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One of the more beautiful things about the South right now is that you don’t have to be born here to fit right in with our culture. (In fact, I’m actually a Southerner by choice, not birth!) Southern brides can pick and choose from the best the world has to offer while planning their weddings, combining details from here and there to find the mix that best represents them AND the grace and warmth of our part of the country.

One of my favorite examples? Bridal gown designers! Fashion houses around the world are keying into details that gals like us are drawn to — heirloom lace, fabulous bows, sweet rows of buttons — meaning sometimes the most Southern look can be sourced from halfway around the globe.

Rosa Clará is one such designer I think all Southern brides should know about. I’m always drawn to their sleek shapes, classic styling, and yes, perfectly-placed bows, and I think y’all will be, too!

Today’s bride, Skye, is a perfect example! Though her wedding took place in California, her Rosa Clará gown’s sweet neckline, dainty beading, and breezy material would have worked equally well in the South.

You can view all of Rosa Clará’s lovely gowns on their site, and by visiting a salon near you. Don’t miss the Nassau, Namibia, Neida, Neira, Niher, Neiva, or Nazar dresses from their Spring 2017 collection as you browse! Seriously though, too many favorites :)

I’d love to hear: what was Southern about your wedding gown? I think my gown’s tulle skirt was very feminine, which I think is an attribute many Southern gals claim (though of course each in her own way!).

This post is brought to you by Rosa Clará. Thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Mary Kay reply

    My gown was from Rosa Clara. I loved the luminous silk and classic elegance. They also customized the gown for me, putting a giant bow on the back!

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For Maggie and Jim, Charleston was the perfect place to celebrate yet another milestone in their story. Not only did they fall in love in the Holy City, they also felt that it embodied all of the qualities of the South that they hoped to share with their guests. With the help of their planner, Blue Ribbon Vendor A Charleston Bride, Maggie and Jim planned an elegant day that was filled with classic white florals and beautiful, neutral details that somehow made the Gadsden House even more lovely than it already is!

Big SW hugs to Ashley Seawell for sending along this chic, Southern day!

I found my dress after a 14-hour work day with one of my closest friends, totally on a whim. My dress ended up being the first one I tried on. After trying on about 50 more dresses over the next month or so, I went back and bought the first one. I loved how different it was.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A Charleston Bride. Without their patience and knowledge of all things wedding, we would have been so lost. My planner (Lindsey) and the ladies of A Charleston Bride are worth their weight in gold! I did not have to worry about a thing the day of the wedding.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was a pocket bible that has been passed down in my family at each wedding ceremony for 100 years. My something borrowed was a diamond tennis bracelet my father had given to my mother, and my something new was a gold bracelet my mother-in-law gave me while getting ready for the wedding. My something blue was an undergarment!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Carrying my grandmother’s bible. My grandmother is 103 years old and was unable to make the trip to Charleston for the wedding. Carrying the Bible that she carried and that my mother carried meant the world to me.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We had originally planned to do a first look, but decided about one month before the wedding not to do one. It seemed so special to have the first time my husband saw me on our wedding day be when I walked down the aisle to meet him.

Charleston, South Carolina has a lot of meaning to both of us. Charleston is where we dated and where we fell in love. It has all of the qualities that embody the South. It is about great food and drinks, and beautiful, kind people. We tried to pull little pieces of the South into all aspects of our wedding.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t worry about the small stuff. It does not matter if you get the perfect napkins or fabric, or even the perfect dress. The only thing that matters is that you have your closest friends and family there to celebrate the best day of your life with you. Because your wedding day is just that…the BEST day of your life.

Our wedding cake was my favorite part of the whole wedding (aside from winning the best groom). We had a local bakery make a three-tier wedding cake with three different flavors. The first layer was a coconut cake, the second was strawberry with fresh strawberries in the filling, and the top tier was pistachio. It was the best tasting wedding cake I have had, and you could really feel the baker’s passion for baking.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jim and I met at a friend’s beach house on New Year’s Eve. I was newly single and in medical school, and Jim was in law school about two hours away. I decided that there was no better way to start a new year fresh than to spend New Year’s with a fun group of people I had never met. They had all known each other for years and I felt slightly awkward and out of place…until I met Jim. Jim is the kind of guy who makes everyone feel at home, and the sparks started flying almost immediately. We spent the remainder of the night stargazing on the dock over the creek.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was living in Dallas doing an OB/GYN residency and Jim was living in Columbia for medical school (yes, you read that correctly, he went to both). Seeing each other could be quite difficult with two very demanding schedules. One weekend in January when Jim came out to Dallas to visit, he brought a diamond along with him! I had planned a big dinner with a group of residents and friends at a great Mexican restaurant, and Jim was supposed to get in around 8. While waiting for the plane to leave, the conveyor belt ran into the gas tank on Jim’s plane and everyone was asked to evacuate. Jim was told there were no more flights out for the night and that his only option was to be put in a cab to catch a flight out of a nearby city (100 miles away). Jim got in a cab with two strangers and rode to Charlotte, North Carolina–he was a man on a mission! He ultimately got into Dallas around midnight, long after dinner was over. Jim casually said, “Let’s go up on the roof and have a drink and take the puppy.” We tried to go on the roof, but it was locked because it was after midnight. Instead, we decided to take the dog on a walk. I was in yoga pants and bedroom slippers when Jim got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I immediately started crying and dropped the dog’s leash in my excitement, and she took off running down the street! After I got myself together and said YES, we went and found the puppy sitting patiently outside of the dog park gate. It was the most special proposal for us.
When did y’all get married? May 21, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I grew up in South Carolina eating boiled peanuts like they were an entrée! We had several little buckets of boiled peanuts on the bar top. We also had several Southern touches on our menu. Cru Catering does a perfect job of making special little Southern dishes. We had little ham biscuits and pimento cheese spreads, as well as fried oysters served on a seashell.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently living apart finishing up our training. We look forward to being able to travel as a couple, and eventually settle down in the South to grow some roots and start a family.

Photographer: Ashley Seawell Photography | Planner: Lindsey Shanks of A Charleston Bride | Ceremony Venue: French Huguenot Church of Charleston | Reception Venue: Gadsden House | Florist: Charleston Stems | Wedding Cake: Twenty Six Divine | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Events | Lighting: IES Productions | DJ: Natty Heavy | Paper Products: Sweet Magnolia Paper | Bride’s Gown: Rosa Clara | Bride’s Jewelry: Maddison Row | Hair Stylist: Lindsey of Blushing Brides | Makeup Artist: Megan Grant via Bobbi Brown | Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Natalie Deayala | Men’s Attire: Berlin’s

A Charleston Bride is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and Rosa Clara is a wonderful Southern Weddings sponsor!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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When it comes to weddings, and many other things for that matter, I’m a firm believer that simple is often best. A few carefully chosen, purposeful, beautiful details that can stand on their own without being cluttered by too much “stuff” can have such an impact, and more importantly, this approach leaves guests the mental space to focus on you and your new husband, rather than be distracted as they try to take in countless activities and displays. Lauren and Jeremiah are a perfect example of this lovely restraint–they selected a naturally beautiful venue, accented it with a few meaningful touches (the lily of the valley bouquet Jeremiah had sent to Lauren’s bridal suite, and the strawberry shortcake they cut into that nodded to Lauren’s childhood tradition, to name a few), and focused on enjoying their day with their many out-of-town guests. I can only imagine what beautiful memories they have of the time they got to spend with the ones they love on their wedding day!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was looking for a combination of delicate, classic, bohemian, and breezy. The designer Rosa Clara really unified these aspirations and included the subtlest hint of sexy. Miraculously, during a weekend off, there was a Rosa Clara trunk show in Raleigh! I was completely enamored with the second dress I tried on. My mother and sisters live in Michigan, so we had to resort to FaceTime for their approval–which was unanimous.

We chose to do a first look because we wanted to maximize our time spent with out-of-town guests. Many of our family and friends traveled from the Northeast and Midwest to North Carolina to celebrate our wedding. It was the perfect choice for us–I do not believe I could have waited until the evening to kiss him!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had both our ceremony and reception at the spectacular Merrimon-Wynne house. It was important to us to provide our guests with an easy experience, due to the fact that many had traveled to share the weekend with us. I looked at a number of places and none could compare with the elegance and glamour of Merrimon-Wynne. The clincher was the insanely gorgeous bridal suites (yes, there are two!), where we primped and preened all morning.

There was beautiful sunny and breezy weather throughout our wedding day, until the moment I walked down the aisle. When our reverend began speaking, the skies opened up and poured rain! The wedding party scurried inside and we completed the marriage ceremony in a cozy, ornate hallway, surrounded by our loved ones who were spilling into rooms and peering around staircases. The intimacy of the ceremony reinforced that marriage is ultimately about love and family.

Describe your wedding flowers. We chose a miscellany of shades of green and white. The flowers were free-flowing and loose, with ample herbs incorporated. My mother and I purchased a variety of mercury glass vessels and used them to make the centerpieces. Jeremiah has a green thumb and filled the vases with potted sage and lavender. He also gifted a lily of the valley (my childhood favorite flower) bouquet to the bridal suite, which perfectly matched our color scheme.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jeremiah’s siblings are incredibly talented musicians and vocalists, and they kindly performed a song by Kishi Bashi called “Q&A” during our ceremony. The song reads like poetry and lent itself well to an acoustic performance. Our first dance was to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet. The movie “Once” was the first movie for which I stayed awake for the entirety of the film, so it had some playful meaning, and Jeremiah thought the tempo lent itself well to a foxtrot.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first crossed paths during my Tufts Medical School years while Jeremiah was completing his residency program in Otolaryngology. There was a definite attraction, but we were very work-oriented during those years! Our romance (inconveniently) began when I moved to North Carolina to start my own surgical training. After one whirlwind and surreal travel weekend, we both knew there was something special between us that was worth the effort and occasional pain of long distance.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremiah and I had a standing Friday night champagne date to treat ourselves after travel. The evening started like most others–he had to work late, so I fell asleep on his couch. We were casually enjoying our bubbles on the couch when he completely surprised me by bending down on one knee and promising to make my smile his lifelong goal. After I tearfully and happily agreed, he whisked me off to a romantic French dinner in Cambridge, followed by a romantic getaway weekend at a cabin in Maine. The weekend was complete with skis, lobsters, and rare sunny Maine snow!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
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 crafted our entire ceremony with Reverend Renteria. It was an enjoyable experience to pick and choose the different aspects of the ceremony together. Our mutual favorite phrase was a playful and all-encompassing quote from George Bernard Shaw: “You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallion fellow vagabond, my tempter and star.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My family has a long-standing tradition of enjoying strawberry shortcakes on summer evenings, and since strawberries are in season in May, we opted for strawberry shortcakes with lemon cream and thyme. To simplify our lives, Posh Nosh Catering created the dessert as well as our dinner.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! I did a lot of wedding planning in the early morning hours between consults and responded to emails between surgical cases. It was a nightmare to schedule my dress fittings during regular work hours!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to make the experience as playful as possible, because it can easily become very stressful. I accomplished this by convincing my fiancé to walk in the woods or head to a brewery so we could discuss wedding details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I need to finish my residency and Jeremiah is starting a new job, then we can finally embark on a more “normal” life together. We are running a marathon and share a mutual enjoyment of hiking and adventuring.

Photographer: Perry Vaile / Venue and Planning: The Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Watered Garden / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Posh Nosh Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Band: The Reckless Brothers / Bride’s Gown: “Ubeda” by Rosa Clara / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar / Makeup Artist: Thuy Larker / Bride’s Shoes: “Landmark Metallic Strappy Heel” by Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Officiant: Reverend Robin Renteria

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Julie reply

    Hi! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous! My daughter purchased the same dress and is getting married in June! I am a seamstress and trying to figure out how to bustle it. Can you send me a picture of the back bustled up.? I see it from the side and it looks beautiful! Thanks!!! Julie

  2. avatar scott reply

    What a lovely spot to get married, Under the tree out the back! Nice photography too.

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