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Lindsay and Ridge wanted a destination wedding that was easy for their guests to travel to, and when they visited Grandfather Golf and Country Club and saw the breathtaking backdrop, they simply knew it was the place. Even more special, since they had spent time in the Grandfather Mountain area with Lindsay’s grandparents, it was not only the views that had them hooked, but also the sweet family memories they would be adding to with their wedding day. Lindsay and Ridge worked with their florist, Kelly of Philosophy Flowers, to incorporate combinations of white and green florals that complimented, but didn’t compete with, the natural beauty of the setting. I, for one, am sure glad they did because I adore how the simple color palette makes Mother Nature look all the more amazing! Guests were invited to change into flip flops, walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Anyone else have a bit of wedding guest envy?

Big hugs to Natalie Watson for sharing this dreamy day with us!

I let my bridesmaids choose their own white dresses. I know it’s not typical for anyone other than the bride to wear white to a wedding, but I wanted everything to look simple and natural (and not take away from the beautiful setting). I also wanted the dresses to reflect each girl’s individual style, and for them to be able to wear them again.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had always wanted to wear my mother’s wedding dress from her marriage to my father in 1979–it was my dream cap-sleeved vintage dress! My twin sister had made minor alterations to the dress to wear for her wedding in 2009, and I knew I wanted to continue the tradition. I had my mother’s seamstress cut out the back of the dress to update the design and to make it fit me more comfortably. I tried the dress on for the first time with my mother and my grandmother, and it brought us all to tears!

We decided not to do a first look. This was one detail of our wedding that we both felt was important to stick with tradition. Our reception site was located within walking distance of the ceremony site, so we knew we would have ample time after the ceremony for pictures together, without missing too much time at the reception.

Ridge’s cousin, a local pastor, was our officiant. We both wanted traditional vows and he made a recommendation that we thought was very reflective of our faith, vows, and love for one another.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Ridge and I knew we wanted a destination wedding that was convenient for most of our friends and family. I spent many years in the Grandfather Mountain area with my grandparents and it holds a very special place in my heart. The backdrop at Grandfather Golf and Country Club is breathtaking. There is an amazing view of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains above a lake with a sandy shoreline! We felt it was the best of both worlds: elements of the beach and the mountains in one place. The day we visited the site, we knew it would be perfect for our ceremony and reception.

Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers was amazing! I wanted to incorporate colors that complimented the natural beauty of the setting, so we chose to stick with mostly white and green combinations. She suggested a circle of white petals for us to stand on during the ceremony, as well as vibrant greenery draping the arbor. I wanted to soften the outdoor reception venue with greenery, a combination of whimsical arrangements, and ample candle light and vintage votives. Kelly’s vast botanical knowledge, combined with her creativity and artistic abilities, helped to create the most gorgeous setting!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The setting. We wanted a fun party in a relaxed and unique environment. June 6 was the perfect early summer day in the mountains and Grandfather Golf and Country Club had just completed renovations on their Beach Club Pavilion. People were able to change into flip flops to walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through a mutual friend at a big Christmas party in December 2007. The following night, we ran into each other at our favorite local pub and I re-introduced myself (in case I did not make a big enough impression the night before!). We ended up exchanging numbers and meeting up almost daily over the holiday season. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ridge loves to ski and planned a last-minute trip to Vail, Colorado for the two of us in January. On the last ski day of our trip, my legs were exhausted, so I decided I wanted to head back to the hotel a little early. Ridge asked a photographer to take our picture before I skied down the mountain. I was a little puzzled because it was snowing so hard that you couldn’t see any scenery! As we posed for the picture, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was shocked and it was perfect!
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I spent an afternoon with my mother listening to wedding songs on YouTube and we picked our favorites that would fit with the relaxed, but romantic, setting and sound good played by the cello and violin duet: “Butterfly Waltz” for the seating of mothers/grandmothers, “Ave Maria” for the musical interlude, “Canon in D” for the processional, and “Trumpet Voluntary” for the bride’s processional. Ridge and I chose to dance to “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie. I have been the biggest Lionel Richie fan for most of my life! It reminded me of the past, our goal of sticking together for so many years, and how the wait was worth it!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mother’s diamond earrings, and wore her sapphire and diamond bracelet for my something blue. My wedding dress was old and my shoes were new (they were wedges–my husband is 14″ taller than me!).
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The timeline. We got married three months to the date after picking our reception venue. I had always wanted a summer wedding and was too excited to wait another year! After seven years of dating, we were more than eager to take the next step. The limited time forced us to make big decisions very quickly!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The look on my husband’s face as I walked down the aisle. I’ve never seen him so happy!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently looking for a new house! We look forward to growing our life and family together in the city where we met (Charlotte, North Carolina).

Photographer: Natalie Watson / Venue and Caterer: Grandfather Golf and Country Club / Florist: Philosophy Flowers / Cake Baker: Ugga Mugga Bakery / Band: The Company Band / Hair Stylist: Jacquelyn Buckner of Borealis Salon / Makeup Artist: Bryn Golob of Shear Shakti Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Natalie Watson reply

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. avatar Jennings King reply

    just love this bride & groom! lovely wedding and Natalie did an awesome job capturing it! love – Jennings

  3. avatar Beth Zagst reply

    What a great day it was. I loved to hear about the dress and its nostalgic touches. Thank you for including the cake in this amazing blog. Great job capturing the magic of the day in print!

  4. avatar Greenery White Wedding Inspiration – KnotsVilla reply

    […] Cake by Ugga Mugga Bakery | Photo by Natalie Watson via Southern Weddings […]

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If you follow Southern Weddings on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that for the past five days, Kristin and I have been in New York City! Not only is the Big Apple where Bridal Market is currently taking place, it’s also the place today’s sweet couple, Jessica and Chuck, currently call home. While they got engaged and planned their wedding from NYC, they decided on Jessica’s hometown of Austin, Texas for their late spring celebration. Her mama scoped out dozens of venues in the area, and as soon as Jessica and Chuck pulled up to Pecan Springs Ranch on a weekend trip, they knew it was the place for them! It turned out to be just right for their celebration, complete with a beautifully mismatched bridal party (hint: keep an eye out for one of their photos in V8!), a prayerful ceremony, and Jessica’s dream twinkle lights at the reception.

Thanks so much to our talented Blue Ribbon Vendor, Jen Dillender, for sharing this lovely day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My parents are the absolute sweetest. They flew to visit Chuck and I so that my mom could help me find a dress. With coffee in hand, we began the day’s journey and visited different stores in the city. We finally found ourselves at Lovely Bridal, where I tried on a bunch of different dresses before finally slipping on the Watters Persiphone gown. I looked over at my mom, who was tearing up, and knew it was the one!

Describe your wedding flowers. Magical. Absolutely magical. The flowers for the wedding were mainly neutrals and greenery. I wanted it to be natural and a little wild looking–more “Secret Garden” than refined. There were little touches of florals throughout the ceremony and reception site with hanging flower rings, a garland and a flower wall over the cake stand, and bird cages intertwined with greenery and candles on the tables.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. We wanted a special time for just the two of us before the ceremony. The moment he turned around and we saw each other for the first time that day, I knew we had made the right decision. It was one of those unique moments that just the two of us shared, and it’s a moment in time we will remember forever!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We chose not to write our own vows; we went with the tried and true, but we also exchanged personal letters before the ceremony.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Two close friends I grew up with are not only some of the sweetest people, but they also play the harp and violin like a dream, so we asked them to play for the ceremony. The processional for the bridal party was “Bittersweet Symphony,” and I walked down the aisle to “Be Thou My Vision,” our favorite hymn, which holds deep significance for both of us. I asked two of my best friends if they would sing a worship song called “Holy Spirit” during communion. Some of my favorite memories from college include these gals and listening to them play music together.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? My sweet mom actually visited most of the venues, because Chuck and I were both at school in NYC while wedding planning. I think she visited about 25 different venues in the Austin area! I came home for a weekend trip to look at a few of the venues we had narrowed it down to, and when we pulled up to Pecan Springs Ranch, I knew it was the perfect place for our big day! It had a gorgeous area for an outdoor ceremony, a great rain plan option, and a beautiful indoor reception room. There were also special areas for both the guys and the gals to get ready in.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. The cake was a naked cake with flowers and greenery for décor. The bottom layer was carrot cake, the middle was Italian cream, and the top (Chuck’s personal favorite) was key lime. Chuck’s only regret is not going back for a second piece of the key lime! We also had delicious pies; it was a Texas wedding, after all!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? My family and Chuck all know of my love for twinkle lights. My dad designed an exquisite chandelier out of twinkle lights, which was hung in the reception hall, and we had more lights that stretched out from the chandelier, creating a magical setting for our reception.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. According to me, Chuck and I met at the campus coffee shop at Oral Roberts University. According to Chuck, we met in the cafeteria two weeks before, as he distinctly remembers choosing the food line that I was in so he could introduce myself. No one truly knows! I do remember vividly that he was what my close friend called “my celebrity crush.” He was a junior and I was just a freshman at the time, but the first time I saw him, I knew he was the only person I would date in college. Amazingly, it worked out. Through a roommate date event, we ended up becoming friends, and our relationship just continued from there!
Tell us all about the proposal! The day began like any other Saturday in New York City, except that Chuck had planned a special day before school picked up for the fall semester. It began with a stroll through Central Park, across Bow Bridge, and winding around Bethesda fountain, then onto row boating in the lake, and finally, to a picnic by the boat pond, where he popped the question! When his legs started shaking, I could tell something was going on, and when he got down on one knee, I knew what was about to happen. We ended the day sharing ice cream and taking in the city lights from the top of the Rockefeller. Both our families already knew he was going to propose, but they definitely kept it a secret!
When did y’all get married? June 7, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 260
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! Something blue was the bottom of my shoes, something new was my wedding dress, and something borrowed was my mom’s ribbon and pearl pins she used for her own wedding bouquet. Also, my dad gave my mom a heart locket the day I was born with my birthday inscribed on it and a verse, and my mom gave it to me the week before the wedding. I had no idea she had had it for over 22 years, and I wore it for the rehearsal dinner!
How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? We met with our pastors from C3 Brooklyn to do marriage counseling before the wedding. This couple has been such an incredible example of marriage to us, and they have never stopped encouraging us as individuals and as a couple. Chuck’s brother and sister-in-law, who are pastors in Miami, also counseled us before the wedding. These couples are awesome, and through their life experiences, they gave us bits of wisdom that will stay in our hearts forever.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The suspenders. Definitely putting the buttons on the suspenders the day before. To make an unnecessarily long story short, don’t stress over the little things.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? Here are a few things that helped us stay within our wedding budget: 1. Being organized early on so that we could take advantage of sales. 2. Keeping the reception centerpieces to a minimum. 3. Not serving wine or beer–just a champagne toast. 4. Using flowers strategically–at our outdoor venue, we didn’t need too many. 5. Having a bridesmaid flower crown-making party the day before the wedding. So fun!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? The day goes by really quickly, so don’t spend time stressing over the little things. Enjoy the day and the process leading up to it. Try to take in the most important moments, especially those with family. Having your loved ones there to celebrate with you is the sweetest thing!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? Chuck and I moved back to NYC, where he is finishing up law school and I am finishing my undergraduate studies in psychology. We’re looking forward to graduating this year and starting our new life together. The only additions to our family in the near future will be a great dane and a dachshund (his and hers dogs!).

Photographer: Jen Dillender / Planner: Donna Aleman / Venue: Pecan Springs Ranch / Florist: ZuZu’s Petals / Cake Baker: Sweet Treets / Caterer and Rentals: Papa’s / Lighting: Commercial Property Resources / Band: The Cave Dwellers / Paper Products: Mary Sue Evans / Paper Printing: Global Printing / Bride’s Gown: “Persiphone” by Watters / Bride’s Veil: Melissa Frye / Hair and Makeup: Adore / Bride’s Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson / Groom’s Suit: Jos. A Bank / Tie and Bow Ties: The Tie Bar / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Groomsmen’s Pants: Banana Republic / Groomsmen’s Shirts: Macy’s / Coffee Bar: Stouthaus Coffee Pub

Jen Dillender is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Charles & Jessica, Pecan Springs Ranch Wedding » Jen Dillender Photography, Austin TX Wedding & Lifestyle Photographer reply

    […] Thank you to Southern Weddings for featuring this wedding on their blog this fall! You can find more from this sweet bride and groom here! […]

  2. avatar Beverly reply

    I love the bridesmaids dresses! Where are they from?

  3. avatar The Bridal Party Tending List: What Every Bridesmaid and Maid of Honor Should Know | Wedding Trends By Drawde reply

    […] Mary Courtney + Kit by Graham Terhune, Jessica + Chuck by Jen Dillender, bottom: Stephanie + Glenn by Rachel […]

  4. avatar Nicole reply

    Hi, you’ve listed very vendor except the one I was looking for! Lol where is the MOH’s dress from? Thanks

  5. avatar Jen Covington reply

    Hi there, I was looking for info on the bridesmaid dress vendors. You wouldn’t happen to be able to share would you?

    Thanks so much!

  6. avatar KCS reply

    I have been searching for the MOH’s dress.. any info on the designer?

  7. avatar Brandy reply

    Where are the bridesmaid dresses from?

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Laura and Jonathan’s Texas wedding is absolutely lovely, as you’ll see below, but what’s most inspiring about this couple is how much they prioritized what matters most during their three-month (yes, only three!) engagement. They left most of the details in the hands of Chrissie Stuntz and Branching Out Floral and Event Design, and spent their time as an engaged couple focusing on preparing for their marriage. Laura described their celebration as “casual and comfortable and good for the soul,” and from the looks of it, that is exactly what they achieved!

Thanks so much to Stephanie Brazzle for sharing this sweet day with us!

Describe your wedding flowers. Oh gosh, to be honest, I don’t have a clue what a single flower in there was called. All I know is that they were stunning! Debby Jewesson brought my dreams to life–beautiful greens and whites in a beautifully imperfect, but still elegant, combination. I remember explaining the vision for our wedding to her as “casual and comfortable and good for the soul.” She brought that to life in the best way.

Planning for our marriage was absolutely the priority for Jon and me. We prayed for our marriage–a lot. We worked hard to make sure the actual wedding took a backseat to our relationship. We read books that older, wiser couples recommended to us. We went to professional premarital counseling and had the opportunity to talk through our communication and conflict styles, our expectations, and other difficult topics, such as budgeting and families. We really recommend it!

Our vows were a hybrid of the traditional wedding vows and vows written by a pastor at Living Hope Church in College Station, Texas. I really love every line, but I will share just a few here! From Jonathan’s, “By God’s grace, I will love you and lead us towards Christ. I will provide for you, pursue you, and keep you safe.” From mine, “I will encourage you, support you, and in all things, fight to put your needs before my own.” From both, “I will never leave you, because God commands me, and because I love you.”

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I love trees and Jonathan loves anything outside, so I immediately started looking for a giant, majestic tree to host our ceremony in front of. I didn’t realize that most of the trees that serve as wedding venues are located a bit outside the city. After a LOT of searching, we found the Cooper Hotel and Fitness Center right in the middle of Dallas. We were able to have the ceremony and the reception outdoors at Cooper, so it was the perfect choice for us.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? The food! Blue Bell ice cream, brisket, quesadillas, and cornbread. There is nothing like Southern cooking, and we enjoyed sharing these traditions with Jonathan’s family, who came from all over the country. Also, the fact that we had an outdoor wedding in late October was quite Southern–you can’t do that in the North!

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Sitting down at dinner next to Jonathan and looking around to see everyone he loves and everyone I love together in one place, eating and laughing and enjoying the evening. These are the people who will stand by us through every hard thing, whose relationships we cherish, and in that moment, we were able to look around and remember “Every person here is a gift to us. We are thankful.” I will never forget that!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I met Jonathan in India during our intern year at International Justice Mission, an NGO that protects the poor from violent injustice. We had both just graduated from college and moved across the planet to begin this work that meant so much to us, and we were initially a bit annoyed to find a really incredible, relatable, and distracting member of the opposite sex working in the department next door. We hesitated to begin a relationship for a lot of reasons, but after several months, Jonathan asked me to dinner at the nicest restaurant he could find. We fell in love over French-pressed coffee and chicken tikka masala, while driving his scooter through the streets of a city so dear to us, and constantly learning something new about our good and gracious God.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jonathan COMPLETELY surprised me, which is impressive because I was on high alert! Back in the States, I flew home from meeting his family in Milwaukee. We had a tearful goodbye, and I had no idea that he was totally faking it and jumping on the next plane to follow me to Dallas! I was walking through the Arboretum with my best friend Kellie, when there he was, this incredible man, asking me to be his wife. I said YES!
When did y’all get married? October 25, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 170
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our timeline! We wanted a three-month engagement, so we didn’t have the luxury of shopping around. Fortunately, we had Chrissie Stuntz (the greatest wedding planner of all time) to lead the way–she knew everyone and everything, and with her connections, we were able to make bookings very quickly!
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We used a LOT of greenery, which was far more affordable than flowers and just as beautiful. We lined all our own envelopes and e-mailed out our save the dates. Cooper Hotel let us bring in our own alcohol, so we bought all the wine and beer at Costco. We also used Uber for our getaway car, which I highly recommend!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Make a list of things that you and your fiancé really, deeply care about including in your wedding. Stick to those priorities regardless of what challenges them. Take a deep breath and LET GO of everything else. Two other random suggestions: 1. Take an AdvilPM the night before your wedding so that you actually sleep, and 2. Give a bridesmaid the specific job of looking you in the eye about every hour or so and saying something like “Stop. Look around. Remember and give thanks for this moment.” I wish I had remembered better to stop and be so grateful for the incredible people surrounding me all day, and for all they were doing for Jon and me.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Jonathan and I are enjoying the cozy apartment life in our completely new city of Madison, Wisconsin (brrrrr!). We start law school (Jon) and graduate school for social work (me) in the fall. We loved living in India and are certainly open to moving back, but until then, we are learning how to be married and enjoying the American life–cheeseburgers, coffee shops, and baseball games included. :)

Photographer: Stephanie Brazzle / Planner: Chrissie Stuntz / Venue and Catering: Cooper Hotel and Conference Center / Florist: Branching Out Floral and Event Design / Cake Baker: Romano’s Bakery / Rentals and Lighting: Taylor’s Rental Equipment Co. / Band: Inside Out / Special Details: Destiny Foundation / Paper Products: Minted / Bridal Salon: Bridal Boutique of Lewisville and Olivia Caballero / Hair and Makeup: La Bichette / Bride’s Shoes: Vans / Bridesmaids’ Dresses and Groom’s Attire: J.Crew / Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew and Banana Republic

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

    I love how you incorporated your Kappa pin! I am also a Kappa and have been trying to find a way to “wear” mine and my sisters’ pins as part of my something blue or something borrowed. This is a beautiful wedding!

  2. avatar Martha reply

    Such a great wedding story. Loved reading it! Any chance we could get the details on the designer and style of that gorgeous dress?? I absolutely LOVE it!

  3. avatar Featured: Southern Weddings » Dallas Wedding Photographers – Stephanie Brazzle reply

    […] If you missed out check out Laura and Jon outdoor wedding on Southern Weddings […]

  4. avatar Marisol Arguello reply

    Beautiful pictures and Beautiful wedding.

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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