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Wedding days fly by faster than ice melts on a Southern summer night (trust me!), and are filled with so many wonderful moments that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Reading through each interview, I’m always so amazed at how different and incredibly touching each couple’s favorites are. I tend to cry reading each one, but I haven’t cried in about a week. Well, that record came to an abrupt stop because Josh’s favorite memory just got me good! He said “In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me.” Swoon!

Now can we talk about Ms. Melody and her amazing style? Between the top knot and the fur stole, I think she took chic to another level, not to mention, made me question my haircut choice last week!

Hugs to the darling Courtney Dox for capturing such a pretty day!

She’s working it–what a beauty!

Describe your wedding flowers. This was one of my favorite meetings I had while planning my wedding. Josh actually didn’t attend, which I was thankful for, as he was a VERY involved groom! My planner, Ashley, and I had the opportunity to create some surprises for him with the wonderful Sara York Grimshaw of SYG Designs. Josh and I both loved the rustic look of The Cotton Dock, and Sara was able to create the romantic, rustic atmosphere I wanted with beautiful blue hydrangeas, white anemones, and pinecones.

Bookmarking the photo below for our annual favorites posts–that cotton!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We both decided early on that we wanted to do a first look. Josh was so nervous about messing up the vows and he knew that if he could just see me first, he would be able to say them mistake-free. It ended up being emotional for both of us, so it was nice to have some time to ourselves before the ceremony.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up outside of Charleston, and always wanted to get married at plantation. Boone Hall was a perfect location and had everything we were looking for–Southern charm, rustic appeal, and plenty of opportunities for us to create a wedding that was better than we could have dreamed.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? From Josh: We did not. I would have been even more of a mess if I had to memorize anything!

Getting married at a historic Charleston plantation definitely gave us the perfect backdrop for a fairy tale Southern wedding. We tried to incorporate several things we love about the South for our out-of-town guests to soak in. We had an oyster bar with freshly shucked oysters from various regions, boiled peanuts on our bar, and a Southern classic for our signature drink–Coca-Cola glass bottles with a runner of Jack Daniels on top. Josh also offered up his homemade jalapeño dill pickles to be served with our BBQ sliders, and we had hot spiced wine to help keep our guests warm by the fire!

Our favorite detail of the wedding would have to be the decor. We were stunned when we saw how the lighting, flowers, and furniture all came together. Each table was decorated with flickering candles, sparkling mercury glass, and gorgeous floral arrangements. Rustic Edison bulbs dangling from the ceiling gave the whole venue a totally different feel then when we saw it at first.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My MOH, Mallory Imlach, took charge of all of these items and it was a complete surprise to me! She gave me a new sixpence for good luck that I wore in my shoe. My blue item was a “bride” tank to wear en route to our honeymoon. My something old was so special–it was a photo of my parents on their wedding day that she tied to my bouquet. Along with their photo, she tied a little piece of her wedding dress to it. My something borrowed was her cuff bracelet she wore on her wedding day that had the saying “And she lived happily ever after” inside of it.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a beautiful three-tiered cake by the amazing Jim Smeal. He used our color palette of blues to create a stunning ombre ruffled cake with three large flowers to add a little more detail. I chose all the flavors, as Josh is not the dessert type–key lime coconut, chocolate kahlúa, and pecan praline. I would be lying if I said the thought of opening up our anniversary cake a little early hadn’t crossed my mind a time or two!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were so lucky on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, when we bumped into each other at a local pub. Introductions were made by a mutual friend and I instantly knew this guy was something. Ten days later, at the Carolina Cup horse race in Camden, SC, Josh made it “official” and we have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! Josh always had a special place in his heart for fall. One beautiful day in October, we made plans to meet our long-time friends outside of Greenville at a farm that had a pumpkin patch. We started walking through the pumpkins, looking for the perfect one. Little did I know, a few steps away, Josh had arranged to have “M-A-R-R-Y-M-E-?” painted out on on a row of pumpkins. Just as he got down on one knee and I said yes, a hayride of people went by and joined in our excitement with cheers. It was perfect!
When did y’all get married? December 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. During a last minute trip to visit my matron of honor in Greenville, SC, she surprised me with a trip to look for dresses. We walked into The Poinsett Bride in downtown Greenville and I just had a good feeling. A few dresses later, I had found the dress! With the help of the amazing seamstress at The Poinsett Bride, she and I were able to customize a one-of-a-kind dress that I absolutely loved. We added thin spaghetti straps and deepened the back to give the dress a little more drama, while still being classy and elegant.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Honestly this was the last thing on my mind. All I cared about was the handsome guy standing at the end of the aisle! But, to make sure everyone heard lovely sounds, we had a guitarist and my cousin played her viola. Our first dance was picked out by Josh, “To Love Somebody” by The BeeGees/Michael Buble. When he played it for me for the first time, I just melted. It was perfect!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The guest list! This is the hardest thing people don’t always tell you about. We decided early on that we wanted a smaller wedding, and after we had our lists from both sides of the family, the hard work began.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think one way we really saved so much was hiring a wedding coordinator. I know there is a cost for this service, but I also know without a doubt that we would have spent more without the help of Ashely Wenz, our incredible planner!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Cru Catering did all of the food and drinks at our wedding. It was fantastic! We wanted Southern-inspired food and drinks, and they really took that notion and ran with it. They were able to blend classic Southern dishes with some flair–like collard green wontons, pulled pork sliders with Asian slaw, and shrimp and grits that were to die for!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Melody: The moment I saw Josh for the first time is my most cherished memory. His face was just so priceless and the time we got to spend together, just the two of us, took all the nerves away. My second favorite moment was when my Daddy and my uncles serenaded me, barbershop quartet style, with a song they had written together all about me! It was a complete surprise and it was so sweet and unexpected–absolutely something I will never forget! Josh: My most memorable moment would have to be when I saw Melody coming down the aisle toward me. Even though it wasn’t the first time that I saw her in her wedding dress, it was the first time that everything sunk in for me. In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me. Even though we were surrounded by our family and friends, it was like it was the two of just us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to immediately agree to a lot of additions and extra things you want, but things add up. There were a few things in our planning process that we thought we couldn’t live without, but when the day finally comes, you will be surprised by how easily you forget about them. At the end of the day, its about being in the fellowship of your closest family and friends, and celebrating the commitment you just made to one another.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Right now, we are enjoying spending time with our two puppies, and in the future, we are planning on buying our first home and starting a family together.

Photographer: Courtney Dox Photography / Planner: Ashely Wenz of Boutique Planning / Venue: Boone Hall Plantation / Florist: SYG Designs / Wedding Cake: Jim Smeal / Caterer: Cru Catering / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band or DJ: Nu South Playas / Bride’s Gown: “Gobi” by Watters / Bridal Salon: The Poinsett Bride / Paper Products: Spencer Syfrig / Hair and Makeup: MiKel Rumsey / Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Gardenia” by Watters / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Their most memorable moments are so incredibly sweet! Also can’t get enough of their style–the bow ties, the hairstyle change, her dress…I love it all!

  2. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Oh my word, I LOVE this wedding!! Everything is absolute perfection and the bride is soo beautiful~! I love how she changed her hair to party at the reception afterwards too! :)

  3. avatar Julie reply

    May I ask, is there any way to find out what kind of wedding dress this is? I absolutely love it and am having a hard time choosing one… Thank you!

  4. avatar jessica reply

    This wedding is BEAUTIFUL! I love your take on a guest signing book/board. Where did you get this from?!

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Now that Emily has started us off with some winter wedding inspiration and Marissa has given us the run-down of practical but pretty Southern style, I’ve rounded up some finds to turn these ideas into a reality.

Madi said she envisioned a Southern barn wedding with “mason jars, cowboy boots, great food and beautiful floral arrangements.” Though a summer wedding may not be in the cards, there’s still a way to incorporate all of those elements! Southern hospitality never fails, even when the weather is unforgiving. Play up the rustic details, which are as beautiful as ever in the winter and keep your guests’ best interests in mind by providing a warm atmosphere (candles and string lights are a favorite in my book) and comfy details like blankets and warm drinks. They’ll feel right at home and ready to celebrate!

A. Warmth is a priority when you’re wearing a dress! Keep a (faux) fur stole, jacket or wrap close by. If fur isn’t your style, try a warm wool cardigan or a sleek white blazer.

B. Want some jewelry that looks lovely in winter weather without reminding you of sparkly (and cold!) snow? How about these pearl Kate Spade earrings?

C. Keep makeup essentials and a hanky handy in this geometric clutch from Oatmeal Lace. Bonus? It’s just casual enough to be used after the wedding!

D. Dress up those comfy cowboy boots with some warm lace mohair socks! The little side buttons are adorable!

E. Crocheted netted wrist gloves will keep your fingers warm without being bulky. We love this pair from BHLDN. Want something a little warmer? We love these, too.

F. Cotton bolls will last even in the dead of winter. Tie name tags to a boll for Southern escort cards (see our Fab Finds in V4!), or put a few in a mason jar for a centerpiece.

G. I love the warmth of glowing string lights. The view of your reception area flooded with yellow light will immediately let your guests know where the party’s at!

H. Keep the small details rustic, too. These monogrammed cuff links will surely look dapper on your sweetie’s sleeve.

I. Warm pie and goodies from the dessert bar will look scrumptious on these silhouette dessert plates!

J. Nothing beats warming your hands by the fire. A round fire pit in your lounge area gives guests the opportunity to get some fresh air while staying warm.

K. Dressing up your table without the cost of out-of-season flowers is easy. These Epsom salt candles pick up the winter theme. Place them in mason jars for an added Southern flair.

L. S’mores are great favors for winter weddings, and guests can break into their supplies while they sit around the fire pit. You can put these together easily by placing a few graham crackers, chocolate pieces and marshmallows in a cellophane bag. We love packaging them inside muslin bags (we use this source and that you can stamp with a custom message. Want another warm favor idea that involves less work? We think these hot chocolate stirrers will be a hit.

M. Stock your lounge area with these comfy (and affordable!) cable-knit throws from Ikea. After the wedding, you and your beau will love snuggling up with them on the couch.

N. Warm up your guests with a rich signature cocktail — milk punch!

What do you think of our winter wedding finds? Are there any ideas that you’re dying to share with us? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole

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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We hope you enjoyed part I of our Southern winter wedding inspiration! Wasn’t Emily’s inspiration board gorgeous? As Emily said, when Madi emailed us, we jumped at the chance to share some Southern winter wedding inspiration. Unsurprisingly, I am especially fond of the fabulous style associated with winter weddings.

(Faux) fur shrugs, stoles, and jackets, long sleeve gowns, boleros, shimmering shawls, and these to-die-for leather gloves top my list of must-have Southern winter wedding style staples. I also love the look of dainty net gloves, though they’re more practical than pretty (though very Southern!). Which leads me to my next point: as gorgeous as these options are, my advice is to think practical. Choose fully-lined pieces that you can layer over your gown for extra warmth. Think used: you can score the best pieces at vintage stores, because they’re made from heaver, higher-quality fabrics and fur. After all, what girl doesn’t want to be warm and look completely stunning at the same time? I know I do!

One other great way to achieve a winter wonderland look is through makeup. As you know, our skin lightens in the winter, since we spend less time sunbathing and more time inside. If you’re doing a trial, try to schedule it when your skin is a similar shade to what it will be in the winter (i.e. not in July!), and make sure your makeup artist knows when you’re getting married and plans for a lighter foundation shade. No one wants to have an icky line where her foundation doesn’t match her skin!

Credits, top to bottom and left to right: Michele M. Waite; Punam Bean via Ruffled; Benj Haisch; Aaron Delesie from Martha Stewart Weddings; Jessica Claire via GWS; Mary Dougherty; Chudleigh Weddings (for more of this lovely winter photoshoot visit here); Love is a Big Deal; Erin Hearts Court via Style Me Pretty; Meredith Perdue via Southern Weddings

Doesn’t this snowy eye candy make you want to curl up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa? And just think: if it snows on your wedding day, all that fluffy snow calls from some extra close snuggling with your beau! You know, in order to stay warm!

Stay tuned, as Nicole will be stepping in soon with some Southern winter wedding Fab Finds that you don’t want to miss!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
1 Comment
  1. avatar FestivePartyGirl reply

    The photo by Mary Dougherty is amazing. What a gorgeous shot.

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