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Bride Carrye shares her toile and monogrammed wedding on the Eastern Shore!

While we love to ask brides what was Southern about their wedding (and Carrye’s response was spot on: “Hospitality was a top priority during the planning of our wedding, making sure our guests were taken care of from the moment they arrived on the Eastern Shore throughout the entire weekend.”), some celebrations need no explanation. Today’s wedding is a classic Southern belle’s dream, complete with a white-columned plantation, a bourbon bar, toile tablecloths, a silhouette artist, mint julep cups, and monogrammed everything from the cocktail hour cornhole boards to the traditional china to the wax-sealed escort cards. While I was still marveling at how Carrye and her wedding planner, Elle, tied these universally-beloved Southern details together so seamlessly, I noticed that Maryland’s unique flair was was also sprinkled throughout. You know there were crab cakes, an oyster bar, and those beautiful Chesapeake Bay views.

If I may point out one more thing before you feast your eyes on these photos, please don’t miss the proposal story told from the groom’s perspective! I love it when a groom chimes in with interview responses. If you want to see even more details from this gorgeous day, pick up a copy of our tenth-anniversary issue here!

Big hugs to Caitlin Joyce Photography for sending along these photos!

They say pick your church first, and now we know why. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of my wedding at a big white plantation house on a hill, something Tara-esque (Scarlett O’Hara, anyone?), and while Kirkland Manor wasn’t on a hill, I wouldn’t trade those water views for anything in the world.

What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Go with your instinct. I feel like I have had my wedding planned out in my head my entire life, but there is so much inspiration out there it can become overwhelming at times. Also, I got a text message first thing on wedding morning from a long time family friend, saying “deep breaths, and slow down.” It really does happen in the blink of an eye, and the morning of you can get so caught up making sure everything is going to be perfect and wanting to get to the ceremony to get to the reception etc. It was such a small, but mighty reminder to slow down and take in each moment of the day.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. We got married by our Priest who has been a close friend of the family for years. He has such a beautiful way with words, so we had been looking forward to his homily. He spoke of creating a solid foundation for our marriage and gifted us a cornerstone for our new house. It was a beautiful gift and is wonderful reminder seeing it outside our home every day.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. It only took eight bridal salons to find the one, but once I did, I am so thankful I did not settle. My favorite part of my dress is the lace. It is a larger embroidered-style lace I had not seen before, and it just had a very heirloom feel to it that spoke to me!

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? I think our monogram, because it became the inspiration for so many other elements of the wedding. It’s so special, because it depicts the coming together of us.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? Our silhouette artist! In a corner of the tent, we had a wonderful silhouette artist creating cameos for each of our guests! The best part was that she would cut 2 pieces of paper at a time so they not only were favors for the guests to take home, but the second was placed into a notebook where guests could write us a note! (Jason’s favorite detail of the wedding: The bourbon bar.)

Before entering the tent for the reception, while finding their table number, guests were greeted with a glass of champagne poured from a 9 Liter bottle of our favorite, Perrier Jouet. Guests then sat down for dinner. Once finished, the band began to pick up tempo and everyone rushed the dance floor! We all danced the night away, with a wonderful surprise of passed cool towels! After cake cutting, Jason’s bourbon bar filled with some of his proud collection opened up, and of course, we lost a few on the dance floor to that!

Our planner, Elle, had toile linens made for our head table that matched the toile pillows in the lounge and sashes on the cocktail tables at Cocktail Hour. She had a white fabric lined tent with 9 brass chandeliers and floral hanging simply in between the chandeliers over the black and white, classic, dance floor. Our monogram was placed everywhere from the escort board to the menus.

Our tent reveal will be something I will remember for the rest of my days. Elle, our planner, escorted us to the tent during cocktail hour and we had a few minutes to take it all in alone! Years of dreaming, months of planning, and here it was! It was better than we could have ever imagined! I squealed, then cried the happiest tears, and Jason spun me a few times around our dance floor to let it all soak in.

Did you have a cocktail hour? If so, what was it like? We had a two-hour cocktail hour to allow guests time to freshen up or check-in to their hotels. Guests arrived by shuttle to the front of Kirkland Manor and walked through the house to the backyard overlooking the Tred Avon where they were greeted with Mint Juleps. Guests could walk the grounds, sit in the most gorgeous oversized dusty blue velvet sofas along the water, play a game or two of cornhole, enjoy passed hors d’ourves including artichoke beignets and an oyster bar.
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? Fresh Summer salad topped with a crabcake (because that’s what Maryland does…) to start, followed by a beef entrée and petit chocolates and bites for tables to share.

Tell us a bit about your first dance. Both of us, being a bit shy, did not want the big announcement and entrance. Once guests took their seats, the band began to play Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” as we made our way to the dance floor to dance as husband and wife, and whisper cheesy jokes to keep our minds off all these people staring at us!

Tell us your love story. Our story begins in the summer of 2008 while tubing down the Gunpowder. With mutual friends dating, we ran into each other often. Perhaps there were a few sparks, but it wasn’t love at first sight. As the weather cooled and summer came to an end, our “coincidental” run-ins at parties and bonfires did too. Looking back now, we can say it’s all in God’s timing. Depending on who you ask, our first date came sometime years later. He says it was that rainy February night at the National Aquarium. I think it was that spring afternoon at an Orioles game. Nevertheless, it was the summer of 2012 we become inseparable (and Facebook official).
Describe the proposal! (From Jason:) It was the day before we were leaving for a vacation in France. There were bets on when and where it was going to happen while on our trip, and I couldn’t let anyone win, so I had to pop the question before we left! We were getting ready for dinner at Carrye’s favorite restaurant in Philadelphia and it just felt right. I got down on one knee in her apartment, and it was intimate and perfect.
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring. The diamond is from Jason’s Grandma, which is so special! He took the diamond to their family jeweler, and they created the most beautiful ring!
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? I’d say the biggest challenge was being long distance for most of the planning- being away from each other had its own challenges, and also making plans to be in town to meet with our planner and vendors.
Tell us about your wedding flowers. We wanted a mix of large loose flowers and greenery flowing from tall silver candelabras and small arrangements all over in mint julep cups! We loved everything about them, and the colors tied in perfectly with the other décor! I wanted a flowing, organic bouquet, as if you were in a field of flowers and bent down to grab an armful. Hues of soft green, whites and hints of blue and tied up with dusty blue silk ribbons. And of course, a few of my favorite- anemones!
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? I am inclined to say everyone. It is a truly indescribable feeling to be surrounded by so many people you love and admire. But looking back now, it would be my Granny, who unexpectedly passed a couple months later. My wedding photos are the last photos we have with her and I have clung tight to those happy images and know I will for many years.
What were some of the highlights of the reception? “River of Dreams” by Billy Joel has become our family theme song, so we asked if they band could learn it and play it as our last song- and boy did they! What felt like a never-ending version finished off the dance floor as guests left the tent to line up for a sparkler exit, but to everyone’s surprise, fireworks exploded over the water as we ran past all our family and friends.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We just finished completely gutting a house, Jason’s childhood home, actually. So, after being long distance for years, planning a wedding, moving in with my parents while renovating, I think we are most excited to settle in our new home and keep things low key for a little while!
Who was your favorite vendor and why? Hands down, our Wedding Planner, Elle Ellinghaus. She’s in my phone as ‘Fairy God Mother’, because that’s exactly what she is and this dream would not have come to life without her.

Photographer: Caitlin Joyce Photography | Videographer: Clickspark Films | Planner and Designer: Elle Ellinghaus Designs | Ceremony Venue: Our Mother of Sorrows | Reception Venue: Kirkland Manor | Florals: My Flower Box Events | Catering: Linwoods | Wedding Cake: Patisserie Poupon | Bride’s Gown: Style 9818 by Justin Alexander Signature | Bridal Salon: Ellie’s Bridal Boutique | Bride’s Veil: Justin Alexander Signature | Bridesmaid Dresses: “Annabelle” in Ciel Blue by Jenny Yoo | Hair Stylist: NV Salon Collective | Makeup Artist: Makeup by Nancy Degan | Groom’s Fashion: Christopher Schafer Clothier | Groomsmen Fashion: Tuxedo House | Monogram: Empress Stationery | Stationery and Printing: Just Ink on Paper | Tent: Eastern Shore Tents | Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Flatware: Party Plus Baltimore | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Transportation: American Limousines | Fireworks: Serpico Pyrotechnics | Lighting and Drapery: Event Pro | Silhouette Artist: Paper Portraits

Written with love by Catherine
  1. avatar Jordan reply

    Where are the sweet flower girl dresses from? Love!!

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    Where did you get those bridesmaid pjs?! They are so cute!!

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Two brand new babies and all the horses in Georgia couldn’t keep me from hitting the pause button on maternity leave to recap the most magical night: our celebration for the launch of our special tenth-anniversary issue a few weeks ago. Of course, we did it in high style at the Carolina Inn, with 300+ of our favorite friends and family, lots of fancy dresses and tuxedos, and a menu that would make your grandmama beam with pride.

The launch party is one of our favorite nights year after year, but we knew we wanted to pull out all the stops to make this tenth-anniversary celebration one for the record books. The night started with a signature cocktail for each guest and ended with a dance party that I’m confident we will be talking about for years, maybe decades, to come.

Biggest hugs to our dear friends McLean Events for pulling together all the details and to Brent from Live View Studios for all of these amazing photos! Our friends at Reel Special captured video coverage of the whole evening (don’t miss it at the bottom of this post!), and the Bourbon Booth made sure everyone left with legendary photobooth memories.

Our darling Marissa wasn’t able to celebrate in person since her little fella, BDK3, was only hours away from making his grand debut, so we had to improvise to ensure she didn’t miss out on all the fun (and photos). Speaking of babies, I know I’m a bit biased, but I think all the miniature party guests stole the show.

Lara started Southern Weddings in her tiny apartment on a PC computer nearly 10 years ago, and here we are, all these years later, with 9 team members (did I mention that we all missed Marissa like crazy) and all our families for an iconic tenth-anniversary team photo to commemorate the evening. Interested in a little Southern Weddings trivia? The SW babies and kiddos now outnumber the SW ladies. I’d also be remiss to not give all the kudos to Lindsey Regan Thorne and her Be Pretty squad for their help beautifying the whole Southern Weddings team and doling out some serious curls and lashes.

We’re big believers in good ol’ Southern hospitality, so we greeted guests by name thanks to All She Wrote Notes‘s gorgeous hand-calligraphed nametags, and offered everyone a place to rest their tired feet compliments of furniture from Cottage Luxe. And what’s more hospitable than lovely fresh florals? Our friends at Tre Bella made all our pink-floral-loving hearts swell with gorgeous arrangements sprinkled all over the room, and Jessica with Empress Stationery outdid herself with the party invitation.

As we say in our Sweet Tea Manifesto, “we believe that beautiful things have value simply because they make the world a more lovely place”. It’s such a joy to see this proclamation come to life with beautiful linens from CE Rental and gorgeous ‘walk down memory lane’ chalk signs from the Chalk Shop.

Getting to hug Anna and David Shackleford, our cover photographers, along with so many other friends, including many dear vendors who helped us bring our tenth-anniversary issue to life, was such a gift. We’ve said it over and over, but we could not do this work without the help and support of so many talented friends.

So many hugs!

I told y’all that the food would make any Southern grandmama proud. We love to use the issue for inspiration for the menu, and the Carolina Inn chefs pulled out extra tricks this year. The shrimp po’boys went fast, and I personally enjoyed five or six miniature soups and grilled cheeses as well as my fair share of treats from the biscuit bar (who can say no to pimento cheese). And it wouldn’t be a Southern Weddings party without plenty of Cheerwine, who, coincidentally, is celebrating a big anniversary this year too.

We were treated to amazing live music in the early phases of the evening, thanks to Bounce from EastCoast Entertainment and then an unforgettable dance party thanks to Joe Bunn DJ later. Whitney Houston’s iconic “I wanna dance with somebody” will be an instant flashback memory. And of course, the toasts are always a highlight. It’s such an honor to stand on the stage and raise a glass of thanksgiving to all the friends who helped make our latest issue happen.

It never fails that the photobooth is the most popular spot for the whole evening. The line was never-ending as friend after friend piled into the Bourbon Booth to capture a few memories. Looking back at my first launch party where we proudly piled all five Southern Weddings gals in for a picture, I might have to admit that one of the hidden SW team talents is cramming more and more of us into the photobooth each year.

Before leaving, all our party guests grabbed their very own copy of Southern Weddings and some treats to help them relax the rest of the evening — pralines from Loose Sugar Bakery and a Milk Bath from Southern Traditions Home. Not a bad way to end a wonderful party.

There’s something so special about having your memories captured on video, so thank you to Reel Special for allowing us to relive this sparkling evening over and over again.

I’m going to go on record and proclaim our tenth-anniversary celebration the best one yet. Thank you so much to everyone who celebrated with us, from near and far, for your love and support of the Southern Weddings mission and our special tenth-anniversary issue. We love y’all more than all the biscuits in the world.

Venue and catering: The Carolina Inn | Planning and design: McLean Events | Photography: Live View Studios | Videography: Reel Special | Music: Bounce via East Coast Entertainment | DJ: Bunn DJ Company | Flowers: Tre Bella Florist | Linens: CE Rental | Lounge furniture: Cottage Luxe | Sweets: The Cupcake Shoppe Bakery | Chalkboard Art: Chalk Shop Events | Photo booth: Bourbon Booth | Signage: All She Wrote Notes | Invitations: Empress Stationery | Hair and makeup: Lindsey Regan Thorne | Pralines: Loose Sugar Bakery | Milk bath containers: Southern Traditions Home

East Coast Entertainment, Bourbon Booth, McLean Events, Bunn DJ Company, Live View Studios, Reel Special, Chalk Shop, and Cottage Luxe are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory

kristin Written with love by Kristin
1 Comment
  1. avatar Ryan Worthen reply

    It was such an awesome celebration and we were SO honored that you asked us to film the launch party! Congratulations on 10 amazing years, and here’s to many more!

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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!

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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