Talented, professional, compassionate vendors are the backbone of most every smoothly-running wedding day. When you hire people who are great at what they do AND good people to boot, your only job on your wedding day will be to act as a gracious hostess, love your family and friends well, and say “I do.” What a blessing! That’s why we’re passionate about our Blue Ribbon Vendors – because we want y’all to be worrying about those three things, and nothing else. Here are a few we’d love to introduce you to!
Name: Ashley Turner, Letter A Photography
Where you call home: Dallas/Fort Worth
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Southern hospitality, sweet tea, the dress… everything!
Name: Melanie Mauer, Melanie Mauer
Where you call home: Lexington, KY
How I got into weddings: More than a decade ago, I used to photograph children exclusively and then one of the many calls I received about weddings wouldn’t take no for an answer! She booked me two years in advance and I spent that time studying and becoming the best wedding photographer possible. What I found was that I fell in love with these beautiful days and the responsibility to document it.
Name: Noi Tran, Noi Tran Photography
Where you call home: Georgia
Favorite part of a wedding day? Oh my, I love every part of the wedding day! I love capturing the details of getting ready. I always look forward to the bride and groom portraits, when I get to have the couple to myself! I love the toasts! I fall in love with all the beautiful stories friends and family share about the couple. I laugh along with my couples and yes, I may cry along with my couples, too.
Name: Kristin Polhemus, Reveriemade
Where you call home: Our historic farmhouse in New Jersey, when I’m not traveling for weddings!
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Trust. Trust your wedding planner to handle the party. This time of engagement is such a special time. Don’t worry about the party; leave that to me. You focus on building the foundation for that marriage of yours!
Name: Katie Powers, The Cedar Room
Where you call home: Charleston
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The location, the food, the people, the service… it is such a great place to have an event!
Name: The Hermitage Hotel
Where you call home: Nashville, TN
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: The Hermitage Hotel has been awarded the AAA Five Diamond Award ten years in a row and the Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Award seven years in a row, and is the only hotel in the state of Tennessee to hold either award!
Name: Rev. Linda McWhorter, True + Love Weddings
Where you call home: Austin, Texas
Favorite part of a wedding day? During the ceremony – the vows and ring exchange. It is such a privilege for me to be up close and personal to one of the most intimate and emotional moments of anyone’s life. I feel the joy; I feel the hope; I feel the love.
Name: Cate Gravatt, Violet Iris Studios
Where you call home: Virginia but we travel all over the U.S. for weddings!
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? For me, it is the scenery and there’s something in the air that’s different! The scent of corn, peaches, or dogwood trees always gets me. It sends me straight back to memories of being with my grandfather on his farm when I was a child.
Name: Cristina Calvert, Cristina Calvert Signature
Where you call home: Maryland
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? My best advice for brides and grooms is to take a few minutes after the ceremony or sometime during the reception to be alone together. Stepping away for five minutes and savoring all that is happening will create a snapshot in your memory that will last a lifetime!
Name: Katherine McDonald, Kate McDonald Bridal
Where you call home: Charleston
How I got into weddings: I got into designing wedding dresses the same way I got into designing bridesmaid dresses: I had a number of clients ask me and finally couldn’t say no anymore. I love designing wedding dresses most of all. It’s an honor to be part of the most important dress a girl wears in her life.
Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at southernweddings.com!