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Southern Weddings

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Growing up in the South, one thing I learned early was the importance of big Southern hair. My mama loves to use the Steel Magnolias quote “just tease it and make it look like a brown football helmet” anytime she has her hair professionally done, and I’m with her — there’s just something fabulous about voluminous hair that gives me a little pep in my step! Today, I’m delighted to share the teasing tips and tricks I’ve learned over many years of practice, so if you’re curious about how to tease your hair, this one’s for you! :)

Big thanks to my friend Brooke of Colorbox Photographers for these fun photos!

The right products can make or break your hairdo, and these three are my go-to for big hair! After washing my hair, I apply a bit of this mousse to my roots only before blowing dry my hair. Then I spray a liberal amount of this amazing anti-humidly spray ALL over my hair. It’s pricy, but worth it with our Southern humidity!

After applying the spray, I like to start with velcro rollers. I love these and have two sets, so I can add extra volume since my hair is currently pretty long. I use the larger ones in the front and on the side I part my hair on since the hair is heavier there. I always roll backwards on the top and down on the sides to give it some shape.

I secure the rollers with large bobby pins and then blast my whole head with warm air from the blowdryer to help ‘set’ the volume. Then, of course, I spray it with hairspray. I’m currently loving this one because it holds but is still pretty flexible!

I like to leave the rollers in while I do my makeup or go about my business of getting ready to be sure I give them an ample amount of time to work. After removing the rollers, it’s time to start teasing! I like to go back and forth between a teasing brush and a comb, so this combo pack is perfect for me, but you can use any standard fine-toothed comb.

Starting on the crown of my head, I scoop up my hair (about a temple’s width) and start teasing from the back. Placing the comb about three or four inches from my head, I gently pull down toward my head. I like to do this a few times to really build in the tease.

Then, I re-section the same piece, remove what I’ve already teased, and tease again. I do this until I reach the last piece, right in front of my face. I only tease that a little, as that will be the last layer that covers the rather fuzzy looking part. Flop the hair back over the pile of teased hair, and slowly and carefully smooth out the top layer. The key is finding the right balance between combing out all the teasing you’ve done, and creating a smooth top layer. Once I have done this down the center of my hair, I go back and do the same steps on the sides, just a bit less aggressively.

After I’m happy with the volume I’ve created, I fluff it with my fingers and cover any parts where the teasing is showing. This is where the brush comes in handy, too — it’s great for carefully smoothing over any rugged areas. Then the last step: a heap of hair spray!

And that’s it, friends! I’d love to hear if there are any tutorials you’d like to see in the future!

Photos by Brooke Glassford of Colorbox Photographers. Shot at Kim Box Studios.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Natalie reply

    I love this! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try! You are the cutest! :)

  2. avatar Janna reply

    Oh my stars! This is the best! Perfect for some New Years Eve hair!

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Hi belles! Our friend Stephanie Scholl is the newest gal to take you through her wedding process here on the blog! Stephanie will be blogging for us every two weeks or so until her wedding in April. In case you missed her first post, be sure to check it out here! — Emily

Photo by Jose Villa via Once Wed

Hello, hello! I’m excited to share another installment from our wedding planning journey, especially since we’re right at 100 days til we say “I do”! Our engagement has flown by in the best of ways, and it’s exhilarating (and only a little anxiety-inducing) to think we are three months away from our wedding day.

I’m so pleased to report that I finally made a decision and pulled the trigger on bridesmaid dresses! Choosing the perfect bridesmaid dresses has felt like one of the biggest tasks on my priority list, so I’m especially excited to have come to a decision after much browsing and searching.

Photo by Justine Milton via Style Me Pretty

I feel so unbelievably blessed to have eleven of my closest friends standing by my side on our wedding day. My amazing sister and best friend, Bridgette, is my matron of honor, and then ten of my best friends from college and my time in D.C. round out the group. These incredible, beautiful friends mean so very much to me, and I am honored and grateful that they are in my bridal party! (Rob has eleven groomsmen, and yes, we know we have a very large wedding party – but this is the South, after all!)

Given that I have a large number of bridesmaids, you can imagine that they live all over. Only one of my bridesmaids lives near me in the Triangle, and the rest are spread all over the East Coast and South. I knew that going bridesmaid dress shopping in person wasn’t really an option, and I also knew that I needed to make a decision fairly quickly, given our six month engagement. I wanted to be especially mindful of budgets (especially since I knew I’d be going with a long gown) and body shapes/fit. (I have bridesmaids ranging from 5’2 to 5’11 and one who will be seven months pregnant!)

Photo by Julie Cate via Style Me Pretty

Today, I’m sharing several gorgeous inspiration images I’ve collected that reflect the look I’m envisioning for our wedding. I knew I wanted long gowns for my ladies, and I knew the general color palette. The hunt was on for the perfect shade(s) of dresses in the most flattering, beautiful styles… all at a reasonable price.

As you can tell from the photos I’ve collected, I love long gowns (perfect for a spring garden wedding); mismatched but complementary styles; soft, flowing, romantic gowns; a particular color palette (any guesses on the final color(s)?); and, of course, bouquets with contrasting flowing ribbons!

Photo by Nancy Ray via Southern Weddings

It took a long time and much searching, but I am so thrilled that I finally found exactly what I was looking for! Styles and color have been decided, dresses have been ordered, and now I cannot wait to see my lovely, wonderful bridesmaids looking oh-so-gorgeous on our wedding day! It’ll be the first time I see it all together — eek!

I’d love to hear how the bridesmaid dress journey/decision was for you! Did you run into any obstacles or shift ideas completely? I didn’t expect it to be so hard to find dresses in the exact style and color I was envisioning, but I’m glad we persevered. By the way, when I was younger, I always thought my bridesmaids would wear yellow! :)

P.S. In case you missed a post…
The proposal
Venue and photography
The dress

Nancy Ray is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily

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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Since we only publish one issue a year, it’s hard for us to share every wedding fashion trend that comes across our desks. And truly, that’s okay, because we want to stay focused on encouraging you to find a wedding dress that’s perfect for YOU, not just one that’s currently buzzy! But, we do love fashion, and we know you do, too, so for the last two years, we’ve had fun putting our own twist on the traditional magazine fashion spread.

Last year, we chose seven gowns that represented virtues of a Southern belle. This year, we dressed eight real Southern belles in gowns inspired by iconic Southern cities. Shopping for your own gown? Don’t be afraid to look outside of your venue’s zip code — we promise each of these beauties would look right at home anywhere in the South!

We’re so grateful to Blue Ribbon Vendor Katelyn James for these gorgeous photos! She made all of our models feel oh-so-comfortable and beautiful on the day of the shoot :)

Unique and cool, the Austin bride embraces a look that’s all her own. Her biggest priority for her dress is that it makes her feel the best version of herself, and this one’s scalloped lace and flowy layer will do just that…and keep her cool in the Texas heat. Sandra is wearing “Iver” by Daughters of Simone with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

The higher the hair, the closer to heaven…and the bigger the bow, the happier the Montgomery bride! Drawing inspiration from sources like Steel Magnolias, she and her groom begin their marriage with a hearty helping of Southern hospitality and style. Jordan is wearing “Chloelis” by Mira Zwillinger with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

Their accents may be peachy sweet, but Atlanta brides have spirits as bold and sparkling as their city’s skyline. This silk faille fluted gown makes a statement from any angle, and would be right at home in any of the city’s dazzling ballrooms. Martine is wearing “Artemis” by Sareh Nouri with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Nashville bride can often be found twirling to her favorite country song, and she plans to spend her wedding the exact same way! The slit in this fun lace sheath dress is just right for showing off her beloved boots–she can’t imagine walking down the aisle without them. LaBruce is wearing “Bedford” by Sarah Seven with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

A classic look never fails in one of the South’s most historic destinations. The Williamsburg bride stuns in a satin ball gown, and much like the nooks and corners of this Colonial town, this dress is even lovelier up close–the fabric is embossed with a subtle floral motif. Arch is wearing “Gala” by Modern Trousseau with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

Even in a city where unique architecture, jazzy music, and festive traditions can be found around every corner, an ornate, long-sleeved gown will still be the most memorable part of a New Orleans wedding. Layered tulle and re-embroidered lace keep guests’ eyes on the NOLA bride long after the sun sets over the French Quarter. Megan is wearing “Prairie Rose” by Claire Pettibone with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

One might call Charleston the quintessential Southern city, so a few Southern belle staples–pearls, scalloped edges, and tulle–are musts for the Charleston bride! Timeless but never dull, she isn’t afraid to put her own spin on traditional elements. Emily is wearing “Lacey Williams” by Heidi Elnora with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Florida sun is only outshone by the Palm Beach bride’s wedding day joy! Posing next to bridesmaid outfitted in bright shift dresses, she’s still sure to stand out in a layered gown accented with unexpected and delightful pops of color. Jordan is wearing “Paige” by Hayley Paige with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

I’d love to hear which look is your favorite, and whether we did a good job capturing your favorite Southern city! :)

Venue: The Gadsden House | Hair: Ash & Co. Bridal Hair | Makeup: Bellelina | Jewelry: Croghan’s Jewel Box

Katelyn James and Bellelina are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. Sarah Seven and Heidi Elnora are wonderful Southern Weddings sponsors.

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar India Hill reply

    I literally teared up when I saw that last dress! It’s the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen!

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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