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Small towns and the South go together like biscuits and honey–they each seem to bring out the best in one another, don’t you think? Since Abigail and Adam’s love story began in their neighboring North Carolina mountain towns, there was no place like home for their rustic fall wedding. With limited venue options in her small hometown, Abigail and her family set out to help restore an abandoned produce packing warehouse. Not only did it become the perfect industrial space for her and Adam to celebrate with all their loved ones, it also now serves as an event space for the whole community. What an incredible legacy to leave!

Thank you so much to Michelle Lyerly for sharing this special day with us!

My mother, mother-in-law, and sisters came to Charlotte to help me find a dress. When I walked out in the dress I eventually bought, no one said a thing until we heard my best friend, who we called over Facetime, quietly say, “Oh, Abby!” We collectively started crying at that point and got right to work on the alterations.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? It was important to us both that the moment when I started walking toward him to become his wife happened in front of all of our friends and family, who had and would continue to support us as a couple.

Adam and I grew up in neighboring small towns in the mountains of North Carolina. Our love story started there and so much of who we are and what we love came from growing up together in that part of the state. We knew we wanted to be surrounded by the love of our hometowns on our wedding day. We also knew that many of our friends from college and work wanted to experience our small town firsthand!

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Choosing a venue that wasn’t actually a venue yet! Murphy, North Carolina is a small place, so the choices for an event are limited. We ended up taking a risk and choosing an abandoned produce packaging warehouse in the center of town, built around 1911, as the venue. The exposed white brick courtyard sold me on the place! Our families worked with the owner of the building to clean, renovate, and re-purpose the building for the reception within six months. It was a challenge to bring the building up to code and make it suitable for not just a party, but a wedding reception, within such a short time frame! It ended up being stunning. The building now serves as an event venue, and it’s wonderful to see the community using the facility!

We kept the flowers to a minimum. The church and reception venue were styled using collected antique silver pieces, handmade antler flower crowns, hundreds of candles, a custom lighted marquee, collected oushak rugs, and white and green pumpkins from a local farm. Baby’s breath, white and pink roses, and greenery covered the tables and bars. Original iron window frames from the building were covered in fresh magnolia branches and suspended from the ceiling.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole town got involved! People stopped by on a regular basis to check in on the status of the reception venue’s restoration. Our families pitched in and built the tables (out of wooden beams recovered from the venue) and bars (collected wooden shipping pallets). When word got out that my sister was collecting antique silver pieces for the wedding, people started showing up at our house with pieces they found at yard sales or from their own personal collections. My uncle hand-stitched over 500 feet of white flag pennants for the courtyard, and my sister made amazing antler flower crowns. We even had people stop by the reception and join in on the fun. It was truly a hometown wedding!

The wedding cake was a three-tiered lemon pound cake with buttercream icing. We also had a dessert bar of cakes lovingly made by family friends. There wasn’t a single slice left at the end of the day!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? A local bluegrass band from the John C. Campbell Folk School. They played on the outdoor stage during the reception’s cocktail hour, greeting everyone with soulful Appalachian music. The outdoor stage was decorated with antique oushak rugs, an antique iron candelabra, and cascading pumpkins from a nearby farm. It was magical and felt just like home.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were so young! We first met with a group of friends outside the two-screen cinema in Adam’s hometown of Andrews, North Carolina. As is the case with most 13-year-olds, we weren’t so much dating as just seeing each other at group events or ball games. Adam went to my eighth grade dance with me, and from that point on, we’ve grown up together. So many times, young love is seen as irrational or unwise, and while it is certainly unpredictable, it’s amazing when it works out. I’m so thankful to know that Adam understands every part of me: my past, my present, and my future.
Tell us all about the proposal! I was in the middle of studying for spring exams when Adam showed up with an Easter basket. Easter is my favorite holiday, so I thought he was just making a sweet gesture. Each egg in the basket held gift certificates for my favorite things, but one light blue egg held the best gift: my engagement ring! Adam and I had dated for so long, I wasn’t sure if he would be able to surprise me when the time came, but this took my breath away. It was simple, creative, and thoughtful. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.
When did y’all get married? October 25, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our families are very close, so the passage from Ruth 1 was meaningful and true.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I have so many! To name a few, a very good friend of mine gave me a watercolor she painted of our dog, Franklin, and his new last name as an engagement present. We had the image printed on the cake napkins, which was a wonderful way for Franklin to be a part of the celebration. We still use the leftover napkins for our bar cart at home! We also loved our dance floor. An old circular plant holder was used to suspend a disco ball, wrapped with a garland of greenery, over the black and white dance floor, and the stage was back lit by a custom designed marquee that said A+A. It set the tone for the party! Finally, a 1971 Minnie Winnebago, renovated by my father, served mini corndogs (my favorite), Coca-Cola bottles, and homemade potato chips as the night concluded.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with my former youth pastor and the minister for the wedding, Danny Byers, for premarital counseling. No matter how well you know a person, it’s so important to make sure your goals, values, and thoughts on faith work well together.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used a lot of florals and greenery that we could collect ourselves: magnolia leaves, dried hydrangeas, and baby’s breath. We also worked with many local vendors, which cut down on shipping and transportation costs. My sisters really went above and beyond to make every detail special, so we were able to work without an event planner and just hired a day-of coordinator.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Your wedding needs to be true to who you are as a couple. The small details that represent you and your life together will make all the difference. I would also add, don’t take yourself or your wedding too seriously. The details I loved the most were the ones that made me laugh, like the deer with the bow tie that hung in the restroom, or the ones that created a buzz–when the trucker hats hit the dance floor, people let loose!

Photographer: Michelle Lyerly / Videographer: Brian Johnson / Planner: Brittney Forrister / Ceremony Venue: Murphy First Baptist / Reception Venue: The Hackney Warehouse / Florist: Occasions Florist / Cake Baker: Tara Dockery / Caterer: Herb’s Pit Bar-B-Que / Rentals: Elegance / Band: The Root Doctors / Matchbooks and Drink Stirrers: For Your Party / Koozies: Custom Ink / Invitation Suite: Reaves Engraving / Bride’s Gown: Tara Keely / Bridal Salon and Hair Accessories: Hayden Olivia / Hair and Makeup: Salon El Khouri / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Suits: Michael Kors / Bow Ties: Brackish Bow Ties / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Dance Floor Props: Oriental Trading / Dance Floor Lights: Flashing Blinky Lights / Tambourines and Hats: Custom Ink / Watercolor Artist: Sara Bozarth / Special Details: Kendall Simmons

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Meg Gravley reply

    Really huge fan of a dessert bar made by family and friends – so personal and functional. The triangular banners sewn by her grandpa…icing on the cake!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    the dress, the bunting flags, the dog napkins–what is not to love about this wedding?!

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Mare and Jake met in Oxford while attending Ole Miss, so for these college sweethearts, their alma mater’s campus proved to be the perfect spot for Mare’s dream wedding. To help bring the wedding she had always pictured–an outdoor celebration complete with a white tent and chandeliers–to life, Jake gifted her with a wedding planner after their engagement! While this was a sweet gesture of his love for her, it was also a way for them to serve their future marriage, since it gave them time to tend to their relationship amidst their wedding plans.

Big hugs to Brian Flint for sending along this fun day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. One afternoon, my mom and I stopped in The Bridal Path in Jackson so I could try on dresses, and as soon as I walked in, I fell in love with a dress on the mannequin. My mom started crying when I tried it on, so I knew it was the one!

I wanted the flowers to be very elegant and classic, but with a Southern twist. My favorite flowers are hydrangeas, so I wanted all of the bridesmaids to carry full white hydrangea bouquets. Large arrangements with hydrangeas, white lilies, cabbage roses, and bell of Ireland were elevated on each guest table at the reception. My bouquet was made up of green hydrangeas, roses, and lilies.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was a gift from my father–he created a diamond necklace with his mother’s engagement diamond. My something blue was my garter, my dress was new, and I borrowed my lipstick from my fabulous makeup artist!

The ceremony music was so special to my family. A family friend, who had also sang at my parents’ wedding, sang “The Lord’s Prayer.” My sister, who was my matron of honor, sang “Surely the Presence” during the lighting of the unity candle. She and I have always loved that song.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our hotel gift boxes included Mississippi cheese straws and we served fried chicken at our reception. We also chose Southern signature cocktails, hired a Memphis soul band, and left our ceremony in a New Orleans-style trolley double decker bus!

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of having an outdoor wedding with a white tent and chandeliers. Since we both went to Ole Miss and met in Oxford, we decided that the Ole Miss campus was the perfect place for our outdoor reception.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We loved the candy bar filled with gold and white gum balls, pink and white lollipops, strawberry cheesecake jelly beans, gold-wrapped gummy candy, gummy grapefruit, Reese’s, and sweet taffy.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We were able to focus on our upcoming marriage by hiring a wedding planner. This was a gift from my husband right after our engagement! As he says, “This is the best investment I have ever made.” While we both have busy schedules, we were able to enjoy time with each other when we were off of work, instead of spending that time worrying about our wedding. Pre-marital counseling also had a huge impact on planning for our marriage.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual friends while at Ole Miss. My good friend had gone out with Jake and his best friend, and she told Jake he needed to meet me. A few nights later, she talked me into going out with her so she could introduce us. I did not want anything to do with Jake for the first month, and declined when he asked me out. Finally, my roommate convinced me to go on one date with him to the University Club, and after that, it was history.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jake proposed on May 4, his birthday! I had made reservations to go to Season 52 for his birthday dinner, and then we were planning to head to a friend’s house. We went to dinner, and on the way home, Jake told me that we had to stop by the house so he could get something. When we pulled up to the house, I waited in the car. Jake told me to get out because he had a surprise for me. He said it was “something small that could get bigger.” I was convinced he had gotten a dog, so I was a little aggravated, but then, he came out of the bedroom and proposed. After asking him five times if he was serious, I said yes.
When did y’all get married? May 2, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Over 300
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We chose a three-tiered cake with homemade almond flavored icing. The cake was accented with sugar tulips trimmed in gold.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? I had to realize that my husband was not going to make any wedding planning decisions! He wanted me to have the wedding I dreamed of.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are excited to begin renovating our home that we purchased before the wedding. We are looking forward to traveling back to our honeymoon location once a year, having a family, and growing old together.

Photographer: B. Flint Photography / Videographer: Frameblender Films / Planner: Claire Kiamie of One Fine Day Event / Ceremony Venue: Oxford United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: Ole Miss / Florist: Oxford Floral / Cake Baker: Sweet Things by Janet Smith / Caterer: My Michelle’s LLC / Rentals and Lighting: Magnolia Rental & Sales / Band: DMP Band with Ram Entertainment / Paper Products: Nest Paper Studio / Bride’s Gown: “LZ3415” by Lazaro / Bride’s Veil: Meringue Veil / Hair Stylist: Bloom Salon & Spa / Makeup Artist: Jessica Mathias / Bride’s Shoes: Antonio Melani from Dillard’s / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Ball Gown” by Two Birds / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids Memphis / Menswear: Thomas Brothers

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Mare & Jake | An Oxford Mississippi Wedding | b.flint photography | mississippi wedding photographer reply

    […] photography: b.flint photographyevent planning: one fine daycatering: my michelle’sMUAH: bloomreception venue: Ole Miss Campusceremony venue: Oxford-University United Methodist Churchrentals: magnolia rentalreception band: DMPfloral: oxford floralcake: sweet things by janet smithcinematographer: frameblender filmswedding dress: lazaroshoes: antonio melaniphoto booth: the hardin housePUBLISHED IN SOUTHERN WEDDINGS […]

  2. avatar betty simmons reply

    I attended the wedding, and it was simply lovely!! We even brought our children and 4 grandchildren. One said I met a real princess!

  3. avatar Antonio Gual reply

    Stunning wedding– Best wishes!

  4. avatar Mare & Jake Gibbs – One Fine Day reply

    […] Ole Miss Wedding by B. Flint Photography […]

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After a serendipitous meeting on a cruise ship, Jeni and Adam knew there was something special between them. So special, in fact, that just three weeks after their vacations, Jeni flew to Oklahoma to see Adam, and they began a long-distance relationship. Over the next year, Jeni and Adam not only fell in love with each other, Jeni also fell in love with Oklahoma, so when given the opportunity, she decided to take a chance on what she and Adam had by moving cross country. A few years later, charming country details, a rustic venue, and plenty of hospitality gave Jeni’s family a lovely introduction to the Southern state Jeni and Adam had made their home, and the celebration couldn’t have been sweeter!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Amanda Watson, for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

My mom flew out to Oklahoma City from San Diego to go dress shopping with me. We went to three different boutiques and had a great experience at each of them, complete with champagne and oversized mirrors, but by the end of the day, I become somewhat discouraged because no one dress seemed to be perfect for me. After I tried on the last dress that I had picked out, my stylist, Christina, said she had one more that may fit my desires. I wasn’t too impressed when I saw it on the hanger, but when I came out of the dressing room, we all knew it was the ONE!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I wanted to give my family (who is mainly from California) the perfect Oklahoma experience. We wanted a venue that was country, but also clean and romantic. We searched for weeks and visited so many, but when we pulled up to the Tatanka Ranch, we knew it was perfect. My whole family was able to stay on the ranch for the entire weekend, which made it feel like a family reunion. It was in a perfect central location in Oklahoma too, so none of our local guests had to drive more than an hour.

Our entire wedding had a rustic, country theme that highlighted the natural beauty of Oklahoma. The field we got married in, the boots we all wore, the oversized barn doors draped in white fabric, the homestyle food we served, the horses all around us…all of it made for the perfect Southern wedding.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy every minute, because no matter how long your engagement seems, time goes by so quickly. Also, spoil your bridesmaids and your parents–they deserve it.

Don’t miss Jeni + Adam’s wedding highlights by Glorious Day Films!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In May 2011, my mom and I took off for the California coast for a “girls trip” to Cabo San Lucas and Puerta Vallarta. Along with his parents and older brother, Adam also set out on a trip to visit Los Angeles and Hollywood. After seeing the sights of Southern California, we boarded the same Carnival cruise ship. We were introduced to one another on the cruise ship deck (the seas of Mexico are quite romantic!). We spent the rest of the trip together, and started making plans to see each other afterwards–I was finishing school in Tucson, Arizona, and Adam in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Three weeks later, I took my first trip to Oklahoma, and after a year of long distance, I moved to central Oklahoma to pursue graduate school and love.
Tell us all about the proposal! We made plans to attend our first OKC Redhawks game of the season together. The day of the game, we walked around Downtown OKC Bricktown and had lunch at a local taco shop. With sunny skies above, we finished lunch and made our way to the Redhawks stadium across the street, but first, we stopped at the fountain to take a photo. After asking my brother, Jake, to take the picture, we posed and Jake counted to three. On three, Adam dropped to one knee and asked for my hand in marriage. Jake caught the whole experience on video.
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 140
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look because we wanted to maximize our time together on our special day. We don’t like hearing that first looks are “untraditional” because that time together really did ease our nerves out before the ceremony, and even more so, it gave us the most romantic time between the two of us, where our photographer captured some of our favorite photos. We were never rushed for time, we were able to enjoy each other all dressed up, and we were able to savor every minute.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were honest with vendors about our budget from day one. Every single one of them worked with us and found a package that fit our budget and needs. We were very blessed in that regard.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Growing closer to God, together. We are so excited about everything that comes along with being married and spending forever with one another–growing our family, setting and achieving goals, serving our communities, traveling, and making memories.

Photographer: Amanda Watson Photography / Videographer: Glorious Day Films / Venue, Catering, and Lighting: The Tatanka Ranch / Florist: Emerson Events / Cake Baker: Rosebeary Design / Rentals: Marianne’s Rentals / Music: Xcell Productions / Paper Products: Unhinged Designs / Makeup Artist: Regina Rodriguez / Bride’s Shoes: Old Gringo Boots / Men’s Attire: Perry Ellis

Amanda Watson is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Jeni & Adam – Southern Weddings reply

    […] What better way to kick off the new blog than with a featured wedding?! We were so blessed to be a part of Jeni & Adam’s big day and are proud to have it featured over on Southern Weddings, see the feature here: http://southernweddings.com/2014/09/25/oklahoma-wedding-by-amanda-watson/ […]

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    Love the green truck! It adds such a great vintage element!

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