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Our tenth anniversary issue debuts on November 9 (just four weeks away!!), but we’re thrilled to launch preorder sales in our online shop TODAY!

You will NOT want to miss this issue, friends. New to these parts and not sure about why you’d preorder? Here are a few reasons you might want to consider it:

A) You don’t live in the South. We have some distribution above the Mason-Dixon, but not as much as below, so it can be hard to find copies in stores if you’re in the North or West!
B) You live in the South. Even if you’re in our neck of the woods, some readers and vendors have been known to buy every copy on the shelf!
C) You want to make sure you have a copy on launch day, and don’t want to risk driving to multiple stores. (See above!)
D) You want to receive our awesome preorder bonuses. This is the first time we’ve offered goodies to our early bird friends, and we’re excited about them! Check out the listing to see all the details.
E) You are a Southern bride, a Southern bride-to-be, a Southern mama, or a Southern wedding enthusiast, and need a way to express your excitement for our tenth anniversary issue!! (And earn all of our hugs and kisses!)

We can’t wait to unveil our cover soon (sooner than you think – it is so pretty!!!!!!!). Even more, we can’t wait to celebrate this issue with the incredible Southern Weddings community. We would love for you to save the date for our tenth anniversary launch party on November 9 at The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina! (And if not there, then on Instagram via #SouthernWeddings10!)

But in the meantime, make sure you reserve your copy today! Toss the confetti, y’all!!

With love,
Kristin, Lara, Emily, Nicole, Marissa, Jess, Amber, Catherine, and Kaylee!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Cristina reply

    The links to pre-order don’t work and I can’t see to find it on your online shop!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Everything should be good to go now! Here’s the link in case you need it: https://www.southernweddingshop.com/products/southern-weddings-10th-anniversary-issue-volume-10 Thanks for your excitement!!

  2. avatar Emilee R. reply

    Can’t wait! See y’all in November. My beau and I are making a special trip out to y’all for V10! Chapel Hill here we come :)

  3. avatar Erin Aleece Johnson reply

    When can we reserve our tickets for the SW v10 Launch Party?! Can’t wait to see you gals!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Yay, Erin!! We can’t wait to see YOU! Launch party ticket sales will open on October 23 :)

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Bride Mary shares her dusty blue wedding at Riverwood Mansion.

We often hear how stressful wedding planning can be, but I love it when the brides we feature share how much fun it can also be! Please meet today’s bride Mary. With the help of her sweet mother-in-law and the team at Riverwood Mansion, she had a joyful wedding planning process that culminated with a super soggy wedding day filled with so many meaningful details even the rain couldn’t dampen their joy. “It rained and it poured all day long. And we still got married and had the time of our lives,” said Mary. She also shared the many ways she and Tyler included their family and heritage into the wedding day: like my personal favorite, how Mary walked down the aisle carrying a bouquet of her late mama’s favorite flowers. Keep reading to learn more!

Thanks for sharing, Cassidy Carson!

Tell us the highlights of finding your wedding dress. My sister and I went dress shopping solo. We looked at three boutiques before finding “the dress” at Modern Trousseau in downtown Nashville. I thought I wanted column; it was ball gown. I thought I wanted beading; it was all lace. I thought I wanted sleeves, and well, I got strapless (but then added sleeves!). Dress shopping is a little like love in that way: you might go into it thinking you have one idea, but trying it on makes all the difference.

Our venue was fantastic, because it offered a package that included so many of the wedding components that can add up really quickly (linens, china, flatware, lighting, etc). I think in the end, staying within most of their package offerings saved us a ton of money – and headaches.

You likely can’t tell from the photos, because Cassidy Carson and her team are MAGICIANS, but it rained and it poured all day long. And we still got married and had the time of our lives. So, sit back, relax, and hire Cassidy (or the best photographer you can find!). No better place to invest your limited dollars for piece of mind.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Music is really important to me and Tyler and has been one of the most meaningful aspects to our relationship thus far, so we really wanted to reflect that during our wedding. To start, we hired a band we KNEW we’d love, because they’d performed at two other family members’ weddings! Next, I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon.” It’s not a particularly unusual choice, but it was special to me as a known favorite of my late mother. Finally, we shared our first dance to Bob Dylan’s “Tonight I’ll be Staying Here with You.” We both love Dylan, and the super sappy lyrics can’t be beat, but even more meaningful, the track was off on the “Nashville Skyline” record and recorded just down the street!

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Literally the whole thing was meaningful. From being married by the mother of my childhood best friend (hi, Rev. Cover!), to the speeches and readings by some of our closest friends, to walking down the aisle with a bouquet of my late mom’s favorite flowers (blue hydrangeas), to incorporating so many family photos and Southern touches, I couldn’t have asked for a better or more personal day. And perhaps just as important as the traditions we chose to include are those we chose to exclude (because, hey, publicly removing a garter with your teeth in front of all your loved ones doesn’t have to be for everyone!).

What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? All of the little decisions! The big ones – venue, band or DJ, groom :) – happened pretty fast. But the LITTLE ones were killer (extra draping at the venue? Specific song to play during your introduction at the reception? Ruffled or plain tux shirt?). In the end, I don’t think I will look back and notice all the little things, so to all the future brides out there, try not to sweat it.

What did you serve for your wedding cake or dessert? Cake! It was six tiers, traditional almond flavor with buttercream frosting (plus fresh strawberries) and included in our amazing package (have I mentioned how great Riverwood Mansion is yet?).

What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? Getting to spend so much time letting the creative juices flow with my amazing Mother-in-Law, Sherry! I know it sounds cheesy, and very outside of the stereotypical norm, but Sherry and I share a love of Southern food, blue and white porcelain, fine card stock, details, and my husband, Tyler. My wedding, much like my life now, would not have been the same without her.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We love cats, politics, traveling, fine wine, good food, the South, justice & equity, concerts, supporting each other’s dreams, and each other…a lot…a lot a lot.
Tell us all about the proposal! Tyler and I had been dating for 5 years by the time he proposed (we were in no rush!), but we were actually living in two different places (me, in Washington, D.C. for work, and him in Nashville, TN, which was destined to be our forever home). I flew in to visit Nashville one weekend in October, landing Friday around 1pm, and he offered to pick me up from the airport. On the drive back, I could tell he was acting a little strange, but I just assumed that was because he had a bit more work to do before we could fully enjoy the weekend. But when we got back home, he couldn’t wait to get me upstairs to our bedroom. On the bed was my 16-year-old (at the time) childhood cat, Millie (“Millenium”), surrounded by (and also eating) flowers and the concert ticket stubs from every single show we had seen together. It took me a moment to process what was happening, but when he dropped to one knee and held out the ring, two and two finally clicked and I couldn’t wait to say yes. To top it all off, he somehow arranged to get our families in town (who literally span the East and West coast!) to celebrate. I won’t forget the love of that moment for a long, long time.
When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160.
Did you decide to do a first look? We did. We wanted that moment to just be together before all the fanfare – and to help settle the nerves a little bit (it worked!).
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Tyler and I met interning for our local congressman at his D.C. office and own a home in East Nashville, so Riverwood Mansion – with its famous Tennessee political history, (including events hosting seven U.S. presidents), location (5 minute drive from our house), and gorgeous grounds – stood out to us and immediately just felt “right”. We looked at other places, but in reality, there was no other place for us.
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? That’s too hard to choose! I loved our memory hutch – with photos of loved ones and weddings past – and the fourteen blue and white vases we were able to incorporate as reception centerpieces from my personal collection.
What was Southern about your wedding? We served fried chicken for dinner. ‘Nuff said?
What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? The warmth and love from our friends and family. From the ceremony readings to the reception speeches, I have never, ever, felt more supported or loved than during my wedding. I feel blessed to have had so many wonderful people participate and encourage our commitment to one another. I just don’t think it gets better than that.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Find a partner! You may not need a wedding planner per se (though, I hear they’re great!), but you will need someone to bounce ideas off of, and gut check your more “out there” concepts (I seriously considered enlisting my brothers to hang greenery from the chandelier in the reception space, until a kind soul suggested I maybe check with the florist to see if that was something they could handle). Find a sounding board, use them, and then thank profusely.

Photographer: Cassidy Carson | Planner, Ceremony Venue, and Reception Venue: Riverwood Mansion | Florist: Enchanted Florist | Wedding Cake Baker and Caterer: 8 Lavender Lane | Band: Nick Carver Band | Paper Products: BP Calligraphy | Vintage Stamps: Vintage Postage Shop | Bride’s Gown: Modern Trousseau | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Amanda Gros | Bride’s Shoes: Nina Shoes from Amazon | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Weddingpixie reply

    Love the vintage bridal car, fab! Such a happy looking couple, congrats!

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Friends, I am tickled pink to be able to introduce our newest team member to you today – Catherine Marks!

If you recognize that smiling face, then major bonus points to you (and it probably means you’ve been reading for a long time!). We first met Catherine when we featured her sparkling winter wedding to Will in 2015. (And it is a stunner – go take a peek!) She wowed us then with her thoughtful interview and meaningful wedding day details, and has only continued to delight us since she joined our team in May.

That’s right, May! :) Catherine joined our team at the same time as Kaylee (whom some of you may have met if you’ve emailed us with a customer service question!), but since she went on to have a sweet baby in July, we decided to formally introduce her to y’all once she was back from leave.

Well, she’s here, and we couldn’t be more excited for you to meet her! Though we joked throughout this process that we weren’t just hiring a new team member, we were hiring a new friend, it’s true! One of the greatest joys of the work we do is doing it alongside each other. A company culture that fosters this kind of team unity has become one of the biggest blessings of my life, and it makes our hiring decisions really, really important!

Just as our team dynamic is so incredibly important to us, it’s equally important that we have someone caring for our readers who understands and lives our mission. Catherine has quickly become one of the most enthusiastic members of our team, pitching in any and everywhere across both Southern Weddings and Cultivate What Matters. You can expect to find her doing the same from here on out, both behind the scenes and here on the blog!

What a gem this lady is to our team! Now, without further ado, meet the lovely Catherine Marks!

Tell us how you joined the team in a few sentences: I’m a long-time Southern Weddings fan (I know I’m not the only one still loyally reading years after my wedding day!), PowerSheets user, and Making Things Happen Conference alum. I have always had so much love and respect for this team from afar; I even told my husband at one point that if I could just work with the SW and CWM gals I would have my dream job. As luck would have it, I was in a transitional period in my life, knowing I was to be a new mama soon, when they posted that they were searching for a new team member. I never dreamed I would actually get the job, but God had other plans, and here I am!

What have you been doing since May? I have been loving my job! Can you believe that my very first “assignment” was to get my hair and makeup done for our team photo shoot at Fearrington Village? Granted, not every day is that glamorous, but most days are that fun! Starting out with the Cultivate Team Summit was like getting three months of information and team bonding done in three days! Since then, I’ve been editing and drafting blog posts, managing the beautiful Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory, helping out with V10 and our weekly newsletter, and gearing up for the 2018 PowerSheets release on October 25th! On a personal note, I also gave birth to my baby girl, Victoria.

What else will you be doing in the coming months? I am so excited to be able to write and share more from a personal perspective now that you know who I am! I have such a passion for both sides of our business — for encouraging women to cultivate what matters, right where they are, whether they’re brides, business owners, or new moms. I’m also coming back from leave at a great time, as both Kristin and Marissa are due to give birth soon and I’ll be taking on some of their responsibilities for the next few months!

Hometown and where you live now: I’m from Southeast Missouri (Charleston and Cape Girardeau, MO) and live in Arlington, VA now.

Birthday: September 28

Something others might not know about me: I am a proud (fourth generation) farmer’s daughter!

Favorite part about being on team: Since “everything” is a boring answer, I’ll narrow it down to two very broad things: the work I do and the people I do it with. It is such a joy to do work that I believe so strongly in and love so much. It’s cliche, but it truly never feels like a job! And then, of course, to work with these eight incredible women who are so much more than coworkers is a daily blessing I hope I never take for granted!

Friends, please help us give Catherine a big SW welcome in the comments below! She’s been such a delight to our team, and we know you are going to love her just as much as we do! You can also say hi and get to know her on Instagram.

Photos by Ally and Bobby and Olivia Suriano of Nancy Ray Photography.

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Big News, Big Praise, and Big Gratitude: I've Joined the Southern Weddings and Cultivate What Matters Team! – Classic Catherine reply

    […] launch coming soon! There’s more about what I’ve been doing on the blogs today, here and […]

  2. avatar Megan reply

    Welcome Catherine! As a fellow Southeast Missouri girl (I grew up in Perryville!) who went to college in St. Louis, I’ve been such a fan of your beautiful wedding for a long time. :)

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