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Drumroll, please… After logging more than 50,000 votes from readers across Dixie and beyond, we are tickled pink to announce our 2017 Best of the South Wedding Award winners!

But first, a little history. You answered our call for the best and the brightest in the Southeast in a big way, nominating thousands of wedding vendors for our 21 categories. After two weeks, we tallied up the nominations and selected the top vote-getters to compile our 12-15 finalists in each category.

You responded even more enthusiastically, voting your favorite wedding vendors to the top of their categories through more than 50,000 votes cast. It was amazing to hear the outpouring of support and respect for these folks and all of our Southeastern wedding vendors – we truly are so lucky to live and work in this corner of the country!

Without further ado, we’re packing up the golden pineapple trophies (a.k.a The Pineys) to ship to our winners, spread across the Southeast in seven different states!

P.S. If you call Alabama home, you might want to stick an extra feather in your hat today, as we had 10 winners hail from the Heart of Dixie!!

Prettiest Chapel: All Saints Chapel (NC)
Best Farm or Barn: The Barn at Shady Grove (AL)
Best Plantation-Style Venue: The Merrimon-Wynne (NC)
Best Hotel or Ballroom: The Biltmore Estate (NC)
Best Garden Venue: The Swan House (GA)
Best Paper Goods Vendor: Empress Stationery (AL)
Best Calligrapher: All She Wrote Notes (NC)
Best Band: Sol Fusion (NC)
Best DJ: DJ WellDunn, WellDunn Entertainment (AL)
Best Honeymoon Destination: Charleston (SC)
Best Bridal Salon: Ivory & White Bridal Boutique (AL)
Best Hair Stylist: PinkLouLou Design Studio (KY)
Best Makeup Artist: Katy Lynn Beauty (NC)
Best Event Planner/Designer: Mariée Ami (AL)
Best Rentals Vendor: Prop House (AL)
Best Florist: The Southern Table (TX)
Best Cake and Sweets Baker: Olexa’s (AL)
Best Caterer: Shindigs (AL)
Best Videographer: BrideFilm (LA)
Best Digital Photographer: Aaron & Jillian (SC)
Best Film Photographer: Photos by Heart (AL)

To each and every vendor nominated, we couldn’t do this wedding work without you. What you do matters. Thanks for pouring your heart and soul into your business. And to our sweet brides, how lucky are you?! These vendors are ready and able to help bring your wedding days to life and prepare you for meaningful, joyful marriages. We hope that you love working with them as much as we do!

Watch the video below for the Facebook Live award announcement from Kristin & Emily!

Again, biggest congratulations to all our 2017 Best of the South Wedding Award winners, finalists, and nominees! We can’t wait for next year!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
8 Comments
  1. avatar Maghon Taylor reply

    Thank Y’all SO so much! This is such an honor and we couldn’t be more excited! I so appreciate all your hard work making this awesome opportunity possible for all of our small businesses.

  2. avatar Kourtney Walker reply

    A huge congrats to allof y’all!! 🎊🎉💖

  3. avatar Katy Doss reply

    Thank you guys so much for allowing me to be involved in this experience! I never would have imagined a few years ago we would even be a finalist in the Best Make-up Category but to win it, that is a dream come true!!!

  4. avatar Aaron and Jillian reply

    Our hearts haven’t stopped beating out of our chests since 10am this morning!! Y’all, we’re SO HONORED to have won and are so thankful to y’all for giving the wedding community a chance to acknowledge all of these talented vendors who pour their hearts and souls into their crafts and spaces day in and day out!! We adore you girls and all the things you do to bring the southern wedding community together while still being a constant source of inspiration for Southern brides to be!! You’re all incredible and we love you!!! xoxo, Aaron + Jillian

  5. avatar We Won!! » Aaron & Jillian Photography reply

    […] Aaron and I were named “The Best Digital Wedding Photographers In The South” by Southern Weddings Magazine!!!  We’re crazy giddy over here today at the big news and are so honored that we were […]

  6. avatar Charleston Wedding Videographer reply

    Congrats to our Charleston friends! <3

  7. avatar Brandon Dunn reply

    Go Alabama!!! Congrats to ALL and GREAT JOB Southern Weddings. This was wonderful to be a part of :)

  8. avatar Jeffrey Newton reply

    Congrats to everyone! Well deserved !!!
    Maybe next year we can add a transportation category up there.

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After 7+ years of writing about, dreaming about, and scheming about Southern weddings, they still don’t get old to me! I’m constantly energized by the thoughtful, creative ways y’all incorporate your stories and what matters most to you into your wedding day details, and by our vendor community, who is always finding new ways to put unique twists on Southern staples. This wedding inspiration by The Willetts and Brianne McMullan is a perfect example. My favorite part? The subtle Atlanta nods they mixed into their vibrant Palm Beach meets Regency aesthetic. Lots of inspiration to pull from here for spring, summer, and even winter weddings!

From the team: We are so excited to share this beautiful styled shoot, showcasing a glam, colorful, and truly Southern style! An incredible team of vendors came together to showcase South Florida, Palm Beach infused details. Our inspiration came from the trend of adding bold color and bright patterns to a blank background. Even though the Hollywood Regency style became popular in the 1930’s, there’s a huge rebirth of the vibrant style today which we thought could (and should!) be translated into upcoming weddings! Incorporating details like the peach tones, actual peach fruit, and a modern background added touches of Atlanta to the theme. Our delicate, bright and metallic details brought this beautiful shoot together!

Photography: Willett Photography | Coordination and design: Brianne McMullan | Bride’s gown: Monique Lhuillier | Bridal salon: Joan Pillow Bridal Atlanta | Menswear: The Modern Gent | Hair and makeup: Jennifer Nieman |
Furniture rentals: Crush Event Rentals | Linens: Nuage Designs | Floral design: Flowers by Yona | Venue: 433 Bishop | Vintage dinnerware: Vintage English Teacup | Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited | Cake design: The Frosted Pumpkin | Stationery: Empress Stationery

emily Written with love by Emily
4 Comments
  1. avatar Christina Scalera reply

    This color palette is so unique! It’s versatile all year round and may or may not be my new website inspiration.

  2. avatar Lindsay reply

    This is STUNNING! Definitely one of my favorites from SW – these colors make me so excited for summer! Great job Brianne and team!

  3. avatar Lindsey reply

    This is gorgeous! Absolutely love the use of Blue Willow and cobalt patterns!

  4. avatar Kristen reply

    GORGEOUS GORGEOUS GORGEOUS work!!!!

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When my darling BDK and I got married, one of the first things we did when planning was create a “non-negotiables” list. These were things that we both really wanted for our wedding, and throughout our planning, we focused on honoring each other’s wishes–minus his idea of white batting gloves on the boys! It helped us to realize what was important to the other person, and really aided us in making big decisions when our budget was involved. So, of course, I love Alice and Dan’s advice: “Have fun and build on your list of musts!” Alice knew she wanted classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy, and Dan added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to their list. Together, they created a wedding that was as filled with Southern hospitality as it was lovely!

P.S. If you know me, you know how much I value the perfect Southern bump. Alice knocked it out of the park!

Thanks to Jacqueline Campbell for sharing this pretty day with us!

Every woman in my family gets married with an antique light blue polka dot handkerchief pinned inside her wedding dress! This covered my something blue and old. My something borrowed was my sister in law’s earrings from her wedding day. My something new was my dress!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did a first look underneath a weeping willow tree. It was so special to have a private moment with Dan before we got married. We also wanted to be able to take photos before the wedding so we could enjoy the party.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We both wanted to get married on the water, but didn’t want to venture too far from Washington D.C. We love the feeling (and the food!) at the Inn at Perry Cabin.

Our favorite moment from our wedding was when it started to rain right before our vows. All of a sudden, the crowd and our wedding party put up big Inn at Perry Cabin umbrellas, and everyone laughed! The pictures of the rain and storm clouds turned out so beautifully. Thankfully, the rain stopped and the sun came out for first kiss and cocktail hour.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun and build on your list of musts! Planning a wedding is a lot of hard work, but it is such a special time in your life and in your relationship. I always knew I wanted a classically elegant wedding on the water with great food, lots of hydrangeas, mojitos, and cotton candy. Daniel was a great supporter of my wedding dreams, and added Old Fashioned cocktails and an amazing band to our list of wedding musts.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We had a formal, but very relaxed, fun, hospitable celebration. One of our speciality cocktails was an Old Fashioned, which is Dan’s favorite! We served oysters at cocktail hour and crab cakes for dinner. Some of our favorite details were our display of blue toile-clipped escort cards, our pale pink wedding cake, and the table arrangements full of white and green flowers, lanterns, and candles.

We had a pale pink wedding cake, decorated with a cascade of fresh flowers. The cake was chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and each tier had three layers filled with fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. From Dan: We met at a party in 2006. I was immediately head over heels, but Alice rebutted my advances. Over the next few years, we both dated other people and saw each other occasionally. Each time we ran into each other, there was a clear connection. Eventually, I heard she was single, and so was I, so I gathered up the courage to ask her out. She agreed, and we’ve been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Dan: I bought a ring that needed to be shipped to me, and planned the proposal to take place on the delivery date. My plan was to tell her that I needed a new suit, and then bring her to Nordstrom to watch me try on various choices. I would change into a suit in the dressing room, come out with the ring in my pocket, and propose to her then and there. The day before the ring came, we spent the night at my brother’s house a few hours away, and then drove home to Chicago very early the following morning. During the drive, I tried to convince her that it was logical to stop at FedEx so I could pick up “an urgent package for work,” and then drive straight to Nordstrom to try on suits. She made it clear that she preferred to go home. We drove straight back into town, stopped at FedEx, and finally drove home to our apartment in downtown Chicago. Instead of taking the elevators up to our floor, I told her there was a new hot tub installed outside by our building’s pool, and that we should go look at it before we went upstairs. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and you could see the entire Chicago skyline from the pool deck. Alice asked me where the hot tub was. I took her hands, said something that I hope was memorable, took the ring out of my pocket, got down on one knee, and popped the question. After she said yes, I took her on a picnic on a boat on the Chicago River, complete with crab cakes, champagne, and chocolate.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 135
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we chose a few passages and poems for friends and family to read during the ceremony. Our absolute favorite was “The Silken Tent” by Robert Frost.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to the Water Music Suite by Handel, which is what my parents had used at their wedding. Our string quartet played lots of Cole Porter and The Beatles at our cocktail hour, and our band played some Talking Heads at the groom’s request.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used the Inn at Perry Cabin china instead of renting our own. Their china is very ornate and has a beautiful antique look. We loved it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are going to have a baby this summer!

Photographer: Jacqueline Campbell / Planner: Pineapple Productions / Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Inn at Perry Cabin / Florist and Lighting: Dragonfly Wedding Flowers and Event Design / Rentals: D.C. Rental / Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Chesapeake Strings / Band: Round Midnight / Invitations: Smock via The Dandelion Patch D.C. / Paper Goods: Empress Stationery / Bride’s Gown: “Carmen” by Lea Ann Belter / Hair Stylist: Sonja Gregorie / Makeup Artist: Amie Decker Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: Vera Wang for Men’s Wearhouse / Calligrapher: Arney Walker Calligraphy

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Suzan@long island wedding venues reply

    Amazing pictures and I just loved the bride’s hair style , she is looking lovely.

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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