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When your father is a cotton farmer, and your groom works at the farm too, there might not be a more perfect venue than one named Cottontop Plantation! I always love reading about why our sweet couples choose their venues, and Rebecca and Russell’s story is so fun. Their venue isn’t the only element of their wedding where meaningful details reigned–can y’all believe that Rebecca’s stunning gown is actually a family heirloom? It was worn by her paternal grandmother in 1958, and then by her aunt 1983. Not only is the dress in beautiful shape for an heirloom, it is also completely timeless and so very chic!

Big hugs to Britt Croft for sharing their lovely day with us!

P.S. I must say, I feel a bit akin to Rebecca, as my own dear husband tends to rock a beard as well!

My wedding dress is a family heirloom. My paternal grandmother wore the dress in 1958, and then my aunt wore it in 1983. The dress was handmade by a friend of the family who worked for a tailor in Columbia, South Carolina. I tried on many dresses, but could never find the vintage lace I was looking for. I asked my Mimi if I could try on her dress, and with tears in her eyes, she said she’d love that. Well, I fell in love with her dress! It was just what I wanted, and it was in really good shape for being that old. I had a friend of mine who does embroidery work sew three patches with all of our initials and wedding dates on them and my mom sewed them into the inside of the skirt.

Describe your wedding flowers. I carried a large bouquet of eucalyptus, dusty miller, brasilia berries, peach astilbe, peach roses, and white hydrangeas. I had the florist make two huge arrangements of the same flowers that were placed in white urns and displayed at the base of the porch steps where the ceremony took place. The farm tables we ate at were draped with a garland made of the same combination of flowers, plus silver candelabras and hurricane globes. The aisle was strewn with ivory rose petals.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The name of the venue was Cottontop Plantation. It is out in the middle of the country, just seven miles from our house. My dad is a cotton farmer, and Russell works at the farm as well, so besides the venue being very convenient and beautiful, my family and I loved the name Cottontop.

We had two pastors perform our ceremony–one is a family friend we’ve known since I was a little girl, who wrote our introductory thoughts and vows. Our current pastor at our church performed the exchange of rings and the vows. He put a personal touch on it, which made us and our guests more relaxed.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The venue was at a cotton plantation and we used farm tables at the reception. We buried a bottle of bourbon exactly one month before the wedding to keep the rain away and it worked. It’s Southern tradition! I wore pearls as my jewelry and we served sweet tea and lemonade. I had bridal portraits taken at Boone Hall Plantation. We served our guests mac and cheese, chicken, green beans, potatoes, yeast rolls, and salad–a menu you could find on any Southern dining room table on any given Sunday at a family lunch.

My wedding cake was a two-tiered textured white buttercream cake. The tiers were tall and embellished with real roses. We kept it on display near our dinner tables on an old circular oak table with claw feet, draped with my aunt’s lace wedding veil–the same aunt who had worn my wedding dress before me.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Russell and I met back in high school when we were both new students. We had several of the same classes, even though Russell was two years older than me. He was the quarterback of the school’s football team and I was a cheerleader. We dated several years in high school and into college when I got the bug to date other people for a while. I dated several other people, only to realize how much Russell and I were meant for each other. During that time (three years), Russell never dated anyone–he never gave up on me.
Tell us all about the proposal! On April 10, I arrived home from work to find a beautiful Rent the Runway gown hanging up next to some shoes and jewelry. Beside it was a note saying, “1. Put the dress on 2. Fix your hair and makeup 3. Be ready at 7 PM. Ignore the cameras and don’t ask any questions.” My sisters and mom were there to help me get ready. At 7, my sister blindfolded me and drove me up to what was to be mine and Russell’s future home. When I got out of the car, she took off the blindfold and I stood there speechless. There was a gazebo strung with lights, a table for dinner, and candles. I was told to sit down at the table to read a note from Russell, and when I looked up, I saw him walking toward me with three roses. He said, “This first rose is for our past, second for our present and the third for our future. He then got down on his knee and proposed. After that, we sat down for dinner just as the sun was setting, and after dinner, we danced under the lights. It was like something out of a fairy tale! Here is the proposal video my sister, Roxanne (a photographer) made.
When did y’all get married? September 27, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We used a string quartet on the porch of the plantation. I didn’t think of using anything but timeless classical music, which sounds so beautiful on strings.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment that I will cherish forever was wearing my grandmothers wedding dress. All the months planning and leading up to the wedding, my grandmother was so proud that I chose to wear her dress.

Photographer: Britt Croft Photography / Videographer: Roxanne Photography / Venue: Cottontop Plantation / Florist: Dyson Designs / Wedding Cake: Teresa Reed / Caterer: Sweet Magnolia’s Catering / Rentals: Simply Elegant Party and Event Rentals and Celebrations / DJ: Bob Bonnett / Invitations: Alicia’s Gifts and Invites / Bride’s Veil: Vera Wang for Davids Bridal / Bride’s Brooch: Tiger Lilly / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Menswear: Greg Norman

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Fotograf Warszawa reply

    Brilliant colors. Especially the last photo of the bulbs.

  2. avatar Whitney reply

    Gorgeous wedding! I love all of the details. May I ask where you got your wood monogram?

  3. avatar Kristi reply

    I absolutely the bridesmaids “getting ready” shirts- Any idea where she got them?!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Kristi! They’re from Plum Pretty Sugar, and you can find them here: :)

  4. avatar Fotograf Białystok reply

    to Britt Croft Photography – great job!

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I don’t know about y’all, but my Instagram feed was full of beaches and lakes this weekend! As if that wasn’t enough to get me extra excited for my own first beach trip of the summer in a few weeks, today’s wedding is a Southern coastal wedding dream come true. Inspired by their mutual love for the water and Robert’s childhood summers at the Carolina Yacht Club, Lara Beth and Robert were married at one of their favorite places. I love how they added just a few sweet, personal details to their already-beautiful venue–with views like this, it certainly didn’t need much!

Thanks so much to Britt Croft for sharing this pretty wedding with us!

Describe your wedding flowers. I got extremely lucky when I found my wedding planner, Teresa Gausman. Not only is she a talented event planner, she is also an amazing florist. My bouquet was an assortment of ivory and blush pink peonies, roses, and hydrangeas. Teresa cleverly hung beautiful pink rose balls from manzanita branches for some of the centerpieces, along with assorted arrangements of hydrangeas, roses, and tulips. She did a fantastic job!

We both love the water and wanted to get married near the beach. Robert spent many summers at the Carolina Yacht Club as a child, and the location was perfect for us. It definitely had the romantic, casual atmosphere that we were looking for.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For my something borrowed, I borrowed earrings from my dear friend Emily. They were beautiful and she had also worn them on her wedding day. For something blue, I had the wedding date and my new initials, LBM, sewn into the inside of my dress with blue ribbon. I had lace from my mother’s wedding dress wrapped around my bouquet for something old. My wedding dress was my something new.

Our favorite detail was the nautical theme that was carried throughout the wedding. The beachfront yacht club set the tone, and we chose soft, coastal colors for the wedding party attire and ceremony/reception decor. The invitations and ceremony programs had a simple anchor placed at the top of them. We also had cups made with our names and an anchor printed on them in seafoam green.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our reception menu was very Southern. The main course for dinner was fried chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, deviled eggs, and succotash. These items are always crowd pleasers at Southern weddings, and sure enough, no one left hungry!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? After the reception, guests lined the walkway of the yacht club and wished us farewell with a sea of colorful streamers. I remember the love and excitement that I felt knowing that all of our closest friends and family members were gathered together for us. With a bottle of champagne in hand and a full heart, we left on Robert’s boat. It truly was a happy day!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We both went to UNC Wilmington for college and met there through mutual friends. We started dating after college, while I was living in Charleston, SC, and dated long distance until I moved to Wilmington a little over a year later.
Tell us all about the proposal! Robert proposed on his grandfather’s pier at Lake Waccamaw, NC. His grandfather plants thousands of flowers on the pier every year and it is absolutely beautiful! Other family members have gotten married and engaged in that very spot. It is such a special place!
When did y’all get married? April 12, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 275
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A string quartet played the prelude, processional, and recessional at the ceremony. We kept the music traditional (Canon in D, Trumpet Voluntary, Ode to Joy). Our first dance was to Van Morrison “Crazy Love” because we both love Van Morrison and we wanted a song that was upbeat and easy to dance to.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a four-tiered cake with blush pink and ivory flowers arranged in bunches on top of the cake and between the tiers. There were alternating layers of strawberry and almond pound cake with a cream cheese filling and buttercream icing. It was delicious!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was that our wedding was held on the same weekend as a very popular festival in Wilmington. Hotels fill up quickly for this weekend, so we reserved several blocks of rooms almost immediately after setting the date. We did not want guests to have to travel in heavy traffic from the ceremony to the reception, so we decided to have everything at the yacht club. The ceremony was held on the lower deck and the chairs were quickly removed during the cocktail hour to make space for guests during the reception. The yacht club staff and Teresa’s team worked magic to make it happen.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We reused flowers from the bridesmaid luncheon and rehearsal dinner at the wedding. This was a huge money saver!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Working with my wedding planner, Teresa Gausman, was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning. She had ideas galore and was a dream to work with. She is one of the most creative people I have ever met, and because of her, the yacht club looked stunning!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? For me, wedding planning went by super quickly. My advice would be to enjoy every minute with your significant other and savor being engaged!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? At some point, we would like to start a family, but for now, we are enjoying this time as newlyweds. We are the best of friends and we grow closer every day.

Photographer: Britt Croft / Planner and Florist: Teresa Gausman of Premiere Events / Venue: Carolina Yacht Club / Cake Baker: Imaginary Cakes / Caterer: Pine Valley Market / Rentals: Party Suppliers / Lighting: High Performance Lighting / Band: The Phase Band / Bride’s Gown: Mori Lee / Paper Products: The Fisherman’s Wife and Kamin & Associates, Inc / Hair and Makeup: Bangz Salon and Day Spa / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Allure / Men’s Attire: Tommy Hilfiger

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Nicole reply

    So gorgeous! I love their flower-decked altar and those gorgeous white petal linens on the porch!

  2. avatar Kat reply

    so soft & romantic! I love the white textured linens & the touches of minty-blue & blush!

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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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