Google+ Jess Metcalf, Author at Southern Weddings - Page 3 of 8

Southern Weddings

Author: Jess Metcalf

There are some labels that I wear proudly, and being a bookworm is certainly one of them! One of my favorite questions to be asked is “what should I read?”, so you can imagine my delight when Emily assigned this post to me!

Whether you’re spending the part of the summer on your honeymoon on a tropical beach somewhere or hanging by the pool, these are some of my favorite summer reads! Enjoy!

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple. This book might be five years old, but it’s still at the top of the list when I’m asked for summer reading suggestions. It’s delightfully funny while still speaking to greater narratives such as family dynamics. It will make you fall in love with the quirky characters and have you looking at flights to Antarctica.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. This is one of my most beloved books, and if I ever see it at a used bookstore, I immediately purchase it to pass along to friends. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letter, this is a touching story about the power of community in a seemingly dark season. After finishing this novel, I searched high and low for one as endearing as this one to no avail.


The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. If you’re a fan of thrillers, this is the book for you! This novel is intense and full of twists and turns that will leave you as the reader wondering what happens next. Not to pat myself on the back, but I’m normally pretty good at predicting plot lines, and this one caught me by surprise in the best possible way!


Cultivate: A Grace-Filled Guide to Growing an Intentional Life by Lara Casey. Our wonderful founder’s second book release at the end this month, and our team had the privilege of reading the final draft a few months ago. If you’re looking for encouragement and practical ways to embrace the season you’re in, look no further than Lara’s heartfelt words.


A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner. This is the only book on the list that I haven’t read, but Amber just finished it on her vacation couldn’t stop singing its praises. She’s dropped it in the mail for me, and I’m already anticipating its arrival!

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. If you’re looking for a testament to how enthralling Hannah’s novel is, look no further than the fact that I experienced a pretty intense sunburn last summer after spending an entire afternoon with my nose in this book by the pool. The Nightingale is a beautifully written account of two French sisters–one in Paris, one in the countryside–during WWII and their account of surviving the Nazi occupation in their own ways.


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I admittedly had a hard time getting into this novel because of its post-apocalyptic nature, but I’m so grateful I pushed through. The story shifts between a fragile post-apocalyptic world and decades earlier, before the virus hits. The description does the most justice to St. John Mandel’s work: “At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish.” Find a friend to read this alongside because you will want to discuss it with someone when you’re finished!


Counting by 7’s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. This novel might be categorized as young adult, but the storyline is about being an outsider, coping with loss in the midst of a horrible tragedy, and redefining what family looks like. It’s a quick read, even if you aren’t a fast reader, but even more importantly, it’s a powerful story about family, community and the power of love.


Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. This book is immediately engrossing, which is quite surprising given that it is driven by character development and not based on twists and turns in the plot. This novel reminded me that all families have their own stories–some that are worth sharing and others that are better left unsaid. It’s a powerful story about love and family, death and heartbreak.

If you’re more of a magazine reader in the summer (and no judgment if you are!), look no further than some of our past issues of Southern Weddings from the SW Shop. Use the code SUMMERREADING through Friday, June 9th for 40% off Volume 5, Volume 6, and Volume 7.


Call me biased but these are some of the best magazines around! They’ll have you ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the beautiful images and stories in these pages while soaking up the sunshine! :)


I’d love to hear from you! Have you read any of the books I mentioned above, or do you have other recommendations to add to this list?

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    Yay! I love book recommendations! I just finished Save the Date by Jenny Jones and its an adorable quick read, and the setting is Charleston. Doesn’t get much cuter than a love story in Charleston. Highly recommend!

    • avatar Jess Metcalf reply

      Oh! I’m headed to the beach later this summer, and that sounds like a great one to add to my list! Thanks for the recommendation, Kelly! Xx!

  2. avatar Gloria dabolt reply

    I read several of those listed above: The knightingale, the Woman in Cabin 10, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Liked all of them. Also enjoyed A Bridge Across the Ocean very much!
    The best book I have read in a long time is The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo. I could not put it down and it was all I could do not to read the end first! Please read it. Promise you won’t be disappointed. Check it out in Amazon and Barnes and Noble to get a quick overview So good. I may read it again! Also read A Man Called Ove but unlike most people I wasn’t very fond of it! I should give it another try! I really like southern authors and at this moment I can’t think of a single one!

    • avatar Jess Metcalf reply

      Gloria! What a joy to see your name here! :) I’ll have to add The Light We Lost to my list for the summer! Xx!

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!

Reply to:

Emily and I had a blast #MakingSouthernWeddings on our road trip throughout the South, but we’re pretty excited to be sticking around the great state of North Carolina for two final editorial shoots for V10! Our reader models have been just as fun as they are lovely so far, and we’re looking to add you to our crew!

We’d love for some of y’all to join us, so keep reading for more information!

Asheville, NC on June 8th
We’re looking for a bride, groom, and bridesmaids to to join us on Thursday, June 8th. If you’re interested, please send an email with the information below to howdy (at) with the subject line: V10 Asheville Model Call.

Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC on June 26th
We’re looking for some lovely ladies to join us on Monday, June 26th for a V10 editorial shoot. If you’re interested, please send an email with the information below to howdy (at) with the subject line: V10 Triangle Model Call. 

All hair/skin colors are welcome! If chosen, we will need you to be available on site from about noon – 8 p.m. We might start later or end earlier, but we want you to be prepared! Please note that you must be 18 or older to apply and we are not able to compensate for travel/participation.

If you’re interested, please send an email to howdy (at) with the subject line listed above (this will help us make sure we haven’t missed your email!) Be sure to include a recent headshot (no need for professional photos, we just want to see your lovely face!), a few candid photos, and your height. We promise it’s going to be a blast!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf

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!

Reply to:

We’re no strangers to how many decisions are involved in the wedding planning process, but one thing I love about Morgan and Scott’s interview is how they intentionally made decisions based on their story and wove those details into their big day! For example, Moorgan’s family ranch has been a sweet home for memories over the course of her lifetime, and their decision to invite friends and family to celebrate in that place is Southern hospitality at its finest. You can tell by the joyful smile on Morgan’s face that she felt right at home, and we know each of their guests felt the exact same way!

Big SW thanks to Caroline Jurgensen Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

I loved my wedding flowers. I had lots of greenery, deep pinks, deep reds, and whites. There was a protea in my bouquet, which I was absolutely obsessed with. We had wreaths with red stag antlers and elk antlers hanging throughout the ranch. My favorite floral piece was the GORGEOUS floral halo that was hanging in the middle of the tent. All the flowers were so beautiful, and one of my favorite details. Kim at Bloomingals did such an amazing job!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I have three favorite moments: getting ready with my mom and closest girlfriends, my dad praying over me before walking down the aisle, and seeing Scott’s face as I walked down the aisle and feeling an immediate wave of peace and joy.

We asked my brother and sister-in-law to read passages that have been particularly influential in their marriage. They chose Ephesians 5 and Proverbs 31. As we’ve entered the first few months of marriage, those verses have been the platform of our relationship.

We chose to get married at my family’s ranch outside of Waco. Throughout my life, it was a really special place for me to go and get away from all the craziness of life, and I got to share that with Scott throughout our relationship. It has become a really sweet place to enjoy time with family and our close friends. It was so special to get to share that with everyone at our wedding.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Because we had a very long engagement, we had a lot of time to prepare for marriage. One of the most amazing things we did was go to a premarital counseling retreat in Salado, Texas through Legacy Family. We learned so much about how to handle conflict, budgeting, good times, and bad times. We both learned so much about ourselves and about each other. I would highly recommend every couple do some type of premarital counseling prior to getting married.

We had an Italian cream cake with white icing. It was simple, with greenery and light pink flowers around it. It sat on a beautiful round wooden stand. The groom’s cake was red velvet with chocolate icing and the OU seal on top. Bobbi, our pastry chef, has been making my cakes since I was two years old, so that was really special for me.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Truly enjoy the process and don’t get too wrapped up in the details. Also, try to soak in every second of the wedding day! Don’t be afraid to mess up your hair on the dance floor. It’s your day, be yourself, and have FUN!

Don’t miss Morgan and Scott’s wedding film by Ryan James Films!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Scott went to the University of Oklahoma and I went to Baylor University. We both decided to work at Kanakuk Kamps the summer after our freshman year of college. We met on the first day of staff training and got to know each other a little bit throughout that week. We both were hired to work the second half of the summer, which allowed us time to get to know each other even more before coming back to camp. I remember getting back to camp and seeing Scott for the first time in about a month and feeling a million butterflies in my stomach! After numerous early morning walks, a few dates, and many middle schoolers trying to set us up, we decided to give the long-distance dating thing a try. We started dating that August and I’m so thankful we did.
Tell us all about the proposal! Scott told me that he was going to Houston for a conference. Little did I know, he was actually on his way to my family’s ranch with a few of his closest friends and a beautiful engagement ring. Around 5 A.M., my sweet roommates woke me up with the very loud, obnoxious song they used to play to wake us up at Kanakuk. I knew pretty soon after hearing that song and being told to “just get ready” what was happening. While getting ready, I was handed a journal with a sweet letter from Scott. I was then driven out to my family’s ranch by one of my roommates and blindfolded at the gate. Scott opened my door, walked me down the road, and took my blindfold off. I have no idea what he said, but he ended up on one knee and asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes! After getting some time together, we went to a party at my parents’ house with all of our friends and family. It was one of the most amazing days of my life.
When did y’all get married? November 12, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 500
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. During our ceremony, we had one of my friends, Ted Moock, sing Phil Wickham’s “Messiah/You’re Beautiful” as we took communion. We also had “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye played as we walked back up the aisle. Our first dance song was “Forever Like This” by Ben Rector. Scott and I sifted through so many songs to find the song we wanted to dance to. We both love Ben Rector’s music and when we listened to this song, we knew we didn’t have to look any further.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my maternal grandmother’s brooch. Scott’s maternal grandmother’s garter was my something blue. For something old, a ribbon was created from my mom’s dress and was tied around my bouquet. My something new was the necklace I wore, which was a wedding gift from Scott.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We’re living in Dallas right now and we love it! We are looking forward to traveling a lot, creating memories with our friends and family, and getting a puppy (preferably a lab).

Photographer: Caroline Jurgensen Photography | Videographer: Ryan James Films | Planner: DFW Events | Venue: Family Ranch | Florist: Bloomingals Floral Boutique | Wedding Cake: Bobbi Rudeen | Caterer: Eddie Deen | Rentals: Sandone Productions, Posh Couture Rentals, Perch Decor, Pendley Party Productions and Rentals, and Junk and Disorderly | Lighting: Absolute Lighting | Ceremony Strings: Baylor University faculty quartet | Band: Drywater Band | Paper Products: Crop-Paper-Scissors | Bride’s Gown: “Barcelona” by Ines Di Santo | Bride’s Veil: Ines Di Santo | Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Wedding Bands: Cole and Co. and Gholson Originals | Hair Stylist: Trish Nesbit | Makeup Artist: Angela Karr | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style 2957 in Burgundy by Dessy Collection | Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Written with love by Jess Metcalf

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!

Reply to: