Confession: I have been secretly looking forward to writing this post for over a year! Maghon is a very dear friend of Southern Weddings (if you’ve tuned in to our launch party live stream over the last two years, you may recognize her!), and she and her beau, Chris, were married last May. After 20 years of love and friendship, they had plenty of memories to draw from for wedding inspiration, and as a result, their day was packed with meaningful details, plus plenty of Maghon’s cheery calligraphy–she’s the talent behind All She Wrote Notes, after all! As if that wasn’t enough to love about this colorful North Carolina celebration, Maghon and Chris also have a huge passion for their Southern roots, and adopted “Cheers, y’all!” as their official wedding day motto. Join me in raising a glass (or coffee cup!) to toast the Taylors, and enjoy this recap of their joyful day!
I knew in my head exactly what I wanted in a dress: I wanted to feel like myself. I am marrying a guy who has played basketball with me since first grade, so I wanted to walk down the aisle and have Chris see the girl he’s always known. I also LOVE fun jewelry and accessories, so I wanted a simple dress that didn’t compete and wasn’t too much. My friend (and wedding photographer) Anna suggested I try the J. Crew Warehouse in Virginia, and that same day, we hopped in the car and drove there! I found the EXACT dress I had in mind, and the best part is–y’all won’t even believe this–it was $73! I could have cried, I was so excited!
Describe your wedding flowers. Coral. Charm. Peonies. I wanted a big, beautiful, pink bouquet with peonies, and Kat with Dear Sweetheart Events absolutely nailed it. I knew I was going to give it away to Chris’ grandmother in honor of their 56 years of beautiful marriage later in the evening, so I wanted it to be extra special!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did and it was my absolute favorite part of our whole day! I knew that Chris and I would both be pulled in different directions all day and I really wanted a moment that was just for us. We knew from the very beginning that we would do a first look, and our venue even had a porch swing for it! I walked around the corner to see my sweet man, and I don’t ever want to forget the way he looked at me. It was the most simple and comfortable moment, and all of our favorite photos are from those few minutes together. It gave me such a sense of peace and calm to have had that time with him before the ceremony, and I will always be grateful that we did it!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I can’t even pick just one. I truly loved everything, but my absolute favorite was our invitation envelopes. Molly at Ply took my crazy idea and made it happen and it was even more awesome than I could have even imagined. Chris and I exchanged notes every day when we were kids, and when I was moving a few years ago, I stumbled across the box where I had saved every single one he wrote me. He would draw this little heart at the bottom of each one with an arrow going through, and from the moment I found that note, I knew I wanted it to be incorporated into our wedding somehow. Molly took Chris’ original pencil drawing and turned it into an amazing envelope liner that also included a cute message to explain that Chris drew this for me when we were 10 years old. That note is my most prized possession, so it was absolutely the most meaningful detail to me.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose to stick with traditional vows, but with one little addition. Chris and I both admittedly have had a crush on each other since first grade and want to make sure we always do. We added the line “to have a crush on you always” to our vows, and that will forever be my favorite! That’s a promise I can’t even wait to keep.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My best friend from high school, Rachel, read 1 Corinthians 13. Rachel has been such an inspiration to me spiritually over the years and there isn’t anyone else I would have chosen to do that special reading.
Chris and I have known each other almost our entire lives, but we knew we still had a lot to learn. We met weekly with our amazing pastor, Josh Sands, and discussed a different marriage topic every week, from communication to budgeting, family, and everything in between. I was sad when those sessions were over because I loved them so much!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think making our guests feel like family was the most important Southern tradition that we incorporated. Growing up, my family always held hands around the dinner table to pray, so I got on the mic and explained this tradition to our guests. Before dinner, all 150 of us held hands in a circle and prayed to bless the food and our marriage. My brother did this at his wedding too and I was proud to continue the tradition. We served Eastern and Western North Carolina BBQ with all the fixin’s, and a dessert table that made you feel like you were at a family picnic. Starting from our save the date, the theme of our wedding was “Cheers, Y’all!” and we incorporated that into our signage, coasters, koozies, napkins and anywhere else we could! That’s one of my favorite sayings and totally fits our personality as a couple.
My FAVORITE songs are the ones for our first dance. Part 1: Chris and I both fondly remember our very first middle school dance in sixth grade, when we danced (very awkwardly) to “All My Life” by K Ci and Jo Jo. Every time I’ve heard that song over the past 20 years, I always thought about Chris Taylor. When the music started, we decided to throw it back to middle school and have our arms WAY extended out like little kids do, to make everyone laugh. Part 2: The moment I knew I was going to marry Chris was when we were in the car on the way to watch a Carolina game and he played “Jump Around” by House of Pain. That is the “get hype” song for UNC and the song that they always play before a jump ball. We have gone to dozens of games ever since and I always grab his hand during that song and remember that first moment. So we knew that this would need to be part of our first dance too! We had planned with our DJ to cut out of “All My Life” and into “Jump Around,” but what Chris didn’t know was that I had an even bigger surprise planned (and the only secret I’ve ever kept). My friends at the General Alumni Association helped me invite the UNC mascot, Rameses, to the festivities, and he joined us during our first dance as a HUGE surprise to all of our guests, including the groom!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I have two. A few weeks before our wedding, we got some amazing advice from our friends who said that we should steal away for just a few minutes, step back, and just watch the party happen. Chris and I snuck away in a corner for a little while during our reception and just beamed at all of our family and friends. Love was so, so present at every moment for the entire day, but that’s the picture in my mind when I think back about all of it. My other favorite is that I couldn’t get Chris’ ring on his finger! They warn you that this may happen, but most brides would remain calm and just let the show go on. Not me. I waited almost 30 years for this! Chris gave me a look and said “go for it,” so I practically man handled his finger to get his ring on! We both died laughing and so did the crowd. Chris then looked at everyone and gave them a thumbs up! It was perfect.
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Chris and I met in the first grade!! I had a crush on him for as long as I can remember, and he officially asked me to be his girlfriend when we were 10 years old. He was my first slow dance, first kiss, and first guy I ever said “I love you” to. We were boyfriend/girlfriend in sixth and seventh grade, but we weren’t quite ready for forever back then, so we remained friends through high school and college. We reconnected at our five-year high school reunion, exchanged numbers, and started hanging out. It wasn’t until a few years later that we finally went on our first date to play golf in our hometown and we’ve been PAR-TEE-ing ever since!
Tell us all about the proposal! Lots of important life moments for me, and my best memories as a child, have taken place in a porch swing, and our proposal was no different. When I purchased my first home, my daddy built a swing for my porch that is a replica of the one that was on my playhouse when I was a little girl. Every Sunday, Chris and I love to hang out on the porch, me in the swing and him in an heirloom rocking chair that came from my grandparents. We listen to music, catch up on our week, and just chat about life and love. This particular Sunday, we were enjoying our regular porch party when he walked towards me like he was walking in the house, but instead, he got down on one knee and asked me if I would make him the happiest guy ever and be Maghon Walker Taylor! I was SO excited that the first thing I blurted out was “Thank you” instead of yes!! It was so special, so laid back, and so us! Every weekend when I am out there now, swinging in the swing still gives me butterflies. The biggest surprise was that Chris had actually called and booked my dream wedding venue just a few weeks before he proposed, so not only did I have a brand new fiancé, we already had a date and the venue I had always wanted!
When did y’all get married? May 22, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our bridesmaids walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “Carolina on my Mind” by James Taylor because Chris and I are both Tar Heel fanatics. I walked down the aisle to “A Thousand Years” by The Piano Guys, and chose it because even though we didn’t play the words, I love what they say. For our walk back down the aisle, I have waited on this one forever and always pictured our kiss and walk every time it came on the radio. It was “Gone Gone Gone” by Phillip Phillips. I LOVE every word and feel that Chris and I take turns living out those words for each other every day.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. If you ask Chris or myself what we are having for dessert, it’s almost always going to be banana pudding! We opted for a dessert bar instead of a traditional wedding cake and we asked each one of our moms and grandmothers to make our favorite desserts. They each have their own specialty and it was so much fun to see it all come together. We also had Carolina blue cotton candy from Sweet Puff Candy and Chapel Hill Toffee, which are some of my favorites from two sweet friends.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Chris and I paid for our wedding ourselves, so as much as that certainly was a challenge, we loved working together to have the day that was exactly what we wanted. The hardest part for me was choosing my bridesmaids. I have been blessed with SO many amazing girlfriends throughout my life and if I could have had every single woman there stand up at the front with me, I would have.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I am a calligrapher, so I addressed our invitations, worked with an amazing stationer to put a handwritten touch on our invites, and created our signage, place cards, and decor. There was so much calligraphy that at one point, Chris was like, “May, we get it that you write cursive for a living! That’s probably enough!” :)
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just welcomed a new golden doodle puppy, Mr. Teddy Confetti, to our household a few weeks ago and we are looking to move into a larger place. I’ve lived in our current home for four years and started running my business out of our home before Chris moved in. We are so blessed that All She Wrote Notes has continued to expand, but Chris is tired of finding confetti everywhere, so we need a little more space! I am excited to channel my inner Joanna Gaines and make a beautiful home for us wherever we’re supposed to be. God’s plans have been bigger (and far better) than our own throughout our whole journey to find each other, so we can’t even wait to see what He has in store. Right now, we are just enjoying the ride.
Photographer: Anna Paschal Photography | Videographer: Dansby Productions | Planner and Florist: Dear Sweetheart Events | Venue: The Gardens at Gray Gables | Caterer: Prissy Polly’s BBQ | DJ: Mike Marshall of Triad DJ and Events | Guest Appearance: Rameses the UNC Mascot and UNC Pom Pons | Paper Products: Ply Fine Paper | Bride’s Gown: “Miranda” by J. Crew | Bride’s Jewelry: Moon and Lola | Birdcage Veil: David’s Bridal | Hair and Makeup: Jourdan Gallman | Bride’s Shoes: Fan Feet | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Urban Outfitters, Old Navy, Red Dress Boutique | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic, Saks 5th Avenue, Nike | Groomsmen Attire: Express | Calligraphy, Cake Topper, Signage, and Decor: All She Wrote Notes | Cotton Candy: Sweet Puff Candy | Toffee: Chapel Hill Toffee | Tassel Garlands: Studio Mucci | Ring Bearer Bow Ties: Little Brotique