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A sign on Nicole‘s bulletin board says “Orange is the Happiest Color,” and while I won’t disagree, I’d argue that yellow is one of the happiest colors as well! From the sunny yellow details, to the drum corps at the reception, to the Oreo groom’s cake, Denise and Eli’s wedding day was happy and celebratory from start to finish. They also used one of my favorite Bible readings at their beautiful ceremony under an oak tree. Could there be a more Southern ceremony spot than that? I think not!

Thank you to Laura Yang for sharing Denise and Eli’s wedding with us!

By August of 2011, we had become a long-distance couple. I was about to begin a Master’s program in Occupational Therapy at Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida, while he stayed in New York. He had come to visit me for a few weeks. One evening, he took me to Crane’s Roost, a lovely park in Altamonte Springs, Florida. My best friend “just so happened” to be visiting that weekend and the three of us were walking off the large amount of sushi we had just ingested! As we walked around the park, we came to a small area covered by trees that was decorated with rose petals and rhinestones, leading up to a table with a large bouquet of flowers and our initials on it. Before I could even ask what all that was about, he was on his knee popping the question. After a loud agreement from me, my entire family jumped out from behind trees and bushes cheering. It was the most incredible surprise anyone had ever planned, and it ended with a beautiful diamond on my finger!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I decided to go dress shopping in New York, where I could take most of my family and my bridesmaids with me. One of my first stops was a small boutique in my hometown of Brooklyn called The White Gown. I tried on several dresses there and eventually found “the dress” with the help of the staff and my friends and family. I chose a lovely lace fit and flare style dress by Enzoani called Fairy.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose a reading from Ephesians, which read, “Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ. The husband provides leadership to his wife the way Christ does to his church, not by domineering but by cherishing. So just as the church submits to Christ as he exercises such leadership, wives should likewise submit to their husbands. Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body. And this is why a man leaves father and mother and cherishes his wife. No longer two, they become one flesh.”

Our cake was a three-tiered work of art that incorporated our “love birds” theme and our yellow-gray color scheme. Two tiers were red velvet and one tier was my favorite, banana chocolate chip! The design was a mix of chevron patterns, quilting techniques, and edible flowers. It sure was delicious. My bridesmaids and I made my hubby’s groom’s cake out of Oreos!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One detail we were so excited about was having the Ocoee High School drum corps as a part of our grand entrance to the reception. The parents and bridal party entered to Beyonce & Jay-Z’s “Crazy in Love” and directly before we entered, the drummer preceded us, making the moment so majestic and grand! Shout out to them for making our entrance unforgettable.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a concert in NYC back in June 2007. We had each planned to go so we could meet up with my brother-in-law, who was playing drums. Once there, Eli was sitting next to his sister, who I thought was his girlfriend, so I kept my distance. As the night went on, a mutual friend noticed our attraction and created an opportunity for us to talk. After the concert, a group of us went to a late night diner and hung out until 2 A.M. By the end of the night, he had my phone number and AOL screen name (so dated!). In the days following, we texted and IM’ed till my fingers hurt. We went on our first date the following week. That evening, we went to the movies then he took me to the beach, where he told me all about himself. It was then that I knew I could really fall for this guy.
When did y’all get married? April 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We chose to do a first look at our wedding because we wanted to be able to enjoy as much of our cocktail hour and reception as we could, rather than being stuck outside taking portraits during that time. It really gave us the freedom to greet our guests and chat for a bit, as opposed to the rushed “hi and bye” feeling we would have gotten otherwise.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Eli was a fan of the traditional vows, so we kept it simple.
Describe your wedding flowers. My bouquet was a mix of calla lilies, hydrangeas, button mums, craspedia, and football mums. It was wrapped in lace, to match my gown, and the florist added yellow beads for detail.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our unity ceremony, with the cord of three strands. It is a braiding ceremony signifying that a marriage isn’t made up only of husband and wife, but also with God in the center. During the braiding, we played Israel Houghton’s “Jesus at the Center,” which was incredibly fitting.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern thing about our wedding was the venue, Highland Manor. Nestled on secluded grounds in Apopka, Highland Manor is surrounded by ancient oaks and steeped in 109 years of history. This stately home stands on 11 acres of rolling pastures complete with roaming peacocks. This authentic Old Florida home, once owned by a prominent area physician, was a beautiful setting for our special day.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Making decisions as a long-distance couple was the toughest thing in the world to do. At times, it felt like I just had to make decisions and hope that Eli would like what I chose! Thank God, he trusts my judgment, because he had no complaints.
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? For our grand entrance to the reception, we had the drum corps from Ocoee High School accompany us for that touch of over-the-top! Eli has been playing drums since he was a kid, so I felt it was a great way for him to enter our reception as a married man.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Did you just get engaged? Start tomorrow! Since we got engaged over a year before our wedding date, I procrastinated a tiny bit in the very beginning, and by the time the date came around, I felt sort of frantic getting things in line that could have been taken care of months before. I cut myself some slack because I was planning a wedding thousands of miles away from my fiancé (and my mom!), while keeping a 4.0 GPA in my graduate program,but if I had to do it over again, I would.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are definitely both looking forward to my graduation! The past few years apart have been tough, and once I am completely done with school and clinicals, we can really start our married life together!

Photographer: Laura Yang / Videographer: Michael Dalton / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Highland Manor / Florist: Shelly with Country Club Flowers / Wedding Cake: Bliss Pastry / Caterer: Dubsdread Catering / Ceiling Draping, Bridal Wall and Lighting: W Drapings / DJ: Kristin with Our DJ Rocks / Photobooth: Photobooth Rocks / Bride’s Gown: Enzoani Fairy / Bride’s Earrings: Simplychic93 Etsy Shop /  Veil and Hair Pin: The White Gown / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Jacquin Figueroa Morton / Bride’s Shoes: London Rebel / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style G5586″ Amsale / Maid of Honor Dress: “Style 115″ Bill Levkoff / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    Such a stunning wedding. Beautifully captured.

  2. avatar Laura Yang reply

    So, so thrilled to see these two on Southern Weddings! Thank you for sharing their wonderful wedding day!

  3. avatar Florida Wedding Photographer: 2013 Weddings Review | ORLANDO WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER | DAYTONA BEACH WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER reply

    […] […]

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I am SO excited to introduce November’s Southern Bride of the Month to y’all. Madelynne was a familiar face to the Southern Weddings ladies already, since she’s one of our lovely readers who comment the most (we love when you join the conversation!), and then she completely captured us when we read about her darling engagement story and fabulous wedding plans. I hope you enjoy! And married ladies, make sure you take a minute to answer Madelynne’s question at the end — as an engaged lady, as well, I’m interested to hear your answers, too!

Hi! What’s your name?
Sarah Madelynne Miller (on Twitter here)

What’s your fiancé’s name?
Corey Wayne Moulton (on Twitter here)

What do y’all do for a living?
We graduated in May from Auburn University (War Eagle!) and are both working as Intern Architects in Atlanta, GA.

Personal photo

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
We met in the summer of 2007 both trying to get into the highly competitive undergrad Architecture program. Luckily, we both got in! Our first semester following acceptance into the program, we happened to live in the same apartment complex and sat across from each other in our studio class. Needless to say, we were inseparable. We ate meals together, went to class together, studied together, and pulled all-nighters together. Fast forward 6 months of being in the “friend zone.” I took my big sister’s advice, and told Corey I was in love with him on my birthday, 11/11/07. We have been together ever since!

Photo by Chris and Adrienne Scott

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
Corey really wanted me to have a ring I would love, so we started looking at rings in June 2010, with the anticipation of getting engaged in the summer or fall of 2011. We looked in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Tuscaloosa, but we both knew we found THE ring around August while visiting my sister in Tuscaloosa.

I had driven to Auburn at the end of January 2011 to visit Corey and interview at the college’s internship fair. That year, I was doing an off-campus thesis 2.5 hours away, so I took every opportunity I could to see him. I had some interviews scheduled after he finished his, so he headed back to his apartment while I continued my interviews. After dinner, we came home and sat on the couch so I could watch The Bachelorette. I got out my iPhone and started going through my wedding blogs on Google Reader. He frantically ran into his bedroom and I thought, “What is his problem?!” He came back out and sat down and I said, “Look Corey, there’s a blog post on here about a girl with the same name as me AND it’s the wedding colors I love!” I scrolled down further and there was a picture of HIM holding the ring! By the time I realized what was going on, he was on one knee in front of me!

It turns out he planned the WHOLE proposal the day before – he had made a faux wedding blog with pictures of us in it, hacked into my Google Reader, and subscribed me to the blog so it’d show up on my account. It was perfect and I wouldn’t change one thing – except maybe take pictures!! He decided to have one element of surprise by proposing to me way ahead of when I expected him to, and I was very surprised!

The ring is by Sylvie Collection, and is an oval cut diamond with a diamond halo around it.

When’s the big day?
April 14, 2012

Yellow shoe inspiration from Madelynne’s Pinterest! Yellow toenails photo by 1313 Photography via Style Me Pretty, yellow heels photo by Marianne Wilson via Wedding Chicks

Where might you two be tying the knot?
Downtown Birmingham, AL. I am from Birmingham.

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
I insisted on getting married in a beautiful church and was determined to find one. As it turns out, my grandmother married my late grandfather in an amazing church downtown called Third Presbyterian Church. That realization made that decision very, very easy. I have always admired the love she has for him, even though he died over 30 years ago. It’s so symbolic that I can get married the same place they did!

The reception venue is an amazing art gallery downtown called Matt Jones Gallery. I wanted a space with an industrial/loft feel to it. Corey is an incredible artist, so the art gallery seemed fitting and the place is around the corner from some of Birmingham’s best bars, so people can continue the party after we leave. It was the only place I visited and I knew as soon as I walked in that it was the place!

Private photo of Madelynne and Corey’s art gallery space being set up!

Who or what has been most inspiring in the wedding planning process?
My mother and sister are a constant source of inspiration for me; they are basically my creative assistants. The biggest inspirations are definitely blogs; I follow 25 different ones, no exaggeration. My favorites are Southern Weddings and Style Me Pretty.

Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
Not at all. I always wanted a contemporary, eclectic vibe with the main colors being yellow, grey, green, and white. I had a 2 day stint early in the process where I decided to change my colors to orange and grey instead of yellow and grey, but that didn’t last.

Lovely gray and yellow wedding inspiration (photo by Julie Harmsen)

Which part of your wedding are you most invested in?
Pictures, but I know Stephen DeVries is going to be amazing. Music is important to me, too, so I booked Odie based out of Birmingham. He’s an awesome singer/songwriter Corey and I saw over 3 years ago. The night we saw him perform, I said to Corey I wanted to book him for our reception one day, and we did! I booked both vendors within weeks of getting engaged.

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
I found my dress 12 days after getting engaged, kind of on accident. Mom and I went to a consignment shop near our house one Friday. I had heard they had wedding dresses, so we stopped there to see how the selection was. I was browsing through the racks and there was a never been worn Carolina Herrera gown pretty close to my size and it was 75% off. It didn’t impress me on the hanger, nor was it even close to what I pictured myself in, but I tried it on and it fit beautifully and I cried. I looked elsewhere the next day, but I really couldn’t get it out of my mind. Mom went and picked it up 3 days later. It doesn’t match anything else about my wedding, but I really don’t care! I must mention my shoes while I’m at it – they are Kate Spade’s “Crown” and the same chartreuse color as one of the bridesmaid’s dresses! What a find!

Madelynne’s favorite hairstyle (photo by Cary Hazlegrove)

Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
Chris and Adrienne Scott, Photographers did our engagement pictures in Nashville (Corey’s hometown) and they were a blast to work with. They are two of the most fun and laid back people that happen to take awesome photos. I’m also very excited about our future letterpress invites, which will be printed by The Aerialist Press. Our wedding photographer, Stephen DeVries, has been my dream to book since he photographed a girl from my high school’s wedding in 2009.

Do you have a favorite Etsy store you’d love to tell us about?
EmersonBindery makes beautiful handmade guest books that are reasonably priced. MollyGeeClothing made me a beautiful garter to match my hairpiece I found at The Villager in Auburn, which she also designed. DawnsCraftStore made a precious wedding dress hanger that my future mother-in-law gave me as an engagement gift.

Madelynne and Corey’s guestbook

Tell us about the one that got away. Is there one dream thing or vendor you wish you could have fit into your budget?
It’s amazing, but I have been able to find almost everything I want for the right price. You just have to research, a lot! I guess I would most want a videographer to capture the highlights of the day.

What has been the best part of wedding planning? The worst part?
The best part is seeing all of my ideas come to fruition. My mother sewed some amazing yellow chevron tablecloths for the bride and groom’s tables. I’m also very excited about the paper products Aerialist Press will be printing. Corey designed the chevron save the dates that we are printing locally and will be designing the invites and response cards as well. I love the LulaKate bridesmaid’s dresses too! Three different colors and all different silhouettes!

Bright bridesmaid dresses that partially inspired M + C’s (photo by Anne Marie Photography via Southern Weddings)

What do you wish you would have known at the beginning of your engagement?
How stressful guest lists would be! If I could, I’d invite twice as many people as we are, and we are already inviting around 250!

Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
We are going to Secrets Maroma Beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We had a few strict rules for the honeymoon: 1. Ocean 2. Fruity drinks with umbrellas (yes, Corey wanted that too) 3. Do absolutely nothing.

Madelynne’s dream cake (photo by Meg Perotti and cake by My Sweet & Saucy via Grey Likes Weddings)

Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
Remember what the wedding is REALLY about: a holy sacrament to unite two people forever. At the end of the day, it’s you and him standing before God making a vow to each other and nothing else matters.

Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
For those who are already married, what details about your wedding stand out most in your mind? Or do you remember anything at all? I’m afraid it’ll all be a big blur!

Thank you so much for joining us today, Madelynne! I’m so glad we got to know better! Readers, if you’d like to apply to be a Southern Bride of the Month, check out this post for all the details! If you’ve already emailed me, you’re still in the running for future months!

The Southern Bride of the Month header was designed by our Assistant Art Director Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company!

emily Written with love by Emily
20 Comments
  1. avatar Desiree reply

    y’all know I love to comment :)

    A few of my favorite moments from my wedding day are when there were minimal people involved. When my mother and I stopped by the ceremony site, just after our hair was done but before a single guest was in sight -Remember, Marissa?? I loved being able to be in that spot, knowing in just a few hours that all my loved ones and my love would be there, watching me walk down our grassy aisle. Another moment was after our ceremony when Eric and I were standing in the park wondering how we were going to get to the reception – I had sent the limo on it’s way with our bridal party bc we wanted a few extra photos…whoops. But Eric’s older brother hopped in the pick-up and the 3 of us had a nice, “ahhhh” moment before the party began. Immediately after our reception was over, it started to rain, Eric and I stood on the veranda and just yelled “Wooooo!” {we were a little buzzed but just so relieved that we were married, finally!}. And finally, the Monday after our wedding, we re-created the wedding table-scape for Eric’s grandparents who were unable to make it to the wedding. We had a centerpiece all set up at their favorite table at the diner they eat at everyday, we ordered fried chicken and sweet tea, and I even had a corsage for his grandmother. It was our way of making them a part of the day.

    So…yes, most of the wedding reception is a blur – lots of dancing, laughing. But I couldn’t tell you about a single conversation that I had. The ceremony is a sort of a blur, however, I requested that my minister give me the script that he used and Eric and I read it on our anniversary each year…kind of like a vow renewal. But, it’s the little moments {isn’t it always?} that I remember the most fondly.

    Congratulations on your engagement, your wedding ideas are adorable and I’m sure it will turn out lovely! Make sure to hire a coordinator for the day of just so you and your creative assistants can relax and enjoy yourselves. God bless, Madelynne!!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    I got married a month ago yesterday and already so much of it is a blur! The top 5 things I remember are 1. Having a quiet moment with my dad right before the ceremony. 2. The very first thing I wanted to do when I saw my husband for the first time that day was fix his crooked tie and kiss him all at the same time. 3. Taking a TON of pictures 4. Dancing my butt off at the reception 5. The relief of FINALLY being married.

    Good luck and best wishes!

  3. avatar Alexandra // The Aerialist Press reply

    I so loved reading this about Madelynne! She is absolutely one of our sweetest clients and we are so thrilled to see her engagement and planning story shared. Totally lovely!

    And to answer Madelynne’s question…Much of our wedding day was a blur but three things standout clear as day: 1) How attentive, thoughtful and genuinely thrilled for me by bridesmaids were the morning we got married. They were angels and spending that time with them was priceless. I will never forget Liz painting my nails an hour before photos and Emily running to the store for a toothbrush because mine was MIA. I can’t wait to return the favor someday! 2) My husband’s glee when we saw each other for the first time for our “first look”. His excitement, wonder and glow was so blissful I was completely engulfed in it. I couldn’t stop looking at him! 3) Seeing my mother standing next to my husband as I walked down the aisle on my dad’s arm. She officiated our wedding and looked so proud standing next to the man I was about to marry. It brought tears to my eyes. Having her guide us through the ceremony and to each other as husband and wife was the best wedding decision I made. I will never forget those moments!

  4. avatar Alysha reply

    Honestly the day goes by fast, it’s important to take a deep breath and step back at some point during the day. The first kiss (we hadn’t kissed for a month before the wedding), our vows (I bawled) and the speeches at the reception stand out the most! :) The details you forget will be filled in by other people as you share your memories of the day, my husband and I talked about it as we began our road trip honeymoon!

  5. avatar Carmen reply

    Such a clever proposal!

  6. avatar Jessie reply

    The best advice I got was to take a step back from your reception with your husband and take everything in. We chose to eat dinner by ourselves in a boat house near the reception. It was wonderful because everyone says you never get to eat and we were able to watch our reception and take it all in without any distractions. Congrats and enjoy your engagement!

  7. avatar Kerry reply

    When I look back at my wedding… there were so many little things that I loved and stick out in my mind. But the best feeling in the world was walking down that isle. It was a feeling that I have never had before. Very surreal. All I could do was thank God for that moment of having everyone there to witness me marry the best guy a gal could ask for on such a beautiful day. Everything I had planned for the wedding fell into place perfectly…. and at that moment, I could breathe and take it all in. Walking down that isle was a moment I will never forget. Congrats on your engagement and enjoy every moment of the big day!

  8. avatar Judy Henry reply

    From Madelynne’s future granny-in-law (that doesn’t sound quite right?!?):

    I love the story and the whole layout! We’re so excited that Madelynne will be part of the family soon! I can’t wait till the wedding.

  9. avatar Allison W reply

    I love those cakes! So beautiful.

    I would definitely recommend what Jessie said – take a step back with your new husband and just try to take everything in. And get a way for a few minutes to eat some dinner!

  10. avatar Kelsey reply

    I love her dress in her engagement pictures! So cute!!

  11. avatar Amber reply

    We were married about a month ago and a few things that most stand out would definitely be how fast the day goes by, definitely the surreal feeling of walking down the aisle – there’s nothing like that! We did a first look and read our personal vows to each other and am so thankful for that. We decided to do that only a few weeks before the wedding and we really did have so much more time for pictures following the ceremony, and it is something neither of us will ever forget! It was nice to have that special time just us to collect our thoughts and it really helped with the nerves of being in front of all those people! Love your colors, they’ll be perfect in April, enjoy and don’t sweat the small details towards the end, best advice I got the week before was “let go and let it happen.”

  12. avatar Pamela Donnelly reply

    Madelynne,
    I think you and Corey are the most precious couple I have ever seen, except for maybe my Mom and Dad. My Dad adored my Mom. I am so thrilled about your engagement, and upcoming wedding. I love all of the things you have picked out, and I am sure that it will be spectacular on your special day. I am so proud of who you both are, and will become together as husband and wife. Speaking of which, remember the moment that you are pronounced husband and wife……no sweeter sound will permeate your being as the first moment you realize that you are no longer two but now one. My favorite part is when they say….”What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Treasure the moments. God bless you both. Oh, and what an extra special treat for me that you chose to have your wedding on my birthday !!!! Thank you !!! You know, I was born on Easter Sunday that year, so the 14th has special meanings throughout history. OK, now that I have pointed out that I wasn’t born yesterday, since I used the word HISTORY, I will take my leave from this comment box.

  13. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    [...] welcomed a familiar face to the blog as our Southern Bride of the Month! Madelynne is a frequent commenter and now we get to hear all about her big day with fiance Corey. [...]

  14. avatar SUSAN STRAIN reply

    A little girl grown into a beautiful,funloving young woman who enjoys all life has to offer,this is MADELYNNE.I remember her visits to the lake where she would sit on the porch talking to two of her favorite people, her Mom and Dad. Your wedding plans reflect you and COREYS personalities,just the way it should be. My thought for both of you ‘IS TO ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR EACH OTHER AND TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN TOGETHER’. Love, Aunt Susan se

  15. avatar Plaid: Part One » Sparkliatti reply

    [...] and the second from the right. Let your man wear the tartan in his tie like the top right and the far left in the second row. How about a cool getaway car like this yellow convertible with red tartan interior. The plaids on [...]

  16. avatar Elum Blog » Blog Archive » entry #3: our CABANA invitation inspiration reply

    [...] 11. Chevron and succulent cake, photo by Meg Perotti and cake by My Sweet & Saucy via Southern Weddings [...]

  17. avatar Steve reply

    Where do I find that yellow and gray plaid tie?!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Steve! I didn’t think I’d be able to track it down for you, but I did! That tie is from Express, but I’m not sure when it was bought. You can see more of the wedding that tie is from here: http://www.stylemepretty.com/2011/07/06/saguatuck-wedding-by-julie-harmsen-photography/

  18. avatar Cassie reply

    Having a gray and yellow themed wedding also. Saw the tie and loved it. Could you let us know where you got it or what brand it is? Congratulations on your wedding – it looked beautiful!

  19. avatar Ben reply

    Where did Corey get the yellow plaid tie from?

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