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Today we’re thrilled to share our tenth anniversary cover editorial, Azalea Romance!

Let me tell you a secret… when it comes to our editorials, we all have favorites! And if you know me at all, you know that this one was destined to always and forever be mine. From the memories we made at the shoot to how stunning it turned out to the way the story intersects with my own, I can’t help it: I’m smitten.

Growing up in Mobile, Alabama I always dreamed I’d be an Azalea Trail Maid — I even dressed up as one for Halloween one year! When Emily shared in one of our early editorial meetings that we were staging an editorial in my hometown AND that it would be inspired by this historic institution, I was thrilled. Throughout the months of planning, we worked to create a modern representation of the colorful dresses and antebellum style the Maids are known for, and I have to say that our bride’s look — the skirt of an Amsale gown combined with a Heidi Elnora lace crop top — was just one of the places where all the pieces came together perfectly.

Shot at the historic Fort Conde Inn, we had so much fun working with fellow Alabama gals Invision Events to bring this sweet story to life!

Thank you so much to our dear friend Anna Shackleford for capturing these joyful photos! See the whole feature in Southern Weddings 10, on newsstands now and in the Southern Weddings Shop!

Happy launch day, y’all!!

My talented friend Brittany Massey made all my Southern girl hair and makeup dreams come true with our model’s fresh and feminine makeup, and our bride’s voluminous waves!

Y’all, when I say these bridesmaids’ dresses were a labor of love, I am not kidding. Emily and I worked for months to find just the perfect combination of color and style to represent the Trail Maids. We even had the darling Mary Kendall from Bella Bridesmaids Mobile bring two of these gowns just a few short hours before we started shooting!

We even had my own mama create a dress patch to honor the sisterhood of the Azalea Trail Maids. It might be one of my personal favorite details!

Y’all, it is legitimately not possible for our real-life husband and wife models to be any cuter! They were so much fun to work with and their love for each other is such a great addition to this feature.

I think bright and poppy florals that Laura from Marked created are such a happy addition to the neutral linens and gold detailing!

Y’all! These two. That dress. I can’t.

Want to see more of this beauty in print? You’re in luck! Our Tenth Anniversary issue is officially on newsstands today! We’ve packed this issue with real weddings from every corner of the South, beautiful love stories, Southern editorials, your favorite wedding vendors, practical wedding planning tips, and insightful marriage advice, and we hope you love her as much as we do! Head to your local bookstore or Target to find her on newsstands, or purchase your copy from the shop so you don’t have to hunt her down! We hope you love her as much as we do!

Planner and Stylist: Invision Events | Photographer: Anna Shackleford | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Venue: The Fort Conde Inn | Portrait Location: Bellingrath Gardens | Florals: Marked | Hair and Makeup: Hair and Makeup by BBM | Desserts: Elisabeth and Butter | Cake: Lush Cakery | Vintage Rentals: Southern Vintage | Chair Rentals: Crush Event Design | Table Linen: Party Tables Linen and Drapery | Custom Napkins and Wine Bag: The French Table | Paper Goods: Holly Hollon for Dixie Design | Croquet Set: Blue Eyed Yonder | Bride’s Gown: “Saylor” by Amsale | Bride’s Topper: “Chloe Crop Top Extended” by Heidi Elnora | Bridesmaid Dresses: “Maggie” in Scarlet Begonias and Summertime by Joanna August and “The Off the Shoulder Gown” in Fuchsia and Azalea by Natalie Deayala from Bella Bridesmaids Mobile | Gloves: David’s Bridal | Parasols: Luna Bazaar | Custom Parasol Painting: Momental Designs | Pearl Bracelets and Necklace: Kiel James Patrick | Pearl Earrings: BHLDN | Hat: ASOS | Ring Box: The Mrs. Box | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Pocket Square: Kaye Hannabuss Textiles

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Shelby S. reply

    I love it! Can’t wait to pick up my copy of V10 this evening after work!!

  2. avatar Courtney reply

    It’s beyond magical! <3

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Friends, it is with great joy and only a few butterflies that I introduce you to… the Southern Weddings Tenth Anniversary cover!!!

It was no small task choosing an image that sums up not only this beautiful issue but ten whole years of our work and our heart, but friends… I think we did it :)

Because you know what? In the end, it comes down to love. Real love — not airbrushed love, not perfect love, but love that grows with you, love that sustains you for a lifetime, love that adds beauty and dimension to every facet of your life.

After ten years, if you’ve learned nothing else from us, we hope that you’ve joined us in this: the belief that cultivating what matters, right where you are — as a Southerner, as an engaged gal, as a bride, as a wife — it matters. It can change the world, starting with the world of your union, and then rippling out from there.

Ashley and David are a real, dear couple to us, with a real marriage, a real love, and real joy. We’re thrilled to have them on our cover, standing in for every perfectly imperfect story we’ve had the honor of touching over the last decade.

Our tenth anniversary cover doesn’t look like every other one you’ll see on newsstands, and we love that. We believe weddings should be filled with joy (heyyyy, Joyful Wedding Planner!), and so we chose the most joyful image we could to represent Volume 10. We knew it was the one as soon as we saw Anna Shackleford’s final images come back from the lab (thank you, Richard Photo Lab!!).

The sweetest part? This wasn’t even a planned “pose,” or one we had on our shot list. It was taken at the end of the day, after we had wrapped up shooting and were walking back to our supplies. David scooped up his bride to carry her over the grass, and Anna snapped a few last shots.

And y’all? This cover is important, but it’s just the beginning. Our tenth anniversary issue is packed full of content that will spur you on to create your own legacy of a strong, rich, joyful marriage through 12 real weddings, seven editorials, practical planning advice, and an entire section devoted to newlywed life.

Our official release is three weeks from today (Thursday the 9th!), but preorders are open now! They’ll ship a few days before our newsstand launch date, and include a bundle of extra goodies we think you’ll love!

THANK YOU, ANNA AND THE INVISION EVENTS TEAM!!!

In the meantime, we’re DYING to know: What do y’all think??? Are you as excited about our tenth anniversary issue as we are? :)

Planner and Stylist: Invision Events | Photographer: Anna Shackleford | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Venue: The Fort Conde Inn | Portrait Location: Bellingrath Gardens | Florals: Marked | Hair and Makeup: Hair and Makeup by BBM | Bride’s Gown: “Saylor” by Amsale | Bride’s Topper: “Chloe Crop Top Extended” by Heidi Elnora | Pearl Earrings: BHLDN | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Pocket Square: Kaye Hannabuss Textiles

P.S. A walk down memory lane… the V9 cover reveal (plus a fun video!), the V8 cover reveal, the V7 cover reveal, and the V6 cover reveal (including one of my favorite cover stories ever!)!

Anna Shackleford, Invision Events, Marked, the Heidi Elnora Atelier, and Hair and Makeup by BBM are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar Morgan Cox reply

    Love it!!! The joy on their faces captures what a wedding day is all about. I married my husband four months ago, and was surprised when my favorite images weren’t the careful planned design images, but the ones that captured our true emotions of the day. Can’t wait to get this issue in my hands!

  2. avatar Kyla Shattuck reply

    LOVE IT! And eagerly counting down the days until the launch!

  3. avatar Stephanie Shaul reply

    AHH!!! Ladies, it is BEAUTIFUL!!!!! So, so radiantly joyful and euphoric. And I can just feel their love!

    Stunning work, as always! I can’t wait to get it in my hands!!

  4. avatar Madeline reply

    Oh my lanta!! This cover radiates joy and embodies everything I feel SW stands for. A heartfelt congratulations to y’all, from a HUGE fan and Charleston reader.

  5. avatar Christina Frederick reply

    You all have done it again! As an avid SW fan from issue one I can honestly say that your heart for true love and what matters most has evolved in to an amazing collection of goodness! Each issue is always better than the last, yet they all hold tight to truth and beautiful stories of love. Bravo for coming so far, yet staying so true! Congratulations to the cover team, the issue is beautiful and I can’t wait to see what’s inside!
    xo Christina

  6. avatar Amy reply

    This cover is so beautiful!! What a sweet moment! Congrats on 10 years!!! Can’t wait to celebrate with you!

  7. avatar Janna Toruno reply

    Ohmigoodness! It’s gorgeous! Also her red nails are making me consider a not so usual bridal color on mine for my October 2018 wedding! :)

  8. avatar Dana reply

    Love it! Y’all have chosen yet another BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT cover!!! Counting down the days to read V10!

  9. avatar Kristin reply

    I love the cover! I feel like I got engaged at the right time to get to have so many great resources and gorgeous ideas from y’all! I love being able to incorporate all of the great ideas from real brides into my special day!

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Bride Emily’s classic wedding at The Taylor Grady House.

I hope you’re reading this from your iPad at the lake, but if you’re at work, we won’t tell! After all it’s almost the Fourth of July! And, boy, do I have something really great for you today. Meet today’s bride, Emily. Her favorite thing about wedding planning is making me so happy. She said, “it was just so fun!” Yes, Emily! We often say that we know planning a wedding can be stressful (and y’all, it definitely can!), but lest we forget, it can also be so much fun and filled with joy! We even named our wedding planner, “The Joyful Wedding Planner,” because we sincerely want your wedding planning journey to be filled with joy! So grab that extra slice of watermelon and start scrolling for Emily’s sweet, Southern wedding to Kevin.

Big SW hugs to our friend Anna Shackleford for capturing this pretty day!

I first saw my dress online and cried. The designer’s (Amy Kuschel‘s) designs are just so beautiful. The closest store that had the dress in the store was in Charleston. So when we were in Charleston I made an appointment at that store and bought it at once!

What were some of the most meaningful or special parts of your ceremony? Some of the flowers in my bouquet and the flower arrangements are actually from my mother’s garden, which was really special. Kevin and my brother had my grandfather’s handkerchiefs. I also wore a ring which was made from the diamonds and a pearl my grandmother had left me. Also, the lace on my veil was from my mother’s wedding dress.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. Honestly I thought I would be too emotional if I saw him for the first time while I was walking down the aisle. Also, it was nice to have that little alone time together before the ceremony started.

We knew we wanted to have our wedding in Athens, and I have always loved the Taylor Grady House. The grounds are just so beautiful, and I absolutely love the tree we got married under.

What was your most memorable moment from your wedding day? Gosh it was all memorable. I think it was walking down the aisle and seeing Kevin’s face. He was smiling ear-to-ear, and he looked so handsome. I think that was my favorite moment.

What was your favorite detail from your wedding? The flowers! They were so amazing, especially the arrangements around the chandeliers.

Our venue was the epitome of Southern charm right down to the beautiful tent with the wrought iron chandeliers!

We had wedding cake but then for the groom’s cake we opted for banana pudding, which was amazing!

Our first dance song was “Into the Mystic,” which has always been my favorite song. I wanted a fun song as a first dance song. Nothing too formal.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We meet through mutual friends while I was in medical school and he was in law school, and we were long-distance before we finally got married five years later.
Tell us all about the proposal! The day we got engaged the whole Nance clan was at the lake house. I was told that we were going to have a Sunday brunch with the family at our favorite restaurant. Right before we were getting in the car to leave, Kevin suggested we take our precious pup Scarlett out. We walked down to the lake front and Kevin got down on his knee and asked me to marry him!
When did y’all get married? April 22, 2017.
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 210.
What was your favorite thing about wedding planning? I feel like my mother and I got a lot closer planning this together. Plus, I got to meet so many wonderful people. Our wedding planner, Whitney, our florist, Christy, and our photographer, Anna, are easily some of my favorite people.
What was the hardest part about planning your wedding? Planning a wedding while being an internal medicine resident who lives four hours away is just difficult, but my mom helped me so much with everything and was truly a lifesaver.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We had a buffet and did not go crazy with the linen napkins.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning a wedding? Take your time. I had a 16 month engagement, and I am so thankful I did, because it gave me the time to find the vendors I wanted and plan the wedding without feeling too rushed.

Photographer: Anna Shackleford | Videographer: Daniel Shackleford | Planner: Whitney Taylor Downs | Venue: The Taylor Grady House | Florist: Christy Griner Hulsey | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Classic City Confections | Caterer: LRG provisions | Rentals and Lighting: Barrons Rentals | Chair and Table Rentals: Oconee Events Rentals | Linen Rentals: La Tavola | Band or DJ: Sonic Groove | Paper Products: Oconee Printing | Watercolor Signage and Calligraphy: Cami Monet | Watercolor Escort Cards: Britt Vasina | Map artwork: Natty Michelle Paperie | Bride’s Gown: “Dandelion” by Amy Kuschel | Hair Stylist: Stephanie Hollis | Makeup Artist: Eli Jana | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids | Menswear: The Black Tux

Anna Shackleford is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and The Black Tux is a wonderful Southern Weddings sponsor!

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

    Very classy and romantic. Is amazing how she choose the perfect wedding dress. This is where some bride might go wrong. She kept simple but elegant. The photos are bright and influence the mood of the event.

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