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Bride Liz shares her romantic mountain garden wedding!

The more Tenth-Anniversary Issue real weddings we share here, the more I realize what an embarrassment of riches we have in real wedding beauty! I must admit, though, that I’m partial to the ones from my neck of the woods. This Virginia lovely is another reminder of how lucky we are to call the mid-Atlantic “home.”

While Liz works in event planning, her best advice to brides-to-be is to hire a wedding planner! It is always so satisfying to hear (and see!) that a bride’s dream vision for her wedding came true. But Tim took the reigns in our interview to share his favorite detail of the wedding and steal the show. His favorite part? “How it was literally a perfect day. And Liz looked incredibly beautiful.” (AAAAAAAAW!)

Big hugs to Liz Fogarty for these gorgeous images!

We got married in the summer, at a bed and breakfast turned into a venue. The venue was in Waterford, Virginia, and it’s gorgeous. The ceremony has the Blue Ridge Mountains in the background. We had also always imagined an outdoor wedding with a big tent for the reception and our planner helped bring our dream to life.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had brought my mom, my future mother-in-law, my maid of honor, matron of honor, and one of my bridesmaids with me the first time I went dress shopping. The boutique let all of them wander around and pick out dresses they thought I might like. I had always envisioned a huge, poofy princess wedding gown, and I could imagine getting married in all of the dresses I tried on. But when I tried on my wedding dress, I could tell all five of the ladies were in love. They saw that it was perfect for me before I realized it myself!

We wrote our own vows. Tim is the more talented writer of the family, and one of my favorite lines from his vows was, “I promise to cherish you and pursue your laughter, to be the shoulder for you to cry on, to care for you when you are sick, to rejoice in your health, and to be your best friend…I pledge to say ‘I love you’ every night, and I vow to love you from here to the moon, sun, stars and back.”

What was the most memorable or touching moment of your wedding day? I had a total of seven bridesmaids, and Tim involved them all in a series of my most memorable moments. He had written me eight letters and they were given to me by each of my bridesmaids starting from the rehearsal day. The first letter came after we had gotten our nails done the day before, then it was during our rehearsal dinner, when I had given my ladies their gifts in the hotel room, while we were driving to the venue the wedding morning, while I was getting my hair and make-up done, when I was opening the present he had gotten me, and the second to last one right before I was going to walk down the aisle. He gave me the final letter himself, and it was on the back of the vows he had written.

We imagined our guests wandering all around the beautiful property, moving guests from one area to another but with it all flowing together flawlessly. We wanted our guests’ experience to be spectacular! The reception was elegant but also had a wonderful garden feel to it. After the ceremony overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, guests moved to cocktails around the lawn and by the pool, then for dinner they walked through beautiful flags to get to our Sperry tent. After dinner, guests were passed popsicles as they gathered to watch our cake cutting. Then we ended the night with dancing by the Carriage House with a fantastic band and string lights, all under the stars!

What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Hire a planner! Whether it’s a full-service planner or a month-of planner, it is completely necessary and makes all the difference in the world! We hired Pam Barefoot from Atrendy Wedding as our full-service planner (I called her three days after we got engaged) and it made our wedding planning and engagement experience so lovely!

We had our cocktail hour all around the house and by the pool. We brought in a huge built-in wooden bar, which had cascading florals and lanterns all around it. There was also lounge furniture all around the lawn and around the pool. We even rented two faux lampposts that were by the pool. The lampposts next to this beautiful blue couch were definitely one of my favorite touches!

The funniest moment was definitely when we were on the dance floor and three of Tim’s groomsmen start dancing in the middle of the circle and unbuttoning their tux shirts. After some hilarious dancing, they revealed matching shirts with Tim’s face on them! We could not believe they had those shirts hiding under there all day!

Tell us about your grand exit. We had a sparkler exit with a vintage Rolls Royce waiting to whisk us away to our after party. One of our favorite moments of the night was sitting in the Rolls, looking out the back window and seeing all of our friends standing there with sparklers sending us off. I remember looking at Tim and telling him to take a mental photo of it. It was so picturesque and the perfect way to end our wedding day. I can still remember it exactly and the image always brings tears to my eyes!

Describe the proposal! After work that Friday, my best friend Brianna had asked me to coffee with her. First of all, it was really weird because a) I don’t drink coffee and b) she refused to have dinner with me too, just coffee. After our lovely coffee date, I drove home, and when I opened the door, Tim had transformed my entire house. He had put up draping and string lights leading from my front door to the back deck. The draping and lights had created a tunnel of sorts and pinned on the draping were chronological photos from the 5 years we had been dating. He had recorded a message for me on an iPad, which was sitting by the front door, and I was sobbing by the time I had finally walked to my back deck. I think he got too excited because the video we have shows me walking outside and him immediately getting down on one knee and proposing. He had a photographer hidden outside and my closest friends and his brother hiding upstairs watching a live stream of our engagement. It was perfect and more than I could’ve imagined!
How did you prepare for marriage while planning your wedding? First, we went through a series of pre-marital lessons through our church, then we met with the pastor who would be marrying us. We did our actual pre-marital counseling with a couple from our church, and the counseling lasted about four months. The couple who led us through our engagement period were incredible, and they really helped us focus and prepare us for not just the actual wedding day, but for the rest of our lives as husband and wife.
How many guests attended your wedding? 200.
What kind of food did you serve at your reception? I had previously worked at Main Event Caterers, who catered our wedding. I knew all of my favorite food items and knew exactly what we would want to serve our guests.
What were some of the highlights of the reception? Our dinner was under a beautiful Sperry tent, and our planner had made flags that resembled the ones on the top of the tent. The billowing flags lined the walkway leading to the tent. After dinner, butlers were lined up alongside the flags with trays of popsicles for our guests. As the guests enjoyed their popsicles, they watched us cut our cake under a huge tree, which had florals going up the tree. Then we danced the night away under string lights and the stars. It was exactly like we had imagined.
Best advice or most memorable comment someone made to you during the wedding celebration? Two pieces of advice for the day-of that were given to us before our wedding day that we really appreciated: 1.) Don’t forget to slow down, take it all in, and take mental snap shots of everything. The day passes by incredibly quickly and you want to be able to look back and remember smells, feelings, emotions, and the people you celebrated your wedding day with. 2.) Do not leave each other’s sides the entire day (if you can help it)! The day is meant to celebrate you two and your union together, but it’s easy to wander off to try to spend time with different groups of friends, but it’s even more precious when you spend those moments side-by-side.

Photographer: Elizabeth Fogarty | Videographer: Sok Vision | Planner and designer: Pamela Barefoot Events and Design | Venue: Blue Hill Farm | Florals: Toulies en Fleur | Caterer: Main Event Caterers | Wedding cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie | Ice cream cart: King of Pops | Bride’s gown: ìStyle D2174î by Essense of Australia | Bridal salon: Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection | Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bride’s earrings: Blue Nile | Bride’s veil: Blanca Veils | Bridesmaid dresses: “Fleur Dress” in Blush by BHLDN | Hair and makeup: Amie Decker Beauty | Groom’s fashion: DC Custom Clothiers | Groomsmen fashion: National Tuxedo Rentals | Paper goods: Brooke Lauffer | Tent: Sugarplum Tent Company | Rentals: White Glove Rentals | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Ceremony music: Harpist via Bialek’s Music | Band: Six Stylez via Sam Hill Entertainment | Transportation: Chariots for Hire | Vintage car: Vintage Limos | Restroom: U.S Mobile Kitchens

Pamela Barefoot Events and Design is a lovely member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor directory!

Written with love by Catherine
2 Comments
  1. avatar Pamela Barefoot reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful wedding! We love this couple and designing their special day was such a dream!

  2. avatar Tented Virginia Summer WeddingElizabeth Fogarty Photography reply

    […] these two were on the latest Southern Weddings Magazine! […]

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Our Southern Bride Blogger Brittany and Eric’s classic Texas wedding was absolutely lovely! From their vows in front of a plantation-style home to a barn reception complete with fried chicken and pie pops, there’s no doubt that their day was undeniably Southern. Beyond the details, however, was a sense of love and community that truly made their day special. On top of that, Brittany’s outlook on their wedding day has me all, “Amen, sister!” over here! She said she won’t remember the small snafus, but “I’ll remember my husband’s face as my dad walked me down the aisle. I’ll remember the tiny raindrops that fell from the sky towards the end of our vows. I’ll remember dancing the night away with the people who mean the most to us.”

Big thanks to Elizabeth Carol for sending Brittany and Eric’s wedding our way!

I was so nervous about wedding dress shopping that I put it off for the first several months of our engagement! When I decided that it was time to bite the bullet, I researched boutiques in the area and chose two to make appointments at. Before the shopping day, I went online and looked at the designers that each store carried, just to get a feel for the styles. While I was on one of their websites, I found a dress that was everything that I had pictured for myself. Being a little overeager, I called the shop to make sure that they had “the dress” available to try on–and they did! I took off work on a Tuesday and invited my mom, grandmother, and future mother-in-law to come with me. We were the first appointment in the store, and had the entire floor to ourselves. My consultant had pulled the dress from the internet before we got there, and we then picked a few other dresses to try on. I put on “my dress” first, and instantly knew that I was done. However, in order to make the most of the appointment, I tried on a few others. Once I put on the last dress that we had pulled, I knew that it was time to put “my dress” back on, but this time, with a veil. A few tears later, I had a wedding dress! We canceled our second appointment and finished the day by meeting Eric for lunch!

Daydreaming about florals was actually one of my favorite aspects of the entire wedding planning process! I really wanted loose, lush, and organic looking arrangements with an ample amount of greenery mixed in. Since we were going with a more classic look, we stuck to blush pink and white flowers. Garden roses and peonies are my favorites, so we made sure to include those as well. The ladies at The Southern Table did an amazing job of bringing my vision to life, and I really think that the florals stole the show!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Stressing about the weather! When we decided on an April wedding date, we knew that the Texas weather would probably have some crazy surprises for us, but that didn’t stop me from checking the forecast almost daily two weeks out. We buried our bourbon, prayed a little, and knew that our wedding day would be amazing no matter what, but since almost everything was supposed to be outside, I became a little worried when the rain chances increased throughout the week. On the day-of, we all kept waiting for the rain to come, and although it sprinkled a little towards the end of our ceremony, it never did. I suppose God, and the bourbon, were on our side, because we woke up the next morning to a terrible downpour, and the rain continued for several days!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, and we actually used vows that we saw in the Southern Weddings Planner! Our favorite line was “I take you as you are, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become.” Since we started dating when we were 19 and 21, we have seen each other grow and change so much already, and I think that one of the most fun parts of marriage will be watching each other continue to do so–and loving the other no matter what.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our good friend, Daniel, read “The Art of Marriage” by Wilfred A. Peterson.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were actually extremely lucky when it came to our ceremony and reception venues! When we first began wedding planning, our close family friends mentioned that they were building a sort of guest house/event center on their land, and that if we would like, we could host our wedding there. Throughout our engagement, we were able to watch everything be built from the ground up, and even help with projects along the way. This was extra special to us because we had the luxury of hosting our wedding party and closest friends all weekend.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We buried bourbon exactly one month out (and on the most beautiful day) in hopes that it wouldn’t rain on our wedding day. We were married in front of a plantation-style home, had dinner in a barn, and danced the night away under string lights and the Texas stars. We served fried chicken, and gave our guests caramel apple, peach, and blackberry pie pops as favors. The thing that was the most “Southern” though, was the love and community that we felt from everyone there. We were lucky enough to have our wedding party and closest friends stay with us in the house for the weekend, so it felt like one big slumber party. After the rehearsal dinner, we set up tables and chairs for the reception the following night. At one point I stopped and looked around at 25 of our closest friends and family who were all helping put our reception together, and I all but melted.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? No matter what happens, your day will be perfect. It sounds so cheesy and cliché, but when things don’t go exactly how you want them to, remember what it’s all about. I kept this close to my heart all through the wedding planning process, and I am so glad that I did. If something goes wrong, it can be fixed–and if it can’t, then chances are it won’t matter much in the end. After our ceremony, I realized that I had completely forgotten to put on my veil, and while that was slightly disappointing, it won’t be what I remember about our wedding day. I’ll remember my husband’s face as my dad walked me down the aisle. I’ll remember the tiny raindrops that fell from the sky towards the end of our vows. I’ll remember dancing the night away with the people who mean the most to us.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. While I was home on summer break from the University of Arkansas, I resumed my part-time job in the Employee Services Office at Six Flags Over Texas. A few weeks after returning, some of my coworkers convinced me to join the summer softball league, which Eric was also playing in. After one of the games, a few of my friends convinced me to go to a post-game party that Eric was throwing at his apartment. We met, bickered a little, and became fast friends. When I was home a few months later for fall break, we started dating. After two and a half years of being in a long distance relationship, I finally graduated and moved home to Texas, where we have been inseparable ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! I had been planning on running the Tower of Terror 10-Miler at Walt Disney World for quite some time, and although I had convinced my mom and sister to make the trip with me, Eric couldn’t. A few weeks before we were set to leave, he told me that he had to go on a work trip during that time, and definitely would not be able to make it. On the day that we got to Florida, I hadn’t heard from him at all, but I still tried to enjoy my time with my mom and sister. We had tickets to go to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (where adults can dress up for Halloween too!), and although my mom and sister tried to convince me to wait, I put on my cat ears and eagerly went to the Magic Kingdom dressed as Toulouse from the Aristocats. We walked around the park, not doing anything for what seemed like hours, until my mom finally said that we should go take our picture in front of Cinderella’s Castle. As we were walking up to the rose garden, I noticed Eric standing there waiting for me. Thinking that he had come to surprise me, I ran up and started talking to him. He got really serious (which never happens), said some of the sweetest things, and dropped to one knee. After I said yes and finally came back to reality, I noticed that my dad was there too! Eric had arranged for my whole family to be there, and we spent the rest of the weekend celebrating at one of my favorite places on the planet, Walt Disney World!
When did y’all get married? April 16, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look and it turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the whole day! We knew that seeing one another before the ceremony would free up time after, which was something that we really wanted. We were unsure of how we would react when seeing the other for the first time, so we felt it was important to experience these emotions by ourselves, instead of in front of all of our guests.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We planned for our marriage by attending premarital counseling once a week for eight weeks. We were also gifted Getting the Love You Want and Making Marriage Simple, both by Harville Hendrix. We read these books and followed along with the workbooks that went with them. What really helped us prepare for marriage was having serious conversations about the future and what we want for our life together.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We knew from the beginning that we wanted a small wedding with just our closest friends and family, and although our decision had nothing to do with cost, it ultimately did help out quite a bit. Since we had a much smaller guest list, it became easier to put the emphasis on the quality of the experience rather than the quantity of guests in attendance.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? On our wedding day, Eric surprised me with a pair of Groom Mickey and Bride Minnie ears as a way of telling me that we are going to Disneyland this summer! We will also be traveling to a few other destinations before the year is over, and since a lot of our friends have started relocating across the country, it’s safe to say that these newlyweds will be spending quite some time traveling!

Photographer: Elisabeth Carol Photography | Month-Of Coordination: Borrowed and Blue Occasions | Venue: Thunder Creek Ranch | Florist: The Southern Table | Cake Baker: Sugar Bee Sweets | Caterer: Babe’s Chicken | Rentals: Celebration Event Rental | DJ: DJ Frank Young | Paper Products: Clara Doyle Designs | Bride’s Gown: Style 1959 by Mikaella | Bride’s Jewelry and Shoes: Kate Spade | Hair and Makeup: Tracy Melton Artistry | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Style 852 by Watters WTOO | Menswear: Express | Signage: Fox and Sparrow Design

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Elisabeth Carol reply

    Love!!! Thanks SO much for the feature! It looks amazing!

  2. avatar Paige reply

    I would love to see the vows she referenced in their entirety! Would you mind sharing the rest of the vows that include “I take you as you are, loving who you are now and who you are yet to become.”
    Thanks!

  3. avatar Thunder Creek Ranch Wedding by Elisabeth Carol | Wedding Trends By Drawde reply

    […] post Thunder Creek Ranch Wedding by Elisabeth Carol appeared first on Southern […]

  4. avatar Celebration Event Rental reply

    Amazing photos and we were truly honored to be a part of this special day.
    Burying bourbon to help ward off a rainy wedding day? I LOVE it!
    Thanks for including us in the post and Best Wishes!

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Lina knew that Mario was the one for her on their very first date, so it seems only fitting that choosing their wedding venue came down to love at first sight too. They were immediately smitten with The Glen Venue after attending a friend’s wedding there during their dating days, and once they were the ones with a wedding on the horizon, there was no question where their rustic, romantic celebration would take place. Lina and Mario loved it so much, they did their engagement session there too, adding one more layer of sweet memories to this special place!

Thank you so much to J. Layne Photography for sharing this beautiful day with us!

I chose to invite only my mother dress shopping, because I wanted the experience to be a special memory between her and I. I found my dress at The White Magnolia. My mom was the one who actually spotted my dress and made me try it on. Once I had it on, I knew it was the one! I remember not wanting to take it off, and feeling like it had been made just for me!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Plan your wedding according to what you both want! Mario and I were committed to that, and although we felt some tension along the way, we wouldn’t have had it any other way. It turned out to be the wedding of our dreams because we stuck to our guts. Prioritize the elements that are most important to you. We knew we wanted great flowers and great photographers, so those things were at the top of our list when it came to the budget.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look because we wanted an intimate moment between the two of us before the celebrations began. We loved getting a glimpse of one another before walking down the aisle, and some of our most favorite pictures of the two of us are from our first look!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our ceremony. Everything from walking down the aisle, to saying our own vows, to taking communion together for the first time as a married pair, to the blessing one of our pastors prayed over us. I remember the ceremony so clearly; it was as if time stood still. I was just so happy to finally marry the love of my life. Every worry and stressful thought disappeared the moment I started to walk down that aisle with my mother.

When Mario and I were dating, we attended a friend’s wedding at The Glen Venue. I immediately fell in love with it and knew that it would be the place where we would get married someday. We loved how naturally beautiful it was. We knew we wanted an outdoor, rustic, romantic wedding, and our venue brought that vision to life. There was also a large wooden deck surrounded with lights, which made for a dreamy reception setting. We loved our venue so much that we even had our engagement session done there.

We had such an incredible baker. We couldn’t make up our mind on one flavor, so we decided to have five different cakes, all of which were organic! Our main cake was a two-tiered Key lime cake (our favorite flavor). The rest of the cakes were ginger carrot cake with maple cinnamon buttercream, red velvet cake with white chocolate buttercream, vanilla bean cake with light almond buttercream with fresh lemon curd and raspberry preserve filling, and lastly, dark chocolate cake with hazelnut buttercream.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at our local church while serving on the worship team. We began spending a lot time together with friends, and we immediately sensed a strong connection with one another. Group dates turned into dates between the two of us, and on February 11, 2011, we began our relationship. We dated for three years before Mario proposed. Although I was pretty restless about not being engaged in our three years of dating (I knew I wanted to marry him on our first date!), looking back now, I appreciate all of the seasons that Mario and I went through, because they prepared us for this beautiful gift of marriage.
Tell us all about the proposal! We took a trip to Savannah to celebrate our anniversary on February 16, 2014. Our plan that day was to eat, shop, and take a few pictures of the town. When we arrived at Forsyth Park, Mario decided that he was going to show me a few simple photography tips. I was in a full “photographer stance” when he asked me to focus the camera in on his hand. I was about to take another picture when I saw the most beautiful engagement ring on the palm of his hand through the camera lens. I was in such shock that he had to repeatedly tell me to stand up. I stood, and he got down on one knee and asked me the question that I had been obsessing over for the past few years: “Will you marry me?” I immediately said yes, cried my eyes out, called my mom, and continued to cry, all while feeling like the happiest and luckiest girl in the world.
When did y’all get married? November 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 150
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went through marriage counseling with the pastor who married us. We also did a pre-marital workbook that brought up a lot of great topics for us to talk through.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We paid for most of the wedding ourselves, so it became very stressful at times. We just trusted that everything was going to work out and tried to be intentional about our spending.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Our venue came with tables as well as wooden benches, which shaved off a large amount of rental money! Another thing we decided on was to forgo a videographer and invest in amazing photographers. I think this was a great decision! Although we don’t have a video to look back on, we have hundreds of amazing images that still take me back to that day as if it was yesterday. I am forever grateful to our incredible photographers for doing such an outstanding job.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are looking forward to traveling, buying our first home together, starting a family, and living our lives while always supporting each other’s dreams.

Photographer: J Layne Photography / Venue: The Glen Venue / Florist: Aime Peterson Flowers & Events / Cake Baker: Sweet N’ Flour / Caterer: Tres Leches Eatery / Rentals: Aime Peterson Flowers & Events /
Band: Who Rescued Who / Chalkboard Art and Invitations: Ashley Purser / Bridal Salon: The White Magnolia / Bride’s Gown: “Jacinda” by Watters / Bride’s Veil: Love Bridal Boutique / Hair Stylist: Jessica Rowe / Makeup Artist: Jill Bogers / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “650I” by Wtoo and “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo / Groom’s Jacket: Daniel Cremieux / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Groomsmen’s Jackets: Men’s Wearhouse / Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / Table Numbers and Reserved Signs: Sixpence Press / Cake Topper: Host & Toast Studio / Bride’s Dress Hanger: BHLDN

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #194 – Floridian Social reply

    […] were totally smitten with the mix of rustic, romantic, elegant and organic at The Glen Venue captured by J. Layne Photography. Lina and her 'maids were stunning, as were the […]

  2. avatar 14 Unique Bridal Bouquet Wraps to Try | Emmaline Bride reply

    […] photo: j layne photography via southern weddings […]

  3. avatar Lina & Mario | The Glen Venue » J. Layne Photography reply

    […] View complete featured over on Southern Weddings […]

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