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Though we like to think that gals from around the world can pull inspiration from any of our features, the truth is that many of the details we dream up are very specific to the area of the South where we shoot them. That’s on purpose, of course — we love exploring what makes every corner of our beautiful home unique! — but it does make it extra important to create editorials in a variety of Southern states. One such state that we hadn’t had the pleasure of visiting before Southern Weddings V8 was Kentucky. Having the chance to craft a story involving the Bluegrass State, traveling to Louisville, and meeting so many wonderful readers and vendors in KY was one of our very favorite parts of #MakingSouthernWeddings this year, and we hope y’all (Kentuckians and otherwise!) love the result!

Biggest hugs to photographer Whitney Neal and stylist and florist Jaclyn Journey for working with us on Our Kentucky Home!

We were so happy to have Rachel Fisher Calligraphy on hand to create paper details as the shoot unfolded, including escort cards and signage. She did make our beautiful invitation suite ahead of time, however!

Some of you may recognize that smiling face — it belongs to Kayla, who was one of the bridesmaids on V7’s cover! We adored working with her so much that we asked her to return as a model for this issue, this time with her sweet husband!

Jaclyn created the most amazing wildflower- and bluegrass-inspired bouquets for our ladies. Blue is not always an easy color to work with in flowers, but she pulled together a gorgeous handful of scabiosa, delphiniums, Queen Anne’s Lace, bachelor’s buttons, sweet peas, stock, and grasses that was a perfect fit.

There were so many fun fabric patterns to play with in this shoot! From the gingham groomsmen shirts to the coordinating flower girl dresses and mix and match bridesmaid tops, we were inspired to incorporate all shades of blue in the attire.

Jaclyn’s talented husband built our ceremony arch! It looked right at home paired with rustic white pews from the Pew People.

One of my favorite photographs from this issue — I think everyone who’s been married can remember the joy of walking (or running!) back up the aisle as husband and wife!

There’s nothing like down-home favorites at a wedding reception, and Wiltshire Pantry knocked our socks off with their spread of delicious (and beautiful!) Southern food! I may have been partial to those deviled eggs, but skillets of mini hot browns were a non-negotiable for this Kentucky-themed editorial.

We couldn’t resist wrapping up the evening with a little bluegrass music — we were in the Bluegrass state, after all! Local couples, take note: we adored working with the talented gents of Fresh Cut Grass! They would be a perfect complement to any cocktail hour!

If you haven’t already, pick up your own copy of Southern Weddings V8 here, or on newsstands across the South! This is the last editorial to share from this issue, but check back in the new year to see more from our featured weddings!

Photographer: Whitney Neal Photography | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Planner, stylist, props, and florals: Jaclyn Journey Event and Floral Design | Venue: Farmington Historic Home | Caterer: Wiltshire Pantry | Dessert: Wiltshire Pantry and Kentucky Woods Bourbon Barrel Cake | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Carley Randall Beauty | Paper goods: Rachel Fisher Calligraphy | Pew rentals: Pew People | Farmhouse table: Louisville Farm Tables | Glassware: 12th Table | China: Lancaster Court, LLC. | Bluegrass band: Fresh Cut Grass | Bride’s gown: “Lafayette” by Sarah Seven | Bridal salon: The Dress Theory | Bridesmaid fashion: Anthropologie | Jewelry: Dress & Dwell | Floral bow tie: Lord Wallington | Striped and gingham bow ties: High Cotton

Whitney Neal and Jaclyn Journey are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Dana reply

    Love the blues and all the patterns! Beautiful styling!

  2. avatar Lindsay C. reply

    The food in this shoot looks DELICIOUS!

  3. avatar Drawing Inspiration from Southern Weddings V8 – Kyla Mary reply

    […]  I especially love the pie bar, the mismatched groomsmen, and their bowties. View the original post here. […]

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Some of the most memorable wedding food we’ve ever featured was at Haley and Dylan’s Charleston wedding–my husband still thinks their bacon bar sounds like the best thing ever, and I’m sure he’s not the only one! When we found out that Haley is a culinary school alum, and her parents authored a cookbook, we knew we had to get inside the Kelly family kitchen. They cooked up a Southern favorite, tomato pie, while Catherine Ann Photography captured it, and if you’re as anxious to try it as I am, you’re in luck–Haley generously shared their top ten recipes with us (including a few of their originals, which you can download here!).

By day: Haley is a wedding planner with A Charleston Bride; Dylan is in medical device sales at Boston Scientific.

How they met: We met our freshman year in college! Our school (Presbyterian College) was really small, so you pretty much knew everyone. We instantly clicked as friends and it quickly grew into a relationship!
Their wedding: Absolutely magical! Our wedding was full of personal details, which was really important to us–we used family recipes for some of the food, a Presbyterian College flag flew high on the Lowndes Grove porch, and our bacon bar was Dylan’s pride and joy (and people are still talking about it!). It was full of color and really spoke to our personalities.

Who does the meal planning? Me, for sure!
Who does the cooking? Me–but Dylan is the best sous chef :) We have a great balance of I cook, he cleans.

Their favorite meal-related memory: The one meal that immediately comes to mind was at State Bird Provisions while on our honeymoon in San Francisco. We got the best seats in the house–watching the chefs cook from the bar. It is the most amazing restaurant–the servers come around with carts or trays with food on mini plates and information on the price of the dish. My husband and I love great wine and/or cocktails with dinner, but we didn’t even order a drink, the food was so amazing! We sat and enjoyed every bite and I don’t think we turned down a single dish!

Haley and Dylan’s ten favorite recipes:

1. Scallops and Grits: We created this dish together and first made it for my parents when they were in town visiting. We have been trying to successfully sear scallops for over a year now, and finally found the key: dry the scallops on a towel, season with only salt and pepper, put grapeseed oil in a pan on low heat, and let it heat up slowly. Then, depending on the thickness, sear the scallop for about three minutes on each side.
2. Panko-Crusted Tuna: Anything my cousin–in-law cooks is phenomenal, but our favorite is her panko-crusted tuna. This is perfect to cook when having friends over, because it’s super easy, but looks impressive!
3. B for d (breakfast for dinner, or bacon for Dylan, as we recently named it): This is our Thursday staple–just as our groceries are running out for the week, we will have bacon, eggs, and grits for dinner! Dylan likes it when his eggs are cooked in half a tablespoon of bacon renderings. This dinner is super laid back, but we love it!
4. Tomato Pie: A summer favorite! We love using fresh heirloom tomatoes from the local farmer’s market.
5. Cauliflower mashed potatoes: Dylan used to not eat many veggies, so I found ways to trick him into eating some of my favorites! For this recipe, I boil one head of cauliflower and then purée it with two tablespoons of Cabot Greek Yogurt (a must-have in our house–it’s the best!), a handful of cheddar cheese, a dash of garlic and hot sauce, and some salt and pepper.
6. Fish or shrimp tacos: Dylan and I go to a local fish market every Sunday and pick out fish for the week! At least once a month, we use it for fish or shrimp tacos. We either sear the fish or pan-fry it in panko, and then serve it with a sauce made of greek yogurt mixed with crushed red pepper, lemon juice, and sriracha.
7. Chicken and Dumplings: This is my mother’s recipe, and we love to make it when we are at my parents’ home. My mom has a special touch that I am still trying to learn!
8. Portabella burgers: These are AMAZING for dinner and perfect leftovers for lunch! I usually omit the broccoli.
9. Curried Cauliflower Soup: Can you tell we love cauliflower? This dish is perfect when it is a little cold out, and it is especially great with a little crumbled blue cheese on top!
10. Macaroni and Cheese: Literally every party we are invited to, our friends ask us to make this dish.

Thanks so much for sharing, Haley and Dylan!

A little reminder: we’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” We are also really hoping to feature some apartment dwellers! If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Julie reply

    This was a great article. The recipes are yummy because I have tasted Haley’s chicken and dumplings and her cauliflower mashed potatoes (they are so good and I am a carboholic). The macaroni and cheese is delightful. I am going to follow this blog. It is authentic. Julie

  2. avatar Sherry Colarusso reply

    Love the shared recipes!! I’ll be trying some of these for sure.

  3. avatar Julie reply

    I can tell you these recipes rock. I have eaten most of them. This was a great article.

  4. avatar Heather reply

    These recipes sound so good! Can’t wait to try some soon in our newlywed kitchen too!

  5. avatar amanda reply

    so great…keep cooking

  6. avatar Steve Hein reply

    I’ve had fried green tomatoes and eggplant but never Tomato Pie! Very neat, So happy to see the man of the house helping out. Having given up red meat years ago anything with a veggie base is enticing. Portabella or mushroom burgers is on my to do list.Thanks!

  7. avatar Steve Hein reply

    So nice to see the man of the house in the kitchen. I’ve had fried green tomatoes but never Tomato pie-sounds enticing. Portabella burgers is on my to cook list!

  8. avatar Bethel Lemke reply

    Loved reading about Dylan and Haley
    Great couple. Will try the receipes.

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Y’all have no idea how excited I am to share Molly and Eric’s wedding with you today! I just adore this couple–Molly owns a super chic bridal salon, so you know the fashion at their wedding was on point, down to Eric’s custom Olia Zavozina tux and gold pin dot bow tie! While that was so lovely, Molly and Eric spoke straight to our hearts when they felt led to scratch planning a big wedding. Instead, they decided to move up their date and keep things as simple as possible, making their wedding a reflection of their love story and a time for friends to be with their loved ones. I also can’t help but love that they chose their first dance song (“Have a Little Faith In Me”) because of their “imperfect love story,” and as a reminder “to fight the good fight together.”

We’re so glad Annabella Charles shared this beautiful day with us in V7!

P.S. Lisa and I may have shared an ugly cry session after watching their proposal video–I highly suggest watching it, but grab your tissues first!

Aside from saying “yes” to my groom, choosing the dress was one of the easiest decisions in all of wedding planning. I didn’t even try it on before deciding it was, without a doubt, the one for me. Amahlia, designed by Maggie Louise designer, Rivini, was a part of Rita’s spring 2014 collection and embodied everything I had ever dreamed of wearing. I felt the top of the dress resembled my style, classic and more on the simple side, and the bottom matched Eric, who is more of a risk-taker and modern in his taste. When it walked down the runway that spring, we both looked at each other and knew it was everything I had hoped for.

What did the groom wear? Eric wore a custom tuxedo that he designed alongside Olia Zavozina, a wedding gown designer at Maggie Louise and a dear friend of ours. She took all of his ideas and created a masterpiece! Eric didn’t tell me a single detail about the tux and kept it a secret until the day of the wedding. The tux was solid black with modern twists. He chose a black bowtie with gold pin dots, my favorite detail!

We got engaged in September and originally began planning our wedding for October of the following year. After a few long discussions, we both knew that honoring God in our commitment to each other was far more important than a wedding day that would take us over a year to afford and plan. It was then that we decided to move up the date and keep things as simple as possible! We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony at Acre, so with the Southern heat in mind, we ruled out the summer months quickly, and landed on April 4, 2014. Our venue, Acre Restaurant in Memphis, is an older home that has been revamped into a very organic, rustic, chic restaurant venue. We knew we wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of our love story, and we wanted a ceremony that glorified God (not us). We didn’t fuss with having a bridal party or costly details. We simply wanted our friends to come with their loved one and let the night be a reminder of the love they share, all while enjoying a great meal, a few cocktails, and cutting loose for a bit. We began our Friday night at with a cocktail hour in the courtyard where we were getting married. As the ceremony approached at 6:30 P.M., our coordinator simply parted the sea of loved ones. Our families were escorted to the front and I walked down the cobblestone aisle on my father’s arm to “Til Kingdom Come” by Coldplay. After the ceremony, we kicked off the party with our first dance under the outdoor tent behind Acre, and spent the rest of the night getting smooth with Yacht Rock Revue.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. From Eric: Our officiant was Andy Savage from Highpoint Church in East Memphis, Tennessee. Andy “does a great wedding” (his famous quote), but an even better pre-marriage class. We graduated with honors. A special part for me was when he asked us to turn around at the beginning of the ceremony and gaze at how many friends/family came to support us. Man, that was a cool moment.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We allowed the beautiful venue to naturally set the tone for the design of our wedding. In order to keep everything under budget, this worked perfectly with our individual and non-traditional wedding styles.

The food was by far one of our favorite parts in all of wedding planning. Andrew Adams, the chef at Acre, spent months designing a custom menu for our wedding day that told the history of who Eric and I are and where we come from, including my family’s Southern roots from the Mississippi Delta and Eric’s Italian heritage reigning from Chicago. In our efforts to keep the night as fun and simple as possible, we felt it was key to let all of our vendors have fun with doing what they do best. Andrew went above and beyond to create the perfect menu for our night. Although we decided to forgo many wedding traditions, I couldn’t bear to pass on the cake cutting moment. A local cake designer and friend of mine, Laura Jackson (owner of The Flour Garden), surprised us with a small cake on the wedding day, and it was nothing less than a masterpiece. Eric and I cut it before the ceremony so I could have a few of those traditional, yet priceless, images.

Our first dance was to John Haitt’s “Have a Little Faith In Me,” sung by a dear friend of ours, who happened to serenade everyone the night of our engagement as well. I came across this song a few years ago and have always felt it was such a beautiful reflection of us. Eric and I have always been open books about our imperfect love story. Over the last four years of our dating relationship, we did a lot of growing both individually and as a couple. Even on the days when it wasn’t easy, we continued to place faith in the Lord and each other–which is all we need in order to fight the good fight together!

Date of your wedding: April 4, 2014
Tell us about yourselves! From Molly: I was raised a Mississippi girl and moved to Memphis for college. I fell in love with the city and decided that it was, without a doubt, the place for me. I worked for 7.5 years in the photography industry with Allison Rodgers Photography and fell in love with all things bridal behind the lens throughout the years. I graduated from the University of Memphis in 2010 with a business degree in Marketing and Management. Aside from living out my dreams at the bridal boutique, my lists of “hobbies” are short, but I love food, music, a good glass of wine, and traveling with my new husband. From Eric: My boss is on the cross. I’m proudly a janitor/handyman at Maggie Louise on off-days. I love to exercise, cook healthy, and keep my ducks in a row. I bake 15-minute chocolate chip cookies for 10 minutes. I hope you never get injured, but I would love to be your doctor one day. This is my first wedding questionnaire.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met seven years ago via a mutual friend at a bar on Beale Street, Silky O’Sullivan’s. I still remember the night, December 20, 2007, like it was yesterday–where I was sitting, the second I saw him, even down to the outfit I was wearing. We hit it off immediately and hung out periodically throughout college, but didn’t make it official until three years later. In May 2010, a few weeks before we both graduated from the University of Memphis, Eric said something along the lines of “I’m ready to be your boyfriend”… I said “No way,” of course. Obviously, I caved, and we’ve been together ever since!
Describe the proposal: We got engaged on September 7, 2013. Every year, Eric throws an outdoor party at his mom’s house–an all-day affair that is the adult version of every kid’s dream-come-true, complete with a homemade slip-and-slide, volleyball, jell-o wrestling, and a belly flop contest. The day went as planned and we spent the afternoon surrounded by our family and friends, enjoying the summer heat and shenanigans. At sundown, Eric’s mom asked me to ride with her to pick up dinner for all of our guests, and I reluctantly agreed, hesitant to leave behind all the excitement and loved ones. When I returned, I saw an enormous projector screen with Eric’s face and everyone holding champagne in their hands. The video began to play, and it was filled with flashes of family and friends holding signs that said “Say Yes,” and then Eric saying he wanted to spend his life with me. At the end of the video proposal, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride. Here is the video!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: From Eric: Honest, holy, honorable.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? From Eric: Throwing a memorable, yet affordable, party for all of our friends to enjoy. I have champagne taste on a beer budget, and she has Jimmy Choo taste on a Target gift card budget.
Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. We bypassed serving the traditional wedding cake and let Andrew have some fun with his culinary skills for the desserts. He came up with unique, homemade ice cream sandwiches and an assorted donut bar. The ice cream sandwiches included dark chocolate brownie with cookie dough ice cream, strawberry cheesecake ice cream stuffed in a candied croissant, and ice-cream-filled chocolate éclairs. The donut creations were blueberry cake donuts with lemon-vodka glaze, Reese’s Pieces donuts, cereal milk donuts topped with Frosted Flakes, and apple cider fritters.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? Seeing God’s plans for us unfold throughout our lives together. There is so much unknown as to what is in store, but that is what makes everything so exciting. Eric has plans of going to medical school and living out his dreams as a surgeon. I’m thrilled to see where the Lord takes us and how he uses us, both individually and as a couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff!! Set your priorities together and don’t lose sight of them or the big picture. It is so easy to get caught up in the material aspects and expectations, but at the end of the day, people will remember seeing the happiness between you both.

Photographers: Allison Rodgers Photography, Annabella Charles Photography, Amy Dale Photography, and The Studio J / Videographer: 22 Magnolias / Coordinator: Simply Perfect Weddings & Events / Venue, caterer, and desserts: Acre Restaurant / Bride’s bouquet: Beth’s Flowers / Floral archway: Haute Horticulture / Wedding cake: The Flour Garden / Bride’s Gown: “Amahlia” by Rivini / Bridal salon: Maggie Louise Bridal / Bride’s veil: Erin Cole / Hair and makeup: Jena Bruback of Headlines Salon / Groom’s tuxedo: Olia Zavozina / Ceremony music: Jacob Zachary / Reception music: Yacht Rock Revue and Charvey Mac / Paper products: Kendyl Mounce

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Hannah Browning reply

    Wow! What is not perfect about this wedding? HER DRESS. Love

  2. avatar Debra Seger reply

    I dont know what pulled me to stop my busy life and read this beautiful story…..Im a grown woman crying of happiness for two people I have never met. Thank you for sharing, simply a beautiful story that inspired my day. Wishing you a continued life of joy!

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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