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Southern Weddings

Monthly Archives: January 2017

Do we ever have a treat for y’all today! An interior designer and an architect, Anna and Randall share a strong sense of style and a belief in appreciating the beauty of life at every turn. Along with a few traditional elements (like their vows and waiting to see each other until Anna walked down the aisle), they infused so many fun details that are true to their personalities and their relationship into their wedding weekend! Anna’s fabulous (and versatile!) bridal style certainly stands out as memorable, but their charming brunch reception, custom monograms, and mountaintop venue are a few more aspects that you won’t want to miss reading about below.

Many thanks to Jennifer Stuart for sending this sweet day our way!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted something that would be fitting for a small, intimate wedding and something that seemed vintage. After looking at many alternative shops, my mom and I visited Kelly’s Closet in Candler Park. Since we planned the wedding in just a few months, I didn’t have time to order a dress, but Kelly’s Closet was very accommodating and agreed to sell me anything off the floor. I put together a Jenny Lee French lace topper with an Alexandra Grecco tea-length tulle skirt. We knew right away it was the perfect solution! I was even able to style the top and skirt separately throughout the wedding weekend. After the brunch reception, we had an Italian family-style dinner later that evening. I wore the lace top with a black metallic pleated skirt and a gold and black leather necklace. The next morning at the send-away breakfast, I wore the tulle skirt with a blue and white oxford and pale pink coral bead necklace. It was so fun to wear parts of the dress all weekend, and even during our honeymoon.

My flowers were lush and romantic, full of peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and lots of greenery. I wanted a “just picked from the garden” look, and our florist, Anna Stouffer of Urban Petals, amazed us with her talents.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We selected a Gypsy jazz band out of Atlanta called the Bonaventure Quartet to play at our wedding. Their sound is very “Midnight in Paris” and the quartet consists of two guitars, a clarinet, and a bass. The band played in a small courtyard garden outside the chapel as guests were arriving. The chapel windows open up to the garden and the guests could enjoy the band and the morning breeze as they settled into their seats. I walked down the aisle to the Benny Goodman quartet version of “The Man I Love.” Our recessional was “In the Mood,” which gave a very fun 1930’s feel. Our first dance was to “La Vie en Rose.”

My best friend, Kate Stewart, did a reading of Colossians 3:12-19, the Message version: “So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.” Kate, along with Randy’s sister, Michelle, picked the reading and surprised us. It was perfect and so fitting.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? After the ceremony and photos, we were left alone near the chapel and had to walk up a long hill to the reception location. It was nice to walk hand in hand and reflect on the moment, really take it all in, and talk to one another.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding was a Southern family get-together at the lake. We decided not long after we were engaged that we wanted to spend an amazing weekend at the lake with our favorite people, and just so happen to get married in the middle of it all. The very essence of the weekend was Southern hospitality. Our friends and family all shared houses at The Reserve. The rehearsal dinner was a barbecue beautifully decorated by Randall’s mother, complete with black and white gingham and aqua bandanas for a more stylish twist on the traditional decor. The ceremony was in the morning, followed by a brunch reception. Bloody Marys, monogrammed napkins, and lots of fans all added to the perfectly Southern atmosphere.

I loved how we planned the whole weekend. After the ceremony, we enjoyed brunch and croquet, then everyone went back to the houses they were staying in and changed for the pool. After a fun afternoon in the pool, we enjoyed an Italian dinner with long tables, free-flowing Chianti, and cafe lights twinkling overhead. The next morning, my mother made a delicious Southern breakfast for everyone. My favorite detail was the monogrammed napkins I made for the brunch. I designed six different monograms that Randall and I will enjoy using for many occasions to come. Each table was set with an assortment of vintage china and a different monogram theme.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The cake was small and simple with a continuation of our floral theme. I found a great cake stand with a little bird on it that complimented the brunch/garden feel. The cake was white with an apricot filling.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Randall: I had worked at a fine architecture and interiors company for about a year when Anna was hired, and pretty much right away, we developed a fantastic friendship based on respect for each other’s talent, positive outlook, and sense of humor. Probably the sense of humor most of all. We were always excited to share thoughts and discoveries with each other, and found a deep kinship in our sense of the beauty of life. Once the idea that this could be more than friendship struck, it seemed silly we did not see it immediately. It felt like love at first sight, but we just didn’t acknowledge it out of respect and trust. It has been an amazing discovery about the depths of love we can feel, not only in the other, but in ourselves and in how others have seen it in us.
Tell us all about the proposal! Randall proposed with a sapphire and diamond ballerina estate ring in our home in Atlanta. It was touching and private. Afterwards, we celebrated over a lovely French meal at Marcel.
When did y’all get married? September 24, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 48
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we wanted the traditional moment of walking down the aisle and seeing one another.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Randall’s parents live at The Reserve at Lake Keowee. It’s a beautiful mountain lake community with a golf course, a clubhouse, and a sweet little chapel. While Randall’s parents were showing me around their community the first time we visited together, his mom hinted, “This would be a lovely place for a wedding.” After we were engaged, we quickly realized it really was perfect.
Did you write your own vows? We recited traditional vows.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My engagement ring was old and blue (sapphire), my dress and shoes were new, and my mom borrowed my favorite strand of pearls, so we reversed that one a bit!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We talked a lot about love, priorities, and how to honor and respect each other with Randall’s sister, Michelle, and her husband, Rob. Rob officiated the ceremony. We have so much admiration for their marriage and it was special to plan the ceremony together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Find a few things that are really “you” and fit them into your day. Whether it’s the style of your dress, the music, or the food, the event should be about who you are as a couple and as individuals, not just about a beautiful event.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to every aspect of life. Randall is an architect and I am an interior designer, and we hope to collaborate and design more together. We also love to travel. We went skiing in France last year and we are already planning our next skiing trip.

Photographer: Jennifer Stuart Photography | Venue: The Reserve at Lake Keowee | Florist: Urban Petals | Wedding Cake: Brittany Leigh Cakes | Caterer: Orchard Club House | Rentals: Professional Party Rentals | Band: The Bonaventure Quartet | Bride’s Gown: Jenny Lee and Alexandra Grecco | Bridal Salon: Kelly’s Closet | Bride’s Shoes: Shoes of Prey | Groom’s Attire: Sid Mashburn | Live Painting: Brooke Ring

Urban Petals is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Merina Chatman reply

    this is just so beautiful and perfect. i have been married twice and eloped both times.if i was going to do a wedding this would be it.

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Last week, we asked if you were planning to recite traditional or custom vows over on our Instagram, and the answers were so interesting. My husband and I recited traditional vows ourselves, but I always love hearing the sweet promises and personal vows our couples write. While I know some people are a bit intimidated by the idea of writing their own vows, I think Laura and Alex’s process is a great way to ease the nerves! Sitting at “their table” at a favorite vineyard that is filled with memories of past dates, they wrote the words they would exchange together. Laura and Alex not only took the time to create personal details that reflected their relationship at their wedding, but made the effort to honor their families as well. Especially since their families played an important role in their story, from the fact that their parents lived in the same town (though they had never met!), to being present when Alex proposed, including them in a special way at the ceremony was an obvious decision. Their parents were honored with a parents’ blessing that I’m sure left more than a few eyes misty. Be sure to read the sweet sentiments, but grab your tissues first!

Thanks to Landon Jacob for sharing Laura and Alex’s South Carolina celebration.

Describe your wedding flowers. I really know nothing about flowers. I told Karin Jeffcoat that I wanted them to feel like spring. She had free creative rein with just two requests: anemones and Scottish thistle. We chose the anemones for the deep navy centers and the thistle to honor Alex’s Scottish ancestry. We used a lot of greenery and soft ivory, peach, and silver. My favorite part was that Karin added mint to the arrangements to balance the delicate floral scent with a fresh herb. It smelled amazing.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! I borrowed my clutch from Rent the Runway. My old was a family heirloom tea cup and monogrammed silver spoon. My blue was an embroidered handkerchief from my aunts. My new was my bridal jewelry. My mom also got me a sixpence from England for my shoe.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. Alex wanted a very traditional wedding ceremony. I was a little disappointed at first, but he was totally right. When we saw each other for the first time with our family and friends surrounding us, it was perfect.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows! My favorite line of his was “I will guide you on new adventures.” My favorite line of mine was “I will navigate our way.” We always joke that he leads the hikes looking for the safest path and easiest way for me and I navigate making sure that he doesn’t get lost. I loved writing our vows together. We went to a vineyard where we are both members and have shared wonderful dates, sat on the front porch at “our table,” and wrote them together.

We chose our venue after losing our original location. We were planning a South Carolina wedding from Oregon and I panicked when we found out in June that our first option wasn’t going to work. We had been to a wedding at our venue before and we both loved it. I called, and as it turned out, they were available and everything fell into place.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We buried a bottle of bourbon to keep the rain away. Our menu was geared toward Southern food–we had grits, fried catfish, BBQ, and pickles. The Krispy Kreme doughnuts were also a big Southern element. We focused our florals around local farms and flowers. One of our signature cocktails was bourbon-based. We also incorporated our Clemson traditions with music, photo booth props, and chants.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our event designer and florist, Karin. From the moment I met her, I was in love. She knew who I was and my taste even when I couldn’t communicate it well. She went above and beyond to make everything personal and special. She is the kind of woman that epitomizes a Southern lady–she is polite, smart, loving, caring, and so strong. Her taste is beyond reproach and she goes above and beyond with everything.

We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake. Instead, we had wheels of Oregon-made cheese stacked to look like a cake. We also had a Krispy Kreme doughnut tower, because Krispy Kreme is my granddaddy’s favorite food.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take time to create personal details not just for you and your husband, but for your family as well. We honored both families with details, from the flowers to desserts. The family blessing was another way that we wanted to make everyone a part of this special day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in Oregon, where we now live. We were working for the same engineering firm and met at a happy hour. I was talking about books and Alex haughtily said, “You look like the kind of person who reads Harry Potter.” I countered with, “You look like the kind of person who can’t read.” He was shocked that I picked back so quickly. After that, we realized that we both went to Clemson University at the same time and that our parents actually live in the same town. We slowly developed a friendship and realized how much we loved the same things: hiking, exploring our new city of Portland, good food and wine, photography, and silly movies. We have now hiked over 400 miles of trails and traveled all over the country together.
Tell us all about the proposal! My favorite holiday is Christmas. I may or may not go a little overboard with family traditions and cookies. That particular winter was very cold in Oregon and I told him that all I wanted was an ice scraper with a glove. Alex insisted that on Christmas morning, my mom and I come to his parents’ house to open presents. Everyone was opening one present at a time and Alex was getting very impatient. Finally, everyone had opened all of their presents. Alex told me to sit on the couch and that my “big” present was next. I couldn’t imagine what it could be. He placed a shirt box in my lap that was almost weightless. I opened it to find the gloved ice scraper. I couldn’t figure out why he had made such a big deal about it, but then, he told me to try it on. I was a little exasperated and just shoved my hand in. My middle finger got stuck on something and I couldn’t get my hand out. He kept saying pull hard, get your hand out, etc. Finally, I got my hand out with a mighty tug. Alex had sewn my engagement ring into the ice scraper! He proposed with both of our families around us. After many tears and hugs, his mom exclaimed, “OH Alex! You shouldn’t have surprised all of us, what if she had wanted to say no?” As it turns out, Alex had only told his best friend what he was planning so that it was a complete surprise to everyone!
When did y’all get married? April 17, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 80
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We did a parents’ blessing and a reading. We wanted to involve our families as much as possible. The parents’ blessing was: “A marriage is not only the joining together of two individuals, it is also a joining together of two families. The care, support, and nurture which have been extended to Alex and Laura by their families is as important now as it has ever been. In fact, it needs to be extended now to include another person. Both families need to be committed to support both partners in this marriage. Lance and Wendy, you are not losing a son, but rather, you are gaining a daughter. Do you promise to love and encourage Laura as you would your own? If so, answer ‘We will.’ Janet, you are not losing a daughter but rather, you are gaining a son. Do you promise to love and encourage Alex as you would your own? If so, answer ‘I will.'”
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was very organic. We would talk about how we compromised or leaned on each other for wedding planning, and made those things part of our marriage plan. We also spent time with our minister to talk about the importance of faith, respect, and love.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We DIY-ed our photo booth and favors, potted succulents. Surprisingly, the cake of cheese was also a major cost saving; all of the cheese was only $250. We did a cocktail hour with only our signature cocktails to limit bar costs, and then switched to beer and wine for the rest of the reception.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing each other for the first time is something that we will always cherish. I couldn’t keep still during the ceremony because I was so happy to finally marry Alex. People laughed at me because I was bouncing during the ceremony.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are on our way to Japan to celebrate a belated honeymoon. We will be cruising around the island, visiting, and hiking for 11 days. We are so excited to go to a new country that neither of us has ever been to. We’re also excited about the little memories and traditions that we are building in our home.

Photographer: Landon Jacob Photography | Planner: By Invitation Only Event Planning and Design | Venue: 701 Whaley | Designer and Florist: Cote Designs | Caterer: Southern Way | Rentals: 428 Main | Ceremony Music: Micah Gangwer | DJ: Dave Gilbert via PartyTime DJ’s | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: Style 106 by Marisa | Bride’s Jewelry: Freida Rothman | Bride’s Clutch: Gela Clutch by Inge Christopher via Rent the Runway | Hair Stylist: Mikel Rumsey | Makeup Artist: Dannon K. Collard | Bride’s Shoes: “Gwinee” by Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Scoop Lace Sheath by Josie Natori via Rent the Runway | Menswear: Vera Wang via Men’s Wearhouse

Cote Designs is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar venuesandvows reply

    The Krispy Kreme doughnuts for the wedding cake is such a cute idea. Love all of the details of this wedding and how personalized it is. Truly feels like a southern wedding!

  2. avatar Laura & Alex – MiKel Rumsey : MiKel Rumsey reply

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I remember feeling a lot of pressure as the date of my first wedding anniversary neared. It seemed like a momentous occasion, and I wanted to celebrate it in a meaningful, memorable way! In the end, I’m not sure if our celebration counted as “momentous,” but it was very us — we spent the day at the beach, then splurged on a nice dinner out where we exchanged heartfelt letters, a nod to the traditional first anniversary gift of paper.

Ever since, we’ve loved combining an adventure, delicious food, quality time, and a gift keyed to the traditional anniversary gifts to mark another year of marriage. If you need a refresher, here you go:

To our sweet brides who were married last year: this one’s for you! We’ve brainstormed a few of our favorite and most creative “paper” anniversary gifts to give and to get, and here they are…

An album of wedding photos. In addition to the options from your photographer, we love Artifact Uprising and MILK Books.
A book of Instagram photos from your first year. Chat Books makes it so easy to upload right from your phone!
A framed keepsake. Maybe your wedding invitation, an art print, or a favorite photograph from your wedding or first year as married people. More ideas here.
Art from your hand-lettered wedding vows. John and I are still completely charmed by the watercolors Simply Jessica Marie made for us!
A book. You could exchange favorite novels, buy a new devotional to do together, pick out a gorgeous coffee table volume, try a new cookbook, or look for a rare first edition.
Stationery. There are gorgeous readymade options available, or you could order a monogrammed version or even commission a set with your likeness!
A brush lettering kit. So you can create your own beautiful works of art on paper.
A custom painting to commemorate your first home. We love the sweet versions drawn up by Little House Shop.
A board game to play together. Cardboard is pretty much paper, right? :) Or these pretty playing cards.
Tickets. Plane tickets, tickets to a show, tickets to a game… the possibilities are endless!
A sweet card. To tell him how much you love him. Because really, isn’t that the best gift, anyway? We love Shannon Kirsten’s designs.

What do you think, friends? Any suggestions to add to our list? I’d love to hear!!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Caroline reply

    I gave my husband a big framed world map for our first anniversary that we can add push pins to all the places we’ve been together. We both love it and I think we will have it forever!

  2. avatar Valery reply

    For our paper anniversary my husband and I gave each other a year of dates! We wrote 12 date ideas on little slips of paper. Then we put them in a jar with cash (more paper!). We’ve gone on one date every month and it’s been such a great way to make sure we’re spending meaningful time together each month.

  3. avatar Stephanie Nelson reply

    I got my husband a subscription to a journal he was always tracking down/borrowing, but for something less academic you could consider a magazine subscription!

  4. avatar D. Chabert reply

    Oh, so I’ve got to get silverware for our upcoming anniversary. Didn’t know that.

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