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Bride Annie shares her magnolia-filled wedding!

Please meet today’s bride, Annie! Her wedding to David is filled with some of my favorite things: magnolia leaves, a historic Southern home, and a fabulous, fashion-forward gown that’s classic with a twist! Of course, these details are made lovelier because of their history! Take their venue. Annie and David’s celebrated their wedding day at her parents’ Georgia farm with the most gorgeous historic home but in 1835. I love this sweet nod to Annie’s family and heritage! Annie and David also honored their family through their wedding rings. Annie said, “We also designed our wedding rings, taking a ring from each side of our families, melting them down and blending them to create our own. Truly, two becoming one!” Keep reading for more sweet details.

Thanks for sharing, Carrie Joy!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. When I first started shopping, I was going for a whole different look. While at the Dress Theory in Seattle, I pulled a dress off the rack and exclaimed to my Mom, “How gorgeous is this! But it would never work.” My mom convinced me to try it on and I instantly fell in love – it was so comfortable, beautiful, and classic, but with a twist – very me.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? The ceremony and reception were at my parents’ farm in Madison, Georgia. It’s a gorgeous southern home built in 1835. Also special: the groom spent a week helping out around the farm when he asked my parents for my hand in marriage!

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? We wrote our own vows which we exchanged in the form of a letter the day of the wedding. However, during the ceremony we just recited traditional vows to keep our own vows more personal.

What was Southern about your wedding? We buried a bottle of bourbon (Maker’s Mark) to keep the rain away, we incorporated leaves from the magnolia tree into the decorations, and we ate grits and creamed corn at the meal. There was also a basket of fresh chicken eggs (from the farm!) for the guests to take home!

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? Incorporating the magnolia leaves into the decorations and into the stationery – everything tied together perfectly! We also designed our wedding rings, taking a ring from each side of our families, melting them down and blending them to create our own. Truly, two becoming one!

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Why did you choose it? We served cheesecake for the wedding, as David doesn’t particularly like cake but we both love cheesecake!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Two people from opposite sides of the country met through chance, became fast friends, went on countless trips and adventures together, and fell in love along the way.
Tell us all about the proposal! David planned a weekend camping in the shadow of Mount Rainier. After a ten-mile hike into the campsite we sat down, opened a bottle of champagne, and then he got down on one knee. I said “yes”!
When did y’all get married? April 21, 2018
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 2004
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we didn’t do one. We wanted leave it for the ceremony and share that special moment then – we thought it was a bit more romantic and traditional.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Planning from across the country. We made only three trips home before the week of the wedding, so working out details with vendors (and working around the time difference) was challenging.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My cousin played piano for the ceremony music, and we did not have programs at the ceremony.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Annie walking down the aisle!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Talk about the number of guests that you would like at the wedding early and often. The wedding list can grow easily, so it is paramount to draw a line in the sand early.

Photographer: Carrie Joy Photography | Second photographer: Noi Tran | Film lab: Richard Photo Lab | Planner: Nancy Nolan-Kuperberg of No Regrets Events | Venue: The Oaks in Madison, GA | Florist: Amanda Jewel Floral and Design | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Classic Cheesecakes and Cakes | Caterer: Hallie Jane’s Catering | Rentals: Goodwin Rentals | Band: Cashmere via ECE | Paper Products: Chez La Mariee | Bride’s Gown: “Isra” by Bo and Luca | Dress shop: The Dress Theory | Bride’s Hair Pin: Twigs & Honey | Hair Stylist: Christine Verikas of Ambrosia Salon | Makeup Artist: Lauren Crossman of Ambrosia Salon | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff in Shell Pink | Groom’s Attire: Custom

marissa Written with love by Marissa
2 Comments
  1. avatar BG Bridal Gallery US reply

    This is a beautiful wedding! The bride looks darling in her dress!

  2. avatar Kim reply

    It looks georgeous! But I think the number of guests can’t be right?

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Possibly because it feels like summer almost year-round in Florida, I always reach for this Sunshine State editorial from our ninth issue as the temperatures climb here in North Carolina. The vibrant color, thoughtful details, and Art Deco location add up to an inspiring look at how to make a wedding your own, especially if you’d like your celebration to reflect the destination you’ve chosen. Our St. Augustine location was a huge source source of inspiration for these photos, from the citrus and flamingo-inspired palette we used, to the tropical blooms Ashton Events arranged, to the graphic, Art Deco patterns that popped up throughout.

We’re so grateful to our longtime friend and Blue Ribbon Vendor Justin DeMutiis for capturing all the fun!

P.S. Spot any familiar faces in our beautiful bridal party? :)

Twinkle & Toast created the most beautiful and pop-y invitation suite to announce our colorful soiree. The die-cut invitation shape, inspired by Florida’s art deco pools, popped up several more times throughout the shoot.

Our bride’s bouquet, by Laura from Ashton Events, included Yves Piaget, Romantic Antique and Lemon Pompon garden roses; Coral Charm peonies; daffodil;, fritillaria; boronia; ranunculus; Mambo and Majolika spray roses; salal; fern; and gardenia.

Working with ghost chairs at your ceremony? Order vinyl cling-on names to mark reserved seating for loved ones.

It’s safe to say our whole team is obsessed with this tablescape, from the matte black chairs to the banded linen, colorful flowers, and poolside locale! Ashton Events, Wish Vintage Rentals, Luxe Party Rentals, and Kate Ryan Linens knocked it out of the park!

Planner, stylist, and florals: Ashton Events | Photographer: Justin DeMutiis | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Ceremony venue: St. Augustine Lightner Museum Garden Courtyard | Reception venue and catering: Casa Monica Hotel | Hair and makeup: Amanda Hopcraft | Cakes and desserts: The Pastry Studio | Popsicles: Hyppo Popsicles | Paper goods: Twinkle and Toast | Linens and rentals: Kate Ryan Linens | Rentals: Wish Vintage Rentals | Chargers: Luxe Party Rentals | Bride’s gown: Kate Spade New York | Bride’s veil: Yuri C. Wedding Shoppe | Bridesmaid dresses: Ralph Lauren | Menswear: The Black Tux | Bow ties: Rock Avenue

Ashton Events and Justin DeMutiis are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Janna Toruno reply

    My bachelorette is going to be in St. Augustine! Love this Florida wedding inspiration! :)

  2. avatar Jennifer Anderson reply

    I love all the pops of color at this wedding! Makes me miss home! (I was raised in Florida!)

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I’m about to get a little sappy, friends, and I’m not even ashamed of it.

No matter how many photos I’ve seen of anniversary sessions, I will literally never tire of them.

That’s because one of the most cherished dreams of my life is reaching old age with my husband, because that means we will have had the opportunity to live all of those years alongside each other – something that not everyone is so lucky to do.

If I am granted those years, I can’t help but think that I’ll look at the age spots on both of our hands with tenderness instead of regret or disgust (reactions which seem so common in our youth-obsessed culture). Those age spots will mean we’re still by each other’s side, holding each other’s hands. And in a world where it seems so easy for things to go wrong even for people who do everything right, that is nothing short of a miracle.

Friends, please enjoy these anniversary photos of Judi and Dave, by their friend, photographer Hannah Forsberg. And don’t miss the thoughts from all three of them, sprinkled throughout!

From Hannah: In a culture that often treats love and marriage as disposable, Judi and Dave are a couple that have a beautiful and rare story of just the opposite. Not only are they such a joy to be around and wonderful mentors, but they are also dear friends. I’ve had the privilege of watching their marriage for years and the way they love each other unconditionally is an inspiration and testament to the popular verse that is so often recited during weddings — “love never fails.”

While getting coffee with Judi and hearing her advice on love and marriage, I realized that I needed to share their story with the world. During the wedding planning process, it is so easy in this visually-driven society we live in to become caught up in the things that will pass away – forgetting that your marriage is what matters most and that it is hard work. Love goes beyond the wedding day. You only have your venue for a few hours, your flowers will fade, your wedding dress will go into storage, and your wedding album will be sitting on your living room table. But your marriage? That is what matters most and that is what will have the lasting effect. I hope that these images serve as a reminder that love is a commitment – a commitment of humility, patience, and forgiveness.

From Dave: Judi and I met in Cheyenne, Wyoming where I was serving in the Air Force and Judi was attending stewardess training for United Airlines. It was a short four and a half weeks of getting to know one another, but in that short time, we fell in love and promised to marry each other. The only obstacle was I had an overseas commitment left in my tour of duty. I was sent to Puerto Rico, and we began writing letters to each other every day for the next two years until I finished my tour of duty. After I was able to obtain leave of service, we became engaged over a New Year’s weekend on January 1st, 1963 at 12:01am. We married that same year in September after I was discharged.

What was important to both of us was to be together after waiting and being separated by distance for almost two years. We had hardly any money, so our wedding day was very simple. We loved each other, and that is what mattered. Our wedding was one bridesmaid, a borrowed wedding dress, and one best man in a church in Judi’s home town of Downers Grove, Illinois.

My favorite thing about Judi is that she loves learning and is very diligent in her pursuits. She makes wise choices with her gift of creativity, which is shown in every room in our home. She is always industrious, and I love telling others how much of a Proverbs 31 woman she has become in our almost 55 years of marriage. She works hard, plans ahead, respects me greatly, is a wise counselor, and is a wonderful model of a Godly woman.

From Judi: What I love about Dave is that he is a patient man, asks good questions, and is not a rash decision maker. I have learned a lot from him. He is conservative by nature, orderly and thorough at everything he does. I trust him implicitly. He is kind and generous and has given me a lot of freedom to develop my interests without demanding anything from me. Of course, this causes me to want to serve and love him more. The most honest thing that I can say about love is that love is learned behavior. It can be romantic, but often it is just living and serving each other, working together toward healthy living with family, children, parents, in-laws, etc. The biggest thing I’ve learned over the years and give as advice to other couples is to accept each other and don’t try to change the person. Pray for your spouse, ask God to make changes in YOU, and let God move your spouse’s heart.

Photographer: Hannah Forsberg | Film Lab: The Find Lab | Florist: Ginger Rose | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Erin Ryser | Calligraphy: Morphosis Studio | Cake: Gingerspice Bakery | Lace Top: BHLDN

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa Hays reply

    What a sweet couple! They are indeed lucky to have had each other for such a great period of time. My husband and I were high school sweethearts who went our separate ways but came back together and blended 2 families. We knew we not might see 25 years but we are praying for 20 as he battles cancer. To all the sweet, young brides I say follow Judi’s wisdom and be thankful for every day since we are only promised today.

  2. avatar Sara Dunn reply

    Oh my gosh! What gorgeous photos. Don’t apologize for getting sappy, this is so beautiful. I hope my husband and I can do this 43 years from now ;)

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