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One of the “job hazards” of working at Southern Weddings is suffering from an occasional bout of wedding guest envy, and I could definitely say that today about Liz and Jim’s lucky loved ones! First of all, they seem like such a fun couple–just read about how they met (“As it turns out, if you ask the internet for an attractive, nice guy who likes the outdoors and wouldn’t mind dating a girl in the Army, you get Jim Perkins.”) or Jim’s equally sweet and amusing recount of his proposal. Second, their ceremony looks like it was so touching, from Liz being walked down the aisle by both her parents, to the personal vows she and Jim exchanged. And last but not least? Brunch, y’all. Any wedding with a biscuit bar, a waffle bar, AND syrup that was made by the groom’s family is alright by me!

Thanks so much to Elizabeth Fogarty for sharing Liz and Jim’s lovely celebration with us!

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One of my bridesmaids allowed me to borrow the veil that her mother had made for her when she got married in 2013. As my something blue, I wore my mother’s diamond and sapphire earrings. For my something old, I wore a diamond cross that has been passed down through three generations of my family as a 16th birthday gift (first to my grandmother, then my mother, then me). Just before the ceremony, I gave gifts to my bridesmaids and my mother. My mom received a small David Yurman ring, and it turned out that she had called Jim ahead of time to find out what gift I was planning to give her. Just before the ceremony, she gave me a matching ring to wear on my right hand.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did! We had a very brief ceremony, but it certainly embodied our personalities and our love for each other. Jim’s favorite line from my vows was when I declared in front of everyone “You know me better than anyone else…even Mom.” My favorite line from his vows was when he used a phrase he says almost daily: “I will keep you safe, protected, and loved.”

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Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! The trail mix bar was a symbol of our love of the outdoors. The idea for corn hole came up on one of our dates after we got engaged, when we played corn hole with some of Jim’s friends before a Seattle Sounders game. We have spent lots of time with family and friends and their children, so we chose to have a “kid parade” instead of flower girls and a ring bearer, in order to incorporate all the children who attended the wedding–there were 14 of them!

We chose to get married in DC because it was halfway between our families–mine is in North Carolina and Jim’s is in Connecticut. We knew we wanted to be outside, and the venue we chose was an Audubon Naturalist Society sanctuary. It was lovely for our May wedding–green and lush.

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What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We kept our flowers simple, and did big signs written in calligraphy instead of programs and menus for every guest.

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Our favorite detail was incorporating our parents’ recipes into the reception meal. We had both a biscuit and a waffle bar for our brunch reception. The biscuits were a North Carolina recipe perfected by my parents, and the syrup for the waffles was made by Jim’s parents in Connecticut. They also made maple leaf bottle favors of the syrup that served double duty as escort cards.

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Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I have a thing for French macarons. Our caterer was able to make pink, white, and blue macarons for our wedding, along with a ceremonial cutting cake. We love that we got that classic cake cutting picture without having a real wedding cake.

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How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. As it turns out, if you ask the internet for an attractive, nice guy who likes the outdoors and wouldn’t mind dating a girl in the Army, you get Jim Perkins. In other words, Match.com helped us find each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Jim: It’s not often that a man meets a woman and knows within six months that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. It’s possibly even rarer that this happens in long distance relationships. My company was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in late April and my block leave was scheduled for late March. We planned a trip to Kentucky during that time to combine two things that we both, especially I, enjoy: rock climbing at the Red River Gorge and bourbon craft distilling around Lexington. This trip was set to be our last chance to see each other before Liz began her pediatrics residency and I started business school, so unless I wanted to propose to her at a nice brunch in Bethesda, this was my only chance to do it right. We planned to spend a few days in Raleigh en route to Lexington so that I could meet more of her friends and family, and this itinerary meant that we wouldn’t be able to drive to Lexington in a single day. We made the obvious choice to stop in Asheville for a night and I immediately knew that the Biltmore Estate would be the perfect spot to ask her to marry me. This likelihood must have been obvious to her as well, so I took extra care to act disinterested in the forced “lay-over.” As we pulled up to the Inn at Biltmore Estate, Liz began to sense that something was up. She was clearly expecting something as we rode the elevator to our floor and then opened the door to find an elegant room with a balcony, and even a bottle of wine waiting for us. Seeing this, I seized the opportunity to tease her–I poured some wine, handed her a glass, took a knee, and…helped her take off her boots. From that moment, I was dubbed “the boy who cried wolf.” I had fooled her enough and she wasn’t going to fall for it again. The next day, I slipped the ring box into my camera case and we drove over to the estate to begin the tour. As we passed through the garden, there were photographers taking pictures of all of the visitors. We finished our tour and went to pick up our picture. Liz thought it was nice, but I asked if we could get a photographer to take our picture with the house in the background. It “just so happened” that they had a “roving photographer” who could do it. We walked with him along the lawn and up the carriage ramps to a spot and chatted. As we got ready for the picture, Liz set down her purse. Pretending to set down my camera case, I knelt down and pulled out the ring. Before I could say anything, Liz looked down at me and told me to “Stop messing around, this guy is trying to take our picture!” I told her that this time, finally, I was serious, and asked her to marry me while our private photographer captured the moment.
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 115
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us. Not only did our morning wedding schedule not really allow time for it, we also wanted that moment seeing each other as I walked down the aisle. It definitely changed the time we had for portraits, but our photographer was amazing and she made it work.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My cousin became a Universal Life minister for the occasion. She wrote the ceremony and recommended a reading from E.E. Cummings, “I Carry Your Heart With Me.” One of Jim’s closest friends, who traveled all the way from Seattle for the wedding, did the reading. It was a very special moment for us.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jim’s best man gave a really awesome speech–he created a PowerPoint similar to an Army mission briefing. It was funny, insightful, and truly touching.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are both Army officers. I am a pediatrics resident at Walter Reed hospital. Jim is an engineer officer currently earning his MBA at Georgetown. We have one more year in DC together before the Army takes Jim away for his next assignment. We plan to enjoy every minute.

Photographer: Elizabeth Fogarty / Planner: Natalie Schlosser of Atrendy Wedding / Venue: Woodend Sanctuary / Florist: Toulies / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Corcoran Caterers / Rentals: Paisely and Jade / Band: Brad Kolodner / Special Details: Just Write Studios / Paper Products: Dandelion Patch / Bride’s Gown: “Violet” by Matthew Christopher / Bridal Salon: Love Couture Bridal / Hair Stylist: DryBar / Makeup Artist: Lauren Jaber / Bride’s Shoes: Nine West / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Rings: Tiffany & Co.

The Dandelion Patch, Paisley & Jade, and Atrendy Wedding are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Dana reply

    biscuits, waffles, and syrup <3 <3 <3

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I have a soft spot for Texas weddings, and when the bride and groom are fellow University of Texas alumni, I can’t resist calling dibs on writing their wedding post! Brianna and Jim met at the Forty Acres, and after years of long-distance, they chose two very special venues in Brianna’s hometown for their winter wedding. Their celebration was classic, lovely, stylish (especially Brianna’s “Carrie Bradshaw-esque” dress!), and Southern–the focus on hospitality was undeniable, and I guarantee you that every SW gal is currently wishing we could’ve helped ourselves to their biscuit bar!

Thank you so much to Elisabeth Carol for sharing Brianna and Jim’s lovely day with us!

I borrowed my Granny Pehl’s wedding ring, just as my cousins before me have. I wore it on my right hand, and it was so special to have a piece of family history so close to me on the big day. My something old was my mother’s ring bearer pillow with a piece of my Meme’s lace sewn onto it. My something blue was my new monogram that we tied on my bouquet. I love how it pops in pictures, and it was fun getting to incorporate my new monogram into the wedding! My new was a pair of gold Manolo Blahnik pumps. To go with my Carrie Bradshaw-esque dress, I needed some dream shoes. I was under budget with my dress, so I was able to splurge on these beauties!

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Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Two weekends after the engagement, my mom, sister, and I headed to San Antonio to shop! I was about to start nursing school and wasn’t sure how much time I was going to have to get wedding items taken care of. I had always wanted to be married in Vera Wang and knew that her White collection at David’s Bridal was going to help make that dream a reality. I tried on almost all of her gowns, and when I put the last one on, I just knew this was the dress that I was going to marry Jim in. The dress was a little classic, a little couture, and a little Carrie Bradshaw.

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One of my fondest childhood memories is being a train bearer in my cousin’s wedding, waiting in the entry with her before she walked down the aisle. She was nervous and excited, and there was an energy in the room that I will never forget. I knew that I wanted that moment with Jim. I wanted to see him for the first time when the church doors opened.

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Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There are so many! We enjoyed every moment and detail of our day. I will say that the “The Washecheks” sign that hung above the sweetheart table made my heart skip a beat every time that I looked at it. It was such a sweet reminder of the new family that Jim and I were starting, and my new last name!

When I first met with my florist, I told her that I wanted Southern elegance with a feel of the Texas Hill Country, and I think that she nailed it. We went with classic white blooms, greenery, and mixed metals, from mercury glass to julep cups. There were three different centerpieces for the guest tables and a gorgeous garland swag that framed the sweetheart table. For the bouquets, I knew that I wanted something timeless, and Sprout gave me just that. She mixed white ranunculus, peonies, and roses with small punctuations of greens. It was heavenly!

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Jim and I chose to dance to “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. Throughout our relationship, this song would play on the radio in times that we needed a small reminder about our love and commitment, and it highlights the ideals that Jim and I have for our marriage. That night, the lyrics served as a promise to one another that no matter what, we won’t give up on each other–our marriage will be for a lifetime.

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What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Jim and I stressed the importance of Southern hospitality. My parents were amazing hosts and welcomed all of our friends and out-of-town guests with open arms, driving them around to see the sights, setting up tours of local attractions, and making dinner recommendations. We incorporated Southern spirits (Southern Comfort and Maker’s Mark bourbon) and used mint julep cups for florals and bar accoutrement. We served shrimp and grits, fried quail and waffles, and a biscuit bar, among other Southern favorites, and we highlighted the importance of family tradition. Jim and I are both lucky to come from a background of strong, lifelong marriages, so we displayed pictures from our parents and grandparents’ weddings, along with the date that they were married. 2014 was a special year, with my parents married 30 years and my grandparents 60 years, so it was important for us to celebrate that!

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How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Jim and I met my first week of college at The University of Texas at Austin when he was a senior and I was a freshman. I saw him from across the room talking to a mutual friend and knew that I had to meet him! The friend introduced us and we spent the night sitting on a couch in the middle of the room, dressed in neon rave gear, talking about everything under the sun. Jim moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area after he graduated and we began our four-year long distance relationship. Let’s just say, we know all of the best stops between Austin and Dallas! (We recommend the Czech Stop for kolaches during any road trip!)
Tell us all about the proposal! It was Easter weekend during my senior year at UT. Jim had explained that he couldn’t come to Fredericksburg (my hometown) for Easter and that he had a special gift for me instead. That Friday, my brother, mom, and I drove out to our family ranch to get extra chairs and tables for Easter. I saw my sister as we drove up to the ranch and was immediately confused that she was home from college and didn’t go home first! I walked inside and found a beautiful Easter basket and flowers with a card that read “Bri.” I immediately thought, “Oh! He sent a gift with Baleigh!” I opened the card and found out that my real surprise was waiting outside. As I walked down the steps, Jim walked up the hill toward me. Shocked, I froze, while Jim walked up, got on one knee, and asked me to be his wife! I had to ask him afterwards what he said exactly, because I was shocked, crying, and overwhelmed with joy.
When did y’all get married? December 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Jim and I were married in the church that I have attended my entire life. I was baptized there, went to school there, performed almost every part in the Christmas pageant (from baby Jesus to Mary) there, and attended Sunday mass regularly with my family. The reception was held at the Nimitz Naval History Museum. This museum meant the world to my late grandfather, Ollie, a former Navy sailor. He was on the board that commissioned the museum, was present at the opening ceremony, and is now honored on a plaque inside. Being from a small town, every place holds a memory and strong meaning. I love that I was able to honor my family and our history in the town of Fredericksburg during our wedding.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Jim and I were married in the Catholic Church, although Jim is not a Catholic. Throughout the process of preparing to be married in the Church, we had many opportunities to talk about our ideals, dreams, and hopes for our marriage. Our favorite prep activity was an engagement retreat that we went on. We spent the weekend focusing on laying the foundation for our marriage and making our relationship stronger. We left the weekend feeling strong in our relationship and confident in starting our marriage.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We decided early on that the cakes that I dreamed of were not in our budget. Our baker actually made our wedding cakes out of styrofoam for display, and then had cut sheet cakes in every flavor that were served as we “cut” the cake! It was the perfect way to cut cost!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jim, Praline, and I are currently living in Fort Worth! We just moved into a new house, I just started a job as a neonatal intensive care nurse, and Jim is a senior engineer at a power marketing firm. We are looking forward to our life settling down, having visits from our family and friends, and going on frequent movie dates at our favorite theater!

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol Photography / Videographer: Southern Charm Films / Ceremony Venue: St. Mary’s Catholic Church / Reception Venue: The Nimitz / Florist: Sprout Floral and Event Design / Cake Baker: Sophie’s Choice Bakery / Caterer: Cartewheels Catering / Rentals: Hill Country Event Rentals / DJ: Altared Weddings / Die-Cut Details: NarWall / Invitations: Veronica Foley / Envelope Calligraphy: Design Roots / Detail Calligraphy: Charlie Whiskey / Napkins and Stir Sticks: For Your Party / Bride’s Gown: White by Vera Wang / Bridal Salon and Veil: David’s Bridal / Hair Stylist: Jamie Laratta / Makeup Artist: Ginny Smith / Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale in Mallard / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids Dallas / Bridesmaid Earrings: “Carmella Stud” in Pearl by Kendra Scott / Menswear: Black by Vera Wang / Coordinator: Jasper Eisenberg

Elisabeth Carol is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    that biscuit bar is a dream!

  2. avatar Michael and Carina reply

    This wedding is just so awesome in so many ways! Love these, and those biscuits look divine!

  3. avatar Wedding Biscuit Bar + Favorite Biscuit Recipe reply

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    […] source                                                               source […]

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I never thought I would see the day when the Waffle House food truck would be a thoughtful and sentimental wedding detail, but thanks to LaKisha and Brently, that day is today! These two embraced tradition for many aspects of their Georgia wedding, such as their church ceremony and waiting to see each other until LaKisha walked down the aisle, but in other ways, they weren’t afraid to do things their own way. Case in point? The Waffle House food truck that served as a nod to their favorite game day snack, a tribute to their home state, and a meaningful moment for the couple and Brent’s grandfather alike.

We’re so grateful to CWF Photography for sharing this joyful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had a relatively small budget to work with, so I knew I had to be frugal and creative to create the look I wanted. I stumbled upon Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta online, which sells designer sample gowns at discounted prices. I fell in love with one dress in particular, and when I finally got to my appointment, the dress I had been eyeing was already pulled. After I tried on a few other dresses, the owner, Abriel, helped me into the dress and I had a Cinderella moment. It fit perfectly, and I could not stop smiling. As soon as Abriel put on the beautiful cathedral veil, both my parents and I knew that this was the gown!

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We decided to not do a first look. We have had friends who have done it and raved about how great it was, but we ultimately decided to keep with tradition and save that moment for the aisle. Looking back, I wouldn’t have traded that moment for the world! I did have a first look with my daddy though, and the pictures of that moment are priceless. He had had an unexpected open heart surgery a couple of months prior to the wedding that shook my world. I am so grateful that I had my daddy with me on my wedding day!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose Prince of Peace for the ceremony because it is my family’s church here in Atlanta. We have such a great relationship with the priest that having a wedding elsewhere wouldn’t have seemed right. Not to mention, the church is immaculate!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We had a traditional Catholic wedding and exchanged traditional vows. I am glad we opted to do this, because I don’t think I would have been able to recite personal vows without crying tears of happiness!

Pamela at Design House of Flowers was amazing to work with! She immediately picked up on my vision and was so knowledgeable of flowers that would work with my theme and budget! My bouquet and all of the flowers were breathtaking, and truly captured the whimsical garden feel I was going for. They included David Austin roses, blush pink sweet peas, dark pink anemones, purple Japanese aster, ivory astilbe, ivory ranunculus, and touches of seeded eucalyptus and dusty miller.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I had centered my whole wedding color scheme and theme around a picture of a cake I had seen on Pinterest, so naturally, I wanted to do a close replica. We had a family friend, who owns Rhodes Bakery in Roswell, recreate the cake! The groom is a big fan or strawberry cake, so the bottom tier was a delicious pound cake with strawberry preserves in the middle. The middle tier was red velvet, my favorite, and the top tier is a surprise! The groom and I can’t wait to cut into it on our first wedding anniversary!

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There were so many details we loved, but the Waffle House food truck that we surprised our guests with was by far our favorite! Brent and I are addicted to their hash browns, which we have shared many times after football games, and eat practically every month. Waffle House was also founded here in Atlanta, so we were happy to be able to share it with out-of-town guests. The best part of this detail was bringing a smile to Brent’s grandfather. We learned while he ordered his hash browns that he and Brent’s grandmother used to spend every Christmas morning at Waffle House. She had passed away a couple of years prior, so to see him smile at this detail of the wedding warmed our hearts!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brent and I are high school sweethearts. We met our junior year of high school in pre-calculus class, and I was so impressed with his mathematical abilities, which I completely lack! The first time we hung out just the two of us (before we officially started dating), we were working on a physics project at his house, and when I left, I accidentally blurted out “I love you”–how embarrassing!! We were inseparable for that whole year, and then endured four years of long distance while we were in college. The best thing about being high school sweethearts is that we have a relationship founded upon an amazing friendship. We were able to watch each other grow, and now that we are married, we get to continue to grow and do life together!
Tell us all about the proposal! After a couple of those “perfect moments” when I thought it was going to happen, I finally told myself to just let life happen and trust in God’s perfect timing. On Christmas day in 2013, I woke up to see my stocking stuffed–we had started a tradition that year of stuffing each other’s stockings instead of giving each other wrapped gifts. Brent was quite adamant that I start taking items out of my stocking first, so I did! One of the big items inside was a personalized calendar. I started flipping through the calendar to see what pictures he had chosen, and on the last month, instead of a picture, it had the message “Will you marry me?” written on it. I was in such shock, I do not remember a word he said–just the dazzling ring I had picked out back in 2010! I later found out Brent had had the ring since 2010, but wanted to wait till he had graduated from college in December 2013 before proposing. Now, that is dedication!
When did y’all get married? September 13, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 70
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We were tasked during our marriage classes with the priest to select our readings and come back and explain why we chose them. The readings we chose shared a common theme of the importance of prayer and the significance of us becoming one: Tobit 8:4b-8, 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8a, and Matthew 19:3-6.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Budget! However, I want brides to know that you don’t have to have a big budget to create a beautiful wedding. There were things we had to compromise on, such as reducing our guest count, but it ended up being a great decision because we were surrounded by only our closest family and friends. Websites like Etsy can also be extremely helpful!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The moment we were introduced as Mr. and Mrs. Brently Todd McDonald! I have waited so long for that moment and it was so surreal!!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are just enjoying newlywed life together, and we are looking forward to our first wedding anniversary trip to Costa Rica! We have decided that instead of Christmas gifts/anniversary gifts, we will go on yearly trip together. We love to travel, so we are excited about this tradition! We are hoping to travel to South Korea and explore my grandmother’s heritage on our second anniversary.

Photographer: CWF Photography / Videographer: David Robertson & Todd Galucki / Ceremony Venue: Prince of Peace Catholic Church / Reception Venue and Catering: Reunion Country Club / Florist: Pam Holley of Design House of Flowers / Cake Baker: Rhodes Bakery / Candles: Ikea / DJ: Rob Clark / Envelopes: Paper Source / Paper Products: Paper Please / Bride’s Gown: Romona Keveza / Bridal Salon and Veil: Fabulous Frocks of Atlanta / Hair and Makeup: Lashes and Lace / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “492” in Plum by Bill Levkoff / Menswear: Jos A. Bank / Men’s Socks: J. Crew / Food Truck: Waffle House / Bridesmaid Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar David Strauss reply

    I love the idea of having food trucks instead of buffet lines

  2. avatar Young Newlyweds Honor Their Humble Roots With Sweet Waffle House Reception – How to kill your time? reply

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  3. avatar Gerry Mayer reply

    Brent and LaKisha,
    Now that you are Waffley Wedded, I wish you a long, and very happy life together!

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