Southern Weddings

Tag: Simply the Best Catering

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
0 Comments

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!

Reply to:
close

BDK and I chose very traditional vows when we got married–like many couples, we loved the history of saying those powerful words that so many generations have said before us. Vows are such an intimate aspect of any wedding, so I love when our couples share a little bit more about the ones they said with us. Lauren and Justin grew up together–meeting in sixth grade and becoming a couple in tenth. With such a vast history, I was so curious to know what they might have said to each other during their ceremony. Y’all, it’s even sweeter than I could have imagined! Together with their pastor, they customized vows that were perfect for them. Lauren vowed her “deepest love and unselfish devotion” and Justin promised his “protection and Godly leadership.” Swoon! Their favorite wedding detail makes these vows even more romantic: the arbor that they tied the knot under was built by Justin and his father. It will someday be kept in their backyard, so they can tell their future children the story of their wedding!

Big hugs to Kati Mallory for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! Each of these items is so special to me. My something old was a diamond bracelet that my grandmother gave me. It was so beautiful and perfect for the occasion. For my something new, I picked out the perfect pair of Chinese Laundry shoes–they’re heels, but are thick enough that they worked in the grass for our outdoor ceremony. For my something borrowed, Justin’s godmother lent me a handkerchief that every woman in her family has carried when they were married. The handkerchief has each bride’s name stitched on it along with their groom’s name, their wedding date, and the location of the wedding. It was really special to see our names added to it. For my something blue, I wore my blue sapphire Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority pin inside my dress.

When I started looking for my dress, I really had no idea what I wanted. I browsed online to look for ideas, but knew that I was going to be indecisive. It was important to me to have my bridesmaids, sister, and mom there to help me. The day was filled with all kinds of beautiful gowns. I came to a conclusion that I wanted a sweetheart gown, but wasn’t yet sold on a particular dress. It was important to me not to settle, even if that meant leaving empty-handed. I went back two weeks later with my mom, grandma, and aunt. After trying on a few dresses, I came across one I had seen the last time, but hadn’t tried on. It had a low back that added more flair, and I kept wanting to put it back on! We added the long cathedral veil and I was sold. I loved the lace detail and lightness of the dress. I knew that I would feel beautiful in it on my wedding day.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. I had gone back and forth on it, but after talking to other brides and our photographer, Justin and I decided it would be the best thing for us. Not only did it help the day go smoother, it also allowed us a few moments alone before the wedding. It made the first time we saw each other more intimate and we shared our excitement with laughter, tears, and prayers.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose not to write our own vows, but instead, chose to say scripture-based vows that our pastor wrote specifically for us. They were related to each of us and laid out what we wanted our marriage to look like. We each began our vows by saying that we joyfully received each other as God’s perfect gift to us. I vowed my deepest love and unselfish devotion and to always be Justin’s helper, and Justin vowed his protection and Godly leadership. While our pastor was the one who wrote the vows, they were very personal and specific to our marriage.

My favorite wedding detail would have to be the arbor that Justin and his dad built. We were married underneath it at the edge of the lake and it was absolutely beautiful. We draped it with garlands of flowers that coordinated to the bouquets and it tied the whole look together. It was perfect and we can’t wait to put it in our backyard and someday tell our children the story of our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? By having the wedding on a farm, saying our vows by a lake, and transforming a working barn into the site of our reception, we gave the whole day a Southern feel. We tied in elegant accents with tall, dramatic centerpieces, white tablecloths, and chandeliers.

My wedding flowers were one of the more important details of my wedding day to me. I wanted a romantic, organic, whimsical look for my bouquets and arrangements. My wedding planner and florist took my vision and turned it into a reality. When I couldn’t describe what I wanted, they knew exactly (if not better) what I was picturing! We chose lots of greenery mixed with pops of pink and peach, and ended up with ranunculus, peonies, and David Austin garden roses, and added in silver dollar eucalyptus and other greenery.

Our wedding cake was a traditional white wedding cake with white icing. It was a simple three-tiered cake, and I asked the florist to add a few clusters of flowers to it that coordinated with the centerpieces. It was exactly what I wanted and it was delicious! I added a gold “Mr. & Mrs. Eldridge” cake topper that we will be able to use for years to come! The groom’s cake was a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. I made the platform out of a piece of wood with a natural bark edge. To make it stand out, I added greenery around the base and accented it with deer antlers. There was also a surprise later on in the night–every year for Justin’s birthday, I make him his favorite dessert, Funfetti cupcakes. His birthday was two days after our wedding, so I surprised him with cupcakes, and our entire reception paused to sing Happy Birthday as he blew out the candles!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. After the ceremony was over, we walked back up the aisle to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates. We chose it because it’s so fun and made walking back up the aisle as husband and wife a blast. It is also a song we’ve been known to sing and dance around to–we even made a music video to it during our freshman year of college. Justin’s mom found it and played it at our rehearsal dinner, so that really tied it all together! Our first dance was to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. It’s a fun and upbeat song, and we chose it because we could picture ourselves dancing to it we are old and gray!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Justin and I met in 6th grade at a church camp and instantly became friends. We went to different schools, so we would only see each other from time to time at youth group and church on Sundays. In 9th grade, our friends started becoming more mutual and we began spending more time together. Justin asked me to be his girlfriend in 10th grade and we’ve been together ever since. It really has been such a blessing and so fun to grow up together!
Tell us all about the proposal! The proposal was a complete surprise to me! While on vacation in Cozumel, Mexico, Justin and a couple of his friends went for a walk on the beach–I later found out that they had really gone to scope out a location for Justin to propose. They had walked down the beach to a private house, knocked on the door, and asked the group staying there if it would be okay for our friends to hide on their balcony and watch the proposal. They said yes and even volunteered to film and take pictures! Later that day, when Justin was ready to propose, his friends suggested that all of us go on another walk down the beach. As our friends started walking away, Justin said that he needed to go the bathroom first, and my friends told me to stay behind with him and then catch up. I was kind of concerned that my friends were okay with leaving me alone on a beach in Mexico, but luckily, I just went with it! When Justin came back, we started walking down the beach and talking about our future and how lucky we had been to grow up together. This was a normal conversation for us, so I didn’t think anything of it. We kept walking and I had no idea what was happening until Justin was down on one knee! He proposed, I immediately said yes, and he picked me and spun me around as our friends cheered from the stranger’s balcony! I was so surprised, and really have no idea how they pulled it off without me finding out. My friends know me way too well–when we started getting ready that morning, they even knew that if they dressed cute, then I would too! After the proposal, we all celebrated by going snorkeling, and Justin and I finished the day with a private dinner as our waiters sang “Happy Engagement to You!” It was the perfect day and we were so happy to share it with our closest friends!
When did y’all get married? April 25, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300+
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose two Bible verses that really expressed what marriage meant to us and the commitment we were making: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 and Matthew 19:4-6.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was really important to us to be intentional and plan for our marriage during the excitement of planning for our wedding. During the engaged chapter of our lives, we attended weekly premarital counseling and read several marriage books together. We also loved hearing insight from other married couples and learning about a marriage centered around God.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The first most memorable moment was our first look. I remember the exact look on Justin’s face when he turned around and saw me in my dress–we were both struggling to fight back tears! The second moment would have to be immediately after the ceremony. We chose to take a little time by ourselves while our guests were at our cocktail hour, so we went upstairs to the loft area of the barn, where a meal had been prepared for us. We ate, practiced our dance moves, and watched our guests from the balcony while we took in the moment! It was special to have time together and reflect on the vows that we had just made.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just moved into our house and are working on getting it fixed up. In the next year, we hope to travel, enjoy life and each other, and raise our puppy dog!

Photographer: Kati Mallory / Videographer: Betwixt Magnolias / Planner: Anne-Claire Allen / Venue: Hidden Valley Farm / Florist: Tipton & Hurst / Cake Baker: Patti Cakes / Caterer: Simply the Best / Rentals: Confetti’s Party Rentals / Lighting and DJ: Central Arkansas Entertainment / Paper Products: Hobart’s Printing / Bride’s Gown: Casablanca / Hair Stylist: Kristen Spann of Red Beauty Bar / Makeup Artist: Lauren Benet / Bride’s Shoes: Chinese Laundry / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Allure / Menswear: Paul Morrell Formalwear

Kati Mallory is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Kati Mallory reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful day with your readers! So, so good!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the confetti!!! I love it!

  3. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    Oh, I have a soft spot in my heart for arbors! Hans built one for us to use as an altar on our wedding day as well. We love seeing it every day in the backyard! It’s a great way to incorporate bits of the wedding into married life :)

  4. avatar Judy Denio reply

    What a wonderful story-gift Lauren and Justin will be able to share as they move through a life filled with God at the forefront. I was a guest at the wedding and am so glad to learn about their journey that led them to an evening filled with family, friends, things they both love and a shower of blessings to their life together. Lauren’s God-Mother, Judy Denio

  5. avatar Lauren & Justin’s Elegant Barn Wedding » Kati Mallory Photo & Design reply

    […] thanks to Southern Weddings for featuring this wedding yesterday on their […]

  6. avatar Looking Back and Looking Forward » Kati Mallory Photo & Design reply

    […] photography workshop in Nashville – featured online on Bridal Theory blog – featured online on Southern Weddings blog and Facebook page – featured in print with Southern Weddings Magazine, Confetti Magazine, […]

  7. avatar Sandra | Wedding Handkerchiefs reply

    Love your entire article, especially the part of the wedding hanky. I love creating custom wedding handkerchiefs.

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!

Reply to:
close
Top