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On a recent call, Emily said, “I just assigned a real wedding to you, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to like it!” Patience is not a virtue I possess, so I immediately high-tailed it over to the blog schedule and started pouring through Hanna and Grant’s photos! As a UNC alum myself with a heart that bleeds Carolina Blue, I’ve spent many hours walking through the campus where Hanna and Grant met, fell in love, and celebrated the beginning of their married life! To see how they wove their story and their love of Chapel Hill into their big day in an elegant and understated way made me feel right at home, and I’m certain each guest felt the same way! Hanna and Grant, I hope to run into you tonight on Franklin Street after our big win! *fingers crossed*

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Faith Teasley for sharing this day with us!

Searching for my wedding dress was one of my favorite activities! I decided that I wanted to go to Georgetown (Washington, D.C.) because I love Georgetown and they have plenty of beautiful bridal salons. I ended up inviting all of my bridesmaids (four were able to come), my mom, and my mother-in-law to join in on the search. Our first appointment was at Hitched Salon. I loved everything about their salon! They were so sweet and really tailored the appointment to my needs. We were given a room in the back and I ended up falling in love with the third dress. I tried on a few more dresses just to make sure, but I kept coming back to the third dress. I teared up every time I put it on! We cancelled our next two appointments and were able to enjoy the rest of the day together. I love that I was able to share this moment with some of my favorite people.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? With both of us being UNC grads, me growing up in Chapel Hill, and many of our best friends being UNC alums, we wanted a historic Chapel Hill feel. The Forest Theater and Horace Williams House provided that while being walking distance from each other.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had a good friend of Grant’s read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. We love this reading because it is short and simple, but sums up what we believe about love and marriage.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For my walk down the aisle, we went with Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” This was a classic that Grant loved, so I thought that it would be the perfect song to walk down the aisle to.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The slight references to UNC. We used UNC golf carts to transport the wedding party and photographer, UNC stadium cups for beer, and UNC pint glasses for our favors. We love UNC and had many alumni as guests. We loved how we were able to incorporate UNC without being over the top and cheesy.

I love flowers that are light and airy with a lot of greenery. I felt like our florist did a great job giving us exactly that. We stuck to white and pale pink flowers to give that light and airy look, and used all types of flowers and greenery, including rosemary! My favorite thing about our flowers was that our florist cut most of them from her backyard garden.

We served Southern BBQ to our guests. We feel that BBQ is easy and everyone likes it–plus, it gave our Northern guests a chance to experience Southern BBQ. For dessert, we went with chocolate chip cookies, as that is Grant’s favorite dessert. We felt there was enough attention on us for the weekend that we didn’t need to do a cake cutting, so we just went with something simple and easy. We used a variety of silver platters from my family to display the cookies. We loved how all of the platters were the same color, but were still so different.

Our first dance was to Ray Lamontagne’s “You are the Best Thing.” We love the pace and meaning of this song! For the reception, we wanted to make sure that we played music that was easy to dance to. All of our family members and friends love to dance. We requested that the DJ play a mix with a slight emphasis on 70s Motown. It worked and the dance floor was packed the entire night.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a soccer alumni event at the Crunkleton on October 5, 2013. My brother Chipper was a current soccer player, and current families were invited to attend the annual alumni event. We decided that we would go for a little bit. I met Grant and stayed a little longer than expected. (Fun fact: we can almost see the Crunkleton from our new house.)
Tell us all about the proposal! We have a golden retriever named Cooper that we love to take on walks. We used to have a path that we would take daily. On Easter morning of 2015, Grant suggested that we go on a walk in the morning before we went to my parents’ for an Easter celebration. During our walk, Grant suggested that we go into the gazebo that we passed every day. When we got there, there was a vase of flowers and a card waiting. Grant got on one knee and asked me to marry him.
When did y’all get married? May 28, 2016
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 185
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We bought a 1938 cottage in Chapel Hill four months prior to our wedding, so in addition to wedding planning, we were remodeling our first home together. While it wasn’t easy at the time, starting our marriage in a home that we had a say in design-wise was special to us.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Well, cookies instead of cake saved some money. We hired some of the UNC soccer players to help us with wedding set-up and breakdown, and they also transported the bridal party from preparations to the wedding site. My dad built the altar used in the Forest Theater, as well as two bars for the serving stations at the Horace Williams House, one of which is in our home today.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? We got UNC golf carts to transport the wedding party around campus for pictures after the ceremony. Once the bridal party was done with photos and we finished our alone shots, we had a quiet golf cart ride to ourselves from the Bell Tower on campus to the Horace Williams House. While the ceremony, family, friends, dancing, and everything else were special moments that we will always remember, that moment to ourselves to take a breath and realize we were officially married was something we cherished.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? I think I would tell others to really enjoy the process and trust that it will all work out. I also think it is important to think about what is best for you as a couple and make sure that the day reflects you. It is okay to stray from what is considered “the norm” at a wedding. For example, we cut out the bouquet toss, garter toss, and cake cutting.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? As simple as it sounds, we are excited to just be married. We aren’t really sure what is next, but we can’t wait to find out!

Photographer: Faith Teasley | Ceremony Venue: The Forest Theatre | Reception Venue: The Horace Williams House | Florist: Springwell Gardens | Dessert Baker: Harris Teeter | Caterer: The Original Q Shack | Rentals: DeeJay’s Event Rentals and American Party Rentals | Lighting: DeeJay’s Event Rentals | Ceremony Music: Arioso Strings | DJ: A & A Disc Jockey Service | Paper Products: Minted | Bride’s Gown: “Tara” by Amy Kuschel | Bride’s Accessories: Hitched Bridal Couture | Hair and Makeup: Wedding Hair by Liz | Bride’s Shoes: “Chic” Flat by Ivanka Trump | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Various in Shell Pink by J. Crew | Men’s Attire: The Ludlow Suit in Stone by J. Crew

Written with love by Jess Metcalf
1 Comment
  1. avatar Bri A reply

    Oh my, this was beautiful beyond belief! I LOVE the Forest Theater as a ceremony spot and now, the Horace Williams House is on my dream reception list. ;) What a gorgeous celebration. Thank you for sharing your special day with us, Hanna and Grant!

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As many of you know, the Southern Weddings gals have always believed that small is the new big. And we take “small” pretty seriously – not just in our staff size, but in our office space! We work out of the second floor of Lara’s home (yes!), which means one big room currently houses desks for five full-time employees plus two interns, all of our shop products (well, except for the magazines – those go in the garage, because you better believe we are not hauling all of those boxes upstairs!), our shipping station, shoot props, and much more! We shared a tour a year and a half ago, and things still look pretty much the same:

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Faith Teasley for these photos! You can also see a more pulled-back look in the SW Planner video!

As much as we love our space (the blue makes it feels like we’re up in the clouds!), the truth is we’ve been bursting at the seams for a little while now. Morgan came on board with us full time this spring; we’ve been steadily adding products to both the Southern Weddings Shop and the Lara Casey Shop; Lara has been needing some more quiet, private space with the launch of her book (and working on her second book!); and now, with the 2015 arrival of two babies on the first floor of our office/Lara’s house, we’re losing some of our overflow storage space.

However, we love our situation and weren’t ready to move out. So we’re moving over! That’s right, starting this week, we’re knocking down walls and expanding our office into the attic, almost doubling our work space. (To be clear, WE are not actually knocking down any walls – that will be left to the professionals!) We’re all so excited! We’ll be sharing an updated tour once our new space is pretty as a speckled pup, but in the meantime, we invite you to follow along on Instagram, where we’ll be posting frequent updates! We’re using the hashtag #theofficereno. (I voted for #henriettasnewdigs, but was outvoted – can you believe it??)

They’re not as pretty, but here are a few “before” shots of the new space. This will be the new “editorial wing,” accessed through the current office:

And this will be our new “guest greeting area,” storage, and Lara’s office toward the back wall. We snapped this one today after the gents started working!

You know we like to keep it real, so to finish, here’s a shot of our temporary shipping station:

Yep, everything’s getting sent with some extra love this month! :) Thank you, as always, for your tremendous support, and stay tuned for more updates!!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Anne Austin reply

    So excited for y’all! I can’t wait to see how it turns out, I’m sure it will be STUNNING!

  2. avatar Emily Hansel reply

    #henriettasnewdigs all the way, Emily!

  3. avatar Mary Beth reply

    Exciting stuff! Any way you can share the paint colors of both the office and the temporary shipping station. Getting ready to do some painting of my own!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Mary Beth – sadly, Lara can’t remember, but she knows they were both Benjamin Moore colors. Sorry we can’t be of more help!!

  4. avatar Anastasia Cale reply

    So excited for you all!! I hope everything goes swiftly and beautifully :)

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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Welcome back to our “Day in the Life” series! Today you’ll get a glimpse into my day as we finish up our shoot season for V7. I am so excited for the new magazine to debut in just a few months!

9:03am I arrive at the office. I am reliably 3-5 minutes late, no matter how I adjust my morning routine.

9:07am I greet the other ladies and sit down at my desk. My to do list from the day before, half crossed out, is in front of me, and I use it to create my new to do list for the day. My to do list generally has between 15-25 items on it on any given day, and I add to it throughout the day so I don’t forget anything. I know this might stress some people out, but it works for me!

9:10am I open up my email and scan through everything that’s come through overnight. I delete emails I don’t need, respond to anything quick and easy or unusually urgent, and drop things into folders as appropriate. I’ll then respond to submissions that came in the day before. People always seem surprised by how quickly I respond, but I try to work on a “one touch” email system as much as possible, which means that if I look at the submission, I need to make a decision on it. Emails are just decisions waiting to be made :)

9:47am I take a mini break to try on nine shirt samples we’ve ordered and perform an impromtu runway show for the other ladies. Heads up – really comfortable and cute tees coming to the Southern Weddings and Lara Casey shops soon!!

10am Back in my own clothes, I sit down for a call with Easton Events. We are working on a REALLY, REALLY exciting and really big project with them (to be announced soon!), and today Lara and I are hashing out some details with the lovely ladies.

10:32am We hang up, and I have about an hour before I’m scheduled for my second call of the day. I figure this is about enough time to work on the text for the V7 bouquet feature. I am tickled pink about the concept we developed this time around, and the photos that Katie Stoops created. Hint: It involves some of my favorite quotes! :)

11:30am I finish a rough draft of the bouquet text but am not 100% satisfied with it, so I send it over to Lisa to take a peek. Lara and I get back on the phone for a call with with The Umstead, a luxury hotel near our office. Again, we were hashing out details for a very exciting collaboration coming this fall – anyone have any guesses?

Noon We have a few new Blue Ribbon Vendors waiting who have been accepted to the Directory and have sent in their materials, so I begin setting up their portfolios. It’s truly a delight to work with such talented, kind, and creative folks! We adore getting submissions or emails from readers who found their beloved vendors through BRV; happily, it happens quite often!

12:57pm I need to confirm rentals for an upcoming shoot, so I spend a few minutes browsing through sites and catalogs, making note of my favorite options.

1:15pm I hop back into my email to sort and respond to anything that’s come in since the morning. I send out inquiries to some of the rental companies I’m interested in. I also like to spend a good chunk of time in the middle of the day responding to or writing more lengthy or complicated emails. They’re often about shoot or V7 projects this time of year, which is fun!

2:30pm My last call of the day is with Ali and Krista. Lisa and I will be heading down to Atlanta in a few weeks to produce one of the shoots I’m most excited about for the next issue. We chat through fashion, food, and favor options, and discuss some of the items we’ve pinned to our joint (secret!) Pinterest board. We also confirm two of Ali’s little neighbors to be flower girls!

2:53pm A sizable chunk of my afternoon is spent choosing and uploading photos for upcoming blog features. Though Marissa and Lisa write most of our online real wedding stories, I love reading through the couples’ interviews as I work – it’s really neat to see what they describe come to life.

4:15pm Lisa, Lara, and I scoot our chairs together to go over the shot list for another upcoming V7 shoot. Lara is hearing most of this for the first time and has some suggestions, so we discuss, and then I finish the day with a lengthy email to Stefanie, the amazing stylist we’re working with.

5:15pm Pinning to our boards can sometimes fall to the wayside in our busiest season, but I try to add at least a few every day. And yes, it is delightful that my job responsibilities include pinning :)

5:33pm Our normal day ends at 5pm, but again, in our busy season, we’re all usually here until at least 5:30. I head out to make a few shoot prop returns (from last week’s editorial with Tec Petaja!) before heading home.

All photos by Blue Ribbon Vendor Faith Teasley. See more from our office tour here!

Catch up with all our Days:
Morgan: Shop Manager

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Morgan Moore reply

    So inspired by how much you get done in one day, Em! I’m proud to work with you!

  2. avatar Jess reply

    I always love behind-the-scenes type blog posts – thanks for sharing this!

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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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