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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Hi friends! We’re a mere six weeks (!!!) away from our wedding day, and I’m feeling both incredibly joyful at the thought of marrying my best friend so soon… and a little bit overwhelmed by all that’s left to do! Luckily, I’ve planned more than a few weddings, so I know we’re at a great place in the grand scheme of things and what’s left on our to-do list are the little details you’d expect as our wedding draws closer. RSVP cards are filling my mailbox every day (it’s a highlight of our day to open them together in the evening!), I have a final dress fitting tomorrow, travel plans have been booked for our guests, our wedding bands are picked out, and Rob and I are both excitedly counting down the days til we’re husband and wife!

Photo by Jenna Walker via Style Me Pretty

I’ve been keeping the design and details of our wedding day pretty private, as I really want to surprise our family and friends when they arrive to celebrate our marriage. I’m also known for my love of surprising people, so it’s only fitting that we keep many elements of our day under wraps! Today, however, I want to share with you some ways we are making our ceremony and reception personalized and meaningful, all while on a budget.

I’ve learned more and more throughout planning our wedding how important it is to us to stick to our budget, which also helps us (me, especially) prioritize what’s most important to us and what novelties we are able to do without. It’s been both demanding and liberating to stick to our set budget, knowing that we could easily spend much more money… but also knowing that we do not want to do so. We’re sticking to our biggest priorities: loving our family and friends well, showing them genuine Southern hospitality, celebrating our marriage alongside our loved ones, and glorifying God through it all!

Bouquet by Philosophy Flowers and photo by Landon Jacob from this editorial

We chose to work with Alana from Serendipity Designs as our wedding florist, and I couldn’t be happier with our choice! Flowers are one my favorite wedding details, and they’re also something I notice right away as a guest. I love (love!!) flowers, and I have no doubt Serendipity Designs will make all of my floral dreams come true on our wedding day.

Many of my very favorite Southern blooms (most of them with great meaning to me) will be present in my bouquet and throughout our wedding design. We’ll be using O’Hara garden roses as a nod to my paternal grandma, as she and I share a deep love of the book Gone With the Wind and all things Scarlett O’Hara. And to pay tribute to my maternal grandma, who passed away a few months ago, we’ll be using Queen Anne’s lace, a beautiful flower that reminds me of her. My sweet mama is also letting me use a ribbon of lace from her wedding dress to tie around my bridal bouquet, as my sister did a couple years ago. I love knowing that I’ll be carrying such significant, sentimental nods to the most important ladies in my life as I marry Rob!

Photo by Amy Arrington from Lauren and Kristian’s wedding

For our ceremony, we hoping to portray our faith and God’s love for us in all aspects. One of the very first things I did after getting engaged was to rent a wooden cross for our ceremony (local Triangle brides, check out Homemade Bride!), as we want Christ to be the center of our wedding and our marriage. Even though we’re getting married outside under the trees, as I’ve envisioned my entire life, we know that we can still have a church-like ceremony, especially with a cross at the center of it all. And, as a nod to our engagement session under the Spanish moss and my love of Spanish moss, our florist will be adorning the cross with Spanish moss, a little detail I’m incredibly excited about it.

Photo by Nancy Ray Photography from Callie and Jamie’s wedding

During our ceremony, as one of our first acts together as husband and wife, we will be serving communion to all of our guests. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time, and I tear up when I stop and think about the ceremony: walking down the aisle with my daddy, having our best friends stand by our side, saying our vows to one another and marrying Rob, praying with our pastor and our wedding party during the ceremony, singing our favorite hymns, and serving our family and friends communion. I can only imagine how many times I’ll cry happy tears on our wedding day!

Photo by Davy Whitener from this editorial

One of our biggest hopes for our details is that they showcase our love of our family. Rob and I both are blessed to have marvelous families, and we are grateful for the legacy of lifelong, abundantly loving marriages for all of our grandparents and parents. All of our grandparents and parents (and their marriages) have made a profound impact on us, and paying homage to those marriages at our wedding is something we’re very excited to do. Our beautiful venue, The Merrimon-Wynne House, has gorgeous white mantles in almost every room, which are the perfect spaces to display wedding photos of our grandparents and parents. I am also working on compiling marriage advice from our families, and we will be displaying their wisdom in a beautiful way, too.

Photo by Haley Sheffield from Emily and Joe’s wedding

Goodness, designing all of these details is something that makes my wedding-loving heart so happy, and knowing they are for OUR wedding is icing on the cake! I am truly giddy about the thought of it all and seeing these meaningful details come to life on our wedding day.

Tell me: if you already got married, what were the most personalized details you chose to incorporate that are a nod to your love story? And if you haven’t planned your wedding yet, are there any details you are absolutely set on having? (I used to want a black and white checked dance floor (and I still do!), but it simply isn’t in our budget and wasn’t an absolute priority for me!)

P.S. In case you missed a post:
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress
Bridesmaid style
Engagement photos

Landon Jacob, Amy Arrington, Nancy Ray, and Davy Whitener are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Goodness gracious, as of this week, we are a mere ten weeks away from our wedding day! As much as I feel like the time has absolutely flown by, Rob and I have also been intentional about savoring each moment, thoughtfully making decisions, and trying to stay present during a busy and exciting season of life. Now, all of our big tasks have been checked off, and it’s time to refocus on the small yet meaningful details, finalizing our ceremony, loving on our family and friends, and preparing well to become husband and wife!

One of the most exciting and wonderful days of our engagement was the day we took our engagement photos, which really and truly felt like a pinch-me moment. As silly as it sounds, that blissful, beautiful day was one of the best days of my life! Engagement pictures seem like such a rite of passage, a fun way to kick off the engagement season, and the perfect way to capture love and joy.

Rob and I are not used to being the ones in front of the camera, and I have to admit that I was a little nervous to be our photographers’ main subject (along with Rob, of course!). We selected Ally and Bobby as our wedding photographers for a myriad of reasons, including how comfortable we already were around them. I’ve now learned firsthand how important it is to really get to know your photographers and to get to work with them before your wedding day, and I cannot emphasize just how much FUN we had shooting our engagement pictures!

My engagement session advice to other brides-to-be is this: take advantage of your engagement session to get to know your photographers beforehand, get comfortable in front of the camera, and enjoy getting to snuggle and smooch your fiancé!

One of the other big decisions to make when planning your engagement session is deciding on your outfits! I was debating ordering or renting a long, flowy gown or statement gown for our engagement session, but the more I looked at dresses, the more I realized that this was just not me. Just because others have worn epic gowns does not mean that I need to!

One of the biggest takeaways I learned while planning out our engagement session was that I wanted these images and our day to be completely us. I didn’t want to worry about what others would want us to do or wear, or try to be something we are not! Once I stepped back and realized this, decisions were so much easier. I wanted to choose outfits that, when looking at our images in one year, ten years, and fifty years, we would look back on and still love.

Overall, I wanted to wear classic, timeless clothing in the colors Rob and I tend to gravitate towards the most: white, shades of blue, neutrals, and blush. We love High Cotton Ties, and this navy tie was a great addition to Rob’s dressier look. I’m so happy with how our look came together, but even more importantly, I love seeing how we smile at each other and how our love for one another shines through!

Another aspect of engagement session planning we had to tackle: where to have our session. If you’re puzzling out this question yourself, think about the places that are most meaningful to you and that make sense for the look you’re going for! We chose to have our engagement session on stunning Bald Head Island off the coast of North Carolina, and I cannot imagine a more gorgeous or perfect setting for our engagement pictures – it is like out of a fairytale! It’s only a few hours (and a quick ferry ride) from Raleigh, so Ally, Bobby, Rob, and I made a fun day trip of it. This island holds even more meaning for us now, and we are so grateful that we were blessed with a 70 degree, sunny, beautiful day in November!

I knew that we didn’t want any fancy, elaborate props and wanted to simply focus on images of just us. However, we made one exception, and it’s one of my favorite parts of our engagement session! We had our dear friend Alexa of Sage Paper Co. hand letter this truly stunning verse sign for us. In addition to being a part of our engagement photos, it will be displayed at our wedding, and we’ll have it hanging in our home forever. For us, it’s such a sweet reminder of what’s ultimately the most important part of our wedding and our marriage.

If you have engagement photos lined up, how are you incorporating personal touches to make your session unique to your love story? And if you have already had an engagement session, what is your favorite memory or best advice from the day? I would love to hear!

P.S. In case you missed a post:
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress
Bridesmaid style

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar julie reply

    Amazing Blog…Thanks for sharing lovely blog..

  2. avatar julie reply

    Amazing Blog…Thanks for sharing lovely Blog….

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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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Photo by Jose Villa via Once Wed

Hello, hello! I’m excited to share another installment from our wedding planning journey, especially since we’re right at 100 days til we say “I do”! Our engagement has flown by in the best of ways, and it’s exhilarating (and only a little anxiety-inducing) to think we are three months away from our wedding day.

I’m so pleased to report that I finally made a decision and pulled the trigger on bridesmaid dresses! Choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses has felt like one of the biggest tasks on my priority list, so I’m especially excited to have come to a decision after much browsing and searching.

Photo by Justine Milton via Style Me Pretty

I feel so unbelievably blessed to have eleven of my closest friends standing by my side on our wedding day. My amazing sister and best friend, Bridgette, is my matron of honor, and then ten of my best friends from college and my time in D.C. round out the group. These incredible, beautiful friends mean so very much to me, and I am honored and grateful that they are in my bridal party! (Rob has eleven groomsmen, and yes, we know we have a very large wedding party – but this is the South, after all!)

Given that I have a large number of bridesmaids, you can imagine that they live all over. Only one of my bridesmaids lives near me in the Triangle, and the rest are spread all over the East Coast and South. I knew that going bridesmaid dress shopping in person wasn’t really an option, and I also knew that I needed to make a decision fairly quickly, given our six month engagement. I wanted to be especially mindful of budgets (especially since I knew I’d be going with a long gown) and body shapes/fit. (I have bridesmaids ranging from 5’2 to 5’11 and one who will be seven months pregnant!)

Photo by Julie Cate via Style Me Pretty

Today, I’m sharing several gorgeous inspiration images I’ve collected that reflect the look I’m envisioning for our wedding. I knew I wanted long gowns for my ladies, and I knew the general color palette. The hunt was on for the perfect shade(s) of dresses in the most flattering, beautiful styles… all at a reasonable price.

As you can tell from the photos I’ve collected, I love long gowns (perfect for a spring garden wedding); mismatched but complementary styles; soft, flowing, romantic gowns; a particular color palette (any guesses on the final color(s)?); and, of course, bouquets with contrasting flowing ribbons!

Photo by Nancy Ray via Southern Weddings

It took a long time and much searching, but I am so thrilled that I finally found exactly what I was looking for! Styles and color have been decided, dresses have been ordered, and now I cannot wait to see my lovely, wonderful bridesmaids looking oh-so-gorgeous on our wedding day! It’ll be the first time I see it all together — eek!

I’d love to hear how the bridesmaid dress journey/decision was for you! Did you run into any obstacles or shift ideas completely? I didn’t expect it to be so hard to find dresses in the exact style and color I was envisioning, but I’m glad we persevered. By the way, when I was younger, I always thought my bridesmaids would wear yellow! :)

P.S. In case you missed a post…
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress

Nancy Ray is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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!

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