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Amanda first popped onto my radar on instagram, where her bright and colorful life caught my eye. I figured there must be a bright and happy house and a bright and happy couple, as well, and I was right! Tyler and Amanda have created a very sweet newlywed nest in Fort Worth at the ripe old age of 25, and I think y’all will love taking a peek inside. Huge hugs to Heather Rowland (who just launched a new site!) for these colorful photos!

The couple: Amanda Lackey, 25, and Tyler Lackey, 24
Years married: 1 year 10 months
Where you live: Fort Worth, Texas
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. We’ve known each other as long as we can remember (yes, that includes the awkward pre-teen years), and we’ve walked through a lot of seasons together! Amanda is a lifestyle photographer, wardrobe stylist, and blogger. She loves community, giving back through acts of service, and saying yes even when that means figuring it out later. Tyler works with a commercial electric company by day, and he is a musician, songwriter and producer by night. We are first and foremost the best of friends, and we dream of traveling the world together.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We were childhood friends turned high school sweethearts, and today we call one another husband and wife!
Do you rent or own? We live on the outskirts of downtown where we can walk to museums, parks, shopping and dining. Everything is accessible and we feel extremely blessed to live in such a beautiful place. As of now, we rent from Amanda’s parents who bought our condo as an investment, so we’ll more than likely live here until we feel our time here is complete.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Luckily, we were always on the same page with visual aesthetics and our styles have always been compatible. We really enjoy all forms of art, so we brought together our two loves of music and art to make it a place we can call home.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? Last fall we had our entire home painted a bright, refreshing white and it was love at first sight! As much as Amanda loves her pink office, the living room is where we come at the end of each day to rest and enjoy one another.

What is your favorite part of being married? Going through life with a teammate by your side, and the comfort of knowing we’ll always end the day together.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? People tell you communication is key, but we never knew how true that really was until we were married. It’s a bit cliché, but communication is everything. When we don’t quite see eye to eye, we’ll talk it through until we really understand where each other is coming from. When we listen to one another, it makes our days together that much more fun!

Who cooks dinner? Tyler’s goal is to be the master chef of our kitchen, and I’m quite okay with it!
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? On weeknights we can usually make a pretty mean pasta in less than an hour. It fills us up, and it’s quick and easy. On the weekends we love exploring new places, but sushi is our go to.
How does your family handle finances? Tyler previously worked for a bank, which gave us an incentive to spend our money wisely. I prefer to have Tyler set the budget as he is better with saving. This way our budget stays on track, and each week we touch base to make sure we’re on the same page. We appreciate that we both bring different aspects to the table when it comes to budgeting.

What most makes your house feel like home? Although we both have pretty busy schedules, the past year has really taught us to enjoy the little things. Our favorites include a chubby cat named Olivia, an extensive collection of vinyl records, the smell of scented candles, and a couch that allows for the best naps of all time.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? We splurge on the essential pieces we know we’ll love forever. Pieces that are made with great quality, and can possibly even be passed down to next generations. I find conversational pieces and statement pieces all over: yard sales, shops found while traveling… HomeGoods and Target are always in the running for something fun and inexpensive.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? Besides having all the people we love in one room, a memory that always makes us smile is when we shared a dance together after the reception with just us and the band in the room. We soaked it all in, and the memory of that moment was the perfect start to our beginning!
How do you remember your wedding in your home? I love having our wedding album on our coffee table so guests can view it at anytime. We also have photos of our wedding spread out in each room in subtle ways. It’s a small and sweet reminder of the beauty that day held.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We registered for a steamer at Bed, Bath & Beyond, and although it wasn’t the most expensive thing on our registry, it’s 100% what we’ve used the most! I use it almost every time I do laundry, and we often have friends and family who ask to borrow it! It’s much easier than ironing and it makes your clothes look new and fresh!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? We would register for more vital pieces versus small pieces. Register for things you’d have a hard time buying for yourself! I was too afraid to register for anything too expensive, but people often like to go into gift giving together so they can always split the cost.

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? Communication, putting each other first, and knowing everything else falls second. Marriage comes first.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We love going to the museum for new exhibits. If you’re on a budget, some museums are even free! You can never go wrong creating new adventures together and getting creative with date nights. It works well for us to switch who picks date night each week, that way, we both get to choose often and do something different each week.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Tyler: I like being a helper when needed as it relates to her business. I love watching her in her profession. Amanda: I love keeping a clean home for Tyler, a place that always feels comfortable, inviting and warm.
Do you have children? We don’t have children yet, but if it’s in the Lord’s plan we are open to the idea in a few years. Right now we are loving the stage of life where we can travel and go on an adventure on a whim on any given day. With kids comes a lot of responsibility, and right now we’re really enjoying the stage of newlywed life.
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… how many clothes girls actually DO have in their closets (Tyler). …that dreaming together provides one of the sweetest forms of romance (Amanda).

This year, our family is most excited about… our second annual Christmas together. Since we got married on a holiday (New Year’s Eve), there’s something special about holidays for us. We love the feeling of community and the traditions that come alive during the holidays. We are excited to continue another year of gift giving to our family and friends together, and look forward to creating new traditions as well as carrying on the ones started in our first year of marriage.
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? Six months into our marriage, Tyler’s dad was diagnosed with stage four melanoma cancer. Nobody prepared us for that during our engagement season, but it has taught us so much. Through our trials, we have learned to extend love and grace in all circumstances. The Lord will never give you something you can’t handle, and we are thankful to be on a team together. Through any season of life, prayer and communication are vital to our marriage, and at the end of the day, we just have to find a reason to laugh!

We’re so grateful to Amanda and Tyler for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
Amanda Marie Portraits
Amanda’s instagram
Tyler’s music

Friends, any favorite spots in their home? I think mine is those hot pink planters!!

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!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Mandy Volpe reply

    I love your style Amanda! Especially those golden animal wall sculptures.

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Emily and Colby have succeeded in creating a Fort Worth home that’s totally cohesive, totally warm, and totally rooted in place – not an easy thing to do! I love so many of the southwestern details of their home (the tumbleweed on the bar! The cactus wallpaper!), but what I love most is that they’ve intentionally carved out for themselves a cozy and relaxing respite from two very busy careers. Big hugs to the talented Apryl Ann for sharing these photos!

P.S. Don’t miss Emily’s favorite part about marriage, below – I think it’s spot-on!

The couple: Emily Allen, 31, and Colby Allen, 33
Years married: 3
Where you live: Fort Worth, TX
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. I’m a baker and designer and own a boutique baking company, Cakewalk Bake Shop, servicing the Dallas/Fort Worth wedding industry. Colby is a graphic design and media teacher by day, but also a videographer specializing in local stories and documentary work by way of his video company You and Yours Productions.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. It started in high school, when I had a crush on him from afar, but we didn’t officially meet until after college – the first time it didn’t work and he moved to California and I to southeast Asia – but we got together a second time around, older and wiser, and we have been by each other’s side every day since.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? That it is a lot of work, ha! You hear it all the time, but it’s one thing to be wildly in love in your twenties and then something else to be getting older with someone day in and day out. Your relationship changes just as you do and it’s work to go through it all with another person in harmony.

Do you rent or own? We are first-time home owners in the most amazing neighborhood, the Fairmount National Historic District in Fort Worth. We could not love our neighborhood more and it was a great factor into our home choice. Our neighbors CARE about community: there are art events, parades all the time, great emphasis on preservation, a community garden, and all within walking distance to the city’s best independent restaurants and bars. It’s a great place to be at this point in our lives and we hope to be here for a long time.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. There was definitely an awkward “blending” phase. Colby’s style is very masculine and he’s drawn to rich, earthy colors whereas mine is very feminine and if I could I would paint the whole house pink! For the first year or so we definitely had rooms that we had each claimed so to speak, but I think it’s like anything else in your relationship – you are in one big blending phase and at a certain point you just start to jive in a way, unknowingly. Fortunately we have very complimentary tastes in just about everything so there’s never really any butting heads too much on design.

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? My favorite is the kitchen, and since I spend so much time in there, I better like it, right? I love cacti and feeling surrounded visually by them with the wallpaper and potted plants. It’s also nice to look out into our minimal dining room which is mostly white – it feels very clean and calming. Colby’s favorite is the den, where we watch TV and read. This room is probably the most masculine and folk-inspired in the house and the closest thing to a man cave we have.
Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Oddly enough my very first Kitchen Aid mixer came from our registry – and I have used it so much that I wore out the motor! We don’t entertain as often as we would like so just the everyday items: dinnerware, pots and pans, bedding.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? While I love everything we were fortunate to receive, I think if I were to go back I would opt for an experience registry. As much as we love beautiful objects, travel is our favorite thing. We aren’t a very traditional couple, and to be honest I can’t even remember a lot of what we registered for, but trips we have shared are easily stored.

Who cooks dinner? If anyone, it’s a combined effort. I started my business because I love to cook but the long hours have turned us into people who eat out far more than we would like.
What are your go-to meals? Our favorite, easiest weeknight meal to cook is actually a recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow: roasted tomatoes/peppers, noodles, and an anchovy oreganata. We sub in fish/chicken and other veggies sometimes, but I love this basic meal. Most weekends are limited to Sundays for fun since we work in the event industry, so brunch is a celebrated affair!
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? My favorite cooking blog is Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks. My fave cookbooks are Forest Feast and Super Natural Every Day. Simple, easy recipes that are as tasty as they are beautiful.

What most makes your house feel like home? With the exception of some of the furniture pieces, most of the items in our home are things we’ve found thrifting or collected on travels. When I look around I see beautiful things that hold memories or capture a specific feeling of a place we have loved.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? We had an amazing wedding, full of so many beautiful moments we cherish. Topping the list would be: all the joy and excitement of walking down the aisle, our friend surprising us by singing a special song, and all the fun dancing. Colby’s parents had never danced together before and they ended up dancing all night, even leading a conga line! It was a very happy time for us.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? We only have two photos up. I’d like to have more but framing is something I procrastinate on. For our guest book we had friends type messages on little cards using an old typewriter and we keep the stack displayed and shuffle it from time to time.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? My favorite way to splurge is on textiles. I LOVE to look at rugs, pillows, wallpaper, bedding with interesting graphic patterns and bold colors. I think any room can look beautiful with a bold textile – it can hide ugly furniture (like the throw covering an old futon in our den) or become a focal statement for the room. As we get older, I’m more interested in splurging on furniture but so far we have purchased most of our furniture on sale or by thrifting providence.

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? This is our biggest struggle at the moment – owning a small business and making time for each other. We try to have at least one day to spend completely together, but even that feels short. About every six to eight weeks we try to make a special weekend, whether it be a weekend away or a weekend at home where we set aside time just for us no matter what. Ideally, I’d like to have much more time, but we are working on it.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We don’t have a date night, but it’s always nice to be surprised. I think just having a spontaneous night together – even if it’s staying in and cooking dinner, or going to a class together, or going on a long bike ride – something you don’t typically get to enjoy and out of the ordinary is always a happy time.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Colby has sacrificed an incredible amount of his time to help me start my business, often coming home after work and working deep into the night, and giving up just about every weekend to help me with deliveries. While we started the business together, it is really my dream and I cannot ever express how much it means to me to see him sacrifice that time for me. It’s not a cute thing, but it is deeply appreciated.

How does your family handle finances? We are both creative types so we aren’t as manic about finances as would be best. Fortunately Colby is also extremely organized, so he handles most of our finances, but we communicate thoroughly on the subject quite often.

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… to enjoy as much as you can. Obvious, right? I think as women especially it’s hard to not feel pressure to be on a certain life track at certain times and looking back my one regret is not just wildly enjoying everything – the mistakes, the freedoms, the everything. Just take each moment as it comes and know that things will change, and you will change with them, and it will all work itself out.

What is your favorite part of being married? Getting to know each other better than anyone else and in turn learning how to be better people because of it. Having complete trust in another person to be completely raw and completely uninhibited, it really teaches you so much about who you truly are, what you want to change, and how to be better. It’s a deeper level of insight than anything I’ve ever known.
This year, our family is most excited about… growing and fine-tuning our business, new creative projects, big travels, and making time to enjoy life and our home with friends and family.

We’re so grateful to Emily and Colby for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
Cakewalk Bake Shop
You and Yours Productions
Cakewalk Instagram
Colby’s Instagram
Cakewalk on Facebook

Their home was also featured on Design*Sponge this week, so feel free to hop over for a little more background on some of E+C’s design decisions!

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!

emily Written with love by Emily
6 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel Brown reply

    This is my dream home! I love everything about their decor choices, and Emily’s comment about her favorite thing about marriage is really beautiful. Could you share where the fantastic cacti wallpaper is from?

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    I was honestly a little surprised to read that they ever had different styles! It’s so encouraging to see what a beautiful home evolved out of their working together to blend the two :)

  3. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Great post and a beautiful home!

  4. avatar Mandy Volpe reply

    I really LOVE the idea of setting aside a complete day/weekend every six weeks to reconnect. You are right- things get crazy busy and taking the time to just be the two of us without distractions is important. Looking at my calendar now!

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My first thought when I saw Meg Sutton’s home was, “Good golly, this is ridiculously adorable.” My second thought was, “It’s like her products came to life!” As some of y’all might know, Meg is the amazingly talented Southerner behind Belle & Union Co., a staple of the Southern Weddings Shop. Since her product collection is impeccably curated, it’s no surprise to me that her home is, too, with not one of the 800 square feet marred by unnecessary clutter. It is, however, filled with plenty of meaningful mementos from their life together. Please enjoy this peek into the lovely Texas home and studio of Meg and Josh Sutton!

Big hugs to Amanda Marie for these lovely photos! And P.S.: scroll down to the bottom of the post for an exclusive Belle & Union discount!

Introducing: Joshua and Meg Sutton
Years married: 5
Where you live: College Station, Texas (whoop!)
Tell us your love story in one sentence. The art student and soldier fall in love along the sandy beaches of Tybee Island and beneath the mossy oaks of Savannah, Georgia. There was exactly one year between our first date and our wedding day. (Crazy kids!)

Do you rent or own? Currently, we rent our little carriage house–800 square feet of living space above the garage, which acts as studio space for Belle & Union. We know we most likely will not stay in College Station forever, as we are here while Josh is in school. We previously owned our home in Savannah, and can’t wait until the day that we buy again. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a fixer upper! Someday, we hope to own a little store with a studio in the back for me, and maybe a café next door for him, on a quaint little main street in smalltown USA.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. When we bought our first home, Josh was actually on the other side of the world, quite literally, serving a tour in Afghanistan. The house-picking process was one for the books, and I had to move everything from our little rental into the house myself. I then had three months before he came home to get everything all set up. I frustrated him quite a bit because I refused to share photos that entire time! I think it was all worth it for both of us when he walked in and said immediately that it just felt like home.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? I have to admit, the registry was more for Josh than it was for me! That being said, I asked him this question and he was quick to answer his knife set and the pots and pans. Safe to say, he is the chef around here.
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? White! I wish we had registered for white stoneware from the beginning. We picked red stoneware, which was fun, but we got tired of it very quickly. I would suggest sticking with classic pieces, and adding the fun into your linens and other accessories that can be easily changed without a lot of expense.
Who cooks dinner? Josh is the chef. He loves to experiment in the kitchen, and is currently studying food science at Texas A&M. He cooks, I clean, and everyone is happy.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? I don’t think we have a regular meal… Josh loves to experiment in the kitchen! But we do probably have Tex Mex at least once a week.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? My creativity is all on paper, but for Josh, it is with food. We have a stack of cookbooks in the kitchen, but for the most part, he just starts creating. Sometimes, it’s like an episode of Chopped in our kitchen. I’ll pull out a few random ingredients and let him go to town. I haven’t had a bad meal yet!

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? This is a trick question, since our house is basically one big room! All of the natural light makes it a wonderful spot to just sit and enjoy each other’s company. We were worried that moving from a 1500 square foot house to essentially an 800 square foot studio apartment would make us feel cramped and on top of each other. But honestly, I think we’ve loved living with less. You definitely learn what is more important to you in a smaller space.
Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? My best source has to be my husband. If I can’t seem to find just the right piece, I ask him to build it. Usually, it turns out better than I could have ever dreamed or imagined, and it costs a lot less money! He has built furniture, tiled a kitchen backsplash, and has even sewn roman shades for our kitchen! On the other hand, I do love a good day of junkin’! I currently have a weakness for all things typewriters, oil cans, and windmills.

How do you remember your wedding in your home? We have a few of our favorite wedding photos scattered around the house, but my favorite memento is our cake topper. It’s one of the first things I see every morning when I wake up, and it always brings a smile to my face.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? My favorite memory is walking back up the aisle arm in arm after we were pronounced husband and wife. There was a bugler playing in the background (a surprise to my husband), and I remember turning and looking at him as we exited the chapel and feeling as if the world stopped spinning for just a moment.

Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We tend to be homebodies, so there’s nothing either of us quite enjoys more than just cuddling on the couch while watching a movie. During football season though, we love to hang out with 80,000 of our closest friends and watch the Aggies BTHO whatever team we’re playing that week.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? I think a lot of brides (and grooms) expect any problems before the wedding to magically disappear after. Marriage doesn’t solve your problems–you have to do that yourselves, together!

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? With Josh in school and me working what feels like 24/7, it helps to be able to share what we do. He certainly helps me more with the business than I help him with homework (organic chemistry? No, thank you), but having a support system is invaluable. Knowing when the other person is stressed out and being able to step in, even if it’s something as simple as me giving him a ride to class, or him packaging cards for an order, helps us show love to one another, and thus grow closer together. But, probably the most important thing I can share is communication. Despite popular belief and expectations, we can’t read each other’s minds! Open and honest communication keeps us on the same page.

Do you have children? Currently, we just have one fur baby, our rescue dog, Ellie. The business is a baby all on its own, and combined with Josh in school, there’s a lot on our plates. We’d like to have children someday, once we are settled after Josh has completed school.

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? When we were first married, it was common for us to leave little love notes around the house for each other to find. We both found our love languages to be words of affirmation (side note: read The Five Love Languages–it rocks). Being able to find a surprise full of kind words was always an instant day-brightener, and the notes were something that could be kept and treasured. For us, it all ties back to the importance of communication. That’s one reason I love what I do so much. For me, the Belle & Union line is not about the greeting card itself–it’s about the message it shares. It’s the opportunity to build, strengthen, and sometimes mend a relationship, connecting people in a thoughtful and tangible way. That’s what we try to do for each other in our marriage through those kind words and acts of love.

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… love is a choice, a choice that you each have to make every single day. Josh and I have been through our fair shares of ups and downs, many we have put on ourselves, and others, such as hardships like physical separation while he was in the Army. We’ve had to grow up a lot, as individuals, and as a couple, in a very short amount of time. I think it’s key to know those are two very different things! The other person is not responsible for your happiness. They can certainly add to it, but you have to choose to be who you are, and whom you are with.
What is your favorite part of being married? I love knowing without a doubt that he is the man God intended me to be with. Even on days when I may not like him very much, I’m always reminded that he is exactly who I need.

We’re so grateful to Meg and Josh for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with Meg at @belleandunionco and the Belle & Union site. We’re also offering 15% off all Belle & Union products in the Southern Weddings Shop, including tea towels, cards, recipe cards, and magnets! Enter code ILOVEBELLE&UNION at checkout until August 15.

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!

emily Written with love by Emily
8 Comments
  1. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    What a beautifully curated home! I’m such a fan of small, functional and clutter-free spaces!

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Not surprised at all that her house is so darling, and I LOVE her interview!

  3. avatar Mary reply

    MEG! Can we be BFFs?
    I just loved this feature so much! As a fellow Aggie, former military spouse, and lover of junkin – I think it’s just meant to be!
    Beautiful home, beautiful views on marriage, and such a wonderful company!

  4. avatar Meg reply

    I’m still absolutely giddy about this! Thank y’all so much for featuring us and our little home. XOXO!

  5. avatar Maria @ ritzy bee reply

    Great feature – your place is awesome Meg…just like you!!! xo

  6. avatar Lindsay reply

    I love how they decorated their home!

  7. avatar Stephanie Creekmur reply

    I am in love with every detail! So beautiful and cozy! I’m definitely envious of that gorgeous studio! :)

  8. avatar Sweet Tea Sundays No. 45 – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] she and her husband Josh gave us a tour of their darling Texas carriage house in one of the first Southern Newlywed features. We were so grateful that they shared their marriage advice with us in […]

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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