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Fair warning: I put far too many photos in this post. But when they’re as beautiful as these, can you blame me?? Of course, pretty much anything that Ali Harper points her camera toward turns to gold, but we started with a pretty beautiful venue, too…

I adored the paper suite that Ashley Buzzy McHugh put together — each part is actually a custom stamp, making these an easy and inexpensive project you could try at home!

Our gentlemen were looking oh so dapper in goods from Billy Reid. Love those polka dot bow ties!

Of course, the ladies were in fine form, as well (with a little help from Claudia Mejerle!). Lindsay Coletta Designs‘ bouquet was truly stunning, and included one of my favorites — hellebore!

I love this escort card display that Krista from Blue Eyed Yonder and Ashley put together. Washi tape makes a concept like this look so good with so little effort!

Our table was set under a lovely tree, next to the cutest trio of goats! (Nicole would have been happy.)

Ashley specifically handlettered each egg while she was on a trip to Georgia, because she didn’t want to have to ship them from California!

Remember those delicious dishes I talked about? Here they are! So yummy. Thank you, Sun In My Belly!

Krista hand-selected the perfect combination of white and light blue chairs to set around our table.

Love this sweet little guest book station. I adore the idea of having each guest sign their name as a witness to your marriage vows — in fact, that’s what I did at my own wedding!

The hand-wrapped favors came from Many Fold Farm, just down the road from Serenbe.

Chicken friends :)

I could not love this cake from Anne Kathleen more — the coconut flakes remind me of snowy feathers!

Finally, this vintage car from Krista’s collection could NOT have been more perfect for this color story if it had been ordered up special. And yes, y’all, she rents this beauty for weddings!

This gorgeous snippet from Anchor Heart Films puts everything gorgeously into motion — including that beautiful blush skirt from The Sentimentalist!

I would love to hear: What’s your favorite part from this editorial? I have the hardest time deciding, but I love the cake, the bride’s necklace and gown, and her bouquet — possibly equally :)

Ali Harper and Blue Eyed Yonder are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    AHHH! Love serenbe, love the earthy gothic feel of this shoot, and I REALLY love the bridal attire. The Sentimentalist is THE best new bridal store in Atlanta and I’m so glad to see it represented! OH, and Sun in My Belly is AWESOME. And so is Ali Harper! EEEeee!

  2. avatar Laura reply

    What a feast for the eyes, so beautiful and elegant. I love the dresses, especially the non-traditional wedding dress.

  3. avatar Plum Pretty Sugar reply

    Amazing details and decor, we absolutely love all of it! So very many congratulations to the sweet couple!

    xo

    http://www.PlumPrettySugar.blogspot.com

  4. avatar Marilisa reply

    Good gracious, that video made my heart SWELL. I love how elegantly down-home-chic this shoot is. So much romance! That team of vendors is truly incredible.

  5. avatar Kat reply

    LOVING her bouquet!!! And that escort card display is so fun!

  6. avatar Caitlyn | The Aerialist Press reply

    Let’s see… the venue (who doesn’t love Georgia), the cake, the flowers, custom stamp… okay. Everything!

  7. avatar Haley Sheffield reply

    So in love with every part of this shoot. Every single vendor involved is just beyond talented.

  8. avatar 11 Stylish Country Brides | Rustic Folk Weddings reply

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  10. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] for chickens is well-documented, so it is probably no surprise that we’re all smitten with Fine Feathered Fete! P.S. A big SW thank you to our sweet friend Kathryn at Snippet and Ink for sharing a preview of […]

  11. avatar christina reply

    where are the dresses from?

  12. avatar Pomegranate and Cherry Wedding Colors | Burnett’s Boards reply

    […] Chicks, photographed by Brumley and Wells // bouquet photographed by Erich McVey // cake via Southern Weddings, photographed by Ali Harper Photography, created by Anne Kathleen Cakes // invitation suite from […]

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  15. avatar Love is Everywhere reply

    I love the wedding gown! No different, simples and nice. The other details are amazing like: escort “cards”, the scenario, the cake! Really elegant and simple!

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Since so much careful prep and hard work goes into producing each editorial feature, one of my very favorite things is giving y’all a peek behind the scenes at how they come together! I hope it offers a taste of why we feel so much satisfaction and joy when we see the final images from shoots, and when we finally hold a magazine in our hands. Today’s peek is especially fun, because it involves CHICKENS! Huge thanks to Blue Ribbon Vendor Anna K. Photography for capturing the day for us!

We had a particularly beautiful day at Serenbe for this shoot, so I can’t complain that it was a little hot. Hair up and (hot pink) sneakers on are always two musts for me on shoot days! Thankfully, our photographer, Ali Harper, lives at Serenbe, so we were able to use her home as a base. It’s always fun to make final wardrobe picks with Molly K. Webb!

Ali’s sweet pup was under foot all day. I fell in love with her :)

Meanwhile, floral prep was also underway at the house!

And across the way, Krista and team were unloading the amazing collection of treasures she had brought for the day.

The table usually comes together slowly, as pieces are held up and considered, then traded out to find the perfect mix…

One of the last things to be done: filling the water and wine glasses! It makes the table look much more authentic :) Once that was out of the way, Ali and our videographer, Teejay, stepped in to document!

Now, get ready for one of the most amazing parts of the shoot, in my opinion. Alison from Sun In My Belly prepared all of the food we were shooting from the back of her car! And it was SO GOOD!! It was mind-blowing to me, and I am eagerly looking forward to the first chance I get to taste her food in her restaurant!

We try to wait for the last minute to bring the models out so their hair, makeup, and outfits stay fresh, but when we do, it sure gets crowded fast!

And then… the chickens arrived!! Or really, just one chicken… and she was NOT happy to be there. But her stay was brief, and then she was quickly returned to her happy home :)

Honestly? I was almost dying of laughter at this point. The whole situation was just so absurd, in the best way possible. Really, though, we were all laughing all day — this was such a great crew to work with! Our last shot of the day was so beautiful — in an open field, at sunset.

Check back in a few hours to see the final result of all this hard work! And BIG thanks again to Anna K. for capturing all of these fabulous images for us!

Ali Harper, Blue Eyed Yonder, and Anna K are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Published: Southern Weddings Magazine V6 » ali harper photography reply

    […] Serenbe! More of my favorite images to come later this week… in the meantime, Emily posted a behind-the-scenes look into our day together so you can truly see what went into this incredible […]

  2. avatar Andreea reply

    wow! amazing!!..and so many people there with their smiles on their faces. Seems like a lot of work but also much fun :)

  3. avatar Nicole reply

    Sun in My Belly is hands down one of my favorite brunch spots in Atlanta; it has so much character, much like this shoot does. Kudos to the car-cookin’; sounds like a good old fashioned tailgate to me :)

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As you may know, we here at Southern Weddings have a little bit of an ongoing love affair with chickens. (Actually, all farm animals, to be perfectly honest!) So y’all know we just adore that Audrey + Zane tied the knot in her grandfather’s chicken house, and had a celebration made complete by feathered details galore!

Of course, we not only swoon for chickens in this office; we’re quite smitten with good ol’ Southern gentlemen, too! When meeting Zane for the first time, Audrey knew right off the bat he was a good one when he sweetly stood just-so to block the sun from her eyes. Way to go, Zane! For this farm-loving couple, it took just a few weeks after meeting to know they’d get married one day. Now, over four years later (yep, this one’s an oldie but goodie!), you can’t help but feel the love they have for each other right through the photos from Mark Elkins.

My sweet aunt is an amazing designer and seamstress, so I was so honored that she offered to make my dress! I wanted something a little unusual, and she was thrilled at the idea of using feathers to suit the feel of the wedding. We wanted to embrace the farm wedding, and since we were getting married in a chicken house, I thought feathers would be so fitting. My grandparents had had an egg business for years (they actually were the supplier for the first Chick-Fil-A!), so I wanted the dress to suit a farm girl! With several yards of silk dupioni and a down pillow, my Mom and I set off to South Carolina for a weekend of dress-making. My aunt, Evy Hawkins, designed and made my dress in a long weekend! It was absolutely perfect. I love the uneven textural earthiness of the ruched dupioni and the layers of feathers around the bottom. I’m so thankful my aunt volunteered her talent!

Describe your wedding flowers. 
Our wedding flowers were definitely a do-it-yourself project! We ordered yellow craspedia, white scabiosa, red gerrando daisies, and thistles. The boutonnieres were craspedia and feathers. We also gathered Queen Anne’s lace for arrangements at the reception. We planted wheatgrass in barnwood boxes my dad had made to go on the tables at the reception to tie in with the grass in the field. We planted a swath of red poppies along the side of the barn, and they were blooming gorgeously just in time for the wedding! A really special little detail to me was that in the sea of red poppies, there was one little sweet pink poppy that mysteriously came up. My Nannie (grandmother) had always planted those same pink poppies so it was like a little piece of her was there!

We did do a first look! We loved this! Our ceremony “aisle” wound across a ten-acre hayfield, so if we hadn’t done a first look, I wouldn’t have gotten to see the look on Zane’s face! We did a first look early that morning and I loved having that moment together, just the two of us, and our amazing photographer who captured it!

Y’all, aren’t these two just the cutest!?

Did you write your own vows? 
We had a good friend marry us, and he wrote most of the vows, with our input. He incorporated a song that was also sung at our wedding called “As Long as There’s You” by a bluegrass band called the Cluster Pluckers. They’re so meaningful to us because they really do capture how we feel.

Our wedding was all about life on a Southern farm, even down to the food. Since we had a morning wedding, we had a grits bar complete with various cheeses, bacon, green onions, tomatoes, etc, and biscuits with sausage, bacon, and assorted homemade jellies. We also had berries, watermelon, and homemade Southern spiced pecans from my great aunt’s trees and shelled by my great-aunts. There were mason jars in abundance, monogrammed table linens, and sweet tea of course! The favors were homemade Southern peach jam, made from local peaches from Hollandville, GA. Guests that were able sat on hay bales during the ceremony. Another detail that I felt is pretty Southern is that Zane wore khaki-colored seersucker.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? 
We are so thankful to my parents who went above and beyond and did so much work to get everything perfect! All of our vendors were amazing. I’m so thankful for the Elkins at Mark Elkins Photography. The pictures are an amazing reminder of our wedding!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
There were so many! My dad made chandeliers out of mason jars to hang in the reception barn that were amazing. I’m still using the barnwood boxes he made, too. I loved the feathers on my dress, and how we incorporated chicken feathers throughout — the flower girls threw chicken feathers instead of flower petals and when we left, everyone threw feathers instead of rice! We had some beautiful real chickens in a pen at the reception for kids to feed. Also, we had our rings placed inside blown egg shells and cracked them open when the time came to exchange them (much to the surprise of our guests!). It was nice to have a funny little lighthearted detail in the ceremony!

Our wedding cake was a big white coconut cake with strawberry jam filling. We wanted something Southern and also something to go along with the feel of the wedding. What’s more southern than an old fashioned coconut cake? Our baker used large-shredded coconut that looked feathery like my dress as well! She put a nest on top, and in it we put two pottery chickens my cousin handmade for us.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. 
My cousins had grown up with Zane, so I had always heard about him but had never actually met him until we were 17 and 18. The moment we met, I was sitting on a bench with my cousin and he very sweetly stood so the sun wouldn’t be in my eyes — a real Southern man! It was just a few weeks before we both knew we would get married one day. We dated (long distance the whole time!) for four and a half years.
Tell us all about the proposal! 
It was over Christmas break and we were at my parents’ house (down the road from my grandparents’ farm). Early one morning, Zane asked if I wanted to go for a walk out in the field. I was really tired but he was so intent on going on a walk, so I went. We walked through the beautiful dew-covered fields to a big oak tree that I have always loved. He had hung several vintage lanterns in the tree and they were gently swinging in the breeze. As we neared the tree, I knew it was about to happen. Then he turned around, got down on one knee, and pulled a little white box out of his pocket and asked me to marry him. It was the perfect moment! We had openly talked about getting married and we knew we would get married, but he still made the proposal special. I was so glad we got to tell my Nannie that we were engaged! She passed away a couple of weeks later. She had always said Zane was easy to love! We ended up getting married near the site of the proposal on my grandparents’ farm in their hayfield with the reception in their old chicken house, the barn.

When did y’all get married? 
May 16th, 2009 at 9:30 am

How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 
About 200

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
No readings really. We were thankful that one of our ministers said a prayer and our friend officiating the ceremony said some really nice things.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them.
Planning the music was Zane’s department! I thought he did the best job of it and made it so special. We really didn’t use any traditional wedding music. He found songs that fit us and the feel of the wedding beautifully. The wedding party walked in to Norman Blake’s “Fields of November” and the recessional was “Greenleaf Fancy,” both of which were played at Zane’s parents wedding as well! We are thankful to know some really talented musicians. My uncles and cousin, as well as Zane’s sisters and brother-in-law all performed. My dad and I walked in to Jerry Douglas’ “A Tribute to Peador O’Donnell,” which I think is one of the most beautiful and moving instrumental songs there is! We had a really meaningful hymn printed on the program that all our guests sang together. Zane’s sisters and brother-in-law sang, “As Long as There’s You” by the Cluster Pluckers. We looked for a long time for the perfect wedding song and when we heard that, we knew it was the one! I think they did a beautiful job. We also included cards in our invitations to all of our musically inclined friends to bring their guitars, dobros, fiddles, and mandolins for the reception and had some bluegrass picking under the trees.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
Our biggest challenge was definitely finding the time to get it all done! Zane and I were both in our last year of college — we graduated one weekend and got married the next weekend. With finishing school, finding jobs, moving 600 miles away, and wedding planning, we had a lot going on in a few short weeks, especially for a predominantly DIY wedding! Thank goodness for my amazing parents who did so much work to get everything done!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? 
There were so many! The whole day was amazing, but I think we most remember the feeling of walking back down the aisle and actually being married!

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? 
Our advice is without a doubt to do what’s “you!” If traditions are meaningful to you, by all means do them. If they aren’t meaningful to you, create your own traditions! Don’t do anything just because “that’s how it’s done.” You’ll be happiest (and your guests, who love you, will be thrilled too) if your wedding is an expression of you as a couple. We love all things farm-related, so we went with that because that’s where we are the happiest. Some of our friends love skeet shooting, so at their wedding we threw (empty) shotgun shells instead of rice — I loved that because it was so “them!”

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
After our wedding, we honeymooned in the mountains of Montana (which is so gorgeous in the spring!). Zane had found a job in Virginia Beach, VA, so we moved up here. We are now living in Portsmouth, VA and have two sweet kids, Camden and Lark. We live in the city now, but hope to live on a farm again one day!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Lauren reply

    The yellow and the red is so gorgeous together. I love how feathery her dress is and that she carried it through into the cake. What a beautiful wedding.

  2. avatar Sharon Alexamder reply

    This was one of our all time favorite weddings! The bride’s gown had feathers around the bottom that set the design/tone for the event. Such fun details and great couple!

  3. avatar Alexis reply

    I’ve a WordPress blog with Arras theme. This site strangely shows different on different computers. On some computers, I see all 3 columsn, on other PC, I see only 1. On other PCs, some wiered things. Please somebody help me..

  4. avatar Lauren reply

    Where is this venue located? Is it a private residence or can it be rented?

  5. avatar Lance reply

    What venue is this?

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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