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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Hi, friends! I am so happy to introduce our September Southern Bride of the Month, because she’s a regular around these parts! (In fact, her Ask the Experts question was featured here, and I know it’s helped many people since!) I hope you enjoy getting to know Lori and her fiance Sean even better — I know I did!

Hi! What’s your name?
Lori Caroline Moot (Soon to be Buck!)

What’s your fiancé’s name?
Christopher Sean Buck (He goes by Sean)

Are either of you on Twitter, or do you have a blog?
I do have a blog, which I started shortly before Sean and I were engaged. It has served as a great way to stay connected with far-away friends as well as share the adventures of wedding planning!

Photo by Summer Safrit of Real Promises Photography

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Almost exactly two years ago, I was with one of my best friends and a couple other girls at a local outdoor concert. While we were awaiting the start of the main band, I noticed a group of guys standing nearby. One in particular, wearing jeans, boots, and a green button down shirt (which I learned later was termed a “fishing shirt”) caught my attention. I thought little of it, and returned my focus to our group of girls.

As the evening went on, my friend and I noticed the same group of guys making their way closer and closer to our group of girls. Before we knew it, they were standing beside us, striking up conversation. Sean (the one in the “fishing shirt”), immediately introduced himself, and we began talking. He was handsome, polite, and as Southern as they come! We talked on and off throughout the concert and discovered we had a lot in common. At the end of the night, he asked if he could call me, and I gave him my number, simply thinking it would be nice to get to know more people in Nashville.

Well, he called me the next week and invited me to attend a local charity event with him. I already had plans to go out of town and declined, thanking him for the invitation. The next week, he called and asked if he could take me to dinner. I cannot remember exactly why, but I again had to decline. I assured him I really would like to get together at some point, but was just busy with school and other commitments. Thankfully he was persistent, and asked a third time. We finally went on our first date almost three weeks after Sean asked originally. We continued to go on dates and knew pretty quickly we had something special. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my fishing shirt and boots-wearing boy!

Lori’s engagement ring! Photo by Summer Safrit

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
It was perfect! Last year, near the beginning of October, Sean surprised me with a trip to Chicago for my birthday. Everyone (except me) was certain he was going to propose on the trip. We had been talking about marriage for several months, and had already looked at rings together. My only stipulation: I wanted to be surprised with the proposal. And I am impossible to surprise. Like sneak-peeks-at-my-Christmas-presents-at–the-age-of-26 hard to surprise. (True story. Sean, if you’re reading this, I advise you to never use gift bags to wrap for me again!) I always figure surprises out before they happen… or at least have a pretty good idea. Chicago, in my mind, was too obvious.

Fast-forward to a few weeks later (October 28, to be exact!) to a seemingly typical Thursday night. He asked me at the beginning of the week if I had plans on Thursday, and, if not, said he wanted to reserve the evening and cook dinner. I told him I had a few errands to run but would love to do dinner afterward. On Thursday, I called Sean as I finished up errands, and he said he was on his way home from the grocery store. As I knew he had tons of food in his refrigerator already, I was a little confused, and gave him a bit of a hard time about wasting perfectly good food (A little embarrassing to admit now, but hey, you asked to know alllll about it!). He told me to relax and not worry about it, and to hurry to his house. He also mentioned he needed to run to Green Hills to pick up something, but was very vague. Like I said, I always figure out surprises. My wheels started turning, and I immediately knew I had figured out “the surprise” for the evening: I had been talking about my favorite flavor of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory since our trip to Chicago! I drove to Sean’s house in hopes I was correct… but I had NO idea a ring would be on my left hand a few hours later!

I finally arrived at Sean’s and headed inside. He had the table set with wine and a salad. At this point, I was still unsuspecting, as he often made dinner for me or had wine waiting when I came over. He instructed me (a little bossily!) to sit down and have a glass of wine while he finished dinner, but refused to tell me what he was cooking. We had salads, and as I was taking my last bite, he cleared my plate and immediately brought out dinner: shrimp and grits – one of my favorites! I began to eat and could not have been more than two bites in when he said, “Make sure to save room for dessert.” A few bites later he again mentioned dessert and saving room. I laughed, and questioned whether I was eating faster than normal. Again, no sooner than I put my fork down and mentioned I was finished, he whisked away my plate. I suggested we have a glass of wine and wait for dessert. He was very insistent we immediately move to dessert (at this point I was 99.99% sure my hunch was correct about the cheesecake). He sent me to the couch with a glass of wine, and after a minute or two, instructed me to close my eyes and not peek. When he gave me permission to open them, he was down on one knee with cheesecake… AND a gorgeous ring (which I actually didn’t see for about ten minutes because I was so excited and crying uncontrollably)! He asked me to share my life with him forever and to marry him. I said yes and we spent the next few minutes eating cheesecake together and calling family and friends to share the big news.

Tell us about the ring!
I have my grandmother’s original engagement ring, and often wear it on my right hand. It is such a special piece of jewelry to me, as she and my grandfather just celebrated their 63nd wedding anniversary. When Sean and I went to look at rings, I took hers with me as a guide for the shape I wanted. My ring will always make me think of her.

When’s the big day?
October 15, 2011… It’s almost here!

The Belle Meade Plantation (photo by Betsy Butler)

Where might you two be tying the knot?
Our ceremony and reception will both be held at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee. We are getting married in the garden and celebrating afterward in the carriage house.

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
Belle Meade Plantation was actually the first placed we looked. Sean had attended several charity events and weddings there previously, and recommended I take a look. We really wanted to find a location at which we could hold both the ceremony and reception. It was love at first sight! It is the epitome of Southern, and everything we wanted in a venue.

Unfortunately, they were booked until the next November when I initially went to tour. Sean and I had agreed we really wanted a fall wedding, and neither of us were willing to wait another year. We continued looking, and found other places that worked. We were close to making a decision when I got a phone call — Belle Meade had a cancellation for October 15, 2011! Sean and I scrambled and signed the papers within days.

Mason jars with monogram flags photo by Patricia Lyons via Southern Weddings, burlap flower arrangements photo by Three Lights Photography via Elizabeth Anne Designs

Who or what has been most helpful in the wedding planning process?
My friends and family have been amazing! From my mom volunteering to make all of the ruffled burlap runners for the reception, my friends spending countless hours sprawled out all over the townhouse working on various projects, to my grandmother and great aunts making buckeyes (buckeyes in honor of the Bucks! My mom gets all the credit) for our guest gifts, to friends volunteering to help with set-up on the day of, I have been so overwhelmed by everyone’s willingness to step up and help. We are so blessed to be surrounded by a group of such amazing people.

Which part of your wedding are you most invested in?
Hmmm… The first thing that comes to mind is the details! I’ve worked hard (along with my awesome wedding planner, Liz of Chic Nashville Weddings — love her!!) on planning and creating and am really invested in all of the little things coming together. However, ultimately I just want the evening to be an enjoyable and memorable time with our family and friends! It’s easy to get caught up in the details; of course I want my tables to look just the way I’ve imagined and want the food to be delicious and all of our candles to stay lit (yep, something I have legitimately thought about). But really, it’s about celebrating our life together and spending time with those we love (and love us!).

Custom coke bottles photo by Jen Huang

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Yes! And I cannot wait to wear it! It took a looong time for me to make a decision. I went back and forth between styles, and visited several boutiques several times. Finally, I went back one last time for a second (or third or fourth, really) look at a particular dress. I tried it on and loved the top, but the skirt was fuller than I desired. I tried on another that was similar with a less-full skirt. I casually commented that I would love to put the top of dress one with the bottom of dress two. The saleslady helping me stepped away for a couple of seconds, and came back quickly, informing me it was a possibility. I happened to have chosen two dresses by the same designer, and was able to pay a minimal fee for the pattern change. It’s simple, classic, and elegant. Everything I wanted!

What has been the best part of wedding planning? The worst part?
Best: Planning a day reflective of all things us! It’s been so much fun to pick out foods (a shrimp and grits bar in honor of our engagement), drinks (we’re serving each of our favorite cocktails at the reception), and entertainment (a fun-loving band and a cornhole set on the porch) that are meaningful to us.
Worst: All the decision making about the details… I am ready to be decision-free for at least a month! As in, don’t even ask me what I want on my hamburger… I’d rather take my chances with the toppings you choose!

Photos by Brion Hopkins at a Belle Meade wedding (see more from this wedding here!)

What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
Soon after Sean and I sent out our save the dates, just two months away from our wedding date, we found out we would be paying for almost the entirety of the wedding. We knew from the beginning we would be paying for bits and pieces, and were completely willing to do so, but most of the cost was to be covered by others. Due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, the news was broken to us that we were essentially on our own with the cost. Talk about a challenge! We had been very conscious of our budget from the start, but we were not fiscally prepared to pay for it in full. Of course, by this point we had already placed deposits on almost every vendor.

We discussed our options, and decided to proceed with our original plan. We reassessed our budget and cut back as much as we could, and are almost there! Though I would not wish this challenge upon anyone, it has been positive in many ways. Sean and I have had to have some pretty serious budget talks in the process, tears have been shed (me!), and frustration has been verbalized (both of us!), but we have grown and matured as a couple from the challenge.

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
First, I cannot wait to see Sean. We are going to do a “first look” before our ceremony, and I can only imagine what it will feel like to walk down the aisle to meet him. I am looking forward to spending a few quiet moments together before what I can only imagine will be a wonderfully exciting but whirlwind of an evening! Secondly, I am looking forward to my mother helping me into my dress and being alongside me as I get ready. I would not be where I am today without her and am so blessed by our close relationship.

Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
First of all, start all of your DIY projects EARLY! Those cute monogrammed flags you want to make for your straws? They will take more than an hour or two to create, print, cut, and attach. I speak from experience! Secondly, enjoy every single second of your engagement. There are times I have wished time away because I was so ready to be married. Three weeks out, I wish I could slow the clock, because I want to enjoy every bit of life as an engaged couple!

Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
What is your best advice for the day of the wedding? Also, this is broad, but I’d love for you to share what you would do differently OR exactly the same!

Thank you so much for playing along, Lori! 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 Assistant Art Director Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Joon reply

    I’m so lucky to know Lori in real life- she is the epitome of a Southern Belle so she deserves this more than anyone I know! Loved reading this! Everyone tells me to savor every moment the day of… that it goes by so fast. Take mental snapshots of every detail!!! SO EXCITED TO COME TO THE WEDDING!!!

  2. avatar Ashley, Indie Atlantic Films reply

    Belle Meade Plantation. AWESOME choice! Nashville is such an amazing city! Love your ring, too, by the way!

  3. avatar Emily @ Southern Weddings reply

    So happy to have you on here today, Lori! Love your navy Lilly dress, too! :)

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    If there’s anything better than a proposal, it’s gotta be a proposal with cheesecake! :) Loved reading your story, Lori, and can’t wait to see your wedding!!

  5. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Gift Registry News reply

    […] Southern Bride of the Month, Lori told us all about her upcoming nuptials with her hubs-to-be, Sean. Her favorite part of wedding planning? Thinking of all the details that represent their relationship and personalities! […]

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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Victoria + Rusty described their wedding as full of “‘Slap your granny’ good food” and we believe them! With sweet tea, Arnold Palmers, handmade pies and a red velvet cake, this reception has us licking our lips! Good Southern food was the perfect way to top off a beautiful reception at the Ford Plantation, where hydrangeas, cotton bolls, and burlap set the scene. Of course, nothing’s more Southern than celebrating with your closest friends and family. We love that V + R highlight that as the most important detail. Who could argue? Especially when you end up with fun photos like the last one from 1313 Photography. Too fun!

Describe your wedding flowers: Beautiful blue and white hydrangeas trimmed with hand-picked cotton, orange blossoms (as Rusty proposed in an orange grove), magnolia leaves, and Spanish moss. I had a gardenia for my hair and hand-picked Georgia cotton for boutonnieres.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Just about everything was, but to name a few: Momma’s homemade strawberry jelly in our gift bags, handpicked Georgia cotton, mason jars, sweet tea, Coke in a bottle, spiked Arnold Palmers as the signature drink, Southern Comfort, Georgia micro-brews, fried chicken, BBQ, shrimp and grits, peach cobbler, oyster roast, biscuits, made-from-scratch pies, burlap, bow ties, seersucker, antiques we spent months searching for, George Strait for our first dance, and most importantly, the people we care about most being there to celebrate with us!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The setting. The hundreds-of-years-old oaks draped in Spanish moss against the backdrop of the Ogeechee River made for an idyllic setting we will never forget.
Describe your wedding cake: Simple, but delicious, two-tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The budget.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography! We love Ashley, Phillip, and Sarah from 1313 Photography. They captured our vision perfectly and they are just amazing people.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It rained, then poured, then rained some more all morning and early afternoon of our wedding day. We were resigned to having to forgo the beautiful outdoor setting of the Ford Plantation; the very thing that made us fall in love with the venue. But as we ventured out to start taking our photos, the clouds parted revealing the most brilliant blue sky and bright sunshine. It was perfect and seemed like an answer to months of prayer.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Everything….our lives have just begun!

Photographer: 1313 Photography // Planner: Caroline Carter Events // Venue: Ford Plantation // Officiant: Reverend Steven Schulte // Florist: Garden on the Square // Wedding Cake Baker: Two Cakes // Caterer: Ford Plantation // Paper Products: Lilah Paper // Bride’s Dress: Deborah Lindquist // Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan from Nordstrom // Bow Ties: Southern Proper

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Carly reply

    I love this wedding. To get the same effect not in the country, use branches with tons of hanging amaranthus. xx- Carly of Flour LA

  2. avatar Floral Cotton reply

    Love LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!! This! As always, if you are interested in cotton, for pretty things like these…. Get in touch with us @floralcotton on twitter.. or click our name! Yeehaw!!!!!

  3. avatar Nicole reply

    I am absolutly obsessed with this wedding and was wondering if you had any information on the lanterns. I would love to get ones like this and cant find them anywhere. Would you be willing to sell them?

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Though Victoria + Rusty met in law school, it wasn’t until their first summer working together in Savannah that they started dating. It was only appropriate, then, for them to come back to Georgia for a Southern wedding at the gorgeous Ford Plantation. The couple took full advantage of the scenic trees dripping with Spanish moss and held the ceremony under their shade. The two exchanged vows in between tall vases filled with hydrangeas and orange blossoms (a sweet nod to their engagement in an orange grove!) as a small group of their friends and family looked on. Victoria looked lovely in a Deborah Lindquist dress (how pretty is that bow in the back?!) and Rusty looked like quite the Southern gentleman in navy and khaki, topped off with a bow tie. I love that even their dogs dressed up for the occasion in a garland and bow tie. Big thanks to 1313 Photography for sharing!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) The sun was falling in the sky late that orientation day at Stetson University College of Law. The sweat glistened from my arched brow as my gaze fell upon a ravishing blonde awaiting her turn to submit her orientation documents. I dismounted the pearly white stallion upon which I sat make my way to the blonde which had become the subject of my undeterred interest. As I approached, the boisterous chatter of the large hall seemed to dampen. Our eyes met, and then locked, in a moment of pure, unimpeded, awesomeness. (From the bride) Let me tell you what really happened. It had been a long first day of orientation at Stetson. As I was sifting through all my paperwork, I could hear the conversation of the people in front of me. I didn’t look up, but I could hear a male voice talking about his recent ventures outside the U.S. The next thing I remember is this same male voice turning to me and introducing himself as “Rusty.” This guy wasn’t like any other guy I had ever met. This guy was different and I was in trouble, deep trouble. The next day, a group of us attempted to make plans to go for pizza and beer to help decompress from the stress of that day’s law school orientation. By the time dinner came around, everyone had backed out, leaving just Rusty and I on our unplanned and unofficial first date.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) It was a lazy spring Saturday one morning in May. Victoria was not yet awake as I sat plotting in the living room of our home. Central Florida is surrounded by working farms growing all varieties of citrus fruit. Many of them are open to the public and allow you to grab a bag and go pick as much of their crop as you like. When Victoria awoke, we packed up a picnic, loaded up our two dogs, Doc and Lady, and headed out to the citrus grove. (From the bride) We didn’t know this at the time, but May is not really the best time for citrus. However, the people at the farm said that the oranges would be scarce but that they would be good. Eventually, Rusty had found some good ones. He was up in a tree and said he would need to hand the oranges down to me. “Here is the first,” he said and handed back an orange. I put it in the bag. “Here is the second,” he said. “Here is the third,” he said and this time, instead of an orange, he handed me the ring box with the most gorgeous ring I had ever seen. It took my brain a second to process that this item was not supposed to go in the bag. I screamed aloud as Rusty climbed out of the tree. As soon as he got to the ground, I wrapped him in a huge hug and he asked me if I would marry him. Of course, I said yes!!!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Southern, “Slap your granny” good food, and a good ole fashioned good time with family and friends.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: We went to Charleston, SC with Rusty’s family to celebrate the 4th of July. While perusing through one of the many shops on King Street, my sister-in-law came running up with a wedding dress in hand and forced me to try it on. A wedding dress was the furthest thing from my mind on that day, but I tried it on and fell in love. Unfortunately, it was way over budget and I left the store disappointed. As it happens, the next day we wandered back into that same store. As I walked toward the dress, the saleslady informed me that a particular rack was substantially discounted (70% off!). As luck would have it, the wedding dress was on that rack and with the reduction it was right on budget. I immediately called my mom and she put my mind at ease by saying, “Baby, these things don’t just happen. Buy it.”

Photographer: 1313 Photography // Planner: Caroline Carter Events // Venue: Ford Plantation // Officiant: Reverend Steven Schulte // Florist: Garden on the Square // Wedding Cake Baker: Two Cakes // Caterer: Ford Plantation // Paper Products: Lilah Paper // Bride’s Dress: Deborah Lindquist // Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan from Nordstrom // Bow Ties: Southern Proper

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Kristen reply

    Gah-orgeous! Every wedding I see at the Ford Plantation is just to die for. Congratulations!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    This ceremony spot is so fabulous!! And I love those cotton bouquets!

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  7. avatar deborah lindquist reply

    What beautiful photos! Thank you so much for choosing my dress Victoria!

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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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