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Wedding planning is filled with so many decisions, some more stressful than others. But, of course, the biggest choice you’re making is to spend your life with one another! Diane’s favorite part of the ceremony she and Mark crafted themselves was “You fell in love by chance, but you’re here today because you’re making a choice. You both are choosing each other.” Another wedding decision that fell in the easy-to-make category was their venue–Diane and Mark never looked at any other places, but knew The Bleckley Inn was they one for them. They personalized the beautiful space with DIY pieces created by Diane and her maid of honor, including that amazing ceremony backdrop–they handmade it to be over seven feet tall!

Thanks to Ryan & Alyssa for sharing Diane and Mark’s wedding with us!

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I had tried on over 50 dresses and couldn’t find a dress that reflected my personality. I finally decided to try on dresses that were over my budget and came across a designer named Leanne Marshall. I tried on my dress and instantly fell in love. As I tried on more and more dresses, I found myself comparing every one to this dress. It was the perfect mix of romantic and fun, but best of all, IT HAD POCKETS!! It was unlike any dress I have ever seen. When people saw it, they all said the same thing: “That is such a Diane dress.” I felt like it was made for me.

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Describe your wedding flowers. I love greenery and bouquets that look like you just walked through a garden and picked up flowers to bring home to your mother. My florist took my vision and ran with it. We used white spray roses, pale pink stock, seeded eucalyptus, silver dollar eucalyptus, dusty miller, hypericum berries, baby’s breath, wax flower, and spirea.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to write the majority of our ceremony script, and while we were doing research, we came across some sweet lines to incorporate into the script. A personal favorite was, “You fell in love by chance, but you’re here today because you’re making a choice. You both are choosing each other. You’ve chosen to be with someone who enhances you, who makes you think, makes you smile, and makes every day brighter”.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Five years ago, I was a bridesmaid in my best friend’s wedding, which took place at The Bleckley, and I fell in love with it! When we got engaged, we did not look at any other venue. This was our first and only choice.

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Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed a bracelet from a bridesmaid. Another bridesmaid brought a blue garter that she had been worn at her wedding (which I was a part of and caught the bouquet at). My something old was a pair of antique earrings given to me by Mark’s mother, which had been worn by his grandmother. The new item I wore was a wedding gift from Mark. He surprised me with a Clemson class ring, which I have always wanted.

My matron of honor is the most amazing baker and cake artist. She came up with a remarkable design based off of my love of Aztec and geometrical design. There were three separate cakes, and each tier differed in size, texture, and technique. My favorite feature was the way she hand-painted a beautiful watercolor design on wafer paper, which she then transferred to the bottom tier of one cake. The cake we cut in to was a vanilla cake with fresh strawberries and strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream, topped with a white chocolate drip. The other cakes were a mix of vanilla cake with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream and chocolate cake with dark chocolate fudge buttercream.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. It all started in the summer of 2007. Mark and I were both students at Clemson University and applied for a bartending position at a bar/restaurant that was opening up in downtown. We worked side by side for two years and casually hung out with the same crowd. One day, a coworker jokingly sent a flirtatious text to me from Mark’s phone, which sparked an exchange of messages and funny conversations. Over the course of a few weeks, we started seeing each other in a different light. We began dating in early 2009 and became inseparable. We maintained a long distance relationship while I finished my last semester in Clemson. After graduation, I had a big decision to make: move back home to Charleston, or head up North to Virginia with no job and no friends and take a chance on this relationship. It was the best decision I ever made. After six years of dating, two years of living together and raising a stubborn but adorable little French bulldog, Mark popped the question!
Tell us about the proposal! On a random Sunday afternoon, I had been out photographing a maternity shoot. When I arrived home, I gathered my equipment and walked towards the door leading into the kitchen. As soon as I grabbed the handle, something caught my eye–there was a note stuck to the door. It read: “10 Reasons I Love You. Please take your time and read each one before proceeding. I love you! -Mark.” I opened the kitchen door to find a bunch of rose petals creating a path for me to follow. As I made my way into the kitchen, I found the next note: “You are naturally beautiful. You look gorgeous with or without makeup. I love you!” As I continued to follow the path, the notes just kept getting better, and I started to realize that this was not just a sweet gesture–it was much more. The last note was at the opening to the living room. I turned the corner and the world around me melted away. There was Mark down on one knee. He started speaking, and I started crying. I dropped my camera equipment, and the words he had gone over and over in his head didn’t even sound like English to me. All I heard was “Will you marry me?” I fell to the floor and into Mark’s arms. I was so surprised and in shock. What went from an ordinary day of photography turned in to the most memorable day of my life. We popped a bottle of champagne and celebrated at an amazing dinner on the water.
When did y’all get married? April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? No, we did not do a first look. We wanted to wait until that perfect moment when our eyes met for the first time as I walked down the aisle. It was magical. He did not take his eyes off of me.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The triangle backdrop. My matron of honor and I came up with a design that would be the focal point of our ceremony backdrop. We measured, cut, nailed, painted, and screwed each triangle so that the whole thing would stand over seven feet tall. It was the largest puzzle I have ever done!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our food. We had shrimp and grits, pulled pork, BBQ pulled chicken, cornbread, and smoked gouda macaroni and cheese.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved money in many different ways. I am a graphic designer and DIY junkie, so between my creative MOH and me, we designed, created, and implemented every detail, from the invitations, to the koozies, to the table runners, to the triangle paper garland. We may have saved money, but we didn’t save time.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t procrastinate. Stay organized.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Starting a family.

Photographer: Ryan & Alyssa Photography | Planner: Kellie Conner of Jubliee Wedding and Events | Venue: The Bleckley Inn | Florist: Kimberly Cabe | Cake Baker: Jennifer Grove | Caterer: Sullivans Metropolitan Grill | Rentals: Event Rentals Anderson | Band: Six Stylez | Bride’s Gown: Leanne Marshall | Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan and Adrianna Papell | Menswear: Jos A. Bank | Cake Topper: Touch Of Clay by Dawn Stubitsch

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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It’s time for another winner round-up! We’re always happy to host these giveaways because we know that when we wish we could enter them, too, they must be fab!

Last month, Andi Mans Photography and Design partnered with us to giveaway one of her adorable ceremony backdrop streamers. We asked you to tell us where you would use them.

Congrats to Suzette K. who said, “I can just picture this background behind our Candy Table at the reception. Our theme is vintage/shabby chic with a very Southern twang! The reception will be at our church gym so needless to say it will need all the decorating it can get… a breezy backdrop like this would be lovely.”

We wish we could attend the aptly-named, Swoon Event! We’re happy, then, to giveaway two pairs of tickets! We asked y’all what makes you swoon about weddings.

Yeehaw to Katherine C. who said, “I love watching the bride walk down the aisle and seeing the look on the grooms face – makes me tear up everytime!” and to Taylor L. who said, “The best swoon moment at weddings is looking at the groom while the bride walks down the aisle! All the love is written all over his face!”

We’re thrilled that MM Ink and Betsywhite Stationery teamed up to provide y’all with custom calligraphy and great paper products in one! To celebrate, we were giving away a custom set of thank you notes and gift tags.

Congrats to Taylor J. who said, “I just love the Willow calligraphy style! It is so classy and would be a fantastic way to introduce us to the world!”

Winners, be on the lookout for an email from me!

Didn’t win this time? That’s okay — there are plenty of giveaways coming up!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
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It’s no secret that I’m a fabric junkie. I love all things textile-related and I have an overflowing drawer full of fabric at home that tells me that I find fabric faster than I know what to do with them.

Lucky for us, there are people like Andi of Andi Mans, who turn the patterns and colors of fabric we love into something purposeful and pretty. Her fabric backdrop streamers are country chic and I’m digging how she used pinking shears to get a zigzag edge. Couldn’t you see yourself saying your “I Do’s” under the the limbs of oak trees with this backdrop behind you? Or maybe set it behind the dessert bar at the reception?

To Enter: Head to Andi’s Etsy shop and take a look around. Come back here and tell us where you would put the fabric backdrop! For ANOTHER entry, tweet “I just entered the @andimans giveaway on the @iloveswmag blog today!” Then come back here and leave a SEPARATE comment telling us you did so!

Win: One backdrop streamer in floral Southern peach fabric!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
52 Comments
  1. avatar Kara reply

    We are getting married under a big oak tree and I would LOVE to have this hanging behind us when we say our vows! It matches perfectly with our pink, peach and coral color scheme too!

  2. avatar Andrea reply

    The southern peach fabric backdrop streamer is absolutely beautiful and is the perfect match for my wedding colors! This would look amazing as the back drop in my photo booth!

  3. avatar Andrea reply

    I follow you on twitter (@andreainguanti) and left a comment!

  4. avatar Jen Behnke reply

    These colors are so amazing, it gives off a feeling of warmth and cozy with elegance of true beauty. I would love to have this behind some pictures of my fiance and I!

  5. avatar Jen Behnke reply

    I left a comment as my twitter status @funlovingjen

  6. avatar Nikki Palazzo reply

    I love these streamers!! My fiance and I are getting married in November, and our color scheme is all white and naturals. These streamers fit in perfectly :-) !

    I would do a few things with the streamers! First, I would put the fabric backdrop at the entry-way to our reception ballroom (right behind the guest book table). Then, I would use ribbons or cute clothes pins to hang our guest’s escorts cards!! I have been looking around for ways to hang the table assignments, and these fabric streamers are the perfect fit.

  7. avatar Rebecca Hollis reply

    I love the fabric backdrop!!! It would be perfect for a silly photo area or even as a backdrop for our ceremony. We are getting married outside and the fabric backdrop would be perfect for that. Also, I love Andi’s Etsy site. She had cute hair pieces as well which is something I am looking for!

  8. avatar Liz D reply

    one of these would look cute behind the welcome/sign in table with our guest book at the reception!

  9. avatar Christina reply

    I am not having a fabulous Southern wedding (yet!) but my best friend is!! The backdrop streamer matches her sweet, whimsical style perfectly & the Southern peach fabric hints to her March wedding colors- soft blush and gray. I’d love to gift her this backdrop to either use for her sure-to-be-hilarious photo booth or bridal shower tea. It would be a fabulous addition to either event!

  10. avatar Heather reply

    I think I would use the streamers as a backdrop for our photobooth!!! It would be adorable! :) And, then I would offer it to a friend of mine who is getting married in the mountains a couple months after us… it would be the prize that’s a winner for at least 2 brides! :)

  11. avatar Courtney Cross reply

    I would use it as a backdrop for the photobooth area!

  12. avatar Kelley reply

    This lovely peach background would be perfect behind our doughnut and cookie bar! Since our reception is being held outside at the Winter Park Racquet Club in Orlando, Florida, this backdrop is the perfect airy solution that we’ve been looking for!

  13. avatar Kelley reply

    I just tweeted, “I just entered the @andimans giveaway on the @iloveswmag blog today!” woo!

  14. avatar Layne reply

    I would LOVE thses streamers as a gorgeous backdrop behind the old fashioned fun candy bar at our reception! My grandpa started an old fashioned candy store in Florida back in the 60’s and now my Daddy owns it. We couldn’t think of a better way to make our wedding even sweeter!

  15. avatar Katie reply

    These are gorgeous! I would use the southern peach backdrop for our photo booth! It would look great!!

  16. avatar Mandy reply

    This is co cute and would be perfect for the photo booth backdrop! Reminds me of some of my late Granny’s fabric. A perfect combination of something “old & new” all at once and a treasured keepsake afterwards!

  17. avatar Laura reply

    I love the floral Southern peach fabric, those are exactly my colors! The streamers would look great hanging behind the dessert table, with a sign in front saying “How Sweet it is to be Loved by You” We’re getting married in NC, got to have some James Taylor :)

  18. avatar Farren reply

    I am planning my sister a bridal shower and the peach streamers would be the perfect touch behind my cupcake display!

  19. avatar laura thompson reply

    need this for photo booth backdrop at weddings! please…

  20. avatar Katie reply

    These are gorgeous! They would be perfect for our photo booth!

  21. avatar Maple reply

    I’d use this for my wedding dessert table or photo backdrop!!

  22. avatar Maple reply

    I just tweeted about the giveaway!

  23. avatar Jenny H. reply

    For my wedding, I’d love to have this backdrop for our formal pics.

  24. avatar Davonne Head reply

    I love the Blue Fabric Backdrop Streamers, it would look perfect behind my dessert bar at my wedding.

  25. avatar sarah reply

    i would love to hang these streamers near our cake or desserts!

  26. avatar Sara reply

    I have been wanting to do streamers!!! I was thinking of putting them behind the head table and behind the dessert table! I’m not really in love with the backdrop or walls of my venue, so this would really give it that extra bit of love <3

  27. avatar Vickie reply

    My daughter is using the beautiful peach theme colors in her wedding. It would be perfect for her wedding in Atlanta, GA as a background for her photo booth. She will be as pretty as a “Geogia peach” standing in front of it on her wedding day.

  28. avatar madelynne miller reply

    I would use the fabric backdrop behind the guest book / favor table at the reception location. It’s so pretty!

  29. avatar madelynne miller reply

    I just tweeted about this giveaway!

  30. avatar Susan reply

    I have a loft at my wedding venue that this would be perfect to put in (the turquoise ones because they are my wedding colors) and then turn it into a makeshift photo booth! Love it! :)

  31. avatar Hannah reply

    Hi! This is AMAZING! I am getting married March 10th and our whole wedding theme is souther/shabby chic…and eco friendly! We actually have our wedding altar/arch made from birch. Currently it is plain, but attaching these fabric beauties would REALLY add a lot! The ones shown in this post even match our colors. Love love love. I also tweeted from @hannah_zier

    Thanks for this opportunity!

  32. avatar Hannah reply

    oops! i realize i was supposed to leave a separate comment for the tweet haha.. I just tweeted from @hannah_zier!

  33. avatar tara reply

    this is beautiful! i would wrap it around the gorgeous old pecan tree we are getting married in front of for an amazing backdrop!

  34. avatar Kristy reply

    I would like to put them by the dessert table :)

  35. avatar AJ reply

    These would make a backdrop for the photo booth!

  36. avatar AJ reply

    I tweeted about the giveaway too :) (@SingleandSaving)

  37. avatar Mandy reply

    I just tweeted about this contest too! @mandylou82

  38. avatar Layne reply

    I would LOVE thses streamers as a gorgeous backdrop behind the old fashioned fun candy bar at our reception! My grandpa started an old fashioned candy store in Florida back in the 60’s and now my Daddy owns it. We couldn’t think of a better way to make our wedding even sweeter with this family tradition! :)

  39. avatar Jessica reply

    I would love the turquoise streamers for my ceremony. I’m getting married over looking the beach and I think the turquoise would look amazing against the ocean.

  40. avatar Brooke reply

    I would love these streamers to hang behind the place where my groom and I are exchanging vows. They would go prefect with our theme of “country meets coast” and would also help cover up the power box that happens to be right behind us! I’ve been trying to figure our how to cover it up and now I know!!

  41. avatar Melissa reply

    I would love to use this (or something like it if I don’t win) as the backdrop to my homemade photo booth!

  42. avatar Stephanie Martinez reply

    I would hang the adorable shabby chic streamers behind my wedding cake/dessert table! It would be the icing in the cake, since it perfectly fits with out peach/pale pink southern wedding theme.

  43. avatar Stephanie Martinez reply

    I just tweeted my contest entry!

  44. avatar Jasmin Gipson reply

    I would use these for my backdrop behind my rustic wedding cake!! I have a plain white wall so decor would be a must.

  45. avatar Suzette Kersey reply

    I can just picture this background behind our Candy Table at the reception. Our theme is vintage/shabby chic with a very Southern twang! The reception will be at our church gym so needless to say it will need all the decorating it can get… a breezy backdrop like this would be lovely.

  46. avatar Suzette Kersey reply

    I just tweeted “I just entered the @andimans giveaway on the @iloveswmag blog today!” =)

  47. avatar 2012 So far… » Andi Mans Photography and Design reply

    […] my Etsy ceremony fabric streamers have been featured on Southern Weddings Magazine, where you can enter for a giveaway here. Please be sure to tell your girlfriends about it or check out my shop where […]

  48. avatar Kelly reply

    I would put the Etsy fabric streamers behind my escort card table or use it as the backdrop for my photo kiosk.

  49. avatar Kelly reply

    I just tweeted that I entered the contest (@kckalmar).

  50. avatar anna vogel reply

    i would put the streamers as a backdrop to our photobooth at our wedding!

  51. avatar cleesmile reply

    would go beautifully in our outdoor mini reception immediately following the ceremony :) where we’ll be serving snacks before the actual reception!

  52. avatar Kaelie reply

    Our wedding next summer will take place by the lake under two birch trees; I would string the gorgeous fabric backdrop between the two trees. The fabric backdrop streamers fit my wedding vision perfectly!

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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