If you follow our friend Emily Ley, you may might have seen work from today’s bride, Whitney. She’s a senior designer for Emily, and I have been eyeing her wedding plans and Instagram sneak peeks since she got engaged. Whitney has incredible taste, and I knew her wedding day would be fabulous! With Blue Ribbon Vendor the Mims House as the beautiful backdrop, Whitney and David celebrated their wedding day with a classic, Southern-meets-modern aesthetic. They intentionally chose a few well-placed statement pieces that added a peek into their personalities–I especially love the way they had their vows calligraphed and framed to be used as part of the reception decor! With a graphic designer bride, there surely wasn’t a bit of slack in the pretty details department. It’s so fun seeing all the little graphic touches around every corner!
Big hugs to Sara Logan for sharing Whitney and David’s wedding with us!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I sure did! My something blue was my Toms shoes (comfy enough to wear all night!). My something old was the buttons on my dress; they were the buttons from my mom’s wedding gown that we had sewn onto my gown. I loved having that little detail with me all day! My something new was my dress and jewelry.
The Mims House was the only venue we toured, and I fell in love from the moment we stepped under the magnolia trees outside. It perfectly combined my love for Southern history and the charm of a backyard wedding.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom, sister, and I went to the BHLDN shop in DC. I asked to try on almost every dress they carried (when in lace-filled Rome, right?) and started with the ball gowns. Surprisingly, I didn’t have much of a reaction to any of the gowns with a full skirt, so my stylist asked if I wanted to try something entirely opposite: a solid matte silk mermaid gown. I will never forget the moment I turned around and saw myself in the mirror. All my life, I had tried to hide and downplay my curves, and this dress did completely the opposite of that. It made me feel beautiful, and when I walked out, my mom and sister had tears in their eyes. My gown was not the Southern ball gown that I had imagined, but it made me feel more confident and beautiful than I have ever felt before!
Our first look was one of my favorite moments of the wedding day! It was so wonderful to have time for just the two of us to calm some of those pre-wedding nerves. Bonus: we were able to check a lot of the photos off our list early, so we could enjoy our signature drinks at cocktail hour!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our wedding party walked down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys and I walked down the aisle with my dad to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” by Grace Churchill. I still get tears thinking about that moment before the doors opened up when I was holding onto my dad’s arm. For some reason, all of the emotions hit me in one huge wave, and he looked at me with that knowing and loving smile only a dad can give you and said, “Don’t worry, Whit, I know he’s the one.” Feeling how much my dad loved David combined with my love for all the people waiting outside made my heart pretty much burst with happy tears. At the end of the ceremony, David and I walked back up the aisle to “Halo” by Beyoncé. Partially because it’s beautiful, partially because it perfectly captures the joy we felt, and partially because wearing a fitted mermaid gown calls for a little Beyoncé. For our first dance, we chose “Angel” by Jack Johnson. Our first summer dating, David gave me the Jack Johnson live in concert CD, and we listened to it together on the way to the beach. When that song first played, I had to hold back tears as I thought, “This is the song I want us to dance to.” Five years later, in my fancy white dress surrounded by our favorite people, I had tears in my eyes again listening to that song.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows! We also had our vows beautifully hand-lettered by Lauren Heim Studio (and framed by Framebridge!) to bring our ceremony into the reception. My favorite line is “I vow to never stop pursuing my passions, and always support you in following yours.”
On our wedding day, a massive tropical storm decided to come through. It was torrentially pouring on and off all day and I was so grateful that we had rented a tent for our outdoor ceremony and reception. After my dad walked me down the aisle, there was a MASSIVE tent-shaking clap of thunder right as I looked up to see David smiling at me. The rain and rumbling thunder continued through our ceremony and it felt as though we had God right there with us!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I absolutely loved all of our wedding food! Brooke and the team at Belle’s Catering created the most wonderful, Southern, locally sourced menu for the evening. For dinner, we even had a gourmet pizza bar because our first date was going out for pizza!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We tried to make sure that all of our decor was intentional and that we weren’t adding things just for the sake of adding them. We cut costs by incorporating well-placed statement pieces and renting vintage items. We also used a ticket system for our bar, where every guest was given three drinks and after that, they could purchase more (or use a friend’s ticket)! This was great because it allowed us to serve our guests while also having a budget and no surprises.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? One of the funniest parts of the day was the adventure that unburying the bourbon became. We thought we had a map to exactly where the bottle was… turns out that either we were awful map readers or the map was off. Oh, and it was monsooning while we were digging, so the guys got completely soaked and covered in mud! David and I followed in my family’s tradition and cut our wedding cake with my family’s heirloom Civil War sword. It is this gigantic, heavy, probably not food-safe sword, and we could not stop cracking up while trying to slice this darling, delicate, little cake. Boxwoods are my very favorite Southern greenery, so our ceremony backdrop and bar were entirely boxwood, and I had some sprigs of it in my bouquet.
We had a simple one-tier coconut cake for David and me, and a variety of cupcakes for our guests. Growing up, David’s mom made her famous coconut cake for him and his siblings’ birthdays, and we wanted that family favorite at our wedding.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. David and I met in 2005 at summer swim team practice. Through the years, I became close friends with his sisters, but he and I sort of just passed each other. I was the loud and spirited girl that quiet people like him tend to avoid. In 2010, we both got summer jobs coaching and lifeguarding at the same pool, and while we were forced to spend time together, we totally hit it off!
Tell us all about the proposal! One evening in early May 2015, David and I decided to go test my new camera at our favorite park. We walked down to an old bridge that cuts across the lake so I could practice different settings and we could admire the sunset. I was awkwardly crouched down, trying to get an “artsy” shot of the chain link fence in the sunset (in retrospect: why…), and when I turned around, there he was on one knee, with a humongous grin and a gorgeous ring. I was so surprised that to my embarrassment, my first response was, “Is this real?!?!” (immediately followed by a YES and a kiss and lots of selfies with the ring).
When did y’all get married? May 29, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Just over 100
Describe your wedding flowers. Alana, my florist, brought all of my floral dreams to life in one gorgeous, soft, and Southern bouquet! It combined peonies, garden roses, boxwood leaves, local blueberries, and tons of greenery.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? David and I attended premarital counseling with our ceremony officiant while we were engaged–something I highly recommend! It was really fun and helpful to prepare for things like combining finances.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Without a doubt, our biggest challenge was that about four months into wedding planning, I moved from North Carolina (where the wedding would be) to Florida. So everything that used to be just down the road became 12 hours away. It was quite a logistical challenge to balance DIY-ing things from another state!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Stop worrying so darn much and let your vendors do what they do best! Handing over the reins to my vendors was the single most freeing (and stress-relieving) part of planning.
Photographer: Sara Logan Photography | Videographer: Carly Rae Film | Day-Of Coordinator: Orangerie Events | Venue: Leslie Alford Mims House | Florist: Serendipity Designs | Wedding Cake: Sugar Euphoria | Caterer: Belle’s Catering | Rentals: Greenhouse Picker Sisters | Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride’s Gown: BHLDN | Bride’s Veil: BHLDN | Bride and Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Kendra Scott | Hair and Makeup: LULA Hair + Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: TOMS | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: BHLDN and David’s Bridal | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse | Engraved Hangers and Wood Cutouts: Delovely Details | Vows Print: Lauren Heim Studio | Custom Framing: Framebridge | Pizza Bar Sign Holders: Esselle | Wedding Maps: Fresh Cut Prints | Welcome Bags: Olive Paper Co. | North Carolina BBQ Map: EDIA Maps
The Mims House, Orangerie Events, Serendipity Designs, Sugar Euphoria, and LULA Hair and Makeup are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!