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Monthly Archives: July 2010

This wedding is special for many reasons.  First, it took place at Claxton Farm, a beautiful, beautiful venue in Weaverville, NC that burned down last November.  Impressively, the amazing staff succeeded in rebuilding the barn in time for their summer brides to enjoy it.  Second, this is Mr. and Mrs. Snow’s wedding!  For all of you who are familiar with my slight Weddingbee obsession, you know that this is very exciting for me.  Third, it’s the perfect blue + red wedding to lead us into the Fourth of July weekend!  Mary + Greg asked Oh, Darling! Photography to document their day, and I must say, that was an excellent decision.  Aria Floral provided the beautiful blooms — don’t miss the bouquet tile from SW fave Paloma’s Nest!  More DIY goodness coming your way in part two!

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story.  We met eight years ago on a punk rock community website.  We chatted online, met in person over university spring break and hung out as friends off and on for several months.  We finally started dating in June of 2002 after attending a Piebald concert where Greg interviewed the band for his zine. The rest is history. We usually just tell people we met at a punk rock show!
Describe your Proposal: 
Greg’s proposal was very unique. We knew we would get married since the first summer of punk rock love in 2002, but several significant life events pushed us off the wedding path. In addition to a cross-country move from our beloved North Carolina to blustery Wisconsin for graduate school, Greg battled cancer twice in five years.  (We’re cautiously optimistic we’ll continue to see our favorite words, “All clear,” from here on out).  Needless to say, it felt like tempting fate to plan something so joyous in the face of such difficult times.  Still, on our anniversary, 7 years into a great relationship, we had an amazing discussion about moving our relationship forward and finally making the scary but exciting decision to get married!  We researched and chose the ring together, and I asked for no surprises with its delivery.  We’d had enough surprises in the past four years!  When it arrived a week later, I signed for it and waited patiently until Greg arrived home from work to open it.  After we called our families, we celebrated with friends at a Decemberists concert – our musical courtship come full circle – and found ourselves laughing hysterically at the irony of our first post-engagement date being chock full of songs about love-gone-wrong. Strangely enough, it was a perfect proposal for us.
Three adjectives that describe the day are:
From Greg: Appropriate, specific and relevant.
From Mary: Creative, local and love-filled.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The cohesiveness. Our planning was somewhat fractured due to distance, and we were nervous about our ideas and projects working cohesively when finally put together at our venue, which we’d only seen once, by the way!  Seeing the paper goods, fabric, attire, food and décor come together on the wedding day proved very emotional and rewarding for us.
What was Southern about your wedding?  What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? From the local bluegrass band to the favors containing Cheerwine, Moon Pies, and Texas Pete, our wedding was an homage to our Southern heritage. Being recent transplants to the Midwest, we missed our home state of North Carolina a great deal. Our wedding was a chance to celebrate the cuisine, arts and traditions of the South with our guests who had traveled from fourteen different states.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: As a bride on a budget, I decided to explore alternative bridal options. While visiting Charlotte over the holidays, my mom and I scheduled an appointment at Bella Bridesmaids – they’re phenomenal, by the way.  The shop had a “bridal alternative” version of Lula Kate’s Christy dress in the shop for another potential bride.  I tried it on, and everyone in the shop agreed that it was perfect.  We added a perfect pale pink sash, and the look was complete. I adored my dress!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar WeddingXpert reply

    I’m such a sucker for simplicity! I’m loving that this couple realized the landscape was so beautiful, it didn’t need a lot of frou-frou. Just some pretty parasols :) Can’t wait to see part II!

  2. avatar Becks reply

    So pretty! I’ve been to a rehearsal dinner at Claxton Farm and it is breathtaking.

  3. avatar Mrs. R reply

    Love the dress!! So beautiful and one of a kind!

  4. avatar Ali @ His Birdie’s Nest reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! I love Mary’s dress and the seersucker suits! PERFECTION!

  5. avatar ms. awesome reply

    AUGH! So absolutely freakin’ amazing and beautiful and fantastically perfect. LOVES!

  6. avatar Brandi reply

    Ahh! Mrs. Snow! Her wedding looks beautiful!

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Reply to:

As I’m sure y’all know, the Gulf Coast region of Florida, as well as much of the coastline of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi, has been affected by the recent oil spill.  This news has hit pretty close to home for the SW staff, as Lara’s family lives in Pensacola and, you know, we just adore Gulf Coast weddings in general — they’re some of the most beautiful in the world!

When we reached out to some of our closest local photographer friends, looking for a way to help, we heard something a bit different from each. 

Some wanted us to remind our readers that there are plenty of gorgeous seaside-but-not-beachside venues still available to brides in the Gulf Coast. In the past, we’ve gushed over weddings at Carillon, Rosemary, Seaside, Eden Gardens, and Watercolor, to name just a few.

Some wanted us to remind y’all that there are other gorgeous areas of Florida to consider.  Charles from Meg Baisden Photography put it well: “We’re trying to remind our clients that we still live and work in one of the most amazing states in the country.  Florida is a wedding market with all sorts of incredible venues throughout the state, including The Breakers in Palm Beach, the Epping Forest Yacht Club in Jacksonville, Casa Monica in St. Augustine, the Biltmore Estate in Miami, and Amelia Island.” 

And some wanted us to remind y’all that they love to travel!  As Paul of Paul Johnson Photography wrote, “We are all very comfortable with true destination weddings, it just so happens that we live near a very successful and amazing destination!  What this means is that our photography businesses are well prepared for working with couples at a long distance both before and after the wedding day.” 

For our part, we’d simply like to remind you how talented these vendors are.  As they say, they’d love to travel for your wedding, no matter where it might be.  And though you might choose to do so to help a hurting area, you should really do so because they’re amazing at what they do.  We promise, you won’t regret it. There are so many great vendors that we love on the Gulf Coast, but here are a few photographers who have contributed a lot to SW over the years…

Genya and Wesleyann, the ladies behind Vue Photography, are two of the funniest, kindest, and most generally wonderful people you’ll meet.  Make sure you follow their Twitters accounts — hilarious!  Past SW features include Katie + Andy, Ashley + Zane, and Aimee + Brad.  Vue was also featured in V2, a peek of which you can see here.


Paul of Paul Johnson Photography, along with his wife Mecheal, is famous for gorgeous portraits and going above and beyond for his clients.  His Southern charm is also quite well known.  Super-humanly responsive through email, we know they would take great care of any of you.  Past SW features include Amy + Clayton, Julie + Andy, and Renee + Roland.  

Paul was also featured in V1 and recently took some great photographs of our Editor-in-Chief’s family.


We’ve had the good fortune to work with Rae and Wes Leytham for 6 years now through Bliss and SW, and we can’t sing their praises enough!  They were one of the very first teams to support SW when it was brand new, they’re both hilarious balls of energy, and — oh yes — they’re having twins!  Past SW features include Ginny + Brad, Brooke + Tim, and Brittany + Jarrod

Rae and Wes were also featured in V1.  We love you guys!


Meg and Charles of Meg Baisden Photography are beloved by their clients for beautiful images, superior service, and great personalities.  They travel extensively throughout Florida for weddings throughout the year, and could talk your ear off about the fabulous vendor possibilities throughout the Sunshine State. Past SW features include Meredith + Albert, Kelly + Robert, and Charlotte + Sean

Rick Schamberger of East Hill Photo is another dear friend and supporter from way back when — in fact, he had a wedding in the first first issue, the one before V1.  Rick has a lovely, classic style, and he takes beautiful black and whites.  Past SW features include Stephanie + George (parts I and II)!

So much love to all of these friends and everyone else affected.  We’re grateful for all you do to inspire us and our readers!

*Nope, this isn’t a paid ad.  We just want to show you how great these folks are!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar WeddingXpert reply

    What an awesome post. The disaster along the Gulf Coast has devastated many things, one of which is beach weddings. I’ve heard so much negative talk on the subject, about weddings ruined, photographers and caterers out of business, etc, so it’s nice to see someone looking on the positive side of things. Thanks so much, Southern Weddings.

  2. avatar Mecheal Johnson reply

    Hello Ladies, Thank you very, very much for this love! We appreciate everyone at SW and look forward to a bright future. xoxo Mecheal

  3. avatar Shelly Hutchinson reply

    Awesome article!!! :)

  4. avatar erica reply

    thanks so much for posting this! :)

  5. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I am really upset you don’t include Alabama on this. Florida is JUST NOW barely seeing any oil at all. Bayou la Batre is suffering so greatly. There are so many out of work because they can’t shrimp. Alabama has a gulf coast, too. And ever heard of The Grand in Point Clear???? Yea gorgeous wedding venue.

  6. avatar Janna reply

    Great Post! Living in Central Florida, we haven’t felt much from the disaster in the Gulf yet. But I know if it continues, once I have children- they will not be able to enjoy the gorgeous Gulf beaches I’ve loved going to growing up! I know there is alot of talk of the commercial fishermen and tourism being hurt by the disaster, but thanks for highlighting the other businesses that are hurting as well!

  7. avatar Wesley Leytham reply

    Hi Ladies! Thank you so much for the blog love. Lara, you know personally how precious our home is, and we will rebound.

  8. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Hi Elizabeth,We are all devastated by how the entire Gulf Coast has been affected. This post was meant to highlight just a few of the many vendors we love who have been affected and who have contributed so much to us. I’d love to write an entire volume of posts on all of the vendors we love on the Gulf Coast, but it would take us years. We hope this serves to shed just a little light on what’s happening and show our wonderful readers the incredible depth of talent available in our area.Blessings,Lara CaseyEditor-in-Chief

  9. avatar dash pinch smidgen reply

    I hadn’t really thought about the brides who planned beach weddings pre-oil spill, it’s crazy to think about all the ways it has affected so many people!I love that silhouetted dinner shot from Meg Baisden!

  10. avatar Rae reply

    Thanks so much for talking about our precious, beautiful venues! We are blessed to be included in your post. Thank you!Hi Elizabeth – We have certainly not forgotten the AL coast. I actually just got a cancellation for a wedding in Mobile because the bride’s parents’ Bayou La Batre seafood plant is not doing well. BLB hits close to home to me as well since my dad works for a seafood company there as well. My family live just outside BLB and they have talked about smelling oil on occasion. It is terrible for us all along the Gulf Coast and further. And, you are so RIGHT! The Grand at Point Clear is an amazing venue and it is my absolute favorite non-beach venue EVER.

  11. avatar Joey reply

    I am sadly one of the brides who has had their wedding affected by the oil spill. My fiance’s mom is from Pensacola and she’s a retired marine biologist. We were to marry in the church they married in 50 years ago this summer.With the situation regarding the beaches combined with the fact ours was a pure destination wedding with most guests coming from atlanta, alabama, mississippi and tennessee, we had to change our plans with but a month and a half to go.We sadly regret our decision, but it was for the best. Instead we’re having a destination wedding (intimate) and our reception here in ATL.One thing we can do is for one of our wedding favors is to make a donation to a group responsible for helping the wildlife and fish hurt by this disaster.Yes, there are beautiful venues on the gulf not yet affected and I hope they are full this summer! This is a truly sad situation and I hope things get cleared up soon. Crossing my fingers for the big ship called "the whale" to get to suckin’ in the oil asap!

  12. avatar Ashley HH reply

    Thanks for posting this. Us Floridians really appreciate it. The amount of devastation has not even begun to surface and we are all scared for what may come. PS I just had to shout out to another great photography vendor based in Central Florida: Studio 222 Photography

  13. avatar Kelly reply

    Thank you for posting this Lara! Unfortunately, I am also one of the brides hit by this tragedy. I am from the gulf coast and was having a semi-destination wedding on 30A and have had to delay our plans. I truly want to see this wedding happen there-especially now- to bring more life to the area and to support the local economy there. I hope that if we can all end the blame game and instead focus our efforts on pitching in to clean up, we can make the beaches and the wildlife that live there the most beautiful in the world once again.

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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Hey, y’all!  Welcome back to another Southern Etiquette.  Today’s question comes from Rebecca in Virginia.  She writes:

“I am confused about the etiquette of the rehearsal dinner.  At first, I thought it was to only include the wedding party, immediate family and grandparents.  Now I have run across the idea that it also includes all out of town guests.  If a majority of both sides of the families are from out of town, wouldn’t this be like having two weddings?  Not that I am not up for having two parties all about me, I am just wondering who to invite and not invite!”

Great question, Rebecca, and one that’s increasingly relevant as more and more couples plan destination weddings and full wedding weekends.  Emily Post advises:

“The guest list normally includes all members of the wedding party and their spouses or partners; the close families of the couple; and special guests such as the officiant and his or her spouse.  Is the host obligated to invite out-of-town guests?  Though a nice thing to do, this is entirely optional.”

Agreed.  It is never incorrect to only invite “the essentials” to a rehearsal, but it is also a lovely gesture to open up a welcome dinner to the whole guest list.  As for your concern that doing so would essentially be like having two weddings, I’d recommend making sure that the two events are very different in tone and formality.  A great example is Kristen + Grant’s celebration in Sea Island, GA.  You can see their relaxed clambake welcome dinner here, and their glitzy, glam wedding here and here.

Another option, if money is a concern, is to hold a welcome dinner but not host it.  My sister is having a destination wedding this August.  90% of the guests will be traveling, so we want to spend as much time as possible with those we love and don’t get to see very often.  We’ve organized a welcome dinner at a local lobster shack on the Friday before the wedding.  On the card detailing the weekend’s events, we wrote “We recommend budgeting about $12 per person planning to eat lobstah!” as a gentle indication that we wouldn’t be picking up the bill.

What do y’all think?  Are you hosting a welcome dinner?  Are you holding one?  Do you think either is a better option?  Why?

Email me if you have a question you’d like to see discussed on the blog!  I’d be happy to take a stab at it.

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar nb reply

    I have been part of a wedding party (destination wedding ) and was obviously included in the dinner portion. The bride then invited all the guests for dessert at the same location. It was a low cost way to include everyone.

  2. avatar kaity reply

    I’m definitely dealing w/this situation. All our family will be out of towners and only 15-20 guests out of our 80 person wedding will be local.Of the truly local guests, one of them is going to be our officiant – so I feel obligated to invite that circle of friends too, leaving me with nearly all guests at both events.I don’t mind, but it’s overwhelming to think about!

  3. avatar Julia reply

    "Lobstah"? New England destination wedding? Maine, maybe? Perhaps my FAVORITE place in the world. Great advice, by the way!

  4. avatar Emily @ Southern Weddings reply

    You got it, Julia! We’ll be in Maine this August — can’t come soon enough!

  5. avatar ShannonP reply

    We did a happy hour event before our rehearsal dinner which everyone was invited to. We supplied appetizers and left it as a cash bar. It was a great way to see all the out of town guests (though in towners were invited as well) before the wedding but keep our actual rehearsal dinner size smaller. Plus, it gave extended family members and friends a meeting time and place where they could congregate before heading out to their own dinner.

  6. avatar Emily reply

    We had a pig pickin’ as a rehearsal dinner and invited everyone, which turned out wonderful. Friends are surprised when we tell them there were 200+ people at the wedding, because they say it felt so intimate, partially because of having spent the night before getting to know everyone.

  7. avatar Cathy reply

    Being brought up in the north, we only had the wedding party and partners with the grandparents. Both of our children are getting married in 2017, both in Charlotte. Much to our surprise my son told us he wanted to invite all out of town guests, there are many!! Now is upset with us that we don’t agree. He hasn’t offered to help with the expenses and I don’t think the venue will hold the amount of people. On a side note, the brides mothers friend owns the rehearsal venue where I was expected to use. HELP!!!

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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