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Mix and match bridesmaid dresses are not going out of style anytime soon–and why would they? There’s no better way for each of your best gals to enjoy your big day in a dress she loves and is comfortable in, and when coordinated well, your whole bridal party is guaranteed to look gorgeous! When it comes to dresses that mix and match with ease, Donna Morgan is one of our favorite sources–they have so many silhouettes and colors to choose from, and ever since the launch of their Serenity collection last year, there are also plenty of glamorous and sparkly styles in the mix!

There’s no one way to mix and match your ‘maids–you can choose one color in all different styles, one style in all different colors, or even combine solid and patterned dresses. I love the mix of sparkly Donna Morgan styles below–it’s so striking! To keep the look cohesive, coordinate everyone’s accessories, or choose hair and makeup looks that fall under the same aesthetic. The look below works so well because each girl is rocking a bold lip and messy waves–they don’t look like they match, but they certainly all look like part of the same fabulous party. Both the Courtney and the Tiffany dresses come in a bunch of colors that would look so amazing mixed and matched on a glam bridal party!

A no-fail way to choose mix and match dresses is to select your favorite color and invite each bridesmaid to choose her own dress in that color. Donna Morgan is a particularly good source for this, because the dresses don’t only vary in style, they also vary in texture, giving your bridal party’s look that much more visual interest.

See what I mean? The trio below includes lace, tulle, and beading. I love the fact that even though all the gals are in long skirts, the shapes of the dresses vary as well. Even the most opinionated, fashion-forward bridesmaid would be thrilled to have options like these! These styles, from left to right, are the Amelia, Courtney, and Gia.

Are you outfitting your bridesmaids in mix and match styles? We’d love to know what they’re wearing–let us know in the comments below!

This post is brought to you by Donna Morgan–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Wow! I adore that last trio – the lace is so beautiful!

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One of the questions in our company About Us interview is about our favorite college classes–mine, obviously, is the one I met BDK in. Though both Kristen and Chris were pursuing science degrees, they met in their just-because-I-love-it history class, so I’m sure they’d both agree that said class was their favorite! With a shared appreciation for history and tradition, it’s no surprise that they chose to vow their lives to each other at the beautiful Historic Smithfield Plantation in their college town of Blacksburg. Though rain tried put a damper on their plans, with the help of their planner, Ashley Baber Weddings, Kristen and Chris welcomed their family and friends from Philadelphia and Atlanta respectively with sweet Southern hospitality and a fun, Georgia peach-inspired theme!

We’re pleased as punch that Adam Barnes and Katie Stoops shared Kristin and Chris’ pretty day with us in our latest issue, V8!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? Thank goodness for my genius consultant at Kelly’s Closet who was smart enough to put me in my Lela Rose gown! I will say, it looks terrible on the hanger! However, my consultant knew that my wedding was outdoors, that I was going with a Southern theme, and that I wanted something classically elegant. I feel that my gown, “The Coast,” was all of that and more. It is a silk fit and flare style with an off-the-shoulder sleeve. I remember the moment I stepped out of the fitting room and felt the way the train swirled when I moved. I had never felt more glamorous in a gown. I did my due diligence and kept other appointments for the day, but in the end, came back for the Lela Rose gown. My mother could not have been happier with my choice, which was just the icing on the cake.

What was the weather like on your big day? Oh boy…well, I guess it ended up being better than it could have been! The day started off beautifully, but sadly, the weather was calling for flash floods later in the day. Chris had felt VERY strongly leading up to the wedding that he did not want to have a “first look,” and he wanted the first time he saw me to be when I was walking down the aisle. Fortunately, the weather changed our plans. Our planner let us know that if we wanted photos together outside, we needed to do them before the wedding. It ended up being the best thing we could have done! We were able to have time together just the two of us, and it really relaxed us and set the tone for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, it poured during our ceremony, so it had to be moved to under a pavilion. However, our guests described it as “romantic,” and in the end, part of me is glad it rained since I know it is supposed to be good luck! Before the ceremony ended, the skies cleared, the temperature cooled off, and guests were able to move to the tent and dance the night away.

We wanted our ceremony to be very personal. Our officiant was wonderful and sent us each a 10-page questionnaire to get to know us. She created our ceremony from that. It was a surprise for us both, and our guests raved about how personal and special our ceremony felt.

We chose to have our wedding in Blacksburg, on Virginia Tech’s campus, for many reasons. First, it is the place we met and the place we were engaged. Second, while there are so many BEAUTIFUL and historic venues in Philadelphia, none of them felt like us. In the end, we decided that no matter where we lived or where we were from, Virginia Tech is the place that both of us will always think of as home. I had always wanted to be a June bride, plus we knew that our guests would be able to enjoy the campus more if classes were out of session. I wanted to have my wedding at 5:00, but a coworker in Atlanta let me know it needed to start on the half hour, so that the hand on the clock would only go up, and therefore, so would the marriage. I loved that, so we moved the ceremony start time to 5:30 P.M. Smithfield Plantation was a natural choice for us as a venue. It is on the campus of Virginia Tech and is historic and beautiful with a gorgeous lawn and scenery. The rolling mountains, green fields, and history were right at your fingertips.

I had always wanted my favorite flowers, peonies and roses, to be a large part of my wedding day. I let my florist know this even before I hired her. Closer to the day of the wedding, Amanda and my florist, Amy, collaborated on an inspiration board, showing many of the flowers Amy planned to use. One thing I learned is that your bouquet is at the mercy of what flowers are in season and how many are available that year! As we neared the wedding, I really let go of special requests for my flowers. I knew that Amy and Amanda would make me the most beautiful bouquets and centerpieces that they could with the flowers available at that time, and it might be fun to be a little surprised. They certainly delivered! I absolutely loved my bouquet and every floral arrangement Amy created.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? Since my family is from Philadelphia, we live in Atlanta, and the wedding took place in Virginia, I really wanted to have fun with a Southern theme. I wanted my family to have the true Southern experience! My design inspiration came from the Georgia peach–the perfect muse for our theme.

Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. We had several cakes, including red velvet, of course, to go with our Southern theme! I absolutely loved the cake stand Paisley & Jade created for us. I had never seen anything like it and we received so many compliments on it.

Don’t miss Kristen and Chris’ wedding film by Shaking Hands Productions below!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Chris and I met in a history class. Once we got to know each other, we realized we had almost lived parallel lives to that point (creepy!) and one of the many things we had in common is that we were both in Virginia Tech’s Dual Degree program. We were both earning a Bachelor of Science degree in something else, but were also earning a Bachelor of Arts in history because we just truly love it. I’ll never forget the first time Chris walked into our classroom. I thought, “Finally! A tall guy! Just my type!” Little did I know how much of my type he would be!
Describe the proposal: Chris and I had recently moved to Atlanta, and with his birthday falling on July 5, I planned a short surprise getaway for us to Savannah to enjoy the history and scenery. Meanwhile, Chris had apparently been planning a surprise trip to Blacksburg for us the same weekend with plans to propose. I didn’t know it at the time, but Chris felt very strongly that Blacksburg was the only place he could propose to me because of how much the town means to us both. Enter my father, the only person who had talked to us separately about our plans and knew that we were both planning to surprise each other on the same weekend. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place! I knew he felt terrible, but with the weekend in question quickly approaching, he had to tell Chris that I had made plans for the two of us for his birthday. So, Chris and my dad hatched a plan they knew I would be defenseless against and. Two days before the weekend, my dad called me, CRYING, telling me how much he missed me and wanted to know if I would change my plans and meet him and my mother in Blacksburg for the weekend, as it was the exact halfway point (really, it is!) between his home in Pennsylvania and our home in Atlanta. Without question, Chris and I hopped in the car and set off to Blacksburg. That night, before my parents arrived in town (they were actually just circling the block), Chris took me out to the restaurant where we had our first date and, over dessert, asked me to marry him.
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? Chris and I had been in a relationship for over six years and had lived together for three by the time our wedding day came. I honestly feel that our entire relationship was preparing us for the commitment of marriage. Our relationship has always been very strong, and every time we faced adversity together, we came out on top. We always discussed what marriage meant to us, and we are very much on the same page. We always felt that marriage was not something that we HAD to do, but rather, something that we WANTED to do. We believe in fighting for each other and fighting for our marriage. Not just for us, but for the family we plan to have together.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Intimate, magical, fun
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? My Wtoo bridesmaids dresses complimented my dress very well, and I loved the unique color, “Icing”. They were A-line silk taffeta gowns with a full skirt and–bonus–pockets! They photographed beautifully, too! Truthfully, they were not the style I originally had in mind, but when you take your three cousins shopping and they aren’t afraid to tell you how they really feel, they will put on what THEY like. In the end, all three of them fell in love with the dress, and I loved the smiles I saw on their faces. I remember leaving the bridal salon unsure since we hadn’t seen the gowns in the correct color, but my bridesmaids hit the nail on the head. I couldn’t have been happier with the finished product. I knew I chose them for a reason!
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? We kept to the very Southern theme and went with family-style dining. We had pulled pork barbecue, fried chicken, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, and everything in between. The food was great, and the family-style setting let everyone choose what they wanted and as much as they wanted!
Tell us a bit about your first dance. From Chris: It was very intimate, but I honestly couldn’t tell you much about the dance, as I was just looking at how beautiful and happy Kristen was. It went by so fast, and I was just trying to make sure I didn’t mess it up!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? There are so many things Chris and I are looking forward to in the future, and there are too many to list. In the shorter term, we are looking forward to more travel, both nationally and internationally, starting a family, and possibly even starting a business. Stay tuned!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Do a first look! Chris and I were very against it, as we wanted to see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle. However, the weather left us no other choice, and it ended up being the best thing we could have done. The wedding day can be stressful, so seeing the smile and feeling the warm embrace of your best friend will only relax you and make the day even better.

Photographers: Adam Barnes and Katie Stoops | Videographer: Shaking Hands Productions | Planner and Designer: Ashley Baber Weddings | Venue: Historic Smithfield Plantation | Florals: The Arrangement Company | Caterer: Professional Catering | Cake Baker: Our Daily Bread Bakery | Bride’s Gown: “The Coast” by Lela Rose | Bridal Salon: Kelly’s Closet | Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN | Hair and Makeup: Avenue 42 | Groom’s Fashion: Brooks Brothers | Groomsmen Fashion: Jos. A Bank | Paper Goods: Rock Paper Scissors | Rentals: Paisley & Jade | Linens: Festive Fare | Transportation: Hooptie Ride and Abbott Trailways | Other: Skyline Tent Company

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Paisley & Jade reply

    Holy gorgeousness! We absolutely loved being part of this special and stunning day for Kristen and Chris! Thanks so much for the beautiful feature and kudos to all our vendor friends who helped create such a wonderful celebration!

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While it wasn’t quite love at first sight for Grace and Kartwright, it certainly was when these two found their wedding venue, Vinewood Planation. The giant pecan tree on the property fit Grace’s wedding dreams to a tee, and with the help of their sunset ceremony time, the flickering lanterns the bridesmaids carried down the aisle, and the meaningful vows they exchanged, the venue proved the most magical location for them to become husband and wife. Even more than the details they included in their celebration though, I love Grace and Kartwright’s perspective on their marriage. Don’t miss the story of how it impacted their first dance song choice, as well as Grace’s wise advice for brides–as she says, “Put more emphasis on what you invest in for your marriage long-term than the day of the actual event. Whatever happens that day is just icing on the cake!”

Thank you kindly to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Ben & Colleen for sharing this sweet day with us!

I’ve heard endless debates on whether or not to do a first look. I don’t think there is a definitive wrong or right option for anyone. For Kartwright and I, there were both practical and impractical reasons we decided to do a first look. For one thing, our wedding was at sunset, so if we wanted any decent pictures of us together, we had to have them taken before the ceremony. On a more impractical level, I wanted our first moment of seeing each other to be OURS. We shared a lot of special memories with a lot of important people that night, but that first, intimate look of perfect and complete joy was something that we alone wanted to witness. We didn’t realize that apparently our entire wedding party was watching from windows nearby, so that was ironic. If privacy is important to you, make sure and clarify that with all related parties beforehand! It still was a PERFECT moment for us, and I have zero regrets about doing a first look.

I actually hate shopping for clothes, so needless to say, I was concerned searching for my dream dress was going to be pretty traumatic. Luckily, that was hardly the case. Everyone I worked with was very personable and helpful, and made my search for the right dress a really meaningful and enjoyable experience. I went into the experience wanting a very bohemian, antique style of dress, but once I started trying on dresses, I discovered a lot of unique styles I hadn’t previously considered wearing. You quickly realize that dresses you thought you were destined for look different on you in person than they do on models. After not finding the right dress at either of the first stores I visited, I was beginning to panic. At one salon, Bravura, I was looking through the rows of endless tulle and lace and chiffon with the assistant when I came across a beautiful A-line that caught my attention. As soon as I tried it on, it was the first time I felt the hope that I’d found the one.

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted to stay with an ivory and green color palette; very clean and simple. I also wanted a little bit of a Tuscan feel to my flowers. We had a bit of a challenge with the heat, considering it was August in Georgia, so we decided to include lots of greenery around the ceremony site to avoid wilting flowers, and it ended up being perfect for my taste. My florist incorporated a beautiful combination of olive and eucalyptus leaves at our ceremony site, which added a lot of texture to it. Since our ceremony was at sunset, my bridesmaids carried lanterns instead of flowers down the aisle. We had small cuts of olive leaves attached to them to add some texture and softness. For my bouquet, there was a mix of olive leaves, eucalyptus, gardenias, freesia, and several other soft ivory flowers.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We both wrote our own vows, as well as taking brief and traditional vows afterwards. My favorite lines from our vows were actually from my husband. He quoted a few lines from our favorite song that perfectly exemplified our convictions entering into our marriage. The song is called “Alamo” by David Story, and is the song we chose for our first dance as well. Historically, we know that the men who went to the Alamo in Texas knew that the battle they were headed for was already lost. But they went anyway, and died defending the place they loved. For us, that is what love is. A marriage isn’t a casual commitment. We knew going in that there was no “out” for us. For better or for worse, this was our holy war, and we were willing to die in it. We knew that going in. “This is my battle march, this is MY Alamo, this is my last remark: I will never let go.”

Whenever I envisioned my wedding, I had idealistically dreamed about getting married under a huge tree outside in the summer heat. When I first saw Vinewood Plantation, I knew almost instantly that it was where I wanted to say “I do.” As soon as you step onto Vinewood’s property, you see this huge, ancient pecan tree in the distance. The sun filters through its branches and casts rays of light over the beautiful backdrop of the hillside and rolling pastures beyond it. It was everything I’d ever wanted. I also appreciated the rustic, old South feel of the stables and plantation house. I loved the idea of having the reception at the same location as the ceremony–it made for a seamless transition between the events. What finally sealed the deal for me was my introduction to my future wedding planner, Jamie McPherson. He co-owns Vinewood, and was an indispensable asset during the entire planning process. He was knowledgable, capable, and dependable, and was the reason my mom and I didn’t lose our sanity during the planning process and wedding weekend.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? In the end, I can honestly say that I hardly remember any of the details of the reception. I was a very type-A bride and worked hard to make the vision of my wedding I’d created on Pinterest a reality. I would tell other soon-to-be brides not to sacrifice their sanity or the relationships of the people around them for the price of a few wedding details. Put more emphasis on what you invest in for your marriage long-term than the day of the actual event. Whatever happens that day is just icing on the cake!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet play during our ceremony, but chose more modern songs so that the ceremony wasn’t completely traditional. I chose “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol to walk down the aisle to and “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey to walk back up. For the reception, we had a band out of Atlanta called The Retreat come in to add a more personable, contemporary atmosphere. They played their own version of the song we quoted in our vows (“Alamo” by David Story) for our first dance. It was perfect.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I was a girl in love with coffee, community, and Christ. He was my handsome graduation counterpart. Honestly, we are both pretty passionate (read: opinionated) people, and we butted heads at first. We didn’t really connect in a meaningful way until a few years later in college when I was exploring America for my Adventure major, and he was studying in Italy for a semester abroad. We messaged each other online and sparks flew. He set my heart on fire. We were engaged seven months from the day we made our relationship official.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was our seven month (dating) anniversary. I was back from my six-week internship in Zambia, and Kartwright was finishing up his work with WinShape Camps in Rome, Georgia for the summer. Kartwright whisked me away for an adventure day, starting at Amicalola Falls. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Cool breezes and warm sunbeams followed us as we made our way up the main trail to see the waterfall and picnic at the top. We ventured out to a local restaurant for dinner, and then Kartwright told me he had one more surprise in store. Our car wove through the hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains until we finally emerged at the base of Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia. Kartwright chose this particular spot because I had mentioned in a past conversation that I wanted to be proposed to on a mountain. We climbed towards the top of the hill, and as the sun began to set fire to the edges of the mountains, Kartwright dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him.
When did y’all get married? August 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250(isn)
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The most challenging and important part of planning for our wedding day was the preparation we did for our marriage. In reality, the wedding day is exactly that: one day. But a marriage is waking up every day learning how to choose the other person and place their needs and desires above your own. We worked through several books together that gave us lots of of advice and counsel. I think the best advice we were given came from a couple who graciously met with us once a week to help us prepare for our marriage. They noted that marriage isn’t a 50/50 sort of relationship. There are going to be times in your marriage where the other person isn’t giving 50%. They may not be giving 15%. But your goal in your marriage is to give 100% of yourself to the other person, regardless of what they are bringing to the table. And you can’t do that through your own strength. You have to lean into God’s strength and ask for His provision and grace in your relationship daily so that you can be the spouse you are called to be.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I was still finishing up my undergrad degree at Kentucky, and my wedding was taking place in Newnan, Georgia, seven hours away. I mostly relied on phone and Skype conversations with my wedding planner and vendors to plan every detail of the wedding. Thank God for my mom who also took on a huge load of the work and planning. Without the help of my mom and Jamie, my wedding would have consisted of me and my husband standing in our backyard!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The rich sounds of the string quartet filled the air as the bridal party marched through the rows of antique chairs into the ceremony. My dad and I finally stepped out onto the lawn to make our way down the aisle. Right as the crowd of guests came into view, I saw a deer bounding ahead behind the wedding tree, and the sun rays moving in dappled light through the branches, casting playful flicks of light across my soon-to-be husband’s face. It was a flawless moment that I’ll never forget.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’ve always dreamed of backpacking through Europe together, and there is a good possibility that that will be happening for us this fall! We’re planning on spending a few months traveling from Greece to Italy, up through Switzerland, and down through the Northern coast of France to Spain. Grad school is also in our near future, so we’re excited to see what the future holds for us in our careers.

Photographer: Ben & Colleen | Planner: Jamie Elliott McPherson | Venue: Vinewood Plantation | Florist: Southern Stems | Cake Baker: Blooming Flour Bakery | Caterer: Simply Catering | Rentals: Crush Events | Lighting: Crush Events | Band: The Retreat | Special Details: Southern Vintage | Bride’s Gown: David Tutera | Bride’s Accessories: BHLDN | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew | Menswear: C.S. Toggery

Ben & Colleen is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar The Addison Grove- Austin, TX Wedding Venue reply

    No words to describe this other than- stunning! Every detail is just breathtaking. The greenery, the table decor, the string lights… it is all incredible! We hope to see our brides using details like these once we open this Fall!

  2. avatar Momera reply

    Where are the bridesmaids’ lanterns from??

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