The divine lace details and soft pink palette definitely stuck out to me when I first laid eyes on Chanda + David’s wedding — I’m a sucker for feminine classic Southern style, and C + D’s wedding fits the bill perfectly! But, the loveliness gave way to meaning when I read about Chanda’s exquisite veil — it was her late mother’s, and, to quote the bride, wearing it was “a feeling I just can’t describe.” Now I can’t help but get a little choked up every time I look at Lexia Frank’s portraits of Chanda. Isn’t she radiant?
From day one I envisioned a strapless lace gown, simple and elegant without any extra this or that. I found it at the second shop we visited, Brides by Demetrios. Even though it was exactly what I envisioned, after trying it on I still wasn’t sure. I kept waiting for that feeling that everyone kept telling me about. I went on to the next shop and again, was still waiting for that feeling.
Finally, I decided that I would make a trip to visit my grandmother and pick up my late mother’s veil. I returned to Brides by Demetrios to try on the dress again with my mother’s veil and that is the moment I knew that it was the one.
I adore the photo of Chanda’s grandmother looking on over the hustle and bustle of the gals getting ready! Chanda said the day was also not complete without a retelling by her grandmother of a favorite story — the Christmas Chanda received her first string of pearls, and her grandmother remarked that now, as a Southern girl, she could work on her sterling silver!
Absolutely stunning, y’all! Pass those tissues!
I had my heart set on pink and white peonies for my bouquet and the bridesmaids’ bouquets. I was so disappointed when Alta, our florist, told us peonies weren’t in season in February. She suggested ranunculus, garden roses and spray roses, and they turned out to be romantic and absolutely beautiful wrapped in burlap and lace!
When we visited Cross Creek Ranch, I fell in love with the idea of getting married under the Oak tree simply for the symbolism. I can only hope that the love David and I share will last a lifetime through strength and courage.
What a stunning spot for a wedding ceremony!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Neither of us wanted to do a first look. We both were looking forward to that moment we saw each other as I walked down the aisle.
Did you write your own vows?
We had every intention of exchanging our own vows, but after I saw how nervous David was at our rehearsal, I thought the traditional vows would be a little less nerve-wracking. Our pastor’s vows were traditional but modern and perfect. We wrote down our own vows in a letter and exchanged them before the ceremony. It was very special to us.
What was Southern about your wedding? We were married on a ranch! I don’t think you can get more Southern than that! Our reception was held in the rustic old barn, and everything was wrapped in burlap and lace. We used mason jars for decoration, and our Southern lemonade was spiked with Jack Daniels. Chicken and waffles were passed during our cocktail hour. Guests made s’mores by the bonfire and played horseshoes. I also gave personalized handkerchiefs as gifts to my grandmother, my mother in-law and father in-law right before the ceremony.
I love the bows sprinkled throughout Chanda + David’s celebration!
We chose pink and white arrangements of garden roses, rananculus and white hydrangeas for the centerpieces. Silk white hydrangeas hung in mason jars wrapped with burlap and lace on our ceremony chairs. A wine barrel filled with silk white hydrangeas sat beautifully, greeting guests as they entered the barn for the reception. The silk flowers were more beautiful than I had imagined.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
Our venue, Cross Creek Ranch was there for us every step of the way. They provided the designer, the vendors and the coordinator. I don’t think they could have made it any easier! I did take on a few DIY projects. I wrapped our invitations with burlap and lace, and stuffed them into envelopes I assembled from lace doilies. I also printed our escort cards and tied each and every one to our plantable skeleton keys. The biggest challenge to overcome while completing these projects was a very active toddler. Thanks to David, I was able to complete them. I also cannot forget tying raffia to all our mason jars and printing and assembling drink flags the day before the wedding (with a big help from my mother in-law and father in-law)!
We had a gorgeous three-tier buttercream ruffle cake accented with gum paste roses. It was vanilla and chocolate, our favorites. It was the best cake I’ve ever eaten!
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
David and I met through mutual friends at a concert. I heard Ben Harper for the first time while driving home from the beach with my girlfriend. Several weeks later, I saw Ben Harper was coming to town. I immediately contacted my girlfriend Faye and told her we should get tickets to the concert. David was not a fan of the artist, but was tagging along with his friend Paul. To this day, David swears we had a moment during the concert when our eyes met. It breaks my heart to admit, but he had the better viewing spot, and I kept looking over to him thinking that if he were a gentleman, he would offer me his spot. Which he did. After the concert, I wanted nothing more than to go home and go to bed, but Dave and my girlfriend were going to have a couple of drinks at the local brewery. As I turned to go home, I thought maybe I should stick around. After all, I thought Dave was hysterically funny, charming and devilishly handsome. Truth be told, I didn’t want my girlfriend to see what I had seen. The night came to an end and we parted ways. Several days later, we ran into each other again amongst friends. It was Cinco De Mayo. After several minutes of casual conversation, out of nowhere Dave asked me out on a date. In complete shock, my immediate response was NO! As he walked away defeated, I knew that was the last time I ever wanted him to walk out of my life. I spent the next several weeks chasing him, and with help from our mutual friends Cristi and Darren, I finally got a second chance for a first date. Very early on in our relationship, I knew he was the one and I told my dearest friend Robyn, “You know when you know, and I know.”
Describe the proposal.
I can remember several weeks leading up to the proposal, David kept asking me to go on a trip. Every other night he would try and sell me on a destination. It was hot and we were expecting a beautiful baby boy in the upcoming months — he couldn’t get me to go anywhere. On a Monday, David told me to come straight home from work because he was making us dinner. As I walked in our living room, it was filled with roses and balloons. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Then we danced. It was perfect. I then asked him if my grandma knew, and unbeknownst to me, he had visited her days before to ask for my hand in marriage. Later that evening we celebrated at our one of our favorite restaurants.
In what month did you get married?
How many guests attended your wedding?
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We spent a lot of time picking the perfect music. We wanted it to represent who we are. The groom and groomsmen walked in to the instrumental version of “Hallelujah,” one of Dave’s favorites. I walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin, one of my favorite bands of all time. We walked back up the aisle to Al Green’s, “Love and Happiness.” David played it the night he proposed. We danced to Ray LaMontagne’s song, “You Are The Best Thing.” It reminded me of when we first met and we would listen to him and dance in the kitchen. Our last dance was Van Morrison’s, “Crazy Love.” It is a great love song, selected by the groom. We exited to Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” Who doesn’t love Johnny Cash?
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many to choose from! First, the venue. The veil was another favorite. I wore my late mother’s antique lace, cathedral length wedding veil. It’s a feeling I just can’t describe. I also wore an estate piece of jewelry over 150 years old from my late great grandfather’s jewelry store. Our food was another great detail. David is from the Philadelphia area, so during cocktail hour mini cheesesteaks were passed. We also loved our favors. We purchased plantable skeleton keys to attach to our escort cards from Recycled Ideas on Etsy. I hope that as the flowers bloom, people are reminded that love will continue to blossom over time.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? I would have to say the photographer, Lexia Frank — she is just amazing and incredibly talented. Everything she captures is beautiful. We also splurged on the videographer. The day goes by so fast — it is very surreal. I am so happy we decided (literally the week before) to have it documented. I am looking forward to having the video to watch for years to come. Lastly, we splurged on the food. Our caterer Puff n’ Stuff did a phenomenal job.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The groom and I agree that the most memorable moment was when I walked down the aisle and our eyes met. It’s a feeling I will not soon forget. Our ceremony was beautiful.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding?
If you can budget for one, hire a wedding designer/coordinator. It’s worth every dime! Throughout the day, take a moment to take it all in, because it goes by so fast! Don’t forget to excuse yourselves from guests and go dance with your groom!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Traveling with our little family, including our two dogs, in an RV throughout the United States.