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Rachel says finding their venue, the gorgeous Rustix Manor, was fate, but I would also vote that fate played a part in Rachel and James’ love story! Rachel was actually waiting on another date when James caught her eye at a party. After dancing well into the night, these two knew they were meant to be. If photos could talk, I’m pretty sure these beautiful ones from Melissa Schollaert would tell the same story. While reading their interview and scrolling this lovely wedding, I couldn’t help but think about how sweet everything was. The love these two have for each other, the adorable babe in a wagon, and ending the night with dancing around a bonfire and making s’mores – yep, sweet as can be!

Both of us wanted to see each other for the first time when I walked down the aisle–it was just something that we both had always known we wanted to do. I totally understand why people do a first look though–I can imagine it makes the time between the ceremony and the reception a lot less stressful–but I wouldn’t have changed our decision.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to Bridals by Lori with my mom, my sister, James’s mom, and three of my bridesmaids. Everyone picked out a few dresses for me to try, but when I put on the fourth dress, I knew it was the one. It was actually one that the consultant picked out after I told her what I liked, and once I saw myself in it, I knew that I wouldn’t like anything else as much as this one. It was a form-fitting, ivory lace dress with a keyhole back by Marisa.

Y’all, I may not be the biggest fan of flower crowns (mostly because I’m jealous I can’t pull one off!), but these delicate, perfectly-sized ones are amazing!

I wanted the flowers to reflect the feel of the wedding, which was light, romantic, and Southern. My bouquet included ranunculus, garden roses, stock flowers, and feverfew. The bridesmaid bouquets were pink stock flowers and their flower crowns were pink wax flowers. The men’s boutonnieres were pink roses with feverfew, and James’ was a white rose with feverfew. The flowers girls wore baby’s breath crowns.

She is just too cute!!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? While we were planning the wedding, we lived in Nashville, but we were both born and raised in Georgia and both of our families still live there, so having the wedding in Georgia was a no-brainer. I knew I wanted a rustic, outdoor wedding, and we looked at several venues before finding Rustix Manor. We were about to sign with a totally different venue before my mom went to lunch with a group of friends, and one of them told my mom she should check out Rustix. When my mom saw it, she absolutely knew it was exactly what I was looking for and we booked it before I even saw it in person. I like to think it was fate!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The whole wedding had such a Southern feel, first and foremost through the weather. It was 85 degrees in October, and our guests were fanning themselves with the programs and I was taking cover in the shade to avoid sunburn. The ceremony was on the stoop of a tiny “mock” chapel in the middle of a field, which made it seem like a small town chapel wedding. At the reception, the band played everything from classic rock to country while a bonfire blazed and guests danced and made s’mores. We even had a UGA win that day, so my bridesmaids and I called the dawgs! It was a perfect Georgia wedding.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: We agree that the best detail of the wedding was the venue itself. It was absolutely perfect and met all of our needs: we had a chapel, a poolside location for cocktail hour, a stage for the band, three bars, a firepit, and the most eclectic Southern decor.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? So many special moments come to mind, but I would say one of the most memorable moments was when I was dancing with my dad and ended up losing my cool. The song “Today I Met The Boy I’m Gonna Marry” by Darlene Love was playing, which brought out a lot of emotions for both of us, since we’ve always loved the movie Father of the Bride. James says the most memorable part was seeing me walk down the aisle.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was almond pound cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream frosting. I wanted it to look simple, but elegant, and taste delicious. The groom’s cake was chocolate cake with vanilla filling and chocolate frosting. It was topped with chocolate-covered strawberries and adorned with a big Georgia “G.”

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first met on spring break in Destin, FL back in 2009. I was with a group from my sorority and he was with a group from his fraternity. Both of our groups went to UGA. I was actually interested in one of James’ friends, and when we were back at school, his friend invited me to their fraternity party. While he was getting me a drink, I saw James, and we ended up dancing together the entire night. I guess the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! I had been out of town with my mom and sister for a week, and when we came back, James wanted to take me to a nice dinner. He took me to Dominick’s in downtown Norcross, and after dinner, we walked around near the fountain area and he said something about our future that I don’t exactly remember. He then knelt and proposed and gave me the most beautiful engagement ring that he had picked out himself. He had arranged for our families to be together waiting for us at my parent’s house, so afterwards, we were all able to celebrate together!
When did y’all get married? October 5, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 225
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. I knew I would be way too nervous, but I think James would have preferred saying our own vows if I hadn’t adamantly vetoed it early on.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We chose three scriptures to be read by our siblings: my brother read Genesis 2:18-24, James’ sister Stephanie read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, and my sister Jill read Colossians 3:12-17.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We had a very talented trio of women play stringed instruments for the ceremony. They played “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire” when my grandmothers were being seated, “Canon in D” when my dad walked me down the aisle, “How Great Thou Art” when we took communion as husband and wife, and “Wedding March” when we walked up the aisle together. We both thought all these songs were so beautiful, especially when played by stringed instruments. The band at our reception, Sweetwater Junction, was also extremely talented. They played our first dance song, “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green, which we love, because it’s so classic, fun, and upbeat.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Since the whole wedding was outside, our biggest challenge was coming up with a plan B in case it rained. I must have checked the weather 10 times a day the week of the wedding, especially when the forecast called for rain on our wedding day. Our plan B was to put a tent where we had the reception and then have both the ceremony and reception there, which would have still been beautiful and fun, but I’m so glad we were able to stick to the original plan.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? All of our vendors were so awesome and we were very happy to have all of them there, but the owners of the venue went above and beyond. They would let us come over anytime we asked (the venue is actually their home), their daughters helped drive guests around in golf carts, and they were always so friendly and accommodating. I asked for a bonfire in 80 degree weather, and they said sure, why not? They definitely made everything from the initial planning to the day-of much less stressful.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try not to stress about it too much. I know that is way easier said than done, but you really just have to tell yourself that the day will be beautiful and memorable no matter what. I couldn’t even talk about the wedding two weeks beforehand because it got me so worked up to think about. I wish I could have told myself to relax and not stress. It’s supposed to be a joyous time, so enjoy it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We still reside in Nashville and are loving married life. I’ve enjoyed trying out new recipes and we’ve had a lot of fun furnishing and decorating our apartment together. We adopted a little kitten a month after getting married and he’s been the perfect addition to our new family. I’m looking forward to future trips and vacations with both of our families and our own kids, and we are both excited for our family to one day grow.

Photographer: Melissa Schollaert / Videographer: Joseph Edwards / Venue: Rustix Manor / Florist: Tulip Blooming Creations / Catering and Cake: Legendary Events / Band: Sweetwater Junction / Bride’s Gown: “Style 953” by Marisa Bridals / Paper Products: Wedding Paper Divas / Bridal Salon and Veil: Bridals by Lori / Bride’s Necklace: Tiffany & Co. / Bride’s Earrings: Kate Spade / Hair and Makeup: Serendipity Designs Salon & Boutique / Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew / Bridesmaid Dresses: “Newbury Long Style 40442” in All Tomorrow’s Parties by Joanna August / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

Melissa Schollaert and East Coast Entertainment are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
8 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE her style–those glittery sandals and peachy bouquet are gorgeous with her lace dress!

  2. avatar Hannah Shaffer reply

    Oh my goodness gracious! A lace dress, gold glittery sandals AND s’mores? Not so sure this wedding could be more perfect.

  3. avatar Emily reply

    The chamomile in her bouquet is so pretty! And I love the post-ceremony hug photo :)

  4. avatar Lindsey Richardson reply

    I love the gold sandals! Where did she get them? I have a similar dress and I am not good with heals, so something just that those shoes would be perfect!

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  6. avatar Amanda reply

    Would you be able to tell me where she bought those heels? I would love them for my wedding in 4 months

  7. avatar Rachel Collins reply

    Lindsey & Amanda – I got the sandals at J Crew! The height was perfect and they definitely added a little sparkle.

  8. avatar Cutest Flat Wedding Shoes for the Love of Comfort and Style – MODwedding reply

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It’s a well-known fact that the Southern Weddings gals love farms and farm animals. But do you know why? Actually, I’m sure there are many reasons, but the one that’s coming to mind is that farms remind us of the simple and best things in life — they’re uncomplicated and unhurried (at least to someone other than the farmer!), beautifully pure, and generally idyllic. No wonder so many brides and grooms choose to get married on their rolling hills and under their graceful trees!

Ashleigh Jayne and Angela Marie clearly share our love for farmland; we’re so glad they sent this bucolic Louisiana editorial our way!

We tried to use as many textures as we could in the florals while still keeping a very earthy feel, especially in her bouquet. The blooms used included dahlias, caramel garden roses, white veronica, maiden hair fern, tree fern, astilbe, spray roses, wax flowers, Italian ruscus, and scabosia pods. The table arrangements also had lemon leaf, pink hydrangeas, and privet berries. The headpiece she was wearing in the fields had a more dramatic, colorful feel, using lots more garden roses and pink spray roses.

After many miles of driving and searching, I stumbled across an old saw mill that had been converted into hay barns for a local family’s cows that roam the pastures surrounding their property. The gorgeous oaks in our area are over 300 years old, and this particular oak provided us with a picturesque backdrop for our bride. The mossy limbs, the old barn, the curious cows, and the rolling pasture all made for breathtaking photos.

When I think of old farm days, I think of an old kitchen. The heart of the South, especially in Louisiana, is in the kitchen. Using sacks of flour and sugar, brown eggs, old sifters and vintage kitchen utensils, I brought the kitchen to our table. I added beautiful plates from Anthropologie, old vintage flatware tied in the moss from that gorgeous oak, beautiful handwritten place cards, and eyelet napkins monogrammed for our bride and groom. Every Southern event must have at least one thing monogrammed, right? When styling an event I always like to use something from the property or venue when I can. There were some beautiful pear trees on the property that I just couldn’t resist using here and there throughout the shoot.

Styling and floral design: Angela Marie Events | Photography: Ashleigh Jayne Photography | Hair: Dustin Gauthier | Makeup: Tina Rodosta, Verde Beauty | Invitations: The First Snow | Antiques and furniture: Timeless Vintage Rentals and Design | Signage: MillerLine Design | Fig Pies: Heirloom Cuisine | Cake: The Ambrosia Bakery | Dress Hanger: Pure Vintage Clothing

For more inspiring editorials, take a peek at our full gallery!

emily Written with love by Emily
9 Comments
  1. avatar Shelby reply

    Absolutely beautiful! I love farm life for the very same reason :)

  2. avatar Tina Rodosta reply

    I’m so excited to be apart of this feature!!! <3 <3
    The link to my work is wrong though – it should be http://www.verdebeautystudio.com :) That's where all of my bridal work is :)

  3. avatar JLeslie Wedding Decor reply

    Love this wedding!!

  4. avatar Olivia Fischer reply

    I love farm weddings. They are always green, fresh and calm. The naked wedding cake is beautiful!

  5. avatar uyvonna copelan southern manor farms reply

    absolutely beautiful

  6. avatar southern manor farms reply

    we have farm weddings on our farm of 100 ac

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When it comes to our darling brides, these gals are not only gorgeous, they are also filled with a love for the South, their beaus, and their families. And as good Southern girls, they also tend to have a love for pearls, monograms, and cowboy boots. It goes without saying that these lovely accessories are made even more special if our grandmothers or great grandmothers wore them! While this post would have been a mile long if I’d been given the daunting task of narrowing down the best accessories of the year, I couldn’t agree more with Mrs. Thomas’ perfectly curated collection of stylish goodness!

Vintage veil | Chanda + David | Lexia Frank

Floral crown | Celie + Shane | Sweet Tea Photography

Puff veil | Paige + Brian | Loft Photographie

Statement necklace | Janet + Colin | Julia Wade

Monogram dress patch | Morgan + Matthew | Amy Arrington

Vintage ring | Fay + Jon | Katherine Miles Jones

Wire crown | Juliet + Dave | Alicia Swedenborg

Vow-embroidered boots, dangly earrings, lace-edged veil | Savannah + Robbie | Andi Mans

Gardenia hair flower | Caroline + Ben | Meg Baisden

Vintage clutch and handkerchief | Laura + Shannon | Paul Johnson

Sweet Tea Photography, Loft Photographie, Julia Wade, Amy Arrington, and Andi Mans are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
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