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Is there anything better than a Southern summer? The joy and simplicity of long days at the lake, neighborhood swimming holes, juicy watermelon slices, sprinklers on full blast, picnics on the grass, and long days spent with dear friends inspired this shoot, beautifully styled by Amber Housley and Cedarwood Weddings and photographed by Nancy Ray Photography. It is practically impossible not to smile at this all-American editorial that reaches back into our sweetest childhood memories with the goal of inspiring a lighthearted and joyful beginning to marriage!

See more from this editorial in V7, now available in the Southern Weddings Shop and on newsstands across the South!

Latrice of Opulent Couturier took our patriotic color palette and ran with it when it came to dressing up these ladies, gents, kiddos, and even a dapper dog!

Cedarwood Weddings, just outside of Nashville, was the perfect setting for this lakeside shoot–we love the way this decorated dock looked as an intimate ceremony space.

Watermelon slices and ice cold bottles of Cheerwine epitomize summer to us–they’d be an amazing cocktail hour treat on a hot July day!

We can’t get enough of food trucks, and love the idea of your own personal “food truck rodeo” at your reception! Even without formal silverware, the presentation couldn’t be sweeter.

Have an outdoor venue and lots of pint-sized guests? Include a note in your invitation suite asking their parents to pack swimsuits and towels, and then set up sprinklers for some reception fun! We guarantee it’ll become one of their favorite memories.

S’mores, a campfire, and a quilt to cuddle up on–this sweet end to the day is a tradition that can be carried into many newlywed summers to come.

Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Videographer: Nicholas & Keaton / Venue, Styling, Florals, and Signage: Cedarwood Weddings / Coordinator, Designer, and Paper Goods: Amber Housley Weddings / Watercolor Map: Simply Jessica Marie / Catering: Poppy’s Cafe, Legato Gelato, The Peach Truck / Cakes: Patty Cakes / Hair and Makeup: Tara Thomas and Gina Putnam of Studio BBC / Fashion Stylist: Opulent Couturier / Bride’s Gown: “McCants” by LulaKate / Reception Dress: “Organza Striped” by LulaKate / Bridal Salon: The Bride Room / Bride’s Veil and Hair Accessories: Beatrice Couture Designs / Ladies’ and Kids’ Accessories: Charming Charlie / Bridesmaid Dresses: LulaKate / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids Nashville / Menswear: Street Tuxedo / Bow Tie: Otis James Nashville / Men’s and Kids’ Accessories: Land of the Thread / Kids’ Clothing: Gap Kids Green Hills Mall Nashville and Chaps Ralph Lauren

Nancy Ray, Amber Housley, and Cedarwood Weddings are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Southern Weddings V7: Fancy Free Behind the Scenes – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] miss the final images and all of the talented vendors from this shoot, which you can see right here! And a huge hug to […]

  2. avatar Amber Housley reply

    So thrilled to have been a part of this HOT but magical today. So great working with all the vendors and friends involved to make this come to life. Thank you for the opportunity to produce this for you!

  3. avatar Latrice Cushenberry reply

    It was an absolute joy to be apart of such an amazing shoot & see it come to life! Thank you for the opportunity to share & style! {{{Many hugs & squeezes}}}

  4. avatar Fun and Fancy Free Styled Shoot in Southern Weddings V7 | Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Nashville Wedding Planner | Stylist | Custom Wedding Invitations Stationery | Lifestyle | Inspired reply

    […] an honor to see our styled photo shoots published, especially when the publication happens to be in Southern Weddings V7! We adore the heart behind this magazine and the ladies who run it, and are feeling so blessed to […]

  5. avatar Fun and Fancy Free Styled Shoot in Southern Weddings V7 | Full Feature | Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Nashville Wedding Planner | Stylist | Custom Wedding Invitations Stationery | Lifestyle | Inspired reply

    […] say that we are thrilled to have our Fun and Fancy Free styled shoot featured in the newly released Southern Weddings V7 is an understatement! We adored […]

  6. avatar lisa johnson reply

    Spectacular! Cedarwood never disappoints – a gorgeous Nashville Wedding tradition!

  7. avatar Unique bridesmaid dresses in stripe and polka dot prints – Wedding Party reply

    […] Nancy Ray Photography via Southern Weddings […]

  8. avatar Get Inspired: How to Incorporate Stripes Into Your Wedding Design – Southern Soiree Nashville Wedding Planning and Design reply

    […] Southern Weddings; Nancy Ray Photography […]

  9. avatar Inspired By: The Peach Truck – Kyla Mary reply

    […]  I had seen glimpses of The Peach Truck on Instagram and in one of the latest Southern Weddings editorials, but I was unsure of what it was exactly. After doing a little research, I now have a sweet spot […]

  10. avatar Making Cookout Food Without a Grill – Kyla Mary reply

    […] Nancy Ray Photography via Southern Weddings […]

  11. avatar Happy 10th Anniversary Southern Weddings! My 10 Favorite Editorials – Kyla Mary reply

    […] America, community, and playful details make this look like so much fun! I feel that this editorial gave me permission to allow some aspects of our wedding to be casual but charming. View the original post here. […]

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Every time I sit down to write a Real Wedding post, the first thing I do is read the interview. Somehow, the details of each wedding feel so much more meaningful when I know why the couple in the images chose each one. When reading Jessica + Troy’s interview, I was so taken by how Jessica used each detail to show who she and Troy are as a couple, and to honor their family traditions. As just one example, she said, “We loved how all the details came together to tell our story. The bouquet I carried had a single green button on the back because the night Troy and I met, he caught one of his buttons on his chair and it ripped a hole in his shirt. He held his shirt closed the rest of the night, hoping I wouldn’t notice.” I love how a single button can represent a moment in their relationship! There’s much more where that came from, so read on!

Big thanks to our friends at Bamber Photography for capturing J + T’s big day!

Neither my mom nor my sister lived in Atlanta, so for my birthday they both came to visit and took me dress shopping. I planned a whirlwind weekend, getting appointments at every store I had heard of in effort to find the dress while they were with me. But by the end of the weekend, I was so exhausted that I couldn’t keep the dresses straight in my mind. I waited about a month and by that time there were only two dresses from the same store that I just couldn’t forget. When I went back with my bridesmaids, we couldn’t decide between the stunning lace of one dress and the flattering shape of the other so I combined the two.

Y’all, this may be one of my favorite details I’ve seen recently. I wish I’d done this for my sweet groom!

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. Troy’s brother is a musician so it meant a lot to have him play the music during our ceremony. I walked down the aisle to “In Christ Alone.” It is my favorite hymn and really says everything I wanted about entering into marriage. We also had him play “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz as we took communion. As corny as it may sound, the lyrics are really poignant about the sacrifice and commitment of marriage. We did our first dance to “Moon River.” It’s such a romantic song and reminds me of the ones I used to listen to on the radio at my grandmother’s house when I was little.
Describe your wedding flowers: A mix of ivory garden roses and ranunculus with olive branches.

I attended the wedding of my Godbrother last weekend, and they chose to do a moment of prayer around the bride and groom at the rehearsal dinner. It proved to be an incredibly emotional and powerful moment, and I love that Jessica + Troy chose to do something similar at their ceremony.

Stunning portraits from Bamber Photography! Oh my!

I think the fact that we wanted to emphasize family most reflected Southern tradition in our wedding. We chose to get married in Rome because Troy’s family has lived there for more than a century, and his grandfather owned a farm there for nearly 30 years. Our pastor was Troy’s cousin who is a good friend of ours and who spoke amazingly personal words to us in our ceremony. We had a small group of family and close friends so we invited all of our guests to stand around us and pray over us at the end of the ceremony. My mom found wedding pictures of our family from six generations back which we used to decorate the reception. We also had our dinner served family style so that our guests could share good food and conversation with each other and take the evening at its own pace.

Mini grilled cheese – yum! I know Emily would love that!

What a magical setting for the reception!

These little “did you know” cards popped up throughout the celebration, cluing guests in to why Jessica and Troy chose to include certain meaningful details. I love this idea so much!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our first priority for planning our wedding was making it about us. We really wanted the day celebrating our union to emphasize who we were. We loved how all the details came together to tell our story. For our first Christmas, among other things, he bought me a jar of buttons in my favorite color so that I could replace it and we would both remember that night. Even our decorations were meaningful. We used railroad lanterns among the vintage furniture because my grandfather was a train conductor on the Seaboard railroad.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: I don’t like cake so we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a traditional wedding cake. Every year on my birthday, my grandmother used to make me a pound cake and it’s still the only cake I’ll eat. It’s unbelievable. My grandmother isn’t with us to make the cake anymore so my dad, whom I’m very close to, spent the day before the wedding making her recipe for us. Troy’s groom’s cake was a big chocolate cake from a bakery in his home town. Troy loves chocolate, so every year on his birthday I make him a cake like my grandmother did for me, but this year his birthday was the week before the wedding. We also had all of our favorite pies. There’s just something about pie that reminds me of fall and being close to family.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. We met at a birthday party. Troy and I were both invited by a mutual friend. Our friend picked me up first so all Troy could see when he got in the car was my hair. He says it was love at first sight. When we got to the party, Troy tried to sit next to me but kept getting stuck between a couple of guys with tattoos and facial piercings. We still managed to talk across the table all night but he never asked for my number because he thought I was dating our friend. He moved in with that friend a few weeks later and after not seeing me come to the house, he asked if we were dating. He called me about five minutes after finding out we weren’t.
Describe the proposal. Troy’s family spent one Thanksgiving at Cumberland Island and it has become one of his favorite memories with them. Knowing that I would love everything about it, he had been telling me about the island almost as long as we’d been dating. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday so we spent it with my family in Jacksonville and took the short trip up to Cumberland Island while we were there. We got to the island early in the morning and spent the whole day hiking and watching the wild horses. At the end of the day we got to the ruins of the old Carnegie plantation. I’m an engineer, so Troy knew I would love how the shell of brick walls tell the story of the beautiful house that once stood there. The house overlooks a marsh and onto the ocean so we laid out a blanket to rest and watch the sun go down after our long day. I had only just gotten comfortable when he made me get back up for a picture. After a lot of resistance, I stood with my back to him overlooking the water while he got the camera ready. When I turned around he was on one knee and the automatic timer on the camera went off just as I started to cry.
In what month did you get married? November
How many guests attended your wedding? 100
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? About six weeks before the wedding, Troy was offered a promotion in another state and had to move quickly. Just being without him for that long at that time was difficult, but I also had to finish planning the wedding, transfer my job, and pack up all of our belongings mostly by myself.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Photography, it’s the only thing you will have left when the day is over.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Coming over the hill and seeing Troy waiting for me at the end of the aisle.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? Settling down! We had to stay in a hotel for a few weeks after we moved, waiting for our apartment to be ready. So more than a month after our wedding, we are just now getting to unpack and set up our home.

Bamber Photography is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar bridalbride reply

    great photo shoots thanks

  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE her dress!! Great style combined with endless sweet, sentimental details is the perfect Southern wedding if you ask me! :)

  3. avatar Ashleigh reply

    I love everything about this wedding and Jessica’s dress is stunning! So sweet how they incorporated all of the personal details into their big day – love the “did you know?” cards!

  4. avatar Dee Shore reply

    That lace gown and horse barn are ridiculous! Just lovely.

  5. avatar Negative Nancy Needs to Die | Bess Wess reply

    […] First of all, I want to draw your attention to this beautiful wedding I found on Southern Weddings. […]

  6. avatar Dixie reply

    So thrilled to have Jessica and Troys wedding at our farm! They have such an amazing love for each other! All of the vendors were an absolute delight to work with, and we LOVE Southern Wedding Magazine.

  7. avatar Published | Southern Weddings Blog » Bamber Photography | Husband. Wife. Creating Art. Together reply

    […] are always honored to be featured, but Southern Weddings is one of my favorite blogs! They featured Troy and Jessica‘s gorgeous wedding at the Farm. […]

  8. avatar Carla reply

    Where did you have the programs printed? They are beautiful.

  9. avatar Secrets of Wearing a Bridal Veil – My Gorgeous Wedding reply

    […] Waltz – […]

  10. avatar Janice reply

    Do you mind sharing how you combined the two dresses? It looks like the “Bianca” dress without the strap and fuller at the bottom. I tried on that dress this weekend and absolutely love it except for that I felt is was a bit too sheath-y. Yours is absolutely stunning – how did you have them alter it to make it more trumpet shaped?

  11. avatar Stacey Glasgow reply

    Here’s a link to the band Troy & Jessica chose for their fabulously fun wedding dance party in the historic barn, which followed the ceremony that evening:

  12. avatar Sage reply

    My Aunt is in love with this dress and she is getting married in 9months. It would be a great if I could find what store this was purchased at or what brand!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Hi Sage! The gown is by Anna Maier. Congratulations to your aunt!

  13. avatar Wedding Spots: Nature | Hääpaikat: Luonnon helmassa – Best Day Ever reply

    […] Credits: top via Southern Weddings, bottom via Once Wed and […]

  14. avatar 9 Veils for Every Type of Bride | Wedding Planning Tips reply

    […] Mack   |   Priscila Valentina   |   Palm Beach Photography Inc.   |   Percy Handmade   |   Bamber Photography   |   Jennifer Fujikawa Photography   |   Alixann Loosle Photography   |   Erica Elizabeth […]

  15. avatar 9 Veils for Every Type of Bride | Vintage Wedding Guide reply

    […] Mack   |   Priscila Valentina   |   Palm Beach Photography Inc.   |   Percy Handmade   |   Bamber Photography   |   Jennifer Fujikawa Photography   |   Alixann Loosle Photography   |   Erica Elizabeth […]

  16. avatar Inspiration Board No. 4: Whimsical Cotton Candy Pink Wedding – Kyla Mary reply

    […] Sources (clockwise from the top left): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 […]

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!

Reply to: