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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Belles, we are so excited to have a special feature on The Everygirl today! Be sure to hop over and check it out right here; I know you’ll love hearing what Lara and Nicole had to say! They’re sharing a little peek inside our office, which reminded us that even though we’ve been in our new space for more than two years, we’ve never done a proper tour. For shame! It’s time to flesh out the behind-the-scenes sneak peeks we love to share on instagram, so step inside and pour yourself a glass of sweet tea. We also sprinkled some info in between the photos, because we realized not all of y’all know exactly what each of us do!

When you enter the SW office, my and Lisa’s desks are against the far wall. Hello!

Above: our custom color chalkboard wall — I generally take it upon myself to add the message of the day :)

Above: the shelves above my desk and my bulletin board. The little monogram canvas was a gift from one of our past interns — you can buy them in her shop here! My bulletin board has a few favorite photos and tears as well as a seed packet from our Family Heirlooms story and a bouquet locket with one of my parents’ wedding photos (if you have sharp eyes, you’ll spot it in V6!).

From Emily:
How long I’ve been at SW: 4.5 years
How I got my job: Lara and I connected over a lovely journal through my personal blog. I then wore her down until she hired me post-graduation :)
What I do: I conceptualize, plan, and execute editorials for our print edition. I also field all submissions and determine the content and schedule for the blog and print editions. I also am lucky enough to work on many of SW’s special projects.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: I love that I love what I do! I feel so much ownership in our company and our mission, and it’s exciting to see the fruits of our work in the hearts of our readers and partners every day.
What I love about our office: I love the color of the walls and the angles in the ceiling — it feels cozy but also airy, kind of like a manicured tree house.
How we work together as a team: Though we all work very independently (setting our own schedules, priorities, etc.) we are in constant communication about projects and decisions. Our responsibilities are also very elastic, and they overlap — on any given week, I am almost surely working on a different project with each of the other ladies.
Something you might not know about how we work: I famously eat lunch around 3pm every day. I tend to eat dinner around 9pm, so it works for me! :)

Fun fact: Lisa had only been in the office a week or two when these photos were taken! She had to get her bulletin board in ship shape right off the bat :)

From Lisa:
How long I’ve been at SW: Four months
How I got my job: I knew I wanted to work at Southern Weddings for most of college, so in 2010, I started my own wedding blog as a portfolio of my wedding knowledge and writing ability. At the beginning of my last semester of college, I reached out to Emily to tell her more about myself and ask her what else I could do that would make me the best possible candidate for SW, should an opportunity arise. Less than a month later, a position opened up that they thought I could be a great fit for. I interviewed for a few months, was offered the job three days after graduation, and moved to Chapel Hill from Texas a month later!
What I do: My time is split between working as an editor and the shop manager. As an editor, I write and edit for both the blog and magazine, help coordinate and execute editorial shoots, and communicate with PR companies. As shop manager, I process orders from the Southern Weddings and Lara Casey shops, communicate with customers, and monitor how the products perform.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: I love the opportunity to serve our sweet readers through sharing meaningful inspiration and encouraging them to focus on what matters in their wedding planning. I also love being part of such an amazing team, helping to make editorial magic happen, and getting to write every day.
What I love about our office: I love our monogrammed office chairs. They’re comfy and cute, of course, but since they roll, they also allow us to rearrange our chairs easily, in order to squeeze in front of the desktop for our weekly Google Hangout meetings or work together on different projects. It’s funny how something as basic as office chairs contributes to the collaborative environment at SW, but it absolutely does!
How we work together as a team: We work together in a very collaborative way — a typical real wedding blog post may consist of Emily placing images, me editing the interview, Marissa writing the introduction and comments, and Nicole putting together the gallery. Because we work together closely on so many aspects of our work, we all really respect one another’s strengths and talents, and look for opportunities to help each other do our best work.
Something you might not know about how we work: We are hardly ever all in the same place–in the four months I’ve been here, I have only seen Marissa in person once! Also, Emily rarely eats lunch before 3 p.m., and when Nicole and I are the only ones in the office, we play the “Country Barbecue” Pandora station all day. :)

On the opposite wall is Lara’s desk and the Big Mac, where Nicole often works!

Why yes, we do have a collection of chickens… and chicken office supplies. In our defense, most of them are gifts.

It’s high time we discussed those monogrammed office chairs, because I know they’re quite popular. In fact, if they appear in an instagrammed photo, that’s ALL y’all want to talk about! :) Here’s the scoop: the chairs are from Flash Furniture on Amazon, and the monograms are vinyl clings from Dixieland Monogram! Now go forth and letter to your heart’s content.

From Lara:
How long I’ve been at SW: Since I first got an itch late one night to make up a magazine cover on my little 13 inch PC :) It was 2007, right before my first wedding anniversary, and the rest, as they say, is history!
How I got my job: It has been a long road to get here, but in short I would say I got my job by asking for it. When I first started, I would email people like Mindy Weiss and Preston Bailey and simply ask them if they would let me interview them. And I kept asking. Here I am many years later, and I am still asking.
What I do: Day-to-day, my activities include being on the phone, doing consulting for small business owners, making editorial decisions with Emily, creating new shop products and doing magazine layout with Nicole, managing challenges that arise, doing all the financial planning and book keeping, speaking at conferences about authentic branding and the core of a solid business, motivating our amazing team, and — among many other things — replying to a whole lot of email.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: I love helping people have stronger marriages and helping them focus on what matters most. There is no greater joy in my work!
What I love about our office: Our office is so calming and inspiring. There are visual reminders everywhere of our mission statement and WHY we do what we do!
How we work together as a team: While I am technically “the boss,” we truly are a team. We each have ownership of a special area of the company, not a list of tasks to do daily from “the boss.” There is a great sense of responsibility and pride that is cultivated in our office through constant focus on our mission. We know WHY we do what we do and that drives us to be our best, working independently and as a team to make our mission happen.
Something you might not know about how we work: Our office motto is, “If you’re not excited about it, no one will be.” We all work hard to use our own unique talents each day to make our mission happen in ways that truly light our hearts on fire. With each person I’ve hired, there has been a constant focus on using each of our gifts to the full.

Nicole’s real desk is off in a corner by itself, and we unanimously agree that it is the happiest part of the office.

From Nicole:
How long I’ve been at SW: Three and a half years-ish.
How I got my job: In college, I went to hear Lara speak at a campus group event and was convinced that I needed to intern with her. I applied and got the position and they stayed with SW for another year as we continued to grow like kudzu. After graduation, I was finally offered the position I’ve always dreamed of!
What I do: I create most of the visuals associated with Southern Weddings, including blog graphics, shop and brand collateral, magazine layout (which Lara and I do together) and marketing materials. I act as the visual brand ambassador, helping boost our value and recognition.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: There’s a little bit of everything involved. One day, you could be doing manual labor, the next day you could be picking which dress you want to wear to the launch party. Though we have many of the same tasks day in and day out, we’re always trying something new and because we’re a small office, every part of the Southern Weddings machine is tended to by us. We package the magazines ourselves, we craft our own props for photo shoots, we call our hosting provider if the site goes down. Some of these things aren’t remotely glamorous or fun, but they give us a pride and ownership in what we do.
What I love about our office: There’s inspiration everywhere! We all have big bulletin boards that we hang our favorite paper pieces and photos on, our favorite images from all volumes of the magazine are on our wall, there’s a whole closet of cute prints from the SW and LC shop and we’re constantly getting mail from amazing and creative vendors. I love that we’ve taken the time to find comfy office chairs, to paint the walls, and to make our individual spaces our own.
How we work together as a team: We are truly a team effort and the best part is that we all like, respect and enjoy working with each other! We all have responsibilities that we’re solely in charge of, but we don’t make big decisions without consulting each other, which gives us all a great well-rounded view of the processes behind SW. While we can have our hands in many different projects, I think we’re all very good at playing up each other’s strengths. I always let Emily and Lisa write the text for graphics or collateral I’m working on, even if I could do it myself, because they’re amazing with words. And Emily and Lara, although they know the Adobe Creative Suite, always leave big graphic tasks to me.
Something you might not know about how we work: It’s quiet! For the most part, we all work very independently and we have what we need to get a task done. Every once and while, we’ll pause to collaborate on something or discuss something together, but for the most part, you’ll hear keys tapping and mice clicking. Of course, when I’m in the office alone, the music comes on!

Now, you may be asking yourself, why don’t I see the lovely faces of Marissa and Kristin? Read on…

We’re proud of the work we create and have no fewer than fifteen framed prints from past editorials gracing our walls! Also, not to confuse anyone: those Gobstoppers most definitely belong to Nicole. Half of her instagram photos are of these little pieces of sugary goodness.

From Marissa:
How long I’ve been at SW: 3 years and 8 months
How I got my job: After reading a very inspiring blog post by Lara, I took a big leap and emailed her a raw and personal email expressing my desire to work for Southern Weddings. After interviewing in the office, I was offered a very part time position working for Lara Casey Reps. Over the years, my position has transitioned and been refined to what I do now.
What I do: I work with local and nationals brands to help grow their businesses by creating custom marketing plans that connect them with their target audience, the darling Southern Weddings readers. I am also delighted to work editorially by writing Real Wedding intros and other fun features on the blog and in print that focus on our core mission.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: Besides the amazing group of women I get to work with everyday, I love working for a company that values what matters most: family, love and marriage.
What it’s like to work remotely with SW: While I’d love to be able to work in our beautiful office with my lovely coworkers, it’s such a blessing for me to be able to work remotely. Even though Kristin and I are not there physically, we Google Hangout during our staff meetings, and many other times throughout the week, creating “face-to-face” time for creative brainstorming. I work regular business hours, just from a different place (and without biscuits breaks!). Most importantly, we make it a priority to keep a strong connection with the team in the office to ensure we all stay focused on the same mission and goals.
Something you might not know about how we work: We LOVE Google Docs! It’s true, as a team we must have over 50 docs! It’s such a great way for us to connect on big projects and keep everything organized and in one place.

From Kristin:
How long I’ve been at SW: 1 year, 3 months, 26 days (or, sixteen sweet months)
How I got my job: It started with a bold proclamation to Lara, upon a happenstance meeting at an SW event in December of 2011, that I thought we should work together some day. I had previously applied for an open SW position in the spring of 2011. Another position opened up in 2012, and after applying, I followed up with a promise to make the office my world-famous chocolate chip cookies or Tar Heel pie. I guess I won everyone over with the promise of sweet treats and my savvy Excel skills.
What I do: I get the joy of overseeing the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory — helping to cultivate and maintain a list of the best and brightest vendors below the the Mason Dixon. This means I get the chance to interact with and fall in love with some of the sweetest people in the South. I also tab a stab at blogging on the occasion along with helping Marissa out with the overall SW advertising goals and objectives.
What I love most about working at Southern Weddings: Is the food an acceptable answer? :) The food is definitely a highlight, but the thing I love most is the fact that I get to work with ladies that share a similar heart for marriage, a passion for what matters most and a drive to help brides cultivate a life (and wedding celebration) of love and joy.
What it’s like to work remotely with SW: I am very grateful for technology and the ability to virtually ‘hangout’ with the SW gals whenever needed. I am also lucky enough to get into the office every couple of months to re-charge my SW batteries. While I can get envious of Friday Tea Service — I have learned that it is best to join in the fun so I pull put my tea (sweet or hot) on Friday afternoons and play along from the comfort of my home office!!
How we work together as a team: Three cheers for DropBox, Google Docs and Google Hangout. We work really hard to use technology to our advantage to keep us connected, to stay on the same page and to produce the highest-quality work. Our mission statement is the foundation of everything that we do, which produces an incredibly cohesive working environment.

You’ve heard of our shipping department? If not, see here, here, and here. Our little golden chicken mascot (Henrietta) and the shipping sign were 2012 Christmas gifts to Lara!

And that’s a wrap, folks! BIG thanks to our friend Faith Teasley, a Blue Ribbon Vendor, for taking these photos! Any questions about the SW office? Leave them in the comments! And be sure to check out Lara’s post on our office today for a different perspective!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love this peak into the office!!! Such a beautiful and inspiring place to work!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    PS Nicole! I’m obsessed with that penguins piece on your board! Where is that from?!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Oh I just love seeing where the magic happens :) Emily, I love that little monogram canvas!! And, I just love how fresh, clean and BRIGHT the entire office is!

  4. avatar Laura reply

    I have so been looking forward to this post! I love getting a behind-the-scenes look at your office, it seems like a wonderful and inspiring place to work.

  5. avatar Sara Velordi reply

    Oh my goodness, how I miss this pretty little office (and all of y’all’s pretty faces!). Love this so much!

  6. avatar Madi Reid Sanders reply

    Love it, ladies! It has been so much fun to watch this office grow over the past few years and read about what each of y’all love about your careers.
    Always cheering you on from afar,

  7. avatar Stacy reply

    What a beautiful office! Seems like a wonderful place to work :)

  8. avatar Shelby reply

    Probably my favorite post yet! I love the behind the scenes. :)

  9. avatar Haley Dotson reply

    I just love this! It is so inspiring to see the behind the scenes of successful businesses! Thank you for sharing:)

  10. avatar Lauren reply

    Love this post! Where did you get those monogrammed chairs!? <3

  11. avatar Melissa reply

    Thank you for sharing the inside of your office. Love seeing your individual personalities shine and your passion for bringing Southern Weddings goodness to your readers!!

  12. avatar this week | SOMETHING SOUTHERN reply

    […] I loved seeing the behind the scenes of the SW gal’s offices […]

  13. avatar Southern Weddings V6: Deep in the Heart of Texas | Southern Weddings reply

    […] this dress! I can hardly wait to print the picture below for my bulletin board. There were audible cheers from the office when Marissa told us we had secured this sparkly Monique […]

  14. avatar Launch Party Surprise: I'm Engaged!! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] sweats every time an email from him would pop into my inbox. As many of y’all know from our office tour, Lisa and I sit next to each other, and I was so worried she’d see the email subject on my […]

  15. avatar An Exciting Announcement from Southern Weddings! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] what we already do with more people! We are still just six ladies (see our recent office tour here!) making a magazine and running a small shop and shipping orders from Lara’s garage. For […]

  16. avatar Michelle reply

    Where are your double desks from? Those would be so perfect for our new office space!

  17. avatar Laura Fry reply

    Great article . Can you please share with us the Great Wall color please ?

    Thank you
    Alacartcreatons / Etsy

  18. avatar Beth reply

    Just found this blog today, and can’t believe it took me so long! This sounds like the most amazing place to work :)

  19. avatar Kate reply

    Loved loved loved this feature! Y’all are all so sweet and talented, and your office space is gorgeous!

  20. avatar kathy reply

    Love all of it, so cheery and fun! Where did you find the ‘in celebration of the mason’ sign?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Kathy! That sign was custom made for one of our shoots with calligraphy by Little Miss Press!

  21. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I agree with Laura–would love to know the paint color of those serene blue walls!

  22. avatar Jennifer reply

    I ADORE the monogrammed chairs – where are they from? I need one for my home office please and thank you!

  23. avatar January Goals reply

    […] on to something I think will work well! I’m thinking about purchasing this one. The girls at Southern Weddings seem to love it, and I will most definitely be monogramming mine […]

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!

Reply to:

I have butterflies of excitement in my stomach typing these words: V6 is only one week away!! Are y’all as excited as we are?

One of the most fun and rewarding parts of working at Southern Weddings is following along with our sweet brides as they plan their big days. That’s how most of our readers find us, after all, and from their proposal stories to their etiquette questions to their wedding pictures, we love it all! That’s why I was so excited about the fact that Justin proposed to Melissa aided by a video he made, which they graciously shared with us. I watched it before I even finished reading their interview, so by the time I got around to looking at the pictures from their rustic navy and pink wedding, they felt like old friends! P.S. You can also check out their wedding video here.

Thank you kindly to Crystal Stokes for sharing Melissa and Justin’s special day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had an idea of what I liked, down to every detail. My mother, bridesmaids, Rachel and Jillian, and I decided to go look at dresses at J Major’s in Charlotte, NC. I tried on SO many dresses. Rachel threw one into the mix that was completely unlike what I thought I liked. She told my mom, “I just really want to see what she looks like in this. What if she likes it?!” When I put it on, I KNEW it was the one. Funny how things work out sometimes!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Of course! My veil was my something borrowed. My garter was my something blue–it was made of ivory lace with a navy blue flower and pearls. My something old was my sapphire ring, which is very special to me. My dress, bracelet, and earrings were my something new. We also followed the rest of the rhyme, “and a sixpence in her shoe.” One of my bridesmaids, Lindsay, taped a coin to the bottom of my shoe!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. With the location of the wedding, the walk down to the ceremony was a very long walk and I would not have been able to see Justin’s initial reaction. I also knew I would be very emotional, and I wanted that to be a special, intimate moment for just us. It is now one of the sweetest and most memorable moments from our wedding.

Our wedding colors were navy blue and hot pink, so the flowers were all different shades of pink. We didn’t know much about flowers, other than that I love lilies, so we gave our florist creative liberty to do what she thought looked great. She went above and beyond our expectations!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We wood burned the words of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 onto slices of wood and hung them off of shepherd hooks to line the aisle of our wedding. The words are so special to us, and perfectly describe what we want to build our marriage on.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. Our ceremony was conducted by my grandfather, who is a Presbyterian minister, so it was very traditional.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 John 4:8-10, 16-19. These were read by two of my cousins that are very close to me, and I will always remember them reading about how “God is love.” It was very sweet.

We exchanged rings and said “I do” RIGHT before the bottom fell out of the sky and it rained. It was one of the craziest and most exciting moments of our lives. The timing was truly incredible.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. This was one of our favorite things about our wedding! We had a two-tiered vanilla cake on a cake stand that was placed on an overturned tin wash tub. We also had cupcakes in a variety of flavors for our guests that were placed on the wash tub. They were so delicious, and our guests loved them!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Justin had just moved to Charlotte, North Carolina and didn’t know anyone. He became friends with his coworker, Tyler, who was dating one of my childhood friends, Lindsay. Justin and I met thanks to Tyler and Lindsay, while hanging out at Lindsay’s house in January 2010. I later learned that Justin was instantly interested in me, but was too shy to tell me. We became really good friends and talked all the time. On New Year’s Eve 2011, when we were hanging out with friends and celebrating the coming of the New Year, something changed. We just knew we should make the move from friends to dating. It was a whirlwind romance, and he stole my heart. A little over a year later, we were engaged.
Tell us all about the proposal! On February 2, 2013, it was just a normal Saturday night to me. We had decided to go out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants. While dining, being as impatient as always, I decided I was too excited to wait to give Justin his Valentine’s Day present. I asked, “Can we PLEASE exchange gifts tonight?!? As laid back as he is, he said yes. When we arrived back at his house, I ran to get my gift, and then waited on his couch while he told me awkwardly that he would be right back. It seemed like an eternity, but it was probably only a few minutes. When he came back, he had a shoebox of old stuff of his, and turned on his TV. He opened YouTube and played a video titled, “Awesome Video For Melissa.” It was a video he had made of pictures of us with words at the bottom of each picture, making up a letter to me describing all the reasons why he loved me. The song playing was “You Are The Best Thing,” by Ray LaMontagne. At the end of the song, he pulled a small box out of the shoebox of old stuff, got down on one knee and said, “Melissa, I love you more than anything in the world, and I would love to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?” Crying as I responded, I jumped and said “Yes!”
When did y’all get married? August 9, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Walking down the aisle, we used “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” by Ingrid Michaelson. The first time we heard the song, we knew it was the one for this moment. The words described how we felt so perfectly. Our walk back down the aisle was to “You Are The Best Thing,” by Ray LaMontagne. Justin always said this song reminded him of us, and he actually incorporated it into his proposal. We decided it was the perfect song for the recessional. Our first dance was to “The More I See You,” by Nat King Cole. I’ve always loved it, and since it is such a beautiful and classic song, we knew that it would be meaningful for us throughout our lives. We were supposed to have two of my cousins sing “The Prayer” during the ceremony, but since the rain was closing in, we decided to skip the song for that time and have it at the reception instead. They sang right before we ate, and it was the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? In true Southern fashion, we had an outdoor wedding on a farm, which also had a rock quarry. The vegetables served at our dinner were grown on the farm. The food was AMAZING! We incorporated mason jars throughout our whole wedding, from the save the dates to the drinking glasses and centerpieces. We had so much fun deciding how to do that! For our centerpieces, our florist found all different types of flowers and greenery to create a wildflower look. We also displayed my bridal portrait at the reception, which is a must in our family!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was getting things done in a reasonable amount of time while working with everyone’s schedule.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our favorite vendor was definitely our photographer, Crystal Stokes. She was such a joy to work with. She helped us with so many different things that we weren’t sure about, and she was always very quick to respond to my questions (something any bride can appreciate). My favorite details were all the mason jars that we incorporated throughout the wedding. They were all different sizes and colors, and really made it feel more Southern!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Work to get things done at the beginning so you don’t stress about the details at the end.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are mostly looking forward to being married and spending time with our best friend, and soon, we will begin building a family together!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I love how they used 1 Corinthians in their ceremony decor!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    That rock quarry is STUNNING!!!!!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    this location is stunning! what an awesome place to have a wedding!

  4. avatar Deedie reply

    Thank you for featuring this wedding!!! It was truly beautiful!! and celebrated the union of a beautiful couple!! Thank you so much, Southern Weddings/Lisa, for taking the time to feature it!! I love your blog as well as the magazine!!!! Definitely one of my favorites!!!

  5. avatar Southern Weddings feature | Erin Ashley reply

    […] Hi y’all!!  It has been forever since I have blogged…simply because there hasn’t been time!  But there are so many things I need to share from the past few months so I will be doing so in future posts!!  Now on to this exciting news…My lovely bride Melissa’s wedding (captured by Crystal Stokes Photography ) was blogged by Southern Weddings!!! We are so excited!–We got to work with some amazing vendors on this wedding and it is so fabulous to see it published!  Check it out here: /2013/11/05/carrigan-farms-wedding-by-crystal-stokes/ […]

  6. avatar Engagement Photos – What you need to know | Sunny Slide Up reply

    […] Ok – 3 months is a minimum when choosing your photographer.  The fabulous lady I decided to go with, Crystal Stokes, is booked out a year from now.  A year… that is crazy, so find who you like and get on their schedule.  I looked at styles of photography, price points and the personality of the photographer and made a quick decision!  I believe that this is one of those “you will just know” situations.  I saw one of her photos and booked her – I mean look at that photo!  Here is that photo and the rest of the photos from that night can be seen here […]

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!

Reply to:

Ah, can y’all believe it?! Just eight more days until V6 hits newsstands! While I know this just-over-a-week wait can be a challenge, it will be worth it!

Y’all know college football is big business in the Kloess family, so I can’t help but adore this love story; not only does it start on game day, but the couple also had a game day first date! That’s true Southern love, y’all! And it didn’t stop there–Mycah + Todd carefully infused their alma mater into their big day with just the right amount of garnet and gold. You know what else they perfectly infused? Good ol’ Southern cuisine! Mycah’s passion for cooking and baking played a big role in their food selection of yummy Southern delights like pimento cheese biscuits and little bitty shrimp and grits. But, as all good Southern girls know, sometimes you need a Chick-Fil-A chicken mini, so Mycah + Todd served them on platters as a late night snack! Yum!

Thanks to Red Fly Studio for sharing this sweet day with us!

I found my dress at Love, A Bridal Boutique in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. At my very first bridal appointment, it was the first dress I tried on. I instantly fell in love and felt so “me” in the dress. Being the indecisive girl that I am, I wasn’t convinced that it could be that easy, so I continued to try on dress after dress. I went to three different stores and tried on close to 50 dresses. Finally, I started to realize that none of the dresses compared to that first one I tried on. I decided to go back to the store where I first found “my dress” and brought along a few more family members for added support. With their reassurance and encouraging words, I was finally able to say yes to the dress.

My something borrowed was the beautiful belt I wore with my wedding dress. It belonged to a dear friend who wore it down the aisle just a year before me. For something blue, my Mom and Dad presented me with a ballerina cut sapphire ring at one of our engagement parties. This ring holds exceptionally meaningful significance in my family and was one of the most special details of my wedding. My something old was a handkerchief that belonged to my great grandmother. My wedding dress happened to have pockets, so I kept it tucked in my pocket throughout the entire day and used it to dry my tears during our first look and as we recited our vows. My something new was my dress, as well as my veil that my new sister-in-law surprised me with. She had been there when I said yes to the dress and knew how much I wanted the veil. Unbeknownst to me, she purchased the veil and surprised me with it at my bridal shower.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! After surveying quite a few of my married friends, we decided that doing a first look was definitely for us. Not only did we want to save time in between the ceremony and reception by taking pictures beforehand, but we wanted the photographers to capture the expressions on our faces (up close and personal) when we first saw one another. I know some people are hesitant to do a first look, but it did not, in any way, take away from the emotion that we both experienced when I walked down the aisle towards Todd. If anything, it allowed us to enjoy that moment even more.

Describe your wedding flowers. Our wedding flowers took my breath away. They were absolutely stunning. The overall color palette was neutral, creating an elegant, yet organic, look and feel. My bouquet included lush white peonies, ivory ranunculus and wax flower, blush pink spray roses, seeded eucalyptus and rustic scabiosa pods. The bridesmaids carried classic white hydrangeas with giant white peonies, blush pink spray roses and vibrant greenery. Displayed in a mixture of mercury glass and clear vases, the centerpieces at the reception were a mixture of white peonies and hydrangeas, ivory ranunculus and wax flower, soft pink spray roses, seeded eucalyptus, scabiosa pods and succulents.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in October 2007 at Todd’s fraternity house after the Florida State vs. Miami football game. Though we had a lot of mutual friends, we had never officially met. As I was about to head home for the night, Todd approached me and began to tell me about how he thought I was the most gorgeous girl he had ever seen. He said he had been thinking this for a while and he had to come and tell me (Todd may or may have not had a little bit of liquid courage beforehand–it had been a long game day). I was flattered and wanted to know more about this cute boy who had all of these sweet things to say. Later the next week, a mutual friend “refreshed” Todd’s memory of what he had said to me. Embarrassed, he came to apologize to me, and smoothly, also asked me to be his date to the next football game. From then on, we were inseparable. It wasn’t long at all before we both knew we had found the one.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many design details that I absolutely loved about our wedding. The stunning glass mirrored dining tables, the grand chandeliers that twinkled throughout the room, and rustic wooden food signs suspended from the ceiling are a few that really stand out in my mind. Another favorite detail would have to be the dueling pianos we chose for our entertainment. We wanted to do something different that our guests would not only enjoy, but really remember. With custom song requests cards on every table, guests were given the opportunity to write down a song of their choice and then toss the card up onto the pianos. This allowed the guests to interact with the entertainment in a way they wouldn’t normally at other weddings. The dueling pianos were exciting and entertaining, yet still provided a relaxed atmosphere for the reception.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Heavenly. That’s the word I’d like to use to sum up our wedding cake. As an avid baker, the cake was particularly imporant to me. It not only had to look pretty, but it had to taste good. The Cake Shop in Tallahassee created our deliciously sweet and decadent four-tiered yellow wedding cake with buttercream frosting. Displayed on a tree trunk wooden stand, the cake had elegant ridged detailing along the sides, pillowy dots surrounding the bottom of each layer, and fresh white peonies that adorned the top and middle of the cake. It was unlike any other cake I have ever had. My husband and I are constantly craving it and have been tempted so many times to pull our anniversary layer out of the freezer and dive in early. We have restrained ourselves thus far and I pray we can until next May!

Tell us all about the proposal! We were both in school for the majority of our relationship, and we agreed that we wanted to wait until we both were finished before embarking on that next chapter. After we had both been working in the real world for about a year, and after four and a half years of dating, Todd decided it was finally time to pop the question. In August 2012, we traveled to one of our favorite places together, Seaside, Florida, to spend one of the last weekends of summer at the beach. After dinner at Bud and Alley’s (a cozy restaurant on the water), Todd suggested that we go for a walk on the beach. As the sun had already gone down and it was pitch dark outside, I was extremely hesitant and was not feeling the walk at that time. Todd persisted and I finally agreed. After a few moments walking along the beach, Todd began to say lots of sweet and wonderful things. The next thing I knew, Todd was on one knee asking me to marry him. After saying, “Wait, what?” and “Are you being serious?” about ten times, I finally said YES! My best friend had finally asked me to marry him and it was the best night of my life. The amazing surprise didn’t stop there. As we returned home to Tallahassee on Sunday, Todd said that he’d like for us to stop by his parents’ house before going home, because they really wanted to see us. Unsuspecting, I agreed. As we pulled up to the house, all of my family, as well as Todd’s, were there to surprise us and help us celebrate that special time! It was truly one of the most amazing experiences of my life and a memory that I’ll cherish forever.
When did y’all get married? May 4, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. Though we recited the traditional vows that are used in most Episcopalian ceremonies, it did not make the ceremony any less emotional. When Todd began to recite his vows to me, I lost it!
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My godparents read the two scripture readings that Todd and I chose for the ceremony. The first was Song of Solomon 2:10-13, 8:6-7 and the second reading was I John 4:7-16.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The bridal processional entered to “Air from Water Music” by G.F. Handel. I chose this song for its light and cheery temperament. I walked down the aisle to “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer.” This has always been a favorite hymn of mine, and it also happens to be the same hymn that Duchess Kate Middleton walked down the aisle to (I just love her!). During the ceremony, the entire congregation sang together, “Praise to the Lord, The Almighty,” another hymn that Todd and I both love. My dad and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, and Todd and his mom danced to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Isreal Iz Kamakawiwo’Ole. Our first dance song was a little interesting. Though Todd and I had been together for nearly five years, we had never had “a song” together. From the time we got engaged, we both spent a lot of time thinking about what our first dance song would be. Of course, the day of the wedding finally arrived and we STILL had not decided on a first dance song. As I was getting ready with all my girls, my wedding planner informed me that we had to pick something or he was going to pick for us. One of my bridesmaids pulled out her iPod and we started listening to all different kinds of classic love songs. When “At Last” by Etta James came on, I decided that that was it! No more indecisiveness. It was a song that I had always loved and I decided it would just be a surprise to Todd. It ended up being the perfect spur of the moment decision and it sounded great on the dueling pianos!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food we served on our big day was Southern to the core. The food was especially important to me because of my passion for cooking and baking. Being from the South, we wanted staples that every good Southerner would enjoy. For appetizers, we served mini shrimp and grit cups and pimento cheese-stuffed biscuits. Our main items included pulled pork and pulled chicken sliders with cole slaw, a macaroni and cheese station complete with toppings like bacon and black eyed pea salsa, and fried green tomatoes with spicy remoulade sauce. For drinks, we served beer, wine and champagne, along with Arnold Palmers in mason jars. Sticking with our Southern food theme, we had Chick-Fil-A chicken minis brought out on platters for a late night snack. Needless to say, the food was a HUGE hit. People want to feel comfortable and I think that classic Southern cuisine always makes people feel at home, whether they are from the South or not. :)
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My biggest challenge was learning to let go of the little things that really weren’t important. There were so many minor details that I managed to worry about, even though no one but me would ever notice them. I had to remind myself that our marriage is a blessing from God and that all the other stuff really doesn’t matter.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Honestly, all of our vendors were absolutely incredible. Our photographers, Red Fly Studio, did an unbelievable job of perfectly capturing the emotion of our special day. Darin Jones, our florist, went above and beyond to give us the most beautiful flowers for our wedding day. Our wedding planner, John Gandy Events, was also one of the best decisions I made during the wedding planning process. Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful, but John and his team made it an absolute joy. He created the most breathtaking wedding reception I could have ever dreamed of. His attention to detail is remarkable and his work is unlike any other.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? This is a tough one! Getting ready with all of my best friends, my first look with Todd, walking down the aisle with my dad, the toasts and sweet words that were said at the reception. So many amazing memories jump out of my mind about that day. However, reciting our vows to each other really stands out in particular. So many emotions came over me at that time. I was thankful that we had chosen each other, joyful for our love for one another and excited for this next chapter of our lives together. I will cherish those words and that moment forever.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner! Planning a wedding can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, and if you’re like me, you’ll worry about anything and everything there is to possibly worry about. I like to think of myself as a pretty organized person, but when you’ve never planned a wedding before, it’s hard to know where to begin. Your wedding planner will not only keep things organized and on the right track, they will also know how to handle anything and everything that could possibly happen during your wedding planning process. They will not only save you the amount of money you spend on them, but they will save you tons of time, energy and stress. Our wedding planner was one of the best decisions we made while planning our wedding, and if we had to do it all over again, we would hire him in an instant, no matter the cost. They will be worth the money you invest in them, I promise!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are most looking forward to making new memories and family traditions together, and to love each other more deeply every single day. We are also excited to start looking for a home to call our own, to do a bit of traveling in the near future, and to welcome a puppy into our family. We are just soaking up this time as newlyweds and enjoying this new chapter of our life together!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love their custom koozies and Mycah’s beautiful lace veil!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    What a beautiful couple! I love their cute meeting story and the subtle FSU details they used at their wedding!

  3. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    Gorgeous and love the FSU details!

  4. avatar Carolyn reply

    What a lovely wedding!! Hosted by an even more lovely couple <3

  5. avatar Michaela reply

    Beautiful! Where is this barn located at?

    • avatar Mycah reply

      Hi Michaela,

      The barn is in Tallahassee, Florida! The name of the venue is Goodwood Museum & Gardens.

  6. avatar Katie reply

    So beautiful! I would love to know where this barn is as well!

    • avatar Mycah reply

      Thanks, Katie! The barn is Goodwood Museum & Gardens and it is located in Tallahassee, Florida.

  7. avatar morgan garvin reply

    My fiancé found your site when googling “FSU wedding koozies” He is in love with the Koozies. I’ve searched everywhere for them….can you please tell me where you ordered them?

    thanks! :-)


    • avatar Mycah reply

      Hi Morgan,

      My friend and I actually came up with the initial design and slogan for the koozie and a local printing company in Tallahassee designed them for us. You can contact Amanda at Karmanos Printing and mention Mycah’s koozie’s and she’ll know which ones you want. :) Hope this helps!

  8. avatar Paige reply

    Beautiful wedding! I have a question: where are the bridesmaid’s dresses from? I am having an incredibly difficult time finding long, petal-colored dresses for my girlfriends and sisters! Thank you so much :)

    • avatar Mycah reply

      Hi Paige,

      Thank you so much! The designer of the bridesmaid dresses is Love Lane and we purchased them through Bella Bridesmaid in Jacksonville, FL. They are the perfect shade of blush and even more beautiful in person. Best wishes to you as you wedding plan!

  9. avatar Laura reply

    I love the tables and chandeliers. Did the venue provide them?

    • avatar Mycah reply

      Hi Laura,

      The tables and chandeliers belong to our wedding planner, John Gandy Events!

  10. avatar Rachel reply

    I need some one to make Koozies

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