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Yippee!! Just a few more weeks until V5 arrives!

Erin + Brian might have shared their first kiss on a fifth grade class field trip to the planetarium, but they had no idea they would reconnect years later. Brian even brought Erin back to the same planetarium to get down on one knee and ask her to marry him. (Aww!) Though the two were so ready to get married that they considered tying the knot at city hall, they stuck it out and used their seven-month engagement to create a barn-side wedding full of DIY details and family heirlooms. We love the combination of soft cotton and succulent plants throughout their big day and the fun projection they played against their tent at the reception. Big thanks to Morgan Trinker for sharing this one with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I planned an entire weekend in Birmingham to find my dress and had dress fittings scheduled at 3 different stores. I knew what type of dress I was looking for, so that helped as we walked into our first appointment at The White Room. We were both shocked when I picked the second dress I tried on. I put on a third dress, but I was dying to put the second one back on. That was the easiest part of planning our wedding!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did not do a first look. It was very important to Brian that we see each other for the first time as I was walking down the aisle. The expression on his face as I was walking toward him was so worth the wait.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two groomsmen and two bridesmaids read a passage from “This Momentary Marriage” by John Piper as Brian and I “planted” a tree. They read pages 55-57. It was long, but filled with great words every new couple should hear!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We had string instruments and a pianist playing for the ceremony. It was beautiful! I walked down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri and walked back up the aisle to “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. Our first dance was to”You and I” by Michael Buble

One of my favorite Southern details from the wedding was the actual venue! Hampstead Farms was the perfect location to celebrate our marriage. I loved how naturally beautiful the growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers looked around our tent, and the gorgeous red barn was the perfect background to every photo. I am also obsessed with crafting and creating, so I love that many Southern weddings now include DIY aspects, which helped me add personal details to our big day. I handmade our save-the-dates, invitations and RSVP cards using paper from Paper Source and custom made stamps from Antiquaria. I also put together the aisle markers using burlap bows and twig wreaths, made the ring bearer pillow, and put together the wedding favors with the help of incredible friends and family. My sweet groom and his brother also made the tree candle holders which were used on the reception tables. Throughout our engagement, I was collecting lanterns and cake plates. I also had many sentimental items used that day, like my baby bonnet which was wrapped around my bouquet, and my grandmother’s doilies, which were used on several different tables.

I am terrible when it comes to flower names, but that’s where pinterest and my incredible florist came in handy. I showed them several pictures of succulents, garden roses, and ranunculus, and asked them to make wild bouquets with similar flowers and add lots of greenery. I was blown away! We had a great mix of succulents, lambs ear (my favorite), branches, and several other flowers. They also built our centerpiece flower boxes for the reception, and they turned out even better than I imagined!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We actually had five cakes and some Greek desserts. Peggy McKinney made our two-tiered white wedding cake with buttercream frosting, and our one-tiered cakes in peanut butter fudge, strawberry, and key lime. My Aunt Jeana made her homemade pineapple upside down cake (Brian’s favorite). Brian’s mother (who is Greek) and some of the Greek women from church made some other desserts like traditional wedding cookies and baklava.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. In the fifth grade, my family decided to send me to Forest Avenue Academic Magnet School. I was assigned to Mrs. Rodopoulos’ class which just so happens to be the same class Brian was in that year. I didn’t notice Brian right away — It wasn’t until a little friend of mine leaned over in math class one day and asked if I liked Brian as a boyfriend. I said no at first, but once I found out that Brian liked me, I quickly changed my mind! We became boyfriend/girlfriend that day and permanent four-square buddies. Later on that year, our class took a fieldtrip right down the street to the Gayle Planetarium. I was so excited to sit next to Brian and watch the show. Finally, right before the show was over, Brian planted a big kiss on my left temple, and HARD! It almost knocked me out of my seat! We walked around Oak Park after the show with the rest of the class, and I could not stop smiling. My first kiss! :) We lost touch after middle school, but we would run into each other occasionally throughout high school and college. In December of 2010, Brian texted me saying, “I had a dream that we went on a date last night.” I had no idea who it was because I didn’t have Brian’s number in my phone anymore. We talked back and forth for a while until I finally said yes to a date. A few nights later, Brian pulled up to my house having no idea what to expect of the night. I was shocked at how handsome Brian had become, and even more shocked at how perfectly that night went. We laughed a lot, talked about the past, and couldn’t believe that after all this time, we were hanging out again. We have been inseparable ever since then.
Describe the proposal. (From the groom) As Erin was getting ready for a “family photo shoot” with her grandmother, a vintage Studebaker pulled up at the front of the house. A chauffeur knocked on the door and whisked Erin away to the Gayle Planetarium, where I first kissed her 14 years ago. I heard the car door shut and my heart stopped. What were my lines? Where is the ring? She found her way to me and my heart began beating hard. “It’s for her, it’s always been for her,” I thought, “Every beat, every breath. I need this in my life forever.” I dropped to one knee and said, “Under these stars is where I first kissed you, and under these stars is where I want to start the rest of our lives.” It was as easy as that. We took our old seats and just stared at the stars reminiscing on things past and things to come.
In what month did you get married? September
How many guests attended your wedding? About 125
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Patience! Brian and I were so ready to be married that our 7 month engagement felt more like 2 years. We mentioned city hall several times during our engagement, but we stuck it out and it was so worth the wait. Having our wonderful family and friends there to celebrate the beginning of our lives together was the best part of our wedding day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photographer! Our wedding pictures are the only thing we get to physically keep from that day, and I couldn’t have asked for a better person to capture those sweet moments. Morgan Trinker is creative, talented, and just a genuinely happy person to be around. I highly recommend her to any bride!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Walking down the aisle. The look on Brian’s face was more than words could ever describe. The love he feels for me and shows me every single day was displayed in front of all of our family and friends in that moment. It felt like we were the only two people there, and I couldn’t stop looking at him. All of time, money, planning and crafting. that went into the wedding doesn’t even compare to that one moment that we will remember for the rest of our lives.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy it. The planning process can be so tedious at times, but some of the sweetest moments come during your engagement. The bridal showers, engagement parties, and gifts from family and friends are such a fun part of planning a wedding. Live in the moment and celebrate this exciting time with the people who mean the most to you.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Buying a house! We are currently looking for our first home together, which is both exciting and exhausting at the same time. We are eager to find a place of our own and start our own little family down the road.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
14 Comments
  1. avatar Ashleigh reply

    I love love love everything about your wedding, Erin! Just charming!

  2. avatar Kelly C. reply

    I love the details! Beautiful work as always, Morgan!

  3. avatar Lerissa reply

    Wow! This is such a beautiful wedding! & that proposal story was beautiful!

    Every other week my fiance and I talk seriously about pushing up our date. Why wait a year? We’ve been strong so far to keep with our October 2013 date!

  4. avatar kelly @ honor courage commitment reply

    Who are the bridesmaids dresses and bride’s dress by? Love them!

    -kelly

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Caitlyn’s advice to decorate in the style you like, choose food that you find delicious, and play songs that you love, even if they’re not “cool” at the moment, is a great reminder for all of us planning a wedding! Using that mantra as a guideline, Caitlyn + John’s Arkansas wedding at the Pratt Place Barn came together beautifully and joyfully, on what appears to be a gorgeous spring day. Make sure you scroll down to see their chair decor — my favorite detail! — photographed to perfection by Daniel Kim.

Isn’t Caitlyn’s lace gown gorgeous? It was my mother’s dress, and after I got engaged, she mentioned that it was still in the closet. I was more than willing to put it on, and in the first fitting I knew it was perfect. No alterations needed to be done except for taking off the sleeves and adding a “capped sleeve” look to the dress — otherwise, it fit like a glove!

Did you write your own vows? Yes, we used a mix of traditional vows and our own vows. My favorite line was when we promised to sacrifice ourselves for each other’s joy.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? John’s dad read Psalm 16.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “Sea of Love” by Cat Powers. Our first dance was to “Living of Love” by the Avett Brothers and the father-daughter dance was to “You got a Friend” by James Taylor. We also played “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

This photo and the one below it are so jubilant! Love.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. John and I met our first month of college. His friend (who ended up our best man) had a crush on my roommate, and so they would find excuses to hang out with us. We were friends for a year before we started dating, and then were together all through college and got engaged the year after graduating. We were long distance when John was in graduate school in Massachusetts and I worked in Arkansas, and then we got married the following year.
Describe the proposal. For the proposal, John took me on a tour of our relationship. We had dinner where we said I love you, danced in the field where we danced for the first time, painted a picture in the office where we spent our time in college, and then he proposed where he asked me out and we had our first kiss.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 170
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes. We felt as though we would be less nervous if we saw each other before the wedding, and we wanted keep the amount of pictures after the ceremony minimal so that guests would not be waiting for us.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was the Mexican banners that were hanging from the ceiling.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was that we were planning our wedding long distance. John was living in Massachusetts, and I was in Arkansas. Our goal was to make a lot of the decisions together, and the distance made that difficult.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? My splurge was our photographer, Daniel Kim. He was amazing, and really captured the memories of our wedding.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The thing that we remember most was simply having all of our friends and family in one spot.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our advice is to enjoy the process, and don’t let planning your wedding get in the way of enjoying your engagement and the days leading up to your wedding. Also, decorate, have food, and play songs that you enjoy, even if they aren’t “cool” at the moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are moving up north to Massachusetts, where John will finish his graduate degree. We plan on enjoying the New England area, especially in the fall.

emily Written with love by Emily
10 Comments
  1. avatar Caroline D reply

    such lovely pictures, john and caitlyn! glad you’re up in NE to enjoy the fall now… :-)

  2. avatar Jennifer reply

    I adore the groom’s look! Any information on the shirt?

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  7. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Great advice, Caitlyn! At the end of the day the wedding will be your memories. Make it what you want them to be!

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  9. avatar Tessi Adams reply

    Absolutely in love with the Mr. & Mrs. Chair cover. Where can I purchase them for my wedding?

  10. avatar Jackie reply

    Looks like a wonderful wedding! intrigued by the gorgeous Mr & Mrs Chair Banners, are they ivory and gold color, and any indication where i might buy? kind regards, Jackie

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Happy Memorial Day, friends! Though many of us are enjoying the day off, barbecuing with friends and getting a tan (yes, the Southern Weddings ladies are doing all of that!), we hope y’all will take a few moments to remember our dedicated men and women who are serving and have served our country.

We think Lindsay + Chris’ wedding is too perfect for today. According to Lindsay, they wanted to keep the feel organic and relaxed, but like most Southerners, wanted to incorporate the traditions that were most important to them, including some military ones. We love that Chris surprised his new bride with a sword arch and a song from the Citadel cadets! Among the other details, we love the couple’s dessert offerings and pretty cakes, the soft and lush flowers that decorated the space and Chris’ dress whites (who doesn’t love a man in uniform?). We’re dishing out big hugs to Heather Forsythe for sharing this with us!

P.S. Good luck to Chris who is shipping out on a submarine next year!

I wanted my bridesmaids’ bouquets to be in a coral-y light pink, and I wanted mine to match, but be all whites and greys. My maid of honor’s bouquet was a mix of the two. I gave my florist my budget, a list of flowers I loved, flowers I hated, flowers that I liked and some inspiration photos. All I really wanted was fiddleheads in my bouquet and in my maid of honor’s because it reminded me of Canada, where we’re both from. I also wanted a pink carnation, my sorority’s flower, to be tucked into the bridesmaids’ and maid of honor’s bouquet somewhere.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look. We didn’t want to feel pressured to have all our pictures taken between the ceremony and reception. We also knew that we wanted that moment when we first saw each other in our wedding day attire to be private instead of in front of 80 people. There’s something to be said for having that very personal moment, and I think we felt we could be a lot more unrestrained with our emotions.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I knew that finding a fantastic dress for a reasonable price was going to take some hunting, but I was willing. Little did I know, the universe smiled on me, and everything fell into place. One weekend when one of my bridesmaids was in town, we decided to go try on dresses and play dress up. I wasn’t prepared to buy, but I wanted to see what looked good, and just have a good time. We went to a tiny boutique in south Atlanta and had a fantastic experience. The staff was incredibly friendly and our consultant said that she knew that it was my first time dress shopping and I should not to feel pressured to buy anything. I found a dress I really liked, but since my bridesmaid and I were just playing dress up, I wasn’t at all in the “need to buy” mindset. When I got home, I did a search for the dress on preownedweddingdress.com, not really expecting much since it was a pretty old design. But the dress popped up, in my size, and was brand new! I knew I was going to spend a fortune on alterations since I’m so short and wanted straps, so I negotiated a bit got my dress for about 80% off. I sort of regret not having the big dress shopping experience with my mom and everyone, but I knew that the universe was trying to tell me that this was THE dress. One should not quibble with the universe.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Mark 10:6-9,13-16, read by my good friend Corrie.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We wanted to give our guests a Southern experience, particularly my family who’s from Canada. Chris and I both wanted a bluegrass band for the ceremony and cocktail hour. I knew I wanted instrumental songs for the bridal party’s walk down the aisle and a lively song for the recessional, but I really left a lot up to the professionals, and all our vendors did a fantastic job. Our band, Riverboy was no exception.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? First of all, Boone Hall Plantation just exudes everything Southern, particularly the long Avenue of Oaks with that beautiful Spanish moss. In keeping with that tradition, we wanted everything to feel very organic and relaxed. Chris and I bought hundreds of mason jars, and I made him wire them with handles so we could hang them from the trees. We also wanted the food to be Southern. My Canadian family was very unacquainted with the South. We served fried green tomatoes, shrimp and grits, fried chicken and Chris’ requested hush puppies. My favorite thing was the macaroni and cheese buffet. We asked our caterers for macaroni and cheese, but wanted lots of fixins for it like bacon and scallions. We also served Mason Dixons (Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and lemonade) and Arnold Palmers. “Southern” though is really all about traditions. Chris is half Filipino and they have a dish called lumpia, similar to a small egg roll. Chris’ dad and one of my dad’s Filipino co-workers made hundreds of these little guys. Our caterer was more than willing to fry them for us and put them on the menu. We had that awesome Bluegrass band for the ceremony, too!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: My favorite Canadian dessert is a butter tart, so I had some close family friends pick some up in Canada, smuggle them across the border, and drive them all the way to Charleston so I would have them on my wedding day. We also had pecan pie, which is my favorite pie. Chris and our planner also schemed and had mini Ben and Jerry’s tubs served since our first date was at Ben and Jerry’s.

Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: The Citadel cadets! Lindsay has been pestering me about a sword arch for as long as I’ve been dating her, but every opportunity where we could have gone through one, there was always some reason why we couldn’t participate. I went through some of my work contacts and rounded up the best group of guys and girls from The Citadel and asked them to wear their uniforms and give up a sword arch. They were amazing and turned out to be the life of the party, dancing with all the ladies! At Navy weddings, it’s always a tradition that the Navy guys sing “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” to the bride as an ode to the scene from Top Gun. The Citadel cadets were more than willing to play along and sing to her so she could get everything she wanted that day.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) My first time meeting Lindsay was when I walked into the television room of my fraternity house. She was wearing a Detroit Red Wings jersey and sitting next to my roommate. He thought an angel had come to visit him because he had just woken up from a nap next to a cute chick in the hockey jersey of his favorite team. I immediately walked out because I was so disgusted that a cute sorority chick would waste her time on the most hated team in the NHL. My roommate and I also played on the same roller hockey team for our university, and she came to many of our games. I kept seeing and noticing Lindsay. I tried to ignore her so I wouldn’t get caught up in a love triangle since my roommate had a secret crush on her. I tried avoiding her, but it was tough since she was so darn cute. I decided to throw caution to the wind, and on the last day of the semester, I called and met up with her at Ben and Jerry’s for Free Cone Day. We shared a moment, and I knew immediately that this was going to be something special.
Describe the proposal. Chris is in the Navy, and a few years ago, was re-stationed in Jacksonville, Florida. We were excited, because a five hour drive didn’t seem quite as daunting as halfway around the world. We both had a free weekend, so I decided to drive down to see him. I left around 9:30 in the morning, wanting to get there as soon as I could. I was about 90 miles from home when I realized I had left my wallet and purse, and had to turn around. I then took a wrong turn and lost another hour and by the time I got a chance to leave again, I hit the beginnings of Atlanta’s Friday rush hour. I was frustrated and called Chris to tell him I was giving up and just going to stay the night at home and would just leave for Jacksonville in the morning. He begged me to come that night, and even though I was worn out, I kept driving. After further delays, I arrived just before 10pm. He tried to get me to say hello to our pet rabbit, Bunny, but I was hungry and cranky and insisted we go straight out to eat. When we got back to his place, I was ready to shower and go to bed, but he told me to go say goodnight to Bunny first. I sighed and decided it would be easier to humor him. I noticed that Bunny had his collar on, which he hates. I was lecturing Chris and telling him he shouldn’t bother Bunny, but stopped mid rant – as I took the collar off, I noticed something sparkly attached. A RING! I turned around and he looked at me and said, “I know Bunny was the one to give you the ring, but I hope you’ll marry me instead.” Of course I said, “Yes!”
In what month did you get married? November
How many guests attended your wedding? 80
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge, and I think many brides will back me up on this, is dealing with family. Weddings have a way of amplifying family dynamics, don’t they? It’s difficult to gracefully acknowledge other people’s suggestions of what they think. Many times we got suggestions of what we “should” do which did not coincide with what we wanted to do. Chris and I were pretty definitive in what we wanted, and it was hard to constantly tell family and friends, “that’s a great idea, we’ll keep that in mind.”
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography, by a long shot. Heather Forsythe was like manna from heaven when we finally met her. All the other photographers we were so hesitant about—they were good, but not great. Heather had everything we were looking for. Her photos were classic and I knew they would stand the test of time. She didn’t play around with very trendy filters and post-processing techniques. She was also just easy to be around, which was wonderful since I knew that I would probably see more of her than any other person that day. I couldn’t be happier with the pictures, they turned out great.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? (From the groom) Our reception band, Permanent Vacation, learned a song just for us to play for our first dance. Lindsay let me surprise her with our first dance. She said I could pick whatever I wanted, but I had to run it by her maid of honor first (just in case!). It wasn’t in our band’s repertoire, but I asked them if they knew it. Turns out, they were more than willing to learn it for us. Surprising Lindsay with “God Gave Me You” by Blake Shelton (her major celebrity crush) was by far my favorite moment.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep in mind, that at the end of the day, you’re getting married to the person that you love. The rest is all details. It doesn’t matter if things don’t go exactly as planned. Allow the professionals to do their job to the best of their ability. Flexibility in what you want will allow your vendors give you the absolute best they can in your budget, and I think vendors are more likely to throw in “extras” when you give them creative freedom. Most of them are artists, after all. Plus, it’s nice to have a few surprises along the way. Having perspective on what matters and just sort of rolling with things will make the day wonderful. Dwelling on things that don’t go right means you will forever remember your wedding as something that didn’t make you happy.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We have moved to DC. I have a job for a law firm there and Chris is studying for his masters and will ship out to sea on a submarine next year.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
16 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    What a gorgeous wedding, and the sweetest story! I love the bride’s style, and the story of the Citadel cadets is adorable :)

  2. avatar Marcie reply

    LOVE HER SHOES! :D

  3. avatar Lem reply

    Beautiful photos! I love the detail shots.

    Great work.

  4. avatar » Love List reply

    […] {I love this picture of the shoe line-up at a gorgeous military wedding in Charleston. The bride has amazing style–as evidenced by her sparkly something blues! By Heather Forsythe Photography via Southern Weddings} […]

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  6. avatar Lindsay V. reply

    Thanks! I made the shoes myself (while I should have been studying for the bar).

    • avatar Christie reply

      Lindsay V.: Would LOVE to know what you used to make those shoes. I think I need to make some as well. Or find some kind soul to pay to do it :)

    • avatar Elizabeth reply

      Lindsay V.: How did you do this? Those shoes are gorgeous. Where did you get the crystals to put on the shoes? What type of glue did you use to attach the crystals? Please and thank you.

    • avatar Lindsay V. reply

      Elizabeth and Christie,

      I used e-6000 and a syringe (http://www.amazon.com/Applicator-Orange-Syringe-FlatBack-Rhinestones/dp/B0041H43TC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352649808&sr=8-1&keywords=rhinestone+syringe). I put a daub of glue and then used a rhinestone picker upper thing to place them. I didn’t use this brand, but it’s similar (http://www.amazon.com/Beadsmith-Jewel-Setter-for-Rhinestones/dp/B002RTJ4Q8/ref=pd_bxgy_misc_img_z). I bought swarovski and fake swarovski rhinestones from ebay and amazon. The smaller rhinestones (ss6 and ss10) I bought from ebay. The larger ones, that I knew would be seen and would be more important that they were sparklier, i bought real swarovski from amazon (ss 12, ss 16).

      Let me know if you need more help!

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  9. avatar Ann Marie McAllaster reply

    Those blue shoes are absolutely GORGEOUS! Where are those from and how can I get them? haha.

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    […] Wedding Idea was found by: YellowInDiego Wedding Idea From: http://iloveswmag.com/2012/05/28/charleston-military-wedding-by-heather-forsythe/ Photography: Heather […]

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