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Monthly Archives: September 2017

Classic bride Rachel shares her wedding at James Monroe’s Highland!

Rachel may have been surprised to find her wedding dress at her very first appointment, but from just a quick glimpse at her wedding photos and getting to know what matters most to her and Vince through her interview, I have to say, I’m not too surprised! I could have guessed that a classic lace gown with a full skirt and big bow would have been just her style, and sure enough, that’s what she ended up with.

These two did such a beautiful job weaving together timeless style and uniquely personal details for their Virginia wedding – I think y’all will love taking a peek. Thanks to Shannon Moffit for the lovely photos!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Our blind coffee date turned into a 10-hour first date, and the rest was history.
Tell us all about the proposal! We recreated a camping and hiking trip we had taken two years before in the George Washington National Forest. We fell in love with this mountain because of the view at the top which consists of a grassy meadow surrounded by a 360° view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Vince surprised me with a proposal at the top of the mountain. He acted like he had to get something out of his first aid kit. I was so oblivious I was walking around taking pictures, but quickly realized what was happening. We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating in Charlottesville.

I never thought I would be one of those brides who would find her dress early, but I fell in love with my dress at Modern Trousseau Savannah during the very first appointment. After trying on several dresses and narrowing them down to two, I fell in LOVE with my custom dress when the stylist overlaid a lace top to bring everything I wanted to fruition. Lace top, long silk train, a bow, and a veil to bring it all together – this dress was truly the dress of my dreams!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes. As an aspiring wedding photographer, I really valued the extra time afforded for portraits and bridal party pictures before the ceremony. It also provided an intimate time for just the two of us to spend together before the craziness of the evening began. We were able to enjoy half of our cocktail hour with our friends and family because we decided to do a first look, and we are so happy we had that time to enjoy with our guests.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We live in Washington, D.C. but fell in love with Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Being able to visit the wineries and go hiking and camping in the area is a nice escape from city life. When we found James Monroe’s Highland, we knew we had a very special venue for our ceremony and reception. This beautiful slice of land is nestled at the bottle of the Blue Ridge and offered several areas to utilize that really brought the vision for our wedding day to life.

Our guests were welcomed to Charlottesville with gift bags full of Virginia goodies, but we had to make one exception! Though we live in D.C. and adore Charlottesville, the bride is a Tar Heel and the groom is a Florida Gator, so we had to make sure we paid tribute to our roots! My sister made state-themed cookies for the welcome bags and they were a huge hit!

What else was Southern? We had a monogram made for our wedding which carried through the invitation suite and details during the wedding day. We also used a monogrammed Sasha Nicholas champagne bucket as our card repository. I wore my grandmother’s pearls as my something old. The boys looked dapper in their blue suits and green bow ties. Of course, we had a menu of upscale Southern cuisine with some of our favorite dishes such as barbecue, collard greens, and grits – all with a refined twist.

Vince and I tried to weave meaningful details throughout the day that truly represented us as a couple. When preparing for our marriage, we read the book “The Meaning of Marriage” by Timothy Keller. One of the main themes of the book is from 1 John 4 – that we love each other because Christ first loved us. We used this as our reading during the ceremony, and Vince had this engraved in my wedding band. Also, the book discussed marriage vows and how this promise is not only a covenant to our spouse, but part of our marriage covenant with Christ. As such, we used traditional vows in our ceremony. Our officiants were also very special to us. We chose our pastor and a close friend and mentor to co-lead the ceremony.

Our favorite detail had to be the al fresco dinner. The tables, chairs, place settings, and florals all came together in the most perfect intimate setting. One of our favorite memories of the day was at the end of cocktail hour when we were able to sneak away and take in the view of the tablescapes with the candles lit before guests were seated. We knew we wanted to have a family-style dinner with all of our closest friends and family around the table. Having that dinner in the special setting, watching the sunset by candlelight, was a dream that we will never forget. I also have to add that I LOVED the place card display. The wax seals had our wedding monogram engraved in them, and each table was named after a president since we were married at a former president’s estate :)

We had a string trio perform for our ceremony and reception. We chose Ben Fold’s “The Luckiest” as our first dance song for several reasons. It is such a beautiful song that is really deep and such a metaphor for true love when you really listen to the lyrics.

Two tiers of our wedding cake were chocolate, and the largest tier was called “Jazzy Razz,” lemon cake filled with raspberry puree topped with buttercream. The flavors offered something for everyone, those more traditional or adventurous. The flavors even tasted great together – who doesn’t love chocolate and raspberry?

When did y’all get married? May 6, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? One way we managed to cut costs for our wedding was sourcing vendors not directly in the hot wedding market that is Charlottesville. Finding reputable vendors that offered the quality and aesthetic we were looking for from nearby areas was one way of saving us a lot of money.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? We would definitely recommend using vendors who already have a working relationship. It really helps the wedding day go so much more smoothly!! For example, our planner and photographer are friends and work together frequently, so coming together for our big day to manage timelines and ensure all of the details were perfectly captured made everything run seamlessly. We would definitely recommend working with a planner, and having the planner recommend vendors with which they have established relationships. Many brides don’t understand how much tension can happen behind the scenes when vendors are not on the same page, so this is definitely one way to help eliminate that stress!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Our wedding band, E3, was such a huge hit. Formally known as “Everything,” they were a big hit in the ’90s with their song “Who’s Got the Hooch.” Rachel loves rosé and that was something that carried throughout the day. It was the star of her signature cocktail, “Virginia is for Lovers.” Vince’s favorite drink is a Pimm’s Cup, which we appropriately re-named “Vin’s Cup” :D

Photographer: Shannon Moffit | Planner: Luxe and Luna | Venue: James Monroe Highland | Florist: Petals and Hedges | Wedding Cake: Pearl’s Bake Shoppe | Caterer: Garnish | Rentals: Paisley and Jade and MS Events | Bands: The Classical Hillbillies and E3 via Sam Hill Entertainment | Paper Products: Empress Stationery | Bride’s Gown: Custom “Whitney” Gown by Modern Trousseau | Bridal Salon and Veil: Modern Trousseau Savannah | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Gohar Makeup | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” and “Nyla” by Jenny Yoo | Men’s Attire: Dobell | Bow Ties: The Tie Bar | Calligraphy: Letterlyn | Watercolor Vows: Hey Bernadette | Rings: Shah and Shah Distinctive Jewelers

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar Wedding Pixie reply

    Stunning wedding and what a fabulous dress, love the bow at the back, so pretty!

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Bride Scarlett shares her Rivermill Event Centre wedding filled with Southern romance.

Please meet today’s bride Scarlett. She and her beau Jonathan are adventurers. “We are chasing something together – not sure what that is, but it is exhilarating,” she said. And with a goal of visiting all 59 national parks, their engagement in Death Valley was just the beginning. Though they may love to travel they knew that they wanted to share their love of the South and just how beautiful and charming it is through a romantic, Southern wedding that they’re still dreaming about. Keep reading to learn more about their adventures and see their magical Georgia wedding.

Thanks for sharing, Gaby J Photography!

Jonathan and I wanted to do a first look because we knew it would calm our nerves, and to exchange some sweet words. Plus, we planned on our puppy making an appearance!

We have a goal to visit all 59 national parks. Death Valley has always pulled on my heartstrings as it is one of the most beautiful locations in America. Jonathan knew that and proposed in one of the most remote, unique places in the park. It was late autumn and at twilight – the temperature was cool, the breeze was soft, and the sky turned purple. Words really can’t describe the moment. It was just perfect!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. It is really cool when you hear everyday songs played on strings, so we picked songs from all genres. We really wanted our guests to be entertained during the ceremony and cocktail hour. Our ceremony songs didn’t hold any significance to us, we just wanted our guests to have a good time. Our recessional choice was “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles. If that isn’t a feel-good song, I don’t know what is!

What was Southern about your wedding? There was an emphasis on bringing people together – what is more Southern than that? The Spanish moss, the Chattahoochee River rushing in the background, and the venue’s historical significance showed our out-of-town guests how beautiful and charming the South is.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? I had this vision of a space for guests to go to when they needed a break from inside. We brought in antique furniture and filled the space with candles. It was so dreamy and played into that Southern romance I was after. I’m still dreaming about it!

I decided to go a little modern with my cakes. I had three separate cakes, different sizes with touches of watercolor and gold. I had my florist include some peonies just to add a soft finish. The flavor was a delicious almond buttercream.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We are chasing something together – not sure what that is, but it is exhilarating.
When did y’all get married? April 28, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. The highlight for me was seeing my mom’s reaction to the first gown I walked out in. We both knew it was the ‘one’ without having to say anything.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I knew immediately the Rivermill was going to be our venue. The garden space and outside terrace adjacent to the reception room fit perfectly with my wedding vision.
What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Having my mom and dad walk me down the aisle will forever be one of the most precious moments of that day.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? It was so much fun working with vendors that had a true passion for making my wedding vision come to life!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? My wedding was in Columbus, GA, a relatively small city in the state. There were items that were not easily accessible, so my team and I had to find them in other cities or purchase online. We made it happen though!
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 wanted to differentiate the head table from others, but also keep costs low in that particular area of the budget. Rather than have special glass chargers at every table, we just had them at the head table.
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Jonathan and I had ten minutes to ourselves on the terrace. It reminded me of our engagement – twilight, perfect temperature, colorful sky. That moment was meant for us.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Seek vendors that collaborate with other vendors outside their local region and have a “can do” mentality. Brides often hire vendors that discourage their choices because it is not easy or it has never been done before. There are so many creative people out there waiting to do everything they can for you!

Photographer: Gaby J Photography | Planner: J-Lou’s Wedding and Event Planning | Venue: Rivermill Event Centre | Florist: B Anderson Floral | Wedding Cake: Midtown Cakes | Caterer: JK Culinary | Rentals and Lighting: Outdoor Events | Band: B. Haskins and his Third Floor Band | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: Allure Bridals | Bride’s Jewelry: Tara and Co. Diamonds | Makeup Artist: Allure by Rachel | Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Aidan” by Jenny Yoo and “Linden” by Watters | Men’s Attire: The Black Tux | Robes: Bloom Custom Robes | Custom Linen Napkins: Artistic Therapy by Amanda Newman | Table Runners and Bouquet Ribbons: Silk and Willow

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Geoff reply

    What an incredible setting especially for the ceremony. Having that backdrop of greenery is just perfect.

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Can you feel the extra sparkle in the air? That sizzle? It’s not fall, friends — I’m pretty sure it’s coming straight from Chapel Hill and all our excitement over our tenth anniversary issue!! After finally selecting a cover (holy goodness, she’s going to blow your socks off!) and nailing down the final few real weddings, we’re moving full steam ahead with wrapping up this gorgeous book and sending her off to the printer at the end of the month. The sweet tea and biscuits are at the ready for a big party once Nicole presses that final send button!

We’re gearing up for our biggest celebration to date when Volume 10 hits newsstands on November 9th, and we know we couldn’t have gotten here without all of y’all. We’re truly grateful. And, we’re thrilled to be able to include you in the celebrations in a brand new way this year by inviting you to join our official Southern Weddings Tenth Anniversary Launch Team!

The launch team will help us spread the news of Volume 10 and the Southern Weddings mission. Why? Because we believe that our mission for cultivating relationships and telling meaningful love stories matters, and that the simplest way to include others to join in the magic is to invite them. And who better to do that than the best hostesses we know? (You!!)

Launch team members will have:
• Special access to sneak peeks from the upcoming issue
• Exclusive membership to a private Facebook group
• Behind the scenes time with the editorial team
• Access to launch team only giveaways
• Loads of fun and more!!

Applications close Monday, September 25, so scoot along and apply today if you’re interested!

The fun doesn’t stop with the launch team! Pre-orders are going on sale soon (ahem, October 9th). I’m hard at work nailing down details for a blockbuster launch party celebration at our beloved Carolina Inn. AND we need your help with a few final details for this issue, so stay tuned to our social channels to vote on a few Southern favorites and for the chance to get your responses published in print!

The countdown to our tenth anniversary issue is on!!

kristin Written with love by Kristin

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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