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Friends! Welcome back to the Southern Weddings blog! We sincerely apologize for any downtime you might have experienced over the last few days, and thank you kindly for your support during these exciting changes. Speaking of exciting things, be sure to come back tomorrow, because we have an announcement you will NOT want to miss! Hint: It involves a certain magazine that is in the making :) Now, onto today’s wedding. I don’t know if Robyn Van Dyke just happens to work with super-emotive couples, or if she’s extra-talented at bringing out emotion in her couples (I think it’s probably a little of both!), but I love how her photographs so clearly translate the emotion of a wedding day. And of course, as someone who married her own high school sweetheart, I have a soft spot for Tori + Will’s story.

Will and I met our senior year of high school at our youth group senior beach trip. Ironically, we had grown up in the same church and had never really spoken to each other! We hit it off immediately and started dating a month later. We dated for over four years before we tied the knot. It is so neat to be able to say that I married my high school sweetheart! While visiting Will’s grandparents and touring graduate schools in Florida, Will convinced me to get up early and have a sunrise photo shoot on the beach. While we were being photographed by his grandmother, we read from the Bible and Will shared his heart with me in the form of a letter. The last line of the letter read, “I have one more question to ask you, but you have to stand up first.” He then got down on one knee and the rest is history! Fortunately, we have some really awesome photographs of the whole thing.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided not to do a first look. In my opinion, there are only a few truly pure surprises in life and the moment when a groom first beholds his bride has always been one of those moments in my mind. I am so glad that we decided to be traditional and not do a first look. Seeing my groom at the end of the aisle was one of the most exciting and peaceful experiences of my life.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had my brother read 1 John 4:7-19 out of my grandfather’s Bible. Since he is no longer with us, we felt like this was the most perfect and meaningful way to honor his memory. We chose the verse because we wanted our wedding to be centered around our love for the Lord and how His love for us has changed our lives and brought us into a covenant with Him and with one another. Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many physical details that we loved about our wedding day, but our most favorite detail was the fact that our ceremony incorporated so many of our loved ones. Will’s brother, Chad, officiated the ceremony, and did such a wonderful job. My brother Josh read scripture and my sister-in-law Kelsey sang. All of our siblings were part of the wedding party and Will’s adorable nephews, Griffin and Caedmon, were our ring bearers. We were also so blessed to have our parents and members of the wedding party gather around us for a time of prayer during the ceremony. This was one of our favorite moments. Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Most of the ceremony was traditional. I chose to walk down the aisle to the Bridal March and the wedding party entered to the ever-so-elegant Canon in D. My sister-in-law sang “Be Thou My Vision” during the ceremony and it was absolutely beautiful. We chose this song because the lyrics mean so much to us and because we want them to be representative of our marriage and our lives.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? Being from the South, all of these traditions were important to me because they honor the people from the past who have molded and shaped my family. There were too many options for me and in most cases, I doubled up! I borrowed something from both of my grandmothers. From my maternal grandmother, I borrowed her beautiful pearl cluster earrings and from my paternal grandmother, I borrowed her pearl bracelet. My something blue was my garter with blue ribbon. My something old was a cameo from my great grandmother that I carried on my bouquet and the penny that my mom wore in her shoe on her wedding day. For something new, my mom had a handkerchief embroidered with mine and Will’s names, in hopes that I could pass it down to our future children.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Well, first of all, we had an incredibly Southern venue! The beautiful, majestic Belmont Estate was a breathtaking backdrop to our ceremony and it captured the perfect Old South feel that we wanted. In my opinion, part of being Southern is honoring the past. We incorporated lots of antique milk glass in our centerpieces and old fashioned depression glass on our escort card table, some of which belonged to my great grandmother. And of course, you can’t forget the bow ties! Our Southern gentlemen wore their pink bow ties with such class.

We had a traditional wedding cake with sweet, Southern-style flavors. We had a layers of strawberry shortcake, pink lemonade, and tres leches. The cake had a ribbed texture and had a cascade of our wedding flowers. It was breathtaking and even more beautiful than I had ever imagined!

When did y’all get married? June 1, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? Around 150
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I found my wedding dress at the very first bridal store my mom, my sister and I ever visited. The dress was on display and I stared at it for a little while before the consultant finally said “You want to try it on, don’t you?” The dress was not at all what I was picturing for myself at all, but once I had it on, I couldn’t imagine anything better or more beautiful for my big day.
Describe your wedding flowers. From the very beginning, I knew I had to have two flowers present at my wedding–peonies and ranunculus. Sure enough, these flowers made up my beautiful white bouquet and were woven into our centerpieces, bridesmaid bouquets, and boutonnieres. I could not have envisioned more beautiful flowers or floral details. Our florist, Just Priceless, completely captured the sweet, Southern elegance that we wanted.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The most challenging part of the wedding planning process was being apart. Will was still in Boone finishing up college in the months leading up to the wedding and I was living at home student teaching. Though it was challenging, being apart only solidified our relationship and made the reunions all the more sweet.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We were blessed with some of the most phenomenal vendors! From the florist to the cake baker, each played a part in making our wedding day truly beautiful. We honestly do not have a single complaint about any of the vendors who shaped our day. However, we cannot express how much it means to have beautiful photographs from Robyn Van Dyke Photography. Having Robyn and Jordan with us on that day was wonderful, and now, we have the most stunning images to keep forever! They are phenomenal.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There are so many moments that stand out from that day: Will’s face as he looked up at me for the first time, our behind-the-door gift exchange, and the countless connections with loved ones. However, I will honestly say that my favorite and most memorable moment from my wedding day was driving away from the reception with Will. The joy that we shared as we were on our way to starting our lives together was intensely sweet and we both just basked in memories from the day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be sure to prepare for your marriage far more than you prepare for your wedding. Leading up to your big day, it is important that you spend time with one another in ways that don’t always revolve around wedding planning. Embrace the sacredness of this season of life and enjoy the excitement and anticipation
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Will and I look forward to pursuing our dream careers for awhile before we begin a family. I will be in my first year of teaching second grade and Will is beginning to explore graduate school options. Most of all, we just look forward to making a home together. We are already loving being able to come home to one another each day. It makes life so much sweeter to be able to do that!

Photographer: Robyn Van Dyke Photography | Ceremony and Reception Venue: Belmont Estate | Florist: Just Priceless | Wedding Cake: Edible Artistry | DJ: Complete Music | Bride’s Gown: Ellis Bridal | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: All About You Salon & Day Spa | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Dessy After Six | Men’s Attire: VIP Tuxedos

Robyn Van Dyke is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Gorgeous, prayerful, classic, and Southern–all my favorite wedding things! And I am dying to know, where did that cute rabbit come from??

  2. avatar Lauren reply

    Absolutely LOVE the colors.

  3. avatar Faith reply

    What a beautiful wedding!! Robyn’s images are absolutely gorgeous!! :)

  4. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Lisa, the ADORABLE rabbit was hiding in their getaway car as a surprise!!! ;)

  5. avatar Two Wed Wedding reply

    So sweet with each other. Every splendid moments were captured. I love the cake.

  6. avatar Leigh Pearce reply

    how cute are those clutches!? and lovely blooms as always, sami + nancy!! :) so proud of yall!!

  7. avatar Hannah reply

    Hi, Would you mind sharing the style/designer of the dress? So gorgeous!!

  8. avatar Erin reply

    What a stunning bride! I love her classic hair and veil, and that dress, oh my Lord!!!

  9. avatar Jessie at Gramercy Studio reply

    This looks like the type of wedding you leave a changed person. This couple seems to have a lot of depth – I love how much emphasis they placed on involving their families.

    Thank you Southern Weddings for stories like these. It is nice to read about more than just the decor and dress, but to actually be inspired by such pure love.

  10. avatar Caryn reply

    I love the clutches! Where did you have those made?

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  12. avatar Anna reply

    I would really love to know the designer of this dress.

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  16. avatar Sandra – Li’l Inspirations reply

    Love all the monogrammed details, especially the custom monogrammed wedding handkerchief. Li’l Inspirations created it for Tory’s mom to give to her.

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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Like Sophie + Brian’s wedding yesterday, today’s is perfectly appropriate for this week. Vanessa + Jonathan met at a horse race in 2007. When the time came to plan for their big day, only a Derby-inspired fete would do! In true Southern fashion, the bride and groom kindly asked their guests to don hats and bow ties for the big day, and then offered some true Southern hospitality in the form of mint juleps and bourbon after the ceremony! We couldn’t be more in love with the couple’s style and about shed a tear when we read about their handfasting ceremony!

Big thanks to Landon Jacob — these images are to die for!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
We met at a horse race, which was the inspiration for the wedding. We were at a mutual friend’s tailgate at Steeple Chase, in March of 2007. I followed him around like a puppy, smitten at first look, and he was too busy catching up with friends to notice me! Later at a party that night, he noticed me because I picked up Guitar Hero, played a song on expert and beat it.

After dating for 5 years we knew that the proposal was coming. On Thanksgiving in 2011, my female relatives and I decided to go looking at dresses for fun! I was given one rule: I had to try every dress the girls pulled for me. After nearly 40 dresses ranging from princess ball gowns to sheath gowns, my sister pulled my dress. It was stunning and everyone was speechless. I knew that was the one because I didn’t want to leave without it! We bought the dress that day, and thank goodness Jonathan proposed 4 months later!

We did a first look because we wanted to have a special moment to ourselves before the wedding. It was a good decision because we were able to appreciate each other and the importance of the day before everyone else was fighting for our attention. We also got a lot of great shots of the two of us before the ceremony!

Describe the proposal. 
We had plans set for a romantic weekend after Valentines day in 2012. Jonathan planned to propose at a restaurant that I was excited to try. We had a crazy night Friday and didn’t end up in bed until early Saturday morning, so I cancelled all of our plans! Jonathan panicked and decided to act on the spot. While I was getting a bath ready for our dog, Zoey, he got the ring and the dog. When I turned around, he had Zoey in his arms, and the box in Zoey’s paws. He asked me to marry him and I was so thrilled I almost flooded the bathroom!

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
We had one reading used in tandem with a special ceremony called Handfasting. Jonathan’s family roots are Irish, so we used this celtic ritual before saying our vows as a nod to his family heritage. Our minister used a cord that Jonathan and I made to bind our hands while he read, “These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.” We didn’t let go of each others hands until after the pronouncement of marriage.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Choosing what to do with our tables! I was afraid the estate tables looked old and not timeless, but the round tables didn’t fit well in the space and made us question the table design. Going with the estate tables was the best idea for the venue space and the table design was perfect. We scattered rose petals across all the tables, mixed in with lanterns and candles and mirrors.

Our whole wedding was Southern-inspired! We met at a horse race so we asked guests to wear hats and bow ties! We used horseshoes to attach escort cards to and served mint juleps during the cocktail hour. Our dinner was fried chicken, shrimp and grits, BBQ sliders and sweet tea — the quintessential Southern menu!

In what month did you get married? April
How many guests attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We used “Give Me Jesus” for the walk of the grandmothers and mothers, Air on G String for the entrance of the bridal party, and Cannon in D as I entered. During the ceremony, we had an Irish jig, a butterfly jig, play during the handfasting ceremony. We recessed to the Irish jig again.

Describe your wedding flowers. 
My flowers were beautiful! The bouquets were white and all different textures. We used roses, hydrangeas and peonies.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. 
Our cake was so delicious! It was a three-tiered round cake with cream-colored fondant and pearls on each layer, and a bunch of sugar roses that were dyed the same color as the bridesmaids’ dresses. Each tier was a different flavor of strawberry cream cheese marble pound cake, lemon citrus cake, and white chocolate cake!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
The handfasting ceremony, it has so much meaning to us and it meant so much to us that Jonathan’s father was able to be our minister and marry us.

What range did your wedding budget fall into? 

What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? 
The venue. The wedding would not have been the same if we had a different venue. It set the perfect tone and was formal enough inside the house that we didn’t have to spend a lot of money to decorate it.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
Walking out of the balcony for my entrance and looking down to see Jonathan and all of our close family and friends there for our wedding day. I will never forget how special that moment was for me!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
There is no such thing as planning too far in advance! Get as much done as soon as you can, I thought I kept up with the plans and suddenly two weeks before the wedding I was running around feeling so unprepared that I could barely appreciate the rehearsal and the people.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We are looking forward to buying a house this year! We have to save for a few months, but we are so excited to buy a house we can grow our family in.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Wendy Lassiter reply

    This wedding dress is just beautiful, and I have seen a lot of dresses! I also love the tables, the pink is just perfect. Such a beautiful wedding.

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    Beautiful location :)

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Oh my. How does one write the real wedding introduction for one’s own wedding?? There’s so much I could say, and yet, thankfully, the lovely images by Tanja Lippert say more than I ever could. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from adding in a few notes here and there! Since y’all had such a hand in planning it, I very much hope you enjoy this extended look at my and John’s wedding. And if you haven’t yet seen it in print, do pick up a copy of V5 here!

What was the weather like on your big day? It was PERFECT. Bright blue sky, crisp but warm air, mid-70s… we couldn’t have handpicked a better day. I am so thankful it turned out as it did! The only thing I ever really knew I wanted for my someday future wedding was that I wanted it to take place in Connecticut (where both John and I grew up), and I wanted it to take place in September. It’s my absolute favorite month in New England, and the day God delivered was exactly the day I was picturing when I dreamed about a September wedding.

Y’all know I love paper, and I always knew I would have high standards for my one-day wedding invitation. Working with Magpie Paper Works and MM Ink to produce this beauty was a dream come true!

My sister in law drew the custom map below — isn’t it darling?

My wedding dress search spanned three states and five stores. I started the hunt in Charleston, where I fell in love with a Monique Lhuillier and a Vera Wang at Maddison Row. I then looked in Connecticut at The White Dress by the Shore, but didn’t even have a top contender at the end of that trip. My third stop (with just Mom this time) was at Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The first dress I tried on was the “Brisa,” by Christos, and the best way I can describe it is that it just felt like me. I had never seen another bride wear it before, which I didn’t think was important to me, but apparently it was! (And since I work at a wedding magazine, stumping me with a “new” gown is pretty tough.) We visited two more stores after that to make sure, but it was Brisa in the end. The funniest part about wearing my dress was that people asked to touch it all day! I guess the skirt looked very soft :)

Our beautiful horsehair-edged veil was a custom creation by Chaviano Couture. I dreamed it up with John’s sister, who got married exactly two months before John and I did. It’s our hope that our sisters and maybe even children will one day wear it, too!

I struggled for a long time with what to inscribe on our Paloma’s Nest ring bearer bowl, and eventually decided on simply “grateful,” plus our wedding date.

I have a very distinct style when it comes to flowers, and happily, I found my match in Elisabeth from Blush Floral Design. I asked for a lush garden look with garden roses, ranunculus, sweet pea, lambs ear, and anemones in whites, creams, and the palest blushes. The stem of my bouquet (which I loved!) was wrapped in pleated pale blue ribbon I picked up on a special trip to New York City. We incorporated tiny apples and berries into the cocktail hour and reception centerpieces, as well.

You can read more about our decision to do a first look right here. It wasn’t the overwhelmingly emotional part of the day that it is for some people — more joyful — but we were glad we did it and it worked well with our timeline.

My bridesmaids wore long charcoal gray dresses by Dessy. Choosing bridesmaid attire was one of the, if not the, hardest decision I made while wedding planning, though they all looked beautiful in the end!

I adore that photo of our dads! So good.

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: I really loved the boutonniere and bell boards we set up at the church. Upon arrival, gentlemen were invited to pin on a velvet ribbon boutonniere, and ladies could take a little silver bell to ring at the end of our ceremony. I loved that these details made our guests feel special, and included in the celebration, right from the beginning!

In the days and months leading up to our wedding, I wondered often about how my emotions would manifest themselves on the big day. I tend to be pretty unpredictable with crying – I’ll tear up at commercials, but often won’t shed a drop in situations where it’s expected, you know? If anything, I expected to cry while reciting our vows, and during the father daughter dance. Turns out I was wrong on both accounts, though I did get extremely emotional at one point.

Throughout the morning of our wedding, I felt quite calm, and quietly excited. I didn’t feel nervous, and I didn’t feel particularly emotional. Our first look was joyful, not tearful. Since we had already seen each other, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and our families all gathered together in the basement of the church to await the start of the ceremony. Soon it was time for us to line up, and when I was standing next to my Dad in the narthex I felt the first flip in my stomach. I got another one when the string trio began to play the first song of the processional. After the last bridesmaid had begun her walk down the aisle, the doors to the sanctuary closed, and my Dad and I moved into position. I had specifically asked that the doors not be opened until about fifteen seconds into my song, so that we would hit the top of the aisle at the right point in the music. My emotions started to build, and I couldn’t help smiling, while we waited behind the closed doors. When the doors finally opened, I could hear an audible intake of breath from our guests. (That sounds horribly vain, but it’s true!) I think it was in part because I was wearing a blusher veil, which is so unexpected these days but so me, and my Dad looked stunningly handsome in his dress whites (military uniform). I had my eyes locked on John’s the entire time we walked down the aisle, but when we reached our guests, I had to start taking deep breaths in and out to try and control the impending flood. Once we got a little closer, I could hear the entire row of bridesmaids and entire row of groomsmen sniffling, and that finally opened the flood gates for me. We all had tears rolling down our faces throughout the beginning of our ceremony, so much so that our pastor had to remind everyone to take deep breaths before he began.

Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? Besides my grandmothers, and John’s relatives who came from as far away as Taipei and Shanghai, our most special guest was our pastor, Carl. He’s the pastor of our church in North Carolina, and has had such a huge impact on our lives and our life together since we met him two years ago. We were so excited and grateful when he agreed to fly north to lead our ceremony. We were equally as devastated when we found out two months before our wedding that he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had surgery about a month before, and happily, was recovered in time to still make the trip. His presence was one of the most special parts of our entire day – our wedding would have felt entirely different (at least to John and me) had he not been a part of it.
Were there any family traditions you included in the ceremony? We chose to serve communion to our guests, since we found deep meaning in having our first act as a newly married couple be one of service. We used a silver cup from the church where my grandmother was baptized to hold the wine. We weren’t sure how our guests would react, but many told us communion was their favorite part of the day.
Did you write your own vows? We wrote our own vows and recited traditional vows, as we felt they both brought something meaningful to the ceremony. Our personal vows took the form of promises to each other. My favorite line from John’s vows was “I promise to always be available to and grateful for your love.” His favorite part from mine was the last line: “And if at the end, all I have done is loved you with all of my heart, I promise that for me, that will be enough.”

At some points during the budgeting process, I second-guessed our decision to hire a string trio, but I am SO glad we did. They played so beautifully, and really set the tone for the ceremony. They were accompanied by my childhood piano teacher, and having her there injected one more layer of meaning into the day. The moms walked down the aisle to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” one of my very favorite hymns, and one that just says WEDDING to me (in the best way possible). My bridesmaids entered to “In Christ Alone,” which I had never heard mentioned as a processional, but which we received many compliments on. I loved it. My processional was to “A Thousand Years.” I debated long and hard over what song to use, and worried that I might regret choosing something so contemporary (especially something that first appeared in the Twilight movies – yikes!). But in the end, it was most important to me to have something that pulled at my emotional chords and made me feel something, and “A Thousand Years” most certainly did. If you’ve only heard the radio version, you’ve got to check out Vitamin String Quartet’s rendition! Our congregational hymn was “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” (love!), and our recessional was “Ode to Joy,” the same one my parents and my older sister and her husband used at their weddings.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We grew up in the same small town in Connecticut, and went to different elementary schools, but had many of the same friends. Despite this, we did not meet each other until middle school, when all the elementary schools pooled into one school. I had a crush on John, but sadly, it was not reciprocated. Fast forward to high school, where we were still in interlocking groups of friends, but more acquaintances than anything else. I still thought John was cute, of course, but he was dating someone else. Fast forward again to senior year. We had a class together with a mutual good friend, and so began to hang out more. Unbeknownst to me, John had developed a crush on me, but didn’t really know what to do about it. He even resorted to loudly talking about how much he liked me while sitting a few seats away from my younger sister in the cafeteria (hoping she would overhear and report back), but to no avail. Finally, in January of their senior year, John (with the encouragement of our friend Jeremy) mustered up the courage to say something. He called me up out of the blue and blurted out “So… I think I like you.” To which I responded with nervous giggles, obviously. A first date was eventually arranged (ice skating), and we have been together ever since.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: joyful, thoughtful, and precious
How many guests attended your wedding? About 120
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? I have been studying wedding magazines for about thirteen years now, and working at one for three. So I’ve seen a lot of weddings, and a ton of creative and unique ideas. Though I love almost all of them, I knew the vast majority weren’t right for John and me. Our wedding style was classic, while never taking itself too seriously. We wanted everything to fit seamlessly into our beautiful seaside location, and in the end, I think it did.
What were your wedding colors? This is a tough question! People always looked at me like I had two heads when I tried to explain. Let’s go with powder blue, black and white, blush pink, dove gray, and environmental green. There might have been some peach in there, too.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? Isn’t it always the budget? I almost feel guilty giving that answer, though, because we were extremely lucky to have a larger amount to work with than most, and were so grateful for everything we were able to afford. But when you know what’s out there, it’s hard to stop yourself from wanting more!
What range did your budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
How did you spend the morning or afternoon before your big day? Though we had to wake up earlier than I would have chosen (6:15) to start the hair and makeup process, the morning was perfect – slow and relaxed, and spent with just my sisters, John’s sisters, and our moms. We had reserved a large suite at a cozy local inn, and we had the windows and door open all day, letting in the crisp early fall air. I also made a custom playlist to set the right mood, a tip I’d highly recommend!
Did you have any special readings? We spent much time choosing our readings, and we were so happy with them in the end! We chose one from the Bible, Colossians 3:12-17, and had a good friend with whom we went to high school and college read it. (She also has her Masters of Divinity, so she was extra qualified!) Our second reading was an excerpt from “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis, which begins “Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing.” Our dear friend from college read that one. Our final reading was the one we had the most difficulty choosing. After going through a box of old notes we had written to each other over the years, we finally settled on an excerpt from “The Petite Prince” that I had included with a letter to John years before. For those who are familiar with the book, we choose the conversation between the fox and the prince about what it means to be tamed. Our ninth grade English teacher and my mentor of eleven years read it, which was only fitting, as she was the one who had introduced me to it years before.
Who participated in your ceremony? Growing up I had three best friends (all of whom I’m still quite close with), and one of them did us the honor of singing “Set Me As a Seal” and “Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” during communion. It was so beautiful!

Inkspot Crow Films and Sperry Tents are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    I’ve never been more excited about someone else’s wedding than I was about Emily’s. Really, just perfection. I love the color palette because it’s so unique and inventive. I can’t even say enough things about that amazing dress. And Tanja? Man, she’s so talented. Just an incredibly beautiful wedding all around.

  2. avatar Lara reply

    Oh my. I know I’ve already seen these images, but they are as breathtaking as the first time I saw them! You and John radiate with love!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Thank you!! I definitely felt like I was radiating with love that day, and it’s all Tanja’s magic that captured it on film! :)

  3. avatar Shelby reply

    Yay!! Absolutely beautiful photos! I’ve been waiting for this post since last September! Every detail is beautiful, Emily, I am so happy for you & John!

  4. avatar Lauren @ Every Last Detail reply

    Love love love all of your details Emily! Can’t wait to see Part 2!! :)

    • avatar Emily reply

      Thank you so much, Lauren!! That means a lot coming from someone who has seen as many details as you have!

  5. avatar Megan reply

    Emily, can I just say how much I love reading your posts, especially this one? You are such an amazing writer and so descriptive that I could imagine every little detail and moment! Your wedding was absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait for Part 2!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Megan, that is pretty much the nicest compliment anyone has ever given me. I’m so glad you are enjoying the posts!!

  6. avatar Lisa reply

    After seeing bits and pieces of your planning process, it was such a thrill to see your wedding in V5, Emily! And now it’s so exciting to hear more about the details and decisions that went into your gorgeous day, not to mention, see more of Tanja’s breathtaking pictures!

  7. avatar Taylor J reply

    Emily- I have so enjoyed your “Emily plans a wedding series” and to see the end result- I feel as if I’ve had the privilege of attending the wedding of a dear, old friend. What a stunning day. Best wishes to both of you, lovebirds!

  8. avatar Emily reply

    What a compliment, Taylor! I wish I COULD have invited y’all!!

  9. avatar Victoria C reply

    I have LOVED hearing about your planning process and now reading all about the day here, I know you two just had an amazing time. I feel like I was there with you and I am so happy for you! Thank you for all of the help you have provided to me as I’m planning my own wedding (coming up so soon – April 6)!

  10. avatar Graham reply

    AH-MAZ-ING! These are some of my favorite wedding pictures EVER! Emily and John’s wedding was the first thing I flipped to when we got our copy of V5! :)

  11. avatar Kelly reply

    The bells and bows, the INCREDIBLE pleated ribbon bouquet…. oh my heavens, lawdamercy. Just amazing!!!!!!

  12. avatar Mary reply

    I loved everything about this wedding. Emily, you were stunning!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Mary! Thank you so much – that is so kind of you to say!! There’s nothing like having your hair & makeup done by a master, and Tia certainly is one!

  13. avatar Sierra reply

    Em, you were simply breathtaking! Wishing so much happiness to you and John :)

  14. avatar Lisa's Southern Wedding: Our Venues – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] first Southern Weddings gal who, since starting to work at SW, is having a wedding in the South! Emily was married in her home state of Connecticut and Katharine was married at her alma mater in […]

  15. avatar Happy Birthday, Emily! – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] of our favorite photos of Emily + John by Tanja Lippert from their wedding day! See their wedding here and here. On the right: Emily showing off her cute-as-pie Smilephoto booth […]

  16. avatar Sponsored Post: The Bride's Maids Shop – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] of the most frequently asked questions from readers when planning my own wedding was about what I was doing for bridesmaid gifts. Everyone, it seems, is looking for a token […]

  17. avatar Southern Newlywed: Date Night with Emily + John – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] in the world under the most perfect blue sky you could imagine. You can take a peek at it all here and […]

  18. avatar Meghan reply

    I love all of the details of your day! I’m especially in LOVE with your boutonniere board. This is a really silly question – but did someone create the board for you? I’d love to do something similar (with ribbons tied similarly and presented similarly) for our escort cards, but I’m a HORRIBLE bow tier and I have no idea how you attached them to the board…haha. I know you posted this a long time ago, but just found it now that I’m in the throws of planning for our May 2nd wedding (which I hope to submit to y’all).

    Thanks a bunch!

  19. avatar Ali reply

    Hi! I just love your style and attention to detail. I see that your bridesmaid dresses are Dessy, After Six but what is the exact color called? I am in love with the color!

    Thank you!

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