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After getting engaged, Anne Elise and Nick knew exactly where they wanted to celebrate their wedding day. With frequent cocktails after work, Union Station’s Grand Hall in downtown St Louis was a place that had grown special to them during their time dating. So when their dream venue only had one fall date available, Halloween was it! With Anne Elise’s big sister acting as creative director, they designed a dramatic wedding with a rich cranberry-color palette and sweet family details. Among my favorites: Anne Elis’e heirloom veil. Originally worn by her mother 30 years prior, then by her sister five years before, the chapel-length veil adorned with pearls and a cloche headpiece was the perfect something borrowed! Of course, with a wedding date of Halloween, they couldn’t forgot to add a little fun! Anne Elise and Nick not only added a trick-or-treat candy table, but the nightly laser light show on the ceiling of the Grand Hall served as fabulous surprise for their out-of -town guests.

Thanks to Charis Rowland for sharing Anne Elise + Nick’s wedding with us!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I moved to Terre Haute, Indiana right out of college for my first job. I was 7 1/2 hours from home in a new region where I knew no one. I spent three years in this tight-knit community, while my future husband and in-laws were across town, and yet, our paths never crossed. As I was getting ready to move to St. Louis for my next job, a Terre Haute family I had become friends with reached out to tell me about this guy named Nick who had just recently moved to St. Louis from Terre Haute as well. They asked if they could pass my number along since neither of us knew anyone, and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Wow! I hardly have the words to accurately describe that magical day. I’m a broadcast meteorologist in St. Louis, Missouri. On this particular Friday in March, my assignment editor informed me of a story that the station had already lined up for me. I was going to interview the manager of a local restaurant, The Boathouse, in the city’s popular park, Forest Park. (Side note: This was where Nick took me for an impromptu dinner the first night we met.) I arrived at The Boathouse that afternoon and asked for the manager. She greeted me at the hostess desk and led me down the dock along the water to an intimate table, where she says we’d do the interview once my photographer showed up. On this table was the most beautiful flower arrangement, candles, and a manila envelope with my initials written on the front. My mind started racing as I tried to talk myself out of thinking the obvious. As I opened the envelope, I immediately recognized Nick’s handwriting on the four handwritten pages. On these pages, Nick summarized our love story, titling each chapter. On the last page, his last line said, “I need your help writing the rest of the story. Meet me at the front of The Boathouse.” Hands shaking and smile plastered on my face, I walk back up to the front of the pier and found my handsome best friend standing there. He grabbed my hand and walked me to the edge of the dock along the lake. He got on one knee and said the most beautiful and meaningful words I’ve ever heard. Needless to say, I said “yes!”
When did y’all get married? October 31, 2015. It was the one fall date that our dream venue was available, so Halloween it was!
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I’ve never been the girl who had every detail of her wedding mapped out from early on, but I’ve always loved looking at wedding dresses in bridal magazines, and the one thing I did know was that I wanted a dress with sleeves and lace. My mom and mother-in-law joined me on Easter weekend in St. Louis. Our first stop showed some promising dresses, including a long-sleeve, lace, off-the-shoulder dress. It was all that I wanted on the hanger, but I didn’t love the fit once I got it on. Fast forward to the next store and I saw the same dress, and I tried it on again. Once the consultant pulled it tight and gave me a true impression of what it would fit like once it was sized for me, I fell in love! My mom, mother-in-law, consultant, and other customers nearby were ooh-ing and ahh-ing over it with me. We all knew it was the one!
Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? Yes. I always thought that I’d be a traditional bride who waited until I was walking down the aisle, but after talking with many friends and family members, the consensus was that a first look makes for a more pleasant experience after the ceremony. I was also told that it’s really special because it’s your moment with your groom to express that first reaction, and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. Our photographer captured it so well. There was laughter, giddiness, awe, and lots of hugging and kissing. I’m so thankful we had time for the two of us.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our ceremony was at our church, Central Presbyterian Church. This was special because being new in a city together, we were able to hunt for a church together. We landed at Central and even got to go through the New Member training class together as a dating couple. It was super special to share that journey and then say our vows in this beautiful, historic church that had become so sentimental to us. Our reception was in Union Station’s Grand Hall. It is simply stunning! During our dating time, I lived in a loft near Union Station in downtown St. Louis, and we would often get cocktails in the Grand Hall. When we got engaged, it was the first place we thought of, and after checking various venues, nothing even came close to Union Station in our book!
Did you write your own vows? We did not. We chose traditional, yet beautiful and intentional, vows that we discussed with our pastor during premarital counseling.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I walked down the aisle to “Processional and Maria” (Rodgers and Hammerstein). My favorite movie has always been The Sound of Music. There’s something so majestic and beautiful about Maria’s march down the aisle to this song, and I could think of no more wonderful song to meet my groom to! All our ceremony music involved the church’s incredible organ. “Toccata” (Bach) was the perfect song of celebration and joy for our recessional–it fit the way Nick and I felt walking away from the ceremony as husband and wife.
Describe your wedding flowers. Exquisite! My amazingly talented big sister, Sara Beth, went above and beyond in her matron of honor role. She was the true creative director behind our wedding. From designing our wedding programs, invitations, save the dates, and all other print work, to designing and making my bridal bouquet, I still can’t find the words for what she did. My bouquet was super full, vibrant, and earthy, with various hues of cranberry (the wedding’s main color). It was composed of dahlias, garden roses, ranunculus, hellebores, spray roses, parrot tulips, protea, astilbe, pepper berry, dusty miller, eucalyptus, Italian ruscus, ivy, and foliage. The bouquet was wrapped in silk ribbons and a piece of lace from my mother’s wedding gown. It also included a gold jewel from an arrangement at one of my bridal showers.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a round, five-tiered, French vanilla cake covered with delicious buttercream icing, imprinted with a scattered lace design, and accented with ivory fondant flowers edged in gold. The largest layer was covered in fondant ruffles with buttercream pearls. A gold “P” monogram, placed on the side of the center layer, was a focal point, and a surprise red velvet layer (my favorite flavor!) was enjoyed by not only my groom and me, but by several other guests as well. I worked with the Cakery to design our cake, and it was truly the prettiest (and tastiest) cake I’ve ever seen.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The light show at our wedding reception was one of our favorite details. Union Station in St. Louis does a variety of beautiful laser light shows on the ceiling of Grand Hall each evening. Our guests (who were mainly from out of town) had no idea to expect it, so it was a fun surprise. Guests attended a cocktail hour in one portion of Union Station following our wedding ceremony before being led into the reception in Grand Hall where a light show was beginning. The laser light show has coordinating music and imagery on the ceiling, creating a musical movie of sorts. It feels like you’re at Disney World! Another detail we loved was the trick-or-treat station at our reception. My mother-in-law took our vision for a trick-or-treat stand and ran with it. Some of our favorite candies (in mainly gold, white, and cranberry tones) filled various tall glass containers on a table next to the photo booth. Guests could go at any time during the reception to pick up a treat bag and fill it as they pleased!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed a family veil, first worn by my mother 30 years ago and then by my sister five years ago. The chapel-length veil is adorned with pearls and attached to a pearl cloche headpiece. My garter was wrapped in light blue ribbon, and my something old was lace from my mother’s dress, wrapped around my bridal bouquet. My lace Casablanca wedding gown was new!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Southern touches could be found all throughout our wedding. The wedding party was large (and all Midwestern friends thought we were crazy, ha!). With 12 bridesmaids, 12 groomsmen, four honorary bridesmaids, two registry attendants, two junior bridesmaids, two ushers, and a flower girl and ring bearer, the party filled in fast. Sweet tea was a beverage of choice at all wedding festivities. We exited the wedding reception to a popular and frequently played song during Mississippi State football games (as the cowbells clang): Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We took part in premarital counseling with our church’s pastor. We would meet once every few weeks for the three months prior to the wedding. We started our sessions by taking an intensive test that analyzed our personalities and how we handle others/relationships. We discussed the test results with our pastor and talked about possible conflicts/victories that may result from our two types. We loved every minute of these special sessions with our wise pastor, and only wished it never had to end! In the hustle and bustle of planning, this was a serene time that helped us gain focus and perspective. We also made a point to have date nights where we weren’t allowed to talk about the wedding, which I highly recommend!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I am blessed to have creative family members. My sister saved us so many costs by cutting any design charges from our wedding invites, paper goods, etc. She only charged us for the materials, which was a huge help. My childhood babysitter (and our family’s dear friend) volunteered to be our wedding day coordinator so that we could enjoy the day and not worry about all of the details lining up. For the ceremony, we used a lot of greenery and candles for the front of the church, instead of large floral arrangements. Central Presbyterian Church’s sanctuary has massive, colorfu,l stained-glass windows throughout and lots of natural light, vaulted ceilings, and large lanterns; it’s a beautiful place and didn’t need much extra.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Decide what’s right for you! A wedding is a small glimpse into the soul of a couple. Whatever style fits you, go for it and don’t look back. Weddings of all kinds are a lot of work, but I don’t regret one ounce of time we spent pouring into this most memorable day of becoming one with my husband. It’s one of the only days in your life when you’re truly surrounded by your very favorite and most loved people. Be in the moment and celebrate such a joyous and monumental occasion with no regrets!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We just bought our first home in our favorite neighborhood in the city! Our golden doodle, Murphy, loves having a backyard and room to play. We look forward to having friends over for house parties. Up next for our family…we’d like to plan a trip to Europe next year. Italy, perhaps? We shall see!

Photographer: Charis Rowland Photography | Videographer: LEAP Weddings | Planners: Beth Parks and Sara Beth Cobb | Ceremony Venue: Central Presbyterian Church | Reception Venue and Caterer: St. Louis Union Station | Florist: Les Bouquets | Wedding Cake: The Cakery Bakery | Band: PowerPlay | Special Details and Paper Products: Nimblee | Bride’s Gown: “Style 2169” by Casablanca | Hair and Makeup: Emily Miller | Bride’s Shoes: “Lois Glittery Mesh Kitten Heel” by Adrianna Papell | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Style 6705” in Venetian Gold by After Six | Menswear: Joseph Abboud | Photo Booth: 2 Chics and a Photobooth | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: City Cottage on Chouteau

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar 17 romantic red bouquets for Valentine's Day  reply

    […] Loosely tied red bouquet with Juliet roses. Via Southern Weddings […]

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When Marilisa from Martel Event described this shoot to me, she noted that the peach and neutral tones used made it fitting for spring, summer, or fall — and I couldn’t agree more! From the picturesque farmhouse setting at Half-Mile Farm to the natural texture in the bride’s skirt, I was captivated by each thoughtful detail, and hope it provides lots of fall wedding inspiration for y’all this morning, too!

Big hugs to Davy Whitener for these photos!

From Martel Event:
With a stunning setting like Old Edwards Inn & Spa’s Half-Mile Farm, it’s not hard to dream up a lakeside elopement to celebrate the commitment and unity of two people. The color palette and overall feel of the aesthetic was inspired by the natural muslin fibers of Carol Hannah’s Kensington skirt. The casual linen texture made elegant with the fullness of the skirt embodied the carefree and timeless spirit of the couple we imagined would pursue this type of gathering.

Martha McIntosh used a mostly neutral color palette for the florals, allowing the beauty of the couple and the setting to enhance the floral story. By including subtle pops of peach in both the centerpiece and bouquet, the flowers were given a fresh and playful feel – similar to how relaxed the couple feels with one another. The neutral tones of the guest table details as well as the paper goods created by Lydia Whitener ensure that the details are not bound to a particular season, but could easily be assimilated into a spring, summer, or fall affair.

For a small fete consisting of only family or close friends, we envisioned the couple adorning their guest table with collected heirlooms of china and mix-and-match flatware. The wedding cake, designed with a delicate stitching pattern and adorned simply with silk ribbon and single peony sits atop a hand-made cake stand cut from a single piece of wood- another heirloom for the couple to remember their wedding day by for years to come.

Photography: Davy Whitener | Design and planning: Martel Event | Florals: Martha McIntosh | Venue: Half-Mile Farm | Paper Goods: Lydia Whitener | Makeup: Becca Whittinghill | Hair: Claudia Verduzco | Bride’s Gown: “Kensington” skirt by Carol Hannah with bodice and lace jacket by Rebecca Schoneveld via The Sentimentalist | Jewelry: Trumpet & Horn | Accessories: Twigs & Honey | Suit: Sid Mashburn | Linens: Party Tables | China: Epting Events | Chairs: Crush Event Design | Cake: Artista Cakes

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Marilisa Martel reply

    thank you for sharing this special shoot! my hope is brides-to-be or newly-marrieds can find inspiration in the colors and details for their upcoming wedding or fall get-together!



  2. avatar Lisa reply

    Um, that last photo?! SO dreamy!!

  3. avatar Sarah Chancey reply

    Seriously stunning! So proud of you Marilisa!!

  4. avatar Davy Whitener reply

    Thanks so much for sharing! Big hugs coming your way from Lydia and I! :)

  5. avatar Old Edwards Inn Wedding | Davy Whitener Photography reply

    […] to our friends at Southern Weddings for the […]

  6. avatar Gosia reply

    Beautiful wedding. I loved the cake and the cake stand, very original!

  7. avatar Summer reply

    Gorgeous! Such attention to detail. It screams “southern” in the most elegant way possible. I love the bridge and groom tags in the forks as funny as that sounds. Jealous!

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At Southern Weddings, we always say that the most meaningful source of wedding inspiration is your own love story and your personalities. Drawing from that rich well is a surefire way to ensure your guests will proclaim your day “so you”–something I think every couple wants to hear! As I read through Caroline and Shaun’s interview, I kept noticing subtle ways their own stories influenced their fall wedding, from the dress Caroline chose, to the song she walked down the aisle to, to the venue they invited their beloved guests to. I’m confident that surrounding themselves with things they truly love played a small role in their joy on this beautiful day, which is so evident in these photos by Whitney Wysong!

I had always known I wanted to wear a long-sleeved wedding dress. My grandmother and my mom both wore long sleeves for their weddings and I love the elegance a lace long sleeve adds to a wedding dress. It was the most important detail I wanted. I had a few appointments at some of the bridal boutiques around town, and went shopping with my parents and a few friends and relatives. The third dress I tried on was perfection. I loved the sleeves, I loved the keyhole back, I loved the material of the skirt, and the whole dress was covered in chantilly lace. I felt like it had a vintage look to it that matched my 1920s refurbished engagement ring. We cancelled all of my other appointments and went to brunch to celebrate finding “the dress” over a few mimosas!

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We spoke to our pastor about our relationship a few times before the wedding. We talked about finances, family planning, and what to do when we get mad at each other. We both know now that when we get upset, we should take a little time away from each other to cool off so we don’t say anything hurtful. We were also instructed to talk other couples who have been married for different lengths of times and ask them what works for them and what doesn’t. That said, someone reminded us that it’s important to remember that every relationship is different, and what works for some people might not work for us. She told us to remember who we are and to always listen to each other before listening to other people’s opinions.

The most memorable moment for me was walking down the aisle with Shaun after the ceremony, and ringing the bell in the steeple of the chapel together as husband and wife. I thought it was the perfect way to kick off our marriage, and it was one of the happiest moments of my life.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I have always been an animal lover. I grew up riding and showing horses, so I spent all of my free time as a young girl at a barn. My family has always had at least three dogs, and we were always the people who had a knack for finding young and injured animals and nurturing them back to health. We had tons of baby squirrels, birds, rabbits, mice, snakes, and even a baby alligator at one point, when I was growing up. When I heard about Pine Knoll Farm, we went to check it out immediately. It is a working farm with a reception venue on the property. When we got out of the car, I was greeted by horses neighing–they have cows, goats, chickens, and a Great Pyrenese. The reception barn is gorgeous, with hand-welded light fixtures and a beautiful wooden stage built in. There isn’t a single detail about the venue that I didn’t love. It was the only place we looked at and we booked it that day.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Shaun and I met while working together at a restaurant in west midtown Atlanta. I got a job there while I was studying to take my boards before I could begin working as a registered nurse. On my third day of training, I was pleasantly surprised to find out my trainer was a tall, cute guy who made me laugh the entire night. We started dating and were soon attached at the hip. We both enjoy traveling, so we started traveling together, and I loved wandering through streets of random cities with him, striking up conversations with strangers, trying weird food, and just laughing our way through Panama and Europe together. We not only fell in love, but also became best friends and life partners.
Tell us all about the proposal! On Saturday, December 20, 2014, I woke up and went for a run. Shaun and I had planned on running together that morning, but he was still sleeping and had been up working late the night before, so I decided to let him sleep in. Halfway through my run, I got a text from Shaun telling me to meet him in the big field behind Oakland Cemetery, where he was going to be letting our two dogs run around. Oakland Cemetery is a historic cemetery right across from the lofts we lived in. There is a huge, beautiful, open field behind the cemetery and we have been taking our dogs there to run around for years. People always laugh when I tell them we got engaged in a cemetery, but it’s one of our favorite places to go in Atlanta–we call it our hidden gem. When I walked onto the field, Shaun was standing there with our two dogs. When he got down on one knee, I immediately burst into tears, and, of course, said yes! After staying at Oakland for about an hour, Shaun told me he had arranged a brunch, and that we needed to head to one of our favorite places. When we arrived at Atkins Park, about 20 of our closest friends were there and ready to celebrate. It was by far one of the happiest and most exciting days of my life.
When did y’all get married? November 28, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My wedding cake was a four-tiered ivory ruffle cake. The actual cake was lemon cheesecake with a lemon curd layer and italian buttercream icing. I had my florist put flowers on each layer of the cake. I loved it!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? To slow down and enjoy every second of it! It’s easy to stress over tiny details, but at the end of the day, none of those small details matter. Also, have someone make you a plate of food that night!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? For my bachelorette party, my bridesmaids asked Shaun some questions to answer without me knowing. The last question they asked him was “What are you most looking forward to in the future?” and I feel like his response was perfect: “In the future, I picture has having some awesome kids that we will raise and love and show them how to have fun. I picture us having our friends over with their kids and having cookouts and parties and going to Little League games. I am looking forward to expanding our blessed lives and keeping our network of friends and family close together.”

Photographer: Whitney Wysong Photography | Videographer: Tim Hunt | Day-of Coordination: Amanda Brewer of Boheme Concepts | Planner and Caterer: Events 2020 | Venue: Pine Knoll Farms | Florist: Sandra Burton | Cake Baker: A Piece of Cake Bakery | Bride’s Gown: Martina Liana | Bridal Salon: La Raine’s Bridal Boutique | Hair Stylist: Morgan Weathers of Tease Color + Hair Design Studio | Makeup Artist: Tabitha Ross | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Annabelle” and “Willow” in Shadow Grey by Jenny Yoo | Groom’s Attire: Simon’s Formal Wear

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Cynthia McIntyre reply

    The church and reception location are exceptional! What a lovely wedding! Thanks for posting a true Southern wedding!

  2. avatar Gosia reply

    Stunning wedding! Bridesmaid dresses look fab!

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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