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What’s your first memory of being at a wedding? I think for many of us, those first encounters with weddings help define our all-time favorite details, and the moments we want to create on our own wedding days. In Whitney and Parker’s case, Whitney has always remembered staring up at the cake when she attended a neighbor’s wedding as a little girl, and when she and Parker celebrated their new marriage at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the rotunda lent itself perfectly to creating that same moment with a magnificent cake. That isn’t the only meaningful tradition they included in their day, either–don’t miss the story behind Whitney’s gorgeous dress!

Thanks so much to Jennifer Lindberg for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I am one of three girls and we are all very close. When Parker and I got engaged, my sister, Caroline, was studying abroad in Paris and couldn’t be there. I was so sad she couldn’t be a part of the engagement celebrations, so my dad surprised me and flew her to New York to be with my mom and I to try on wedding dresses! Thank goodness he did, because Caroline is the stylist of the family, and I couldn’t have imagined choosing a dress without her seal of approval! We visited lots of different designers’ showrooms over the course of several days, but I finally decided on a Carolina Herrera dress with a trumpet skirt and unique lace appliqué. I subtly incorporated my initials into the lace–a “G” to represent my maiden name and an “A” to represent my new last name. Laura Gonzalez of Coutures by Laura added the illusion neckline, which she accented with vine-like embroidery.

We were married at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas. It is the church I grew up attending, so it was really important to me to have the wedding there.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? It was special to have a moment with just my dad as we peered around the corner of the bridal room at the church, watching the wedding party walk down the aisle. Because Parker and I chose to stick with tradition and not see each other before the wedding, there was so much anticipation as the doors to the sanctuary opened and I could see Parker for the first time. It was emotional, and I was so glad that we had decided to add a hymn to the service at the last minute. It allowed Parker and I a couple of minutes to regroup, but it was also such a powerful experience to be able to look back at the audience and see all of our closest family and friends standing together in support and celebration of our marriage. I know that throughout our lives together, being able to reflect on that feeling will help Parker and me through both the good times and the bad.

The reception was at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. I love the tall ceilings and the unique rotunda and staircase, but more importantly, I am a very homesick Texan, so the venue allowed us to show our friends from out of state what a great place Austin is! We had a great view of the Capitol, and our wedding coordinator, Becky Brock, created an outdoor space by bringing in boxwood walls and incorporating the oversized star in the front of the museum. I also loved that the dance floor was a granite picture of the state, so our guests danced across Texas all night!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We incorporated both of our home states into the wedding, including the venue and late night tacos to represent Texas and the peach-themed desserts to represent Georgia. In addition, Parker and I have lived in and made friends in so many different Southern cities, so we included coffee table books from each city, so that our guests could sign the book that represented where we knew them from: Austin and Atlanta where we each grew up, Nashville where we met and went to college, and Winston-Salem where Parker attended medical school and I attended graduate school.

As a little girl, I attended my neighbor’s wedding, and still have memories of looking up at her cake in awe. I knew I wanted a big cake that would have the same effect, and the rotunda at the reception venue offered the perfect place to showcase it. The cake was five feet tall and had a beautiful swag of sugar flowers, but my favorite part was that the flavor was funfetti. Parker has many interests, so it was fun to incorporate those into his groom’s cake. He graduated from medical school two weeks before the wedding and is going to be an orthopedic surgeon, so the cake was a doctor’s bag with an X-Ray of a hand wearing a wedding band. The cake also included a Braves baseball hat and Vanderbilt football to represent his favorite teams, as well as several golf balls.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t be afraid to incorporate unique details. My mom was skeptical of our unusual first dance song and the funfetti cake, but they ended up being a hit. My favorite weddings to attend are the ones where the details let you in on who the couple is and their personalities.

What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are living in Nashville, Tennessee, where I am a CPA and Parker is in his Orthopedic Surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. After living in different cities before the wedding, we have loved being together in Nashville and are enjoying our new lives together, one day at a time.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Parker and I met at Vanderbilt, where he was a grade ahead of me. I had been invited to KA’s “Old South” Fraternity Formal, but since freshmen couldn’t have cars, we caught a ride with the upperclassmen. Parker says he had tried to introduce himself throughout the semester, but hadn’t had a good opportunity, so he arranged to drive me and my date to the formal. After spending six hours in the car together, Parker asked me to dance later that night. Unfortunately for my date, Parker is a great dancer and swept me off me off my feet, both literally and figuratively.
Tell us all about the proposal! In his last year of medical school Parker was in between orthopedic surgery rotations at various hospitals across the Southeast. Before starting his away rotation at UT Southwestern in Dallas, Parker came through Atlanta, where I was living, at the time to visit. He told me that he wanted to take me to a special dinner before leaving for Texas, and he knew I was excited about the “Girl with a Pearl Earring” exhibit that was showing at the High Museum in Atlanta. When he called to tell me his uncle had tickets to a private viewing of the exhibit that he had offered to us, I was thrilled! I got off late from work, and despite getting ready in 10 minutes, I was still running late. Parker was visibly anxious, but he has always hates being late, so his behavior didn’t seem odd. When we got to the room with “The Girl with the Pearl Earring,” I walked up to the painting to look at it more closely. When I realized Parker wasn’t standing next to me, I turned around, and he was on one knee. I was so shocked, I hardly remembered to say “yes” when Parker proposed! After we left the museum, we went to dinner. The hostess led us to a private dining room, and both of our families were there waiting for us. I was surprised all over again and burst into tears! I love that we had that private moment, but were also able to celebrate with family.
When did y’all get married? May 31, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 450
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to “Fishin’ in the Dark” by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. It was an unusual choice for a first dance, but it was special to us because it is the first song we ever danced to when we met at Old South in college. My father/daughter dance was to “God Only Knows” by the Beach Boys. The Beach Boys are my dad’s favorite band and we grew up listening to their greatest hits on repeat, so this was a special moment with my dad.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed the garter that my mother-in-law and her mother had worn at their weddings. I wore a sapphire band on my right hand that my grandmother had given me as a high school graduation gift. For my something old, I wore my great-grandmother’s engagement ring on my right hand and carried Parker’s KA pin attached to my bouquet. Parker’s grandfather was very special to both of us and passed away a few months before the wedding. When Parker pledged KA in college, his grandmother gave him the KA pin that his grandfather had used to “pin” her with. Parker gave me the pin when we got engaged, and it was a special token that helped us include his grandfather’s memory in the wedding. As my something new, I wore pearl and diamond earrings that my mom gave me as a wedding gift. The pearl drops reminded me of the “Girl with the Pearl Earring” painting by Johannes Vermeer that Parker proposed in front of. I also wore a Cartier Love Bracelet that my dad gave me as a wedding gift. It was such a sweet gift for the occasion because the bracelet screws on and my dad has the key. His note said that even as he gave me away, the bracelet was a reminder that I will always be his little girl.

Photographer: Jennifer Lindberg / Videographer: Mason Jar Films / Planner: Brock + Co. Events / Ceremony Venue: Good Shepherd Episcopal Church / Reception Venue: The Bullock Texas State History Museum / Florist: Westbank Flower Market / Wedding Cake: Simon Lee Bakery / Caterer: Rosemary’s Catering / Rentals: Townsley Design / Lighting: FILO Productions / Band: Pure Party Band / Paper Products: Personally Yours / Bride’s Gown: “Aveline” by Carolina Herrera / Bride’s Veil: Coutures by Laura / Bride’s Earrings: The Menagerie / Bride’s Bracelets: Cartier and Meira T / Hair Stylist: Laura Wyrtzen / Makeup Artist: Christy Edlin / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “G787C” in Champagne by Amsale / Menswear: Wally’s Menswear

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Kirsti reply

    This is one of my favorite weddings I’ve seen in Southern Weddings!! I love all of the little details to make their day even more special! I have to say, all of the heirlooms and memories intertwined into her “something old, something borrowed, something blue something new” was the best I’ve ever heard of! This fills me with so much joy to read such a sweet story!

  2. avatar Becky Brock – Brock + Co. Events reply

    Thanks for sharing Whitney + Parker’s wedding! Such a great family + we all had so much fun on designing the details. One of our 2014 faves!

  3. avatar Most of all I remember… reply

    […] One of the most exciting things happened yesterday and we totally missed it! Please look at Whitney & Parker's AMAZING and super-fun wedding featured on the Southern Weddings Blog! http://southernweddings.com/2015/04/16/texas-state-history-museum-by-jennifer-lindberg/ […]

  4. avatar Jenn Lindberg reply

    Love seeing this wedding get the press it deserves! There were so many fun details, and a real spirit of playfulness throughout that you could tell emanated from the love between W & P, and their families.

  5. avatar Tracy reply

    What gorgeous images! I especially love the embroidery on the gown. Congrats on a beautiful wedding and new life together.

  6. avatar SOUTHERN WEDDINGS FEATURE | Brock + Co. Events – Austin Party + Wedding Planning reply

    […] were so excited to see Whitney + Parker’s wedding on Southern Weddings last week! It was one of our 2014 faves + we loved designing all of the fun details, along with […]

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As y’all may know, every summer, we welcome a lovely intern to our office! Erin, our current intern, is a Texas girl from Princeton University, and she’s been a huge help to us with everything from photo shoot prep to working on the blog over the last month. Since she has a soft spot for colorful outdoor weddings, we thought she’d be the perfect person to write today’s post! -Lisa

Even though Elizabeth and Greg call Chicago home, their destination wedding at Charleston’s Boone Hall Plantation was a true Southern affair! By using vintage Boone Hall postcards as escort cards and displaying gorgeous peaches throughout the reception, Elizabeth and Greg captured the visual beauty of the South, while little touches, like providing fans to the ladies and offering tours of historic venue during cocktail hour, captured Southern hospitality at its best. But the best parts about Elizabeth and Greg’s wedding were the heartfelt details: personal vows written by the bride and groom, naming their first dog Boone after their venue, and choosing to wed in Charleston so that they have many reasons to return to the beautiful city!

Thanks to Amelia + Dan for sharing Elizabeth and Greg’s big day with us!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something old was a locket with a photo of my grandparents inside, which I wore on my garter. My something new was my wedding gown. My something borrowed was a bracelet from a close cousin of mine, and I wore Something Bleu shoes, which have a blue gemstone in the sole.
Describe your wedding flowers. Branch Design Studio did the most incredible job on my flowers. At the end of the altar were two rustic wooden wine barrels with vintage peach crates containing peach spray roses, coral peonies, peach ranunculus, white stock, yellow finesse roses, daisy feverfew, and scabiosa pods. My bouquet was made of mostly peonies and peach Juliet garden roses. It also included ranunculus, dusty miller, and a few yellow craspedia pods. The bridesmaids’ bouquets had white and yellow peonies with peach garden roses as well. Since their dresses were yellow, I added scabiosa pods to their bouquets in place of the yellow craspedia.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We decided to do a first look to enjoy a moment alone together before the ceremony began. This way, we were also able to enjoy more time with family and friends during the cocktail hour, as we took a majority of our photos before the wedding started.

While planning our wedding, I made three trips to Charleston. For all three, it was raining when I visited Boone Hall. Therefore, I knew that on the day of the wedding, the weather was going to hold out for us, and the plantation was even more stunning in the sunshine.

We had rustic wooden wine barrels with clusters of peach arrangements on them at each of the four doors as you stepped into the Cotton Dock. In addition, each of the doors had lush rectangular wreaths covered in peach roses and peach stock. Mason jars hung from the ceiling containing peonies and ivory tea lights at varying heights. Above the sweetheart table hung more mason jars containing ivory tea lights and peach blooms strung from twine. Peach garden roses lined the tables, as well as wooden boxes of peonies, roses, dusty miller, and craspedia. Each window in the Cotton Dock had a cluster of vases and mason jars with coral peonies and ivory tea lights.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We wanted to make Charleston’s rich history a focal point of our wedding celebration. The mansion was opened during the cocktail hour for guests, where they were able to take tours and learn about Boone’s history. For seating assignments, we used black and white vintage postcards of Boone Hall. Since Boone Hall was once known for growing cotton, we had puffs of raw cotton strung along the back wall. They also were known for growing pecans, which we had incorporated into our desserts. We had fresh peaches in vintage peach crates throughout the venue, in addition to sugared peaches on the hummingbird cake. We gave out vintage fans to the ladies before the ceremony–as my mother in law put it, a Southern gentleman endures the heat! We were sure to have our DJ play many of our Southern favorites to complete the picture!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. We chose hummingbird cake, as it was a favorite of ours from our first visit to Charleston. It brought another Southern aspect to our wedding for our guests to try. The cake was decorated with fresh sugared peaches to go along with our peach theme for the wedding weekend, and it was absolutely delicious! Greg was so excited about the cake that he fed himself first when we cut it! In addition to the cake, we had a dessert table with bite-sized desserts including s’mores bars, lemon tarts, caramels, and chocolate pecan bites. We also had a groom’s cake decorated like a Jameson bottle.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Our friendship began in high school and continued on as we both attended Indiana University. While our friends attempted to set us up from the beginning, it wasn’t until I was back home for the summer in Chicago that sparks started to fly. Greg’s profession is with the Chicago Blackhawks, and with a little encouragement from my close friend, our new story began the summer night they won the 2010 Stanley Cup.
Tell us all about the proposal! From Greg: When we first started dating, Elizabeth made it clear that the key to her heart was sushi with a side of spicy mayo; it was her guilty pleasure food and we would enjoy it often. As I began to think of different ideas that encompassed our early dating for a proposal, I kept coming back to sushi. I finally came up with the idea of a custom fortune cookie detailing our fates and fortunes and, although fortune cookies are not traditionally served at sushi restaurants, I hoped it wasn’t too much of a stretch. I made a reservation at one of the nicest Japanese restaurants in Chicago and delivered the fortune cookies and a bottle of Dom Perignon earlier in the afternoon before dinner that night. When we arrived at dinner, the plan was to have them bring out the chocolate-covered strawberry (another favorite of Elizabeth’s) and fortune cookies as an amuse bouche. They eventually brought the appetizers without having brought the fortune cookies, and I had to convince Elizabeth to visit the restroom so I could track down the wait staff to get the cookies out. Thankfully, they did, and while she thought something was amiss, she played along as we opened our customized cookies. I read mine aloud, saying “Mine says ‘You will find a girl who will make you want nothing more in life than to make her smile,’ what does yours say?” Her message said, “You will be with a man who will love you, respect you, and care for you for the rest of your life.” Then, I got down on one knee and proposed. She said yes and we celebrated over sushi and champagne before meeting friends out later that night.
When did y’all get married? May 11, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 95
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows in order to be able to say what we really wanted to give to one another in our marriage. My favorite phrase was “I promise to laugh with you, encourage you and inspire you,” as these are things we wish to maintain as our love grows over time.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I chose to walk down the aisle to Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” It is such a lovely, classic song, and it was especially beautiful played on the strings by Classical Charleston. For our first dance, we chose “Hey Pretty Girl” by Kip Moore. The song’s lyrics really resonated with Greg and how he saw our relationship unfolding. Before we opened the dance floor to everyone, we danced to “Dancing in the Moonlight” with our immediate families. This was “our song” long before we started dating, going back to our early high school days. It was the perfect song to get the dancing started on such a beautiful night.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are working on decorating our new home in the city and look forward to getting our first dog together (named Boone)! We have recently done some traveling in Europe and are excited for a tropical getaway for our honeymoon once the cold arrives in Chicago. From there, we look forward to starting a family!

Photographer: Amelia + Dan / Videographer: Life In Rewind / Planner: Pure Luxe Bride / Venue: Boone Hall Plantation / Florist: Branch Design Studio / Cake Baker: D’lish / Caterer: Cru / Rentals: Event Works / Lighting: PDA / DJ: Dream House Productions / Bride’s Gown: Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon: Ultimate Bride / Paper Products: “Carolina” by Bella Figura / Bride’s Veil: Weddings 826 / Hair and Makeup: Ash & Co / Bride’s Shoes: Something Bleu Oyster Bed D’Orsays from BHLDN / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “D564” in Daisy by Dessy / Groom’s Attire: De Louice / Groom’s Shoes: Russell & Bromley / Groomsmen Attire: Tommy Hilfiger / Calligraphy: Write By Mike / Men’s Salon: Old South Barber Spa / Ceremony Musicians: Classical Charleston / Pastries: Wild Flour Pastry / Transportation: FingerSnappin’ Entertainment Trolley, Charleston Style Limo, Vintage Limousine

Pure Luxe Bride is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
4 Comments
  1. avatar Olivia Cox reply

    In love with everything about this wedding — from the warm and welcoming color scheme to the simply elegant place settings and gorgeous floral arrangements everything is perfect. Definitely sharing this post with my bride-to-be cousin!

  2. avatar amelia + dan reply

    thank you so much for sharing this sweet couple’s wedding day! :)

  3. avatar d’lish reply

    Hey there! Great post and so happy to see the wedding cake in all it’s glory :) Hoping maybe the creator of the groom’s cake can get some credit (not sure who it was) because it’s a great cake and they deserve to be recognized, too! :)

  4. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Elizabeth and Greg are Chicagoans, but they couldn’t resist the charm of Charleston for their wedding! Chelsea and Will fell in love with their venue, Castleton Farms–it was right in the middle of their two home states. Sarah and Mike incorporated family members into their wedding in the (literally) sweetest way. Leah and Tripp‘s wedding was so sweet and Southern, and we love the story of how they met! […]

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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