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Monthly Archives: October 2015

We Southerners sure are proud of our alma maters, so it’s no surprise that Kimberley and Jonathon were ecstatic to have been selected in the lottery to follow the time-honored University of Virginia tradition of getting married at the chapel on the campus grounds! Together with their planner, Amore Events, they planned a beautiful day full of sweet details and absolutely stunning florals. Out-of-town guests (flying in from Asia, Australia, and around the country!) were treated not only to Kimberley and Jonathon’s love and pride in their university, but also a glimpse at where their love story began. For their alumni friends, this celebration was a highly anticipated homecoming! Along with experiencing where these two started their journey, I’m sure hearing them recite the vows that they wrote together during the ceremony was truly remarkable!

We’re so thankful Ashley Cox captured all the sweet moments!

My flowers were absolutely gorgeous! Cody did a fantastic job representing the UVA colors of orange and blue. I wanted a fluffy, soft bouquet and it was breathtaking! The orange poppies really popped.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My wedding dress hunt revolved around my mom’s veil. It was the only item that I knew I wanted, so I focused on finding the perfect dress to go with it. Since my parents live half a world away in Singapore, a few of my bridesmaids and close friends went with me to help me choose. It was a great day of bonding and beautiful dresses, but I was still unsure and chose to leave empty-handed. When my parents visited a few months later, we found a few contenders, but not the one. Then, my mom suggested that I look into creating a custom dress, and I never looked back. I got to wear the dress of my dreams!

We were hesitant about doing a first look when Cody first suggested it, but it ended up being a great decision. It gave us a private moment to share together during the hustle and bustle of our wedding day. We were also able to get some great pictures at both the chapel and vineyard without taking too much time away from the cocktail hour, so that was a plus!

We wrote the whole ceremony together. It was an intimidating task, but it was a great bonding experience for us. We wrote our own personal vows and kept them secret until the ceremony. It made hearing our promises to each other even more special!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? As alumni of the University of Virginia, getting married at the chapel on the grounds is a time-honored tradition. When we found out that our request was selected in the lottery, we were ecstatic! It allowed us to show our pride and love for our university as we completed one journey and started another. Our reception was held outdoors under a Sperry tent at Keswick Vineyards. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the venue is breathtaking, and we were hooked from the minute we saw it. Having separate ceremony and reception venues gave us the opportunity to give our out-of-town guests a glimpse at our college playground, while, needless to say, for our alumni friends, it was a highly anticipated homecoming.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Besides all the monograms, we wanted to add a little Texas flair to our wedding to represent where we now live. In the middle of dancing, the DJ played a few fun country songs. We ran to the guestbook table, where we had set up our cowboy boots as decorations, and put them on. The boots were special; Jon’s are made of sharkskin and mine are green lizard skin. Everyone had a blast. We also tried to showcase food from the region, such as candied bacon, fried green tomatoes, crab cakes, and Virginia cheeses.

We had a full dessert bar along with a cupcake spread and a traditional wedding cake. Our dessert bar included candied bacon, milk and white chocolate-dipped strawberries, chocolate cups, fudge brownies, blondies, and lemon bars. There were three types of cupcakes: orange and blue funfetti with peach filling, lemon poppy with strawberry filling, and red velvet with cream cheese. The cake was a fudge chip cake with cherry filling and vanilla buttercream icing. It was all delicious and we loved the variety!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. The first time I laid eyes on Jon, he had a faux hawk, was wearing a Space Jam tank, and had a plastic duck bill on his face. His fraternity was hosting a ’90s party and a group of them had decided to dress up as Space Jam characters–Jon was Daffy Duck! I wish I could say it was love at first sight, but when the resident advisor of my first-year dorm introduced him to me, I was just very amused. Even though our first meeting was less than stellar, my resident advisor continued to sing Jon’s praises. Jon asked me to dinner a few weeks later and I accepted. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! On date nights, we love trying new restaurants. That night, Jon chose a beautiful restaurant with a delicious tasting menu. It was a particularly special dinner since Jon had recently accepted a job in Houston and was moving away from Virginia. I didn’t think I would be able to join him, so we were trying to take full advantage of the time we had together. Four courses later, we were full, happy, and waiting for dessert. We had both ordered the same dessert, and Jon joked that he wouldn’t have to worry about me stealing his. When dessert arrived, I remember seeing something shiny in mine. My mind went blank and I could only manage a lame “Why is my dessert different?” Jon said he could see the realization cross my face as he told me he loved me and asked me to marry him. I was so stunned that I barely heard him. He was just glad that I said yes!
When did y’all get married? August 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something old was a gift from my mom. It was a diamond necklace and earrings set that my dad gave her when I was born. I was over the moon when she gave it to me to wear on my wedding day. My something borrowed was the cathedral veil that my mom wore on her wedding day. When we took it out of storage, it broke our hearts to see a tear, but we managed to stitch it up, and it felt so special to walk down the aisle with it on. For my something new, I picked heels from Jimmy Choo. I wanted a pair of shoes that I could wear again, and my blue nail polish complemented them perfectly.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Distance was one of the biggest challenges we had to overcome. On top of planning a Virginia wedding from Texas, we had guests flying in from Asia, Australia, and around the country. Fielding calls from 200 of your family and friends about what to do, special exceptions, and guest count were definitely stressful. The other big challenge was combining the cultures of the East and West. Our families are both Chinese and we wanted to acknowledge our Chinese culture, while also celebrating in the Western way. We split the day in half, reserving the morning for traditional cultural events like the tea ceremony–a tea drinking ritual with the family elders where they are given the opportunity to bless the marriage–and the afternoon and evening for the traditional Western ceremony, reception, and party!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to having free time to read, travel, and just hang out! The wedding process is very time-consuming, and sometimes, you wonder if it’s worth it. Now that we aren’t planning, we want to explore the world!

Photographer: Ashley Cox / Planner and Florist: Cody Grannis / Ceremony Venue: University of Virginia Chapel / Reception Venue: Keswick Vineyards / Cake and Dessert Baker: Buttercream Dreams / Caterer: Roadside Chive / Rentals: MS Events / Lighting: Skyline Tent Company / DJ: Derek Austin / Monogrammed Bow Ties: Mercy Streams / Bride’s Gown: Custom from Ieie Bridal / Headpiece: Enze Bridal / Hair Stylist: Brianna Adams / Makeup Artist: Susan Lim / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various styles in Navy Blue Lace by Watters / Groom’s Attire: Brooks Brothers / Groomsmen Attire: Menguin / Custom Watercolor Wedding Map Guest Book: Luz Design / Wedding Vow Book: Noteworthy Design Co / Fudge Favors: My Chocolate Shoppe / Vintage Cowboy Boots: Texas Junk Company / Cake Topper: Emily Steffen

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Beautiful flowers and I love the bridesmaid dresses!

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We are such seasonal creatures, aren’t we? It’s entirely predictable, but all I’m craving right now are crunchy leaves, deeper hues, and warm textures. That’s probably why we’re sharing this wedding inspiration with y’all–it hits all of the right autumnal notes! Fall in the South is a gorgeous time to have a wedding, and if you’re getting married soon, or about a year from now, I hope you’ll find this aesthetic as inspiring as we did!

Big hugs to Luke & Cat Photography, who shot these photos as part of their Life & Craft Workshop!

From the ladies of Two Be Wed:
Our inspiration was drawn directly from the rugged ranch land while maintaining elegance with florals inspired by the Dutch Masters style. We incorporated metallic accents and touches of leather to create a masculine and sophisticated look. With a deep fall color palette, mixed metallics, and a subtle nod to Ralph Lauren’s ranch home in Ridgeway, the outcome is “ranch-refined” and distinctly Texan, a blend of Southern and Western in one aesthetic.

Location: V8 Ranch | Design: Catherine Duffin and Abby Mejia of Two Be Wed | Photographers: Luke and Cat Photography | Rentals: The Foundry | Florals: Bramble and Bee | Cake: Sugary and Chic | Stationery: Emily Reeves Calligraphy | China and Barware: Bering’s Hardware | Hair and Makeup: Hey Lovely Makeup | Dress: Hayley Paige | Bridal Salon: Now and Forever Bridal Boutique | Tux: Ralph Lauren

Hey Lovely Makeup and Two Be Wed are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Luke Neumayr reply

    It is so exciting to see this post! Thank y’all so much for sharing it – we still can’t believe the talent at Two Be Wed created such a beautiful setting on our ranch.

  2. avatar Luke and Cat reply

    Consider us tickled pink! Thank you for this feature and we are so excited to share it with the best of the best in Houston!

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As much as I love all things classic and traditional, it’s always fun to see a wedding that’s different from anything I’ve ever seen. Monique and Tim’s celebration certainly falls into that category, from the paper crane details (read their proposal story to learn about the significance!), to the hanging chalkboard escort cards boards, to the impressive black, white, and gold dessert display. What I love most about the details they selected for their wedding, though, is that they were super intentional about what they wanted to put time and money toward. While I’m sure interior designer Monique had no shortage of ideas for the wedding’s design, they stuck with the things that were most important to them, and let the rest go–meaning lots more time for weekly date nights and sweet time preparing for marriage during their engagement!

Thank you so much to Alex Michele for sharing Monique and Tim’s fun day with us!

After two negative experiences at big bridal salons, we decided to stop in at a smaller boutique I had heard of as a last try that day. We arrived an hour before the store closed and were welcomed with smiles. I pulled 5-6 dresses into the dressing room and tried them on as the owner of the store helped me. She then brought another dress into the room and encouraged me to give it a shot, even though it was over my budget. I honestly was wary, as I have watched shows where the girls fall in love with dresses they can’t afford, so I was trying dresses on from least expensive to most expensive. Once I got through the first six dresses, I put the last dress on that the owner of the store had brought to me and walked out of the dressing room. Immediately, my mom burst into tears, and both she and Tim’s mom were speechless. The display model fit me perfectly, and had little details that made it unlike any dress I had seen before. We ended up getting a great deal on the dress and it was so perfect!

Tell us all about the proposal! On our third dating anniversary, we went to our favorite restaurant in Gainesville, Manuel’s Vintage Room, a small Italian place downtown. After enjoying a delicious meal, Tim led me to the car and told me he had a surprise for me. He parked in a nearby garage and grabbed the basket of small origami cranes he had made for me throughout our relationship–probably around 100-150 cranes total. After a short walk, we approached Gainesville’s Double Helix bridge, a beautiful new landmark in town we had talked about wanting to visit many times. Tim stopped at the bridge, handed me the basket of cranes, and told me to find the first crane he had ever given me (which he gave me about a month into us dating). I searched through the basket of cranes looking for the one labeled “#1.” I got a little anxious because I wasn’t sure it would be in the basket he had taken from my room–I had them hanging from my apartment ceiling over my bed and had moved twice, so there was no guarantee. After a little searching, I managed to find it, and Tim handed me a new crane and took the basket. Holding the first crane he had given me and the new one he had just placed in my hands, he asked me to unfold both of them. Once the flattened paper squares were unfolded and placed together, the seams of the paper spelled out the letters “MM” (what would be my new married initials) and a drawing of an engagement ring. I looked up to find Tim on his knee, where he proceeded to ask me to marry him. After a few moments, the fireworks show from UF’s homecoming weekend began in the distance and we watched it from the bridge. It was a perfect ending to the night.

I am an interior designer, so the venue was one of the most important things to me, after photography. I was looking for a simple and elegant space that had good architectural lines. I also wanted the color scheme of the venue to be neutral so my wedding colors would really pop! The Ribault Club had just that, and fell perfectly within our budget. The beautiful French doors let in so much light and the space was so bright and airy! It was the perfect backdrop for our wedding colors and details, and allowed us to have our entire wedding in one location, which was very important to us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We really wanted our wedding to feel like a big family celebration. Having it all in one large, historic, Southern plantation house was a great choice for us. We were able to take advantage of the outdoor area and beautiful trees for our ceremony and cocktail hour. We placed corn hole boards in the lawn for our guests during the cocktail hour and offered a popsicle cart as part of our hors d’oeuvres. Having the large venue for our guests to roam around made it feel like a family get-together.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail of the wedding was definitely the food! We were able to express both of our love for food and fun flavors through our food truck dinner, the popsicle cart during cocktail hour, and the large dessert display. We really felt like we hit the jackpot with our food truck. The food was absolutely amazing and reflected our personalities so much better than a typical wedding meal. It was Tim’s idea, and at first, I thought he was crazy, but I finally came around when we met the owners of Funkadelic Food Truck in Jacksonville, Florida. We served a menu with four entrée options (a brisket burger, pork belly sandwich, gourmet pesto grilled cheese, or fish tacos) along with the choice of salad or french fries on the side. Our guests loved the food and are still talking about it to this day!

The dessert table was the star of the show at our wedding! I chose a simple, two-tiered, round, red velvet cake with cream cheese icing for Tim and I to cut. Surrounding that, we filled the dessert display with blueberry and cranberry orange scones, vanilla and peanut butter cookie cake pops, chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, triple chocolate cookies, chocolate-covered strawberries, Hershey’s almond kisses, and butter mints. Everything was delicious and perfectly matched the color scheme of our wedding. The cake pops were dipped in white chocolate, placed on black and white paper straws, and sprinkled with gold edible rocks. There wasn’t a single dessert left on the table at the end of the night!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met during our first semester at the University of Florida, on September 27, 2011, to be exact. I was working in my design studio with the other students in my college when Tim stopped by to meet our mutual friend for football tickets. Initially, he planned to simply get the tickets and leave, but he got distracted and sat down by me. He stayed the entire night talking and “studying” while I worked on my project. In the early morning, he walked me to the bus stop and headed home. In the weeks that followed, there were several additional all-nighters and late night conversations in the studio before he asked me for my number. The rest seems like history. We were both immediately interested in each other and that seemed to be understood without a word being spoken. We’ve been together ever since.
When did y’all get married? July 24, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to use the vows from our pastor, as they were very detailed and special to us.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Tim and I did five months of premarital counseling with our pastor prior to the wedding. We really felt this helped us prepare for marriage and understand each other a lot better. It became a stress-free time during the week when we could lay aside all planning and focus on ourselves and why we were getting married in the first place. Our relationship and love for each other is so much more important than the details of one day.
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? The first way we saved money was choosing to host our wedding on a Friday instead of Saturday. This simple compromise cut our venue rental cost almost in half and saved us money on several other vendors. We also chose a venue that was not all-inclusive, allowing us to choose all of our vendors. This was the most beneficial when it came to food. We were able to hire a food truck to serve our food, which cut the catering cost per head in half and provided us a delicious alternative to typical wedding food. Some other small ways we saved money were purchasing our own alcohol, using a regular bakery instead of a wedding-only baker, and having girls nights to create the small details instead of purchasing them, because small costs added up quickly.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle to the love of my life and seeing his eyes well up with tears was definitely the most memorable moment of the day. It reminded me of the purpose of the moment, and the reason behind all the planning for the nine months prior. It was all worth it in that split second.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take it slow and remember to enjoy each moment. Be flexible to small changes and remember, no one besides you knows what things are “supposed” to look like, so if you forget a detail, no one will know! It’s so important to balance planning your wedding with growing your relationship in preparation for marriage. Take time away each week for a date night with no wedding talk, and remember to invest in each other.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are enjoying newlywed life. In the near future, we are looking forward to decorating our new home and traveling to Europe. Traveling is definitely something we are both passionate about and we are looking forward to many trips together.

Photographer: Alex Michele Photography / Planner: Micheline Sullivan / Venue: The Ribault Club / Florist: A Happily Ever After Floral / Cake Baker: Publix Bakery / Caterer: Funkadelic Food Truck / Rentals: Luxe Party Rentals / Lighting and DJ: Generation Y Entertainment / Cake Topper: Cake Topper Bliss / Bride’s Gown: Mori Lee by Madeline Gardner / Bride’s Veil: Blanca Veils / Bride’s Earrings: “Bella Paisley Drop Earrings” in Gold by ILY / Hair and Makeup: Studio Bride / Bride’s Shoes: “Fay 1” by Lulu’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style 1124 in Champagne by Bill Levkoff / Menswear: “Black by Vera Wang / Popsicles: Guanabana Artisan Ice Pops

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    I have a question – when you have a food truck at your wedding, do the guests have to stand in line to get their food? Or is is served to them? I’m thinking about a food truck for my wedding but I’m curious about logistics.

    • avatar Monique reply

      Hi Emily!

    • avatar Monique reply

      Hi Emily!
      My other comment didn’t go through but to answer your question: our DJ hosted a game to dismiss the guests by table and they were served in groups. It did take a little bit for the guests to all eat but once they had food in their mouth they totally forgot how long it took to get it. For 140 guests it was around an hour since the food was made to order. Typically a buffet line would take somewhat near the same amount of time. If you have any other questions feel free to email me. I would be happy to help! ([email protected])

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