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Every single day at Southern Weddings, the stories of couples who have fallen in love, overcome obstacles, and committed their lives to each other, and the images of the day they became husband and wife, move us. We are infinitely thankful for the couples who share with us, and the talented photographers who make us feel as though we were right there, witnessing these incredibly significant moments in a couple’s story–the moments that they will remember forever. Callie and Jamie’s wedding is extra special to me, because not only do I get to soak in their love and joy alongside y’all in V7 and in today’s post, I also got to witness it firsthand as a guest. And I promise you, their beautiful celebration at RiverOaks Charleston was every bit as magical and meaningful as it looks in these breathtaking images by Nancy Ray, who served as both photographer and bridesmaid on this very special day!

Jamie and I decided immediately that we wanted to plan more for our marriage than for our wedding. The main design inspiration for our wedding came from our prayer for our marriage: that The Lord would cultivate in us a marriage as strong as the oaks and as deep and wide as the sea. We wanted to create a meaningful event that pointed to the Lord and reflected who we are as a couple. We tried to make every decision with deep meaning, as this day was one that we had been looking forward to for so long, and one that we will share with our families for the rest of our lives.

All the jewelry that I wore were family heirlooms: my mother’s emerald and diamond earrings gifted to her on her wedding day from her mother-in-law (something borrowed), my great-grandmother’s diamond bracelet (something old), my great-grandmother’s ring and great-grandmother’s pin on my bouquet (something blue). My something new was my wedding dress and shoes. My mom sewed my great-grandmother’s ring into the inside back of my dress with blue thread, and I also carried my great-grandmother’s sweet pansy handkerchief down the aisle. Selecting gifts for my family as a thank you was an important detail for me, as I wanted to pick out meaningful gifts that would not only remind them of our wedding day, but would stay with them for a lifetime. A gold engraved locket for my mom, a gold engraved pocket watch for my dad, and shotgun shell cufflinks for my brother, along with handwritten letters seemed to be the perfect fit.

What was the weather like on your wedding day? By the Lord’s blessing, it could not have been any more perfect. We had asked so many people to pray for the weather, since everything would be taking place outside and we didn’t really have a back-up plan. I cried multiple times that day, just thinking about how those prayers were answered, and through the weather, the Lord was blessing our marriage. It was sunny, warm, and perfectly breezy.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. What was your favorite thing about it? Although I had no idea what style I wanted, I knew that I wanted my dress to be timeless and elegant with a small twist. After trying on some dresses in Raleigh, my mom and I drove to Nitsa’s in Winston-Salem. After the fourth dress, I kept asking if I could put on the third dress again. Once I had it on, I didn’t want to take it off. After a few tears from both my mom and me, my mom asked me to list everything that I loved about this dress: the combination of soft lace with tulle, the unique peplum, and the delicate sweetheart neckline. She then looked at me and said “It’s perfect. If you love it, then you don’t need anyone else’s opinion.” In that moment, I promised her what she had been asking me to do, which was not to show anyone my dress except her, my brother, and my dad. It’s a bride’s dream to show off her dress to all of her family and bridesmaids, but this idea that I didn’t like at the time, but agreed to anyways to please my mom, ended up being one of the greatest decisions in my wedding planning process. My closest family, friends, and guests saw me in my wedding dress for the first time as I was walking down the aisle to my groom.

Tell us about your wedding ceremony. Our whole ceremony was thoughtfully planned out and we wanted it to move slowly, allowing us to take in each precious moment. We spent a lot of time with our officiant planning our ceremony and making sure that our main focus was not on us, but on Jesus. Jamie and I chose to have some of our close friends read two pieces of scripture in our wedding: Colossians 3:12-17 and Hosea 2:19-20. We felt these two verses truly captured the way that Jesus has loved us and the way that we hope to love each other: with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. We immediately knew that we wanted our best friend, Courtney Lancaster, to marry us. It was important to us to have someone marry us who truly knew us, separately and together, ugly and pretty, and who could stand up confidently share with our guests what we believed and why we had been called into marriage. Courtney has been my best friend since I was in sixth grade. She was my youth minister, Young Life leader, led Young Life with Jamie, and is the reason that I know Jesus the way I do today.

Since I had a very long aisle, it was important to me that my mom be able to see me walking down the aisle with my dad, so our officiant also asked our guests to wait for my mom to stand before they did. This was such a sweet moment not only for my mom, but also for me when we locked eyes and she watched my dad walk me down the aisle.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our own vows together, promising each other the same lines with a tiny bit of variation. My favorite lines were “By God’s grace, I will affirm and challenge you in becoming all that God has purposed you to be, and will serve Him together with you as one, giving Him the glory and honor.” In our ring vows, “I promise from this day forward, you will not walk alone. With these words, and with all my heart, I marry you and bind my life to yours.”

Our cocktail hour was held in the front of the RiverOaks house while their team transformed the backyard from the ceremony to the reception. Our passed hors d’oeuvres included Southern treats such as Lowcountry fried green tomatoes topped with pimento cheese, applewood smoked bacon-wrapped shrimp, and smoked maple leaf duck breast. We also served two signature cocktails: a Gulf oyster shooter and Charleston Cosmopolitan.

Jamie and I chose to do a private dinner on the dock so that we could enjoy our delicious meal together and alone before the party began. The view was incredible, and it was one of our favorite moments of the day. When planning our wedding, Jamie and I wanted to be intentional with planning specific times where we could be still with each other and take in all of the moments of our day. We did this at our private dinner, as well as during the communion in our ceremony and at the end of the night when we rode away on the boat before driving to our hotel. After we were finished eating, we joined our family and bridal party at the head table for the remainder of the meal.

Tell us about a way or ways you saved money or cut costs while planning. Flowers for sure! We repurposed the bridesmaids’ bouquets and ceremony florals as centerpieces at the reception and chose to decorate the tables with broken oyster shells instead of large floral arrangements. Because we decided to have our guests seated at long rectangle tables, it was important to us to have low and clean table decorations, in hopes that our guests would be able to have conversation instead of being blocked and distracted with large floral arrangements.

As a wedding photographer, one of my favorite moments of a wedding is the bride and groom’s exit, so I knew that I wanted to make mine extra special! Our exit started at the reception with the last song on the dance floor. We asked the band to play “Last Dance” by Donna Summer and had gold and white confetti shot over the dance floor. I then went and changed into a sparkly getaway dress and we walked through one very long and exciting line of sparklers onto the dock. Jamie and I climbed up in the tuna tower and exited on a beautiful sport fisherman boat. As we drove away, fireworks were shot in the sky!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your love story! Although Jamie and I went to high school together, we were not close friends, but we did have many mutual friends including my best friend, Mary Courtney. It wasn’t until the summer after my senior year (Jamie’s freshman year of college) that we started to spend more time together. When the summer had ended and it was time for me to go to the University of South Carolina for my freshman year of college, Jamie admitted to me that he liked me and wanted to know if we could continue to talk while I was gone. I said yes, and we talked almost every day, continuing to get to know each other. Soon enough, we started dating. After a year at the University of South Carolina, I felt that the Lord was calling me back to Raleigh, so I transferred to NC State. Jamie and I continued to grow closer to the Lord and each other, and the rest is history.
Tell us all about the proposal! After I got off work on Sunday, August 11, 2013, Jamie took me on a surprise date to the NC State Arboretum. We had been there a couple of times together and had been recently talking about going again, so I didn’t think anything of it. As we walked through the gardens, Jamie seemed a little rushed, but he’s normally always on a mission (much like me), so I politely asked him to slow down and walk with me. We walked aimlessly (or what I thought was aimlessly) through the gardens and stopped in the rose garden. He walked us over to “the spot,” turned me around with the biggest smile on his face, and said “Callie.” Immediately, I knew what was happening and began sobbing, saying “Is this really it?” Jamie and I had been dating for four years and had never said the words “I love you” (instead, we would say “I like you”), so I knew this moment was going to be one that I would remember forever. After saying many sweet words and telling me that he loved me and has loved me for a long time, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I said YES! Jamie then told me that there was another surprise, and I turned around to see Nancy and Will Ray jump out of the bushes with their cameras. After many hugs and more tears, they took us around the garden to do a mini session as an engaged couple. It was probably one of the hottest days of the summer, but we didn’t care, because we were finally engaged! After we left the Arboretum, Jamie told me we were “going to get dinner,” but then, he took me back to my parents’ house, where all of our closest friends and family were, to celebrate!
When did y’all get married? May 3, 2014
Tell us all the basics of your wedding! Why did you choose these things? Did any of these details hold special meaning for you as a couple? Since I am a wedding photographer in Raleigh, NC, I am very familiar with all of the wedding venues and have worked many of them multiple times. I wanted to get married somewhere that I didn’t consider “my office” and that would be particularly special to us. I grew up and lived in Charleston for a brief time, and the water and beach have always been a special place to both Jamie and me, so when I texted him one day telling him “It would be a dream to be married in Charleston” and he responded with “I will marry you anywhere,” I knew we could make it happen. We began researching wedding venues in Charleston and through a friend’s recommendation, we found RiverOaks Charleston. From their website, it perfectly matched the vision in our minds–beautiful mossy oaks, the river, outdoor space, and a design process that allowed us to create something from scratch. It was the only venue I looked at, but I knew that it was where I wanted to marry Jamie. We wanted to cultivate real relationships with the people that we would be working so closely with on our most important day, and with Marianne and her team at RiverOaks, we had just that.
How many friends, family, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about marriage? Jamie and I will be living in Raleigh with our new silver lab puppy in our newly renovated home and continuing our dream jobs! Since we got engaged, Jamie and I have been most excited about living together, doing life together, reading the bible and praying together, and not having to part ways at night. Now that we are married, these are our favorite things about marriage! We are truly a team and each other’s biggest support!
What advice would you give to someone currently planning his or her wedding? Remember that your marriage is more important than your wedding. Make all of your wedding decisions together from deep within your heart. All of our wedding details and plans were thought through with deep meaning, which we believe made our event as special as it was. Lastly, journal throughout your engagement. I decided to keep a journal where I would write to Jamie periodically telling him how I was feeling and why I want to marry him. After nine months of filling that journal, I gifted it to him on our wedding day. It fills my heart with great joy when I come into the kitchen and see Jamie sitting at our kitchen island, reading his Bible and my journal early in the morning.

Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Videographer: Heart Stone Films / Venue, Planning, and Design: River Oaks Charleston / Design and Paper Goods: Rebecca Rose Creative / Florist: River Oaks Charleston and Deborah Gibson Design / Caterer: Cru Catering / Tent: Sperry Tents / Bar Service: Squeeze on Site / Wedding Cake Baker: Twenty-Six Divine / Bride’s Gown: “Confection” by Monique Lhuillier / Bridal Salon and Veil: Nitsa’s / Bride’s Shoes: Joie / Bride’s Bouquet Ribbons: Froufrou Chic / Bride’s Getaway Dress: French Connection / Bridesmaid Dresses: “Nadia” in Peacock Silk Chiffon by J. Crew / Hair Stylist: Hilary Mansell of Visage Salon / Makeup Artist: Elina Mille of Bellelina / Groom’s Tuxedo: Jos A. Bank / Groom’s Marlin Cufflinks: GameKeepersGifts / Groomsmen Suspenders: Hold Up Suspender Company / Suspender Monogramming: Monograms Inc. / Shotgun Shell Cufflinks: OruAka / Vintage Tabletop Rentals: Polished / Standard Rentals: Eventworks / Lounge Seating: Out of Hand Rentals / Specialty Linens: La Tavola / Calligraphy: Jill Velez Calligraphy / Rock Candy: Nuts.com / Transportation: Lowcountry Valet / Reception Band: Atlanta Pleasure Band / Ceremony Painter: Meredith Haake / Boat Transportation: Full Circle

Nancy Ray Photography, Heart Stone Films, Rebecca Rose Events, and RiverOaks Charleston are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Lacoya @ Hello Love Events reply

    Oh. My. Word – this is just precious! I love all of the heartfelt details like the handwritten vows, the journal, the fireworks (who doesn’t want fireworks?!). I especially love how they were bold about letting their guests know that their wedding day and, ultimately, marriage would be rooted in the spirit of the Lord. God bless you, both. Lovely wedding! XO

  2. avatar Classic Wedding Invitations reply

    Such a gorgeous wedding!

  3. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Callie and Jamie’s day is my favorite wedding that I have ever seen. I am inspired by the way that they put the focus on Jesus, glorifying Him in all of it. Their intentionality in soaking up the day and being present is so wise, too. From the broken oyster shells to the beautiful bouquets, monogrammed suspenders, and peacock J. Crew gowns, I am smitten with every detail and am so glad y’all featured them!

  4. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #174 – Floridian Weddings reply

    […] stealing this couple's idea of a private dockside dinner before the reception, plus their modern black, white and teal stationery bits are gorg, […]

  5. avatar Inspiration No. 4 (Shades of Green) reply

    […] Sources from Left to Right: Getaway Car, Emerald Bridesmaids, Classic Green Tie, Magnolia Escort Cards, Candlelight Fireplace, Mint Juleps, Shaded Bridesmaids, […]

  6. avatar Callie’s Advice: Getting Your Wedding Published | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] you so much for featuring our wedding and telling our love story. Be sure to see our blog feature here and the magazine […]

  7. avatar Tatyana Lee reply

    Love the color of the bridesmaids dresses!

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Navy gingham, the perfect amount of cotton bolls, and the sweetest couple! Lisa told me ahead of time that I’d love today’s wedding and interview, and boy was she right–Alyson and Nick are exactly the kind of people BDK and I want to be couple friends with! I adore everything from the way Nick asked Alyson to be his wife (“Alyson, will you do me the honor of changing your monogram?”) to Alyson’s advice on wedding planning (“Focus on the marriage and not the wedding. If you stay focused on that, everything will fall into place as it should.”) Now throw in meaningful details, like the cross Alyson’s father made for their altar out of wood from their family farm, to the corn hole boards Nick’s father made, and I’ve officially fallen in love!

SW hugs to Danielle Nichol for capturing all the goodness of this day!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Nick had conspired with my best friend and maid of honor to have her deliver notes from him to me throughout the day of the wedding. The first one came as soon as I woke up. It was a note that said the best day ever had to start with my favorite thing ever: donuts! It included a Dunkin Donuts gift card. The next note came after we got our hair done, and I remember crying in the salon because the note said he loved me just as I was, with or without makeup and fancy hair (#nofilter). But I think the most memorable moment of the day for me was when my best friend handed me the last note, a long, really sweet and sentimental one. While I was desperately trying not to cry and ruin my makeup, my best friend hugged me, pointed to the note, and said, “You get to marry that today.” All the nerves and anxiety disappeared in that moment. I was surrounded by my favorite people in the whole world and about to walk down the aisle and say “I do” to the man of my dreams. It was all excitement and happiness from that moment on.

I actually fell in love with my wedding dress about a year before Nick proposed. I was on J. Crew’s website looking for a dress to wear to a cousin’s wedding and happened to stumble across a beautiful silk chiffon gown with an illusion neckline and beautiful appliquéd flowers across the chest. It was the definition of understated Southern elegance and I immediately fell in love. However, I wasn’t engaged and had no idea when that might happen, so as tempted as I was to just buy it and wait, I couldn’t. A year or so later, when we got engaged, I hopped online to purchase the dress, and it was gone. I reached out to J. Crew’s customer service team to see if there was any way they had an extra one around somewhere. They had two in a warehouse–both of which were 4+ sizes too big for me. I ordered the smallest one and crossed my fingers that I could find a seamstress who could make my dress dreams come true. I took the gown to an incredible seamstress in Atlanta who made it fit like a glove. She was a miracle worker and I will recommend her to anyone for as long as I live!

We decided to do a first look for a couple of reasons. For one, our wedding was in early October and the days were beginning to get shorter and shorter, so we wanted to make sure we got enough photographs while it was still light out. Also, I knew we would both be a bundle of nerves, anxiety, and excitement, and that seeing each other and getting a chance to pray together before the ceremony would be something that would really calm our hearts.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I think it was all the little meaningful details that really made the day special. My father made our cross out of wood from our family farm, Nick’s father made our corn hole boards, the corn in the corn hole sacks was from corn grown on our farm, and one of my dearest friends designed all the paper elements for the wedding. I also loved our spin on a guest book. We bought cutting boards in the shapes of Florida and Georgia to represent where we met and where we got married and have started our life together, and we asked guests to sign them. We now have them hung in our new home along with the knot we tied during the ceremony.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but the vows we said were a little different than the traditional vows we’ve heard throughout the years. My favorite line was in my vows to Nick: “I promise God and I promise you that I will cherish you and respect you, I will love you with a Godly love, and I will serve the Lord with you.”

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Oh, there were so many. The venue alone was full of Southern charm and hospitality. Our reception was inside a beautiful barn and The Wheeler House has a rich history in North Georgia. The cotton throughout the wedding, rustic florals, gingham bow ties, gilded magnolia leaf escort cards, wood from our family farm, sugared and peppered pecan favors, and personal touches from family and friends is what made our wedding so Southern. I think that’s what living and growing in the South is all about–coming together as family and celebrating something in a genuine, heartfelt way, before God and each other.

When we got engaged, I decided to incorporate raw cotton stalks and bolls into the floral arrangements and decor, so my family went out and picked cotton! LOTS of it! I’ve also always loved the fullness of garden roses and the wild feeling of ranunculus, so I wanted to make sure they were incorporated as well. We didn’t want every table arrangement to be the same, so we decided to have a wood log arrangement on every other table. My father cut wood of varying sizes and heights from pine trees on our farm in West Georgia, and our florist arranged them with hydrangeas and cotton spilling around them and candles in mason jars sitting on top. It added a touch of home and created the perfect romantic ambiance for the tables.

Our first dance was to Michael Buble’s version of “Crazy Love,” a song that I fell in love with about the time we started dating. Nick heard me listening to it all the time, so he taught himself how to play it on the guitar. I think the moment I fell in love with him was when he played it for me–either then or the first time he cooked for me. :) The father-daughter dance was also a special moment in the day. Growing up, my father would always ask me, “Have I told you lately that I love you?” And I’d roll my eyes and say, “Yes, Daddy.” Now as an adult, I realize just how important it is to hear your daddy say “I love you.” My dad also took me to school every morning until I was old enough to drive, and we would often listen to oldies in the car. For our father-daughter dance, we began dancing to “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,” which broke into “Chantilly Lace” by Big Bopper halfway through–that’s when I learned my dad can jitterbug! Nick’s family is from Louisiana, and his grandparents are Cajun dance instructors, so we couldn’t have a wedding without getting them out on the dance floor to show us all how it’s done. The DJ put on the song “Jambalaya” and the two of them immediately started two-stepping. About 30 seconds into the song, his grandfather pulled me in and the three of us danced together!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Nick and I met in a broadcast journalism class at Florida State University. He was behind the camera and I was in front of it. We were paired together to do a story on Christian Ponder, FSU’s quarterback at the time. Before our interview with him, Nick asked if I wanted to get together to talk about the project. I agreed, so he picked me up that evening and we went to Mellow Mushroom for dinner, where we proceeded to talk about everything EXCEPT our story on Christian Ponder. Afterwards, he paid for dinner and dropped me off at home, I told my roommates, “I think I just went on a date.” After we wrapped up the story, I told Nick he should buy me dinner again, so he did. After over four years of dinners, laughs, two cross-country moves, and many wonderful memories, he proposed on a trip to Charleston with some of our very favorite people there to celebrate with us. My favorite part of our story, though, is what I learned long after we started dating. Before we met, Nick was helping a friend of his in our college program with some video editing of a sports story. When I came into the frame to do my on-camera stand-up, he asked the editor who I was. When she told him, he said, “I’m going to marry her.” Not long after, we officially met when we were paired up on our story.
Tell us all about the proposal! We have some good friends that live in Charleston, and their daughter was turning one over Labor Day weekend. Nick and I, along with some of our best friends from Florida, headed over to Charleston to celebrate. On the second day of our trip, we spent the day walking around the city and then headed back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Nick suggested we take a walk on the Battery and take a look at the park before we met up with everyone. I happily agreed, as it was on my list of things to do while in town and the weather was absolutely perfect. We walked around the perimeter of the park looking at all the gorgeous homes, and as we walked up to the large gazebo, I saw candles, flowers, and a sign lining the steps on each side. We were still too far away for me to see clearly what it was, and my first thought was, “Oh my gosh, it’s a shrine. Someone died.” So I told Nick that we should walk around it to be respectful. He insisted we walk right up to it, and as we got closer, I saw that it was a framed sign that read, “Alyson, will you marry me?” I instantly started crying tears of joy as he got down on one knee and said, “Alyson, will you do me the honor of changing your monogram?” He had recruited our friends to set up the romantic spot, and they were hiding behind trees taking pictures of the whole proposal. It was so nice being able to celebrate with loved ones on such a momentous occasion, and we laughed and celebrated the night away with all the oysters we could eat.
When did y’all get married? October 3, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? Our pastor suggested Ephesians 5:21-23 and we’re so glad he did. We love the message of love and respect, how God designed men and women to desire each of these things differently, and how He calls us to meet those needs in our partners.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Providing the cotton and wood logs for the floral and decor arrangements was one way we drastically cut costs. We also decided to do a big chalkboard program instead of purchasing paper programs. Our venue allowed us to provide our own alcohol, so we were able to cut out the middleman and save some money that way as well.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Keep your eye on the prize. Focus on the marriage and not the wedding. If you stay focused on that, everything will fall into place as it should. You won’t be nearly as worried about if it will rain, if the menu cards look just right, or if the cake plate arrives on time. And have fun!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We’ve moved into our new home and are enjoying the “nesting” process. I’m almost done with my MBA program and we’re looking forward to having more time to spend together on new adventures. Our photographer and friend expressed our sentiments towards marriage so well. She said, “Being married makes even the most mundane things fun.” It’s so true. Grocery shopping has never been more fun. :)

Photographer: Danielle Nichol Photography / Planner: Winey Blonde Events Co. / Venue: The Wheeler House / Florist: Tony Whitlock Designs / Wedding Cake: Cake Envy / Caterer: Coast to Coast Catering / Ceremony Musicians: Amber and Jared Humphries / DJ: Nice Guys DJ / Paper Products and Makeup: Ashley Brooke Designs / Bride’s Gown: “Violette” by J.Crew / Hair Stylist: Danielle Bianco / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Men’s Suits: Jos A. Bank / Men’s Shirts: Banana Republic / Men’s Ties: Brooks Brothers / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Bow Ties: High Cotton Ties

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Sara reply

    Very creative idea using leaves as table placecards. Beautiful wedding, great details. Congrats!

  2. avatar Nick + Ally| Atlanta Georgia Wedding Photographer | Danielle Nichol Photography reply

    […] are two kindred hearts. All the sweet southern details (Southern Weddings featured it on their site here!), the perfect mingling of friends and family,loads of perfect October Georgia weather, ah. It was […]

  3. avatar Stacey reply

    Beautiful! Do y’all know where those bridesmaid dresses are from? They are so precious and classy!

    • avatar Alyson reply

      Hi Stacey! The bride here! The bridesmaid dresses are from a small bridal store in Roswell Georgia called Wedding Angels boutique. I’m not sure what the style name is or the designer, but I bet if you emailed them with one of these pictures, they’d be able to help you! :)

  4. avatar Friday Fresh Squeeze #166 – Floridian Weddings reply

    […] out this cute Florida-Georgia wedding and the awesome wooden state shaped […]

  5. avatar Uplighting Rental reply

    Love the rustic look, so classic and such great tone.

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It’s a good week here at Southern Weddings for my fellow pink and gold glitter-loving gals! After thoroughly gushing over yesterday’s wedding, I considered reigning in my enthusiasm a little for Katey and Matt’s post, but decided against it. If you know me, you know that when I get excited, I talk WAY too fast, so please read this quickly and drink in all the prettiness below!

As a wedding planner herself, Katey had so many creative ideas, but she knew she didn’t want to go overboard. Armed with Kate Spade as her inspiration and the beautiful Sanderling Resort as her backdrop, she created a perfectly preppy celebration! I think she found just the right balance of big and bright (hello ah-mazing paper flowers at the ceremony) and sweet and subtle (that LulaKate bow belt)! It’s also completely romantic that Katey and Matt held their wedding weekend in the same place where she realized he was the one for her–swoon!

I’m so glad Meaghan Elliot was there to capture this wedding!

Tell us all about the proposal! We were with my family in the Bahamas over the holidays. Although it seemed like the perfect time to propose, I had no idea it was coming, as we had briefly talked about getting engaged sometime in 2014 and then getting married in 2015. This vacation was in 2012! My sister and I gifted our parents with professional family photos on the beach as a Christmas present. While the photographer was snapping pictures, I turned around to check out the sunset, and when I turned back around, Matt was on one knee. It was the shock of a lifetime!

Oh, nelly! Wedding dress shopping was so much fun! For the first shopping trip, I brought my mom, sister, best friend, and a few aunts. We had a large group, but it was such a special time to share with some of the most important women in my life. I went back with just two ladies a few weeks later and found my dress! To make it more “me,” I found the perfect bow belt from LulaKate and a veil with three stripes on the bottom, which really helped complete my look and personalize it a bit.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! I felt as though nothing would take away from that iconic moment when I walked down the aisle with my dad and saw Matt at the end waiting for me–even if we had seen each other before. I loved being able to see him and it helped settle a few nerves. We were able to get some pictures together and with the bridal party, which allowed us to enjoy more time with our guests after the ceremony.

Our bridal party walked down the aisle to “In My Life” by The Beatles, We thought that was a great song to celebrate all of our friendships with our bridal party. We went very traditional for the other songs–I walked down the aisle to “Bridal March,” and “Wedding Chorus” played when we were announced man and wife.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Matt and I were taking pictures on the beach at sunset when we came up over the dune to join everyone else who was already dancing. We stood up on top of the dune for a few minutes and watched our friends and family celebrating our marriage at one of our favorite places. The sun dipped into the bay and we went to join in on the party…we’ll never forget that!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: It sounds corny, but it was so amazing to have so many of our friends and family not only in the same state, but in the same 400-foot radius. Our loved ones are spread out all over the country and to have them all in the Outer Banks for a few days was so nice. As for the details, we didn’t even plan this, but guys ended up putting their escort card flowers on their shirt or suit pockets, so it was like all the men had boutonnieres. It really added a fun pop of color to the wedding in an unexpected place.

Describe your wedding flowers. Working with Renee Landry was fantastic, and with my ideas and her creative genius, we ended up with three looks for the tables. They were all rectangle or square and were inspired by a bright, colorful, Kate Spade look. We did small bud vases with massive peonies in them for the longer tables, and we sprinkled in garden roses as well. Everything was bright and bold and I loved it! We also spray painted artichokes gold to stick the table numbers in, and they turned out beautifully!

Since my family is from Pittsburgh and we are Italian, we followed a big Italian tradition in Pittsburgh of a cookie bar, where tons of family members bake cookies and serve them at the wedding. Since we had a destination wedding, we knew this wouldn’t exactly be possible. I ended up doing a cookie display with cookies that represented some of our favorite things–our hobbies, dogs, favorite sports teams, and of course, our monogram!

To see more of this gorgeous wedding, take a peek at Katey and Matt’s video by our Blue Ribbon Vendor, Blueberry Creative!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I lived in DC for awhile working on Capitol Hill, and then headed up to Baltimore to pursue a career in advertising. Mutual Virginia Tech alumni friends brought us together a few times, but it wasn’t until Halloween that we finally met while aboard the Urban Pirate Ship that sails around in the inner harbor in Baltimore (kind of a hilarious place to meet!).
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 225
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up going to the Outer Banks, and some of my fondest memories have happened there. After about a year of dating, Matt and I and some friends went to OBX in October for a long weekend. It was the first time many of my friends who didn’t live close by were able to meet Matt and hang out with him. Everything went so well (I figured it would, of course!), and it was on that vacation that I realized he was the one for me. How special to go back and marry him there! Guests stayed at The Sanderling, and we celebrated the welcome party, ceremony, reception, and brunch there. We wanted our wedding weekend to be a vacation for everyone.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had our bridesmaids read our wishes and promises to each other instead of readings. Some were funny and others were more serious–one wished us a lifetime of love, laughter, and strength through life’s ups and downs. In another, I promised not to not force Matt to eat all of the crazy healthy meals I make, like cauliflower pizza!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Being a wedding planner and working in weddings every day, it was hard to “stop.” I wanted to do so many things and had so many ideas/etc, but I didn’t want to go overboard or over budget. There’s just so much inspiration out there and it’s hard to narrow down ideas.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? More than $100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I had our bridesmaids carry the boxes with the wishes instead of flowers. Since I chose a very expensive flower for the reception, I knew we needed to save somewhere. It was a fun unique twist for bridesmaids, and it saved me from having to buy 12 bridesmaid bouquets! A few of the girls carried huge paper flowers too.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? When you and your fiancé need to do some planning, go to an interesting place, like a park, a bench on the water, a restaurant (with Internet of course), etc. That way, even if you’re talking about less fun topics, it is not as bad if you’re eating a great meal or watching sailboats go by–we did lots of planning on Baltimore’s waterfront! Also, it’s never too soon to start purchasing things for the wedding! After you nail down your color palette and vision for the day, if you see a cocktail napkin design on Etsy you love, order it, even if the wedding is still five months away. Nothing is worse than praying for a shipment to get in on time!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We just can’t wait to see what the future holds for us. We’re in such a great time in our lives–so many of our friends are having babies, buying homes, and creating their lives together. We can’t wait to join in the fun with them!

Photographer: Meaghan Elliott Photography / Videographer: Blueberry Creative / Planner: lemon & lime event design / Day-of Coordinator: Orangerie Events / Venue and Catering: The Sanderling Resort / Florist: Renee Landry Style / Cake Baker: Patti Cakes / Rentals: AFR / Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen / Lighting: Blue Steel Lighting / Band: Burnt Sienna / Paper Products: Fig2 Design Company / Bride’s Gown: “1103” by Blush by Hayley Paige / Bridal Salon: Garnish Boutique / Bride’s Jewelry: Kate Spade / Bride’s Veil: Sara Gabriel / Hair and Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty / Bride’s Shoes: Jack Rogers / Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate / Menswear: Perry Ellis / Dog Cookies: Sweet Kiera / Monogram Cookies: Sweet Goosie Girl / Beach/Ski Cookies: Miss Lizzy Cakes / College Cookies: Ruthie’s Cookies / Watercolor Calligraphy: Perch Paper Company / Cheers Signs and Bridesmaids’ Flowers: Lovelyfest Goods / Ceremony Music: Club Violin / Cocktail Hour Music: Hear Steel Drums Play / Escort Card Paper Flowers: Land of Flowers / Monogrammed Bouquet Ribbon: Oatmeal Lace Design / Wedding Signs: Sweet NC Collective / Custom Clutches: Bobbie K Designs / Table Numbers: Better Off Wed / Instagram Clay Vases: Hadley Clay / Koozies: Rouge and Co

Blueberry Creative, Orangerie Events, and the Sanderling Resort are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
12 Comments
  1. avatar Jenn – Wedding Supplies reply

    Amazing details for each any every component of this wedding design – adorable!

  2. avatar Calling Local Mama’s…. | Meaghan Elliott Photography Blog reply

    […] brides (Katey & Matt) weddings (think Kate Spade meets nautical… Outer Banks wedding) is featured on their site today! […]

  3. avatar Hadley reply

    What a beautiful, inspiring wedding! I’m SO thrilled my little instagram bud vase was included! XO

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    What a fun wedding!! Love all the creative ways they used navy and white stripes, and that ceremony space is a show stopper!

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

    […] Katie and Evan did our blush and bashful-loving hearts proud at their beautiful Arkansas wedding! Katey and Matt‘s Kate Spade-inspired wedding took place at a sentimental beach […]

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    […] came across this video on one of Southern Weddings posts last week and fell in love with the paper flowers! No detail was over looked and they could […]

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  9. avatar Excited M-I-L to be reply

    I really must know where the Katey purchased the robes for the bridesmaids in the Kate Spade inspired wedding. Please, can anyone help me find those….??

    • avatar Lisa reply

      They are from Plum Pretty Sugar! Find them here: http://rstyle.me/ad/w7heabfdsf

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