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Arielle says she has known all her life that she would someday be married on the beach. When it came time to decide where she and Chris would tie the knot, Seaside, Florida was the perfect choice–this Austin-dwelling couple has visited Seaside every year since their first year of dating! While I’m quite the fan of their location choice, I think their vow selection has my heart (be sure to read their favorite lines). They pieced together phrases that fit their relationship perfectly, saying that “every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!” That’s the sweet stuff right there, y’all!

We’re so delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor, Dear Wesleyann was there to capture their lovely day!

I went to visit my family in Cincinnati and we went to the Reading Bridal District. I have a very boho style and have known all my life that I would get married on a beach, so it was a given that I had to find something wispy and light. We went into Yours Truly Kelly for our first stop, and there it was: a light tulle gown with little petals flowing down the train. It was too big, so my mom convinced me to try another shop, but I couldn’t get the dress off my mind! The next day, I went back and purchased the dress, and worked with a seamstress here in Austin to tailor it to my body, which required redesigning the bodice. We also added a belt made out of a hand-beaded fabric from a local shop in Austin.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We worked with the pastor from our church in Houston, Ecclesia, to piece together our vows. In my vows, I especially loved a phrase that said “I take you, Chris, to be my constant friend and faithful partner…I promise to love you unconditionally and support your goals from this day forward.” Chris loved this part of his vows: “I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the woman you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I promise to love and cherish you through whatever life may bring us.” These phrases fit us so perfectly because we have really grown up together. Every day brings something new, and the best part is walking through it with your best friend!

Chris walked my grandma down the aisle to “Edelweiss,” which is her favorite song. My dad and I walked down the aisle to “What a Wonderful World,” because he and I always listened to Eva Cassidy growing up, and we both love that song. Our friend played songs by Zac Brown Band on a ukulele while we did our knot-tying ceremony, which brought us back to our time in Nashville! Our first dance was to “Wagon Wheel,” because it was kind of our song when we first started dating, after lots of fun nights dancing and singing to it together at the bars with friends!

Describe your wedding flowers. I cried the moment I saw my bouquet. Marja from Florals by the Sea did the most incredible job using coral peonies, white anemones, white roses, lamb’s ear, and bright green foliage. It was breathtaking and looked so beautiful against the ocean and the sand.

If there’s one thing we heard most while planning our destination wedding, it was “Why Seaside?” Simply put, when Chris and I are there, it feels like the rest of the world could not be further away, and we enjoy a simpler way of life, if only for a few days. We’ve visited Seaside every year since our first year of dating! We invited guests to take time during the wedding weekend to walk through the Seaside farmer’s market, have a beer on the porch of the Great Southern, walk through the Perspicasity market, and pick up a few Seaside t-shirts along the way. Ultimately, we wanted our friends and family to fall in love with Seaside for the same reasons we did. Because of that hope, this quiet little beach town was the perfect choice for our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The colors, the clothing, the bow ties (Vineyard Vines), the entire look and feel, the architecture of Seaside, Southern food (chicken and waffle skewers, shrimp and grits, and local brews), the music choices, and all of our Southern friends and family…I could go on and on!

The most memorable moment of our wedding day was the very end of the reception. As the night concluded, Chris and I walked up the stairs to the Bud & Alley’s bar, and I just remember looking down at our guests and seeing so much love. Everyone was beaming with joy. It was beautiful and I feel so blessed to have that memory to think back on every day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met while attending Belmont University in Nashville. I was having a dinner party with some of our fraternity and sorority friends, and one of them brought Chris, who had just transferred to Belmont, along. We became very good friends in the following months, and began dating about a year later. We haven’t looked back since!
Tell us all about the proposal! We had moved to Houston, Texas for work. My family was planning to visit for Thanksgiving, so I had an inclination that Chris would possibly propose during their visit, but I suppose he couldn’t wait! It was a Thursday evening and we got in the car to go out for a late dinner. We had decided to go to Dolce Vita, our favorite spot in Montrose, but Chris started driving in the opposite direction towards Houston’s mall, The Galleria. I remember being so confused (and hungry!). He kept talking on and on (much more than usual) about our new church and our life in our new city. Eventually, he parked in the mall parking garage and told me he wanted to check out some sort of art display. This was very unusual, because he isn’t really the art type! I followed him and the next thing I knew, we were in an unlit park with a large cement wall, most commonly referred to as the Water Wall. Usually, the wall is lit up, but on this night in particular, they were doing some maintenance and there was a boom lift in the middle of it. I looked at Chris and said something along the lines of “Why are we at this dark park…it’s not even open, and there’s construction stuff everywhere!” I turned around to walk away when he stopped me and said, “Well, I was going to ask you to marry me!” I turned around in utter disbelief and laughed, asking if he was joking. After he assured me that he was serious, I, of course, said yes, and then we went to have a celebratory dinner at Dolce Vita!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 75
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Probably the cake table, because it was so close to our hearts. The cake stand was handmade by Chris’ dad, and my grandparents’ cake topper from their wedding sat beside it. The hand-beaded starfish chandelier that my mom so lovingly made for us added to the beautiful display.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my veil from my best friend Katie (we were in each other’s weddings, too!). My something old was a family locket with photos of my grandfather and my grandma (God rest her soul) inside, which I tied to my bouquet. My something blue was a handmade garter (seersucker, of course!) from my mother-in-law, Lori, and my earrings from BHLDN were new!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We did a full marriage course with our church. We highly recommend doing this. It helped us to work through tough questions that we will eventually face in the future and taught us to communicate openly and respectfully with one another. It has helped our relationship immensely and I’m forever grateful to our pastors, Paul Randall and Chris Seay.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Chris and I spent a lot of time talking about our wedding, but he always reminded me when we needed to maintain our real life. In the days leading up to the wedding, we spent time just enjoying the moment–we checked into a sweet little cottage and sat inside, drinking wine and listening to the rain. We enjoyed lots of rest and time with family and friends, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. All I can say is to just remember that your wedding is about the rest of your life together and that life goes beyond the wedding day. It’s where your story begins!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Right after the wedding, Chris and I made plans to move from Houston to Austin. We both took new jobs and made the official move in January 2015. We are now making plans to buy our first house. Hopefully, it will be a fixer-upper, because we both love a good project! Aside from that, we’re in the middle of planning our next Seaside reunion trip for Labor Day weekend with our best friends!

Photographer: Dear Wesleyann / Videographer: Gilmore Pictures / Planner: Heather Archdeacon Williams of Defining Moments Weddings and Events / Ceremony Venue: Coleman Beach / Reception Venue and Catering: Bud & Alley’s Waterfront Restaurant / Florist: Florals by the Sea / Cake Baker: Publix / DJ: B Boy Productions / Paper Products: Simply Fetching Paper / Bride’s Gown: La Sposa / Bride’s Earrings: BHLDN / Bride’s Necklace: Liz James / Hair Stylist: Kallie Warner and Ilyssa Glover Goddin / Makeup Artist: Kallie Warner / Bride’s Shoes: “Buti” in Metallic by Castaner / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “778” in Capri by Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Pants: Bonobos / Groom’s Shirt: Façonnable / Groom’s Bow Tie: Brooks Brothers / Groomsmens’ Pants: “Chinos” in Navy by Dockers / Groomsmens’ Shirts and Bow Ties: Vineyard Vines / Nautical Rope Table Numbers: Karen’s Wedding Shop

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Irving Gil reply

    Arielle and Chris were such a pleasure to work with and their wedding was so beautiful. Seaside is one of my favorite cities and I was so happy to be a part of their special day!

  2. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #197 – Floridian Social reply

    […] get enough of this colorful beach wedding, especially the groom's poppin' pastel […]

  3. avatar Candance reply

    This is amazing. Gorgeous. The details are absolutely flawless.

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There’s nothing better than celebrating an engagement with a sweet bride-to-be via Instagram or our Engaged Reader Round-Ups, and then seeing her wedding a few months later! Such was the case for Nicole and Todd, who shared their adorable proposal story with us last year for this post. As you can read below, it’s quite the memorable one, and I must say, their Charleston wedding, complete with a buried bottle of bourbon, Nicole’s lace gown, and the loveliest monogrammed napkins, is pretty darn memorable as well!

Thank you so much to Jenn Hopkins for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us all about the proposal! Todd and I had been dating for a little over three years and Christmas was coming up. I really wanted to send out photo Christmas cards that year because receiving them is one of our favorite things about the holiday season. I contacted our favorite photographer (Jenn Hopkins) and asked if she could do a quick session with us–but nothing too mushy because we were just dating. Todd had given me a little grief because he had to come home from work early to get ready for our pictures (little did I know, he was just trying to cover up what was about to happen!). We are both awkward in pictures, so as soon as we met up with Jenn and she started taking “test shots,” the jokes started coming. I remember saying “I don’t know what to do with my hands” and then looking at Todd, wondering why he was kneeling in the dirt. I immediately thought, “Really funny Todd, acting like you’re proposing just to make Jenn laugh.” And…I tried to push him over. Only after I noticed he was digging in his pocket and he pulled out a ring did I realize he was being serious! The bonus is that Jenn got pictures of the whole thing–I love that!

I knew exactly what style of dress I wanted–all lace, a high neckline, and some sort of cap sleeve. I made appointments at a few bridal stores in town and took my sister with me for a second opinion. At the first store, I found a dress that fit all my requirements, but it was almost twice my budget! I ended up finding my gown on the sample sale rack at the second store. It was made of a beautiful guipure lace, and after a few small alterations to bring the neckline up and create a little sleeve, it became exactly what I wanted! And, it was less than half my dress budget!

Curious about the Southern tradition of burying the bourbon? Check out our post about it here!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, we did. Our venue is part of a state park that does not allow events to start until the park is closed at 5:00 P.M….just when the sun is fading fast in November. We had to do a first look if we wanted to use any natural light for pictures. I must say, our first look was one of my favorite parts of the whole day. For those few moments, we felt like we were the only two people for miles. This whirlwind of a day just seemed to stop and it was just the two of us. I am so glad that we had that time together, and I can promise you, it won’t make walking down the aisle to your groom any less special!

Todd and I love Charleston, so it was an easy decision to get married there and share it with our families, but finding a venue was a little more challenging. There is no shortage of gorgeous venues in the Holy City, but I wanted to simplify our wedding day by having the ceremony and reception at the same location. I also wanted our wedding to feel like an alfresco dinner party at a beautiful home, rather than an event space. Not only is the Legare Waring House a beautiful home, it is also surrounded by the most amazing old oak trees that gave us plenty of places to take pictures. When you have such a beautiful backdrop, you don’t need a bunch of decorations, which helped keep our budget in check.

Our pastor and good friend (who came from Florida with his wife and newborn!), Matt, performed the ceremony, and it was truly tailored to fit us. He did an amazing job explaining our roles to each other as they relate to our lives in Christ; starting with our call to leave our parents, cleave to one another, and weave our lives together as we form our family. Following the vows, we were told over and over that this was one of our guests’ favorite parts of the entire wedding!

Describe your wedding flowers. Flowers are one of my absolute favorite things. I chose shades of white garden roses and ranunculus with lots of dusty greenery. Our florist surpassed all of my expectations–they were truly the most beautiful (and best smelling) flowers I have ever seen. After our wedding, my green-thumbed husband rooted a few of the clippings from my bouquet so I can always have flowers from our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I purchased a vintage monogram from my favorite monogram shop, Number Four Eleven, in Savannah. I used it for the wax seal and stamps on our invitations, cocktail napkins, and our linen dinner napkins. The vintage monograms from Number Four Eleven are so elegant, and I plan on using it forever. Our food was classically Southern: crab cakes, shrimp and grits, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens. We knew both of our families would love it! We also buried a bottle of bourbon. I think we probably broke some park rules by burying a bottle of Maker’s Mark on the property, but it worked–there wasn’t a single drop of rain on our wedding day.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Our day-of coordinator (and florist), Beth, was like a fairy godmother. I truly do not know how anyone has a wedding without her. If anything went wrong, I didn’t hear even the slightest hint of it. Without her, I don’t think Todd and I would have been able to relax and enjoy our wedding. Also, our photographer and her second shooter were truly amazing. They traveled from Florida for us and we couldn’t be more thankful. It was such a relief to have a photographer that we trusted with such an important day!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My groom was my favorite wedding detail! Months after our wedding, I still can’t believe I got to marry him. He is my husband! Isn’t that just the craziest thing!?

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Todd and I met through a mutual friend when he was living in Georgia and I was in Florida. We talked on the phone for about three months (that Alabama accent of his did me in on the first night!) before he made the six-hour trip to take me out on a date. I don’t think we’ve spent more than two weeks apart since then!
When did y’all get married? November 21, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 90
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We went through several weeks of premarital counseling, which was recommend by our pastor. We were both a little apprehensive in the beginning, but we were amazed by how much we learned about our relationship. We actually really enjoyed it.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? A few months after we started wedding planning, we found out that the house I had been renting was going to be put on the market. We had both grown to love that house (and neighbors!) so much and had planned on making it our home once we were married. Paying for a wedding and buying a house in the same year wasn’t part of the plan, but neither was moving! My dad told me, “There is never a perfect time for anything” and it’s true. Life is filled with things that happen at the worst possible times (or so it seems), and if you wait around for everything to become perfectly aligned, you’ll probably miss out on some great moments. We compromised, adjusted our wedding budget, made a lot of tough decisions, and had many stressful days (did I mention it was a six-month short sale?), but in the end, we got both our house and a beautiful wedding.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Todd and I figured out which things were most important to us, splurged on those, and saved on the rest. Something as simple as using the plastic cups the bartender provides versus renting wine glasses can save you a few hundred dollars. There isn’t a single plastic cup in any of our pictures either! We also got married on a Friday, which saved quite a bit on our venue, and more vendors were available and willing to work with us since it wasn’t a Saturday.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are going on a delayed honeymoon in a few months–we haven’t picked a location yet, but we’re thinking about Switzerland or France. We also have a mile-long list of things we want to do to our house!

Photographer: Jenn Hopkins Photography / Day-of Coordinator, Florist, and Lighting: WildFlowers Inc. / Venue: Legare Waring House / Cake Baker: D’Lish Dessert / Caterer: Lowcountry Eats / Rentals: Snyder Events and EventWorks / DJ: EPIC / Paper Products: Scotti Cline / Bride’s Gown: “C249” by Allure / Bride’s Accessories: Nordstrom and Ann Taylor / Hair and Makeup: Ash & Co / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D568” by Alfred Sung / Groom’s Attire: J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Cole Haan / Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank and Brooks Brothers

Scotti Cline is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Allyson-Happy Planning reply

    This wedding is adorable! I love the navy bridesmaids dresses, cake table and menu sounds deliciously Southern.

  2. avatar Claire Cowman reply

    That wax seal! I love how they implemented the monogram into so many small details. What a sweet momentum to have and to hold after the wedding!

  3. avatar FDH Limousines reply

    WoW Amazing! Bride looks so gorgeous, beautiful and clear capturing really love the ideas, Have seen a good art of capturing.

  4. avatar 6 Party Ideas for Bourbon Lovers – Kate Aspen Blog reply

    […] Southern Weddings […]

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