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Southern Weddings

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There is no one way to have a Southern wedding–from family farms to city halls, we love them all! It’s not the decor that makes a wedding Southern, or even necessarily the location; rather, it’s the hospitality shown and the focus on creating meaningful moments for the bride and groom and guests alike. Kaki and Jay’s Chattanooga wedding was fabulously chic and modern, and they took great strides to ensure their guests felt involved and taken care of. From the hymn everyone sang during the ceremony to the gelato and chilled towels passed around to keep guests cool in the middle of June, Kaki and Jay made sure that everyone at their wedding felt like family. What could be more Southern than that?

We’re so grateful to our Blue Ribbon Vendors, Bamber Photography, for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Jay proposed to me at my parents’ house, and it was a complete surprise! He had the ring in a small pouch tied around my dog Zoe’s collar, and after I chased her down in the yard and realized what it was, Jay got down on one knee and proposed. It was such a special moment, and it was even better that my family was there to celebrate with us!

We wanted our service to be uplifting and joyful, so we chose songs and verses that we thought went along with this theme. The guests sang “To God be the Glory” during the service. At the reception, we entered to the band playing “Oh Happy Day,” and they surprised us with special lyrics–they inserted our names, Kaki and Jay, into the song. We exited the reception to the band playing “Love Train” with their horns, and the guests leading us down to our car!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at the Presbyterian church where my mother was also married. My grandfather and mother have been major cheerleaders of the Hunter Museum for a number of years. I loved the beautiful river setting there, and it made for a beautiful backdrop!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? To cool the guests down at our summer wedding, we had fans and cold washcloths for the dance floor that were kept frozen in coolers. They were a big hit on such a hot day! Along with that, we had a local company, Milk and Honey, serve delicious and COLD gelato. As a shoutout to Jay’s football days in high school, I threw a football that had “You’re Next” written on it at the end of the reception!

Golf has been a big part of both of our lives, so when we were making our exit at the reception, the wedding party and guests surprised us by holding up golf clubs and making a tunnel that we ran through to our convertible!

When did y’all get married? June 21, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I scheduled a number of appointments at different bridal boutiques in Atlanta. Lo and behold, after trying on just three dresses, I knew the search was over. I had found the dress I had always dreamed of! Since I found my dress in record time, my mom and I cancelled our other appointments and had a nice, long, leisurely lunch and a day of fun together.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our getaway car! A friend of my dad let us use his ’57 Bel Air Convertible that had a banner with our new married names on it as we left the church! We loved cruising to the reception with the top down–especially since a huge storm had passed through before the ceremony began!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I was so excited as the preacher pronounced us man and wife that I began to literally jump for joy! I was completely unaware I had done this until I was at the reception and guests were laughing about it!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? One of the best pieces of advice I received was from my mom, who told me, “You have to remember, it is only four hours out of your life,” which could not be more true! It is easy to get caught up in all of the details and get stressed, but it is so important to keep everything in perspective and remember what this day is truly about!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After we returned from our honeymoon, we purchased a house, so we have been very busy settling in and doing small projects. We are just happy to be settling back into normal life, which includes lots of golf, tennis, and playing with our dog, Zoe!

Photographer: Bamber Photography / Reception Venue: Hunter Museum of American Art / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow / Flowers: The Clay Pot / Caterer: Lee Towery Catering / Gelato: Milk and Honey / Grilled Cheese Truck: The Muenster Truck / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Prado / Band: Big Blast and the Party Masters / Paper Products: Shadow Box Paperie

Bamber Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    LOVE their car sign + garland – perfection!

  2. avatar Lindsey Bamber reply

    Thanks for the feature! We always love reading the Southern Weddings blog!!

  3. avatar Loverly reply

    That Chevy is just amazing- what a way to exit the most perfect day!

  4. avatar Inspiration No. 4 (Shades of Green) reply

    […] Sources from Left to Right: Getaway Car, Emerald Bridesmaids, Classic Green Tie, Magnolia Escort Cards, Candlelight Fireplace, Mint Juleps, […]

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Every time I sit down to write a Real Wedding post, the first thing I do is read the interview. Somehow, the details of each wedding feel so much more meaningful when I know why the couple in the images chose each one. When reading Jessica + Troy’s interview, I was so taken by how Jessica used each detail to show who she and Troy are as a couple, and to honor their family traditions. As just one example, she said, “We loved how all the details came together to tell our story. The bouquet I carried had a single green button on the back because the night Troy and I met, he caught one of his buttons on his chair and it ripped a hole in his shirt. He held his shirt closed the rest of the night, hoping I wouldn’t notice.” I love how a single button can represent a moment in their relationship! There’s much more where that came from, so read on!

Big thanks to our friends at Bamber Photography for capturing J + T’s big day!

Neither my mom nor my sister lived in Atlanta, so for my birthday they both came to visit and took me dress shopping. I planned a whirlwind weekend, getting appointments at every store I had heard of in effort to find the dress while they were with me. But by the end of the weekend, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t keep the dresses straight in my mind. I waited about a month and by that time there were only two dresses from the same store that I just couldn’t forget. When I went back with my bridesmaids, we couldn’t decide between the stunning lace of one dress and the flattering shape of the other so I combined the two.

Y’all, this may be one of my favorite details I’ve seen recently. I wish I’d done this for my sweet groom!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Troy’s brother is a musician so it meant a lot to have him play the music during our ceremony. I walked down the aisle to “In Christ Alone.” It is my favorite hymn and really says everything I wanted about entering into marriage. We also had him play “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz as we took communion. As corny as it may sound, the lyrics are really poignant about the sacrifice and commitment of marriage. We did our first dance to “Moon River.” It’s such a romantic song and reminds me of the ones I used to listen to on the radio at my grandmother’s house when I was little.
Describe your wedding flowers: A mix of ivory garden roses and ranunculus with olive branches.

I attended the wedding of my Godbrother last weekend, and they chose to do a moment of prayer around the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner. It proved to be an incredibly emotional and powerful moment, and I love that Jessica + Troy chose to do something similar at their ceremony.

Stunning portraits from Bamber Photography! Oh my!

I think the fact that we wanted to emphasize family most reflected Southern tradition in our wedding. We chose to get married in Rome because Troy’s family has lived there for more than a century, and his grandfather owned a farm there for nearly 30 years. Our pastor was Troy’s cousin who is a good friend of ours and who spoke amazingly personal words to us in our ceremony. We had a small group of family and close friends so we invited all of our guests to stand around us and pray over us at the end of the ceremony. My mom found wedding pictures of our family from six generations back which we used to decorate the reception. We also had our dinner served family style so that our guests could share good food and conversation with each other and take the evening at its own pace.

Mini grilled cheese – yum! I know Emily would love that!

What a magical setting for the reception!

These little “did you know” cards popped up throughout the celebration, cluing guests in to why Jessica and Troy chose to include certain meaningful details. I love this idea so much!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our first priority for planning our wedding was making it about us. We really wanted the day celebrating our union to emphasize who we were. We loved how all the details came together to tell our story. For our first Christmas, among other things, he bought me a jar of buttons in my favorite color so that I could replace it and we would both remember that night. Even our decorations were meaningful. We used railroad lanterns among the vintage furniture because my grandfather was a train conductor on the Seaboard railroad.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: I don’t like cake so we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a traditional wedding cake. Every year on my birthday, my grandmother used to make me a pound cake and it’s still the only cake I’ll eat. It’s unbelievable. My grandmother isn’t with us to make the cake anymore so my dad, whom I’m very close to, spent the day before the wedding making her recipe for us. Troy’s groom’s cake was a big chocolate cake from a bakery in his home town. Troy loves chocolate, so every year on his birthday I make him a cake like my grandmother did for me, but this year his birthday was the week before the wedding. We also had all of our favorite pies. There’s just something about pie that reminds me of fall and being close to family.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at a birthday party. Troy and I were both invited by a mutual friend. Our friend picked me up first so all Troy could see when he got in the car was my hair. He says it was love at first sight. When we got to the party, Troy tried to sit next to me but kept getting stuck between a couple of guys with tattoos and facial piercings. We still managed to talk across the table all night but he never asked for my number because he thought I was dating our friend. He moved in with that friend a few weeks later and after not seeing me come to the house, he asked if we were dating. He called me about five minutes after finding out we weren’t.
Describe the proposal. Troy’s family spent one Thanksgiving at Cumberland Island and it has become one of his favorite memories with them. Knowing that I would love everything about it, he had been telling me about the island almost as long as we’d been dating. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so we spent it with my family in Jacksonville and took the short trip up to Cumberland Island while we were there. We got to the island early in the morning and spent the whole day hiking and watching the wild horses. At the end of the day we got to the ruins of the old Carnegie plantation. I’m an engineer, so Troy knew I would love how the shell of brick walls tell the story of the beautiful house that once stood there. The house overlooks a marsh and onto the ocean so we laid out a blanket to rest and watch the sun go down after our long day. I had only just gotten comfortable when he made me get back up for a picture. After a lot of resistance, I stood with my back to him overlooking the water while he got the camera ready. When I turned around he was on one knee and the automatic timer on the camera went off just as I started to cry.
In what month did you get married? November
How many guests attended your wedding? 100
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? About six weeks before the wedding, Troy was offered a promotion in another state and had to move quickly. Just being without him for that long at that time was difficult, but I also had to finish planning the wedding, transfer my job, and pack up all of our belongings mostly by myself.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography, it’s the only thing you will have left when the day is over.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Coming over the hill and seeing Troy waiting for me at the end of the aisle.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Settling down! We had to stay in a hotel for a few weeks after we moved, waiting for our apartment to be ready. So more than a month after our wedding, we are just now getting to unpack and set up our home.

Bamber Photography is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar bridalbride reply

    great photo shoots thanks

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE her dress!! Great style combined with endless sweet, sentimental details is the perfect Southern wedding if you ask me! :)

  3. avatar Ashleigh reply

    I love everything about this wedding and Jessica’s dress is stunning! So sweet how they incorporated all of the personal details into their big day – love the “did you know?” cards!

  4. avatar Dee Shore reply

    That lace gown and horse barn are ridiculous! Just lovely.

  5. avatar Negative Nancy Needs to Die | Bess Wess reply

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  6. avatar Dixie reply

    So thrilled to have Jessica and Troys wedding at our farm! They have such an amazing love for each other! All of the vendors were an absolute delight to work with, and we LOVE Southern Wedding Magazine.

  7. avatar Published | Southern Weddings Blog » Bamber Photography | Husband. Wife. Creating Art. Together reply

    […] are always honored to be featured, but Southern Weddings is one of my favorite blogs! They featured Troy and Jessica‘s gorgeous wedding at the Farm. […]

  8. avatar Carla reply

    Where did you have the programs printed? They are beautiful.

  9. avatar Secrets of Wearing a Bridal Veil – My Gorgeous Wedding reply

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  10. avatar Janice reply

    Do you mind sharing how you combined the two dresses? It looks like the “Bianca” dress without the strap and fuller at the bottom. I tried on that dress this weekend and absolutely love it except for that I felt is was a bit too sheath-y. Yours is absolutely stunning – how did you have them alter it to make it more trumpet shaped?

  11. avatar Stacey Glasgow reply

    Here’s a link to the band Troy & Jessica chose for their fabulously fun wedding dance party in the historic barn, which followed the ceremony that evening:

  12. avatar Sage reply

    My Aunt is in love with this dress and she is getting married in 9months. It would be a great if I could find what store this was purchased at or what brand!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Sage! The gown is by Anna Maier. Congratulations to your aunt!

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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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It’s been a few weeks since we’ve introduced y’all to some of our newest Blue Ribbon Vendors, and I think it’s high time y’all met!

Bamber Photography is a husband and wife team with a classic (and, in my opinion, slightly cinematic) style. They shoot predominantly in Tennessee and Georgia.

Danielle Davis has such a clean, colorful photography style – I love it! She is based in Arkansas.

Fiore Fine Flowers is based in Wilmington, NC and has a fresh, modern sensibility I know y’all will love.

Kt Crabb has a bright, modern style which is perfect for her Florida location!

Lindy, the owner of Texas-based Lindy Floral, has such a warm, sunny personality — that, combined with her beautiful blooms, would make her a joy to work with!

Plum Pretty Sugar crafts robes and “loungerie” from some of the most beautiful fabrics and patterns we’ve ever seen.

Like an old family recipe, Molly Gee Designs are handmade (in Mississippi!) with a dash of whimsy and a heaping load of passion.

Myrtie Blue describes their approach to wedding florals as “artful,” and I think they’ve got it exactly right. Their Florida studio has created some of the most gorgeous designs I’ve ever seen.

To check out all of our Blue Ribbon Vendors, just click over to the full directory! You can search by category or state to find your perfect match.

Vendors, if you’re interested in getting involved, just fill out this form and Marissa or Kristin will be in touch! Brides, did you particularly love a Southern vendor from your wedding day? Leave a comment below or email Emily, because we’d love to hear about them!

emily Written with love by Emily
1 Comment
  1. avatar AshleyHH reply

    GREAT, WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC choice to add KT Crabb! She is an amazing artist and an even better person (the sweetest girl you could ever meet!). I got the pleasure of being her roomie for a year and watching her grow into a wonderful photographer has been a pleasure! She already knows that I will be calling her when the boyfriend pops the question!!!

    Ladies, Check out her blog… you will swoon!!!!

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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