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Like our Family Heirlooms shoot, this editorial looks like a good time was had by all, doesn’t it? You just want to jump right in to the photos! Having a band on hand will do that, and a band was most definitely necessary for this story, where everything was inspired by the sweet song of the South. We are SO lucky that Nancy Ray, Amber Housley, and Cedarwood Weddings (all Blue Ribbon Vendors!) collaborated on this gem… please enjoy!

Amber put together a wedding weekend welcome pack to rival the Savannah version in our Generations Past editorial! These goodies are all Nashville or Tennessee favorites.

This team did such a great job incorporating crafty ideas while still maintaining a clean and cohesive look over all. Love the boutonnieres made out of sheet music!

Oh my word, this wreath is a stunner, isn’t it? I was immediately smitten. With it as the centerpiece of your ceremony, I don’t think you’d need any other decoration.

Speaking of showstoppers, these little belles and beaus definitely qualify. All five are the nieces and nephews of photographer Nancy Ray — we love that they were able to incorporate actual family into the day!

I’m sure the music from those triplet drummers was just lovely, but there was a real bluegrass band on hand, too — Jace Aaron and the Ranchers.

A pretty drink station is such a good idea for cocktail hour. It doesn’t have to be fancy, either — thyme sprigs dress up lemonade in simple glasses just beautifully!

We’re all about creative guest books, and this album is an especially good idea. It would look striking framed on the wall in a newlywed home!

I can’t get over this cake table — that patterned linen makes such a splash! Even if you don’t have the budget for custom linens, splurging on just one for a focal point can make a big impact. And I’d consider buying instead of renting, too. That way, you’ll have a special piece that reminds you of your wedding to bring out for special occasions for years to come!

We’d love to hear: What’s your favorite part of this editorial? I adore the ceremony wreath and everything about the cake and its table!

emily Written with love by Emily
15 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Weddings V6 Feature | Song of the South – Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Stylist | Custom Wedding Invitations Stationery | Lifestyle | Inspired | Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Nashville Wedding Pla reply

    […] had the honor and pleasure of being featured in Southern Weddings newest print issue, V6. We styled an editorial photo shoot that we called Song of the South based […]

  2. avatar Morgan Jones reply

    Oh my goodness, I would absolutely cherish a banjo (or any object) from a late Grandparent!

  3. avatar Linda at Cedarwood Weddings reply

    We feel blessed to be part of this gorgeous project with some good friends! The banjo was actually handmade my late father, and seeing it in Southern Weddings V6 brings joy to our family — our Dad would be so proud.

  4. avatar olivia reply

    Lemonade drink is part of the wedding theme, love it!!

  5. avatar Alexandra | Foiled Invitations reply

    The ceremony wreath is killing it, but I think the little drummer boys steal the show. Adorable.

  6. avatar Latrice @ Opulent Couturier Style reply

    Thankso so much for featuring this amazing shoot. It was a honor to be apart of this project with such an amazing professional team. To style so many beautiful people both inside & out still warms by heart! XOXO

  7. avatar Song of the South | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] in V6. Be sure to stop by their blog today and read the Behind the Scenes post , as well as their post on "Song of the South!" And if you haven't picked up your copy of V6, be sure to go buy one or leave a comment below! I'll […]

  8. avatar 14 wedding themes and ideas | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

    […] Southern Weddings {Nancy Ray} Are you in the process of planning your wedding? View my Plan Your Wedding Guide […]

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

    […] We fell in love with the music-inspired details, sentimental touches, and lovely Southern style in Song of the South, and we’re sure you will […]

  10. avatar Blog Features! | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] Southern Weddings featured my print editorial "Song of the South" on their blog, and I just love the additional images they chose. A recent mother of the bride asked me, "What is your proudest accomplishment?" I proudly replied that this shoot was, because it incorporated my family and my love for music. Designed by Amber Housely. […]

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    […] Ties {LittleVys Etsy Shop}, Bridal Party {Eternal Reflections Blog via Pinterest}, Floral Wreath {Southern Weddings}, Table {Wedding Chicks}, Sweet Tea Wedding Favors {Evermine Blog (scroll down)}, Dessert Display […]

  15. avatar Rustic Wedding Inspiration Featuring Rustic Retro – Weddings Ideas from Evermine reply

    […] Ties {LittleVys Etsy Shop}, Bridal Party {Eternal Reflections Blog via Pinterest}, Floral Wreath {Southern Weddings}, Table {Wedding Chicks}, Sweet Tea Wedding Favors {Evermine Blog (scroll down)}, Dessert Display […]

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Few things tug at my heartstrings quite like a military wedding. The special love and loyalty that Christy and Rob share, which I think is so characteristic of military couples, shines through these pictures! Their vintage-inspired, DIY wedding was a true labor of love, as Christy and Rob collected decor and mismatched china from every corner of the country to use at their barn reception. After vowing to go wherever the Navy may take them, but to always find their way back to one another (so romantic!), they danced the night away to their favorite country songs. Y’all must know that we adore the idea of ending a reception with a family line dance!

Special thanks to Stephanie Fay for sending us this sweet wedding to share!

We met at a Halloween party in Frederick, MD in 2007. We both noticed each other right away and Rob eventually mustered up the courage to talk to me but we left that evening without exchanging numbers. A week later, I mentioned Rob to my best friend Krystal (who threw the party) and told her how handsome Rob was. A few days later, Rob found me on Facebook and for the next five months we talked over the phone and computer while I studied abroad in Italy. One week after returning from Italy, I drove down to Maryland for my best friend’s (as well as Rob’s brother’s) graduation and Rob took me on our first real date. For the next four years, we did long-distance and saw each other every three weeks.

Christy’s style is right up my alley–I love her Plum Pretty Sugar getting-ready robe (in my favorite print, no less!) and her simply elegant gown!

Finding my gown was a lot easier then I thought it would be. While I was on a wedding blog, I completely fell in love with a gown that I saw a bride wearing. Sometimes you don’t even have to try a gown on to know it’s yours. The only hard part was finding the gown to try it on, but once I found it, it fit me exactly how I knew it would. The best part about my gown was that it had pockets!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! Doing a first look was probably one of the best things we could have done. We were so excited to see each other and it made the rest of the day so relaxed for us. Getting all the pre-wedding jitters out really made the day a breeze and we were able to enjoy moments together that you normally wouldn’t get to do without having a first look.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote our own vows. Rob mentioned that he’d love me no matter how many times he had to replace a bumper on the Denali (I “lightly” bumped his SUV into something the week prior while I was in New Jersey and he was in Mississippi). We also vowed to go wherever the Navy may take us and to always find our way back to each other, no matter what life throws our way.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? During the ceremony my cousin, Dr. G. Drue Smethers, said some kind words about love, faithfulness, and growing together. He talked about how Rob and I grew closer with them while living nearby in San Diego, CA, our passion for each other, and our adventurous nature that always made us up for something new or spontaneous.

These yellow chairs are one of my favorite details about Christy and Rob’s wedding. They really pop against the wood in the barn!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? If you’re a DIY vintage bride like me, start collecting everything early from rummage sales, thrift stores and antique stores. If you’re making a lot of the details yourself, have a plan and write down a project to do each week to keep yourself organized. If you know exactly what you want, go for it; don’t be afraid to be different or unique, even when people around you might think you’re crazy at times! Get to know your vendors really well and make sure you trust them fully. If something doesn’t feel right to you, they probably aren’t a good fit for your wedding. It’s important to choose vendors that you are completely happy with and whose style fits in well with your wedding.

The most memorable moment for us, besides looking at each other while walking down the aisle, was standing in the middle of our reception and seeing all of our friends and family surrounding us. It was the first time everyone was in one spot together and we will never forget it!

Tell us all about the proposal! We were getting ready to go to a Christmas Eve party in NJ three weeks before Rob’s second deployment. Right before we walked out the door, Rob got down on one knee. I was shocked, to say the least, to see Rob holding such a beautiful ring! My response was, “You’re doing this right now?” and then Rob asked, “Will you marry me”? I said YES and gave him a kiss! Rob originally had “a plan” on how he was going to surprise me, but since our life is so crazy and nothing planned is set in stone with the Navy life, it was no surprise the proposal was spontaneous.
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
Describe your wedding flowers. I really wanted the flowers to look organic and chic to add to the vintage feel of our wedding. I wanted to incorporate colors that were soft and pastel. After almost eight months of searching, I came across a bouquet by Floral & Bloom Designs on a fellow photographer’s blog. I immediately fell in love with her work! After I met with the owner, Rachel, I knew I found the perfect florist. We were both on the same page and I basically told her “it’s your show; I want you to have fun with it. Be creative and do your thing.” All of the florals for the wedding were absolutely breathtaking and I couldn’t have been happier. I’m so grateful I found Rachel at Florals & Bloom Designs and I highly recommend her!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Instead of having a traditional cake, we wanted a dessert bar that had a mix of different things. We had a mini cake that was made just for Rob and I by Rob’s aunt. The cupcakes and macrons were ordered from Pearl Cupcake in Richmond and were delicious! We also added in some glazed munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts and my mom made chocolate cookies for us!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many favorite details from our wedding, but I think our favorite was the photo booth that Rob and my dad built. All of the guests enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun seeing both of our families taking photos together. To be honest, I think the line for the photo booth was longer then the line for the bar.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something borrowed, I wrapped my grandparent’s wedding bands and my grandpa’s dog tags around my bouquet. I borrowed my mother-in-law’s pearl earrings and my garter had blue in it.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I buried a bottle of bourbon upside down exactly one month before our wedding at our venue in the bourbon garden. I believe it helped bring us good luck because the sun was shinning and it was a gorgeous out the entire day. All of our favorite country songs were played. Rob and I were driven to our barn reception in a cameo Rhino—it was awesome! We ended the night with a family line dance called the Tush Push, which is played to “Achy Breaky Heart” from Billy Ray Cyrus. It’s a must-have tradition by the Smethers family at every wedding.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was trying to plan a DIY vintage wedding while living in different states. We literally started collecting the mismatched china plates in Virginia Beach, and bought everything else in Maryland, New Jersey, California, and Mississippi. Another challenge was organizing all the décor and china plates at Rob’s house in Maryland (he was living in Mississippi at the time). The week of the wedding, we had to do about seven trips back and forth from the venue with an SUV and trailer because we had so much stuff. Another challenge that we faced was finding vendors that were a good fit for our wedding and nailing down the details while living in California. Early on, if something didn’t feel right to us, we weren’t afraid to keep searching until we found vendors that we were happy with.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I would say the one vendor that we were really happy to have a part of our wedding day was our photographers, Stephanie and Stephen. They flew all the way from Arizona to capture our special day and there are no words I can express for how grateful we are to have had them there. It’s because of them that we are going to have gorgeous images that will last us a lifetime!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Just being married to each other and spending time together, something that we don’t often get to do. With the military, you never know when there’s going to be another deployment or when you’re going to have to move across the country a couple of times in one year (we’ve moved three times in the last 18 months). We want to enjoy every minute that we get with each other! Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most, like cooking together, watching a movie or just going on long drives.

Photographer: Stephanie Fay | Planner: Bride | Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Silverbrook Farm | Florist: Floral & Bloom Designs | Cupcakes and Macarons: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe | Caterer: Mosaic Edibles | Vintage Furniture and Reception Chairs: Something Vintage Rentals | Lighting: Mosaic Edibles | DJ: Mattie Fresh | Bride’s Jewelry: Marolsha Etsy Shop | Bride’s Veil: Jefre Bridals | Bride’s Garter: Rose Bud Lips Etsy Shop | Bride’s Clutch: Juneberry Stiches Etsy Shop | Bride’s Gown: Paloma Blanca, Jefre Bridals | Invitation Design: Paper Dolls Design | Envelopes: Paper Source | Burlap Cases, Tags, Labels, Liners, Vintage Stamps, and Wedding Programs: Handmade by the Bride and Groom | Hair Stylist: Mikyla from The Shop Salon | Makeup Artist: Jodi from Ariel Lewis | Bride’s Shoes: Aldo | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic | Groom’s Tie: Handsome and Lace Etsy Shop | Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan | Rentals: DC Rental | Bridesmaids’ Necklaces: JaeCmaie Etsy Shop | Flower Girls’ Dresses: Kate Feist, Mother of Flower Girls | Favors: The Succulent Source Etsy Shop

lisa Written with love by Lisa
12 Comments
  1. avatar Keira reply

    The ties look great Rob!! Of course you guys are the MOST ATTRACTIVE COUPLE EVER!!!

    -Keira

  2. avatar Ken Tan reply

    Love the colours! Beautiful wedding :)

  3. avatar Dana reply

    One of the most beautiful rustic chic weddings ever! I love the color palette!

  4. avatar Resa reply

    Stunning!!! As expected :)

  5. avatar Fred Forbes reply

    Actually, Lisa, Rob did wear his Navy outfit for the ceremony. Check the shot of them during the ceremony where he is wearing his dress whites. Changed for the reception. Great time had by all!

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    […] [Photos, from top: Giddy for Paisley | Idha Lindhag for Elle Interiör via SF Girl By Bay | Stephanie Fay from Southern Weddings.] […]

  10. avatar mary reply

    Is the dress in natural or cream color?

  11. avatar Announcing the Pantone Design Competition Winners – Blog for Wedding Industry Professionals reply

    […] Photographer Katelyn Shanice via June Bug Weddings/Shoes: Photographer Stephanie Fay via Southern Weddings/Buttonhole: Etsy Listing/Invitation: via Printerette Press/Table Setting: via Martha Stewart […]

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Caroline + Chaz love picnics and couldn’t think of a better way to spend time with their nearest and dearest than by recreating the summer activity. It was especially appropriate (and downright sweet) for Caroline, whose grandmother was a quilting pro and even had one of her creations presented to Eleanor Roosevelt! We are absolutely in love with the laid back atmosphere, delicious boxed meals and adorable lawn signs reserving quilts for the Mr. and Mrs. After enjoying the dining experience on the lawn, guests partied the night away (yes, even with a special playing of “Call Me Maybe”) until the newlyweds made their getaway in Caroline’s dad’s antique Porsche.

Did you have a cocktail hour? Right after the ceremony, Chaz and I went to take some sunset pictures, which we LOVE, while everyone else went to cocktail hour. We served some Southern classics: spiked Arnold Palmers, mini cucumber sandwiches, mini pimento cheese sandwiches, and mini BLT’s. Maybe one of our favorite parts of the whole day was that during the beginning of cocktail hour we got to eat dinner, just the two of us. Our planner had set up a table in a building adjacent to the Plantation Home where cocktail hour was taking place. We got the opportunity to talk about the wedding ceremony and everything that had happened that day. It was wonderful to get to spend time just the two of us, and I would highly recommend it to any couple!
What was the design inspiration for your reception? We really wanted something casual, Southern, and fun. We actually had never seen a picnic reception before, so this idea shockingly wasn’t from Pinterest. Boxed dinners were cheaper than a seated, plated meal, so everything worked out perfectly! We did provide enough tables for everyone in case people weren’t comfortable on quilts, but we were so glad that, although untraditional, most people joined in!

The one aspect of our wedding that we’ve never seen anyone else do was the picnic reception. It was exactly what we wanted: delicious, casual, and budget-friendly! It was also very special to me because my grandmother on my dad’s side was a quilting pro! She worked on a quilt with some women in Kentucky that won the 1933 World’s Fair Sears Quilt contest. The quilt was sent to the White House and presented to Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt to keep, and there is now no record of it. Before she died, she recreated the quilt and we are so proud to have it in our possession. The quilts on the grounds of Carnton reminded me so much of her!

Tell us a bit about your first dance. While our first dance didn’t go at all how I had planned, it was definitely the most hilarious moment of our wedding. We told the DJ, who was wonderful in every other aspect, that we wanted to dance to “At Last” by Etta James. When we got out to the dance floor for our first dance, this crazy version of “At Last” starts playing. It’s not even Etta James, it’s some horrible live version. I think Chaz realized that I was horrified, so he made it his ultimate goal to make me laugh. We were cracking up our entire first dance. It wasn’t the moment I was expecting to create, but it is definitely a fun and memorable one!

What kind of food did you serve during the cocktail hour, dinner and dessert? For dinner, we decided to have a picnic. All throughout the grounds were quilts that my mom and our families collected from friends, laid out for people to picnic on. We had boxed dinners that were delicious! They had gourmet fried chicken, grilled veggies, a tri-bean salad, potato salad, and a fruit skewer. To drink, we offered fruit tea, a Nashville favorite, sweet tea, water and then a Nashville beer called Yazoo Pale Ale. Maybe the most Southern thing at our entire wedding was the biscuit bar. Our caterer made so many delicious mini biscuits: buttermilk biscuits, cheddar biscuits, herb biscuits, and sweet potato biscuits. She also brought tons of different toppings: fresh creamery butter, honey butter, apple butter, strawberry preserves, apricot preserves, and raspberry jam.

Describe your wedding cake: Our cake was alternating layers of a very light lemon and amaretto Italian wedding cake. It was out of this world. When you cut into the cake, it made yellow and white stripes, just like everything else at our wedding! We wanted to have a special “cake” for Chaz because his birthday was the day before our wedding. He decided on another Southern classic: banana pudding. We put all of the little individual banana puddings in my grandmother’s old pie safe. My loving parents lugged it all the way to the plantation just for this moment. I loved it because it felt like my grandmother got to be there. And it was adorable!

Describe your centerpieces: The quilts didn’t require any centerpieces, they were beautiful on their own! Each table had an ivory linen and a burlap square on top. Most of them had antique books that were both in our color scheme and whose titles were about love. We also included blue mason jars with flowers, and milk glass with flowers. Some tables just had these huge apothecary jars full of lemons and then a ribbon tied around them with a label that I designed that said, “Chaz and Caroline, June 16, 2012.”
What were some of the highlights? Chaz and I love nothing more than dancing with friends, and it was so much more fun dancing at our own wedding. I specifically remember watching Chaz dance his heart out to the songs “Scrub the Ground” while getting lower than I’ve ever seen him go before. I also requested some songs for particular friends, like this summer’s classic “Call Me Maybe” for one of my best friends, Vasilisa. One thing that we did differently than most is we had a last dance. Since we were going to Mexico for our honeymoon and we love the band Jump Little Children, our last dance was called “Mexico.” All the couples got to join us on the dance floor to close it off right before our final send off.
Did you try anything new or untraditional? The picnic idea was both new and untraditional. So was the biscuit bar and the banana pudding.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? I tossed the bouquet, but after talking about it, both of us weren’t looking forward to the awkward “finding of the garter” (where did this tradition come from?!), so we decided to skip it.
Tell us about your grand exit. Our exit was SO fun! We started at the front of the house and walked amidst trees and people lining the walkway all the way to my dad’s antique Porsche. It’s always been my dream to drive away in his Porsche that we rode in as kids. I’m glad Chaz could drive it (this stick shift in particular is near impossible to navigate) because he worked for years in high school as a valet.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? My parents were really generous to us with the wedding. They gave us a budget, and said that if we wanted to spend less than that, we could save the rest. Since we’re currently paying for Chaz’s medical school (not a cheap route), we tried to cut as many corners as we could. While this was probably the biggest challenge we faced, it was almost like a game. We continually checked to make sure that we couldn’t shave off any money anywhere. I am glad that even though we were very budget-conscious, we made sure to include all of the things that were important to us.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? It’s been a huge time of transition for us. I just graduated from college, we got married, and then we headed to Savannah for Chaz’s medical school rotations. We have a lot to look forward to both individually and as a couple. I just started a new job at Southpoint Media, a web design and development firm here in Savannah. I’m also starting a new paper line for invitations and stationary, Caroline Fausel Paperie, while also free-lancing as a graphic designer and continuing my music career in Savannah. Chaz had really enjoyed his rotations so far and is looking forward to graduating medical school soon. We’re excited to see where Chaz’s residency program takes us, and are hoping to get the opportunity to explore a new city in the Southeast.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Pick the top things that are important to you about your wedding day. Plan your budget around those things. The most important aspect about the planning is attitude. We kept saying to ourselves and each other, “If at the end of the day I’m married to you, I’m happy.” In the end it’s not the small details that matter, but the fact that you’re getting married!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
7 Comments
  1. avatar Inspired by This Blog reply

    Love the banner over the dessert table!

  2. avatar miranda t reply

    I NEED to know what dress the lady holding the biscuits is wearing. im in love with it.

  3. avatar Dee Shore reply

    I’m in love with this reception! Truly unique. May “borrow” the idea lol

  4. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze | Floridian Weddings reply

    […] I'm sure I'm not the only gal in love with the idea of a picnic wedding. Isn't this so fun? […]

  5. avatar Tuesday’s Table: Picnic in the Park | CharaNicole reply

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  6. avatar Caroline Fausel | Caroline Fausel Paper Co. reply

    Thanks, Dee! Did you end up borrowing it? So glad you liked it- I hope the idea spread :)

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