Southern Weddings

Tag: Stephanie Brazzle

When you work for a wedding magazine, family and friends often come out of the woodwork when they get engaged to ask for planning tips and vendor recommendations. It’s one of my favorite things about my job! That said, while I pride myself in my knowledge of wedding vendors across the South, I turn to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory time and time again to check out specific locations or services that I may not recall off the top of my head. When you head to the BRV, rest assured knowing that these are the exact same folks the SW gals would personally recommend if we met up over coffee to celebrate your engagement! Here are a few recent additions that we’d love for you to get to know:

Name: Be Light Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Birmingham, AL
Favorite Southern city? Charleston, South Carolina. There is nothing dreamier than whimsical rows of window boxes and colorful architecture. Charleston embodies Southern hospitality and you just can’t help but feel happy walking its streets. We would definitely live there in a heartbeat.

Name: Belles Fleurs Designs
Category: Floral Design
Where you call home: Franklin, TN
How I got into weddings: Flowers have been my passion for many years. I worked in retail floral design and knew I wanted to pursue my own business in wedding floral and event design someday. Once my children were old enough to move out of the house, I decided to take the leap, and started Belles Fleurs Designs shortly afterward.

Name: Dillon Photo
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Jupiter, FL
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The amazing backdrops, like wide blue oceans and moss-covered oak trees! But also, the warm smiles, open hearts, and true love I witness among my couples.

Name: Exchange Vintage Rentals
Category: Rentals
Where you call home: Cullmann, AL
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Soak in every moment. Leave the details to your wedding team and enjoy your most beautiful day!

Name: Handspun Cinema
Category: Videography
Where you call home: Richmond, VA
Favorite part of a wedding day? Can we say every part?? If I had to choose, I would say that the post-ceremony time for the bride and groom can’t be beat–there is so much joy shared between the brand new husband and wife, and it is magical to witness. Josh’s favorite part? The grand exit. Though our part of their journey is coming to a close, their journey is just beginning–and it’s usually a very sparkling start.

Name: Leslie Alford-Mims House
Category: Venue
Where you call home: Holly Springs, NC
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Stay focused on what the day is about. Something is bound to go wrong or not according to plan. Stay calm and hooked into one another and the meaning behind the vows you are making. You’ll be more relaxed and enjoy the day to the fullest.

Name: Lindsay Bishop Events
Category: Event Planning and Design
Where you call home: Charleston, SC
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Southern hospitality! I love helping brides be the Hostess with the Mostest, making sure that all of their guests feel well taken care of and valued. The food is a close second. Southern weddings always have the most delicious food!

Name: LowCountry Catering
Category: Catering
Where you call home: Atlanta, GA
Favorite part of a wedding day? Right after the bride goes down the aisle. I love seeing the look on the groom’s face, and the sweet moment between the bride, groom, and father of the bride.

Name: Montage Palmetto Bluff
Category: Venue
Where you call home: Bluffton, SC
Early bird or night owl? Early bird–the sunrises at Palmetto Bluff are some of the most spectacular in the world.

Name: Stephanie Brazzle Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Dallas, TX
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? I would say Southern weddings are extra sweet in every way. The beautiful backdrops, the Southern mom who is always so sweet and polite, the big bridal parties, and my gosh, the food!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Laura and Jonathan’s Texas wedding is absolutely lovely, as you’ll see below, but what’s most inspiring about this couple is how much they prioritized what matters most during their three-month (yes, only three!) engagement. They left most of the details in the hands of Chrissie Stuntz and Branching Out Floral and Event Design, and spent their time as an engaged couple focusing on preparing for their marriage. Laura described their celebration as “casual and comfortable and good for the soul,” and from the looks of it, that is exactly what they achieved!

Thanks so much to Stephanie Brazzle for sharing this sweet day with us!

Describe your wedding flowers. Oh gosh, to be honest, I don’t have a clue what a single flower in there was called. All I know is that they were stunning! Debby Jewesson brought my dreams to life–beautiful greens and whites in a beautifully imperfect, but still elegant, combination. I remember explaining the vision for our wedding to her as “casual and comfortable and good for the soul.” She brought that to life in the best way.

Planning for our marriage was absolutely the priority for Jon and me. We prayed for our marriage–a lot. We worked hard to make sure the actual wedding took a backseat to our relationship. We read books that older, wiser couples recommended to us. We went to professional premarital counseling and had the opportunity to talk through our communication and conflict styles, our expectations, and other difficult topics, such as budgeting and families. We really recommend it!

Our vows were a hybrid of the traditional wedding vows and vows written by a pastor at Living Hope Church in College Station, Texas. I really love every line, but I will share just a few here! From Jonathan’s, “By God’s grace, I will love you and lead us towards Christ. I will provide for you, pursue you, and keep you safe.” From mine, “I will encourage you, support you, and in all things, fight to put your needs before my own.” From both, “I will never leave you, because God commands me, and because I love you.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I love trees and Jonathan loves anything outside, so I immediately started looking for a giant, majestic tree to host our ceremony in front of. I didn’t realize that most of the trees that serve as wedding venues are located a bit outside the city. After a LOT of searching, we found the Cooper Hotel and Fitness Center right in the middle of Dallas. We were able to have the ceremony and the reception outdoors at Cooper, so it was the perfect choice for us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food! Blue Bell ice cream, brisket, quesadillas, and cornbread. There is nothing like Southern cooking, and we enjoyed sharing these traditions with Jonathan’s family, who came from all over the country. Also, the fact that we had an outdoor wedding in late October was quite Southern–you can’t do that in the North!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Sitting down at dinner next to Jonathan and looking around to see everyone he loves and everyone I love together in one place, eating and laughing and enjoying the evening. These are the people who will stand by us through every hard thing, whose relationships we cherish, and in that moment, we were able to look around and remember “Every person here is a gift to us. We are thankful.” I will never forget that!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I met Jonathan in India during our intern year at International Justice Mission, an NGO that protects the poor from violent injustice. We had both just graduated from college and moved across the planet to begin this work that meant so much to us, and we were initially a bit annoyed to find a really incredible, relatable, and distracting member of the opposite sex working in the department next door. We hesitated to begin a relationship for a lot of reasons, but after several months, Jonathan asked me to dinner at the nicest restaurant he could find. We fell in love over French-pressed coffee and chicken tikka masala, while driving his scooter through the streets of a city so dear to us, and constantly learning something new about our good and gracious God.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jonathan COMPLETELY surprised me, which is impressive because I was on high alert! Back in the States, I flew home from meeting his family in Milwaukee. We had a tearful goodbye, and I had no idea that he was totally faking it and jumping on the next plane to follow me to Dallas! I was walking through the Arboretum with my best friend Kellie, when there he was, this incredible man, asking me to be his wife. I said YES!
When did y’all get married? October 25, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our timeline! We wanted a three-month engagement, so we didn’t have the luxury of shopping around. Fortunately, we had Chrissie Stuntz (the greatest wedding planner of all time) to lead the way–she knew everyone and everything, and with her connections, we were able to make bookings very quickly!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used a LOT of greenery, which was far more affordable than flowers and just as beautiful. We lined all our own envelopes and e-mailed out our save the dates. Cooper Hotel let us bring in our own alcohol, so we bought all the wine and beer at Costco. We also used Uber for our getaway car, which I highly recommend!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make a list of things that you and your fiancé really, deeply care about including in your wedding. Stick to those priorities regardless of what challenges them. Take a deep breath and LET GO of everything else. Two other random suggestions: 1. Take an AdvilPM the night before your wedding so that you actually sleep, and 2. Give a bridesmaid the specific job of looking you in the eye about every hour or so and saying something like “Stop. Look around. Remember and give thanks for this moment.” I wish I had remembered better to stop and be so grateful for the incredible people surrounding me all day, and for all they were doing for Jon and me.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jonathan and I are enjoying the cozy apartment life in our completely new city of Madison, Wisconsin (brrrrr!). We start law school (Jon) and graduate school for social work (me) in the fall. We loved living in India and are certainly open to moving back, but until then, we are learning how to be married and enjoying the American life–cheeseburgers, coffee shops, and baseball games included. :)

Photographer: Stephanie Brazzle / Planner: Chrissie Stuntz / Venue and Catering: Cooper Hotel and Conference Center / Florist: Branching Out Floral and Event Design / Cake Baker: Romano’s Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: Taylor’s Rental Equipment Co. / Band: Inside Out / Special Details: Destiny Foundation / Paper Products: Minted / Bridal Salon: Bridal Boutique of Lewisville and Olivia Caballero / Hair and Makeup: La Bichette / Bride’s Shoes: Vans / Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Groom’s Attire: J.Crew / Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew and Banana Republic

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Lee reply

    I love how you incorporated your Kappa pin! I am also a Kappa and have been trying to find a way to “wear” mine and my sisters’ pins as part of my something blue or something borrowed. This is a beautiful wedding!

  2. avatar Martha reply

    Such a great wedding story. Loved reading it! Any chance we could get the details on the designer and style of that gorgeous dress?? I absolutely LOVE it!

  3. avatar Featured: Southern Weddings » Dallas Wedding Photographers – Stephanie Brazzle reply

    […] If you missed out check out Laura and Jon outdoor wedding on Southern Weddings […]

  4. avatar Marisol Arguello reply

    Beautiful pictures and Beautiful wedding.

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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