Google+ Lara Casey, Author at Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Author: Lara Casey


A New Chapter

by in In The Office on


Southern Weddings is deeply important to us and has been an integral part of our lives—and yours—for many years.

It is with bittersweet expectation that we share that the tenth-anniversary issue of Southern Weddings is the final issue for our team. Before we share our story of why, we want you to know that the Southern Weddings site will soon transition to a robust archive, giving you and future brides access to the timeless content we’ve worked so hard to create over the last decade together.

While we are confident that this is the right choice for us, it is one we have wrestled with for over a year. To close a chapter on something that has meant so much to so many people (and most poignantly, to our team) isn’t easy.

Although we feel that we have completed the work that we have been given to do with Southern Weddings, our hearts for cultivating relationships and for living meaningful lives is as strong as it ever was.

We feel we’re better able to do that through our sister brand, Cultivate What Matters. Some of you may already be familiar with CWM; for others of you, it may be a whole new world to explore. You can read more about why we made this decision and what’s ahead for us on my blog. You can also read a few FAQs about our transition here.

We are so grateful for the work we’ve done with Southern Weddings. It has been one of the greatest joys of our lives to come alongside you all, delighting in your engagements, helping you find meaning in your weddings, and encouraging you in your marriages. We have been able to champion and work alongside some of the most incredible, big-hearted vendors you could ever imagine. We have learned and grown SO much, as individuals, and as a team. We have loved it all.

Though we are turning a page in the Southern Weddings story, we believe our greatest impact is before us. We’re not done encouraging meaningful relationships. We’re not done living with intention. We’re not done cheering you on and celebrating alongside you. We’re not done with each other, either (the team’s all still here!). In all of these things, we are just getting started.

We will always be grateful for this opportunity of a lifetime. For many of us, working on this magazine was a dream come true and the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. Thank you for supporting us, inspiring us, and caring about the things we care so very much about.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Lara, Kristin, Emily, Marissa, Jess, Kaylee, and Casey

Photo by Ryan Ray with styling by Stefanie Miles

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
1 Comment
  1. avatar A new chapter – Em for Marvelous – reply

    […] we made a very big announcement at Southern Weddings: that the tenth-anniversary issue will be the last for our team. Among many […]

Belles and beaus, it’s a joy to write to you today with some exciting news!

When I started Southern Weddings magazine ten years ago, I never imagined it would grow to what it is today. What a joy this decade has been! Many of you know that we are a very unique company, running two businesses under one roof with one small-but-mighty team. As my own family, our sister business Cultivate What Matters, and Southern Weddings have continued to grow, it has become clear that we need a few more hands around here! I stepped away from doing Southern Weddings work several years ago to focus on books and babies, and this truly incredible team of women you know so well has taken the reins.

Like I’ve learned in my garden, you can only grow so much with the space and time you’ve been given. I can’t lead two large businesses at once and nurture a growing family, so it was time for someone else to take the lead. This change happened a long time ago internally, but we decided it was high time to change things externally, too.

I’ve been working alongside Kristin Winchester for five years, and her passion for the Southern Weddings mission made her a natural fit. She’s already been doing the work of an Editor-in-Chief behind the scenes: cheering on our team, shepherding the big picture, and encouraging meaningful beginnings to married life. She is a pretty remarkable woman, and we are all SO excited for this new season!

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Nancy Ray Photography

My title is now Founder and Grateful Wife, which fits me to a tee. I’ll still be here behind the scenes, loving on our team and you all, especially as you move into newlywed life. It is with joy that I re-introduce this familiar face to you, as the new Editor-in-Chief of Southern Weddings!

Photo by Blue Ribbon Vendor Jake and Heather Photo

Friends, I can’t begin to express my gratitude. In my wildest dreams, I never imagined my first fateful interaction with Lara at the inaugural SW Gingerbread Barn Building event would one day lead me here. Stepping in as Editor-in-Chief to continue Lara’s legacy is an incredible honor, just as playing a small role in your wedding and marriage planning is a privilege.

I’m accepting Lara’s passing of the torch with grace and humility. Around the office, I’m teased about the way my energy and enthusiasm bubble over when I start talking about new ideas and my passion for this job. (Anyone who’s seen one of my giant-laugh-smiles would probably join in! ;)) It’s my heart for you, dear brides (and future brides), that produces these excited outbursts, though. To say I’m thrilled to nurture and continue spreading the Southern Weddings mission would be an understatement.

From the outside, not much is changing around here. We’ll continue to share the best wedding planning advice and Southern inspiration, the stuff we share with our sisters and best friends the moment they get engaged. And as Lara mentioned, she’ll still be around, weighing in on ideas in the background.

As for me? I’m looking forward to jumping into my new role and having the opportunity to support and cheer on the SW team (who are some of the smartest and savviest gals in Dixie) as we continue to grow. Here’s a little recap on where we are and what’s ahead!

2016 was a big year for Southern Weddings: we added two lovely ladies, three Southern babies, and launched our ninth issue. We also consumed an unknown quantity of biscuits and sent countless emoji- and GIF-filled messages back and forth as we celebrated milestone after milestone as a team.

In the new year, we’ve got big plans to continue to live out our mission and equip y’all with the resources and tools you’ll need to prepare for your wedding days and beyond. We’re busy dreaming up new ideas and bubbling over with anticipation, as we’re already knee-deep in planning for our TENTH (!!!) anniversary issue, due out in November. Stay tuned for V10 sneak peeks, fun celebration plans, and details on how you can join us in the pages of this VERY exciting anniversary issue.

We’ve also got fun newsletter updates coming soon to your inbox (sign up here) and plans for SW Meet-ups as we move into the new year. Safe to say, I have a great feeling about 2017!


P.S. Extra big hugs and thanks to Lara, Emily, Nicole, Marissa, Lisa, Amber and Jess. Each one of you encourages me to be my best self and motivates me to love bigger and laugh harder. It is a joy and privilege to do this work alongside y’all, and I know, without a doubt, that I wouldn’t be able to take on this new role without each one of you right by my side.

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
  1. avatar Laura reply

    Congrats Kristin on your new role! Crazy to think that this year will be a celebration of 10 years of Southern Weddings (and crazy to think that I’ve been a reader since V4!) Can’t wait to hear about the plans for the new year, I have a feeling it’s going to be the best one yet!

  2. avatar Erin McLean reply

    So excited for you all!! xoxo

  3. avatar Bri A reply

    Congratulations! I’m inspired by the grace this requires on both parts and am honored that you shared this so openly with us. I’m excited to see where SW goes and I’m so proud to see Chapel Hill being represented so well.

  4. avatar Ashley Landry reply

    Congrats Kirstin! And I’m so excited to see what evolves for SW in the new year! I always enjoy reading your helpful content and can’t wait to see what creative ideas lie ahead! Keep up the great work, ladies!

  5. avatar Theo reply

    Absolutely wonderful Kristin! Congratulations!!

  6. avatar Bumby reply

    Congratulations and this is all very excited!
    Kristin, when I read the first part of Lara’s message all I could think about was your story with how you met Lara and said “I am going to work with her someday” You are such an amazing person and your smile is infectious. Each time try to put a bow on Soybean I think of you telling me “the bigger the bow the better the mama” I am very excited for you and all the gals. Cannot wait to see what you do!

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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Something I love about the South is the slower way of life here that reminds me of what’s most important. The smell of the magnolia blooms and the hum of bees on my crepe myrtles makes me take a deep breath in and forget the stresses of life. Fireflies make my email inbox suddenly seem unimportant. Driving by the cow farms on the way to the grocery store takes my heart to a place where nothing matters but family, deep friendships and the simple joys all around us.

Photo by W+E Photographie via Southern Weddings

Dear brides, my wish for you today and always is that the sweetness of the South would sink into your soul as you plan for your very special important day. May you take a moment to slow down in the hustle and bustle of planning and remember what’s most important.

Photo by Green Tree Photography

So often, I see the statement, “You need ___ for your wedding.” The truth is, you don’t actually need anything at your wedding except your love and someone to marry you. The rest is up to you and what matters most to you. Favors and decorations are not obligations, but rather things you choose to celebrate your love together. You make the rules for your big day and how you want to honor your story, your family and your guests. Choose what matters most to you.

Photo by Adam Barnes via Southern Weddings

Forget your wedding Pinterest board for a just a moment and picture you and your love 50 years from now, enjoying a Southern sunset together, sharing a glass of cold sweet tea. What will you want to remember most about your wedding? What will matter then? You will remember the things that truly came from your heart. The flowers and favors and cake take on a whole new meaning when they are truly a reflection of your two hearts becoming one.

Photo by Jamie Clayton via Southern Weddings

Give your hearts a break from planning this week and drink in the summer sun. There are so many things in the South that can help to remind you of the simple joys in life. Our Southern #SummerDoin list is a great place to start! Tell me — what simple joys do you love about the South? I’d love to hear from you. One lucky commenter will get a Love Notes Notepad from the Southern Weddings Shop!

CONGRATS to the winner from my last post, Dana! Dana, please email Lisa and she’ll get your South print to you right away!

Adam Barnes is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lara Written with love by Lara Casey
  1. avatar May reply

    I absolutely love this post and couldn’t agree more! It is the perfect reminder for every bride!

  2. avatar Patti reply

    I love LOVE sitting on my best friend’s porch looking out over the Gulf watching the birds dive for fish and the mullets jump in the water with all our grown kids there, just “visiting” – talking about old times, old friends, new experiences and catching up – without cell phones or Ipads on our laps. We always tell the same old stories again but nobody seems to care and there’s a lot of laughter.

  3. avatar Jessica S. reply

    Nothing makes me believe more in the fact that God is pursuing my heart than the smell of Spring in the South. I absolutely love walking outside on those first days of Spring and feeling my whole body smile at the smell of flowers and trees blooming!

  4. avatar Ashley McGee reply

    I love that when I came home from work too tired to fix supper yesterday, my husband was perfectly satisfied eating pimento cheese sandiches with mason jars of cheerwine while we “unplugged” and watched a late afternoon shower roll in from our front porch. And it definitely doesnt hurt that Charleston is where we’re blessed enough to call home.

  5. avatar sarah reply

    the gulf coast. i love being on the water– its so simple, yet so magnificent– calming & energizing all at the same time.

  6. avatar Lucy Taylor reply

    I love this post! Can’t wait to share it with all of my brides as a dear reminder to focus on what matters most on their wedding day! Thank you Lara!

    I love front porch swinging. It allows you to slow down and meet your neighbors and really form lasting relationships with those around you.

  7. avatar Lauren reply

    Amen, Lara!

  8. avatar Anna reply

    i love lingering over meals with family and friends

  9. avatar Brittany Carr reply

    I read this post right after a stressful meeting with a caterer for my wedding – could not have asked for more perfect timing! Thanks for the much, much needed reminder.

    I love the unspoken hospitality of the South – everyone says “ma’am” and “sir”, men hold the door open for women, etc. It’s a feeling of respect that just makes you feel at home, instantly.

    • avatar Lara reply

      My pleasure! It’s so easy to get stressed with the details. Thinking of you! : )

  10. avatar Marcie reply

    Exactly the type of weddings I want to help couples design/create!!
    LOVE THIS Lara!

  11. avatar Kristy reply

    Swinging on my grandparents porch.

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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