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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Friends, if there is one thing you know about me, it’s that I love paper. Love it! One of the highlights of my professional career has been covering the National Stationery Show three times for y’all, and invitation samples are always placed on my desk in the office. So I’m sure it will come as no surprise to anyone that I was thinking about our wedding invitations from Day One!

Actually, I suppose you could say I was thinking about our wedding invitations from Day One minus three years, because 2009 is when I fell in love with this invitation, a collaboration between I Am Always Hungry, Birdie Birdie, and Battery.

My friend Emily Ley had warned me that this sort of invitation (particularly its light type on dark stock, which is nearly impossible to achieve with letterpress) would be very difficult to produce, so even though I dabble in graphic design, I knew that I would be enlisting professional help with this project.

But which one? Throughout my time at Southern Weddings I’ve had the great privilege of working with so many talented paper artisans (for lack of a better term!), but two immediately stuck out in my mind as being a perfect fit for my and John’s style. The first was Jess from Magpie Paper Works, who I worked with on the Williamsburg shoot from V4. Jess created the custom wine labels and coasters, and even though it was a fairly small project, her cheerfulness, passion, and classic-with-a-twist style shone through.

Let me tell y’all, I am SO happy I chose to work with Jess! She took my inspiration and delivered a final product that was more than I could have hoped for. Before I reveal our final invites, I thought it might be fun to see Jess’s first sketches and brainstorming board:

So fun, right? Once Jess had fleshed out our design, it was time to bring in the second artisan I mentioned above. Y’all, I cannot say enough good things about Moya Minns of MM Ink. She has worked on countless SW projects, from the very first photo shoot I ever contributed to, to the Williamsburg shoot, to our first Fearrington shoot, to one of our cover finalists from V3. Her work is classically beautiful, but always with a little surprise twist. I love it so, so much.

But enough chatter – let’s get to the real thing! Our invite, like my inspiration invite, was a trifold, and this is what guests saw when they pulled it out of the envelope:

Jess hand-drew the little heart and the vine/boxwood pattern. Amazing!

Open the next flap, and you’ll see this:

Oh my goodness, y’all, that boxwood wreath (with the little heart worked in!!) combined with Moya’s calligraphy monogram? Be still my heart.

Let’s take a closer look at that inner flap…

Why, it’s a verse from one of our ceremony reading possibilities!

At 9×18 inches when fully unfolded, our invitation certainly makes an impact. I can’t wait to frame this beauty and hang it in our home!

Here’s a closer look at Moya’s amazing handiwork. I told her I was particularly a fan of her “Lola” and “Burgues” styles, and she kindly combined elements from both just for me. It only took her one try to knock it out of the park!

Here’s the whole suite together:

Though it doesn’t hold a candle to Moya’s work, I was pretty pleased with how my envelope addressing turned out. It sure gave me a renewed appreciation for professional calligraphers, though!

So there you have it, friends! A look at our invites, which set the scene for our upcoming big day. I sure hope the actual celebration lives up to this teaser! :)

Next time: A peek at a few of the DIY projects I’ve been working on!

In case you missed a post…
The main characters | Where we’re getting married | I go dress shopping | We choose a photographer | I ponder bridesmaid style | Mini food! | The music | We’re renting a tent! | We discuss bouquets + boutonnieres | We send out our save the dates | I gather hair and makeup inspiration | We talk cake and sweets | I introduce you to our videographer | We create a registry | We buy a tuxedo | We style a reception | I choose accessories | We take engagement photos! | We plan our ceremony | We discuss ceremony music and readings | We firm up wedding day details

Moya Minns is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Emily Alice reply

    I’m DYING over these, Emily! They’re sooo beautiful!

  2. avatar Moya Minns reply

    Emily, it was such a pleasure doing the calligraphy for you and John! I walked away from my desk several times after doing the lettering and every time I came back to it, I had the biggest smile on my face – I knew it was just right for you! xoxoxo

    • avatar Emily reply

      You’re amazing, Moya! The invite wasn’t complete until we dropped your lettering in!

  3. avatar Theresa reply

    Love the color combo of the light and dark!

  4. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    SO MUCH sass and personality! I absolutely love it and the calligraphy work is truly gorgeous. The pink envelope is such a great pop of color too! Very preppy and beautiful!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Haha Madelynne, no one’s told me they have sass yet, but I love it!!

  5. avatar Jess reply

    Oh Emily, it was such a delight collaborating together with you and John! (I’m still happy-dancing!) Your ideas really made the design sing — and your guests are in for such a stylish, delightful and most of all, meaningful celebration. Thank you for opening your heart & sharing your love story with me. Blessed & honored! xoxo

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Bonnie + Armon wanted to create a wedding day that was a reflection of who they are and a celebration of their new life together. To them, that meant an evening of fun, food and fellowship with their favorite people that have walked through life with them. I think their sweet Texas nuptials encompassed all that and more! Big hugs to the equally as sweet Caroline Joy for sharing B + A’s big day!

P.S. Be sure to check out their proposal story from the groom’s perspective – it made my heart melt. Especially since I married my college sweetheart as well!

I love how Bonnie honored her grandmother by attaching a pair of her pearl earrings her bouquet.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes. We wanted to savor every bit of this celebration, and a first look was the perfect way to steal a quiet moment together before the merriment commenced.

When it came to my dress, I knew exactly what I wanted – all lace, sweetheart neckline, strapless and classic. My maid of honor and a friend went with me to try on dresses but after trying on six, I wasn’t wowed. The third dress I had tried on had three out of my four criteria, but it had delicate lace cap sleeves. The consultant put me back in that dress, tucked the sleeves into the bodice and turned me around to see the result. I fell in love! After a few rounds of alterations, I truly felt like my dress was a custom creation.

We did not write our own vows. We loved the idea of saying the same vows our parents and loved ones exchanged at their weddings in years past.

Describe your wedding flowers: Although I didn’t have a clear vision of what our wedding flowers should look like, I knew I wanted something simple and Southern and Lindy absolutely shared my vision. Our centerpieces were a mix of sweet blush blooms in vintage milk glass vases. My bridesmaids carried full bouquets of white hydrangea and garden roses to complement their blush dresses. My bouquet was a dreamy mix of blush peonies and white garden roses – I didn’t want to put it down!

We worked to recreate our most beloved parts of Southern culture – from homemade treats to mason jars to fellowship – in every facet of our celebration! Guests were relieved from the July heat by individual sandalwood fans during the ceremony. We had no shortage of striped straws, mason jars, lemonade or lawn games! My wonderful mother-in-law made all the pies for our pie bar, while my mom and aunt made the cheesecake bites. A family friend baked the raspberry brownies and Armon and his best man constructed the lawn game sign I painted. Sharing every little DIY project with my bridesmaids and mom really helped me savor the journey leading up to our wedding, rather than focusing on a one-day event.

I could eat sweets all day long, so we knew we wanted more than just traditional wedding cake. Armon is decidedly anti-cake so in lieu of a groom’s cake, we added a pie bar, cheesecake bites and raspberry brownies for variety. We did have a beautiful two-tier confection with a bottom layer of vanilla cake and pineapple filling, as well as classic red velvet on top. Our baker whipped up a cream cheese and vanilla buttercream to complement both flavors. We loved it!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) Bonnie and I both went to Baylor University. While we had all the same mutual friends, our paths didn’t cross until we were at a dinner function at a Lebanese restaurant for our honors program. This particular venue had a belly dancer performing and, after the dancer tried unsuccessfully to coerce Bonnie into joining her on the dance floor, she turned to me. As this pretty girl had just refused her, I was happy to oblige and promptly made a fool of myself in front of what would one day be my bride. We wound up having the same course schedule the following semester and became the most intimate of friends. Three years later I’m delighted to call her my wife.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) I proposed to Bonnie in Waco, where we met and where so much of our relationship blossomed. I got Bonnie’s roommate and best friend Sara in on the surprise. After we arrived, Sara whisked Bonnie off for an afternoon of playing and pampering. I took that time to set out a surprise in her apartment consisting of her favorite dress and a telltale note that this evening would be one to remember. The girls returned to their apartment, and I’m told that Bonnie was overjoyed with my surprise. After getting ready and getting to spend some time with her roommate, Bonnie finally arrived. I then took her on an adventure through our past, taking her to all of the many places on Baylor’s campus and in Waco that were significant to us. After our tour ended back at Baylor, we made our way toward the gardens outside Pat Neff and Old Main, the campus’s two main buildings. As we walked through the gardens in the direction of my old dormitory, I spoke to Bonnie about all of the times we had crossed through this place without ever thinking what may one day happen here. We never made it to my old dormitory because in the middle of the gardens, with our old university’s iconic buildings in the background, I informed my bride that this was the end of the tour — the place where she was asked to be my wife. I got down on one knee at twilight and proposed to her.
In what month did you get married? July
How many guests attended your wedding? 62.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. A sweet friend of mine from high school played his guitar at our ceremony and did beautiful instrumentals of each song we chose. Our processional was “The Scientist” by Coldplay and I walked down the aisle to “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley. Armon and I walked back down the aisle to “You and I” by Ingrid Michaelson.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Armon and I are no strangers to long distance, as we have primarily been in different locations for most of our relationship. Our engagement was no exception as his enlistment with the Air Force stationed him in California for the year. Thankfully, we were able to tour our venue together following our proposal, but the rest of the details were up to me. Although it was a bit of a challenge, it turned into a hidden blessing as I got to spend our wedding meetings and tastings with my maid of honor!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Although it’s impossible to single out one ultimate moment, I can narrow it down to a few. My big brother officiated our ceremony and walking down the aisle on my daddy’s arm with my brother and groom waiting at the end for me was so overwhelming. Exchanging our vows while surrounded by the people closest to me was such a humbling moment. There was so much love and joy encircling us on that day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are soaking in this new season as newlyweds and are having a blast setting up our home together! We’re looking forward to exploring the West Coast together in the months to come.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  8. avatar Hannah reply

    Any idea where the groom found the beautiful engagement rings? Love the simplicity of the oval!

  9. avatar Leyka reply


    I know your bridesmaids have different dresses, but I’m wondering if you could list where each got them. They are really pretty!

  10. avatar Sweet Texas With Lawn Games By Caroline Joy Wedding | Wedding Idea Spot reply

    […] Wedding Idea was found by: JaneMarie4 Wedding Idea From: Photography: Caroline […]

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Welcome to Lauren + Jake’s wedding full of strawberry deliciousness and summery farm fun! According to Lauren, one of the biggest priorities when planning was to have a laid-back, Southern feel. I think the newlyweds succeeded in their mission. Not only were guests transported from the ceremony site to the reception by a wagon-hitched tractor, but they were greeted with bluegrass music, a menu of Southern fare, farm animals, cornhole and s’mores! We’re sending giant hugs to Anna Hedges who brightened our day with this wedding.

As a paper-nerd and strawberry-lover, Lauren + Jake’s simple invitation suite steals my heart. My favorite part? The handwritten feel of their return address!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that I wanted a dress from J. Crew because I wanted something simple and comfortable. Our photographer told me about finding bridesmaid dresses for her sister’s wedding at a J. Crew clearance store near Asheville, NC. They had a few wedding dresses in my size, and I loved the first one I tried on.

I walked down the aisle to the Beatles’ “Here Come the Sun,” played acoustically by our friend Ryan. The recessional was “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates.

How festive is this reception setup? Lauren handmade all 300 feet of bunting by herself!

Lack of time was our biggest obstacle. I wanted our day to include a lot of personal details, so I planned most of the wedding and made most of the decorations by myself. This wouldn’t have been such an obstacle except that I was also juggling veterinary school simultaneously.

Patterns and textures are one of my favorite parts about seeing weddings. L + J’s gingham runners and rosette napkin rings take the cake! (And who’s complaining about those baskets of strawberries next to each place setting? Not me.)

Since we got married on a farm with an old-fashioned feel, we felt that it was more appropriate to have pie than cake. Our caterer baked delicious strawberry pies that served as centerpieces for each table.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Jake and I met through friends when he was a senior and I was a junior in high school. We dated long distance for five and a half years during my time at college in South Carolina and my first two years of veterinary school in Knoxville, TN.
Describe the proposal. Jake proposed during a weekend visit to Knoxville. We went on a hike together and he popped the question by a lake. I’d never seen him so nervous before!
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did a “first look” because we thought that it would ease the tension and nervousness of the day!
Describe your wedding flowers: I didn’t have anything specific in mind when I discussed the flowers with the florist, but I knew that I wanted something that looked unfussy but beautiful. She came up with a great assortment of peonies, anemones, and other local, seasonal flowers.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The s’mores! We set up a fire pit and provided roasting sticks and s’more fixings for a late night snack for our guests.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The food was the most expensive part of our day, but it was so worth it! We’re self-proclaimed foodies, so providing a great menu to our guests was really important to us.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? A great part of our day was the send off. Our guests lit sparklers and it was so special to be surrounded by the glowing faces of the people most important to us before we left to start our new life together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t think about it too much! I am a very type-A, high-stress person and I tried my best to relax during the months leading up to the wedding. I think that I enjoyed the day even more because I was able to unwind.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We’ll be in Knoxville for two years more as I complete my time in veterinary school. We have no idea what the future holds for us, but we are looking forward to moving ahead together.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Bella Eventi by Olivia George reply

    Love the personal touches and can’t believe she made all that bunting herself! Lovely!

  2. avatar Lucia reply

    I love these wedding photos! Can you please tell me where the invitations are from? Thank you,

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  5. avatar Alexis reply

    What fabric did you go with to cover the hay bales?

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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