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Oh, New Orleans. If I had to pick one place in the South to attend a wedding in, it would be this romantic, historic city in Louisiana, and Nolan and Steve’s secret garden-esque wedding is only making that desire stronger! The New Orleans Botanical Garden was the perfect place for our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Elyse of Tying the Knot, to bring Nolan and Steve’s vintage, organically glamorous vision to life. Emily and I are headed to Bridal Market this week, and I must say, Nolan’s striking Claire Pettibone dress has me more excited than ever!

Thank you kindly to Ashleigh Jayne for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I wanted something off-white or gold, and I wanted it to scream vintage and delicate. I had done a lot of research, so I knew Claire Pettibone was my best bet. As soon as I put my dress on, I knew it was the one. Luckily, Claire was visiting from California and she worked with me to ensure that the dress would fit my petite frame perfectly. Her meticulous attention to detail and that lace truly set the tone for the wedding. I see my dress as a piece of art. It is currently on a vintage form in our house so I can see it every day!

Describe your wedding flowers. Kim Starr Wise and her team added our pop of color. My florals included camellia foliage (my ode to the South), olive branches (to symbolize peace), peonies, ranunculus, dahlias, and green amaranthus. Kim also created this amazing garland that draped the large tree at our ceremony to create an ethereal effect. It was gorgeous!! She also created several organic wreaths that lined the aisle and were repurposed on the reception walls.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! Steve and I have so many mutual friends and we are so close to each other’s families, so we wanted to get pictures out of the way so we could spend time with them. I was most looking forward to the cocktail hour because it was around a koi pond with string lights at dusk, and I didn’t want to miss that! It was so lovely to see each other prior to the ceremony.

Instead of writing our own vows, we are going to say vows at a personal ceremony on our first anniversary. I think a lot of growth occurs in the first year of marriage, and it is important to look back over the year and see how you can improve, communicate more effectively, and grow as an individual to better your marriage. One thing we changed in our ceremony was the wording at the end of our ceremony from, “You can now kiss the bride” to “You can now kiss the love of your life,” to make it less traditional and more about the union between the two of us.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? New Orleans is the perfect place to represent the South’s diverse culture and our delicious cuisine. The soundtrack of our souls fill the cobblestone streets and the old oaks covered in Spanish moss paint every background. The French aura, old architecture, and richness are the definition of romantic. My husband and I don’t plan on moving down South anytime soon, so I knew this was my one chance to show our friends and family where I come from. We wanted an ethereal, natural setting that complimented our vintage glam theme, and we could not have found a better venue than the New Orleans Botanical Gardens situated in the heart of City Park. We wanted it to feel like a secret garden wedding, where people could roam the gardens into the dark hours and enjoy the scenery beyond the wild dance floor. The Botanical Gardens were the perfect backdrop to our day of love.

I worked with an outstanding team of vendors, and of course, my wedding planner, Elyse, was our glue. My vision changed several times, but I always stuck to my core: it had to be vintage, feel organically glamorous, be in a garden, integrate the oaks, and have epic music. Like most things in my life, I wanted to create an imperfect medley of the old and the new. I randomly found Steve’s lion cufflinks at a flea market, ordered vintage stamps that illustrated the states we have lived in, wore my great grandmother’s ring as my “something blue,” and found wedding photos from the 1800’s to add rich history to our tables.

Our first dance was “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison, as it depicts the journey that marriage truly is. Music is life’s soundtrack, so we also made an album that our guests can listen to forever.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Over ten years ago, I dug up my firmly planted Southern roots and ventured out west to Colorado. In exchange for the hundred-year-old oaks, I was surrounded by rugged Rocky Mountains and narrow aspens that rained gold in autumn. Looking back on it now, I’d say giving up that sweet tea was worth it because I found the one soul that makes mine complete. Steve and I met during the first week of college, and it was not love at first sight. I was straight out of LA, “Lower Alabama,” and he was a too-cool-for-school Southern Californian. As a petite lil’ lady, I saw him and immediately jumped into his lap for a bear hug. Not. So. Fast. He had boundaries and I crossed them. It took many months for our friendship to blossom and we did not start dating until two years into college. I told him I’d marry him after the seven-year itch and we got married a month shy of our eight-year anniversary.
Tell us all about the proposal! We went to college together in Boulder, Colorado. We didn’t hike often, but when we did go, we always went on one particular trail. After college, we moved to San Diego and then relocated to Denver. One Saturday morning, Steve planned a hike to go on “our” mountain, and we packed a bottle of wine and cheese, remembering that it as a long, hard hike. It only took us 30 minutes! We were at the top of the mountain in no time, and I wasn’t about to start drinking at 10 A.M., so we each had our coconut water instead. He had me pour it into a dixie cup (which was odd) and then we said a toast. We toast with something we’re grateful for for every drink or meal, so this wasn’t unusual, but then he went pale. I asked him if he was okay and stepped away to look at the view of Boulder. Seconds later, he came up behind me and presented the ring. Of course, when he asked, I said yes!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 175
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I had the bridal party walk down the aisle to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” I think this song is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and it is also so meaningful–our entire wedding party consisted of mutual friends who have been with me and Steve since day one. I approached my soon-to-be husband to “Fools Rush In” with the irony that it took us eight years to tie the knot.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Cheryl at Bittersweet Confectioners made the most delicious and gorgeous cake a bride could ask for. I wanted a simple, textured, tiered cake so that when we added florals, they would pop! It was the best cake I’ve ever had!! I ate it for days following the wedding.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My biggest advice is to plan ahead and find help. So many decisions can get overwhelming and it’s great to have various perspectives. Take it day by day, and don’t get bogged down in the details. People appreciate details, but they don’t pay nearly as much attention to them as you do.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We bought a home! We are looking forward to some down time this winter, to cooking, to spending time together without the wedding planning stress, and to our honeymoon in Japan next fall.

Photographer: Ashleigh Jayne / Videographer: Bride Film and Street Car Films / Planner: Elyse Skansi of Tying the Knot / Venue and Catering: New Orleans Botanical Gardens / Florist: Kim Starr Wise / Cake Baker: Bittersweet Confections / Rentals and Lighting: Event Rentals / DJ: Larry DeWitt Music Source / Ceremony Music: Harry @ New Orleans Classical and Jazz / Paper Products: Paper Source / Bride’s Gown: “Eloquence” by Claire Pettibone / Bridal Salon: Little White Dress / Bride’s Jewelry: Nordstrom / Hair and Makeup: Kiss and Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Transportation: Alert Transportation

Tying the Knots is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    What a stunning gown!! I love it paired with the bridesmaid dresses!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the back of her dress is so gorgeous! so are the flowers!

  3. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Oh that DRESS!!! *swoon*

  4. avatar Valerie reply

    Wow, simply gorgeous! Her gown is incredible.

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I always know it’s going to be a great Real Wedding when I get an email from Miss Lisa while she’s prepping it, saying how much I’m going to love it. Boy, was she right! Lisa and I both fell in love with not only the beauty of Christina and Tyler’s wedding, but also, their adorable personalities and acute focus on creating an intimate wedding with a feeling so special that it’s palpable even to their future grandchildren. After quite the long courtship, these two absolutely knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together and reflected this throughout their day. They worked with their wedding planner, From This Day Forward, to combine old South with a splash of couture. Right up my alley!

Obviously, Christina’s top knot and tulle ball gown rock my world, but that’s not what truly makes this wedding hit the nail on the head–it’s the heart behind each detail. While glamorous accessories are oh-so-pretty, like Christina said “those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.” Amen!

Big SW hugs to Ariel Renae for sharing this sparkly day with us!

It took me four states, eight bridal boutiques, and countless dresses before I found the one. When I would imagine myself on our wedding day, the same thought always came to mind: that perfect little church and Tyler standing at the end of the aisle after the church doors opened. I wasn’t choosing my dress based on the look of our wedding, our reception location, or anything else. All I was concerned about were those few seconds of Tyler watching me walk towards him. Because we had already been together for so long and he had already seen me in countless dresses, I was determined to find something grand–the type of dress that I would never get the opportunity to wear again. Friends and family members were all pushing for me to choose a mermaid gown, but I had something else in mind. I wanted vintage, yet modern–the type of dress my daughter would one day want to wear. I found that in my Vera Wang. I fell in love with the combination of lace and tulle, but it was the structure of the dress that had me sold. Not to mention, Tyler had stated in years passing that he envisioned me in a ball gown with my hair up… so that is exactly what I gave him.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, my something blue ended up being very special. Leading up to the wedding, my sister and I fell in love with these royal blue suede heels, so I decided to make them my something blue. However, what I didn’t realize was that Tyler’s mom had a very meaningful gift waiting for me in Savannah. The morning before our wedding, she handed me a ring box. In the box was a flawless blue sapphire ring that was previously worn by Tyler’s nanny. Tyler’s nanny was was his world, and unfortunately, God decided to take her sooner than we would have liked. It was such a sweet surprise and an honor to wear that ring on my wedding day. Tyler’s mom said that before she passed away, Tyler’s nanny told her to give the ring to Tyler’s bride. I can’t wait to continue the tradition and one day be able to hand over the ring to my new daughter-in-law. Those perfect little blue heels may have been cute, but family heirlooms last forever.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? At first, picking a wedding location seemed like a daunting task. Since I was born and raised in Virginia, we both went to high school and college in Georgia, and we’ve both been living in Florida for the last five years, we really had the entire South to choose from. However, it ended up being one of the easiest decisions for us to make when we started planning our wedding. I had spent months researching churches across the East Coast, and I just so happened to stumble upon Whitefield Chapel. We decided to make a trip up to Savannah to see it in person, and it was love at first sight. We both instantly knew we were meant to wed there.

Too funny!

Describe your wedding flowers. Because I loved the idea of mixing the old South with a splash of couture, I really wanted to pair the look of loose, garden flowers with the glitz and glamour that went with my bridesmaid gowns. I knew I wanted all white blooms, lots of greenery, and lots of texture, to create a Lowcountry feel. My two favorite floral pieces were the garland attached to the back bumper of our vintage Bentley, and my flower crown that the ladies of A to Zinnias constructed for our rehearsal dinner. Simply stunning.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Nope, Team Traditional Vows all the way.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. You can even find this verse written on an old particle board hanging in our living room. Whenever one of us is quick to have a temper, the rule is you must stand in front of the sign and read the entire verse out loud for the other to hear. What may have started out as a joke has turned out to be very conducive.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: From Christina: I really can’t choose just one. I love how we provided the trolley service for our guests, so they wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. I also loved our welcome bags, which included Georgia pecans, glass bottles of coke with Crown Royal, and vintage Savannah postcards. I would guess Tyler’s favorite detail was his dance moves. From Tyler: My favorite detail was the chalkboard sign at the entrance of the chapel that my wife made for me.

Now that is some serious Blue Steel, Mr. Tatum – work!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? By far, my favorite detail of the wedding was displaying our moms’ wedding dresses for all of our guests to see. My mom had found the perfect vintage dress forms online and they went beautifully with the architecture and style of our reception space. Also, instead of using a typical guest book, we decided to use quilt patches that my great-grandmother had sewn decades ago. What better way to remember our wedding guests than by reading their messages on a family heirloom that’s been passed down three generations?

We LOVE seeing how real couples incorporate products from the Southern Weddings Shop into their own weddings!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Adele’s version of “Make You Feel My Love.” That song is so special to us because it really connects with what we’ve gone through and endured in our relationship over the last ten years. “There’s no doubt in my mind where you belong…” is probably my favorite line, but I’m pretty sure I whispered every word of the entire song in Tyler’s ear during our first dance.

Our guests came from far and wide to attend our Southern-themed Georgia wedding, so it was only fitting that we offered Georgia peach cake with peach buttercream icing. Yum! In recognition of my daily pumpkin coffee, we also offered a pumpkin cake with cream cheese icing–my favorite! When choosing the design of our cake, I was thinking big picture. I knew I wanted to surround our cake with vintage family photos of our loved ones on their wedding days. I had also found the perfect swans to include in the mix, along with a gorgeous calligraphy piece from the Southern Weddings Shop that I had custom framed. When it came time to design the actual cake, I knew I wanted something simple and chic. Tier Luxury Cakes really came through with that understated elegant look I was going for.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Do you have all day? No, but in all seriousness, our love story has been a beautiful mess. It’s definitely not the easiest thing meeting your future husband at the age of 18, yet somehow, we managed to stay together through growing up and finding ourselves. Our story began in the summer of 2004, when we were in our first year at different colleges, after we both graduated from the same high school the year before. Over the next ten years, through butterflies, heartbreaks, deaths, moves, and new adventures, we learned that God definitely used us to shape who the other is today. Moral of the story, trust the man above…especially when he sends a cute boy your way.
Tell us all about the proposal! In the years leading up to the proposal, I had always asked that if he did propose, do it at anytime EXCEPT right before the bar exam. Well, we’re all Southern ladies here, so you can probably predict what happened next…I was finishing up my final semester in law school, gearing up for the bar exam, when Tyler decided it was the perfect time to pop the question. Because my birthday always fell during exams, our tradition was to spend it in the library, cupcakes in hand. For this particular birthday, Tyler kept begging me to spend the night away from my books, and instead, go with him to a special dinner. Little did I know that he had arranged for a private room at Capital Grill with special service, flowers, wine–the whole nine yards. He had even put together a special video filled with our closest friends and family wishing me a happy birthday, which would then lead to the proposal. However, due to my very stubborn and overachieving ways, I refused to celebrate my birthday and insisted that I spend that time studying. To this day, after all of his preparation, I will never understand how Tyler refrained from dragging me to dinner with him. But, he didn’t force me, and things always have a funny way of working out, because although his plan seemed perfect, it may have been too perfect for us. We enjoy the simple things in life–we love our beach bungalow, our chocolate lab, and pedaling the day away on our beach cruisers. He proposed on the beach, early the next morning during sunrise, with Marley, our beloved lab, right by his side. It couldn’t have been more “us.” I then started the grueling process of bar prep with one very large distraction sitting on my left hand, while having learned my first lesson as a newly engaged woman: boys never listen.
When did y’all get married? November 16, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 60
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? You couldn’t have paid us to do a first look. We consider ourselves very traditional when it comes to family and lifetime moments, and after waiting ten years for this occasion, there would be no spoiling it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Oh goodness, probably when I found out that the church had double booked us, which led to us switching reception venues. Or when my bridal suite, a week before the wedding, said that they had scheduled us for the wrong weekend and we no longer had a reservation. Moral of the story, expect at least three meltdowns. Maybe four.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We definitely saved money by having an intimate wedding. It was important to us to only have our closest friends and family members in attendance and we wouldn’t have changed that for the world.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I could rave about all of our vendors because they were ALL amazing. However, I had spent months and months searching for the perfect photographer and it really paid off. I remember the night that I discovered Ariel’s work. It took me three hours just to draft our initial email to see if she’d be interested in shooting our wedding… I was convinced that she’d never choose us. To my surprise, she called me the next day and was by far one of the coolest people I had ever met. Thanks to Ariel, we now have gorgeous shots from our engagement shoot, rehearsal dinner, and of course, our entire wedding day. I’ll treasure them forever and I’m counting down the days until I get to show them to our children. It’s going to be awesome.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Tyler: My most memorable moment from the wedding was standing next to my best friends, seeing my family and friends in the crowd, and hearing Canon in D start playing and the doors opening to my beautiful bride! I’m not an emotional guy at all, but it was so hard to fight back the tears in that moment. It was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I have played guitar for 16 years and always loved that song, but now, every time I hear and play it, I think of that moment and how excited I felt to marry my best friend. She looked absolutely gorgeous and when those doors opened and I saw her for the first time, she could not have looked any more perfect.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? This day is all about you and your future spouse. But, it’s also about your future children, their children, and so on. Therefore, plan your day with the intentions of capturing that special feeling that even your grandchildren will be able to experience through photos alone.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Lots of children and lots of laughter.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? It was awesome. You should have been there.

Photographer: Ariel Renae Photography / Planner: Weddings From This Day Forward / Ceremony Venue: Whitefield Chapel / Reception Venue: Garibaldi’s Cafe / Florist: A to Zinnias / Wedding Cake: Tier Luxury Cakes / Rentals: Savannah Special Events /  DJ: DJ Nick Fresh / Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang / Paper Products & Calligraphy: Lowcountry Paper Co / Hair Stylist: Salon Aqua / Makeup Artist: Lauren Rossi Makeup / Bride’s Shoes: BCBG / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Badgley Mischka via Rent the Runway / Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein  / Groomsmen Attire: Mens Wearhouse / Vintage Stamps: Verde Studio / Welcome Bags: Pressed Cotton / Ampersand Coasters: Redbirdink / Gold Glitter Drink Stirrers: dillpicklepicnic / Flower Petal Bags: Howjoyfulshop

marissa Written with love by Marissa
35 Comments
  1. avatar ariel renae reply

    This was one of my favorite weddings of the year! Such a beautiful day! Thanks for the feature!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Seriously, I just love them! They did such an amazing job staying focused on what really matters, and that love and thoughtfulness is so evident in their wedding pictures!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Oh I LOVE the dress she picked! And that cake table is stunning! Such a gorgeous & classy wedding!!

  4. avatar Aly reply

    This wedding is absolutely beautiful. I love the sparkly bridesmaid dresses, and every detail seems to have been thought of. And the bride? So chic and elegant.

  5. avatar Kathryn reply

    Those bridesmaid dresses are truly stunning… as is the glowing bride. Not only do I feel a kinship, in that I too will be sporting Ms. Wang come September – but the moment I saw that Spanish moss coming off those Live Oaks I knew immediately that was where I’ve called home for the last 5 years; sweet Savannah :) Not to mention I’ll be celebrating my birthday/graduation at Garibaldi’s cafe come the end of next month – and by the looks of it, I definitely have something to look forward to!

  6. avatar Emily reply

    SUCH a beautiful wedding, inside and out! I love how she describes/thinks about her wedding photos in relation to her future kids! :)

  7. avatar Erin | Elizabeth Anne Designs reply

    LOVE the sparkly bridesmaids dresses and the gold details throughout….absolutely stunning!

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  9. avatar Abby reply

    Hello! This wedding is exactly what I want in my own this fall. Could the bride possibly say how the experience with renting the bridesmaid’s dresses was? I am considering Rent The Runway for my girls and these are THE dresses I love! Thank you!! -Abby

    • avatar Christina reply

      Hi Abby!! I’ll admit, it was a very risky move on my part, but it turned out better than I could have ever hoped! I just suggest doing your homework, speaking with the ladies at RTR, making sure that all of your girls are ordering the right sizes based on the reviews of other girls who have their same body type, and triple check that the address and orders are correct in the RTR system. If all fails, just remember that RTR can over night you a different size if needed, that is if it is in stock. So long story short, call RTR and discuss your ideas and wishes for your girl’s dresses and they should be able to lead you in the right direction. Hope this helps and wishing you a beautiful wedding!

    • avatar Jen reply

      I realize I’m a little late to the game on this wedding, but I just HAD to comment. What a stunner — in every way, you can really see the love. I so appreciate that the couple stayed focused on what really matters and stuck to their traditions. So beautiful!!

      The bridesmaid dresses are breathtaking and I would love for my MOH to wear that dress for my upcoming wedding, was just curious if the dress was the gold or blush version (both are available on RTR — eek!)? It is so hard to tell from pics and I want to be sure! Many thanks!!!

    • avatar Abigail reply

      I have the same question! I have been trying to figure it out for a few hours now haha :)!

    • avatar Abigail reply

      Hi Christina! I love your bridesmaid dresses! I am considering doing the same look for my bridesmaids but I’m just wondering which color dress your girls are wearing— the gold or the more blush-y colored one!? Would you mind letting me know? :)

      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgley_mischka/night_at_the_oscars_gown

      https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/badgleymischka_dresses/awardwinnergown

  10. avatar Christina reply

    Still in awe that our wedding was featured on THE Southern Weddings! Thank you so much to everyone for the sweet comments and hope everyone has a blessed day!

    xoxo MRS. Tatum :)

  11. avatar Melanie Thomas reply

    What Material are the brides maids dresses

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  14. avatar marcia reply

    Where are the gold bridesmaid dresses from? so pretty

  15. avatar Amanda reply

    Wow!! This bride is beautiful and I feel like this entire wedding is my inspiration. Any idea where the bridesmaid dresses are from? Love it all!! Fantastic shots

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Amanda! The bridesmaid dresses are Badgley Mischka from Rent the Runway :)

  16. avatar Sara reply

    Love this Vera wang gown. Do you know the name of the gown? I tried on a really similar one but the top of this one looks different. Thanks!

  17. avatar Emily reply

    Gorgeous!!

  18. avatar Claudia Hernandez reply

    Hello, I hope you are well.
    Please would you let me know where did you found your bridesmaids dresses?

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  22. avatar Sharon reply

    Hi! I’m planning a Southern GA wedding & would love to know where you got the koozies from

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  26. avatar Crystal reply

    You had an amazingly beautiful wedding where oh where did you find the bridesmaid dresses!?

  27. avatar Megan reply

    Where did you get your bridesmaids dresses!? My friend is getting married soon and she loves them!

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I’m not positive, but this might be the first Canadian wedding to grace Southern Weddings! The lovely bride, Brooklynne, and her Southern gent, Michael, met at summer camp as teenagers, and then fell in love over years of distance between Canada and South Carolina. A birthday visit and surprise picnic proposal later, this sweet couple decided to bring everything they love about the South to Canada through their charming, sparkly wedding. We couldn’t agree more with Brooklynne’s sentiment that Southern is a state of mind, and we can only imagine how much their Northern guests enjoyed an evening of Southern hospitality…and cuisine!

Thank you so much to Genevieve Renee Photographie for sharing Brooklynne and Michael’s wedding with us!

I was nervous about finding a dress that would not only fit my vision, but be something that Michael would love as well. I was ecstatic when I found a dress at a boutique in my hometown that was just perfect. The mix of tulle and lace struck the perfect balance of whimsical, feminine, and a touch vintage. It was a bit over budget, so I decided to think it over for a bit. That night, during my ritual wedding blog perusals, I came across the used wedding dresses on Once Wed. I decided to type in the dress I had tried on earlier that day, and to my amazement, the exact dress in the right size came up! The price was almost half of what the store was selling it for. I had always imagined myself saying yes to the dress in the shop while wearing the dress, but I decided to just email the owner anyway. I decided to order the dress, and within a week, it was in my home! It was everything that I had imagined, and I was so thankful I could save that money and use it toward another part of the wedding, without compromising the dress that I had always envisioned.

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted my bouquet to look handpicked and whimsical, but still have structure and continuity. My sister helped me come up with the perfect blooms, and our florist executed the bouquet so beautifully–neutral astilbe, blushing bride protea, lisianthus, and wax flower, with pops of coral and pink garden roses. White veronica and green trailing ruscus accented the feminine flowers. My sister hand-tied my bouquet with beautiful silk ribbon from FrouFrou Chic.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided against a first look, as we wanted the impact of seeing each other for the first time as I came down the aisle. This was an easy decision for both of us!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We both love traditional vows and felt like they encompassed everything we wanted to communicate to each other. Michael’s father is a pastor and married us, so it was so wonderful to be able to go through the vows and talk about what they actually mean, making traditional vows very personal to us.

Walking down the aisle, a friend played “Dawn” from Pride and Prejudice, a simple and lovely song on the piano. We wanted something beautiful that didn’t distract from the moment. During our ceremony, we had my grandmother and Michael’s grandfather each read a Scripture passage, Colossians 3:12-17 and Ephesians 3:14-21.

Because of immigration/paperwork complications, we couldn’t have the wedding in the South that we had always dreamed of. But Southern is a state of mind, so we decided to throw a Southern-infused bash up in Canada! Our ceremony was followed by a church picnic-inspired biscuit bar–my grandma made the biscuits and the jam was brought in from Texas. Dinner and merriment were held in a charming town dance hall, where our guests enjoyed a brisket dinner served family-style, BBQ sauce homemade by Michael’s grandpa, and of course, sweet tea. :)

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I was so honored to have my sweet and talented sister, Alexandra Joy of Pink & Honey Event Styling, style our special day for us. I have worked with her on many different shoots and projects, and have always been so inspired by the beauty she creates, so to have her pour her creative talents and love into our wedding was so special. To top it off, she was seven months along with my sweet niece at our wedding!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I was so excited to have the bakery I had been working at provide the cakes for our wedding! I loved knowing what was going into the cakes–from the fresh and delicious ingredients, to the love and passion the bakers pour into each cake! We decided on a display of seven cakes, all with different designs and textures on white buttercream. They were topped with chunks of fresh honeycomb, white wax flower, and greenery. Not only were they beautiful, they were also absolutely delicious!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. At the sweet age of 16, I went down to Texas from Canada to work at a summer camp. I was paired up with Michael, who was 17, to do photography for the camp. It didn’t take long for me to fall for this sweet Southern gentleman, who was so different from any guy I had ever met. At the end of the summer, I returned to Canada, and we spent the next year and a half getting to know each other through letters, emails, and a few visits. In January of our freshmen year of college, we officially began dating, and thus began several years of long distance. Because of some visa complications, I had to return to Canada and began working at a bakery, while Michael attended college in South Carolina. Yet, Michael proved to be the strong, caring man I fell for at 16–he continually came to Canada to visit me and didn’t let the complications of distance change our relationship.
Tell us all about the proposal! Michael was planning to come to Canada to visit me for his fall break during his senior year of college. My birthday was on a Friday, so he planned to come a few days after that and stay for the week. However, on my birthday, he surprised me by coming early! That night (without my knowing), he asked my dad permission to marry me. The next day, Michael took me on an evening picnic at the very top of a hill, which overlooked the Rocky Mountains. He set up a tripod and camera behind us to take photos of the sunset. After a few minutes, he came over and sat by me, and proceeded to read me the most beautiful letter. We had saved saying “I love you,” as Michael only wanted to say it to the girl he married. In that letter, he told me all the reasons he had grown to love me. At the end, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! To top it all off, he had been recording the whole thing behind me on the tripod without me knowing.
When did y’all get married? August 17, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I loved that there was a story behind almost all of the details in the wedding. My sister made fabric flags for our send-off, my best friend spent hours dip-dyeing napkins with me, and a whole group of friends participated in a craft night, making dozens of fabric mobiles that covered the ceiling of our reception. I also absolutely loved that my brother-in-law made loaves of homemade sourdough bread for each table at our reception.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest thing we faced during our engagement and wedding planning was the distance between us. It was hard having to do different things without Michael, even simple appointments or consultations. I just wanted to do all of these “wedding things” with my groom! But it led us to communicate well, not get upset at each other over minor things, and appreciate the time we had together so much.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Right after the ceremony, Michael and I slipped away to share our first moments as husband and wife together before taking photos. It was so special to have a few minutes to take in everything that had just happened, thank the Lord for His goodness, and enjoy the moment.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? After assisting at many different weddings, I couldn’t wait to plan my own. It was a special time that only happens once, but it really is only one day…a marriage, on the other hand, is forever. Spend time together as a couple planning for your marriage and future, not just the wedding. Don’t let a day that is supposed to be celebrating and emphasizing your love damage your relationship. Recognize that this day, like the rest of your relationship, is suppose to be about the bettering of the other person. Pray about the decisions you make as you’re planning, and be thankful!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? I had always imagined that after our wedding, I would move back to Texas, begin making a house a home, and just enjoy a simple life with my husband. Well, the Lord had other plans for us, and four days after our honeymoon, we were on a plane flying across the world to the beautiful country of New Zealand. We are spending the next year volunteering at a small Capernwray Bible School on the South Island, with Michael teaching and me serving as the school’s cook. We would have never imagined our first year of marriage in New Zealand, but we are so thankful for this opportunity. It is so wonderful to have a year together to explore, adventure, and continue to learn about each other.

Photographer: Genevieve Renee Photographie / Planner: Pink & Honey Event Styling / Ceremony Venue: North Zion Lutheran Church / Reception Venue: Southey Memorial Hall / Florist: Fresh and Green / Cake Bakers: Crave Cookies & Cupcakes / Catering: Smokin’ Okies BBQ / Band: Jamison Troy (Bride’s brother) / Paper Products: Uh Oh My Deer / Bride’s Dress: “Detalle” by Provonias / Bride’s Shoes and Jewelry: Kate Spade / Hair Stylist: Alison Borowko / Makeup Artist: Ginette Yee / Bridesmaid Dresses: Ruche, ModCloth, TopShop, World of Trout / Groom’s Attire: Tip Top Tailor / Groomsmen’s Attire: Express Men / Bouquet Ribbon: FrouFrou Chic / “South” Print: Southern Weddings Shop

lisa Written with love by Lisa
22 Comments
  1. avatar Whitley Gaffney reply

    LOVE that they played “Dawn” from Pride and Prejudice, I have always wanted to have the scores from the movie incorporated in my wedding one day!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Their golden ceremony backdrop is beautiful! Love all of their details!!

  3. avatar Ariana – Hey Wedding Lady reply

    What a phenomenally stylish bride! I love the gold detailing!

  4. avatar Michael reply

    Thank you for the feature!

  5. avatar Caitlyn reply

    Love the sweet story behind this one. :) How fun to have your sister be a part of designing your special day.

  6. avatar Brooklynne McCall reply

    Hooray! Thank you for the kind words and wonderful feature! xo

    • avatar cortney reply

      LOOOOOOOOOOVEEEE your BM dresses!!! I’ve been searching for a gold dress that i like, let alone LOVE!!! well I found the LOVE in your wedding! Wish I knew where you found the one in your group picture of you & your BM’s she is on the far right, with a sheer top and gold sequins?!?! would love to hear from you if could!!

      Beautiful Wedding!!!

  7. avatar William Carter Sam reply

    These photos are lovely — and honestly, making me consider one day having a engagement or wedding! Great photos.

  8. avatar Dana reply

    they are so darling. her bridesmaid dresses are perfect!

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  15. avatar Kristin reply

    Where did you get your bridesmaid dresses from?! I LOVE THEM! :)

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  18. avatar Katelyn reply

    Where on earth did you find the bridesmaid dresses!?! They are so beautiful!!!

    • avatar Brooklynne McCall reply

      Thanks! They were from a variety of stores- ModCloth, Ruche, & Top Shop.

  19. avatar Katie reply

    LOVE this wedding-so beautiful! I would love to know how the ceremony backdrop was made. It looks like fabric with the gold circles ironed on? What is the material of the gold dots? Thanks so much!

    • avatar Brooklynne McCall reply

      Thanks! We tried multiple different ways but the easiest way.. the circles were a pack of pre-cut cardstock circles from Michaels. We spray painted them gold and used spray glue to stick them to the fabric backdrop :)

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