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I have a sneaking suspicion that a handful of these images from our Generations Past editorial are some of our most-pinned ever…and I don’t blame anyone, because heavens, they sure are gorgeous! A truly phenomenal team brought all of the magic to life beneath the shade of Spanish moss three years ago for V6, with the help of exquisite, hand-painted details, a seriously stunning blush tulle gown, family heirlooms nestled into every corner, and some of the prettiest blooms I’ve ever seen. I don’t think we’ll ever grow tired of this shoot, and we sure hope you don’t either! You can also still see it in print, too–just pick up a copy of V6 in the Southern Weddings Shop.

Photographers: Katie Stoops and Adam Barnes | Videographer: Naz Films | Styling: Ashley Baber Weddings | Venue: Whitefield Chapel at Bethesda Academy | Florals: Amy Osaba | Choir: Savannah State University Wesleyan Gospel Choir | Stationery: Momental Designs | Cake: La Bella Torta | Rentals: Amazing Event Rentals | Jewelry: Erin McDermott | Bridal Headpiece: Lo Boheme | Bride’s Dress: Reem Acra via Rent the Runway | Bridesmaid Dresses: Erin Fetherston via Rent the Runway | Grandmother and Mother’s Attire: Nordstrom | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bow Tie: High Cotton Ties | Hair Stylist: Jordan Purtee Reddick | Makeup Artist: Jules De Jesus Fritz, assisted by Jessica Mack | Cuff Links: Megan Cash

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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    Having worked with her professional photographer sister and brother-in-law, not to mention being the youngest of three girls, Gracey is no stranger to the wedding world. However, when it came to the details of her and Richard’s big day, Gracey gave her mama a bit of trouble when trying to narrow down exactly what they wanted. From one indecisive gal to another, I completely empathize with how tough those decisions can be! I love that Gracey and Richard ultimately chose to focus on making their wedding day a reflection of who they are as a couple, perfectly balanced with the desire for their wedding to be fun and unforgettable for their guests. And, Gracey’s advice for those planning a wedding is spot on! “Remember what the wedding is about: two people becoming one. Don’t lose sight of the marriage to follow that one day.”

    Big SW hugs to Cassidy Dawn for sharing this sweet day with us!

    Having worked in the wedding industry for years with my professional photographer sister and brother-in-law, we saw the value of doing a first look. We wanted that intimate moment to be able to see each before all eyes were on us. It was such an amazing moment. Our photographer sat us down on a bench in front of our venue with our eyes closed, told us to hold hands, and then to open our eyes on the count of three. We love these photos of our first look because of how it all went down–Richard misunderstood and thought we were to just hold hands (eyes still closed), so on the count of three, I opened my eyes as Richard just grabbed my hand! The moment was followed by quite a few laughs, and I said, “Richard, you can open your eyes.” His response and face when he saw me makes my heart melt to this day–hearing your soon-to-be husband gush over how pretty you look the moment he first sees you on your wedding day is something you will NEVER forget.

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Ready to plan her last daughter’s wedding (I am the baby of three girls), my mom was just as excited as I was to start the search for the perfect wedding dress. I knew I wanted something beautiful and dreamy, but I also wanted something different than the dresses I had ever seen or worn before for styled shoots. My mom and I decided to stop by a local bridal boutique (Loretta’s Bridal) just to start getting an idea of what type of dress I would be interested in. An hour before we got to the store, a special shipment of dresses had arrived (a day early) for a weekend showcase they were hosting. I tried on dress after beautiful dress, but they didn’t quite have what I was looking for. Then, the owner, brought out the dress–a gorgeous strapless, blush Casablanca style. It was far more traditional than what I thought I would be drawn to, but I think the fact that it was blush, rather than white, is what hooked me in the end. We ordered it that day!

    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? My poor mother was so patient with me! I had a hard time narrowing down exactly what I wanted–it was so important to me that each and every aspect truly reflected who Richard and I are as a couple, while also balancing our desire for our wedding to be a fun and unforgettable for our guests. I don’t know what I would have done without my sweet mom there to help plan and guide me through the process. She’s just the best.

    It was important to us to focus on the marriage that followed the wedding. We chose to work with a Christian counselor and go through premarital counseling to help prepare us for the changes ahead. This was a really great decision, if you ask me–it’s so important to set your relationship up for success!

    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Our vows were very special to us. We wanted to make sure they were centered on what we feel our life calling and vision is: loving God and loving people. Though it’s hard to choose one line as a favorite, I think “I promise to create with you a home in which the peace of God is known, and the needs of others are recognized” sums up our hearts’ desire for our marriage.
    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We adored ALL of the vendors for our wedding, but the most special would have to be our pastor from Florida who married us. He has been my family’s pastor for over 20 years, married all of my sisters, and is now mine and Richard’s pastor!

    Travel and great food are two common threads in the history of our relationship. We knew we wanted a destination wedding and narrowed it down to Charleston, South Carolina. The Vendue fit our needs perfectly–it was the perfect embodiment of my artistic side (The Vendue is Charleston’s only art hotel), our love for mixing natural elements with industrial elements (we loved our open rooftop ceremony in the middle of a beautiful city), and of course, there was AMAZING food. We were so happy that we could have both the ceremony and reception in the same location, since all of our guest were traveling from out of town, but loved having a change of scenery by doing the ceremony on the open rooftop, dinner at the beautiful in-house restaurant (The Drawing Room), and heading back upstairs to the rooftop for dancing.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Being in Charleston, it was a no-brainer to include some Southern Lowcountry fare. Chef Jon of The Drawing Room (The Vendue’s in-house restaurant) is brilliant! Not only did he make the entire meal gluten and dairy-free, he also made us the perfect spin on Lowcountry surf and turf that included our favorite foods (grits were a must!). My family is from Kentucky originally, so blackberry bourbon lemonade with cardamom was our Southern signature cocktail. Rather than driving away in a limo or car, we opted for something a little more “Charleston,” and left the wedding in a rickshaw!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. After several years of working and traveling non-stop to build a family-owned startup, I realized I was ready for more in life. After talking to a few of my friends, I decided to join eHarmony. I filled out my profile with the parameters being focused more on the character and Godly leadership I was looking for in a husband, and less on matters like location. In the meantime, Richard also had long work hours and traveled often, and when he decided he was ready to add something more to his life, but wasn’t finding what he was looking for in his area, he signed up as well and then contacted me. Over the next week or so, we messaged back and forth before Richard took a step of faith and asked for a phone date. Though I’m not much of a “phone person,” I accepted on St. Patrick’s Day 2013. That phone call lasted 6 hours; we both quickly realized this was something worth pursuing. After three months of talking nearly non-stop, we finally met face-to-face. Richard drove 21 hours just to meet me. The moment we saw each other, we hugged and instantly knew this was it. It just felt right. That weekend, we officially started the journey of long distance dating, taking turns visiting each other for the next year. Finally, in March 2014, Richard made the big move to be with me.
    Tell us all about the proposal! Years before we met, I had a favorite blue vintage bicycle that I took time to restore. Unfortunately, my bike was stolen and I never replaced it. Knowing he wanted to propose, Richard realized my upcoming birthday was the perfect stage to set up a proposal. For the six weeks leading up to my birthday, he tracked down and restored a bike that looked identical to my long-lost vintage one. He told me to be at his house early on the morning before my birthday for a day of birthday surprises. When he gave me the bike, I was so surprised and felt so loved that I was completely oblivious that this was just the beginning! We rode our bikes downtown, where we stopped at a small park for a picnic lunch. Before lunch, Richard wanted to walk around the park. We found a small gazebo, and while we were looking around, Richard asked, “Gracey, how long have we been going out?” I answered with a rough estimate. Richard replied, “How about we make that forever?” I turned around to see him down on one knee with a ring in hand, and he asked me to marry him. I couldn’t stop crying tears of joy as I shook my head yes! Did I mention, he had someone in the bushes taking pictures? Extra points for that! The rest of the day was filled with all of my favorite things. I’d say it was a birthday for the books.
    When did y’all get married? March 17, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 45
    Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Being gluten-free and not really loving cake, we wanted to do something a little bit different. We went with a crepe bar, complete with gluten-free crepes, a variety of berries, bacon, chocolate, goat cheese, and, of course, Nutella! Our guests loved getting to mix up yummy concoctions.
    What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We cut costs here and there by prioritizing what would truly make our wedding unforgettable and feel like us. Venue, food, music, and hair and makeup were important things for us. The key for us when cutting costs came down to a few things: we were married on a Tuesday (MEGA SAVINGS not having it on a weekend), and we used tables, chairs, and plates that the venue owned, rather than renting them.
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember what the wedding is about: two people becoming one. Don’t lose sight of the marriage to follow that one day, and make the day as much a reflection of who you are as a couple as possible. Yes, it’s important that your guests have a good time, but they are there because they love you and support you–the more your wedding reflects who you are, the more fun they will have.

    Photographer: Cassidy Dawn Photography / Venue, Catering, and Cake: The Vendue / Florist: Branch Design Studio / DJ: DJ David Fox of Bunn DJ Company / Invitations: Paradise Papers / Bride’s Gown: Casablanca / Bridal Salon: Loretta’s Bridal / Bride’s Hair Accessory: Urban Outfitters / Hair and Makeup: Ash and Co. / Bride’s Shoes: BCBG / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Wrap Front Maxi Dress” by ASOS / Groom’s Attire: “Lazio Blue Plain” by SuitSupply / Groomsmen Attire: “SlimFit Suit” in Navy by H&M / Transportation: Charleston Rickshaw

    Bunn DJ Company is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
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    1. avatar Cassidy Dawn reply

      Thank you so much for the feature! Aren’t they just the best?! XOXO

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    I fell for BDK the very first day we met–I simply knew he was the man I was going to marry, so I believe Rachel wholeheartedly when she says she knew right away that Shaman was the one for her. I’m sure the guests at their beautiful Keswick Hall wedding could tell as well! You can see just how in love these two are as you scroll through each photo. I can also see why Rachel knew her dress was the one for her the very first second she saw it–that beadwork, y’all! Talk about a beauty!

    Thank you kindly to Paige Jones for sharing this romantic wedding day with us!

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. While Shaman and I had been classmates at Roanoke College for three years, we had never spoken to one another until we were home for the summer in Charlottesville, Virginia, just before our senior year. I was interning for UVA Children’s Hospital in the fundraising office, and we were hosting an event at the golf course where Shaman happened to be working for the summer. I spotted him cruising across one of the putting greens and was so delighted to see a fellow classmate! I yelled Shaman’s name and he came over on his cart–we chatted a bit, exchanged phone numbers, and I knew right away he was the one for me. About a week later, while attending the Annual Pink Polo Match at King Family Vineyard, my car battery “unfortunately” died. Shaman was there as well, and I convinced him that he was the only person there that could help me. We remained in constant contact for the rest of the summer, spending every day together, usually eating ice cream and shooting hoops. By the start of school, we were inseparable and totally in love!

    My dress was the very first dress I spotted as I walked into the bridal salon and, like my now-husband, I knew it was the one for me the very second I saw it. Five days after we got engaged, I went with my mom and sister to “just try on styles” to get a better idea of what I was looking for. My sister and I walked into the shop together, saw the dress at the same moment, and ran to pull it off the rack. While I tried on a number of other dresses, nothing else compared!

    Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes! My favorite phrase was “I promise to hug you when you leave in the morning, kiss you when you return in the evening, and be thankful for each day I wake up beside you.”

    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When we were presented for the first time as Shaman and Rachel Douglass!! Yay!

    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose our venue for the cozy winter setting–it has historic architecture and beautiful, oversized fireplaces. Food was very important to us, and Keswick is an expert in that area. The level of service is impeccable as well!

    We chose to have my mother’s cold oven pound cake recipe (a Southern favorite) with lemon buttercream icing made into eight cakes, which we placed on some of the dinner tables to serve double duty as decor. It is our very favorite cake and we couldn’t imagine NOT having it on our big day. We also chose to have a hot doughnut bar after dinner with every kind of topping you could imagine (chocolate, sprinkles, powdered sugar, and even bacon!), which was a fan favorite with the guests.

    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It will all fall into place! Remember to take the time to feel loved by those who are helping you celebrate–they are so happy for you, and it is important to recognize how special it is to be surrounded by so many great people.

    Don’t miss Rachel and Shaman’s highlights film by Ian’s Creations!

    Tell us all about the proposal! I nearly screwed up the proposal! Since I now work at a school, I was home on spring break, and Shaman so thoughtfully took off for the week to spend it with me. On Wednesday, we were both relaxing, and Shaman kept asking if I wanted to go for a hike. I scolded him saying, “No, it’s raining! And, I’m working on emails, AND we need to clean up the house because Lindsey (my best friend) is coming into town tomorrow.” He then had my mother call and ask what we were up to–she too suggested we get out of the house and go for a hike. I thought the two of them were CRAZY! We did not go for the hike, but later in the day, we had an appointment to do our pre-qualification for a home loan. As we were trying to get out the door, Shaman asked if I thought it mattered to the mortgage company that we weren’t engaged yet–I thought he had really lost it, as we had discussed it before and I didn’t understand why he was bringing it up again. I remember looking through my bag, thinking “Whatever, he’s such a guy,” and making a note to pack a snack, when I heard shuffling behind me. When I turned around, he was down on his knee with the ring box open that he had picked out all on his own. I was totally shocked and overjoyed! He explained that this was not how he planned it, but that he couldn’t get me to leave the house! It was perfectly us anyway!
    When did y’all get married? February 28, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! As both of my grandmothers have departed, I had one of my grandmother’s sapphire rings and a hanky from the other side of the family that all the women have carried with them on their walks down the aisle as my borrowed, blue, and old! My something new was the beautiful ruby necklace Shaman gave me as a wedding present. Ruby is my birthstone and one of my favorite jewels!
    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? What was most Southern about our wedding was the warmth in the room from all of our loved ones! We served fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese as one of our canapés, and our very historical estate venue had some Southern flair. Also, my niece’s dress was made from my mom’s wedding gown by my aunt!
    How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did pre-marital counseling sessions with our pastor and discussed challenging topics, such as money, family dynamics, and career paths. We would encourage everyone to do it and have those open conversations!
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
    What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Living life and helping our friends celebrate their life events! We were the first to get married and we can’t wait to share in everyone’s adventures.

    Photographer: Paige Jones Photography / Videographer: Ian’s Creations / Day-Of Coordinator: Just a Little Ditty / Venue and Catering: Keswick Hall / Florist: Hedge Fine Blooms / Dessert Baker: Country Confections / Draping: Blue Ridge A/V and Lighting / DJ: Andrew Hypes / Paper Products: Minted / Bride’s Gown: “Style 9100” in Blush by Allure / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bridal Impressions / Bride’s Earrings and Bridesmaid Rings: Suz Somersall/ Hair Stylist: Claibourne Reppert / Makeup Artist: Stephanie Parker / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Calvin Klein and Adrianna Papell / Groom’s Attire: Simon Spurr and Belgian Shoes

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
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