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Talented, professional, compassionate vendors are the backbone of most every smoothly-running wedding day. When you hire people who are great at what they do AND good people to boot, your only job on your wedding day will be to act as a gracious hostess, love your family and friends well, and say “I do.” What a blessing! That’s why we’re passionate about our Blue Ribbon Vendors – because we want y’all to be worrying about those three things, and nothing else. Here are a few we’d love to introduce you to!

Name: Alea Moore Photography
Where you call home: Atlanta, GA
How I got into weddings: I have had a camera in my hands for what feels like forever. In college, I went to school to be a vet, but photographed weddings for my sweet friends to make a little extra pocket money and because I loved it so much. It took a little heart and soul searching to come to the conclusion that I needed something happy every day and though it scared me, I picked up my camera again and never looked back. God was SO good, and I’m beyond thankful to get to do what I love every day!

Name: Astrid and Mercedes
Where you call home: Toronto
Favorite part of a wedding day? The vows… truly, there is no more sacred ground than that you walk upon in marriage and I think the vows set the tone for the life you want to build.

Name: Cherish Creations
Where you call home: Deep in the heart of Texas
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? Tradition is always the staple and I love how they are always a family affair.

Name: Cynthia Rose Photography
Where you call home: Havelock, NC
Things you’d write home to your Momma about: I’d write home to my momma, but I happen to reside in the same neighborhood where I grew up, just a few houses down from my parents, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! We’ve been published in local wedding magazines in Eastern North Carolina and a handful of wedding blogs, but we feel our greatest and most important accomplishment is making our clients happy.

Name: Distressed | Rentals & Revival
Where you call home: South Mississippi
How I got into weddings: I ditched the rat race and went for something I loved – design and working with women! This warm style from a much simpler time came so naturally to me and I quickly went from styling homes to weddings. While working on my first few weddings, it drove me crazy that I could not find authentic pieces to use! So I started building and hunting them one by one. From there, my collection grew into something really special – it may now be the largest vintage rental collection in the Southeast!

Name: Early Mountain Vineyards
Where you call home: Madison, VA
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? We love seeing couples incorporate family traditions and heirlooms into their wedding days. Having four defined seasons lends to wonderful colors and creative decor, making each wedding unique.

Name: Everything But the Ring
Location/Coverage: Texas and worldwide
Best piece of advice you can give to brides and grooms? When you sit down to dinner, take each other’s hand and stop for a moment. Look around the room and take it all in – this is the only moment in time that all of those people will be in the same room together and it’s all for you. Feel THAT love!

Name: Jaclyn Journey, Jaclyn Journey
Where you call home: Louisville, KY
Favorite part of a wedding day? Quiet mornings before the storm – taking time to rest and be present with your family or bridesmaids is to be cherished. You’ll never forget having coffee and breakfast with them while dreaming about the day that is to come!

Name: Jordan Weiland, Jordan Weiland Photography
Where you call home: Lakeland, Florida
How I got into weddings: I’ve always loved photography. I graduated with a Studio Art degree and a passion for photography. I knew I wanted to be my own boss so I did portrait photography for some time until a friend asked me to shoot a wedding with her. I was hooked.

Name: Emily Kennedy, Kennedy Occasions
Where you call home: Murfreesboro, TN… it’s just a tad south of Nashville!
Favorite thing about weddings in the South? The traditions! I love pearls and grandmother’s lace. I love Southern charm and family influence. I love the rolling hills, beautiful blooms, and high school/college sweethearts.

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 southernweddings.com!

emily Written with love by Emily
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    For Jana, a wedding photographer herself, finding her dream gown posed to be a bit more challenging than she had initially expected. With the help of the sweet ladies at Blue Ribbon Vendor bridal salon Coast Knot Bridal, she was able to find exactly what she was looking for…as well as 63 runners up! However, having gowns in waiting turned out to be helpful when working through her and Bailey’s decision to do a first look. The week of the wedding, Jana made a last-minute decision to wear her reception dress to their first look instead of her “real” wedding gown! It was a sneaky way to compromise by calming their nerves with a first look, while still preserving that special moment of Bailey seeing her for the first time in her wedding dress when she was walking down the aisle. I love seeing a couple use the tools that are needed in marriage during their wedding planning–compromise is a perfect example!

    Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Cynthia Rose for sharing this sweet coastal day with us!

    Tell us about finding your wedding dress. This was no easy task. Being a wedding photographer, I was searching for a dress that not only fit well, but that would photograph well. 63 dresses later, I finally found my perfect dress at Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique. I could never thank the girls there enough for all of their patience!

    For our flowers, we chose a mix of greens and creams, and added a hint of color with parrot tulips and David Austin roses. I loved how they complemented the linens on the tables, as well as the colors used for the bridesmaid dresses. Hands down, they were one of my favorite details from the day!

    Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Kinda. I wanted to do a first look, Bailey did not. After finally talking him into it, I changed my mind the week before by choosing to wear my reception dress to our first look instead of my ceremony dress. To me, it was the prefect way to get all the nerves out without spoiling the surprise of my actual wedding dress.

    We added the live painting as a last-minute decision, so our guests could experience something a little different during our ceremony and cocktail hour. It is one of our most treasured items from our wedding, and while I love photographs, I am excited to have a piece of custom art for our new home!

    What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Documentation of our wedding day! This was, hands down, our priority from the beginning. Our wedding day was such a whirlwind. While we remember bits and pieces of it, just seeing our pictures made us realize that we didn’t really remember as much as we thought. Bailey did not originally see the importance of having a videographer, but the second we walked away from our ceremony, his exact words were, “I am so glad you made us get the video, because I don’t remember anything I just said!”

    Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our logo and branding! We worked with our designer, Elizabeth, for almost a year and a half, and we couldn’t be happier with how things turned out. From our invitations to our bar signage, our life logo really added a personal touch to our wedding day. We are excited to still be using it throughout our thank you cards and additional paper products.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We buried the bourbon! You are supposed to do this a month before the wedding, but we did it the night before. In honor of Bailey’s grandfather, I had a handkerchief made from his shirt to give to Bailey at the wedding. It was embroidered with his initials and our wedding date. We also used heirloom silver pieces from Bailey’s great grandmother for our communion during our ceremony.

    Choosing desserts for our wedding was a no-brainer. After eating wedding cake almost every weekend, I knew it would be hard to find one that would stick out to me. All of our wedding pound cakes were made by my aunt Gina. Her chocolate pound cake has always been my favorite, so I knew that would be the one we actually cut into! The pies were provided by our caterer, and they were absolutely divine.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Bailey and I met at my 16th birthday party. As we joke, he showed up uninvited and never left!
    Tell us all about the proposal! We got engaged at the Biltmore in August 2013. As a wedding photographer, my schedule limits our vacations together to either the extreme hot or cold months, and boy, was it hot! After walking around the entire property, Bailey convinced me to hike to the highest point, overlooking the house. He asked me to marry him there, and, of course, I said yes!
    When did y’all get married? May 16, 2015
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
    What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? The trees and the Southern charm! We knew Litchfield was everything we had ever envisioned for our day, and I liked that we had the house for the entire weekend.
    Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. There was no sentimental meaning behind this for us; however, it is a classic and we knew we wanted something that would never go out of style!
    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Honestly, the budget and more specifically, the guest list. These two secretly go hand in hand. We had many, many people RSVP telling us that they were attending, and then they did not show up. For each person “attending,” you have to consider the cost of renting a chair, silverware, plates, a ceremony chair, glassware (usually three per person), a napkin, and then food and drink. Most people don’t even consider these things when building a guest list, or as a guest responding to an event. Choose your guests wisely if you want the wedding you have always dreamed of.
    What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do your research and fully look into your venue before booking. While we loved our venue and wouldn’t change it for the world, we were not fully prepared for some of the costs that we didn’t know about when we booked it. Before touring any venue, research images of past weddings there and ask questions about them. Hidden cost can throw a huge bend in any wedding budget, so it’s better to know upfront and be able to adjust your budget accordingly.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are excited to finally settle into our new home, which we purchased two weeks before our wedding. We are excited to finally have a place of our own!

    Photographer: Cynthia Rose Photography / Videographer: Low Country Wedding Films / Planner: Kelly Catron of Gigi Noelle Events and Elizabeth Curl of Palmetto Pearl Designs / Venue: Litchfield Plantation / Florist: Blossoms Events / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Art Catering / Rentals: Hotz Rentals and Eventworks / Lighting: MC Sound Light and Video / DJ: Paul Matthews / Logo, Branding, and Paper Products: Palmetto Pearl Designs / Custom Shell Wreaths: Simply Shells Rentals / Bride’s Gown: Pronovias / Bridal Salon and Accessories: Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique / Hair Stylist: Emette Tedder of Hair FETish Salon / Makeup Artist: Tiffany Long / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Stephanie” in Spearmint by Donna Morgan / Menswear: Calvin Klein / Live Painting: Kelly Bollman / Harpist: Becky Nissen / Rings: Robisons Jewelers / Officiant: Rev. Wesley Peyton

    Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique and Cynthia Rose are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    3 Comments
    1. avatar Rachel Wells reply

      Wow- I’m obsessed with the oyster details!! So pretty!

    2. avatar elenison reply

      Where did you order the oyster knives?!?!

    3. avatar Karen reply

      Where did the oyster knives come from? I want to order them. Thanks
      Karen

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    We love when our couples include beautiful, meaningful details in their weddings, but we also know how stressful it can be trying to make the day go perfectly. When I got married, I remember doing everything I could to ensure exactly that, and then I had a hole front and center in the lace of my gown. Crazy and unexpected things happen, y’all! This makes me love Rachel Lee and John’s favorite detail of their wedding all the more. Their wedding is gorgeous, we can all see that, but their favorite detail was completely unplanned: the beautiful sunset that evening over the Watercraft Center. “This detail was something we never could have planned, and it was truly breathtaking. It reminded us of our marriage: we know that much in life will be unexpected, but the important thing is being together to share it.” Amen to that!

    Big hugs to one of our brand new Blue Ribbon Vendor members, Cynthia Rose, for sharing such a lovely day with us!

    I had always said a big dress was not my style, but in the end, my childhood dreams of a large, Gone With the Wind-inspired dress won. I love my dress and wish I could wear it all the time. It was a beautiful, rum pink-colored silk with large French lace on the bodice and bottom of the skirt. I spent a ton of time with the designer and Debbie at Enchanting Moments to create a custom lace jacket, modeled closely after Grace Kelly’s wedding gown.

    Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. This ended up being my favorite part of wedding planning! I opted for a trumpet, organist, and violinist. The mothers were seated to “Ave Maria” and the wedding party was seated to “Canon in D”–my favorite! The bridal processional was “Wedding March” by Mendelssohn. Apparently, this isn’t usually used for a processional, but my gut told me to go with it, so I did!

    Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my mother’s veil. It was such an honor to wear it. My parents’ 40th anniversary is this year, and when wearing it at 18, I bet my mother never would have dreamed that her daughter would wear the same veil in 2014!

    Our wedding day was so special because everything took place in the town of Beaufort, North Carolina. My family has lived in and around this area for generations, and the town has always had a special place in my heart. Beaufort has become a place that John loves as well, and I wanted our friends and his family to enjoy this beautiful, quaint, Southern coastal town. I can’t wait to bring our kids here, just as my parents did while I was growing up in Raleigh.

    What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We served traditional coastal Southern foods, like shrimp and grits, crab cakes, stuffed mushrooms, sweet potato biscuits with country ham, and grilled Mahi Mahi (not a fish you find in eastern NC, but you get the idea!). We also served sweet tea, and Pepsi (which was born in New Bern, about an hour away from Beaufort).

    Our favorite detail was the beautiful sunset that evening at the Watercraft Center. Our venue had a dock with cocktail tables, so folks could stand outside on the water and watch the sunset. This detail was something we never could have planned, and it was truly breathtaking. It reminded us of our marriage: we know that much in life will be unexpected, but the important thing is being together to share it.

    How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in college during our freshman year. My best friend and John went to high school together, and she introduced us. After about a year of being just friends, we decided to make it official in January 2007. We stayed together for about nine months, and then decided to take some time apart when I was studying abroad. I don’t think either of us knew that after just a few weeks, we would realize how much we missed each other. I returned home in May 2008 and surprised him! We have been together ever since, through graduation, long distance, living at home, starting new jobs, and much more.
    Tell us all about the proposal! We were on a trip to Folly Beach near Charleston with some friends. We decided to take a day trip to Charleston, since I had not been there since I was little. We had a great day of touring and shopping, and had planned to go to dinner in town and then drive back afterwards. While shopping, we walked into the beautiful lobby at the Charleston Place hotel. I mentioned how breathtaking their double rounded staircase was and he responded, “I’m glad you like it because we are staying here tonight.” I thought he was joking, but quickly realized he was not. I said, “That’s so sweet, but I don’t have any clothes or contact solution.” He quickly responded with, “I packed a bag for you.” I hugged him and noticed he was shaking. I realized how likely it was that in the next twenty-four hours, he would propose, and I got really nervous too! We checked in and went to our room. When I walked to the window to open it, he came up behind me, hugged me, turned me around, and told me so many wonderful things. He then got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I hugged his neck so hard, and he gave me the most beautiful ring with my grandmother’s diamond in the center. Afterwards, we had the most amazing meal at Hall’s Chop House in Charleston. Some friends called in and got us the best table, and had champagne there waiting for us. We will always remember that meal and how special it was.
    When did y’all get married? October 18, 2014
    How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 115
    Describe your wedding dessert. Our desserts were a lot of fun! We did pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, carrot cake, and apple pie. Our catering was done by Beaufort Grocery, a staple in Beaufort. They are known for their amazing food and carrot cake!
    What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was that our engagement was fairly long, so it got hard to wait and be patient when I just wanted to move forward!
    If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
    What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? When we were pronounced husband and wife, we kissed, and the entire sanctuary broke out in applause. For an older, more traditional church, this was a surprise, but a wonderful, heartfelt gesture of love from all the people around us.
    What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We have been enjoying marriage and a more calm life! Having our weekends free to hang and be with friends has been wonderful.

    Photographer: Cynthia Rose Photography / Ceremony Venue: Ann Street United Methodist Church / Reception Venue: The Harvey W. Smith Watercraft Center / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Beaufort Grocery / Bridal Salon: Enchanting Moments / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate

    Cynthia Rose and LulaKate are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

    marissa Written with love by Marissa
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Julia reply

      Ah Beaufort, so near and dear to my heart! I love this, and her dress is stunning!

    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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