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The colors and textures of this editorial from Southern Weddings V5 are just perfect for our Cozy Fall theme. And so are the sweet (yet masculine) activities depicted in it. Whether you use it for inspiration for your gent’s wedding morning or for a fall adventure with friends, we hope you love taking a peek back at this autumnal beauty as much as we do!

Big hugs to Stephen DeVries for these handsome photos!

If you haven’t already pick up your copy of V5 right here. And while you’re at it, make sure to pre-order our newest issue, V8!

Photographer: Stephen DeVries Weddings | Creative Director and Stylist: Ginny Au | Wardrobe Stylist: Megan LaRussa | Calligraphy and Invitation Suite: Holly Hollon | Flowers: Lillie’s | Makeup: Raww Beauty | Hairstylist: Mark Hyde | Cakes: Dream Cakes | Food and beverages: Chef Jeffrey Hansell of Galley and Garden | Props: At Home Furnishings | Vintage Plates: Decorous Dishes | Bride’s Gown: Heidi Elnora | Cigars: Vitola Fine Cigars | Beer: Good People Brewing Company

emily Written with love by Emily

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In the Sweet Tea Society, we share a belief that simple is often better, and Rachel and Sam’s wedding day is a perfect example of this sentiment. They chose to honor God, their family, and their own love story at their sweetly simple wedding, reminiscent of Southern celebrations from times past. They held a morning ceremony at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where Rachel’s grandparents were married in 1950, followed by a brunch reception, complete with sweet tea and the buzz of good company to celebrate their day. I love how Rachel and her mom kept each other focused during their planning by asking “what kind of significance will this really have?” when considering details. What a poignant question to keep in mind.

Big SW hugs to my friend Brooke Glassford of Colorbox Photographers for sharing this lovely day!

I had originally decided that I wanted to wear my mom’s dress. It is a beautiful lace gown that I loved, but we knew there were a couple of things we would want to change about it. We went wedding dress shopping just to get ideas, but the girls at The White Room really did their job well! I ended up falling in love with an Anne Barge dress, and I was really torn about it, but my mom assured me that it was my dress. I am so happy with the choice. We ended up using some lace from my mom’s gown on my veil that she sewed herself, which ended up being even more special to me. It is something we will pass down for generations to come.

Our wedding was more like the Southern weddings in times past–it was at 11:00 in the morning and we served brunch with lemonade and sweet tea afterwards. We enjoyed the company of friends and family and didn’t have anything fancy going on other than the buzz of good company.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My grandparents were wed at St. Paul’s in 1950. It is the church that I grew up in and that my father grew up in and that my grandfather grew up in. It was very special to my family and to Sam and I that we were married in a place with such rich history and deep meaning.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? This is a hard one. I think the most memorable moment of our wedding day was saying my vows to Sam. That was the moment when everything started to really sink in for me. I also really loved this moment that after we were announced as husband and wife, we turned around to face our friends and family, and the whole church joined in to sing the Doxology. It was such a joy to get to see so many loved ones and to sing praise to the Lord with them!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The main way that we planned for our marriage was through prayer for our future. We prayed for each other as well as ourselves in the new roles we were about to take on. Our main desire for our marriage is that the Lord be honored and glorified.

Our wedding flowers were beyond gorgeous! The day before our wedding, I had to run by the church and ended up walking into the reception venue. I was immediately in tears because of how beautiful everything was, and because of the people who blessed me with the talent they have been blessed with. Two women who have had a big impact on my life, and especially on my walk with the Lord, were in charge of all of the flowers. They, along with a team of family and friends, created more than I could have ever asked for. The flowers certainly pointed to the beauty of the Lord and the brilliance of what He creates.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Sam and I met in kindergarten. Although we “dated” from 7th-12th grade, we say that we truly started dating our junior year of college after we became Christians. We know that it is only because of the Lord’s great mercy on our lives and His great love for us that we are able to love each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! October 10, 2014 is one of my most favorite memories. It was just a normal Friday, and a close friend of ours had invited us over to eat with their family at their cabin, about 30 minutes outside of Auburn. I didn’t think twice about it, even though Sam came up with a thousand excuses for why the Sheils were coming to the cabin after us. He was basically on one knee the second we stepped out of his truck and onto the porch. He recalled lots of things that had happened over our 11 years together and talked about wanting me to be his wife. I was completely shocked and so excited that I didn’t say anything for a while! He then prepared a delicious meal for us and we sat on the porch for hours, excitedly talking about our future together and thanking the Lord for allowing it all to really happen as we had always wished.
When did y’all get married? July 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 250
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. We really wanted to have that moment to ourselves to soak in the day before all of it moved too quickly to remember. Seeing him at the end of the aisle waiting for me was still just as special and exciting as I had always dreamed it would be.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians 13 was read during our ceremony by our officiant, Sam’s dad. He talked about how our home needed to be built on Godly love in order for our home to be sustained.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I think the biggest challenge for us was our guest list. We knew we wanted a more intimate ceremony, and although 250 guests doesn’t seem very intimate to some people, in our small, Southern town, it is! Cutting down the guest list was definitely challenging for us.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? My parents asked me to choose three things that were really important to us for our wedding. We chose three big, important things and tried to cut corners on everything else. My mom and I would stop each other and ask, “Is this really that important?” Or “What kind of significance will this really have?” It made the planning process a lot more enjoyable.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? My advice is to enjoy the process! It is something you will never have the opportunity to do again, and it’s neat to think that the Lord planned this specific time just for you. Praise Him for it, thank Him for it, and give it up to Him. Planning seemed like a breeze because I knew I wasn’t doing it alone.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right after we got married, we moved to Tuscaloosa from Auburn. We both just started new jobs here and are looking forward to getting plugged into a local community in this new place.

Photographer: Brooke Glassford of Colorbox Photographers / Videographer: David Haygood / Venue: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Carlowville / Florals: Catherine Gilmer and April Lane / Caterer and Cake Baker: Granny B Catering / Rentals: Encore Rentals / Paper Products: Kadie Smith / Bride’s Gown: “Pembroke” by Anne Barge / Bridesmaids’ Hair and Makeup: Amber Todd / Bride’s Shoes: Toms / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Menswear: Jim Massey Formals / Ties: Landisun

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Stephanie Scholl reply

    I love, love, love the heart and simplicity behind this wedding! It’s so refreshing to see a wedding these days that evokes the feel of weddings of the past… less focused on the details and the party and more focused on simplicity, family, community, and love. Thanks for sharing this one – it sure it gorgeous & is one to remember!

  2. avatar Brooke Glassdord reply

    Thank you SO much for featuring this wedding! It was an honor to capture AND an honor being featured by SW!

  3. avatar Southern Weddings feature: Sam + Rachel » Colorbox Photographers reply

    […] Weddings for featuring Sam + Rachel’s summer morning wedding on their blog today! Click here to see the […]

  4. avatar Jehnel Oboza-Davison reply

    Seriously, seriously beautiful wedding. I am so in love with the central focus of love, family, and God in this wedding. This reminds me of looking through your grandparents’ old wedding albums and it was just chock-full of happy pictures; a blushing bride and a dapper groom. So beautiful. Let’s return to this again, y’all!

  5. avatar Donna Harrison reply

    I watched this couple grow up…It was indeed a great day!!! A glorious day!

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There is nothing like a classic Southern wedding to welcome you back from the weekend! From the beautifully renovated 1830s bridal suite to the long driveway lined with oak trees leading up to the perfectly Southern plantation, I can personally attest to how absolutely gorgeous The Oaks Plantation is. My sister-in-law was married there and it’s even more dreamy in person! Together with their planner, Southern Posies, Mallory and Andy added stunning florals and meaningful details to the venue that not only made their day even more beautiful, but also honored their families. And, those mini pecan pies and peach cobblers topped with vanilla ice cream? M + A, y’all should have saved one for me!

We’re sure glad Erika Tracy of Kim Box Photography was on hand to capture such a lovely day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and sister went with me to try on dresses, and I found my wedding dress at J. Andrews Bridal in Peachtree City. I tried on about 10 dresses and fell in love with two of them. While I was trying to decide between the two that I loved, a girl next to me put on the most beautiful dress. I asked the lady who was helping me if I could try on that dress, and once I put it on, we all knew it was the one. It wasn’t anything like what I had pictured, but I loved it so much, we bought it that day!

Our wedding flowers were my favorite thing about our wedding! I don’t know much about the different types of flowers, but I knew I wanted pastel colors to match my bridesmaids’ dresses. For my bouquet, I wanted slightly cascading flowers that were loosely pulled together. I described my vision to my wedding planner, Crystal Strickland, who also did all of the flowers, and she truly brought it to life. At the end of the altar, we had a large wooden cross that was covered with flowers. We dedicated the cross in memory of our loved ones who couldn’t be there with us.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we chose to do a first look for several reasons. I wanted to have a special moment for just the two of us, and I knew that if I waited until the ceremony to see him, I probably would have cried the entire ceremony. When we saw each other, sure enough, we both cried! I also wanted this time to exchange gifts that we had gotten each other. He surprised me with a second band, and I got him a study Bible with his name engraved on it–I knew he had been wanting it for a while. I am very glad he and I had this private time with each other prior to the ceremony.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We didn’t have any readings during our ceremony, but our pastor made the ceremony very personal. Prior to the ceremony, he asked Andy and I some personal questions about each other, like what was your first thought when you met each other, what do you love the most about each other, what is the funniest memory you have of one another, etc. He incorporated both of our answers during the ceremony, making it very special to both of us.

When our wedding planner took my mom and I to visit The Oaks, I discovered that the pictures that I had previously seen of it did not do the venue justice! The long driveway lined with oak trees leading up to the plantation truly took our breath away. The landscape is what sealed the deal–I knew I wanted an outdoor wedding and could only imagine how beautiful it would be there. We decided that the wedding ceremony would take place in the front yard under a huge oak tree and the reception would be in the back under a tent. I loved the idea of having our rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and reception all at the same place. The Oaks was the perfect venue for us!

Describe your wedding cake and dessert. I wanted our wedding cake to be simple and classic. We also had mini pecan pies placed in small skillets, along with mason jars filled with peach cobbler and topped with vanilla ice cream.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on Memorial Day at a party at Gant Lake, not too far from where we both live and attended school. I went with one of my close friends, who was dating Andy’s younger brother at the time. I knew who Andy was, but we had never officially met before that night. Andy has always been very outgoing; he walked right up to us almost immediately after entering the party and my friend introduced us. He instantly struck up a conversation with me, and by the end of the night, he asked me to dance. We have been together almost every day since then.
Tell us all about the proposal! A few months before Andy proposed, he surprised me with a golden retriever puppy named Baylee. We try to spend as much time as we can outside with her, allowing her to run and play. This particular Friday was no different than any other Friday–when we got home from work, he asked if I wanted to take Baylee on a ride and let her play. When we got in the car, we started talking about the different places we could take her. He told me he would like to go to his friend’s family’s land outside of town. When we made it, we got out of the car and played with Baylee. We could see storm clouds rolling in, so I suggested we leave before it started raining. I could tell Andy didn’t want to, but couldn’t figure out why. While I was trying to get Baylee into the car, he told me he had a surprise for me in the back of his truck, so he walked over to get it. He pulled out a big brown paper bag and told me to close my eyes. When I opened my eyes, he was down on one knee with a ring box in his hand. Needless to say, I was in complete shock! Of course, I said yes, and kept asking “Do my parents know? Does my sister know?” Earlier that day, he had gone to Montgomery to ask my dad if he could marry me, to Eufaula to pick up the ring, and back to Troy to propose. He had had a very busy day, to say the least!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We wanted use our programs to include all of our family members who weren’t able to be with us. We also wanted to do something special in memory of Andy’s dad, who passed away several years ago. We set up a table with a picture of him and a framed quote. It was important to us to include him on our special day.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I couldn’t imagine my wedding without my wedding planner. She made sure every detail was perfect during my experience, not only the day of the wedding, but during the planning process as well.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to decorating and settling into our first home together. We are excited to share our first holidays together as husband and wife, and look forward to making new memories together!

Photographer: Erika Tracy of Kim Box Photography / Planner and Florist: Southern Posies / Venue: The Oaks Plantation / Baker: Peggy McKinney / Caterer: A Catered Affair / Rentals: Brendle Rentals / DJ: Moon Dance / Ceremony Sound Tech: Chris McCoy / Violinist: Beth Hoener / Paper Products: Kwik Kopy / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Hair and Makeup: Beauty By Jess / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Love Lane Collection at Bella Bridesmaid / Menswear: Mr. Burch Formal Wear

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Wedding Venues reply

    All the pastel colours, light sun and natural venue create stunnig effect. And their story is so lovely

  2. avatar Elizabeth L. reply

    Perfectly Southern, I love it! Those sweet treats have my mouth watering and her flowers are simply stunning!

  3. avatar Elizabeth F. reply

    Everything about this wedding is perfection.

  4. avatar Linda Murdock reply

    who designed and printed the beautiful invitations?

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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