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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Emily’s told me a bit about her love for outdoor weddings – outdoor, as in no tent, no coverings, no nothing – and after seeing Nicki + Mike’s reception pictures from Pure 7 Studios, I have to agree there’s something really magical about a truly outdoor celebration.  And the Eden Gardens couldn’t have offered a more perfect backdrop for the newlyweds’ authentic Southern soiree, right?  Nouveau Flowers styled the bright, summery blooms, and Confections on the Coast designed the couple’s elegant four-tier cake.  More?  Visit Pure 7 Studios’ blog post here!

Describe your wedding flowers: My bouquet and the bridesmaid’s bouquets were a mixture of rosette succulents, white anemones, coral dahlias, coral garden roses and double yellow tulips accented with artesian foliage and wrapped in lace.  The flower girls wore an adorable halo designed with coral sweetheart roses and white anemones, accented with artesian foliage.  They carried fern wands designed with ribbon streamers and complimenting flowers.  The Groom, groomsmen, ushers and ring bearer wore a unique boutonniere made from small succulents with a curly willow accent.
Describe your wedding cake:
White Garden Roses. My favorite part was that every layer was a different flavor. The first layer was French vanilla with mascarpone cheese and white chocolate filling, the second layer was Fresh strawberry with cream cheese filling, the third layer was Grand Marnier butter cake with blackberry filling and the top layer was Lemon poppy seed with lemon curd filling.  The Grooms cake, the ole’ ball and chain, was Viennese Chocolate with chocolate butter cream.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
We live in Mississippi but wanted to get married in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.  However, this was not so much a challenge, thanks to Shelby Peaden Events.  Jenny, my mother in law, and I went to Santa Rosa Beach one weekend to meet with Shelby and her recommended vendors.  We hammered it all out in one weekend.  There was an instant trust built with Shelby that weekend…and WOW…you see the results! 
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Mike’s father announcing us as Mr. and Mrs. Michael Christopher Gatling for the first time.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?  We have both moved to Madison, Mississippi where we will start building our lives together. We’re looking forward to children!  We are both settled in our careers and Joe needs siblings.

Congratulations, Nicki + Mike!  Wishing you a lifetime of laughs and happiness.

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar WeddingXpert reply

    The centerpieces are out of this world! The burlap-covered greenery and moss covered stones are so inspired.

  2. avatar cassie reply

    this reception belongs in a magazine, beautiful!!!

  3. avatar Kelly Curan reply

    The day was beautiful, and the wedding was unforgettable. Beautiful bride, pretty girls, and devastingly handsome gentlemen. For the reception every detail was there because it was supposed to be. The wonderful oak tree that will forever be ingrained in my memory. The beautiful plants that were carefully placed on each table to remind each guest that love grows. Mason jars for drinks to remind you of that Southern charm. This "destination" had it all.

  4. avatar Chris Pruett reply

    Everything about this wedding was perfect. A true southern affair. This one certainly has earned it’s place in any magazine!

  5. avatar KKat reply


  6. avatar Jude reply

    Beauty, charm and grace–exactly what southern women are known for–paraded through nature’s glory. This bride and her groom chose God’s created chapel for their most important day. Magnificent in every way. The photos are an invitation to joy.

  7. avatar Niina Bitter reply

    The more I see, the more I wish I had been there!!!

  8. avatar Anne reply

    I love your idea of using the succulents! I’m definitely going to incorporate those into my special day.

  9. avatar Mary Nell reply

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love southern weddings and this is the quientessential example of one!

  10. avatar Bride’s Bro reply

    It’s so good to see photos of the kids. The wedding and reception included them without restraining them. Its obvious they had a great time. Props to the planners for making the event enjoyable for all in attendance.

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I swoon for glitzy affairs, but Nicki + Mike’s sweet wedding at the Eden Gardens reminds me what Southern weddings are all about – starting with the gents’ robin’s egg blue seersucker suits.  Add a real life Spanish moss-draped oak and hand-selected navy bridesmaid frocks, and you’ve got a good old-fashioned Dixie celebration.  (I’ll also be happy to borrow that pint-sized ring bearer for my own wedding if no one minds…)  Pure 7 Studios photographed the Florida wedding, and Shelby Peaden Events handled planning and design.  Come back soon for the reception pics, ya hear?

How did the two of you meet? Mike and I met at a party thrown by mutual friends.  Immediately, he grabbed my interest.  I have never met anyone quite like Mike.  He has an insatiable appetite for life…I was intrigued.  It was a slow start because he was clocking some pretty mean hours at his firm while working towards his MBA at night and I had to relocate to Oxford for my job.  We agreed to see where it went and saw each other on the weekends.  Long distance relationships are the pits, but weekends were better than no Mike at all…  So glad we gave it a whirl!
Describe the proposal.
It was Mike’s turn to make the haul to Oxford.  I was in the kitchen cooking red beans and rice with my six-year-old, Joe.  I’m pretty sure the ring was burning a hole in Mike’s pocket.  As I was stirring the beans, I saw him moving behind me, when I turned around he was on one knee asking me to be his wife.
Three adjectives that describe the day are:
Beautiful, Relaxed, and HOT!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was:
Definitely Pure 7 Studio’s Fun Booth…  The guests had a blast playing with the different props and taking wacky photos.  It was a great way to include everyone in the fun! 
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration?  What was Southern about your wedding?
Everything!  I wanted a truly Southern garden wedding.  For starters, the ceremony site was under a 600 year old live oak with Spanish moss draping down.  The groom and his groomsmen wore seersucker suits which is traditional attire for the Southern lawyer. (i.e. Matlock) The décor consisted of lace, burlap, vintage mason jars and Wolfe studio birds -a must collection for any southern girl. The guests were greeted at the reception with our signature Southern cocktails of lemonade and firefly sweet tea served, of course, in mason jars.   Townsend Catering served Southern food with flair.  There was a wishing tree where guests could write wishes for the future or share advice for a happy marriage.  My something old was my great grandmother’s wedding band.  It was attached to my bouquet so she could escort me down the aisle…4 generations of steel magnolias and 122 years old…now that’s old! My something new is the Sorrelli bracelet that Mike bought me.  Sorelli’s are designed to become heirlooms, handed down through generations. My something borrowed was the cake knife.  Mike’s parents used it at their wedding, 37 years ago! And my something blue were my bridesmaid’s dresses and a very cheesy garter belt!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar WeddingXpert reply

    Love the seersucker suits! And surprisingly, royal blue has been such a refreshing wedding palette for the summer. What a beautiful wedding!

  2. avatar Mary Marantz reply

    what a sweet wedding!! Love the seersucker and that tree is amazing! M:)

  3. avatar allison reply

    beautiful beautiful wedding! one quick note though: i’m pretty sure that tree is actually an oak with spanish moss hanging on it, *not* a weeping willow. (google image search to double check):)

  4. avatar mary dougherty reply

    that willow tree is AMAZING! I love it + the wedding of course

  5. avatar F and S @ sanebrideadvice reply

    fabulous fashion..beautiful bride!

  6. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Hi Allison!Pretty sure you’re correct, though I’m no botanist. Change made!Emily @ SW

  7. avatar erica reply

    wow! the post(s) look great! thank you so much for featuring nicki & mike’s wedding on your blog. this has definitely been one of our favorite weddings to shoot.. from the venue to all the fabulous vendors, to the AWESOME bride & groom! xoxo, the pure7studios crew

  8. avatar cassie reply

    what a perfect wedding!

  9. avatar Becky reply

    I’m in awe…

  10. avatar H. M. reply

    The only thing missing from this Southern masterpiece is an Armadillo groom’s cake! Good luck narrowing down your photo selections – they’re all amazing!

  11. avatar Nicki reply

    This just makes we want to do it all over again and again and again :)))))

  12. avatar Megan reply

    SUCH a GOREGOUS wedding!!! It’smore than I could ever dream of! What a way to make Southern style alive and fashionable again! The photographs are absolutely positively magical!

  13. avatar Samantha B. reply

    Beautiful wedding! Everything about it is amazing!!!

  14. avatar Tara Baugh reply

    Amazing photos!!!

  15. avatar psu1alm reply

    This is a Southern Wedding at its finest. The stately oak and the spanish moss are a backdrop only God can create and a smart bride and groom know that all is perfect.

  16. avatar Shelby Peaden reply

    This couple was such a joy to work with! I have to thank the bride for putting her full faith and trust in SPE. We had the best vendors on the Emerald Coast which makes weddings like this one stand out from the crowd. I was so pleased with the end result as well as the amazing images from Pure 7 Studios!

  17. avatar Megan Wynn reply

    That bouquet is fantastic!! Beautiful photography!!

  18. avatar J.V. reply

    Beautiful wedding, beautiful photos!

  19. avatar Josie reply

    Amazing Wedding!!

  20. avatar kmaxwell reply

    gorgeous wedding… the venue, the couple, all the little touches!

  21. avatar sdye reply

    This was the most beautiful wedding to attend! I was lucky to be a guest! Pure 7 captured the moment perfectly!! Everything was perfect for a much deserving bride!! Congrats Nicki and Mike!! XOXO

  22. avatar Marja Rogers – Events by Nouveau Flowers reply

    One of our favorite weddings of the year! Nikki was a beautiful bride and Pure 7 captured our work beautifully!

  23. avatar Monika Jennings reply

    Stunning and elegant!

  24. avatar jh reply

    i love the wink…. the tree, the smiles, the sox; what’s not to love about this great day?

  25. avatar Alisa M Belzil Photography reply

    The photos are amazing! The photographer has captured the true elegance of the South, from the Brides gracefulness to the comforting Oak tree overlooking the serene setting. The blue in the gorgeous bridesmaids dresses adds a modern touch to the natural green sprinkled throughout the soft details of the color scheme. You want to be there soaking up the warmth. You know it’s the south…all the women are so beautiful :-)

  26. avatar Niina Bitter reply

    Wonderful pictures! …though the setting itself is so beautiful that it would be impossible to take a bad photo :)

  27. avatar Carolyn reply

    What a lovely wedding! So many details adding to the beauty, like the bouquets, so unique and eye-catching. I want to aee more pictures. Plus, the script paints a wonderful picture.

  28. avatar Liz reply

    Fab photos!! Gorgeous wedding/setting.

  29. avatar Aunt Donna reply

    What a wonderful day…..yes, it was hot, but that hardly mattered because it was beautiful, touching and the small details made the celebration so personal. This was the epitome of a true Southern soiree. I am so honored to have been part of Mike and Nicki’s special day.

  30. avatar Nancy reply

    how could this have been more beautiful! Loved the groomsman’s wink (at his wife?) the bride’s sister..amazing photography

  31. avatar Sandi reply

    Beautuful wedding full of tradition with a twist and the photos made me feel like I was there!

  32. avatar Chelle Warren reply

    Amazing wedding! Congrats to you both!! You lookied amazing and what a venue!!!

  33. avatar Christie Hines reply

    Absolutely amazing photos! That last shot of the ceremony under the tree gave me goose bumps!

  34. avatar Anne reply

    This wedding looks like a fairy tale event or a dreamscape, especially the long shot towards the wedding party under the tree. Gosh, please show more.

  35. avatar MB reply

    Wow, really beautiful photos and love the table decor. Chic.

  36. avatar [email protected] reply

    OMG that tree is unbelievable!! What a magical spot!

  37. avatar Kevin reply

    Being there was, of course, very nice. Everyone thinks so, but… seeing these photos really opens your eyes to what you actually witnessed. The details of this wedding belong in a magazine. The photos are true time machines and will always serve to transport us back to this wonderful event. Thank you Pure 7 Studios.

  38. avatar Jenny reply

    This was such a perfect Southern wedding and the gorgeous photography will be evidence in years to come of a truly perfectly coordinated event. The attention to details was covered beautifully by Pure 7 Studios.

  39. avatar susan street reply

    Awesome photographs from an obviously excellent and creative photographer. BEAUTIFUL photographs! Wish I could have been there! Susan Street

  40. avatar Kim reply

    GORGEOUS wedding! Between the blog and the photos I almost feel like I was there.

  41. avatar lms reply

    wonderful memories created on a perfect day!

  42. avatar Cindy Parnell reply

    What a beautiful wedding! Everything was beautiful–setting, bride, groom, attendants! A true Southern setting–large oak tree, draping moss, shrimp and grits, seafood, music, and more!!!

  43. avatar Nicki reply

    Jos A. Banks for Seersucker Suits…If you have a local store go in- You can negotiate a lower price if you have several people buying. Otherwise you can buy them online.

  44. avatar Mary Bentley reply

    Now that is what I imagine when I hear about a SOUTHERN WEDDING! Gorgeous, simple, elegance with a twist of sweet old fashioned fun! Beautifully captured – I was not a guest but the day's story is perfectly laid out in the photos! Congratulatoions and thanks for sharing!

  45. avatar Joy reply

    Beautiful Southern wedding! The photos are amazing!

  46. avatar Evelyn Quintanar reply

    What a lovely wedding. The pictures have captured the "Southern Charm" details wihile staying true to the event, the exchanging of vows between Nikki and Mike and sharing this special day with family and friends.

  47. avatar Sponsor Love « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] friend of SW’s, and we’ve been honored to feature her work several times (still love this wedding we featured last year!). I also think the shoot we snagged images from above (with […]

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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