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It doesn’t get much more Southern than a front porch, and when said front porch is the namesake of a beautiful farm venue outside of Nashville, Tennessee, it’s safe to say that you have the attention of the Southern Weddings gals! Christine and Drew chose Front Porch Farms as the venue for their spring wedding, and they loved hosting their out of town family members and friends there. One of their most special guests? The pastor who officiated their ceremony–he had predicted Christine and Drew were perfect for each other a year before they met, and even set them up on their first date!

Thank you so much to our dear Blue Ribbon Vendor friends, Landon and Jordan of Landon Jacob, for sharing this lovely day with us!

The pastor who married us had been trying to set us up for over a year. As chance would have it, we were both in other relationships, but that didn’t stop Matt (our pastor) from still trying to get us together. Finally, when the timing was right, we went on a brunch date. After leaving our first date, Drew called his brother and said, “Mark my words, I am going to marry that girl.”

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes!! I’m a wedding photographer, so I know that the day can already be a bit of a blur. I think the first look can be even more intimate of a moment, and it takes nothing away from walking down the aisle. Drew was not sure about doing a first look, but now that we have done it, he thinks it was the best decision. We got sweet photos before the wedding, and we got to spend more time together by seeing each other before the ceremony. It was a favorite moment of the day!

We chose songs that had personal significance in our relationships with God. The wedding party walked down the aisle to “Before the Throne,” and I walked down the aisle to Phil Wikham’s “Divine Romance.” We also played a bluegrass version of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” They were performed by our talented friends, singer-songwriter Jake Ousley and songwriter Jeff Pardo. After we said our vows, we walked out to “Your Love is Lifting me Higher.”

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The pastor who married us is the man who predicted our marriage a year before we met, and the one who finally got us to go on a date.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Most of our guests were from out of town, so we wanted a venue that allowed our guests to stay in downtown Nashville and experience all that we love about the city. We also wanted a place that had good lighting, was beautiful and didn’t need much additional decor, and was budget friendly.

We had organic bouquets of peach, burgundy, white, and pink Juliet garden roses, ranunculus, anemones with navy centers, peonies, and Queen Anne’s lace, mixed with an assortment of greenery, including seeded eucalyptus and clematis vine. We tied bouquets with a variety of lace and ribbon, and the boutonnières were also all wrapped with different ribbon or gold wire. The table centerpieces were in wooden boxes, and we mixed in wood slices with milk glass, blue mason jars, old books, and brass candle holders. We also had greenery garlands around the menu and bride and groom chairs.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. This is one area where we saved money, but didn’t feel like we cut corners. We ordered three cakes, all with buttercream icing in different textures, and we added flowers for the decoration. The cakes were delicious, and they were from Publix! Drew LOVES chocolate chip cookies–he is literally a cookie monster! Chocolate chip cookies and milk for the groom’s cake were a no-brainer. We had 2%, skim, and almond milk available for guests to have with the cookies.

Tell us all about the proposal! I love to travel. Early one morning, Drew came to my house and woke me up, Starbucks in hand, and told me to pack my bags while he made us breakfast tacos, because we were headed to a destination that was 70 degrees. I was pretty confused and started to list off the design meetings and engagement session I had scheduled, but he assured me he had contacted all of my clients and taken care of everything. As we scanned our ID’s at the airport, San Diego came up on the screen! Once we arrived, we rented a convertible and headed straight to La Jolla beach, where Drew proposed at sunset. He had made three boxes representing when we met, when he fell in love with me, and then him asking me to be his wife. Each box had journal entries he had written and photos. It was extremely significant and special. After that, we got a glass of wine at Hotel de Coronado, followed by some late night McDonald’s. We were able to stay with some of Drew’s friends in San Diego and spent a few days exploring the city.
When did y’all get married? April 18, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 160
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Our first dance was to Tristan Prettyman’s “All I Want is You.” One of our favorite memories of the wedding day was our last dance. We had everyone clear out of the reception and we shared our last dance alone to “Wagon Wheel,” which was the first song we ever danced to together.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I did! My something borrowed was my veil (which I only wore walking down the aisle); it belonged to one of my bridesmaids. My blue was my blue suede Cole Hann wedges. My old was the diamond on my engagement ring; it was my grandmother’s that she gave to me. My new was my Stella York wedding dress!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We recently moved to Fort Worth, Texas from Nashville and bought our first house! Drew is working at Watermark Community Church as the director of student ministries, and I’m working on starting my photography company, Declare Photography, and my interior design company, Christine Zeiler Interiors, in Fort Worth.

Photographer: Landon Jacob / Planner and Paper Products: Christine Zeiler / Venue: Front Porch Farms / Florist: Catherine Wilson / Cake Baker: Publix, Catering: Bacon & Caviar / Rentals: The House Nashville / DJ: Tim Hiber / Calligraphy: Four Hats Press / Print Layout: Arboreal paper / Invitation Template: How Lovely Paper / Bride’s Gown: “5703” by Stella York / Bride’s Jewelry: Jessie Jordan / Hair Stylist: Leslie from Katie Russo / Makeup Artist: Katie Russo / Bride’s Shoes: “Nike Air Wedges” by Cole Haan / Menswear: J.Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan

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

    This is such cute wedding!

  2. avatar Loverly reply

    What a stunning ceremony venue!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    love so many details in this wedding!

  4. avatar darling dogwood details | Merriment Events™ Wedding Planning & Design l Richmond, Virginia reply

    […] image #1 cake by maggie austin, photographed by abby jiu for maria & josh’s wedding; #2 wreath via once wed; #3 cookies for megan + will’s wedding photographed by katie stoops; #4 maids with dogwood bouquets photographed by landon jacob via southern weddings magazine; #5 dogwood arrangement photographed by landon jacob via southern weddings […]

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As someone who met my own soon-to-be husband while studying abroad in Austria, I feel a little bit like kindred spirits with Katie and Rob. They met on the airplane en route to their study abroad program and spent the first few magical months of their relationship traveling and exploring around Western Europe! Six years later, they chose their venue, the gorgeous Summerour Studio in Atlanta, because it reminded them a little bit of Florence, where they had shared their first kiss. I love the way they brought lots of Southern touches, in honor of their Georgia hometowns, to this European-style venue!

Thank you so much to Laura Leslie for sharing this beautiful wedding with us!

Rob and I grew up 12 miles from each other and went to Georgia Tech for two years together before we finally met on a flight to Europe for a study abroad trip during the summer of 2007. He gave me the middle seat so that I could sit next to a friend, and I gave him my dessert. We spent the rest of the summer traveling around Western Europe together and had our first kiss in Florence. We spent the next two years dating back in Atlanta. When Rob graduated, he moved to Texas while I finished my last year of school. When I graduated, I got a job in New York, and shortly after I moved, Rob moved back to Atlanta. We spent the next year traveling up and down the East Coast to see each other. In the summer of 2010, we both packed up our apartments and drove across the country to move into our new apartment on a palm tree-lined street in Los Angeles. That December, Rob popped the question and we moved back to Atlanta together the next summer. We got married almost six years after the day we met.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Summerour Studio is not a typical Southern venue—in fact, it’s a little European, with a terracotta roof and a charming cobblestone courtyard that has grape vines crawling up the front of the studio. We loved that it reminded us of Florence, where we had our first kiss. It also has a beautiful, open, rustic interior with dark wood floors and factory windows.

We recited traditional vows, but we also asked each of our aunts to read two of our favorite poems: Pablo Neruda’s Sonnets LXIX and XVII. Like a vow, I think we will always remember lines from those poems. “So I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.” On the morning of our wedding, Rob surprised me with a necklace that had this line engraved on it: “through love I will be, you will be, we’ll be.”

Describe your wedding flowers. We worked with Erica Loesing, who was part of the Amy Osaba team, on the design for our wedding. She put together the most beautiful arrangements on each table using a mixture of bronze, glass, and milky white vessels, white, peach, pink, and light yellow peonies, garden roses, ranunculus, and tulips, and beautiful greenery, like flowing vines and bunches of wonderful-smelling herbs, like mint.

Since Rob and I fell in love traveling around the world and then spent a good part of the next five years moving around, we used vintage postcards from all the cities we had visited as our seating cards. Then, at their tables, guests wrote us a note—a memory, wish, or piece of advice—on the postcard. We put all the postcards in an album as our guest book.

Tell us all about the proposal! From Rob: I decided that proposing during one of our runs at Griffith Park near our house, where there’s a trail you can see the whole city from, would be perfect. As part of the celebration, I also bought tickets to a show at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for that evening. The concert hall had always been a special place to us in the city. The week I was going to propose, I told Katie I had a surprise for her that weekend. Later in the week, I suggested we go for a long run in Griffith Park in the morning, since I knew she thought the surprise was coming later. The morning of the proposal, Katie said she couldn’t go running if she was going to wrap up work before the big surprise. I tried to convince her, but didn’t want her to get suspicious. Instead, when we got to the Concert Hall, we found a place to sit down–just the two of us–and I asked her right there. I couldn’t wait another minute.
When did y’all get married? May 18, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I thought I wanted something very straight and simple. I tried on so many “almost” dresses, but we went to an appointment at Bride Beautiful to see if we could find anything we liked better. The only dress I tried on there ended up being the one! It was completely different than what I had been imagining, but I fell in love with the beautiful layering and detail. We worked with the amazing Gizzelle James to alter it perfectly!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Rob and I don’t love cake, but we do love ice cream! Instead of serving cake, the Honeysuckle Gelato truck parked outside and served little cups of gelato all night! We worked with the Honeysuckle team to pick our favorites from their extensive menu of Southern-inspired flavors. We chose bourbon pecan, sea salt caramel, and blueberry cheesecake with graham cracker.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We knew Summerour would be the perfect place for us to layer the Southern details and traditions that mean the most to us. The food, gelato, and cocktails were all Southern—one station served shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes, biscuits, and a pimento cheese spread. We had bourbon pecan gelato and a peach sorbet. One of our cocktails was a “Southern Old Fashioned” with peach bitters. All of the details on the tables felt so soft and Southern, especially the bowls of fresh seasonal produce–peaches, crabapples, and kumquats.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Our most memorable moment of the wedding was something few guests probably even noticed. Instead of walking down the aisle to a traditional song, we chose “Stranger Things” by Local Natives. We first saw Local Natives, our favorite band, at a special show where they performed with the symphony at Disney Concert Hall, which is why that venue has always been so special to us. The opening of the song is beautiful, and to this day, whenever I hear it, I get chills as I remember exactly how I felt when I took those first steps toward Rob.

Photographer: Laura Leslie Photography / Planner: Erica Loesing / Venue: Summerour Studio / Florist: Erica Loesing of Amy Osaba / Dessert: Honeysuckle Gelato / Caterer: Bold American / DJ: JP McLeod / Bride’s Gown: Saison Blanche / Bridal Salon: Bride Beautiful / Paper Products: One Plus One Design and Julie Doan / Hair and Makeup Stylist: Raney O’Keefe / Bride’s Shoes: J. Crew / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank suits / Groom’s Tie: J. Crew / Groom’s Shoes: Johnston and Murphy

Laura Leslie is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    Beautiful wedding! I’m wondering where the table numbers are from. And, if the bride may be willing to sell them :).

  2. avatar Dana reply

    a gelato truck sounds like a fantastic idea!

  3. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Katie and Rob met en route to Europe, so their European-style wedding venue was a perfect fit. Lauren and Casey‘s first dance story melted our hearts–don’t miss it! Charlotte and Zachary were married at the groom’s family farm in the heart of Texas. […]

  4. avatar Summerour Studio Wedding | Central Florida Wedding Photographer | Southeast Wedding Photography » Atlanta Wedding Photographer Laura Leslie reply

    […] can read more about this beautiful day  on Southern Weddings […]

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Anytime a bride cites “Father of the Bride” as a source of wedding inspiration, you know her wedding is going to be lovely! Following a traditional Catholic ceremony, Kelly and Marvin celebrated with their guests in the backyard of Kelly’s childhood home, in a reception full of lush red peonies, the most charming swing, and sweet nods to Kelly’s Chinese heritage. I especially love that their most memorable moment was their peaceful, private drive to the reception, and the fact that Kelly literally let her hair down to twirl around the dance floor with her new husband!

Big SW hugs to the talented Katie Stoops for sharing Kelly and Marvin’s wedding with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was so lucky to have my mom with me at every dress appointment. When we visited Carine’s Bridal Atelier, I loved every Monique Lhuillier dress I tried on! Putting my dress on with the veil sealed the deal. I felt like a bride!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed and old was my pendant from my mom, which was passed down to her from my great grandmother. My something new was my shoes. I wore a little something blue under my dress!

I loved our wedding flowers! We used our wedding invitations and other Redoute prints as inspiration. The colors ranged from white, blush, pops of peach, pink, and red. We had peonies, garden roses, clematis, ranunculus, freesia, sweet peas, jasmine, and hypericum. The red peonies were amazing, full, and lush.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. It didn’t fit into our schedule before the ceremony and I really wanted that moment of seeing Marvin waiting for me at the altar. I didn’t realize I would become so emotional the moment we arrived at the church!
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows. We stuck to the traditional Catholic vows.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The swing! The swing hung on a huge tree in my parents’ backyard, just beyond the tent. It was decorated with greens, beautiful flowers, and ribbon streamers. It added just the right hint of whimsy to our wedding.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? St. Clare of Assisi is a beautiful church tucked away in the town of Clifton. It is surrounded by trees and natural beauty. Our reception was at my parents’ house. Ever since I was a little girl watching Father of the Bride, I’ve dreamed about a wedding at the home I grew up in. I couldn’t have picked a more special place for our wedding celebration!

I am half Chinese, and for our favors, my Aunt Wendy handmade tea cups with the Chinese characters for double happiness stamped in red on the front. In China, red is the traditional wedding color, as it signifies joy, love, and prosperity. Because the wedding was at my parents’ house, we were able to use lots of personal items throughout the day.

Our first dance was to “The Way I Am,” by Ingrid Michaelson, and the father daughter dance was to “The Way You Look Tonight,” by Steve Tyrell. Marvin is Puerto Rican and I teach Zumba, so we also put together a collection of salsa music to dance to later in the evening.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was called Heaven and it is my favorite cake–we have it every year for my birthday! It is white chocolate cake with raspberry filling and white chocolate frosting. It was simply decorated and adorned with flowers. We also had a dessert bar with mini sweet treats. The berry crumble with ginger ice cream was amazing!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first met on Memorial Day 2010 when Marvin moved onto the same floor as me in our condo building. A few months later, after lots of brief chats in the elevator (he was a principal and I am a teacher), he slipped a note under my door. We eventually met for coffee and went out for dinner. We’ve been together ever since! The real love story unfolded shortly thereafter on my birthday when Marvin gifted me our two puppies, Pippi and Penelope!
Tell us all about the proposal! Marvin proposed on Memorial Day 2012, two years after we first met! After finishing dinner with my family, Marvin gave me a gift: a picture of him with our puppies that read, “Will you marry us?” Then, he pulled out the ring, and of course, I said YES!
When did y’all get married? June 29, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 100
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? The readings we selected were Genesis 2:18-24, 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8, and Mark 10:6-9.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. We chose “Canon in D” for the procession and “Ode to Joy” for the recessional. A family friend sang the most beautiful “Ave Maria” during the presentation of flowers to Mary.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? We really wanted an outdoor tented wedding reception, but that meant we had to let Mother Nature do her thing. It poured like crazy the day before our wedding. Thankfully, we had Megan, our wedding planner, by our side, thinking of backup plans for pictures, cocktail hour, etc. Luckily, the sun came out bright and early the morning of our wedding!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I really loved all of our vendors. I’m so happy that we worked with our photographer, Katie Stoops. Her work is amazing and she has a great personality. Plus, she loves dogs! She was able to make us feel comfortable and capture the beauty of the day. I also loved our florist, because she brought our wedding to life. She had such a fun personality and really listened to what we envisioned. I love that in her description of my bouquet, she wrote “It will be drop dead gorgeous.”
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My favorite memory of the day was leaving the church with Marvin by my side. We didn’t have a limo, so the two of us drove from the church back to my parents’ house together. I loved the moment we had alone, driving through the back roads of Clifton, with the sun shining down on us. Our other favorite moment was walking out as Mr. and Mrs. Rodriguez, escorted by our puppies!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t stress, and enjoy every moment! What’s meant to be, will be. I felt confident about our wedding day going off without a hitch because we had an amazing wedding planner who stayed on top of the details and thought one step ahead! And, it helps if you have a team of vendors that have worked together in the past.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are enjoying married life! We bought a home the month before getting married, so we’ve been busily making our home our own. We can’t wait to start a family. We’ve been writing shared goals for our future and we’re excited for the journey ahead!

Photographer: Katie Stoops / Planner: Megan Pollard, Events in the City / Ceremony Venue: St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Private residence / Florist: Barbara Von Elm, Growing Wild Floral Company / Cake Baker: Victoria’s Cakery / Catering: Design Cuisine / Rentals: Capital Party Rentals / Band: Empty Pocket / Custom Watercolor: Tina Steenerson / Bride’s Gown: “Sentimental” by Monique Lhuillier / Paper Products: Smitten on Paper / Bride’s Accessories: Carine’s Bridal Atelier / Hair Stylist: Giselle Chreky / Makeup Artist: Susan Lim Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka /Bridesmaid Dresses: BCBG and David’s Bridal / Men’s Attire: Brooks Brothers / Tea Cup Favors: Double Happiness Pottery / Caricature Artists: About Faces / Valet Parking: MarcPark

Events in the City is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
10 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    As a fellow “Father of the Bride” fan, I love that it was an inspiration for their wedding! And what a beautiful backyard to celebrate in!

  2. avatar Alana reply

    Oh my goodness! This wedding is absolutely gorgeous! I am in love with the pops of red and subtle pink touches! The flowers, the china, even the place cards are all so beautiful!!

  3. avatar Dana reply

    love the paper products!

  4. avatar Cheri {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    GASP! I adore this romantic red and pink color scheme! So pretty.

  5. avatar Hochzeitsfotograf reply

    So beautiful!!

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] and Dylan‘s fun personalities came through so perfectly at their bold red and gold wedding. Kelly and Marvin‘s lovely Virginia backyard wedding was such a welcome escape from this week’s snowy […]

  7. avatar Wedding Rental Supplies @ Apex Tent and Party reply

    Each and every details about this wedding is so unique and beautiful. Right from the wedding venue, to the beautiful usage of colors, the florals, the chairs and table decor, is so pretty. Specially loved those hanging glass spheres with flowers inside. So gorgeous!

  8. avatar Catherine Grace reply

    SO pretty, delightful and well, Southern !

  9. avatar Pretty Petals: Florals Stationery | Oh, What Love Studios | The Blog reply

    […] WHITE PHOTOGRAPHY via Ruffled  4. Shaw Photo Co. via 100 Layer Cake  5. Katie Stoops via Southern Weddings 6. ElleJaneDesigns 7. Cempaka Surakusumah 8.  Kat Willson Photography, LouLou Weddings, […]

  10. avatar {Inspiration board} Matrimonio verde e rosso reply

    […] via Bridal Musings, foto di Janel KG Photography | Torta via Southern Weddings, foto di Katie Stoops | Tavola, centrotavola e scarpe rosse via Southern […]

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