Southern Weddings

Tag: small wedding

There is something so incredibly sweet about Libbie and Alan’s Georgia wedding, and I think it all stems from the fact that they kept their guest list super small. Childhood friends-turned-sweethearts, I’m sure it would have been easy for them to invite anyone and everyone they grew up with, but instead, they kept their guest list to just extended family and eight close friends. This meant that every single person at the wedding knew the two of them well and was ready to play an active role in encouraging their marriage in the years to come. Especially with their own little belle on the way now, I can only imagine how grateful Libbie and Alan are for their loving community!

Thank you kindly to Eliza Morrill for sharing this special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I looked and looked, found a dress, and then started having second thoughts. I’m a very whimsical/ethereal type of gal and the dress just didn’t fit the bill. My stepmother and I, with very little time to spare, stepped into an adorable wedding dress shop, Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta, and there it was…the most perfect dress. It fit like a glove–all we had to do was hem the bottom and add the bustle! It was fate!

My favorite detail was the flowers, because they were simply perfect, but another favorite was that our dog LB, aka Lady Blue, was there to spend the day with us. She is a blue pit/lab mix and was my something blue. She is the sweetest thing you will ever meet and knew this day was a special one to be a part of. She smiled like a good girl for the pictures and sat quietly with my best friends for the ceremony.

How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Four of my closest friends and four of his, and then just our aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmothers, and immediate family members! It was a very intimate wedding.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both of our families had spent Thanksgiving at Barnsley Gardens on separate occasions and it is truly a magical place. We knew we wanted an outdoor, destination wedding and my stepmother even remembered me saying I wanted to get married there during our visit many years before. When we returned, I just knew it was the perfect place for Alan and I to be married–there were flowers upon flowers, beautiful trees, and rolling hills.

The wedding flowers were definitely one of my favorite details of the day–they were stunning. I carried a whimsical bouquet designed with all white and green blooms, which included ranunculus, white Veronica, white stock, Queen Anne’s lace, white larkspur, white scabiosa, mini green hydrangea, mixed succulents, Green Jade roses, and a variety of eucalyptus. My bridesmaid’s bouquets were smaller, but equally as stunning, using the same flowers. My flower crown (I wish I could wear it every day of my life!) was designed with small succulents, larkspur, ranunculus, and mixed greenery.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My father’s speech was so unbelievably heartfelt–he could barely get through it, he got so choked up. He said things he had been trying to say for years and spoke about my mother, who passed away when I was 13 and would have given anything to be there that day. He had the whole wedding party in tears. It was beautiful.

We had a simple, three-tiered vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and fresh strawberries between the layers. My florist added flowers cascading all the way down the cake. Honeymoon Bakery in Rome, Georgia hit it out the park! I could eat this cake for every meal, and I am counting down the days until our first anniversary!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Eliza Morril Photography, for sure–we went to school together since we were very young, played soccer together, and our big brother were great friends! She did an outstanding job, and as someone who hates posing for pictures, she actually made it pretty fun!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We went to school together since we were six years old and have always been such great friends. However, we didn’t start dating until about two years ago, and the minute we stared dating, we just knew it would last forever.
Tell us all about the proposal! He put the ring under his family’s dog’s collar and said “LuLu has a present for you!” She was so excited, it was like she knew she was delivering something very special. He then said, “I have loved you since the fifth grade and have known I wanted to marry you since the moment we started dating.” The ring he gave me was my deceased mother’s wedding ring and it is the most beautiful thing I own. Wearing it every day is an honor. I get to carry a piece of her with me for the rest of my life.
When did y’all get married? April 17, 2016
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The string quartet played as the bridesmaids and mothers walked down the aisle to different songs by The Beatles, and I walked to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard. We walked back up the aisle together to the upbeat part of “Hoppipolla” by Sigur Ros. It was all simply perfect!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The groom’s best man was his father, which is just about as Southern as you can get! The location of the wedding, Barnsley Gardens, is also right in the heart of Southern Georgia.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My stepmother is a woman of many trades; she cut the little birchwood place holders for the reception, sewed the burlap tablecloths for the reception, made the wedding programs, made the dog’s flower collar, and sewed the junior bridesmaid dress herself!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t let the details stress you out too much, and take things day by day. The vendors know what they are doing, so let them help you and trust them!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have a baby coming soon, so we are now planning for her arrival! We are also moving to Nashville in September!

Photographer: Eliza Morril Photography | Videographer: Peerless Films | Planner: Heather Rabinowitz | Venue, Catering, and Rentals: Barnsley Gardens | Florist: Bloom | Cake Baker: Honeymoon Bakery | DJ: Gresham Cash Trip | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Claudia Mejerle | Bride’s Shoes: Nine West | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN and Donna Morgan | Menswear: Collared Greens

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Those pictures in the flowers, omg!!!! And the doggy :)

  2. avatar Catherine reply

    Love her gown! Beautiful!

  3. avatar Elle reply

    That dress is to die for!

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Having worked with her professional photographer sister and brother-in-law, not to mention being the youngest of three girls, Gracey is no stranger to the wedding world. However, when it came to the details of her and Richard’s big day, Gracey gave her mama a bit of trouble when trying to narrow down exactly what they wanted. From one indecisive gal to another, I completely empathize with how tough those decisions can be! I love that Gracey and Richard ultimately chose to focus on making their wedding day a reflection of who they are as a couple, perfectly balanced with the desire for their wedding to be fun and unforgettable for their guests. And, Gracey’s advice for those planning a wedding is spot on! “Remember what the wedding is about: two people becoming one. Don’t lose sight of the marriage to follow that one day.”

Big SW hugs to Cassidy Dawn for sharing this sweet day with us!

Having worked in the wedding industry for years with my professional photographer sister and brother-in-law, we saw the value of doing a first look. We wanted that intimate moment to be able to see each before all eyes were on us. It was such an amazing moment. Our photographer sat us down on a bench in front of our venue with our eyes closed, told us to hold hands, and then to open our eyes on the count of three. We love these photos of our first look because of how it all went down–Richard misunderstood and thought we were to just hold hands (eyes still closed), so on the count of three, I opened my eyes as Richard just grabbed my hand! The moment was followed by quite a few laughs, and I said, “Richard, you can open your eyes.” His response and face when he saw me makes my heart melt to this day–hearing your soon-to-be husband gush over how pretty you look the moment he first sees you on your wedding day is something you will NEVER forget.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Ready to plan her last daughter’s wedding (I am the baby of three girls), my mom was just as excited as I was to start the search for the perfect wedding dress. I knew I wanted something beautiful and dreamy, but I also wanted something different than the dresses I had ever seen or worn before for styled shoots. My mom and I decided to stop by a local bridal boutique (Loretta’s Bridal) just to start getting an idea of what type of dress I would be interested in. An hour before we got to the store, a special shipment of dresses had arrived (a day early) for a weekend showcase they were hosting. I tried on dress after beautiful dress, but they didn’t quite have what I was looking for. Then, the owner, brought out the dress–a gorgeous strapless, blush Casablanca style. It was far more traditional than what I thought I would be drawn to, but I think the fact that it was blush, rather than white, is what hooked me in the end. We ordered it that day!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My poor mother was so patient with me! I had a hard time narrowing down exactly what I wanted–it was so important to me that each and every aspect truly reflected who Richard and I are as a couple, while also balancing our desire for our wedding to be a fun and unforgettable for our guests. I don’t know what I would have done without my sweet mom there to help plan and guide me through the process. She’s just the best.

It was important to us to focus on the marriage that followed the wedding. We chose to work with a Christian counselor and go through premarital counseling to help prepare us for the changes ahead. This was a really great decision, if you ask me–it’s so important to set your relationship up for success!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Our vows were very special to us. We wanted to make sure they were centered on what we feel our life calling and vision is: loving God and loving people. Though it’s hard to choose one line as a favorite, I think “I promise to create with you a home in which the peace of God is known, and the needs of others are recognized” sums up our hearts’ desire for our marriage.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We adored ALL of the vendors for our wedding, but the most special would have to be our pastor from Florida who married us. He has been my family’s pastor for over 20 years, married all of my sisters, and is now mine and Richard’s pastor!

Travel and great food are two common threads in the history of our relationship. We knew we wanted a destination wedding and narrowed it down to Charleston, South Carolina. The Vendue fit our needs perfectly–it was the perfect embodiment of my artistic side (The Vendue is Charleston’s only art hotel), our love for mixing natural elements with industrial elements (we loved our open rooftop ceremony in the middle of a beautiful city), and of course, there was AMAZING food. We were so happy that we could have both the ceremony and reception in the same location, since all of our guest were traveling from out of town, but loved having a change of scenery by doing the ceremony on the open rooftop, dinner at the beautiful in-house restaurant (The Drawing Room), and heading back upstairs to the rooftop for dancing.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Being in Charleston, it was a no-brainer to include some Southern Lowcountry fare. Chef Jon of The Drawing Room (The Vendue’s in-house restaurant) is brilliant! Not only did he make the entire meal gluten and dairy-free, he also made us the perfect spin on Lowcountry surf and turf that included our favorite foods (grits were a must!). My family is from Kentucky originally, so blackberry bourbon lemonade with cardamom was our Southern signature cocktail. Rather than driving away in a limo or car, we opted for something a little more “Charleston,” and left the wedding in a rickshaw!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After several years of working and traveling non-stop to build a family-owned startup, I realized I was ready for more in life. After talking to a few of my friends, I decided to join eHarmony. I filled out my profile with the parameters being focused more on the character and Godly leadership I was looking for in a husband, and less on matters like location. In the meantime, Richard also had long work hours and traveled often, and when he decided he was ready to add something more to his life, but wasn’t finding what he was looking for in his area, he signed up as well and then contacted me. Over the next week or so, we messaged back and forth before Richard took a step of faith and asked for a phone date. Though I’m not much of a “phone person,” I accepted on St. Patrick’s Day 2013. That phone call lasted 6 hours; we both quickly realized this was something worth pursuing. After three months of talking nearly non-stop, we finally met face-to-face. Richard drove 21 hours just to meet me. The moment we saw each other, we hugged and instantly knew this was it. It just felt right. That weekend, we officially started the journey of long distance dating, taking turns visiting each other for the next year. Finally, in March 2014, Richard made the big move to be with me.
Tell us all about the proposal! Years before we met, I had a favorite blue vintage bicycle that I took time to restore. Unfortunately, my bike was stolen and I never replaced it. Knowing he wanted to propose, Richard realized my upcoming birthday was the perfect stage to set up a proposal. For the six weeks leading up to my birthday, he tracked down and restored a bike that looked identical to my long-lost vintage one. He told me to be at his house early on the morning before my birthday for a day of birthday surprises. When he gave me the bike, I was so surprised and felt so loved that I was completely oblivious that this was just the beginning! We rode our bikes downtown, where we stopped at a small park for a picnic lunch. Before lunch, Richard wanted to walk around the park. We found a small gazebo, and while we were looking around, Richard asked, “Gracey, how long have we been going out?” I answered with a rough estimate. Richard replied, “How about we make that forever?” I turned around to see him down on one knee with a ring in hand, and he asked me to marry him. I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy as I shook my head yes! Did I mention, he had someone in the bushes taking pictures? Extra points for that! The rest of the day was filled with all of my favorite things. I’d say it was a birthday for the books.
When did y’all get married? March 17, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 45
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Being gluten-free and not really loving cake, we wanted to do something a little bit different. We went with a crepe bar, complete with gluten-free crepes, a variety of berries, bacon, chocolate, goat cheese, and, of course, Nutella! Our guests loved getting to mix up yummy concoctions.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs here and there by prioritizing what would truly make our wedding unforgettable and feel like us. Venue, food, music, and hair and makeup were important things for us. The key for us when cutting costs came down to a few things: we were married on a Tuesday (MEGA SAVINGS not having it on a weekend), and we used tables, chairs, and plates that the venue owned, rather than renting them.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember what the wedding is about: two people becoming one. Don’t lose sight of the marriage to follow that one day, and make the day as much a reflection of who you are as a couple as possible. Yes, it’s important that your guests have a good time, but they are there because they love you and support you–the more your wedding reflects who you are, the more fun they will have.

Photographer: Cassidy Dawn Photography / Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Vendue / Florist: Branch Design Studio / DJ: DJ David Fox of Bunn DJ Company / Invitations: Paradise Papers / Bride’s Gown: Casablanca / Bridal Salon: Loretta’s Bridal / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Urban Outfitters / Hair and Makeup: Ash and Co. / Bride’s Shoes: BCBG / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Wrap Front Maxi Dress” by ASOS / Groom’s Attire: “Lazio Blue Plain” by SuitSupply / Groomsmen Attire: “SlimFit Suit” in Navy by H&M / Transportation: Charleston Rickshaw

Bunn DJ Company is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Cassidy Dawn reply

    Thank you so much for the feature! Aren’t they just the best?! XOXO

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I’d have to agree with Kathie–being announced as Mr. and Mrs. your-new-last-name is one of the most memorable moments of a wedding (even if it’s pronounced wrong, like when you new last name is Kloess–pronounced “close,” by the way!). There is something so magical about it–it somehow solidifies in your mind that you’re going to spend the rest of your life with your best friend! Along with hearing those sweet words for the first time, Kathie and Matt also shared with us that seeing their stunning tent for the first time was one of their favorite moments of the day, and I can totally see why! They worked with the gals at Karson Butler Events to take the already lovely Inn at Perry Cabin and create a wedding day that was as beautiful as it was guest-friendly. They even provided an on-site nanny for their guests with littles ones–so thoughtful!

Big thanks to our friend Kate Stoops for sharing this wedding day with us for V7!

My bouquet was a lush, romantic, hand-gathered bouquet of beautiful flowers in shades of ivory and soft peach. Our florist incorporated a brooch that has been in my family since the 1800’s.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. The ceremony took place in a small, Catholic church in St. Michaels, Maryland. My brother and Matt’s aunt did the readings. It was very special to us because we had Matt’s family priest from Colorado marry us.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? No, but we did mention my cousin’s husband, who is in the Army and was overseas, as well as my mom, who passed away in 2007.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? That it took me 30 minutes to pick it out! It was the second dress I tried on, and I immediately fell in love with it.
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I was not a high maintenance bride, so I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses. As long as it was within my color scheme, I felt confident that my bridesmaids would pick something that would work for them and look great.

We started our reception with cocktail hour under gigantic trees decorated with string lights. A bluegrass band played in the background to keep the guests entertained while we took pictures. A silhouette artist made our guests their thank you gifts. Guests dined on finger foods, an antipasti bar, and signature drinks inspired by our home states.

We wanted the tent to feel romantic and warm. We used antique silver vases for the centerpieces and had lanterns and flowers hanging from the fabricated tree branches in the tent. Silhouettes of Matt and I hung behind our chairs. The cake stand was made to look like a tree stump with our initials carved into it. We also had couches and lounge chairs for guests to sit on.

What kind of food did you serve? Our appetizers were watermelon cubes with feta and aged balsamic, spicy tuna tartar, mini twice baked potato, Gougéres cups filled with truffled mac and cheese, coleslaw mix on mini potato rolls, shrimp wontons with Asian dipping sauce, and an Antipasto display. Dinner was yellow heirloom tomato gazpacho, pickled cucumber salad, roasted chicken breast, and pan-seared salmon.

Our cake was absolutely amazing. Maggie Austin did such a wonderful job–we couldn’t have asked for anything better. The cake was such a hit that our guests were asking for seconds, and we totally ran out!

Tell us about your grand exit. As the night died down, we left and looked back at our tent. The lights on the fabricated trees in the tent cast shadows, so when you looked at the top of the tent, you could see the shadows of the trees. It was beautiful, and a great way to end the night.

Date of your wedding: August 24, 2014
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Matt was working for a woman running for Congress in Colorado, and my family and I pledged to donate money to that campaign. Before an important fundraising deadline, Matt was required to drive to donor houses to pick up checks, including my house. We met and he picked up my check, and the next day, he called and asked me out on a date. I was supposed to be set up on a blind date through the same person running for Congress, but Matt asked me out first! We dated for six years before getting engaged.
Describe the proposal: Matt took me on a surprise overnight trip to the Inn at Little Washington. We arrived in the late afternoon and decided to have tea before heading up to our room. Normally, Matt would have wanted to take his time, but he kept asking if I was done and if we could go back upstairs. I finally gave in, and as I was getting ready for dinner, he turned to me, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him with my late mom’s engagement ring. It was a complete surprise. I, of course, said yes, and the Inn at Little Washington helped us celebrate.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My engagement ring was my mom’s. She passed away in 2007. The ring means a lot to me, and it means even more that Matt understands how important she was and is in my life. Wearing her ring reminds me daily that she is still with me.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Memorable, fun, and exhilarating
How many guests attended your wedding? Approximately 60
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moments for me were the father-daughter dance, our first look, the dancing, looking at the tent for the first time, and being called Mr. and Mrs. Kazan.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? My father and I danced to one of my late mother’s favorite songs, “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole.
What’s next for you as a couple? We just had a daughter, so we are looking forward to being parents.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Your wedding needs to be guest-friendly. We provided a nanny service for all of our friends who have small children, so they could enjoy the night knowing their children were close by and safe. Taking care of our guests was an important component of our wedding. Even though it’s your wedding, your guests (family and friends) need to be celebrated–without them, you would not be able to have such an amazing wedding.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: “Walk slowly back up the aisle after the ceremony is over to take it all in.”

Photographer: Katie Stoops / Planner and designer: Karson Butler Events / Ceremony venue: St. Michael’s Chapel / Reception venue and catering: Inn at Perry Cabin / Florals: Amaryllis, Inc. / Cake baker: Maggie Austin Cake / Bride’s gown: “2073B” by Watters / Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka / Hair stylist: Julie Jackson Stylists / Makeup artist: Amie Decker Beauty / Men’s attire: Brooks Brothers / Bow ties: Thomas Pink Ties / Paper products: The Dandelion Patch / Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy / Tent and lighting: Sugar Plum Tent / Rentals: Party Rental Ltd. / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Silhouettes: Marie Cheek / Transportation: Sunny Limo / Cocktail hour band: Chester River Run-Off / DJ: Michael Bell of My Deejay / Babysitting service: Nannytainment

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Malou reply

    Lovely shoot!

    Loves Malou

  2. avatar Lisa Werth reply

    This was such an amazing wedding for us at Nannytainment. I am sorry for delay in posting as I missed announcement of it being featured. We got some great images of the childcare set up and some terrific glimpses of the fun we had with the kids. It’s great timing to come across this now as I have a bride wanting a quote for there soon.

  3. avatar Richard Photo Lab reply

    […] Pink Virginia Wedding A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Katie Stoops – Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding (design by Karson Butler Events) A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Harwell Photography […]

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