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I can’t think of a lovelier way to start the week than Kelly and Chris’ bright, joyful Charlottesville wedding! Kelly is a talented food blogger and one of our Southern Bride Bloggers, so we already knew she had an eye for fun details and a love of all things colorful. That cheery aesthetic combined with the sweet touches she had always dreamed of including in her wedding (like walking down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”), nods to her and Chris’ love story (they got engaged in Charlottesville and hope to call it home someday, too!), and plenty of Southern goodness (ahem, ham biscuits), made for quite the celebration, as well as the sweetest setting for Kelly and Chris to become husband and wife!

Thank you so much to our dear friend Jodi Miller for sharing this fun day with us!

We had so many beautiful details, but I absolutely LOVED our wedding paper! The invitations were really important to us, as this is the first glimpse guests have into your big day, so I wanted to make them extra special. So many details went into these beauties, including custom calligraphy, hand-painted watercolor, gold foil, and pretty ribbon, all tied together in peony colored envelopes with vintage stamps. I’m still getting compliments on our invites to this day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. After visiting about 10 different dress boutiques and still feeling disappointed, I randomly came across the designer Augusta Jones at a trunk show and fell in love! The detail of the lace she used was just exquisite and so romantic, I knew I had to have one of her dresses. Well, when I went to try on a few, I was completely torn between two–I loved the top part of one dress that had this gorgeous neckline with lace falling across the shoulders, but the bottom of another dress. When I shared my dilemma with the stylist, she informed me that Augusta Jones loves doing custom orders, so they could combine both and give me my dream dress! I cried right there on the spot and knew I had found the “one!”

Describe your wedding flowers. Oh, our flowers! I knew from the beginning of the wedding planning process that our florals would be one of the most important details that we wanted to showcase, and Southern Blooms certainly delivered! I chose an array of peaches, pinks, and golds with lots of lush greenery, and I literally cried when I saw my bouquet for the first time. It was full of garden roses, beautiful peonies, and ranunculus, with eucalyptus leaves and vines cascading down, all wrapped up in long, gorgeous ribbon. Our farm head table had this amazing floral runner with tons of candles on it, and the guests’ tables had tall candelabras with overflowing flowers on the top. It was simply magical!

At first, we were against doing a first look, as Chris was adamant about not wanting to see me until I walked down the aisle. After talking it over and knowing we wanted to make the most of our amazing photographers, as well as enjoy cocktail hour with our guests, we decided on doing a first look, which ended up being a huge blessing. We were able to get so many gorgeous photos outside at the vineyard before it poured on us!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Charlottesville, Virginia is such a special place to us, as we are huge UVA fans. Some of our first dates were spent drinking wine at the vineyards, and it was also where Chris proposed, so it was pretty much a given that we were going to plan our wedding there! Veritas Winery was the first place I looked, and not only did it have some of the most gorgeous mountain views, but the ballroom absolutely blew me away. It reminded me of a tented reception, which is something I had always envisioned for our wedding, with its floor-to-ceiling white drapery. Needless to say, we signed a contract that day and I never even looked anywhere else!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge actually didn’t come until the day-of! We had gorgeous weather all day, but we knew Tropical Storm Bill was expected to hit us right around 6 P.M. when the wedding was about to start. Sadly, we had to make the call that afternoon to have the ceremony inside so that the florist could set everything up for the ceremony, even though the weather was absolutely beautiful at the time. Luckily, we had amazingly talented people who were able to make the ballroom look so breathtaking, and we were still able to overlook the mountains, as we were married right in front of floor-to-ceiling windows.

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always envisioned a beautifully classic wedding ceremony that included Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” The bridesmaids all walked down to an instrumental version of “A Thousand Years,” but when Pachelbel’s Canon started, it was the first time that day that I was instantly brought to tears. My dad and I waited a few seconds to walk so that I could take in that special moment and reflect on what was to come. It truly made our wedding complete and is something I’ll always remember!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? To maintain that Southern feel, we had his and hers signature cocktails named “The Belle” and “The Beau,” the guys all wore pink bow ties, and we served delicious Virginia baked ham biscuits with apple glaze during cocktail hour, which really made us feel at home! We also had a drink station set up for guests with sweet tea, lemonade, and water with fresh cucumber and mint, and our welcome bags had local Southern fare that our guests absolutely loved!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Charlottesville has some amazing local vendors, so we were able to cut transportation and delivery costs by using them. My talented cousin designed some of our beautiful signage and our florist re-purposed the ceremony flowers and bridesmaid bouquets at the reception, which saved us lots of money!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your wedding is only ONE day, but your marriage lasts forever! I had to continually remind myself of this throughout the planning process, as I’m super detail-oriented and would start to obsess over how the napkins were to be folded, if I should have ribbon or greenery at each place setting, where the cakes should be displayed, etc. At the end of the day, no one noticed the extra ribbon, nor did they care how the napkins were folded, but everyone had the most amazing time and we have so many memories that we will carry with us forever!

We chose to have three mini cakes that varied in size and were adorned with gorgeous greenery and flowers. They were displayed on a gold sequined overlay, which really made them stand out. We also have a close friend who owns her own donut truck, and she surprised us with over 200 cinnamon apple donuts for our guests!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I were introduced at a Rascal Flatts concert in 2010. We literally danced the night away and I was instantly smitten! Ironically, I found out that not only did we have many friends in common, but he had grown up in the same town as I did my entire life, and we were even born in the same hospital only 10 days apart! I knew we were meant to be.
Tell us all about the proposal! Chris and I absolutely love Virginia wine country and Charlottesville is one place that is near and dear to our hearts. Knowing this, Chris planned a special trip to Trump Winery on Thanksgiving weekend, which wasn’t out of the ordinary, since we go so often and he knew our family would all be in town. When we got there, we found a cozy little spot outside by a fire that sat us all, and Chris wanted to get a picture of us in front of the beautiful scenery. When we posed for the picture, which unbeknownst to me was actually a video, he got down on one knee in front of our friends and family and asked me to marry him! It was the perfect proposal and a moment I’ll never forget!
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We were both so nervous that we decided not to write our own vows, but we did write personal letters to each other to read before the ceremony, which was very special to us.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My absolute favorite verses have always been 1 Corinthians 13:4-12 and Ephesians 4:2 which, to me, sum up the beauty of true, unconditional love. I think it’s so important for our marriage that our love continues to grow through our shared love for God.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Praying with each other daily is really important in our relationship, and has only brought us closer together as a couple. We also have some amazing people in our lives who model what a true happy and healthy marriage should look like, so we hope to follow in their footsteps!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Oh goodness, ALL of our vendors were absolutely amazing and I loved everyone that we worked with, but we were truly blessed to have some amazing planners! Ainsley and Wendy of Fete Weddings became such close friends to us throughout the entire process and truly went above and beyond all that was asked of them. For instance, one of our wedding guests had a strap that broke on her dress, and without hesitation, Ainsley whipped out a sewing kit from her apron and fixed it right there on the spot! I couldn’t have asked for better girls to work with and I knew we were in such great hands!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently living in our first home together in Northern Virginia with our sweet pup Oliver, but our dream is to build a home in Charlottesville for our future family. We’re also looking forward to welcoming our second niece into the family and spending lots of time with them!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? One thing that was really special for me was that my brother, who is in the U.S. Marine Corps, was able to fly all the way from Japan, where he is currently stationed, to be at our wedding. I only get to see him maybe once year if I’m lucky, so having him be apart of everything was truly a blessing!

Photographer: Jodi Miller Photography / Planner: Fete Weddings / Venue and Caterer: Veritas Vineyards & Winery / Florist: Southern Blooms / Cake Baker: Sweethaus / Rentals: BB&J Linens / DJ: Roger Cruz of Astro Entertainment / Signage: The Paper Walrus / Paper Products and Calligraphy: Goodheart Design / Bride’s Gown: Custom by Augusta Jones / Bride’s Shoes and Jewelry: Kate Spade / Hair and Makeup: Ave 42 / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Morgan”, “Sarah” and “Rhea” in Blush, Honeysuckle and Peach Fuzz by Donna Morgan / Menswear: Jean Yves / Laser-Cut Wooden Tags: Laura Hooper Calligraphy

Jodi Miller Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory, and Donna Morgan is a delightful SW sponsor!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs reply

    We are so excited to see Kelly and Chris featured today! Kelly was a dream bride – great ideas, a love of color, and so much enthusiasm for life. We are honored to have been included in the spectacular team that was assembled for this gorgeous day!

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From her wedding day attire (a lace gown with buttons running down the back, paired with broken-in cowboy boots), all the way to the amazing blooms on top of whiskey barrels, I’d say Alyssa nailed the rustic chic feel at her and Dayton’s wedding! They also may have one of our best replies yet to the question of what was Southern about their day–ceremony in parents’ front yard? Check! Reception held in their barn? Check! Dance floor with a country band for people to two-step to? Check! Chicken fried steak and smoked chicken for dinner? Double check! Honestly, I’m wondering why my invitation got lost in the mail!

Big SW hugs to Rachel Whyte for sharing such a sweetly Southern day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had always envisioned myself in an all-lace wedding dress with buttons down the back, and I like the cap sleeve look. I went to Bliss Bridal in Fort Worth, and knew I had found the dress before I even put it on. It was the first dress I tried on and I absolutely loved it! I tried on a few more just to be sure, but went right back to the first one. I had an appointment at another salon, but while standing in front of the mirror, I told my mom to cancel it because I had found the dress! It was such a great experience having all my dreams start to come true!

The flowers were absolutely stunning. There was a mixture of light pinks, whites, and greenery in each bouquet. We had two wine barrels with beautiful arrangements on top of each. I had shown a picture of wine barrels with flowers on them to my florist as inspiration, and she surprised me with them on the wedding day. I almost cried when I saw them.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My parents live in the country outside of Decatur, and I have always wanted to get married outdoors or in a barn. We both liked the idea of getting married in the front yard and having the reception in the barn. Plus, the venue was free!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows–we probably would have cried the whole time if we had. Instead, we had Dayton’s dad officiate the ceremony, and he included childhood stories and some life lessons for us to take with us into our marriage.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I have always been more traditional with this aspect of the wedding. I am so glad that we did not do a first look so we could have that moment when I walked down the aisle.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was the barn. The way the tables, flowers, and lighting all came together gave it the rustic chic feel we were looking for.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The ceremony took place in my parents’ front yard, while the reception was held in their barn. We had a dance floor with a country band for people to two-step to. Babe’s Chicken House catered chicken fried steak and smoked chicken for dinner.

The cakes were simple and delicious! The bride’s cake was a three-tiered cake with simple flowers in almond cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. The groom’s cake was one round tier with a golf scene on top and Texas on the front. It was yellow cake with chocolate buttercream icing.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at Abilene Christian University when Dayton was a senior and I was a junior. Before we even met, one of my very best friends thought we would be perfect for each other. We starting hanging out and went on a ski trip, but remained just friends until the spring of my senior year. One of my guy friends pulled me aside one night and asked what I was waiting on, because if I wanted a guy that would love me, take care of me, and always be by my side, then Dayton was my guy. How could I ignore that? Shortly after, we started dating and it did not take long for us to know that we were in love.
Tell us all about the proposal! It happened on November 16, 2013. Dayton had been wanting to go to my parents’ farm in Canton for awhile, and he told me that week that we needed to go because “the trees would be so pretty.” It had been a busy week at school and I was so tired, so when Saturday came along, I tried to convince Dayton to stay in town and just relax. It did not work. When we got to Canton, we fished for a little while and then went to a restaurant called The Shed for lunch. While we were eating some country fried chicken and chocolate pie, I noticed Dayton had been on his phone more than usual, so I asked him who he was talking to. Dayton said that he and his friend, Jeff, were about to make a fantasy football trade. It was that time of year, so I believed him. While Jeff and Dayton were texting about “fantasy football,” I texted my friend Emily to see if she wanted me to gather some things from Canton so we could make a wreath. When Dayton and I got back to the farm, he told me we should go to the dock. I looked toward the dock and there were mason jars and flowers all along it! We started walking to the dock, and then Dayton said some very sweet things, got down on one knee. and asked me to marry him. I said YESSS! After about five minutes, Emily and Jeff popped out of the bushes and I freaked out again. That’s when I found out that the fantasy football texts were all code for when we were leaving lunch and heading back to the farm!
When did y’all get married? April 5, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 250
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We used all Ben Rector songs for the seating of the parents, grandparents, and wedding party. I walked down the aisle to “Forever Like That” by Ben Rector. I didn’t want to use the traditional wedding march, and I liked the words and pace of this song.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was to not get stressed out over all the little details. I knew that at the end of the day, I would be married to the man of my dreams, so nothing else mattered.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved all the help we got from Celebration Event Rentals and Shag Carpet. My aunt was able to coordinate and decorate the entire barn with the help of her friend there, and we were so grateful to have that expertise.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable part of the wedding for both of us was when I walked down the aisle. It looked like it was going to rain that day, but a few hours before the ceremony, the skies cleared and we were able to get married outside. I remember being so happy it was finally time to walk down the aisle to get married. I did not even care how cold it was–it was so great to see the look on Dayton’s face when I walked to meet him at the altar.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress. All the details get worked out, and at the end of the day, you are married. Nothing else matters as long as you are marrying the right person for you at the end of the day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are most excited to just relax and spend time together. We want to travel and have as many adventures together as we can.

Photographer: Rachel Whyte / Planner: Gayle Pratt and Shelby Holt / Venue: Private residence / Florist: J.H. Davis Designs / Cake Baker: Sugar Bee Sweets Bakery / Caterer: Babe’s Chicken Dinner House /Rentals: Celebration Event Rentals and Shag Carpet Rentals / Lighting: ES Events / Band: Keith Mitchell Band / Bridal Salon: Bliss Bridal Salon / Paper Products: Michael McCarty / Hair Stylist: Emily Warr / Makeup Artist: Amber Joy / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Forever 21 / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    It feels like this could have been one of my friends’ weddings–everything is so sweet and Texan! Love it!

  2. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    So rustic and chic. I love it!

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Oh y’all, it feels good to be back “home” here on Southern Weddings! Some of you may have heard that my handsome BDK and I welcomed our first bow-wearing little lady into our lives in January. While she surprised us early, I’m so thankful for the sweet SW ladies for covering for me while I spent some time with EKK (and for all your kind wishes and prayers!).

While I could refill your glass of sweet tea a bucket of times telling stories of her adorable sneezes and hilarious faces, we have a beautiful wedding to gush over! One of my favorite things about Alex and Eric’s big day is the simplicity of the colors. Classic white florals absolutely captured the romance of winter (one of Alex’s goals!), yet feel so warm and welcoming paired with layers of stacked candles. As for Ms. Alex in her grandmother’s vintage fur stole–stunning! Be sure to read about her something old/new too–it’s a good one!

Big thanks to one of our darling Blue Ribbon Vendor members, Loft Photographie for sharing this beauty with us!

My something borrowed was my grandmother’s fur stole. My mom gave me one diamond earring (the matching earring was lost) that my dad purchased for her when she was 30. She had a new one made to match the old, so the earrings served as my old and new.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look after talking to our photographers and friends and family. It calmed me down so that I was able to take in the rest of the day after seeing Eric, and the pictures turned out great.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment was walking down the aisle to meet Eric. He couldn’t hold back the tears, and I had such joy and excitement to meet him at the end.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? One of Eric’s childhood friends is a pastor and officiated the ceremony. It was very important to us that the heart of Christ be represented in the ceremony message, and he did a great job speaking to the covenant of marriage.

Having our wedding in Austin, Texas was a no-brainer. We have a lot of family that lives there, and it’s our favorite city in Texas. We fell in love with the chapel because it has an intimate feel, and the pavilion at Barton Creek Resort provided the rustic elegance that we wanted. It was also nice to have our guests stay at the resort, because we got to spend time with them the entire weekend.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The handcrafted wood details and the sweetheart table! From the seating chart, to the entrance signs, to the wood centerpieces and more, Sweet Sunday Events went above and beyond to produce beautiful pieces that added such a unique element to our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food! Eric and I love to eat, and we both grew up on the finest Southern cuisine prepared by our mothers and grandmothers. We served fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, collard greens, biscuits and gravy, and macaroni and cheese. It was a hit! My cake was red velvet with cream cheese frosting, which is my absolute favorite. Eric went to Texas A&M and is a diehard Aggie, so I surprised him with an A&M-themed groom’s cake. He still talks about it to this day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Eric is from a small town in West Texas, and naturally, everyone in that neck of the woods knows each other. One of my best friends grew up with Eric, and she introduced us after college in Dallas, Texas. I thought Eric was cute, but I was dating someone else at the time. About six months later, I was single, and Eric asked me out on our first date. I remember admiring his strength, kindness, and faith. We dated for about three years, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! I grew up in Louisiana, and Eric decided he wanted to take a trip to see my large extended family. While we were there, he asked to see the church where I was baptized. I really didn’t think anything of it. We walked in to the dimly lit church, and Eric got down on one knee in front of the altar and asked me to marry him. It was such a joyful moment! He made sure all of our family was at the house when we got back, and we had a big catfish fry to celebrate, Louisiana-style!
When did y’all get married? December 7, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My wedding dress was simple and classic. It was the third one I tried on. I fell in love with Jim Hjelm’s lace a long time ago, and knew my dress was the one as soon as I tried it on.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A friend of ours, who is also the worship leader at our church, sang two songs at our ceremony. He sang “In Christ Alone” and “How He Loves.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was staying within the budget. It was easy for me to keep adding here and there, but everything added up very quickly. It helped to start carrying my spreadsheet in my purse!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? How can I pick? Sweet Sunday Events made my wedding dreams come true–Katy and Rachel listened to my discombobulated ideas and made sense out of it all. Loft Photographie made me feel comfortable and were a joy to work with. Jason at Elixir Entertainment captured our wedding perfectly. His video creations are like no other. He takes time to tell your story, and creates something everyone will enjoy watching.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It is easy to get wrapped up in all the details and to-dos and lose sight of what the wedding is all about. Enjoy the planning (it’s so much fun!), but remember that most importantly, you are planning for this beautiful new season in your life.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are excited for the growth that comes through marriage. We cannot wait to see how God uses us and shapes us. We are looking forward to living together, sleeping in on the weekends, serving, having kids, traveling, and soaking up the moments together.

Photographer: Loft Photographie / Videographer: Elixir Entertainment / Planner: Anna Leeker at Barton Creek Resort / Ceremony Venue: Smith Family Chapel / Reception Venue: Pavillion at Barton Creek Resort / Florist and Special Details: Sweet Sunday Events /Cake Baker and Caterer: Barton Creek Resort / Rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals / Band: Royal Dukes Band / Bride’s Gown: Jim Hjlem / Paper Products: Stationary Bakery / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Angie Williams / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Loft Photographie is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    The white and wood details are so pretty together! Love their sweet first dance photo too :)

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