Google+AJ Dunlap Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: AJ Dunlap

Learning about unique companies that are creating truly amazing products is a huge highlight of working for Southern Weddings, and when Sasha Nicholas crossed our path a few years ago, I think it’s safe to say that our entire team fell head over heels. Their monogrammed pieces are gorgeous, well made, and completely heirloom-worthy, and when they asked us to create a shoot for them that brought their pieces into a wedding setting, we immediately dreamed up the perfect place for them: a sweetheart table!

As monogram etiquette states, a married monogram shouldn’t be used till after the bride and groom say their vows, making dinner the perfect place to debut your new moniker. I admittedly hoarded as many little details as I could from my wedding to save in a keepsake box, but how much sweeter would it be to have your dinner plates proudly displayed in your china cabinet, where you could see (and use!) them every day? That’s exactly what the Sasha Nicholas dinner plates would be perfect for–they would add the loveliest, most unique touch to your sweetheart table, and then continue to remind you of that first special meal together as husband and wife long into your marriage! P.S. Want to sweeten the deal even more? Sasha Nicholas allows you to add a message to the back of each plate!

We fell in love with Sasha Nicholas’ Weave Gold-Rimmed Dinnerware, and while the monogram comes in five gorgeous color options, we couldn’t resist Raspberry for this mini shoot! I love the idea of a sweetheart table nestled in the garden–away from most of the guests for a little privacy, but close enough to hear the festive sounds of laughter, music, and clinking glasses nearby.

Our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Stephanie Scholl, did a fabulous job pulling perfectly peachy details for this shoot that complemented both the raspberry monogram dishes and our gorgeous surroundings, the WRAL Azalea Gardens. Sage Paper Co. lettered the softest blush place cards and chair signs, CE Rental provided that great textured linen, and Serendipity Designs hit it out of the park with the dreamiest spring centerpiece!

Dinner plates are far from the only monogrammed goodness Sasha Nicholas has available–their champagne buckets and napkin rings in particular are two more options that would be a perfect fit on a sweetheart table or incorporated into your wedding day in some way. How special would it be to celebrate every anniversary with bubbly chilled in the same bucket you used to toast your new marriage?

We are SO excited that Sasha Nicholas generously offered to gift a lucky Southern Weddings reader a pair of their monogrammed Weave 24K Gold Rimmed Dinner Plates, just like the plates you see in this post! The winner will be able to choose their monogram letters, style, and color from the options found on their website. Enter via the Rafflecopter below–a winner will be selected and emailed on April 27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much to Sasha Nicholas for partnering with us on this shoot, and to the fabulous team who helped bring it to life!

Photographer: A.J. Dunlap | Planner and Stylist: Stephanie Scholl Events | Florals: Serendipity Designs | Monogrammed Dinner Plates, Champagne Bucket, and Napkin Rings: Sasha Nicholas | Rentals: CE Rental | Paper Goods: Sage Paper Co. | Venue: WRAL Azalea Gardens

This post is brought to you by Sasha Nicholas-–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
57 Comments
  1. avatar Shelby reply

    Beautiful!

  2. avatar Sara Rae reply

    Oh my! these are amazing! I would definitely use these to host a special anniversary dinner for my husband!

  3. avatar Brina reply

    This would look sooooo beautiful on the sweetheart table at my wedding this November!

  4. avatar Victoria W reply

    My fiancé and I would eat off of these beautiful plates the moment we became husband and wife! We would be sure to bring them out for our holiday dinners and anniversaries as well!

  5. avatar Sarah reply

    Oh my goodness! These plates are so, very pretty! My fiance and I are getting married in May (just a few weeks), and we didn’t register for fine china; because I will eventually be getting some family china :) However, it would be so fun to have a couple of plates with our initials on them, just for us to use!

  6. avatar Sara Colbert reply

    So beautiful! Would love to win those pretty plates!

  7. avatar Shelby Vanhoy reply

    THIS is so gorgeous! Love all of the spring pinks! Can’t wait for Stephanie Scholl to help plan my own wedding next June!

    xo, Shelby
    http://www.prettyinthepines.com

  8. avatar Jen reply

    these are stunning!!!

  9. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    What a complete honor & joy it was to style this, ladies!! I am so grateful for y’all – and for every other fabulous vendor involved! It was a picture perfect day in the gardens for this shoot, and these monogrammed dinner plates are simply amazing! xoxox

  10. avatar Kate R. reply

    LOVE. These are so beautiful!

  11. avatar Emilee reply

    I think these would be so cute to eat on for every anniversary!

  12. avatar Natalie reply

    I would love these with my new married monogram!

  13. avatar Erin reply

    These are gorgeous. Would love to incorporate in our 2017 wedding!

  14. avatar Tara F. reply

    These are so cute!! A perfect accent to my vintage China that we received for our wedding!

  15. avatar Kylie reply

    I saw these in a store about a month ago and I’ve been day dreaming about them ever since! I would be ecstatic to win these and use them at our wedding next June and for future holidays or just a Sunday brunch!

  16. avatar Lauren Powell reply

    Love these plates so much! They are stunning.

  17. avatar Lauren reply

    Wow! These are beautiful! I would love to use these at our wedding this fall, but really would love to have them for all of the special meals we’ll share together in years to come. I’d love to celebrate our anniversaries by cooking dinner together and eating it off of this china to remind us of our wedding day!

  18. avatar Kimberly Wolf reply

    We definitely would use ours for our sweetheart table and special occasions like our anniversary! This post is perfection! S much inspirations! Our wedding colors are blush and gold :)

  19. avatar Taisha Navarro reply

    These plates are gorgeous, and such a neat idea to use them at your wedding and then have them to make future dinners extra special!

  20. avatar Whitney reply

    I love these! I would love to have them to use for my girls gatherings to set a beautiful table

  21. avatar Carol reply

    These are so beautiful! I would love to use them at our wedding sweetheart table and then at weekly date-night dinners as newlyweds, as a constant reminder of how wonderful and special our wedding day was.

  22. avatar Tammie reply

    They would be a special gift for my son’s upcoming wedding to him and his wife-to-be!

  23. avatar Matt reply

    Love this — would be such a special way to remember the big day

  24. avatar Alana reply

    Was so wonderful to be a part of such an amazing shoot! My heart is so grateful!! <3

  25. avatar Bonnie C. reply

    My fiance’ and I are getting married October 22nd! I would love to add these to our dishes! (:

  26. avatar Caroline reply

    Such beautiful plates! I love this personal touch that you can enjoy for years to come.

  27. avatar Abigail reply

    Those plates would look gorgeous with a navy monogram on our sweetheart table!

  28. avatar Susan reply

    Amazing!

  29. avatar Lorelei reply

    These would be perfection for our anniversary and our china cabinet!

  30. avatar donna reply

    i would gift this to my best friend who is getting married this summer

  31. avatar Kristin reply

    I would use them for our sweetheart table!

  32. avatar Anna reply

    beautiful designs!!

  33. avatar Bethany reply

    This is so lovely!

  34. avatar nicki reply

    This is just gorgeous tableware. I can see myself ordering gifts that will be appreciated and unique for their recipients.

  35. avatar nicki reply

    SO beautiful. What an amazing product. Thank you for a bit of beauty.

  36. avatar Allison reply

    I have some salad plates from her with the monogram we used on all of our wedding items! I just love them and hope to continue to grow the collection.

  37. avatar Amy reply

    These are beautiful! I’d love to gift a set to my friends, who also happen to be my pastor & wife, for their 10 year anniversary this year!

  38. avatar Mallory Moran reply

    How elegant! I would love to start with two plates and grow our collection over the years (anniversary gifts!).

  39. avatar Emily reply

    I love the plates in pink!

  40. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    Would love for these to adorn our dining room table! What classic pieces.

  41. avatar Astleigh H. reply

    I just adore all of the details! Lovely!

  42. avatar BarbaraMae reply

    These are so lovely! I can’t wait to start using me new monogram. These plates would be an awesome way to start.

  43. avatar Laura reply

    Oh my goodness! I would love to use the set of monogrammed plates to celebrate our anniversary and other special occasions. Nothing like fancy dinnerware to make an evening feel special!

  44. avatar Jessika reply

    I’d use them for my wedding in November!

  45. avatar LeeAnne reply

    What gorgeous details!

  46. avatar Heather G reply

    Oh my goodness so cute. Would love these for a tea party when my daughter gets older.

  47. avatar Ashley T reply

    These would be beautiful for my 30th birthday celebration.

  48. avatar Sam reply

    I would use this for our sweetheart table as well, and then always cherish them!

  49. avatar Lindsay (Sincerely LMS) reply

    These would be perfect for our wedding in October!

  50. avatar abby r reply

    i would use them as often as possible! special occasions, breakfast, a monogram is good for everything!

  51. avatar Jessica reply

    Just beautiful!

  52. avatar Lauren reply

    Oh I would love to have these to display in our china cabinet!

  53. avatar Brooke reply

    Absolutely gorgeous! Would love to use these for our sweetheart table at our June 11th wedding… and of course for every special occasion after the “I do’s!” :)

  54. avatar Erica reply

    Love these! I will be an H soon :)

  55. avatar Shelly J reply

    Beautiful. I would love these to use to celebrate for my 10th anniversary!

  56. avatar Grace reply

    Love this!!! Would use these all the time!

  57. avatar Rachel reply

    These would be perfect for my southern garden party themed wedding!

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!

Reply to:
close

We’re just tickled to get to introduce y’all to a new set of Blue Ribbon Vendors, because we know any one of them would be a joy to you if you choose to work together! We’re using a few of our favorite BRV interview questions to help you get to know these lovely ladies and gents. Click through to their listings to find out more about them!!

Name: A.J. Dunlap Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Raleigh, North Carolina
Favorite part of a wedding day? The moment just after a couple is pronounced husband and wife. It never fails, every single couple gives the biggest smiles and joy radiates from them!

Name: Kelly Parker Smith of Hello World Paper Co.
Category: Invitations & Paper Goods
Where you call home: Belleville, Illinois
Favorite part of a wedding day? The cake! White on white cakes with simple details are my absolute favorite!

Name: Jesilyn Kay Calligraphy
Category: Calligraphy
Where you call home: Austin, Texas
How I got into weddings: I have always been drawn to creating beauty in whatever craft or project I decided to take on. The wedding industry is ultimately about creating beauty and joy that will be cherished in memories forever, so it was a natural fit to find myself working here. I am blessed to work with clients every day who want beautiful details to add to their big day, and it’s an honor to be able to provide that for them. I truly love it!

Name: LC Custom Vacations
Category: Honeymoon Travel
Where you call home: Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The hospitality! I love weddings where everyone is treated like family. It is really special to see two families become one.

Name: LULA Hair & Makeup
Category: Beauty
Where you call home: Raleigh, North Carolina
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Laugh as much as possible.

Name: LulaKate
Category: Fashion
Where you call home: Charleston, South Carolina
How I got into weddings: My best friend’s sister got married early on in my career and was asked to do the bridesmaid dresses. After saying no a number of times, I was finally convinced and the rest is history! My first wedding took place in a barn in the mountains of NC. The dresses were a beautiful persimmon orange. It was a great way to get my start in the bridesmaid world!

Names: Rebecca Rose Creative
Category: Invitations and Paper Goods
Where you call home: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Favorite part of a wedding day? The moment the doors open and the bride walks down the aisle is always so special. We dare you to say you’ve never shed a tear at that moment!

Name: Southern Season
Category: Venue
Where you call home: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? All of the thoughtful details that go into the planning. And lots of flowers and lots of dressed up people!

Name: Strasburg Children
Category: Fashion
Where you call home: Nashville, Tennessee
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? Always forgive. Try not to mess up big, but if you do, remember that we are all just people.

Name: Tracy Enoch Photography
Category: Photography
Where you call home: Dallas, Texas
Favorite part of a wedding day? Bride and groom portraits, when they have a bit of time to themselves and I get the opportunity to document their natural excitement!

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also want to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings–namely Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email kristin at southernweddings.com!

kristin Written with love by Kristin
0 Comments

    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!

    Reply to:
    close

    Small town life is a beloved part of Southern culture–I’m certain many of y’all can relate to Molly’s pride in her quaint hometown! Molly loved growing up in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, and although she and Aaron met in Chapel Hill, they couldn’t resist the opportunity to dig into Molly’s roots and welcome their loved ones to Saxapahaw for their big day. Complete with hearty Southern cuisine, an abundance of family heirlooms, and many nods to their heritages, Molly and Aaron’s celebration held all the charms of a small town itself. Molly says, “The sense of small town community during our celebration was the most natural part for us, and by default, it was the most Southern part!”

    Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor A. J. Dunlap for sharing this lovely day with us!

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Before flying home for winter break, my mom encouraged me to try on dresses in Austin with my best friend. I found the most wonderful secondhand/consignment designer dress shop, Second Summer Bridal. We had a great time while I tried on every style of dress, just for fun, until I tried on THE ONE. I knew I couldn’t buy a dress without showing my mom anything, so I tried to let it go. Back in North Carolina for Christmas, I tried on many more with my mom, but couldn’t get that one dress out of my mind. Knowing it was a one-time sale, I called back in January with the slightest bit of hope it was still in the store. It was fate–no one had bought it yet! I went in the first week I was back in Austin and sealed the deal! After all the dresses I tried on, this was the one that made me feel like a bride!

    Our florist was Pine State Flowers. They only use locally grown, North Carolina flowers. This meant we had to be flexible to what type and colors of flowers were in season locally, and we had a beautiful and sustainable end result!

    We were so grateful to have family friends who took part in our wedding and helped us save money. A dear friend did bridesmaids’ hair, family friends were the musicians, a church friend made our cake, my best friend designed the invitations and ceremony programs and wrote on all the windows and chalkboards, a dear friend directed the ceremony, and a family friend was our amazing DJ.

    Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? YES! Knowing we wanted space and time to ourselves to be mindful, present, and soak in the powerful commitment we were about to make was of the utmost importance to us. Having that time for just the two of us to reflect, laugh, cry, joke around, and be ourselves was essential.

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I am from the small town of Saxapahaw, and all of my maternal family is from small mill towns along the Haw River. In fact, my grandmother worked third shift in the Saxapahaw Mill while attending business college! Once the heart of the community, the Saxapahaw Cotton Mill closed in 1994 due to tornado damage. In high school, I would drive past it and admire the dilapidated and boarded up building. Over the past decade, the Mill has been renovated into a thriving, central part of the Saxapahaw community, and houses the Haw River Ballroom. My family has fallen in love with the rejuvenated sense of community in Saxapahaw, so the Ballroom was a natural first choice for Aaron and I. Fun side note: the wedding was the first time my grandmother had returned to the Mill since working in it.

    The BEST part about our entire wedding was how community-centered and relationship-based it was. Aaron and I are both from small towns and value community, so we made it our goal to create a “church” within the ballroom, and to honor and celebrate the relationships and connections with our own church families, friends, individual families, extended family, and the community. All of the cotton used throughout the wedding was grown by a North Carolina farmer in Tarboro. The seating assignment windows were composed of various antique windows–the four-pane window came from Aaron’s great-grandparents’ homestead house that is over 150 years old, and the six-pane windows came from Aaron’s maternal grandfather’s historic shop. The handkerchief were gifted to my maternal grandmother on her wedding day. She recently found them, unopened! The drawers for cards came from my maternal great-grandmother’s Singer sewing machine. She taught my mom to love sewing, and I am named after her. The ring bearer pillow was sewn by my mom from her dad’s old jeans, and the smallest ring tied to the pillow was my baby ring! Aaron’s nephew, one of the ring bearers, carried my grandmother’s family Bible down the aisle. My veil was made from my mom’s blusher wedding veil. All the bud vases and bottles were collected during my engagement by my mother and grandmother. My grandfather passed away last winter, and these have been a blessing and the perfect project for my grandmother. There were also photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days displayed at the reception!

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The sense of small town community during our celebration was the most natural part for us, and by default, it was the most Southern part! On top of the family heirlooms used, we also incorporated the best kinds of Southern food! Served in small plates to encourage mingling and conversation during the reception, guests feasted on meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans, shrimp and grits, and macaroni and cheese with collards and black eyed peas. All catering was from the local “five star restaurant in a gas station,” the Saxapahaw General Store. There’s nothing more Southern than getting married in an old cotton mill, eating good Southern food, being surrounded by the community that raised you, and getting to spend the rest of your life with your best friend!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met the first month of college at UNC Chapel Hill, living in the same dorm. Aaron helped Katie, my suitemate, carry some packages down to our rooms one day. Katie introduced me to this cute guy who helped her, and the rest was history! For the next four years of college, we were inseparable–study rooms, basketball games, football games, dance performances, the Varsity theater, Carver Street, He’s Not Here, Brown Summit, and Saxapahaw. After graduating, Aaron moved off to Charlotte, and I headed to the tiny town of Eden. During Christmas of 2011, we realized we couldn’t stand being apart any longer, and we haven’t been since. Fast forward to August 2013, and Aaron and I moved to Austin, Texas so I could attend graduate school at UT-Austin. Aaron found a corporate recruiting job here and graduated from Western Carolina’s online graduate school. We have been in Austin for over two years and are embracing the Texan way of life for now!
    Tell us all about the proposal! We were so excited to return to UNC for homecoming in November 2014. Once we were back in Chapel Hill, Aaron suggested we walk through campus and visit the UNC Basketball Museum. While we were walking towards the museum, I thought I would be so romantic and suggested a stop at Craige, our freshman dorm, where it all started. After sitting on the front steps of the dorm where we fell in love, we stood up, I blinked, and Aaron was on one knee! After his proposal, we continued on to the basketball museum without calling anyone. #goheels
    When did y’all get married? November 7, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows–we used the less traditional vows from the United Methodist Church’s liturgy. A favorite line included: “I take you to be my husband/wife, from this time onward, to join with you and to share all that is to come.”
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My brother and two dear friends read at our ceremony–a task with more significance to us than being in the wedding party. They read three scripture passages: Song of Solomon 2:10-14, 16a; 8:6-7a, Romans 12:9-18, and Colossians 3:12-17.
    Describe your wedding cake or dessert. A family friend made a gorgeous four-tiered pound cake with buttercream icing, with the top layer saved for our first anniversary! You can’t beat a good ol’ Southern pound cake!
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We felt it was very important to keep our relationship at the center of the wedding planning and were mindful of discussing not only the details of the big day, but also what we wanted our future to look like together. Premarital counseling with our minister, readings books together, and spending the majority of our time together not wedding planning helped enormously with this!
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? One very special thing to me was having my brother walk me down the aisle to meet my father. My brother, Peter, and I have an incredible relationship and I wanted to honor that in this way.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We will stay in Austin, Texas for the next few years before returning home to North Carolina. We are so excited to make our new house a home together and continue to explore and enjoy this unique Southern town as partners in a new, married light!

    Photographer: A.J. Dunlap Photography / Videography: Olivia Wilkes / Videography and Sound: Ana Caicedo Macia / Video Editing: Anna Norwood / Venue and Planner: Haw River Ballroom / Florist: Pine State Flowers / Wedding Cake: Brenda Moss / Caterer: Saxapahaw General Store / DJ: Jason Barnes of JMB Marketing / Bridal Salon and Hairpiece: Second Summer Bride / Gown Alterations: Kira Kouture / Bride’s Earrings: Judith Bright / Hair and Makeup: Tease and Blush / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: RenzRags / Menswear: Combatant Gentlemen / Groomsmen Ties: The Tie Bar / Invitations, Ceremony Programs, and Calligraphy: Linsey Gray Creative

    A.J. Dunlap is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    4 Comments
    1. avatar A.J. Dunlap reply

      Oh, how I loved this wedding! Thank you so much for sharing their day and their story!!! xoxo~A.J.

    2. avatar Anna Norwood reply

      Check out this video feature of Molly and Aaron’s special day!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCbru_s6lj4

    3. avatar Laura reply

      What a beautiful wedding and sweet couple! Love the small town feel!

    4. avatar Ryan reply

      Could anyone provide more details on the bridesmaid dresses? My fiancée and I are very interested in several of these dresses but cannot find the specific dresses on Renz Rags

    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!

    Reply to:
    close
    Top