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Lindsay and Ridge wanted a destination wedding that was easy for their guests to travel to, and when they visited Grandfather Golf and Country Club and saw the breathtaking backdrop, they simply knew it was the place. Even more special, since they had spent time in the Grandfather Mountain area with Lindsay’s grandparents, it was not only the views that had them hooked, but also the sweet family memories they would be adding to with their wedding day. Lindsay and Ridge worked with their florist, Kelly of Philosophy Flowers, to incorporate combinations of white and green florals that complimented, but didn’t compete with, the natural beauty of the setting. I, for one, am sure glad they did because I adore how the simple color palette makes Mother Nature look all the more amazing! Guests were invited to change into flip flops, walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Anyone else have a bit of wedding guest envy?

Big hugs to Natalie Watson for sharing this dreamy day with us!

I let my bridesmaids choose their own white dresses. I know it’s not typical for anyone other than the bride to wear white to a wedding, but I wanted everything to look simple and natural (and not take away from the beautiful setting). I also wanted the dresses to reflect each girl’s individual style, and for them to be able to wear them again.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had always wanted to wear my mother’s wedding dress from her marriage to my father in 1979–it was my dream cap-sleeved vintage dress! My twin sister had made minor alterations to the dress to wear for her wedding in 2009, and I knew I wanted to continue the tradition. I had my mother’s seamstress cut out the back of the dress to update the design and to make it fit me more comfortably. I tried the dress on for the first time with my mother and my grandmother, and it brought us all to tears!

We decided not to do a first look. This was one detail of our wedding that we both felt was important to stick with tradition. Our reception site was located within walking distance of the ceremony site, so we knew we would have ample time after the ceremony for pictures together, without missing too much time at the reception.

Ridge’s cousin, a local pastor, was our officiant. We both wanted traditional vows and he made a recommendation that we thought was very reflective of our faith, vows, and love for one another.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Ridge and I knew we wanted a destination wedding that was convenient for most of our friends and family. I spent many years in the Grandfather Mountain area with my grandparents and it holds a very special place in my heart. The backdrop at Grandfather Golf and Country Club is breathtaking. There is an amazing view of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains above a lake with a sandy shoreline! We felt it was the best of both worlds: elements of the beach and the mountains in one place. The day we visited the site, we knew it would be perfect for our ceremony and reception.

Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers was amazing! I wanted to incorporate colors that complimented the natural beauty of the setting, so we chose to stick with mostly white and green combinations. She suggested a circle of white petals for us to stand on during the ceremony, as well as vibrant greenery draping the arbor. I wanted to soften the outdoor reception venue with greenery, a combination of whimsical arrangements, and ample candle light and vintage votives. Kelly’s vast botanical knowledge, combined with her creativity and artistic abilities, helped to create the most gorgeous setting!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The setting. We wanted a fun party in a relaxed and unique environment. June 6 was the perfect early summer day in the mountains and Grandfather Golf and Country Club had just completed renovations on their Beach Club Pavilion. People were able to change into flip flops to walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through a mutual friend at a big Christmas party in December 2007. The following night, we ran into each other at our favorite local pub and I re-introduced myself (in case I did not make a big enough impression the night before!). We ended up exchanging numbers and meeting up almost daily over the holiday season. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ridge loves to ski and planned a last-minute trip to Vail, Colorado for the two of us in January. On the last ski day of our trip, my legs were exhausted, so I decided I wanted to head back to the hotel a little early. Ridge asked a photographer to take our picture before I skied down the mountain. I was a little puzzled because it was snowing so hard that you couldn’t see any scenery! As we posed for the picture, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was shocked and it was perfect!
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I spent an afternoon with my mother listening to wedding songs on YouTube and we picked our favorites that would fit with the relaxed, but romantic, setting and sound good played by the cello and violin duet: “Butterfly Waltz” for the seating of mothers/grandmothers, “Ave Maria” for the musical interlude, “Canon in D” for the processional, and “Trumpet Voluntary” for the bride’s processional. Ridge and I chose to dance to “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie. I have been the biggest Lionel Richie fan for most of my life! It reminded me of the past, our goal of sticking together for so many years, and how the wait was worth it!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mother’s diamond earrings, and wore her sapphire and diamond bracelet for my something blue. My wedding dress was old and my shoes were new (they were wedges–my husband is 14″ taller than me!).
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The timeline. We got married three months to the date after picking our reception venue. I had always wanted a summer wedding and was too excited to wait another year! After seven years of dating, we were more than eager to take the next step. The limited time forced us to make big decisions very quickly!
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? The look on my husband’s face as I walked down the aisle. I’ve never seen him so happy!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently looking for a new house! We look forward to growing our life and family together in the city where we met (Charlotte, North Carolina).

Photographer: Natalie Watson / Venue and Caterer: Grandfather Golf and Country Club / Florist: Philosophy Flowers / Cake Baker: Ugga Mugga Bakery / Band: The Company Band / Hair Stylist: Jacquelyn Buckner of Borealis Salon / Makeup Artist: Bryn Golob of Shear Shakti Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Natalie Watson reply

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. avatar Jennings King reply

    just love this bride & groom! lovely wedding and Natalie did an awesome job capturing it! love – Jennings

  3. avatar Beth Zagst reply

    What a great day it was. I loved to hear about the dress and its nostalgic touches. Thank you for including the cake in this amazing blog. Great job capturing the magic of the day in print!

  4. avatar Greenery White Wedding Inspiration – KnotsVilla reply

    […] Cake by Ugga Mugga Bakery | Photo by Natalie Watson via Southern Weddings […]

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Southern Stems: Dogwood

by in Inspirations on

Some of my earliest memories of my childhood in Virginia are the walks my mom and I used to take through our neighborhood. My mom loves gardening, so she would always point out the trees and flowers she knew. One of her favorites was the delicate dogwood tree, especially when its flowers blossomed in the spring–it has since become one of my very favorite flowers as well! For this installment of our Southern Stems column (see past posts about camellias, wisteria, bluebonnets, and gardenia), we’re discussing this sure sign of spring. Dogwoods are also the state flower of North Carolina, so we have a bit of a soft spot for them around here!

Photo via Plants in the Mail, overlay by SW

There are quite a few species of dogwood, but the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) is one of the most common, especially in the South. The trees flower in spring, and while most produce white flowers, some bloom in shades of pink or even light red. Dogwoods are the state flower for both North Carolina and Virginia, and since the dogwood tree is Virginia’s state tree too, these flowers are extra sentimental for Virginia brides!

Clockwise from top: Saipua, Jen Huang Photography via Once Wed, Love Me Do Photography via Love ‘n Fresh Flowers, Karen Wise via The Knot, Martha Stewart Weddings

The Victorian flower meanings for the dogwood vary, but they all fall under a similar theme. Variations include faithfulness, steadfastness, durability, and endurance. All pretty great symbolism to include in a wedding, don’t you think?

Clockwise from top left: Megan Clouse via Elizabeth Anne Designs, Chris Bailey Photography, Annabella Charles via Wedding Chicks, Jose Villa via Style Me Pretty

Since dogwoods are a tree flower, I think they look their best when arranged in a loose, natural way, but they are incredibly versatile. Pair them with other all-white flowers for a monochromatic statement, or combine them with a variety of small wildflowers for a just-picked garden look. With their thin stems, they’re also darling in bud vases or glass bottles. And how pretty are these dogwood-inspired cakes? The different designs–one incorporating the branches and one clustering the blooms on top–really speak to the versatility of the flower.

Abby Jiu Photography via Once Wed, via Martha Stewart Weddings

Finally, a few pretty products that would look gorgeous at a dogwood-filled Southern wedding! We love this wedding stationery line from Paperwhites, which comes in all different colors, and the Dogwood Flower Hairpins from BHLDN would be the perfect finishing touch in a wedding day hairstyle.

What’s your favorite Southern stem? Will you be using it in your wedding day flowers? We’d love to hear!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Stephanie reply

    I love dogwoods!! I also grew up with them, and they have such sentimental value to me. Chapel Hill also has tons of gorgeous dogwoods in the Spring, including beautiful pink blooms!

  2. avatar Laura reply

    Dogwoods are my absolute favorite flower! As a NC native, they always make me think of home. And I love when they bloom because it’s the first sign that spring is on its way.

  3. avatar Katie reply

    Peonies are my favorite southern flowers! I can’t wait to have those big soft blossoms in my wedding bouquet in May!

  4. avatar Meredith reply

    Wow, Lisa, you are reading my mind this week! Dogwoods are my favorite and my florist was so excited I wanted to use them in my bouquet :) To me they are the quintessential Virginia flower… I can’t wait for spring when all the Dogwoods, Red Buds, Azaleas, and Cherry Blossoms around Charlottesville start blooming!

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