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Bride Mary shares her classic wedding at Idle Hour Country Club!

Fellow classic brides rejoice: we have we got something so good for you today! Meet the darling Mary. Together with her planner, Shelly Fortune, she and her beau Courtney planned a magical wedding day in Kentucky that is Southern and classic perfection (with just the right about of preppy). Y’all, when I look at these images, all I can think of is how absolutely timeless Mary looks in her fabulous Modern Trousseau ballgown! The fully pleated skirt with embossed floral motif and off the shoulder neckline is giving me all the Jackie Kennedy vibes, and I am LOVE-ing it! Of course, her pearl necklace and all-white cascading bouquet is just the icing on the cake. Keep reading to see more of her delightful day (ending with fireworks!!).

Big SW hugs to Lang Thomas for capturing Mary and Courtney’s sweet day!

We buried bourbon a month before and it did the trick with the weather! It was forecasting 90% rain til the Wednesday before the wedding. We also had a bourbon tasting bar at the reception. We used our married monogram for a few details throughout the ceremony and had gardenias (my grandmother’s and dad’s favorite flower) in floral pieces. My engagement ring was old, my dress was new, and my mom lent me a sapphire ring for something borrowed and blue.

My parents got married at Good Shepherd and had their reception at Idle Hour. I grew up going to both places and was baptized and confirmed at Good Shepherd.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used mostly greens in our arrangements rather than full florals.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? We had a cake with layers of lemon, pistachio, and raspberry champagne. Courtney wanted an ice cream bar instead of a groom’s cake, so that’s what we did!

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The first dance with my new husband – it was so much fun but still so meaningful to spend that time together with our family surrounding us.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The band! I LOVED how everyone was glued to the dance floor. It was a blast. And the FIREWORKS!

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We met in medical school in Nashville, Tennessee.
Tell us all about the proposal! Courtney proposed with Mary’s grandmother’s ring as they were leaving for a planned trip to hike Machu Picchu in Peru.
When did y’all get married? June 3, 2017
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 310
Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. I went with my mom, Courtney’s mom, and my two maids of honor who live in New York to Wedding Atelier in New York City.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No. We wanted a traditional wedding.
What was one of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? My brother, Wood Van Meter, sang some of Song of Ruth between the readings. Wood is an actor in Washington, D.C.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Everlasting Love” by Carl Carlton – Courtney picked it!
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Shelly Fortune, 100%. She was so laid-back but simultaneously on top of it. I was never stressed.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Being in medical school and simultaneously applying for medical residency! Courtney and I are both at the Mayo Clinic, he for orthopedics and me for obstetrics and gynecology.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Take your time in a longer engagement!

Photographer: Lang Thomas Photography | Videographer: Carl S. Miller Wedding Films | Planner: Shelly Fortune Event Design | Ceremony Venue: Good Shepherd Episcopal Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: Idle Hour Country Club | Florist: Magnolia Floral Design and Interiors | Wedding Cake: Tinker’s Cake Shop | Band: The Big Beyond via Sam Hill Entertainment | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair and Makeup: Pink Lou Lou Design Studio | Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Paula Dance reply

    Beautiful pictures, very classy wedding. The fireworks picture is a lovely touch :)

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Did you know that less than one fifth of current marriages are preceded by any type of formal marriage preparation??? While we love gorgeous gowns and pretty wedding day details, we’re also big believers in preparing for your marriage and all the life that happens after those beautiful ‘I dos.’ Over the last few weeks, it’s been our joy to share a few different premarital resources, covering topics from money to love and respect, because we know that joining two lives means coming together on a lot of different issues.

As someone who’s a sucker for a good personality test and an advocate for the importance of communication (hello, I was a communications major in college!), Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts might just be my favorite premarital prep resource we’ve shared to date.

Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts is more than just a book – it’s a self-guided course that includes questions at the end of every chapter. The companion workbooks (hers + his) are full of exercises to help you apply what you learn along the way and individually-taken tests (I told you I love a good personality quiz!). Everything points to important conversation topics and is designed to facilitate good discussion – perfect for a cozy date night? :)

A few important topics the book addresses:
– Uncovering the most important misbeliefs of marriage.
– Learning how to communicate with instant understanding.
– Discovering the secret to reducing and resolving conflict.
– Understanding the three essential ingredients to lasting love.

Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts also includes seven crucial questions you should ask before – or even after! – you marry.

Given my background in communication studies and personal life mission as a love (and marriage) cheerleader, I think advice with real-life, practical application is worth its weight in gold.

The good news? You don’t have to just take my word for it. After asking if anyone else had read this book on social media, the replies started pouring in! Everyone from a couple who has been married 20 years to engaged gals who started the book just weeks ago shared their experiences and love of the book:

“I got engaged and my work friends got me more marriage books than you can imagine. This is my favorite, beyond a shadow of a doubt. There’s a section in the first chapter on the unconscious roles each spouse brings into a marriage, and it was an eye-opener. It changed me from the very first chapter! I think SYMBIS is an incredible resource for all brides and brides-to-be.”

“My husband and I read SYMBIS during our engagement and it was such a valuable resource in preparing us for marriage. It’s still useful four months in!”

“We are currently re-reading SYMBIS. We’re on week 5, and it’s truly the highlight of both mine and my fiance’s week.”

Want to learn more? You can grab a copy of this New York Times Bestseller wherever books are sold in physical, audio, and e-book form. Buy it here from Amazon!

This post is sponsored by Harper Collins. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
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The easiest way to guarantee I will cry buckets of tears at your wedding ceremony? Include “Be Thou My Vision.” We sang it during our ceremony, and to this day, anytime I hear it, I’m immediately transported right back to June 23, 2012. There’s something incredibly powerful about music and its ability to bring emotion to life’s most special moments – your wedding ceremony most certainly among them.

A darling reader bride recently asked us to share some of our favorite outdoor ceremony music suggestions, so I’ve happily compiled a few selections, from processional to recessional. (These would all work well whether you’re getting married indoors or out!) My main tip for outdoor ceremonies, though? Be proactive about the sound system, if you’re not hiring live musicians. If you want your guests to be able to sing along or enjoy the music, make sure everyone can hear it.

P.S. The linked headings below lead to a Spotify playlist, where you can listen to our suggestions! A perfect activity for a weeknight dinner :)

Favorite wedding ceremony classical processional songs:
• Wedding March – Mendelssohn
• Canon in D – Pachelbel
• Ave Maria – Bach or Schubert
• Water Music – Handel
• Ode to Joy – Beethoven

Favorite wedding ceremony hymns and songs:
• Abide With Me
• All Creatures of our God and King
• Be Thou My Vision
• Come Thou Fount
• In Christ Alone

Favorite non-religious ceremony songs:
• Wedding Processional – Rodgers and Hammerstein
• Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis
• Falling Slowly – from “Once”
• Make You Feel My Love – Adele
• A Thousand Years – Vitamin String Quartet

Favorite modern recessional songs:
• The Real Thing – The 5 Royales
• Book of Love – The Monotones
• Brighter Than the Sun – Colbie Caillat
• Everlasting Love – Carl Carlton
• Love, Love, Love – The Clovers

One final tip? When picking music, think about the overall feel of your big day – is it classic? romantic? laid-back? upbeat? Pick music that will tell your story and maybe even make you tear up when you hear it at a friend’s ceremony years later ;)

We have more ceremony music suggestions (along with heaps of helping ceremony planning recommendations) in our Joyful Wedding Planner. Snag one over in our shop!

Image round up: Jen Dillender, Tanja Lippert, Jen Fariello, Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington and Perry Vaile

kristin Written with love by Kristin
4 Comments
  1. avatar Savannah Fannon reply

    Any suggestions on playing music outdoors?

  2. avatar Patti reply

    I’m a church organist and singer and play at weddings all the time. For outside ceremonies, it will depend on what musicians you will have. I heard a string quartet playing Beatles tunes at a wedding and they played “Here Comes the Sun” as the bridesmaids came down the aisle. I’ve heard a recorded instrumental of “Someday My Prince Will Come” at an outdoor wedding. One of my daughters used recorded dulcimer music for her wedding that included the traditional “Here Comes the Bride” and for her recessional, she used “How Sweet it Is (to be Loved by You)” by James Taylor as her recessional. It was perfect.

  3. avatar EvDressau reply

    This is a great reference, I think I will listen to these music before my wedding, and then find out that I feel suitable for my wedding song.

  4. avatar Geoff reply

    Choosing music had to be one of the hardest things we had to do for our wedding, but once we had the ceremony entrance and first dance songs the rest seemed to fall into place.

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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