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Monthly Archives: April 2016

The weather is starting to warm up around these parts, and I don’t know about y’all, but it’s already heavily affecting my wardrobe choices! Spring has most definitely sprung in the South, so we thought it might be helpful (and fun!) to round up some options for all those upcoming weddings. While I am always a fan of the classic little black dress, when we gathered a few of our favorite spring wedding guest dresses for this post, we included scallops, fun florals, and a little bit of glitz for good measure.

1. Lilly Pulitzer 2. Kate Spade 3. Loft 4. Camilyn Beth 5. ASOS 6. Slate & Willow 7. Anthropologie 8. Kate Spade 9. Anthropologie 10. Donna Morgan 11. Erin Fetherston 12. Eliza J 13. Shoshanna 14. Parker 15. BHLDN

Which one is your favorite? Personally, I’m smitten with that pretty pink Camilyn Beth!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Nos. 5 and 9 are my favorites!

  2. avatar Nicole reply

    I LOVE the butterfly print in #11!

  3. avatar Kristin reply

    I’m with Nicole, I wish I could open up my closet and find #11 (or #7)!

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Hi belles! Our friend and former Southern Weddings intern Jessica Clinch is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Jessica will be blogging for us once a month until her wedding this May. In case you missed her introductory post, be sure to check it out here! — Lisa

One of the first things most brides get excited about is their bridal style, and I am definitely one of those brides! I quickly realized that bridal style includes so much more than your wedding gown–it also includes your jewelry, shoes, accessories, rehearsal dinner outfit, potential reception or after party dress, and more. I’m excited to share my input with y’all about how I chose these elements!

There is such an abundance of inspiration in wedding magazines, on blogs, on Pinterest, and in shops and boutiques. It is easy to become overwhelmed with options, and it can be challenging to narrow down and choose a cohesive style for your wedding day look! My constant struggle in choosing my style elements was whether I wanted to look truly classic and timeless, or if I wanted to incorporate modern touches to my outfits. To help me make my decision, I decided to look at what pieces I naturally gravitate toward in my daily wardrobe. I personally adore an abundance of color and amazing statement jewelry. I was originally nervous about finding the perfect statement jewelry to coordinate with my wedding gown–I knew I wanted it to be crystal, potentially have hints of color, and be large enough to be considered a cocktail piece, but also delicate enough to be bridal. That’s a lot to consider! When looking for such bridal jewelry, I immediately went to my two favorite stores, J.Crew and Kate Spade. I found a few different options that I think would all be beautiful paired with my gown! Most importantly, I would love to keep any of these pieces as heirloom jewelry to pass down to my daughters and granddaughters one day!

Clockwise from top left: Kate Spade, Ashley Keleman via Style Me Pretty, Kate Spade, J. Crew, KT Merry via Style Me Pretty, J. Crew

While deciding on my bridal jewelry was a bit harder than I had anticipated, I had a lot of fun deciding on the two dresses that would complement and support my wedding gown: my rehearsal dinner dress and my after party dress! I knew I wanted the three dresses to all be a cohesive style, but also all stand on their own. There are very few times I am able to dress up in an elegant gown, and y’all, I love to dress up, so I knew I wanted my rehearsal dinner outfit to be a floor-length dress. I know it’ll make me feel beautiful practicing walking down the aisle, and it will be good to see how it feels walking in a full-length dress in the grass before I do so in my wedding gown. I have decided to rent my gown from Rent the Runway so that I can experience a gorgeous designer gown at an affordable price! Here are a few of the options I am considering–what do y’all think of the potential of wearing blush to a rehearsal dinner? I will likely choose a white gown, but how pretty is that high-low style?

Left to right: BCBGMAXAZRIA, Badgley Mischka, Nha Khanh, Cynthia Rowley

While I am renting my rehearsal dinner gown, the sentimental part of me wants to keep my after party dress, since it will be one I am wearing on our wedding day! I love my wedding gown so much, so I will not be changing into this until we have already exited from our reception and are on our way to our after party with friends. This dress will be a shorter dress, but will still be fun and fancy with lots of character! I searched through the dress options on BHLDN and am happy to report that I found the perfect cocktail dress–which of these would you choose?

Clockwise from top left: Lili Lace Dress, Renata Sheath, Shined Cocktail Dress, Gwendolyn Dress

Friends, I’d love to know: what did you consider when you were selecting pieces to create your bridal style? What was your favorite accessory or design element that truly completed your look? I can’t wait to show you mine!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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  1. avatar Ellie reply

    Now that I’ve ordered my gown, I’m actually slowing paring down the jewelry and accessories! I am planning to wear my grandmother’s sapphire and pink diamond ring (old and blue), the diamond studs my fiancee gave me, and a comb in my hair after my full length veil with blusher comes off. Other than that I’m leaning away from a necklace, drop earrings or a belt. Which is funny since I love to wear a good statement necklace!

    In terms of rehearsal dinner, I actually tried on the Renata dress at BHLDN with a tulle skirt over it. While I didn’t like it for my bridal gown, the whole group loved the sheath on it’s own and I’m leaning toward that for the rehearsal. If I get an after party dress, it will likely be rented as well :)

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My favorite thing about Theresa and James’ wedding is that they look like they’re having so much FUN in every single picture! When I read their interview, it quickly became evident how these two were able to relax and enjoy their day so much–they prioritized the details that meant the most to them, and then left everything in the very capable hands of our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Sapphire Events, to pull it all off. I love Theresa’s advice for brides, because it certainly seems like they took it to heart themselves, and created so many special moments because of it: “Don’t immediately dismiss every seemingly silly/goofy/embarrassing idea you come up with. A lot of the time, the goofy idea that you propose as a joke is the one that best expresses you and your partner…a few silly details can become almost inside jokes between you and your significant other, remind you why this other weird person is your match, help you relax during a sometimes formal event, and become the things you will remember most years down the line.”

Many thanks to Marissa Lambert for sharing this fun day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I had quite a few “old” items, including a sixpence in my shoe, passed down through the family, an “add-a-pearl” bracelet that my grandmother had amassed growing up, and my engagement ring, which had been passed down from my great-great-grandmother. My earrings were both old and borrowed–I borrowed my mother’s diamond stud earrings, one of which was made from the original diamond from her engagement ring. I also borrowed my veil from a friend. My dress and shoes were new, and my toenails were blue.

I never had the “feeling” or the “moment” when dress shopping–but I also didn’t really expect to. I found my dress in the third store on the first day I went looking. Both my mom and future mother-in-law had flown in to shop with me, and they both had “the moment” when I put the dress on. It took me a few more shops and a few more visits to finally commit, but–in the end–I felt beautiful on my wedding day, which is what matters.

Describe your wedding flowers. James and I wanted to focus on greenery and herbs as much as (or more than) flowers. We were hoping for a lush, natural feel, possibly incorporating the sense of smell with the herbs, and we tried to emphasize that to the florist more than getting into particulars about types of flowers and plants. All flowers are pretty, and I trusted her to use what was in season. The actual bouquets ended up being some of the most aromatic, enticing things I have ever smelled! As for colors, I asked for whites, creams, and hints of blush for the ceremony florals, to keep the palette crisp, and then for bright berry tones to be mixed in for the reception florals. The various tones of greens we used throughout acted as a neutral.

We did a first look, largely based on the recommendation of our amazing friend/wedding planner, and partly because we didn’t want to waste precious celebration time after the ceremony. Instead of the typical first look, where the bride sneaks up behind the groom and taps him on the shoulder, we made sure James and I first saw each other from a few yards apart. That way, we each got to take in the full picture and were able to savor the expressions and anticipation as I made the walk to meet him. I think it drove our photographer a little crazy, since she couldn’t capture both of us at once at the exact “reveal” moment, but this way, we were able to feel as though we were first seeing one another from either end of the aisle, while still getting all of the formal photos done before the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We used traditional vows, but we were lucky enough to have had a mutual friend, who knew us both individually before, as well as after we became a couple, act as our officiant. He was able to work in lots of personal details that made the ceremony feel tailored to us a couple.

As a nod to our Midwestern, Great Plains roots, we requested that the musicians play “Hoedown” from “Rodeo” by Aaron Copeland (the “beef–it’s what’s for dinner” song) as we walked back up the aisle. I’m not sure how many people caught it, but it was a detail that made us smile. Our first dance was to “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton. James really pushed to pick something else, since “Wonderful Tonight” is such a popular choice, but he made the mistake of making it our song by singing it in my ear as we danced at the very first wedding I took him to.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to do our first look and photos at the Latter Branch Library in New Orleans, which is was where we went on our first date. We did the ceremony and reception at a brand new venue in New Orleans, which came highly recommended by our planner. One of the things she knew we would love was that the venue has a library/lounge area. While we loved this detail in and of itself, we found out months later during one of the planning walk-throughs that all of the books used in the library had come from the Latter Branch Library!

James and I are not big cake people, so this was not a big focal point for us. We just wanted something that looked nice and tasted good for our guests. I had told him ahead of time that I was going to smash the cake in his face, but James didn’t believe me until it happened. We got into a full-out cake war–I’m pretty sure we have some photos with cake shoved up my nose! Laughing, goofing around, and going crazy with the cake is another of my favorite memories from the day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In true New Orleans fashion, James and I met a few times through mutual friends before finally being stuck together waiting out a hurricane. A group of us decided to get together to weather the storm (and to eat everything in our refrigerators!), and during those couple of days, we decided we kinda, sorta liked one another.
Tell us all about the proposal! James picked me up from work on a mundane Tuesday night and took me around town on a progressive date under the guise of scouting out potential party locations for my birthday at the end of the month. I suspected nothing, even when he mentioned that one of the restaurants would be a great rehearsal dinner venue! When we finally got home that night, our house was completely filled with flowers. He dropped to his knee in our living room, just the two of us, surrounded by blooms.
When did y’all get married? September 19, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 175
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: James had organized a group of friends to compete in a charity barbecue competition called Hogs for the Cause. The year after we started dating and I joined the team, the team won the cocktail category of the competition with a drink called a Bourbon Missile Crisis. We decided to serve the Bourbon Missile Crisis to guests prior to our ceremony and during cocktail hour, and we set out the team’s trophy to hold paper straws. Because guests had drinks for the ceremony, our programs were printed on cocktail napkins. We also had personalized wayfarer sunglasses available to wear during the outdoor ceremony, and to take home as favors. For the reception, we had flower crown headbands for the guests. A group of close, generous, crafty friends all gathered at our house a month or so before the wedding to help me hand-make nearly 100 flower crowns. We saw a few of those flower crown favors resurface again for Mardi Gras!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding took place in New Orleans, Louisiana, where James and I met and are making our life together. We included a courtyard ceremony, a jazz band, and a brass band.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Along the way, someone advised us to make a list of our most valued aspects of the wedding, and to prioritize only those items. Nobody is going to remember every tiny detail, so splurge on one or two important things, and then make it work with the less important items.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t immediately dismiss every seemingly silly/goofy/embarrassing idea you come up with. A lot of the time, the goofy idea that you propose as a joke is the one that best expresses you and your partner. While you don’t want the entire wedding to feel unorganized, a few silly details can become almost inside jokes between you and your significant other, remind you why this other weird person is your match, help you relax during a sometimes formal event, and become the things you will remember most years down the line.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re looking forward to our blowout 50th anniversary vow renewal–and everything before and after!

Photographer: Marissa Lambert Photography | Planner and Rentals: Sapphire Events | Venue and Rentals: Il Mercato | Florist: Meade Wenzel | Cake Baker: Haydel’s Bakery | Caterer: Joel’s Catering | Lighting: Southern Hospitality Event Rentals | Bands: Harry Hardin, Joe Simon’s Jazz, and Paulin Brothers | DJ: DJ Mike Swift | Paper Products: Presse Dufour | Bride’s Gown: “Style 5911” by Stella York | Hair and Makeup: Kiss and Makeup Beauty Services | Bride’s Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo, J. Crew, Donna Morgan, Amsale, and BHLDN | Groom’s Tuxedo: Luca Falcone | Busses: American Luxury | Save the Dates, Napkins, and Programs: Rudman’s

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    Oooh I love how dreamy this is! And her dress is phenomenal!

  2. avatar Adrienna reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! Sapphire Events always put on such gorgeous affairs, with so much detail.

  3. avatar Meredith reply

    What a breathtaking day! Well captured, too!

  4. avatar Sarah Drake reply

    Is there any way for me to get in touch with this bride? I am IN LOVE with that light blue bridesmaid dress with the one shoulder flowers. I can’t find it in the links provided. Please help! :)

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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