floor was packed until the lights went up at the end of the night and we sang UVA’s “Good Ole Song” and UCLA’s fight song a capella.
Big hugs to East West Productions for sharing this video from Stephanie + Glenn’s day!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Glenn and I met during our first year of medical school at the Medical College of Virginia. He was a quiet guy from Los Angeles and immediately befriended many of our other classmates from California, but as the first few weeks went by, our friend groups started meshing and hanging out quite a bit. Glenn and I started studying in the same study hall at school and spent countless late nights quizzing each other and giving each other pep talks. We became best friends first, and by the end of our first year of medical school, we were hanging out all the time, doing silly things like grocery shopping and watching movies together. It wasn’t until I brought Glenn to my parents’ house during the summer after first year that I realized how close we were. In fact, my mother took me aside and said, “You’re totally going to wind up with Glenn. I don’t know why you two aren’t together already. You’re just perfect for each other!” After that, I started realizing how much my feelings for Glenn were growing, but I had no idea how he felt. Finally, in January of our second year of medical school, Glenn leaned down and kissed me while we were dancing at our school’s annual Winter Ball. We’ve been inseparable ever since! We knew there would be a lot of obstacles in the way, especially the fact that we would have to go through a special match process called “couples matching” in the residency match at the end of medical school. Our entire fourth year of medical school was filled with anxiety as we waited until the end of March to find out if we would be starting our married life together or across the country from each other. When match day came, we received the best possible news: we would be staying in Virginia to complete our respective residencies! Two weeks later, we walked down the aisle to say “I do” on the most perfect day ever.
Tell us all about the proposal! I am always the one who likes to plan and ask questions, so I am generally very difficult to surprise. In his infinite genius, Glenn decided to let me do all the work and then hijack my plans. I had planned to do an early birthday dinner with all of my best girlfriends just a few days before my birthday, which he knew would be the perfect opportunity to have my closest friends and family all together. After dinner with my girlfriends, they surprised me by taking me to a wine bar instead of someone’s house for wine and dessert. When we got to the wine bar, we “learned” that it was closed because of a fire (my friends had already known this and used it as a diversion!). They insisted that we head to the very fancy French restaurant across the street instead. I balked, stating that it was too expensive, but they insisted. As we were walking into the restaurant, I joked to my friends, “Hey guys, wouldn’t it be so funny if Glenn showed up here with flowers and proposed?” Little did I know! The maitre d’ told us he only had one table in the private room at the very back. As I turned the corner, leading the pack of my friends, I saw my parents out of the corner of my eye and then my sweet Glenn. He got down on one knee in a room full of my closest friends and family and told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. In between tears and sniffles, I squeaked out an “of course” and we celebrated with champagne and dessert at a table lined with dozens of roses. It was absolutely perfect.
When did y’all get married? April 4, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 100
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was the most special. I’ve been dreaming of wearing my mother’s veil since I was a little girl. She made it by hand for her wedding 35 years ago and it’s so beautiful. We have pictures of me wearing her veil for dress-up when I was six years old, and when I went to try on dresses, I always had that veil in my mind. I couldn’t imagine walking down the aisle in anything else! My something blue was my maiden monogram label in the bodice of my dress. My something borrowed was a hankie from the 1920s that my Grammy gave to me. My something new was a vintage pearl ring and earrings that my mother gave me on the day of the wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We did a lot of DIY projects! Glenn is so artistic…I had no idea before we started wedding planning! He designed all of our table names, our guest book, and our wine cork monogram. We also had a lot of help from family. Even my 94-year-old grandmother spent two days tying ribbons on our programs and helping us stuff our welcome bags!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The wedding day will be over before you know it! Spend extra on the vendors who will help you preserve those memories forever, like a photographer and videographer.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We start our jobs as residents at the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System on July 1! Glenn will be an Orthopedic Surgeon and I will be an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. We bought our first house two weeks after our wedding, and have spent most of the month of June learning about the joys of home ownership: lots of painting and projects! We are also looking forward to taking our honeymoon together in the next year, if our busy intern schedules allow us! We are excited to start a family (and maybe get a dog!) when the time is right, and, of course, to grow in our love for each other!
Photographer: Rachel May Photography / Videographer: Caleb Lee of East West Productions / Planner: Allison Barnes Events / Venue, Caterer, and Lighting: Veritas Vineyard and Winery / Florist: Southern Blooms / Cake Baker: Hotcakes Bakery / Pies Baker: Proper Pie / Doughnuts: Sugar Shack / Band: The Dickens of Sam Hill Entertainment / Paper Products: Paper on the Avenue / Bride’s Gown: “12450” by Wtoo / Bridal Salon: Bella Rosa Bridal / Bride’s Hairpiece: Ayajewellery / Hair and Makeup: Jennifer Saunders MUA / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D660” in Palomino by Alfred Sung / Menswear: The Black Tux
Rachel May Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!
I love how even Lauren and Chad’s courtship is Southern! It started with a casual meeting through mutual friends, and their love developed over watching many college football games, which we know is a quite the feat for a couple with competing undergraduate alma maters! When it came time to plan their wedding, they knew that with the help of their planner, Laura from Ashton Events, they not only wanted to incorporate their love of the South (having grown up in Florida, Lauren wanted to include citrus!) and tradition, but also their college allegiances. While our own Nicole isn’t much of a college football fan (I know!!), I simply can’t let this wedding go by without mentioning how absolutely “her” it is!
Hats off to Sunglow Photography for sharing this sweetly colorful wedding with us!
P.S. You don’t want to miss their proposal story! It’s steeped with tradition, and actually gave me chills!
I was originally set on wearing my momma’s wedding dress. It is a beautiful dress with gorgeous scalloped details flowing into a long train, complete with lace sleeves and a sweetheart neckline–perfect for a Southern belle. After taking the dress to two different seamstresses though, I found out we wouldn’t be able to alter it to fit me while maintaining the original beauty of the dress. While in a bridal store with my momma’s dress, my sister eyed a tiered lace gown and begged me to try it on. Just to please her, I did, and fell in love. It was elegant and and classic–everything I wanted in a wedding dress. After making the decision to purchase the new gown instead of wearing my momma’s, the bridal salon’s seamstress made my cathedral veil using lace pieces from my momma’s dress.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I always wanted to be married in a church to represent God’s role in marriage. Westminster Presbyterian was a beautiful church that allowed my hometown pastor to officiate the ceremony. For the reception, we wanted a venue that encompassed everything we love about the South: wraparound porches, Spanish moss-filled oak trees, and hospitality. Rocking H Ranch was the perfect venue for us!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to not have a first look. Tradition was very important to both of us, and we wanted our reaction down the aisle to be very genuine and intimate. We will never forget the moment we caught each other’s eyes once the church doors opened. Chad was tearful, and I was so excited, I even jumped a bit! We were so happy we got to share that moment with our family and friends.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The escort card board. Our wedding planner, Laura of Ashton Events, painted a piece of scrap metal to look like an antique citrus label, personalized with our names and wedding date. The guests’ names were handwritten on magnolia leaves and displayed on the board. As names were removed and guests took their seats, this creative label was revealed. We now have the artwork displayed in our house, and is a great keepsake from the wedding we will always cherish.
I wanted my flowers to be classic and elegant. To be honest, I didn’t have any vision for the floral arrangements, but having grown up in Florida, I wanted to incorporate my passion for agriculture and highlight what we are known for: citrus. Our wedding planner and florist did an outstanding job taking my simple style and creating beautiful, Southern-inspired florals. The whites and greens were the perfect complement to the Florida oranges and tangerines! My favorite piece was the large magnolia leaf garland for the head table.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I have always valued the Southern etiquette and hospitality instilled in me by my momma and Nana. We wanted our family and friends to feel at home with us at the reception, so we decided to use vintage china plates for the food service. Additionally, we served our own version of sweet tea, “Mason Dixons,” during cocktail hour, which are made from sweet tea vodka and lemonade. You can’t be Southern and not love college sports, so of course, we had to incorporate our love for our teams! From the college-themed cornhole games, singing the school fight songs, and the groom’s cake, to leaving through a row of team-colored shakers, we definitely shared our love for college sports! The definition of Southern is tradition. We stayed true to our Southern heritage by keeping our ceremony and vows very traditional. Everyone knows it’s almost a sin to wear white or seersucker before Easter in the South, but I love seersucker, and wanted to find a way to incorporate it into the wedding. The groomsmen and Chad wore seersucker bow ties, the ushers wore seersucker ties, and the bridesmaid bouquet wraps were made from seersucker fabric. The magnolia leaves and citrus in our decor also represented everything I love about living in the South.
Y’all, there is a chandelier hanging from an oak tree! Be still my heart!
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We had both been living in College Station, Texas attending graduate school at Texas A&M for a year before our paths crossed. Thanks to mutual friends, we began hanging out during the summer of 2011. Right before fall classes started in August 2011, a group of our friends decided to take a trip to Gruene, Texas to float the river. Chad didn’t know it at the time, but I had developed a crush on him. That river trip marked the beginning of our courtship, and we went on our first date the Monday we returned to town. Over the next year and a half, our love developed over watching many football games (which is a big feat, considering we are both diehard fans of our undergraduate alma maters, Auburn University and Oklahoma State University), completing grad school, traveling, moving to Florida, and starting new careers.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was itching to visit friends in Texas, and decided to surprise my friend the weekend of her Aggie Ring Dunk in April 2013. Chad randomly decided to tag along. After arriving in College Station and patiently waiting for me to finish talking to friends, Chad, with the help of two friends, suggested a walk around the Texas A&M campus. I didn’t suspect anything unusual because my friend wanted to visit Scoates Hall, the old stopping grounds of our grad school department, which required us to pass Academic Plaza on the way. As we approached the plaza, my friend pretended to receive an “important” phone call from work. Chad kept walking, and before I could catch what was going on, Chad led me to the Century Tree. The Century Tree holds a special place in the hearts of Texas A&M Aggies because tradition says that if a couple walks under the branches of the tree, they will eventually marry. If the proposal takes place under the tree, the marriage will last a lifetime. Chad dropped to one knee and asked me to spend a lifetime with him, and of course, I said yes!
When did y’all get married? March 8, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 295
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Keeping with tradition, we recited traditional wedding vows. However, my favorite line was when our pastor asked Chad if he took me to be his wife, and he emphatically said, “Absolutely!”
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For the bridal entrance, I chose Pachelbel’s Canon in D. As a harpist, this song has always been my favorite to play for weddings, and I always knew it was what I wanted to walk down the aisle to. During the ceremony, my sister and cousin sang “Come Thou Fount” and “10,000 Reasons.” We wanted our ceremony to be a true worship service, and these songs signified how thankful we were for the blessings the Lord has placed in our lives and relationship. Our first dance was to “The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We both love to dance and have a good time, so we wanted our first dance to be fun! For the father/daughter dance, I surprised my daddy with “Tuesday’s Gone” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I grew up listening to classic Southern rock with my daddy, and Lynyrd Skynyrd is his favorite band. He loved it! Every time I hear a song by them, I immediately think of my daddy.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake matched the Southern, citrus-inspired decor of the wedding. I wanted the cake to be simple and elegant, and the hints of lace and magnolia flowers were perfect. For the groom’s cake, we incorporated Chad’s love for his alma maters. It was in the shape of of Oklahoma and Texas, decorated with Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University logos and colors.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was a handmade lace doily from Chad’s grandmother who was unable to travel to the wedding. My something blue was a blue and orange butterfly given to me by my granny. My something old was the lace on my veil from my momma’s wedding dress. My something new was the set of pearls I wore, which were given to me by both sets of my grandparents, as well as my dress. Also, a personal mentor of mine mailed me a sixpence when we were first engaged, so I wore it in my shoe for good luck!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge during the planning process was making decisions. This is where my wedding planner was a life saver! I tend to be an indecisive person, and Laura was able to provide options and help me narrow down my choices. I could completely trust her advice!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were able to save money by establishing our priorities at the very beginning of our planning process. Our priorities determined the percentage of our budget we spent on certain items, and we tried to stick to it.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Hands down, I was so grateful for our wedding planner, Laura Helm! She is the best problem-solver I know, and she made the entire planning process very easy and stress-free. It was reassuring to know we were working with someone who wanted to make sure we had the best experience on our wedding day that we could!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? After the ceremony, Chad and I drove by ourselves to the reception site about ten minutes away. With the convertible top down and the most beautiful blue sky we’ve seen, we had those few moments to ourselves to relish in starting our lives together. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. We’ve never felt so much joy and anticipation for the future.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Never forget the purpose of the wedding. Remind each other constantly of your love for one another, and of your future together. At the end of the day, when everything is said and done, you have each other and that’s all that matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are excited to establish our new family and traditions over the coming years. We can’t wait to see where life takes us and what God has planned!
Photographer: Sunglow Photography / Videographer: Indie Atlantic Films / Planner and Paper Products: Ashton Events / Ceremony Venue: Westminster Presbyterian Church / Reception Venue: Rocking H Ranch / Florist: Taylormade Wedding & Event Flowers / Wedding Cake: Hands on Sweets / Caterer: Puff ‘n Stuff Catering / Rentals: Premier Party Rentals / Lighting: Tampa Lights / DJ: DeLeon Entertainment / Linens: Kate Ryan Linens / Rentals: Dishie Rentals / Bride’s Gown: “Dari” by Rivini / Bridal Salon: Solutions Bridal Designer House / Bride’s Veil: Solutions Bridal Designer House / Hair Stylist: PhD Salon / Makeup Artist: Sarah Phillips Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Macy’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo / Men’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse / Bow Ties: The Belle and The Beau / Additional Vendors: Harrison School of the Arts String Quartet
Ashton Events is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!