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Monthly Archives: March 2017

There are very few hard and fast rules when it comes to wedding planning, but one that I do think almost always applies is this: don’t make any plans or purchases until your venue is booked. The venue not only dictates your wedding date and guest count, but also the whole aesthetic for the day. Once that’s set in stone, you’ll be able to dream up details that will be a perfect fit with the location, making your celebration beautifully cohesive from start to finish!

For this shoot with bridal designer Madison James, the Revel Wedding Co. team was inspired by the rich blues and greens of the landscape surrounding The Herb Garden at El Chorro Lodge. They filled their table with jewel-toned details that had plenty of richness and texture (how dreamy is that navy velvet linen?), plus natural elements like succulents and blooms arranged by The Flower Studio. An opulent gown would have been overwhelming against all those details in the intimate space, so instead, they opted for a chic, minimal Madison James style. It may have been simple, but thanks to the flowy fabric and draping low back, it sure was special!

Love this gown? See more beautiful styles by Madison James here!

Photographer: Rachael Koscica | Styling and Planning: Revel Wedding Co. | Gown: Style MJ313 by Madison James | Venue: The Herb Garden at El Chorro Lodge | Florals: Flower Studio | Menus: Freed Hands | Bar: Glamour and Woods | Cake and Desserts: Ruze Cake House | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen

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lisa Written with love by Lisa

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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl has been documenting her wedding process for the last few months here on the blog! She is getting married on Saturday (!!), so this is her final post! Please join us in wishing her well! — Emily

Y’all, our wedding is THIS Saturday!! The next few days will be filled with our family and friends arriving to town, attending to last minute details, soaking up time with loved ones, and kicking off our wedding festivities tomorrow! Rob and I truly couldn’t be happier that we’re going to be husband and wife in a few short days, and we are unbelievably excited to celebrate the start of our marriage with loved ones on Saturday.

It’s been such a joy and honor to share our wedding planning journey and a peek into our engagement with you all, and I’m so grateful you’ve followed along! For my last post as a bride-to-be, I wanted to share what Rob and I are most looking forward to right now.

Ally and Bobby Photography

First off, we both are most excited to become husband and wife! As much as we’re looking forward to and eagerly anticipating our entire wedding day, it’s the bond and covenant that we make to each other, in front of God, our family, and friends, that makes us giddy. We cannot wait to be joined together as one, and we’ve tried to keep this the focus of our relationship and our wedding planning. I know the days, weeks, and years to come are going to be even better than I ever imagined because I’ll have Rob by my side as my husband and best friend.

He is the greatest blessing this side of Heaven, and thinking about the life we want to build together, the big and little moments in the years to come, and having him by my side throughout it all makes me beam with excitement and joy. I cannot wait for the moment when we hold hands and pray together around a door (no first look for us!) before our ceremony begins, and when I picture us meeting eyes for the first time on opposite ends of the aisle, I definitely tear up. We are both so, so excited for that moment.

Photo by Julie Cate via Style Me Pretty

It truly takes a village, don’t you think? Rob and I are surrounded by the most loving, supportive, and encouraging family and friends, and I can’t even fathom the feeling of having all of them together in one place – and celebrating us! A majority of our guests will be traveling into town from all over the country, and it’s humbling to know how many people are coming together to celebrate our marriage.

In addition to our family and friends being the best of the best, I also truly believe we have the world’s best wedding vendors. I call them my dream team! Many of them are close friends of mine, and their palpable excitement and joy for us is unreal. Thinking about the film photos from Ally and Bobby, especially, makes me weak in the knees – if our engagement session was any indication, then we’re going to be blown away by our wedding images!

Ally and Bobby Photography

The ceremony is the most important part of our wedding day, and we’ve tried to really focus on making it meaningful and reflective of our love – and most importantly, on Christ’s love for us and for all. We want to infuse our personalities into the details, as well as keep things reverent and holy. From our vows, to the song choices, to the wedding party prayer, to our pastor’s homily, to serving communion together as our first act as husband and wife… we are so excited for our ceremony and all that it symbolizes.

One of the elements of the day I’m most excited about is our ceremony exit! We’ll still be doing an exit at the end of the night, but we have a surprise or two up our sleeves for our grand exit down the aisle at Mr. and Mrs. Rob and Stephanie Shaul!!

I’m a wedding planner and stylist, so I’ve been envisioning our wedding and reception design since the moment we got engaged and started planning! I think I’m most excited to see my bridal bouquet and the overall reception design. When I think about Alana from Serendipity Designs bringing me my bridal bouquet on our wedding day… well, I cannot even imagine how stunning and perfect it will be!

Photo by Ali Harper via Once Wed

Our entire wedding design is so reflective of Rob and myself, and we tried to incorporate “us” into every single detail, as well as include meaningful and memorable details throughout. I can’t wait to see the Carriage House at The Merrimon-Wynne House transformed into our wedding reception, which will be like seeing all of my longtime wedding dreams come to life! We’re doing a reception room reveal so that I can soak it all in a little before our guests enter. Oh my goodness, the thought of it all makes me so happy!!

We are so, so excited about every moment of the day, really, but these are a few highlights that we’re eagerly anticipating. I have a feeling April 1st will be the best day of our lives so far, and I can’t believe our wedding day is so soon! My big goal this week is to truly relish and soak in every moment, to not worry about the little details, and to be present with Rob, our families, and our friends. Rob and I are so grateful for every bit of all this, and we cannot wait to become husband and wife!

Photo by Nancy Ray via Southern Weddings

Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for following along throughout our engagement and for your excitement and kind words as I’ve shared a peek on our wedding planning journey. I’m truly grateful and so very humbled for your support, encouragement, and well wishes for Rob and myself!

P.S. In case you missed a post:
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress
Bridesmaid style
Engagement photos
The details
Gift ideas

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Annie – XO, Annie reply

    We’re having our Engagements taken this Saturday :). I’m definitely most excited about our Ceremony Mass this Fall as well. Have a beautiful week and April First!

  2. avatar Lisa Hays reply

    Best Wishes to you both! Enjoy your special day!

  3. avatar Molly Dansby reply


  4. avatar Bri A reply

    I’m sure the ceremony was beautiful! I’ve loved following your journey, Stephanie, and am sending you both good wishes for a happy, joyful life together.


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Is there anything more Southern than sweet tea and biscuits? Hold on to your hats y’all, because this championship battle is going to be for the record books. The Final Four votes have been tallied and we are officially down to our last two Southern delicacies. Final voting is open now and we will crown our 2017 champion on Monday, April 3, hours before the ‘other March Madness’ Championship tips off!

For now, though, we bid adieu to fried chicken and hot-n-now Krispy Kreme donuts. Krispy Kreme made back-to-back Final Four appearances, but even with most of the Southern Weddings office pledging their voting allegiance, they couldn’t make it to the championship match. This year the SW gals are split in their final voting because many of us have a champion still standing!! A couple of us will be rooting hard for biscuits and at least one gal (ahem, *wink*) is 100% on Team Sweet Tea!

Here’s how our final bracket looks:

You have until Sunday night at midnight to cast your vote, so don’t dawdle! Planning to watch the ‘other March Madness’ festivities over the weekend? Maybe serve some sweet tea and biscuits along with your other favorite party foods. Need other menu inspiration? Pick a few other bites and beverages from our 2017 list of 64 – might I recommend pimento cheese, chicken & waffles and banana pudding to start? Happy voting!!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
  1. avatar m reply

    soooooo…. who was the winner???

  2. avatar My Favorite Drink for Summertime in the City – Classic Catherine reply

    […] day one. (I’m wondering if Kristin Winchester’s enthusiasm for sweet tea during the Southern Weddings’s Mason-Dixon Madness had anything to do with […]

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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