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On my first day at Southern Weddings, the girls asked me two very important questions: do I prefer dark or milk chocolate (dark, always), and what is my favorite color–and to be careful answering because I couldn’t change it! I said peach, and as well as loving the peach monogrammed binder on my desk as a result of that conversation, I’ll never tire of peachy weddings! Courtney and Lamar hit it out of the park with the prettiest blooms and the most amazing pair of Jimmy Choos I’ve ever seen, but even more than that, I love their romantic love story. The way Lamar proposed was epic, and the last dance at their wedding sounds like a dream!

Thank you so much to Matt and Julie for sharing this lovely day with us!

We had planned a post-bar trip to Italy and had an overnight stay in Paris, but Lamar convinced me that he was not going to propose on the trip because he was too nervous to bring the ring through security and didn’t want to worry about it while we were traveling. Knowing Lamar, that made sense! Right when we got to Paris, I was ready to start painting the town, but he convinced me to take a shower and do my hair (which is great since we had just gotten off an overnight flight). I noticed he was being impatient and questioned him about why he was rushing me after he was the one that told me to get ready. As soon as we got to the bridge, we started walking to the middle and I said “Oh, I wish we had brought a lock.” He said “I actually brought one” and pulled out a lock with the words “Will you marry me?” engraved on it with our names and the date. He got down on one knee, said some really sweet things I don’t remember, and asked me to marry him. He then told me that there was a photographer on the other side of the bridge who was photographing the whole thing! She opened champagne for us and took more pictures. We spent the rest of the afternoon wondering around St. Germaine. It was the greatest day!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I looked and looked! The first time I went dress shopping, my mom and sister came with me and we had a great day. We tried on tons of dresses and had lunch at Neiman Marcus in downtown Dallas. I didn’t find my dress that day, and ended up going to every store in the area over the next couple weeks, but I couldn’t find the perfect dress. Finally, I went back to Stanley Korshak to try on a dress that I had liked the first day we went shopping. While I was there, I spotted “the dress” and wondered why I hadn’t liked it the first time I went in. I tried it on and it was perfect!

First Baptist is the church I went to growing up. I was baptized there and was maid of honor at my sister’s wedding there, as well as a flower girl there many times. It was so special to finally walk down the aisle there as the bride at our own wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? So many things! We had a cigar roller, our reception was at an old Southern train station, we had a country band, our signature drink was an old fashioned, and we served chicken and waffle sliders, fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, and shrimp and grits.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a one-tiered wedding cake with smaller cakes around it on pretty white cake stands. All the cakes were displayed on antique pieces of furniture.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. When people say that you find love when you least expect it, they are not kidding. I met Lamar on a Monday night in the law library at SMU. I had chosen to study in a different area of the library, and I sat down a few tables away from Lamar. Of course, he thinks this was no coincidence! Over the course of finals, we began to talk. Talking led to a friendship, which led to our first date. Over the summer, our friendship grew, but I knew that Lamar wanted it to be something more. He agreed to give me some space over the summer, but we still hung out all the time. One day, while having dinner with my parents, I told them about Lamar, and they both said that my face lit up when I talked about him. That is when I began to think seriously about dating him. In September, Lamar told me that he was tired of being “just friends” and we decided to make it official. Dating Lamar is the second best decision I have ever made. Our story reminds me that God’s plan is so much greater than my own!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 350
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we are pretty traditional and I wanted to see the look on his face when he saw me for the first time walking down the aisle.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “I Can Love You Like That” because that is how Lamar acted toward me when we first started dating. He was the one who initiated the relationship, and in the end, he was the one who could really make all my fairy tale dreams come true (part of the lyrics are, “they read you Cinderella, you hoped it would come true”)!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was my handkerchief made out of my mom’s wedding dress and my something borrowed was her original Tiffany’s wedding band. My something new was my shoes. My something blue was a clip-on earring from my grandmother that I used as a brooch on my bouquet.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Getting all the pieces together. We had a ton of details and a ton of vendors. Thank goodness for our wedding planner, Lottie!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We made our own photo booth–I ordered props and a backdrop. We also saved money by buying our own wine and beer.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The Jeremy Powers Band was amazing! Jeremy did an amazing job working with us to coordinate the night. We got tons of compliments on how great their performance was!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our last dance under the stars outside by the railroad tracks. I loved hearing the sounds of the trains going by!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Enjoy the process. Know that you cannot control every aspect, and let the day happen the way it naturally does. Some of my favorite memories were things I didn’t expect or plan!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Getting our house in order! We are in the middle of “wedding season” with our friends, so we have barely had a weekend at home. We are looking forward to unpacking and just enjoying making our home together.

Photographer: Matt and Julie / Videographer: Darren Pike / Planner: Grit + Gold / Ceremony Venue: First Baptist Church Sherman / Reception Venue: Katy Depot / Florist: Southern Table / Cake Baker: Mom’s Bakery / Caterer: At Your Service / Rentals and Lighting: Big D Rentals / Band: Jeremy Powers Band / Bridal Salon: Stanley Korshak / Paper Products: Caroline Creates / Hair and Makeup: Jill at Blushington Dallas / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew

lisa Written with love by Lisa
9 Comments
  1. avatar Kat reply

    LOVE that cake display!!!!

  2. avatar Laura reply

    Those florals are AMAZING! So gorgeous!

  3. avatar Matt + Julie reply

    Y’all! Thank you so much for this feature, it looks gorgeous on here :) !!!

  4. avatar Callie Davis reply

    I am so in love with those florals! Especially her INCREDIBLE bouquet! I also prefer dark chocolate !

  5. avatar Lindsay {Everistta} reply

    In love with those gold sparkly linens! Great color palette in this wedding.

  6. avatar Bridget reply

    Those charcoal bridesmaid dresses are a fantastically chic complement to the sweet peachy flowers. Very stylish.

  7. avatar Orange County Party Rentals reply

    Gorgeous wedding! Loved the beautiful details done so exquisitely. The reception area decor with the touch of shimmer looks pretty.

  8. avatar Catherine Grace reply

    I love the gold glitter backdrop !

  9. avatar Lottie Fowler reply

    Thanks for the love! This was such a fun design and even more fun was working with this super sweet couple!

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Remember that gorgeous light I spoke about in Part I? Here it is again in these divine portraits from Adam Barnes! Absolutely dreamy!

A mini-food fan, I know our Emily was completely smitten when she first peeked at Tami + James’ reception. I love how T + J not only served adorable and yummy food, but it came complete with a story — the best part! Each course was a customized culinary trip through their lives, from “Childhood Favorites,” “Southern Comfort” and “Old Bay,” all the way to “The City That Never Sleeps.” What fun!

P.S. Be sure to scroll all the way down and read about T + J’s Great Gatsby moment! So cool!

We had an outdoor cocktail hour among the Carriage House and Gazebo at the Thomas Birkby House, where we served our signature cocktail, a strawberry mojito and oysters in mini Ball jars with individual Tabasco pairings.

What was your reception like? It was a tented reception where guests enjoyed our personalized four-course dinner and dancing afterward.  When planning the wedding, I wanted to incorporate something that would blow James away, and decided to surprise him with a cigar roller and scotch bar, which ended up being a huge hit at the reception!  The cigar roller did his thing on the patio, just outside of the tent, where many of our guests congregated after dinner to enjoy the last few minutes of sunlight and socialize among the trees and carriage house.  For an added unique touch of evening ambiance, we projected a romantic 1920s silent film in the background against the carriage house. The scene of bow-tied gentlemen enjoying cigars while entertaining each other and their lovely ladies was magical, drawing a comment from one guest likening the evening to one of the many painted by Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby.

Food is a big part of our lives. Growing up, we both had family dinners on Sundays and everyone always seemed to be in and around the kitchen enjoying the food and drink that day’s host was preparing. As a continuation of our quest to make our wedding personal, we took the opportunity to come up with a menu that reflected the path of our lives. We started with a “Childhood Favorites” course of Lobster corndogs, grilled cheese and tomato soup shooters, and a side of gold fish crackers. Then on to “Southern Comfort,” a nod to my Southern roots with white cheddar, gruyere and truffle oil mac and cheese, a country biscuit with Virginia ham, and shrimp and grits. The third course was “Old Bay,” a nod to James’ hometown and late night college years with Maryland crab cakes and a mini philly cheesesteaks with shoestring fries. To finish the meal and kick off the toasts, we ended with our fourth course, “The City That Never Sleeps,” which was a manhattan, the city where we currently make our home.

Describe some of the decorations or décor elements you used: We used vintage scales, vintage cigar boxes, homemade painted wooden signs, ball jars with burlap wrapping, homemade burlap silverware holders with individually sewn flowers, and a homemade “sweets” sign over the dessert bar
Describe your centerpieces: They were a mix of pale pink peonies, hydrangeas, dahlias and roses in vintage wood boxes, vintage tins and apothecary jars. They were arranged around stacked antique books and vintage tea cups with tea light candles inside.  The table number signs were designed to reflect specific parts of our personalities and story, including a Christian Louboutin pump, a bull and bear (James works on Wall Street), golf clubs, a Virginia peanut, and more.

My favorite detail of the wedding was the custom farm table my mother and father built for us to serve as the “head table.”  We weren’t allowed to see it until the day of the wedding and we were truly blown away. The most special part was that they engraved T + J on the top! It is something we can’t wait to move into our home (once we leave the cozy confines of the West Village) and incorporate into holiday family traditions. 

Tell us a bit about your first dance. We danced to Jason Mraz’s “Lucky,” which we liked because it was light and fun, and we both feel that we are each other’s best friend.  James tried to organize us for dance lessons a few weeks before the wedding, but we had too many other things to take care of.  We faked our way through it and just had fun with a couple of “homemade” twirls and dips.  None of our guests noticed the lack of dance skills, or at least we don’t think so!!

Describe your wedding cake: We used Maggie Austin’s ruffle cake design, a beautiful white cake with sugar peonies and dahlias to match our wedding flowers.  It was the classic Maggie Austin cake with meticulously molded hand-ruffled layers.  We had two flavors: peanut butter butter-creme and white velvet cake with raspberry preserves. The cake served as the centerpiece of our dessert bar, surrounded by mini strawberry milkshakes, pop-tarts on a stick, cake pops and other sweet treats.

What was Southern about your wedding? Everything from the country music playing in the background, the sweet tea served pre-ceremony, and the “Southern Comfort” menu complete with shrimp and grits, mac and cheese and a delicious country biscuits with Virginia ham.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day?  James’ speech, welcoming everyone to our wedding and hearing him talk about the first time he saw me and how he knew good things were to come.  It was quite the tear-jerker for all of the ladies at the wedding.
What were some of the highlights? The personalized menu was a hit with everyone — definitely something bespoke that had the intended effect of sharing with our guests the formative times in our lives. Our guests also loved the scotch bar and cigar roller!
What was the funniest moment?  What was the scariest? The funniest moment was trying to get the ring bearer to sit with the wedding party for group pictures.  Lou, James’ best man ended up grabbing the back of his overalls to keep him from exploring the gardens! The scariest moment was standing up in front of all our family and friends and taking the leap!
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? No, but James’ father gave a beautiful blessing before dinner.
Did you toss the garter or bouquet? Both.  James tossed my garter to Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady,” a fitting tune, especially given James’ love of the guitar and Jimi Hendrix in particular.  His college band mates got a kick out of it!
Tell us about your grand exit. As a parting gift, and to keep the party rolling, we made s’mores kits for all our guests.  We all piled into a trolley enjoying whatever cocktail happened to be in our hot little hands at the end of the night and proceeded to the fire pit at the resort where everyone was staying.  It was the perfect way to end the evening, where guests who hadn’t had a chance to catch up could banter about their latest happenings and new friendships made that evening were solidified.  James and I were a few of the last to leave, enjoying everyone’s well-wishes and hearing about their personal evening highlights.
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding:  The custom cigar labels Tami had made for our scotch and cigar bar!!
What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding?  Time management. We wanted everything to be perfect and spent a lot of our time focused on the details.  As the date neared, we weren’t quite sure we could get it all done.  But, thanks to a combined family effort, everything went off without a hitch!
What range did your budget fall into?  $25,000-$50,000
Did you take a honeymoon?  If so, where? We took a wonderful trip to the Amalfi coast in Italy, spending time on the island of Capri and the coastal towns of Ravello and Positano.  We loved the casual glamour of the Mediterranean, and of course the food and wine!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future?  We are tremendously blessed with many opportunities that may either keep us in New York, or take us somewhere new.  But, for now, we can’t wait to make the most of our time as a young couple in New York City.

Adam Barnes is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    I love how delicate and Southern all of the details are. Her flowers are absolutely gorgeous!

  2. avatar Ken Tan reply

    Love all the little details in this wedding! The old table looks so cool! …and the fork holder thingy ;) BEAUTIFUL! :)

  3. avatar Tomi Lynn Heard reply

    Where can I get the printed burlap peanut favor bags?

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