Southern Weddings

Tag: rustic wedding

What I love most about Sarah and Sean’s wedding is that it gets right to the heart of what a wedding is really about: marrying the person you love and celebrating with your family and friends. These two care about their community in a big way–so much so that their loved ones inspired practically every detail! From the daffodils Sarah chose (and arranged with her bridesmaids) in honor of her grandmother, to the way they spent the wedding morning (in church together with their bridal party), everything from Sarah and Sean’s wedding decor to their timeline was centered around the people they love most. I’m not too surprised to hear that as they focused on blessing their community, their community, in turn, blessed them–don’t miss the story of Sarah’s wedding dress below!

Many thanks to Michelle Boyd for sending this special day our way for Southern Weddings V9!

My bridesmaids wore long skirts the color of daffodils. I wanted each girl to be able to showcase her unique personality, so I left the top up to her! One of my favorite memories from the wedding was making bouquets with my bridesmaids. I ordered flowers wholesale from the Austin Flower Market. Then, with rainbows of flowers piled before us, we made our bouquets together. I chose daffodils because my grandmother and namesake, Sara, loved yellow daffodils.

Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Why did you choose these things? Did any of these details hold special meaning for you as a couple? Sean and I got married at Brison Park, a city park tucked away in a sleepy neighborhood, under the Grandmother Tree where Sean had proposed. During the golden hour, under an arbor built by my family, and surrounded by our people, we said yes to forever.

Because our relationship was so marked by our community, we wanted our wedding to be as well. As I walked in, all of our wedding guests sang. Our ceremony was in the round, our bridal party was big, and our friends played music and sang and read verses from the Bible.

What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? All of our bridal party and family members gathered around us and prayed for our marriage and future life together. I’ll never forget standing there in that moment–under God, under the Grandmother Tree, under the arbor, and under the love and prayers of our friends and family.

Did you try anything new or nontraditional? We thought it would be fun to make our exit by running through the field behind our ceremony. So after we had been pronounced husband and wife, our bridal party parted and we darted through the opening and away toward the tree-line.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Our wedding was overflowing with friends. I know one wouldn’t usually describe a design inspiration as community, but there’s no other way to put it. Every inch of the wedding–from the bouquets the bridesmaids put together, to the arbor built by the family, down to the wedding band that had been my grandmother’s–was influenced by our community. There would have been no wedding without our community gathering around us to make it possible, and it was oh so sweet!

As Sean and I planned the reception, we just kept thinking, we get to throw a big party for our best friends! Instead of stressing about every detail, we tried (key word, try) to plan the best party we could to bless our community. We ate a fabulous farm-to-table dinner around long wooden tables that snaked through the woods, strung with candles and lights. We danced into the night in an old barn lit with lanterns.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at Dallas Theological Seminary in Houston on the first day of our first week-intensive class. By the end of the week, we decided to date, despite living in different states. By the end of the month, we had decided to get married.
Describe the proposal: On a hot day in August, Sean moved from Nashville to College Station. He had always said that our first date living in the same city would be a bike ride. Before his car tires were cool, he jumped on his fixie and I on my ten-speed, and we raced off to buy a Coke. We biked to my favorite park, Brison (where we got married!), and sat under the Grandmother Tree. The tree is thus named because she is stately, beautiful, and very old. No doubt, she’s watched countless young Aggies fall in love under her branches. Sean picked me up and sat me on a drooping branch. He then said some wonderful things that neither of us can remember, and then asked me to be his wife. I said yes twice! We stayed at the park an hour or two more, just laughing and talking and praying and dreaming, before we told anyone. Those few hours of keeping our special news to ourselves were priceless.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? About once a week for the months leading up to our wedding, Sean and I had meaningful discussions on all matter of topics, from sex to finances, with our mentor couple and dear friends from church, the DeVores.
How many guests attended your wedding? 200
Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: My house where I lived with my roommates was just around the corner and a few blocks down from Brison Park, so all of the girls got ready together at the house, and then, gathering our skirts and bouquets, we walked down the road to the park.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? After finding the dress of my dreams at a consignment shop in Austin, but being unsure that I could afford it, I was told that my dress and all accessories had been anonymously paid for hours earlier. I’ll always remember that as an incredible gift from God to me.
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? Since Sean and I got married on a Sunday, we wanted to spend the morning at church with our bridal party. That was one of my sweetest memories.
Tell us about your grand exit. Sean’s uncle shot off a cannon (which scared most of us) at the end of the Aggie War Hymn. Through a tunnel of sparklers, Sean and I ran to his beat-up Toyota Corolla that was filled with balloons.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? In all of the planning, with all of the decisions and deposits, don’t forget what the day is about: the person you love, surrounded by the people you love.

Photographer: Michelle Boyd Photography | Videographers: Michael and Alyssa Meyerdirk | Ceremony Venue: Brison Park | Reception Venue and Caterer: Ronin Cooking | Florals and Bride’s Flower Crown: Sweet Magnolia Floral Studio | Dessert Baker: 1541 Pastries and Coffee | Bridal Salon: Second Summer Bride | Bride’s Earrings: Francesca’s | Bridesmaid Skirts: Morning Lavender | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Tara at Head Shoppe | Groom’s Fashion: Jos. A. Bank and Levi’s

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

    Dying over this bride/color scheme. Everything is dreamy!

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The SW ladies are big fans of Southern traditions, and we love hearing how real couples incorporate them into their big day! Liz and Scott buried a bottle of bourbon before their ceremony to keep the rain away, but the weather had a different plan! When they had to use a tent her outdoor ceremony at the last minute, Liz’s mother and her friends were able to turn the rain plan into a work of art using trees, plants and flowers from her parents’ mountain home. It may not have been part of the original plan, but I think we can all agree when you scroll down that it was the perfect backdrop for Liz and Scott’s “I Do’s.”

No amount of flowers, however, could take away from how effortlessly beautiful Liz looked in her lace applique gown and matching veil. Liz, not only were you a beautiful bride, but you were a beautiful birthday girl as well!

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Julia Wade for sharing this sweet day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met freshman year of college at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, eleven years before we would finally become girlfriend and boyfriend. During our freshman year, we grew to be great friends and were frequently each other’s date to events like cocktails and formals, but we never formally “dated.” We remained friends through college and afterwards, and there was always a lingering “what if” question. When Scott graduated from business school, he moved to NYC, where I was living. After more than a handful of fateful run-ins on the street, subway platforms, etc…we decided to grab a drink together. We’ve been inseparable since then!
Tell us all about the proposal! After work on Thursday, August 20, we went for a bike ride on the West Side Highway in New York. We decided to take a break at one of the piers; it was there that Scott pulled out the ring and started to propose, only to be interrupted by an unaware lady who was cleaning the area! With headphones in and music blaring, she had no idea that she had just interrupted him mid-proposal. When she finally walked away, we burst out laughing and he finished asking. It was a perfect New York moment.
When did y’all get married? May 21, 2016 (my birthday!)
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 260
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I searched high and low for a wedding dress in New York, but unfortunately, never found anything. My sister, who lives in Oregon, was also engaged at the time, so my mom and I flew out to Portland to spend a weekend wedding planning and dress shopping with her. At her first appointment, she found her dress, so she encouraged me to use the remaining time at her appointment to look for mine. I ended up finding the one there as well! It was a pretty surreal experience to be standing in a store in Portland next to my sister in our future wedding dresses!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. We wanted the first moment we saw each other to be captured in front of our friends and family at the ceremony.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We knew we wanted to get married in North Carolina and loved the idea of getting married at a place filled with activities for our guests, so the mountains were a natural fit. People enjoyed golf, hiking, fishing, etc. throughout the weekend. It also helped that my parents have a home at Grandfather Mountain and Scott grew up only a few hours away in Charlotte.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two readings at the wedding. The first, Song of Solomon 2:10-13, was from the Bible and was read by one of my oldest childhood friends, Tim Rees. The second was a poem called “Wedding Song” by John G. C. Brainard–we found it in a wedding book that was given to the my maternal great-grandmother on her wedding day in 1915–101 years earlier!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Scott’s a music lover, so we spent a lot of time thinking about the music for our wedding. We wanted to keep things pretty classic and traditional, but we did spice things up a little bit too. Our recessional was to Paul McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed.” We wanted our first dance to be romantic and slow, as well as something that our band could knock out of the park, so we picked Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s “Dream a Little Dream.” It was perfect with our big band full of horns! My favorite, though, may have been the father/daughter dance. My dad and I love to dance together and wanted to do something fun, so we danced to the Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy”–it was a total hit. The crowd loved it, and we were smiling and laughing and catching our breath from the fast pace!
Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were gorgeous! My mother is a fantastic gardener with an encyclopedic knowledge of plants and flowers, so I really leaned on her to help! We wanted them to be a little whimsical and natural, and not too polished. We used a mix of white peonies, ivory garden roses, green and white parrot tulips, berries, delphinium, anemone, thistle, and even lavender. Our ceremony was supposed to be outside, but due to weather, we had to use a tent. Luckily, with the help of my mom and her friends, we were able to turn a traditional, last-minute white tent into a thing of beauty. My parents were just about to re-landscape their entire yard at their mountain house, so we used the trees, plants, and flowers they had intended to use as decor. We had FULL trees and rhododendron plants inside the tent! It was gorgeous and so special to know that their yard is now filled with the plants that were used to decorate our ceremony. The rose petals used by the flower girl and thrown by friends and family during the recessional were all collected from my mother’s garden in Chapel Hill.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We ended up having three cake options! Our wedding cake was chocolate with a buttercream frosting. Our second cake was a funfetti birthday cake with sparkler candles for me! The third option was carrot cake pops.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I was able to knock out my borrowed, blue, and old in one go. My godmother lent me a family ring that has been in her family for generations. It’s a beautiful art deco sapphire and diamond cocktail ring. My shoes, dress, and everything else were new!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We buried a bottle of bourbon about six months before our wedding. I can’t believe we were actually able to find it on our wedding day, but it definitely worked! The weather report was calling for five inches of rain, but we only experienced a few little showers in the morning, with gorgeous sunshine the rest of the afternoon and evening.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved all of our vendors. We used local vendors for absolutely everything, from cake, to flowers, to catering, to makeup and hair. I loved supporting the people in the town where we were married. Besides, locals know best! My favorite vendor was P.S. Plum Social, which is owned and operated by Clarence Mills. She created all of our paper goods, from invites to menu cards, ceremony programs, our wedding logo, our welcome packets, and much, much more. She hand-paints everything and does incredible custom designs!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our ceremony. We spent a lot of time planning the actual ceremony and it was beyond what I could ever have imagined.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Relax and don’t regret or second guess the decisions you make. It will be beautiful no matter what!

Photographer: Julia Wade Photography | Planner: Events by Elizabeth Ashley | Venue and Caterer: Camp Yonahnoka at the Eseeola Lodge | Florist: Callista Designs | Wedding Cake: Christina Banner Cakes | Band: Big Blast and the Party Masters via East Coast Entertainment | Special Details: The British Taxi | Paper Products: P.S. Plum Social | Bride’s Gown: Liancarlo | Hair and Makeup: Beautiful Bride on Location | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew | Groom’s Attire: Freemans Sporting Club

Julia Wade and East Coast Entertainment are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
1 Comment
  1. avatar Liz & Scott's Eeseola Lodge Wedding – Julia Wade Photography reply

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After a long bout of warm weather for the season, we’re kicking off December by stocking the SW office with tea and hot cocoa and turning up the holiday music! In that vein, I can’t think of a more perfect wedding to share with you today than Peyton and Tyler’s beautiful day. The combination of Peyton’s long lace sleeves, the deep red of her bridesmaid dresses, and the natural backdrop of RT Lodge all add to the cozy feeling. While it was a hard decision, opting for a smaller guest list allowed the two of them to spend more time focusing on celebrating with the most important people in their lives, and I must say, it certainly made their whole day feel a bit more special! Huge SW thanks to Finch Photography for sharing Peyton and Tyler’s beautiful day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! I grew up in Maryville and one of my favorite things about my hometown is the Foothills Fall Festival. Knowing how much I love going to the concerts at the festival, Tyler came up with a plan to propose there. Finally, it was the day of the proposal and everything was in place. Tyler’s parents and my grandmother had come into town for the big event. Both families and some friends all piled into the car and went to church together before heading to the festival. I was very concerned that Tyler was sick or something because his hands were extremely sweaty, which quickly became a funny joke to all of those in the know! Once at the festival, I was so excited by all the booths, crafts, and food that it was nearly impossible to get me to go to our seats for the afternoon concert. In between concerts, an announcer came off the stage and started talking to different people in the audience. Tyler and I (just so happened…) to have seats next to the aisle and in the front. The announcer started talking to us, and then, he asked us to look up on the screen. There was a note written by me when I was little about how I had had the best time at the fall festival. Tyler then got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. I already knew that Tyler was the one, but when he proposed, I was so surprised that I didn’t answer and simply stared at him! The announcer reminded me to think long and hard about the decision, and I finally said yes!

I had a pretty good idea of what my dream dress would look like–I wanted long lace sleeves (a winter wedding must!), an A-line shape (my most flattering look), and I wanted it to make me feel like a princess. I actually found the perfect dress on Pinterest and then went dress shopping to find something similar, but, of course, had no luck. Then I happily realized that the dress I had pinned was from Alfred Angelo, and that they had a store nearby. I put on the dress, everyone cried, and I bought it! I absolutely loved my wedding dress–it really was my dream dress!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The guest list. Choosing who should be on the guest list and making cuts were the hardest parts. We wanted to include everyone we know and love, but it is just unrealistic with venue sizes and costs. We ended up having to invite only family and lifelong family friends. Also, we opted to have an adults-only wedding (minus children who had to travel with parents from out-of-town or that were in the wedding, for whom we offered child care during the reception). The guest list was difficult to make, but in the end, we felt like we had the people who meant the most to us there to share in our special day.

We did a first look. I was against the idea at first, based on tradition, but our wedding was at 4 P.M. and I was worried about getting pictures done with enough lighting after the ceremony. I am really glad that we did this! By the time the wedding day came, I was so anxious to see Tyler that I was glad it was before the ceremony so we could actually have a moment to see each other and talk. Tyler was so overjoyed and excited to see me in my dress that he stared to tear up the moment he saw me.

Tyler and I decided to write our own vows so that they would be promises from our own hearts. It was amazing how in-sync our vows ended up being, since neither of us heard or saw the other’s before the ceremony. My favorite part was that we both promised to keep Christ in the center of our relationship, and that no matter what, we were in this adventure together. During the ceremony, Tyler was incredibly sentimental and emotional during his vows, while I could not contain my joy and smiles as I made my promises. This was such a reflection of each of us and made the moment even more perfect.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had both our wedding ceremony and reception at RT Lodge. This was the perfect location for us for so many different reasons. 1. I actually live less than two minutes from the venue. This was nice because it was so familiar to me! Growing up, my family used to take walks through the Maryville College woods past RT Lodge. Also, in the event that anything was left at home (which some things were!), it was easy for someone to go and grab whatever we needed. 2. The feel of the Lodge. There is something elegant, yet manly about the lodge, which fit both of us really well. Especially getting married in the winter, the lodge just fit the feel we were going for.

I was completely obsessed with my wedding flowers. My bridal bouquet was beautiful, made with lush, neutral blooms. My flower girls and maid of honor had some amazing flower pieces in their hair. We had logs covered with candles and flower petals leading down the aisle to our arch, which was adorned with flowers. At our reception, we had centerpieces that included deer antlers, which really was cool with the lodge atmosphere. Our flowers had a vintage, natural elegance feel that really captured the look we were wanting.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Since our last name is Camera, a camera-shaped groom’s cake was a definite must! Our guests thought this idea was so clever, and it was a huge hit. The bride’s cake was five tiers in simple textures with gold accents, which all came together into a simple, yet beautiful design. Both of the cakes were absolutely delicious!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? At the end of our reception, everyone was on the dance floor having a great time, singing and busting moves. Then, to Tyler’s and my surprise, everyone circled around us and sang “As Long As We’re Here” by Kristy Starling–an all-time favorite song of mine. It was such a spontaneous and special moment. We felt so loved being completely surrounded by our favorite people. Immediately after this moment, we headed to our sparkler send-off on the RT Lodge lawn. It was the perfect end to the perfect day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Tyler and I met on August 30, 2013. It was the first weekend back at school and some friends invited me over to their house. I was sitting on a couch with a friend in the living room when Tyler walked through the front door and we instantly locked eyes. It was one of those moments when reality actually felt like a movie (Tyler even says that the second he saw me, he knew that I was going to be his girl). We basically maintained eye contact for the next ten minutes, until I realized he was shy and I was going to have to make the first move, so I walked over to him and introduced myself. We ended up talking for the rest of the evening and exchanged numbers before we left. The next morning, I woke up to a text from him asking when he could see me again. We ended up hanging out every single day for the next few months. He asked me to be his girlfriend on October 19 and then proposed exactly a year later.
When did y’all get married? December 19, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 325
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Two of the most special pieces of our wedding were the arch and the guest “log.” Tyler was so insistent on having a “power arch” (as he called it), and we were having zero luck. My papaw offered to build us exactly what we wanted, and it was so perfect! We are planning to put the arch in the backyard of our new home. For the guest log, we had everyone sign an actual wooden log. My papaw cut down the log from his yard and gave it to me. Following the wedding, he turned the log into a bench for us to put into our home.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We are both so fortunate to have parents who are still married. Tyler and I took time to sit and talk with our parents about the keys to having a lasting, successful, and blissful marriage. Tyler and I also participated in marriage counseling leading up to the wedding. We took the time to talk and pray together about the future, and continuously asked happy couples in our lives for advice.
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? Since the wedding, I graduated from college and we moved back to my hometown. Tyler and I are now starting our new life in the cutest, old, cottage-style home. We spend a lot of time having bonfires and celebrations with our friends and family. We are so excited to see what is ahead for us on this adventure together!

Photographer: Finch Photography / Videographer: Milestones / Venue, Planner, and Caterer: RT Lodge / Florist: Whimsical Gatherings / Wedding Cake: Cheryl McMillan Cake Design / Lighting and DJ: Ogle Entertainment / Paper Goods: The Happy Envelope / Bride’s Gown and Accessories: Alfred Angelo / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Bangs and Blush / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: White Lace and Promises / Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

RT Lodge is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
3 Comments
  1. avatar Olivia reply

    What a beautiful wedding! We are getting married in January and love the fur stoles the bridesmaids are wearing. Where are they from?

  2. avatar Gosia reply

    I am not a fan of red, but after seeing this weeding I might change my mind!

  3. avatar The most wonderful time of the year… | ZsaZsa Bellagio – Like No Other reply

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