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One thing we love most about the South, and Southern weddings in particular, is that accompanying a love for tradition is an equally strong love for being true to ourselves. Today’s lovely couple, Megan and Aaron, are a perfect example of this. Planning a wedding in six months, walking down the aisle to bluegrass music, and playing lawn games in October, for example, are all things that many people might consider “against the rules” when it comes to weddings, but as Megan realized, there really aren’t any rules! As a result, their wedding was full of moments and details that truly meant something to them.

We’re so inspired by Megan and Aaron–thanks to Chris Isham for sharing their wedding with us!

We had talked about getting married for quite awhile, but the night we got engaged was a complete surprise. Two of my friends from Nashville were in town for the weekend. Aaron found out the ring was ready on Friday, and after talking with the girls, he made a plan to ask me that same night. For the entire night, the girls were stalling me, but I had no idea–he apparently kept texting them to say he needed more time. After a leisurely stroll through the park, a concert, and a tour of my place, we finally arrived at Aaron’s house. His car wasn’t there, so I assumed he wasn’t home. After some coaxing to get me into the kitchen, I turned the corner to see him standing in the dark with candles lit, tons of flowers, and the cutest handmade sign ever. I was in complete shock, but of course, I said yes!

I knew I wanted a very neutral color scheme for the wedding overall, but I also wanted to have a few subtle hints of fall. My flowers were mostly white and blush with green accents and hints of rust and dark brown. I don’t know a ton about flowers, but I told the florist what I was looking for, and they completely nailed it!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My old and blue was one and the same. Within the last few years, I lost my grandparents. They were the sweetest couple and I really admired their marriage. My grandfather served in the Vietnam War, and while he was away, he sent my grandmother a sweet pillow cover that said, “Sweetheart- Until we meet again, sweet thoughts to you I send, may all my blessings be with you, Your sweetheart always true.” I had my seamstress cut this part of the pillow cover and sew it into the bottom of my dress. It was a way to have them as part of the wedding even though they weren’t physically there. My something new was my dress and jewelry. For my something borrowed, one of my maids of honor took part of the leftover material from her bridesmaid dress after she had it altered and incorporated it into a garter for me.

We hired a bluegrass band to play at our reception and a few songs for the ceremony. Instead of going with traditional wedding songs, the wedding party and I walked down the aisle to some fun, upbeat, traditional bluegrass songs. It fit perfectly with the setting and casual atmosphere I wanted for the wedding.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to say the traditional vows that our pastor provided us with, but there was a line in them that I hadn’t heard before. It said, “I pledge to never stop learning to be your husband/wife.” It was my favorite line because it’s so true that marriage is a learning process. Neither of us is going to be perfect all the time. The goal is to learn how to be a better wife/husband throughout this journey.

The biggest challenge for me in the whole wedding planning process was trying to find a venue. We got engaged in April and we wanted to get married by November. Since most brides plan their weddings at least a year out, I had a hard time finding availability. I stumbled upon a venue in Asheville called Yesterday Spaces and absolutely fell in love, but they only had Sundays available. After talking it over with Aaron and my family, we decided we could make it work if we had the wedding earlier in the day. Once the venue was locked in, wedding planning was smooth sailing from there on out.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Our wedding had a very Southern feel. The setting was on a farm and the ceremony was outside. At the reception, we opted for a buffet-style dinner with lots of yummy food, including a good ol’ Southern side of mac and cheese, and of course, sweet tea!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. I went with a small, simple, white, round cake with ombre ruffles, and then had a variety of cupcakes with mini ruffles. Aaron isn’t a big dessert person, but he does love apple pie, so instead of a groom’s cake, we also had mini apple, pecan, and pumpkin pies. The desserts were displayed on white porcelain stands and slices of tree to give the dessert table the rustic and elegant look I was going for.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? You don’t have to go with tradition or do what everyone else does. In some aspects of our wedding, I felt like I needed to do the “traditional” things, but some of them just didn’t feel like us. After someone told me I didn’t HAVE to do anything, I quit stressing about the things I felt like I should do, and just went with things that we liked.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. In the summer of 2011, I was encouraged to try online dating by a friend’s sister. I brushed it off, but later mentioned it to my roommate. After being “dared” and curiosity getting the best of me, I took the plunge and joined an online dating site for one month. Luckily, Aaron was encouraged by a few friends to give it a try as well and joined at the same time I did. Three months after communicating, we met up in Greenville for a brief coffee date, and then two months later, we had our first official date in Nashville. We dated long distance for almost a year before I moved to Greenville, and we got engaged a few months after I moved down.
When did y’all get married? October 27, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 120
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went home to Nashville to go dress shopping with my mom over Memorial Day weekend. I knew if I didn’t find a dress that weekend, I would most likely have to shop without my mom, so I was determined to find something. I found my dress at the second store we went to and I fell in love with it immediately. We already had an appointment set up at another store afterwards, so I went to take a look at some other options, just in case. The whole time I was there, I kept thinking about the other dress, so we rushed back to go get it!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did do a first look. Aaron was hesitant, but I wanted to be able to hug, kiss, and talk to him the first time I saw him that day. I’m so glad we did. The rest of the day flew by, so it was nice to share a few moments alone before all the craziness of the day started.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The caterer created “His” and “Hers” signature drink to serve. Aaron likes ginger, so his was a blackberry ginger lemonade. I love fruity drinks, so mine was a sparkling strawberry, pineapple, and kiwi cocktail.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I can honestly say I was thrilled with all my vendors. Every one of them was amazing to work with, and they truly wanted to make our wedding day wonderful. The day went off without a hitch because of their hard work, which made for a fun and stress-free day.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Taking communion together as a couple during our ceremony is something that stands out from our wedding day. A friend of mine played a song we love on her guitar while the pastor prayed over us, and we had communion privately. It was just a special moment between the two of us.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Aaron and I are in the process of looking for and buying a house. I can’t wait to get settled into our first home together, start lots of traditions, and make lots of memories as a family.

Photographer: Chris Isham / Videographer: Hart to Heart / Planner: Verge Events / Venue: Yesterday Spaces / Florist and Lawn Games: Flora / Cake and Cupcakes: Tiffany’s Baking Co. / Catering and Mini Pies: Dining Innovations / Linens: Classic Event Rentals / Band: Bear Down Easy / Favor bags: Sixpence Press / Honey Favors: Hortons Farm / Cake Topper: Better off Wed / Lawn Signs: My Repurposed Life / Bridesmaid Robes: Silk and More / Chalk Art: Ryan Staus / Bride’s Gown: Augusta Jones / Bridal Salon and Veil: The Bride Room / Paper Banners: Megan Brooke Handmade / Flower Hairpiece: Pure Blooms / Jewelry: Dessy / Hair Stylist: Amanda from The Secret Spa / Makeup Artist: Wendy Ballance from Blush / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Georgette Collection from Aria / Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Chris Isham is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Rustic Farm Wedding at Yesterday Spaces reply

    […] lovely folks at Southern Weddings have featured our wedding today on their blog. Be sure to head on over to check out some additional […]

  2. avatar Emily reply

    Too many beautiful things to point out about this wedding – I adore the going away truck, the fall ceremony, and the s’mores bar!

  3. avatar Kyla F reply

    The neutral color scheme of Megan and Aaron’s wedding sits beautifully against the backdrop of the autumn landscape. I really like their food selections, especially the s’more station and mac & cheese -such fun details! The idea of taking communion together as a couple is so special, too. That is something I would love to incorporate into my own wedding someday.

  4. avatar erin {a lowcountry wedding} reply

    love this smores bar!

  5. avatar January in Review reply

    […] I shared pictures from our rustic farm wedding at Yesterday Spaces. And also shared that our wedding was featured on Southern Weddings. […]

  6. avatar Mere Found Her Beau: The Ceremony – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] music inspiration from Megan and Aaron (by Chris Isham) and Catherine and Kyle (by Pink Shoe […]

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With a relationship stemming from minor league baseball chatter on Twitter, it’s safe to say Jessica + Chris did not meet in the most traditional way. But, when it came to their sweet Southern wedding, tradition was deeply woven into every detail. My favorite detail is the Bible Chris’s mother carried into the ceremony — it was his late father’s, and it served as a reminder of his presence and his support for their marriage. What a lovely way to honor and remember him.

On a sweet note, I would be remiss not to mention that Jessica + Chris made their own peach preserve wedding favors with the help of Jessica’s mom and step dad! Says Jessica, “It was a great bonding experience, and we were so proud of the ‘fruits’ of our labor!”

We’re sending lots of thanks to Chris Isham for snapping J+C’s big day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. 
My mom and I went everywhere in Greenville looking for the perfect dress. I would find one that I really liked the shape of, but find something I didn’t like about the fabric, or vice versa. Finally we decided to drop in at David’s Bridal, where I immediately spotted the dress. I knew it would be mine before I even tried it on — the texture and flow were just perfect for me.

We decided to do a first look because it was really important for us to have just a few minutes alone together before the ceremony and the hustle and bustle of the reception. It was so nice to just take a moment to reflect on our love for one another. The huge grin on Chris’s face was priceless; it is one of my favorite wedding memories.

My mom, my five amazing bridesmaids, and my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law decorated the entire reception area the night before. A true labor of love! We used a mix of white hydrangeas, blush and white garden roses and baby’s breath for both the reception and the ceremony. The buds were arranged in hand-decorated mason jars and small vases to create a vintage Southern feel — simple, sweet, and comfortable elegance. We took fabric flower pieces from my mom’s veil and attached them to my bouquet as my something old; it was a wonderful way to carry a piece of her wedding day with me.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. A friend of ours, Johnathan, played guitar during our ceremony since access to power or a piano really wasn’t an option in the middle of a farm field. For the processional, he played an amazing acoustic edition of “Everlasting Light” by The Black Keys. Chris and I went to a Black Key’s Concert early in our relationship and have always loved this song. For the bridal entrance, we selected “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan and for the recessional, “Here Come The Sun,” by The Beatles. Our first dance was to “You Are The Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. Chris and his mom danced to “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Womack, and my dad and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. On our RSVP return cards we asked our guests to “Be the DJ” — such a great idea! Our reception music was an eclectic mix of music that kept everyone on the dance floor all night long. Plus it was great to see when a guest’s song came on and see them rush to the floor in excitement for “their pick.”

My cousin Evan, who ministers to college kids in Ohio with Campus Crusade For Christ, officiated our wedding. It was really special for me because we have grown up together (we are only six months apart) and he understood my personality and desire for a relaxed but meaningful ceremony. He wrote the entire ceremony and we made traditional vows. Evan did a great job relating to Chris and I and even added a personal touch by pulling in lessons he has learned from his own young marriage. Plus, he used his iPad during the ceremony, which was a nice touch for a couple that was brought together by the wonders of technology.

I love the relaxed atmosphere of this photo! It looks like Jessica, Chris, and their entire bridal party are absolutely enjoying the day! Not to mention that light is just dreamy.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? 
Our wedding was full of Southern charm. We wanted our guests to feel comfortable and at home so that they could really enjoy themselves. Our guests rode up to the ceremony site on tractors — hay ride style! One of the most Southern details was the food. Our wedding was held on an organic working farm, so the dinner we served was farm-to-table style using as many ingredients as possible from our surroundings. We served crostinis with goat cheese and pepper jelly, a salad with organic greens, slider burgers with fresh greens and cheddar, corn lollipops, a mashed potato bar with all the fixin’s, and BBQ chicken over collard greens. Plus, every drink at the wedding was served in a mason jar with a paper straw. We had a fire pit in the reception barn where guests could warm themselves in a rocking chair or toast marshmallows for s’mores. We were all about Southern comfort and good ‘ol hospitality!

When you get down to the final weeks and days of planning, you’ve done everything you can do up to this point to make your day unforgettable. If things don’t turn out quite like you planned, just roll with the punches and don’t sweat the things you can’t change. Improvise and laugh about it — it’s not worth getting upset over. It’s your big day — savor every moment!

Y’all know I believe everything tastes better in a mason jar, and that lemonade looks like a great refresher from dancing the night away!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. 
Our wedding cake was alternating tiers of fresh organic strawberry cake and strawberry icing and chocolate cake with fudge butter cream icing with a vanilla butter cream that looked as though it had been iced right there at the reception. Our cupcakes were an assortment of four flavors: peach bellini, pumpkin spice with cinnamon icing, green tea, and champagne sparkle. The groom’s cake was a traditional red velvet cake, Chris’s favorite!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: 
I can’t just pick one! Chris and I made our peach preserve wedding favors with my mom and step dad. We live near a peach orchard and pass it virtually every day. We thought it would be a great idea to make a yummy treat for our guests to enjoy. We purchased two bushels of peaches and spent an entire weekend slicing, prepping, boiling, and canning the old-fashioned way!

We always love a good father/daughter dance, but this photo of Chris and his mama dancing encompasses so much emotion!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. 
Chris and I met on Twitter, but before you think that’s crazy please read on! We started communicating with one another periodically about small stuff in late 2009, talking about the local minor league baseball team, our distaste for speeding tickets, and the fact that we were both from Virginia and living in South Carolina. Eventually, that led to the need for more in-depth conversations, so we exchanged phone numbers and figured that it was time to meet each other in early 2010. We both knew that the other person could possibly be a serial killer (only kidding!) but we took a chance and found that there was a definite attraction. We’ve been inseparable ever since!
Describe the proposal. 
One summer Saturday morning, I got up early and started getting ready to go look for treasures at a local neighborhood yard sale. Chris is not a morning person, so I was pretty shocked when he wanted to join me on my 7 am excursion. After a couple hours of looking at tables upon tables of junk, we made our way back to our apartment. All morning, Chris had been asking what I wanted to do for the rest of the day, and I replied multiple times that I had no plans. After being asked the question again, I was beginning to get a little annoyed. I turned to Chris and in a very annoyed and sarcastic tone grumbled, “You keep asking me what I want to do, clearly you have something in mind, so what do YOU want to do today?” He dropped to one knee and said, “I want to make it official.” My mouth dropped open and I immediately felt terrible about what I had just said. The rest is history! We were going to have a much more romantic engagement story, but I mistakenly ruined Chris’s grand plans by inviting one of our friends along for dinner the night the proposal was supposed to happen. But I honestly couldn’t be happier with our story… it is very “us”!
In what month did you get married? 
October 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? 
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 
Evan added 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13 to the wedding message at our request and my stepfather, Jim read Romans 12:9-21 during the ceremony.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? 
I am a very detail-oriented person and it was hard to narrow down the things I wanted to include in our special day. Eventually, I had to decide what mattered most and eliminate the all the piddly things that weren’t as meaningful to us.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? 
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Our photography. I was especially picky about what I wanted to look back at years from now and see. After looking up every photographer in town, I just knew I wanted Chris Isham to capture all of the little moments during our big moment. His relaxed style was just perfect and he really made Chris and I feel at ease. We could have had a few of our friends capture the day for little to nothing, but this was the best choice we could have possibly made!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? 
We are excited for what is ahead! Shortly after we returned from the honeymoon in Jamaica, Chris interviewed for a new position and received a promotion at his company at the end of last year. I am in the process of preparing for and applying to graduate school programs and I just changed career paths. We are looking forward to settling into our new house and starting a family in the next few years.

Chris Isham is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lauren reply

    I absolutely love the pictures of the wedding party in the field. I love how feminine and delicate the flowers were paired with those gorgeous dresses.

  2. avatar Chris Isham reply

    Thanks so much for sharing Jessica + Chris’s wedding! Y’all are awesome! :)

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!

Reply to: