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Moments after I finished the real wedding interview for the blog, I sent Mrs. Emily Thomas an email with a flurry of excitement and a million exclamation points. The process of filling out the questions brought me right back to my wedding day, and I immediately knew that I would treasure having these answers forever. I also knew that we needed to figure out how to give this gift of memory capturing to ALL our brides. While we can’t feature every reader’s wedding on Southern Weddings (gah, I wish we could), we want to give everyone the opportunity to remember and record this special season of life. Our solution? Meet: Memories of Us: A Prompted Wedding Journal

This sweet prompted journal covers everything from your engagement to the emotional whirlwind of your wedding day, to your honeymoon, to the sweet early days of newlywed life. We know all these memories are precious and we don’t want you to forget a thing! The prompts are inspired by the real wedding interview from the SW blog and print magazine and encourage you to capture all the moments (both big and small) of your marriage journey. We hope that your journal becomes a keepsake for years to come!

Every single one of my girlfriends who gets engaged gets a Memories of Us journal as a gift from KPW and me. Why? Because as someone who self-identifies as an “anti-journaler’ I love this little memory keeper so very much!! The prompts make it feel less like a ‘journal’ (important for someone who is anxious at the thought of free-writing) and more like answering the best and most personal questionnaire. (There are also extra blank pages to capture your feelings and other details if you are a journal kind of gal.)

After getting engaged, I was bombarded with people who told me “good luck, you won’t remember a single thing about your wedding day.” As a gal who had been looking forward to getting married since the ripe old age of four, this was less than encouraging. I knew our wedding season would be a whirlwind, but I was determined to remember as many moments as possible, and I want the same for all my best friends and for all of you. We have a limited number of journals available right here so snag one for yourself or a best friend who recently got a new left-hand sparkler!

I’m grateful that the Memories of Us: A Prompted Wedding Journal is one of my Southern Weddings claims to fame. And even more grateful that our future kids and grandkids will be able to flip back through our wedding memory journal and giggle over the missing candle incident and understand why the first few chords of Strawberry Wine always make me burst into tears.

Happy memory capturing, belles!

PS: Want a peek inside the pages of the journal? Don’t miss the fun video at the bottom of this page: Memories of Us: A Prompted Wedding Journal

kristin Written with love by Kristin
2 Comments
  1. avatar Tu Nguyen reply

    Many people would do a blog but I still love a good old journal <3

  2. avatar Bella Vita Montreal Wedding Photography reply

    love this!!

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Belles and beaus, it’s a joy to write to you today with some exciting news!

When I started Southern Weddings magazine ten years ago, I never imagined it would grow to what it is today. What a joy this decade has been! Many of you know that we are a very unique company, running two businesses under one roof with one small-but-mighty team. As my own family, our sister business Cultivate What Matters, and Southern Weddings have continued to grow, it has become clear that we need a few more hands around here! I stepped away from doing Southern Weddings work several years ago to focus on books and babies, and this truly incredible team of women you know so well has taken the reins.

Like I’ve learned in my garden, you can only grow so much with the space and time you’ve been given. I can’t lead two large businesses at once and nurture a growing family, so it was time for someone else to take the lead. This change happened a long time ago internally, but we decided it was high time to change things externally, too.

I’ve been working alongside Kristin Winchester for five years, and her passion for the Southern Weddings mission made her a natural fit. She’s already been doing the work of an Editor-in-Chief behind the scenes: cheering on our team, shepherding the big picture, and encouraging meaningful beginnings to married life. She is a pretty remarkable woman, and we are all SO excited for this new season!

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Nancy Ray Photography

My title is now Founder and Grateful Wife, which fits me to a tee. I’ll still be here behind the scenes, loving on our team and you all, especially as you move into newlywed life. It is with joy that I re-introduce this familiar face to you, as the new Editor-in-Chief of Southern Weddings!

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Jake and Heather Photo

Friends, I can’t begin to express my gratitude. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined my first fateful interaction with Lara at the inaugural SW Gingerbread Barn Building event would one day lead me here. Stepping in as Editor-in-Chief to continue Lara’s legacy is an incredible honor, just as playing a small role in your wedding and marriage planning is a privilege.

I’m accepting Lara’s passing of the torch with grace and humility. Around the office, I’m teased about the way my energy and enthusiasm bubble over when I start talking about new ideas and my passion for this job. (Anyone who’s seen one of my giant-laugh-smiles would probably join in! ;)) It’s my heart for you, dear brides (and future brides), that produces these excited outbursts, though. To say I’m thrilled to nurture and continue spreading the Southern Weddings mission would be an understatement.

From the outside, not much is changing around here. We’ll continue to share the best wedding planning advice and Southern inspiration, the stuff we share with our sisters and best friends the moment they get engaged. And as Lara mentioned, she’ll still be around, weighing in on ideas in the background.

As for me? I’m looking forward to jumping into my new role and having the opportunity to support and cheer on the SW team (who are some of the smartest and savviest gals in Dixie) as we continue to grow. Here’s a little recap on where we are and what’s ahead!

2016 was a big year for Southern Weddings: we added two lovely ladies, three Southern babies, and launched our ninth issue. We also consumed an unknown quantity of biscuits and sent countless emoji- and GIF-filled messages back and forth as we celebrated milestone after milestone as a team.

In the new year, we’ve got big plans to continue to live out our mission and equip y’all with the resources and tools you’ll need to prepare for your wedding days and beyond. We’re busy dreaming up new ideas and bubbling over with anticipation, as we’re already knee-deep in planning for our TENTH (!!!) anniversary issue, due out in November. Stay tuned for V10 sneak peeks, fun celebration plans, and details on how you can join us in the pages of this VERY exciting anniversary issue.

We’ve also got fun newsletter updates coming soon to your inbox (sign up here) and plans for SW Meet-ups as we move into the new year. Safe to say, I have a great feeling about 2017!

xo,
Kristin

P.S. Extra big hugs and thanks to Lara, Emily, Nicole, Marissa, Lisa, Amber and Jess. Each one of you encourages me to be my best self and motivates me to love bigger and laugh harder. It is a joy and privilege to do this work alongside y’all, and I know, without a doubt, that I wouldn’t be able to take on this new role without each one of you right by my side.

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
6 Comments
  1. avatar Laura reply

    Congrats Kristin on your new role! Crazy to think that this year will be a celebration of 10 years of Southern Weddings (and crazy to think that I’ve been a reader since V4!) Can’t wait to hear about the plans for the new year, I have a feeling it’s going to be the best one yet!

  2. avatar Erin McLean reply

    So excited for you all!! xoxo

  3. avatar Bri A reply

    Congratulations! I’m inspired by the grace this requires on both parts and am honored that you shared this so openly with us. I’m excited to see where SW goes and I’m so proud to see Chapel Hill being represented so well.

  4. avatar Ashley Landry reply

    Congrats Kirstin! And I’m so excited to see what evolves for SW in the new year! I always enjoy reading your helpful content and can’t wait to see what creative ideas lie ahead! Keep up the great work, ladies!

  5. avatar Theo reply

    Absolutely wonderful Kristin! Congratulations!!

  6. avatar Bumby reply

    Congratulations and this is all very excited!
    Kristin, when I read the first part of Lara’s message all I could think about was your story with how you met Lara and said “I am going to work with her someday” You are such an amazing person and your smile is infectious. Each time try to put a bow on Soybean I think of you telling me “the bigger the bow the better the mama” I am very excited for you and all the gals. Cannot wait to see what you do!
    xoxo.

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A few weeks ago, the SW gals gathered for a favorite Southern Weddings’ tradition–our annual Gingerbread Barn Building Competition. This was the sixth year inviting our friends to join us for a night of barn-building and hot cocoa-drinking at the Carolina Inn!

Big thanks to Ally and Bobby for spending the evening with us and capturing these wonderful images you see below!

If you can’t tell from above, Christmas at the Carolina Inn is simply magical! So magical, in fact, that our very own Kristin couldn’t miss out on a second Gingerbread Barn Building event in a row! She surprised us with her lovely face and ooh and ahh at the Christmas decor alongside us!

We are grateful for our dear friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor, Randi of Sugar Euphoria, for providing the icing everyone used on their barns! This stuff was barn building gold, and it made for some of the tallest and most structurally-sound barns we’ve seen yet (three story structures!)

Each team dove right in when the competition began, and you could feel the excitement in the room as we strolled around to see plans, blueprints and designs begin to unfold! I must say, being a judge certainly takes some of the pressure off!

I wouldn’t be a true UNC alum if I didn’t mention the lovely replica of the UNC bell tower. Between KNW and myself, we must’ve taken three dozen photos to send to our beaus who are fellow UNC grads. If you look closely enough, there was even a Ramses made out of marshmallows. Be still my heart!

This group may have been some of the most creative builders we’ve seen yet! Herringbone pathways, pretzel chandeliers, and beautiful hand-letting covered in sprinkles–the ideas seem to get better each year!

We loved hearing the story behind our Honorable Mention Best Story winner’s barn below! Each tiny home was created by a different member of their team, and had a matching story to go with it!

Each creation we saw was not only beautifully executed, but had a darling story to match it! After much deliberation, we handed out the grand prize award to a sweet group of ladies who created the beautiful snow-covered creation you see below, complete with a sweater-wearing reindeer!

We also passed our four Honorable Mentions–Most Festive, Most Architecturally Creative, Most Creative Story, and Most Structurally Sound–to other builders! Y’all certainly didn’t make deliberations easy this year!

Thank you so much to all our friends who joined us at this year’s competition, and to The Carolina Inn for hosting us all–we can’t wait to see what y’all come up with next year! Happy holidays!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
1 Comment
  1. avatar Bri A reply

    These are so beautiful! I think I need to up my gingerbread game. And the marshmallow Ramses — consider this UNC alum in love!

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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