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We often joke around in the office about how often Lisa and I cry reading the sweet interviews from our bride and grooms. However, sometimes, with the gravity of the stories shared with us, it’s almost impossible not to. After her father’s sudden passing just two months before their wedding, Maggie shared with us how Travis tenderly cared for not only her, but for her family. Carrying that servant’s heart into their marriage, Maggie and Travis started their wedding day by washing each other’s feet and the feet of their immediate family members and wedding party, together. But, that’s not the only way these two honored their family– they also carried on the tradition of getting married in Cape Charles, the town where Maggie’s grandmother grew up in. With so many sweet memories from the past, and even more from their wedding day, Maggie remembers that returning for Thanksgiving after the wedding was magical!

We’re delighted that Gracie Blue shared this special day with us!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Yes! Cape Charles is the town my grandmother grew up in. I always admired and respected my grandmother for her gumption, resilience, and poise. She was married in Cape Charles, my aunt was married in Cape Charles, and my cousin/best bud was married in Cape Charles. We still have the house she grew up in, and have spent summers, Easters. and Thanksgivings there. It means so much to me and to Travis, who fell in love with it the first time he visited. Getting married in this place was a way to honor our heritage and our family history, and to carry on the tradition. Returning there for Thanksgiving after our wedding was MAGICAL! I kept thinking about how all of “our people” had been in this town, in this house even. I walked down these steps in my wedding dress. We said “I do” right on this dock. It is so sweet that the place we got married is a place we will return to time and time again. It made Cape Charles more special than it already was!

I went dress shopping with just my mom because I didn’t want to be overwhelmed by opinions (plus, my mom has EXCELLENT taste). We went to a total of three places, and I knew I did not want anything strapless or lace. The dress I ended up with was the second dress I tried on at the first place we went, Anna Be in Denver. I wasn’t sure at first, but as I looked at myself in the dress, I started to cry, which is SO unlike me. Sure enough, that dress was both strapless and lace. After that, I compared every dress to the second one I tried on and nothing had the same WOW effect. Mom and I both knew it was “the one” and went back to Anna Be to seal the deal. When they put the veil on me, I was blubbering. I still adore my dress and wish I could wear it every day!

Music is really important to both of us. I love piano so we HAD to have a piano, which was perfect for “Interlude” by Shane and Shane for my walk down the aisle. It’s a really lovely song. Trav loves “Come Thou Fount” as a proclamation and “Divine Romance” is what my relationship with Jesus has been marked by. One night, Trav and I were driving late and he played the Glee version of “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry. We started laughing about the idea of playing it for a few seconds at the wedding. Then we both said, WAIT, why not?! Our friends were able to play it on the piano and we had a short, surprise dance party. We take marriage seriously and we honor and love the Lord and those around us, but we are also lighthearted and fun.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? For us, the loss of my dad two months before the wedding was a sucker punch. It made everything so hard. We had to keep planning, but desperately wanted to grieve and curl up in a ball and hide. In hindsight (I was too shocked to realize this at first), Travis stepped up in a way no other man could. He was so present and supportive. He helped my mom navigate planning the service and finances, he reached out to my friends to let them know how I was doing, he helped around the house, he comforted my brothers and supported them like a brother and father would. He was phenomenal. He was so supportive and gentle with me, seeking to love me and care for me and understand. Meanwhile, he learned how to honor and navigate his own grief. I was just blown away by him and how he stepped up. During that time, preparing for our marriage, which was the MOST important thing, seemed so overwhelming. We just had to pray that the Lord would be present on that day and that he would be working in the crevices of our heart to bring healing and redemption. And He showed up, big time. :)

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The location, the food, the traditions, the music/band…so many things! Not to mention the fried chicken, oysters, mac and cheese, sweet potato biscuits, country ham, shrimp and grits, watermelon salad…

I wanted traditional, Southern flowers that were full of color. I wanted stargazer lilies and peonies because they are my mom’s favorite flowers. Hydrangeas, magnolias, and gardenias were incorporated because both my grandmothers and my mom carried them in their bouquets. My mom and I have expensive flower taste, but we both really cared about the flowers and my bouquet (which was absolutely fabulous–they nailed it!).

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went to counseling regularly and took time to pray together often. We went on dates and tried to NOT talk about the wedding. Something that was important to us BEFORE engagement was to feel like we were really on the same team, a united front. We started counseling before engagement (but only went once, actually, before he popped the question!). It kept us grounded and focused, and reminded us of the purpose of our wedding. Though we put in a LOT of effort to make it an amazing weekend, we really were over wedding planning because we just wanted to be married!

Don’t miss Maggie and Travis’ wedding film by Light Cannon Films below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Travis and I met in the summer of 2008 at Camp Timberline in Estes Park, Colorado. He was the photographer; I was a counselor. Our friendship began over a love for our other home, North Carolina. At the end of the summer, Travis asked for my number–I thought he just wanted to be friends. The following fall, I was cruising through my sophomore year at the University of North Carolina and, lo and behold, Mr. Travis Bartlett continued to show up in Chapel Hill to “take me out.” He continued to check in and say hello, but I was not really having it. Travis was present throughout my final years at Chapel Hill and many of my college friends recall his visits, but we never became anything more than friends, though he certainly tried. Moving along, I spent summer 2012 in Kenya for work. At that time, I raised my salary, and one night, I was in the lodge working on a donor update email. On a whim, I decided to include Travis on my update, though we hadn’t spoken in awhile. To this day, I have no idea why I added him, but we are both glad I did. He emailed me back and offered to support me monthly ($100/month!). He became the biggest personal donor I had and, immediately, I wondered aloud if I would have to marry him based on his support! I moved back to Denver in August of 2012. Once we we back on the same coast, we began talking again, and, of course, I now had to stay in touch with him because he was supporting my salary. Then, a Tuesday night phone call in November tugged at my heartstrings. After that three-hour conversation, I hung up and could not stop smiling. Travis was finally about to win his girl. We began dating long distance and he moved to Denver in June 2014. We got engaged in November after dating for two years.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Travis: I had this amazingly elaborate scheme of proposing to Maggie in a park close to where she grew up in Denver. We would always go on walks to the park and along the Highline Canal (something that Maggie did a lot of growing up). I wanted to set up Christmas lights in the trees, so I showed up early Friday morning (the day of the planned proposal) and did so, equipped with tons of layers, lights, and equipment. After work, I showed up at Maggie’s house to find her sick and feeling terrible. To make matters worse, one of her best friends got engaged the same night, and there were dolphins and sunsets and all kinds of epicness. I was like, DANG! We got in the car to drive to her parents’ house because she didn’t want to stay at her place that night, as her roommate was throwing a dinner party. On the way over, she was still sick, but her mom told me, “Travis, just do it. This is how life goes.” However, I realized I just couldn’t do it that night because she was so sick. Saturday came and I was up early along with the snow…tons of snow. Mags was still not feeling well, but I was doing my best to get her to go on a walk. We were all scheming to get her out of the house, but the last thing she wanted to do was get out of bed and walk in the cold. Finally, I convinced her to go on a six-block walk to the park where I was going to propose. When we saw the park, Mags said, “I am ready to go back.” But I stood behind her as the lights turned on, and handed her a letter and journal. She started freaking out, trying to understand what was going on. When she turned around, I was down on one knee. She jumped up and down, ran AWAY from me in excitement, then ran back and slid to me in the snow. I gave her the ring and she said YES! We sat in the snow under the trees for 30 minutes, crying and laughing, as we read through my letter and journal that I kept throughout the ring-buying and engagement process (because I knew she would want to know all of the details). After we got too cold, we walked back to her parents’ house to find her family waiting for us in excitement.
When did y’all get married? June 20, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, I wanted the first time Travis saw me that afternoon to be down the aisle, surrounded by friends and family. That was also such a fragile moment because my dad passed away suddenly just two months before the wedding…it was really tender and sacred. We also didn’t do a first look that day because we knew we would see each other that morning. We planned to wash each other’s feet and then wash the feet of our immediate family members and wedding party, together. That was absolutely one of my favorite memories. It was a powerful way to share Jesus with others and to proclaim that the banner over our marriage was selflessness and sacrifice for others. It was very emotional for so many reasons–for the loss we had faced, for the loss others had faced, for my cousin/best friend who was diagnosed with cancer when my dad passed, for those who humbled themselves to receive it, to hear Travis pray over our marriage and relationships and friendship. It was incredible. Hands down, the best way to start a day and our marriage.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember that your marriage is far more important than the details of your wedding day. Make decisions quickly, don’t drag them out. Hold your wedding loosely–so many things can change that you CAN’T control. Don’t stress so much about how you look–be healthy and you will GLOW on your wedding day!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? For now, resting and nesting. Spending time together, still loving NOT planning a wedding, grieving the loss of my dad and cousin, and enjoying time with family and friends. We want to travel and live abroad in the next year, but also want to get back to Sun Valley, Idaho (where Travis used to live) to explore the mountains (we’re mountain people!).

Photographer: Gracie Blue | Videographer: Light Cannon Films | Planner and Special Details: Alex Meyer Events | Venue: Private residence | Florist: Palette of Petals | Cake Baker: Cape Charles Coffee Shop | Caterer: Sweetwater Cuisine | Rentals and Lighting: Big Top Entertainment | Band: Risse Band | Paper Products: Travis Bartlett and The Paper Lady | Bride’s Gown: “Abelle” by Anna Maier | Bridal Salon: Anna Be | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Behind the Veil | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “JH5412” in Blush by JLM Couture | Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    I remember when I saw Erica and John’s wedding for the first time in a draft for V8. I was immediately taken with their romantic color palette of pink, cream, and glittery gold, the stunning backdrop that Pippin Hill Farm provided, and, most of all, how joyfully in love these two are. With the help of Amore Events by Cody, Erica and John honored their respective upbringings with an “apples and cheese” theme running throughout their wedding details–Erica is from New York and John is from Wisconsin. This theme even carried into their late-night treats of cheesecakes and apple pies! Adorable theme and beautiful details aside, reading about John’s favorite part of their wedding makes their day even sweeter! One thing he mentioned was, “The 10 minutes with my wife immediately following the ceremony.” After seven years of marriage, I too can remember those unforgettable moments post-ceremony, and can attest to just how incredible and fleeting they are!

    Thanks to Rachel May for sharing this beautiful day with us in print!

    We got married at 6 P.M. on Saturday, September 5, 2015. When we got engaged, we knew right away that we wanted to get married outdoors in order to celebrate how much we love adventure, nature, and natural beauty. I knew that I wanted to get married in a barn, as the rustic chic look appealed to me as soon as I started wedding planning. We found a few barns in upstate New York that were pretty, but ultimately decided that we wanted to be in a location that had significance to both of us. We decided to start looking in southern Virginia because of all the amazing times we had spent together renting cabins in the Shenandoah. After some recommendations from friends, we drove to Charlottesville and starting looking for venues. Given that we got engaged at a winery (and how much we both love wine), we started thinking that a winery could be the perfect location. When we saw Pippin Hill, we fell in love with the beautiful scenery right away. We booked Pippin Hill about two days after first visiting, and we plan to go back year after year for our anniversary. It is such a special and beautiful place, and we are so glad we got to spend the best day of our lives there!

    Describe your bridesmaids’ dresses. How did you choose them? When I first started looking at bridesmaid dresses, I fell in love with some pink Donna Morgan dresses and quickly sent them out to all of my bridesmaids. After searching through some blogs, though, I really started to like the mix-and-match bridesmaid dress look, and wanted to go that route. I found out two of my girls had already ordered the Donna Morgans, so I couldn’t go completely mix-and-match, as they had already started tailoring their dresses. I decided to do pairs of different dresses, and I love the way it all turned out!

    I went dress shopping in both DC and New York with some of my bridesmaids and my mom. I thought I would love romantic tulle, but every time I tried on those dresses, something just didn’t feel right–like I wasn’t being myself. My style is very clean and classic, and I wanted to look like myself on my wedding day. It was important to me and John that we remained authentic to who we are on the day of our wedding, so I knew I had found my dress when I felt like the prettiest version of myself when I tried it on. My favorite thing about my dress is the way it made John react when he saw me for the first time. He just kept saying, “Your dress! Your dress! It’s beautiful. You look beautiful!” That was the reaction I was looking for.

    Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. What part was most special to you? Did you include any special readings? Our wedding ceremony was the most beautiful and important forty minutes of our lives. My dad performed our ceremony, which was so special because he worked hard to make his remarks meaningful and personal. Both of our sisters-in-law read special passages, and every moment of the ceremony was emotional and true to who we are as a couple. It was truly gorgeous.

    What songs did you use for your ceremony? For the bridal party processional, we used India Arie’s “Can I Walk With You.” I’ve wanted that song to be played at my wedding since I was a little girl, and it was so special to hear it on the big day! For my entrance, we used the traditional bridal march. For the recessional, we used Ray Lamontange’s “You Are the Best Thing.”

    My favorite details were the ones that infused our apple, cheese, and literary motif. I’m from New York (“The Big Apple”) and John is from Wisconsin, which is known for its cheese. We’re both educators and we both love to read, so we wanted to infuse our love of books into the wedding as well. We had a beautiful logo made that was on our menu, welcome bag tags, and gift bags. We served cheeses from Wisconsin and New York during cocktail hour. For dessert, we served cheesecakes and apple pies. As a late night snack, guests enjoyed grilled cheese and apple sandwiches. Our centerpieces included a book display that looked gorgeous, and our cake stand was surrounded by books. I love how the theme was woven throughout the ceremony, reception, and all the small details of the wedding.

    Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: Where to begin? Our colors were pink, cream and glittery gold, and the room was full of those colors. Our florist, Amy Webb of Blue Ridge Florals, did a wonderful job bringing the wedding colors to life through the flowers. My favorite part of the reception was the floral ladders hanging over the long farm tables. They were dripping with flowers and candles, and they were just gorgeous. We had bistro lights cascading from the beautiful wooden rafters at Pippin Hill. We had books to represent our love of literacy around the cake stand, in our logo, and on the tables. We also had apples as escort cards to go along with our apple and cheese theme. There were so many small details that made the wedding come together and it was absolutely perfect!

    John loves John Legend and I love his song “Stay With You,” so deciding on our first dance song was a really easy choice. John also loves live music, so he had the awesome idea to have one of his very talented groomsmen sing our first dance song. I heard Raphael practicing for the first time right after the ceremony (he wanted to keep the performance a surprise for us) and was astounded. He sounded amazing! John’s extremely talented orchestra teacher, Kendall Isadore, accompanied Raph on violin, and turned it into such a beautiful cover. The week of the wedding, John and I took a few dance classes, so we had some pretty cool dips and tricks up our sleeves!

    Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. Though I didn’t get a piece myself because I was too busy dancing, everyone said that the wedding cake was delicious. We had a marble wedding cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, as well as cheesecakes and apple pies to go along with our theme. We also had a s’mores pit for guests to enjoy a late night treat!

    How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met while on a business trip to Houston in March 2013. We were both training for new leadership roles, me to be a vice principal and John to start his own school. The trip was an orientation for the five-week leadership program. I did not know many of the KIPP DC people, and John, having been with the company for six years at that point, warmly welcomed me into the group. John even gave me one of his drink tickets that night, and we spent the entire evening talking and getting to know each other. We had breakfast the next morning and even changed our travel arrangements in order to fly back to DC together at the end of the weekend. Even though we worked for the same organization in DC, we had never met before that fateful weekend. John always reminds me that he knew of me long before meeting me, and had always wanted to know more about that fourth grade teacher folks were buzzing about. We’ve been inseparable since the day we met.
    Describe the proposal: I knew John was the one within weeks of meeting him. In fact, the truth is that I proposed to John first (about 10 months before he did). It seemed like I was joking when I shouted at him, “We should get married!” But really, I knew I meant what I had said. When we planned a 2014 trip to Argentina, I thought it would be the perfect time to really get engaged. When I called my dad for a final farewell and he asked me where I was going and who I was going with, my anxiety kicked into high gear. Was my intuition wrong? Was John not going to propose? Surely, my dad would know if John planned on asking me to marry him while on this vacation. Finally, my birthday arrived (part of the reason we were going to Argentina was to celebrate my birthday), and I finally had something else to be excited about. My mind moved away from the potential proposal–I resolved to have fun in Argentina and enjoy time with the love of my life. When we woke up the morning before my birthday, John announced that we would be flying to Mendoza, the wine country of Argentina. The next day (my birthday), as we sat and ate breakfast in the tiny restaurant of our inn, I heard an old car horn beeping outside. When I walked out of the restaurant, I saw a small circle of people gawking at a old Model A-style convertible. Still forcing myself to believe that this was all just for my birthday, we got in the car and were whisked away to the famous Nieto Seniter Vineyard. We began walking around the property and John walked us to two horses being held by a traditional Argentinian gaucho (cowboy). Little did they both know, I am pretty afraid of horses. Nonetheless, after some persistent urging from John, I got on and we went for a beautiful horseback ride through the vineyard at the foot of the Andes Mountains. After a while, the gaucho motioned for the horses to stop, and John got me (reluctantly) off the horse. We walked down a path and there under a tree was a picnic, a book, and a bottle of champagne. John opened the book, and inside, was a gorgeous ring, and he asked me to marry him. I, of course, said yes. Then, remembering my conversation with my dad on the plane, I asked, “Does my dad know?” John said of course, my dad had been in on it the whole time. John then told me to look up, and I saw one of the photographers from earlier in a tree–he had captured the whole proposal. Next to the wedding, our proposal was the second best day of my life!
    Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring and how/why your husband (or the two of you!) chose it: My diamond is a 1.5-carat, round cushion-cut diamond. After John designed my ring, the store loved it so much that they named my setting the “Erica Setting.” John chose my ring and diamond based on quality of stone and the pronounced setting arrangement. John says my bold love is nearly matched with my bold ring–the stone stands alone at the top, but is supported by smaller paving diamonds below. John likes to compare my ring to our love. Our love stands at the top and is the boldest of its kind, but we have lots of family and friends to support us and help us shine along the way.
    Three adjectives that describe the day are: Beautiful, enchanting, unforgettable
    How many guests attended your wedding? 140
    Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: A letter from my bride, the first look, a house to stay in with family in the days leading up to the wedding, fantastic food, local beer, Wisconsin cheese, Mi Amigo cigars, the mountain backdrop, a Kit-Kat s’more station, and the 10 minutes with my wife immediately following the ceremony.
    What were some of the highlights of the reception? My favorite moment of the reception was at the end of the night when we played our last song, “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey. Our friends were singing at the top of their lungs, and John picked me up and swung me around right at the height of the song. It was awesome. I also loved my dad’s toast. It was so heartfelt and emotional, and was a very special moment.
    Did you toss the garter or bouquet? We did a bouquet toss. My good friend caught it and I love her boyfriend so…fingers crossed!
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? I am looking forward to having adventures with my husband for the rest of my life. Whether it is hiking four miles up a mountain in Yosemite, jumping off cliffs in Jamaica, riding horses in Argentina, or just enjoying a four-hour-long “Cops” marathon in our living room, I always have a great time when I’m with him. I’m looking forward to forever. Next, we are focusing on buying our first house and getting some more room for our dog, Stella!

    Photographer: Rachel May Photography | Videographer: Mwendo Weddings | Planner and Designer: Amore Events by Cody | Venue, Caterer, and Linens: Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards | Florals: Blue Ridge Florals | Cake Baker: Sweethaus Bakery | Bride’s Gown: “Margot” by Anna Maier | Bridal Salon: Gabriella New York | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bride’s Accessories:  BHLDN | Bridesmaid Dresses: “Annabelle” in Cashmere by Jenny Yoo, “Beaded Chiffon Blouson Dress” in Blush and Taupe by Adrianna Pappell, “Rachel” in Petal by Donna Morgan, “Laura” in Petal by Donna Morgan, “Tori” in Cream by Paper Crown | Hair Stylist: Top Knot Studio | Makeup Artist: Tiffany Lumpkin | Menswear: Allure Bridals | Paper Goods: Dandelion Patch | Rentals, Linens, and Reception Décor: MS Events | Favors: Fromagination | Transportation: Blue Ridge Tours | Lighting: Blue Ridge Lighting

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    3 Comments
    1. avatar Perry Vaile reply

      Whoa this was beautiful! Rachel, beautifully done!

    2. avatar Jevettra Gardner reply

      Just a gorgeous wedding and the details are just oozing with wonderfulness!!

    3. avatar Chantal reply

      What a stunning affair – and beautiful photography. Might I ask where the bride got the ring box? I’m looking for one just like it. Thank you!

      xo,
      Chantal

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    My favorite details from many of the weddings we share are not just details. Many aren’t even things you’d notice by looking at the lovely photos–rather, they’re the special pieces of each wedding that make them personal to our darling couples. Katie and Win are no exception! Their magical Blackberry Farm wedding boasts stunning mountain views and perfectly classic blooms, but on top of that, they were married on Katie’s parents’ anniversary, and The Georgia Boy Choir, the same angelic voices that sang at Win’s parents’ wedding, were part of the ceremony. What a sweet way to honor both families and the unity that their marriage will create! Even their venue choice stemmed from a decision to honor their love story–they have memories at Blackberry Farm from holidays, to weekends spent hiking, and most importantly, their engagement!

    Heavens, we’re happy A Bryan Photo was on hand to capture all the beauty that unfolded!

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Although I did not have a particular wedding dress style in mind, I knew I wanted it to be traditional and timeless. The dress I selected was a French peony lace column gown with a full and softly fluted round hem. I loved it for its simplicity and the beauty of the lace and buttons down the back.

    The flowers we chose were rich in texture and natural colors that blended into the already spectacular setting. The bouquets were everything we had imagined and more; they were the perfect balance of simple elegance with a little farm flair! My bouquet was made up of white peonies, one of my favorite spring flowers, accented with natural greenery from muted lavender and olive leaves. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a smaller version of mine with white peonies, white garden roses, muted lavender twigs, and olive leaves. The groom and groomsmen wore white garden rose boutonnieres.

    Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Win and I felt it would be more authentic and romantic to have our first look when I walked down the aisle with my dad. We did not mind having our guests be a part of the emotion shared when we saw one another for the first time.

    The Georgia Boy Choir surprised guests during our ceremony on the front lawn at Blackberry Farm. They also sang at Win’s parents’ wedding in 1986. It was such a special nod to the Rollins family to have them as part of our wedding. Their angelic voices rang through the mountains in celebration of our marriage!

    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with Reverend Allen, our high school chaplain, multiple times for premarital counseling as we planned for the big day. These sessions were a reminder of the merging of two families that was about to occur and what that meant for us moving forward. We discussed values, differing opinions, various stages of love, family planning, and more. Win and I will strive to live by the tools of honor, communication, trust, and love that he instilled upon us. It also made our wedding ceremony very special, since Rev. Allen knew us so well!

    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We rode from our wedding ceremony to the reception at The Barn in a horse-drawn carriage that was decorated with garlands of greenery and white roses. This was our first moment alone as newlyweds and it gave us an opportunity to reflect, relax, and enjoy the moment.

    It was hard not to incorporate the “blackberry” theme into everything, but we decided to go for it when it came to the desserts. Our five-tiered round Italian cream cake was filled with cream cheese and alternating layers of blackberry buttercream, and was displayed on a wooden platter made from a wine barrel. Win loves milk and cookies, so instead of a groom’s cake, I surprised him with his favorite thumbprint cookies with blackberry colored icing. They were served in the tent along with small glasses of milk before our sparkler send-off.

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Blackberry Farm holds so many memories for us, from holidays to weekends spent hiking, fly fishing, sitting by the fire with family, enjoying fabulous meals, and most importantly, toasting to our engagement with our families. This place is deeply rooted in love, laughter, and the start of our life together! It meant so much to have everyone at Blackberry Farm for such an important event in our lives.

    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy every minute! Take a step back from the details and remember that at the end of the day, this is about celebrating a commitment, dedication, and bond to the person you love. Do not forget to be gracious; everyone at your wedding has had a significant influence in your life and they have traveled to be a part of your wedding, so make them feel welcomed. And lastly, relax, have fun, and take every thing in, because it goes by too quickly!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Win and I met at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia and began dating in 10th grade, but we actually have pictures of us in the same class from preschool! After graduation, we began six years of long distance between the University of Georgia and the University of Virginia, and then from Atlanta to Houston, only seeing each other about once a month. Win told me that he knew I still loved him because I cried every time we said goodbye.
    Tell us all about the proposal! Win had planned a trip to Italy in July 2013, but when I suddenly fell ill in June, we were forced to cancel it. To make up for it, Win surprised me with a fabulous getaway to Blackberry Farm during the holidays. This romantic retreat was just what the doctor had ordered, and more! There is nothing more festive than Blackberry Farm around the holidays and it is a perfect place to cozy up by the fire. Win and I enjoyed a relaxing day on the property, having picnic lunches down by the Yallerhammer Pavilion and playing endless rounds of Bananagrams by the roaring fire. On the evening of December 28, as we sipped our favorite Blackberry Bumpkin cocktails in The Barn, Win proposed! I was so elated that I still don’t remember a word he said, but I know I said “Yes!” Both of our families arrived at Blackberry the following morning to share in our engagement celebration.
    When did y’all get married? April 11, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite details of the wedding were getting married on my parents’ wedding anniversary and having The Lovett School chaplain perform the ceremony. Win’s mom also drew a lovely sketch of The Barn at Blackberry Farm that we used for our rehearsal dinner invitations.
    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The first two vendors we booked, A Bryan Photo and ATL Groove Factory, were amazing!! Bryan and his team are not only incredibly talented, but so much fun, and they made us feel so at ease on our wedding day. ATL Groove Factory turned a magical evening into an unforgettable party for all of our family and friends! They were engaging, energetic, and had everyone on the dance floor for the entire night. The biggest compliment to us has been the number of our friends who have requested information about both of these vendors for their events.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Win and I are continuing to establish our new home in Houston, Texas, but hope to travel as much as possible over the next few years. Luckily, I am a travel advisor, so we are constantly dreaming of our next fabulous and memorable getaway together! One day, we hope to start a family of our own, but until then, we are enjoying our shared life together.
    Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? Blackberry Farm raises one of Italy’s oldest dog breeds, Lagotto Romagnolo, which are used on property to hunt truffles. The two new litters of curly-haired puppies enhanced everyone’s stay and definitely won a few hearts! Win and I still want to own a truffle dog and name him “Wally” in honor of Walland, Tennessee, home of Blackberry Farm!

    Photographer: A Bryan Photo / Planner: No Regrets Events / Venue, Caterer, and Florist: Blackberry Farm / Cake Baker: Magpies Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: All Occasions Party Rentals / Reception Band: ATL Groove Factory / Paper Products: Paces Papers / Bride’s Gown: Anna Maier / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow Bridal Salon / Veil: Tia Mazza Bridal / Hair Stylist: Ashley Schaumbug / Makeup Artist: Claire Balest / Bride’s Shoes: “Baxen” by Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Newberry” and “Lacey” in All Tomorrow’s Parties by Joanna August / Groom’s Attire: Miller Brothers Private Label / Groom’s Shoes: Baker Benjes / Monogram: Penned by Palmer / Calligraphy: Carol Gray Calligraphy / String Music: Special Notes Festival Strings / Choir: The Georgia Boy Choir / Rehearsal Band: Craig Duncan & Friends

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Erin Phillips reply

      Blackberry Farm is one of my most favorite places on earth! My husband and I celebrated our first anniversary there and I’ll never forget that experience, or the amazing meal we had in The Barn! It was fun to recall that experience while reading through this beautiful feature.

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