Oh y’all, you’re in for a real treat today! Even the title of this post had me excited! Then as I scrolled through the gorgeous photos from Pasha Belman I not only fell in love with April + Nick’s gorgeous design details, but their sweet demeanor and love for each other that seems to pour right out of the screen!
Yes, there are beautiful pink silhouette and monograms details. Yes, there is woodwork handcrafted by April’s father and his brothers, and yes, April’s something borrowed was their wedding date, that was the same as her late grandmother’s birthday. So sweet! And while traditionally, I would mention how adorable it is that April’s favorite part of their wedding film is her 6 foot 8 groom on his tip toes to see her come down the aisle, we all know what we’re staring at! THAT dress!
April absolutely dropped jaws in Ian Stuart’s Libertine seersucker gown! She found her dream dress in none other then Southern Weddings V4! We simply love hearing that, and I still do this day say that the Paper, Cotton, and Flour shoot in which we used the gown is one of my favorites features to date!
In lieu of individual menus, we placed printed thank you notes to our guests and vendors at each place setting. Also, we had decorated sugar cookies in the shape of our favorite southern states NC, AR, SC, and GA. The tag on the cookies read, “Once upon a time an Arkansas boy fell in love with a North Carolina girl. He proposed to her in Savannah, Georgia. Then, all of their favorite people were invited to celebrate at their South Carolina wedding! Thank you for being a part of their fairy tale.”
April, you did us proud!
My something old was a peacock lapel pin from my grandmother, Dorothy Jane Smith. My something new was my wedding gown. I borrowed April 7, the birthday of my late grandmother, Thelma Smith Pridgen, for our wedding date. My something blue was a label sewn into my wedding gown that read: “I found the one whom my soul loves. Song of Solomon 3:4”. The sixpence in my shoe was a gift from my Grandma Dorothy.
Before we went dress shopping, my mother bought several wedding magazines and passed them on to me. I found an amazing dress in Southern Weddings: The Libertine by Ian Stuart. I called my mom as soon as I saw it and told her I had found my dress. She asked me to describe it and said, “When I saw that dress, I knew it was the one for you.” I called several stores trying to locate a sample in blue and we went to see it a few days later. Since I had chosen such a distinctive dress, I decided to keep it a secret from everyone except my parents until the big day. On the morning of our wedding, I had the photographer and videographer capture my bridesmaids’ reactions to my dress.
How cool is that! I love the idea of an Adventure Book for your marriage, what a sweet way to join bucket lists, and create a life of complete adventure (excuse the pun!).
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was the arbor for the ceremony, a gift from my father, Randy Keith Pridgen, built using woodworking skills lovingly passed down to him from his father, the late Ernest Dixon Pridgen. My father and five of his brothers still work together in the commercial millwork company my grandfather started in 1948. Daddy’s brothers all helped him to perfect the arbor design in the weeks before the wedding. The metal hearts used to decorate the arbor and the reception were salvaged from a bus shelter built by the late James Ernest Watts, so that his little girl, my mother, would never have to wait out in the rain. He passed away when I was two and although my memories with him are limited, my mother has kept the love he had for us alive with her stories. I felt like he was present and gave us his blessing when the black cab that picked us up to depart the ceremony was named James. James also was the name of the man who took our engagement photograph in Forsyth Park. Photography is a passion that Nick’s father, Bobby Joe Dyer, has shared with him. The arbor was decorated with pictures to commemorate family memories and to honor those who could not be with us to celebrate our marriage. We incorporated our parents’ wedding photos onto the arbor as well as pictures from our childhood. The sign on the arbor read, “Memory is the treasury and guardian of all things.”
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to stick with tradition and not do a first look. I am glad we made that decision because my favorite part of our wedding video is seeing my 6’8” husband stand on his tiptoes trying to see me above the crowd before I walked down the aisle.
After Nick and I became serious, I held back on monogramming items in anticipation that my monogram would soon change. Our wedding was the perfect opportunity to showcase our new monogram. Instead of having Flower Girls, Nick’s niece, Makayla, and my cousin, Callie, were our Monogram Attendants. They walked down the aisle carrying gray wooden monograms. Callie carried my maiden name monogram and sat on the bride’s side. Makayla carried Nick’s monogram and sat on the groom’s side. After the ceremony was over and we were pronounced husband and wife, the monogram attendants presented a monogrammed banner with our new couple’s monogram before we walked back down the aisle. For a Southern girl, getting married does not just entail changing your name, it means a new monogram! Our guests traveled a long way to share in our big day, so we did not want anyone to leave empty-handed. Our wedding favors were Cokes in glass bottles decorated with little silver bells and bags of roasted North Carolina peanuts. They were placed on a table with a sign that read, “Some things just go together.”
Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers were soft and romantic. Beth LeonGuerrero of Wild Flowers designed a hand-tied bouquet of spring florals including pink peonies, garden roses, lisianthus, blushing bride protea, astilbe, caliycina, phlox and blue centered anemones with nestlings of dusty miller, scabiosa pods and ostrich drab feathers, wrapped in grey. My bouquet was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. I decided to have it preserved after the wedding.
The wedding cake was a classic white three-tiered cake embellished with buttercream flowers and white buttercream peacock designed by Jim Smeal. The white peacock design was inspired by the birds of Magnolia Plantation.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Nick and I met on February 4, 2011, at a Fayetteville Young Professionals meet-up at Riverside Steakhouse and Oyster Bar. We both had noticed one another from across the room and luckily, a mutual friend introduced us! A few days later, we went on our first date, and we have been inseparable ever since. You always wonder how you will know when you have met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, but it is like everyone says, “You just know”.
Tell us all about the proposal! Nick proposed to me in front of the fountain in Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia on May 17, 2012. It was my birthday and we were on vacation in our favorite city. While we were standing in front of the fountain, Nick hugged me and said, “Do you remember the night we met? My heart skipped a beat when you walked into the room. I think now that this was God’s way of telling me you are the woman I am supposed to spend my life with.” Then, he got down on one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” Around this time, a bystander started yelling, “Look, they are getting engaged!” and came over and asked if he could take our picture.
When did y’all get married? April 7, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 160
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We spoke traditional vows. However, since our ceremony was outside, we decided to do a handfasting ceremony instead of lighting a unity candle. My favorite line from this ceremony was, “These are the hands that even when wrinkled with age will still be reaching for yours, still giving the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.” It was a reminder of the permanence and comfort marriage brings to a person.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? “There is no moment of my life when you are not a part of me; you hold my heart; you guard my soul; you guide my dreams so tenderly and if my will might be done, and all I long for could come true, with perfect joy I would choose to share eternity with you”. –Robert Sexton
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Instead of walking down the aisle after the chiming of the hour, my cousin, Katelynn, walked down the aisle ringing a bell and announced,“Let the wedding begin!” The Palmetto Strings Trio played during our wedding ceremony and at the reception. Nick is an avid Beatles fan, so our bridal party walked in to “In My Life.” We both enjoy indie music and are fans of Vampire Weekend, so we had our string trio compose an arrangement of “M79” for our recessional.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most Southern things about our wedding, aside from being on a beautiful plantation in Charleston, were monograms and hospitality.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge I faced was coordinating everything to match my wedding gown. The Libertine looks blue in photographs and gray in person. With the help of Francesca from Pure Luxe Bridal Consultants and Beth, I was able to pick suits, bridesmaid dresses and flowers that looked nice with both colors. Nick had no idea that I had chosen a non-traditional fabric, so he had a difficult time understanding why I would not agree that he should wear a seersucker suit.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were blessed to have a dream team of vendors! They had amazing professional talents and all worked together to create a day that exceeded our highest expectations. I would highly recommend all of them! One detail we both loved was the cornhole boards decorated with our silhouettes in the wedding colors, which my mother gave us as a pre-wedding gift. We were able to purchase the silhouette designs and use them throughout our wedding and reception.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our favorite moment was seeing each other for the first time on our wedding day! I tried to soak in every moment as my Daddy walked me down the aisle to Nick. A close second was the emotion that our ceremony evoked from our family. I could tell that the details and our desire to remember our grandparents really touched everyone.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Before you plan anything, think about your priorities for the wedding. You want to contract with the best vendors, but you also need to decide on the emotion you want people to feel when they are at your wedding. Our must-haves were a fabulous wedding dress, classic bowties, and our awesome photographer, Pasha Belman. Those things aside, we wanted our families to feel as if they were being celebrated for loving us and shaping us into the people we are today. The biggest compliment we received on our wedding was that it was very sweet and sentimental. Seeing and hearing about how our wedding details touched our families was an amazing feeling.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking forward to starting new family traditions and building a happy home together. We hope to travel and adopt pets. Most of all, we cannot wait to spend the rest of our lives making new memories with our best friend!
Photographer: Pasha Belman Photography | Videographer: Hart to Heart Media, Inc. | Planner: Pure Luxe Bridal Consultants, LLC | Ceremony Venue: Magnolia Plantation | Reception Venue: Magnolia Plantation Carriage House | Florist: Wild Flowers | Wedding Cake Baker: Jim Smeal | Caterer: B. Gourmet | Rentals: Event Works | Band: Palmetto Strings | Bride’s Gown: “Libertine” by Ian Stuart, purchased at Anjolique Bridal | Paper Products: Pomp Creative | Hair Stylist: Matthew Melino of Six Salon in Raleigh, NC | Makeup Artist: Codylnn Hatcher of Perfect Reflections in Myrtle Beach, SC | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lula Kate | Men’s Attire: Bernard’s Heather Gray Moda Suit