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When I took my first peak at Nicole + Rob’s wedding images, I was completly taken with Nicole’s gor-geous Olia Zavozina deep scoop-back gown. For a self-proclaimed tom boy, this girl sure cleans up nicely! Beyond the stunning gown, Nicole + Rob’s big day was full of lovely Southern details. My favorite has to be the old refurbished church pews at the ceremony – y’all know I’m a sucker for outdoor Cathedrals, and adding in the Tennessee rolling hills. I think I might need to rework my renewal plans!

The dress was my first purchase. Two of my sorority sisters were visiting and wanted to go dress shopping. It was only a few weeks after we got engaged, so the thought of trying on wedding dresses felt slightly overwhelming. After two appointments, I didn’t really like anything and disliked the process even more. It just felt kind of fake and forced (I should note I’m a self-proclaimed tom boy so this didn’t surprise me). While heading to dinner, we passed a new bridal store, and the light was still on. My friends flocked to the window to peak inside and the door opened. It was the designer, Olia Zavozina. She told us her store was set to open the following month, but if I wanted, she would allow me to come in the next day. I did and fell in love with the first dress I tried on. Talk about fate!

Tom boy? Um, I’d have to go with complete knockout! Nicole sure knows how to rock the glam look!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? I went back and forth on this. I think every girl (or most girls) wants to see her husband-to-be’s expression as she walks down the aisle. Ultimately, we both decided to do a first look. It was great because this moment was not only a special moment we shared together, privately, but we were able to take all of our pictures before the wedding to maximize time with our out of town guests post-ceremony. It was perfect.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My longtime friend Melissa read from The Equality of Woman and Man. “The Lord made woman and man to abide with each other in the closest companionship, and to be even as a single soul. They are two helpmates, two intimate friends, who should be concerned about the welfare of each other. If they live thus, they will pass through this world with perfect contentment, bliss, and peace of heart, and become the object of divine grace and favor in the Kingdom of heaven. Strive, then, to abide, heart and soul, with each other as two doves in the nest, for this is to be blessed in both worlds.”

It was important to us to have vows that sounded like us. I’m a bit of a research geek, so I had a ton of fun pulling verses and copy from varying sources. My favorite part of our vows was actually a line towards the end that was something I told the pastor when he asked me what my vision was for our marriage. I told him, “As I look to the life that we will build together, I hope that we will continue to push each other towards the best versions of ourselves.” It was a nice touch to our vows that he took from our one-on-one conversations.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? That’s tough, as you would imagine. The more sentimental memory would be Rob and I walking down the hill after the ceremony. We were both so relieved for it to be over (it was kind of stressful!) and just take in the scenery of the Tennessee rolling hills. The more fun memory was a dance off between Rob and me to Salt n Pepa’s “Push It.” That happened unplanned, and it was fantastic. Rob did his classic butter churn dance move, sans his shirt.

My bouquet was a mix of white peonies, white cushions, orchids and green hypericum berries throughout. The bridesmaids bouquets had white hydrangeas with green hypericum berries, Robert had a green mini cym with an orchid and white status boutonnieres and the groomsmen had green berries. Our tables had spyders, cushion berries, million star and Queen Anne’s and our outside ceremony alter had white hydrangeas at the top.

We saw the style of our wedding as being crisp, clean and classic with a little rustic feel (after all, it was on a farm). Our color palette was white, navy and Kelly green. We had old refurbished church pews at the ceremony site with the Tennessee rolling hills overlooking the farm; there were two barns with bars alongside a gorgeous backyard setting where guests were seated. Our specialty drinks were Jack Daniel whiskey and coke and vodka and tea. Guests enjoyed family-style BBQ that included pulled chicken, beef brisket, mac-n-cheese, squash casserole, green beans and corn bread and honey butter. We also had old quilts that adorned the seats in one of the barns and a classically chic chandelier.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert: We had a two-layer buttermilk cake with chocolate filling and white icing on the outside, and cupcakes in triple chocolate, coconut cream, red velvet, vanilla and white chocolate.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. Rob and I were introduced through our mutual friend, Jennifer. Jen and I work together, and she had mentioned that she thought her neighbor and I would hit it off. She described Rob as tall, handsome, athletic and polite. He had a good job in investment management and was from Oxford, Mississippi. Who could turn that down?! Our first date was during restaurant week on a snowy night in January. Oddly enough, we didn’t initially hit it off as one might think! Looking back, I think it was first date nerves and the restaurant wasn’t really our scene. After some encouragement from Jen, we both agreed to give it another shot. Fast forward a few days to our second date. Rob took me to a local sports bar to watch the NFL playoffs. We were able to relax, banter and watch some good ole’ fashion football. Suffice to say we hit it off immediately. We realized we had a lot in common: An affinity for SEC sports (Go Gators), the Giants (he likes Eli, I love NYC), a Christian upbringing, running, dogs, music and a sarcastic sense of humor. Not to mention I found Rob incredibly good looking. After what was an infinitely more successful date, we were inseparable.
Describe the proposal. We decided to take a trip to Rosemary Beach in the Spring. It was our first night there and Rob planned a dinner at a swanky restaurant. We biked around most of the day and as we headed back to our condo, Rob suggested going for a walk on the beach before dinner. We showered and got dressed, and as we stepped out on the beach it started to torrentially downpour. We went back inside and our electricity went out! I laughed and suggested we just head to the restaurant early for a drink. Rob sat down on the couch and motioned for me to join him. He pulled out a four-page letter and started to read it to me. What he was reading aloud didn’t really sink at first, but I quickly realized it was a letter he wrote to my mother. He went into detail about how he felt about me; that even after only four months, he knew that that I was what he had waited his whole life for; that I was the love of his life and that he would call her on Saturday to talk through his intentions and address any questions or concerns she had. My father passed away from cancer in 2004, so Rob knew that my mother’s blessing meant everything to me. The thought to write her a letter and give her time to process everything before he called was something you just didn’t hear about much. It was unique…but perhaps that’s just how they do it here in the South. He called my mother that Saturday and after some assurances Rob gave her, she wholeheartedly gave her blessing. Before she hung up, she just said, “Nikki’s father would have wanted me to say this; but please just please take care of our baby girl.” Rob went on to tell me that the day my engagement ring arrived, my mother called him and asked if the ring came in. It caught Rob off guard, since the ring had arrived a couple days before it was expected. When Rob told my mom that the ring arrived that morning, she simply replied, “I knew it. Today is the day that Nikki’s dad and I got married!” At this point, tears were streaming down my face. Rob got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him — to which I more than happily obliged.
In what month did you get married? April 2012
How many guests attended your wedding? About 90 guests total
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We had a string trio play during the ceremony. During the wedding party processional, they played U2’s “Beautiful Day” and Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” As I walked down the aisle, they played the more traditional Canon in D. During the recessional, the played Muse’s “Starlight.” We took dance lessons for 10 weeks to prepare for our first dance. We learned the rumba to Ray Lamontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.” No one knew we had a choreographed first dance, so it was a fun surprise for everyone and we looked great. It was a blast.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The chic chandelier over the bar in the barn behind an old mirror that listed our specialty drinks.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Being patient. I’m a perfectionist and planner by trade (I work in advertising), so it was tough for me to let go and trust that my wedding coordinator and venue would take care of everything. It was a lesson in patience, for sure.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? Hands down my photographer. Being in advertising, I know what good photography can do for the end product. It was important to me that our photographer embodied a photo-documentary style. I really disliked wedding photos that looked overly staged. Without question, I knew I wanted Leslee Mitchell.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Have faith that everything will work out, and even if something happens unexpected on your wedding day – the guests likely won’t even know. So enjoy it and take it all in, because the day itself goes by in a blink.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? House hunting, travel and beginning talks of children. More planning!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Andre Blais reply

    What a beautiful wedding! Gorgeous photography also! Thanks for sharing!

  2. avatar Iceni reply

    Fabulous article. Love the rustic looks the bride & groom chose, and Nicole looked amazing in her gown. Fab sparklers to finish of the night.

  3. avatar kaitlyn t pham reply

    Hi! Nicole I was wondering what the name of your dress is from – I just recently got one from Olia and it looks like that as well but can’t seem to find the name. thanks

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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This week is like my dream come true on the Southern Weddings blog! Not only do I love birthdays, but I love sweets. So today, we’re offering up TWO giveaways!

Emily was the first person who pointed out Sweeteeth’s amazing line of chocolate bars, bon bons and sauces to me. I was so excited to be able to partner with them for a giveaway. Really, y’all, just take a look! Isn’t your mouth watering?

Johnny (an Alabama native!), Sweeteeth’s owner and chocolatier creates unique chocolates in flavors that look as good as they taste. Plus, we love their fun names and cool packaging. Sweeteeth is based in Charleston, so we’re confident that these chocolately treats will add a yummy splash of the South to any wedding.

We’re taking a cue from Sweeteeth and getting creative with our desserts. That’s why we’re really excited to be giving away Courtney Dial Whitmore of Pizzazzerie’s book, Push-Up Pops! I wish y’all could see the recipes inside this thing. Only one word could describe them: yum. Who knew red velvet cake and banana pudding could look so adorable in a push pop?

To Enter: There are two ways to enter!
1. Leave a comment below telling us which chocolate bar speaks most to your sweet tooth OR which dessert you would put in a push pop!
2. Tweet “I just entered the Sweeteeth + Push-Up Pops giveaway on @iloveswmag!” Then come back here and leave a SEPARATE comment telling us you did so.

Win: A $50 gift card to Sweeteeth OR the Push-Up Pops book by Courtney Dial Whitmore!

This giveaway will close on April 13. Good luck y’all!

Don’t forget to enter our other birthday giveaways!
240 Sweet
Hammond’s Candies

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Kelly Edm reply

    I tweeted the giveaway!!/jarslikejam/status/187513012293345280

  2. avatar Kelly Edm reply

    I think I’d like to try the cinnamon, apple and pecan bar from Sweeteeth. Yum! Of course, the salted caramel also looks divine.

  3. avatar Emily Lawrence reply

    Sea is for caramel looks amazing! I am always up for a combination of salty and sweet.

  4. avatar Laura reply

    I think I would try a key lime pie in a push-up pop. Mmmmm, that sounds good!

  5. avatar Meg S reply

    If there were any feasible way to get a crepe in a push pop, I would be all over that.

  6. avatar Lindy reply

    Salted caramel… yummm!!!! And hi to Courtney, my sorority sister from Vanderbilt! A big WOO to you for your success as an author!!!

  7. avatar Olivia S reply

    I LOVE the idea of the ‘call of the wild bar’. Caramel, port wine, and chocolate? There is no possible way that could go wrong.

  8. avatar Laura P reply

    The ‘Sea is for Caramel’ Sweeteeth bar sounds delicious to me – I love that classic salty + sweet combo!

  9. avatar Laura reply

    Seriously, this week’s giveaways have made me hungry every time. The cinnapsis chocolate bar looks divine: cinnamon, apples, and pecans in chocolate!

  10. avatar Amy Kennedy reply

    Call of the Wild – port wine caramel – is there even a question!!!

  11. avatar Vanessa reply

    My family hails from Central America which means I like everything with spice. Combine that with peanut butter and you have a masterpiece. My vote is for the Peanut Butter + Chipotle, keeping my fingers crossed :)

  12. avatar Megan D. reply

    Some delicious Sea is for Carmel sounds amazing!!

  13. avatar Anna A. reply

    The Port Wine Caramel sauce sounds delicious!

  14. avatar Nancy Oben reply

    Those chocolate bars look so decadent.

  15. avatar Leah Romulus reply

    I would love to try a dark chocolate bar from Sweeteeth! YUM!

  16. avatar Rhian reply

    All the chocolate bars sound delicious but if I had to pick one to try first it would be the A’Chocolypse!

  17. avatar Rhian reply

    I tweeted:!/JASIVRAS/status/187632061228650497

  18. avatar Kelsey Bjelland reply

    Salted caramel sauce?? Get out! I’m so hungry now!

  19. avatar Cecilia reply

    If you could get a Texas chocolate sheet cake with pecans and vanilla ice cream in a push pop I would be in heaven!

  20. avatar Sam Crisp reply

    Mmmmmmm sea is for caramel looks divine!

  21. avatar Afton reply

    First of all, I LOVE chocolate!!! The Sea is for Caramel bar looks amazing. There are not many things greater than the pairing of chocolate, caramel and salt!

  22. avatar megan reply

    call of the wild chocolate sounds delish!

  23. avatar megan reply

    and i tweeted at @meg1t.

  24. avatar Sarah reply

    I would put a brownie sundae in a push pop :) YUM!

  25. avatar Paige reply

    Tough choice, but I think I’d go for the salted caramel!

  26. avatar Michelle D. reply

    They all sound great but i would choose Cinnapsis.

  27. avatar Kristy reply

    I would try strawberry shortcake for the push pop : )

  28. avatar Kristy reply

    I would try strawberry shortcake for a push pop :)

  29. avatar Kassi reply

    i would do a red velvet and shortcake with strawberries push pop

  30. avatar Charity S reply

    I would put a sweet potato pie in a push pop.

  31. avatar Charity S reply


  32. avatar Alex reply

    I would love to try the salted caramel bar

  33. avatar Elizabeth @ HobbyLobbyist reply

    Everything is better in a push pop… I think it could be my favorite way to eat cheesecake ever.

  34. avatar Amanda Zerra reply

    I would most certainly put Tiramisu in a push up pop. How fab and delicious!

  35. avatar Amanda Zerra reply

    I also just tweeted! @babyglitz

  36. avatar Brittney Perryman reply

    Narrowing my choice down to just one chocolate bar from Sweeteeth that I want to try was TOUGH! My first choice would have to be Call of the Wild! The name drew me in first and when I read the description, I WAS HOOKED! Dark chocolate and caramel that has wine in it?!?! YES PLEASE! In fact, I may just have to order a dozen or two! :)

  37. avatar Brittney Perryman reply

    I just tweeted! My handle is @britmperryman ! Here’s the link:!/britmperryman

    Keep up the fantastic work ladies! I just love y’alls work!

  38. avatar Kate E reply

    I tweeted it!

  39. avatar Kate E reply

    The cinnapsis sounds so delish! Cinnamon apple & pecan, uh yum!!!

  40. avatar Tracy reply

    Ooouu… I must try the Port Wine Caramel chocolate.

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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Yahoo! Even though I can’t win any of these giveaway, I’m pumped about the possibilities that are in store for y’all! With a sweet tooth as big as mine, dessert bars, candy bars and the like are often my favorite parts of weddings. And choosing the treats that will be served? Even better.

To celebrate Southern Weddings’ fourth birthday, we had to partner with Hammond’s Candies! We love their gourmet selections and nostalgic collection and they were even kind enough to provide us with tons of peppermint for last year’s Gingerbread Barn Building Competition.

To celebrate our birthday and four years of getting to know you awesome readers, we’re going to help you stock your dessert bars, candy bars, favors, or welcome bags with sugar galore!

To Enter: There are three ways to enter!
1. Leave a comment below telling us what your favorite nostalgia candy is.
2. Tweet “I just entered the @HammondsCandies giveaway on @iloveswmag!” Then come back here and leave a SEPARATE comment telling us you did so.
3. Like Hammond’s Candies and Southern Weddings on Facebook. Then come back here and leave a SEPARATE comment telling us you did so.

Win: One $50 gift certificate to Hammond’s Candies!

This giveaway will close on April 13! Good luck!

Don’t forget to enter yesterday’s giveaway with 240sweet here.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
  1. avatar Somerset wedding gal reply

    Happy birthday!!! Favourite nostalgia candy? Gummy worms!

  2. avatar Kelly Edm reply

    I tweeted the giveaway!!/jarslikejam/status/187157796301705216

  3. avatar Kelly Edm reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy would have to be ribbon candy. My grandma used to buy it every Christmas and it was always so fun to see the bright colors peaking through the candy jar. I haven’t had it in years, and last Christmas I finally found some, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t the same as grandma’s.

  4. avatar Emily reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy is the clear rock candy! Pure sugar – so sweet and delicious, and they look pretty too!

  5. avatar Laura reply

    I think my favorite nostalgia candy are the soft peppermints pillows. You could always count on my Nana having a dish at her house.

  6. avatar Sarah reply

    Happy Birthday!! My favorite is the All Natural Butterscotch Lollipop

  7. avatar Ashley @ Make It Darling reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy is Necco Wafers in chocolate…yummmmm!

  8. avatar Ashley @ Make It Darling reply

    I just tweeted about the giveaway!

  9. avatar Theresa reply

    Ribbon Candy!!

  10. avatar Laura reply

    I’ve always loved the rock candies!

  11. avatar Brandy reply

    I liked Hammond’s Candies and Southern Weddings on Facebook! My favorite nostalgia candy is the Butterscotch Lollipop. It brings back so many memories of my great-grandmother, “Big Mama”. :-)

  12. avatar Karen reply

    This website is so fun! I love the bit-o-honey!!! So good!

  13. avatar Bre C. reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy are Charleston Chews! My fiance and I just had some a few days ago, actually! They’re great :)

  14. avatar Selina reply

    I love Wonka Original Spree. Yum! :) Happy birthday to you.

  15. avatar Selina reply

    I tweeted here…!/Camikinz21. Thank you.

  16. avatar Courtney Croxdale reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy would definitely be Zotz. I love that they were imported to the US in the 60’s from ITALY and their tongue-tickling fizz, but I especially love buying a string a cracker barrel and splitting them with my fiance!

  17. avatar Heather Oakes reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy has to be the candy cane! My grandmom always hung them on her Christmas tree, and we cousins would always sneak them off throughout the holiday season!

  18. avatar Heather Oakes reply

    I just tweeted!

  19. avatar Heather Oakes reply

    I just liked Hammond’s Candies and Southern Weddings (can’t believe I hadn’t already…) on Facebook!

  20. avatar megan reply

    werther’s! makes me think of my grandparents.

  21. avatar *LyndiLou* reply

    Oh, I’m SUCH a sweet tooth, so picking one is HARD! I love candy like Pop Rocks, Charleston Chew, Slap Stix, Razzles, Cow Tails and Rock Candy. Wow. Yum! :D

  22. avatar *LyndiLou* reply

    I liked your Facebook page and the one for Hammond’s as well! :)

  23. avatar Anna A. reply

    Love the peppermint lollipop!

  24. avatar Brittany Teague reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy is traditional Hershey’s candy bar. But of course rock candy is always a classic as well! Hard to decide!

  25. avatar Brittany Teague reply

    I tweeted I just entered the @HammondsCandies giveaway on @iloveswmag from @Abteague

  26. avatar Brittany Teague reply

    Liked Hammond’s Candies on facebook… and of course I already liked Southern Weddings on facebook.

  27. avatar laura reply

    rock candy! yum!

  28. avatar Amanda Zerra reply

    I LOVE ALL CANDY! AHH! My absolute favorite (besides the obvious, anything chocolate) would have to be lemon drops. I cannot get enough of them!

  29. avatar Rachel G. reply

    My favorite old candy is rock candy-it reminds me of going on field trips in elementary school where there would always be rock candy in the gift shop!

  30. avatar Robbie reply

    I have so many favorite nostalgic candies :) I love candy necklaces, because they remind me of when my sisters and I would ride bikes down to the dime store, and buy those, along with ring pops, push pops, etc. with our allowance money! We have so many great memories of that dime store and the candies.

  31. avatar Kennedy reply

    I love me some taffy! Happy birthday!

  32. avatar Gaibriele reply

    Happy Birthday! I liked Hammonds and Southern Weddings…and my favorite ol’ candy is Rock Candy. But seriously, I love ALL candy. MMmm good!

  33. avatar Meg S reply

    I love those crunchy peanut butter bars in the striped wrappers. Yum!

  34. avatar Vanessa reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy was fun dip, I hadn’t seen it in years, until this past Valentine’s Day :)

  35. avatar Megan D. reply

    Rock Canyd suckers are my favorite! Although I never can eat them in a ladylike manner.

  36. avatar Nancy Oben reply

    caramel is always on my list of must eat, along with salt water taffy

  37. avatar Rhian reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy is Clark bars!

  38. avatar Laura P reply

    I LOVE Charleston Chew – especially freezing it!

  39. avatar Rhian reply

    I tweeted:!/JASIVRAS/status/187633878196948993

  40. avatar Cecilia reply

    Werther’s Caramels. My great uncle carried them in his pocket and would give my five siblings and I one every time we saw him.

  41. avatar Larissa reply

    I love taking a break with a kit kat bar!

  42. avatar Afton Cole reply

    The milk chocolate caramels look amazing! My grandma and grandpa always had caramels in their house for the grandkids to eat. The ribbon candy also brings back fond memories of my childhood!

  43. avatar joy reply

    Swedish Fish have always been one of my favorite candies growing up and even now!

  44. avatar Michelle D reply

    I Liked Hammond’s Candies and Southern Weddings on Facebook!

  45. avatar cami reply

    I like Hammonds Candies and SW Mag on Facebook!

  46. avatar cami reply

    my favorite nostalgia candies are candy ribbons!

  47. avatar Emily reply

    Such a fun birthday giveaway! Happy Birthday SW MAG!!! My absolute favorite nostalgia candy is Rock Candy!! We desperately wanted these for our wedding and couldn’t find them in the right color. That’s what I get for being obsessed with the perfect details!

  48. avatar Oksana @ As Sweet As It Gets reply

    Love the ribbon candy!!!! Pick me.

  49. avatar Oksana @ As Sweet As It Gets reply

    I liked Hammond Candy on Facebook! Happy Birthday.

  50. avatar Kassi reply

    Russel Stover Rosebud Mints… they have been discontinued but will always be a favorite memory for me :-)

  51. avatar kLa reply

    i love rock candy!

  52. avatar Charity S reply

    I love wax lips.

  53. avatar Charity S reply


  54. avatar Charity S reply

    Like Hammond’s Candies and Southern Weddings on Facebook

  55. avatar Elizabeth @ HobbyLobbyist reply

    I don’t know if it’s considered nostalgic, but I associate Rolos with my childhood. They were my special candy I’d get for the movies.

  56. avatar Anne L reply

    Do pop rocks count as nostalgic candy? They are for me!

  57. avatar Anne L reply

    I like Hammond’s Candies and Southern Weddings on Facebook!

  58. avatar davonne head reply

    Happy birthday yall! I love salt water taffy and all the different flavors! can’t get enough of it!

  59. avatar Kate E reply

    I tweeted this!

  60. avatar Kate E reply

    I “liked” both on Facebook.

  61. avatar Kate E reply

    My favorite nostalgia candy is definitely taffy. I can’t get enough!

  62. avatar Megan D. reply

    I liked both on facebook as well!!

  63. avatar Tracy reply

    Rock candy… Yummy!

  64. avatar Tracy reply

    Liked both on FB!

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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