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Southern Weddings

Monthly Archives: November 2015

Thanksgiving may be over, but we still have a whole lot to be grateful for in the Southern Weddings office, especially as we look back on a sweet evening from a few weeks ago! Right after Southern Weddings V8 hit shelves, we gathered at The Carolina Inn for a magical night of celebrating with friends and family from near and far. As impossible as it may seem, the launch party gets better year after year after year. And this year, between the bacon bar and Bloomsbury Boys, I think we succeeded in making it the best party yet!

Big hugs to Theo Milo for all of these amazing photos! We’re also so grateful to Handspun Cinema for capturing the night on film (keep an eye out for the video soon!), to Hot Dog Photo Booth for providing the photo booth so that guests could capture their own memories, and to Eliza Gwendalyn who provided some fun photo booth props!

These behind the scenes photos might be my favorite snaps from the whole day! This is real life, y’all–SW gals (with big hair blow outs from Parlor and makeup by Lula Hair and Makeup) sitting on the floor in between a million cardboard boxes, putting all the amazing swag bags together a few hours before the party. Our little helper (Marissa’s girl, EK) was a big fan of the koozies, and helped make sure every bag got at least one ;)

The gals over at Fiore Fine Flowers really outdid themselves. They road-tripped from Wilmington with the most gorgeous florals in tow, and even managed to lend a hand with stuffing the final swag bags and moving tables to get everything just right before the doors opened. I still can’t get over that gorgeous garland that spiffied up the magnificent chalkboard bars from Paisley & Jade. Big hugs to our friend Maghon from All She Wrote Notes, who loaned us both her handwriting for the bars and her hospitality for our LiveStream/Periscope feed.

All our guests, as well as a certain SW mama-to-be, were very thankful for beautiful places to sit, rest their feet, and nibble on treats. Paisley & Jade‘s rentals were a perfect fit in the Hill Ballroom, and their pretty peach sofa was the talk of the evening. And it wouldn’t be a Southern Weddings party without a few buckets of ice cold Cheerwine–the perfect toasting beverage, in my humble opinion!

The Carolina Inn blew us away with their menu of delicious savory bites–we munched on everything from miniature chicken pot pies to bite-sized pimento cheese sandwiches. I think I had half a dozen mini BLTs from the bacon bar (yes, bacon bar!!!), and I heard that the chicken and waffles were a party favorite.

Being a part of Southern Weddings is a family affair, and watching our SW family grow over the last few years has been so much fun! Joshua (Lara’s newest little guy) and EK (Marissa’s sweet girl) had a miniature photo shoot before the doors opened. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that there were bows and bow ties aplenty between the two of them!

Biggest hugs to Rachel Simpson for our pretty and practical footwear, and to Jane Summers for our most fabulous frocks–the epitome of fun Southern glam! Our friends at Kendra Scott also helped us pick out the most perfect baubles to complete our outfits. Meanwhile, the High Cotton Ties team made sure the gals weren’t the only ones gussied up for the party. All of the SW gents sported High Cotton bow ties, and dapper party guests were able to “rent” a bow tie for the evening. James also offered some free tying lessons!

When the doors opened, we were standing there with open arms, ready to hug each and every guest as they walked in. So many people help make V8 happen, and being able to celebrate some of those friends in person was such a joy. It was an extra special treat to have Alexandra (our gorgeous cover girl) and her precious family join us. We were also blown away by the number of friends from out of town (including our cover photographer Eric Kelley) who traveled to Chapel Hill to be with us. Y’all are the bee’s knees!

Part of the magic of each issue is welcoming reader models and friends to be a part of our pages. It is even more magical when some of those friends travel back to NC to celebrate with us at the launch party! Big hugs to our flower girls from Love Preserved and Kimberly from the Southern Belle shoot!

Our sweet Lisa got engaged at the V6 launch party a few years ago, so it was extra special to have some her family at the V8 celebration (especially since they make an appearance in the pages of this issue in her wedding feature!). We have said it before, but it bears repeating: being a part of Southern Weddings is a family affair.

Being on that stage, looking out into the sea of faces as we share our gratitude is always a highlight of the evening. It comes as no surprise that Grace stole the show again this year with her speech, but it was the tender words that her mama, Lara, shared that brought the room to tears. There is so much heart and emotion that goes into making each issue, and Lara’s words summed all of it up perfectly.

I have it on good authority that the sweets tables were busy all night long, and many of the treats disappeared before I could get over to sample them. Our friend Randi of Sugar Euphoria made Emily’s mini sweets dreams come true with a spread of everything from mini peach cobblers to blueberry hand pies to every Southern flavor of cupcake you can imagine! All the lovely signage and other paper products. including party invitations, were designed by our friend Scotti of Scotti Cline Designs.

The Chic Sweets sweets table, complete with the most darling bow tie backdrop, was back, and so were Natalie’s famous cake pops and chocolate-dipped Oreos!! No one can say they left this party hungry. I managed to snag a chocolate-dipped Oreo before they were all gobbled up, and may have helped myself to two cake pops–one of each flavor. Yum!

At the end of the evening, the Southern Weddings gals gathered together with our gents (minus Lara and Ari, who had headed home to put the newest SW gent, Joshua, to bed) for one final photo. There was so much laughter and joy as we linked arms and squished together to capture one more memory for the V8 yearbook. We couldn’t be more grateful for all y’all who celebrated with us from near and far. Your love and support of the Southern Weddings mission and of V8 blew us away. This party was definitely peachier than cobbler!!

To top this sweet post off, please enjoy the highlight film from the party created by our friends at Handspun Cinema!

Chic Sweets, Fiore Fine Flowers, High Cotton Ties, HotDog! Photogbooth, Paisley and Jade, Scotti Cline Designs, Sugar Euphoria, and Theo Milo are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory.

kristin Written with love by Kristin
3 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    the best party I’ve ever been to (not including Lisa and Dave’s reception)! Can’t wait to come back next year and the year after and after! Y’all are amazing!

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Holly and Austin may have met in a rather unconventional way (through an Instagram hashtag!), but their wedding day was full of traditional Southern fare and all the classics we know and love. Inspired by Holly’s Tennessee home and deep Southern roots, one of the highlights of their Swann Plantation celebration was their tasty “breakfast for dinner,” which included country ham, eggs, chicken and waffles, and biscuits and gravy. The Southern spirit of hospitality continued throughout the reception–to keep guests extra cozy, Holly and Austin provided seating areas around fire pits that were perfect for snuggling up around under quilts, all handmade by generations of Holly’s family!

Ais Portaits captured all of this sweet day, and we’re sure glad about that!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. After searching online, I came across a dress that peaked my interest, so I printed out a copy of the details. Two days later, my mother and I decided to run into David’s Bridal to try and find it. At first, the front desk told me my dress has been discontinued, which made the first 20 minutes of my wedding dress shopping experience terrible. However, the manager saved the day by informing her employee and myself that my dress was brand new! I tried on my tea-length wedding dress and fell in love. I only tried on two dresses, the second only because the employee insisted. I was so happy that the special moment was shared between my mother and I. She hugged me, cried with me, and babied me for one of the last times before I became a Mrs. It was a shopping trip I’ll never forget.

We decided to keep it traditional and let the first time he saw me be when I walked down the aisle. We did get to exchange cards and say a prayer together first (with his eyes shut). When he did see me walking down the aisle, it was priceless. Definitely worth not having a first look!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I got my Bachelor’s degree in music, so this was a very important part of the service to me. We had a small choral ensemble, a trumpeter, and a pianist/organist. The trumpet and organ played “Canon in D” when I walked into the church, which was special for me because my mother also used this song in her wedding. After the ceremony was over, we wanted to let people know the party was starting, even though they had to make a little drive to the reception site. As the church bells were chiming and we were standing in front of the congregation, the song “Everybody Dance Now” started playing. At this point, I surprised my new husband by taking a selfie (because we met on Instagram), and then the entire bridal party danced out of the church and onto the bus to head to the party!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I loved the traditional aspect of the church where our ceremony was held. There are lots of beautiful stained glass windows, and it’s one of the only churches in the area with just a center aisle. Our reception venue just captured the feel I was aiming to achieve. I’m Southern and I wanted that to be a part of our day, and this plantation was perfect because it had a charm and elegance to it. It allowed my guests to experience the Southern charm in the way I wanted it to be displayed.

Tennessee is home to me, and I wanted a wedding that I felt took me back to my roots. Our guests were given small homemade sweet potato pancakes with their choice of toppings and our signature drink, McMosas (mimosas). We served breakfast for dinner, including country ham, eggs, chicken and waffles, gravy and biscuits, potatoes, and anything you would consider traditional Southern breakfast. We offered a fall orange and cranberry juice, and our bar included McWilliams wine, Samuel Adams Octoberfest, and Angry Orchard, which all contributed to our vision for an elegant, fall, Southern wedding. Being a Tennessee Volunteer fan and alumnus of the college, we had both the original version of “Rocky Top” by the Osborne Brothers played, immediately followed with a recording of The Pride of the Southland band playing the football team’s version. The deck, which provided the dance floor, was shaking because of the excitement the guests had during this joyous, classic Tennessee moment. When the sun went down, in case guests were not staying warm with our open bar services or the dance floor, we provided couches around fire pits for them to sit and relax at, snuggling up with their dates or families under handmade quilts from generations of my family.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Austin and I met in one of the most unique ways. Austin was browsing Instagram and decided to search for photos under the hashtag #Dexter, because the series finale was set to air that week. The first photo that popped up was a photo of a young, bubbly, wide-eyed girl named Holly (that’s me!) who was super stoked about the series finale. He liked my photo…and maybe one or two more. I liked a photo of him. He followed me. I followed him. After a month or two of casual liking of photos and commenting, I decided to make sure he was a real person! No one wants to be “catfished,” so I added Austin on Facebook. He approved my friend request and our messaging continued. After a week or two of messaging and texting, Austin wanted to call me. I, however, did not want my illusion of the perfect man to be broken, so every time he called, I made up excuses of having too much homework, being at work, or being on the phone with someone else. The reality: I was at home by myself watching Netflix. :) Finally, on Christmas Eve, I answered a phone call from him. We ended up talking for hours that night and I have not gone a day since without talking to him. In January, when I had a date function to attend, I asked Austin, sure he wouldn’t drive ten hours to go to with me. To my surprise, he decided to drive up and meet me in person for the first time! We dated long distance for about four months before I moved down to Florida for a summer to get to know his family a little more. After the summer ended, Austin moved up to Tennessee to be closer to my family and me as I finished up college. The summer after college, I was accepted for an internship position in Orlando, Florida. This was my last move to Florida as a single lady.
Tell us all about the proposal! Before I moved to Florida for my summer internship, I took a week off work to go visit Austin and figure out where I would live for the summer. That Friday, Austin surprised me with tickets to see the Pentatonix (my favorite music band!) in Atlanta the next day! We drove eight hours to Atlanta early that morning. That night, he told me he wanted to go out to a nice dinner. We had a great time, and when we were going back to the car, he said, “I need you to put this bandana on to cover your eyes, or I need your promise to not look.” I chose the bandana, now knowing something was up. Austin drove me around the long way to my house, led me out of the car, and said, “Open your eyes.” He had filled the barn in my backyard with hanging lights, salt lamps, and pictures of us. I immediately started crying as he led me to a seat with an iPad and some speakers and told me to watch a video. It was a 20-minute video of all of my friends and family telling me how excited they were I was getting married!! At the end of the movie, it said, “Turn Around,” and there was Austin, on his knee. He told me he didn’t know what the future held, but that he wanted it to be with me. He said, “Will you marry me?” and I jumped into his arms and said “Heck yes!” He then pointed out that he had a photographer who had been taking pictures of the entire thing, along with a video recorder recording everything! When we walked back into my house to tell my family, all I heard was “SURPRISE!” Austin had gotten all of my family and close friends to come to the house to participate in an engagement party.
When did y’all get married? October 17, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Approximately 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We enjoyed our special dances for each other. My father-daughter dance was filled with special memories my dad and I shared–the medley included, “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble,” “Come On, Feel the Noise,” “Night at the Roxbury,” “Eye of the Tiger,” “Gullah Gullah Island,” and “My Girl.” It ended with a sweet song for my dad and I to dance to normally, “Edelweiss.” Austin surprised me later in the evening with a “boy band dance tribute to my musical preferences through the ages.” This included “It’s Gonna Be Me” by NSYNC for the boy band phase, then “Beautiful Soul” by Jesse McCartney for the boy phase, a Blink 182 song for the punk rock/dating age phase, “Can’t Touch This” for the daddy patrol phase, “Single Ladies” for my college/single life phase, “O Babbino Caro” for my opera singer phase, and finally, the “Disney Dudez” version of “Let it Go” for the “let it go and date Austin” phase. Austin was accompanied by four of his groomsman for a synchronized dance.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with both a marriage counselor and our pastor at least every other week. We have always heard that marriage is tough, and we know we are both different, so we faced the challenges head on. It has been so great to step into this beautiful relationship with the tools to create a lasting marriage!
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’re looking forward to just spending the next phase of life together. I’ll continue to grow my music teaching business and Austin is planning on going to graduate school. Most importantly, no matter what happens in life, we’ll have each other for support.

Photographer: Aislinn Bailey | Videographer: Viola Cinematics | Planner: Amanda Graves of Southern Bliss | Ceremony Venue: Second Presbyterian Church of Knoxville | Reception Venue: Swann Plantation | Florist: Sassafras | Cake Baker: Cheryl McMillian Cake Design | Caterer: Luxe | Rentals: Campbell Rentals and Tents | DJ: Premier Party Machine | Paper Products: The Happy Envelope | Bride’s Gown and Accessories: David’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Porsha Kimble Adams | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Aislinn Bailey reply

    We are always so thrilled to see our work published, but having it on Southern Weddings is a dream come true. Thank you!

  2. avatar Faith reply

    Such a sweet story!! Congrats to the newlyweds!

  3. avatar Amanda Graves reply

    Thank you so much for featuring/publishing Holly and Austins wedding!! We are beyond thrilled!

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Along with the many wedding pros and vendor friends we asked to share their favorite thing about marriage for V7, we also asked someone else who is very special: you! We loved opening up this question to our dear readers on social media, and are excited to share some of the sweet responses we received!

Eric Kelley

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    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!

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