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Amy + Bryan, Balitmore natives, might have a few Northern tendencies in their blood, but their wedding was full-on Southern. The two decided to tie the knot in Charleston, where Bryan surprised Amy with a getaway and a proposal, so there was plenty of reason to adopt the beautiful city as their own personal sanctuary. I adore that Amy + Bryan decided to go traditional on a few things — the ceremony music and the white cake (with stunning flowers!), for instance — but added their own twist with hot pink invitations and retro marquee signage. But these are all teeny details compared to the father-daughter dance. Amy’s dad wrote the song for their dance, recorded the vocals with Amy’s mom and played it back at the reception so the two could still dance together. How amazing!!

As Kristin would say, we’re sending Paige Winn a big squeeze for sharing this day with us.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
I had a hard time deciding on a wedding dress — I had serious love for a few different dresses. Ultimately, my wedding dress had every component that I wanted. It was the prettiest dress that I had ever seen or put on my body. That was such a happy day and I still love it so much.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? We did a little behind-the-door chat. It was actually pretty emotional, and luckily Paige Winn still made our pictures look somewhat attractive! It was so nice to hear Bryan’s voice for a minute prior to our wedding.

Stems created the most gorgeous, beautiful arrangements. There are pictures of me crying when seeing my flowers for the first time! They were pink, girly, romantic, soft, colorful, and playful – just all around gorgeous. All of the bridesmaids had variations of hot pink, white, and light pink flowers with each of the bouquets wrapped in different shades of pink ribbons. My flower girl wore a flower halo that she donned proudly and looked so beautiful in. My bouquet was an amazing display of girly pink wonderfulness, wrapped in a piece of lace ribbon from my mom’s wedding dress. The guys all had white flowers wrapped in pink ribbon, and they looked so handsome wearing them. There were displays of single flower arrangements on the tables in antique containers, and mixes of color blocked arrangements on other tables. It was fab!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
Possibly my five-year-old niece telling me, “When the wedding comes, the wedding comes.” I’m still trying to dissect that deep advice. Another memorable moment was the look on my future husband’s face as I walked down the aisle. So incredible.

For my walk down the aisle, I chose Canon in D, a song that I had always envisioned myself walking down the aisle to; I think it is the most beautiful classical song. Way to go Bach! We decided on Brad Paisley’s “Then” for our first dance. We were debating some other songs for our first dance, and then this one sort of took me by surprise. I would hear it on the radio, and it would make me cry and think of our wedding day. I love when he talks about taking his fiancé to the place where he first met her to propose. Even though Charleston was not where we met, it was where we got engaged and the place where we were going to say our vows. It just felt right. My dad wrote me a song for our father-daughter dance. My mom and dad sung it and recorded it together so that we could play it at the wedding and my dad and I could still dance together. It was so sentimental, and more special than any other song I would have found.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
We went about as Southern as us Northerners could possibly get, from the all-you-can-eat Sticky Fingers sweet potato casserole and pulled pork at our rehearsal dinner, to the shrimp and grits and hush puppies at our reception. We had stations, farmhouse tables, vintage china, and mint julep containers for flowers. We wanted it to feel like you were in the South, and wanted it to just be really unique and fun.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Stay calm and be patient and polite. Also, know that it is all going to be worth it, and that the day will be better than you could have ever imagined. Have FUN. Lastly, if  at all possible, hire a wedding planner.

Our wedding cake was a four-tier cake with cascading ombre flowers ranging from hot pink to white. Each layer had a different kind of frosting. On the top of our cake were two little hand crafted clay birds. It was almost too beautiful to eat!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
I think it would have to be our sparkler exit. We couldn’t believe our wedding was ending, but all of our friends and family were lined up with sparklers waiting for us to leave. As we were leaving, fireworks were going off for the RiverDogs baseball team. It was magical. We could feel the love from everyone, and loved exiting into an old fashioned London black cab. We would probably pay good money to be in that moment one more time.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
We met in the huge Baltimore blizzard of 2010 after a few too many drinks. We randomly met each other in the street and had an instant connection, sort of a “right place at the right time” situation. We then went sledding at 3 a.m.! Our first official date came a few days later at my favorite Mexican Restaurant. The rest is history.

Tell us all about the proposal! 
The proposal took place in Charleston. I thought that we were taking a little trip to Connecticut to visit Bryan’s family. Literally at the gate for Charleston, Bryan jokingly asked me if I wanted to go there instead. I said that I did, and he told me to look at my boarding pass. After realizing that he had planned a surprise trip, I asked him if he was going to propose (sorry Bryan!). He told me that he wasn’t, and the next thing I knew we were on our way. After a brief shopping trip on King’s Street for shoes that were not Uggs and clothes that were not sweaters, we made our way to our hotel room. Bryan had a big “Will you marry me?” sign hung on the wall and had flowers all around our hotel room. Then he was down on one knee! I was so shocked!

When did y’all get married? April 12, 2013

How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
E.E. Cummings- I carry your heart. 1 Corinthians 13. Each read by our aunts.

Did you have something borrowed, something blue, and something new? My something blue was my “I Do” stickers on the bottom of my shoes – a must have! My something new was my wedding dress, and something borrowed was the lace from my mom’s wedding dress.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
The distance and the travel. Thank goodness for the amazing Lizz Akerman at Southern Protocol. She made the process easy, but it was still challenging being so many miles away and communicating via phone and email.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
Lizz Akerman at Southern Protocol. She gets the job done and is so amazing and talented at what she does. We could not have done any of it without her. We are also a little bit obsessed with Paige Winn, and happen to adore Anne Bowen at Stems, Scotti Kline, and Sarah Murdoch at 428 Main.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We are looking forward to buying our first house at some point in time and having children, and maybe getting a golden doodle. We’re also going to continue to have more adventures that begin with an idea as crazy as two kids from Baltimore getting married at a plantation in the South. Lastly, we are looking forward to just spending time with our amazing families and with each other.

Photographer: Paige Winn | Videographer: Hart to Hart Media  | Planner: Lizz Akerman | Invitations + Custom Fabric: Scotti Cline Designs | Ceremony Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation, | Reception Venue: Lowndes Grove Plantation | Florist: Anne Bowen, Stems | Wedding Cake: FISH | Caterer: FISH | Rentals: Sarah Murdoch | Bride’s Gown: La Sposa, Style: Sala | Hair Stylist: Hunter Johnson | Makeup Artist: Jennifer Fernandez | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Ivy and Aster | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire: Mens Warehouse

Paige Winn is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Kat reply

    That cake is to.die.for. and I’m in love with that b&w photo of the groom dipping & kissing his bride on the dance floor! What a fun and romantic wedding!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hot pink wedding I loved so much! The flowers and invites are so gorgeous and fun, and those cocktail and love signs are perfect!

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    What a gorgeous wedding! Love the “Love” sign that lights up! How unique!

  4. avatar Anna ( reply

    The cake and the stationery are my favorite aspects of this absolutely amazing wedding! The hot pink is just perfect for my good mood, too :)

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  7. avatar patti reply

    Beautiful wedding! Where did you order the tote bags?

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There’s nothing like coming home, don’t you agree? Though Sarah + Nick live in Indianapolis, Nick strongly encouraged Sarah to have the wedding in Chattanooga, her second home. According to the bride, “Getting married beneath Lookout Mountain, a place that was close to my heart even before Nick proposed to me there, was priceless. To me, “Southern” is a relaxed setting where you can enjoy the time with your loved ones in a beautiful setting — no need to decorate God’s creation! You know when everyone’s at Mom’s house, they gravitate to the kitchen, because that’s where the people are, where life happens, where the food is. That’s what the setting of the Barn at High Point Farms gave us. Our focus on heritage brought in reminders of generations past, well-loved and much missed.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Judging from these images by Austin Warnock, we think it feels just right.

Julianna Chapman (my cousin and maid of honor) is an amazing floral designer. She works at a floral design studio in Chattanooga, TN, but did the wedding flowers herself with the help of my cousins and another bridesmaid. Since I was in Indiana and she was in Tennessee, we exchanged ideas via Pinterest and had some long Skype sessions. I had no doubt that Julianna would be able to capture my vision and take it to another level. I wanted lots of creams and texture, loosely bound, not overly structured. I wanted cream with some light blue accents in my bouquet to tie in with the color of Nick’s shirt. For the bridesmaids’ bouquets, I wanted creams with strong accents of yellow/marigold pops of color. The boutonnieres had simple, natural elements, and also brought in the yellow accent. As for the buffet area, full creative credit goes to Julianna and my sisters. They took over planning and decorating the buffet when my creative juices ran low during the last month of wedding planning. I was so blown away with the sweet details, draped lace tablecloths, family serving ware, and fresh flowers. Julianna incorporated mason jars of flowers around rusted old milk crates from my sister’s farmhouse, pictures of me and Nick, tree trunk rounds, and bird houses.

Doesn’t the photo below just pull at your heart strings? I love the moment when guests first see the bride walk down the aisle — all that anticipation!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Between me and Nick, we have 8 nieces and nephews. We wanted all of them involved, letting kids be kids. So, we had a wedding parade! They all went down the aisle with bells, flags that Nick and I made, and flowers. The littlest ones were pulled in a wagon. I wanted the kids to be relaxed, and was perfectly fine if we had some last-minute mishaps or outright revolts – but they all had a great time!

I love that Sarah + Nick’s cake topper now sits on their windowsill at home! It’s such a great way to be reminded of their wedding. The cupcakes came in seven flavors: red velvet, cappuccino, Italian cream, cinnamon swirl, german chocolate, groovy, and grasshopper.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We were set up by a mutual friend soon after I moved from Chattanooga to Indianapolis for a job. Whether by instinct or indigestion, my friend Derrick was convinced that I should meet his friend Nick. Knowing that I was not interested in being set up, Derrick pestered me and lied to me, saying he had no hidden intentions, until we got something on the calendar. Nick knew full well that it was a set-up all along, and over a take-out pizza, we met. Both of us were a little shy, a little curious, and thankful for Derrick’s boisterous steal-the-spotlight presence. We could have gone without the questioning each time the other left the room — “So?? What do you think?!?” A week later, Nick and I had our first date (without Derrick) at a local pub.
Describe the proposal. As the summer days grew longer, I was getting more and more curious about what Nick was scheming. He kept his lips tightly sealed, and thoroughly enjoyed tormenting me with the fact that I was NOT in control! In early August, my cousin Julianna called me to ask if I’d be able to come down to Chattanooga as soon as possible to meet her certain someone and that it would be fun if Nick could come too. Little did I know, Nick had arranged it all with Julianna. We drove down to Chattanooga and Saturday morning, got up early for a hike to Sunset Rock on Lookout Mountain. After a brief jaunt from our parking spot, we reached the overlook. I scrambled to the edge, thrilled with the morning view, as our companions set off in the other direction to look at some plants. I turned around once to make sure Nick was paying attention to the view, and turned around again to find him on one knee, holding my great-grandmother’s engagement ring. The world went quiet, and he asked a simple question. I answered with the words that had echoed in my heart for months: “A thousand times, yes!”
In what month did you get married? April 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I didn’t daydream about dresses or stash away bridal magazines before getting engaged, mostly because I was nervous about what style would work for me – I’m often hard to fit being under 5 feet tall! A week after getting engaged, I wanted to test the dress hunting waters and made an appointment at David’s Bridal with a soon-to-be-married friend. Setting aside any “princess poufiness,” we found a few options which I tried on again later that weekend for my mom and sister. I knew I’d found the one when I didn’t want to take it off. I loved my dress – it wasn’t “just another strapless”, it didn’t overwhelm my figure, and I could move around so easily at our outdoor wedding.
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? I’m so glad that we did! With it being “our day,” we wanted to share more of it together and knew that it would help calm nerves. On the practical side, we knew it would make the day go smoother if we could get bridal party and family pictures done prior to the ceremony. Our reveal took place in a tree grove near the barn. The setting was beautiful and the moment remains one of Nick’s favorites of the day. However, I was a little distracted by the family members who appeared out of nowhere to sneak a peek – especially my Dad and brother on ladders in the trees nearby, stringing white lights!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? For our vows, we combined several elements of traditional vows. My favorite part was for the exchange of rings when I said, “Nick, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am and all that I have, I honor you, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” It’s a whole-life commitment. Our vows reach into every part of our lives, for the rest of our lives.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “Lion Song” by Jason Harrod and walked up the aisle to “But For Those Who Fear My Name” by The Welcome Wagon. Our first dance was to “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy. The father/daughter dance was to “Moonlight Serenade” by Glen Miller Orchestra and the mother/son dance was to “You’ve Got A Friend” by Carole King.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? It was a very DIY wedding, which helped us cut costs, but took a LOT of time and planning — from wedding planning and catering to set-up and decorating. I think the biggest challenge was knowing when to stop gathering new ideas, to shut the laptop and stop looking at Pinterest.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000, close to $10,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography. We were advised early in the planning process to set aside as much as we could afford for photography – pay for the quality, and figure out where to cut the budget elsewhere. I’m so glad we did. Austin Warnock Photography was amazing to work with, and we’re thrilled with the results.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Sneaking away for a quick minute during our evening reception to take a look at the starscape, seeing the barn lit up behind us, filled with our loved ones, happy blurs of music and light.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Lauren reply

    Such a pretty wedding – so many thoughtful details!!! Can you tell me where they got the cake topper – it’s super cute and I would love to have it for my wedding! Thanks!

    • avatar Nick reply

      Lauren: We got the cake toppers off of Etsy –

  2. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    OMG around 10k?? This wedding looks SO expensive and has SO much personality! I LOVE it! So deliciously southern and elegant.

  3. avatar Laura reply

    First off, I love this wedding because I love Chattanooga. I went to college near-by and it is such a cool city with such good memories for me.

    But I also absolutely love the portion of your vows that you shared, the words are so simple, but so powerful. I just might have to borrow them for my own wedding :)

  4. avatar Stephanie reply

    Such a beautiful wedding! Amazing photos! Can you tell me where you purchased the cupcake stand? We are getting married in September and have been looking everywhere for one this size! :-)

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This morning I came into the office and a copy of The DIY Bride, An Affair to Remember (from the creator of the DIY Bride blog, y’all!) was on my desk! You bet I spent some time flipping through it.

It was great timing, then, to write this post! Sydney + Lucas went homemade all the way with their Front Porch Farms wedding. With family and friends surrounding and supporting them, they unleashed their creativity on the Southern details. The result is a warm gathering with the rustic details we adore. Big thanks to Cali Ashton Photography for sharing!

Can you believe that the bright flowers placed in mason jars around the wedding site were ordered from Sam’s Wholesale? They arrived fresh, pretty and ready for presentation! Though I’m always a fan of mason jars full of flowers, my favorite part of the wedding comes during the ceremony, when Sydney + Lucas made an impromptu dance floor. Read on for details!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Our familes’ relationship precedes ours. Our sweet grandparents have been best of friends for years and together they led the youth group and youth camps at our church when they were young parents. Fast forward many years later when I was youth pastor at our church. I needed some male volunteers for an event and I remembered Lucas and asked him if he would like to help. He accepted and we soon became good friends and bonded over our mutual love of the TV show “The Office.” Love shortly followed! Hooray!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Joyful, breathtaking and spirit-filled!
In what month did you get married? The beautiful autumn month of October
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our personalities were weaved in and out of everything. I loved toasting with the Mason Jar Wine Glasses I made.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Sweet tea, BBQ and a handmade quilt Lucas’ grandmother made for our special day that lay on a porch swing – how much more Southern can you get?
Describe your wedding flowers: We wanted simple yet beautiful flower arrangements. We ordered through Sam’s Wholesale website and were pleasantly surprised at how fresh and gorgeous they were. We threw them in mason jars, antique vases and milk jugs. Southern perfection!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My husband and I are very creative people and so it was a challenge harnessing that creativity and making decisions. With the help of our loved ones, we were able to unleash our creativity and showcase who we are through all of the décor and details!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The Venue. Kathy Best at Front Porch Farms did an excellent job providing the most beautiful setting and professionalism when it came to accommodating our needs.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? During our ceremony, we had just finished the love letter portion where we put letters in a box to each other to be opened on our 25 wedding anniversary. Our acoustic musicians were playing background music during this time so instead of awkwardly waiting for them to finish, we ended up slow dancing. It was such a spontaneous moment that was so meaningful, so “us” and so special.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Unleash your creativity! Do not be afraid to be creative in how you spend your money – be thrifty and learn how to use local thrift stores for décor and details! Also, Pinterest is a wonderful place to gather your inspiration and ideas.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We LOVE creating a home and making it our sanctuary. Lucas just made me a complete bed from reclaimed barn wood – talk about how to make a Southern woman swoon! We hope to continue to grow our handmade home décor business and enjoy each other before we decide to have little ones for a few years.

Photographer: Cali Ashton Photography // Planner: Kathy Best of Front Porch Farms // Venue: Front Porch Farms // Wedding Cake Baker: Publix Bakery // Caterer: Jim N Nicks BBQ // Linens: handmade burlap table runners // Hair stylist and Makeup Artist: Amanda Morgan (615.812.7452) // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Target // Accessories: Not Too Shabby Designs

Love this wedding? You might like these, too!
Miranda + Blake’s Front Porch Farm Engagement Party here and here
Melissa + Eric’s peach, green and gray wedding here and here.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Desiree reply

    Well, first off, I wanted to comment on the super (ha) boutonnieres ~ I have so many grooms who could just care less about them. It’s nice to give a manly punch to traditional flowers. Then, I wanted to comment on how adorable the bridesmaids wheat bouquets were & how simply and lovely the table-scapes were.

    Then…my mouth dropped when I read “less than $10,000”. From now on, in my professional career as a wedding planner, I will be referring this wedding to all my brides who complain about low budgets. I always say, “anything can be done with enough creative imagination & inventiveness”. This bride proves this point…and then some. Major kudos to her & I wish the couple many years of happy marriage!!

    ugh. Im obsessed.

  2. avatar Linda at Cedarwood Weddings reply

    We love this wedding! The bridal party attire is so unique. Great job – congrats to everyone involved.

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Magazine | Featured « Cali Ashton Photography reply

    […] Magazine for featuring Sydney & Lucas’ wedding from this past October!  Check it out here.  We love when our brides are rewarded for their […]

  4. avatar Katie reply

    LOVE the dress! Anyone know the designer?

    • avatar Sydney Hutson reply

      Katie: I’m the bride featured. My dress is Allure Bridals design # 8634 in Champagne. :)

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    […] Magazine for featuring Sydney & Lucas’ wedding from this past October!  Check it out here.  We love when our brides are rewarded for their […]

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