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Erin + Michael buried a bottle of bourbon in the backyard before the wedding in order to bring good weather. It worked! The couple was greeted with temperatures in the mid 70s and sunny skies — the perfect setting for their designed and delightful reception. A game of cornhole and a koozie-wrapped beverage are infinitely better when the sun shines, in my opinion. Of course, after partying away at Erin’s parents’ home, the newlyweds dug up the bottle and brought it with them to the after party!

We are thankful for Melissa Schollaert for sharing this wedding this us and capturing the many happy part of the big day. I won’t spoil it all for you — scroll down and fall in love!

We held the reception under a tent on the property and carried over the concepts we established at the cocktail hour and ceremony with more natural and personal details. Each dining table had its own identity with centerpieces consisting of quirky thrift store and “attic” finds like candleholders, lanterns, old tins, bottles and other chotchkies. As a nod to my interior design background, guests found their table by fabric swatches which were used in the laser-cut table numbers and custom runners under each place setting that were made of the same fabric pattern. To tie in the outdoor setting, we used burlap potato and coffee sacks as chair covers and created a lighting installation with paper lanterns and tree limbs we found in the surrounding woods. Michael and I also have a huge connection through music. We spend so much time together enjoying live shows, so we knew that we had to have a live band — they had to ROCK and that they did! Nationwide Coverage kept the party going and people on the dance floor. Of course, it wouldn’t be a rocking party without a full bar and beer boat. Guests were able to self-serve beer and wine, and hi note created custom bottle openers and koozies as grab-and-go favors. With the help of our friend and officiant, Adam, we were able to have our very own bottled brew at the wedding. I absolutely loved custom the branding and label Michael created for it – it was a huge hit!

Briefly describe your wedding flowers: I wanted really bold, graphic florals for my wedding, but I also wanted them to feel very wild, like you picked them out of your backyard and stuck them in an old coffee tin. Angie from Birch Blooms overwhelmed me with her stunning work! Not only is she the cutest, sweetest and most excited florist I know, but she even surprised me by draping florals from the ceiling — I still tear up when I think about it. The flowers were the icing on the cake. They made all of our hard work designing and planning come to life!

What was Southern about your wedding? For starters, it was in Alabama! Alabama is a really beautiful, lush state, so having it outdoors overlooking Lake Logan Martin really capitalized on the Southern charm of our venue. The South is known for its hospitality, and our wedding was no exception. We were really fortunate to have family members and friends who contributed time, money and a whole lot of elbow-grease to our wedding day.

What was the biggest challenge you faced when planning your wedding? The VENUE! It is not easy planning a wedding at a private home. There are so many things you have to think about in addition to all the other details a wedding would have at a traditional venue — power circuits, garbage, restrooms and cleaning up the next day! It was a great accomplishment to pull it all off!

Tell us a bit about your first dance. (From the groom) Our song was ‘Harvest Moon’ by Neil Young. We both love his music and definitely have a musical connection with this tune.

We paid homage to our love for food with a custom menu from Alan Singleton that consisted of our favorite family recipes. In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, we asked our talented friend, Betsy Distler to create a small personal cake for us. Then, guests were able to enjoy bite-sized versions of our cake flavor and other delicious pastries, as well as our favorite childhood candies.

Bride’s favorite detail of the wedding: I was really proud of how the laser-cut doilies turned out. They made such an impact underneath each guest’s plate.
Who was one of the most special guests at your wedding? My Aunt Beth. She lives in Australia and was unable to attend, so several of my friends who helped with the wedding Skyped her in so she could be a part of our special day.
What range did your budget fall into? $25,000
Did you have a cocktail hour? (From the groom) Because the sun sets so late in May, we opted to have our cocktail hour prior to the ceremony, so folks could have a snack and cold beverage before the festivities began. Our good friend Felix created a Brat and Burrito bar to honor two of my favorite foods. We also had Erin’s mom’s famous margaritas by the pool. Guests were able to enjoy themselves lounging by the water or playing games in the yard. Our main goal was for everyone to have a blast!
What was the funniest moment? What was the scariest? (From the groom) One of the funniest and also scariest moments was when we read our vows to one another. We both couldn’t even look at them before the ceremony without getting emotional. When the time came, we were both really nervous, but after the first laugh, we were great. Our guests’ dance moves came in a close second for funniest moment.
Were there any family traditions you included in the reception? No traditions per se, but we did have an amazing caterer who took our favorite family recipes and recreated them into a fantastic spread for our buffet.
Did you try anything new or untraditional? Our whole wedding event was the epitome of untraditional, but everything we did was extremely personal and thoughtful, so with that, we created our own traditions.
Tell us about your grand exit. Having our ceremony and reception overlooking the lake, there was no better way to exit than by boat with a little fireworks show to send us off into the night.
What is the one thing that made your wedding different from anyone else’s wedding? It was at the home I grew up in. No one else has ever been married there and probably never will – that is pretty special.
Did you take a honeymoon? If so, where? (From the groom) We are saving up for a first anniversary trip to Italy and Sicily. Erin studied there for a semester in college and it is where I trace my roots back to, so it will be a special place for both of us to visit.
What advice would you give to someone planning his or her wedding? Have a plan, have a budget and STICK TO IT! You will enjoy your big day so much more if you heed this advice.
Who was your favorite vendor and why? All of my vendors are close colleagues and friends, so they are all my favorites, but the one person other than Michael that was integral to making it all happen was my mom. She worked with me every weekend for months designing and planning, tackling the biggest challenge of our lives: to pull off a wedding at her house. I also have to give kudos to Melissa, our photographer. She is one of my very best friends and she spent so much time and effort, weeks at a time, coming to help me work on the wedding.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
14 Comments
  1. avatar Kristin reply

    I still die over those lovely personalized corn-hole boards. I love the idea of yard games at a reception! So relaxed and so fun.

  2. avatar Ashleigh from Marry Me Metro reply

    I adore all of the state pride details in this wedding! Too bad between my fiancé and I we have four awesome states that mean something significant to us lol.

  3. avatar Dee Shore reply

    Ok… this is officially my new favorite wedding. The bar. The bar pulls the strings at my heart. The potato sack chair backs, genius!

  4. avatar Sarah reply

    Beautiful! Where was the burlap table runner purchased?

    • avatar Erin reply

      Sarah: Hi Sarah! My company, hi note, specializes in custom stationery and laser cut graphics, so we made custom cut our own stencil out of plastic and painted them ourselves.

  5. avatar liz reply

    Awesome koozies! What company did you use for them? I love how your initials are on the bottom!

  6. avatar Elma Mercer reply

    I loved this spread in V5! I’m a HUGE fan of bouquets… in my mind they are the centerpiece for the wedding! Midnight in the Garden is by far my fav :) The deep red, blush & creme are so rich & warm together. I’m also a huge fan of Mint Julep!

  7. avatar Joya reply

    Where can I purchase the coozie? It is The. Perfect. One!

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Our final entry in this round of the Ultimate Southern Challenge is a collaboration between Sweet Tea Photography and Petal’s Edge Floral Design. These vendors and their team put together several burlap-based projects, which we’re excited to share with you today!

Petal’s Edge put together this French hand-tied bouquet using natural cotton, cotton pods, and magnolia foliage. They wrapped the stems in burlap and added a pearl-centered burlap rosette (see below for the DIY!).

Another burlap rosette made its way onto a boutonniere, accented with a brown cotton pod and mini magnolia leaves. We also loved the burlap-covered pew cone holding a simple posy of balsa wood flowers. To make your own, take a square piece of card stock and spray adhesive glue on the surface. Place a piece of burlap across the face to adhere. Roll the paper to form a three-dimensional cone, and use hot glue or staples to secure.

A peek at the burlap-based table the team put together, including a burlap-wrapped luminaria, burlap linens, burlap napkins, and a burlap menu wrap! We love the centerpiece of magnolia leaves, tweedia, and cotton, too!

Last but certainly not least, the team put together two different burlap wreaths. They included these simple instructions for the one on the left: “To make a burlap wreath, begin by cutting a long strip of burlap approximately 4” in width. Thread the burlap onto a length of wire using an accordion-style fold. Continue adding more burlap to the wire until you have the degree of lushness that you want. For the wire, you can use a heavy duty floral wire or a coat hanger.”

Credits:
Florals: Petal’s Edge Floral Design // Photography: Sweet Tea Photography // Paper Goods: Little Bit Heart // Cake: Kendall’s Cakes // Location: Lee-Fendall House // Rentals: Select Event Rentals

Thank you so much! Readers, if you love these ideas, be sure to leave a comment below! Remember, you’re welcome to vote for more than one concept.

Burlap rosette instructions:
Begin by folding a square or rectangular piece of burlap into a roll about 1”- wide. Once you have the burlap strip rolled, take one end and make a dog-ear fold. Roll the fold towards yourself about 4-5 times. This makes a nice center for your rosette. Then flip or twist the burlap and continue wrapping it around the rose center. You can hot glue the burlap to secure your coils as you go along. Continue until you have a flower the size you want. (NOTE: If you want bigger petals, start with a folded strip of wider than 1”.)

emily Written with love by Emily
67 Comments
  1. avatar Jaime reply

    This is all beautiful! Go Petal’s Edge!!

  2. avatar Lisa Marie reply

    Thanks so much for including us! We had such a lovely time working on this shoot! Thanks for holding these fun competitions! Your magazine is the “bee’s knees!”

  3. avatar Donna reply

    Who knew burlap could be so pretty? Love, love. love this! So creative!

  4. avatar [email protected] reply

    Great job team!!

  5. avatar Addie Conte reply

    I love everything Little Bit Heart does. These ladies are not just so very talented and uniquely creative but truly lovely people as well! Good luck in all your creative adventures!

  6. avatar Joe reply

    Beautiful and so creative!

  7. avatar Rebecca Henry reply

    Obviously I love it! Thanks for posting our work! We really enjoyed the challenge.

  8. avatar debbie reply

    little bit of heart always manages to pull off the most unique, appealing designs. I just love that company!!!

  9. avatar Amber Karson reply

    Looks fabulous ladies!

  10. avatar Daniel Wellington reply

    Wow, what a fantastic idea. Love how it combines the rough with the elegant and still pulls it off as completely classy!

  11. avatar Gerry Rogers reply

    We had so much fun collaborating with our team on this challenge. Thanks for including us!!

  12. avatar Engaging Affairs reply

    STUNNING! So happy we get to work with such talented people! Awesome job Lisa Marie and Gerry & Rebecca!

  13. avatar martha reply

    Howdy Y’all. Love the cotton centerpiece. The photographs were impressive too!

  14. avatar Betty reply

    What an awesome idea. Love the table setting with the menu wrap on the napkin, how creative. Those girls at Little Bit Heart are amazing.

  15. avatar Elizabeth reply

    Beautiful work….I love it all!! Little bit heart always has the most unique, creative, beautiful paper goods! I love their work!

  16. avatar Emily Rusch reply

    Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Good luck, Petals Edge!

  17. avatar JoAnn reply

    Little Bit Heart – what can I say??? You guys did an amazing job once again! You are always bringing such a great sense of style to EVERYTHING that you touch. Well done!

  18. avatar Victoria C. reply

    LOVE this look!!! It’s fabulous.

  19. avatar Allison Manning reply

    Woo Hoo! Always amazed by their work.

  20. avatar Rana reply

    Love this!

  21. avatar linda butler reply

    wonderful ideas so back to nature and do it your self ideas. great for other events as well!

  22. avatar Mariel reply

    LOVE Sweet Tea!!!! They are amazing! Lisa is doing my wedding in November and I can not wait! SO talented – GO SWEET TEA!!!

  23. avatar Emilie Hilsenrath reply

    Love this so much! So many cute and fun ways to incorporate burlap :-)

  24. avatar Leah reply

    Wonderful photos and I love the idea of a burlap floral boutonniere!

  25. avatar Valiantsina reply

    Great ideas!

  26. avatar Tonya reply

    Love this! So much nicer than the typical predictable wedding flowers.

  27. avatar Lauren reply

    those centerpieces are to die for! nicely done.

  28. avatar Chrissy reply

    This is so fabulous it makes this northern city girl want to have a burlap wedding!

  29. avatar Dana reply

    Great work. Love all the designs!!!

  30. avatar Nicole reply

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! did I say that I LOVE this!!!

  31. avatar Shauna reply

    Loved the cotton floral arrangement! So gorgeous as always, Petal’s Edge!

  32. avatar jane reply

    Petal’s Edge is amazing!

  33. avatar M reply

    Petal’s Edge is AMAZING! So creative, with a unique design for every aspect of a beautiful Southern wedding! They get my vote!!!

  34. avatar Ketaki reply

    Gorgeous & incredibly creative!

  35. avatar Neil B. reply

    Amazing, per usual!

  36. avatar Carolyn Hengstler reply

    Very unique ideas. A step away from the norm. Beautiful photos.

  37. avatar ann s. reply

    beautiful photography by sweet tea photography….as usual!

  38. avatar renee reply

    beautiful!!

  39. avatar Liz reply

    What unique and beautiful ideas!

  40. avatar Lynn Adams reply

    I think these designs from Petal’s Edge are great. I love the rustic concepts.

  41. avatar Kevin reply

    Beautiful

  42. avatar Shannon reply

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! I love this look, it’s so charming.

  43. avatar amy reply

    I love this! So creative and lovely! Definitely my favorite!!

  44. avatar Penney reply

    Gorgeous work. Who knew burlap could be so elegant? This gets my vote.

  45. avatar Jilandra reply

    I love this!! What a cute idea.

  46. avatar Anthony J. reply

    Sweet Tea never fails to amaze me. Your ingenuity and creativity are a winning combination.
    Thanks for coming through again!

  47. avatar KSGent reply

    Love the burlap! Every creative and original.

  48. avatar April L. reply

    I love this!!! What a beautiful way to be so rustic :D Love it!!!! I adore the cotton in the floral arrangements :D Great Idea Petal’s Edge !!!!!

  49. avatar robin reply

    I love these designs, but I am especially loving the burlap rosette boutineer! Beautiful, petals edge!

  50. avatar Sean reply

    Amazing that burlap can look so beautiful.

  51. avatar Susan Armstrong reply

    Just such a creative use of materials! Who would believe burlap could look so beautiful!

  52. avatar bree [capitolromance] reply

    omg i LOVE this! Sweet Tea rocks ~ and i love all these DIY burlap details. everything ties together so nicely and is so unique!

  53. avatar Colleen {Soundtrack To I Do} reply

    Gorgeous shoot!! Love all those details!

  54. avatar David Armstrong reply

    Petal’s Edge did the floral arrangements for my daughter’s wedding in 2009–beautiful work, great people to work with.

  55. avatar Karla reply

    Love the use of cotton!

  56. avatar Cris of Kiss My Tulle reply

    The burlap mini rosette on the bouqquet is ADORABLE!

  57. avatar Rachel B. reply

    This is beautiful! Love it!

  58. avatar Sara @ Bella Notte reply

    What fun ways to incorporate burlap and cotton. Love it!

  59. avatar Laurel G reply

    Oh this is my favorite!

  60. avatar Heidi reply

    This one is my favorite. Simple and elegant.

  61. avatar Sandy reply

    It’s lovely!

  62. avatar Elisa reply

    Amazing!! I didn’t even know burlap could be beautiful until I saw this. Every detail, the wrap around the flowers, the rosette, the combination of or groups paper goods and, who knew it, beautiful burlap!

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  64. avatar Vicki Portney reply

    I love the use of burlap by Petal’s Edge in all the designs. Somehow the designers managed to use a material thought of as plain and turn it into an elegant design accompaniment. It may have been through the gentle color combinations that worked so well with the burlap or the addition of beautiful touches such as the burlap rosette. However they did it, the results were stunning!

  65. avatar Charlotte reply

    This is beautiful!!

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Good morning friends! Have any of you watched the TV show, Hart of Dixie? I just caught an episode last night and fell in love with the melodic accents. Plus, I love Rachel Bilson — she’s so fab.

For those of you out there who aren’t morning people, this wedding will do the trick. It’s like a happy jolt of wedding coffee! We could not stop talking about Katie + Max’s wedding when it landed in our inbox and appeared on our computer screens during last year’s Real Wedding call for V4. The bright colors and huge amounts of handmade details (and this time I mean details — no corner of this wedding was ignored!) were the sweetest bits of eye candy. Katie + John are both artists working in the film industry and brought an energetic burst of life to the events. I don’t know where to begin with these images from Jodi Miller Photography, so I’ll let you soak in the joy at your own pace.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I had just gotten my dream job. I walked in on the first day, and Max, who was an intern at the time, saw me as I first walked in to the front desk. Being new and needing training on the studio tools, I was put into a class with interns. Max was also in that class. After we started dating, Max was hired full time. We’re lucky to work at a place that accepts employee couples. We’re actually even in the same department.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Bright, casual, intimate
How many guests attended your wedding? We had 42 family members, family friends, and close friends.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? Why was this design special to you as a couple? We wanted a modern, colorful, fun, and casual design. I was so happy about marrying Max, but to be honest, I was also nervous about being a bride and receiving attention. I tried to counteract that feeling by really focusing on making the wedding casual and fun. Because we are both artists, we really had fun getting into the nitty gritty details. I probably spent way too much time deliberating over things that people would never notice, but it was so much fun to do anyway! I was quite happy with how everything turned out because I felt that it was a good melding of our styles. We made a lot of the details ourselves, but in doing so, decided to keep shapes, designs, and ideas simple. In deciding to make so much of it, what really helped more than anything else was a digital cutting tool. It could cut vector designs out of so many materials: cardstock, adhesive cardstock vinyl, and fabric ironed on to interfacing to name a few. I got it for Christmas, and I’m sure it has now paid for itself many times over!
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: I am pretty obsessed with my wedding dress, and if you had told me that I would be saying that even two months before the wedding, I wouldn’t have believed it. The hunt was extremely challenging and without hope for a long time. I knew what I wanted, but I just couldn’t find it. I wanted something romantic, but casual. I was about to lose hope until a friend at work encouraged me to keep up my search. I had a back-up dress that would work just in case, but I went to go look again. I ended up finding the dress on Etsy. It was what I had wanted all along. The girl who designed and made it even let me tweak a few of the details! It arrived less than a month before the wedding, which is terrifying, but what a relief!
Briefly describe your wedding flowers: The dining table arrangements were clusters of pink and orange ranunculus, yellow mums, and billy buttons in bud vases. The cocktail table arrangements were ranunculus and chamomile. My bouquet was made of white, light pink, dark pink, yellow, red, and orange ranunculus, delphinium, scabiosa, billy buttons, and chamomile.
Tell me a bit about the wedding ceremony. The sun came out for the first time in days right before the ceremony began. An unbelievably fun bluegrass band, Northridge, was playing as we all walked down the aisle. We had a lot of fun picking out the songs, and we decided on Teardrop Waltz and Lover’s Waltz for the processional. It really helped keep the feeling casual. We had a very sweet and brief service. We had a reading of Robert Fulghum’s Union. At the end of the ceremony, we walked back down the aisle to Big Rock Candy Mountain, which is a very whimsical, fun, and upbeat song.
Did you try anything new or untraditional? Is mistakenly allowing your partner to put the ring on the wrong finger considered new or nontraditional?

Photographer: Jodi Miller Photography // Planner: Merriment Events // Designer: Merriment Events, the bride and groom // Venue: Kilmarnock, Virginia // Florist: Merriment Events // Wedding Cake Baker: The Buttercream Bee // Mini Pies: Sweetest Thing Bakery // Caterer: Mosaic Unique Events // Bride’s Dress: Ouma // Hair Stylist: Avenue 42 Designs // Makeup Artist: Avenue 42 Designs // Bride’s Shoes: Delman Shoes // Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. // Groom’s Fashion: Al’s Attire // Paper Goods: designed by the bride and groom, invitations and save the dates printed by Thousand Pound Press // Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Skyline Tent Company, Festive Fare // Linens: BBJ Linen and Classic Party Rentals // Ceremony Décor: Honeycomb Balls from Devra Party Corp., glassine bags from Garnish // Reception Décor: Table number frames from Ikea, napkins printed by For Your Party, straws from Garnish, cornhole set from Cornhole Worldwide, painted by Merriment Events, munny from Kidrobot // Lighting: Skyline Tent Company // Band: Northridge booked via Sam Hill Entertainment

Jodi Miller Photography and Merriment Events are a part of our fabulous Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

Are you crazy for this wedding? You might like these:
Kate + Jojo’s colorful and springy outdoor wedding here and here
Towne + Andy’s rainbow ribbon-decked wedding here and here

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
9 Comments
  1. avatar Gina reply

    I loved it all! It is so perfect and colorful… a real Spring party! These colors make me smile :)

  2. avatar Katie @ Lovebird Productions reply

    I am in love with this wedding and its unique details! I love the idea of poms down the isle. Such a fun wedding and sweet couple! :)

  3. avatar Sarah @ Sweetbox Events reply

    Such a fun and colorful wedding! So many cuteness in one wedding! Love all the details :) Esp the poms!!! Courtney from Merriment Events sure can execute a wedding really well!! Love her work!

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