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Monthly Archives: December 2017

Bride Amy shares the festive details of her New Year’s Eve wedding at Boone Hall Plantation!

It’s almost 2018, friends, and I hope some of you are headed to a wedding on Sunday night! I’ve always wanted to go to a wedding on New Year’s Eve. Everyone is already in a celebratory mood, other plans are usually overrated, and while my wedding-loving heart has a lot of favorites, nothing beats a dressy winter fete in my book! Bride Amy agrees: “New Year’s Eve was an unreal time to start our marriage. Not only is it already a party, but it’s also a time to reflect on your past friendships and look forward to the future.”

I’m so excited to introduce today’s bride, Amy, to tell you how she created a New Year’s Eve to remember for her guests (including Hoppin’ John!!) as she married her military man, Ryan, in Charleston!

Thank you to Sean Money + Elizabeth Fay and Fox Events for sharing this beautiful wedding!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I had found a designer I loved, Berta Bridal, and she was having a trunk show at L’Fay Bridal in NYC. we decided to round up all of the women in my family and Ryan’s and have a girls weekend to see some plays and go dress shopping. We pulled several to try on and to my surprise, we fell in love with the first dress I had pulled. It looked nothing like what I had pictured for myself, but it was perfect in every way.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I wanted to make sure our bridal parties didn’t spend a fortune to participate in our wedding, so we took care of the bridesmaid dresses and tuxes for both parties. I used Rent the Runway for the girls, and it was very cost-effective.

We chose Grace Church Cathedral after we went to visit one Sunday when they were having a special service called the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan. Some of our best family friends live in Scotland, so we were excited to participate in a service honoring their heritage. The church was breathtakingly beautiful, and the bagpipers were unbelievable. We couldn’t wait to invite our Scottish friends to our wedding there. As for our reception venue, we had a lot of out of town guests and wanted to treat them to a quintessential Charleston wedding. There is something about the drive down the Avenue of Oaks there.

What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Weddings have so many elements that you don’t think about when you begin planning. I would suggest sitting down together and prioritizing two or three of the big details. This way, when you get together with your planner, they know that the band, bar, and flowers are most important and they can help you save on other details.

We had several brainstorming sessions with Lauren Fox of Fox Events. There are so many details in a wedding, I struggled to picture it all complete, but Lauren took all of my ideas and tied them together.

Our favorite Southern detail was serving “Hoppin’ John” on New Year’s Eve. Many of our guests were not familiar with this Southern recipe featuring black-eyed peas, bacon, and collards. The appetizer was delivered to each guest in a tiny mason jar, and the waiters shared the significance of Hoppin’ John, which is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our most memorable song was our first dance to “You Make my Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oates. It’s not a traditional first dance song since it’s quirky and upbeat. Ryan and I always loved this song and felt like it explains us, so we took some dance lessons and had a jazzy wedding dance choreographed for fun. This was a nice bonding experience leading up to the wedding.

We had Jim Smeal design our wedding cake to mimic the lace on my gown. It was one of my favorite details from the wedding: he nailed it. Not only was the cake stunning, but tasted amazing too.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. Once blind dates to the 8th grade dance, serendipity brought us back together 10 years later.
Tell us all about the proposal! While we were dating, Ryan was going through the special forces qualification course in Fayetteville, NC while I worked in Charleston, SC. There was a phase in training when Ryan was completely out of contact for about 3 months, with only one or two weekends back in civilization. What I didn’t know is that during those few short days, Ryan was planning our engagement. When Ryan completed this long stretch of training, he drove to Columbia, SC to ask my dad for my hand in marriage, and my dad tearfully (happy tears!) said yes. Ryan came home Labor Day Weekend and took me on a date. I thought we were celebrating his halfway point in the army. After dinner, we stopped by our favorite spot, Zero George, to grab a drink and see our friend Justin. We were taken to the porch and at that moment, I knew it was about to happen. The porch was covered in candles, flowers, strawberries, and a bucket of champagne to celebrate. It was perfect: just the two of us, sitting on a swing, laughing and crying.
When did y’all get married? December 31, 2016.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150.
Did you decide to do a first look? We opted not to do a first look. I had dreamed about a traditional wedding and couldn’t wait to see the look on Ryan’s face as we saw each other for the first time as I walked down the aisle. It was a moment I will never forget.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My favorite detail was our invitations and all of the stationary from Studio R. I had no idea invitations could include the level of detail that they did. Since it was New Year’s Eve, we used gold foil press and lined the invitation in glitter. The envelopes were black with gold calligraphy. They were so ME!
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? The logistics of having a holiday wedding were difficult at times but worth every bit of the trouble. Our reception venue, Boone Hall, closed at 10pm, so we decided to have an after party to ring in the new year on the rooftop of the grand bohemian hotel.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? We chose to sit at a table with both of our families since it’s so rare to have everyone in one place. We will never forget the warm glow on everyone’s face from the candlelight or the laughs that we shared. In the crazy hustle of a wedding day, it was one of the few moments when time seemed to slow down and memories were made.

Photographer: Sean Money and Elizabeth Fay | Planner and Florist: Lauren Fox, Fox Events | Videographer: Wedding Headline | Ceremony Venue: Grace Church Cathedral | Reception Venue: Boone Hall Plantation | Wedding Cake Baker: Jim Smeal | Caterer: Cru Catering | Band: Groovetown | Paper Products: Studio R | Bride’s Gown: Berta Bridal | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Charlotte Belk | Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Monique Lhuillier from Rent the Runway | Menswear: Berlins

Written with love by Catherine

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Engagement has been one of the sweetest and most refining seasons of my life. We’re less than four months away from the big day (more on my wedding planning journey will be coming to the blog this January!), and it’s been an opportunity for my fiancé and I to lay the groundwork for one of the best parts of life—our marriage.

The privilege of working for Southern Weddings gives me a treasure trove of real wedding interviews from brides who have walked before me and shared their best wedding planning advice. One of the most common pieces of advice I’ve heard? Set a goal for your wedding, and run each decision you make through it. It’s been one of the most helpful pieces of advice during wedding planning, and we know it carries over into planning for our marriage, too!

While I won’t claim to be a goal-setting expert by any means, I’ve learned a lot from our sister brand, home of the PowerSheets Intentional Goal Planner, and the amazing ladies I work alongside. Today in the spirit of the new year, I’m excited to share some tips for how to incorporate goal setting into your relationship!

Our friend Sophia is a real-life PowerSheets user and joined us at this year’s PowerSheets photo shoot as a model! Photo by Faith Teasley

Create a common language. Logan and I are paying for the majority of our wedding ourselves, and we quickly realized that our money can easily disappear if it isn’t connected to what matters to us. By setting a goal for our wedding and asking ourselves four questions each time we make a decision, we’ve created a unifying language that makes it easier to have what could be difficult conversations. Why? Because we’re on the same page about our end goal. Those simple questions have diffused a lot of tense conversations and decisions we’ve had to make over the past two months.

Explain why goal setting has worked for you. If your significant other isn’t fully on board right away, explain why goal setting matters to you, what excites you about it, and the difference it has made in your life. Give tangible examples and be open to hearing his thoughts, too. Sharing my PowerSheets with Logan over the past two years has helped keep me accountable, and it’s given me a cheerleader on the days I don’t necessarily want to work on my goals (ahem, gym days!).

Play it cool. Introduce the idea of goal setting gently. If you’re hoping to set goals together, don’t bust out eight different colored pens, stickers, PowerSheets, and your calendar and ask for a three-hour block of his day all at the same time. That’s a sure fire way to send him scurrying away! If you think sitting down for a large chunk of time isn’t in the cards, try incorporating some prompts from your PowerSheets into your normal conversation. I’ve found that some of our best conversations happen during long car rides (great for upcoming holiday travels) or on Sunday afternoon strolls.

Listen before speaking. Ask questions, and practice the art of the awkward pause. Looking for an easy way to get your significant other to share more? Employ a simple phrase: “Tell me more about that.”

Make it fun. Whether you’re celebrating your first holiday together or your fiftieth, I’d venture to guess that some of your favorite memories stem from traditions in your family. The same can be true for goal-setting! Make setting goals for your family fun by incorporating things you love. Have a favorite restaurant that falls beyond your typical eating out budget? Make it a special date night and enjoy a leisurely dinner together. Love traveling and exploring new places? Choose a recurring weekend each year, and make it an adventure. A change of scenery can be helpful for you to dig deep together. Look at what fires you up as a couple, and incorporate those things into your goal setting!

Seek guidance. If I’ve learned anything during wedding planning, it’s that asking for help from those more knowledgable than me isn’t just recommended, it’s required. The same is true for goal setting. Instead of flying solo, look to others with more experience! Our founder and sister brand, the Cultivate Shop, created the PowerSheets Goal Planner to help you cultivate what matters most in your marriage. Whether you use PowerSheets or not, there’s a plethora of resources available. Find them, and use them!

Write it down, and celebrate your progress. A hallmark of the PowerSheets is that you don’t just say goals out loud and forget about them. You write them down, post them up in your home, and return to them regularly. When there’s progress to celebrate, do so with abundance! Make your favorite meal for dinner, go out for ice cream, go to the beach for the day, take the afternoon off of work and go to a movie–whatever is meaningful and fun for the two of you, do it.

We’d love to hear from you! Do you and your significant other set goals? Share your best tips, tricks, and advice for setting goals in your marriage below!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
  1. avatar Heather reply

    Love this. Goal setting has been so crucial in our marriage. We make a point every 3 months to have a goal setting meeting.we plan goals 1 month away, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. Both in regards to work, personal growth and travel. (We love traveling, so it’s important to plan trip goals for us). Lots of goals! But it helps us stay on track as a team, build each other up and celebrate those accomplishments. ?

    • avatar Jess Metcalf reply

      Love that you plan goals for those increments, Heather! We’re hoping to invest in a house this year, so my fiancé and I will definitely need to have goal-meetings and checkpoints to stay on track!

  2. avatar Tameika reply

    My husband and I have been married for 14 years and we always set goals together. And not just new year’s goal but monthly and quarterly goals, We also meet on Sunday afternoons and in addition to planning for the week, we use that time to check in on goals. We are accountability partners and that helps.

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I hope you all had wonderful Christmases, belles!

As much as we’ve loved recapping some of our favorite details from 2017 real weddings (dresses, bouquets, bridesmaid looks, ceremonies, sweets, and details), this final post has our heart. Please enjoy fifteen of the most magical wedding moments we caught a glimpse of this past year – may they inspire you to seek the joy in your own wedding planning and wedding days!

Louise popping some bubbly with her best gals (photo by Hunter Ryan)

Ellie and her sweet mama getting ready (photo by Elisa Bricker)

Lindsey putting on her gown for the first time (photo by Amy Arrington)

Cathleen getting a kiss from her ring bearer (photo by Mike Cassimatis)

Isabelle riding to the church with her parents (photo by Ashley Seawell)

Lynnsey and her daddy waiting to walk down the aisle (photo by Mark Williams Studio)

Rachel meeting her groom at the altar (photo by Cassidy Carson)

Marci and Ross praying over their new marriage (photo by Taylor Dane)

Taryn and Chris beaming with excitement post-ceremony (photo by Kristin Sweeting)

Ashley and Aaron all smiles after their ceremony (photo by Feather & Twine)

Tom taking his new bride for a swing (photo by Jen Fariello)

Morgan and Scott celebrating their new marriage (photo by Caroline Jurgensen)

Hannah and Ryan dipping on the dance floor (photo by Rebekah Senter)

Katie and Cameron jamming out with friends (photo by Hannah Mayson)

Weinjie and Futhum making a triumphant exit (photo by Elle Golden)

Elisa Bricker is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Paolo reply

    Loving these moments! Indeed really magical.

  2. avatar Tiffany reply

    Awwww so wonderful to see Louise poppin bubbly shared !! Thank you so much – she was truly such a sweet sweet bride!! Blessings to 2018!! – Cody&Tiff

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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