Southern Weddings

Tag: wedding updo

Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that not everything is going to be perfect at your wedding–however, there are moments that absolutely will be! For Audrey, that moment came as she was walking down the aisle with her father by her side, surrounded by their friends and family. Though the Marlsgate Planation and beautiful weather certainly helped, the best part was the realization that she was about to marry her best friend, Kasper. With sweet Southern details woven throughout their wedding day, Audrey and Kasper celebrated their marriage with a seated dinner that would make any Southern grandmother proud–it included fried chicken, collard greens, and cheese grits, just to name a few!

Gracious, I’m sure glad Amanda Watson shared this lovely day with us!

P.S. Can we please take a moment to talk about Audrey’s amazing Southern bump and custom Lea-Ann Belter gown? I positive this look just shot to the top of my list of classic Southern style favorites!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mother and sister met me in Dallas and we made a weekend of it! After a long, super exhausting (but fun!) day on Saturday, we narrowed it down to one dress at each boutique, but I still didn’t feel like any of them was “the one.” Our last appointment was at the Bridal Boutique in Lewisville, Texas, which I chose because they are the only boutique in DFW that carries Berta. The dress I had in mind was lace with long sleeves. After trying several of this style on, the store was closing and I still didn’t feel like I had found the right dress. Our stylist said “Hang on a minute, I have something in the back that you might like.” She brought out a fitted, dupioni silk dress with a trumpet skirt and a dramatic train. When I put it on, we all knew that it was the dress that I would walk down the aisle in. It was a one-of-a-kind design that they were sending back to the designer. Our stylist called Lea-Ann Belter in Toronto, and she agreed to design a custom dress just for me! It fit like a glove and was absolutely perfect!

We decided to do a first look in the English gardens beside the plantation house. We really wanted to have that moment together in private to see each other and soak in what the day was all about before the craziness began. Also, it made taking pictures so much easier, as we got all the group pictures over with before the ceremony and were able to go straight to the reception without holding up the dinner.

My most memorable moment was when my dad walked me down the aisle and I saw Kasper standing on the porch. The whole view of the plantation was perfect, the weather was perfect, the string quartet on the balcony was perfect, the wedding party looked amazing, and all of our friends and family were there. I couldn’t believe that it had all come together so perfectly and I was actually getting married to my very best friend. It was surreal and I will remember that forever.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was the event branding by my sister, Jessie Russell. Jessie is an art director with a Master’s degree in Communication Design from the Pratt Institute in NYC. She pulled the whole wedding together, from the invitations, to the programs, to the menus, and even the wax seal design that we used on the envelopes and the rice bags. We were truly blessed to have Jessie to make every detail cohesive.

Charlie Roberts designed the perfect cake for our big day. It was a classic and elegant, five-tiered cake with alternating flavors of strawberry and vanilla. It had white buttercream icing with a layered rake design. The base of each tier had a string of white edible pearls. It was topped off with beautiful flowers and the base was decorated with eucalyptus garland.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The Southern thread was woven all throughout our wedding. For starters, the venue was an old, Southern plantation that has been around since 1885. The reception was a seated dinner that comprised of a lovely watermelon/pecan spinach salad with pepper jelly vinaigrette dressing, bone-in fried chicken (the ultimate Southern dish), sautéed collard greens served in a mini mason jar, cheese grits, cornbread muffins, and sweet potato biscuits, with sweet tea to wash it all down! All of the guests were given mini bags of rice that were thrown during our send-off. My husband, Kasper, comes from a family of rice farmers, so the traditional rice had to be used.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the fall of 2012 when we were introduced by our mutual friends. We went to dinner in Little Rock, Arkansas and ended up talking until the restaurant closed. The chemistry was undeniable and it was apparent to both of us that this was the beginning of something special.
Tell us all about the proposal! One Saturday morning in May 2015, Kasper took me to the farmers market in Fayetteville, Arkansas to walk around and listen to the music. We got coffee and then walked by these beautiful flowers in the middle of the town square. Kasper got down on one knee, and I was in such shock that all I remember is saying “YES!!!” and then turning around to see my brother, sister, cousins, Kasper’s sister, and several friends cheering and taking pictures. We all went to lunch together and celebrated for the rest of the day. It was the best day of my life, until the wedding, of course.
When did y’all get married? May 21, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had our wedding officiant read from 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, as well as Ephesians 5:22-33. He also read the seven things we love most about each other (our planner, Catherine Tapp, had us send them to her without us knowing what she was going to do with them). It was a fun surprise and the guests loved hearing them and seeing our reactions.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We wanted the ceremony to be very traditional. The John Jarboe String quartet sat on the balcony of the plantation and played Canon in D for the bridesmaids processional, the Bridal Chorus when I walked out, and the Wedding March for the exit. One special song that played was “Sunrise, Sunset” from the musical “Fiddler on the Roof.” That is one of my mother’s favorite musicals, so they played that for the seating of the parents. Of course, my mom cried the whole way down the aisle!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Kasper and I went to premarital counseling with his hometown preacher from the Jonesboro Church of Christ, Chris Harrell. We also did a couples devotional and listened to the wise advice that our parents shared with us.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are making our home in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Kasper is an attorney and I am a physician recruiter. We are looking forward to summer fun at the lake, relaxing evenings at home, cheering on the Razorbacks this fall, and holidays with friends and family.

Photographer: Amanda Watson | Videographer: Jessie Swaffar | Planner: Catherine Tapp | Venue: Marlsgate Plantation | Florist: Carly Jones | Cake Baker: Charlie Roberts | Caterer: Simply the Best Catering | DJ: Ryan Thetford | Special Details and Photo Stylist: Lindsey Zamora | Paper Products: Jessie Russell | Bride’s Gown: Lea-Ann Belter | Bride’s Jewelry: Sissy’s Log Cabin | Hair Stylist: Sara Beth Leader | Makeup Artist: Bobbi Brown Cosmetics | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Groom’s Attire: Walker Brothers | Groomsmen Attire: Generation Tux | String Quartet: The Jarboe String Quartet | Audio Visual and Ceiling Draping: Central Arkansas Entertainment | After-Party Venue: Little Rock Marriott Hotel

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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During a beach-side bike ride on one of my and Brandon’s first vacations together, we explored the construction site that is now Alys Beach. We were even able to walk through the half-built homes as they were being constructed, and now, every time I see a wedding there, it brings back such sweet memories of our dating life. With their favorite wedding detail being their venue, and Emily and Reed’s plans to vacation there each year for their anniversary, I’m positive those future trips will be filled with joyous memories of their beautiful wedding on the Central Park Green! Playing off the modern white architecture, Emily and Reed worked with Lauren Chitwood Events to bring in rustic driftwood and succulents combined with lush peonies and protea. That gorgeous custom driftwood arch had guests talking for months!

Thank you kindly to Amy Campbell for sharing Emily and Reed’s wedding with us!

I found my dress in Nashville at B. Hughes. I had previously looked in Birmingham, where my sister lives, and liked a few dresses, but knew I couldn’t make any decisions until I visited this shop. I tried on a strapless Reem Acra dress and knew it was the one for me. I felt so pretty in it and didn’t want to take it off. I still love it a year later!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own vows, but did speak to our officiant about the flow and words we wanted him to use during the ceremony. The vows were very simple, but those words are so meaningful. While saying my vows to Reed, I started crying. I’m not a big crier, so I started laughing at myself for crying. It was a sweet moment we’ll both remember forever.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My best friend, Maggie, read Colossians 3:12-14. This was a verse Reed and I kept reading during our premarital exercises. I love the words in this verse and thought it would be special for her to read it.

I grew up going to the beach near Sandestin and Seaside, Florida. Every wedding I’d seen along Highway 30A was so beautiful, and we loved the idea of getting married at the beach. We looked at multiple venues in Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach, and the Central Park Green at Alys Beach was the exact look I wanted. The small green is surrounded by trees and a breathtaking modern pool and restaurant. It turned out to be a perfect venue and I couldn’t have been happier!

Describe your wedding flowers. Lauren and I discussed many different looks, but we ultimately decided to mix the rustic look of driftwood and succulents with peonies and protea. She sent me examples of what she thought I would like, and after seeing a photo that included a gorgeous driftwood arch, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Lauren and her florist created one for our wedding and it was the most beautiful arch I’ve ever seen. It was so memorable–people talked about it months after the wedding.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money by trimming down the guest list. Initially, we wanted around 300 guests, but after talking with our planner, Lauren, we decided to invite 170. It was hard to exclude some people but in the end it felt intimate and was a great size for the venue.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both went to college at Ole Miss. I always knew who he was and had a crush on him, so a mutual friend introduced us after I told him I thought Reed was cute. For a few months after meeting, we would see each other around Oxford and always seemed to get into long conversations. He finally asked me out on a date, and we dated for five years before getting married.
Tell us all about the proposal! Reed and I went to my parents’ house in Mississippi for Thanksgiving. We all decided to cook outside because the weather was so nice. Reed had planned everything with my family beforehand, and to give him time to propose, they all snuck back into the house. Due to lack of sleep from working the night before, I didn’t even notice their attempts to leave us alone. While we were outside talking, my sisters and my mom attached the ring to our dog, Daisy, and then let her back outside. Daisy immediately ran up to us, sat down, and I noticed the ring tied around her neck with a bow. Reed got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. We spent the night celebrating with my family and calling friends to tell them the news.
When did y’all get married? June 13, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of our wedding was the venue. After getting married there, we now want to go back to Alys Beach every year! It’s the most beautiful place I’ve been in the United States.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My husband and I are both from Mississippi and he is a passionate Ole Miss football fan. One of my favorite memories of the night was when Reed took the mic onstage, spouted Ole Miss football statistics, and led our mostly Mississippi reception in the Hotty Toddy cheer.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our wedding officiant, Gary Wingo, introduced us to a premarital workbook, “Before You Say I Do.” This helped us prepare for marriage and discuss things we otherwise may not have discussed. As a result, we grew closer and learned how to handle certain situations should they arise.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Originally, Reed and I were going to marry on May 16, 2015. After we set the date, we had trouble finding vendors who were available that day. After a few minor meltdowns, we decided to change our wedding date to June 13. I’m so happy we did, because everything worked out perfectly.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment for me was seeing Reed for the first time. Having my dad walk me down the aisle to my husband was such a great feeling. When I finally saw Reed and he had a big smile on his face, it was the exact moment I’d pictured for my entire life. The ceremony was definitely my favorite part of the whole wedding day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying life in Nashville as a family of three (we have a French bulldog named Willis). I have so much fun with Reed, even when we’re doing simple, daily activities. I hope we continue having fun together, and maybe one day add to our little family.

Photographer: Amy Campbell | Planner and Florist: Lauren Chitwood | Venue: Central Park Green in Alys Beach | Wedding Cake: KaraBoo Bakery | Caterer: Townsend Catering | Band: The Heather Hayes Experience | Paper Products: Dement Printing and Fresh Ink | Bride’s Gown: Reem Acra | Hair and Makeup Stylist: Ana Crane | Bride’s Shoes: “Fearne” by Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Macey reply

    Everything looks like a dream! Beautiful.

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When it comes to weddings, and many other things for that matter, I’m a firm believer that simple is often best. A few carefully chosen, purposeful, beautiful details that can stand on their own without being cluttered by too much “stuff” can have such an impact, and more importantly, this approach leaves guests the mental space to focus on you and your new husband, rather than be distracted as they try to take in countless activities and displays. Lauren and Jeremiah are a perfect example of this lovely restraint–they selected a naturally beautiful venue, accented it with a few meaningful touches (the lily of the valley bouquet Jeremiah had sent to Lauren’s bridal suite, and the strawberry shortcake they cut into that nodded to Lauren’s childhood tradition, to name a few), and focused on enjoying their day with their many out-of-town guests. I can only imagine what beautiful memories they have of the time they got to spend with the ones they love on their wedding day!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was looking for a combination of delicate, classic, bohemian, and breezy. The designer Rosa Clara really unified these aspirations and included the subtlest hint of sexy. Miraculously, during a weekend off, there was a Rosa Clara trunk show in Raleigh! I was completely enamored with the second dress I tried on. My mother and sisters live in Michigan, so we had to resort to FaceTime for their approval–which was unanimous.

We chose to do a first look because we wanted to maximize our time spent with out-of-town guests. Many of our family and friends traveled from the Northeast and Midwest to North Carolina to celebrate our wedding. It was the perfect choice for us–I do not believe I could have waited until the evening to kiss him!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had both our ceremony and reception at the spectacular Merrimon-Wynne house. It was important to us to provide our guests with an easy experience, due to the fact that many had traveled to share the weekend with us. I looked at a number of places and none could compare with the elegance and glamour of Merrimon-Wynne. The clincher was the insanely gorgeous bridal suites (yes, there are two!), where we primped and preened all morning.

There was beautiful sunny and breezy weather throughout our wedding day, until the moment I walked down the aisle. When our reverend began speaking, the skies opened up and poured rain! The wedding party scurried inside and we completed the marriage ceremony in a cozy, ornate hallway, surrounded by our loved ones who were spilling into rooms and peering around staircases. The intimacy of the ceremony reinforced that marriage is ultimately about love and family.

Describe your wedding flowers. We chose a miscellany of shades of green and white. The flowers were free-flowing and loose, with ample herbs incorporated. My mother and I purchased a variety of mercury glass vessels and used them to make the centerpieces. Jeremiah has a green thumb and filled the vases with potted sage and lavender. He also gifted a lily of the valley (my childhood favorite flower) bouquet to the bridal suite, which perfectly matched our color scheme.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jeremiah’s siblings are incredibly talented musicians and vocalists, and they kindly performed a song by Kishi Bashi called “Q&A” during our ceremony. The song reads like poetry and lent itself well to an acoustic performance. Our first dance was to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet. The movie “Once” was the first movie for which I stayed awake for the entirety of the film, so it had some playful meaning, and Jeremiah thought the tempo lent itself well to a foxtrot.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first crossed paths during my Tufts Medical School years while Jeremiah was completing his residency program in Otolaryngology. There was a definite attraction, but we were very work-oriented during those years! Our romance (inconveniently) began when I moved to North Carolina to start my own surgical training. After one whirlwind and surreal travel weekend, we both knew there was something special between us that was worth the effort and occasional pain of long distance.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremiah and I had a standing Friday night champagne date to treat ourselves after travel. The evening started like most others–he had to work late, so I fell asleep on his couch. We were casually enjoying our bubbles on the couch when he completely surprised me by bending down on one knee and promising to make my smile his lifelong goal. After I tearfully and happily agreed, he whisked me off to a romantic French dinner in Cambridge, followed by a romantic getaway weekend at a cabin in Maine. The weekend was complete with skis, lobsters, and rare sunny Maine snow!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we crafted our entire ceremony with Reverend Renteria. It was an enjoyable experience to pick and choose the different aspects of the ceremony together. Our mutual favorite phrase was a playful and all-encompassing quote from George Bernard Shaw: “You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallion fellow vagabond, my tempter and star.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My family has a long-standing tradition of enjoying strawberry shortcakes on summer evenings, and since strawberries are in season in May, we opted for strawberry shortcakes with lemon cream and thyme. To simplify our lives, Posh Nosh Catering created the dessert as well as our dinner.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! I did a lot of wedding planning in the early morning hours between consults and responded to emails between surgical cases. It was a nightmare to schedule my dress fittings during regular work hours!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to make the experience as playful as possible, because it can easily become very stressful. I accomplished this by convincing my fiancé to walk in the woods or head to a brewery so we could discuss wedding details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I need to finish my residency and Jeremiah is starting a new job, then we can finally embark on a more “normal” life together. We are running a marathon and share a mutual enjoyment of hiking and adventuring.

Photographer: Perry Vaile / Venue and Planning: The Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Watered Garden / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Posh Nosh Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Band: The Reckless Brothers / Bride’s Gown: “Ubeda” by Rosa Clara / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar / Makeup Artist: Thuy Larker / Bride’s Shoes: “Landmark Metallic Strappy Heel” by Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Officiant: Reverend Robin Renteria

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Julie reply

    Hi! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous! My daughter purchased the same dress and is getting married in June! I am a seamstress and trying to figure out how to bustle it. Can you send me a picture of the back bustled up.? I see it from the side and it looks beautiful! Thanks!!! Julie

  2. avatar scott reply

    What a lovely spot to get married, Under the tree out the back! Nice photography too.

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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