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Whitney + Layne’s wedding is a perfect example of a ballroom wedding done beautifully! Their minimal decorations and baby blue color scheme looks so Southern and delicate. It’s welcome change from some of the more glamorous receptions that often take place in ballrooms, especially since W + L decided to include yummy Oreo milkshakes in their dessert lineup.

Take a look through these lovely photos from Caroline Joy. I’ve already picked out a few sweet moments that will serve as my future wedding inspiration!

I saw my dress online on the Priscilla of Boston website. I loved it and subscribed to their email updates. Soon, I got an email that after 60 years of business they were closing! Of course, I freaked out and searched for the wedding dress in Dallas, Austin, and Houston stores. The Dallas store had it! But we weren’t engaged yet. After a little convincing my parents, my dad agreed that I was going to get married someday even if not to Layne in the next year. So he let me go get it with my future maid-of-honor!

Describe your wedding flowers: We used blue hydrangeas and white roses mostly. My bouquet was an assortment of blue flowers that the florist copied from a picture I found online. It was perfect!

I will never tire of prayer photos. This one by Caroline Joy is particularly sweet.

For Whitney + Layne, doing a “first look” was more advantageous than not. It was a special moment for the couple and allowed them to head straight to the reception to spend time with guests!

This is one of my favorite photos from this wedding! One of Whitney’s most memorable moments was walking down the aisle with her daddy.

Did you write your own vows? No, I knew I would cry too much and wouldn’t be able to get a word out! So we stuck with traditional, even though we both love to write.
What readings did you have at your ceremony? We had 1 John 4:7-12, 19. “We love because He first loved us.” This was especially important to us, because we know that we cannot love each other fully without experiencing the love of Jesus Christ. True love is sacrifice for one another, and the ultimate display of sacrifice was that of God sending his son to die for us as it says in 1 John.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “Dawn” and “Stars and Butterflies” from the Pride and Prejudice movie. It is both my favorite movie and my favorite book, so I was so excited to use it in my wedding! It’s beautiful piano music. We used “Love on Top” by Beyonce for walking back up the aisle. We wanted to get the crowd excited for a celebration afterwards. We were finally married! Our first dance was “Marry Me” by Train. Slow, sweet, and sentimental. We practiced dancing to this on the rooftop of a parking garage at Baylor — I’ll never forget it!

Our wedding cake was blue with white flowers, and each layer was a different flavor. The wedding topper was a skiing bride and groom with parkas over their wedding clothes! The groom’s “cake” was his favorite dessert: Oreo milkshakes!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at a Christmas dance party during our freshman year at Baylor University. Layne and his friends choreographed a dance to “Forever” by Chris Brown and performed for the crowd. His dance moves were so good that I just HAD to talk to him. Ha! But we talked and became instant friends. We spent eight months of “friendship” playing basketball together, going dancing in any empty cul-de-sac we could find, skiing in New Mexico, and living our crazy freshman life at Baylor. He asked me to be his girlfriend that summer on the beach and under the stars of Pensacola, Florida.
Describe the proposal. Over Christmas break of senior year, we went with 10 of our friends to Layne’s cabin in New Mexico for a ski trip. In the middle of the last day at Taos, he wanted to hike to the top of the peak for pictures of the great view. It was beautiful! You could see all of Colorado and New Mexico from there. After a long trek in high altitudes with all of our friends, Layne dropped to one knee during a photo and told me for the first time that he loved me with all of his heart. Then, he asked me to be his wife. I said yes!
In what month did you get married? June 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? 300
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The blue and white flowers and our coordinating leaving clothes! It was on accident, but my champagne BCBG dress matched his new champagne suit. He looked great.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I loved our names monogrammed, so I used that as much as I could. I designed the napkins and the programs myself. I also loved our little barefoot flower girls with matching white and blue headbands that a lady in England made. The flower girls were two of my cousins Brighton and Morgan. The service was in a very old Baptist church with beautiful ceilings and stained glass. We took bridal portraits on a ranch in Texas, and our rehearsal dinner had a country band to which we two-stepped the night away. Since I’ve only lived in Mississippi and Texas, all I know are Southern weddings.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? We came in right at $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? I am happy that I splurged on the dress and the bouquet. Let’s face it, those are the two things that are in the most of the pictures! I absolutely loved my flowers! They did a great job. Even though I had the dress about 9 months in advance, I saw many other dresses and never once regretted my decision. Other than that, the photography and video were both totally worth it. Those are the two things that will last the longest and help you remember every detail of the day you spent months planning for.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t make it all about yourself. Yes, it is your wedding, but in the end, it’s still just another day, another 24 hours. Be excited to spend time celebrating with other people. Focus on the joy and happiness of the day. It’s finally here and it’s time to party! If something doesn’t go right, it’s not a big deal. Don’t sacrifice your kindness, attitude, joy, friendships, and others’ opinions of you for minute details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are living in Ft. Worth for the summer and then moving to Louisville, Kentucky for masters degrees. We will both be attending Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Layne will get a master’s in Theology and I will get a masters in Counseling.

Love this wedding? Take look at these!
Hillary + Kyle’s monogrammed ballroom wedding.
Our Blue Wedding Details Pinterest Board

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Taylor reply

    That picture of daddy giving his little girl away… oh, I cried. What a beautiful, special portrait.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Agreed, Taylor! Caroline did a fantastic job with this wedding!

  2. avatar Madi reply

    Beautiful wedding! Loved hearing that you had 300 guests and still were able to come in at $25,000 on budget! Would love more information or any tips/tricks on how you made this possible. Planning a wedding on the same budget and guest count and am having trouble making it all work!

  3. avatar Emily reply

    Thanks so much for sharing this gorgeous wedding! The details of this wedding were stunning. I loved Whitney’s advice to share. I look forward to keeping that in mind when it comes time to plan for such a special day!

  4. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    Love this simple, yet elegant wedding! And that cake topper is just too funny.

  5. avatar Lauren Townes reply

    I don’t understand the comment about ballroom receptions done right. Many ballroom receptions are beautiful. SWMag shows so many weddings with the same theme-outdoors, on a barn, rustic-y. As I bride-to-be I found that many ballrooms offered more affordable and practical options for brides (at hotels there’s usually no charge beyond food+drink, you can get married in the winter months, no chair and table rentals you don’t have to worry about bathrooms!). So I think SWMag should open up their minds some, also show a greater variety of weddings-the ‘fancier’ weddings are sometimes actually much easier to orchestrate then someone’s backyard :-)

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Lauren! Thank you so much for your feedback! I think what Nicole was getting at is that unfortunately, many hotel ballrooms have outdated carpets, lighting fixtures, furniture, wall coverings, etc. that don’t mesh with the simple, classic style our brides tend to love. That’s why we wanted to celebrate this one! We do our best to show a variety of weddings, and LOVE showing ballroom weddings!! Also, I totally agree with you that ballroom/hotel weddings can often be less expensive and easier to organize than outdoor weddings!

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You could say that Southern is in the details. One look at Rachel + Jeffrey’s V4 wedding can tell you that they’re true Southerners! Rachel rocks lace and hair bump like a true deb. However, we like to think that Southern is in the stories, and R + J’s wedding is full of those, too. We just love that Rachel wanted her wedding to be the first in many family traditions, that she chose to wrap her bouquet in lace from her mother’s wedding gown and that at their ceremony, love letters exchanged during her grandparent’s WWII romance were read. (Here’s a warning to break out the tissue for that one.)

Yes, these photos from Adam Barnes are positively gorgeous (who could resist that pink and gold reception?), but it’s so much better knowing how much thought Rachel + Jeffrey put into their big day.

Haven’t picked up your own copy of V4 yet? You can do so here to see all the details from Rachel + Jeffrey’s wedding, plus much more Southern goodness!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that I wanted to find a dress that was timeless, one that I could look back on in 30 years and wouldn’t feel those pangs of regret about. We went and tried on a handful of dresses and I had thought I had found “the one.” When we went back to try it on a couple of weeks later, I saw a gown in the window that had just gotten in that week. I decided to try that one on, just to see if I liked it as much as the other gown. I loved it and everyone else was in agreement that this new dress was, in fact, “the dress.”
Describe your wedding flowers: Our flowers were simply grand! We wanted our flowers to be a mixture of different types, giving our bouquets lots of texture. I wanted to use flowers that were in season but I also wanted big, fluffy, voluminous flowers. Our ceremony flowers were a soft color palette of ivory, blush, apricot, peach fuzz, and buttercream. For our reception, we used the same flowers but in a brighter shades of pinks and peaches with lots of lush greenery. My bouquet was made ivory in color and made from loose fluffy flowers. It was tightly wrapped with a piece of fabric from my mother’s wedding dress and the lace from my mother’s veil.

Tell me a bit about the wedding ceremony. My father escorted me down the aisle to Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary and we recessed to Mendelssohn’s Wedding March. We didn’t write our own vows because we wanted to use the traditional vows that have been used so many times before us. Our pastor did read from a series of letters that my grandparent’s exchanged during WWII and our favorite lines come from one of those letters. “November 2, 1945. I start writing to you and the first thing I know I get to thinking and dreaming of you and before long, I come to my senses and I find my dreams have gone on but my letter has not. And the dreams, well, Darling, they would be a little hard to put on paper because the words just do not seem to come, but you know the kind of dreams I mean – wonderful dreams of things past and better still, dreams of those things yet to come. They are the dreams I am looking forward to most anxiously.”

What was the design inspiration for your reception? We wanted our reception to feel like a true Southern celebration!! We knew we wanted a sit down dinner so we put a lot of emphasis on our tables. We designed our reception around the beautiful décor of the CCV including the two large fireplaces, the second floor balcony, the elegant crystal chandeliers, and the convenient outdoor and indoor space.
Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: Instead of a traditional guest book, we had 5 bottles of champagne for guests to sign. They were for our first, fifth, tenth, twenty-fifth, and fiftieth wedding anniversary and guests were urged to sign the bottles with a gold paint pen. For escort cards, we used mason jars that had their seating assignments written on pink tags tied in ivory ribbon and adorned with gray and white barber striped straws. Instead of traditional place cards, we had our guests names printed on the top of their menu cards and we had table tents with whimsical imagery of a pig, seashell, and an ear of corn to signify our guests entrée selection. Each table was named after one of our favorite restaurants that had a special meaning to us. Our head table was named “Metro Grill” after the restaurant we met at.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? We incorporated all of the things that are special to us as a couple, the drinks we like to drink, the food we like to eat, our favorite colors, our favorite restaurants, our favorite city, our favorite music, etc. and found a way to bring them to life in a way that was not only cohesive but elegant. It was about finding a way to take the things we love and using them in a way that made sense for our wedding.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) Rachel and I met at one of our favorite Richmond bars. She caught my eye several times and to this day, I can remember exactly what she was wearing. Our paths crossed several times throughout the course of the night. Finally, before I was getting ready to leave, I asked for her number. I called her the next day, the day after that, the day after that, and the rest is history.
Describe the proposal: (From the groom) Rachel’s dog, Buttons has always been a special part of our lives. I thought it would be appropriate to incorporate Buttons into our proposal. One morning I tied the engagement ring to a bow on Button’s fluffy head. Rachel was getting ready to take Buttons out for a walk and was surprised and elated to find the ring. I asked and Rachel immediately said yes.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Elegant, romantic, and whimsical.
How many guests attended your wedding? 174 of our closest family and friends
Favorite design element of your big day: I toyed with the idea of incorporating a monogram or signature and I really liked the idea of incorporating a bee. I love symbolism behind the bee. A single bee can accomplish very little alone but together, bees can accomplish great tasks. To us, a bee was a metaphor for a good marriage; it symbolizes the importance of working together while enjoying the sweetness of life. Our design team helped us create our own bee that was whimsical and unique to us. Our bee took on a life of his own influencing our design and earning himself the name “Reginald”.
Describe your wedding cake: We opted for a more contemporary style of wedding cake that was tall and skinny. Our wedding cake was five layers with three different flavors and traditional buttercream icing. We each picked our favorite flavor (strawberry and cream for Jeff and almond pound cake with raspberry jelly for me) and selected a flavor we thought our guests would enjoy (carrot cake). It was delicious!
What were some of the highlights? The trolley ride over to the reception was one of our favorite moments. Our bridal party really let loose and enjoyed themselves with cans of Sofia Sparkling Wine and a bullhorn. The heartfelt toasts that came from my father, Jeff’s father, and my sister were some of the best toasts I have ever heard and they warmed our hearts. We loved being able to sit down and have dinner with our family because it allowed us to share this special moment with our newly merged families.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Hire a wedding planner. I know a lot of brides are hesitant to enlist the help of a planner, but even if you just hire a day-of coordinator, it’s money well spent. Over the years, the number one regret I have heard from my friends was that they didn’t hire a planner because they weren’t able to relax on their wedding day. Spend the money on a good photographer that you both love and trust. Those special moments happen so fast and you want to trust that they are being captured for you. Unfortunately there are no redo’s when it comes to weddings. Enjoy it. Our engagement and wedding day went by in the blink of the eye. It is such a special time in your lives and you should spend the time celebrating and not stressing about the wedding plans. It all comes together in the end.
Most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration. My bridesmaid and longtime friend, Bree said, “All of these people are here for you.” Looking back, it means so much more than it did at the time she said it. When you reflect on all of the people that are there to celebrate with you out of the love they share for the bride and groom, it is overwhelming.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are looking forward to spending our lives together and enjoying the simple things and each another’s company. Going out to dinner, the movies, trips to the river, picnics, and parties. We hope to one day have a family but for now we are focusing on decorating our first home and spending each day together.

Photographer: Adam Barnes Fine Art Photography // Planner: Fete Studio and Design // Designer: Fete Studio and Design // Ceremony Venue: St. John’s United Church of Christ // Reception Venue: The Country Club of Virginia // Florist: Flower Girls Inc. // Wedding Cake Baker: The Country Club of Virginia // Caterer: The Country Club of Virginia // Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale // Bride’s Dress: Paloma Blanca // Bride’s Reception Dress: LulaKate // Hair Stylist: Lou Stevens Glam Squad // Makeup Artist: Lou Stevens Glam Squad // Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade // Bride’s Jewelry: Carolee // Bride’s Veil: Paris Hair Accessories // Bride’s Reception Hair Piece: // Bride’s Other Accessories: Monogrammed Jack Rogers, blue silk purse by Davie & Chiyo // Groom’s Fashion: Calvin Klein // Groomsmen Fashion: Calvin Klein // Custom Bowties: Lumina Clothing Company // Paper Goods: Fete Studio and Design // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals // Linens: La Tavola Linen // Lighting: Blue Steel Pro Lighting // Ring Bearer Pillow:Violets Etc. // Reception Décor: Banner by Custom Calligraphy by Carmela Mazzarulli, straws, “Just Married” sign, and pom pom garland by Violets Etc. // Favors: eBee Honey // Strings: Silverleaf String Quartet // Band: Another Level via Sam Hill Entertainment

Adam Barnes is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Want more? We think you’ll love these, too:
Britt + Heath’s glam ballroom wedding here and here
Samantha + Graham’s pink North Carolina wedding here and here

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Ashley Pepitone reply

    This is so insanely gorgeous. That CAKE! I love!!!

  2. avatar molly reply

    wow. stunning! just stunning! so classic and romantic

  3. avatar Kelli Taylor/Daniel Taylor Photography reply

    Love this wedding! The reception decor is absolutely gorgeous, and oh my goodness, can we talk about that cake?!

  4. avatar Wedding Planning | Open Bar vs. Cash Bar | Heart Love Weddings reply

    […] Photo by Adam Barnes via Southern Weddings […]

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    […] To see more of Rachel and Jeff’s Wedding Visit Southern Weddings Magazine Blog. […]

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    […] Photo by Adam Barnes, via Southern Weddings […]

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