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Though these details are without a doubt gorgeous, the heart behind them is equally inspiring to us! For the full story of how they connect to what matters most to each couple, click through to each original post!

Kelly and Chris’s color-coordinated paper suite (photo by Jodi Miller)

Allie and Tom’s peachy sweetheart table (photo by Britt Croft)

Amanda and Jason’s vintage escort card board (photo by Whitney Neal)

Lindsey and Greg’s breathtaking Islamorada ceremony (photo by Natalie Watson)

Monica and Jerrod’s preppy details in a refurbished warehouse (photo by Joshua Aaron)

Amy and Todd’s dreamy garden ceremony (photo by Mandy Busby)

Erin + Sean’s seaside-inspired reception decor (photo by Julie Livingston)

Brooke and Bryan’s bold red ballroom decor (photo by Amalie Orrange)

Allan and Bill’s sentimental song lyric photo backdrop (photo by Kristen Kilpatrick)

Jill and Mike’s Spanish moss-draped reception lounge (photo by Amy Arrington)

Jodi Miller Photography, Whitney Neal, Kristen Kilpatrick, and Amy Arrington are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    There are so many special moments on your wedding day, but I’ll tell you right now: some of the most memorable might not be the ones you would expect! That’s one of the things I love to read in our real wedding interviews–the answers are so different for each couple. Lauren and Kristian, two self-proclaimed “goofballs,” will never forget their first kiss as husband and wife. As Kristian romantically dipped Lauren, he accidentally ripped out her veil, creating their perfect first memory as a married couple. Y’all, I love this so much! While losing her veil could easily upset a bride, it only made these lovebirds laugh! Not everything will be perfect on your wedding day, but being able to take the hiccups in stride will help you focus on the most important part: marrying the love of your life.

    Thanks to Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington for sharing this sweet day with us!

    I met Kristian the night of our alma mater’s ball. Long story short, three days before the Ball, my Nashville boyfriend called to let me know he would rather go to a concert than take me to a college dance. I told a good friend of mine the upsetting news. Since I was not in a sorority, this was going to be my first Samford dance, and I was now dateless. My friend quickly found me a date, not telling me who it was. On November 13, the most attractive, respectful, tenderhearted, thoughtful, funny, sweetheart of a man showed up at my dorm with a rose in his hand, just like any Samford PiKap would do, and it was love at first sight. We danced the night away on November 13, 2010 and haven’t stopped since!

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. For Mother’s Day, I went home to Atlanta to spend the weekend with my mom. We were driving around Atlanta doing random errands when we drove by Bridals by Lori. My mom and I both looked at each other and said, “Why not? We had no intention of buying a wedding dress that day, especially since none of my bridesmaids or grandmothers were with us, but then I fell in love with the ONE!!! Thankfully, Bridals by Lori has a live stream and I was able to text all my best friends and tell them to log on so they could tell me what they thought of the dresses I tried on. It was unanimous!

    My mom told me about the Estate on Piedmont, and when Kristian and I looked it up online, we were blown away by its beauty. We both loved the style, urban feel, and intimacy that it offered.

    We went back and forth on a first look. We talked to different couples who did and did not do one, and decided that for our day, there would be so much nervousness, excitement, emotion, and anticipation, that it would be best for us to do a first look. And we are so glad that we did! It was so nice to have those special few minutes with each other that day.

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It is impossible to pick just one, but the cross that Legendary Events designed for us was perfect and everything we hoped it would be!

    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote our own vows. Our favorite line was, “For many years, I prayed that God would lead me to His choice. I praise Him that tonight, His will is being fulfilled.”
    What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Ephesians 5:31-32 was read by my longtime mentor and friend, Adrienne Christian, who flew in from the Dominican Republic, where she is a missionary.

    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? My mom, wedding planner, and event coordinator were a great team! They worked very well together, making it easy for me to make decisions. This allowed Kristian and I the time to go to premarital counseling and do a premarital bible study! So worth it!

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Having our wedding at an estate in the middle of Buckhead made the wedding feel very Southern, from the old hardwood floors, to the grand piano, to the chandeliers on the ceilings in the ballroom!

    Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Cake? I was too busy looking at my new husband! I cannot wait to actually eat in when we are mailed a fresh one on our first anniversary!

    Tell us all about the proposal! On the morning of Saturday, April 5, 2014, my doorbell rang. To my surprise, Shawn, one of mine and Kristian’s friends, was at my front door with a clue in hand. I was going on a scavenger hunt!! The clues brought me through a fun day full of my favorite things, with some of my best friends showing up at every place. The sixth destination was Red Mountain Park. When we pulled up, one friend told me that another friend and I would be hiking up the mountain. Kristian met me at the top of the mountain, which has a gorgeous view of ALL of Birmingham. It was so beautiful, peaceful, and romantic. After he said some of the sweetest things, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Once he proposed, we still had quite the hike back down the mountain, and I wanted to go slowly because I did not see why we needed to hurry anymore. At one point, I was walking so slowly, Kristian picked me up and started carrying me! It was not until I heard my mom scream that I knew why we were in a hurry! Once we got to the bottom, we were greeted by all of our friends and family!! It meant so much to have all of my close friends and family there to celebrate our engagement!
    When did y’all get married? March 14, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 180
    Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Kristian and I decided that I would walk down the aisle to “Holy (Wedding Day)” by City Harmonics. We wanted our guests to not only see the story of Christ loving the church, but also hear it at our wedding. I thought we were never going to decide on our first dance song. A couple at our church told us that “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran would be easy to choreograph to, so we settled on that since I am not a talented dancer.
    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes, my something borrowed, old, and blue was my grandmother’s garter. My something new was a small, sweet picture frame with my dad’s picture in it that my mom put in my bouquet.
    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first kiss. Kristian dipped me, and in the process, ripped out my veil. We are such goofballs. It was a perfect first memory as a married couple!
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? If it is in your budget, hire a wedding planner! If not, find a close friend or family member who can help you. Enjoy your engagement!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I am currently the Associate Minister to Students at CrossPoint Church. Kristian and I love serving the 6th-12th grade students! In May, Kristian will graduate with a nursing degree, and hopefully will begin working at Children’s Hospital.

    Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Videographer: Connor Wagner / Venue: The Estate / Florist, Caterer, and Wedding Cake: Legacy Events / DJ and Lighting: Chris Watson / Paper Products: Village Press / Bride’s Gown: Style #120747 by Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bridals by Lori / Hair Stylist: Bailie Rangel / Makeup Artist: LuLu / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bari Jay / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

    Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

      This is one of my favorite weddings to date! Her bouquet is exquisite, and I filed that away immediately!! I love how sincere, down to earth, and cute this couple is, and their wedding day abounds in the most beautiful and meaningful details.

    2. avatar Piedmont Estate and Gardens Wedding : Lauren + Kristian reply

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    We’re never surprised to hear that a couple chooses a Southern locale for their wedding because they want to introduce their guests to a place they love. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we publish a magazine and this blog–so that brides around the world can see what makes the South such a magical place to call home! That’s exactly how Jill and Mike felt about Mike’s hometown of Hilton Head, South Carolina–they recall that one of their favorite details of their wedding was showing their families and friends Hilton Head’s beautiful landscape and undeniable Southern charm. Many guests even decided to make a vacation out of their wedding weekend and stay for the whole week! Jill says, “Every detail came together perfectly, creating a truly memorable experience not just for us, but for everyone who was there.” If that’s not Southern hospitality, I don’t know what is!

    Thank you so much to our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor Amy Arrington Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! My something borrowed was my bridesmaid and dear friend’s veil. I was the fourth one of our college girlfriends to wear it, so this was extremely sentimental and important to me! Not as important, my something blue was my favorite chapstick, a blue Eos ball. Lastly, my something new was everything else: shoes, dress, earrings, etc…plus, my new husband!!

    I went to several bridal salons in Philadelphia but was never captivated by anything. Finally, I visited BHLDN in NYC and was pretty much sold on a beautiful, extremely feminine, blush gown. I had an appointment at Nicole Miller the next day though and didn’t want to be rude and cancel, so I went anyways. Of course, it was at Nicole Miller that I fell in love with an extremely classic, fitted, ivory dress. It was not overly bridal and I am certain that is why I loved it–I felt like myself, and more importantly, I felt it was timeless dress that would never go out of style or be deemed trendy. That’s how it ultimately won out over the blush BHLDN gown!

    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep breathing! People who say planning a wedding isn’t stressful either had nothing to do with the planning or are billionaires! It will be tough at times, but it will all get done. And don’t forget what the day is about! At the end of it all, you will have married your best friend and love of your life, surrounded the people who love you most in this world.

    Our favorite detail, besides the fact that we were married, was being able to share Hilton Head with all of the people we love. Most of the guests had never been to Hilton Head and made a vacation out of the event, renting hotel rooms and houses and staying the week. Every detail came together perfectly, creating a truly memorable experience not just for us, but for everyone who was there.

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had the ceremony at Mike’s family’s church, where they have gone since moving to Hilton Head from Colorado in 2005. The reception did not have any special significance going into the wedding, but ending up being perfect for us–it matched our personalities and provided a very unique experience for all of our friends and family. It was the last venue we visited while looking, and we almost didn’t even go because it was getting late, but once we arrived, we knew within a few minutes that we had found the perfect place.

    We wanted to show off the South a bit to everyone who had never been to South Carolina before. The venue was a wonderful example of how beautiful the Lowcountry is–we took photos on the marsh next to huge live oak trees, and the pavilion was surrounded by more massive trees covered in Spanish moss. We served traditional Southern comfort food buffet-style, including fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread, barbecue pork, shrimp and grits…we needed bigger plates so everyone could fit all the food! Mike also took full advantage of the Southern lifestyle–neither he nor his groomsmen wore socks with their shoes, and it ended up being a great decision.

    Describe your wedding flowers. The wedding flowers were more than just flowers! They were more of an artistic display of objects and different pieces with flowers scattered in. The flowers themselves were all blush, pinks, and white. I started to collect a bunch of different jars, bottles, vases, lanterns, mercury votives, etc. in Philly, and then we packed it all up and Mike drove it down in his pickup when he went home for Christmas. Dawn and Amanda exceeded my expectations! They took all this stuff and delicately wove in their own touches to create the most amazing display I have ever seen. Seeing all of the things I had collected in Philly put to use made all that work so worth it! It made me feel more involved and like I played an important, active role!

    We have been to a lot of weddings where we have seen cake get thrown out when people don’t eat it. We decided to get a smaller cake for us so we could still have a cake cutting, but the majority of the desserts were bite-sized treats for the guests to enjoy. The crowd favorite was definitely the mini key lime pies; they disappeared as soon as the desserts were put out.

    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Mike: Our first dance was definitely one of my favorites. We picked the song “True Believers” by Darius Rucker as our song, which is very special to Jill and me, as it came out during a difficult time for us and really spoke to us and our relationship. Despite having known this would be our song for a very long time, we never practiced the dance once. But, like always, we were in it together, had smiles on our faces, and had a blast just winging it. The dance went great and the song was perfect–it will always be a fun memory that is just one of many from the week.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After a series of odd and silly events, Mike and 13 of his best buds had to relocate out of their college house, and luckily, they moved in across the street from my friend’s and my house during my senior year. It was his newly close proximity, as well as the fact that he was door manager at the local watering hole, that made me begin to notice Mike more and more. His lighthearted nature, sense of humor, and subtle charm definitely sparked my interest! After several not-so-subtle inquiries to Mike’s older brother regarding Mike’s relationship status, word finally got to Mike that I was smitten. To my pleasant surprise, the feeling was mutual! After several brunches at our college cafe and a hilarious first date during which Mike’s car broke down, we officially became one another’s true love and best friend! The rest is history!
    Tell us all about the proposal! From Mike: I always wanted our engagement to be a surprise to Jill. She was busy studying for her OCN (oncology certified nurse) exam for work and was buried in a book for a few months prepping for it. She took her exam on a Saturday morning, while I went to her family’s house to ask her Dad if it was okay if I proposed to Jill in a few hours. The only catch in my plan was that she got the results of her exam as soon as she was done, and I had no backup plan if she didn’t pass her test. I got home with the ring and a big bouquet of flowers, set my GoPro up, and waited for her to call and say she was coming home. When she called, she told me she had passed the test! When she walked in the door of the apartment, she thought I was congratulating her for passing. She didn’t even have her jacket or backpack off before I was down on one knee, attempting to speak, but mostly just crying, asking her to marry me. She said yes, the ring was way too big so I put it on her middle finger, we opened a bottle of wine to try and calm us down, and then we met family and friends out at a bar. I had told Jill and everyone else I wanted to have a party to celebrate her taking her exam–no one knew it was going to be an engagement party!
    When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we went with the traditional Catholic wedding vows.
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? From Jill: It’s hard to pick just one! My aunt, sister, and my cousin Kristy (a bridesmaid) bent over backwards to give me a wedding morning to remember! They had a yogurt parfait bar, yummy mimosas, and the most beautiful tablescape ever, complete with an album of Mike and I, my shower, and my bachelorette party. On top of that, my aunt secretly treated me to my hair and makeup! Amazing! Another favorite was when my Uncle Dave stopped me dead in my tracks during the reception and said “Your dad is a good man and he did an amazing job with you two.” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It was simple, but striking and alarmingly true. It has been a bumpy, untraditional road for my dad, but no matter what, we have always had each other, and we will always have an amazing family!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Mike has a pretty fierce one-year anniversary trip planned! We are going to fly to Seattle and then drive down the 101/Pacific Coast Highway, stopping to see the sites, taste some wine, smell the lavender fields, experience Oregon, and ultimately, end up in San Francisco, where my cousin Kristy lives!

    Photographer: Amy Arrington Photography / Videographer: Ryan Lindsay / Planner: Amanda Spencer / Ceremony Venue: St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Honey Horn Plantation / Florist: Dawn Kiritsy / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Bev & Rick / Rentals: Ranco / Lighting: Mike Wood / Band: The Voltage Brothers / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Chalkboard Floral Design and Escort Card: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Alexis” by Nicole Miller / Bridal Salon: Nicole Miller at the Bellevue Philadelphia / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Pearl Petal Halo by BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: Christi Zampino / Bride’s Shoes: “Marlow” by Harriet Wilde / Menswear: The Black Tux

    Amy Arrington is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and The Black Tux is a delightful SW sponsor!

    lisa Written with love by Lisa
    5 Comments
    1. avatar Honey Horn Plantation Wedding : Mike + Jill reply

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    2. avatar Megan reply

      a truly beautiful day for wonderful, deserving people!

    3. avatar Dana reply

      love this wedding!!! they sound like the sweetest couple!

    4. avatar Emily reply

      That red velvet cake is to die for! Love all of these sweet details!

    5. avatar ChelseaC reply

      Stunning, stunning 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!

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