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After their fashion-forward ceremony, Alison + Manny treated their family and friends to a low-key reception at the Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables that brought all the comforts of home to the burlap-covered guest tables. The newlyweds decorated the space with their favorite books and handmade chalkboards that doubled as table assignments, and Flowers by Rose repurposed Mason jars with white tulips and daisies. I’m in love with the bride + groom’s sweet, made-for-two wedding cake, courtesy of Carrie Hampton Ashton. For those of you who can’t get enough of Alison + Manny’s big day, hop on over to Katelyn James’ blog post for more fun!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: This was the first dress I ever tried on! I didn’t have a very specific picture of what I was looking for, except that I would have loved to find a dress with a sweetheart neckline. I love pockets, too, but wasn’t too convinced I would find a wedding gown with them! I had visions of removing the large bow that was originally on it and adding a sash of flowers to make it fit my personality more, but when my mom and I removed the bow to make the changes, it looked perfect to me the way it was!
Describe your wedding flowers: I loved our flowers! Many of our decorations were sort of mismatched and pieced together in fun ways and so I knew I wanted some variety in the types of flowers. We placed a few stems of some tulips, some gerbera daisies, some hydrangeas, etc, in a mason jar wrapped in twine and a great shade of green ribbon! My parents found the jars at thrift stores in Harrisonburg and my mother in law had a friend with a farmhouse give her crates and crates of them They made adorable (and cheap!) vases and votive holders!
Describe your wedding cake: I had NO idea what the cake was going to look like. I had given the baker a few pictures of some ideas, and she created the most beautiful cake! Manny had expressed early on that he would like to have cupcakes at our wedding. I agreed and loved the idea! We just wanted a two-tier wedding cake in addition to the cupcakes, just large enough to be a centerpiece on the cake table. Our baker used ivory butter cream frosting on a chocolate fudge cake with peanut butter filling! The design was adorable and fit perfectly with our theme – she piped the middle of the two tiers with icing that looked just like the twine, adding an adorable little brown flower to the center.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Staying within our budget while planning a wedding with 250 guests! We had a budget of $10,000 we needed to remain under, and as such, it was a daunting task to figure out how to accommodate this large number of guests while still achieving a wedding day that was distinctly “us.” Planning the wedding for the “off-season” at our reception venue and using a local favorite barbecue place as our caterer were two things that really helped to off-set some costs! All of our centerpieces and decorations were basically homemade, as well!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Manny was offered a full time job on staff with Young Life AT our wedding!! We’ll find out in April where in Virginia he will be placed, and we will move at the end of July.

Written with love by Katharine
  1. avatar My heart always « Katelyn James Photography reply

    […] a few when I saw Ali and Manny’s big day featured on Southern Weddings Blog! Part 1 and Part 2 look amazing on there and I hope some southern brides can from some amazing inspiration from this […]

  2. avatar My heart always « Katelyn James Photography reply

    […]  I think it’s safe to safe that it skipped a few when I saw Ali and Manny’s big day featured on Southern Weddings Blog! Part 1 and Part 2 look amazing on there and I hope some southern […]

  3. avatar From trash to tresure – borcănele de sticlă | Revista Atelierul reply

    […] 7. Ultima idee pe care v-o împărtășesc este această minunată vază care schimbă cu sigurantă decorul camerei voastre. Mi-a plăcut foarte mult poza, recrează un peisaj foarte natural și relaxat, acea atmosferă pe care o simți atunci când ești acasă, printre lucrurile tale! Găsiți poza și ideea aici. […]

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Alison + Manny just might win the prize for most (effortlessly) fashionable wedding. The bridesmaids’ ruffled frocks from London Times (available at Dillard’s, y’all!) and the gents’ coordinated blue ties are awesome enough, but throw in a pair of cowboy boots and cardigan-topped David’s Bridal gown (like Alison did) and you’ve got yourself one winner of a Virginia wedding. Katelyn James photographed A + M swapping vows at the Augusta Stone Presbyterian Church, and Flowers by Rose designed the ladies’ all-white bouquets. (Alison gets extra points for keeping her basic white bouquet from looking anything but boring!)

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. The first time I saw him, he had long shaggy hair, a scruffy face, and he was riding on the back of a mini dirt bike. To say that it was “love at first sight” probably couldn’t have been more of a falsehood! We met in the summer of 2007 when we each traveled from North Carolina and Virginia to work for three months at a Young Life property in the Pocono Mountains of New York. The Lord began to develop a great friendship as we spent the summer with our team of sixteen interns. Little more than this friendship had developed, however, as the summer drew to a close. We stayed in touch over the following months where the Lord developed between us a great mutual respect and the discovery of shared joys and passions. On January 5th, 2007, our relationship became “official” with a phone call Manny made to my dad asking him for permission to date me, along with the request that he continue to pray for depth in our growing relationship.
Describe the proposal. In August of 2010, on a trip back up to the camp in New York where we had met, we took a walk one morning to a small stone chapel on the edge of the property where we had spent countless hours with our friends the summer we met. As we rounded the corner, Manny began to tell me a story about his trip to Spain earlier that summer, and the moment when he knew he couldn’t imagine spending the rest of his life without me. As we stopped in front of the chapel doors, he dropped to one knee, pulled out the ring, and asked me to marry him. Through my flowing tears I dropped to MY knees and responded with an emphatic “are you serious?!” After wrapping my arms around him and whispering yes, Manny reminded me that I had completely overlooked the diamond ring clutched between his fingers and said “Well, this is for you!”
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Blessed, warm, homemade
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our home-made decorations like the jars, the chalkboards, and the burlap banners. Manny was so wonderful about telling me how much he loved these little things and it really felt like our wedding day was a great representation of who we are!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We used lots of fun burlap and twine… I love the warm feel it gave to the evening! Mason jars were everywhere!

Written with love by Katharine
  1. avatar Genna reply

    Beautiful photos. Love the cardigan! Where did you find that custom hanger? I’d love to give that as a gift to my engaged friends!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Genna! I’m not sure where Allison got her hanger from, but I know LilaFrances on Etsy makes something very similar ( Too cute!

  2. avatar Chelsea Patricia reply

    Saw this on KJ’s blog first, and totally loved it there. Glad to see it featured! :)

  3. avatar Kelly Sauer reply

    OMG – I am in LOVE with her bouquet! And a photographer’s note – Katelyn, I love the way you caught the reflection of the sweep of her dress on the car – beautiful!

  4. avatar Brit @ Landlocked Bride reply

    Love her dress. So chic and simple. And, their invites are great.

    • avatar Shannon reply

      Can someone please list the style # of her dress? I’ve been searching David’s Bridal for hours and can’t seem to find the style!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Shannon! I believe it’s this one: Best of luck with your search!

  5. avatar Gypsy reply

    Love the country chic wedding! I also love her necklace and bracelet, any suggestions on where I can find ones like that?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Gypsy! I rounded up a few options in a quick internet search:

      ( + ( + (

      Hope that helps!

  6. avatar My heart always « Katelyn James Photography reply

    […] that it skipped a few when I saw Ali and Manny’s big day featured on Southern Weddings Blog! Part 1 and Part 2 look amazing on there and I hope some southern brides can find some amazing inspiration […]

  7. avatar Rose Good reply

    It was a pleasure working with Alison and Her family with providing the flowers for the wedding. Alison had a great theme for her event. Chic Country. Blessings … Rose Good Flowers by Rose Grottoes Va.

  8. avatar Rachel – theWeddingVine reply

    The bridesmaids are gorgeous! I love the colour and the style is lovely!

    • avatar emily reply

      Rachel – theWeddingVine: Anyone know where the bridesmaid’s dresses are from?

  9. avatar Monthly Round-Up :: February 2011 « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Score one for budget brides! Alison’s David’s Bridal dress was my pick for the month (here + here). Katharine fell for Christine’s Lace Blossom number (here + here), while Sierra […]

  10. avatar Classy Cardigans | Something Pretty reply

    […] from Southern Weddings, Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings, Snippet & Ink, and Southern Weddings… Southern girls […]

  11. avatar covering accessories. reply

    […] via: 1., 2., 3., 4., 5., 6., 7. Cancel […]

  12. avatar Best of 2011 :: Wedding Gowns « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Alison’s David Bridal gown (photo by Katelyn James; originally seen here) […]

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What’s more Southern than a mason jar full of sweet tea? A monogrammed mason jar full of sweet tea. Ashley + Steve’s Alabama wedding had the office abuzz when we saw photos of their reception. Among the cakes and the flowers, one thing stood out: their mason jars!

We wanted them! If you did, too, I don’t blame you. They’re perfect to serve drinks in, use as vases, or as a part of your wedding favors. Imagine how cute they would look next to a candy bar or stacked and filled with jam!

Want to know how to make a version of your own? It’s simple! Although it might take a little practice with a crafting knife (you’ll need to cut your own stencil), the end result is a cute and cost-effective way to add a personal touch to your wedding.

What you’ll need:
-Contact Paper
-Crafting knife
-Glass etching cream (I used Armour Etch)
-Applicator (like a paintbrush or cotton swab)
-Mason jars, washed and dried.

How you do it:

DIY: Monogrammed Mason Jars from Southern Weddings on Vimeo.

1. Cut out a square of contact paper big enough to cover the front of your mason jar. More is better here, you can always trim later.
2. Trace your monogram onto the contact paper.
3. Cut out your monogram. (Note: a little practice with a crafting knife may be needed before you do this.)
4. Peel the backing off your contact paper and stick it to the front of your mason jar. Make sure there is some excess contact paper around your monogram so that the glass etching cream doesn’t run over your glass later.
5. Press the stencil down well, especially around the area you cut out.
6. Apply the glass etching cream to the cut out areas of your stencil. Make sure all the cut out parts are covered, but you don’t need to use a lot. (Note: be careful not to get the cream on your hands. It can give you a chemical burn.)
7. Let it sit for five minutes.
8. Rise off the cream — with your stencil still on — with some water. (Note: while you’re rinsing, it might look like your glass didn’t etch. Don’t fret! Just let the mason jar dry first and then you will see it.)
8. Peel the stencil off and let the mason jar dry.
9. Put flowers, drinks, candy or the like in the jar and enjoy!

If you couldn’t tell from the video, here is what the mason jar ended up looking like:

I hope you enjoyed our second DIY! If you missed it, you can see the first one here: DIY cupcake wrappers.

If you have any DIY ideas or a project you would like to see done, e-mail me!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Tweets that mention DIY with Nicole: Monogrammed Mason Jars « Southern Weddings Magazine — reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Katharine Waterman, Nicole Yang. Nicole Yang said: Mason jars are my favorite Southern thing. Learn how to put your monogram on them! […]

    • avatar kara reply

      being a yankee bride, any recommendations on where I can buy 100+ plain mason jars, the ones with handles for a reasonable price?

    • avatar Nicole reply

      I’ve seen plain mason jars with handles on Amazon. You can get a dozen for as low as $15. I hope that works for you!

  2. avatar Erin reply

    This is such a great idea–and not just for weddings! I’m moving into my first “big-girl” home this summer while my fiance’s deployed. He’s dreaming of a “man-cave” of his very own and I think these would make a GREAT gift for him! Thank you for the DIY information!

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Mason jars for a man-cave sounds like a great idea! I’m glad you liked the DIY!

  3. avatar Mason Jars {Southern Weddings} « reply

    […] Great DIY Project with Mason jars originally blogged on Southern Weddings […]

  4. avatar t-dawg reply

    can you re-use the sticker/contact paper? i want to do this for wedding favors but the idea of cutting out so many designs is daunting…

    • avatar Nicole reply

      You can definitely reuse the contact paper, even after rinsing. That’s part of what I love about it! I would just be careful about making sure the edges where you cut your pattern out are still sticking well enough time after time, the etching cream can run and make things sloppy.

  5. avatar Evelyn reply

    Hi! I love this idea! Would the 3oz glass etching cream suffice for 12 jars?

    • avatar Nicole reply

      Hi Evelyn! I think 3oz would be plenty for 12 jars, although that does depend on how big your design is. Let us know how it goes!

    • avatar Brooke reply

      Nicole: If the etched mason jars are washed and used several times will they still look the same? Thinking of it for a wedding favor and wanted to make sure it will be able to be enjoyed years to come.

  6. avatar DIY Mason Jar Tumblers – Mason Jar Crafts reply

    […] Your mason jar tumbler can be customized with a monogram. […]

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