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One of the most fun parts of making V7 was including things that are not only meaningful to the South and to our mission, but also, to the history of Southern Weddings. Our cover was photographed by Tec Petaja, who appeared on the cover of V1, and our annual team photos were taken by the talented Jodi and Kurt of Jodi Miller Photography, whose wedding graced the pages of V4! Jodi and Kurt joined us on the first day of our team retreat for an afternoon of shooting all over the Triangle, and despite the heat and the mosquitoes, I think it’s easy to see how much fun we had with them!

We were so grateful that the Makeup For Your Day ladies helped us out with our hair and makeup! Our first colorful set of photos was taken in the gardens of Fearrington Village.

Next, we changed into lovely, neutral gowns and headed to Fernrock Farms to take some pictures amongst hundreds of flowers. The owner, Carrie, was so gracious to host us, and she even whipped up a few vibrant bouquets for us to pose with.

Last but not least, we stopped at Maple View Farm to take advantage of the golden hour light in a beautiful field. These are some of our favorite photos from the day! Curious about our fancy dresses? Marissa is wearing “Halo” by Elizabeth Dye from The Sentimentalist, Morgan is in “Goldie” by Sarah Seven, Nicole is in “Practically Perfect” by Sarah Seven, Lara is in “Monique” by Erin Fetherston, Emily is in “Amour” by Sarah Seven, I’m in “Cecilia” by Jenny Yoo from Nordstrom, and Kristin is in “Odette” from BHLDN.

A big SW “thank you” to Jodi and Kurt–we loved working with them on these team photos, and we’re so happy to have them in our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
5 Comments
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Y’all are beautiful!! These pictures capture you perfectly :)

  2. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    UM, y’all are all GORGEOUS! Seriously stunning! :)

  3. avatar Sam reply

    I love the champagne gold colour, it would look beautiful in a neutral or cream/gold wedding theme. x

  4. avatar Jenna Lowery reply

    I am COMPLETELY obsessed with those gold and beige dresses, My wedding colors are gold and red and Ill be getting married in a barn and those dresses are BEYOND perfect !

  5. avatar Southern Weddings Team Photos – V7 » Jodi Miller Photography | Virginia Wedding Photography & Destination Wedding Photography reply

    […] ladies behind Southern Weddings magazine for the V7 issue! See more of their team photos on the Southern Weddings blog, as well as in the latest issue, […]

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Confession: I have been wanting to see Katie and Josh’s wedding ever since I caught a sneak peek of it on Instagram, so you can imagine how excited I was when I found out that they had graciously shared their big day with Southern Weddings! There are few things more lovely than spring in North Carolina, and I love how these two embraced the natural beauty of their venue (an SW favorite, Fearrington!), while also incorporating a healthy dose of glamour and gold. While their reception was exquisite, they clearly put so much love and thought into planning their ceremony as well, and it shows in these beautiful pictures by Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography!

I found my wedding dress at Alexia’s Bridal in Raleigh, and it happened to be my first time shopping for a gown. I had always dreamed of wearing a Monique Lhuillier gown, and to my surprise, Alexia’s was holding a trunk show sale on the same day as my bridal appointment! The first time I tried on THE gown, I immediately fell in love with the light organza fabric and detailed rose pattern on the skirt. Finding my dress was actually the first thing checked off of my wedding to-do list!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! YES! The most special was my something blue: my grandmother’s sapphire diamond bracelet, gifted to her by my grandfather. All of my girl cousins have worn it on their wedding days, and it has become a family tradition. It’s our way of remembering our dear grandfather, who loved all of us unconditionally.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We chose Fearrington because of its rustic, yet elegant, charm. I knew that the gardens would be blooming with spring flowers in May, and I had heard that Chef Bedford’s cooking was exquisite. I am originally from Northern Virginia and Josh is from Michigan, so we wanted to give our guests a little taste of classic Southern comfort.

What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make your ceremony special. Oftentimes, couples overlook planning special things for the ceremony because they figure they will only be there for 30-60 minutes. I love looking back at the pictures of our beautiful pews, chandelier, and bureau table. After all, the ceremony is the most important and intimate part of your whole wedding!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? For the ceremony, we decided to rent old doors and white distressed pews to make the ceremony feel more church-like. I think the Fearrington Barn’s tree branch chandeliers were the icing on the cake.

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Choosing a color palette and theme. It started out rustic, but we slowly incorporated more gold tones and spring flowers. Eventually, everything came together, but for a few months, I was having a difficult time envisioning the look of the wedding. Kaitlin Holland helped us pull it all together.

Music can make or break the party–it’s worth it to splurge on a wedding band. Our guests, young and old, are still raving about how much they enjoyed a night filled with dancing!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through mutual friends while I was a senior at East Carolina University. One of my girlfriends convinced me to go out with her to hang out with a guy she was interested in. Josh had already graduated from ECU, but was working in Greenville and happened to live at the house we were going to. Josh and I hit it off immediately–his friends always tell me that the day after Josh met me, he admitted, “I love her, I love her, and I don’t care who knows it!” We were inseparable for two weeks after meeting, until he found out that he had landed a job in San Diego. I figured we would attempt the long distance, but just assumed it wouldn’t work. The next thing I knew, we were flying out to see each other almost every other month! Josh left his job as soon as I graduated and moved back to Northern Virginia with me, even though we had only been dating for eight months.
Tell us all about the proposal! Josh planned a trip to California for us to visit his brother, who lives in Laguna Hills, and we also planned to spend a night in San Diego. Josh and I decided to go to our favorite restaurant in Ocean Beach to indulge in some of the best fish tacos we’d ever eaten. Before going into the restaurant, we took a quick walk out onto the pier nearby to take a couple of pictures, and before I knew it, Josh was on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I’m usually a difficult person to surprise, but Josh really got me, considering we didn’t even go ring shopping together. We headed into the restaurant, where I planned on calling my family to tell them the good news, but then I saw them all waiting for us inside! There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Huge props to Josh on this one!
When did y’all get married? May 17, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 165
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? No, we decided to go the traditional route. My favorite part of any wedding is seeing the groom’s reaction the first time he sees his bride.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $75,000-$100,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We saved a lot of money when it came to the tiny details. My family is full with DIY-ers who went out of their way to help. My future sister-in-law and her mom made and canned all of the peach preserves that were given as favors, along with all of the wooden ceremony signs and chalkboard signs. My dad built the mailboxes that were used to hold the programs. Luckily, my parents own a security printing company, so any of the tags/card stock that we used for escort cards, party favors, and programs came from their printing plant!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? The owner of Simply Put Vintage, Kaitlin Holland! My mom and I originally did not think we would need a wedding planner, but then we both started getting tied up with school and work. Kaitlin was our saving grace. My mom met her at the SPV warehouse to check out the old doors we wanted for our ceremony, and was so impressed with the collection that she asked Kaitlin to style the wedding. I was so overwhelmed with emotion when I saw the set-up of the ceremony for the first time–it was simply perfect.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? I will be graduating from UNCG with my second degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in Spring 2015 and hope to pursue a career as a registered dietitian. Josh is currently working for a start-up company as a business development manager. Kids are definitely next for us! Josh and I adore our nieces and nephews. We have been living together for almost three years now and just purchased our first home in May 2013, so we are ready to expand our family in the near future.

Photographer: Callie Davis of Nancy Ray Photography / Videographer: Innerloupe / Planner: Kaitlin Holland Creative / Venue and Catering: The Fearrington / Florist: Mary Stevens of Fearrington / Wedding Cake: Maxie B’s / Rentals: Simply Put Vintage Rentals and CE Rentals / Band: Elegance / Bride’s Gown: “1206” by Bliss by Monique Lhuillier / Paper Products: The Dandelion Patch / Bride’s Veil: Jennifer Leigh / Bride’s Crystal Sash: Monique Lhuillier / Hair and Makeup: Makeup For Your Day / Bride’s Shoes: Ann Taylor Bridal Collection / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Bridesmaid Dress Salon: Bella Bridesmaids / Groom’s Attire: Baroni Prive / Groomsmen Attire: Gordon’s Menswear Rentals / Pews: Carolina Rustic Rentals / Strings: Arioso Strings

Nancy Ray Photography, Simply Put Vintage Rentals, and The Dandelion Patch are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Every part of this wedding is absolutely stunning! We are swooning over the bride’s gown and loving the different colors and styles of the bridesmaids dresses!

  2. avatar Featured! | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] and Josh's Fearrington Wedding Featured on the Southern Weddings Blog Photographer: Callie […]

  3. avatar gorgeous ceremony set-up | Nancy Ray Photography #wedding… – Best Home Decorating Ideas reply

    […] Source: southernweddings.com […]

  4. avatar Celebrating Southern Weddings | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] Katie and Josh’s Wedding on the SW Blog Whitney and Nick’s Wedding on the SW […]

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Friends! Thank you so much for all of your sweet feedback in my last “Lisa’s Southern Wedding” post. It means the world to me! I’m diving into mine and Dave’s wedding plans today, and I’m excited to share about how we made the hardest wedding decision we’ve made yet—our venues.

The longer version of this post’s title is “Choosing a Venue When You Have Too Many Options.” As you read in my last post, my handsome fiancé and I have a long list of places that are special to us, so even narrowing down a state to get married in was a challenge! Once we quickly nixed the idea of eloping in Austria where we met (though wouldn’t that be romantic?), Dave and I sat down over a barbecue lunch in Raleigh to discuss the pros and cons of our options. Here’s what we did know:

1. We are having a full Catholic Mass ceremony, so we need to have our ceremony in a church—preferably a beautiful one that we love and have some connection to.
2. I wanted an indoor venue for our reception, surrounded by beautiful outdoor space for pictures.
3. We were quite set on having a Saturday wedding in May 2015.

With that in mind, here are a few of our biggest pros and cons for each place:

Syracuse, New York. Pros: It’s Dave’s hometown and his whole family is there. Con: I don’t know anything about the wedding industry in upstate New York and would be starting from scratch looking for venues and vendors. Since Dave wasn’t tied to the idea of getting married there, we crossed NY off of the list first.

Austin, Texas. Pros: Dave and I LOVE Austin, and it would be an amazing destination for our guests. Con: Between the cost of an Austin wedding and the travel we would need to do, Austin was both our most expensive and least practical option.

Houston, Texas. Pro: My family and many of my friends are there. Con: It’s far away from Dave and I, as well as Dave’s family. While I’m sure Houston could have been a great option, I ultimately decided I wasn’t willing to relinquish quite as much control of the wedding over to my mom or a planner as I would have needed to.

Somewhere in North Carolina. Pros: Dave and I adore our church in Raleigh, and it would be fun to introduce our families and friends to our new home state. Cons: The reception venues I looked at near our church tended to lack the sweeping, outdoor views I was dreaming of, and it would be a destination for not one, but both of our families, plus most of our friends.

Somewhere in Virginia. Pros: I grew up there, so I loved the idea of getting married in my home state, every reception venue I looked at was more stunning than the last, and it’s a good “halfway” point for our families. Cons: We didn’t know of any churches in the area, and it would still be a destination for our guests.

Personal photo at King Family Vineyards

Phew! With all that in mind, we ended up with North Carolina and Virginia in a tie. I dove into research mode, determined to find something before the new year (we got engaged in mid-November) in case I could take advantage of any 2014 rates by booking in 2013–a tip I picked up in Emily’s amazing budgeting post. In North Carolina, we looked into Adaumont Farm, Raffaldini Vineyards, and The Sutherland, to name a few, but by early December, we were leaning heavily toward Charlottesville, Virginia. Dave even flew down so we could drive there together and take a look at a few places. As much as we loved one of the reception venues though (King Family Vineyards), we couldn’t find a church that we also loved, so we left Charlottesville a little disheartened. Dave flew back to New York that night, and I went back to my computer to focus on North Carolina. After a few hours of feeling embarrassingly frustrated, I had a revelation.

Dave and I love my church and our priest in Raleigh. When it comes down to it, the ceremony is by far the most important part of our wedding day, and no place was going to feel quite as “at home” as it would there. There was also a reception venue within reasonable distance that I had shrugged off early on as the “too predictable” choice—but in truth, it’s one of our favorite places in North Carolina. I called Dave while he was laid over in an airport on his way home and ran my new idea by him, and as I told him what I was thinking, we both knew it was the perfect fit.

And that is how we landed on our venues: the beautiful Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Barn at Fearrington Village!

Personal photos

The more we talked about it, the more everything seemed to click. I love the fact that we’ll truly be showing our guests two of our favorite places in North Carolina. As a true-blue city girl, I’m also excited that our ceremony is taking place in downtown Raleigh, but we won’t have to give up the beautiful landscapes I love for portraits. Here’s a closer look at Sacred Heart:

Top two photos by Michael Moss via Style Me Pretty, interior by Robyn Van Dyke, ceiling by Nancy Ray

Fearrington already holds so many special memories for both me and Dave–it really is one of our favorite places. The Barn is a relatively blank canvas, and the staff at Fearrington is so wonderful to work with. It’s the perfect place for us to show our guests the country part of NC! Here are a few of my favorite Fearrington wedding picures.

Top photo by Nancy Ray, middle two photos by Kate Headley via Snippet & Ink, family photo by Eric Kelley from our V5 Family Heirlooms shoot!

How did you go about choosing your venue/venues? Next up, I’ll be telling y’all about our photographer(!!)—that decision was significantly easier than this one!

P.S. Fun fact: Ironically, I’m the first Southern Weddings gal who, since starting to work at SW, is having a wedding in the South! Emily was married in her home state of Connecticut and Katharine was married at her alma mater in Massachusetts. That’s how we came up with this series name, Lisa’s Southern Wedding!

In case you missed a post…
I’m Engaged!
The Main Characters

lisa Written with love by Lisa
28 Comments
  1. avatar Alana reply

    Oh Lisa! Sacred Heart is by far one of the most beautiful churches!! And a wedding there….oh so much more perfect!! Hope all the wedding planning goes just wonderfully : )

  2. avatar Catherine Grace reply

    The ceiling of the cathedral is stunning! :)

  3. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    YAY!!! So excited for you, Lisa!! I remember discussing all the many gorgeous venue options with you – LOVE your final choices!!! Woop woop! :)

  4. avatar Dana reply

    they’re so perfect!!!! so glad I got to see them in real life!

  5. avatar Emily reply

    Hooray! Such good choices, and together they encompass such a wide variety of environments – perfect for you guys! LOVE that starry ceiling!

  6. avatar Sadie reply

    Lisa, as a Southern Catholic lady myself, I am SO excited to follow your wedding planning journey! Definitely looking forward to the personal touches you’ll add to the already beautiful Sacred Heart Cathedral!

  7. avatar Meredith reply

    Helloooooooo King Family!! Sorry, I got really distracted when I saw your pic there and I recognized it instantly. I’m getting married there in ~2 months (4/12/14)!!!!

    The church and venue y’all picked sounds perfect for you :-) I’m excited to follow your planning adventures even though mine will be coming to an end soon! Best wishes, Meredith

    • avatar Lisa reply

      We absolutely loved King Family! Wishing you all the best in your last two months of planning! :)

  8. avatar Molly reply

    I’m getting married in May of this year and finding our venue was the hardest part! We chose a destination wedding in the NC mountains and randomly stumbled on the venue when looking for houses to rent on the Sotheby’s website, which is odd, but it turned out to be a hidden gem of a venue! I love reading about your wedding planning!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Thanks Molly! Love that y’all found your venue in such an unexpected way!

    • avatar Molly reply

      I just realized that a nice way to incorporate Syracuse might be through your stationery/invitations! It’s home to the 2 best letterpress lines in the country, Bella Figura and Smock…and they take a lot of pride in their city! I’m their NC dealer so let me know if you ever want to see the albums in person! Cheers!

  9. avatar Christina L. Frederick reply

    My heart is bursting with excitement for you! Your church is beautiful and who could resist a wedding by the Belties! :) Twp perfect venues for two perfect people! Big hugs!
    xo Christina

    • avatar Lisa reply

      Thank you, sweet friend! We definitely can’t wait for our guests to see the Belties! :)

  10. avatar Whitney reply

    We had such a similar situation because we both live in Columbia and neither of us is “from here.” But we’ve been attending Trinity Cathedral for years and we knew we wanted to have a full service there. The reception venue was secondary but turned out to be awesome! You won’t regret getting married in a space that is so beautiful and special to you all at once, and you get to re-live a bit of it everytime you go to church on Sundays! I linked the sneak peak from our December wedding so you can check it out :) best of luck to you!

    • avatar Lisa reply

      LOVE that–such a good point! Your church is so gorgeous! Thanks for sharing the pictures! :)

  11. avatar Whitney reply

    http://www.amandasummerlin.com/blog/2014/01/whitney-and-austin-trinity-episcopal-cathedral-in-columbia/

    Oops – forgot to link it!

  12. avatar lena reply

    What perfect choices!

  13. avatar Classic Vineyard Wedding by Candi Coffman – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] my favorite Southern wedding destinations–so much so that my fiancé and I considered it for our own wedding! I wasn’t the least bit surprised when I read that Jane and Marty selected the gorgeous […]

  14. avatar Anastasia reply

    Lisa this is all so beautiful! I’m so happy you two were able to decide!

  15. avatar Bethany H. reply

    I started reading this series because of today’s post – I got engaged in December 2013 (in Disney World!) and am getting married May 29, 2015 at The Sutherland, and it’s fun to read about a bride getting married and going through the same timeline of events as I am! Best of luck to you, Lisa!

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