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With the help of gorgeous blooms (like those amazing Juliet rose garlands!) from Thistle Floral Design, Hannah and her mama took the completely blank canvas of The Filter Building and created a beautiful reception. They collected vintage milk glass for unique centerpieces, added glittering gold details, and even tossed in a few tiny nods to Hannah and Eric’s Parisian proposal. (It involves the famous “Love Lock” bridge and her family — you won’t want to miss it!) While their decor may be “fancy,” they decided to just go with the good stuff when it came to their dinner: fried chicken, pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and cornbread, oh my! I’m sure guests left with a full heart and a full belly!

Thanks to Ben Q Photography for sharing Hannah and Eric’s wedding day with us!

Last June, my mom and I were visiting my sister in Paris, France. My dad flew in for the last week that we were there, and on his first day, we went to do a little sightseeing. On our way to lunch, we were walking past the famous “Love Lock” bridge where couples put padlocks with their names written on them on the railing and throw the keys into the Seine. While my family wrote their names on their padlocks, I saw Eric standing on the other side of the bridge (looking dapper as ever, I might add!). I walked over to him, and he immediately got down on one knee, said some wonderful things, and asked me to be his wife. Not only was this the best surprise (EVER!), but we also got to spend the next week exploring Paris together to kick off our engagement!

When searching for my gown, the stylist pulled a Watters gown that fit most of my criteria–it was a simple, strapless, taffeta gown with a sweetheart neckline and hidden pockets. I added a pearl and lace belt and faux buttons all the way down the back of the dress. By the end of it, I had combined all of the elements from the photos I’d collected to create a dress that was unique and perfect for me!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My mom monogrammed our wedding date in blue onto a piece of Eric’s late grandmother’s wedding dress, and then sewed it into the hem of my wedding gown (old, borrowed, and blue!). She also his late grandfather’s wedding tux to make Eric a handkerchief. My something new was my Christian Louboutin wedding shoes!

I walked down the aisle to the Bridal Chorus and we walked out to Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.” They fit perfectly with the venue and gave us the perfect traditional church wedding that we were going for. For our first dance, we danced to a cover of Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” by The Once. Eric loves classic rock and I’m more of an acoustic-and-coffee-house type of person, so this song was perfect for us.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our first look was our most memorable moment. At that point, our adrenaline had kicked into full gear and the excited nerves had set in! It was so nice to be able to just get away from everything and see each other before the biggest moment of our lives. We both agree that we had never felt happier than at that very moment. It was something we will never forget.

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money by not hiring a wedding planner. I did all of the searching, planning, budgeting, and timelines on my own. My mom is an incredibly creative person, so she was my partner-in-crime as far as the decorations and centerpieces went. Between us and her best friend, who was our day-of coordinator, we had every minute and detail planned! We also saved money by doing all of the set-up, decorating, and clean-up by ourselves.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? Each centerpiece at the reception was made up of different clusters of vintage milk glass that my mom and I found during the months leading up to the wedding. Another Southern aspect of our wedding was the food. We opted out of having “fancy” food and decided to just go with the good stuff–fried chicken, pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, biscuits, and cornbread!

Rather than doing one large wedding cake, we had five different cakes displayed on a wooden farm table. The cakes each incorporated different aspects of the details of our reception–a hand-painted Rifle Paper Co.-inspired design, gold lettering, lace and satin covered buttons, and milk glass hobnob, all topped with fresh flowers. They were each on top of pastel cake stands and were surrounded by glass milk vases and bowls filled with hand-painted macarons, a nod to our French engagement.

Don’t miss Hannah and Eric’s wedding film by Turquoise Video Productions below!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a fraternity party during our sophomore year at the University of Arkansas. During our junior year, we randomly ran into each other in New Orleans when Arkansas was playing in the Sugar Bowl. We spent the night hopping between different places on Bourbon Street, and the rest is history!
When did y’all get married? February 21, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We wanted a traditional church wedding, so we chose Perkins Chapel on the SMU campus for our ceremony. We fell in love with the pretty pews, hardwood floors, shutters, and white and gold detailing of the chapel. We also loved the fact that they have an in-house organist! For our reception venue, we chose the Filter Building on White Rock Lake. I loved the overall feel of the building–the exposed brick, the steel beams, and the cafe lights strung outside on the lakeside patio. The best thing about the venue was that it was a completely blank canvas!
Did you pull any wedding inspiration from memories you have together? Tell us about it! Since Paris will now always have a special place in our hearts, we wanted to include a few tiny Parisian details in the reception, like the macarons on the cake table. We also found an Eiffel Tower ring holder that we used to take photos of our wedding bands on.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t strive for perfection. There is so much unnecessary pressure placed on your wedding day–to be in perfect shape, to find the perfect dress and tux, to have the perfect venue, and have every tiny detail of the day be absolutely PERFECT. Well, it’s not going to be! Things are going to go wrong, but those things end up being the fun details of your wedding story. Embrace the obstacles that come up along the way, because at the end of the day, you get to spend the rest of your lives together, and that is the best part.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Since the wedding, I have joined Eric in Philadelphia. We miss our families, Texas, and all things Southern in general, but we are loving this phase of our life as newlyweds in the Northeast!

Photographer: Ben Q Photography / Videographer: Turquoise Video Productions / Ceremony Venue: Perkins Chapel / Reception Venue: The Filter Building / Florist: Thistle Floral Design / Cake Baker: Layered Bake Shop / Caterer: Celebration Restaurant / Rentals: Posh Couture Rentals / Lighting: Absolute Entertainment / Band: The Dan Quinn Band / Paper Products: Paper Source / Bride’s Gown: Watters / Bride’s Accessories: Stardust Celebrations / Hair and Makeup: Tracy Melton Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Mori Lee / Groom’s Attire: Hugo Boss / Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Ashton Dreyer reply

    The Happily Ever After sign behind their Sweet Heart table is adorable. Adding it to my wedding DIY list!

  2. avatar Tracy Melton Dallas Hair Styling & Makeup Artistry | Hannah’s Wedding Day reply

    […] Here is the link to the Southern Weddings post if you want to stop by there too:  http://southernweddings.com/2015/08/11/rifle-paper-co-wedding-by-ben-q/ […]

  3. avatar Stacy reply

    can you give me a resource for the wonderful, large chalboard?

  4. avatar Modern Preppy Wedding in Black, Gold, and Emerald with Mixed Prints! | Hey Wedding Lady reply

    […] Photography by Ben Q Photography, Floral Design by Thistle Floral Design via Southern Weddings […]

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For Jana, a wedding photographer herself, finding her dream gown posed to be a bit more challenging than she had initially expected. With the help of the sweet ladies at Blue Ribbon Vendor bridal salon Coast Knot Bridal, she was able to find exactly what she was looking for…as well as 63 runners up! However, having gowns in waiting turned out to be helpful when working through her and Bailey’s decision to do a first look. The week of the wedding, Jana made a last-minute decision to wear her reception dress to their first look instead of her “real” wedding gown! It was a sneaky way to compromise by calming their nerves with a first look, while still preserving that special moment of Bailey seeing her for the first time in her wedding dress when she was walking down the aisle. I love seeing a couple use the tools that are needed in marriage during their wedding planning–compromise is a perfect example!

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Cynthia Rose for sharing this sweet coastal day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was no easy task. Being a wedding photographer, I was searching for a dress that not only fit well, but that would photograph well. 63 dresses later, I finally found my perfect dress at Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique. I could never thank the girls there enough for all of their patience!

For our flowers, we chose a mix of greens and creams, and added a hint of color with parrot tulips and David Austin roses. I loved how they complemented the linens on the tables, as well as the colors used for the bridesmaid dresses. Hands down, they were one of my favorite details from the day!

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Kinda. I wanted to do a first look, Bailey did not. After finally talking him into it, I changed my mind the week before by choosing to wear my reception dress to our first look instead of my ceremony dress. To me, it was the prefect way to get all the nerves out without spoiling the surprise of my actual wedding dress.

We added the live painting as a last-minute decision, so our guests could experience something a little different during our ceremony and cocktail hour. It is one of our most treasured items from our wedding, and while I love photographs, I am excited to have a piece of custom art for our new home!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Documentation of our wedding day! This was, hands down, our priority from the beginning. Our wedding day was such a whirlwind. While we remember bits and pieces of it, just seeing our pictures made us realize that we didn’t really remember as much as we thought. Bailey did not originally see the importance of having a videographer, but the second we walked away from our ceremony, his exact words were, “I am so glad you made us get the video, because I don’t remember anything I just said!”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our logo and branding! We worked with our designer, Elizabeth, for almost a year and a half, and we couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. From our invitations to our bar signage, our life logo really added a personal touch to our wedding day. We are excited to still be using it throughout our thank you cards and additional paper products.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We buried the bourbon! You are supposed to do this a month before the wedding, but we did it the night before. In honor of Bailey’s grandfather, I had a handkerchief made from his shirt to give to Bailey at the wedding. It was embroidered with his initials and our wedding date. We also used heirloom silver pieces from Bailey’s great grandmother for our communion during our ceremony.

Choosing desserts for our wedding was a no-brainer. After eating wedding cake almost every weekend, I knew it would be hard to find one that would stick out to me. All of our wedding pound cakes were made by my aunt Gina. Her chocolate pound cake has always been my favorite, so I knew that would be the one we actually cut into! The pies were provided by our caterer, and they were absolutely divine.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Bailey and I met at my 16th birthday party. As we joke, he showed up uninvited and never left!
Tell us all about the proposal! We got engaged at the Biltmore in August 2013. As a wedding photographer, my schedule limits our vacations together to either the extreme hot or cold months, and boy, was it hot! After walking around the entire property, Bailey convinced me to hike to the highest point, overlooking the house. He asked me to marry him there, and, of course, I said yes!
When did y’all get married? May 16, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The trees and the Southern charm! We knew Litchfield was everything we had ever envisioned for our day, and I liked that we had the house for the entire weekend.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. There was no sentimental meaning behind this for us; however, it is a classic and we knew we wanted something that would never go out of style!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Honestly, the budget and more specifically, the guest list. These two secretly go hand in hand. We had many, many people RSVP telling us that they were attending, and then they did not show up. For each person “attending,” you have to consider the cost of renting a chair, silverware, plates, a ceremony chair, glassware (usually three per person), a napkin, and then food and drink. Most people don’t even consider these things when building a guest list, or as a guest responding to an event. Choose your guests wisely if you want the wedding you have always dreamed of.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do your research and fully look into your venue before booking. While we loved our venue and wouldn’t change it for the world, we were not fully prepared for some of the costs that we didn’t know about when we booked it. Before touring any venue, research images of past weddings there and ask questions about them. Hidden cost can throw a huge bend in any wedding budget, so it’s better to know upfront and be able to adjust your budget accordingly.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are excited to finally settle into our new home, which we purchased two weeks before our wedding. We are excited to finally have a place of our own!

Photographer: Cynthia Rose Photography / Videographer: Low Country Wedding Films / Planner: Kelly Catron of Gigi Noelle Events and Elizabeth Curl of Palmetto Pearl Designs / Venue: Litchfield Plantation / Florist: Blossoms Events / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Art Catering / Rentals: Hotz Rentals and Eventworks / Lighting: MC Sound Light and Video / DJ: Paul Matthews / Logo, Branding, and Paper Products: Palmetto Pearl Designs / Custom Shell Wreaths: Simply Shells Rentals / Bride’s Gown: Pronovias / Bridal Salon and Accessories: Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique / Hair Stylist: Emette Tedder of Hair FETish Salon / Makeup Artist: Tiffany Long / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Stephanie” in Spearmint by Donna Morgan / Menswear: Calvin Klein / Live Painting: Kelly Bollman / Harpist: Becky Nissen / Rings: Robisons Jewelers / Officiant: Rev. Wesley Peyton

Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique and Cynthia Rose are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel Wells reply

    Wow- I’m obsessed with the oyster details!! So pretty!

  2. avatar elenison reply

    Where did you order the oyster knives?!?!

  3. avatar Karen reply

    Where did the oyster knives come from? I want to order them. Thanks
    Karen

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When you combine a dreamy blush Monique Lhuillier gown, an abundance of pastel blooms, a garden that serendipitously shares the groom’s last name, and a couple who is clearly smitten with each other, you know a wedding is going to be incredible! With the help of Sage Nines Event Production, Ellen and Brad loved planning their spring nuptials in the Wills Perennial Garden at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, a place they visited often during their dating years. Besides the lovely, spring-inspired details, the highlight of their wedding was without a doubt the love of their community that surrounded them–their most memorable moment is sweet as can be!

Hugs to Mary Rosenbaum for sending Ellen and Brad’s lovely day our way!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. The weekend of dress shopping was so much fun. My sister flew in from LA and several of my bridesmaids were able to come as well. We scheduled the weekend around a Monique Lhuillier trunk show at The Bride Room. Mine was the third dress I tried on, and as soon as I had it on, we all knew it was the one. I called my dad over for the final opinion, and he loved it. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room!

My bridal bouquet was a hand-tied bouquet of fresh lavender and lilac, pale pink garden roses, blush astilbe, white lisianthus, light blue delphinium, dusty miller, and light pink ranunculus. The bouquet was very loose and wildflower-inspired. Our centerpieces were in gold mercury glass bottles and goblets and consisted of lavender, stock, light pink spray roses, light pink sweet peas, ivory garden roses, light pink astilbe, light blue delphinium, and light blue hydrangea. They were so elegant and lovely!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a string quartet playing songs by The Beatles for the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun,” which was perfect, as we could not have asked for a better day. Brad and the groomsmen came down the aisle to “With a Little Help from My Friends,” a song we thought was fitting for them. Walking back up the aisle, the string quartet played “All You Need is Love.”

Cheekwood Botanical Garden is very near our house, and we would often wind up there when Brad would come to visit our family in Nashville. Cheekwood has such beautiful gardens, and I really wanted a garden wedding and reception. We chose the Wills Perennial Garden (of course, since I was becoming a Wills!) and then tented the back of the mansion for the reception.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? That is such a hard question, as our day turned out practically perfect. But the food was especially unbelievable–Kristen Winston went above and beyond! We still hear about how good the food was at our wedding!

Our cake was a simple, textured buttercream cake, accented with lavender. One layer was chocolate chip cake with chocolate buttercream and ganache, one layer was European butter with vanilla buttercream, fresh strawberries, and lemon curd, and one layer of cinnamon red velvet with three layers of vanilla buttercream. AMAZING! The groom’s cake was made by a family friend, Chelle Baldwin of SweetAbility Bakery, who incorporated several of Brad’s hobbies and interests into an unbelievable cake!

Since Brad is from Georgia, he and his mom danced to “Georgia on My Mind.” My father and I danced to “Unforgettable.” The first dance was to an Ingrid Michaelson song, “The Way I Am.” The song is about how some of our flaws end up bringing us closer together!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment was when the band played “Home” as the last song. Brad and I stood at the front of the dance floor and basically sang the song to the crowd. Fortunately, they didn’t actually give us the mic! It felt like everyone there was on the dance floor, jumping up and down in unison, and having an amazing time. It was very surreal and symbolic, and we will never forget it.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brad and I met very early in college, when we were in the same small group class. There was also a brief period when we were biology lab partners. We went through most of college seeing each other here and there, but did not really start talking again until senior year. At first I rejected Brad’s dates, but his persistence paid off, and here we are!
Tell us all about the proposal! Since we met at Sewanee, it was the perfect place to get engaged. We planned a weekend trip there to celebrate his birthday, including a hike out to KA Point, a beautiful overlook we’d been to many times before. When we arrived, he pulled roses and a book out from his backpack. He had asked several of our friends to write “proposals” to me and created a book of all of them. On the last page was a picture of Brad on one knee, and when I looked up, there he was on one knee in real life. Both sets of parents met us at the cabin afterwards for a celebratory lunch. The only thing he hadn’t planned for was the three inches of snow!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No first look for us! At the wedding, I would be coming down a flight of stone steps into the garden, and I think we all wanted that moment to be extra special.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My Aunt Salley read Song of Solomon 2, which Brad picked out especially for us.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with our minister several times while planning the wedding to discuss our expectations of marriage and address potential problems. We found it extremely helpful and would encourage everyone to do it!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try and stay calm and remember that the most important thing is that you are getting married to the person you love!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? After an amazing honeymoon in Switzerland, we moved to Birmingham, where we are doing a medical residency. I am a resident in internal medicine and Brad is in orthopedic surgery. We were in a long distance relationship prior to this residency, as we were at different medical schools, so we are most looking forward to living together and being able to see each other every day!

Photographer: Mary Rosenbaum / Videographer: Full Frame Digital Cinema / Planner: Sage Nines Event Productions / Venue: Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art / Florist: Enchanted Florist / Cake Baker: Dulce Desserts / Caterer: Kristen Winston Catering / Rentals: Liberty Party Rental and Music City Tents and Events / Lighting: Bright Event Productions / Band: The Downtown Band / Paper Products: Deirdre Zimon of Lennah Press / Bride’s Gown: “Candy” in Blush Tulle by Monique Lhuillier / Hair Stylist: Ashlea Mullins / Makeup Artist: Shannon Wright / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan / Menswear: “Classic Black Tuxedo” by Calvin Klein

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Dana reply

    her dress and flowers and stunning!!!

  2. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Beautiful wedding! I love her dress!

  3. avatar Abbey Angelle reply

    What is the round gold monogrammed item in the first picture?

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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