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There is no one way to have a Southern wedding–from family farms to city halls, we love them all! It’s not the decor that makes a wedding Southern, or even necessarily the location; rather, it’s the hospitality shown and the focus on creating meaningful moments for the bride and groom and guests alike. Kaki and Jay’s Chattanooga wedding was fabulously chic and modern, and they took great strides to ensure their guests felt involved and taken care of. From the hymn everyone sang during the ceremony to the gelato and chilled towels passed around to keep guests cool in the middle of June, Kaki and Jay made sure that everyone at their wedding felt like family. What could be more Southern than that?

We’re so grateful to our Blue Ribbon Vendors, Bamber Photography, for sharing this beautiful day with us!

Jay proposed to me at my parents’ house, and it was a complete surprise! He had the ring in a small pouch tied around my dog Zoe’s collar, and after I chased her down in the yard and realized what it was, Jay got down on one knee and proposed. It was such a special moment, and it was even better that my family was there to celebrate with us!

We wanted our service to be uplifting and joyful, so we chose songs and verses that we thought went along with this theme. The guests sang “To God be the Glory” during the service. At the reception, we entered to the band playing “Oh Happy Day,” and they surprised us with special lyrics–they inserted our names, Kaki and Jay, into the song. We exited the reception to the band playing “Love Train” with their horns, and the guests leading us down to our car!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at the Presbyterian church where my mother was also married. My grandfather and mother have been major cheerleaders of the Hunter Museum for a number of years. I loved the beautiful river setting there, and it made for a beautiful backdrop!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? To cool the guests down at our summer wedding, we had fans and cold washcloths for the dance floor that were kept frozen in coolers. They were a big hit on such a hot day! Along with that, we had a local company, Milk and Honey, serve delicious and COLD gelato. As a shoutout to Jay’s football days in high school, I threw a football that had “You’re Next” written on it at the end of the reception!

Golf has been a big part of both of our lives, so when we were making our exit at the reception, the wedding party and guests surprised us by holding up golf clubs and making a tunnel that we ran through to our convertible!

When did y’all get married? June 21, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mom and I scheduled a number of appointments at different bridal boutiques in Atlanta. Lo and behold, after trying on just three dresses, I knew the search was over. I had found the dress I had always dreamed of! Since I found my dress in record time, my mom and I cancelled our other appointments and had a nice, long, leisurely lunch and a day of fun together.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our getaway car! A friend of my dad let us use his ’57 Bel Air Convertible that had a banner with our new married names on it as we left the church! We loved cruising to the reception with the top down–especially since a huge storm had passed through before the ceremony began!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? I was so excited as the preacher pronounced us man and wife that I began to literally jump for joy! I was completely unaware I had done this until I was at the reception and guests were laughing about it!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? One of the best pieces of advice I received was from my mom, who told me, “You have to remember, it is only four hours out of your life,” which could not be more true! It is easy to get caught up in all of the details and get stressed, but it is so important to keep everything in perspective and remember what this day is truly about!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? After we returned from our honeymoon, we purchased a house, so we have been very busy settling in and doing small projects. We are just happy to be settling back into normal life, which includes lots of golf, tennis, and playing with our dog, Zoe!

Photographer: Bamber Photography / Reception Venue: Hunter Museum of American Art / Bridal Salon: Joan Pillow / Flowers: The Clay Pot / Caterer: Lee Towery Catering / Gelato: Milk and Honey / Grilled Cheese Truck: The Muenster Truck / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Prado / Band: Big Blast and the Party Masters / Paper Products: Shadow Box Paperie

Bamber Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    LOVE their car sign + garland – perfection!

  2. avatar Lindsey Bamber reply

    Thanks for the feature! We always love reading the Southern Weddings blog!!

  3. avatar Loverly reply

    That Chevy is just amazing- what a way to exit the most perfect day!

  4. avatar Inspiration No. 4 (Shades of Green) reply

    […] Sources from Left to Right: Getaway Car, Emerald Bridesmaids, Classic Green Tie, Magnolia Escort Cards, Candlelight Fireplace, Mint Juleps, […]

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Hey friends! We’ve already asked for your help once with our preparations for V5 (respond here if you haven’t done so yet!), but today, we’re back with another query!

We’re working on a special feature for the next issue, and we’d love to know: What do YOU love about the South?

Emily was kind enough to volunteer one of her favorite things about the South for this post – deviled eggs! (Both photos from Saveur) Maybe for you it’s front porches, or sweet tea, or peaches at the height of August ripeness. Whatever it is, we want to know! Just leave a comment here telling us what you love most about the South. If you leave your first name, last name, and hometown, as well, we’ll assume it’s okay to print your answer in V5! We’d love to have you join us!

P.S. We had one of our last photo shoots for V5 yesterday at our office, and the set-up was pretty crazy! Here’s a snap:

Can’t wait to share!!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Kristyn M reply

    Handmade wooden rocking chairs on big front porches!

  2. avatar Kathi reply

    Buttermilk pie!

  3. avatar Katie O’Keefe reply

    Big, lazy trees hanging over a drive full of Spanish moss….love it

  4. avatar Megan Smith reply

    Fried anything…especially pickles!

  5. avatar Theresa reply

    The slow pace to life.

  6. avatar Jess // Curating Style reply

    How friendly everyone is, the history, fried chicken, and the better weather. And of course, my wonderful boyfriend is from the South, and I’d be amiss in neglecting to mention him. :)

  7. avatar Jennifer reply

    heritage. reinvention. the smell of tobacco smoking in a barn in the fall. our dusty rural areas make for some pretty spectacular sunsets. family dinners – oh the cooking!

  8. avatar Rachel reply

    SEC football
    Big hair
    Bigger wedding parties
    Lace & burlap
    Monogrammed seersucker

  9. avatar Kelsey B. reply

    I love sweet tea, tailgating during football season, big front porches, beach music and shagging, and the smiling faces that follow “Hey y’all!”

    -Kelsey Ballance
    Columbia, SC

  10. avatar Christina S. reply

    Warm pecan pie with a scoop of vanilla bluebell ice cream :)

  11. avatar Lindsay Heisler reply

    I love how the old mixes with the new so well in the South. In Charleston,SC you can spend the day touring old homes and then have dinner at a new and wonderful restaurant. And there is no place better for Shrimp n Grits and Sweet Tea!

    Lindsay H.
    Greer, SC

  12. avatar Laura reply

    Too many things to count! All the amazing Southern desserts, the word “y’all,” hospitality, seersucker, manners, gentleman who hold open doors for you, the warm weather…the list goes on and on!

  13. avatar Ashley reply

    SEC Football! Family dinners that include 5 generations, sunny beach days on the gulf and hurricane parties. -Ashley Moore, Pensacola, FL

  14. avatar Lauren Winstead reply

    Hands down, my favorite thing about the South is the fierce loyalty we all have to it. It’s full of hardworking people who love and believe in their friends and neighbors, and I’ve never visited a place where home and family are so important. And the food isn’t bad, either! -Lauren Winstead, Raleigh, NC

  15. avatar Kate Collison reply

    I’m a “Southern Transplant” – born in Indiana and getting married in Georgia… I’ve fallen in love with The South quite rapidly! My fiancé calls me a “displaced peach” because I get homesick for southern living! My most favorite part of The South is the genuine, simple hospitality that goes along with every aspect of life… whether it’s daily or for a big occasion! The world needs more of that. Plus, there are southern pines. I love southern pines.

  16. avatar Delaney Gates reply

    I love that in the South, ladies and gentlemen are not the exception, but the rule. –Delaney Gates (Rogers, Arkansas)

  17. avatar Lisa reply

    Where to begin? I love that every Southern state has special qualities that make it unique, but we all value family, kindness, hospitality, loyalty, and politeness above anything else! -Lisa Olson, Warrenton, VA

  18. avatar Victoria Derrick reply

    I love College Football season in the South. SEC all the way, baby! (Columbia, SC) Go Carolina Gamecocks!

  19. avatar Diego Molina reply

    Quality of life low pace, football and most defenitively the foood. Ohhh one more hospitality :).

  20. avatar Samantha Daniels reply

    Everything is simply sweeter in the south…the people, the tea, and the football victories. Samantha D. Matthews, NC

  21. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

    My favorite thing about the south would definitely have to be the ‘southern gentleman’.

    My husband has opened the car door for me for FIVE years and counting. Men here are nicer, more polite, and know how to treat a lady!

    Madelynne Moulton – Birmingham, AL

  22. avatar Shelby Thomas reply

    Long words, wide front proches, sweet tea in a Mason jar, pine trees, SEC football, and putting’ on pearls no matter what the occasion!

  23. avatar Katie Bethune reply

    Grandma’s house in the summertime!

  24. avatar Katie reply

    I love the peace that settles in after a summer sunset. The sky is that perfect shade of blue and pink, the lightning bugs are coming alive, everyone feels content and the air smells of fresh cut grass. Now that I live in a more urban (and northern) area, that’s something I miss the most, especially on summer nights when all I want to do is run barefoot through the grass and see who can catch the most lightning bugs.

    Katie Eide
    Meadowview, VA

  25. avatar Ashleigh Farley reply

    I love that in the south your hair can never be too big, tea can never be too sweet and you can never give too many hugs.

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!

Reply to:

Holy moly, this page looks yummy! Is it just me, or does each and every Southern Delicacy we feature look more and more delicious? Maybe I should stop working on these posts right around lunch time…

Like grits, deviled eggs are one of those love it or hate it foods. I think it’s the consistency that throws the dislikers off! I, myself, am quite fond of deviled eggs, and Emily’s told me she loves them, too. Deviled eggs, or eggs mimosas (I prefer this term!), are hard-boiled eggs cut in half and filled with the hard-boiled egg’s yolk mixed with all kinds of yummy seasoning and toppings. Deviled eggs are traditionally served cold as an appetizer, most commonly on holidays or at parties.

From top: deviled eggs by Cru Catering (photo by A Bryan Photo via Southern Weddings), deviled eggs with prosciutto (photo and recipe from Pixelated Crumb), lobster deviled eggs from Coastal Living (photo by Becky Luigart-Staynor), deviled eggs topped with bacon (photo by Cyn Kain)

A few interesting facts about deviled eggs: The term “deviled” dates back to the 19th century, when the term was coined to refer to particularly piquant (hot or spicy) spices in cooking. In Belgium, a variation known as “Russian eggs” is served. This version is where the eggs are filled with caviar and served in rémoulade sauce (not so sure about that one). In some parts of the South, the terms “salad eggs” or “dressed eggs” are used, particularly when the dish is served in connection with a church function.

We love the idea of serving deviled eggs at a wedding cocktail hour for a little down home flavor, especially when you dress up the classic with one of these creative ideas! The deviled egg topping bar below is particularly fun and interactive!

Clockwise from top left: deviled eggs with topping bar from My Recipes (photo by Jennifer Davick), pimento cheese deviled eggs from Southern Living (photo by Jennifer Davick), buffalo chicken deviled eggs (photo and recipe by Baked by Rachel), beet-pickled deviled eggs from The Kitchn (photo by Leela Cyd Ross)

Want to try your hand at deviling some eggs? Cool hard-boiled eggs, peel and half lengthwise. Remove the yolks, then mash and mix with your favorite ingredients, such as mayonnaise, mustard, tartar sauce or Worcestershire sauce. Then scoop the yolk mixture and place into the egg “cups.” Lastly, garnish with Old Bay, paprika, curry powder, chives, and/or dill!

Do you like deviled eggs? Will you be serving them at your wedding? Do you prefer the classic version, or would you try one of the bolder varieties in this post?

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar molly reply

    WHAT? buffalo chicken deviled eggs? i think i may have just died and gone to deviled egg heaven.

  2. avatar Gretchen reply

    I adore deviled eggs (simple mayo, mustard, salt, pepper, paprika combo is my favorite). Love the beet-pickled look though, which would be really fun for our cocktail menu.

  3. avatar sarah @ belle on heels reply

    the fabulous southern chef virginia willis has the BEST deviled eggs recipe. her secret? BUTTER!! my husband goes crazy whenever i make them :)

  4. avatar Tim Duncan reply

    These look so delicious… making me hungry right now!

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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