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Monthly Archives: December 2009

I’m always surprised by how difficult it can be to work with a pink color palette: choose the wrong shade or the wrong accent colors and you end up with a too-pink, too-princessy affair that’s fit more for a child’s birthday party than a wedding.  I think that’s why I love Ashley + Nick’s wedding from Kerry Corcoran of David Michael Photography so much.  (But really, how could you go wrong with a wedding at the fabulous Hotel Bel Air?)  The pale pink rose accents in the Fleur de Liz centerpieces and sweet, understated blush-colored details are sophisticated and romantic without looking too girly or overdone.  The bride’s ivory Monique Lhuillier keeps with the feminine feel of her California nuptials while her bridesmaids’ chocolate Melissa Sweet gowns are a great complement to an otherwise pink affair.  Kudos to planner extraordinaire, Beth Helmstetter, for designing such a lovely event!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story:  We met at Pepperdine Law School.  I was in my first year of law school and Nick was in his third.  We met because we were both members of the Democratic Club.  Nick two friends, who also happened to be co-presidents of the club, introduced us one morning in the atrium.  It was history from there.  We went to lunch about a week later and have been together ever since.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Vintage Elegance.  My grandmother, who passed away in June of 2007, had great style and I wanted to copy that trademark style in my wedding.  I wanted everything to be very formal and vintage.
Favorite design element of your big day: The floral arrangement on the gazebo.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew I wanted a Monique Lhuillier dress ever since I saw Trista from “The Bachelorette” search for her wedding dress.  The only question was which one!  I changed dresses three times because the one I wanted was, of course, the most expensive.  My mom ended up agreeing that the “Clementine” was worth the extra expense!
Describe your wedding flowers: Shades of ivories, creams and blush pinks.  We used garden roses, hydrangeas and tulips that were arranged on top of crystal candelabras surrounded by press crystal vases filled with accent pieces.
Describe your wedding cake: We had a white three-tiered cake with icing stephanotis covering the entire cake.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The flowers on the gazebo and the chandelier in the gazebo.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Vintage, elegant and beautiful.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Growing together as a married couple.

Congratulations to Ashley + Nick.  We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Flowers reply

    Just gone through the wedding picture and found it to be great. It was nice going through your blog. Keep it up the good work.

  2. avatar videographers in cabo reply

    what a fantastic venue!!! i love the details.I love all of the wedding decor! So incredibly beautiful. Cabo Wedding Photographer

  3. avatar Tom reply

    Wow….your wedding is amazing. From the dress to the shoes you look gorgeous. The venue looks so beautiful! Congrats! los cabos photographer

  4. avatar Michelle Guzman Photographers reply

    Ooohhh the details are just beautiful!! Gorgeous images!

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Hey y’all!  We’re back with another installment of Southern Etiquette.  This time, a reader, Christina (who, by the way, LOVE LOVE LOVES SW mag – her words, not mine – yes!), sent in a conundrum that I’m guessing many of you are puzzling over.  Christina writes:

“Recently I’ve seen weddings where the couple is trying to save money and therefore if you and your significant other aren’t married, you can’t bring them as a +1.  It seems a bit awkward to have to ask, but some invites are tough to distinguish who is invited.  Any thoughts on this?”

Why yes, Christina, I do have some thoughts to share on this subject, as I’m sure our readers do, as well.  But first, as always, I defer to Ms. Post:

“The spouses, fiances/fiancees, and live-in partners of guests must be included, even if you don’t know them.  But you get to decide if you want single, unattached guests to bring dates.” (Etiquette, 17th Edition, page 572)

Well, that’s pretty clear, and I don’t think many of us would dispute her there. 

But what if your friend from college has been dating her current boyfriend (not fiancé) for a year and a half?  The more budget-minded among you might be tempted to cut said boyfriend off the list in the name of saving $$$, but I (and this is just my opinion now) would urge you not to.  Have you ever been to a wedding without a date?  I have, and it wasn’t that fun.  Since so many activities at a wedding seem to revolve around coupledom – particularly dancing – I think allowing a “plus one” for as many guests as possible (especially those who have a steady partner) is a courtesy that’s worth stretching the budget for.

But tell me – what do you all think?  Are “plus ones” a splurge-worthy necessity or an unacceptable budget buster?

Images in header c/o Millie Holloman

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
  1. avatar Ashley reply

    Emily, I agree with you. Even though going stag to a wedding may sometimes have its advantages (i.e. single hot groomsman), I would still feel offended if I didn’t at least get the option to bring a date.

  2. avatar Daisy reply

    When I got married this fall our guest list was tight due to space constraints. We decided that anyone who was single when the invites went out did not get invited with an "and guest" unless they were in the wedding party. We were having a destination wedding & the thought of someone feeling the pressure to try and find a friend or romantic interest to invite for a weekend away seemed like a lot to ask. We did have a few people call and ask if they could bring someone- but it turned out that both times they had a new boyfriend/girlfriend we didn’t know about, and that was fine. We were just trying to keep people from inviting the person they met at the hotel bar the night before! In the end it was great- we had a nice crowd of single friends who got to mingle, as well as some groups of friends who took the opportunity to rent some suites & have a fun weekend of catching up. Don’t feel obligated to give every person an "and guest" – but at the same time, create a bright line rule so it doesn’t look like you are trying to exclude your cousin’s annoying on-again-off-again boyfriend. For us it was that our single friends came single.

  3. avatar brooke @ claremont road reply

    I agree with you — at our wedding, anyone who was in a relationship (even if we had never met the significant other or they had only been together for a few months) got invited with their SO. However, I had a few single friends who had actually told me they’d rather come alone and have fun with friends rather than "babysit" a date, so we (and they) were okay with us not including "and guest" on their invitations.

  4. avatar Stacey reply

    I think your tip is good about a long-term boyfriend. I have been dating my boyfriend for 3 years until we got engaged this past May. I don’t like going to weddings unless he and I both could go. Also the second part to her question was how do you know who is invited to the wedding. On the outer envelope you will see one name ie. Mr. John Doe. on the inner envelope you will see the names of all the guests invited. ie. John, Jane and family or the kids names listed. If the kids aren’t invited then it will just say John and Jane. If the guest is allowed a plus 1 then it will say John and guest.

  5. avatar Jessica B. reply

    I completely agree with you, Emily! Well said. :]

  6. avatar Heather reply

    I agree with Ms. Post and Emily, if they have a significant other, the SO should be invited as well. However, to save money, like all have stated above me, it is completely fine for you to give the invitation to a single friend without a plus one. If they do call and ask you if they can bring their SO, that you may not have known about, then at least they are being polite in asking you and not just showing up with someone, as people do that, and you may want to take that into account for the budget. Going to a wedding alone is not very fun, unless there are going to be a lot of single people there. :)

  7. avatar Christina Solomon reply

    First: Thank you Emily for featuring my question.Ashley I felt like you expressed you might – offended. I had (and am still with the same guy) a serious relationship and wasn’t given the option. This has happened twice now – once to a wedding I was invited to and now to a wedding he was invited to. We have been together more than two years and live together. I understand budgets but it just doesn’t seem in the spirit of weddings. The destination wedding limitations seemed very fair and would be respected. You don’t want just randoms at the wedding but my situation isn’t that at all. I can’t wait to read the additional comments and potential experiences to help me understand.

  8. avatar Charity reply

    I agree with Emily about it being awkward to have to say no to a +1 but at the same time, that brand-new significant other to the person who changes "partners" quite frequently isn’t always welcome. I guess using your own discretion can be the key. I generally go by the invitation–look at the front–who it is addressed to is usually who is invited to the wedding.

  9. avatar Sarah reply

    I agree with you one hundred percent, Emily. In the grand scheme of things, a couple of "and guests" shouldn’t make or break a budget and/or your ability to accomodate your guests. I am getting married in May and before I booked anything, I made my guest list and gave everyone (including my uncle who has been single my entire life) the opportunity to bring a friend or significant other. I think that it is important when hosting any event to be gracious and think of your guests feelings. If budget or space is that limited, a host may need reevaluate the guest list. As a guest, I don’t think that it is appropriate to request to bring a date. It will be indicated on the invitation and at that point, ultimately, the recipiants decision whether to attend.

  10. avatar Lacey reply

    I’m so glad you brought this up! I’m currently in the middle of receiving RSVPs for my wedding (coming up in just four short weeks!) and I’m hearing a lot of buzz around this issue. I did inner/outer envelopes and took each guest into consideration when deciding whether or not to include an ‘and guest.’ We decided to include +1 guests for people who were in long term relationships, married, engaged, living together, etc. and of course a guest for each member of our wedding party if they choose to bring someone. My fiance and I both have friends who are dating around, but not seeing someone regularly, so we didn’t include a +1 for them. One friend who lives in another state called my fiance and asked if it would be ok to bring his girlfriend, which is of course completely fine! We didn’t know he was seeing someone! I would love to be able to extend the invitation for everyone to bring someone, but space keeps us from being able to do that. I don’t think somone should be excluded or taken off of the invite list because I don’t have room for them to bring a date. We’ll have lots of single people, so they’ll be able to mingle! We’re having an upbeat reception, so everyone will mostly be dancing on their own anyway, until the obligatory slow dance, but hey, we’re hoping people will partner up! The big debate for us was co-workers, co-workers of parents and their SOs. I read a ton of blogs and posts on this issue and there was no clear-cut answer one way or the other. I chose to discreetly hand-deliver (with the inner envelope addressed only to the first name) a couple of invitations to just my closests comrades, and my parents’ closest friends at work with their first name only. Those folks are also friends so I told them who else I invited from the office so they could come together. I’m now receiving RSVPs back, and rude comments from one women who works with my Mother, that they are bringing their SOs. It’s not many people, so it’s not a huge deal, but I’m just wondering what everyone here might think?

  11. avatar Stacy Reeves reply

    Personally, I would give every non-married guest a plus one. It seems unfair to invite someone to a party at which you will likely only speak to them for a few minutes, but not allow them to bring a guest to keep them company for the other three hours and fifty-five minutes. The only time where this might be okay, to me, is if I was inviting a group of single friends and intending to put them all at the same table.

  12. avatar Emily L. reply

    Hmm. I am struggling with this right now. Most of the cases are cut and dry (unlike the "inviting children" issue which has turned into a two-headed monster) but what do I do about a friend who has an on-again-off-again boyfriend (whom I really dislike) but has already mentioned bringing him to the wedding?

  13. avatar Larry Hammack reply

    Seems like Emily, Ms. Post and most of the responses are in agreement…same advice I give to our brides… the guest list is one of the biggest headaches the bride & groom will have, but ultimately, good taste must prevail. Guests with SO at time of invitations, yes they should be included….. simple as that. Happy New Year everyone!!

  14. avatar Lauren reply

    I think it definitely depends on the person/situation. I know for sure that a lot of people don’t know about proper etiquette and that the people the invitation is addressed is who is invited to the wedding. For my wedding, we invited the person’s significant other if they had been dating for a while, and if my husband or I had met said significant other. It worked out just fine…we still had a few add their own guests, but everything worked out great!

  15. avatar Lauren reply

    What a great topic! I’m also trying to consider circles of friends regarding the guest list for my upcoming wedding. For example, single friends that might not know many other people at the wedding are being given a guest, regardless of their relationship status. I’ve been to weddings when I was single at which I didn’t know many people and would have loved having a "friend date" there with me to make the experience more familiar and fun. On the other hand, single friends who would know a good deal of the other guests might not be given the And Guest option if budget/space constraints apply. Another consideration was whether or not we’d spent time with our unmarried/unengaged friends’ significant others. If our friends made the effort to allow us to spend time with their SO, we knew they were important enough to our friends (and therefore to us) to should be included. I hope this helps!

  16. avatar Katie S. reply

    Now that I am engaged and making all of these tough decisions (no more hypotheticals!), I am finding that my opinions on most matters are rather cut and dry…and controversial! It is my personal opinion that if someone is in a serious relationship (whether dating, engaged, married, etc), then their significant other should be invited. Having had this happen to me and my fiance in the past, it can be offensive to be invited to a wedding as a single person when you are, in fact, in a serious relationship. The only exception to this rule, I think, is if you are having a very small wedding and are working with a tight budget and you simply can’t afford your friends’ significant others. In this case, my opinion is that you should talk to your friend(s) one-on-one and explain how much it means to you that she attend your wedding, but that unfortunately you are having a very small and intimate affair due to cost, which is why you hope she understands that you cannot include her significant other. Just make sure you’re consistent with friends on this rule!However, I also feel very strongly that truly single people should not get a plus one. I just don’t understand the logic behind inviting a single friend with a plus one, in which case she will need to go out and find a date (a new prospect she meets at the bar a few weeks before the wedding? a friendly coworker? an old fling?) and drag this person to my wedding. Most likely, the date will have absolutely now idea who the bride and groom even are, so then my parents/we will end up paying for a person to come to the most special day of our lives that does not even know us. It seems illogical to me.While these opinions may be controversial, it’s best if everyone keeps in mind what a wedding is really about – celebrating two people’s love for each other, while being surrounded by the people that mean the most to them!

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There aren’t enough good things to say about this South Carolina wedding held at The River Course at the Kiawah Island Club, but can you tell what we really love about Ashley + Craig’s nuptials?  We’re a little bit obsessed with the bright, full blooms from Dalia Design, and I’m an especial fan of the bride’s decision to offset her bridesmaids’ dark pink bouquets with fresh, white blooms of her own.  Fun + sophisticated, all at the same time!  Props to day-of coordinator Emmy Loyd Brooks of Peacock Events for pulling the beautiful details together! Though a loyal subscriber to the wow-power of the LBD, I’m liking the call for rich, navy bridesmaid dresses (like the Twobirds Bridesmaid frocks Ashley chose for her attendants) more and more every time I see it.  The alternating navy and white table coverings were the perfect way to accent the bridesmaids’ dresses and the bride’s Jean’s of Mount Pleasant gown and, of course, it’s the bright peonies that really complete the elegant Cakes by Kasarda four-tiered confection.  Special thanks to Heather Forsythe Photography for sharing her awesome work with us!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at a wedding in Manhattan on June 19, 2004.  I was living in Chicago at the time and Craig was living in Charleston.  We dated long distance for a little over a year, seeing each other only about once a month, before I made the move to Charleston in December of 2005.  
Describe the proposal. Craig proposed one November afternoon while we were taking our dogs for a walk on Folly Beach.  I knew he had the ring hidden somewhere in the house for a while, but was thankfully surprised when he finally popped the question. It was perfect.
Three adjectives that describe the day are:  Fun, overwhelming and magical.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding?  Simple, but elegant.
What was your favorite design element of your big day?  The carpet of bright pink flower petals lining the aisle.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was:  Our outdoor ceremony.  It was a perfect Spring day on Kiawah Island.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: My first dress was one that my mother had purchased for me in Scottsdale, AZ.  I had this dress for about six months before we were engaged and I just figured it was the dress I would wear on my wedding day.  I had it altered and had even purchased shoes and accessories, but, about four months before the wedding, I freaked!  I tried on the dress, shoes, veil, and jewelry to see what I might look like on my big day.  When I looked in the mirror, I started crying.  I immediately realized this was NOT the dress for me.  I got online to find a bridal shop that does not require an appointment and raced over to Jeans of Mt. Pleasant.  I tried on just a few dresses before finding the ONE!  Yes, it was off the rack, but perfect and brand new to the store so it was in pristine condition with few alterations required.  
Describe your wedding flowers: I carried a bouquet of ivory peonies and roses mixed with other ivory flowers.  My bridesmaids held bright pink bouquets of peonies and roses.
Describe your wedding cake: Fantastic!  The wedding cake had four tiers of alternating almond and vanilla cake with butter cream icing.  It was a simple white cake adorned with pink flowers.  We served with raspberries.  Yum!     
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Not spending a fortune on my dream wedding!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day?
Walking down the aisle with my father while admiring all of my amazing friends and family, and then focusing on my future husband.  He looked scared to death!  
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are thrilled to be married and enjoying life with our dogs on Johns Island, SC.  We look forward to having children one day!

Congratulations, Ashley + Craig!  Enjoy this special time together as husband and wife!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Flowers reply

    You have posted awesome picture of wedding flowers that is appreciated. They are the success indicator of married life. Enjoyed your blog very much.

  2. avatar Ashley reply

    Lovely wedding! These will be my colors, too! Any idea where I can find the groom’s tie?

  3. avatar Tom reply

    Wow….your wedding is amazing.It truly was a fabulous wedding.That cake is beautiful… :)los cabos wedding photographer

  4. avatar Sarah reply

    Love the bride’s bracelet! Beautiful, fresh wedding. If you could let me know where you found that bracelet, I would be forever indebted!

  5. avatar Michelle Guzman Photographers reply

    The ring bearer is so cute. I love all of the flowers. Gotta love pink. :)

  6. avatar Lara reply

    Beautiful!! I too love the grooms tie and would love to know where to find a similar one!

  7. avatar Ashley reply

    Thanks for the comments! The groom’s tie was from Dillards. We looked far and wide to find this one.

  8. avatar Ashley reply

    The bracelet is from Marshall’s or TJ Maxx. A great find. . .thanks, Mom!!!

  9. avatar Ruth Damaris reply

    The detail in the bouquet is beautiful. Is it a handkerchief? Love the detail in the waist of the dress, and the ring bearer’s bow tie is adorable.

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