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After their first meeting played out more like a classic teen movie than a romantic comedy, Danielle and Chris’ relationship matured and grew into something special over nine years of dating, and their wedding was a true reflection of just that. With the help of their wedding planner, Amy Kristina Weddings, and their family and friends, these two created a wedding that was filled with meaningful details for their guests, as well as for each other. Y’all, the photos that Sam Stroud captured of them opening their wedding day gifts makes my heart skip a beat–be sure to read the story behind Danielle’s gift to Chris–and bring a tissue!

Such happy smiles!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I searched for dresses throughout Virginia and North Carolina, but I was having trouble finding a dress with the unique look I was craving. A friend told me about a non-profit shop called Church Street Bridal in Lynchburg, Virginia that sells donated designer gowns from bridal boutiques in NYC. I decided to check it out on a whim one day while my sister was in town. As soon as we arrived, we were shocked at the selection of beautiful gowns! We immediately called my mom, and within an hour or so, I said “YES” to the dress!! All of the proceeds earned at Church Street Bridal go to the local YWCA of Central Virginia, whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women.

Our favorite detail of the day was the gift that I surprised Chris with before the ceremony. Sadly, Chris’ grandfather passed away eight months before our wedding. After that, Chris casually began searching for a vintage, Belgian-made Browning shotgun, like the one that his grandfather had willed to his father. With a little help from a couple of Chris’ friends and a few of our family members, I was able to track one down in Tennessee two weeks before the wedding. It was in perfect condition and I was so excited that I could barely keep the secret! When Chris opened his gift before the ceremony, he immediately knew the gun’s significance and was overcome with emotion. Luckily for me, I got to re-live this special moment when watching our wedding video!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! I borrowed my grandmother’s engagement ring to wear for the day and my something blue was a monogrammed patch that my mother-in-law made, which was sewn into my dress. An old cameo that belonged to my great-grandmother was pinned to my bouquet, and my Kate Spade shoes were brand new!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose phrases we wanted to recite in our vows to each other. My favorite was “to value your opinions and grow with you.” Relationships inevitably evolve over time, and your willingness to grow with each other is crucial to the success of any marriage.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was one of the most meaningful moments of the night. We danced to “Hungry for Your Love,” originally by Van Morrison, but Chris and I love the mandolin-filled Sam Bush version. We had a local bluegrass band play for our ceremony and cocktail hour, and they also agreed to learn and play our first dance song. One of my favorite verses from the song states “You’re part of me now,” which I had engraved in Chris’ wedding band along with our wedding date.

During cocktail hour, our guests sipped moonshine out of monogrammed mason jars, sampled mini chicken n’ waffle hors d’oeuvres, and enjoyed a live bluegrass band, all while sitting on grandma’s antique furniture. Does it get any more Southern than that?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It was your classic teen movie plot: I was a freshman in high school and he was the senior I had a major crush on. On my way to class one day, I tripped and dropped my books in the stairwell. Luckily (or unfortunately), my handsome knight in shining armor was there to help me up and retrieve my books. I was mortified! He didn’t even know my name. A few years later, we were formally introduced by mutual friends and sparks flew immediately. Funny how things work out! After nine years of dating, we finally decided to tie the knot.
Tell us all about the proposal! Last June, we planned an adventurous road trip tour of California. We visited San Francisco, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks, destinations along Route 1, and Napa Valley. Four days into our vacation, after a long day of hiking and a beautiful sunset, Chris dropped down to one knee at the Tunnel View overlook in Yosemite and asked me to marry him. The next night, we celebrated in Carmel with delicious cocktails and an amazing dinner, while watching the the sun set over the Pacific. It was most definitely a trip we will never forget!
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have been in love with our venue for years! Chris and I are both from the Roanoke, Virginia area and wanted our wedding to be close to home. Sundara had unbeatable mountain views and the perfect amount of Southern charm.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Homemade cakes and other delicious desserts are key to the conclusion of any great Southern meal. Many of our family members are known for their baking skills, so we saw this as the perfect opportunity to save money and add a bit of Southern swag to the dessert table. We served an assortment of homemade cakes, including strawberry, coconut, lemon pound cake, and cheesecake. We also had my personal favorite, pink cake pops dusted with edible gold glitter! All of the desserts were arranged on top of a vintage buffet that Chris and I painted mint and gold to match our wedding colors.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One of my bridesmaids is a whiz at marketing and design. Luckily for me, she offered to design all of our wedding stationery! She created a custom monogram logo that we used to brand every single detail of our wedding–it was featured on everything from our programs to cornhole boards Chris made.

Photographer: Sam Stroud Photography / Videographer: Michael’s Videography / Planner: Amy McArthur of Amy Kristina Weddings / Venue: Sundara / Florist: Gloriosa / Caterer: Blue Ridge Catering / Band: Blue Moonshine / DJ: RSP Entertainment / Bride’s Gown: Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Paper Products: Richelle Holland / Bridal Salon and Veil: Church Street Bridal / Hair and Makeup: Les Cheveux Salon and Day Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Newbury Long” by Joanna August / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Leann reply

    Yay Sam! Congrats on the feature.

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Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up

by in Main on

It feels like December has been a big ol’ blur of excitement around the SW office! We’re still tickled pink about our beautiful new site and our posts on Southern Living’s The Daily South, and as some of you found out yesterday in your mailboxes, our 24-page section in the January issue of Southern Living! If you weren’t one of the demographically-selected subscribers, never fear–check out this post for all the information you need to download the insert online. We hope you love it as much as we do!

We have a beautiful engagement session by Cassidy Brooke Photography on our Facebook page today! Isn’t this couple the cutest? See it here.

This year’s Gingerbread Barn Building Competition was fierce, festive, and so much fun! It was my first time at the competition, and I must say, I was thoroughly impressed with both the creativity of the SW readers and Emily and Nicole’s sports commentating skills. See the full recap (and winner!) here!

The V6 launch party was a huge highlight of the year for us! If you couldn’t make it to Chapel Hill to celebrate (we missed you!), you can catch up on all the sparkly details, delicious Southern food, and sweet moments in our recap post.

All of our 12 Days of Christmas giveaways are officially underway, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the lineup! You have until Christmas to enter, and winners will be selected after the holidays.

Day 1: Dixieland Monogram
Day 2: Z Create Design
Day 3: Oatmeal Lace
Day 4: One Love Organics
Day 5: Ashley Brooke Designs
Day 6: Furbish Studio
Day 7: Laurel Creek Wreaths
Day 8: Plum Pretty Sugar
Day 9: BHLDN
Day 10: Davie & Chiyo
Day 11: Lilly Pulitzer
Day 12: Chaviano Couture

Hooray for real weddings!

Katie and Will’s gorgeous New Orleans Christmas wedding sent Marissa and I into a flurry of email exchanges about how much we adore every detail. Don’t miss the precious story of Katie’s something old, new, borrowed, and blue! See it here.

Claire and Matthew put an elegant spin on their intimate beach wedding, and the results were stunning! We love their sweet most memorable moments. See it here.

Enjoy the weekend! What Christmas preparations are y’all up to?

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up

by in Main on

Happy Friday, belles! Can y’all believe Christmas is less than two weeks away? In the hustle and bustle of the season, we hope you’re also spending lots of time with family and friends, and enjoying all of your favorite holiday traditions. Anyone have any fun Southern holiday traditions? We’d love to hear them!

If you’re looking for last minute gift inspiration, look no further than the V6 Southern Surcees feature we shared this week! We loved finding so many fun products, and we’re giving away twelve of them, so don’t miss the post here!

As well as giving away some surcees, the 12 Days of Christmas giveaways continued this week! We still have a couple more up our sleeves, but in the meantime, don’t forget to enter before Christmas. We’ll announce the lucky winners after the holidays.

Day 1: Dixieland Monogram
Day 2: Z Create Design
Day 3: Oatmeal Lace
Day 4: One Love Organics
Day 6: Ashley Brooke Designs
Day 7: Furbish Studio
Day 8: Laurel Creek Wreaths
Day 9: Plum Pretty Sugar

We love real weddings!

We can’t imagine a prettier way to get in the Christmas spirit than admiring Sally and Steven’s gorgeous Alabama Christmas wedding. See it here.

Brooklynne and Michael brought all of their favorite things about the South to Canada for their sweet wedding. See it here.

It was love at first sight when Jenna and Cole met, and it was love at first sight for us when we saw their fall farm wedding! See it here.

Last but not least!

We’re so grateful for all of your support and excitement regarding our big announcement last week! Find this week’s post on Southern Living’s The Daily South here.

We have a lovely engagement session by our friend Faith Teasley on our Facebook page today, so be sure to stop by and take a look!

It’s so much fun seeing weddings from our sweet Southern Brides of the Month–congratulations, Jordan and Steele! See Jordan’s interview here and more pictures (by Paul Johnson) from their wedding here.

December 17 at midnight is the deadline for Southern Weddings Shop orders delivery by Christmas! Don’t miss our adorable holiday products especially.

If you’re participating in our ornament swap, don’t forget to send out your ornaments today!

Have a merry weekend!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Caitlyn reply

    I am just slightly obsessed with her Vera Wang dress in the first picture- gorgeous with southern charm :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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