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Since we only publish one issue a year, it’s hard for us to share every wedding fashion trend that comes across our desks. And truly, that’s okay, because we want to stay focused on encouraging you to find a wedding dress that’s perfect for YOU, not just one that’s currently buzzy! But, we do love fashion, and we know you do, too, so for the last two years, we’ve had fun putting our own twist on the traditional magazine fashion spread.

Last year, we chose seven gowns that represented virtues of a Southern belle. This year, we dressed eight real Southern belles in gowns inspired by iconic Southern cities. Shopping for your own gown? Don’t be afraid to look outside of your venue’s zip code — we promise each of these beauties would look right at home anywhere in the South!

We’re so grateful to Blue Ribbon Vendor Katelyn James for these gorgeous photos! She made all of our models feel oh-so-comfortable and beautiful on the day of the shoot :)

Unique and cool, the Austin bride embraces a look that’s all her own. Her biggest priority for her dress is that it makes her feel the best version of herself, and this one’s scalloped lace and flowy layer will do just that…and keep her cool in the Texas heat. Sandra is wearing “Iver” by Daughters of Simone with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

The higher the hair, the closer to heaven…and the bigger the bow, the happier the Montgomery bride! Drawing inspiration from sources like Steel Magnolias, she and her groom begin their marriage with a hearty helping of Southern hospitality and style. Jordan is wearing “Chloelis” by Mira Zwillinger with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

Their accents may be peachy sweet, but Atlanta brides have spirits as bold and sparkling as their city’s skyline. This silk faille fluted gown makes a statement from any angle, and would be right at home in any of the city’s dazzling ballrooms. Martine is wearing “Artemis” by Sareh Nouri with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Nashville bride can often be found twirling to her favorite country song, and she plans to spend her wedding the exact same way! The slit in this fun lace sheath dress is just right for showing off her beloved boots–she can’t imagine walking down the aisle without them. LaBruce is wearing “Bedford” by Sarah Seven with a bouquet by Stephanie Gibbs Events.

A classic look never fails in one of the South’s most historic destinations. The Williamsburg bride stuns in a satin ball gown, and much like the nooks and corners of this Colonial town, this dress is even lovelier up close–the fabric is embossed with a subtle floral motif. Arch is wearing “Gala” by Modern Trousseau with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

Even in a city where unique architecture, jazzy music, and festive traditions can be found around every corner, an ornate, long-sleeved gown will still be the most memorable part of a New Orleans wedding. Layered tulle and re-embroidered lace keep guests’ eyes on the NOLA bride long after the sun sets over the French Quarter. Megan is wearing “Prairie Rose” by Claire Pettibone with a bouquet by Branch Design Studio.

One might call Charleston the quintessential Southern city, so a few Southern belle staples–pearls, scalloped edges, and tulle–are musts for the Charleston bride! Timeless but never dull, she isn’t afraid to put her own spin on traditional elements. Emily is wearing “Lacey Williams” by Heidi Elnora with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

The Florida sun is only outshone by the Palm Beach bride’s wedding day joy! Posing next to bridesmaid outfitted in bright shift dresses, she’s still sure to stand out in a layered gown accented with unexpected and delightful pops of color. Jordan is wearing “Paige” by Hayley Paige with a bouquet by Gathering Events.

I’d love to hear which look is your favorite, and whether we did a good job capturing your favorite Southern city! :)

Venue: The Gadsden House | Hair: Ash & Co. Bridal Hair | Makeup: Bellelina | Jewelry: Croghan’s Jewel Box

Katelyn James and Bellelina are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. Sarah Seven and Heidi Elnora are wonderful Southern Weddings sponsors.

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar India Hill reply

    I literally teared up when I saw that last dress! It’s the most beautiful dress I’ve ever seen!

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While we try to share weddings that correspond with the season we’re currently in, one of the wonderful things about the South is that in some places, the season doesn’t really matter much! Ali and Matt were married on December 28, but in sunny Florida, that didn’t mean snow, pashmina scarves, and hot chocolate bars the way it does elsewhere; rather, it meant the perfect temperature for an outdoor ceremony and a reception under the stars. From the stone walls at their venue to their first dance, everything about Ali and Matt’s wedding day was incredibly romantic, and I can imagine that the December date made it feel even more intimate and cozy!

Thank you so much to Ash Imagery for sharing this lovely day with us!

Matt proposed on August 10, 2012. The plan was to go out to dinner for Matt’s dad’s birthday, so we got all dressed up and started walking to the restaurant. It was the summer, and Matt was extremely hot and started sweating. Since he was in a blazer, I kept telling him to just take off his blazer so he would be more comfortable, but he kept refusing, saying that “he looked good in it” (unbeknownst to me, he had the ring in his jacket and didn’t want me to accidentally see it!). We ended up walking almost all the way to the restaurant, and as we were walking through Rittenhouse Square (a really nice park in Center City Philadelphia), Matt just stopped. I turned around, and he was down on one knee!! I may have hit him with my purse in disbelief. Before I had the chance to call anyone, Matt ushered me to the restaurant, where my entire family and all of my closest friends were there waiting for us! It was absolutely perfect. We were able to have our private moment, and then share and celebrate with all friends and family.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had been obsessed (thanks to Pinterest) with a fitted lace dress, so as soon as Matt proposed, I started my hunt to find it. When I finally found it and tried it on, I was completely underwhelmed. At my next dress shopping trip, my mom suggested I try a completely different style than what I was previously thinking, so I tried on a big ball gown and absolutely fell in love. As soon as I put it on, I felt great in it–it was unique and still classic at the same time!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look for a number of reasons. After picking all the hors d’oeuvres, live music, and decor, we wanted to be able to enjoy every aspect of the wedding, which meant we needed to do pictures beforehand. We also liked the idea of having a private moment between the two of us before hosting such a big event!

We had three readings–my cousin read the first and last, and my uncle read the second (the one in Spanish). The first reading was “Blessing For A Marriage” by James Dillet Freeman, the second was “Soneto XVII” by Pablo Neruda, and the third was “Union” By Robert Fulghum.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I am from Florida, but Matt is from Philadelphia (where we live now), so we started looking in both areas for wedding venues. As soon as we saw Bella Collina, we both knew that it was the perfect place. Neither of us knew that there was such a fantastic place in the outskirts of Orlando (where I grew up).

Matt and I had planned a whiskey and cigar bar with plenty of cutters and lighters, as well as matches that had our favorite book covers on them. However, the cutters somehow didn’t make it to the venue. Luckily, Matt had kept his wedding gift from me, a cutter and lighter, in his pocket, so everyone who wanted a cigar had to come say hi and chitchat with Matt to do so. We didn’t plan this at all, but it ended up being one of our favorite details because it made that part of the evening even more personal. We wanted everyone at the wedding to feel special, because they all are such important people in our lives.

For our first dance, we went with Louis Armstrong’s version of “La Vie en Rose.” I absolutely love this song–I find it so romantic, and Louis Armstrong’s version always makes me feel love. We wanted the DJ to skip the intro and start the song when Louis starts singing, but he must have misunderstood and only played the beginning trumpet solo. No one knew any different, and some of our guests even thought we did it on purpose and commented on how romantic it was!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I loved the idea of having a giant dessert bar with a bunch of tiny desserts, but we also wanted some cake. We decided on three small cakes (red velvet, marble, and carrot) that could be surrounded by all the mini desserts. The desserts included mini pear caramel bread pudding; mini Irish cream bread pudding; mini pies in cherry, apple, and pumpkin; Key Lime cupcakes; red velvet and chocolate Cabernet glitter cake pops; mini gingerbread bundts with powdered sugar; chocolate-covered Oreos; s’mores on a stick; raspberry tarts; hot chocolate on a stick; mini cannoli; lemon squares; fig tarts; Oreo truffles; and mini red velvet peppermint cupcakes. Our only regret of the night is not asking for a to-go box with one of each dessert! Somehow, the only dessert we got was the piece of cake we fed each other after the cake cutting!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Matt and I met teaching English in Chile. Matt had been there for four months, and I was one of the newbies. We hit it off as friends right away, and then developed crushes on each other, but being in another country, we didn’t really think that we would be able to last as anything more than friends. When we got back to the States, it was pretty obvious that we wanted to keep seeing each other!
When did y’all get married? December 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 250
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? Our wedding was on December 28 and it was held entirely outside; this could only happen in the South!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think the biggest way we saved money was on the invitations. We used Wedding Paper Divas and they turned out amazingly! Wedding Paper Divas had so many options for such a great price. Also, instead of using a calligrapher, we found and downloaded a really pretty font and printed the addresses right on the envelope. I found a how-to on the internet and it was so easy!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We decided to splurge on our videographer (Moetic Wedding Films) and photographer (Ash Imagery), and we were so happy we did! People tell you that the wedding day goes by so quickly that you will barely remember it, and unfortunately, that is true! Having a good videographer and photographer really paid off because we are able to relive our wedding day through our photos and video. They both did an incredible job and we are so grateful to have picked them!!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? For the ladies, I would say two things. First, Pinterest is your best friend during the initial stages of wedding planning, but once you start making decisions, stop looking!! Second, a day-of wedding planner is a must! I was able to relax and not think about a single detail on my wedding day because our planner/coordinator was taking care of it all! Matt’s advice for the gentlemen is “Make sure your suit fits and be on time.”
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are staying in Philadelphia for a little bit. Matt is finishing law school and I just got a job working in early childhood education. However, we can’t stay away from the South for too long, so I think that once we start expanding our family, we will make our way back to sunny Florida.

Photographer: Ash Imagery / Videographer: Moetic Wedding Films / Planner: Alison Watkins of Blush by Brandee Gaar / Venue and Caterer: Bella Collina / Florist: Lee James Floral Design / Wedding Cake: Party Flavors / Dessert Bar: Two Sweets Bake Shop / Lighting: Kaleidoscope Event Lighting / DJ: DJ Wade of Other Brother Entertainment / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bride’s Gown and Veil: Rivini / Bride’s Jewelry: Solutions Bridal / Hair and Makeup Artist: Cristi Miranda / Bride’s Shoes: “Something Blue” by BHLDN / Men’s Attire: Point Click Tailor

Two Sweets Bake Shop is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Kyle reply

    Thank you for featuring this stunning wedding!!! We can’t get enough of it!! Ash Imagery did such a fantastic job capturing their joy and the gorgeous details!!

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    Her dress is absolutely stunning, so unique!

  3. avatar Lauren Taylor reply

    Wow! Her dress and all the details are so beautiful! The bride and groom look so incredibly happy, too!

  4. avatar Steph – Ivy Ellen reply

    Such a beautiful wedding – the dress looks perfect on Ali, she definitely chose right!

  5. avatar Kim @ Hello Wedding reply

    I love how they let the small things that didn’t go as planned turn into the memorable moments at their wedding. Just beautiful.

  6. avatar Blush by Brandee Gaar – Orlando, Florida Wedding and Event Planner » Blush featured on Southern Weddings!! reply

    […] You guys!!!  I have been waiting months to share this with you and I’m out of my skin excited that not only do we get to share this wedding with all our Blush fans, but that all the wonderful Southern Weddings readers will see it too.  It’s that gorgeous!!  I am head over heels in love with all parts of this wedding.  The bride’s joy, the sweet details, her gorgeous dress, the stunning tent, the perfect sparkler exit…I mean it doesn’t get much better than this!!!  If you do one thing today, it should be checking this amazing wedding captured by Ash Imagery out on Southern Weddings!! […]

  7. avatar Kristen reply

    Can anyone find out if the bride is willing to sell her veil?!! I love it and it would look perfect with my Rivini dress! Thanks!

    • avatar Michelle reply

      Kristen, did you ever find/buy a rivini veil? I am looking for the exact same one and would DIE to have it! Willing to buy it off of you if you did!

  8. avatar – Solutions BridalSolutions Bridal reply

    […] Thanks  Southern Weddings and Ash Imagery for sharing.  […]

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I get so excited every time I see a wedding from A Bryan Photo pop up on our blog schedule–without fail, it seems, his couples are undeniably classic, beautifully thoughtful, and as Southern as can be. Kameron and Brian fit this description to a tee! Their farm venue evoked a backyard feel that was perfect for their family-focused celebration, and from Kameron’s gorgeous Heidi Elnora gown to the bottle of bourbon they buried to keep away the rain, there was no shortage of sweet Southern touches at their Alabama wedding.

Thanks so much to A Bryan Photo for sharing this gorgeous day with us!

I stumbled upon Heidi Elnora’s Instagram and immediately fell in love with the Clara Louise dress from her fall 2014 collection. Just two days after Brian and I got engaged, I made an appointment to try it on at the Heidi Elnora Atelier in Birmingham. My Mom was the only one to come with me, and it was such a special experience. The first dress I tried on was the Clara Louise gown–I was immediately in love with it and did not want to take it off. I cried, Mom cried, even the consultant helping us cried! I was the first bride to ever try it, which made it feel even more special! The dress has a removable tulle skirt that goes over the more form-fitting dress, and I loved the versatility and style. I tried on a few (like two) other dresses to make sure, and there was just no comparison! Our consultant sealed the deal when she put me in a cathedral veil and I had a total “bride” moment.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole time during wedding planning I was only concerned with one thing: the weather. Having a mind full of Southern traditions, I knew we had to bury the bourbon to ward off rain. I went out and buried it at the ceremony site thirty days before the wedding on a perfectly sunny day, and prayed hard. Come our wedding morning, the skies were looking gloomy. Brian went out that morning and dug the bourbon out of the ground, and wouldn’t you know, the skies cleared up. Now I credit the good Lord for blessing us with a beautiful sky on our special day, but a little Southern tradition never hurt anyone.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No. Brian and I both agreed we wanted to keep our wedding as traditional as possible, and that included not seeing each other until I was walking down the aisle. Our photographer loves getting images of the genuine moment that happens when a bride and groom see each other for the first time. The emotion was so real and I will never forget how Brian looked at me (and cried) when I headed down the aisle toward him.

I loved the moment of having my mom walking me down the aisle and giving me away to Brian. Having her support and encouragement meant the world. I was focused on Brian and smiling ear to ear, but I could still feel her give my hand a little squeeze as I let go to take Brian’s hand.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Alabama was the perfect venue for us. We wanted a timeless setting with a home-y feeling. The beautiful plantation home, complete with a white picket fence, where we said our vows made it feel like a backyard wedding. Our families stayed in the stunning cottages on the grounds, so we were able to enjoy the special time all together.

Our photographer was hands-down the best decision we made during the whole wedding process. We both wanted classic images that will still be timeless when our grandchildren are looking at them. A Bryan Photo is unparalleled when it comes to wedding photography. The uniqueness of film photography in a digital age sets them apart in the best way. Bryan made us both feel so comfortable in front of the camera, and he really captured the emotion of the day.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was made by a family friend, and it was so chic and simple. Brian and I both decided that we wanted a “wedding cake” rather than bride’s and groom’s cakes. It was placed on a classic white cake stand and topped with a gold script “R.” We did not get to taste much, but from what we had, it was delicious! I can’t wait to eat the top layer on our first anniversary!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. As much as I hate to admit it, our mothers and my aunt actually set us up. They all went to high school together and have stayed in touch over the years, so at a get-together around Christmas in 2012, they conspired to get us together. Brian and I both found ourselves single and willing to meet up for a date around April 2013. Our first date was one for the books–Brian had planned a nice dinner at a restaurant in Birmingham, but the wait was two hours, so we decided to head to a more casual restaurant next door. We sat outside so we wouldn’t have to wait for a table. Everything was fine until we actually got to our table and realized it was freezing outside. I was too nervous and shy to say anything, and I think he was mortified! We now laugh about the fact that he made me sit outside in the freezing cold on our first date! Brian soon took a job in Scottsboro, Alabama, about two hours from Birmingham, but he came back every weekend to see me. We’ve been inseparable ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! After visiting Brian in Scottsboro a few times, I discovered a beautiful park that overlooks the Tennessee River and planned a surprise picnic date for him after work. I brought my great-grandmother’s quilt and picnic basket, along with lots of homemade goodies to snack on. We watched the sunset and everything was perfect. A few months later, Brian told me that he wanted to go on another picnic. He was always doing romantic things for me, so I didn’t suspect anything when he told me he would take care of the details, and that I just needed to be ready. When we arrived at the park, I went around to the trunk of the car to help unload, but then he grabbed my hand and led me to the picnic that was already set up. I immediately began to cry when I saw my great-grandmother’s quilt surrounded by flowers, candles, and a beautiful spread of treats. Brian got down on one knee and vowed to love me forever if I’d make him the happiest man in the world by becoming his wife, and then he presented me with a ring I could have only dreamed of. I don’t remember much, but I think I managed to say “YES!” I was overwhelmed with emotion, and when I saw my mom and future mother-in-law come out, the tears kept coming. It was a perfect day!
When did y’all get married? May 10, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? No, Brian and I both wanted to say the vows that couples have been vowing to each other for centuries. I love the simplicity of traditional vows.
Describe your wedding flowers. For my bouquet, I carried all-white peony blooms. It was a small bouquet, which fit perfectly in my hands and did not overwhelm me or my dress. The bridesmaids carried bouquets of white and blush pink peonies and garden roses.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our favorite detail was the moment after we were finally married, and we turned, hand in hand, to face all of our loved ones. It was so surreal. We were both so giddy and could not stop smiling or kissing!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my beaded headpiece I wore above my veil, which my two sisters had both worn in their weddings. My something blue was a beautiful tulle garter I ordered from Etsy. My something old was so special to me–it was my great-grandmother’s handkerchief that my mother had saved for me. My something new was a beautiful David Yurman bracelet that Brian gave me as a wedding present.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have moved to Huntsville, Alabama and are settled in with our two pups, Bailey and Harry Winston. We are looking forward to exploring this new city and enjoying life’s daily adventures!

Photographer: A Bryan Photo / Planner: Janet Naramore / Venue, Catering, and Coordination: Pursell Farms / Florist: Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market / Cake Baker: Kathy McCurry / Rentals and Lighting: Special Events / Band: Park Band / Garland and Table Flowers: Fifty Flowers / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Clara Louise” by Heidi Elnora / Bride’s Veil: Heidi Elnora / Bride’s Earrings: BaubleBar / Hair and Makeup: Tori Crocker of The Beauty Bar / Bride’s Shoes: Betsey Johnson / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bridesmaids Inc. / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Laura reply

    The black and white photo’s are absolutely gorgeous. The one of the bride in front of the open doors is breath-taking.

  2. avatar Wedding 101 reply

    Absolutely love the details of this wedding!

  3. avatar Elizabeth reply


    Curious where the flower girl dresses are from for this 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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