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I always smile when I see a wedding photographed by our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Rachel May, pop up in the blog schedule–without fail, it seems, the weddings she shoots are sweet and feminine, with a touch of Virginia country. Candace and Matthew certainly fall into this category and I love the way they planned their wedding to fit their personalities to a tee. From the songs they walked down the aisle to, to Candace’s dress, to the outfits the gentlemen wore, every detail was a reflection of who Candace and Matthew and their family and friends really are. Because of this, I can only imagine that all of their guests felt right at home–nothing makes a wedding more wonderful than that!

P.S. Candace and Matthew are celebrating one month of marriage tomorrow–yay!!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I’m a Pinterest addict, so I had a copious amount of wedding dresses that I absolutely adored pinned to my wedding board. My first attempt at finding a dress was at David’s Bridal, but since nothing there had truly caught my eye, I wasn’t expecting to find anything. My sister ended up picking out a lace dress that I loved, and as soon as I put it on, I knew it was the one. It was classic, but had vintage flair. My mom was bawling her eyes out because it reminded her of my grandmother’s wedding dress.

My wedding wasn’t the most traditional of weddings. Matthew’s groomsmen are a bunch of rowdy, country boys that love getting dirty, so I figured putting them in a tux or even a suit could potentially end in disaster. They wore navy blue gingham shirts, dark blue jeans, navy blue suspenders, and navy blue ties. We have pictures of them all on top of and jumping off of one of their trucks, which is completely “them.”

Pretty much the only thing Matthew didn’t say “whatever you want” to about the wedding was the song that he and his groomsmen walked down the aisle to. He requested ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man.” That song right there established the untraditional feel for the entire day. My bridesmaids came in to “Oh, Pretty Woman,” which I deemed fitting with the groomsmen’s song. I walked in to Ingrid Michaelson’s version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Our recessional was to American Author’s “Best Day of My Life,” for obvious reasons, I think.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed the lace sleeve off of my grandma’s wedding dress, which had pretty button details at the wrist. We wrapped it around my bouquet. My something blue and old was my great grandma’s sapphire ring. My something new was my shoes–I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them, and knew they would be perfect for the wedding!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My reception had burlap everywhere! My tables were draped with a navy blue tablecloth, a lace overlay, and then topped with a burlap runner. The chairs had burlap bows. My centerpieces were various-sized mason jars and rustic wooden boxes overflowing with gorgeous flowers. We served pulled pork, BBQ chicken, and my personal favorite, cornbread, at dinner. My favors were s’mores, and they were the cutest things ever!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We went with cupcakes because I wanted a variety of flavors for everyone. Our caterer recommended a bakery in downtown Fredericksburg that has the most delicious tasting cupcakes. We decided to go in for a tasting, and she was right, they were amazing–not to mention, well within budget. We had carrot cake, strawberry, red velvet (Matthew’s favorite), and a chocolate turtle cupcake.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Eric Church’s “Like Jesus Does.” We both love country music, and this song is fitting to our relationship. My favorite song of the entire day was the father-daughter dance song, Point of Grace’s “King of the World.” My DJ, Eric Herod, suggested the song to me because I had mentioned that I couldn’t decide one. As soon as I listened to it, I immediately started crying.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both worked at CarMax and saw each other in passing from time to time, but it wasn’t until a mutual friend’s birthday party that we started talking. We immediately hit it off and were inseparable from that day on.
Tell us all about the proposal! Matthew met up with me after a business trip to Pennsylvania. I had been sitting in traffic all evening, and he had been impatiently waiting for me to get home. When I got back to work to check my email, he was waiting in the parking lot for me–of course, I took forever to go outside, since I had absolutely no idea that he was out there! He eventually texted me to hurry up because he had a surprise for me. And right there in the parking lot, he proposed to me where we first met.
When did y’all get married? May 18, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? I love first look pictures, so I threw around the idea of doing one and changed my mind on a daily basis. We ended up sticking with tradition and did not do a first look. I wanted the first time Matthew saw me to be that moment that I was walking toward him to be joined with him forever.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both Matthew and I were raised in Spotsylvania, Virginia, and a lot of Matthew’s family is local, so we wanted a location that was close to our hometown to make it easy on everyone. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a rustic outdoor ceremony, and I absolutely fell in love with Stevenson Ridge the first time I went there. The wood beams in the lodge were calling my name, and the lush green backdrop for the outdoor ceremony was wonderful.
Describe your wedding flowers. I was absolutely in love with my wedding flowers. I met with Amanda from Anthomanic after drooling over her work for months and months, and I knew she would be PERFECT for what I wanted. We ended up describing my flowers as fluffy and pretty. They included peonies, Juliet roses, and hydrangeas in light pinks, corals, and whites. The groomsmen wore succulent boutonnieres for a more masculine touch.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? A lot of our reception decorations were DIY projects my mom and I made, including the table numbers, the mantle decor, and the favors.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I don’t think I could pick just one. My photographer was wonderful and so sweet, and everyone was in awe of her pictures. My florist blew my mind with all the gorgeous flowers, and my DJ made our reception more fun than I had ever anticipated.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When removing the garter to Hot Chocolate’s “You Sexy Thing,” Matthew decided to do a little dance while he was removing it. Thank goodness multiple people caught it on video!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t wait until the last moment to start planning–you’ll end up stressing yourself out more than necessary.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We didn’t take a honeymoon right after our wedding because Matthew got a new job, and taking the time off wouldn’t have worked out. So now, we are saving for a nice tropical getaway, and we couldn’t be more excited about it!

Photographer: Rachel May Photography / Planner: Elizabeth Timms / Venue: Stevenson Ridge / Florist: Anthomanic / Dessert Baker: Colonial Cupcakes / Caterer: Country Lane Catering / DJ: Eric Herod / Bride’s Gown: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Accessories: David’s Bridal, Modcloth / Hair Stylist: Jackie Jekic / Makeup Artist: Go Go Gorgeous Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Modcloth / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: eShakti / Men’s Attire: Land’s End, J. Crew, Kohl’s

Rachel May is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Stacey Hiltner reply

    I was blessed to be able to be one of Candace’s bridesmaids. I can attest to the fact this this was one of the loveliest weddings I’ve ever been to! Every detail not only had Candace and Matthew in mind but also their guests. It was truly a celebration

  2. avatar Stacey Hiltner reply

    I was blessed to have been one of Candace’s bridesmaids and can attest to the fact that this wedding was simply beautiful! Every last detail was so thoughtful and executed perfectly. It was especially clear that day that Matthew and Candace are deeply in love and included all their guests in celebrating that fact!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    I am OBSESSED with that pergola!! And I love the music they used throughout their day:) Love this one! Congrats, Rachel!! xo!!

  4. avatar Amy/Bride Chic reply

    Absolutely stunning details and every detail works!

  5. avatar Dana reply

    the picture of the groomsmen jumping off the truck is so perfect!

  6. avatar Mary reply

    Any way that you can provide more details on the bride’s shoes? LOVE them! But can’t find them on Modcloth’s website:(

    • avatar Candace reply

      Mary, it looks like they don’t have them in stock anymore :(. They are called “Go For the Rose Gold Flat” – they came in rose gold and a pewter/silver color. I know they bring items back, so maybe that’s one they will?

  7. avatar Sera Petras reply

    Such a sweet wedding. These two looked so happy and I love all the adorable details!

  8. avatar Grace Upon Grace Vol. 7 – Rachel Nordgren reply

    […] Lovely Reads… Cinnamon Vanilla French Press Coffee (yes please) This Fabulously Feminine and Rustic Wedding (I’m swooning so hard) Thoughts on Contentment Brand vs. Branding (helpful for bloggers!) […]

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