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Monthly Archives: March 2013

AnnaKathryn (even her double name is Southern!) + Ryan’s big day was filled with intentional details and sweet surprises, but the thing that stood out most to their fabulous planner from RiverOaks was the number of loving family hands that went into this wedding: “there was a uniqueness to the willingness of all involved in the planning and execution of this wedding in that so many wanted to serve – in a real humble and sincere manner.” Wow, now that is some Sweet Tea Society goodness! Keep a lookout for thoughts from AnnaKathryn, her Momma, and the gals of RiverOaks throughout this post — they all wanted to chime in!

Now, as a big fan of horse and buggies (BDK and I rode off in a carriage from our own wedding!) I loved that the bride and her father’s carriage entrance was a complete surprise to everyone, setting the tone for an evening where details unfolded slowly and with purpose.

Big thank yous to Hunter McRae for capturing all the loveliness of AnnaKathryn + Ryan’s celebration!

From the RiverOaks ladies: We used orchids, sweet peas, parrot tulips, hellebores, garden roses, peonies, lilac, ranunculus, and various gathered foliage such as ferns, pods, and hostas to make the floral elements unique to this day. The bride’s bouquet was adored with a simple pearl cross fashioned from the corsage pins on the stemmed handle. The bride and her mom told us they wanted a gathered look, as though objects were taken from a home to prepare for a wedding. The bride’s mother asked that the elements be simplistic, strong, and elegant, like her daughter. So, the twenty-plus guest tables were topped with a collection of ceramic urns with herbs, lanterns on rye grass, bouquets on tree stumps, glass cloche terrariums, bundled candles, and handled pitchers with florals. The cocktail area had grapevine and moss balls topped with orchids hanging from the trees.

From AnnaKathryn’s mama: AnnaKathryn hadn’t spent time dreaming and thinking about her wedding, so when the time came she had no clue about wedding gowns and styles. Shopping was a precious time with her maid of honor, a sweet friend of 20 years, and her mom. Knowing that her wedding would be outside, she wanted a gown that moved with her. We were overjoyed when she was confident she found her dress! Her maid of honor tried on a few bridesmaid dresses, too, and AnnaKathryn surprised us again when she decided on her bridesmaids’ dresses and the colors all during our first visit to a bridal shop. Typically, AnnaKathryn labors over decisions, but with the wedding, she seemed to have the mindset that things would be beautiful, which carried her through planning with joy and ease, never having the weight of the need for things to be perfect.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My father is a pastor in Mount Pleasant, and it was so special to have him marry us.  He spoke his homily from Isaiah 61:3, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” This is a verse he and my mother have prayed for their children and generations to come since their own marriage.
From the RiverOaks ladies: The brother of the bride opened the wedding with the reading of Psalm 103 by standing in the aisle amid all the guests. The bride and groom asked everyone sharing the joyful occasion with them to please pray the words of Romans 15:5-6 for them, as they desire their marriage to be founded upon the Gospel of Christ and anchored in the Word of God.

From the RiverOaks ladies The ceremony, although outdoors, was truly set in a sanctuary. The contemporary worship leader at the bride’s church thoughtfully prepared music of praise to set the tone, which was important to this couple and their families as they entered into a Biblical marriage. Hymns such as “Come thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “How Firm a Foundation” were played throughout the ceremony and during communion (using the groom’s parents’ communion cups). The horse-drawn carriage bridal entry arrived to the powerful tune of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Lastly, it was fitting for the wedding guests to sing “And Can It Be” together, as everyone who knows the bride’s father knows it’s his favorite hymn.

From the RiverOaks ladies: The three flower girls continued their role as sign bearers throughout the wedding. In order to transition the guests in a delightful way, the girls took turns frolicking through the reception with beribboned pennants such as “cut the cake,” “first dance,” “sweet treats,” and “goodnight.” Additionally, as wedding planners we like to build in something special for the groom that is all about him. The traditional military Sword Arch (the groom graduated from The Citadel) was brought to RiverOaks as the couple departed through sparklers. The bride also handed off her bouquet to the groom to carry while she “walked the line” with a football in honor of her linebacker!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Entering by horse-drawn carriage with my dad to Highland Cathedral on the bagpipes and seeing Ryan at the altar. Also, before cutting the cake, Ryan thanked our guests for coming, and then really blessed me publicly with a short toast.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Planning a wedding, especially in Charleston, can be overwhelming.  Find a good wedding planner and communicate your desires, expectations, and limitations.  Planning the details can be super fun, but don’t let the small things steal the joy of the process.  At the end of the day, you will still be married to your love!

Oh my, these desserts sound delicious! From the RiverOaks ladies: Dessert was one of the best toasted coconut cakes we have ever tasted! It was made with gluten-free love for the bride. A church member made 25 additional coconut cakes from the bride’s favorite recipe that were the talk of town. As if that weren’t enough, Chef Bob prepared berry cobblers for each family style table as well, topped by table service al la mode! The mother of the bride also made mini ice cream sandwiches with homemade gluten-free gingersnaps filled with various coconut milk ice cream flavors to pass as a late night snack on the dance floor.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration?  What was Southern about your wedding? Shag dancing under the lighted live oaks.  We also surprised Ryan with a Citadel-style sword arch as we headed for our get-away boat.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It was a challenge to balance the wedding planning with finishing my last semester of nursing school.  I passed my boards the week before the wedding.  My mom and the RiverOaks team were incredible and picked up my slack in the planning process!

From the RiverOaks ladies: The outdoorsy Mr. and Mrs. who love boating the low country departed by boat with Thai lanterns overhead provided by the grandfather of the bride who resides in Thailand and couldn’t make the wedding. After some reflective time alone on the river and the dispersal of the guests, the couple returned quietly to their venue and departed by limousine to historic downtown Charleston for a “mini-moon” before their trip to Europe a few months later.

How did the two of you meet?  Tell us your story. Mutual friends introduced us, but we really hit it off when Ryan asked me and two friends on a triple-date with his brother and a football teammate from the Citadel.  The date consisted of a 3-on-3 basketball tournament which the girls won! We had so much fun getting to know each other during dinner at Poe’s Tavern afterward.  A few weeks later, Ryan took me to a show at the Sottile Theater, which sealed the deal.
Describe the proposal. Right at the beginning of our relationship, Ryan told two of his best friends that I would be his wife.  It took about 7 months, but he proposed to me at the scenic grounds of Alhambra Hall in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant on September 17, the day before my birthday.  Unbeknownst to me, he planned a birthday party for me that same night.  When our friends and family yelled “surprise,” we surprised them right back with a ring on my finger!
In what month did you get married? May 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? 220, with a large wedding party!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Ryan did not know that I would be entering by horse-drawn carriage with my father.  Because we had this special entrance planned, we did not do a “first look.”  It was a special moment when we made eye contact that we will not soon forget.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We served peach and blueberry cobbler for dessert, but our far and away favorite was the coconut wedding cake.  I only wish that some had made it into our limo that night!
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? We are so happy we chose to go with Hunter McRae; she captured the beauty of the day and was so sweet and helpful during the whole process.  It was a last-minute decision by my mom, though, to have Leslie Buhler do videography.  We are so happy she did.  The compilations she put together for us really take us back to that day.
What’s next for you as a couple?  What are you looking forward to in the future? I am back in school at MUSC to be a nurse practitioner and Ryan is working as an engineer.  We love to explore the natural beauty of Charleston and spend time with other newlyweds.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Melissa Tuck reply

    Love the ring shot (succulents yes!) and the cake shot. And that first photo is an awesome journalistic shot – love all the action going on and it’s composed spot on! Such a lovely wedding and beautifully captured!

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    This wedding is so thoughtful and gorgeous. I love it!

  3. avatar Stephen reply


  4. avatar Gorgeous Charleston Wedding | Wedding Resource reply

    […] If you love beautiful weddings, you will adore this Charleston, SC gem full of heartfelt details. The bride and her father entered the ceremony in a horse-drawn carriage and then her father, a pastor, also performed the marriage ceremony. A special gluten-free toasted coconut cake was on the menu, as were meaningful hymns, a Citadel sword arch, and a gorgeous pair of wreaths on a cross at the outdoor altar. Enjoy all the Southern wedding goodness over at Southern Weddings. […]

  5. avatar Boho Pins: Here Comes The Bride – Boho Weddings™ reply

    […] sign (Photographer Black Frame Photography) / heart chalkboard (photographer Jonny Draper) / 3 bridesmaids (Photographer Hunter McRae) / round chalkboard (photographer Eon […]

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February, the month of love, was the perfect time to kick off our Monthly #SouthernDoin challenges. And y’all rose to the occasion! Just a few of our favorite sweet surprise gestures that you kind ladies shared via our hashtag…

Erin made heart-shaped strawberry biscuits for her husband on Valentine’s Day; McKenzie made delicious-looking pancakes for her sweetie; Sam left a sweet note on her fiance’s car when he was having a bad day; and Kristin sent a surprise package to The Birthday Party Project in honor of my birthday!

All together now: awwwww!

In case you’re not familiar with the concept of a Southern Doin’, I’ll recap for ya: A Southern Doin’ is any sort of a Southern activity. There’s no official panel of judges that decides whether or not something is Southern; you get to decide for yourself whether your Doin’ falls under the spirit of the South! We came up with Southern Doin’s because even in the midst of V5 craziness, we didn’t want to forget to get outside our office and remember all of the things we love about the South. (And there are oh so many things.)

We’re ratcheting things up a notch this year with our Southern Doin’ monthly challenges. Each month we’ll pick a Doin’ prompt and post it here — something to encourage y’all to go, do, make, explore, discover, and love in the spirit of the South and the Sweet Tea Society.

We’ll be Doin’ right alongside you, and we’ll all try to remember and use the #southerndoin hashtag, alrighty? Then, we’ll come back here and post a little recap on the blog of our favorite tweeted, instagrammed, or Facebooked Doin’s before we post the next month’s challenge.

But enough explanation — time for the challenge! The Southern Weddings office has been all abuzz over the impending arrival of spring, so for March’s #SouthernDoin Challenge, snap a photo of a sign of springtime in the South! Maybe you’ll spot daffodils or camellias on your after-work walk. Maybe you’ll sit outside for the first time this year at your favorite Southern eatery. Maybe you’ll spy some adorable baby farm animals (you know we’d love that one!). Whatever it is, we’d love for you to share it with us! We’ll be sharing our favorites next month right here on the blog.

Are you in? Sound off in the comments! And happy Doin’!

P.S. Suggestions for future challenges are welcome! Just leave a comment below or feel free to email me.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Bridget reply

    Awww, love this idea. Even though it feels like the coldest winter in the Triangle for years, I have seen beautiful daffodils popping up everywhere!

  2. avatar Victoria reply

    Will a photo of my sinus and allergy prescriptions do? Hahaha just kidding! It’s still chilly in Alabama, but the seasonal allergies have definitely arrived! I hope to find a more uplifting sign of Spring soon:)

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    So excited to participate this month!

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Y’all will notice right away that this wedding is a little different. It has a lovely bride and a dapper groom and a gorgeous Southern setting, yes ma’am, but it also has a day-of timeline that went completely haywire due to unexpected weather, and a noticeable lack of “details” compared to our other features. However, what it may lack in pretty paper or fancy favors, it more than makes up for in heart. Ryan Price’s images tell the story of Laura and Micah’s emotional day well, so please, y’all, enjoy this look at a wedding that went “wrong,” but in the end was oh so right. As we all believe, truly love always, always wins… even in the face of torrential downpour.

I had checked the Farmer’s Almanac dating back to the last ten years to determine that November 3, 2012 was the perfect date for our wedding. It had the least likely chance of rain, and an average temperature of 65 degrees. It was the day before Daylight Savings Time and if we had the ceremony at 5:00pm we could be on the dance floor by 6:00pm, just as the sun was setting. I had done my research.

But things don’t always go according to plan, no matter how well you think you might have planned them. Our wedding was to start at 5:00. The storm began rolling in around 4:30. Torrential downpour began at 4:45. Hail, sometime around 5:00. People were outside scurrying, grabbing napkins and glass vases with candles. I was in the little farmhouse where the bridal party was getting ready, trying to keep it together. Micah, his mother, my mother and father, my pastor, and I gathered together to make a decision. Micah and I decided through tears (mostly mine) and disappointment that we were definitely getting married that day, and we wanted all of our people to be there with us. So we crammed everyone into the tiny farmhouse, wherever they could fit. The bridal party lined up on the staircase, and Micah and I stood at the bottom with our family and friends just a foot away. It was so intimate, and I honestly believe it was better than either of us could have ever imagined.

I walked down the “aisle” to The Vitamin String Quartet’s instrumental version of “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot. The crescendo in the middle of the song still makes me tear up when I listen to it. After we exchanged our vows, we celebrated by singing a worship song to our God called “How He Loves” by the David Crowder Band. The song is about the incredible love God has for us, and it reminded us that His perfect love is even better than the love we have for each other.

Before my father gave me away and prayed over me and Micah, my brother read from Colossians 3:12-17: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peach of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

You hear people talk about how family-oriented Southern culture is, and how close-knit communities in small towns can be. I am so fortunate that my family and my community are a classic example of those values. My little town of Lufkin, Texas has more Southern hospitality and just down right generosity than you can shake a stick at. One of my favorite experiences about planning my wedding was how willing and excited people were to help. My mother actually rounded up a little committee of five women, close friends from church and work, who met with us several times before the wedding to help plan. And heaven knows Mom and I needed help! I am so thankful for those women and all of the encouragement and advice they imparted. Not to mention the appointment making, detail managing, and decorating they did! I honestly don’t believe it would have turned out the way it did without the help from our community.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Oh goodness, this is a hard question. Months before my wedding, I remember asking my mom about her own wedding. She said, “Honey, I was honestly so busy and stressed during that time that I don’t remember much of anything.” That made me so sad, because she and my father have been married for 33 years and I know that that was a special time for her. I didn’t want that to be my one regret: that I forgot to stop and enjoy every second. So that’s what I did. I took everything in, and I know this sounds cheesy, but every second was my favorite memory. Some of the memories that stick out the most in my mind were my mother putting on my veil; crying and holding my best friend’s hand as we watched the storm roll in before the wedding; Micah and I deciding together to move the ceremony into the tiny farmhouse, squish everyone in who could fit, and to go ahead with the celebration; seeing Micah teary eyed as he read his vows; dancing to “My Girl” with my daddy, and the look on Micah’s face when my bridesmaids and I performed our little dance number.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Micah and I both love to sing (although he is a much better singer than I), and we both especially love to dance. We like to say that we fell in love two-stepping on the dance floor. Our wedding reception definitely reflected our love for dancing, and much to my mother’s chagrin, it was even complete with surprise performances from both the bride’s party and the groom’s party. I surprised him by throwing on a leather jacket and performing a routine that my bridesmaids, house party, and I had come up with the night before to “You’re the One That I Want” from the movie “Grease.” Micah and his groomsmen followed, to my surprise, with One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.” It was so much fun, and absolutely hilarious.

This is something I had to learn and continually remind myself of throughout the months of planning, and especially on our big day when nothing went according to plan: Please, please remember that it is not about the event, but about the precious lifelong commitment you are making to the one you love. When you keep it in perspective, you can handle any situation. What you view as the mishaps will truly become the best memories.

How did the two of you meet? Micah and I both attended Texas A&M University (whoop!), but our journey together began even before we set foot on campus as freshmen.  Micah and I both decided to attend Fish Camp, which is A&M’s three-day freshman orientation at a nearby campground. It just so happened that out of 4,000 incoming freshman, Micah and I ended up in the same discussion group! Back then I was a little shy when it came to meeting new people, but not when playing games. Somehow, we wound up playing a card game together the first night. Needless to say, my competitive nature caught his attention. But our fate wasn’t sealed until the second night at the country dance mixer. Micah is a pretty good dancer — sometimes I wonder if he came out of the womb already knowing how to two-step. I remember that night he danced with all six of the other girls in our group first. After that, he just stood next to me for the next two songs. The third song happened to be my favorite at the time, and after commenting to Micah that it was my favorite song, he nodded and continued to stand exactly where he was, staring at the dance floor. The poor boy was afraid to ask! After a few seconds I turned to him, held my hand out and said matter-of-factly, “Micah, considering this is my favorite song, would you please dance with me?” I honestly had never been so bold in my life, but I think I just knew what I wanted.  The rest, as they say, is history.
Describe the proposal. I love surprises, and fortunately for me, Micah loves to surprise me. I had absolutely no idea he was going to propose when he did. Now, I’ll be honest, I had dropped quite a few hints over the course of the two years we were dating. When I say “hints,” what I really mean is I flat-out asked him a few times, “When are you planning on asking me to marry you?” Micah always took it in stride and reminded me to be patient. Then finally, the fall of our senior year at A&M, we were both getting our Aggie rings, which is a momentous occasion for students of Texas A&M. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family pets, everyone practically comes in for this event and everyone celebrates with a party. Micah and I had planned to have a little shindig at my college house with our families and friends. We had a karaoke system set up for entertainment. Micah’s dad called everyone over to where the karaoke was set up and asked for Micah and me to come up on the stage. As Micah dragged me by the hand up to the stage, I whispered to him, “Micah, I’m not going to sing. You’re going to have to sing by yourself because I’m not singing. Not doing it.” He took the microphone from his dad and got down on one knee as the song “She’s Like Texas” began to play. I remember seeing his hand shaking as he held the microphone. Looking back it was obvious what he was doing and so I feel silly for having said, “Micah, what are you doing? I’m not going to sing. Get up!” He laughed and then in the sweetest way he asked me to marry him. I don’t think I even looked at the ring because I was so excited he had finally asked me to be his wife. I fell to my knees and hugged him.
How many guests attended your wedding? That is a good question! I know that 350 RSVP’d but with the unexpected weather and hail storm that ensued that evening, and the temporary misplacement of the guest book, we never got a final count!
Did you decide to do a first look? After much debate, Micah and I decided it would be a good idea to do a first look. I think that was one of the best decisions on our part. It helped us calm our nerves and gave us time to talk to each other before the hustle and bustle began. That time was so special. We talked about how we were feeling and prayed together for our marriage. It also allowed us to have as much time with our guests as possible.
The wedding favors? Homemade blueberry jam. My cousins, aunts, friends and I gathered together one Saturday and canned 350 jars of blueberry jam. Micah and I had picked 11 gallons of blueberries at the Wood Blueberry Farm in Diboll, Texas.
Tell us about your wedding cake. It was absolutely delicious. Our baker even replicated a cake topper I found in a magazine of two little birds. I thought it was fitting considering our last name is Birdsong.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? We were shooting for around $15,000 but quickly realized that, with as many guests as we wanted to invite, we needed to increase the budget. I think the final number ended up being between $20,000 and $21,000.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Ryan reply

    One of the neatest weddings to be a part of!! Such an amazing day and testament to their love. Thanks for sharing it!!

  2. avatar Kat reply

    I love that even in the rain, their joy shines through!! I needed to see this post – to remember that even if it’s POURING and none of the details work out, it’s the love that counts.

  3. avatar Taylor J reply

    If this doesn’t embody the Sweet Tea Society…. I don’t know what does!

  4. avatar The NotWedding reply

    How sweet! Love the intimacy of this special day.

  5. avatar Ashleigh reply

    Oh my heavens! I was just talking about the weather for our wedding day yesterday and saying how I’m praying every day leading up to it that it’s nothing but gorgeous! Great job saving the day – stunning wedding and pictures!

  6. avatar Arlissa Vaughn / Special Event Painter reply

    These photos really capture the emotion…very sweet!

  7. avatar Wedding Wednesday :: Southern Weddings reply

    […] know many more are to come! They feature the most gorgeous Southern weddings, but more importantly they feature love. You can browse hundreds of real weddings by state or color, or scroll through their perfectly […]

  8. avatar H. Campbell reply

    Love is in the air, I love the motif so pink… a pretty bride and a handsome groom…Hope I’ll be the next…where are you now my cupid??

  9. avatar Happy Birthday, Lisa! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] crying at the ceremony (like in Laura and Micah’s wedding by Ryan […]

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