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There is just something about good ol’ Southern food – am I right, y’all? It can take you back to being a kid again, remind you of your grandmother, or make you feel at home. Shona and Charles are no strangers to different cultures and travel. In fact, they both grew up in Europe and met as a flight attendant and pilot! But, when it came to showing their guests sweet Southern hospitality, only Southern food would do! They served shrimp and grits and peach BBQ chicken in little mason jars, and even sent their guests home with peach jam homemade by Shona’s mama. And that’s just to start us off with all the tasty and thoughtful details from their celebration.

We’re so glad Blue Ribbon Vendor Melissa Schollart was on hand to capture all the beauty planned by fellow BRV member Simply Charming Socials!

My mom, sister Sarah, mother-in-law, and close family friend, Carol, went to Bridals by Lori in Sandy Springs. I tried on soooo many dresses, and fell in love with a drop waist ball gown. I wanted to feel “bridal” on my wedding day, and this dress was beyond-my-dreams beautiful. I knew it was the dress for me when the tears fell. After finding my perfect dress, we had a memorable girls’ lunch at the St. Regis.

My wedding flowers were very romantic, with lots of cream and pops of peach. We included anemones in the bouquets in honor of my late Nana.

We had a violinist at our wedding ceremony because Charles played the violin–in fact, he went to college on a scholarship for violin. For our first dance, we played “Heart of the World” by Lady Antebellum. We love Lady A and have seen them in concert many times, so this seemed like a perfect song to start our life together.

We decided on the Wimbish House for our reception for many reasons–it was close to our church, and was a beautiful, intimate venue that didn’t feel like a banquet hall. It is very traditional and fit the overall romantic, traditional feel of our wedding.

We are not big cake people, so we had a very simple Publix cake that was turtle cake with buttercream frosting. We also had a dessert table with mini pies, creme brûlée, and cookies. They were out of this world amazing, and so pretty!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We served great Southern food, including shrimp and grits in little mason jars, peach BBQ chicken served in mason jars, and peach jam my mom homemade for favors.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. When we met, Charles was a pilot and I was a flight attendant. Our first date was at a Mexican restaurant in Buckhead, Atlanta. We became fast friends with so many things in common–Charles is an Air Force pilot like my dad was, we are both close to our families, we’re Catholic, and we both lived in Europe as kids.
Tell us all about the proposal! Charles proposed after a romantic picnic in Piedmont Park on the gazebo overlooking the city.
When did y’all get married? September 27, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 85
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes, and at first, we were hesitant to do a first look because we wanted a traditional wedding. However, we are so happy we decided to do one. It was my favorite part of the whole wedding. Seeing Charles was so special, and it gave us some alone time before the day began.
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic Church, so we attended classes, met with our priest, and worked with a mentor couple.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Get a wedding planner!!!! Kristine made our wedding better than I could have ever dreamed. She kept us on track in regards to timeline and money and led us to amazing vendors.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Charles is continuing to fly for the Air Force Reserves and an airline, and I am a fourth grade teacher. We are looking forward to starting a family and sharing our lives together. We can’t wait to do some traveling in Europe this summer, enjoy more picnics in Piedmont Park with our dog Herc, and create beautiful memories together.

Photographer: Melissa Schollaert / Planner: Kristine Cholakian of Simply Charming Socials / Ceremony Venue: Cathedral of Christ the King / Reception Venue: The Wimbish House / Florist: Lindsay Coletta / Cake Baker: Publix / Caterer: Bold American / DJ: Lethal Rhythms / Save the Dates and Programs: Minted / Invitations: Ashley Buzzy / Bride’s Gown: “Couture Collection Style 4300” by Eve of Milady / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bridals by Lori / Bride’s Hair Accessories: The Sentimentalist / Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style D461” in Midnight by Alfred Sung / Menswear: Men’s Wearhouse / Cocktail Hour Pianist: Blue Sky Atlanta

Melissa Schollaert and Simply Charming Socials are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Ooh, lots of soft pretty here! So tastefully executed with such attention to detail … like those adorable little single-stem ranunculus displays. Best wishes!

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One of the best parts of Kristin’s and my jobs is connecting the amazing vendors the South has to offer with our darling brides through the Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory! It is also a joy to see our Blue Ribbon Vendors work together to create beautiful events. Molly and Richard worked with four of our delightful members for their wedding day, which was filled with lovely details, nods to their families, and the Southern hospitality to host 400 joyful guests. One of my personal favorite details (beside’s Molly’s super chic gown!) is that they decorated with Molly’s grandmother’s china, silver, and crystal that was passed down to her when she got married. So special!

Big hugs to our friends Landon Jacob for sharing this Columbia wedding day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I knew I had to have my mom and my best friend come with me to find my dress. We went to the most beautiful bridal shop in Charlotte, J. Majors Bridal. It felt just like the movies–I tried on all these wedding dresses and knew exactly which one was the right one the second I put it on. When I walked out in the dress, my best friend started crying, and my mom and I both got teary too. I didn’t want to make the final decision until my dad and sister-and-law saw it, and they both loved it immediately too.

When I went to the church to make the final music decisions, it was truly a magical experience. My parents came with me and we walked up several flights of stairs to the music director’s office of Richard’s church, which has been around for over 200 years. His office was beautiful, complete with huge windows, and the music director played all the songs we liked on the piano so we could get an idea of how it would all sound together. We were all very impressed and left extremely excited for the ceremony, knowing we were in good hands. The song my bridesmaids walked down to was Canon in D–I love this song and I feel like it really sets the mood for a wedding ceremony. My dad and I walked down to Trumpet Tune. We had the hymn “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee” played during the ceremony because it is one of my favorites, and it seems so holy when an entire church is singing the same song. The song Richard and I walked out of the church to was Toccata, From Symphony V, which was so joyful!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Seeing Richard in the church for the first time. The aisle in the church is so long and my dad and I waited for what felt like forever before he walked me down the aisle to Richard. It was magical, just liked I had imagined it would be!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My mom and all her siblings got married in the same church, and I have always thought that was so special. When I realized I could get married in the same church my brother and his wife got married in, I knew that’s what I wanted. For the reception, I wished I could have had the entire reception outside, but I didn’t want to worry about the weather during the entire 11 months of our engagement. My mom and I visited several beautiful venues that could hold 400 people, but knew immediately when we walked into Forest Lake that it was perfect. The ballroom is so grand and beautiful, and the outside area looks out over the lake. To me, it doesn’t get much better than that!

The flowers were the most important detail to me out of everything. I grew up going to my aunts house in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and she has the most exquisite garden I have ever seen. I used to spend hours walking around with her outside when I was a little girl, so I wanted the flowers to look like they were fresh out of a garden. I could not have been happier with how they turned out. I wanted as much color as possible and my florist gave me exactly that, while sticking to a fall color palette.

I told the bakery I wanted the cake to be as smooth as possible. I asked the florist to drape flowers down the five tiers, and I placed it on a gold cake stand. A gold cake stand is not easy to find, but my wonderful wedding planner made it happen! The cake was placed in the foyer of the ballroom and it was the first thing guests saw when they walked in. I am a huge lover of chocolate, so it just didn’t feel like my wedding until I finally added the most delicious and beautiful chocolate truffles made by the in-house pastry chef at Forest Lake to our dessert offerings. They were placed on beautiful vintage trays and served to the guests. I made sure I ate three of them while I was at the reception, and I asked my wedding planner to pack some up for the car ride after the reception, too!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Richard and I went to the same high school and college, but we didn’t start dating until after college when we were both living back in our hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. We ran into each other one night and he asked me to go to the South Carolina football game with him the next day. Thinking I would ride with him and meet up with my friends once we got there, I said yes. He picked me up, and our drive was the first time I had ever been with him without our friends around. He was the most interesting person I had ever met. We have been together ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Richard’s mother had been planning a birthday dinner for him. They invited my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, Richard’s sister and her husband, and one of his best friends. He was living in Charlotte, North Carolina and I was in Columbia, South Carolina at the time. Dinner was planned for Thursday night in Columbia, and then Richard was going to take Friday off so we could go to the beach for a long weekend. He came into town and picked me up to go out for a drink downtown before dinner, since we hadn’t seen each other all week. We were on the way to the restaurant when Richard decided to take a side street by my church to avoid the downtown rush hour traffic. I was on the phone with my best friend, so I wasn’t really paying attention. Richard stopped the car in front of my church and said he wanted to get out for a minute to wait out the traffic. I got off the phone and we walked toward the benches in front of my church. There were cars everywhere, but Richard got down on one knee and proposed in front of my church. After lots of excitement and shock, we went to dinner, where everyone was waiting for us!
When did y’all get married? October 11, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 400
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The ceremony was held at a large, historical, downtown church that has been around since the Civil War. The church grounds have ancient Southern oaks and magnolias all over the property, and Southern generals and Revolutionary War heroes are buried in the graveyards. The menu for the reception consisted of ham biscuits, fried okra, fried chicken, figs, shrimp and corn fritters, and fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese, to name a few. The table outside was decorated with my Grandmother’s china, silver, and crystal that had been passed down to me when I got married.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have fun and be happy. All of the planning is for something that is so joyful, so be happy planning it! I felt so lucky to be able to plan such a special event in our lives.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are living in Charlotte and are excited to finally be in the same city. We are most looking forward to doing normal day-to-day things together, like waking up together and eating meals together at our house!

Photographer: Landon Jacob / Videographer: Caravan / Planner: Jessica Rourke / Ceremony Venue: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral / Reception Venue and Catering: Forest Lake Club / Florist: Fern Studio / Cake Baker: Parkland Cakes / Rentals: Ooh Events! / Lighting: Tony Sharp / Band: CEO / Paper Products: Brian Faulkenberry / Bride’s Gown: “Paz” by Augusta Jones / Bride’s Hair Accessories/Veil/Jewelry: Augusta Jones / Hair and Makeup: Greg Garrett at Metropolis Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Tory Burch / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” by Jenny Yoo / Menswear: Granger Owens / Calligraphy: Lydia Hendrix / Signage: Lady Letterpress

EastCoast Entertainment, Lydia Robins Hendrix, Fern Studio, and Jessica Rourke are all delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Alex reply

    So beautiful! Love the florals behind the bar and the deep color palette! And grandmas china, so sweet!

  2. avatar Claire reply

    What a timeless and elegant wedding! That dress!! A sweetheart neckline with a lace overlay has my heart pitter pattering, for sure!

  3. avatar Michael and Carina reply

    This wedding is absolutely stunning, and Landon’s photography captured it perfectly!

  4. avatar Joan reply

    I have had the Augusta Jones Paz dress picked out for me to try on and about twenty minutes ago I decided my colors with my fiancé. Funny thing is when I went to research the dress I came to this page and the colors were exactly the same I picked out. Thought it was neat for the dress and colors to match what I want. I hope I can find this dress in retail.

  5. avatar Amanda DeAngelo reply

    Hi there, these pictures are beautiful. I recently got engaged and am looking for bridesmaids dress ideas. I absolutely love the color and style of the bridesmaids dresses in this wedding. Is it possible to get the name of dress company and color choice?
    Beautiful wedding.
    Thanks

  6. avatar Top Ten Wedding Colors For Summer Bridesmaid Dresses 2016 | TulleandChantilly.com reply

    […] Photo Credits:Eric Kelley Photography via Once Wed/ via B Miller Weddings /via SMP/Vpon Sale Wedding/Julie Cate Photography/Landon Jacob Phtography via Southern Wedding […]

  7. avatar Sonia reply

    Is the bride looking to sell her dress by any chance???

  8. avatar 10 Darling Ways to Dress Up Your Mantle – reply

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Peaches are such a beloved staple in Southern agriculture and cuisine, and for couples like Ashlee and Tom, who live right in the heart of Georgia’s peach country, they take on an extra special meaning. From bridesmaids outfitted in mismatched peachy hues to the flavor of the ice cream Ashlee and Tom enjoyed during their first look, peaches played an important role in inspiring the look and feel of every detail of this sweet celebration. Ashlee said it best when she said, “Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.”

We’re so grateful to Haley Sheffield for sharing Ashlee and Tom’s beautiful wedding with us!

My first memory of Tom is from an Easter party in second grade; I’d found the “prize egg” during the hunt, and Tom came up behind me and stole the egg from my basket. Thankfully, one of the other guys in our grade wrestled it back from him. Tom swears he stole it because he had a crush on me, but I’m not quite sure if I believe that. We still laugh about it! Years later, when I told my parents that I was going on a date with Tom, my mom’s first reaction was, “the punk that stole your Easter egg?!” My parents adore Tom now, but he did have a reputation to overcome. Tom and I dated for eight years before we got engaged in June 2013.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, Tom and I did a first look and I’m so happy that we did. Our ceremony was at 7:30 P.M., so we wanted to do our photos before the official festivities began. I also wanted the first glimpse to be private and secluded, instead of in front of a large crowd. We saw each other on the front porch of the Lee Pope House and spent an hour walking through the peach orchard and venturing over to Pearson Farm to get peach ice cream, which is one of our favorite things to do together.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our vows together and repeated them after our officiant and close friend, Zack. My favorite phrase from our vows would have to be, “I vow to reach for your hand through any crisis and to turn to Christ through any trials.” I love how that phrase unites us with the Lord and is a gentle reminder that although we may lean upon each other, we ultimately look to Christ above all.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The music at the ceremony was one of my priorities. I chose to walk in to “Baleen Morning” by Balmorhea, which moved me to tears the first time I heard it a few years before our wedding. We also asked our guests to sing along with us to Steve Moakler’s song, “Holiday at Sea.” The lyrics to that song hold a deep meaning to us and remind us that this earth is only our temporary home.

Three days before our wedding, my lab, Odie, suddenly passed away. I was devastated and worried that I wouldn’t be able to put on a happy face through all the festivities that were about to take place. On our wedding day, I found comfort in the ordinary. Instead of anxiety, I looked at the crowd spread across the lawn at Lee Pope and I saw love. Instead of imperfect details, I saw the countless hours that everyone had pitched in to make that day perfect. I felt calm in the gentle breeze that day. I took deep breaths for the first time in months and felt thankful for the unseasonably cool temperature. As Tom and I slipped away, hand in hand, to share some peach ice cream, I found contentment in the simplicity of it all. For the first time of our 14-month engagement, I was able to see what that day was truly about. Although it was by far the most challenging part of our wedding and something most brides hopefully won’t have to face, I am grateful that it gave me the vulnerability to realize what a sacred day our wedding day was. I’d become so wrapped up in every detail being perfect that I’d neglected to focus on the real meaning behind the day.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our ceremony venue and reception venue both hold a very special place in our hearts. Our ceremony venue is a house near our family’s farm that holds so much farming history. I have a special connection with the Lee Pope House, and I knew immediately that there was no place I’d rather join our lives at than there. Tom and our families spent over a year fixing up our barn for the reception.

Tom is a farmer and I wanted our entire wedding to represent that tradition. Our wedding was centered around peaches–what this small county in Middle Georgia is famous for. Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.

Don’t miss Ashlee + Tom’s video from Hampton Road Studios!

Tell us all about the proposal! I was in North Carolina photographing a wedding and Tom decided to come with me. He mentioned that he’d like to stay an extra day, which I found odd, because Tom is usually itching to get back to work on the farm. We went to visit Tom’s brother-in-law, Stephen, who is also a photographer. Stephen told me that he was “rebranding” and that he needed a new headshot for his website. The three of us went to a mountainside park close to Stephen’s house and I began taking photos. After we were done, Stephen somehow convinced me to let him take a few photos of Tom and me. He positioned Tom a few feet behind me in the background and then told me to look towards Tom. Tom was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring, and all I remember was telling him he was “making a scene.” Those pictures are so special to us.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted my dress hunt to be very simple and relaxed. I took only my mom with me and we made a fun girls’ day out of it. We found my dress at the first shop we visited, The Sentimentalist in Atlanta. I loved how light and breathable it was. I’m a very low key person, so I wanted simplicity as well as comfort, and the Elizabeth Dye gown provided both. I selected a gold scalloped belt to accent the waistline.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Directly after the ceremony, Tom, Haley (our photographer), Aphid (our dog), and I snuck away for about 20 minutes. Tom took us to the edge of a field that overlooked the entire county–a gorgeous view. We caught the tail end of the sunset and it was the first time we’d gotten to be alone that entire month, really. It was so quiet and I felt so at peace at that moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We purchased a 100-year-old farmhouse and are knee-deep in renovations. Married life is so fun. I love not having to say goodbye at night. When he leaves for work in the morning, he kisses me on the forehead–he thinks I’m still asleep, but I’m not. I love that. I just love sharing this life with him.

Photographer: Haley Sheffield / Videographer: Hampton Road Studios / Planner: Molly McKinley Designs / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Lindsay Coletta Designs / Cake Baker: Jan McCord Catering / Caterer: Leon Holloway / Rentals: Southern Vintage / Band: Celebration Band / Paper Products: Emma Torrence / Bride’s Gown: “Tempest” by Elizabeth Dye / Bridal Salon: The Sentimentalist / Hair and Makeup: Sarah Elisabeth Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: “On the Floor” by Seychelles

Haley Sheffield is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Atlanta Wedding Planner & Designer | Peach-Inspired | Atlanta Wedding Planning & Design reply

    […] special thank you to Southern Weddings for featuring this sweet fete. You can view their feature here. Also, make sure to check out their amazing wedding day […]

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Those wedding videos get me teary every time! I really like how they incorporated a line from Oceans into their day :)

  3. avatar Victoria reply

    Hello!

    I’m a bride who is looking for mix and match dresses, and these bridesmaids dresses are gorgeous! I know that they are most likely no longer on sale, but I just have no idea where to look for this kind of style. Comfortable, breathable, and slightly more casual. Could you direct me to a place where I could find that? Thanks!

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