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Southern Weddings V8 has been on newsstands for a little over a week, but we are only getting started sharing all of the goodness that is inside! (And just a tip: we truly believe that online features can never fully capture the experience of reading through the magazine from start to finish — that’s why we have a print version! There are so many little nuggets and surprises tucked throughout that can only be understood once you’re holding our girl in your hands!)

That being said, I’m so excited today to share with you another bright and colorful V8 feature: Crawfish Boil Bash! For this story, we imagined a couple whose favorite way of celebrating involves a boiled spread and all of their friends and family. That’s how they chose to celebrate their wedding, and how they hope to celebrate their anniversary for years to come!

Big hugs to Heather Hawkins for these photos and Blue Ribbon Vendor Christina Leigh Events for planning everything to perfection!

Yes, those bow ties have tiny crawfish and pots on them! Thank you, Southern Proper!

Tamara Menges pulled together colorful handfuls of flowers for our gals to carry, including ranunculus, poppies, and garden roses.

Bold Kendra Scott jewelry not only ties together a mix and match bridesmaid look, but it makes a perfect bridesmaid gift, as well!

We loved working with this real life couple, who were married earlier this year (a few months after our shoot!).

I can’t think of anything more delicious to finish off a huge boil spread than a selection of good-enough-to-be-homemade pies. “Yum” is right!

Don’t miss this colorful celebration in action, thanks to our behind-the-scenes film from Nathan Willis!

As always, if you haven’t picked up your copy yet, you can do so here or on newsstands near you!

Photographer: Heather Hawkins Photography | Film processing: Photovision | Videographer: Nathan Willis Wedding Film Co. | Planner: Christina Leigh Events | Florals: Tamara Menges Designs | Hair stylist and makeup artist: Tracy Melton Artistry | Venue: La Torretta Lake Resort | Pies: Three Brothers Bakery | Paper Goods: Fig. 2 Design | Hand Lettering: Paperfelt | Table rentals: Bourbon & Bloom | Chair rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals | Flatware: Totally Bamboo | White china: West Elm | Colorful china and flatware: Rice from Shop Sweet Lulu | Favor jars: Specialty Bottle | Bride’s gown: “Waverly” by Anne Barge from Nordstrom | Bridesmaid dresses: Rent the Runway and Weddington Way | Jewelry: Kendra Scott | Men’s shirts: Brooks Brothers | Bow ties: Southern Proper

Christina Leigh Events, Tamara Menges Designs, and Bourbon & Bloom are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Valerie reply

    So fun to see!! These are popular in South Louisiana! They are always so fun especially for weddings with lots of out of town guests to experience the culture!

  2. avatar Dana reply

    one of my very favorite shoots!

  3. avatar Beth reply

    Love, love, love the citrus colors of this wedding! And, the lemons used at tablecards! Absolutely lovely!

  4. avatar Bright Wedding | The CaroLøve reply

    […] not branch out with the catering? You could go for a full on Texas barbecue, a good old Louisiana crawfish boil, a delicious Indian buffet, or absolutely anything else. All you have to do is ensure your venue […]

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As many of you know, Lara and Ari are expecting a baby at the end of July (hooray!). While our print photo shoots usually take place in May, June, July, and August, this year we decided to slide everything up a few months to better accommodate Lara’s maternity leave. So far, we have been LOVING our new, earlier schedule, and have been rewarded with beautiful, warm (not hot) shoot days and glowing (not sweating) models! Lisa and I are also totally tickled that it’s only the beginning of May and we’ve already put three editorials in the books – totally different from last year, when our second shoot was in June!

Though we’ve been sharing all along on Instagram (follow the #MakingSouthernWeddings hashtag), we wanted to catch y’all up on the blog, too. Here’s a peek at where we are so far with V8!

Since we were starting so much earlier this year, we knew our first few shoots had to be wayyy down South, where it gets warmer and greener earlier! Lisa and I had the pleasure of traveling to Texas in March for two back-to-back projects. Our first was in Houston with Heather Hawkins behind the camera. We had a whole host of Blue Ribbon Vendors on hand to make the magic happen, including Christina Leigh Events, Tamara Menges, Tracy Melton Artistry, and Bourbon & Bloom Vintage Rentals!

Even more fun, since Houston is Lisa’s stomping grounds, we got to stay with her family while we were in town, and her mom came to help out the day of the shoot! It’s a family affair at Southern Weddings :)

From Houston we took a mini road trip through Texas Hill Country (complete with blue bonnets!) and landed in Austin. We lucked out with another gorgeous day for our adventure with Kristen Kilpatrick, Without Wax, Katy, and BRV friends Southern Fried Paper and Jen Dillender!

We were working with a very different palette but another super fun crew at the coolest venue (Star Hill Ranch). Y’all are going to DIE when you see this one – Lisa says it’s her new favorite Southern Weddings shoot ever! :)

Our most recent shoot was in our backyard, out in rural North Carolina. We were working with the prettiest shades of pink and purple and a HUGE crew for this one, spearheaded by Blue Ribbon Vendors Nancy Ray and Hey Gorgeous Events. A whole host of other BRV friends came out to play, including Heartstone Films, Ashley Cakes, Lula Hair & Makeup, and Paisley & Jade.

The weather was so nice that day our shoot almost felt like a picnic instead of a work event!

Despite all of those smiling faces you see up there, the highlight for everyone was undoubtedly Gumdrop the pig. Yes, there was a pig in the shoot, and everyone patiently waited for his or her turn to take a portrait with him!

Three down, four more to go! I love seeing these shoots come to life for so many reasons, but the top two are getting to work alongside talented vendors (I learn something new every time!) and getting to meet our sweet reader models. We’ve worked with more than 25 guys and gals already, and I can’t wait to see where our last four shoots take us!

P.S. Vendors and creative friends, want in on the action? Our ad pages are filling up fast, but we’d love to reserve a spot for you! We all agree this is shaping up to be our best crop of advertisers ever! Fill out this form and Marissa will be in touch lickety-split.

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Laura reply

    One of my favorite things about Southern Weddings is getting to see all of the behind the scenes action of the making of the magazine! It’s like seeing a trailer for a movie you can’t wait to see :)

  2. avatar Dana reply

    Cannot wait for the magazine to come out and see all the details of these stunning shoots!!!!

  3. avatar Ciera Chante reply

    Can’t wait to see it all in print! Look like y’all had a blast!

  4. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Love this post! Thank you so much for including me in such a memorable shoot. Gumdrop was definitely a hit!

  5. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    It’s such a delight to see behind-the-scenes of the editorial process! Thank you for sharing :)

  6. avatar Christina L. Frederick reply

    I love this post! Thank you so much for including the CLE Team for the Houston shoot! I can’t wait to see all of the final images in SWV8! Yea! xo

  7. avatar Elizabeth Lane reply

    I love the behind-the-scenes posts! Gumdrop the pig might just be the cutest little pig I have ever seen!

  8. avatar Ginger reply

    Thank you for this amazing post=) It made my day=) Congrats. You had an awesome wedding=) Soon I start planning mine too=) I am so excited I have already found some ideas from this community Wedding Forward and I can’t wait for it=) I want an ideal but small ceremony and invite only the closest ppl)

  9. avatar Rhiannon reply

    Oh Goodie! What a fun fun day my friends :)

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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The best kinds of homes are the ones that feel welcoming and comfortable as soon as you walk through the doors, no matter if you’re kin or just an acquaintance of the people who live there. Our history with Christina and Blair goes way back (they modeled in our V6 cover shoot and shared words of wisdom in V7, and Christina is a Blue Ribbon Vendor!), but I’m certain that anyone and everyone will want to pull up a chair at their dining room table or sit down for a slice of pecan pie in their cozy living room. Everything about their Houston home exudes warmth, hospitality, and intentionality, and we’re so thrilled that they gave us a tour, especially now that their house is decked for the holidays!

Thank you so much to Jen Dillender, another beloved Blue Ribbon Vendor, for these lovely photos!

The couple: Christina Leigh Frederick, 28, and Blair Michael Frederick, 30
Years married: 2 years and 3 months
Where you live: Houston, TX is where we call home, but I also spend time in Tulsa, OK where I maintain an office for Christina Leigh Events

Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I love glitter and bows and am the owner of Christina Leigh Events. Blair is an antique hunter who finds new life in fans and guitars, and is a business development manager for GE Oil and Gas. We have two “little girls,” Remi (a petite golden doodle) and Landry (a standard golden doodle), also known as the CLE mascots. We love taking our girls out each weekend and spending time with our families.
Tell us your love story in one sentence. Blair would say when he met me in my sorority house in 2006, he knew I was the one (even though he and I both had significant others at the time), but a span of four years eventually led to dinner with friends, and then daily conversations led to marriage.
Tell us a little bit about where you live. Blair purchased our home in 2011, so I was able to assist with decorating from the beginning. We love that our little area of town is growing and that we have a Whole Foods within walking distance. We also have a new taco and pizza place across the street that have become weekly staples in our not-so diets.

What is your approach to decorating your home for the holidays? Each tree/room in our home gets a different theme. We don’t use “traditional” Christmas red and green when it comes to colors–we use decor that complements each space. The 15’ tree in the living room (I squealed when Blair brought it home for me last year!) is gold and brown. There are deer ornaments for Blair, cross ornaments for Jesus, and big bows for me. The tree in my office is decorated with white ornaments from my great-grandmother (a series of nine hand-sculpted ornaments from a French artist) and my Grammy (gold angels and white wedgwood ornaments). I have added a sweet SW shop ornament to the family heirloom tree as well! Our tree in the game room is decorated with mini football helmets from our alma mater, The University of Tulsa, and football ornaments. The tree in the kitchen matches our drapes and has silver and gold decorations to tie it in with our dinner table. This year, Blair brought home a baby tree for our bedroom, and I love the simplistic white and the smell it adds to our special place. Blair would say my approach is glitter. I wouldn’t argue that. :)
What is a favorite holiday tradition your family has created post-wedding? Before our first Christmas together, I had no clue what “did you find the pickle yet” meant. Blair comes from German heritage and it has been a lot of fun to learn about the prized pickle ornament that is always hidden in his parents’ Christmas tree. We added a pickle to our 15’ tree in our living room, but Blair is not allowed to hide it above 6’. Blair’s family also goes to church, eats appetizers, and opens all presents on Christmas Eve. While I was a little confused at first, this has given us Christmas morning to ourselves to create our own traditions. Waffles, the parade, and hanging out with our doodles is the perfect way for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? Blair and I never registered for china. I love to add different napkins and chargers to our great white collection from Pottery Barn to create a formal feel for each dinner we host, but now that we are settling into our style, we have decided to begin collecting MacKenzie-Childs parchment check dishes to act as our china.
Who cooks dinner? We both do. I handle the kitchen and Blair mans the grill. We love fresh grilled chicken and steak with salads and veggies. When I feel brave enough to attempt a baked meal, he washes the lettuce and helps prep the sides.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? Since my mom and her mom were such great cooks, I love calling my mom for recipes. My Grammy and I were also both in the Junior League, and her old Tulsa cookbooks full of her notes, as well as my Houston cookbooks, are the perfect places to find great dishes to try and goodies to bake!

Tell us about the process of moving in together. Do you have any tips for blending your two styles? Since Blair worked in international business before we got married, he still called his childhood house his home, as I did with my mom, so neither of us had a ton of things to move in together. For us, building our home was a ground-up task from the beginning. Even though I did move the cowhide rug from the living room into our game room, balancing his cowboy boots with my pearls has made for a fun pairing. I look at the decor in our home much like I looked at designing our wedding–each thing we add has a purpose or meaning, and is fairly neutral so things can change with seasons and holidays.

What most makes your house feel like home? When Blair lived here before we got married, it was really empty, so when we got married, I loved adding things that were “home” to each of us. For me, our magnolia leaf garland in the kitchen reminds me of my Grammy’s huge magnolia tree that I grew up under. Our Mr. and Mrs. chair ties from our wedding now hang above our bed to remind us of that special day. It’s the small things that make a big difference in reminding us of our roots and our marriage.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Blair may have been most excited about the food: steak sliders, chicken, and full ears of grilled corn. When it was time for our grand exit, he made sure our to-go food was in tow. I was so hungry when we arrived at our hotel that I sat down on the bed in my dress and immediately grabbed the bag of food, only to find 10 ears of corn. With no butter or salt, Blair opted to phone in some delivery pizza for our 2 A.M. dinner. Eating on the bed, fully dressed in our wedding attire, was the perfect moment to recap the day.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? What are some of your favorite sources for home things? We definitely splurge on good quality furniture. The first piece of furniture we purchased was our dining room table, follow by our dresser that is large enough for both of us. We save with the little things, like throw pillows in different colors for different seasons and small things for our entry table. HomeGoods, Pottery Barn sales, and a few local stores are favorite sources for accent items.

Is there anything else you think our readers would love to know? Blair often works from home, so for our first anniversary I took the traditional gift of paper and the modern gift of a clock, and turned it into an office. It’s a place just for him that is rich with wood, his elk antlers, and his guitar collection. I did get away with adding a small tree for Christmas, too (no glitter or bows on this one though)!
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Blair has the heart of a servant. He is always at my events to help with setup or strike, and to make sure I eat. I serve Blair by making our bed every day. He is often up before me and I could go a full day without making the bed, but I know it’s important to him to have a tidy room.

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Since my office is in our home, I have to be really intentional about turning off the light and walking away from my computer and phone at quitting time each day. When Blair gets home, that’s my cue to take time for us. We spend weeknights just the two of us and add in time for extended family on the weekends.
This year, our family is most excited about… some exciting new business ventures we have been working on together–we can’t wait to share soon! Two minds are better than one, and when the other mind is your other half, it makes it twice as great!

What is your favorite part of being married? Being that our dating and engagement was long distance, marriage meant living under one roof. It’s so fun to wake up next to my best friend and spend weekends together instead of on FaceTime.
How do you navigate the holidays with your extended families? With my family in Oklahoma, we make one holiday trip per year to Tulsa, this year being Thanksgiving. With Blair’s family down the road from us, we’ll be celebrating Christmas Eve with them, and eating Christmas lunch with them as well. Family is such a big part of who we are and we adore being around loved ones during such a special time of year!

We’re so grateful to Christina and Blair for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:

Christina Leigh Events
Christina on Instagram

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Fifth Day of Christmas » Christina Leigh Events reply

    […] When the SW ladies contacted me to ask if we would love to do a holiday home tour my heart did a happy dance! You see, I love Christmas (all five of our trees) and every single thing it represents! You can see our HOME TOUR HERE! […]

  2. avatar Rhiannon reply

    So beautiful! Christina has such great taste that it’s no surprise her home is so truly lovely :)

  3. avatar Liz | Ellie And Addie reply

    This might be my favorite home tour you’ve done! Everything is beautiful!

  4. avatar Lindsey reply

    Christina is such an incredibly kind, thoughtful and genuinely sweet person. Her home and marriage are equally beautiful, so I was so happy to see this feature and learn more about their Christmas traditions!

  5. avatar Natalie reply

    I absolutely love Christina and Blair’s beautiful home! Sweetest couple, and the home exudes that love and warmth. PS. Those dogs are precious!

  6. avatar Amy reply

    Just had to write to tell you that all of the pictures look so pretty. best part for me, is the bride and groom smiling, those are true smiles – best of love and luck to them all. from amy

  7. avatar Barbara reply

    Where did they get those beautiful Mr. and Mrs. chair ties?

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Barbara! They are from BHLDN, and you can find them here: :)

    • avatar Christina reply

      Hi Barbara! Lisa is correct, they are from BHLDN. We had them at our wedding, you can see an image from our wedding at, then we had them framed at Hobby Lobby to match our bedroom suite!

  8. avatar Alexandra Bee Blog reply

    Their pups are too cute! Christina’s office space is so cute and I absolutely love how they framed the “Mr” and “Mrs” chair decor from their wedding!

    • avatar Christina reply

      Thank you so much, Alexandra! Our chair ties are most definitely a favorite that I get to see every day, and the #CLmascots still pose for the camera occasionally on Instagram. :)

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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