Happy March! I’m so very excited to introduce you to our first Southern Bride of the Month, Katie, and her handsome fiance, Nathan! Make sure and read down to the end, where Katie asks for your advice!
Hi! What’s your name?
What’s your fiancé’s name?
Are either of you on Twitter, or do you have a blog?
Yep! I have a blog that I keep promising myself I will update more frequently, but life always gets so busy! I don’t necessary write in order, just what I’m thinking or feeling at the time. Here it is.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
We almost didn’t meet at all, actually! We both attended the same college, Elon University in North Carolina (not too far down the road from the SW office!). My sophomore year, however, I was thinking about transferring, and he had only recently transferred to Elon from UNCC. We were both convinced by different people to attend a recruitment night for the campus business fraternity. Throughout the meeting I kept thinking, “Wow, that guy is cute!” and “Dang it! I wish I had worn a cuter outfit!” Turns out I wasn’t the only one noticing people that night!
Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
Our proposal story is simple and sweet. A walk in downtown Charleston with friends turned into one friend “forgetting” his wallet and taking the other friend with him to retrieve it — all in a secret mission to give us some time alone. We were at Waterfront Park, and I remember wondering why Nate was so fidgety! We sat down on a bench overlooking the water, and the air was that thick mix of the savory smells from King Street restaurants, the scent of the blooming jasmine, and the salty brine of the water. If you’ve been to Charleston, you know that smell well!
Is it terrible that I don’t remember what he said to me when he proposed? Oops! He did get down on one knee, though, and said he couldn’t imagine his life without me in it. A group of tourists walking by erupted in cheers when I nodded yes. Good thing I said yes, right?! Ha!
When’s the big day?
May 1, 2011. We’re getting so close!
Where might you two be tying the knot?
A gorgeous historic home in downtown Charleston.
Were you totally that girl who planned her wedding from age 5, or not so much?
You know? It’s funny, because I have always loved everything wedding — I’ve been collecting magazines for years now. I loved pouring over the pages of beautiful brides, and noticing how different all the weddings were, yet until I met Nate, I didn’t really have any concrete ideas of what I wanted. I guess when you meet the right guy, it just sort of falls into place!
Who or what has been most inspiring in the wedding planning process?
I have gathered inspiration from so many places for this wedding — so many, I’ve lost track of what ideas I’ve gotten where! The inspiration sites, the wedding blogger sites, and treasure hunting in antique shops have all yielded great finds. More than anything, though, Nate has been my biggest inspiration. He is my sounding board for ideas, and pulls me back in when I get too far up in the planning clouds. I always keep in the back of my mind, “Will Nate like this? Does this reflect who we are?” It makes decision making SO much easier!
Who or what has been most helpful in the wedding planning process?
Definitely a who for this one! I absolutely could not have made it this far without our planner, Sara. She is beyond amazing, and more importantly, has become a great friend with a killer fashion sense!
Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
Has it ever! We don’t have the same colors, venue, or even the same city that we started out with! It wasn’t until we found our current venue that things really started taking shape. The house was built in the 1800’s — large white columns, wide porches, a beautiful curving staircase, and the coolest wrought iron gate leading to the backyard. When I saw it, I thought, “It’s like my grown-up secret garden!” And a little bit of “Where’s Mr. Darcy?” With that, the wedding really began to unfold.
Above: Katie’s inspiration board!
Which part of your wedding are you most invested in?
Southern gals love good food, so having the stick-to-your-ribs, clean-your-plate kind of food was a big priority. BBQ pork? Mac and cheese? Vidalia onion coleslaw? Yes, please!!! Oh, and the pie bar, man oh man, I absolutely cannot WAIT for the pie bar.
Besides the food, I’d have to say the ceremony. It is, after all, the reason for the day. We aren’t reciting our own vows (I figured I would leave that to the expert, our reverend!) but I’ll cry anyways, I just know I will. And wouldn’t you know that I am one of those unlucky people with the ugly cry face?!
Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Still can’t believe it to this day, but I found my dress on the first day of looking! I’ll have to bribe Nate not to go look this up, but it’s the Lauren dress by Modern Trousseau. All lace with a sweetheart neckline and godets at the bottom; it flares when I twirl! (Hence there will be much twirling at the wedding.) Funny side story with the dress: When I first heard its retail price at my local boutique, I knew that it was absolutely out of my price range. Thinking my chances small, I emailed someone directly at the showroom in Connecticut and told them my sad, sad, sad (did I mention sad?) story. To my astonishment, the director called me, and before I knew it, he had sold me the dress AT COST, and even let me pay it off over several months. The point is, don’t be afraid to ask — you never know when a serendipitous event is headed your way! OK, I guess there are two points, because the folks with Modern Trousseau are an amazing bunch! Thanks, y’all!
Who is your favorite vendor you’ve booked so far?
Our photographers! I seriously heart Joey and Jessica. They are such a fun couple to be working with, and Joey is responsible for me finding the best shrimp and grits I have ever had, so he earns extra brownie points. I love that they shoot on film; the resulting photos are stunning! We were so excited for them when they made the cover of SW, and it reaffirmed that we had made a great choice.
Do you have a favorite Etsy store you’d love to tell us about?
I have a major crush on our cake topper, so I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Krista over at BentBranch. The pair of felted lovebirds she sent us get a huge “awwww” from me every time I look at them! She went back and forth with me for days until I was completely happy with the chosen fabrics. Thanks, Krista!
Oh, and if you would like to channel your inner Elizabeth Bennett, head on over to Brookish for all things Mr. Darcy. I bought a dishtowel which will be making an appearance at the wedding! Too cute.
What has been the best part of wedding planning? The worst part?
Let’s rip the Band-Aid off, shall we? The worst part has definitively been struggling with the budget. Finding that balance between wants and “nope, not happening” is so, so hard! No way around it. As my mother has always reminded me, I have “champagne tastes on a beer budget.”
The best part has been the outpouring of kind words and support from friends and family, from people wanting to know how they can help, to people just wanting to say how excited they are for us! I’ve been soaking it up as much as I can. I really have enjoyed planning this wedding so, so much!
What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
I can’t be the only one in this boat, but sometimes I just get tired of our wedding! Of course I am beyond excited about it, but when you’re looking at the same stuff day in and day out, sometimes you just need a break. There have been several times over the last eight months that I have had to close the computer, step away from the glue gun, and just spend some time with my sweetie. Those breaks always get me excited again and ready to resume the planning.
What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
The moment after we say I do and have rushed back up the aisle. I want a moment for just the two of us, to bask in the awesomeness of being married.
Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
I am such a control freak, I admit it. But heed my advice: learn to let the little things go. This wedding has given me a much needed lesson in sifting out the important, “focus all my energies on this” items from the “if it’s not perfect, no one will care” items. I sent my invites off yesterday, and when I got to the post office, they were out of the love stamps I had been envisioning for months. My response, after a deep breath in and out? “OK, king and queen stamps it is!” See? I am getting so much better!
Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
Two things, actually! Where should we go on our belated honeymoon? We are thinking somewhere in Europe! Also, already-married ladies, any advice for calming the nerves on our wedding day? I tend to react to big events like this with a gurgling stomach and major anxiety. I could use some tips!
Thank you so much for playing along, Katie! Readers, if you’d like to apply to be a Southern Bride of the Month, check out this post for all the details! If you’ve already emailed me, you’re still in the running for future months!
The Southern Bride of the Month header was designed by our intern Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company! A big thanks to Lauren of I Love You Much, who took Katie + Nate’s engagement photos and sent them our way!