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Gracious alive, I think we hit the Southern wedding jackpot with Jennifer and Justin’s Virginia wedding! I could literally list each and every one of their details as the best part–I know Kristin would agree, considering their wedding is like a smorgasbord of our combined favorite things! While you must scroll down to completely understand, humor my list-making heart and let me share a few: monogrammed Jacks, pineapple centerpieces with magnolias, seersucker LulaKate dresses, hush puppies, and did I mention monograms galore? Yes, these two included so much Southern goodness in their wedding, and they did so with the best frame of mind: making their friends and family feel at home through sweet Southern hospitality and gracious love.

Hugs to Nikki Santerre for sending us this lovely day!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was the pair of David Yurman pearl earrings my sweet new sister in-law lent me to wear on the wedding day. My something blue was my shoes, a pair of navy blue monogrammed Jack Rogers. My something old was my late grandmother’s handkerchief, which I carried around my bouquet. My something new kept up with our celebratory koozie theme. I asked all the girls to be bridesmaids with monogrammed koozies embroidered with “Will you be my bridesmaid?” so for my something new, my bridesmaid Heather, who does all my monogramming, surprised me with a matching monogrammed bride koozie. It was such a sweet keepsake and it fit perfectly in the pocket of my dress to save for the reception!

Describe your wedding flowers. The bouquets had pink peonies, which are my absolute favorite flowers, and white and green hydrangeas to go with our pink, green, and navy color scheme. We had the same flowers in half the centerpieces, and the other tables had pineapples with magnolias and Spanish moss on them.

Dear Sweet Tea Monograms, can WE be friends?

I am a huge history buff and loved the idea of having our wedding reception at one of the oldest and most historic plantation homes in Virginia. It was a great way to show our family and friends all the wonderful things the South has to offer. The Cathedral was important to us because the Monsignor that does weddings there also did my First Communion and First Reconciliation, so it was very fitting to have him marry us as well. It is also a historical landmark with beautiful architecture and intricate design.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It’s tough to narrow it down to just one because we tried to reflect our personalities and who we are as a couple in almost every aspect of the wedding, but we both agree the location and the weather really helped make the day. The Plantation’s view of the James River and the magnolia and weeping willow-lined walkways made quite the picturesque setting. We could not have asked for better weather–being outdoors in the summer in the South is always a gamble, but we lucked out with sunshine and low humidity, which made for a beautiful day.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We wanted our family and friends to experience a taste of Southern hospitality at our wedding. We served some of our favorite Southern foods including mac and cheese, chicken biscuits, Old Bay shrimp, and my personal favorite, hush puppies. We incorporated the Southern symbol of hospitality, the pineapple, along with magnolias in many of our decorations and details. Every Southern girl loves her monograms, and one of my bridesmaids has a monogramming company, so we put monograms on everything from our favors (koozies, of course), to our cups, to our corn hole boards. We utilized several Southern companies for our wedding party attire and our Firefly and lemonade signature cocktail. Plus, we rocked the dance floor with some of our favorite country and Southern rock songs.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in the summer of 2003. I was finishing up my freshman year of high school and got my first job working as a lifeguard at my neighborhood pool. Justin was finishing up his junior year at a neighboring high school, and was a veteran lifeguard who was assigned to the same pool. After a couple of dates, one of which included dinner at Arby’s and a movie, we have been together ever since! We dated all through college while we were both at James Madison University, stayed together when Justin went to grad school in Florida, then both ended up getting jobs back in Richmond, Virginia.
Tell us all about the proposal! Two of my best friends (and bridesmaids) live around Charleston. We love Charleston, so we could not wait to visit them. While we were down there for a long weekend, we planned a beach day on Sullivan’s Island. We were laying out on the beach looking out at Ft. Sumter and the Charleston skyline when my friends said they had to go back to the car real quick. Justin then asked me if I needed another drink from the cooler. When I turned around, he was on one knee with a koozie embroidered with “Will you marry me?” and my new married monogram on it. He had stuck the ring box in the koozie! Our friends were hiding getting pictures of it all. It was the perfect proposal for me because he made sure to incorporate all of my favorite things: monograms, koozies, the beach, my favorite Southern city, and even some Civil War history!
When did y’all get married? June 28, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went dress shopping with my mom, my future mother-in-law, and my future sister-in-law in Richmond. A few friends had recommended their bridal consultant from Bella Rosa, so I made an appointment with her. She was so helpful in working with what I knew I didn’t want, and helped me realize what I did want. We ended up narrowing it down to three dresses and I was so indecisive. However, I knew I had found the one when I tried it on and someone in my group mentioned it reminded them of something from “Gone with the Wind.” Extra bonus: it had pockets!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. We are pretty traditional when it came to wedding details and I always knew I wanted the first time Justin saw me on our wedding day to be when my father walked me down the aisle. I love a good surprise!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. Again, in keeping with tradition, we thought there was something special about using the same wedding vows that have been used for generations!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? One of the biggest challenges of planning a wedding is staying focused and within budget. In this age of technology, there are so many distractions; with all of those ideas, it is easy to get wrapped up in all the little details and stress about having a “perfect” wedding. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are married to the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our advice to couples currently planning a wedding is to TRY to relax and enjoy it. It all goes by so quickly, and the next thing you know, you’ll be back at work after the honeymoon wishing you could re-live it all again!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking forward to settling into married life in the Richmond area and enjoying the rest of the summer with our dog, Stonewall. We recently built a house and can’t wait to finish decorating it.

Photographer: Nikki Santerre / Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart / Reception Venue: Berkeley Plantation / Florist: Petals & Twigs / Cake Baker: Candy Valley Cake Company / Caterer: David Watson / Rentals and Lighting: Party Perfect Event & Party Rentals / DJ: Greg Haynes / Paper Products: Collins Printing / Bridal Salon: Bella Rosa / Hair and Makeup: Bombshell Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Zoe” by LulaKate / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaid Richmond / Men’s Attire: Southern Proper / Men’s Attire Store: Natty Beau Richmond / Monogramming: Sweet Tea Monograms / Bridesmaids’ Earrings: Kate Spade

marissa Written with love by Marissa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Loverly reply

    Swooning over those seersucker bridesmaids dresses!

  2. avatar Nikki Santerre reply

    Thank you so much for featuring Jen & Justin’s wedding day! xoxo!

  3. avatar Heather reply

    Loved seeing this gorgeous wedding featured on the blog today! As one of Jennifer’s bridesmaids and good friends, this was such a special day for all of us! And YES let’s be friends! :) xo Heather from Sweet Tea Monograms

  4. avatar Caught My Eye, Volume 25 reply

    […] and I are in full-on wedding planning mode.  I’m loving the bridesmaids dresses in this Pineapple and Seersucker wedding.  What do you think, […]

  5. avatar AC reply

    I LOVE Jennifer’s dress!! Is there any way you could share the name of the designer or collection?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi AC! Of course, we tracked down the dress info for you. It’s “Diana” Dress by Kathy Ireland Weddings in ivory, but Jennifer did have a few custom alterations made. Best of luck! xx

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Madison and Brady fell in love with their charming farm venue from the first photo they saw of it. Jennifer and Justin filled their wedding with meaningful details that are oh so Southern. We couldn’t stop […]

  7. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    The church is stunning and the monogram details on everything are an adorable idea! It really makes the pieces special for that day.

  8. avatar Mer reply

    In love with the pineapple centerpieces – such a brilliant idea. And Stonewall is just a perfect name for a dog!! :)

  9. avatar Pineapple Dreaming | Ses & Jen Stylefiles reply

    […] centrepiece, simple scoop out the flesh, fill with oasis and style your arrangement. Click here for more […]

  10. avatar KMD reply

    Hi! Love love love the Virginia monogram koozies! Any chance y’all know where the couple got them? Thanks!

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The way Mike proposed to Christie is similar to my dream proposal — simple, heartfelt and a little nod to how far they’ve come. I just adore that Christie was lucky enough to be able to wear the ring that was a part of Mike’s family for generations. How special is it know knowing that the ring on your finger was also a part of many love stories before yours? In my opinion, their gorgeous blue wedding was just the icing on top of the cake! We love these images from Tracy Timmester — especially how she makes biscuits look so buttery and delicious, even on a computer screen.

Check out more of Christie + Mike’s wedding in their video by Thomas Bowen right here!

Raise your hand if you love Christie’s bouquet ribbons! I adore the colors and textures. It matches perfectly with her flowers!

There was no question about who I wanted to do my wedding flowers. Holly Chapple is an amazing artist and I am so blessed to call her a friend. It is so important to let your vendors have the creative license to do what they do best: design. I asked Holly for pretty, soft, romantic flowers and let her take it from there. What we ended up with was so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. They were lush and romantic with tons of hydrangeas, cabbage roses, and delphinium.

I wanted finding my dress to be a really special day, so I decided to only take my sister and my mother with me. We found the dress at the same shop (Betsy Robinson’s) where my sister found her dress. I fell in love with how elegant it was and the detailing on the flower. Before we were done, I had to add one signature touch – the ivory satin ribbon tied into a bow in the back made the dress perfectly me!

Both Mike and I felt strongly that we wanted the first time we saw each other to be when I was walking down the aisle toward him; that moment is so powerful and special. I am so happy we stuck to our guns on not seeing each other before the ceremony. Our guests got to share in the genuine emotion of the moment we saw each other. When I got to the end of the aisle, we were both all smiles.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We love the beauty and tradition of the Catholic ceremony so we used the traditional vows. Our absolute favorite part is where we promised “to love and honor each other all the days of our life.” We really try and live that vow every day.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Sirach 26, 1-4. 13-16 This has been one of my favorite Bible passages my whole life. It sums up who I hope to be as a woman and as a wife. Philippians 4, 4-9 — This reading reminded us that God is at the center of our lives and should be at the center of our marriage. The Gospel was Matthew 22, 35-40 — My absolute favorite reading. When it all comes down to it, all we need to remember is to love God with our whole hearts, minds and souls – and try and love each other in that same way. It’s simple and profound.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The most important aspect of our wedding was that Mike and I wanted our guests to walk away from our wedding feeling like they were treated to the best Southern hospitality and are surrounded by lots of love! I knew that I wanted to focus on making sure our guests had the best experience for our wedding weekend. We chose a location that would be great for our big families and vendors who we loved as artists and people. That Southern hospitality began with our welcome bags. We included a personal note in each bag and stuffed them with two family favorites, candied pecans and Grandma’s lemon pudding pound cake, both baked from scratch in my mother’s kitchen! When guests arrived at cocktail hour, they were treated to our “Southern Charmer” cocktail (a champagne mint julep) and shrimp and grit fritters. Dinner included a candied pecan salad with goat cheese and red wine-braised short ribs with home-style mashed potatoes and cornbread. The late night Biscuit Bar was perfect for all of our guests who had literally been on the dance floor for hours. Our personalized signs helped guests load up fresh biscuits with all their fixings. I also wanted to honor all the special women in my life in some way, so I wore a little memento for them on the wedding day. My engagement ring was an heirloom from women in Mike’s family, I wore my great-grandmother’s earrings, carried a handkerchief hand-embroidered by my grandmother, my pearl necklace and bracelet were gifts from my mother, and my sorority badge was pinned to the inside of my dress.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The amazing organist at my church agreed to learn the Wedding Processional from the Sound of Music AND he brought in a trumpeter to make it extra special for my entrance. There was not a dry eye in the church! That movie was very special to my grandmother and me. We used to watch it together all the time when I was a little girl and it brings tears to my eyes every time I hear how regal and beautiful the song is. Our first dance was set to “Making Memories of Us” by Keith Urban. The song talks about everything we want in our marriage – to honor each other’s families and to spend a lifetime together making incredible memories. My father-daughter dance was extra special. My dad and I danced to Josh Turner’s “I’ll Be There.” The lyrics of that song perfectly express what every parent hopes to be for their child, and what my dad and mom have meant to me over all these years. Mike and his mother’s song was “Young at Heart” by Frank Sinatra which perfectly captured their playful and fun relationship!

Whoa. How delicious does C + M’s biscuit bar look? We’re not surprised that it was a total hit and C + M’s favorite detail of the wedding.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Mike and my brother Kevin have been friends for years, but I never got a chance to meet Mike. I remember when I finally did run into him at a golf course, I spent almost a half hour joking around with him and thinking how funny he was! My brother ended up setting us up on a date, and after that, Mike and I were pretty much inseparable. (You know you have a great guy when your baby brother gives it a thumbs up!) Mike is funny, kind, and makes me so happy, so of course I was thrilled when he decided to propose!
Describe the proposal. On our first date, Mike invited me over to his house and cooked me an amazing meal. Over the hours that we spent talking, I started to realize just how kind, funny and sweet he was — not to mention a fabulous cook! For the proposal, he recreated that first date and then we took a walk around the neighborhood. He got down on one knee right at the spot where we had shared our first kiss and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him. He gave me a beautiful ring that has been a part of his family for generations. I am so honored to wear that ring and to be a part of such an incredible family!
In what month did you get married? March
How many guests attended your wedding? 171
Describe your wedding cake or dessert: The wedding cake was absolutely delicious! We went with two flavors, Viviacious Vanilla and Caramelicious. Most guests had a slice of each because it was so yummy!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Mike and I have so many special people we wanted to share our wedding day with, so keeping the guest count down without leaving out important friends was our biggest struggle. We decided to remove a few design elements in order to make sure that we could accommodate all of those people in our budget. In the end, we were so honored to have so many of our friends and family travel in from all over the country to be with us on our wedding day.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? We were in the $25,000-$50,000 range.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? The band! We had the BEST TIME EVER dancing at the wedding thanks to Snackbar Jones. The energy they brought to our celebration made all the difference in the world I really don’t think I have ever seen a dance floor that packed for every song of the night. Our guests left raving about how awesome the music was.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We had the most amazing toasts at our wedding. Mike’s brother, my sister, and my dad were sweet and so funny! My dad had saved a Father’s Day gift from my childhood – I gave him a book of coupons good for a hug, a kiss, and a silly dance. At the end of his speech, he ripped out the coupon for the silly dance and traded it in for our father-daughter dance. I will never forget that moment!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The best advice I can give is to hire a wedding planner! I have no idea what I would have done without the support of the planning team. My family was able to spend time with me and Mike instead of having to run around to check on the details and put out fires. Consider your planning team an insurance plan for one of the most important expenses and days of your life!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are having so much fun settling into our new home together and getting used to calling each other husband and wife! We can’t wait to start a big family and are so excited for all the fun milestones to come.

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

    From the bouquet ribbons to the biscuit bar, this wedding is a dream!

  2. avatar Christie & Mike’s Wedding Featured on Southern Weddings » Timmester Photography reply

    […] lovebirds.  And clearly, Southern Weddings agreed!  Check out the full Southern Weddings feature HERE or see a few snippets of it below.  You can also see Christie & Mike’s full wedding blog […]

  3. avatar » Love List reply

    […] {These bouquets are my definition of perfect. From the flowers to that incredible ribbon, I’m quite in love! By Timmester Photography via Southern Weddings} […]

  4. avatar Real Event Planning: Family Weekend Silent Auction, Stage 2 | Simply Jessica Marie reply

    […] my gosh, a biscuit bar? This could not be a better way to represent our southern […]

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