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Most couples choose a familiar city for their wedding…one of their hometowns, the place where they met or fell in love, or a favorite vacation destination, for example. I think there’s something so fun about the alternate route Teresa and Jeff took though! They purposefully chose to be married in a city that neither of them had ever been to before. Together, they got to create totally new memories during their wedding weekend in a place that will now always be special to them. It just so happens that the city they chose is my personal favorite city in the South (Austin, Texas–home of my alma mater!), so I knew I was going to love their stylish wedding! Teresa rocked a Carolina Herrera that looked stunning against the Hill Country backdrop, and the blue watercolor details they incorporated throughout their day (with the help of Bird Dog Wedding) were gorgeous and unique.

Big hugs to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Kristen Kilpatrick for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my dress on the very first shopping trip I went on! Shortly after getting engaged, I went with one of my bridesmaids, just to see what was out there, but definitely not expecting to find anything. Surprise surprise, I found the most gorgeous Carolina Herrera dress that was everything I wanted! I bought the dress that day and didn’t look back!

We were originally not going to do a first look, but after receiving some good advice from our photographer, we ended up doing it and we were so happy we did! Most people say they do one to cut down on photos after the ceremony, but for us, it was all about calming nerves. Not seeing someone that you see every day for a whole day, especially on such an exciting day, is a little unnerving. Being able to see Jeff a few minutes before the whirlwind of the wedding day was truly special!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Being among all of our closest family and friends while getting married to my best friend and love of my life!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? For us, it was more about the city in which we decided to get married. Our first time going to Austin was actually for wedding planning. We wanted to get married in a city that had no memories, so everything about that city would remind us of this new start to our life, and it was such a great decision! We were able to explore a new city as wedding planners and now as newlyweds!

Describe your wedding flowers. Organized mess. Valerie, our florist, did such an exceptional job capturing our vision. We wanted asymmetrical bouquets that were intentional, greenery that looked like it was growing off of our candelabras, and a head table structure that was the focal point of the reception hall. Primarily white florals paired with greenery created a beautiful complement to the blues in the rest of the design.

Our first dance was to a remake of Jack Johnson’s “Better Together.” The lyrics of the song are beautiful and really describe our relationship. We both feel better when we’re together, and having each other makes life so much more fun!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. A few cubicles seemed like a world away when we met working long hours at UBS in NYC. I was the serious one in the office and Jeff was, well, not as serious. In other words, Jeff was a distraction–an unwanted distraction. It took some time, but he finally convinced ne to give him a chance and I quickly realized he was the one! Okay, not really, but I did let him take me out.. baby steps. A few weeks passed and we both remember saying the same thing to our respective best buds. Jeff to Kevin: “I think I like Teresa.” Teresa to Raquel: “I think I like Jeff.” More than seven years later, we are more in love than ever and practically inseparable. Every day we spend together is an adventure, and we’ve enjoyed every second of it.
Tell us all about the proposal! Thinking back, I still remember how cold it was that day! It may have been the coldest day in February, and literally no one was outside. Given the weather, we spent most of our day inside until about 4 P.M., when Jeff suggested we go buy a new collar for our sweet little pup, Tucker. A little surprised by the suggestion, but willing to venture outside, I started pulling on as much winter gear as possible! I remember Jeff suggesting I wear my nice boots instead of Uggs and that I probably didn’t need a hat because it wasn’t THAT cold, so I obliged without thinking too much about it. (Once outside, I definitely wished I had my hat!) We walked to Washington Square Park, which is one of our favorite places to take Tucker, and before I knew it, Jeff was down on one knee, ring in hand! I remember nodding as fast as possible and smiling ear to ear. Little did I know, his clothing suggestions were because he had hired a hidden photographer to capture the moment! After lots of phone calls with family and friends, we went out to a delicious dinner at our favorite spot, Colicchio & Sons. It was a day I will remember forever!
When did y’all get married? April 29, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Funfetti with extra sprinkles! Funfetti sparks such an emotional feeling for everyone; we really wanted our wedding cake to make people feel like a kid again!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun! The wedding planning process is just as much a part of the journey as the proposal and wedding day. Make memories along the way and do it as a team!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After living in Manhattan for almost ten years, we made the move to Brooklyn and are enjoying every second of our calmer surroundings. We can’t wait to eventually start a family together! We said it in our vows, but every day really is an adventure and we’re both so lucky to have each other to experience it with!

Photographer: Kristen Kilpatrick Photography | Videographer: Candlelight Films | Planner: Emily of Bird Dog Wedding | Venue: Ma Maison | Florist: Davy Gray | Wedding Cake: Classic Cakes by Lori | Caterer: Pink Avocado | Rentals: Premiere Events | Lighting and DJ: Ross Phillips via Look No Further Entertainment | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Paper Products: Grain & Dot | Bride’s Gown: “Jiselle” by Carolina Herrera | Bride’s Jewelry: Ascot Diamonds | Hair Stylist: Danann Patrick of Mint Salon | Makeup Artist: Avery Allen | Bride’s Shoes: Oscar de la Renta | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music: Terra Vista Strings

Kristen Kilpatrick is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory, and The Black Tux is a wonderful Southern Weddings sponsor!

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

    We loved T&J’s wedding! They had such a lovely design that transformed Ma Maison!

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This week marks one year that my boyfriend and I have been dating long-distance, so Brent and Graham’s story is extra special to me today! While I love reliving each real wedding we post through the pictures, the stories from the couple make the photos even more meaningful! Brent and Graham have the sweetest dating story, so be sure to read the story of how they met and how long they dated long-distance below. (Spoiler alert: it’s a lot longer than a year!) I’m positive I could learn a thing or two from this sweet couple on how to thrive in a long-distance relationship.

No amount of rain or chilly September air could hide the joy on their faces or the celebration in the air as you scroll through the photos below! I love how in the years ahead, the couple will be able to go back to Brent’s family’s home and relive their big day as their family grows!

Big SW hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Anna Routh for these images!

We went to Charlotte Latin School together from 5th grade onward, but hardly interacted until junior year of high school. We became good friends at the start of senior year and went on our first date the month before graduating. Because we like to make our lives *so* simple and easy, we began dating right after high school graduation – just days before he left for his summer internship in D.C. and the summer before we both headed off to separate colleges in separate states. Four years later, after racking up hundreds of Southwest Airlines miles to see each other on weekends, spending three summers in separate cities, and two study abroad semesters that resulted in us not seeing each other for six months, we both moved to New York City. Seven years and two months after we first began dating, Graham popped the question!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We recited standard vows during the ceremony; however, I made sure to write him all of my vows, both serious and not so serious, in the letter that I had delivered to him the morning of our wedding.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had two! We asked Graham’s mentor and good friend to read an excerpt from Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. My “other father”, the father of my best friend and maid of honor, followed with a reading from I John 4:7-8, 12. Our minister also gave a brief homily.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It’s so hard to choose! I’ll never forget the moment my dad and I had together right before we walked down the aisle. We were both teary, emotional, shaking, and overwhelmingly happy. To share in such an intimate moment together was so special. He kept whispering in my ear “this is so surreal!” as we walked down the aisle.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? From day one, we both knew we didn’t want to do a first look and I’m so glad we didn’t. The anticipation of seeing his face as the church doors opened and watching him as he watched me and my dad walk down the aisle was a moment I wasn’t willing to forfeit. It’s still one of the many decisions that I have absolutely no regrets about, and it’s a moment I’ll remember so vividly for the rest of my life.

I grew up in the North Carolina countryside with my parents’ house sitting on 344 acres of land, centered around a steeplechase course. It’s my home and such a beautiful and unique setting – there was no question that that’s where we would get married. We debated having the ceremony on the property as well versus in our church, but deep down I’d always wanted to be married in our church – Christ Church of Charlotte – which just so happens to be where Graham and I were both confirmed together in 8th grade.

Honestly, everything about the weekend was just so “us”. The flowers stood out to us as really bringing the venue to life and making it feel like the most magical place on a rainy, chilly evening in September. We also made an effort to add touches of our personalities everywhere, from “Please Don’t Take My Drink, I’m Dancing!” napkins that were distributed at the bars once the band started (there’s nothing worse than putting your drink down only to find an efficient waiter has removed it two minutes later!), to a map of our food stations so people knew where to go for what, to a lawn jockey hand-painted with our wedding logo on it to welcome our guests as they entered the reception.

All southerners know the importance of good (fried) food, so we incorporated Southern twists into our food stations. A few of our favorites were Deep South BBQ Eggrolls with Carolina BBQ inside and the Southern Pimento Mac n Cheese. We had Fried Chicken and Waffle Skewers as our passed late-night snack since a good southern hostess never lets her guests go home hungry.

My sweet tooth is unmatched, though I sadly can’t say the same about Graham’s. We knew we wanted a more traditional cake, and Kathy Allen is the woman to go to in Charlotte for elegant cakes with a twist. Ours was five tiers with alternating layers of Spice Cake and Almond Cake. At the end of the night, I gave each of my bridesmaids a sugar flower from the cake in a glass dome to remember the weekend by. We now have a few of the flowers displayed around our house and every time I walk by them, it makes me smile. I’m counting down the days until our first anniversary and I can tear open our top layer in the freezer!

Tell us all about the proposal! It was almost the proposal that didn’t happen! I was determined to get my haircut that afternoon but just two days prior, Graham called and said his parents wanted to do a family dinner that same evening to celebrate my birthday, which was a few days away. Not unusual or suspicious in the least but something I tried to get out of in order to make my desperately-needed haircut. On the day of the proposal, my lovely coworkers threw me a surprise birthday celebration late that afternoon, complete with massive ice cream sandwiches. Never one to say no to sweets, I happily partook, but was left feeling less than stellar. I called Graham once again and tried to get out of the dinner, this time claiming I really didn’t feel well and dinner was the last thing I could stomach (pardon the pun). He once again convinced me I had to come, so we agreed we would meet up and cab to Central Park together since the restaurant, The Loeb Boathouse, was in the middle of the park. The taxi dropped us off at the edge and we wandered in along the pathways until we came to the Conservatory Pond, one of our favorite spots in Central Park. Before I knew it, Graham was telling me how much I meant to him and I immediately blacked out. I got so caught up in the moment that I had to ask him later on if I had even told him “yes.” (I had!) After we soaked in the moment together, we continued on through the park to meet his family for dinner as I frantically tried to call my parents who, of course, weren’t picking up the one time I needed them to. When we got to the restaurant, not only were his parents and two brothers there waiting with champagne, but my parents had surprised me and flown up for the occasion as well!
When did y’all get married? September 26, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 284
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Walking down the aisle, back up the aisle, first dance, etc. In my piano-playing days, one of my favorite songs I played year after year was Canon in D by Pachelbel. Since I was a little girl, I’ve dreamed about walking down the aisle to that song. Our processional songs were Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Trumpet Tune in D by Purcell. We walked back up the aisle to Hornpipe from Water Music by Handel – it’s so joyful and uplifting, perfect for the occasion! We both love Van Morrison so our First Dance was to “Into the Mystic”. I danced with my dad to “Carolina in My Mind” by James Taylor, which was fitting both because my dad shared with me his love for James Taylor from early on in my childhood, and because although I’d been a New Yorker for nearly five years, Carolina will always have my heart. Graham’s first dance with his mom was to Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You”. My mom and I also shared a dance toward the end of the night to The Tams’ “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy”.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I found it helpful to make a dream “wishlist” of things, from special foods to flowers to specific materials you want to incorporate into the weekend, and see it all listed out in one place. From there, it’s easier to figure out what you can afford to let go of and what’s an absolute must-have. The vendors are experts so if there’s something you don’t want to compromise on but you don’t have the budget for, they likely have another idea on how to get the same point across for less money.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I think there’s a big misconception that as the bride, you’re supposed to be glowing, happy and reveling in every minute of the planning process from start to finish. It’s OK to feel stressed and to dread certain parts of the planning (I’m lookin’ at you, list making!). Do your best to take it all in stride, and don’t be afraid to confide in and vent to your loved ones, especially the ones that have been through the process. Also, don’t take the timelines you see in all of the wedding books so literally. We found that many vendors we thought we had time with actually booked up much sooner than we would’ve thought, so be aware and start your research early!

Photographer: Anna Routh Barzin | Planner: Dina Berg Blazek Events | Ceremony Venue: Christ Church Charlotte | Reception Venue: Brooklandwood | Florist: The Place For Flowers | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Kathy Allen Cakes | Caterer: Queen City Catering | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Lighting: Classic Party Rentals | Band or DJ: Black & Blue Entertainment through East Coast Entertainment | Invitation: Arzbergers | Save the Date: Lee Ann Clark Calligraphy | Bride’s Gown: Leanne Marshall | Hair Stylist: Jami Svay | Makeup Artist: Jami Svay | Bride’s Shoes: BHLDN | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale Bridesmaids Chiffon G787C in French Blue | Groom and Groomsmen Attire: Loro Piana for J.Crew

Anna Routh and East Coast Entertainment are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
3 Comments
  1. avatar Sarah Elizabeth reply

    I love everything about this wedding! Especially that save the date & adorable picture of the flower girl & ring bearer!

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    This looks like the church sweet Em Thomas got married in. What a stunningly classic soiree!

  3. avatar Mary Kay reply

    What a beautiful wedding! I also appreciate Brent’s honest advice!

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Is there anything better than a Southern summer? The joy and simplicity of long days at the lake, neighborhood swimming holes, juicy watermelon slices, sprinklers on full blast, picnics on the grass, and long days spent with dear friends inspired this shoot, beautifully styled by Amber Housley and Cedarwood Weddings and photographed by Nancy Ray Photography. It is practically impossible not to smile at this all-American editorial that reaches back into our sweetest childhood memories with the goal of inspiring a lighthearted and joyful beginning to marriage!

See more from this editorial in V7, now available in the Southern Weddings Shop and on newsstands across the South!

Latrice of Opulent Couturier took our patriotic color palette and ran with it when it came to dressing up these ladies, gents, kiddos, and even a dapper dog!

Cedarwood Weddings, just outside of Nashville, was the perfect setting for this lakeside shoot–we love the way this decorated dock looked as an intimate ceremony space.

Watermelon slices and ice cold bottles of Cheerwine epitomize summer to us–they’d be an amazing cocktail hour treat on a hot July day!

We can’t get enough of food trucks, and love the idea of your own personal “food truck rodeo” at your reception! Even without formal silverware, the presentation couldn’t be sweeter.

Have an outdoor venue and lots of pint-sized guests? Include a note in your invitation suite asking their parents to pack swimsuits and towels, and then set up sprinklers for some reception fun! We guarantee it’ll become one of their favorite memories.

S’mores, a campfire, and a quilt to cuddle up on–this sweet end to the day is a tradition that can be carried into many newlywed summers to come.

Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Videographer: Nicholas & Keaton / Venue, Styling, Florals, and Signage: Cedarwood Weddings / Coordinator, Designer, and Paper Goods: Amber Housley Weddings / Watercolor Map: Simply Jessica Marie / Catering: Poppy’s Cafe, Legato Gelato, The Peach Truck / Cakes: Patty Cakes / Hair and Makeup: Tara Thomas and Gina Putnam of Studio BBC / Fashion Stylist: Opulent Couturier / Bride’s Gown: “McCants” by LulaKate / Reception Dress: “Organza Striped” by LulaKate / Bridal Salon: The Bride Room / Bride’s Veil and Hair Accessories: Beatrice Couture Designs / Ladies’ and Kids’ Accessories: Charming Charlie / Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids Nashville / Menswear: Street Tuxedo / Bow Tie: Otis James Nashville / Men’s and Kids’ Accessories: Land of the Thread / Kids’ Clothing: Gap Kids Green Hills Mall Nashville and Chaps Ralph Lauren

Nancy Ray, Amber Housley, and Cedarwood Weddings are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Southern Weddings V7: Fancy Free Behind the Scenes – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] miss the final images and all of the talented vendors from this shoot, which you can see right here! And a huge hug to […]

  2. avatar Amber Housley reply

    So thrilled to have been a part of this HOT but magical today. So great working with all the vendors and friends involved to make this come to life. Thank you for the opportunity to produce this for you!

  3. avatar Latrice Cushenberry reply

    It was an absolute joy to be apart of such an amazing shoot & see it come to life! Thank you for the opportunity to share & style! {{{Many hugs & squeezes}}}

  4. avatar Fun and Fancy Free Styled Shoot in Southern Weddings V7 | Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Nashville Wedding Planner | Stylist | Custom Wedding Invitations Stationery | Lifestyle | Inspired reply

    […] an honor to see our styled photo shoots published, especially when the publication happens to be in Southern Weddings V7! We adore the heart behind this magazine and the ladies who run it, and are feeling so blessed to […]

  5. avatar Fun and Fancy Free Styled Shoot in Southern Weddings V7 | Full Feature | Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Nashville Wedding Planner | Stylist | Custom Wedding Invitations Stationery | Lifestyle | Inspired reply

    […] say that we are thrilled to have our Fun and Fancy Free styled shoot featured in the newly released Southern Weddings V7 is an understatement! We adored […]

  6. avatar lisa johnson reply

    Spectacular! Cedarwood never disappoints – a gorgeous Nashville Wedding tradition!

  7. avatar Unique bridesmaid dresses in stripe and polka dot prints – Wedding Party reply

    […] Nancy Ray Photography via Southern Weddings […]

  8. avatar Get Inspired: How to Incorporate Stripes Into Your Wedding Design – Southern Soiree Nashville Wedding Planning and Design reply

    […] Southern Weddings; Nancy Ray Photography […]

  9. avatar Inspired By: The Peach Truck – Kyla Mary reply

    […]  I had seen glimpses of The Peach Truck on Instagram and in one of the latest Southern Weddings editorials, but I was unsure of what it was exactly. After doing a little research, I now have a sweet spot […]

  10. avatar Making Cookout Food Without a Grill – Kyla Mary reply

    […] Nancy Ray Photography via Southern Weddings […]

  11. avatar Happy 10th Anniversary Southern Weddings! My 10 Favorite Editorials – Kyla Mary reply

    […] America, community, and playful details make this look like so much fun! I feel that this editorial gave me permission to allow some aspects of our wedding to be casual but charming. View the original post here. […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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