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Bride Bethann shares her magical garden wedding at Keswick Vineyards!

I am delighted to introduce you to today’s bride, Bethann! While I am admittedly not a flower person myself, Bethann sure is, and she knew she wanted the flowers at her Virginia wedding to have a “wow factor.” Southern Blooms sure delivered — I would even venture to say Bethann and Graham’s wedding has me reconsidering just how lovely blooms can be! I think the addition of lush florals perfectly complimented the gorgeous backdrop of Keswick Vineyards, wouldn’t you agree? Of course, Bethann’s silk Temperley London gown (a completely different choice than she had imagined herself wearing!) simply added to the magical combination.

Thanks to Rachel May for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. After years of unsuccessful dating, we decided to give online dating a try and had an instant match!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were on vacation in Kill Devil Hills, NC and Graham insisted we wake up early our first morning there to watch the sunrise. I was somewhat suspicious, as Graham is not a morning person, and he jumped out of bed at 5:30am when the alarm went off! We took our two dogs for a walk along the beach and right after sunrise, Graham got down on one knee and proposed!

I really struggled with the idea of doing a first look, but ultimately decided to and am so glad we did! I had always dreamed about walking down the aisle and watching my soon-to-be husband’s expression as he saw me in my wedding dress for the first time. I was afraid the first look would take away from that, but it didn’t. My photographer was able to capture me walking up to Graham, tapping him on the back, and him turning around to see me. It was a magical moment and she was able to capture it all. We were also able to complete our bridal party photos prior to the ceremony, which allowed for us to head straight to cocktail hour after the ceremony and enjoy more time with our guests.

Exactly one month prior to our wedding date, we buried a bottle of bourbon upside down at Keswick Vineyards, which we then dug up prior to our ceremony. This tradition definitely worked, because we had the most beautiful, sunny day! It was also important for me to wear my mother’s veil and also my paternal grandmother’s engagement ring. My grandmother passed away in 1995 and I was very close to her. Wearing her ring on my wedding day was a tangible reminder that she was there with me on such an important day. Graham and I also chose to write letters to one another and exchange gifts prior to our first look. He had a sterling silver necklace made with my new married monogram and also gave me a pair of diamond earrings. I gifted Graham a new watch.

My mom, matron-of-honor, and her mother accompanied me in Georgetown for a day of dress shopping. I had always envisioned an A-line, lace dress but also wanted to wear something different that I had never seen on another bride. My matron-of-honor’s mother, Angie Cavallaro, was well-known (she’s now retired) in the Northern Virginia/DC area for her bridal alterations, and suggested I try on a more form fitting dress. It was my last appointment of the day and the store was featuring a trunk show for Temperley London. I selected a silk, draped bodice v-neck dress with flutter sleeves and open shoulders (definitely not A-line or lace) and cried as soon as I put it on. I just knew it was my dress!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Graham and I are wine club members at Keswick Vineyards and spend a lot of our spare time there. The winery has a fenced in area specifically for dogs, so we’ve always enjoyed taking our two dogs and allowing them to play while we do a wine tasting and enjoy the scenery. Additionally, I would take Route 231 traveling back and forth to college and would drive past Keswick Vineyards. I remember thinking to myself at the time that Edgewood Estate at Keswick Vineyards was gorgeous, and that one day I wanted to be married there!

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? We did not write our own vows but instead combined a couple options our officiant provided us. My favorite phrase from our vows was, “I will celebrate your joys and victories and rejoice in your achievements.” It is so easy to become selfish in a relationship and only focus on your own feelings, and this verse is a reminder to also continuously praise and support my husband’s achievements. We also chose two readings. Graham’s cousin read an excerpt from “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” by Louis de Bernieres and my good friend read Colossians 3:12-17.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We used a string quartet during our ceremony. Bach’s Air was played for the wedding party entrance. Pachelbel’s Canon was played during the processional. I have always loved both of these pieces, and it was an easy decision to incorporate both into the ceremony. For the recessional we chose the Beatles “All You Need Is Love.” Both of us grew up listening to the Beatles, and agreed that this would be such a fun way to exit the ceremony as husband and wife! For our first dance we chose Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing.”

For cocktail hour, we had a custom signature cocktail sign made with drawings of our two dogs. The “Roo” was Graham’s signature drink – an old fashioned – and the “Lula” was my signature drink – a classic mojito. For the reception, I wanted the flowers to be the wow factor. We had a ladder suspended horizontally over our head table and our florist decorated it with greenery, flowers, vines, and hanging prism lanterns. We felt as if we were sitting underneath our own little magical garden!

When did y’all get married? August 19, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I really enjoyed the wedding planning process and the many occasions it allowed for us to share with family and friends. From the food tasting with our parents, to bridesmaid dress shopping with my bridal party, we really enjoyed the time spent with loved ones.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I absolutely love flowers and knew from the start they would be one of the most expensive costs of the day. I price shopped a few different florists and also incorporated a lot of greenery in the bouquets and centerpieces to cut costs. We also brought a ton of plastic containers so we could take the majority of the flowers home the day after the wedding. Additionally, we felt that having quality photos was more important than spending money on a videographer. While it would have been nice to have our wedding day captured on video, it was an easy decision to save money by not using a videographer and instead using the best photographer!
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? In addition to doing a first look with Graham, I also did a first look with my father. I am a daddy’s girl and extremely close to my father, so it was important to incorporate this before he walked me down the aisle.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? With the popularity of social media and sites like Pinterest, it is very easy to become overwhelmed with so many wedding ideas. Stay true to yourself and what is important to you and your groom. While the options are fun, you don’t have to have the photo booth or food truck at your reception if you don’t want to!

Photographer: Rachel May Photography | Venue and Day-of coordinator: Keswick Vineyards | Florist: Southern Blooms | Wedding Cake Baker: Cakes by Rachel | Caterer: C&O Restaurant | Rentals: MS Events | Lighting: Skyline Tent Company | DJ:
DJ Dennis Payne | Welcome sign: Oaky Designs | Signature drink sign: GG Prints | Paper products: Papetrie Fine Stationery and Gifts | Bride’s gown: “Tabitha” by Temperley London | Bride’s jewelry: Ti Adoro from Lovely Bride | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Avenue 42 | Bride’s shoes: “Abigail” in blush by Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaid dresses: “Parker Long” and “Catherine Long” in Tiny Dancer by Ceremony by Joanna August | Groom and groomsmen suits: Custom from Indochino | Custom cookies: Sweet Bella Bakery | Ceremony and cocktail hour music: Encore String Quartet

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Jeremy Wong reply

    Yeh so these wedding photos are seriously gorgeous!

  2. avatar Rachel May reply

    Thank you so much for the feature! It was a joy to work with Bethann & Graham and I’m thrilled to see their wedding highlighted on the SW blog!

  3. avatar Colleen reply

    Hi! I’m not trying to not pick, but in your first sentence you said that this is at Keswick Hall, but it’s at Keswick Vineyards. Love your blog!

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Bride Mary Catharine shares her downtown Charleston wedding!

Please meet our sweet bride for today, Mary Catharine! I really think you’re going to like her. Not only is her wedding to Cody paw-sitively (get it?!) lovely, but they sound like the sweetest couple. I loved learning about how they chose their wedding venue, and especially their proposal – you know it’s going to be good when mama is involved, y’all! Not to mention, the way Mary Catharine described their love story is simply the best. She said it is “an example of patience, friendship, and love, persevering over long-distance to become teammates, PAWrents, husband, and wife.” Keep reading to hear more about this adorable duo and their extra-cute pup!

Thanks to Kati Rosado for sharing!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I took an impromptu trip to Winter Park with my friend and her daughter (my goddaughter and one of the flower girls!) to re-try on a favorite I had found in Charleston a few weeks prior. The stylist had pulled a few others just to give me a variety, but I was pretty set on the one from Charleston – until I put on what would become my wedding dress. It just felt like the dress was made for me! Classic, yet flirty with the low neck line, and it had pockets!! I was so in awe that I didn’t even notice the cluster of people outside of the large glass doors that were signaling that this had to be my dress!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did! Since we chose to do an intimate family-only ceremony, we wanted to make sure we were there to greet our guests when they arrived for cocktail hour. It was so nice to have our family formals out of the way so we could enjoy the reception with everyone! Plus, it definitely helped calm my nerves to see him before the ceremony :)

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? I lost my father two years ago, and the thought of his not being at our wedding made me tear up every time I thought of it. I knew I could never hold it together with the pressure of so many people staring at me as I walked down the aisle, so we decided on an intimate family-only ceremony (20 people and our pup Walter) and asked my oldest niece to marry us! We are only three years apart and she is my best friend. She wrote the most perfect ceremony, bringing everyone to laughter and tears, and honored my dad in the best way possible. We wrote our own vows, full of memories we had shared over the past seven years and promises to keep in all of our years to come!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We have always known we wanted to get married in Charleston – it is where my family lives and where we spend most of our holidays! We didn’t have a specific venue in mind, but knew that we wanted it to accommodate both our ceremony and reception (as well as dogs!), and Cru had to be our caterer! When we stumbled across Upstairs at Midtown, we instantly fell in love with its intimate feel, Southern charm, and, of course, their love for incorporating our pup Walter into our day!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose much of the music based on concerts we had seen together. We shared a list of these artists with both our ceremony/cocktail hour musician and our DJ, and they knocked the playlists out of the park! My favorite choice was the song we walked back down the aisle to, an acoustic version of “Feel So Close” by Calvin Harris, played by our guitarist. At the reception, DJ Wade made it next to impossible to leave the dance floor, with each song better than the last!

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had two cakes – one a more typical wedding cake (for cake cutting pictures, serving guests, and saving for our one year anniversary!) and one made by my uncle (a childhood favorite of mine and the groom’s favorite flavor – a little vanilla cake with chocolate frosting). We also served mini skillet bread puddings, our go-to dessert at Cru Cafe.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. An example of patience, friendship, and love, persevering over long distance to become teammates, PAWrents, husband, and wife.
Tell us all about the proposal! Cody and my mom planned the whole thing! They tricked me into thinking my mom had surprised us with a trip to Blackberry Farms in Tennessee as a Christmas gift for the two of us, but really they had been working together and planned it as an engagement trip. He proposed the first night, outside at sunset after taking a few pictures to send my mom! We spent the rest of the trip devouring delicious food, celebrating with lots of champagne, and playing with truffle hunting dogs! It was the most amazing trip in the most magical place.
When did y’all get married? September 16, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? If we had to choose, it would be the live painter! The first thing our guests saw when they entered our reception was her painting a scene from our ceremony. I wanted everyone to feel like they were witnessing our ceremony come to life, even though they weren’t actually there.
What was Southern about your wedding? The location and the food! We made sure to include all of the Southern staples: chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, mac and cheese, she crab soup… the list goes on and on! We emphasized to our guests that they should arrive overly hungry!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Finding the perfect way to include my father, who passed away two years ago. I didn’t want to do anything that would make me too emotional, because he would have hated that! So I made our signature drink “The Geezer” (our nickname for him), an old fashioned with a whole cherry and orange slice. It was his drink of choice, and I stuck to them as well the whole night! It made me smile every time I took a sip, or saw a guest with one in hand!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Since I do calligraphy as a side business, Cody and I were able to design our own stationery and I completed all of the calligraphy for our envelope and signage.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Our whole day was so perfect, but I think I can narrow it down to our pup Walter joining in our first dance, and the look on Cody’s face when I surprised him with his favorite Buffalo Wild Wings as a late night snack on the dance floor! The look on his face was priceless!

Photographer: Kati Rosado | Videographer: Hart To Heart Media | Day of coordination: Kathleen Shuler of King Street Hospitality Group | Venue: Upstairs at Midtown | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Wedding Cake: Ashley Bakery | Caterer: Cru Catering | Linen rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen | Event rentals: Snyder Events | Ceremony Acoustic Guitar: Josh Johansson from Other Brother Entertainment | Reception DJ: DJ Wade from Other Brother Entertainment | Paper products, signage, and koozies: MC Calligraphy | Illustrations: Betsy Petersen | Bride’s gown and earrings: “Mason” by Carolina Herrera | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Lashes and Lace | Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka | Attendant dresses: Amsale from Bella Bridesmaid Winter Park | Groom’s suit: Alton Lane | Groom’s bow tie and Walter’s collar and leash: Crewlala | Attendant tote bags: Coastal Kelder | Wedding logo and welcome bag logo: Anchor Design Co. | Champagne flutes and dog bowl: Artworks by Teri | Flower girl dresses: J.Crew | Live painter: Artistic i

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar nyfika reply

    The dog just melt my heart <3

  2. avatar 14photographers reply

    Every wedding needs a dog. Love this :D

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Sharing another one of my favorites from the archives today! I know spring is stereotypically for softer tones, but there’s something about a burst of color that seems wildly appropriate coming out of winter :) Enjoy this beauty from our ninth issue of the magazine! – Emily

The Greenbrier is one of those places that has always seemed so enchanting to me, so we jumped at the chance to hit the road to West Virginia and create an editorial there for Southern Weddings V9! From the colors and patterns, to the architecture, to the history, to the traditions wrapped up in this incredible property, there was an abundance of inspiration to pull from, and we had a blast meeting up with one of our favorite vendor teams (including Jaclyn Journey, Whitney Neal, and Carley Randall, who all made the trip from Kentucky) to bring this bold and colorful, but refined, shoot to life. Our story was inspired by the many real families who create sweet traditions at the Greenbrier–in this case, a girl whose grandmother takes her there for tea every year on her birthday. When it came time for her wedding, she couldn’t imagine a more meaningful or celebratory place to gather loved ones for a ceremony and reception…and afternoon tea, of course!

We’re so grateful to the fantastic weddings team at The Greenbrier for hosting us so graciously, and to the phenomenal team who helped us bring our Dorothy Draper-esque vision to life!

We were incredibly lucky to work with Momental Designs for this paper suite. Kristy had visited the Greenbrier before, and knew exactly how to translate their incredible patterns and plaster work into paper. She truly knocked it out of the park!

One of my favorite small details from this shoot: our sweet bride’s stylish little teal bow! And of course, that coral charm peony bouquet by Jaclyn Journey gets ALL the heart eyes.

Our bride and groom from this shoot are married in real life! It was so fun to meet West Virginia couple Astleigh and Pete and work with them on this project.

The Greenbrier is famous for its afternoon tea service (complete with a rendition of the Greenbrier Waltz!), so for this editorial, we opted to replace cocktail hour with afternoon tea! Our bride’s own 93-year-old grandmom joined us for these photos, and she was completely precious!! Pick up your copy of the magazine for more of the backstory here!

Any Bachelorette fans in the house? Emily Maynard made the Greenbrier love clock tradition famous, and we had fun indulging in it with our bride and groom, too!

Josh from McComas Video Productions put together the most wonderful behind-the-scenes film from our day at the Greenbrier – it really showcases the iconic property and all that went into this shoot!

Pick up your copy of the magazine in our shop or on newsstands around the South right now!

Planner, stylist, and florals: Jaclyn Journey | Photographer: Whitney Neal | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Videography: McComas Video Productions | Venue and pastries: The Greenbrier Resort | Hair and makeup: Carley Randall | Cake: Martine’s Pastries | Papers goods: Momental Designs | Calligraphy: Meant to Be Calligraphy | China: Southern Vintage Table | Linens: La Tavola Linens | Bride’s gown: “The Metropolitan Club” by Lela Rose | Bridesmaid tops: Macy’s | Grandmother’s skirt: Eliza J | Ring: Trumpet and Horn | Rings boxes: The Mrs. Box | Menswear: Menguin | Bow ties: Suited Man | Bride’s getaway dress: ModCloth

Whitney Neal and Jaclyn Journey are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Vince Griff reply

    I hope couples start to use more colors like this at their weddings. It makes each of these images so fun and exciting! Really awesome post!!

  2. avatar 14photographers reply

    Love the colours on this!

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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