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Southern Weddings

Author: Lisa

While the South may be home to countless beautiful venues, some of the most memorable are the ones that couples create themselves. In Marci and Ross’ case, the only place they considered for their celebration was Ross’ family farm: the same land that hosted their first date (four-wheeling in the rain!), their engagement, and now, their wedding day. It’s weddings like this that make my heart flutter a little, thinking of how many sweet memories are layered onto this land, not only for the bride and groom, but for the family members and friends who have walked alongside them throughout their relationship. Marci and Ross dream of someday building a home on this property, too–can you imagine waking up every morning among the same trees where you once promised your lives to each other? Y’all, it doesn’t get much more romantic than that!

We’re so grateful Taylor Dane shared this gorgeous day with us!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The farm has been weaved into our story from the very beginning. It’s where we had our first date, got engaged, and may even build a house one day. We’ve also shared many memories there with our friends during college, since it was only an hour drive from Auburn. There’s just something special about that place that you feel as soon you step foot onto it. I never considered another venue.

Describe your wedding flowers. Since the venue was already so special to us, we wanted flowers that would enhance the natural outdoor setting. I described to my florist that I wanted a very organic and romantic feel, using lots of greenery and tones of blush and cream with accents in a deep wine color. I also wanted anything but ordinary. She hit the nail on the head! My bouquet was stunning and so were the rest of the wedding party’s flowers. I loved that they were all so unique. Each bridesmaid’s bouquet matched, yet they were all very different at the same time. My two favorite pieces, however, were the ladder we had hanging above our buffet line that had flowers overflowing from it and the flowers on the cross used at our ceremony. I brought a slew of ideas and dreams to Ginny, and she quickly grasped my vision and exceeded my expectations!

Finding my dress was such a fun and memorable day! My mom, mother-in-law, and all of my bridesmaids except one came with me, and we made a whole day out of it. The most important thing to me was staying within a certain budget for my dress. I knew that I could find a beautiful gown without spending an arm and a leg. My bridal consultant understood that and did a great job of only showing me dresses within the price range I gave her. While all of the ones I tried on were beautiful, the one I chose just felt so classic, Southern, and timeless, which is exactly what I had in mind for our fall wedding. It was modest, yet still feminine. I fell in love with the lace sleeves and intricate beading. It was also super comfortable, and when I tried it on with the long veil, I knew it was the one!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did do a first look. As the traditionalist that I am, I was originally against doing one. However, someone explained to me that the point of the first look really isn’t about convenience and saving time with photos; it’s about having a moment on your wedding day to simply soak in what’s going on and enjoy some one-on-one time with your husband. When I began to think about it in that light, the idea grew on me more and more. We decided to do it in the woods where Ross had proposed to me. I could not have been happier with that decision. I felt at ease as soon as I saw him. We laughed and hugged and posed for hundreds of photos; it felt like the most un-rehearsed, real part of the day.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I’m huge on details, so it’s really hard for me to choose one. However, if I had to pick, it would be the canvas my friend calligraphed for us with the verse Ruth 1:16: “For where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” This verse is extremely near and dear to my heart because it was read at my grandmother’s wedding. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to try and incorporate it somehow, but when she unexpectedly passed away six weeks before our wedding, I knew it was a must. It hung in a tree that aligned with our ceremony spot so I would see it when I was walking down the aisle. It now hangs on our back porch and will always remind me of her and our special day.

Did you write your own vows? No, we chose to recite traditional wedding vows. We wanted to use the same ones that have been spoken for many years, the same ones our parents and grandparents said to one another, the same ones that you dream about speaking on your wedding day as a little girl.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? As we took the Lord’s Supper during our ceremony, our pastor read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. It was important to us to profess our faith during our ceremony and give God the glory and honor He deserves. Taking communion in church has always felt emotional and reverent to me, but taking it on our wedding day as we committed our lives to one another was incredibly powerful.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Standing before the cross during our ceremony, praying and worshipping together with our friends and family. I had stood in that spot multiple times before the wedding, praying God would show up and that His presence would be felt. That’s exactly what happened. I’m so grateful for that moment when we could stand before the Lord and praise him for all his goodness and faithfulness. That was, without a doubt, the most important and most memorable part of our whole day.

We were both born and raised in the South and were definitely keen on reflecting some Southern traditions and values in our wedding. I tried to incorporate as many heirloom pieces as possible, such as the Singer sewing machine that my cake sat on. It was my great-grandmother’s and then my mom’s, and now, it has been given to me. My great-grandmother sewed many wedding dresses on it, including my grandmother’s. I also wanted to incorporate a part of my mom’s wedding dress, since she saved it for me (but it was a little too 80s for my liking). I cut some of the lace from her veil and tied it around my bouquet. In addition to those things, the food was very Southern. We had cream cheese and sugared jalapenos, chicken and dressing, sweet potato casserole, and my favorite, a biscuit bar with homemade blackberry jam, local apple butter, and honey. Oh, and one more sweet treat–moon pies! Since we got married in Ross’ hometown, it was important to me to include pieces of mine, so since Mobile is the birthplace of Mardi Gras, we chose to give out moon pies as our favors. Our guests loved them! Lastly, everybody in the South knows football is a big deal, and since Ross and I met at Auburn, we of course had to show some affection for our beloved alma mater. We exited to the Auburn Fight Song while our guests made a tunnel with Auburn shakers (the best part of this was seeing our die-hard Alabama and Georgia friends having to participate!).

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE sweets, so the most important part of choosing the desserts for our wedding was the taste. We went with two flavors for the wedding cake: a traditional almond and a strawberry champagne, topped with classic buttercream icing. For the design, I wanted something more understated, but still unique, so we did two tall tiers with a plastered icing look, a wine-colored drizzle, and just a few florals. For Ross’ dessert, we again wanted to do something different, so we went with cobbler. He’s not much of a cake eater, and who doesn’t love warm cobbler on a fall night? We chose blackberry (Alabama’s state fruit) and peach (Georgia’s state fruit) to pay homage to our roots. Our caterer prepared these in cast-iron skillets and they were served in mini mason jars.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Ross and I met at Auburn our freshman year. Our two best friends, James and Hannah, actually met first in a class they were in together. The two then decided to play matchmaker and set us up. The first weekend of summer 2013, Hannah and I met James and Ross at Ross’ family farm to go four-wheeling. Despite the unusually cold, rainy weather in May, we had the best time together! After that day, I knew without a doubt that Ross was the one. What I didn’t know was that the farm would hold such a dear place in my heart over the next four years.
Tell us all about the proposal! It was the weekend before Thanksgiving break during our senior year, and Ross and I had made plans to drive up to his parents’ house on Sunday after church to have a Thanksgiving dinner with them, since we’d be spending Thanksgiving Day with my family. We were about 15 minutes away from getting off the exit when Ross’ mom called and asked if we would stop by the farm on the way and check on the horses. I found this to be a little suspicious because of the tone in Ross’ voice when he was talking to her, but I tried to convince myself nothing was up. When we arrived, Ross insisted that we go check on his game cam in the woods first. We drove to the fence line in the back on the four-wheeler (flashback to our first date) and then Ross suggested we walk from there. As we began to walk through the woods, I noticed the first picture of us nailed to a tree, and then the second, and the third, and so on. He had created a trail of pictures of us over the years–it literally felt like walking down memory lane. We arrived at a spot in the woods where we had always talked and dreamed about building a house one day. There sat a beautiful church pew adorned with one of his mother’s quilts and fresh pink roses. It was the most special, serene spot. We sat down on the pew and Ross pulled a laptop out of his backpack. We watched the sweetest video of all of our memories over the past 2 1/2 years while the song “Die a Happy Man” played. After the video concluded, Ross said some really kind words I unfortunately can’t remember. He then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife! Sobbing with my head in my hands, I shook my head YES! After we sat there for a few more minutes, I asked if we could go back to the barn for me to grab my phone so I could take some pictures of everything before we headed to his parents’ house. As we were driving back down the hill, Ross said “Hey! Who’s that down there?” I looked, and at the bottom of the hill stood all of our friends and family cheering. I still tear up thinking about that moment. My parents and high school friends drove 5+ hours to be there, all of our college friends were there, his family and family friends…it was truly overwhelming. We spent the rest of the night at the farm eating, crying, and rejoicing together! It was the day I had always dreamed about and MORE.
When did y’all get married? October 8, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Fortunately, we started planning for marriage before we started planning for our wedding. We knew while we were dating that we would eventually get married, and that allowed us to be more intentional about getting to know each other. Before we got engaged, we read “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman, which was really good for opening our eyes and making us ask the hard questions. Once we got engaged, we went through marriage counseling at our church and read through a couple of other marriage books. We also just tried to do our best to not be overwhelmed by all of the planning and remember to still date and have fun!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? One of the biggest challenges for me while planning my wedding was being so far from my mom. Since I was already living in Atlanta before we got married and she was in Mobile, she and I were about five hours apart. We made it work with lots of phone calls, emails, and FaceTime, but I would have preferred to have her next to me through it all.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would advise those planning a wedding to evaluate all of the costs associated with “creating your own venue.” While I’d never change where we got married, I wish I had known from the beginning all of the time and money it would take to make it happen. I thought we’d save money by using a free venue, but I’m pretty sure we made up for it in the cost of renting generators, port-a-potties, shuttles, and so on. Just have a realistic understanding of what you are getting yourself into when you start planning. My second piece of advice would be to research your vendors and find people you truly enjoy working with. We were really intentional in choosing who we shared our day with and it made all the difference. It may cost you more time on the front end, but it will be so worth it in the long run.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Considering we graduated from college, moved to Atlanta, started new jobs, bought a house, and got married all within a year, we hope nothing big is on the horizon just yet. We’re looking forward to enjoying this settled season of life and getting to build community here in Newnan. We also are excited to do some traveling together!

Photographer: Taylor Dane Photography | Videographer: CL Money Films | Day-of Coordinator: AK Events | Venue: Private Farm | Florist: Enemies of the Average | Wedding Cake: Sister’s Sweet Creations | Caterer: Dinner’s Ready by Chad | Rentals and Lighting: Goodwin Events | DJ: Nice Entertainment | Signage: Sunkissed Scripts | Paper Products: Haint Blue Collective | Bridal Salon: Ivory & White | Hair Stylist: Jaime Marsau Beauty | Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle,” “Aria,” and “Willow” in Mink Grey by Jenny Yoo | Men’s Attire: Joesph Abboud for Men’s Wearhouse

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Catherine reply

    What an absolutely heartfelt, gorgeous day! I love that they incorporated the Ruth verse to honor her grandma. Scripture is about the most timeless wedding tradition there is!

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The Southern Weddings office is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and we’re pretty darn lucky to be here–there are countless kind, creative wedding industry folks in this area. In fact, today’s Southern Newlywed couple, Rachel and Seth Linder of Blue Barn Photography, live just a few miles away from me! Rachel and I have become great friends ever since she shot our behind the scenes photos of V9’s Chapel Charm, so I can heartily attest to the fact that she and Seth are as sweet (and stylish!) as they seem. They’ve poured lots of love into their Raleigh home, and turned it into a beautiful, cozy space to spend quality time together, raise their cutie pie son, Ezra, and host their many friends and family members. I’m so thrilled to have them on Southern Newlywed today–enjoy!

The couple: Rachel (26) and Seth (28) Linder
Years married: Six on May 21st
Children’s names and ages: Ezra Grey Linder, 1 year
Where they live: Raleigh, NC
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I grew up in North Raleigh behind a cow farm where some of my fondest memories are of feeding the herds and romping through the open fields. I love to keep my hands creating, so when I’m not photographing love stories or running my business, Blue Barn Photography, I love to spend my free time oil painting and brush lettering, or tending to the backyard garden beds. Seth grew up on 75 acres of fields and forests in Wake Forest–where we spent most of our time dating and later tied the knot. Seth has been a co-owner in Capstone Landscapes since 2007, and spends his work day running a maintenance crew to beautify lawns in the Raleigh area. We met when we were 9 and 11 at church, and started dating when we were 16 and 18. Altogether, we have been together 10 years–we dated for four years, and married each other at 20 and 22! We love slow mornings dreaming over cups of coffee, spending time in God’s word, cooking dinner together, dancing in the kitchen, playing with our son Ezra, and traveling whenever we get the chance! In recent years, we’ve also become passionate about fitness and love our time at the gym together.

Tell us a little bit about where you live. We own a sweet little three-bedroom on the edge of NE Raleigh. I was immediately sold on the marble fireplace and the open space above the garage, which we turned into my home office. We love updating it slowly and I am always dreaming up the next project. We love the community here and the routines we’ve settled into. With both of our businesses and many of our family rooted here as well, it’s a good bet we will stay in the area for a while.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? Moving in together was a bit of a jumble. We both lived with our parents up until our wedding to save money, so we had very little furniture, and much less style at the time. At first, I was all about white furniture, and Seth was all about dark woods. We’ve actually lived in five different places since first getting married, and each move, we seem to refine and blend our style a little more. It takes time to find things that we both love. We’ve found things that worked at one dwelling, but not the next, and have sold those to invest in different pieces. Between my love for whites and Seth’s love for woods, we’ve met in the middle, and most of our furniture has a lighter driftwood stain that we’re both happy with. We both love calm, soothing colors in our home, so most of our rooms have notes of blues, greens, and grays.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Our entire downstairs feels like one big room and it’s my favorite because we’ve made the most memories here–between coffee chats on the couch, seeing Ezra explore every nook as we play with him or cook dinner, and hosting an array of gatherings and celebrations with our friends, it’s the heart of our home.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We’ve enjoyed splurges on original art, linens, and light fixtures. We try to save and find deals on more transitional items like seasonal decor, dishes, and wine glasses (which we always break)! My favorite sources for home things include Anthropologie, Target, IKEA, Home Goods, West Elm, World Market, and Goodwill! We also have enjoyed building a few custom items together, like the open shelves in our kitchen.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We use our pots and pans and cutlery several times a day, so that’s definitely the winner!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? As we’ve figured out our style over the years, we’ve replaced many of the original dishes and linens we registered for with more neutral pieces. I also love that you can register for a honeymoon fund now–that would have been fun to include at the time!
Who cooks dinner? Seth cooks dinner 75 percent of the time, I do 15 percent, and we eat out the other 10 percent.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? Tacos will forever have our heart, so we do some kind of taco variation whenever we’re stumped.

What is your favorite part of being married? Rachel: Having a husband who sees every part of me (the good, the bad, the ugly), and loves and supports me through it all. Seth: Having a wife who is always there for me.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? Before we got married, many people cautioned us “Marriage is HARD,” but no one really explained what that actually meant. We found out that marriage can honestly be full of disappointments. You see movies, read books, see lives from the outside, and have certain expectations that you have to correct and address. The most surprising thing about marriage has been turning the disappointments into a stronger bond and connection with one another, and forming an unconditional love that goes much deeper than we could have ever achieved in a dating relationship. We’ve learned through challenging (and sometimes painful) communication that continuing to communicate no matter what either one of us are feeling is the most important thing, and also the best thing!

How does your family handle finances? Do you use a set budget? We live off of one income and try to save the rest for long-term goals. All of our bank accounts are shared and we like the openness and accountability that comes with that. We set budgets, and then come back to refine them every few months to see where our leaks are. It’s a continual process and takes a good amount of communication.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities (work, personal time, extended family, etc.)? Rachel: Create clear, healthy boundaries that allow you to be fully present wherever you are. Seth: Don’t be selfish; always be ready and willing to put forth effort when you come home.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Right after we said “I do,” we exited the ceremony to stand under a giant Pin Oak tree. All of our guests faded away and it was just the two of us for a few moments under the golden sun. We felt so close holding one another, knowing we had just committed our lives to one another and made a covenant before God.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? (Pictures, mementos, etc.) You know the saying about the cobbler’s children never having any shoes? That totally applies here–you’d think as wedding photographers that we’d have lots of our own wedding photos in our home, but in reality, we have very few mementos from our actual wedding day hung in our home right now. However, we definitely have plans for a gallery wall in our living room including wedding photos, along with pictures from all ten years together!

Do you have children? What are your hopes and plans for the future in this area? We have one son, Ezra. He’s just over a year old and brings us so much joy!
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Our favorite recent date happens after Ezra goes to bed–we finish dinner together and then sip wine on the back porch.

What most makes your house feel like home? Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros said it best when they sang “Home is wherever I’m with you.” It doesn’t matter where we live as long as we take time there to invest in each other’s lives.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Rachel: Keeping the house in order (making the bed, doing the laundry, cleaning the bathroom) is a small way I like to show Seth that I care for him and love him. Seth: I like to give Rachel lots of hugs to show her I love her.
This year, our family is most excited about… our summer trip to explore the California coast, from San Diego to San Francisco.

Thanks so much for sharing your hearts and home with us, Rachel and Seth! Follow along with them here:

Blue Barn Photography | Blue Barn Photography on Instagram | Rachel on Instagram | Seth on Instagram

Photography: Tatum Thomas of Blue Barn Photography

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Bri A reply

    Oh these series are always my favorite! I love how intentionally Rachel and Seth share their space and time (the recurring geometric theme in the decor! My heart!). Thanks for sharing!

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Some of the most memorable weddings we feature, in my opinion, are the ones that are undeniably Southern, but that also include traditions from other cultures. There’s truly no one way to have a Southern wedding, and the truer your details are to who you and your fiancé are as a couple, the better! For Dasola and Tomilade, that meant blending their Nigerian roots with their Texan venue. My favorite example of these two things coming together beautifully on their special day? The fashion! Dasola looked gorgeous in her lace-detailed Liancarlo, but the guests who wore traditional Nigerian dress looked pretty fabulous too!

Thank you so much to Civic Photos for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. We decided to do this because we knew the day would go by really quickly, and we wanted one-on-one time, even if it was for a single moment. It was great!

Finding my dress was nothing like I expected. I tried on several dresses at some pretty amazing bridal boutiques, but nothing felt right. When I went to Ivory Atelier Bridal, I found several dresses I wanted to try. After trying on the first dress by Liancarlo, one of my favorite songs, “A Thousand Years” started playing on the radio. I started crying, and my cousin who came with me started crying too. I knew I had found the dress.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My husband didn’t have a lot of must-haves when it came to the wedding, but when it came to the venue, he wanted a venue no one we knew had used before. When we found out that the Citadel in Houston would be ready for operation in 2016, we knew it had to be the place.

Our flowers represented all things I love about spring, even though our wedding was in summer. The flowers were all in bright, beautiful colors. We had pink roses and hydrangeas, white baby’s breath, lavender, and more!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Tomilade and I met in 2013 when my older sister introduced us. After some time, we exchanged numbers. Our first phone conversation lasted over five hours and everything changed. Right from the start, I knew that this was the man I would marry.
Tell us all about the proposal! I moved to Nigeria from 2014 till summer 2016, so we had a long distance relationship with a lot of traveling involved. In August 2015, he let me in on the fact that he would be in Nigeria in September to surprise his mom for her 60th birthday. While in Nigeria, Tomilade told me he wanted us to go out on a dinner date. Of course, I knew I had to get dressed and maybe get my nails done. The thought crossed my mind that he might propose, but after I asked my older sister to help with my nails and she dismissed me, I thought, “If I was getting engaged this weekend, she would have definitely helped a sister out.” On the day of the date, he kept asking why I was so excited–I guess it was just the idea of having one-on-one time again, after what seemed to me like a long time. When we got to the restaurant, he was being extra peppy. He even asked the waiter for wine (he rarely drinks) and for him to take pictures of us. After dinner was dessert, which we decided would be at Hans and Rene, a new place I wanted to try. But first, we stopped to pick up my older sister from my uncle’s house. En route to Hans and Rene, Tomilade decided we had to take a route that would bring us over a picture-perfect bridge on Lagos Island that he had been meaning to drive through before leaving. On the bridge, he claimed the car’s tire felt weird and he had to check it out. To make matters worse, he then asked me to help him get something from the trunk. My first thought was “Dude, I am wearing heels,” but being the awesome partner I am, I had to go help. He popped the trunk of the car, and I saw a huge poster pop out with a sign saying “Omodasola Alatise, will you marry me? I love you sweet pea” and several pictures of us, from the very first day we met to our first date together at Le Colonel and even our last date before the proposal date. It was super amazing. He got down on one knee and before I could gather myself, I saw a car approaching with family and friends, music playing, and flashing lights (which I later realized was a photographer).
When did y’all get married? August 13, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 380
Did you write your own vows? No, we didn’t. We went the traditional route.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Our church offers premarital counseling, which was extremely helpful in planning for our marriage.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to being a family, making our own traditions, and falling in love all over again.

Photographer: Civic Photos | Videographer: Double Knot Pictures | Day-of Coordinator: The Upper Room Events | Venue, Catering, Dessert, and Lighting: The Citadel | Florist and Rentals: Perfect Touch | Wedding Cake: Borderline Sinful | Catering: Glorious Feast International Catering | DJ: DJ SM95 | Bride’s Gown: Stye 6814 by Liancarlo | Hair and Makeup: Lyzadora Beauty Consultants | Bride’s Shoes: Nine West | Bride’s Earrings: Kendra Scott | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style VW360197 by Vera Wang | Men’s Suits: Custom by Kimono Kollection

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar The UpperRoom Events reply

    This is awesome! Thank you for the feature!

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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