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Southern Weddings

Author: Marissa

When it comes to bridal style, I tend to fall into the more classic category. For example, I wore white satin d’orsay heels with a big ol’ bow to my own wedding! However, I sure do love when a bride includes fun fashion statements to make their look uniquely their own. When a reader reached out to us asking for non-bridal wedding day shoe ideas, I was happy to oblige! From super comfortable flats to pretty floral heels, here are a few of our favorite options for an alternative to the classic white wedding shoe.

1. Monogrammed Jack Rogers 2. Classic Jack Rogers 3. Just Married Flip Flop 4. Just Married Flip Flop 5. Bow Flip Flop

1. Metalic tennis shoes 2. Perforated slides 3. Glittery sneakers 4. Lace espadrilles 5. Lace espadrilles 6. Gold ballet flats

1. Pink block heels 2. Floral detail flats 3. Liberty floral heels 4. Ankle strap heels 5. Nude floral heels 6. Blue ankle strap heels

1. Suede sandals 2. Glittery sneakers 3. Gingham sneakers 4. Bow heels 5. Blue heels with bow 6. Ornate heels

1. Matisse boots 2. Durango boots 3. Short boot 4. Ivory boots

Which pair is your favorite? I can’t help but love those sparkly blue sneakers! They’re way too much fun!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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I am quite an indecisive person, and even tend to overthink my decisions once they’re made (my husband would say that is a major understatement!), so I can completely empathize with Marlo when she says that the biggest challenge of planning their wedding for her and Greg was “avoiding decision fatigue.” With so many choices to make, from major decisions to small details, it can become overwhelming quickly. But, I love how Marlo and Greg reminded themselves to keep the purpose of their wedding front and center, and focus on creating a wedding day that celebrated their unique union. From there, decisions were made and details were created with intentionality and heart. One of my favorite details was their dinner–they wanted their reception meal to feel “homey,” so they opted for braised short ribs and Lebanese sides dishes that were passed around at each table. A little bit messy, and a lot like a big family affair!

Thanks to Ely Fair for capturing Marlo and Greg’s beautiful day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Just as I was warned, I fell for a wedding dress that didn’t look anything like the one I had pictured. I imagined myself in a flowy, romantic, beaded number, but ended up loving a fitted floral jacquard gown with a flared hem. My mom, sister, and bridesmaid gave it two thumbs up and I loved the unique fabric.

Our wedding flowers were creamy whites with bright pops of green and sage. I loved that the bridesmaids’ bouquets felt structural and whimsical, while the bridal bouquet was more traditional. We kept the farm tables low-key with eucalyptus runners with bright white accents.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at Philbrook Museum in the heart of midtown Tulsa, where Marlo was raised. Having an outdoor wedding at an art museum felt really special. Philbrook’s breathtaking gardens were the perfect backdrop for the day.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It’s impossible to choose! We’ll never forget dancing with everyone to Lebanese dabke drummers. Most people had never heard dabke before, so they just winged it! It felt spontaneous and unforgettable. We decided to string lights in both the dinner hall and outside where the band played. That made the whole atmosphere more casual, yet magical. We used a big coffee table book about art from Marfa, where we got engaged, in lieu of a traditional guest book. It’s fun to page through it and find notes from our loved ones. Plus, it looks great sitting out in our living room! Our wedding planner, Allison Craig, was a total lifesaver for coordinating details and executing our vision. Our table numbers were marble tiles hand-lettered with gold paint–we wanted to include a nod to our shared love of geology without being too overt. We wanted the meal to feel homey and welcoming, and braised short rib fit the bill perfectly! It felt special but not too fussy–you can’t eat short rib without getting a little messy. We included Lebanese side dishes to pass around the tables as well, which helped everything feel like a big family affair.

We had a dessert bar by Heirloom Bakery which included cream puffs, lemon bars, and peanut butter cups. We had a small cake for us to cut, which was strawberry cake with cardamom frosting, inspired by an amazing riff on strawberry shortcake from our favorite Indian restaurant in Houston.

Our first dance was to “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke. It was a surprisingly easy choice we made early on and we never thought twice about it. Our band did a great cover, and the vocalist, Aaron Brave, blew us away. My father and I grooved to “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. The cheerful beat was perfect for our spontaneous dance. Greg and his mother danced to “Love You Like a Rock” by Paul Simon. He’s a geologist, after all! My dad also surprised us with an a capella group in the middle of dinner! They kicked it off with “One Fine Day,” and at the end, everyone broke out into “Oklahoma!”

Tell us all about the proposal! We were on road trip to Marfa, an artists’ oasis in the West Texas desert. We planned to sleep in a teepee, hike in a state park, poke around museums, and star gaze at the McDonald Observatory. Greg proposed on the foothills of the Davis Mountains just outside of town. We celebrated with hamburgers and live music at the Lost Horse Saloon.
When did y’all get married? May 7, 2016
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We saved the suspense for the big moment and opted out of a first look. We’re so glad we did–it was magical.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? An excerpt from “Letters to a Young Poet #7” (Rainer Maria Rilke), an excerpt from “Les Miserables” (Victor Hugo), and “Pathways” (Rainer Maria Rilke).
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My shoes were canary blue and my sister and I wore matching vintage gold bracelets my parents gave us.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge in planning a wedding is avoiding decision fatigue. You make so many choices along the way, from major decisions like the date and venue to the most minor details like the color Sharpie for the guest book. Making so many choices can be overwhelming. We had to remind ourselves to keep the purpose of the day front and center, which takes the pressure off all the extra stuff.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We wanted the look of candles on the tables, but couldn’t have open flames in the museum. Most of the flameless candles we found weren’t convincing, so my mom poured her own pillar candles for us to use! They were large enough to put a flameless tea light inside and looked perfect.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We booked our photographer, Ely Fair, and videographer, Anchor Heart Films, as soon as we settled on a date. We lucked out. They are both so talented but also kind and easygoing, and made us feel really comfortable on the day of the wedding. You end up spending a lot of time with your photographer and videographer, so it is crucial that you have a good rapport. The results were beautiful and authentic.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? In the middle of the reception while everyone was dancing, we snuck up to a walkway that overlooked the dance floor. It was incredible to take a quiet moment to witness all of our loved ones celebrating together.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember that the purpose of the wedding is to celebrate your unique union. Keep that in mind and let go of any details or traditions that don’t feel authentic to you.

Photographer: Ely Fair Photography | Videographer: Anchor Heart Films | Planner: Allison Craig | Venue and Caterer: Philbrook Museum | Florist: Lyla Sawyer | Dessert Baker: Heirloom Baking Co. | Rentals: Party Pro and Kahoy Studios | Lighting: LionsRoad Studios | Band: Full Flava Kings | Guitarist: Sean Al-Jibouri | Paper Products: Brown Linen | Bride’s Gown: “Aida” by Amsale | Bride’s Veil: Mia Bridal Couture | Hair and Makeup: Primp Hair and Makeup Studio | Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew | Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Invitation Calligraphy and Table Numbers: Kristara

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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Ever since they met, Milena had been asking Jake to write her a song. During his sweet proposal, he shared that he had finally written one for her… but it was only half-finished. When their wedding day arrived, they opted to pray together around a corner before their ceremony. This is always emotional, but it proved to be even more so when Jake surprised Milena by playing his newly finished song for her! It was a sweet moment I am sure neither of them will ever forget. A few more things I’m sure they’ll always remember from their wedding at Foxhall Stables: having both families together in one place, Milena’s first look with her daddy, and the ceremony cross Milena’s daddy made from wood recycled from her great-great-grandfather’s cottage.

Thanks to Sarah Ingram for capturing so many of these magical moments!

Tell us all about the proposal! After meeting in Florida, we both relocated to California for school/work. During our visit with family for Christmas 2015, Jake asked me if he could take me on a date. This was odd considering we NEVER see our families and I thought, we can go on dates whenever we want–why now, why here? I asked my mom what we were going to do the day after Christmas and to my surprise, she replied that she was going to be “busy” with my dad, so I agreed to go out for a date with Jake. He surprised me by taking me to the Harry P. Leu Gardens, a place where we had one of our first dates in 2012. Ever since we first met, I’ve bothered him to write me a song. Turns out, he finally wrote (half) of that song. I held back tears as we sat on the same picnic blanket we had four years ago and he played it. Then, he went to put his guitar away and pulled out a box with a ring he had designed with my dad from jewelry his Nana had given him. It was beautiful and perfect.

I did do a first look with my father, but Jake and I decided we didn’t want to see each other until I walked down the aisle–we felt there is something magical about the moment when the doors open and the bride and groom see each other for the first time during the ceremony! We did agree that our nerves would be tense and we’d be anxious, so it would be wise to pray together before the ceremony, but without seeing one another. This is also when Jake played the song he wrote for me when he proposed, only this time, the song was finished! This was emotional for us–Jake could hardly play his guitar and sing as I sobbed on the other side of a stable door!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We didn’t have any special readings besides what our pastor preached, but we did have Sara, our photographer, make us a banner that hung in our ceremony that said Psalm 91:4: “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings, you will find refuge.” This represented Christ covering our marriage. To tie in with the verse, our precious flower girls threw petals and white feathers from their baskets.

Jake has always wanted to be married in a church, and I have always wanted to be married outside. We originally agreed to search for a glass chapel, since that would serve both of our visions. After chatting with Lauren, she gave us so many beautiful options, but Foxhall had the all-in-one venue which made it easy for our family members who were coming from all over. Foxhall also had outdoor games, which was on our list, and the venue just seemed like us. To give it more of a chapel feel, we rented church pews and my dad made us a cross from wood recycled from my great-great-grandfather’s cottage.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Almost every detail exceeded our expectations! We loved our custom coffee bar, our invites, the painting my dad did for us, and the dancing! But I guess what it all comes down to is that Jake and I have lived far away from our families for the past five and a half years, so having both our families together in one place was seriously magical and meant so much to us.

Describe your wedding flowers. I was so nervous about my flowers, considering I’d never met any of the girls from Petaline in person before. But they nailed it! They even added lavender and mint to my bouquet, which made it smell so great!!

I wanted donuts and Jake wanted cake, so Lauren was wonderful and threw both into our wedding design! We had classic white cake with vanilla frosting, and blueberry cinnamon donuts! They were all tasty!

When did y’all get married? August 6, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We really prayed that our wedding would be Christ-centered–as Christians, we believe that a wedding is a foreshadowing of the real wedding when Jesus (the groom) returns for the church (His bride). That being said, Jake chose “Divine Romance” by Phil Wickham for the bridal party and himself to walk down the aisle to. I chose to walk down the aisle to the piano version of “It is Well.” Most people may think of this as a sad song, but I chose it because of the hope it portrays not only in our marriage, but in the marriage of Christ and His church. As we left together, we lightened it up with a song from our favorite Disney movie, Wreck It Ralph: “When Can I See You Again” by Owl City. Later at the reception, our first dance was to the classical guitar version of “So This is Love” from Cinderella. My dad and I could not pick just one song, so we used two: “What a Wonderful World” (we used this song at a daddy-daughter dance when I was a little girl) and “Cinderella” by Steven Curtis Chapman.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food!!! We served chicken and waffles, strawberry bruschetta, caprese salad, sliders, fried chicken, steak medallions, a mac and cheese bar, and a chicken fajita bar. So yummy!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We both agree it was definitely when Jake played the song he wrote me before our ceremony.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Get a planner, especially if you are planning a wedding from a different state. This saved hurting family members’ feelings and so much stress. I also believe she saved us money! Planners literally do weddings all the time, and Lauren was also able to sort through my realistic and unrealistic expectations for our day! ;)
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We look forward to Jake finishing college and traveling as much as we can before we start a family!

Photographer: Sarah Ingram | Planner: Lauren Emerson Events | Venue: Foxhall Stables | Florist: Petaline | Wedding Cake: Sweet Creations by Candi Pittman | Caterer: Simply Catering | Custom Illustrations: Dave O’Connell | Paper Products: Pirouette Paper | Hair Stylist: Katie Hensley | Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Calvin Klein

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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  1. avatar Milena carter reply

    Hello there, Thankyou so much for featuring my wedding, seriously what an honor! I think some details may have gotten lost though in translation though. My shoes were actually not heals I felt wearing heels all night would be beautiful but I went for comfort and my maid of honor bought me Kate spade white sparkling shoes that were sneakers. And I’d never change that I wore them, I’d honestly strongly suggest them to other brides because of how comfy they were and that they were different then traditional wedding shoes. Although the invitations y’all featured were beautiful our invitations were actually custom made by my Father& my dear friend kaylyn at pirouette paper company. They both put So much love and work into them from my dads custom illustrated map of fox hall & character drawing of Jake and myself. To kaylyns beautiful handwriting and watercolor work on our envelopes. They were such a precious detail that ment so much to Jake and myself. They just tied many other details of our wedding together too! Again I’m so flattered by yalls feature! Xoxo

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Milena! Thank you so much for letting us know. We love the idea of wearing sneakers for your wedding day. What a fun detail. We’re honored to share your wedding day! xx, Marissa

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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