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Monthly Archives: January 2014

As you may have read a few weeks ago, I’m newly engaged! Despite what my job description might lead you to believe, I have definitely not been planning my wedding for years, and I’m still overjoyed at the fact that I get to do so now. Emily’s wedding planning series has already been invaluable to me, so I sincerely hope that having another SW gal’s wedding planning journey at your fingertips will be helpful…or, at least, fun!

Y’all already know a little bit about me, but I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce you to my handsome fiancé, Dave, and tell you our love story, which spans three countries, five states, and four years. It’s a long one, so y’all get comfortable! Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

I graduated from the University of Texas, but before I went there, I spent my first two years of college at Franciscan University. Their study abroad program is unique in that everyone studying abroad goes together to their “satellite” campus in the Sound of Music-esque little town of Gaming, Austria. Here’s where we lived—stunning, isn’t it?

In spring 2010, I headed to Austria myself, where Dave had already spent the fall, and was spending the spring as well. He was an RA, so my very first memory of Dave was when I was randomly put into his group for an orientation meeting. We officially met about a month or so later, in the cafeteria. He sat down next to me at dinner with some mutual friends, and after asking me where I was from, we found out that one of my high school friends was one of his best friends. Side note: I went to high school in Qatar, so this was a pretty unlikely thing! A few weeks later, we hung out for the first time while on a 10-day school trip to Italy, and clicked immediately. Here’s the first picture ever of just the two of us, taken in Assisi.

As friends, we made some amazing memories in Europe, and left that semester knowing that what we had was incredibly special. But, we didn’t know what to do about it–I was all set to transfer schools right after Austria, and once we got back to the States, we didn’t keep in touch. We didn’t talk for about three years.

In that time, we both grew immensely. I realized my dream job of working for a wedding magazine and dove headfirst into pursuing that, which included starting a blog and transferring colleges again—this time to UT. He graduated, moved back to his hometown (Syracuse, NY) for his first job in finance, and started graduate school in New York City. We also both ended the relationships we had been in. I remember thinking that in my next relationship, I wanted someone who made me feel the way Dave had in Austria, but I didn’t even dare to imagine that I could end up with Dave himself.

Finally, just a little over a year ago in January 2013, I had brunch with one of my best friends from high school (who happens to be the sister of mine and Dave’s mutual friend), and mentioned to her that I’d be open to reconnecting with Dave. Little did I know, Dave had never stopped talking about me to her brother, so after our brunch, she went to tell him, and he immediately called Dave. Dave started planning what to say to me after all these years, while I, at the same time, started planning my own “casual” hello. A few days later, I drove back to Austin for my last semester of school, planning a Facebook message in my head the whole way. By the time I arrived, I was surprised to have a message from Dave already in my inbox. I sent him my number, and he called me during the Golden Globes. We talked for three hours that night, and three more the next night, and so on and so forth. He says he knew within a week of talking again that he was going to marry me.

After about a month and a half of talking constantly, we decided it was time for us to see each other and find out exactly what this was, so I flew to Syracuse. I remember standing outside the airport in the cold (it was March 1) waiting for him to pick me up, and thinking, “These are the last few moments of my life before everything changes.” And I was right! That feeling of waiting for him is what I imagine it’ll be like waiting for our first look on our wedding day, and I will never, as long as I live, forget what it was like to finally see him in person after all those years. That day, we officially started dating. Here’s one of the few pictures we took on my trip. Jumping pictures are an Austria tradition of ours. :)

Since that first visit, Dave and I have been dating long-distance—him in Syracuse and me in Austin, then Houston, and now Chapel Hill. We have gotten to know each others’ families (I even went camping with the Kirks, which is SO far out of my comfort zone!), taken some amazing adventures (spontaneously meeting up in New York City for a weekend), and even though he isn’t here yet, we’ve started to make North Carolina feel like our home. It was only fitting that he proposed in North Carolina—at the V6 launch party, no less!

Dave is my best friend in the world—he brings out the best in me and has taught me more every day what “love never fails” means. I still can’t believe that I get to marry him!!

I am so excited and honored to share our wedding planning journey with y’all, and would love to know what you’d like to hear about! We’re saying “I do” on May 2, 2015, so we have lots of time to chat about all things wedding! :)

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar MacKenzie reply

    Well, I loved that! After getting the “short” version via email, it was awesome to sit with my coffee and read about your romance (with photos too!). So happy you two reconnected at the perfect time in your lives. And SO happy we’ll be part of your next adventure! xo

  2. avatar Aelish reply

    LOVE IT. so excited for this wedding! xo

  3. avatar Dana reply

    you left out the best part of the story! while in austria my beautiful family came to visit and Dave followed us on all of our travels pretending to be surprised that he crashed into us wherever we went.

  4. avatar Sarah Becker Lillard reply

    Lisa, this is the sweetest start to this blog series! Wedding planning, for me, is quite a blur (and it was less than 2 years ago!) and I know these posts will be invaluable to you as you wish to recall all the good and bad that can be planning such a huge event! So excited for you + Dave! Can’t wait for the next post. ;) xoxo

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Thank you so much, Sarah! I’m so excited to have a record of this sweet time–Dave’s grandma encouraged us to keep journals of our engagement, so we’re doing that as well! :)

  5. avatar Sara reply

    I LOVE this!!! Yay Lisa!!

  6. avatar jacin reply

    what a sweet story!!!! so happy for you!

  7. avatar Emily reply

    Love this and love y’all! It’s a beautiful story with impeccable timing. I can’t wait to read (and see!) the next chapters!

  8. avatar lena reply

    I’m so thrilled you’re going to be blogging about the planning process–and delighted to get to know more about your wonderful relationship!

  9. avatar Aimee reply

    I remember you getting up for that call during the Golden Globes and showing us all his picture once you got that Facebook message! So perfect how it all worked out. Remember, I also told you at the time, “If you guys get married, you’ll have the perfect story…”

  10. avatar Christina L. Frederick reply

    I love this! I love your story and am so happy to read a long as you share your wedding planning adventure! Sending hugs from Houston as you write this wonderful chapter! xo

  11. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    SO excited about this series, Lisa! Your wedding is going to be so lovely in every way, because you are. And Dave is quite the Southern gentleman – I can’t wait to read about how everything unfolds!

  12. avatar Sarah reply

    Congratulations! I lived reading your story and am so excited you’re going to be blogging your entire planing experience :)

    Also, I love the dress you wore when you were proposed to!!! Where is it from?

    Wishing you all the best from Atlanta!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Thank you so much, Sarah! The dress is from LulaKate–they made all of our dresses for the V6 launch party. Mine had the “Paige” bodice and “Sassy Stripes” skirt, and I absolutely loved it!

  13. avatar sarah tucker reply

    This made me tear up! So incredibly sweet. I am SO happy for you!! God writes the best love stories (:

  14. avatar Anastasia Kristina reply

    Lisa this is such a beautiful story! So happy for you two :)

  15. avatar Samantha reply

    So beyond happy for you, Lisa! You’re going to make such a beautiful bride and I’m excited to follow along on this sweet journey you’re stepping into! (:

  16. avatar Hannah reply

    So exciting! I love y’alls sweet story!!

  17. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply


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There is nothing quite like the sight of rolling Virginia hills. I imagine that anyone who lives in Virginia at some point, myself included, has a soft spot for these sweeping views, and it is easy to see why Lindsay and Bryan cite their venue as their favorite wedding detail! Once they selected the gorgeous location, they worked with vendors they love (including many family and friends) to fill their wedding with sentimental details that nodded to their relationship and the place they call home. And of course, since Lindsay works for the incredible Southern Blooms team in Charlottesville, it’s no surprise that her fall-inspired florals were breathtaking!

Thank you so much to Jen Fariello for capturing Lindsay and Bryan’s day so beautifully, and then sharing it with us!

Bryan proposed during a baseball game six months after our first date, on July 15, 2012–he played for a local league. He asked a friend who pilots antique airplanes to fly over the field with a banner: “Lindsay, will you marry me?” Turns out, everyone at the game knew about it (but me!) and both of our parents were there to celebrate. It was such a special day!

Describe your wedding flowers. They were incredible! For the palette, we were inspired by the rich and vibrant colors of fall in Virginia, and loved the idea of using local foliage and flowers in the bouquets and decor. Southern Blooms nailed it and truly outdid themselves–it was everything we could have hoped for and beyond anything we could have imagined. They are an amazing team of designers!!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The venue. Bryan and I knew we wanted to be married outside with a backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains, so my dad suggested visiting his friend’s farm. We knew right away that it was the perfect spot! We were drawn to the wide open space and the panoramic view of the mountains.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided against doing a first look. I guess we’re a bit traditional that way, but also, I couldn’t wait to see his expression as I walked down the aisle! There’s something so special about that moment: being dressed in a gown you’ve been hiding for months, wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue. Even though you are standing in front of everyone you love most in the world, it’s as if they all melt away and the universe only consists of two.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? E.E. Cumming’s “I Carry Your Heart.” This poem spoke to us in such a way that there was no question of whether or not to include it in the ceremony. To carry the heart of another, to carry it in our hearts, is to carry the whole of our emotional lives–the good and the bad. This type of love creates a new identity through the unity of two hearts living for each other. On our wedding, day we promised to carry each others’ heart within our own.

The biggest challenge of planning an outdoor wedding was coming to terms with the possibility of bad weather and convincing myself to not be afraid of the rain. Whenever I found myself stressing about an inclement weather plan or what to do in case of a late season hurricane, I would look up beautiful weddings of couples who got caught in the rain: romantic photos of drizzly ceremonies, colorful rain boots and flower girls splashing in puddles, dreamy shots of the bride and groom beneath an umbrella. I even found myself secretly hoping for a little precipitation!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? So many Southerns details were a part of our wedding, from the farm venue to the locally-grown flowers and foliage in the bouquets, to the sweet potato pie and corn pudding on the buffet table. We loved the idea of incorporating family heirlooms and little personal touches, like an old mantle displaying family wedding photos. Bryan’s bout included a fishing fly, and his old baseball glove was used as the ring bearer’s pillow. The bridesmaids were transported to the ceremony site via hay wagon and an antique tractor, a nod to my family’s farming roots. We used my great grandparents’ china on the head table, my dad’s homegrown sorghum syrup as favors, and Bryan’s mother’s cranberry glassware for the bride and groom.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We are blessed to call all of our vendors, who worked so hard making our day seamless and perfect, our friends. My father works for Mill Valley BBQ, who provided the delicious Southern-infused meal. Shindig’s seriously talented and organized Meghan Streit was my Young Life leader in high school, our dear friend Tod baked the wedding cake, and Bryan’s childhood minister presided over the ceremony. We were honored to have the stunning flowers provided by Southern Blooms’ skillful crew. I am so lucky to work for this amazing design company, whose owners have a great eye for detail and an unbelievable collection of everything from lanterns to the spectacular arbor they constructed of old windows salvaged from a barn in Pennsylvania. And we knew, without a doubt, that our photos taken by Jen Fariello would be gorgeous reminders of the most important day of our lives.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When others offer a helping hand, take them up on it! We absolutely could not have planned our wedding without the support and help from our wonderful parents, family, and friends. Trust your vendors and designers: they’ve been there, done that, and know what is best.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our mothers have known one another for years and worked together at a private school in Culpeper, VA–they even hatched a plan to set us up when we were in college. Despite this, we didn’t meet until a blind date years later in January 2012, when our good friend decided to play matchmaker.
When did y’all get married? September 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I went dress shopping on a whim–we were in Richmond running errands and dropped by a bridal shop. I tried on several styles, including one I had fallen in love while looking online. That dress was the first that I tried on and I knew that it was the one!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Walking down the aisle, “Arioso in A” was performed by violin and cello. “Ave Maria” was sung by Sherry Spencer, who wears many hats and is also lead designer/co-owner of Southern Blooms. Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love” performed by Garth Brooks was our first dance. “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole was the father/daughter and mother/son dance. The last dance was to “Ain’t That Love?” by Ray Charles.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our friend who introduced us is also an accomplished chef and baked our wedding cake. Each layer had different flavors and fillings, and it was as beautiful as it was delicious!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! My borrowed was my friend’s sixpence, the old was a pair of pearl earrings that Bryan gave me, blue was my grandmother’s blue handkerchief, and my dress was new.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were so many special moments! Riding in the 1949 Ford truck to the ceremony. Seeing Bryan for the first time while walking down the aisle and not realizing how fast I was moving until my dad whispered “slow down!” The surprise petal toss as we exited the ceremony. Our first dance and looking out at all of the people that we love in one space–that was an incredible feeling. Seeing our parents’ smiling faces, because none of this would have been possible without their love and support. The moment the sun broke through the clouds after the ceremony. Looking across the field after dark and seeing the illuminated cross on the ceremony altar. The sparkler exit and leaving on the old hay wagon, only to find our Jeep completely and thoroughly decorated.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Married life is great! Bryan and I are very excited to build our new home and to start a family.

Photographer: Jen Fariello / Planner: Meghan Streit / Venue: Buckner Farm / Florals, Farm Tables, Lounge Furniture, Altar: Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs / Cake Baker: Tod Dodson / Catering and Pies: Mill Valley BBQ / Linens, Glassware, Flatware, Chairs, Round Tables: Festive Fare / Sperry Tent and Lighting: Skyline Tent Co. / DJ: Adam Smith / Bride’s Gown and Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Necklace: Ananda Fashions / Hair Stylist: Gena Mills of At Last Salon / Makeup Artist: Kara Spangler of Studio 500 / Bride’s Shoes: J. Renee / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse / Antique 1949 Ford Truck: Tony Morris

lisa Written with love by Lisa

    Absolutely stunning!! I adore the all the gorgeous blooms and details!

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Love these rich fall colors! This looks like it would have been a magical wedding to attend :)

  3. avatar Dana reply

    the most perfect VA venue!

  4. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    I was completely drawn to this gorgeous Bride’s statement necklace. I love a statement necklace on a bride!

  5. avatar Southern Blooms by Pat’s Floral Designs reply

    Thank you so much for featuring Lindsay and Bryan’s wedding. We are so honored to see our work on the Southern Weddings blog!

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

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It is sweet enough to know that Erin and Stephen are high school sweethearts, married in a small Georgia town just as spring began to turn into summer, but knowing how much love and thought they put into their wedding makes it all the better. As Erin said, “My number one goal of the wedding was to get married–-anything else would be a bonus! My second goal, however, was to make sure that each and every one of our guests felt appreciated and important.” From the personal, handwritten notes Erin and Stephen wrote to each of their guests, to the family-style meal that was served, we can only imagine how honored each guest felt to be a part of this special day. We were certainly honored to share it in V6!

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Jeremy Harwell, of Harwell Photography, for sharing Erin and Stephen’s beautiful wedding with us!

We both enrolled in a program that allowed us to take college classes full-time while still in high school, and we met during the college orientation events leading up to the first week of classes. The first event was a meteor shower viewing, where we gazed at the stars until 2 a.m. and hit it off talking about everything from our favorite music and books to our life ambitions. After six years, we still haven’t run out of things to talk about.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? I have always loved Grace Kelly’s wedding gown, so when I saw a similar-looking dress in the window, I had to try it on. It was perfect–it didn’t even need any alterations! I guess it was meant to be.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? We were so grateful that a longtime friend and minister was able to officiate our wedding. It made the ceremony that much more personalized and heartfelt. The most special part of our ceremony was taking communion together; it was the perfect way to begin our life as a married couple.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? My parents had displayed a hand-blown glass dove at their wedding in remembrance my dad’s deceased father. We displayed the same dove during our ceremony to remember him and other family members who have passed away.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? Yes! We had a wonderful cocktail hour. Immediately after we exited the church, a bluegrass band that was waiting outside began to play. As the guests exited the church, the band strolled down the street playing music and leading our guests to the party! Once at the venue, our guests enjoyed pimento cheese and other local cheeses from Sweet Grass Dairy.

I was lucky enough to get to pick the recipes I wanted to use for the menu, which were simple and delicious! We had all the dishes in big bowls on the table so guests could serve themselves and eat in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: From Stephen: The whiskey bar was a really cool touch. The bartender was super friendly and knowledgeable, and he served small tastings so people could try several different whiskeys. Erin’s mom also made an amazing light fixture out of vintage olive baskets that we used above the bar.

What was your reception like? Our reception was in the backyard of the Bed and Breakfast on a grassy lawn next to a beautiful red barn. Trees surrounded the eating area, but the center of the dance floor was completely open to the night sky. We wrote handwritten letters to each of our guests, which also served as escort cards for each guest to find their seat. We had a mix of round tables and long farm tables. The tables surrounded the dance floor, where Goodwin Tents and Events had draped strings of cafe lights to illuminate the reception area. To the side of the dance floor, we had two bars: a “girls” martini bar and a “guys” whiskey-tasting bar! The reception was magical to say the least. I couldn’t believe all that Amy Osaba and our other vendors had done to make the space so breathtaking!

All of the design inspiration for the reception started with my dress! I wanted our reception to have an “organic elegance” to it. Amy Osaba really helped this elegance come to life by pairing silver vases with floral arrangements that looked handpicked from the garden. In terms of color, we used a lot of whites, greens, and gray, but we also included some pops of pink– a very fun and creative touch on Amy’s part!

What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Besides getting to marry the man of my dreams, the best part of the wedding was being completely surrounded by the people who love and support us. It was such an overwhelming feeling walking down the aisle and seeing all of the family and friends who had traveled so far to celebrate our wedding. That love and energy was truly amazing.

Tell us about a date you’ll always remember. It was our second date–I was sixteen and had never dated anyone before. He was seventeen, and I thought he was the funniest, smartest, most handsome guy I had ever met. Naturally, I was very nervous. We had a picnic by the Chattahoochee River. He couldn’t have timed the date more perfectly–the sun was setting, the water looked gorgeous, and the crisp fall air had begun to settle in. We finished our dinner, and as the conversation drew quiet, he asked me if I wanted to be his girlfriend. After I said “yes,” he went in for the much-awaited kiss. Our lips barely touched and I burst into tears out of sheer nervousness. Thankfully, he was unfazed, and after calming me down, we got to work “practicing” our kissing skills!
Describe the proposal: I knew we were going to get engaged that winter break, which made it hard for him to surprise me, but he still did! He picked a day full of family events so that I wouldn’t expect it–we had my little brother’s wrestling meet during the day and a family dinner party that night. I arrived home from the wrestling meet to find the house normal as ever, but in my room was a note to get ready for a special night for two. When I had finished getting ready, I opened my door to find the house transformed, with rose petals, candles, and hand-written notes lining the hallway and a beautifully set dinner for two in front of the fireplace. Hands shaking, he got down on one knee. Of course, I said yes!
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My grandmother (who passed away April 2012) left me a beautiful diamond to incorporate in my engagement band. We wanted something that would accentuate the stone’s natural beauty in a classic but unique way. We chose a stunning J.B Star setting that frames the center stone with two pear diamonds.
How many guests attended your wedding? About 175
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your ceremony? The guys spent their morning relaxing and then went to get old-fashioned, straight-razor shaves! All of the bridal party spent the night before the wedding at the Bed and Breakfast, and the morning of the wedding, we all excitedly strolled to downtown Senoia for a delicious breakfast!
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Whenever I spoke with a wedding vendor, I always told them my number one goal of the wedding was to get married–anything else would be a bonus! My second goal, however, was to make sure that each and every one of our guests felt appreciated and important. In that sense, I would say that each guest was very special to us.
Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to “You and Me” by Dave Matthews Band. It’s a really sweet song about following each other to the end of the world and being able to do anything together.
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? I’d say the funniest moment would be the bouquet toss. In mid-air, the bouquet hit the lights strung over the dance floor, but that didn’t stop one bridesmaid and a good friend from literally diving onto the floor to get to the fallen flowers before anyone else. There were actually two points during the reception where the power went out completely, but that didn’t stop anyone from continuing to party.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? We were very excited to have some stress-free time to ourselves after the wedding. We honeymooned on Peter Island, a small resort island in the British Virgin Islands. It was relaxing and isolated and serene.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are adapting to life in New York City and are enjoying its vibrancy, but we plan to eventually return to the South to settle down and start a family. In the more near future, the things we look forward to most are the simple things, like getting to have breakfast together every morning and taking long walks through Central Park.

Photographer: Harwell Photography / Floral and event design: Amy Osaba Events / Ceremony venue: Senoia United Methodist Church / Reception venue: Veranda Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn / Ceremony coordination and reception food design: Kathy Black / Bride’s dress: Sassi Holford / Bridal salon: Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta / Bride’s accessories: Haute Bride / Bridesmaid dresses: Alfred Sung / Mother of the Bride dress: Mon Cheri / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: J. Andrews Bridal / Alterations: Betty Harrah / Hair and nails: Ici Paris Day Spa and Salon / Makeup: Katie Gant / Cocktail hour band: Sourwood Honey / Cocktail hour appetizers and cheese: Sweet Grass Dairy / Invitation print consultant: The Paperie at Sam Flax / Bartender: Mobile Cocktails ATL / DJ: BeatHouse Productions / Cake: Blooming Flour Bakery / Tables, chairs, dance floor, lighting: Goodwin Rentals / Bars, highboys, serving dishes: Peachtree Tent and Events / Paper Products: Designs by Robyn Love / Calligrapher: Donna Dow / Linens: I Do Linens / Gallery artwork and map watercolor: Georgia Water Color Society / Monogrammed napkins: Mactees Inc

Harwell Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    Hand-written letters to each guest? I LOVE this personal detail. And of course, I an 100% on board with Erin’s goals in planning her wedding!!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    This was such a beautiful story! Love the photos too! Added one to my wedding board on Pinterest! xoxo

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Beautiful wedding!! Such a perfect mix of classic & playful. Love it!

  4. avatar Emily reply

    So, so many details to love in this wedding, from their beautifully-wrapped bread to their citrus cake! Love them all, and this sweet couple!

  5. avatar Dana reply

    very pretty flowers and such a silly second date story!

  6. avatar Erin & Stephen | harwell photography reply

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  7. avatar Jeremy Harwell reply

    I am so honored to have this beautiful wedding on Southern Weddings! Erin & Stephen were such an amazing couple to work with, and the vendors involved provided such beauty for me to photograph! Thanks so much for the post!

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  11. avatar Katie reply

    Such a beautiful wedding! I love the vintage get-away car. Can you please let me know that vendor?

  12. avatar Richard Photo Lab reply

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