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One of the “job hazards” of working at Southern Weddings is suffering from an occasional bout of wedding guest envy, and I could definitely say that today about Liz and Jim’s lucky loved ones! First of all, they seem like such a fun couple–just read about how they met (“As it turns out, if you ask the internet for an attractive, nice guy who likes the outdoors and wouldn’t mind dating a girl in the Army, you get Jim Perkins.”) or Jim’s equally sweet and amusing recount of his proposal. Second, their ceremony looks like it was so touching, from Liz being walked down the aisle by both her parents, to the personal vows she and Jim exchanged. And last but not least? Brunch, y’all. Any wedding with a biscuit bar, a waffle bar, AND syrup that was made by the groom’s family is alright by me!

Thanks so much to Elizabeth Fogarty for sharing Liz and Jim’s lovely celebration with us!

One of my bridesmaids allowed me to borrow the veil that her mother had made for her when she got married in 2013. As my something blue, I wore my mother’s diamond and sapphire earrings. For my something old, I wore a diamond cross that has been passed down through three generations of my family as a 16th birthday gift (first to my grandmother, then my mother, then me). Just before the ceremony, I gave gifts to my bridesmaids and my mother. My mom received a small David Yurman ring, and it turned out that she had called Jim ahead of time to find out what gift I was planning to give her. Just before the ceremony, she gave me a matching ring to wear on my right hand.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did! We had a very brief ceremony, but it certainly embodied our personalities and our love for each other. Jim’s favorite line from my vows was when I declared in front of everyone “You know me better than anyone else…even Mom.” My favorite line from his vows was when he used a phrase he says almost daily: “I will keep you safe, protected, and loved.”

Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! The trail mix bar was a symbol of our love of the outdoors. The idea for corn hole came up on one of our dates after we got engaged, when we played corn hole with some of Jim’s friends before a Seattle Sounders game. We have spent lots of time with family and friends and their children, so we chose to have a “kid parade” instead of flower girls and a ring bearer, in order to incorporate all the children who attended the wedding–there were 14 of them!

We chose to get married in DC because it was halfway between our families–mine is in North Carolina and Jim’s is in Connecticut. We knew we wanted to be outside, and the venue we chose was an Audubon Naturalist Society sanctuary. It was lovely for our May wedding–green and lush.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We kept our flowers simple, and did big signs written in calligraphy instead of programs and menus for every guest.

Our favorite detail was incorporating our parents’ recipes into the reception meal. We had both a biscuit and a waffle bar for our brunch reception. The biscuits were a North Carolina recipe perfected by my parents, and the syrup for the waffles was made by Jim’s parents in Connecticut. They also made maple leaf bottle favors of the syrup that served double duty as escort cards.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I have a thing for French macarons. Our caterer was able to make pink, white, and blue macarons for our wedding, along with a ceremonial cutting cake. We love that we got that classic cake cutting picture without having a real wedding cake.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. As it turns out, if you ask the internet for an attractive, nice guy who likes the outdoors and wouldn’t mind dating a girl in the Army, you get Jim Perkins. In other words, Match.com helped us find each other.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Jim: It’s not often that a man meets a woman and knows within six months that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. It’s possibly even rarer that this happens in long distance relationships. My company was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in late April and my block leave was scheduled for late March. We planned a trip to Kentucky during that time to combine two things that we both, especially I, enjoy: rock climbing at the Red River Gorge and bourbon craft distilling around Lexington. This trip was set to be our last chance to see each other before Liz began her pediatrics residency and I started business school, so unless I wanted to propose to her at a nice brunch in Bethesda, this was my only chance to do it right. We planned to spend a few days in Raleigh en route to Lexington so that I could meet more of her friends and family, and this itinerary meant that we wouldn’t be able to drive to Lexington in a single day. We made the obvious choice to stop in Asheville for a night and I immediately knew that the Biltmore Estate would be the perfect spot to ask her to marry me. This likelihood must have been obvious to her as well, so I took extra care to act disinterested in the forced “lay-over.” As we pulled up to the Inn at Biltmore Estate, Liz began to sense that something was up. She was clearly expecting something as we rode the elevator to our floor and then opened the door to find an elegant room with a balcony, and even a bottle of wine waiting for us. Seeing this, I seized the opportunity to tease her–I poured some wine, handed her a glass, took a knee, and…helped her take off her boots. From that moment, I was dubbed “the boy who cried wolf.” I had fooled her enough and she wasn’t going to fall for it again. The next day, I slipped the ring box into my camera case and we drove over to the estate to begin the tour. As we passed through the garden, there were photographers taking pictures of all of the visitors. We finished our tour and went to pick up our picture. Liz thought it was nice, but I asked if we could get a photographer to take our picture with the house in the background. It “just so happened” that they had a “roving photographer” who could do it. We walked with him along the lawn and up the carriage ramps to a spot and chatted. As we got ready for the picture, Liz set down her purse. Pretending to set down my camera case, I knelt down and pulled out the ring. Before I could say anything, Liz looked down at me and told me to “Stop messing around, this guy is trying to take our picture!” I told her that this time, finally, I was serious, and asked her to marry me while our private photographer captured the moment.
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 115
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us. Not only did our morning wedding schedule not really allow time for it, we also wanted that moment seeing each other as I walked down the aisle. It definitely changed the time we had for portraits, but our photographer was amazing and she made it work.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My cousin became a Universal Life minister for the occasion. She wrote the ceremony and recommended a reading from E.E. Cummings, “I Carry Your Heart With Me.” One of Jim’s closest friends, who traveled all the way from Seattle for the wedding, did the reading. It was a very special moment for us.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Jim’s best man gave a really awesome speech–he created a PowerPoint similar to an Army mission briefing. It was funny, insightful, and truly touching.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are both Army officers. I am a pediatrics resident at Walter Reed hospital. Jim is an engineer officer currently earning his MBA at Georgetown. We have one more year in DC together before the Army takes Jim away for his next assignment. We plan to enjoy every minute.

Photographer: Elizabeth Fogarty / Planner: Natalie Schlosser of Atrendy Wedding / Venue: Woodend Sanctuary / Florist: Toulies / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Corcoran Caterers / Rentals: Paisely and Jade / Band: Brad Kolodner / Special Details: Just Write Studios / Paper Products: Dandelion Patch / Bride’s Gown: “Violet” by Matthew Christopher / Bridal Salon: Love Couture Bridal / Hair Stylist: DryBar / Makeup Artist: Lauren Jaber / Bride’s Shoes: Nine West / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Rings: Tiffany & Co.

The Dandelion Patch, Paisley & Jade, and Atrendy Wedding are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    biscuits, waffles, and syrup <3 <3 <3

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Not all weddings take place in the afternoon or evening, so we love that Blue Ribbon Vendor Ashton Events and photographer Justin DeMutiis took their lead from the colors (and beautiful fog) of an early Southern morning. The rest of their inspiration is really beautiful, too, thanks to a favorite verse from Song of Solomon. Read on for the full story behind the details this talented team pulled together!

From Laura, the planner and designer:

This shoot was designed around the Bible verse “Who is this, coming up out of the wilderness, leaning on her beloved?” I love the image of a groom finally getting to see his bride, coming up to him from the wilderness of singleness- and for him to recognize that she has been leaning on her Beloved to get her to this moment. This is a celebration of two people who are going to choose to do life together at the dawn of each and every morning. There are many memories that brought them to their wedding day, and they are eager to start their marriage as soon as the sun begins to rise. And then they get to share breakfast with their nearest and dearest, including a delicious pastry display!

Personally, I loved the how the encaustic table numbers turned out! They were such an artistic representation of the sunrise, and were a myriad of colors. My other favorite detail was the bride’s hair comb. It provided the inspiration of the print materials and had such gorgeous, garden-y flowers!

Planning, design, florals, backdrop: Ashton Events Planning + Design | Furniture, props, styling: Wish Vintage Rentals | Photography: Justin DeMutiis Photography | Videography: Enchanted Cinema | Venue: Rocking H Ranch | Paper goods: Eleven-Note | Breads: Born & Bread Bakehouse | Pews, china, glassware, flatware: A Chair Affair | Hair and makeup: Mary Galletta | Dress: White Magnolia Bridal | Linens and chairs: Kate Ryan Linens | Accessories: Bride La Bohome | Cake: JaimeCakes | Table Numbers and menu: Studio DH

Ashton Events and Rocking H Ranch are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
8 Comments
  1. avatar Davy Whitener reply

    Very beautiful and well planned. Great photography Justin!

  2. avatar Katie reply

    I love everything about this wedding! A sunrise ceremony is such a creative idea and the morning light is absolutely stunning!

  3. avatar Katie Capo reply

    Laura & Justin, these are magical!!

  4. avatar Kate Mulligan reply

    I simply love the wedding programs it coordinates with the theme so well, dying to see the rest of the suite.

  5. avatar Kelsey reply

    Oh my gosh! Everything about this wedding is what I have always pictured as my dream wedding. Beautiful!

  6. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #207 – Floridian Social reply

    […] sunrise breakfast could totally satiate my wish for a vow […]

  7. avatar A Southern Sunrise-Inspired Wedding Photoshoot | reply

    […] Click here to see the full feature on Southern Weddings! […]

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Every once in awhile, a wedding pops up that looks so fun, sweet, or unique (or all of the above!), I start to seriously wish I could have been a guest, and that is certainly the case for Colby and Jeff’s Tennessee celebration. These two gathered just 35 of their closest family members and friends on a Nashville rooftop, where they said their personal vows, and then enjoyed a delicious-looking brunch reception! Premier WED, one of our Blue Ribbon Vendors, helped Colby and Jeff bring their vision of an intimate, elegant morning wedding that was deeply rooted in Nashville culture to life. From the lantern floral arrangements, to the hearty biscuit and waffle bars, to the downtown sounds guests could hear from the roof at Aerial, I’d say they pulled it off beautifully!

Thank you kindly to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Abigail Bobo for sharing this special day with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I was out on my grandparents’ boat and Jeff was on his dad’s boat over the 4th of July weekend. He had on a shirt from his alma mater, which happened to be my college’s rival school. Our parents pushed us towards each other to meet, and we spent the rest of the weekend getting to know each other. We kept in touch all year, and exactly a year later, decided to start dating.

The wedding flowers were simple, but elegant at the same time. They were arranged in the lanterns beautifully by A Village of Flowers.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. Jeff quoted The Simpsons, which he does in everyday life, so it fit very well for our relationship. His favorite line was, “I always have loved you and I always will love you.” My favorite line from my vows was, “Love is waiting patiently for me to stop crying so you can get an answer to ‘Will you marry me?’ Well, I have finally pulled myself together enough to give you that answer. Jeff, yes, I will marry you.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had Jeff’s best man read the children’s story “Guess How Much I Love You.”

We wanted a venue that was unique to Nashville, and when Premier WED suggested Aerial and we looked into it, we knew it was the perfect setting. It was elegant and timeless, and you could hear the city down below.

We were so grateful to have such a wonderful event planner, Premier WED. I was in the middle of taking over my own classroom and we were starting the process of buying a house, so planning a wedding on top of all of that made our lives a little stressful. We could not have created such a beautiful wedding from so far away if it were not for Premier WED. Each time we talked, they knew what I wanted before I even said it. They took everything Jeff and I imagined and made it into a reality.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We wanted our guests to know that they were in Nashville, so we served Southern food from Chef’s Market and played lots of country music.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We did not want a huge wedding, so we only invited immediate family and those friends closest to us. This helped save a little money, while having the intimate wedding we wanted.

Tell us all about the proposal! Jeff came to see me at school for a weekend in December. After spending some time with my friends, we decided to go off on our own, and ventured to Dunning Springs (the waterfall and springs in Decorah, Iowa). At the top of the stairs, I stopped to catch my breath, and then turned around to find Jeff on one knee. I had already started crying before he said a word. He said, “I don’t know what you are planning for the rest of your life, but I hope you can spend it with me. Will you marry me?”
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 35
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found a dress at Beautiful Brides in Madison, Wisconsin. It was the first one I saw when I started looking through the store, and I knew I didn’t need to look any further.
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did do a first look. We wanted to be able to have an intimate moment together before we saw all of our friends and family.
Describe your wedding dessert. We did not have a wedding cake, but instead, served doughnut holes and shot glasses of milk.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing all of our family and loved ones watching us as we made a life-long promise to each other.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be patient with each other and make sure to talk about how you are feeling about the planning process.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just bought a house and got a puppy, and hopefully, starting a family isn’t too far in the future.

Photographer: Abigail Bobo / Planner: Premier WED / Venue: Aerial Nashville / Florist: A Village of Flowers / Caterer: Chef’s Market / Rentals: Liberty Party Rental and Music City Tents / Lighting: Southern Sky Event Lighting and Bright Event Productions / Musician: Rob Higginbotham / Paper Products: Hatch Show Print / Bridal Salon and Veil: Beautiful Brides / Bride’s Jewelry: Kay Jewelers / Hair Stylist: Leslie Ingram / Makeup Artist: Dhante / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse

Abigail Bobo, Liberty Party Rental, and Premier WED are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Abigail Bobo Photography reply

    Thank y’all so much for this stunning feature! Colby + Jeff are kind, warm, hilarious people and that’s what I love most about this day (and the amazing vendor team, of course!) xo from Nashville!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    biscuits and waffles! wow. great wedding!

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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