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We love keeping up with gals who are in the midst of wedding planning through our Southern Bride Bloggers page, and were excited to chat a little more in depth with one of them today, because Jessica, is our Southern Bride of Spring! She and Brian are tying the knot in just a few weeks, and she generously took some time out of last minute preparations to fill us in on a few of the details they have planned for their sweet, Southern celebration. I hope you enjoy getting to know them as much as we did!

Hi! What’s your name?
Jessica Firestone
What’s your fiancé’s name?
Brian Hubacher

Sarah Morrel Photography

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Brian and I met at freshman orientation at NC State University. The moment he smiled at me and said “hello,” I knew I was in trouble. That being said, anyone who knows me well knows that I am stubborn and fiercely independent, which led to me refusing his advances for the entirety of freshman year. We maintained a friendship, and after he transferred to Miami University in Ohio, it eventually turned into a relationship, which then turned into love. I’ve known for a long time that he was the one I wanted to spend my life with, which made living in different states especially hard. After years of dating long distance, Brian ended up at law school in Raleigh, which means we are finally in the same city. We are loving every minute of it!
Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
I knew an engagement was coming soon, but the actual proposal was a total surprise! Brian’s sister, Nicole, was coming for what I thought was a girls weekend. Little did I know, it was her responsibility to make sure my nails were perfect and I got to the right place at the right time. With a convincing story about a party for a family friend, Nicole successfully got me to Lake Johnson, one of my favorite spots in Raleigh. When Nicole directed me towards the dock, I saw Brian standing in the middle of strands of lights and photos of us from years of our relationship. I was totally caught off guard and even asked Brian if it was really happening! After a wonderful speech, he was down on one knee and I was the happiest girl in the world. He also had arranged to have a bunch of my best friends hiding in the clubhouse to celebrate with us afterwards. It was absolutely perfect!

Let’s see the ring!

Sarah Morrel Photography

When’s the big day?
May 8, 2016. We’re counting down the days!
Where might you two be tying the knot?
The Sutherland in Wake Forest, North Carolina
How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
Selecting our venue was without a doubt the easiest part of planning the wedding! I’d done a lot of research at the beginning, with dreams of plantations and oaks in my mind. Knowing we didn’t want to get married too far from home, when we saw The Sutherland, we knew it was everything we’d hoped for.
The ceremony will take place in a garden off the side of the main house. I love that location because when I come down the aisle, I’ll get to come through a door and down the porch. I didn’t think I’d care much for a big entrance, but now, I wouldn’t have it any other way! The reception will take place in a beautiful pavilion behind the main house. Some of my favorite things about The Sutherland are the foliage and flowers. When we visited the venue for the first time, the weather was perfect and everything was in full bloom–at that point, we agreed that we couldn’t imagine our big day anywhere else.

Tell us a little bit about the wedding you’re planning: style, theme, feel, colors?
Soft, romantic, and, of course, Southern! For flowers and bridesmaid dresses, we went with light, pastel hues of pink and purple to add to the overall romantic feel. Bouquets and other floral arrangements will include lots of peonies, hydrangeas, and roses. Both of our extended families are from the North, so we wanted to make sure that while they are at the wedding, they get a taste of the Southern life we’ve both fallen in love with.
How have you involved your “community” (friends, family, etc.) in the wedding planning process?
Involving friends and family as much as we’d like has been a challenge, because both Brian’s family and mine aren’t currently in North Carolina, and a lot of our wedding party is also out of state. With that said, it has made the time we do get to celebrate together that much sweeter. Skype and Pinterest have been amazing for making me feel like my family and bridesmaids are connected, and showers have been a really special time of having the women in my life join in this exciting time.

Some of Jessica’s lovely inspiration! Top: both Peaches & Mint via Wedding Chicks, bottom: Rebecca Arthurs via Style Me Pretty, Leah Vis via Colin Cowie Weddings

Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
With a 13-month engagement, you’d better believe our vision for the day has changed a bit from what it was at the beginning! As we’ve gotten closer and closer to the day, we’ve wanted softer and more romantic touches than when we started. The one thing that hasn’t changed at all is our overall focus for the day: we have always wanted our love for Jesus to be evident on May 8th, and having a longer engagement has enabled us to find unique ways of making sure that comes through.
What wedding-related decision have you been the most indecisive on?
Definitely the guest list–deciding who we wouldn’t be able to invite was one of the hardest parts of planning. I always envisioned a small wedding, but marrying into a family with 60+ person Christmases put a quick end to that! Fortunately, I couldn’t be more excited about each person we’ve invited. What a blessing to have so many loved ones to share in this exciting day!
Which part of your wedding have you been most intentional about planning?
That’s an easy one. Above anything else, we want our wedding and our marriage to point towards Christ. The bottom line is, our marriage is not just about us–it is about leveraging our relationship to demonstrate the love of God. We strongly believe that our wedding should reflect that. The second aspect we’ve been most intentional about is making the wedding personal and incorporating elements that mean a lot to us. I’ve planned things like wearing my grandmother’s sapphire ring down the aisle, placing family wedding photos on display, and a few other surprises that my groom doesn’t even know about yet!

A few of our favorite family photo displays! Top: Emily March Photography via Southern Weddings, Virgil Bunao via Southern Weddings

How has the budgeting been? What’s your best budgeting tip?
Budgeting hasn’t been too bad, surprisingly! I created my own budget tracker to input all of my expenses for the big day, which really helped me to visualize where money was being allocated. Before we even started planning, Brian and I sat down and figured out what our splurges would be and where we would be ok cutting back (a tip we found in the Southern Weddings Planner!). Having that conversation right at the beginning of our engagement was key in making sure we had exactly what we really wanted without going overboard.
Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
I have! Dress shopping was so much fun! I went twice–once with my mom and matron of honor and the second time with my three best friends from high school (all of whom are in the wedding as well). I didn’t tear up when I first said yes to the dress, but at my last fitting, when it really started to fit well, my mom and I shared in some happy tears as we imagined me walking down the aisle to Brian. I won’t give too much away about the dress, but it’s an Essense of Australia gown and I purchased it from Lana Addison in downtown Cary, North Carolina. The girls there are absolutely wonderful and the bridal salon itself is lovely. Especially for brides looking to find beautiful dresses without emptying their savings accounts, I highly recommend this sweet boutique.
What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
Walking back up the aisle with my HUSBAND! I can’t wait for those first moments of realizing that Brian is finally my family and I am his wife! The first thing we’re doing as a married couple will be washing each other’s feet, like Jesus did with his disciples to put His perfect, selfless love on display. We will be doing the same as a demonstration of our desire to serve one another like Christ. We’re both excited to set the tone for the rest of our lives together right after the ceremony.

Jo + JT by Brandon Chesbro, Gabrielle + Dustin by Feather and Twine

What are you most looking forward to about marriage?
The things I am most looking forward to are in the mundane…things like Saturday mornings with cups of coffee and time spent snuggling up on the couch, or getting to spend long road trips together driving home to our families for the holidays. It is times like those that will make some of the sweetest memories, but I also look forward to opportunities where we are stretched and challenged, that cause us to come out on the other side looking more like Christ and loving one another better than before.
Where do you hope to be on your fiftieth anniversary?
On our 50th anniversary, I hope we are reminiscing on the beautiful marriage God has blessed us with, while holding hands on our front porch. Our individual dreams and aspirations are big, but together, there is no greater prayer than to live our lives and use our marriage to bring glory to God and to love each other well. I hope we never get tired of kisses goodnight, holding hands in the grocery store, and laughing together until we cry.
Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
Enjoy as much of your engagement as you can! There are going to be ups and downs, no matter how hard you try to make it perfect, but most things aren’t worth losing sleep over. Let challenges bring you and your fiancé closer together and always look for chances to laugh and celebrate with your family and friends. Most importantly, remember that your engagement leads to something greater, so don’t get so caught up in planning your centerpieces that you forget to prepare for the lifetime ahead of you with the person you love most.

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Jessica! Y’all help us wish her well in her last few weeks of wedding planning! :)

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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Many of y’all may remember our popular Southern Bride of the Month series, and we’re tickled pink to be bringing it back with a new gal every season! Our Southern Bride of the Summer is Ashlyn, who is planning a sweet, undeniably Southern celebration in Montgomery, Alabama exactly one month from today. We loved getting to know her and her fiancé, Wes, through her interview, and we hope you do too!

Hi! What’s your name?
Ashlyn Stallings.

What’s your fiancé’s name?
Wes Carter.

Colorbox Photographers

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Samford University is small school tucked in the hills of Birmingham. I was a junior when Wes waltzed in as this cute former-high-school-QB freshman and joined Sigma Chi, which happened to be the guys I hung out with. I confessed my crush to my close friend Ryan, his fraternity brother, and Ryan told me he’d “endorse me like Nike” to Wes.

One day after class, my best friend and I were walking and our paths crossed with Wes and Ryan. There was a brief hi-and-shake-hands moment, and as we walked off, Ryan turned around and yelled “Like Nike, Ash!” Embarrassing for me, but fortunately, Wes took it as “Game on.”

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
Wes wrestled my type-A planner habit away from me by staking claim to a January Saturday. Kindly, he let me make the brunch reservation, so naturally, I still thought I was planning things :) He picked me up and we spent the morning laughing and chatting over coffee, eggs, gravy-covered biscuits, and French toast at no. 246 off the Decatur square. Side note–I had the stomach bug the night before, y’all. Poor Wes didn’t sleep a wink as me and my germs almost wrecked his plans!

After brunch, he drove us down Peachtree Street toward Buckhead. ANY notion I had of “Maybe this is it” was null and void–surely, he wouldn’t ask me since I had been feeling woozy! He pulled over to Duck Pond Park and led us to a bench, where he told me he wanted to talk about something important. God washed a peace over us, and we had the sweetest next few moments together worshiping: Wes led us in prayer, and then read from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Ch. 5) about biblical marriage, and said he wanted this with me. Next thing I knew, he was grinning on one knee while–duh–I cried.

Wes drove us back to my little Buckhead townhouse of four girls, where my roommates and about 25 friends and family members had the Veuve Clicquot ready to pop! He thought of everything, and having dear ones there to celebrate was so special.

Wes’ sweet proposal and Ashlyn’s beautiful ring! By Katie Bunn Photography

When’s the big day?
August 15, 2015

Where might you two be tying the knot?
Knot typing specifically will be at First Baptist Church of Montgomery, where I grew up. Then, it’s on to Montgomery Country Club.

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
It was fairly easy: First Baptist is the church I grew up in, and my parents are tremendously involved there. We wanted a Christ-exalting ceremony, and while I don’t necessarily believe that can only happen in a church, I wanted to respect my parents and pay homage to nostalgia–I have so many sweet memories in that beautiful, old, Southern church. Montgomery Country Club ended up being the winner both sentiment-wise AND budget-wise: a place like a country club gives you an all-in-one-place convenience, and I have a lot of memories from growing up there–plus, I’m the biggest Zelda Fitzgerald fan you’ll meet. I have about 18 books on the Montgomery girl who won F. Scott Fitzgerald’s heart, and they met at MCC in 1918. Only fitting, right?

A Bryan Photo via Southern Weddings

Tell us a little bit about the wedding you’re planning: style, theme, feel, colors?
As far as style, my florist just wrote down “Southern elegance” on her worksheet–does that count? :) If there’s a theme, I told her the theme can be magnolias. Charming and gracious, they’ve always said “home” better than any other flower or tree to me. I love their scent, glamour, and beauty. I even had a blog when I traveled for ADPi called “Miss Magnolia!”

Years ago, I probably would have assumed my 27-year-old bridesmaid-veteran self would veer towards out-of-the-box wedding ideas. Instead, I’ve been saying a lot more of “Well, Momma, what did you do/what would you do?” Wedding invitations, for example: traditional ecru folded paper with black Rook typestyle has worked for decades, and if it ain’t broke…

Some gorgeous magnolia details from Ashlyn’s Pinterest boards! Chair garland by Tim Willoughby via Southern Weddings, chandeliers by Sean Money and Elizabeth Fay via Southern Weddings, cake by Jarrad Lister via Southern Weddings

Who or what has been most helpful and/or inspiring in the wedding planning process?
Hands DOWN A Christ-Centered Wedding by Catherine Parks. My goodness gracious. This book is a must-read for a bride trying to wrap her head around how to point AWAY from herself and towards what marriage was created for. It’s complete with easy to do lists and check boxes. After reading it, I wrote these three things at the front of my wedding binder: 1. Will this help us GET MARRIED, and foster a God-pleasing marriage? 2. Does this SERVE the people attending the wedding? 3. Will it bring glory to God?

She’s good, that Catherine. Thanks, Southern Weddings–y’all introduced me to the book!

A Birmingham welcome bag by The Birmingham Bride

What part of wedding planning, if any, has made you the most anxious?
I moonlight as a wedding calligrapher, and taking on my own wedding was tough–eek! Such a perfectionist.

Which part of your wedding have you been most intentional about planning?
Well, our marriage, of course, through things like working through The Meaning of Marriage by Keller in marriage counseling, and having Love and Respect and You and Me Forever scattered all over my nightstand!

I’m fixing to give a silly, but hopefully practical, intentional tip for brides: clean OUT that Pinterest! Right after Wes popped the question, I tackled my (yes, it was hidden) wedding Pinterest board–streamline that puppy, y’all. I broke it into ceremony, food/reception, flowers, paper, maids/dress, and general tips. I deleted photos as we planned, too: treating it a bit like a checklist. I also used a Southern Weddings tip and made inspiration boards using Microsoft PowerPoint: I just copy/pasted my favorite photos onto some slides. I can’t tell you how many vendors–from wedding dress boutiques to my florist–found it visually helpful. I think that is really helping me nail the look I want.

Spindle Photography via A Crimson Kiss, Meg Baisden via Southern Weddings, Ashley Kelemen via Style Me Pretty

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
I’m a girly girl, but I’ll be honest, the food and band seemed like more fun details to plan! Too much pressure. My momma, my sister, and I made four appointments in Atlanta one Saturday. You think you don’t care until you turn around and see yourself in the mirror in “the one.” Changes everything. :)

My best advice? Girl, you can make a small amount of money work on a dress, no matter WHAT they tell you in the stores! To be tacky and talk about money, I was a hardliner on finding a $1K dress, because I wanted to reserve money to honor guests in other ways. Bel Fiore helped me find the most gorgeous gown. They’re gems.

What do you love most about Southern weddings?
Mercy–all of it?! I love the tradition and the focus on honoring your heritage and family. Naturally, Southerners take food seriously–and I manage PR for a celeb chef and his restaurants, so you know it’s important to me, too! From a hometown pastor to confederate jasmine stuck in a bouquet, to family pearls and hush puppies and beignets, there’s just always a sense of place with weddings in the South. I think that’s lovely. Oh, and no one in the South bats an eyelash that we planned a life event around two SEC football schedules. That’s nice.

Family photo display by Sarah Kate Photography via Southern Weddings, bar banner by Rebecca Ames via Style Me Pretty, monogrammed handkerchiefs by Jeremy Harwell via Southern Weddings

Tell us about planning with your fiancé. Has it gone smoothly? Is he more involved, or hands-off?
He’s a complete dream. This is cheesy, but I sat down with Wes and showed him my little wedding binder and pictures at the beginning: it was sweet! Just a good way for us to get on the same page. No, he couldn’t have cared less about the custom monogram pictures I pulled, but I think it was good to be like, “So, I’m thinking right before six at a church, buffet food, and I kinda wanted you in a black tux, amiright?” Wes has stood firm on one thing: he doesn’t want to see me before the ceremony. I really respect that as his dream! We’re working everything out with the photographer to that end, and I think it will be worth it!

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
First Baptist’s doors swinging open and looking down an aisle I grew up in to see the guy I used to daydream about taking to a sorority party about to become my HUSBAND. WHAT!? Dreams come true! We are so ready! It has been a long time coming, and our God is so good in His timing and His gifts.

What are you most looking forward to about marriage?
Getting to be roommates with my best friend! A few of my high school besties are married, and they offer such a sweet, real-life picture of marriage. Life won’t always be easy, but I finally get to do it living alongside my best friend. Also, Wes and I are renovating a sweet little home in East Lake, Atlanta–so fun!

Garden-inspired details by White Loft Studio via Style Me Pretty and Danielle Poff via The Knot

Our current theme is called Summer Love and it’s about revisiting childhood adventures, making new memories, and growing in love. Are you pulling any wedding inspiration from your childhoods or childhood memories?
Yes! I grew up going to games in Jordan-Hare Stadium, so there had to be a subtle Auburn nod at our August wedding in Montgomery, right? We will hopefully have Doritos with melted pepper jack cheese served in paper boats to salute local restaurant Momma G’s. My parents used to go on dates there at Auburn, and if Wes’ UGA-die-hard soul would allow himself one kind word about Auburn, he’d say his life is better with Momma G’s Atlanta midtown location.

Also, I wanted my bouquet to pull from the flowers I grew up with Mama having in the house from her garden: hydrangeas, gardenia, jasmine, and roses. Good, barefooted memories come to mind when I smell that combo!

Thank you so much for sharing with us, Ashlyn! Y’all help us wish her well in this last month of wedding planning! :)

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Kirsti Cook reply

    Heavens to Betsy -I already feel like this bride and I could be best friends! We have such similar traditional taste for weddings because like she said, if it ain’t broke…! I truly adore how Christ-centered they are keeping their marriage and wedding day, focusing on what is important instead of getting lost in tiny details! I wish yo both all the happiness God has to offer you!

  2. avatar Kathi reply

    I enjoyed reading this and can’t wait to be there!

  3. avatar Couture Boudoir | New York Photographer reply

    This is such a fabulous southern wedding! It is so pretty and I love her theme and color scheme. Fabulous post!

  4. avatar Christina reply

    Congratulations, Ashlyn! I’m a long time reader of the Southern Weddings blog and I was so excited to see another ADPi on here! Pi love and all of mine!

  5. avatar Brooke Glassford reply

    That’s my girl!! LOVE this post!

  6. avatar Tracy Carson reply

    So so thrilled for you Ashlyn! I feel like a distant big sister from afar and I wish you and Wes all the best!

  7. avatar Ms. Brenda reply

    Love reading all the details! You’re such a beautiful southern girl inside and out! Can’t wait to celebrate you and Wes! It’s sure to be a day celebrating the two of you and honoring our Heavenly Father.

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Friends! I’m so happy to welcome our Southern Bride of the Month for April! All of our Southern Brides are special to us, but we have a special connection to Miss Whitney because in 2011, she was one of our reader models in V4’s South Carolina Polo Prep editorial! Here she is on the left in those famous striped skirts :)

A Bryan Photo

Please help me welcome her to the blog… again! :)

Hi! What’s your name?
Whitney Anne Rosenkampff

What’s your fiancé’s name?
John William Perry, but he goes by Will

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Our story begins our senior year of high school, when Will began coaching our senior girls’ powderpuff team. (Really, it started much earlier, when my mom pointed Will out at our middle school awards show as “the smart guy I should date” and when Will told his mom that I was the most beautiful girl at school.) The very first thing my dad ever said when he met Will was, “Hey, you’re the kid who toilet papered our house!” Who knew, five years later, he would be talking to the same man about marrying his daughter. We both were accepted early admission to UGA, and even though it took some convincing for Will to drop his allegiance to Georgia Tech, we both started in Athens the following August. Many Sanford stadium games, formals, and Varsity hot dogs later, we graduated from our beloved alma mater in May, then moved to Augusta in the fall when Will started medical school and I began my first job as a nurse. We love to cook, travel to our nearby Charleston, eat whole buckets of popcorn at the movies, sing the wrong words to songs in the car, see who can eat the most oysters at happy hour, have lots of medical discussions and spend weekends with our friends on the lake!

Engagement session by Twin Hearts!

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
The plan was for me to come to Athens, go shopping all day with my best friend, and celebrate our belated birthdays before she moved to Texas for two months. While we were shopping, Kelsey told me that she had left my birthday present at our sorority house (we were both AOII at UGA) but her sister, Taylor, was going to bring it by on her way to class. Seeing as it was a short walk from downtown Athens, I agreed to meet up. We met Taylor near the Founders Garden, and she wished me happy birthday as she handed me the bag. I grabbed the card out of the present, opened it, and read “Forever and Ever Quidnunc, Turn Around.” Will has always called me Quidnunc, since we started dating almost six years ago. I knew when I read it that no one would have written that besides Will. I immediately turned around and saw him standing there with a small box in his hand. I started crying and Kelsey started crying and grabbed a camera to snap pictures. He lead me into the garden and proposed, shopping bags in hand and all. After the proposal, Will had my whole family waiting to eat dinner at our favorite restaurant. What makes it even more special is that we got engaged the same day my mimi and papa were married, and they are a couple I have always looked up to as a model of love, devotion, and timelessness.

When’s the big day?
June 14, 2014

Where might you two be tying the knot?
The Hill in Athens, GA

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
We chose to have both our ceremony and reception at The Hill in Athens, GA. We knew two things going into our wedding planning: we wanted our wedding to be in Athens, our favorite place in the world, and we wanted it to be outside. I had researched a couple places before we went to go look at The Hill, but once we arrived we knew it was the place for us. Owned by Lee Epting, the man behind Epting Events, it is a collection of beautiful old houses restored by Lee himself among gorgeous landscapes and gardens. We also love that our families are able to stay in the houses all weekend, too. Our ceremony spot, the Sunken Garden, is just breathtaking, green and peaceful and surrounded by brick walls. Our reception will be in a large tent in front of the house framed by big trees. I love the fact that our venue allows us to mix a bohemian garden feel with a classic Southern tent wedding. We’re going to have garden string lights, a big band, a black and white dance floor, and a classic Southern feast that includes smoked beef brisket and fried chicken (of course!)!

A ceremony at the Sunken Garden by Twin Hearts!

Tell us a little bit about the wedding you’re planning: style, theme, feel, colors?
I tell everyone I am going for a “bohemian inspired classic Southern wedding” – I want guests to feel they’re in a dreamy garden with soft colors. We’re going to compliment our beautiful setting with creams, blushes, green, and touches of black. The groomsmen will be in sharp black tuxes with cream rose boutonnieres, and my bridesmaids are wearing a long dress with oatmeal-colored lace on top and a cream bottom. I chose to go with simple baby’s breath bouquets for the bridesmaids. My bouquet is going to be full of peonies, hydrangeas, cream anemones, and dusty miller. Epting Events has some amazing pieces we are using in the wedding, like handmade bars from old homes that we are combining with touches from our own home, like my mom’s typewriter.

Dress on the right from Sarah Janks

Who or what has been most helpful and/or inspiring in the wedding planning process?
We are using Chancey Charm Events, and our planner Marilisa has been great — we are so blessed to have her! My mom has also been so much fun and such a help. I am the only girl, so this is our time to shine, and we have had a great time planning everything. Also, my maid of honor and best friend, Kelsey, has been wonderful at keeping my worries at bay and helping me plan out every detail.

How have you involved your “community” (friends, family, etc.) in the wedding planning process?
It was important to us to keep things local to reflect our love for Athens. Our wedding planner is local to Athens. Our photographers, Twin Hearts Photography, are Athens based. Epting Events is based in Athens. My papa is saying a blessing before we all eat. My brother is playing all of our ceremony music. I have all my cousins as junior bridesmaids.

Has your vision for your wedding changed or evolved over the course of your engagement? If so, how?
Our vision has become more focused over time. At the beginning, you think, wow, I have to fit every idea I have ever seen into one six hour time slot! Yikes!! Eventually, I had to put my blinders on and really think about what would best reflect Will and I.

What part of wedding planning, if any, has made you the most anxious?
I think most of my anxiety has come from Pinterest. At one point, I promised myself I wouldn’t look at anything else — I love my wedding style, but get overwhelmed by too many ideas.

What wedding-related decision have you been the most indecisive on?
Flowers, oh my goodness. I have gone back and forth on my bridesmaids’ bouquets and my bouquet. My florist, Ginger Bradshaw from Ginger Lily Events, is absolutely an angel! She keeps up with my Pinterest board and together we have found a beautiful mix within our budget.

Bouquet photo on the left by Laura Ivanova via Elizabeth Anne Designs and bouquet photo on the right by Kay English from Kelly + Ted’s wedding

Which part of your wedding have you been most intentional about planning?
The most intentional and intimate part of our wedding will be the ceremony and the music. Will and I are being married by one of my dad’s best friends who also happens to be family friends with Will’s parents. I have Will’s three sisters as my bridesmaids and Will has my two brothers as his groomsmen. All of our ceremony music will be done by my brother — it’s important to us that each song be something that reflects where Will and I come from, so guests shouldn’t be surprised if they hear everything from need2breathe to Jack White! I want people to be able to feel like they are part of our family during the whole thing.

Tell us about the one that got away. Is there one dream thing or vendor you wish you could have fit into your budget?
A couple of months ago my dad hosted a charity event for his company and had this amazing 20-piece band play. They had three horns, a guy who sang like Louis Armstrong, three string players, four singers… let’s just say they blew us away! That would be my dream band. Yes, it would have cost my whole budget to hire them, but a girl can dream!

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Yes!! It was my absolute favorite part of planning so far! My mom, mimi and I went to three stores. At the first store I found one I loved, but wanted to try more. At the second store I also found a beautiful dress, but then I happened to Google “different wedding dress stores in Atlanta” and found Kelly’s Closet. As soon as we walked in, I was in love with the vintage cuts, beautiful beading, and cap sleeve goodness from their designers. I ended up choosing a beautiful Claire Pettibone gown that I knew was the one as soon as I tried it on. It is ethereal and feels heavenly! When I put it on I feel like a bohemian bride perfect for the garden ceremony.

Photo on the right by Jose Villa via Once Wed

Do you have a favorite Etsy or independent store you’d love to tell us about?
My wedding has been dubbed the “Etsy Wedding” — we are even registered on Etsy! We used Puddleduck Paper Company for Will’s “Will you be my groomsmen” cards. Will ordered beautiful hand carved bottle openers for his groomsmen from Uncorked Originals, and Tammy from Fancie Strands created a beautiful headband for me to wear at our reception.

What do you wish you would have known at the beginning of your engagement?
Don’t wish your engagement away — it’s the best time, enjoy it.

Any plans for a honeymoon? Where do you want to go and what will you do?
Yes! We somehow found time between Will’s medical school and my nurse practitioner school. We are going to St. John and staying at The Westin. It was important to us to be able to get out and explore, so we are renting a jeep and planning to drive around to all the different bays.

Engagement session by Twin Hearts

What are you most looking forward to about marriage?
Being able to share each day with my best friend. I feel so lucky that God found this awesome man for me to spend my life with, and I can’t wait to begin this chapter as our own little family. We are excited about cooking in our new kitchen, saving our money to travel to Europe one day, and being parents to our sweet black lab! Once we found this kind of love, having a life with each other is the most exciting thing we can think of.

Where do you hope to be on your fiftieth anniversary?
Our dream is to renovate an old house, somewhere in the Lowcountry on the water, and fill it with kiddos and dogs!

Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
When you go to weddings, what do you look forward to the most? Is it the ceremony, or the band, or the food? I’d love to know!

Thank you so much, Whitney! Readers, interested in being featured as a future Southern Bride of the Month? Take a peek at this page for all of the details!

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar Michelle reply

    I loved reading your story, Whitney! We share a wedding date, and for some reason reading this made me calm and confident that we are ready for the big day. As a fellow UGA alum, Go Dawgs and Best Wishes!

  2. avatar Cardin McKenna reply

    You are going to be the most incredible bride, Whit, and I feel so honored to be standing beside you. This entire interview is so graceful, so honest, and so beautiful–just like you. We all cannot wait to celebrate the Perry’s in t-minus 2 months and see all of your handwork and visions come to life–but most importantly be witnesses to y’all’s incredible love! xo

  3. avatar Kat reply

    I’m such a romantic… I love hearing personal vows during the ceremony!! Reception entertainment is always something I look forward to, too… a band & a black and white dance floor sound amazing!!!

  4. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] of our favorite topics: monograms. I revealed who will be photographing my wedding! We welcomed our April Southern Bride of the Month. We introduced our brand new Friday series: Southern Newlywed. Don’t forget to enter the […]

  5. avatar Hannah Shaffer reply

    Love the engagement shoot and the gorgeous lace! Thank you for sharing :).

  6. avatar Marilisa Schachinger reply

    Whitney has been one of the sweetest clients to work with! I can’t wait for her wedding to get here and see the love pour in from all her family and friends!

  7. avatar Elizabeth reply

    I definitely go for the reception. The ceremony is nice, but they are pretty much all the same. The reception is like a huge party…and who doesn’t love a good party?! :)

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