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Southern Weddings

Author: Emily

My home is light, airy, and quite colorful. And I love it! But, like clockwork, as the calendar flips to fall, I start craving deeper colors and comfier textiles to up the cozy factor in our little nest. The intentional decisions about what we choose to bring into our homes can make such a difference in how we feel when we’re there, in our relationships, and how we feel when we go out into the world, can’t they?

Thinking of what you’ll want and need in your home through each season is a great way to structure your wedding registry and make sure you’re not missing anything. Today, we’re sharing a few favorite picks from Crate and Barrel (where I registered six years ago!) to help build a comfortable, stylish home no matter the season – but especially in the cooler months :)

1. Aiden velvet apartment sofa | 2. Brenner velvet pillow | 3. Lakin recycled teak sideboard | 4. Garbo leather wingback chair | 5. Twig standing coat rack | 6. Siesta blanket | 7. Birney round grey rattan basket

Don’t be afraid to register for a few larger items, like a sofa or beautiful wooden piece – your guests might want to go in on them together, or your parents or grandparents might be looking for the perfect larger gift!

Like I mentioned, I was a Crate and Barrel bride six years ago. I love their clean, warm, and exclusive collection of housewares and furniture; their style is flexible, and a perfect fit for so many homes. I also loved that instead of a one-time registry discount post-wedding, they offer 10% off anything in store and online (even furniture!) for six months after your event, for as many shopping trips as you want! You can read more about their registry benefits here.

1. Marin white dinner plate | 2. Couture copper place setting | 3. Stainless steel cocktail shaker with copper finish | 4. Set of Roscoe platters | 5. Artesia bread baskets| 6. Heritage serving boards | 7. Welcome mug | 8. Laguiole olivewood cheese knife set | 9. Le Creuset French oven | 10. Crawford serving bowl | 11. Gabriel taper candle holder

Registering can be both a very fun and very pressure-filled part of your engagement. (It was hard for me to narrow down the pieces for this post, and they’re not even going to end up in my home!) At Crate and Barrel, creating a registry is a celebration, starting with their Private Registry Events where you can get one-on-one attention and advice from registry experts and get a free gift. Find one near you here!

Ready to get cozy? Create your Crate and Barrel registry right now! And tell me: do you have a seasonal nesting urge like I do? :)

This post is sponsored by Crate and Barrel, a brand we’ve loved for years. Thanks for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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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!

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Hello, friends! I’ve got a treat for you today! Our good friend, sweet Southern gal Victoria Strader, is here to share a bit about how she planned her ceremony. She’s five years out from her wedding, but her perspective is timeless, and I think you’ll love this peek into her special day! Enjoy! – Emily

Hi y’all! I’m Victoria, and I’ve been married to my high school best friend/college sweetheart Ben for almost five years. It seems like just yesterday I was trying to keep myself from looking at the one and only Southern Weddings blog before getting engaged, haha! :) We have a one-year-old son named Beau and we live deep in the heart of Texas.

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Meredith Teasley

As each year of my life goes by, I become more and more passionate about the deepening of relationships: the relationship with God that defines my faith, my marriage with Ben, the sweet time spent playing on the floor with my squishy baby boy, and the friendships that keep me thriving in the business of ordinary life. We planned a wedding for the winter of 2012 in our hometown, the place where both sides of my husband’s family have lived for generations.

While we were limited in some aspects of planning because this was the kind of wedding where I had to accept the fact that there would be invitations tacked up on the bulletin board of Granny’s Sunday School class, there were some things we didn’t compromise on. When planning for our wedding ceremony, our vision was for it to be deeply personal: a reflection of our personalities and our faith. We wanted every detail to ultimately point to The Lord through a celebration of the ways he has worked in us individually, together, and in other relationships. I’m thrilled to share three of our favorite aspects with y’all today!

Photo by Caroline Joy

1. Our pastor. The first detail that we were passionate about was our youth pastor from high school officiating the ceremony. Ben and I were in the same youth group, so this felt like a no-brainer! Josh knew us so well then, and even now, five years later and with his family living a few hours away, they still mean so much to us. (In fact, neither of us felt right about announcing the pregnancy of our son until we made the road trip to share the news with them in person!) Josh did an incredible job of weaving stories of each of our personalities together with some deep and beautiful scripture. My biggest hope when attending a wedding ceremony is that I’ll walk away feeling like I know the couple more, and I think Josh hit the nail on the head for us in this way. The message of our wedding shared the gospel of our faith, as well as our own personal stories of coming to be Christians.

2. Our wedding vows. Our vows, and the completely non-traditional way that we stumbled upon them, are another favorite detail about our ceremony. When initially discussing our vows, we wanted something different than the traditional lines, but didn’t feel incredibly inspired to write our own. Enter: the Southern Weddings blog! I watched a wedding video* on the blog of a couple who had written their vows, and their words echoed so much truth from the Bible. They were beautiful, and after showing them to Ben, we agreed that nothing we had begun to brainstorm seemed even a tiny bit as beautiful as those words. I just remember Ben saying, “Nothing I write is going to show people Jesus as well as those words!” Haha!

So I did some hunting, dug up the email of the bride, and emailed her asking permission to “borrow” their vows. I explained our story and the heart behind our request, and she so graciously sent me back her approval and best wishes. I realize this method might not be for everyone (and might make any artistic, creative person cringe – ha!), but it ended up being the best possible fit for us. When we recited those vows, it didn’t feel weird to have borrowed someone else’s words at all. If anything, they felt more special because we had thought so much about them!

3. Our ceremony music. Planning for our ceremony music was not something that came naturally to me (I actually rarely listen to music!), but I knew how important it would be for our celebration. I often think of specific couples when I hear their wedding songs being played, and desired for our selections to be sweet and represent us well! One of our good friends from high school is an incredibly gifted vocalist, so we had him sing “Be Thou My Vision” during a time of prayer. My all-time favorite movie is The Parent Trap (the 90’s version!) so our recessional was to “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)”, the song that plays in the closing credits :)

Something really sweet is that as I reflect on planning our ceremony five years later, I would still choose all of the same things. The meaningful part of our wedding grows more and more special to me each year, and I’m so grateful for the time we put into it!

Thank you so much for sharing, Victoria! You can follow along with her on her blog and Instagram, where she shares the most ridiculously adorable photos of her smile-y little boy. If you’re planning your own ceremony, be sure to check out our Joyful Wedding Planner – it’s an invaluable helper for something so important!

*Since the video post Victoria mentioned is from more than five years ago, it’s no longer active on our site, sadly. But the fun part? It was the wedding video of our friend Sam from LULA Hair + Makeup! No wonder Victoria found it so inspiring! :)

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Laura @ Laura Likes Design reply

    Aw, I just love that you used the song from The Parent Trap! Such a fun little detail of the day!

  2. avatar Pixie Wedding Sites reply

    Oh my goodness what an adorable baby boy! Just so cute :) fab wedding

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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