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It’s our pleasure to get to introduce y’all to a new set of Blue Ribbon Vendors each month, because I just know any one of them would be a joy to you if you choose to work together! This time around, we’re introducing you to a few of them through their answers to some of our favorite BRV interview questions. Click through to their listings to find out more about them!

Name: Merideth Bugbee, Belle Soiree Events
Where you call home: New Orleans, LA
How I got into weddings: My very first job was waiting tables in a New Orleans restaurant. The ONE time the staff let me bring out a birthday cake to a lady celebrating her 50th birthday my heart was so full of joy knowing I played a very tiny part in making this day special. I knew from that moment that special events were what I was made for. A few years and lots of hard work later, Belle Soiree Events was born!

Name: Michael Cottrell, Cottrell Photography
Where you call home: Dahlonega, GA
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? My favorite thing about weddings in the South is the low humidity. No really, I love everything about the South! The folks I photograph are extremely pleasant to work with and are grateful for everything. I love sweet tea, too! Never been to a wedding that didn’t have it.

Name: Duck Woods Country Club
Where you call home: Kill Devil Hills, NC
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The true romance of it! I am especially partial to romantic country club weddings.

Name: Emilie Baros, Emilie Anne Photography
Where you call home: Austin, TX
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? A tall glass of sweet tea, good music, and BBQ!

Name: Jessica Sowyrda, Ever & Anon
Where you call home: Houston, TX
Favorite part of a wedding day? Hands down: when the groom sees the bride for the first time. In that moment, you see utter love and awe in his eyes.

Name: Jennifer Vu, Firefly Ambiance
Where you call home: New Orleans, LA
How I got into weddings: My background is in accounting and on the weekends, I worked for another local company setting up weddings. I fell in love with weddings and three years ago decided that I needed to follow my heart. It has been three amazing years!

Name: Keeneland
Where you call home: Lexington, KY
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? During the planning and on the big day, always remember what this is all about- marrying the love of your life. Be thankful for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and be thankful for all your friends and family who came to celebrate with you.

Name: Lauren Soley, Lovegood Rentals
Where you call home: Hattiesburg, MS
Favorite part of a wedding day? We love everything about the reception! From the first dance to cake cutting, we enjoy seeing the newlyweds and their guests have the best time socializing and dancing the night away. Relax, and take it all in!

Name: Lydia Robins Hendrix
Where you call home: Columbia, SC
Pie bar or red velvet cake? Pie bar all the way. One of my life’s dream was fulfilled when I had one at my wedding!

Name: MiKel Rumsey
Where you call home: Columbia, SC
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The South is like no other place on earth – the land of sweet tea, hospitality, yes ma’am and yes sir, biscuits and gravy. Where everything is better with some good food and a few friends, and no piece of clothing is safe from a monogram. Southern weddings are just the same – traditions handed down from mother to daughter, father to son, embroidered handkerchiefs and something blue. The sweet sounds and scents of the South make a Southern wedding something you can’t duplicate anywhere else.

Check out all of our favorite vendors in the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! I also wanted to mention that we’re working particularly hard to expand some of our areas of slim pickings – namely, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. If you would like to recommend someone (or nominate yourself!) for any of these states, please email emily at!

emily Written with love by Emily

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