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There are few things more Southern than a community coming together, which is one of the many reasons Erica and Daniel’s wedding was so magical! Their family and friends helped with everything from offering up their gorgeous property as a venue, to building and crafting reception details, to bartending and cutting the cake on the night-of. Getting married at a private residence is no easy feat, but with all hands on deck, Shiloh Farms certainly turned into the perfect home for this joyful celebration. Erica and Daniel also went out of their way to get to know their vendors on a personal level, so even the folks who started out as strangers became part of the community that made this day extra special!

Many thanks to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Anna Shackleford for sharing this day with us!

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Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to my first appointment at Affordable Bridal, Inc. in Buford, Georgia. I had heard great things about the shop from friends who bought their dresses there. I arrived to my appointment with my mother, sister, and maid of honor, and was instantly greeted by two smiling women who respected my budget and went straight to picking out dresses in the style I had in mind. I tried on about ten dresses before finding the one. Once I put on that beautiful, lace, fit and flare gown with cap sleeves and a keyhole back, I knew it was going to be the dress that I married Daniel in, and so did the rest of the women there. Just when I didn’t think it couldn’t get any better, the stylist placed a cathedral veil on my head and I was done for. Not to mention, I was able to buy the dress off the rack and at an additional 15 percent off. It was the perfect dress, and I will never forget how beautiful it made me feel!

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We decided to do a first look and I am so happy we did. We knew that with a wedding party and guest list as big as ours, we wouldn’t have that much alone time. Having a first look gave us an opportunity to enjoy each other, check each other out in our wedding attire, cry, laugh, and pray. We even took that time to read letters that we had written to each other. Afterwards, we washed each other’s feet as a sign of humbling ourselves before the other, serving one another for a lifetime, and loving each other just like Christ loves His church. It was the most intimate moment. The first look did not take away the anticipation of me walking down the aisle to Daniel. In fact, we think it made it that much better.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose to have our wedding at Shiloh Farms, the property of our dear friends who are like family to us. I stayed at the farm when I would visit Daniel over the course of our long-distance relationship. It is special to us because it is truly where our romance developed, as well as where Daniel proposed. We dreamed of having a wedding there and are blessed to have shared this simple, yet magical place with our family and friends.

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Music is so important to Daniel and I. Daniel plays the guitar, bass, and piano, and he performs in the worship team at our church. I wouldn’t say I’m a professional, but I am a fan of musicians (obviously) and I love going to concerts. We knew that music had to be a key element in our wedding. Our friends and members of the worship team at our church sang during the ceremony while the bridal party walked down the aisle and during the communion. Here are the songs: “Take My Heart” by Emily Hackett feat. Will Anderson (Daniel’s song walking down), “Fall Afresh” by Bethel (bridesmaid and bridal processional), “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus” by All Sons and Daughters (communion), and “Brand New” by Ben Rector (recessional).

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Our favorite detail of the wedding was the cedarwood bar my dad handmade for the reception. He worked so hard on it for two and a half months. He will tell you that it was one of his favorite projects, and it was definitely a hit at the reception! He loved showing it off, and our guests loved hanging around it to enjoy drinks and conversation. It was such a special gift, and we now proudly display it on our backyard patio.

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What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Daniel’s family is extremely talented and his sisters helped by making our wedding signs that were displayed during the ceremony and reception, as well as creating a design for each welcome bag that went to our guests staying at hotels. We created a DIY photo booth by borrowing furniture and picture frames. We asked friends to bartend during the reception and had two ladies offer to cut our cake so we didn’t have to pay a cake cutting fee. We decided not to have wedding favors to reduce the cost.

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How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. When people ask how we met, we usually keep things simple and say “at a wedding,” but here is the real story. Daniel and I attended a wedding of mutual friends, separately. He saw me sitting at a table alone “in a red dress” (he likes to add), and due to unforeseen circumstances, we never actually talked at the wedding. However, Daniel found out who I was through a mutual friend and added me on Facebook later that night. Two weeks later, Daniel messaged me saying that he saw me at the wedding, and was wondering if he could get to know me over coffee. One thing led to another and Daniel made the grueling trek from Valdosta, Georgia to Atlanta, where we talked over coffee for three hours. On Labor Day, he drove up again for our first “real” date, where we went hiking, ate our favorite Italian food, and went to the movies. After that, I found myself making the trip down to Valdosta to visit Daniel for the first time. It was then when Daniel told me that he wanted to pursue me with the intentions of marriage. Since then, we have embarked on a whirlwind romance full of new adventures that ultimately led to me moving down to Valdosta to be with him. Our friends and family would agree that the crazy way our relationship has come about is truly God’s work at hand. We are full of immeasurable joy as we embrace this new chapter as husband and wife!
Tell us all about the proposal! On Labor Day, one year from when we went on our first date, we were at one of our favorite restaurants in town when Daniel mentioned that our friends, the owners of Shiloh Farms, wanted us to come see them. I was less inclined to go because I had to work the next day and needed to go to the grocery store. Daniel insisted that we go, saying we needed to pick up my kayak, which was at the farm. On the drive there, I was looking on social media, and at least three people I knew had gotten engaged. I kept going on and on about it and joked with Daniel that he would probably propose with a ring hiding in food since he loves food so much. We pulled up to the front of the house and I noticed flower arrangements sitting in their gazebo. I didn’t think twice about it and started to walk inside the house. Daniel grabbed my hand and said we should go check out the flowers. When we walked inside the gazebo, I noticed that there were rose petals on the ground. I felt Daniel take a step back, and when I looked to see what he was doing, I saw tears in his eyes…and that’s when I knew. Daniel got down on one knee and popped the question. My jaw dropped and I went through a process of being speechless and in shock to saying, “oh my gosh” and “is this real,” to finally saying “YES!” Afterwards, he turned and pointed back at the house to where his sister, Ashley, was hanging out of the second story window taking pictures of the whole thing. We literally could not stop smiling, freaking out, hugging, kissing, and laughing. It was the best, most surreal moment of pure joy and happiness.
When did y’all get married? April 23, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided not to write our own vows. We kept it traditional and we both found that they were just as powerful. We both had tears in our eyes, and I could hardly keep it together as he said, “For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Daniel’s sister, Alison, read Ephesians 5:22-31. Daniel and I found this scripture to be so vital during our marriage counseling and we wanted to incorporate it into our ceremony.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge we faced was adjusting the menu to feed 300 guests while staying within our budget. We went back and forth with our caterer so many times because of our guest list grew weekly. Thankfully, she was willing to work with us and did everything she could to give us want we wanted. We paid a little more than we had originally planned for, but it all worked out in the end and the food was a hit.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? It takes a lot of time to plan a wedding on your own, especially at a private venue. If you have the money, I would suggest hiring a planner and selecting a venue that takes care of everything. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding, but it just caused a lot of unnecessary stress. To the brides, be sure to include your groom in the planning. They may want something special that you wouldn’t have originally thought of. To the grooms, know that the special woman you are about to marry has probably dreamed of this day for a long time. Respect her during the stressful times and be there to listen and offer encouragement when she needs it. To the couple, understand that this is just one day. It is a very special day, but it goes by so fast. Enjoy the planning, but take time to go on dates and eliminate wedding talk.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Daniel and I are excited to be buying our first home together. I work as a nurse on night shift and he works as a general contractor, so with our crazy schedules, we are looking forward to a time of rest and enjoying each other in our home with our two dogs, Maddie and Cooper. We are looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us during our marriage, getting involved in ministry, being successful with our jobs, creating life-giving relationships with family and friends, and traveling to new places.

Photographer: Anna Shackleford | Videographer: Lucas Hicks Video and Photography | Planner: Jamie Lea Shiver | Venue: Shiloh Farms | Florist: Hilary Colyer | Cake Baker: Pam Vickers | Caterer: Covington’s Dining and Catering | Rentals and Lighting: International Tent Inc. and Shindig | Decor: The Squirrel’s Nest | DJ: Tom Hochschild | Champagne Glasses and Cake Cutting Set: Oriental Trading Company | Paper Products: Shutterfly, Etsy, and Staples | Bride’s Gown: “Bronwyn” by Maggie Sottero | Bride’s Hairpiece and Veil: Affordable Bridal, Inc. | Bride’s Earrings: Steel’s Jewelry | Hair Stylist: Anna Beth Purvis | Makeup Artist: Claire Rice | Bride’s Shoes and Groomsmen Attire: JCPenney | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Dessy Group | Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom | Officiant: Brinson Barker | Acoustics: Event Point

Anna Shackleford is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
1 Comment
  1. avatar Elisabeth reply

    I really love these bridesmaids dresses. Can anyone tell me what specific color or collection they’re from?

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Katie is a girl after my own heart! She’s a bit addicted to monograms, believes pockets in a dress make everything better, and wanted to create a wedding full of love and sweet Southern hospitality. Katie and David were married at the beautiful Governor Thomas Bennett House in front of 225 of their very favorite people in the world! I must admit I am completely smitten with their pretty preppy day, including fun pops of color, gold pineapples (and a pineapple bow tie!), and monograms galore! But, the very best part, in my opinion, is how many of the details were made my Katie’s mama, godmother, and aunt — it makes them just that much more special.

We’re so delighted Blue Ribbon Vendor Dana Cubbage was on hand to capture their sweet celebration!

Since I worked for Lilly Pulitzer for years, I am accustomed to LOTS of bright colors! We went for bright pink peonies, yellow ranunculus, light pink sweet peas, garden roses, pink astilbe, and dusty miller. We also had pineapples spray painted gold to use as candlesticks and mini pineapples added into the florals on the tables!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. We went EVERYWHERE! We shopped in Charleston twice and all over Charlotte and the surrounding area. Finally, we went to J.Majors, the bridal salon less than a mile from my house. There was one dress that I tried on and everyone said I was smiling from ear to ear when I walked out of the fitting room. It was so simple, classic, and HAD POCKETS! (Pockets in a dress just make everything better!) After swishing around for a bit, we were told it was called the “Mimi” dress. Cue the tears! My grandmother, Mimi, who had passed away 15 years before, loved wedding planning and it was the sign we all needed to stop looking.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes! And it was the best decision we made! It took a little convincing for David, the traditionalist, but I was totally on board from the beginning! With a little help from our photographer and a friend of David’s, we finally convinced him. We didn’t feel rushed and actually got to spend some time together during the day. We couldn’t stop smiling and laughing the whole time!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? We definitely wanted to have a Southern-style Charleston Wedding, so we looked at just about every venue in Charleston. We finally had it narrowed down to the last few when one of my maids of honor, Kacie, mentioned the Governor Thomas Bennett House. It had everything: a beautiful semi-circle garden, a large covered porch (with a blue ceiling, of course), ivy-covered arches, spiral staircases, a large oak tree with Spanish moss (a MUST for me!), a secret garden, and more!

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Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but took our favorite lines and verbiage from different traditional religious vows and combined them in our own way. David was very adamant on not saying the word “death” on our wedding day, so at the conclusion of our vows we made sure to use “as long as we both shall live.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? 1 Corinthians. We both know that it is used all the time, but it made us feel like we were REALLY getting married! (Plus, it reminds us of our wedding when we hear it!)
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. The bridal party walked down to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers, followed by a guitar and string version of “Here Comes the Bride.” Once we were announced as husband and wife, we walked up the aisle to “This will be (an Everlasting Love).”

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What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? So many, including pineapples (a sign of welcome and hospitality), monograms (we own a family monogram business, after all)!, and Southern cooking (including fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, a mac and cheese bar, shrimp and grits, and late-night chicken and waffle sliders with french fries!).

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What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Dana Cubbage is the BEST! She was able to capture every moment and every detail of the wedding. She was so relaxed the entire day, which made me extremely relaxed, too! She was always an arms distance away to grab a photo and was all over the dance floor snapping away. The next day, our family and friends couldn’t stop talking about how amazing she was! We cannot wait to find another excuse for more pictures! Also, Meredith and her team were behind the scenes the entire day. I know I only know a small percentage of everything they went through, which means a ton! She would sneak in at the last second to save the day by taking David’s sunglasses out of his pocket before our first dance, making sure we had a fresh glass of champagne for toasts, offering dryer sheets for when the bugs came out at night, and putting my getaway tote in the getaway rickshaw!

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What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I would make a list of the things that are truly important to you and your fiance. If it’s food and band, that is great. If it’s open bar and a DJ, that is great, too! Definitely learn where you want to make cuts and which things you have your heart set on! Also, there are so many ways that you can get the look but at a fraction of the cost! We made our own table runners for less than 1/3 of the original cost. We also reused the bridesmaid bouquets at the reception and aisle markers on cocktail tables!

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Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We had a three-tiered red velvet cake with buttercream icing as our main cake. The aqua bow had our married monogram! We also had two mini cakes that were white chocolate with buttercream icing and a groom’s cake with a VT logo on top and vintage camo sides – a great surprise!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. One of my co-workers went on a blind date with David and texted me at the end of the date saying that I needed to meet this guy. So the next few times they hung out, I was invited to tag along, as well. After a few weeks went by, I was encouraged to reach out to David, so I did! (VERY unlike me!)
Tell us all about the proposal! On December 24th, David woke me up super early! He convinced me to go on a walk with our Golden Retriever, Shelby, in the park across from our house. Begrudgingly, in sweats, Uggs, no makeup (and friends joke – no monograms) we went on our early morning walk. I knew something was up, but I had expected something to happen later on in the day when our two families would all be together. Almost all the way around the lake, he talked about the first time he knew he fell in love with me, caught in a rainstorm, hanging out underneath a tree, walking Shelby. At that, he was down on his knee! (Shelby was pawing at the ring, too!) I freaked out and apparently never actually said yes!
When did y’all get married? March 14, 2015 (3.14.15!)
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225 of our favorite people in the world!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! YES! Borrowed: my gold Claddagh Ring borrowed from my sister. I also borrowed a pearl necklace from my mom. Blue: I wore aqua Jack Rogers to match the bridesmaids and not sink into the grass! Old: The monogram on my sash (my maiden monogram) was my something old. It was also the last time I would be able to wear my maiden monogram! New: my new dress, earrings, and shoes!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? While planning for our wedding, we definitely had opportunities to talk about our faith, our beliefs, and our family values. We also had challenges and were able to work through our wedding budget together, as well. Also, halfway through the wedding planning process, we got a puppy! (While it might not seem like the best idea, it was great to “practice” our paternal roles, as well!)
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I would have to say the ceremony. We were so relaxed going into our ceremony (where I thought I would be stressed and nervous) because we had a “dance party” with the entire bridal party and then the music went off and we were sent down the aisle! Once we made it down the aisle (which is a bit of a blur) I don’t know if I have ever laughed so hard in my life! David’s cousin was our minister and was able to tell our story in a way that had everyone laughing.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your wedding? My uncle Dom made us a Beautiful Bench,made from the wood of my grandfathers work bench, for us to use as our “guest book!” Mom & Aunt Mo painted a monogram on it & the guest were able to sign it in gold & navy sharpies! We cannot wait to find a special place in our house to display it!

Photographer: Dana Cubbage | Planner: Meredith Tanton from Sweetgrass Social | Venue: The Governor Thomas Bennett House | Florist: Branch Design Studio | Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Ashley Bakery | Caterer: Cru Catering | Rentals: Snyder Events and Event Works | Lighting: Technical Event Company | Band or DJ: Jim Bowers | Monogrammed items: It’s a Girl Thing | Invitations: Blue Glass Design | Signage: Bride’s Godmother | Bride’s Gown: “Mimi” by Wtoo | Bridal Salon, Veil, and Earrigns: J.Majors Bridal Boutique | Bracelet: Beads Inc. | Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Shayla with Paper Dolls | Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers | Bridesmaid Dresses: Coren Moore from Bella Bridesmaids Charlotte | Groom’s Attire: Nordstrom | Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A Bank | Bow Ties: High Cotton

Dana Cubbage is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Zookbinders Wedding Albums reply

    Wow! This is a beautiful wedding! Love the color

  2. avatar Kirsti reply

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this wedding!! I love the southern prep theme and of course, the pineapples!!

  3. avatar Real Wedding: Katie + David | Sweetgrass Social reply

    […] To see more of Katie and David’s wedding, check out their feature on Southern Weddings! […]

  4. avatar Real Wedding at Thomas Bennett House in Charleston, SC – Sweetgrass Social reply

    […] To see more of Katie and David’s wedding, check out their feature on Southern Weddings! […]

  5. avatar Kat reply

    SO much color! Gold, fuchsia, prints…what a fun day. I think my favorite thing is you can tell how authentic the couple stayed to themselves throughout every aspect of their wedding.

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I went to college in Austin (hook ’em!), so Austin weddings will always have a special place in my heart. Claire and Adam did the city proud at their Allan House wedding–it struck the loveliest balance of sentimental, personal, unique, and fun. After a sweet first look and personal letters to each other read at the ceremony, Claire and Adam celebrated their marriage with dancing, emotional toasts (be sure to read about them below!), and even a little ping pong. We’re so glad that Caroline + Ben were on hand to capture every moment, and then share it with us!

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Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! I borrowed my mom’s earrings. My something blue was the tag/logo on my TOMS shoes. I had an old cufflink of my dad’s with his initials on it sewn into the skirt of my dress. He passed away in 2010, so it was an emotional day, and I wanted to incorporate him in little, subtle ways. My something new was my dress!

We said short, traditional vows, but also chose to write letters to each other that were read by the officiant, since we didn’t want to be confined to the format of vows when saying what we wanted to say. Adam’s letter was the perfect combination of sentimental and funny–just like him. I was definitely both laughing and crying throughout the ceremony!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We wanted something central to downtown Austin so our family and friends could enjoy the city for the entire weekend, since most of them were coming from out of town. We loved the relaxed, backyard feel the Allan House provided, as well as the live oak trees. Growing up in Houston, I have always LOVED them, so having the ceremony and reception under a canopy of live oak tree branches was the ideal setting in my mind!

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The venue was an old Victorian house and courtyard covered with live oak trees. The food, served family style, was all upscale comfort food–our passed appetizers were lobster corn dogs, bacon-wrapped dates, and tomato soup shooters with grilled cheese wedges. Dinner included short ribs with truffle mash, roasted chicken, green chili mac and cheese, green beans with tomato jam and fried onions, and more. Our late-night snack was frito pies!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Right after walking down the aisle, I accidentally kissed Adam, so I yelled “Oops!” and burst out laughing. After over a year of planning the wedding, I made the most common sense mistake! It was such a sweet moment, and it immediately took the edge off and made everyone more comfortable and relaxed for the rest of the ceremony. Another memorable moment was hearing the toast that my dad wrote for me and Adam before he died. He had passed away four years earlier, and Adam and I were only dating at the time, but we had been together for awhile, so I think he knew this day was coming, and he wanted us to have something special from him. Overall, when I think back to our wedding, I remember looking into each other’s teary eyes, squeezing each other’s hands, and hearing our letters to each other, all in the presence and with the support of the people we love most in the world. It doesn’t get much better!

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Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I don’t think we could possibly narrow it down, although I did love our life-size cardboard cut out of our dog–my mom wouldn’t let him be the ring bearer, much to my dismay. He wore a bow tie and stood by the front door, greeting guests! I also liked the personal touches that made the wedding “us,” like using a travel coffee table book as our guest book because I love to travel (we asked guests to recommend their favorite place to visit), and writing the table numbers on framed book pages because Adam loves to read. Those little details really made the whole wedding feel more personal and meaningful.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Although we grew up about 45 minutes away from each oher, we met in Nicaragua, of all places, in January 2007, when we were working with a community development non-profit organization (Manna Project International). We became good friends and didn’t start dating until about a year later when we were both back in the States. We are thankful that our relationship started on the strong foundation of being best friends first (as cheesy as that sounds)!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were living in Chicago at the time and often did “tourist-y” things around the city. While visiting the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Adam suggested we take a picture in the Skydeck, a glass ledge/box 103 stories above ground. Right as the picture was being taken, he got down on one knee. Chicago will always hold a special place in our hearts, and I love that we have an awesome picture of the proposal with the city lit up behind (and under!) us!
When did y’all get married? April 26, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, mostly because we wanted to get as many pictures with our wedding party and families done before the ceremony so that we could enjoy the cocktail hour and reception with the rest of the guests. We are nontraditional in a lot of ways, so we didn’t think twice about our decision not to wait until the ceremony to see each other–that wasn’t important or significant to us.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Trumpet Voluntary” and one of Adam’s groomsmen played the trumpet–he was awesome! Our first dance was to “Wonderful” by My Morning Jacket, one of our favorite bands, who we’ve seen live and listened to together over the years. We also had a last slow dance to John Legend’s “Stay With You”–we love the lyrics.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The bride’s cake was very simple, decorated with messy frosting and a few coral peonies. The tiers alternated between white cake with cream cheese and white cake with strawberries. The groom’s cake was chocolate and Dynamo-themed, since Adam is a big soccer fan and Dynamo is the local MLS team.
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 by bringing in our own alcohol and returning unopened bottles! We also used a DJ instead of a band.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just bought a house! And now that we’ll have a yard, we want to get a furry friend for our dog, Pico.

Photographer: Caroline + Ben / Planner: Pearl Events / Venue: The Allan House / Florist: Posey / Cake Baker: Simon Lee Bakery / Caterer: Royal Fig / Lighting: ILD / String Trio: Musical Discovery / DJ: Greenbelt DJ / Invitations: William Arthur / Program Fans: Magnet Street / Bride’s Gown: “#8709” by Jim Hjelm / Bridal Salon: Glamour Closet / Hair Stylist: Simply Mandy / Makeup Artist: Nisa Nicole / Bride’s Shoes: TOMS / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J. Crew / Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply

lisa Written with love by Lisa
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