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Friends, as you know we have been working our way through sharing our V7 print weddings with y’all on the blog. We had a bumper crop in our last issue (17!), so it’s taken us quite awhile. But here we are, at the last one! I would never play favorites, and so I won’t say we saved the best for last… but Abby and Alex’s celebration certainly holds a special place in our hearts. We had the pleasure of featuring their adorable Birmingham bungalow in our Southern Newlywed column just a few months after they tied the knot, and across all the ways we’ve gotten to know this sweet couple, we’ve been so tickled by the ways they embody our brand. They love each other deeply, find joy in doing life together, and know that a good marriage is one that’s never perfected, but always growing. Their family-centered, love-filled wedding was truly a beautiful, and meaningful beginning to married life.

As always, A Bryan Photo captured so beautifully the little moments that make up a wedding day for those of us who were not there…

In true small town fashion, Alex and I heard about each other after his grandmother cut my aunt’s hair (beauty shop talk–straight-up Steel Magnolias, y’all). They decided we would be perfect for each other and should meet… unfortunately, I headed on the World Race (an 11-month mission trip) soon after, and Alex flew to Northern California to serve at JH Ranch. During our time on different continents, a mutual friend told me that Alex was keeping up with my World Race blog. My interest was piqued, and I kept this mystery man in the back of my mind for the rest of the journey. When I came home, the Lord opened doors for me to move to Birmingham (where Alex lived), and I was finally able to meet the blue-eyed hunk I had heard so much about. He got my number (from his grandmother, who got it from my aunt), and asked me to lunch. It took all of about half an hour of nervously eating a salad to know I wanted to marry the guy.

Describe the proposal: Just the best day ever. Alex took me on a day trip last August to Mentone, Alabama. I wasn’t anywhere close to wanting to go home when Alex announced a “stomachache” and a need to hit the road. On the way back to Birmingham, he suggested stopping at his parents’ farm for medicine. Odd things started happening as we approached. I noticed cars in their barn, all of the lights turned out at their house, and twinkle lights on a distant tree in the field. When Alex opened my car door, no longer seeming sickly, but grinning from ear to ear, I knew exactly what was happening. Speechless, I let him lead me down a path through the field to a straight-from-a-fairy-tale scene of flickering lights beneath a big oak tree. All we can remember from his proposal speech is “I want to have babies and adopt babies with you,” to which I tearfully exclaimed, “PLEASE!” He placed the most beautiful bling I’ve ever seen on my finger before we trekked back to the house and were met by our family and closest friends. Magic.

I carried a large, hand-tied bouquet featuring a variety of peonies, garden roses, Japanese ranunculus, frilly-edged tulips, parrot tulips, dahlia, veronica, dusty miller, and maidenhair fern. One day, in the middle of wedding planning, my mom brought her veil out of our attic for me to try on. It was stunning! My mom offered to let me cut some of lace to use as my “something old.” I immediately knew that I wanted to wrap it around the stems of my bouquet to carry with me throughout the day. Used as the base for three coordinating colors of silk ribbon, lace from her veil was the perfect heirloom touch.

What was the weather like on your big day? I feel like this question defines my wedding planning process. While I was never too worried about the weather, my precious mom was so nervous that rain or cold would impede the joy of our day. She committed to pray over our day, the weather, and the hearts of our guests long before spring. Soon, the topic was in our daily conversation. “Well,” she would say, “I just talked to our florist and now she’s praying over April 12 too.” When the 10-day forecast finally came? It predicted no rain, clear skies, and moderate temperatures. When our wedding day arrived, we received just that–the most beautiful, warm day with only a slight breeze. Even the birds sang through our ceremony. My mom and I love to recount the nerves that turned to devoted prayer, that turned to a day so full of beauty and love. Only the Father could have orchestrated it.

How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? Confession: we broke the rules! The morning of our wedding, Alex and I met in the lobby of the hotel where our guests were staying to grab a cup of coffee and spend a bit of time together. We ended up taking a walk, hand-in-hand, around Auburn’s campus as we basked in the reality that our day had finally come! I am thankful that Alex didn’t see me in my dress before the ceremony. That moment was still sacred and incredibly emotional. I’m also thankful that I got to have a special moment with him at the beginning of the day to calm both of our nerves–the perfect compromise!

The arbor that we stood upon during the ceremony was my absolute favorite detail. I had a “vision” (one of many, as my family likes to joke), and it was truly a team effort to execute. My precious dad and I collaborated on sketching the structure, which he then built and stained. He has always had a servant’s heart, and it was especially overflowing during wedding season! The fabric that draped the arbor was the hardest thing to find. I knew I wanted something full, organic, textured, and natural. Nothing was fitting into the vision until my mom found extra-long canvas drop cloths–score! She expertly draped the fabric, and my insanely talented florist added the eucalyptus garland and floral clusters. Truly, it was the perfect backdrop for the most emotionally charged moments of my life. I’m forever thankful for the love that went into building the arbor, the place where Alex and I stood as we began building our marriage.

The amazingly talented Abby taught herself calligraphy and handlettered these programs, their invitation, and many other details. Can you believe it??

Our wedding party included my six nieces and nephews as flower girls and ring bearers. Alex’s five younger cousins served as junior bridesmaids and junior groomsmen. I loved having so many family members (including our collective five siblings as well) standing with us as we said our vows. I wish I could have witnessed my nieces walking down the aisle–the four of them held hands in their angelic heirloom dresses and floral wreaths. My youngest niece, Hadley, was only one at the time. Everyone recounted how she had such a look of determination, stomping down the aisle in an attempt to keep up with her big sisters and cousin. It was the very definition of precious.

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? I will never forget Alex’s face as I walked down the aisle. He had been nervous about turning into a blubbering mess during our ceremony, and it was obvious that he was fighting tears as I approached him. When I finally reached him and the ceremony began, he kept looking away as to not lose control of his emotions. As touching as it was to see him so emotional, I also kept thinking, “Hey, this is our wedding. You have to LOOK at me!” It only took a few hand squeezes and a quick wink to get him to lock eyes with me–and that’s where we stayed for the rest of the ceremony, completely absorbed in the monumental change that was happening as we were joined as husband and wife.
Did you try anything new or nontraditional? In keeping with the themes of family and entering a Christ-centered marriage, our parents and grandparents came to the arbor to circle us in a prayer of blessing over our marriage. Alex and I both come from a long line of healthy and lifelong marriages; what a blessing it was to have those generational blessings symbolically passed on to us during our ceremony.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? While color palette and texture played key roles in the design, our focus was for all of our guests to feel like family. Our reception was created to feel like one huge Italian family dinner. Long tables with organic greenery joined guests together for an intimate dinner experience. A seating chart greeted our friends and family to the reception with their names and table numbers hand-lettered on gold foil signage. The goal for our wedding was for each guest to feel valued, and I think that our design and attention to detail achieved just that.

What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? I think the hardest part of wedding planning was just the reality of it all. You dream about the day your whole life. All of a sudden, it’s really happening, and you only get one shot. I found myself worrying about the logistics of the day and wondering if guests would enjoy themselves. Thankfully, I was surrounded by ever-encouraging family and friends who helped to keep me more focused on my love for Alex and our upcoming marriage, and less focused on the logistics of the day.

What kind of food did you serve? Italian food is my favorite, and it fit perfectly with the family-style seating arrangement! Guests enjoyed bruschetta and stuffed artichoke heart hors d’oeuvres. Dinner was comprised of caprese salad, Italian sausage farfalle pasta with light cream and mozzarella, grilled chicken penne pasta, broccolini, and a roasted garlic pomodoro. It was delicious. Our Italian theme continued with various wines to accompany the pasta!

One of our favorite design elements was our dessert table. Instead of opting for two tables for the bride’s cake and groom’s cake, we chose a large farm table to display them both. My bride’s cake was a four-tiered white cake with buttercream icing and lemon curd between the layers. To die for. Since the thought of an unbalanced table would KILL me, we opted for two groom’s cakes to bookend the taller bride’s cake. This definitely worked in Alex’s favor, as he couldn’t decide between chocolate, coconut, and red velvet cake. With two groom’s cakes, he was able to include ALL of his favorite flavors in the multiple tiers. I planned to learn how to make macarons before the big day (ummm…when would that have happened? No idea). Instead, my ever-kind and gracious aunt took the task upon herself. She studied YouTube videos, took sugar temperatures, and perfected the French recipe!

Date of your wedding: April 12, 2014
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! We wanted an outdoor wedding, and we wanted it as soon as possible! Since we got engaged in August, April was the first month that met all of our requirements: 1) The probability of nice weather, 2) bright blooms in season, and 3) enough time to plan the details! Auburn was the perfect place to wed because it is just outside of my hometown, and all of our friends were excited to spend a weekend celebrating in the town of our alma mater. After visiting just a few venues, Moore’s Mill Club became the obvious choice because of its beautiful, natural ceremony site and rustic pavilion. I was expecting to find a place I would need to completely transform, but Moore’s Mill is beautiful no matter which direction you look.
How many guests attended your wedding? 250
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? I knew early on that I wanted to go with coordinating, but different, colored dresses. In order to complement the natural beauty of Moore’s Mill, I decided that the color palette would consist of an array of greens and neutrals. Thankfully, one of my two maids of honor (and BFF since first grade), Sam, is a graphic designer with a great eye for color. We met on our lunch break one day at our local Bella Bridesmaid and were given total reign in their showroom. It was designer heaven. When we decided on our palette, I assigned a color to each of my bridesmaids (taking skin tone into account) and let each one choose her style. I LOVE the way each of my girls could be unique while coordinating so beautifully.
Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? So many guests commented after the ceremony about how reverent and sweet it was. We decided early on that giving glory to God would be our goal in choosing what would be shared during our ceremony. My brother, Adam, has a Master of Divinity degree and has always been a spiritual mentor to me. He led a charge to our guests to remember Christ’s sacrifice and our own call to sacrifice in marriage. Sharing Ruth’s story from the Old Testament served as an example of servitude in marriage, as well as a devotion to the new families we would each be gaining. Adam’s charge was by far one of the most powerful parts of the ceremony. Alex’s sister, Caroline, read from Revelation 19 before our pastor gave a message regarding the church as Christ’s bride.
What songs did you use for your ceremony? From Alex: The music was one of the few aspects of our wedding that I was in charge of, and I strived to make our music as worshipful and natural as possible. We decided to have only one instrumentalist, a friend of mine who is an incredible guitarist. Abby and I gave him a list of the songs we wanted to be played. They were pretty traditional ones: “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” while the parents and grandparents were seated, “Canon in D” during the processional, “Bridal Chorus” when Abby walked down the aisle, and “Ode to Joy” as we were leaving. The acoustic guitar was perfect–calm and mellow, traditional in the song choice, but updated by the instrument. The one song that was sung was a hymn, “Come Thou Fount,” and we invited all of our guests to join in.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? Intentionality was a key factor in our wedding. We wanted each guest to feel valued and involved. Along with the hand-lettered envelopes that carried our invitations and the prepared seats for each guest, Alex and I love that everyone was invited to join in a hymn during our ceremony and to later dance the night away. Our hope was that no one would leave our wedding feeling like just one of the crowd, but that our love for each person would be displayed in our intentionality and bear hugs.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? Even in the past four months, Alex and I have grown in our depth of knowledge and understanding of each other. With years of marriage comes years of experience–learning personality traits, finding ways to serve the other, and knowing how to make each other laugh. I look forward to our connection growing deeper as our marriage marches on.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? I would love to encourage people (especially lovely brides) to extend grace to all parties involved in the wedding planning process. Family members, friends, and vendors alike can potentially showcase strong opinions or–worse yet–not care about every single little detail like you do (gasp!). Remember that relationships come before dresses, cakes, or invitations. Continue to hang with your girls, love on your family members, and be a caring person in general while you have this whole wedding-planning side gig going on.

Photographer and Videographer: A Bryan Photo / Venue and Caterer: Moore’s Mill Club / Florist and Decor: Nimblee / Wedding Cake: 1220 Cafe / Bride’s Gown: “Loren Corset” and “Sabrina Skirt” by Watters / Bridal Salon: The White Room / Bride’s Shoes: “Madalyn Pump” by Badgley Mischka / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale, Donna Morgan, Dessy Group, and Ceremony by Joanna August / Menswear: The Black Tux / Paper Goods and Designer: Abby Bowlin Designs / Letterpress: Four Hats Press / Rentals, Linens, and Lighting: The Event Group

The Event Group is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Love these guys. So blessed to be part of their wedding!

  2. avatar Richard Photo Lab reply

    […] CREDITS (in order of appearance): Adam Barnes – Pink Virginia Wedding A Bryan Photo – Spring Auburn Wedding Katie Stoops – Inn at Perry Cabin Wedding (design by Karson Butler Events) A Bryan Photo […]

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Y’all already know I love plantation weddings, and it’s safe to say that Celeste and Michael’s wedding takes said planation love up a notch! Nottoway Planation was the perfect combination of classic Southern charm and relaxed elegance that these two were looking for. Since Celeste grew up on a sugar plantation in Louisiana, the cane fields reminded her of her home and her roots, making this place extra special. With the help of their planner, Leslie Campbell, these two created a Louisiana wedding I wish I’d been able to attend, if just for the spread! A beignet bar? You’d know where to find me! To top it off, I’m not sure a more Southern phrase has been written in our interviews than “with a New Orleans-style medley playing as we walked out to the front of the plantation, facing the Mississippi River, and watched an amazing firework display over the levee.” Truly magical, indeed!

Thanks to Dark Roux for sharing such a sweetly Southern day with us!

My bridal bouquet was a cluster of white tulips. I’ve always loved the romantic, cascading element of the tulip, and February was the perfect time of year for them. My bouquet was perfectly executed by my florist and exactly what I had envisioned in my head. My bridesmaid bouquets were clusters of beautiful white flowers, including tulips, hydrangeas, and leafy greenery. I wanted them to look organic and cascading–not too structured or perfect. The table arrangements were tall vases with white french tulips and curly willow with hanging votives.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No! We are traditionalists. I wanted his first sight of me to be walking down the aisle of the beautiful church.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? As the ceremony ended and we finished the recessional, Michael leaned over and kissed my hand. We had our family, friends, and this beautiful celebration behind us, and we were finally able to share in the special moment for ourselves. The photographers happened to capture the beauty of the moment and it’s our absolute favorite picture!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I chose Nottoway because of its beauty and Southern charm. I grew up on a sugar plantation in Houma, Louisiana, and the cane fields reminded me of home and my roots. I wanted the day to be full of Southern elegance, and to have a relaxed and casual feel.

I made a lot of the special details myself. My mom is an incredible seamstress, so she and I created custom monogrammed linen pillows with a “V” crest gilded on them. We placed them on all of the lounge furniture arranged throughout the tent. It really helped cozy up the venue and added a very personal touch. I also made the cake topper, and brought a lot of decorative items from home, including the candelabras and picture frames to decorate the tent and lounge seating areas. Guests joked that I brought my living room to Nottoway!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose our first dance and song based on the style of our band, which we picked even before the venue. It was a cover of Audra Mae’s cover of “Crazy Love.” Michael arranged for dance lessons specific for our band’s version of the song. We already love to dance together, but to have choreographed moves together made for such a transcendental moment. Our band, Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue, had authentic soul and passion that truly helped define the event.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I was going to church regularly with a friend of mine who had just met this “good Catholic boy.” He set us up in a very casual manner, but didn’t tell either of us about it! He met both of us at a local hot spot, made the introduction, and then disappeared. Michael and I came by deep conversation easily and three hours flew by. Very quickly into our conversation, I wanted Michael to ask for my number, but he never did! I took it as disinterest, but if you ask him, he’ll tell you he REALLY wanted it, but couldn’t work up the nerve! At the end of the night, we walked out together, and right outside the entrance, Michael asked to walk me to my car. Without thinking about it, I said, “Not necessary, I parked right over there.” Walking away, I realized the opportunity I had just missed. The next day, I asked my friend more about Michael, and he responded, “Are you kidding? You kicked him to the curb, I thought? He was pretty dejected.” I didn’t delay–I asked for his number and, against my upbringing, made the first move. We had dinner, and our love story began.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was our second anniversary, and Michael had everything planned out. He started by playing the game, “let’s see how much I can frustrate Celeste before I propose” – of course unbeknownst to me. He had me at the absolute breaking point by first “forgetting what day it was,” then not reacting appropriately and making dinner plans after he was “reminded,” and then, the coup de grâce was that he wasn’t dressed when I got to his house, even when he had insisted I drive! This was all very out of character for him, and he had never treated an occasion this way. After he eventually got ready for the evening and I was boiling mad, he led me outside to his patio. As it turned out, Michael had written detailed accounts of the best dates we had experienced in our first year together, and he recreated some element from each of them in a wonderful candlelit setting in his backyard. Much to my surprise, everything was in place and he then walked me through each of the date memories. As I began to tear up, he got down on one knee and told me this was just the beginning of our lives together. Of course, I said yes!
When did y’all get married? February 15, 2014, our three-year anniversary
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 275
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? There was a cocktail hour serving mint juleps on the veranda of the plantation. Some Southern treats served at dinner included a beignet bar, which included traditional, red velvet, and a savory option topped with crawfish etouffee; a grits bar with toppings of shrimp Creole and traditional grillades; and boudin-stuffed chicken. We did a traditional second line. The band unplugged and performed a New Orleans-style medley as we walked out to the front of the plantation, facing the Mississippi River, and watched an amazing firework display over the levee. To top it off, there was a full moon that appeared as the lights and smoke faded. It was truly magical.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The guest list. We both have large families and Michael makes friends with everyone he meets! We wanted the day to be intimate, but still wanted to celebrate with everyone who is special in our lives. We finally gave in and the numbers just kept growing.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Trust your instincts and do what you love. Be true to your style and don’t do things purely because you think it’s what “should” be done at a wedding. It’s your day and should reflect your style and your relationship. Focus on the important aspects, like celebrating with your love and your family and friends. In the end, that’s all that really matters.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We want our love and commitment to grow stronger each day as we ready our lives to brace for the increasing soft sound of little feet in the house. Ten little feet, to be exact!

Photographer: Dark Roux Photography / Videographer: JCW Productions / Planner: Leslie Campbell Weddings / Ceremony Venue: St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church / Reception Venue, Catering, and Rentals: Nottoway Plantation / Florist: The Plantation Florist LLC / Cake Baker: The Ambrosia Bakery / Band: Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue / Paper Products: The Keeping Room / Bride’s Gown: “Style 432” by Martina Liana / Veil: Bustle / Hair Stylist: Bliss Hair Salon / Makeup Artist: Olga Longoria / Bride’s Shoes: David Tutera / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 771” in Latte by Bill Levkoff / Men’s Attire: Ralph Lauren

Dark Roux is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Such a simple and stunning bouquet. I also adore the shot of Celeste outside the church!

  2. avatar Cassidy reply

    10 little feet?

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We talk a lot at Southern Weddings about letting your wedding venue guide the rest of the day’s design and decor, and since the South is blessed with an abundance of breathtaking locations, it makes a Southern bride’s job a little easier. Sarah and Gabe thoughtfully chose Spring Island, South Carolina for their wedding venue–an idyllic, Lowcountry community where Sarah’s parents own a home. The people there, including many of their vendors, watched Sarah and Gabe’s relationship grow over the years, making their wedding even more intimate and meaningful. From the cotton detailing on her dress to the soft, neutral palette in the decor, Sarah was inspired by Spring Island in more ways than one, and we’re so grateful that Ashley Seawell was on hand to capture every detail!

My favorite thing about my wedding dress was that it felt like it was made for Spring Island. The lace of the bodice and the appliqué pieces on the skirt were cotton (which Spring Island was known for) and the washed organza skirt was so light, it felt that it was supposed to get dusty on the walk down the oak alley. I found my dress at Mark Ingram Atelier in New York, where they happened to be showcasing Peter Langner’s dresses that day. The first few dresses of Peter’s I put on were absolutely gorgeous and fit amazingly. When I put this dress on, my mom, sister, and I all knew that it was perfect. I tried on many more dresses, but nothing compared. When we went back the next day to get the dress, Peter did a pen and ink sketch of the dress and signed it for me. When he said I was the first bride ever to pick the dress, I cried.

Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? Each of the bridesmaids wore a different dresses in a variety of colors. I did not want one or two particular colors to dominate the wedding, so we coordinated the bridesmaid dresses in multiple soft pastel shades. I also wanted all of my bridesmaids to be comfortable in the dresses they wore that day, so it seemed best to let each of them pick one that they loved.
Describe your wedding flowers: The flowers were incredible. They were the perfect soft colors, and I loved the dusty miller and peonies! I especially loved the white spirea magnolia and cherry blossom branches at the ceremony. We kept my bouquet nice and small, so that it didn’t overpower me. It also had special trailing ribbons that were embroidered with my maiden initials, which were beautiful!

The wedding ceremony was held before the statue of Saint Francis, under a canopy of oaks draped with spanish moss. Our ceremony was very personal. Gabe’s dad, Tommy, was our officiant, which was very special. He collected advice on marriage from family and friends, which he incorporated into the ceremony. One thing that was very unique and special was the long walk I took with my Dad down the oak alley. It was so serene, and many guests commented on how magical it was to watch from a distance as we started our walk.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Our cocktail hour was supposed to be at the Old Tabby Ruins on Spring Island. Unfortunately, the rain didn’t cooperate and we had to move it inside, but it was still beautiful! We were married on the Saturday of the Kentucky Derby, and since I am an equestrian, we played the Derby on the radio and served mint juleps. Some of the guests even wore hats for the cocktail hour. I loved it because the cocktail hour was a nod to the derby without the cocktail hour or the wedding becoming derby-themed.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Spring Island is so naturally beautiful that we wanted the beauty of the Island to be the focal point, and for all other aspects of the design to be in harmony with that beauty. Once we made that decision, Gabe really let me, my mom, and Ashley Rhodes run with the design. I knew that I did not want a dominant color scheme, so we used a lot of natural finishes and added in soft pastels to keep it from becoming dull or overly rustic. I told my mom and Ashley my overall vision, and they were really responsible for executing on the details. My mom is an incredible interior designer, and she and I are very close, so I trusted the decisions she and Ashley made. Even though we used the wooden farm tables, we used silver chargers, soft flowers, and hurricanes filled with oyster shells and candles to dress it up.

The watercolor detail of the wedding really evolved during the course of planning. I knew from the start that I wanted the envelope liners of the save the dates and invitations to show images of Spring Island, so we called one of my parents’ best friends from college to see if he might be able to do a couple of watercolors. They were so beautiful, I wanted more, so we incorporated them throughout the wedding. Now, the originals of the watercolors are framed and hanging in our dining room. It was so generous of Julian to do all of the watercolors and so special that such a large detail of the wedding was done by someone I have known my entire life!

My mom poured her heart and soul into planning the wedding, and she knew every single detail of the day. Or, so she thought! I wanted to show her how much I appreciated everything she did to make the day perfect, so I wrote her a letter to tell her. I arranged to have Sideshow Press print the letter on wood stock and ship it directly to Ashley Rhodes, so I could surprise my mom with it at the wedding. When my mom got to her table for dinner, the letter was waiting at her seat in lieu of her place card. I will never forget watching my dad read her the letter and seeing the look on her face.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Sparks flew in the library at Vanderbilt while we were studying for finals during our second year of law school. Anything not to study, right? We left for winter break a few days later, but kept in touch. When we came back for the spring semester, we started dating almost right away and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was a quiet moment between us at home. We celebrated that night with family and friends!
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Gabe and I chose Spring Island because my parents have a home there, so it is a meaningful place to both of us. I always thought I wanted to get married in Colorado on Strang Ranch, where I grew up horseback riding, but I felt it was important for the venue to be a place that was equally meaningful to both of us. Spring Island was a natural choice. Anyone who has been to Spring Island, knows that it is a truly special place, and we were able to spend a lot of time there during law school. All of the people on Spring Island, including the wonderful staff, watched our relationship grow over the years. Having them all there for the wedding made the day even more intimate. I must have thanked Jim and Betsy Chaffin, a pair of the original developers, for creating Spring Island ten times that night!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Magical, romantic, boisterous
What was the weather like on your big day? Let’s just say it was not the weather that any bride dreams of! I woke up to a cold, steady drizzle of rain, and it stayed that way for most of the day. The ceremony and cocktail hour were both supposed to be outside, and I admit, I was a little disappointed–there may have been a few tears on my big sister’s shoulder. Amazingly, the skies parted long enough for photographs and, most importantly, for the ceremony. The sun even made an ever-so-brief appearance, shining right through the oak canopy, in the middle of the ceremony! After the ceremony, we managed to get all of the guests into the clubhouse, where Ashley Rhodes had seamlessly relocated the cocktail hour, mere moments before heavy rain set in for the remainder of the evening. To be honest, I think the rain made for an even better party, because with the tent flaps down and the rain pouring outside, it was the perfect environment for all of the guests to join Gabe and me on the dance floor!
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
What did the groomsmen wear? The groomsmen all wore navy blue linen suits from J.Crew. Gabe made a few strong pushes for Duke Blue to be incorporated into the wedding, so we found blue and white gingham linen ties in just the right shade of blue, and had them embroidered with each groomsman’s initials.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows, but we modified traditional vows to make them fit our style a little bit better.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My grandfather gave me a sixpence to wear in my shoe for good luck, as he had done for my mother, aunt, and big sister!
What kind of food did you serve? We kept the food light and fresh! We served arugula salad and stuffed flounder, andt was delicious! Chef Tony and the Spring Island Club did an amazing job. Pulled pork sliders and gatorade were a perfect late night snack after lots of dancing (and drinking)!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to Keith Urban’s “Without You” for our first dance. We took dance lessons before the wedding, which was so much fun. Of course, once we were out there, I’m pretty sure we forgot most of what we were taught.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a beautiful meringue cake! The design went perfectly with the soft and natural palette of the wedding. During our cake cutting, Gabe tried to put some in my face, but I was too quick for him!
Tell us about your grand exit. I changed out of my amazing Peter Langner dress and into a shorter dress by Badgley Mischka. The guests threw birdseed and we departed in a vintage car. It felt like the exit came far too early in the night…though it was actually quite late!
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We spent a few days in Beaufort after the wedding. It was nice to spend some quiet time with family after the busy weekend. We had a few family meals and spent some time on the boat. Then, we took a delayed honeymoon to Antigua. It was so beautiful–we did not want to leave!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Enjoy it–it goes so quickly!
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration: While I was getting ready and admittedly stressing about the rain, Ashley Rhodes mentioned to me that it rained on her wedding day, and that one of the best parts was that when it stopped raining, the birds all came out and started to sing. Shortly after Ashley told me that, the rain stopped and I headed outside for my bridal photographs. I was standing alone partway down the oak alley waiting for Ashley Seawell, and the birds started singing! It was such a peaceful moment and a great reminder to enjoy all of the wonderful little moments throughout the day.

Photographer: Ashley Seawell Photography / Planning and Design: Ashley Rhodes Events / Venue and Catering: Spring Island, South Carolina / Florist: Emily Wynn Wildes Floral Design / Wedding Cake: Sweets Supplier Signe’s Bakery / Bride’s Gown: “Waking Up” by Peter Langner / Bridal Salon: Mark Ingram Atelier / Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman / Bride’s Veil: Peter Langner / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale and J.Crew / Hair Stylist: Hope Patterson, Bangs Salon / Makeup Artist: Nora Honeycutt / Men’s Fashion: J.Crew / Paper Products: Sideshow Press / Rentals and Lighting: Sperry Tents SE and Snyder Event Rentals / Linens: Snyder Event Rentals / Water Color Table and Butler Cards: Julian Tablanda / Transportation: Point Tours, Beaufort, South Carolina / Additional Vendors: Amazing Event Rentals and Ooh Events!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    the mismatched bridal party worked out perfectly!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Her bouquet is spring perfection. And I love that her gown is made out of cotton!

  3. avatar Kelly reply

    This is gorgeous! Did I miss who did the invitation suite? I know Julian Tablanda did the watercolor, but I was wondering about the overall invitations. They are perfect for a Lowcountry wedding!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Kelly! The invitations are by Sideshow Press. All of the credits can be found at the end of the post. :)

    • avatar Kelly reply

      Good gracious. I read through the credits three to four times, and still missed the “paper products”! Thanks, Lisa!

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  6. avatar Blanca reply

    Omg, I teared up just looking through the pictures! Everything looked amazingly beautiful and perfect! Best wishes for you both!!!!

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