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Ashley + Ross’s light brunch reception was an ideal wedding celebration for this couple who wanted to keep things simple. White flowers in milk glass from the bride’s mother’s collection decorated the space at Collina Farm at Clifton Inn while burlap table runners broke up the white-on-white effect and kraft paper signs directed guests to yummy Southern breakfast fare. (I spot some ham and cheese biscuits!) Self-proclaimed cupcake-obsessed, Ashley wanted to serve up a batch of classic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for their family and friends to nibble on. Though they love cupcakes, the couple also chose to have a small cutting cake made. We love how it incorporates tradition without stepping on Ashley’s devotion to the smaller sugary treats! Thanks again to Elisa B Photography who captured this lovely affair!

Describe your wedding cake: I am obsessed with cupcakes. We had a local cupcake company whip up a batch of classic chocolate and vanilla goodness and a cutting cake to boot!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: To be honest, our favorite was the lack of details that we had to think about. It was our goal to keep things simple. We did not have specific wedding colors and rather opted for a neutral palette of sand, grey, and lots of white! A good friend helped me turn some scrap burlap into two ring pillows and table squares. Our guestbook was a custom Etsy find and I made most of the other details by hand, like “gluten-free” flags to mark the special cupcakes and cinnamon rolls, signage galore, and wedding wands. We put out some décor and hung a photo line under the tent the night before the wedding, but aside from those small things, we truly enjoyed not being concerned with details whatsoever. We just focused on getting married, on each other and our beautiful families and friends.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Keeping our array of out-of-town guests informed and comfortable. With the majority of our family traveling to Virginia from North Carolina and Texas, it took some extra TLC to make sure each person was clear on the plan for the rehearsal and wedding. We did our best to communicate with everyone ahead of the wedding and then flood them with smiles and thanks when we were finally face-to-face for the big day!
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our venue! We wanted to have a simple wedding. We are not the kind for a get-on-the-dance-floor-and-party-all-night kind of wedding. Plus, we were working with a strict budget. We opted for a morning ceremony and light brunch reception. Collina Farm at Clifton Inn was the ideal location for our wedding. Not only was the farmhouse beautiful and the venue’s team incredible, but we had every convenience. My bridesmaids stayed with me and my parents in the guestrooms of Collina Farm, so when we woke up to get ready on the big day, we were already on site! In the days leading up to the wedding, it barely felt like work. All of the preparations felt more like fun! Being with my best friends at Collina Farm made for the ultimate slumber party, and having my parents so close by really allowed me to include, appreciate and honor them each step of the way. Our out-of-town guests appreciated not having to travel to a different location for the reception, too. Collina Farm had a courtyard space behind it that we used for our ceremony site. Afterward, guests walked across the yard to the farmhouse for the reception. Guests mingled indoors and outdoors, walking about with coffee mugs and plates of fresh fruit and pastries. It felt easy – perfect for our quaint wedding!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I did not realize it until I was getting dressed, but I had not yet put on everything together before the big day! So looking in the mirror for the first time with my veil, jewelry, dress and all was so exciting! I felt so ready!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Our vows were fairly traditional, but we did include two elements in the ceremony that made it extra-special. First, both Ross and I walked down the aisle with both of our parents, and during the ceremony, they jointly gave us their blessing. And second, for our benediction, my very dear friends who are married did a reading and prayer adapted from “A Wedding Sermon” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It read, “What God has joined together, can no man put asunder.” They spoke it in unison and their voices together sounded so strong and loving. It was the perfect ending to our ceremony – apart from the kiss, of course!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Cooking good meals together, singing James Taylor songs together, visiting bed & breakfasts across America, and maybe even having our own bed & breakfast someday!

Photographer: Elisa B Photography // Venue: Collina Farm at Clifton Inn // Florist: Floral Designs by Jacquelyn // Wedding Cake and Cupcake Baker: Charlottesville Cupcake // Cinnamon Rolls and Gluten-Free Cupcakes: Hungarian Bakery // Caterer: Clifton Inn // Paper Products: Delphine Press // Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal via OnceWed // Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil: ARoyalWedding // Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden // Bride’s jewelry: TZTUDIO // Flower Girl Dresses: Crewcuts from J.Crew // Ring Bearer Shirts: Crewcuts from J.Crew // Groom & Groomsmen’s Ties: Jos.A.Bank // Hair and Makeup: Lora Elaine Cornhole // Rentals: CornChucker // Classical Guitarist: Rafael Scarfullery // Guestbook: Parkside Harmony

Oh yes, and before you go…

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Simon reply

    Some really lovely details. I especially like the clothes line of photos and the take-home centrepieces.

  2. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Don’t you love a good wedding? Emily and I found so much beauty in Ashley + Ross’s morning wedding, which focused on a few meaningful details. See the loveliness here and here. […]

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Hi, friends! I am so happy to introduce our September Southern Bride of the Month, because she’s a regular around these parts! (In fact, her Ask the Experts question was featured here, and I know it’s helped many people since!) I hope you enjoy getting to know Lori and her fiance Sean even better — I know I did!

Hi! What’s your name?
Lori Caroline Moot (Soon to be Buck!)

What’s your fiancé’s name?
Christopher Sean Buck (He goes by Sean)

Are either of you on Twitter, or do you have a blog?
I do have a blog, which I started shortly before Sean and I were engaged. It has served as a great way to stay connected with far-away friends as well as share the adventures of wedding planning!

Photo by Summer Safrit of Real Promises Photography

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.
Almost exactly two years ago, I was with one of my best friends and a couple other girls at a local outdoor concert. While we were awaiting the start of the main band, I noticed a group of guys standing nearby. One in particular, wearing jeans, boots, and a green button down shirt (which I learned later was termed a “fishing shirt”) caught my attention. I thought little of it, and returned my focus to our group of girls.

As the evening went on, my friend and I noticed the same group of guys making their way closer and closer to our group of girls. Before we knew it, they were standing beside us, striking up conversation. Sean (the one in the “fishing shirt”), immediately introduced himself, and we began talking. He was handsome, polite, and as Southern as they come! We talked on and off throughout the concert and discovered we had a lot in common. At the end of the night, he asked if he could call me, and I gave him my number, simply thinking it would be nice to get to know more people in Nashville.

Well, he called me the next week and invited me to attend a local charity event with him. I already had plans to go out of town and declined, thanking him for the invitation. The next week, he called and asked if he could take me to dinner. I cannot remember exactly why, but I again had to decline. I assured him I really would like to get together at some point, but was just busy with school and other commitments. Thankfully he was persistent, and asked a third time. We finally went on our first date almost three weeks after Sean asked originally. We continued to go on dates and knew pretty quickly we had something special. I cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with my fishing shirt and boots-wearing boy!

Lori’s engagement ring! Photo by Summer Safrit

Now tell us alllll about the proposal.
It was perfect! Last year, near the beginning of October, Sean surprised me with a trip to Chicago for my birthday. Everyone (except me) was certain he was going to propose on the trip. We had been talking about marriage for several months, and had already looked at rings together. My only stipulation: I wanted to be surprised with the proposal. And I am impossible to surprise. Like sneak-peeks-at-my-Christmas-presents-at–the-age-of-26 hard to surprise. (True story. Sean, if you’re reading this, I advise you to never use gift bags to wrap for me again!) I always figure surprises out before they happen… or at least have a pretty good idea. Chicago, in my mind, was too obvious.

Fast-forward to a few weeks later (October 28, to be exact!) to a seemingly typical Thursday night. He asked me at the beginning of the week if I had plans on Thursday, and, if not, said he wanted to reserve the evening and cook dinner. I told him I had a few errands to run but would love to do dinner afterward. On Thursday, I called Sean as I finished up errands, and he said he was on his way home from the grocery store. As I knew he had tons of food in his refrigerator already, I was a little confused, and gave him a bit of a hard time about wasting perfectly good food (A little embarrassing to admit now, but hey, you asked to know alllll about it!). He told me to relax and not worry about it, and to hurry to his house. He also mentioned he needed to run to Green Hills to pick up something, but was very vague. Like I said, I always figure out surprises. My wheels started turning, and I immediately knew I had figured out “the surprise” for the evening: I had been talking about my favorite flavor of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory since our trip to Chicago! I drove to Sean’s house in hopes I was correct… but I had NO idea a ring would be on my left hand a few hours later!

I finally arrived at Sean’s and headed inside. He had the table set with wine and a salad. At this point, I was still unsuspecting, as he often made dinner for me or had wine waiting when I came over. He instructed me (a little bossily!) to sit down and have a glass of wine while he finished dinner, but refused to tell me what he was cooking. We had salads, and as I was taking my last bite, he cleared my plate and immediately brought out dinner: shrimp and grits – one of my favorites! I began to eat and could not have been more than two bites in when he said, “Make sure to save room for dessert.” A few bites later he again mentioned dessert and saving room. I laughed, and questioned whether I was eating faster than normal. Again, no sooner than I put my fork down and mentioned I was finished, he whisked away my plate. I suggested we have a glass of wine and wait for dessert. He was very insistent we immediately move to dessert (at this point I was 99.99% sure my hunch was correct about the cheesecake). He sent me to the couch with a glass of wine, and after a minute or two, instructed me to close my eyes and not peek. When he gave me permission to open them, he was down on one knee with cheesecake… AND a gorgeous ring (which I actually didn’t see for about ten minutes because I was so excited and crying uncontrollably)! He asked me to share my life with him forever and to marry him. I said yes and we spent the next few minutes eating cheesecake together and calling family and friends to share the big news.

Tell us about the ring!
I have my grandmother’s original engagement ring, and often wear it on my right hand. It is such a special piece of jewelry to me, as she and my grandfather just celebrated their 63nd wedding anniversary. When Sean and I went to look at rings, I took hers with me as a guide for the shape I wanted. My ring will always make me think of her.

When’s the big day?
October 15, 2011… It’s almost here!

The Belle Meade Plantation (photo by Betsy Butler)

Where might you two be tying the knot?
Our ceremony and reception will both be held at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, Tennessee. We are getting married in the garden and celebrating afterward in the carriage house.

How did you pick your ceremony and reception venues? What do you love most about each space?
Belle Meade Plantation was actually the first placed we looked. Sean had attended several charity events and weddings there previously, and recommended I take a look. We really wanted to find a location at which we could hold both the ceremony and reception. It was love at first sight! It is the epitome of Southern, and everything we wanted in a venue.

Unfortunately, they were booked until the next November when I initially went to tour. Sean and I had agreed we really wanted a fall wedding, and neither of us were willing to wait another year. We continued looking, and found other places that worked. We were close to making a decision when I got a phone call — Belle Meade had a cancellation for October 15, 2011! Sean and I scrambled and signed the papers within days.

Mason jars with monogram flags photo by Patricia Lyons via Southern Weddings, burlap flower arrangements photo by Three Lights Photography via Elizabeth Anne Designs

Who or what has been most helpful in the wedding planning process?
My friends and family have been amazing! From my mom volunteering to make all of the ruffled burlap runners for the reception, my friends spending countless hours sprawled out all over the townhouse working on various projects, to my grandmother and great aunts making buckeyes (buckeyes in honor of the Bucks! My mom gets all the credit) for our guest gifts, to friends volunteering to help with set-up on the day of, I have been so overwhelmed by everyone’s willingness to step up and help. We are so blessed to be surrounded by a group of such amazing people.

Which part of your wedding are you most invested in?
Hmmm… The first thing that comes to mind is the details! I’ve worked hard (along with my awesome wedding planner, Liz of Chic Nashville Weddings — love her!!) on planning and creating and am really invested in all of the little things coming together. However, ultimately I just want the evening to be an enjoyable and memorable time with our family and friends! It’s easy to get caught up in the details; of course I want my tables to look just the way I’ve imagined and want the food to be delicious and all of our candles to stay lit (yep, something I have legitimately thought about). But really, it’s about celebrating our life together and spending time with those we love (and love us!).

Custom coke bottles photo by Jen Huang

Have you picked your dress yet? How’d that go? What will you be wearing on the big day?
Yes! And I cannot wait to wear it! It took a looong time for me to make a decision. I went back and forth between styles, and visited several boutiques several times. Finally, I went back one last time for a second (or third or fourth, really) look at a particular dress. I tried it on and loved the top, but the skirt was fuller than I desired. I tried on another that was similar with a less-full skirt. I casually commented that I would love to put the top of dress one with the bottom of dress two. The saleslady helping me stepped away for a couple of seconds, and came back quickly, informing me it was a possibility. I happened to have chosen two dresses by the same designer, and was able to pay a minimal fee for the pattern change. It’s simple, classic, and elegant. Everything I wanted!

What has been the best part of wedding planning? The worst part?
Best: Planning a day reflective of all things us! It’s been so much fun to pick out foods (a shrimp and grits bar in honor of our engagement), drinks (we’re serving each of our favorite cocktails at the reception), and entertainment (a fun-loving band and a cornhole set on the porch) that are meaningful to us.
Worst: All the decision making about the details… I am ready to be decision-free for at least a month! As in, don’t even ask me what I want on my hamburger… I’d rather take my chances with the toppings you choose!

Photos by Brion Hopkins at a Belle Meade wedding (see more from this wedding here!)

What has been the biggest challenge so far in wedding planning?
Soon after Sean and I sent out our save the dates, just two months away from our wedding date, we found out we would be paying for almost the entirety of the wedding. We knew from the beginning we would be paying for bits and pieces, and were completely willing to do so, but most of the cost was to be covered by others. Due to unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances, the news was broken to us that we were essentially on our own with the cost. Talk about a challenge! We had been very conscious of our budget from the start, but we were not fiscally prepared to pay for it in full. Of course, by this point we had already placed deposits on almost every vendor.

We discussed our options, and decided to proceed with our original plan. We reassessed our budget and cut back as much as we could, and are almost there! Though I would not wish this challenge upon anyone, it has been positive in many ways. Sean and I have had to have some pretty serious budget talks in the process, tears have been shed (me!), and frustration has been verbalized (both of us!), but we have grown and matured as a couple from the challenge.

What are you most looking forward to on your wedding day?
First, I cannot wait to see Sean. We are going to do a “first look” before our ceremony, and I can only imagine what it will feel like to walk down the aisle to meet him. I am looking forward to spending a few quiet moments together before what I can only imagine will be a wonderfully exciting but whirlwind of an evening! Secondly, I am looking forward to my mother helping me into my dress and being alongside me as I get ready. I would not be where I am today without her and am so blessed by our close relationship.

Any advice you’d like to pass along to fellow brides?
First of all, start all of your DIY projects EARLY! Those cute monogrammed flags you want to make for your straws? They will take more than an hour or two to create, print, cut, and attach. I speak from experience! Secondly, enjoy every single second of your engagement. There are times I have wished time away because I was so ready to be married. Three weeks out, I wish I could slow the clock, because I want to enjoy every bit of life as an engaged couple!

Now it’s your turn to ask for advice – is there anything you’d like to poll the SW readers on?
What is your best advice for the day of the wedding? Also, this is broad, but I’d love for you to share what you would do differently OR exactly the same!

Thank you so much for playing along, Lori! Readers, if you’d like to apply to be a Southern Bride of the Month, check out this post for all the details! If you’ve already emailed me, you’re still in the running for future months!

The Southern Bride of the Month header was designed by our Assistant Art Director Sierra, with illustration by Curious & Company!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Joon reply

    I’m so lucky to know Lori in real life- she is the epitome of a Southern Belle so she deserves this more than anyone I know! Loved reading this! Everyone tells me to savor every moment the day of… that it goes by so fast. Take mental snapshots of every detail!!! SO EXCITED TO COME TO THE WEDDING!!!

  2. avatar Ashley, Indie Atlantic Films reply

    Belle Meade Plantation. AWESOME choice! Nashville is such an amazing city! Love your ring, too, by the way!

  3. avatar Emily @ Southern Weddings reply

    So happy to have you on here today, Lori! Love your navy Lilly dress, too! :)

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    If there’s anything better than a proposal, it’s gotta be a proposal with cheesecake! :) Loved reading your story, Lori, and can’t wait to see your wedding!!

  5. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Gift Registry News reply

    […] Southern Bride of the Month, Lori told us all about her upcoming nuptials with her hubs-to-be, Sean. Her favorite part of wedding planning? Thinking of all the details that represent their relationship and personalities! […]

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Victoria + Rusty described their wedding as full of “‘Slap your granny’ good food” and we believe them! With sweet tea, Arnold Palmers, handmade pies and a red velvet cake, this reception has us licking our lips! Good Southern food was the perfect way to top off a beautiful reception at the Ford Plantation, where hydrangeas, cotton bolls, and burlap set the scene. Of course, nothing’s more Southern than celebrating with your closest friends and family. We love that V + R highlight that as the most important detail. Who could argue? Especially when you end up with fun photos like the last one from 1313 Photography. Too fun!

Describe your wedding flowers: Beautiful blue and white hydrangeas trimmed with hand-picked cotton, orange blossoms (as Rusty proposed in an orange grove), magnolia leaves, and Spanish moss. I had a gardenia for my hair and hand-picked Georgia cotton for boutonnieres.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Just about everything was, but to name a few: Momma’s homemade strawberry jelly in our gift bags, handpicked Georgia cotton, mason jars, sweet tea, Coke in a bottle, spiked Arnold Palmers as the signature drink, Southern Comfort, Georgia micro-brews, fried chicken, BBQ, shrimp and grits, peach cobbler, oyster roast, biscuits, made-from-scratch pies, burlap, bow ties, seersucker, antiques we spent months searching for, George Strait for our first dance, and most importantly, the people we care about most being there to celebrate with us!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The setting. The hundreds-of-years-old oaks draped in Spanish moss against the backdrop of the Ogeechee River made for an idyllic setting we will never forget.
Describe your wedding cake: Simple, but delicious, two-tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese icing.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The budget.
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography! We love Ashley, Phillip, and Sarah from 1313 Photography. They captured our vision perfectly and they are just amazing people.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It rained, then poured, then rained some more all morning and early afternoon of our wedding day. We were resigned to having to forgo the beautiful outdoor setting of the Ford Plantation; the very thing that made us fall in love with the venue. But as we ventured out to start taking our photos, the clouds parted revealing the most brilliant blue sky and bright sunshine. It was perfect and seemed like an answer to months of prayer.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Everything….our lives have just begun!

Photographer: 1313 Photography // Planner: Caroline Carter Events // Venue: Ford Plantation // Officiant: Reverend Steven Schulte // Florist: Garden on the Square // Wedding Cake Baker: Two Cakes // Caterer: Ford Plantation // Paper Products: Lilah Paper // Bride’s Dress: Deborah Lindquist // Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan from Nordstrom // Bow Ties: Southern Proper

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Carly reply

    I love this wedding. To get the same effect not in the country, use branches with tons of hanging amaranthus. xx- Carly of Flour LA

  2. avatar Floral Cotton reply

    Love LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!! This! As always, if you are interested in cotton, for pretty things like these…. Get in touch with us @floralcotton on twitter.. or click our name! Yeehaw!!!!!

  3. avatar Nicole reply

    I am absolutly obsessed with this wedding and was wondering if you had any information on the lanterns. I would love to get ones like this and cant find them anywhere. Would you be willing to sell them?

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