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Y’all have no idea how excited I am to share Molly and Eric’s wedding with you today! I just adore this couple–Molly owns a super chic bridal salon, so you know the fashion at their wedding was on point, down to Eric’s custom Olia Zavozina tux and gold pin dot bow tie! While that was so lovely, Molly and Eric spoke straight to our hearts when they felt led to scratch planning a big wedding. Instead, they decided to move up their date and keep things as simple as possible, making their wedding a reflection of their love story and a time for friends to be with their loved ones. I also can’t help but love that they chose their first dance song (“Have a Little Faith In Me”) because of their “imperfect love story,” and as a reminder “to fight the good fight together.”

We’re so glad Annabella Charles shared this beautiful day with us in V7!

P.S. Lisa and I may have shared an ugly cry session after watching their proposal video–I highly suggest watching it, but grab your tissues first!

Aside from saying “yes” to my groom, choosing the dress was one of the easiest decisions in all of wedding planning. I didn’t even try it on before deciding it was, without a doubt, the one for me. Amahlia, designed by Maggie Louise designer, Rivini, was a part of Rita’s spring 2014 collection and embodied everything I had ever dreamed of wearing. I felt the top of the dress resembled my style, classic and more on the simple side, and the bottom matched Eric, who is more of a risk-taker and modern in his taste. When it walked down the runway that spring, we both looked at each other and knew it was everything I had hoped for.

What did the groom wear? Eric wore a custom tuxedo that he designed alongside Olia Zavozina, a wedding gown designer at Maggie Louise and a dear friend of ours. She took all of his ideas and created a masterpiece! Eric didn’t tell me a single detail about the tux and kept it a secret until the day of the wedding. The tux was solid black with modern twists. He chose a black bowtie with gold pin dots, my favorite detail!

We got engaged in September and originally began planning our wedding for October of the following year. After a few long discussions, we both knew that honoring God in our commitment to each other was far more important than a wedding day that would take us over a year to afford and plan. It was then that we decided to move up the date and keep things as simple as possible! We knew we wanted an outdoor ceremony at Acre, so with the Southern heat in mind, we ruled out the summer months quickly, and landed on April 4, 2014. Our venue, Acre Restaurant in Memphis, is an older home that has been revamped into a very organic, rustic, chic restaurant venue. We knew we wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of our love story, and we wanted a ceremony that glorified God (not us). We didn’t fuss with having a bridal party or costly details. We simply wanted our friends to come with their loved one and let the night be a reminder of the love they share, all while enjoying a great meal, a few cocktails, and cutting loose for a bit. We began our Friday night at with a cocktail hour in the courtyard where we were getting married. As the ceremony approached at 6:30 P.M., our coordinator simply parted the sea of loved ones. Our families were escorted to the front and I walked down the cobblestone aisle on my father’s arm to “Til Kingdom Come” by Coldplay. After the ceremony, we kicked off the party with our first dance under the outdoor tent behind Acre, and spent the rest of the night getting smooth with Yacht Rock Revue.

Tell us a bit about the wedding ceremony. From Eric: Our officiant was Andy Savage from Highpoint Church in East Memphis, Tennessee. Andy “does a great wedding” (his famous quote), but an even better pre-marriage class. We graduated with honors. A special part for me was when he asked us to turn around at the beginning of the ceremony and gaze at how many friends/family came to support us. Man, that was a cool moment.

What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We allowed the beautiful venue to naturally set the tone for the design of our wedding. In order to keep everything under budget, this worked perfectly with our individual and non-traditional wedding styles.

The food was by far one of our favorite parts in all of wedding planning. Andrew Adams, the chef at Acre, spent months designing a custom menu for our wedding day that told the history of who Eric and I are and where we come from, including my family’s Southern roots from the Mississippi Delta and Eric’s Italian heritage reigning from Chicago. In our efforts to keep the night as fun and simple as possible, we felt it was key to let all of our vendors have fun with doing what they do best. Andrew went above and beyond to create the perfect menu for our night. Although we decided to forgo many wedding traditions, I couldn’t bear to pass on the cake cutting moment. A local cake designer and friend of mine, Laura Jackson (owner of The Flour Garden), surprised us with a small cake on the wedding day, and it was nothing less than a masterpiece. Eric and I cut it before the ceremony so I could have a few of those traditional, yet priceless, images.

Our first dance was to John Haitt’s “Have a Little Faith In Me,” sung by a dear friend of ours, who happened to serenade everyone the night of our engagement as well. I came across this song a few years ago and have always felt it was such a beautiful reflection of us. Eric and I have always been open books about our imperfect love story. Over the last four years of our dating relationship, we did a lot of growing both individually and as a couple. Even on the days when it wasn’t easy, we continued to place faith in the Lord and each other–which is all we need in order to fight the good fight together!

Date of your wedding: April 4, 2014
Tell us about yourselves! From Molly: I was raised a Mississippi girl and moved to Memphis for college. I fell in love with the city and decided that it was, without a doubt, the place for me. I worked for 7.5 years in the photography industry with Allison Rodgers Photography and fell in love with all things bridal behind the lens throughout the years. I graduated from the University of Memphis in 2010 with a business degree in Marketing and Management. Aside from living out my dreams at the bridal boutique, my lists of “hobbies” are short, but I love food, music, a good glass of wine, and traveling with my new husband. From Eric: My boss is on the cross. I’m proudly a janitor/handyman at Maggie Louise on off-days. I love to exercise, cook healthy, and keep my ducks in a row. I bake 15-minute chocolate chip cookies for 10 minutes. I hope you never get injured, but I would love to be your doctor one day. This is my first wedding questionnaire.
How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met seven years ago via a mutual friend at a bar on Beale Street, Silky O’Sullivan’s. I still remember the night, December 20, 2007, like it was yesterday–where I was sitting, the second I saw him, even down to the outfit I was wearing. We hit it off immediately and hung out periodically throughout college, but didn’t make it official until three years later. In May 2010, a few weeks before we both graduated from the University of Memphis, Eric said something along the lines of “I’m ready to be your boyfriend”… I said “No way,” of course. Obviously, I caved, and we’ve been together ever since!
Describe the proposal: We got engaged on September 7, 2013. Every year, Eric throws an outdoor party at his mom’s house–an all-day affair that is the adult version of every kid’s dream-come-true, complete with a homemade slip-and-slide, volleyball, jell-o wrestling, and a belly flop contest. The day went as planned and we spent the afternoon surrounded by our family and friends, enjoying the summer heat and shenanigans. At sundown, Eric’s mom asked me to ride with her to pick up dinner for all of our guests, and I reluctantly agreed, hesitant to leave behind all the excitement and loved ones. When I returned, I saw an enormous projector screen with Eric’s face and everyone holding champagne in their hands. The video began to play, and it was filled with flashes of family and friends holding signs that said “Say Yes,” and then Eric saying he wanted to spend his life with me. At the end of the video proposal, he got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride. Here is the video!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: From Eric: Honest, holy, honorable.
What was the biggest challenge you faced while planning your wedding? From Eric: Throwing a memorable, yet affordable, party for all of our friends to enjoy. I have champagne taste on a beer budget, and she has Jimmy Choo taste on a Target gift card budget.
Tell us about your wedding cake or sweets. We bypassed serving the traditional wedding cake and let Andrew have some fun with his culinary skills for the desserts. He came up with unique, homemade ice cream sandwiches and an assorted donut bar. The ice cream sandwiches included dark chocolate brownie with cookie dough ice cream, strawberry cheesecake ice cream stuffed in a candied croissant, and ice-cream-filled chocolate éclairs. The donut creations were blueberry cake donuts with lemon-vodka glaze, Reese’s Pieces donuts, cereal milk donuts topped with Frosted Flakes, and apple cider fritters.
What are you most looking forward to about marriage? Seeing God’s plans for us unfold throughout our lives together. There is so much unknown as to what is in store, but that is what makes everything so exciting. Eric has plans of going to medical school and living out his dreams as a surgeon. I’m thrilled to see where the Lord takes us and how he uses us, both individually and as a couple.
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff!! Set your priorities together and don’t lose sight of them or the big picture. It is so easy to get caught up in the material aspects and expectations, but at the end of the day, people will remember seeing the happiness between you both.

Photographers: Allison Rodgers Photography, Annabella Charles Photography, Amy Dale Photography, and The Studio J / Videographer: 22 Magnolias / Coordinator: Simply Perfect Weddings & Events / Venue, caterer, and desserts: Acre Restaurant / Bride’s bouquet: Beth’s Flowers / Floral archway: Haute Horticulture / Wedding cake: The Flour Garden / Bride’s Gown: “Amahlia” by Rivini / Bridal salon: Maggie Louise Bridal / Bride’s veil: Erin Cole / Hair and makeup: Jena Bruback of Headlines Salon / Groom’s tuxedo: Olia Zavozina / Ceremony music: Jacob Zachary / Reception music: Yacht Rock Revue and Charvey Mac / Paper products: Kendyl Mounce

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Hannah Browning reply

    Wow! What is not perfect about this wedding? HER DRESS. Love

  2. avatar Debra Seger reply

    I dont know what pulled me to stop my busy life and read this beautiful story…..Im a grown woman crying of happiness for two people I have never met. Thank you for sharing, simply a beautiful story that inspired my day. Wishing you a continued life of joy!

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I’ve always thought there was something so magical about winter weddings–the rich colors, the crispness in the air that makes the bride and groom cuddle a little closer during their portraits, and the coziness of the guests enjoying a meal together at the reception. With Christmas just a few short days away, we are delighted to share Allison and Blake’s Memphis wedding, which epitomizes each of these qualities so beautifully! After a memorable first look, this sweet couple was married by Blake’s father in the church Allison grew up attending–the sweetest blending of their families and histories.

We’re so glad the talented Annabella Charles was on hand to capture this lovely day, and then share it with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I wanted to get my wedding dress at Ivory and White in Birmingham before Blake and I were even dating. It is the most gorgeous wedding boutique in town, and my best friend had recently gotten her dress there. I knew I wanted something all lace, but was not sure of the fit I was looking for. The dress I chose was the first one I tried on. The sweet girls at the shop knew what would work for me and they nailed it on the first try. I fell in love with my Liancarlo gown and felt so beautiful in it!

We did a first look because of the time that the sun sets this time of year. We wanted outdoor pictures, but with our evening ceremony, there was no way we could have gotten pictures outside afterwards. Blake and I loved seeing each other before the ceremony and having a moment to ourselves to really soak in the day together before it got crazy. It also took away some of our nerves and made it easier to really be present and take in every moment throughout the rest of the day.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved having so many of our close friends as a part of the wedding. There are so many important people in our lives and we loved being able to incorporate everyone. It is unforgettable to have people you love surrounding you on a day like this!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our ceremony was held at First Evangelical Church, which is where I grew up going to church with my family. It is the kind of church you drive up to each Sunday and just imagine getting married there. I love its beautiful white columns and red brick, and the way the sun sets over it as evening approaches. The reception was held at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens because of their gorgeous grounds. We wanted to an outdoor feel for the reception, but knew that it would be chilly on a late November night. The Dixon was perfect, thanks to its indoor pavilion and outdoor terrace that we tented.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We fell in love with a version of “All Creatures of Our God and King” by the Chetta Strings, but we couldn’t find the sheet music anywhere. Blake went out on a limb and tried to contact the group, and he found out that it was an old family strings ensemble that doesn’t play together anymore. However, one of the daughters who wrote the original music (and could no longer find it) was kind enough to recompose it for our string quartet. Walking down the aisle with my dad and towards Blake with this song playing was such a vivid moment–this song will always be our “wedding song.” We also had some friends lead the congregation in singing my favorite hymn, “Come Thou Fount,” during the ceremony.

We used magnolia leaves as a garland on the entryway at the reception and as a runner on the head table. Magnolia trees are my favorite, and Steel Magnolias is my all-time favorite movie–my mom, maid of honor, and I made sure to watch it the week of the wedding! We also used Blake’s family’s traditional bride and groom cake topper on our cake table. This has been in their family weddings since the 60s’s! Memphis is a soulful, Southern city, so we had a band that represented that in the music they played. They were a blast, and ended the night with a bang, playing “Rolling on the River.” They had everyone singing and dancing along. There was no better way to end the night!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The wedding cake was a simple, four-tiered cake with creamy white buttercream frosting whipped on in a free-flowing, natural design. Our baker called the look “wave after wave.” The groom’s cakes were a variety of bundt cakes. We chose a seasonal pumpkin spice flavor, along with classic favorites, including red velvet and white chocolate raspberry. They were a definite crowd pleaser!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Blake and I are both from Memphis, went to the same high school, and then both went to Samford for college. However, since we are five years apart, we didn’t meet until about two years ago in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were both in grad school. The first time I saw him was at a Super Bowl party with a bunch of church friends. We met and talked a little that night, and not long after that, Blake asked me out. We instantly hit it off and he totally spoiled me at the best Birmingham restaurants and lots of time outside, hiking, running and biking together. We were long distance for eight months when I moved to Dallas for work, and became professionals at letter writing and Facetime.
Tell us all about the proposal! Blake sneakily asked my dad to fly me home for Easter to have “family time,” all the while plotting his big surprise. The day before Easter, Blake took me to my favorite park, where I had grown up running cross country, so we could throw a frisbee and hang out. As we were walking toward a familiar running trail, I noticed a dock decked out in flowers. I remarked, “Blake, look at that!” and by his expression, I realized that it was for me. He proposed on the dock, I excitedly said yes (!!), he took me to Paulette’s for supper, and then, he led me to a big surprise party at his parents’ house, where all my best friends and family were waiting for us! It was the perfect day, full of beautiful surprises.
When did y’all get married? November 22, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, we did not write our own vows. Blake’s dad was a pastor in Memphis and he actually married us, which was incredibly special. We used his traditional vows. Blake and I both loved saying those words to each other and committing ourselves in the covenant of marriage.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Colossians 1:15-23 and Ephesians 5:22-33 were read during the ceremony by two of our good friends. These verses mean a lot to us concerning marriage and what that is supposed to look like.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mom’s garter she had worn in her wedding. My maid of honor gave me a vintage handkerchief with blue flowers embroidered on it, which I carried around my bouquet, and an antique gold pearl pin that I wore pinned inside my dress My something new was my dress, earrings, and shoes.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy as much of the planning process as you can! It goes by too fast and you want to look back and remember the excitement and fun you had planning, not being overcome with stress. Also, when people offer to help, let them! It will be a blessing to both you and them. You will be surprised by the number of people who would love to help in any way for your special day.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are loving living married like in Dallas!

Photographer: Annabella Charles / Ceremony Venue: First Evangelical Church / Reception Venue: The Dixon Gallery and Gardens / Wedding Cake: Whole Foods / Bundt Cakes: Nothing Bundt Cakes / Caterer: Humdinger’s / Band: The Dantones / Paper Products: Marydeaton Heldman / Bride’s Gown: Liancarlo / Bridal Salon: Ivory and White

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Annabella Charles reply

    xoxox Thank you for the beautiful post

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    Where did you find those flower girl dresses! They are beautiful!

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If there’s one thing we love almost as much as Southern weddings around here, it’s Southern food. Elizabeth and Eric’s love story began with a date over “heavenly” macaroni and cheese, and with a start that delicious, is it any surprise that we’re enjoying their wedding today? Their formal Tennessee wedding was full of the dreamiest pink roses, Memphis-inspired food and drinks, and some lovely hot pink details–I’m loving Elizabeth’s Kate Spade heels and bright manicure, especially!

Thanks to Annabella Charles for sharing Elizabeth and Eric’s wedding with us!

We met in May of 2010 when I worked at Southwest Tennessee Community College. One morning, at an employee meeting, I was telling one of my co-workers that there were no good guys out there and I was ready to call it quits on dating. He mentioned that he had a friend that would be the “perfect guy” for me and that we should talk. After we had talked about him for a while, I asked him to have his friend call me. A few days later, I received a call from Eric, and we instantly connected in our first conversation. We agreed to meet a few days later, where we got to know each other and bonded over some heavenly macaroni and cheese. It was love at first sight!!

Isn’t Elizabeth’s bouquet lovely? The texture is so unique, and I love the little succulents peeking out.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look prior to the wedding to have an intimate moment to ourselves.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes. My favorite part of our vows was how much we meant to one another.

If you’re a fan of pink roses, you’re going to LOVE Elizabeth and Eric’s romantic reception!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? My husband’s specialty drink was simply Southern: bourbon and coke. We named it the Old Southern on our drink menus and served all of our drinks with striped paper straws. The invitations were classic and elegant. We had them printed on gold luxe, shiny paper and had a laser die-cut machine make intricate, swirled designs on every envelope and invitation. Getting married in Memphis, we definitely had to include some pulled pork barbecue. We dressed them up with a mango barbecue sauce and Asian slaw to give everyone a taste of our Hawaiian proposal and our Memphis roots.

Tell us all about the proposal! What better place to get engaged than in Hawaii! On our first full day in Honolulu, we were going to brunch at the Kahala Resort with Eric’s family, when he decided to show me around the hotel. He took me around the dolphin pool and along the beach, when we came upon a peninsula on the edge of the property. He took me out to the end to show me the ocean and the famous Diamond Head Crater. We were talking about how beautiful it was when he started to tell me how much he loved me. He got through three words before I started bawling, because I knew what was happening. After he finished his speech, he got down on his knee and presented me with the ring. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect occasion for one of the most special moments of our lives!
When did y’all get married? September 8, 2012
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. It was a five-tiered cake decorated with white pearls and pink sugar flowers. My favorite cake flavors are in the citrus family, so we had white cake with alternating lemon and orange layers. It was divine! The groom’s cake was fashioned after a stack of antique books with an open cigar box on top. Since my husband’s grandfather smoked cigars and we had a master cigar roller at our wedding, it was a perfect match, and a great way to honor his grandfather’s memory. We also wanted people to have some dessert options other than our cakes, so we had mini churros, sfogliatelle (Italian cream puff) and mini cannolis.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! It seemed like we always had to meet with vendors and pick out every little detail. All of that was extremely time consuming and, with both of us working, we had to plan everything far in advance to make our meetings work. Many times, we had to meet over our lunch breaks or had to ask to meet after work. But, we got past it and were able to put together an amazing wedding despite those constraints.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Honestly, I think we had a dream team of vendors. Everyone worked together perfectly and the wedding was flawless!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Everyone crying during the vows.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? I can’t wait to start our life together by decorating our new home. There’s a lot of work to do, but it will be fun doing everything together and making our house a home. It will be nice to share everything with one another and have my best friend with me all the time.

Photographer: Annabella Charles / Videographer: Creation Studios / Planner: Social Butterflies / Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Dixon Gallery and Gardens / Florist, Lighting and Special Details: Garden District / Wedding Cake: Oh My Ganache Bakery / Caterer: Ziparos Catering / Rentals: Mahaffey Tent and Party Rentals / Band: Memphis Soul Revue / Paper Products: Natalie Chang / Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Ronald McKnight / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bella Bridesmaid / Groom’s Tux: Custom made / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank / Cigars: Wrapture Cigars / String Quartet: Beth Luscombe String Quartet

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love their mini meals!!

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  6. avatar BethAnn reply

    Oh my goodness, where is that ring from!? I am so inlove with it..

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