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Many girls can probably say that their dog is one of their very best friends, but I imagine few can say their dog was also their matchmaker! Sure enough, it was Jennifer’s beloved golden, Maverick, who was responsible for her and Kerby’s meet-cute–y’all won’t want to miss the story below. Five years and a move to Charleston later, Jennifer and Kerby escaped to the idyllic Palmetto Bluff with their family and friends for their gorgeous spring wedding weekend. Along with dreamy floral crowns, fun pops of pattern, and details that nodded to their love story, Jennifer and Kerby’s celebration wouldn’t have been complete without Maverick in tow!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this lovely day with us!

Kerby and I met five years ago in Washington, D.C. through my golden retriever, Maverick. I got Maverick when I graduated from college, and for many years, he was my rock during uncertain times of figuring out the next chapter in life. Little did I know, he’d also be the one to introduce me to my best friend and husband. I was going to a backyard birthday party for one of my mutual friends and brought Mav with so he could enjoy the festivities. After an hour or so, I spotted a cute boy rolling around on the ground with my dog. Naturally, I approached him and asked, “How do you know Maverick?” Kerby looked up and said, “I hung out with him the past two weekends while his owner was out of town. We’re best friends. Who are YOU?” And the rest is history.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My family and I grew up going to Hilton Head Island every summer, and it has always been a special place for me. Kerby grew up by the beach in Wilmington, North Carolina, so we figured somewhere near the water would be best for us. A friend of mine used to live in Bluffton, right outside of Hilton Head, and recommended that we look at Palmetto Bluff. We were swept off our feet from the first visit. The charm, natural beauty, and relaxed atmosphere–in addition to the convenience of Palmetto Bluff’s town square and cottages–could not be beat. We ended up moving to Charleston a month after our wedding, so we will be frequenting Palmetto Bluff for the rest of our lives!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Kerby and I initially disagreed on a first look. He wanted the classic, tearjerker scene of seeing his bride for the first time while standing in front of his family and friends. I knew I would be anxious the day of the wedding and wanted to see him before the ceremony so I could ease my nerves. After I explained that if we got pictures out of the way before the wedding, we could party longer afterward, Kerby quickly acquiesced.

We decided to write our own vows so we could feel like the ceremony was personalized to us. We decided on each writing “a few paragraphs,” and had my maid of honor read both ahead of time to make sure they worked well together. As I struggled to get through mine, Kerby held my hand and kept whispering to me to breathe. When I finished, he automatically went in to kiss me to make me feel better. Halfway there, he realized that wasn’t part of the plan and asked our minister, “Can we do that?” It got a good chuckle from the crowd.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We had a bar set up at the entrance of our ceremony serving Moscow mules and Dark and Stormys in copper mugs. We wanted our guests to feel comfortable and start the evening off on the right foot. It was a celebration, after all! We also made sure that Maverick was a part of every aspect of the wedding. Not only did he need to be celebrated for introducing us, but his presence helped us feel relaxed and at ease. His ears flapped in the wind as the bridesmaids did a motorboat cruise to the bridal luncheon at Marshside Mama’s. He rode in the golf cart with us to the rehearsal dinner, where he got in the way of corn hole and snuck pieces of barbecue. He walked down the aisle with my maid of honor and danced the night away with us under the tent. Palmetto Bluff allowed him to be the VIP he deserved to be!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Look for ways to personalize your wedding. Think about who you are as a couple, what you like to do together, and what’s most important to you, and try and incorporate that into everything you decide. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it is what ends up standing out to your guests and building that lasting memory in your mind.

Our flowers were GORGEOUS! Em Creative Floral did a wonderful job of combining neutrals with pops of coral, pinks, and reds. My favorite part was the baby’s breath crowns that were made for my bridesmaids. They looked like angels floating down the aisle.

Our wedding cake was a simple white cake with gorgeous, fresh flowers. In order to incorporate more flavors, we served cupcakes as well. One of my favorite pictures from that day is of me feeding Maverick a piece of the cake with Kerby looking on. He deserved to be a part of the wedding in every sense!

Tell us all about the proposal! After dating for four years, I had an inkling that Kerby would pop the question sometime soon. My family has a tradition of going to Orlando every year for Braves spring training, and Kerby was coming along–his first trip to Disney World! I figured this was it. However, by the end of the trip, we only had one night left, and we were spending it on a drinking tour of the different countries at Epcot. I knew Kerby wouldn’t do it then (in public, at a theme park, after drinking, no chance!), but I had to check his pockets on the monorail anyway. Empty. We started with a beer at a pub in England, then walked over to Canada. Kerby steered me to the replica of Niagara Falls (romantic!) and dropped to one knee. I was so shocked and embarrassed that he was doing this in public at Disney World that I started pulling him to get up. Once I saw the ring, reality took over and I happily said yes! We were then able to celebrate with a few drinks in different countries (like champagne in France!) and fireworks with my parents. It was a dream proposal that I never would have planned.
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 206
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I have a simple, relaxed style and, for some reason, always pictured myself in a simple, sleeveless, trumpet gown. I began going to stores in D.C. with my girlfriends and thought I found the ONE. When I went to try it on for my mom at a high-end boutique in Atlanta, I realized I didn’t feel like myself in it. My mom and I drove to Kelly’s Closet and instantly felt at ease with the girls there. We were so inspired by all the flowy, unique, timeless gowns. I tried on every Jenny Packham dress they had and ultimately fell for the “Esme” because of its open back and gorgeous beading.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had an acoustic guitarist for the processionals and recessional. We love the casual and relaxed feel that only a single guitar can provide. The bridesmaids walked down to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and I walked down to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. Our processional was to “Home” by Edward Sharpe. Our first dance was to Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby.” We wanted a song that was completely different than most first dance choices. Neither of us are great dancers and we just wanted to go out and have fun. We never practiced, but had sung the song at the top of our lungs many times before. It helped that everyone in attendance knew every lyric and was able to sing along with the band! My dad and I danced to “Carolina Girl,” and Kerby and his mom danced to “Circle of Life,” which ended up with half our friends out on the dance floor, embracing in a swaying circle of Lion King enthusiasts.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? It was a real treat to have our officiants be ministers from the church my family attended growing up. We were able to meet with them a few times in Atlanta before our wedding for marriage counseling sessions. It was comforting that we had already openly discussed many of the issues that we knew we could face throughout our lifetime of marriage.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our wedding day, as everyone says, flew by way too quickly. What stood out to us were the moments that Perry, our photographer, pulled us aside to take pictures. She had us sit by the water to stop, breathe, and take in the moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to soaking up our new, more relaxed lifestyle in Charleston. We recently made an addition to our family with another golden retriever–this time, a blonde female we named Sully after Sullivan’s Island.

Photographer: Perry Vaile | Videographer: Hart to Heart Media | Planner: Ashley Rhodes | Ceremony Venue and Caterer: Palmetto Bluff | Reception Venue: Private residence | Florist: Em Creative Floral | Band: The Atlanta Showstoppers | Paper Products: Low Country Paper Co. | Bride’s Gown: “Esme” by Jenny Packham | Bridal Salon: Kelly’s Closet | Hair Stylist: Alicia Stafford | Makeup Artist: Bride’s Side Beauty | Menswear: Bonobos

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Perry Vaile reply

    I adored this wedding, thank you so, so much for featuring it and sharing their story! Hands down, this wedding day was one of my very favorites to capture – their ease with each other and their guests was so refreshing, and the trust they put into my as the photographer meant the world! It was also kind of amazing to see Maverick the entire day! haha! I even dedicated a folder in their wedding gallery to just Maverick images because we had so many! Best Dog, for sure!

  2. avatar Kate reply

    This wedding is absolutely stunning! Love all of the details including the beautiful calligraphy on the napkins and wedding ceremony program board! The photo of the groomsmen on the bikes might be one of my all time favorites though :)

  3. avatar Dana reply

    omg I love their meet-cute! Sweet dog

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When it comes to weddings, and many other things for that matter, I’m a firm believer that simple is often best. A few carefully chosen, purposeful, beautiful details that can stand on their own without being cluttered by too much “stuff” can have such an impact, and more importantly, this approach leaves guests the mental space to focus on you and your new husband, rather than be distracted as they try to take in countless activities and displays. Lauren and Jeremiah are a perfect example of this lovely restraint–they selected a naturally beautiful venue, accented it with a few meaningful touches (the lily of the valley bouquet Jeremiah had sent to Lauren’s bridal suite, and the strawberry shortcake they cut into that nodded to Lauren’s childhood tradition, to name a few), and focused on enjoying their day with their many out-of-town guests. I can only imagine what beautiful memories they have of the time they got to spend with the ones they love on their wedding day!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was looking for a combination of delicate, classic, bohemian, and breezy. The designer Rosa Clara really unified these aspirations and included the subtlest hint of sexy. Miraculously, during a weekend off, there was a Rosa Clara trunk show in Raleigh! I was completely enamored with the second dress I tried on. My mother and sisters live in Michigan, so we had to resort to FaceTime for their approval–which was unanimous.

We chose to do a first look because we wanted to maximize our time spent with out-of-town guests. Many of our family and friends traveled from the Northeast and Midwest to North Carolina to celebrate our wedding. It was the perfect choice for us–I do not believe I could have waited until the evening to kiss him!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had both our ceremony and reception at the spectacular Merrimon-Wynne house. It was important to us to provide our guests with an easy experience, due to the fact that many had traveled to share the weekend with us. I looked at a number of places and none could compare with the elegance and glamour of Merrimon-Wynne. The clincher was the insanely gorgeous bridal suites (yes, there are two!), where we primped and preened all morning.

There was beautiful sunny and breezy weather throughout our wedding day, until the moment I walked down the aisle. When our reverend began speaking, the skies opened up and poured rain! The wedding party scurried inside and we completed the marriage ceremony in a cozy, ornate hallway, surrounded by our loved ones who were spilling into rooms and peering around staircases. The intimacy of the ceremony reinforced that marriage is ultimately about love and family.

Describe your wedding flowers. We chose a miscellany of shades of green and white. The flowers were free-flowing and loose, with ample herbs incorporated. My mother and I purchased a variety of mercury glass vessels and used them to make the centerpieces. Jeremiah has a green thumb and filled the vases with potted sage and lavender. He also gifted a lily of the valley (my childhood favorite flower) bouquet to the bridal suite, which perfectly matched our color scheme.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jeremiah’s siblings are incredibly talented musicians and vocalists, and they kindly performed a song by Kishi Bashi called “Q&A” during our ceremony. The song reads like poetry and lent itself well to an acoustic performance. Our first dance was to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet. The movie “Once” was the first movie for which I stayed awake for the entirety of the film, so it had some playful meaning, and Jeremiah thought the tempo lent itself well to a foxtrot.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first crossed paths during my Tufts Medical School years while Jeremiah was completing his residency program in Otolaryngology. There was a definite attraction, but we were very work-oriented during those years! Our romance (inconveniently) began when I moved to North Carolina to start my own surgical training. After one whirlwind and surreal travel weekend, we both knew there was something special between us that was worth the effort and occasional pain of long distance.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremiah and I had a standing Friday night champagne date to treat ourselves after travel. The evening started like most others–he had to work late, so I fell asleep on his couch. We were casually enjoying our bubbles on the couch when he completely surprised me by bending down on one knee and promising to make my smile his lifelong goal. After I tearfully and happily agreed, he whisked me off to a romantic French dinner in Cambridge, followed by a romantic getaway weekend at a cabin in Maine. The weekend was complete with skis, lobsters, and rare sunny Maine snow!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we crafted our entire ceremony with Reverend Renteria. It was an enjoyable experience to pick and choose the different aspects of the ceremony together. Our mutual favorite phrase was a playful and all-encompassing quote from George Bernard Shaw: “You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallion fellow vagabond, my tempter and star.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My family has a long-standing tradition of enjoying strawberry shortcakes on summer evenings, and since strawberries are in season in May, we opted for strawberry shortcakes with lemon cream and thyme. To simplify our lives, Posh Nosh Catering created the dessert as well as our dinner.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! I did a lot of wedding planning in the early morning hours between consults and responded to emails between surgical cases. It was a nightmare to schedule my dress fittings during regular work hours!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to make the experience as playful as possible, because it can easily become very stressful. I accomplished this by convincing my fiancé to walk in the woods or head to a brewery so we could discuss wedding details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I need to finish my residency and Jeremiah is starting a new job, then we can finally embark on a more “normal” life together. We are running a marathon and share a mutual enjoyment of hiking and adventuring.

Photographer: Perry Vaile / Venue and Planning: The Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Watered Garden / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Posh Nosh Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Band: The Reckless Brothers / Bride’s Gown: “Ubeda” by Rosa Clara / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar / Makeup Artist: Thuy Larker / Bride’s Shoes: “Landmark Metallic Strappy Heel” by Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Officiant: Reverend Robin Renteria

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Julie reply

    Hi! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous! My daughter purchased the same dress and is getting married in June! I am a seamstress and trying to figure out how to bustle it. Can you send me a picture of the back bustled up.? I see it from the side and it looks beautiful! Thanks!!! Julie

  2. avatar scott reply

    What a lovely spot to get married, Under the tree out the back! Nice photography too.

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By now, hopefully most of you have your copy of our new issue, Southern Weddings V8, in your hot little hands! If not, make a trip out to your nearest Walmart, Target, Barnes & Noble, Walgreens, Harris Teeter, or miscellaneous grocery store/pharmacy and get yourself one! (And if you can’t find it on shelves, you can always order from our shop!) We’re so excited to be sharing a bit from each of our editorials over the next few weeks – there’s always more that we couldn’t fit in our pages, and we love that sharing these beauties online makes them easy to pin :)

At the heart of each of our editorials is a couple we dreamed up. We designed the details of each shoot around their story, in the hopes that y’all would be inspired to do the same for yours! In Fore the Love, we imagined a couple who met as kids while on vacation with their families. They grew up to love golfing, and invited their guests to celebrate with them over a long weekend of group tee-off times and peach ice cream sandwiches. We tucked lots of fun Southern golf culture references throughout, too!

Big hugs to Katie Stoops, who took these photographs, and Blue Ribbon Vendor Jacin Fitzgerald Events, who planned everything to perfection!

For such a colorful and clever shoot, my first thought for a paper partner was Cheree Berry. She knocked it out of the park – check out all of the “Easter egg” details below!

Nothing could be more appropriate for this editorial than for the gents to start off the wedding morning with a group round of golf. And did you notice our groom’s green jacket? (How could you not?) It was, of course, inspired by the famous one at Augusta!

The ladies had their own colorful accessories, including floral clutches from FabByCab and vibrant nails!

How’s that for a bouquet?? Jacin used pink peonies, coral charm peonies, gardenias, yellow ranunculus, and magnolias, many from Brannan Street Wholesale, for this beauty.

Our lovely ‘maids were equally as colorful as the blooms. We love the idea of choosing a patterned dress for your maid of honor and having your other gals in a coordinating solid!

Real-life married couple Tim and Sarah shone as our bride and groom!

With so many famous golf course signature drinks, we knew we needed to come up with something fun for the drink station at cocktail hour! This golf cart bar was a bit of a handful to rig up, but we were all pleased with how it turned out.

Southern Fried Paper made the most adorable signage and seating chart to complement our scheme. And though an actual course might object to guests practicing their putting during cocktail hour, there’s nothing to stop you from setting up a little green wherever your guests are mingling!

On a golf course, the clubhouse is often affectionately called the 19th hole. We ran with this idea and made it the staging area for dinner. Guests grabbed chic paper bags filled with gourmet BLTs and egg salad – two staples at the Masters, where they are sold for impressively low prices! Cru Catering did a spectacular job jazzing up these sandwiches.

A trellis and floral wedding cake by Ashley Bakery and peach ice cream sandwiches were a sweet ending to the evening – followed by a golf cart getaway!

For more from this feature, snag your copy of V8 right here! Huge hugs to all of the talented vendors who brought this feature to life:

Photographer: Katie Stoops | Film processing: Richard Photo Lab | Planner, stylist, and florals: Jacin Fitzgerald Events | Flower wholesaler: Brannan Street Wholesale Florist | Venue: Patriot’s Point | Prep location: The Cottages on Charleston Harbor | Caterer: Cru Catering | Cake: Ashley Bakery | Hair stylist: Ash and Co. | Makeup artist: Dannon K. Collard | Invitation suite: Cheree Berry Paper | Signage, packaging, and drink stirrers: Southern Fried Paper | Wax paper: Pink Lemonade Party Shop | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens | Rentals: EventHaus Rentals | Vintage glassware and china: The Festive Frog | Bride’s gown: “Zinnia” by Anne Barge | Bride’s getaway dress: “McLeod” by Kate McDonald Bridal | Bride’s clutch: FabByCab | Maid of honor’s dress: “Laura” by Donna Morgan | Bridesmaid dresses: “Lilly” by Camilyn Beth | Monogrammed hats: Marley Lilly | Green jacket: Country Club Prep

Jacin Fitzgerald, Dannon K. Collard, Southern Fried Paper, and Kate McDonald Bridal are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory and EventHaus Rentals is a delightful sponsor!

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar Jacin reply

    What a fun shoot this was – thank you again for including me :)

  2. avatar Erin Phillips reply

    This was by far my favorite editorial that you guys did in V8! It even had my husband drooling with the green jacket and the golf references scattered throughout. So. Much. Fun!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    This is so fun! I’m obsessed with the flowers, the maid of honor dress, and the bride’s getaway dress!

  4. avatar Malou reply

    Not my preferred colors but nice styling!

  5. avatar Jehnel Oboza-Davison reply

    I love how this just screams the 1950s. The colors, the style, the sleek and modern lines; love it all!

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  7. avatar April Lynn Designs reply

    […] Credits: Centerpiece: Southern Weddings | Wedding Invitation: April Lynn Designs | Wedding Welcome Sign: Style Me Pretty | Wedding Bouquet: […]

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