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Katie and Mark’s story has my “hopeful romantic” (as Lara calls it) heart skipping a beat! After being set up by Katie’s friend, who Mark met at a party he almost skipped, they had a wonderfully successful first date, and four years later, Mark proposed while on a trip to Paris. With a story like that, it was only fitting that their wedding exemplified the sweet romance of their love story, combined with the down-home Southern feel Katie grew up with. Simply Bloom Photography did a beautiful job capturing the start of their next chapter!

P.S. Recognize Katie’s stunning dress? We used it in our Berry Bliss shoot! We also loved working with the florist behind these beautiful blooms, Lindsay Coletta, on Fine Feathered Fete. As much as we love our gorgeous editorials, it is even more fun to see some of the elements really come to life in real weddings!

Mark proposed on a trip to Paris in October 2012. We were in the Notre Dame Cathedral and it was absolutely beautiful. We both sat in front of the Pieta and said a prayer, and then he pulled out the ring and said, “Mary Kath, I wanted to ask you, in front of God, if you would spend the rest of your life with me?” I was so amazed by the beautiful ring and the feeling of the moment, I forgot to answer! It was only after he asked if I needed time that I said “Yes please! Yes please! I want to marry you!” It was one of the most beautiful, perfect moments of my life.

Describe your wedding flowers. I wanted my wedding colors to be neutral with pops of color. Since we were outdoors, I didn’t want to compete with the setting and nature. Lindsey Coletta was brilliant. The beautiful draping effect of the bouquets were my favorite detail. I had no idea what the flowers would look like and I was beyond thrilled with the results. They added so much to the environment and brought in a soft, ethereal, vintage feel that was so romantic!

After trying on dresses everywhere from Los Angeles to Orange County, I finally found a beautiful dress right down the street from the hotel I work at in Beverly Hills. When I went in to show my maid of honor a dress, I saw that they had a few new dresses for a Hayley Paige trunk show they were having over the weekend. My bridesmaid and I were on either side of the dress rack and pulled my dress out at the exact same time. As soon as I tried it on, I knew it was “my” dress! It was the most stunning gown I had ever put on and it made me feel beautiful!

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We decided to not write our own vows. I really wanted to stay present with Mark in that moment, rather than in my head, hoping I was getting the words right. I loved the words of our hand fasting ceremony. My husband is Irish, so we wanted to honor his heritage by having our hands tied together with a Celtic woven rope from Kerry County, Ireland. The prayer talks about how our hands will be the same hands we hold our children with, build a life together with, and hold one another with, and in many years, though withered and aged, will still be reaching out for one another. It was so beautiful and meaningful for us.

Living in L.A. has made me pretty homesick for my roots. We knew almost immediately that we wanted a down-home Southern wedding. After five days of driving around Georgia with my wedding planner and seeing different sites, I was almost in a panic. Mark came down for the weekend and we went to go check out a farm in Madison called the Farm House Inn at Hundred Acre Farm. As soon as we drove up, a collie came to greet us, and we immediately knew we had found the place!

What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We did quite a bit of DIY. I did a lot of the signage, as well as collected some of the vintage decor. We were not extravagant on the linens; for us, it was just about enhancing what was already there. Nature speaks for itself, and boy, our venue was phenomenal!

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My cake was pretty simple, but delicious! A small bakery near my home made a three-tiered buttercream cake that was decorated by my floral designer. It was all gone by the end of the wedding, so I think it was a hit!

Our first dance song was to “Passenger Seat” by Death Cab for Cutie. We heard it at the first concert we went to together and it was so moving and beautiful. It has been our favorite song throughout our relationship and just reminds me of us. We had a variety of music played throughout the reception, and our band was amazing! They came from North Carolina and played a ton of Southern rock and country–best dancing ever!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Mark decided last minute to go to a Christmas party that my best friend and her husband were attending. Her husband had been friends with Mark for years, but when my friend met him, she insisted on setting him up with me. He emailed me and we met for coffee. When he walked me to the car, he hugged me and said, “Well… I love you.” I laughed so hard, and said “Okay!” and the rest is history. For our fourth anniversary, he framed our first email, so now I see it every day. Mark gave a speech at our wedding saying he hadn’t planned on going to that party, but decided “Why not?” Every important moment happens in seconds and inches!
When did y’all get married? October 5, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 80
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did not do a first look. I wanted Mark to see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle and I’m glad that’s what we did–it felt more traditional that way.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: One of my favorite details was an old ladder that had vintage pictures attached to it. All of the pictures were of members of Mark’s family and my own who had passed on. I even have a picture from the early 1900s! Having all of that history on display to honor those who came before us was very meaningful. I am making an album that we will pass along to our children someday.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? Everything about my wedding was Southern–just the way I wanted it. Getting married under an oak tree with a tire swing was so romantic, and it was my ultimate dream to have a Southern reception under the stars, complete with string lights and good Southern music! The menu was also extremely Southern–braised short ribs, parmesan fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, and sweet tea, of course! The beer was all local Georgia beer from Sweetwater Brewery in Atlanta and Terrapin in Athens, which was about 20 minutes away.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Many details and vendors changed at the last minute. We had to get a new officiant a week before the wedding because the one we had originally booked was no where to be found. The videographer cancelled a couple of weeks before as well, but in the end, everything worked out just perfectly. Truly better than I had expected!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I fell in love with Simply Bloom Photography before I even knew where I was getting married. Being able to have them shoot my wedding was a dream come true. Also, A Divine Event Catering was phenomenal–people could not stop talking about the delicious food!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The laughter during the ceremony! My husband and I always laugh together, and it is one of the best things about our relationship. A fly kept landing on Mark’s face while our hands were bound, and it wouldn’t go away! I kept blowing at his face to make it fly away, but it kept coming back. We couldn’t stop laughing! I hope we laugh like that forever.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Take a deep breath and realize that it will be beautiful and wonderful, no matter what. If all of the details aren’t exactly the way you want them, it’s okay. Also, things are most likely going to change at some point during the planning process. People will get sick, vendors may cancel, and it’s best to just ride the wave. One of my bridesmaids told me right before the wedding to take in every moment. It is going to go by fast, so stay present and enjoy it!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We have quite a bit going on, so our focus for this year is spending quality time together. It can be difficult with our opposite schedules, but it is important. Time can go by so quickly if you let it. We are enjoying our first year of marriage, our three dogs, and our little house.

Photographer: Simply Bloom Photography / Planner: Marisa Negri for Chancey Charm / Venue: The Farmhouse Inn At Hundred Acre Farm / Florist: Lindsay Coletta / Cake Baker: Rhodes Bakery / Caterer: A Divine Event / Rentals: CRUSH Event Rentals / Band: The Several Devils Band / Bride’s Gown: “Guindon” by Hayley Paige / Bride’s Jewelry: XIV Karats Ltd. / Hair Stylist: Lorenzo Andarza / Bride’s Shoes: Boot Star / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Joanna August / Men’s Attire: The Modern Gent

lisa Written with love by Lisa
  1. avatar Stephanie reply

    The flowers in this wedding are unreal!! I love the colors and textures used – what a stunning Southern wedding with a sweet love story!

  2. avatar Judene McCalla reply

    I’m so in love with Southern charm theme weddings and this is no exception. Love the decorated door. Every detail stands out.

    P.S. Lisa, you’re not alone. I’m a hopeless romantic as well.

  3. avatar Rachel reply

    I love the traditional wedding. You can tell from the officiant

  4. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    I am so in love with this wedding! Just gorgeous!

  5. avatar Christina Charlton reply

    We loved styling this pretty wedding at Boho!

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As someone who is working in the industry while planning a wedding, I can empathize with Stacy, a wedding photographer who must see gorgeous ideas every weekend. In the end, though, it seemed she and her now-husband Adam had no trouble crafting a wedding that was true to them – which for these two meant “a big fun party at a ranch with our closest family and friends!” And with our favorites The Nichols there to capture the action, I’m sure this photographer had no regrets about how her beautiful day was captured for posterity!

“It is with exuberant bliss…” How’s that for a a first line on your invitation?!

Bouquet perfection from Prive Floral! In fact, Stacy says she cried when she saw her bouquet, and we don’t blame her! Tina used garden roses, tulips, clematis, andromeda, and dusty miller for a lush garden feel. Love the lace wrap, too!

Stacy admits she was more stressed about finding her wedding dress than anything else. She says she was a ball of nerves, but decided to go look at dresses with her best friend just to get over her fear – and ended up finding the one! She loves that it’s not white but a peachy color, and we have to agree.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did write our own vows. I just love how personal they were. My favorite line to Adam was that I promised I would try to put away my clothes the same day that they came out of the wash. Adam’s favorite line to me was, “Stacy, I love you so much and cherish every moment with you. I want to be your husband, as we discover new places and moments, as we advance, and as we share the next laugh, hand in hand.”
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had three readings. One was chosen by my aunt from my grandmother’s bible. Adam chose a reading from Ghandi. I chose a reading from Samuel Stoddard called “I Like You.” It’s sweet and silly like we are.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. We walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of “Don’t Stop Believing” by Low Strung. I have always wanted to walk down the aisle to this song, way before it became popular! Our processional was our road-trip song, “Hard Sun” by Eddie Vedder. Our first dance was “Grown Ocean” by Fleet Foxes, but our second dance that got people on the dance floor after dinner was one of my favorites, “You and Me” by Penny and the Quarters. Our last song with confetti was Footloose (my all-time favorite!) We made our exit to “Jump in the Line” by Harry Belafonte.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many! It’s really hard to choose. We incorporated so much of ourselves. We collected plates so that we had different ones for all the guests to use and we’re keeping a nice set of them as our everyday use and fine china. We made our guest favors, which were soap jars made out of old mason jars we found under Adam’s mom’s porch! We added a soap pump and liquid soap. Then we made a little tag that said, “Here’s some suds from your buds. Love, Adam & Stacy” Lastly, I think our tattoos were probably both of our favorites! They were very personal and while I still have a ring on my left hand (my tattoo is on my right hand) Adam’s tattoo is his ring. His is in the shape of a tree and I have an owl that would live in that tree. I loved that we ‘unveiled’ his tattoo instead of putting a ring on him.

Ahh, the Southern BLT – bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomatoes!

For dessert, Stacy and Adam served a delicious-sounding wedding cake: one banana layer with chocolate ganache and vanilla custard, and another layer of chocolate and Reese’s peanut butter. They also offered “his and her desserts,” which were gummy bears, Seinfeld Snickers (mini snickers with forks and knives tied to them) and jalapeno chips!

I think the biggest thing that we learned and realized is that we can’t control everything. Let the process be a little bit of a surprise because holding onto something that might not happen or go the way you envision could let you down. Just remember the most important thing: at the end of the day, you are marrying the person you love! That’s really all that matters. Focus on that love and your day will be magical.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. I was the photographer at a wedding in Luckenbach, and Adam was a persistent guest. He asked me to dance and I finally caved in and danced with him for about 1 minute to the end of a Brad Paisley song. We exchanged cards later that night and he called me the same night to ask me out for a date for that Monday — which he then showed up late to because of his job! It’s a good reason, but I love to tease him about it!
Describe the proposal. We had been talking about getting married and had ordered a vintage ring online. I knew it was coming in the mail but Adam said he was going to surprise me with it. We got home from the gym one day and the postman was there with the ring. I knew a proposal wasn’t going to happen then, so I went about my daily routine, washing dishes and straightening up the house when Adam told me to come see what our three crazy dogs were doing. I headed out back to see them and when I turned the corner, he was on his knee and he asked me to marry him! He said he couldn’t wait to give me the ring and we only had it for about 20 minutes! I cried and said yes!
In what month did you get married? March, we wanted a spring wedding in Texas with all the wildflowers in bloom!
How many guests attended your wedding? About 75
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We didn’t do a first look. Being a wedding photographer, you might think we’d decide otherwise. But we both agreed we wanted that build-up of anticipation to happen as I walked down the aisle. It was perfect!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I was born and raised in Austin and Adam grew up in this area for most of his life as well. Our wedding was our take on the traditional Southern: just a big fun party at a ranch with our closest family and friends. We got to spend the weekend out there with most of them. We had elements of tradition but a lot of them with a little spin.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? For me it was my dress. It wasn’t crazy expensive, but more than I had originally thought I would spend. I LOVE my dress, so it was worth every penny. We added a bunch of things that we weren’t originally going to have. We just wanted to have the best day and for all the details to be just right! We don’t regret any of it. Food would be a close second since we are foodies.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? This is a hard one! Our ceremony was pretty incredible! Our friend Gina did the officiating and she was brilliant! Our readings and the music for it were just great. We laughed, cried, hugged and kissed. It doesn’t get much better than that!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Spend the money on a good photographer!! Our wedding day was such a blur of excitement and emotion, we are so thankful we have so many amazing photographs!!! I would have said that The Nichols were our big splurge but we knew we wanted spectacular photography from the get go. They were one of our best investments!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are going to enjoy married life! We love being newlyweds. We didn’t take a honeymoon because we travel frequently and already had trips lined up throughout the rest of the year. Right now, we’re just enjoying life together.

Photographer: The Nichols // Videographer: Photography by Vanessa // Planner: CLINK // Venue: Longhorn River Ranch // Florist: Prive Floral // Wedding Cake or Dessert Baker: Michelle’s Patisserie // Caterer: Primizie // Rentals and Linens: Marquee Rentals // Lighting: Ilios // Paper Products: Anibella Ink // Bride’s Gown: Ivy and Aster Duchess Gown // Bride’s Earrings: Kendra Scott // Hair Stylist: Danielle Barr // Makeup Artist: Face Kandy // Bride’s Shoes: Bamboo Crush 42 in blush // Bride’s Cardigan: Forever 21 // Bride’s Sash: Ribbon from David’s Bridal, flower from Ruche // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: various

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Jennifer Nichols reply

    We adore Stacy and Adam and just count our lucky stars that they chose us to document their wedding day!! Thank so much for the feature!

  2. avatar stacy reply

    SO EXCITED!!! We loved our wedding day and we are so honored and thrilled to have it featured, especially on Southern weddings! We love all of our vendors (more like friends) that helped us have a magical day! XOXOXO!!! stacy (the bride) :)

  3. avatar Kelli Ahern reply

    Those table settings are AMAZING! Beeeaaaautiful work Nichols!!!!

  4. avatar Nicole reply

    I’m just crazy for Stacy’s bouquet and peachy dress!!

  5. avatar Brittany reply

    I ADORE those toasting flutes. Where did you get them?

  6. avatar Rachel reply

    It was so great to be a part of Stacy + Adam’s special day. Excited to see it on SW too!

  7. avatar Katherine reply

    Couldn’t be happier for Stacy & Adam-the perfect wedding for a creative wedding photographer!

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