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Our hope for you is that your wedding day is not only one of the happiest in your life, but a touchstone that reminds you of the importance and sacredness of your marriage. When I look at photos or mementos from my wedding, I immediately am brought back to the promises I made, the happiness I felt, and the incredible warmth of our family and friends’ support. Of course, I also love having wedding mementos around because I chose my wedding details incredibly carefully, and am still a bit obsessed with our photos! :)

But plastering your walls with your smiling faces, even if beautiful, gets old after the seventeenth framed photo. So today, we wanted to share three more creative ways you can remember your wedding in your home, with the help of our friends at Framebridge!

P.S. Big hugs to Callie of Nancy Ray Photography for these photos, and keep reading for a discount code!

Idea No. 1: Frame special paper pieces like your wedding invitation. Lisa’s classic calligraphy wedding invitation looks beautiful in Framebridge’s silver Newport frame. Says Lisa, “Dave already jokes that our home is a shrine to our wedding, so I like that a framed invitation is a more subtle nod.” It looks right at home on their mantel, but would work equally well in a gallery wall, hallway, or bedroom. See more from Lisa’s wedding here.

Idea No. 2: Frame your wedding mementos. Callie is one of our all-time most-beloved brides (see her Charleston wedding here!), so we thought it would be fun to loop back with her for this feature. She opted to frame several of her wedding details, including her invitation envelope, her monogrammed cocktail napkins, a handkerchief, and a scripture card, then sprinkle them throughout her house. They’d look beautiful in a gallery wall, too! We used several gold Framebridge frames, including Richmond and Concord, for the collection. Framebridge’s “float framing” option is perfect for unique pieces like these, as it allows an object of almost any shape and size to be beautifully preserved.

Idea No. 3: Frame your wedding vows. We asked our Blue Ribbon Vendor Simply Jessica Marie to watercolor our wedding vows onto 16×20 sheets of paper, then framed them in Framebridge’s classic gold Richmond frame. The vows turned out more beautifully than I could have imagined (thank you, Jessica!), and they feel like the perfect artwork for the spot where we lay our heads. I love being reminded of our promises first thing in the morning and last thing at night!

Inspired to frame your own wedding memories? First time Framebridge customers can use code SOUTHERNWEDDINGS15 to save 15% off their order! In the meantime, I’d love to hear: In what ways have you remembered your wedding in your home?

This post is brought to you by Framebridge–thanks for your support of the brands that make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
5 Comments
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Your vow prints are beautiful Emily! I was excited to see this project when you shared a sneak peak a few weeks back. I want to do this in my future home!

  2. avatar Southern Weddings + Framebridge | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] Click here to see the full feature on Southern Weddings and get a discount code from Framebridge! […]

  3. avatar 6 Creative Ways to Display Your Wedding Photos At Home reply

    […] top image via Southern Weddings […]

  4. avatar First Anniversary Gift Guide • Hitched by Heather reply

    […] 4. Calligraphy Wedding Vows. Another option that a calligrapher would be perfect for is beautifying your wedding vows to hang in your home. We love this example from Southern Weddings! […]

  5. avatar Celebrating Southern Weddings | Nancy Ray Photography reply

    […] 2016 Robin and Jon’s Wedding on the SW Blog Abigail and Ben’s Wedding on the SW Blog Callie and Jamie’s Home Tour Southern Weddings + Framebridge […]

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Don’t get me wrong – I love an all-white kitchen or living room as much as the next 20-something gal. But all white everything isn’t the only way to achieve a warm, pretty space, and I adore Mary-Kate and Nick for proving that for us today. In addition to being beautiful, their home just looks so interesting – I feel like I could wander it for hours and still find more things to look at and wonder over! Other highlights: the helpful touches they’ve added to make guests’ stays easier (I’m making my own wi-fi password sign tonight!) and the creative ways they’ve honored their story through carefully-chosen decor.

Big hugs to Blue Ribbon Vendor Anna K Photography for these photos. She may as well be our Southern Newlywed fairy godmother, as she sent us Mary Hester and Andrew’s home tour, too, and is in the process of photographing her own home to share! Want to participate? See below for more details on how your home or apartment could be featured here!

The couple: Mary-Kate (24) and Nick (26)
Years married: 2
Where you live: St. Augustine, Florida
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. We are both originally from Georgia. We met in college at Valdosta State University. Nick is an American Sign Language interpreter and instructor at the Florida School for the Deaf & the Blind and is getting his Masters in Interpreting. Mary-Kate is a Fine Art Consultant at the Cutter & Cutter Galleries.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We were friends in college, long distance daters, and fell in love in St. Augustine…with a lot of Chick-fil-a sprinkled in there.
What is your favorite part of being married? Having a constant companion to share day to day life. I love that whenever one of us says “I have an idea…” the other one is always on board with support. I also love that we can dream together. Whether it is what we want for dinner or where we will be in 25 years, we get to do it together!

Tell us a little bit about where you live. We currently rent a beautiful little home that was built in 1910. We have the home owners’ blessing to make the space our own, so we have really enjoyed the freedom to make home-improvements that make this house feel like home. We love our location because we are both in walking distance to work. We look forward to owning a home one day, but for now we love where we are.
Tell us about the process of moving in together. Nick lived in a tiny one bedroom home, so when we got married, we had the challenge of blending two lifestyles in 450 square feet! I love the philosophy, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Having less “stuff” really helped us when moving into our current home. All of the things we have in our home are a reflection of us as individuals and a couple.

What most makes your house feel like home? In the gallery where I work we have a saying, “If someone was to go into your home when you are not there, would they know you and who you are from what they would see?” For us, I hope so. We have made every decision with a lot of thought, in hopes that it reflects who we are. I hope that our home shows that it is filled and decorated with so much love and intention. I want it to feel wonderful to not just us, but to anyone who walks through the door.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? Absolutely our china. I struggled with registering for china because I always grew up expecting that I would have an everyday, formal, and holiday china pattern. When it was finally my turn, I did not feel connected to the idea of having all of the extra china that would go unused throughout the year. We decided to go with a beautiful everyday china from Juliska and it has served us elegantly, whether dinner for two or hosting our friends and family.
Who cooks dinner? We are typically in the kitchen together. It was a fun learning experience figuring out how to work together when cooking. It usually involves good music, laughter, and a few “oops”!

Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? That is a tough one to answer. We love our living area because it is so comfortable to us and is filled with a lot of beautiful elements that reflect our story. Nick would answer the front porch though… we can spend an entire morning out on our swing, talking to neighborhood locals and playing with our kitty, Lewis.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? We have decorated our home one piece at a time. I love the saying “buy the best, and you’ll only cry once.” We focus on buying things that are not too “trendy” in hopes that we can enjoy them for a long time. Much of our home was antiqued, thrifted or passed down from family. I like pieces with a story; sometimes that means spending and other times it is all about finding a sweet little treasure.
How do you remember your wedding in your home? Art is a big part of our life. Many special memories from our wedding day are hanging on our walls. We have photos and our invitation framed. We also commissioned some special paintings from local artists: a portrait of a favorite wedding photo, as well as a watercolor of my bouquet.

What is your favorite memory from your wedding? At our reception, the song by The Lumineers, “Ho Hey” played during our cake cutting. As we looked up from cutting our cake, everyone had crowded around the table and was clapping and singing, “I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart.” That moment of being surrounded by the people who love us most, and the love that filled the room, was an unforgettable feeling for us.
What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? It can be tough… my gallery hours cut into the typical “date nights” and our days off are never the same. While we rarely have full days off together, we have learned to cherish the moments and when we do have the rare day or weekend where our schedules match up, we make it memorable!

How does your family handle finances? When we got married, we had a deep desire to be debt free in our marriage. We had some student loans that we were serious about paying off quickly. We set a strict budget and used a cash envelope system to stay on point. We focused one of our salaries on living and the other completely on loans and savings. We were debt free in one year! Now we are not as strict, but we do still focus on financial goals.
Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? Living in a town like St. Augustine, we have learned that there is always something fun (and usually free) happening in the community. We love packing dinner and picnicking at outdoor bay-front movies. I suggest looking up your town’s calendar and seeing what is happening in the community… that is where we have found some of our favorite outings!

What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Nick loves words of affirmation, so I am always reminded to say or write down the things I love about him, rather than keeping them to myself. Something that seems simple to me usually means so much to him. From Nick: Knowing that Mary-Kate’s love language is gifts, I do my best to surprise her with little (and sometimes big) surprises we call “S’s.” I usually try to find a clever way to reveal the gift.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? How much you learn about yourself. You see yourself through another person’s eyes and that can be exciting and also convicting. We are also constantly learning how to balance our life as a team while growing as individuals.
Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… My grandparents did tell us to follow these rules: 1.) Always put God first and one another second. 2.) Don’t have any secrets. 3.) Have fun together.
This year, our family is most excited about… upcoming family time. We have some weddings and vacations that we are really looking forward to. While we have really enjoyed moving to our own town to start our life together, we love coming together with our family, so we are counting down the days!

Big hugs to Mary-Kate and Nick for sharing their hearts and home with us!

A little reminder: we’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – not just folks who write blogs (though we love them, too!), but also your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” We are also really hoping to feature some apartment dwellers! If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Lauren Carnes reply

    Love all of the little details of this home!

  2. avatar Niamh reply

    A lot of beautiful thing you have! Love the way your house is decorated – stylish and unobtrusive! Greetings

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I think it’s safe to say that the entire Southern Weddings office, led by yours truly, is smitten with Abby and Alex. We had the pleasure of featuring their beautiful wedding in our latest issue (you must pick up a copy to see it if you haven’t already!), and after getting to know them a bit, knew they’d be perfect for our Southern Newlywed column, too. Even with just eight months of marriage under their belt, they have lots of wisdom, as well as the coziest home, to share. Friends, please enjoy this holiday tour! P.S. You better believe that if their Chattanooga move goes through, we’ll be knocking on their new door in a few months to see their new digs!

Big hugs to our friends at A Bryan Photo for these sweet photos!

The couple: Abby Bowlin, 26, and Alex Bowlin, 25
Years married: 0 years, 8 months!
Where you live: Birmingham, AL
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. Alex and I are settling into married life, meaning we are still thrilled by Chinese takeout on the sofa, and we squeal when we get to buy things like house plants (okay, only I do the squealing). Alex is a true outdoorsman who would give anything to grow a beard, and I’m a wannabe foodie who recently launched a calligraphy business. We are bonded by our faith and intense love for our families, and we think marriage is just about the best thing ever.

Tell us your love story in one sentence. We pretty much agreed on our first date that we could get married, so he put a ring on it five months later.
What is your favorite part of being married? We love that time together gets to be our default mode. It hit us on our honeymoon that synchronizing schedules was a thing of the past. No more driving across town to hang out or meeting for a quick coffee date before work. Our coffee dates now happen on our own front porch, and it is quite glorious.
What has been the most surprising thing about marriage? I have been the most surprised by just how much fun boy roommates can be. I was scared to trade in my BFFs with their fully accessible closets for wet towels and drawers full of camo. As it turns out, Alex is tidier than I am, and he kills bugs like nobody’s business! Double whammy!

Tell us a little bit about where you live. We rent our little bungalow, and we’re already sad about moving out one day. Our church is in our neighborhood, along with a handful of close friends, so we’re pretty much set in the community department. Birmingham has really boomed in the last few years and has incredible restaurants and a thriving artistic community. We love our city for its culture and our neighborhood for its small-town feel.

How do you remember your wedding in your home? Thankfully, our photographer is also my employer (hey Bryan!), so we have an incredible collection of fine art prints from our wedding. Most are in frames, some are in a fine art box, and we also have a stack of Polaroids from that day sitting in our living room. I love to see friends and family go straight to that stack when they visit; we all get to relive the day together!
What most makes your house feel like home? Our wall of Found Frames is like a permanent scrapbook. It tells the story of our families, our travels, and our road to marriage.

What’s your best tip for balancing your relationship and other life priorities? We’re definitely still trying to find that balance. Our greatest tip is to over communicate and be really honest about needs/expectations of time spent. We have found that if we secure a couple of nights each week to be at home, just the two of us, then we both feel rested and connected. When we feel connected, we also feel free to work on personal projects or hang with family and friends.

What is your approach to decorating your home for the holidays? Since we are just beginning our collection of Christmas decor, simplicity is our theme this Christmas. I am a huge fan of greenery, so I stocked up at my local wholesale florist for eucalyptus garland, lamb’s ears and all things evergreen. Alex and I picked leaves from a friend’s magnolia tree for our mantel adornment, and I finally let Alex move in his prize buck (Buckey) to join in the reindeer fun. I have found that I really lean towards understated Christmas decor, although I doubt that will last as we just ordered chicken ornaments in honor of our girls!
What is a favorite holiday tradition your family has created post-wedding? Since this is our first Christmas as a married couple, I’m curious to see what traditions will “stick” over the years. So far, I’ve been making homemade Chex Mix like my mom always did, and we’ve been enjoying our church’s daily Advent devotional. Christmas movies at the Alabama Theatre are up next!
How do you navigate the holidays with your extended families? Thankfully, both of our families live in Alabama, so we’ll be spending the couple of days leading up to Christmas with Alex’s family and will head down to be with mine on Christmas day! We are fortunate to have flexible families who are simply thankful for the times we can all be together.

Where do you splurge and where do you save when decorating? Since we are renting, we vowed to only invest in items that we can take with us to our next home. That means no to painting the walls and yes to refinishing an inherited buffet. I am an avid antique hunter (I can’t say no to ironstone), and I think vintage treasures make a home’s furnishings feel collected over time. At the same time, I love modern design elements, and hit up Target and Domino Magazine’s online storefront to find trendier pieces.
What is your favorite memory from your wedding? We totally agree on this one. Our favorite moment took place during our ceremony; our family and friends joined as we collectively sang “Come Thou Fount,” our favorite hymn.

Tell us about the process of moving in together. Poor Alex. He graciously goes along with my design ideas and style (usually). Thankfully, cowhide rugs and antlers are very much in style, so those are basically his only decor items that have found permanent places in our house. Our most famous design compromise to date was our dining room chairs. I was craving ultra-modern metal, while Alex is a big fan of cross-back farm chairs. After he announced that our future children would NOT be forced to freeze on metal seats, we compromised on our modern (but not cold) acrylic ghost chairs.
Which room in your home is your favorite, and why? We love our dining room because it is right in the center of our house; everyone congregates there. Hosting family and friends is our favorite thing to do, and we have been known to squeeze up to seven people around our four-person table.

Which items from your wedding registry do you use the most often? We registered for beautiful Italian pottery that sits in our china cabinet. We use it to serve guests for special occasions, but get to enjoy it as decor every day!
What different decisions, if any, would you make for your registry if you knew then what you knew now? There are a few random kitchen gadgets that I never thought I’d use but have bought since our wedding as I become a bit more kitchen-savvy. My list includes a citrus squeezer (hand squeezing is for the birds…and those pesky seeds!) and a pastry blender (I’m trying my hand at homemade quiche!).

Who cooks dinner? I’m tempted to say that I usually cook dinner, but it’s probably 50/50. My cooking usually involves a researched recipe, new-to-me ingredients, and a sink full of dishes. Alex, on the other hand, has this crazy awesome talent of impromptu meal creating. He somehow uses whatever food we have and only a cast iron skillet to make dinner. It’s always delicious, and his “House Scramble” is something to write home about.
What is your go-to weeknight meal? Weekend meal? We’re all about the bowl movement for the weeknights. Haven’t heard of it? You just make food and place it all in a bowl. Our favorite combo is quinoa + black beans + veggies + pork. Try it. We like to splurge on the weekends by visiting our favorite restaurants. You can’t beat a burger at Melt or El Barrio’s Saturday brunch.
What’s your favorite place to find recipes? We would eat all organic, farm fresh food if possible, and we love to find chefs and cooks who create recipes with whole foods. I love the Sprouted Kitchen blog, and Alex and I are currently obsessed with Vivian Howard, the star of A Chef’s Life. I made her raw veggie salad for Thanksgiving, and only a few family members turned their noses up at the brussels sprouts. Oh, and Alex is currently looking into buying a heritage hog to butcher and eat?!?!

Do you have a favorite date night idea to share? We have made it a Sunday tradition to head to Whole Foods after our church’s afternoon service. We eat at their central restaurant for dinner and shop for groceries afterwards. Our bank account isn’t necessarily loving this tradition, but what can we say? We’re suckers for cheese samples.
What is one small way you love or serve your spouse? Alex is service-oriented by nature. In fact, when Bryan came over to shoot us in our home, I admitted that the most natural setting would be Alex making us coffee while I chat away at our counter. Knowing that Alex feels deeply cared for by acts of service, I try to surprise him with a swept porch or freshly folded laundry (it’s the little things, right?). Oh, and I try to never leave the grocery store without a sweet treat for my man.
Do you have children? We don’t have children yet, but we’re both hopeful for a big family (and feel called to adoption as well).

Before getting married, I wish someone had told me… that marriage is sooooo much better than engagement. Whew.
This year, our family is most excited about… our potential move! As sad as it will be to leave Birmingham, Alex has a job opportunity in Chattanooga, TN. We’re both Alabama natives, so this season will be full of adventure as we explore a brand new (but still Southern) state!
Is there anything else about your home or family life that you think our readers would be interested in? Alex is a hardcore animal lover. He also loves his parents’ farm. So how do you fulfill those kinds of loves in a small house with no yard and close neighbors? You build a chicken coop and adopt the stray cat from down the street. We started with two hens, Ina Garten and Martha Stewart, and we have since added Ree Drummond and Boots with the Fur (Boots has lots of feathers on her feet. What a cutie). We feel like such hipsters with our fresh eggs, just living the urban farm life. In actuality, Alex takes care of the chickens, and I just decorate their coop and collect the pretty eggs.

We’re so grateful to Abby and Alex for sharing their hearts and home with us! Be sure to follow along with them:
Abby’s calligraphy
Abby on Instagram
Alex on Instagram

P.S. We’d love to hear from you! Our hope is to feature REAL couples in the South – your inspiring friend, super talented cousin, or neighbor with the cutest house – the kind of person everyone would love to “e-meet.” If that sounds like you or someone you know, take a peek at our Southern Newlywed submission page and shoot us an email!

emily Written with love by Emily
8 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Seriously, Abby and Alex are the coolest. So inspired by their marriage, their friendship, and their style!

  2. avatar Christy reply

    Abby & Alex, we would love to welcome you in Chattanooga! Our little city is growing in great ways, but doing everything it can to keep its small town feel. If you ever need advice, please let me know!

  3. avatar Kristina reply

    So pretty! Love your wall display of wedding photos!

  4. avatar Laura reply

    Although I am a born and bred North Carolinian, Chattanooga is my favorite southern city. I think you’ll love it! Speaking of love, that magnolia leaf garland on your mantel is to die for!

  5. avatar linda reply

    I just love these two.

  6. avatar Stephanie Creekmur reply

    Such a beautiful home and what a treat to spot my Hey Y’all print in that gorgeous gallery wall! So happy to play a small part in your home! <3

  7. avatar Kelly reply

    The chicken names!! Ina Garten and Boots with the fur!!! I’m dying. :-)

  8. avatar Callie reply

    Alex, you are probably the most famous hipster cousin I have ;) . We need to visit y’all now,

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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