Google+garden wedding ceremony Archives - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Tag: garden wedding ceremony

In reading through the details Kelly and Richard sent our way, one word that stood out to me over and over was “hope:” their hopes for beautiful weather (they even jumped their venue’s fence after hours to bury a bottle of bourbon!) and their hopes for a beautiful garden ceremony space (they booked Yew Dell after only seeing it in the dead of winter), but mostly, their hopes for a beautiful wedding day that was about more than just them, and a truly beautiful marriage. For most of us, the wedding planning process involves compromises along the way, but one thing I think we should never compromise on is the hope for a beautiful future, together. Kelly and Richard are such a sweet example of that!

Big hugs to Nina + Wes for these photos!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met on a blind date! I was living with four of my best friends, and one night, my friend’s fiancé told me they had the perfect guy for me. A little reluctant and very apprehensive, I went with it, so he texted Richard. Apparently, in his text, he said to Richard “Whenever you’re ready, I’ve found your wife.” Who knew he was right! After Richard and I both agreed to this blind date, it took two months for the date to actually happen. I tried to cancel at least half a dozen times–luckily, my roommate wouldn’t let me. Eventually, the four of us went bowling and to dinner one Saturday night, and the rest is history!

I was so nervous to go dress shopping–I had heard horror stories about how stressful it was. My experience was the absolute opposite! I loved trying on wedding dresses–you feel like a princess for a day. I didn’t know what I wanted in a dress, so we searched high and low and tried on dozens. My options were all over the place. After looking all over Louisville (my hometown) and in numerous stores in Cincinnati, my mom and I finally decided to go to Twirl in Lexington, where I live now. I tried on two dresses before trying on the most beautiful Tara Keely gown. I knew it was my dress! It was sweet and delicate, but so lovely. We had our seamstress add sleeves with extra lace we ordered.

Did you decide to do a first look? Why or why not? We did do a first look. I knew I was going to be too nervous to go the whole day without seeing him until the ceremony! We decided that it was our wedding day and we wanted to enjoy one another. We wanted time before the ceremony to pray for the day and our marriage, and calm the nerves before saying our vows. We wanted to soak up the joy of the day as much as we could together. It was the best decision we could have made!

We had the bridal party walk down the aisle to “Jesus We Love You” by Bethel Music. Once they were down the aisle, my dad and I walked down to an excerpt from “Come to Me” from Bethel’s Without Words album. We chose these songs because we wanted the focus of our day to be about the beauty of the Lord bringing us together and inviting us into this covenant with him.

How did you plan for your marriage while planning your wedding? The day Richard proposed, we got on our knees along with our families and prayed for our marriage and our future. We knew that though weddings are beautiful and exciting celebrations, we didn’t want the one day to be our main focus. With every decision, we asked the question “Is this going to bring glory and attention to the covenant we are making with the Lord?” At the end of the day, it is the marriage we were celebrating, not the wedding. Throughout our engagement, we met up with with an amazing couple full of wisdom for marriage counseling. We also read Timothy Kellers book, “The Meaning of Marriage.”

My heart has always been bent toward the beauty of nature, especially the loveliness of flowers. As soon as Richard proposed, we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding, and my heart was set on a celebration among the trees or in a garden. As it turns out, I was blessed with both! Richard proposed in November, so we were venue hunting in the dead of winter. We found Yew Dell in December, and did a walk-through with frost on the ground and barren trees. Though we had pictures from the website to reference, it took a pretty strong imagination to picture the garden in full bloom. We booked Yew Dell on faith, hoping and praying it would be as beautiful as we imagined. When we visited the gardens about a month before the wedding, I cried. It was a wonderland! I knew our venue was going to be the enchanted garden nestled in the woodland that I had dreamed of since I was a little girl.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Our florist outdid herself. Our head table was a work of art. We decided to use five beautiful farm tables to make one giant head table for our 20 bridesmaids and groomsmen, plus their guests. Our florist had a lush garland running the length of the table, all 30 feet of it! Our menus, beautifully designed by a friend, were resting on top of the golden chargers, tucked inside a napkin with sprigs of greenery resting on top. It made such a statement when you walked into the reception tent.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Several months before our wedding, Richard and I decided to get dance lessons for our first dance. We didn’t want anything special–just enough so we could do more than the middle school shuffle on the dance floor. To be honest, I wasn’t even excited to do the first dance! As it turns out, our dance instructor taught us the basic rumba and then threw in a variety of spins and twirls. Though I was hesitant at the beginning, our first dance was one of our favorite moments of the day. There is no better way to feel like a princess than to have your prince spin you around the dance floor in a lovely gown!

Tell us all about the proposal! Apparently, I am a difficult girl to surprise. Richard knew the element of surprise was important to me, so he made me believe it wasn’t going to happen until March at the earliest. The day after Thanksgiving, my parents told everyone they wanted to get a family picture for that year’s Christmas card. Later that afternoon, as the girls were getting ready (taking longer than usual, as girls do), Richard and the guys decided to run out for some Black Friday shopping. While the guys were gone, my mom suggested I take my sister and sister-in-law to one of my favorite gardens in Louisville (a location we had thought about as a wedding venue someday). The three of us arrived, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a stuffed bear to my left. I assumed a family had a Thanksgiving event there the day before and some child had left their stuffed toy, but as we got closer, I saw a note propped up against the bear with my name on it. I looked up and saw that Richard had strung twinkle lights among the trees in the loveliest part of the garden, and he stood waiting for me at the end of the path. It was simply magical.
When did y’all get married? July 18, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 260
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We didn’t write our own. Richard is a pastor, so speaking in front of people is his forte–I, on the other hand, am not a public speaker. I knew I was going to be nervous enough repeating the vows after our minister. I didn’t think I would be able to say my own vows on top of it!
Describe your wedding flowers. Our florist made the most beautiful bouquets for us! She made lush full bouquets of ranunculus and garden roses and used a single garden rose for Richard’s boutonniere. My mom had gardenias on her wedding day, and every time she smells them, she said it brings her right back. I knew I wanted a distinctly fragrant flower, so even 30 years down the road, the scent would bring me back to our fairy tale day.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? A few weeks into our engagement, we learned about the burying the bourbon tradition! So, on June 18, Richard and I, along with my family, hopped in the car to discreetly bury the goods on Yew Dell’s property. Unfortunately, that day was dreary and rainy, and Yew Dell was closing their gates as we arrived. I was satisfied with burying the bourbon right outside the gate on the perimeter of their property, but Richard wanted it to be closer to our venue site! We drove around to the rear of the property, hopped the fence, and buried the bourbon adjacent to both the reception location and the ceremony location. We had full sunshine on our wedding day!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Know that the day is a celebration of the lifelong commitment you are making to one another. It brought Richard and I such peace to rest in the knowledge that the day was about more than just ourselves. It was about our promise to one another and our promise to the Lord. Your attitude and focus and make or break the day for you. So it was 95 degrees outside and humid? We had the privilege of starting our marriage joyfully overcoming the circumstances of our surroundings. So the ceremony music didn’t start out correctly? The sweet imperfection of the ceremony let our friends and family rest at ease. So there was a fly in the communion cup? Richard and I got a little extra protein! Your attitude and focus sets the mood for the rest of your guests. Just remember, regardless, at the end of the day you will be married. Isn’t that more important than who gets chicken or beef?
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? That is a great question! We don’t know. Richard and I feel settled in Lexington for now, but we both have a heart for missions and for serving. I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up in another country within the next several years. Or perhaps we will stay in Lexington, Kentucky and expand our family here! We are both dreamers, so in our heads, we have about a hundred dreams for where our future could go, but who knows where the Lord will take us next! In the meantime, we are basking in the joy of living life with the other at our side. We are making sweet memories sharing our home together and fellowshipping with friends.

Photographer: Nina and Wes Photography / Videographer: Summit Stone Creations / Planner: Devanny Kuhn of Essential Details / Venue: Yew Dell Gardens / Florist: Country Squire Florist / Cake Baker: Merts Cakes / Caterer: Masterson’s Catering / Rentals: Essential Details / DJ: Complete Weddings + Events / Invitations: Julie Diamond Calligraphy and Invitations / Program and Menu: Melody Thoburn / Bride’s Gown: Tara Keely / Bridal Salon: Twirl Boutique/a> / Hair Stylist: Hayley Gleason/ Makeup Artist: Ashley Meadows Makeup Artistry / Menswear: J. Crew

Twirl Boutique is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
3 Comments
  1. avatar Nina reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful wedding! We loved this day!

  2. avatar Liz Cox reply

    Goodness gracious I love this precious bride! Helping her find her dress was such a joy and to her in it on her wedding day is so sweet. Thanks for the sharing their gorgeous wedding & their beautiful love.

  3. avatar Kat Forsyth reply

    What a stunning location! Those lines of trees…wow.

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!

Reply to:
close

I couldn’t help but smile when I read Laura and John’s love story. After he offered to help her carry boxes up five flights of stairs (she refused!), they didn’t get to know each other until a year later, when he stopped her in the hallway in search of googly-eye stickers! This unconventional conversation-starter led to a beautiful relationship, a surprise proposal, and ultimately, a delightfully Southern wedding. Since Laura and John met in Oregon and he grew up in Indiana, this Alabama bride sure had her work cut out for her! The azaleas were in full bloom by the time they held their deeply meaningful ceremony in her parents’ backyard, followed by a reception full of Southern foods and treats. I can only imagine how many of their Northern guests fell in love with the South that night! Just like Laura and John’s adorable love story and beautiful wedding, it’s easy to love, don’t you think?

Many thanks to Kelly of Spindle Photography for sending Laura and John’s wedding our way!

John was the first guy I met when I moved to Portland, Oregon. He was the only person (besides a fireman) who offered to help my friend and me move boxes up five flights of stairs to my new apartment. I stubbornly turned down his offer to help. I later found out that he lived down the hall from me, but our schedules were pretty different and I barely ever saw him. A year later, fate and googly-eye stickers brought us together. One night, when I returned home from dinner with my friend, John approached us in the hall and asked if I had any googly-eye stickers that he could use for a model he was building for a science class. Oddly enough, I did. He invited my friend and I over to his place that night (where she quietly told me that she thought he might like me), and we’ve been side-by-side ever since.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my wedding dress was such a special experience. My parents flew me back home to Alabama the summer before my wedding so that I could find my dress with my loved ones by my side. The first place I visited was The White Room because two of my older sisters had had their beautiful dresses perfectly altered by Carolyn Kelley, the owner. I searched around for something unique and picked out a variety of styles to try on. The first one I put on was perfect, and it was floor sample in perfect condition! I tried on about ten more dresses after that, but kept thinking about that first one. Also, my dad (who has impeccable taste) kept saying, “That’s pretty, but I’m not sure that it’s as special as that first one.” Finally, I put the first dress back on. We added a very simple veil and everyone in the room teared up—it was definitely THE dress. Then, on top of everything going so well that day, my amazing grandparents surprised me by purchasing my dream dress. It was just one of those incredibly lucky and lovely days.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We did decide to do a first look. I really felt like it would be more special to see each other that day without a crowd of people watching (though my sisters and bridesmaids were stealthily watching from a distance). Plus, I knew that if I saw him for the first time while walking down the aisle, I would have been so overwhelmed by emotion that I probably would have cried through the entire ceremony (which I basically did anyway, but it would have been more intense). It was so comforting to see him, and so sweet to see him see me. I’m glad that we set aside time to do that and let that moment sink in.

What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? We had three readings. John’s mom read an excerpt from “The Bridge Across Forever” by Richard Bach. My step-mom read “A Marriage” by Mark Twain. Then, I had our officiant (who is also one of our best friends) read an excerpt from a letter my mom wrote me before she passed away about finding real love.

This picture might be my favorite out of all of them. They look like they just adore each other!

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? It was really important to me that I married John in my hometown. He grew up in Portland, but most of his family is from Indiana, so I wanted to make sure that I showcased the charms of the South for all of our Oregon and Indiana guests. Fortunately, Mother Nature cooperated with us and our spring wedding showed off Alabama’s most gorgeous time—my parents’ backyard was filled with blooming azaleas! Of course, we made sure to highlight Southern food: candied pecans, sweet tea, mint juleps, shrimp and grits, crab salad and fried green tomatoes were some of the highlights.

Tell us all about the proposal! John was determined to surprise me, which was a difficult undertaking since we designed my engagement ring together. Actually, I had been anticipating a proposal for almost three years when the time finally came. He had a few elaborate plans that involved us being outdoors, but each fell through due to many strings of rainy days. After a handful of failed attempts at creating an ideal situation, he came up with a low-key plan. He told me one weekend morning that he had to go down to Eugene for business (which isn’t unusual). I kissed him goodbye and went about my day fixing up things at the house. Many hours later, as I was taking a nap, John came through the door with a nervous look on his face. At first I was startled because I didn’t expect him and was half asleep. Then, he got down on one knee, took out the ring (a beautiful combination of two family heirlooms) and told me why he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. I was stunned! I quickly realized that I was so stunned that I did not hear his proposal, and I asked him to propose to me again, which he did. Obviously, I said yes. We spent the rest of the day together doing things we love doing and being totally excited.
When did y’all get married? April 13, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? About 75
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we did. My favorite part about our vows was that we wrote them separately, but they ended up being very similar. My favorite line from both had to do with our desire to help each other fulfill our dreams.
Describe your wedding flowers. My wedding flowers were gorgeous! I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted, but I found a vendor I could really trust (thank you Mandy and the HotHouse team) and left most of the decisions up to her. I told her what colors I wanted, and that I wanted ranunculus and poppies—the rest was up to her and her team. I didn’t ask for roses, but I’m so glad they included them since John and I live in The City of Roses.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Much of my wedding was focused on highlighting things that I love about the South. I knew that I wanted several regular cakes instead of one large one, so we chose a couple of uniquely Southern cakes (strawberry and coconut) and a beautiful chocolate cake (because you have to have chocolate). I also included two cheesecakes because John isn’t really into regular cake.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail is that we had an intimate ceremony in my parents’ backyard. When I asked John what his favorite detail was, he said, “My bride.”
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Distance! Planning a wedding from nearly 3,000 miles away comes with many challenges. Luckily, I have lots of awesome family members and friends in Alabama that stepped up to the plate and really made the wedding possible.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000-$25,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I was happy about pretty much everything involved in our wedding, but our photographer, Kelly Cummings, was exactly what we needed throughout the day. She made sure the whole day flowed the way it should, and ended up being the person I turned to for just about everything. Also, she has given me the most beautiful photos that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Our wedding really would not have been the same without her.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment was probably the fire. Right as we were leaving, one of the sparklers set the guest book tablecloth ablaze. We were already in the car, but watching that happen and seeing all the guests scramble to save the guest book (which was heroically saved—thank goodness) was an interesting and memorable end to an eventful day.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t try to live up to anybody’s expectations—make the day about you and your husband. At the end of the day, you aren’t going to have a perfect wedding or meet everyone’s expectations of what it should have been. Though, if you let go and make decisions that feel right, y’all will have a happy day to look back on. For some more practical advice: get that guest list hammered out as soon as possible! Putting together that list with all the correct details was one of my biggest hurdles. Also, don’t fret over little details. As long as you have vendors you trust and respect, all the details will come together in a beautiful way.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We are looking forward to so many things. Mostly, we are looking forward to future travels, but we are also very excited to start looking for a house to call our own. The thing we look forward to most about being married is growing together and starting a little family.

Photographer: Kelly Cummings of Spindle Photography | Ceremony Venue: Bride’s parents’ backyard | Reception Venue: The Avondale Villa | Florist: Mandy Majerik of Hot House Design Studio | Wedding Cakes: Edgar’s Bakery | Caterer: Yellow Bicycle Catering | Bride’s Gown: Christos Eloisa | Paper Products: Paper Source | Hair Stylist: Mark Hyde at SalonU | Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew Louisa in Dusty Shale | Groom’s Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen Attire: J.Crew shirts and Forever 21 ties

Spindle Photography is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

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

    That puppy! And how funny that Laura asked John to propose a second time — I’ve read so many proposal stories where the bride doesn’t remember a word the groom said, so I’m glad she asked for a repeat :)

  2. avatar Morgan Trinker reply

    SO gorgeous! Kelly captured this one perfectly. Love Laura and John’s style, and love their story even more! :)

  3. avatar Dana reply

    the picture with the bridesmaids all petting the puppy is such a great shot! what an interesting venue too!

  4. avatar Katie reply

    I think Laura’s wedding was gorgeous. So ram tic and well done! I would love to know where her earrings came from! I’m in love with them!

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!

Reply to:
close

Y’all, I could read Caroline + Chaz’s wedding interview over and over again. I don’t believe there is a single part of their wedding that wasn’t inspired by their relationship, their past or their shared loves. The best part is that my first impression of this wedding (pure fun and sweet love) is one that hasn’t been dulled by time. If C + C’s wedding morning kickball game doesn’t convince you of that, nothing will! “One thing that we both wanted was to spend as much time as possible together on our wedding day,” said Caroline. “We also had many people from out of town that we wanted to spend time with, so Chaz’s proposed that we play kickball the morning of our wedding. I can’t tell you how many people asked me ‘Are you crazy?!’ Yes, definitely. But we had a crazy fun time!”

Don’t forget to scroll down and read about how C + C found their wedding rings! It makes me cry every time. Giant hugs for Jamie Clayton who shot this wedding!

Briefly describe your wedding flowers: I was planning on ordering all of the flowers wholesale and then putting together the bouquets and boutonnieres the day of. My sister interned with a floral and design company in Knoxville during her time at the University of Tennessee and she keeps up with the owner. One day they were on the phone and Leah, the florist, was saying that she really needed some graphic design work done and would love to get in the Nashville market. Kristen told her that I’m a graphic designer and still need a florist. We ended up chatting and bartering our services! It was such a wonderful arrangement! We stuck with the color scheme of mustard and white for the flowers. I loved our florist, and I basically left it up to her! She used lots of herbs, daisies and billy balls (which I LOVE!). Since we got married in the garden, there was hardly a need for flowers or decoration. There were about one hundred blooming historical white hydrangea bushes surrounding us. We put hanging mason jars lining the aisle with the same white and yellow flowers. My bouquet was very lush and full of stock, ranunculus, yellow garden roses, billy balls, chamomile, Queen Anne’s lace, and lisianthus. The stems were partly covered in burlap and then a vintage-inspired cream ribbon tied in a bow. One special part of the boutonnieres is that I made paper flowers out of an old Bible we had and my grandmother’s antique buttons. I chose to use pages from the book of Acts because it is Chaz’s favorite book of the Bible, so what better way to adorn his best friends? It was also made up of herbs and billy balls.

Tell me all the basics of your wedding! We got married at half past six on June 16, 2012 in the historic town of Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville. Our venue was Carnton Plantation. It is special to us because we knew we wanted to get married in Nashville because that’s where I’m from, and I’ve always envisioned getting married close to home. To us, time with each other and the people we love was most important to us, so we looked for a venue that could host both the wedding and reception so we wouldn’t lose time with travel in between venues. More than anything, we wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities and who we are as a couple. When we went to Carnton, I knew it was the perfect place because the door and shutters were the exact same deep muted sea foam! It was meant to be! The plantation home and gardens at Carnton Plantation are so beautiful that we hardly had to add any decorations at all. It was a laidback and Southern atmosphere that perfectly reflected us!
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Authentic, spirited, and adventurous.
How many guests attended your wedding? We had a little over two hundred people at the wedding.
What was the design inspiration for your wedding? We didn’t really look at many places for inspiration. We wanted the design to reflect each of our personalities and our joint personality as a couple. We’re pretty laid back, casual, and eclectic, and we tried to reflect that.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. Finding my wedding dress was such a special experience. It was the very first thing we did in planning the wedding. We picked a weekend in May that Chaz’s mom and grandmother could come up and go shopping with us. I had three pictures on my phone to show examples of what I was looking for. I tried on a lot of different dresses, and then finally I found one I really liked. I wasn’t entirely sold, mainly because it was stark white, but it was definitely my favorite dress I tried on at this first store. When I got back to my phone, we realized it was the dress I showed the woman helping me! It was meant to be! We went to another bridal shop in Nashville and yet again, I tried on a bunch of dresses. We found the favorite from the other store, but this time the sample dress was in ivory. We spruced it up with accessories and I came out and stood on the pedestal. When I noticed that there were pockets, I was sold! For the rehearsal, I got the opportunity of doing something special for my mom. While we were looking for dresses, my mom kept telling me, “Caroline, my dress looks a lot like this….” All I could think about was this one wedding picture of theirs where the lace came all the way up to her neck and she had enormous puff sleeves. I mean, it was the 80’s! I disregarded her comments and bought my beautiful dress. Later, mom brought out her dress just to see it again. She showed it to me, and we realized that with some manipulation this could really be perfect! I tried it on, and it surprisingly fit like a glove! I took off the puff sleeves and sewed the lace onto the bodice. I loved this new dress! Since we already bought my dress, I decided it would be so special to wear this to the rehearsal. I was waiting by the altar when Chaz walked up with his eyes closed. He opened, and he was SO surprised and happy I could wear my mom’s dress. I’m so glad I got to do something that was so meaningful to her and my dad.

Matching yellow bow ties all around! I love it.

My absolute favorite design element of our big day was the bunting. While sitting there and tracing the triangles, cutting them out, cutting holes, and stringing it wasn’t the most fun thing my mom and I have ever done, I LOVED the way it turned out! We decided to have it behind the altar, and I love the way the pictures of our ceremony look! We put the bunting so many places: behind the guest book table, around the cake table, behind the biscuit bar table. I think it looked so great and it reminds me of our fun, casual personalities!

Tell me a bit about the wedding ceremony. We had a pretty typical wedding ceremony. We knew we wanted it to be short and sweet. We loved how well our pastor made connections between a wedding ceremony and the Gospel. One of my good friends, Clark read scripture that’s typical of a wedding, 1 Corinthians 13, but it meant so much to me and my family because we memorized that chapter as a family when I was little.
Who participated in your ceremony? Since I’m a musician, I knew that I had to have someone I really trusted to do the music. I led worship at a church in Athens, Georgia with a good friend who also produced my album, Paul Reeves. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that he had to sing and play. The most emotional song he played was when I came down the aisle. It was “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Whickham. Paul’s precious little boy Thatcher was the ring bearer and his daughter Peyton was the flower girl. They walked in at the beginning of the song, and I was totally composed, surprisingly. But then they did SUCH a great job! I was so proud of them that I lost it! It didn’t help that I walked down the aisle to the most beautiful, emotional lyrics of the song “When we arrive at eternity’s shore, where death is just a memory and tears are no more. We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring. Your bride will come together and we’ll sing… You’re beautiful.” Also, we had our wedding party pray over us during the wedding, which was really special.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. In the summer of 2009, I was spending my summer at home working at J. Crew. We had a mutual friend in town that was doing work with a non-profit in town, so when Chaz was driving through Nashville to help with a Young Life camp, we all got together for dinner. Neither of us thought anything of it, other than “Hmm, s/he’s pretty cute…” Fast forward to early that fall semester. We both, by chance, went to some mutual friends’ housewarming party. It was an older crowd, so I was introducing myself to those I didn’t know. Chaz was sitting next to me, and he stood up politely when it was his turn. We shook hands and he said “Wait, aren’t you supposed to be in Costa Rica?” He mistook me for a girl he met once who was, in fact, studying abroad in Costa Rica. After about 10 minutes of trying to figure out how we knew each other, and realizing we did none of the same things, we remembered that summer dinner. We talked while Chaz flipped burgers for the crowd (ironic now because we’re both vegetarians). Yet again, we each left and didn’t think much more of it. In fact, I had just sworn off boys forever. My thought was “the next guy that comes in my life is going to have to knock down my door to get me.” Well, that worked for about a week, and that’s exactly what he did.
Describe the proposal: One weekend, we headed to his grandmother’s house for a late lunch. His Nana is notorious for her cooking, so we had a huge meal. I knew Chaz had planned for us to go back to Athens and eat at one of our favorite restaurants there, Farm 255, but I obviously had no idea that we had specific reservations, or that anything sneaky was going on. We were taking our sweet time enjoying the food and family, and his Nana kept saying things like “Well, y’all might need to go, you wouldn’t want to be late.” I continued to reassure her that we had nothing special to get back to. We made the trek back to Athens, enjoyed a delicious and fresh meal at Farm 255 and then Chaz took me to Memorial Park, a place that was special to us because it was the first place we held hands. We walked over to the bridge, and I immediately knew this was it because I could hear Chaz’s heart beating harder than I ever had in my entire life. We sat down at a bench, and he began the speech. He told me how much he loved me, and how he loved growing so close to me while we were dating and how he can’t wait to see how the Lord continues to bring us closer together in marriage. Then he got down on one knee and opened that little Italian box I had waited for over a year to see. My response? “I KNEW IT!!!” I about tackled him and hugged him around the neck, and then he stood up and swung me around as I said “YES! YES! YES!!!” He was so sweet and told everyone in Athens that day to come to my house for an engagement party that night, so we got to celebrate with all of those that were closest to us. It was absolutely a dream come true!
Tell us about your beautiful engagement ring. The story of my engagement ring is one of our funnier stories. I studied abroad in Cortona, Italy in the summer of 2010. At this point, even though we had only been dating about nine months, Chaz and I knew this was it. An important precursor to this story: I’ve never liked engagement rings. They are always so fitting of the person, but I’ve never found one that fits me (not literally, although my 3.25 ring size is a challenge). On one of our day trips to Sienna, I was walking by a jewelry store called “Platinum,” and I just stopped in my tracks. My friends, who didn’t even notice me stop, came back to see why I was just staring in the stop window. They stood and stared at the hundreds of items in the window, and somehow they both were staring at the same ring I was. They simultaneously said “Caroline. You HAVE to get that ring.” Since the owner was on Siesta, I rang the doorbell, got his card, and figured I would never see the ring again. I showed Chaz a picture of the ring, on Skype, of course, and he loved it just as much as I did. He sent the owner an email, and I got my Italian friend to call, but no luck. We had almost given up, but then I showed my Mom and Dad a picture of the ring, and my mom said “Caroline, you HAVE to go back and get it!” Three train rides later with my sweet friend Missy, we arrived at Platinum. She helped me barter in Italian, a language neither of us knew very well at the time. Finally, it was mine! Since I wasn’t engaged, and this wasn’t the typical engagement ring process, Missy allowed me to look at the ring a measly three times that day. We had a beautiful celebratory dinner in Sienna and then took a train back to Cortona in complete bliss. The night I came back to the states I handed Chaz the ring and never saw it until over a year later when he proposed. We’re so glad to have this ring because Italy has been such a special place to my family, and then me, and represents to us fun travels as a married couple in our future. While the groom’s ring usually doesn’t have a unique story, Chaz’s ring is possibly has an even sweeter story than mine. I knew finding a ring for Chaz would be a struggle because he hates male jewelry, and we’re also concerned with the environment, so the whole mining for metal thing concerns him. That left me the option of antique jewelry. After going to many an antique store, I realized that because the price for gold is so high, many pawn and antique shop owners are melting down any gold that comes in their store for the sheer value. Either that, or the price of a simple gold ring was exorbitant. Luckily, I found an alternative. I asked my parents if they had any gold that they weren’t using anymore. My dad so kindly offered me his University of Kentucky class ring, a ring that I remember him wearing everyday for my entire life. I knew it meant so much to him, so his sacrifice deeply touched me, and I knew it would mean the world to Chaz. I took it to some jewelry shops, but even using our own metal cost so much for labor. Then I realized that one of my best friends Vasilisa has been taking lots of jewelry and metals classes, even in Cortona the summer after I was there. I asked her if she would be able to fashion a ring for Chaz out of my dad’s ring. She said she would be delighted! It was a hard and rigorous process, but she did a wonderful job. More than that, she gave it to us as our wedding present. We felt so honored to receive such a wonderful gift! I presented Chaz with the ring because I knew it would be an emotional experience for both of us. My father and Vasilisa’s sacrifice and gift to us brought him to tears. I know that his ring is absolutely the perfect ring for him, and nothing else could have sufficed!
Groom’s favorite detail of the wedding: After the ceremony and family pictures, our wedding planner Jennifer took us to a private room where we had the chance to sit in private and reflect on what we had just accomplished together.  It was very important to me that Caroline and I had a chance to process our day and the huge step in life we had just taken together so Jennifer made sure to give us that opportunity.  We sat together for about 30 minutes without any distractions talking about our favorite details of the day and sharing our excitement for the future.  It was a wonderful and sweet time that I will cherish for the rest of our lives.
What was the most memorable or touching moment about your wedding day? Right before our pastor was about to announce us as man and wife, right at sunset, there were hot air balloons flying along the horizon. It was so absolutely special. It was as if God wanted to let us know that He was blessing our marriage.

nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
26 Comments
  1. avatar Charissa reply

    What a super cute wedding. Love the bow tie necklaces.

  2. avatar Jamie reply

    Theres not enough shrimp and grits in all of Charleston to try and show my love that I have for you lovely ladies.

  3. avatar Morgan reply

    Such a great story about both rings – wish there was a ring shot!

  4. avatar Jordan Thompson reply

    Wow. Such a perfect “Southern Wedding”! So perfect!

  5. avatar Heather reply

    So beautiful! Where is the little boy’s outfit from?

  6. avatar Caroline Fausel reply

    We’re so honored to be featured again, Southern Weddings! I had no idea we’d make it to the blog, too :) Thanks for all of your kind words!

    • avatar Kayla Whaley reply

      Caroline Fausel: I am in love with this dress it is almost exactly what i have been looking for, I know the designer is Watters but i cant seem to find it anywhere. If you know what the style is could you please email me and let me know.

      Thank you so much
      Kayla

    • avatar Caroline Fausel | Caroline Fausel Paper Co. reply

      Kayla I’m so sorry I’m just now seeing this, a year later… I’m sure you’ve already found a dress, but it’s Waters’ Wtoo line, which I highly recommend! It’s their less expensive line… Here is the link to this specific dress: http://watters.com/Product/WtooBrides/15828
      Or I’m selling mine at preownedweddingdresses.com! Let me know if you’re interested :)

  7. avatar Ashleigh reply

    Such a darling wedding! Everything is so sweet & southern!

  8. avatar Meghan P. reply

    I absolutely adore this post!! I am from Franklin, TN, and grew up down the road from the Carnton Plantation. I am so happy to see someone do it justice and have an absolutely gorgeous wedding there!

  9. avatar Sweet Yellow & Mint Wedding Ideas | Heart Love Weddings reply

    […] 1: Bride and Groom on a Bicycle Built for Two photo by Jamie Clayton Photography via Southern Weddings, Ombre Escort Cards photo by Volatile Photography via Style Me Pretty, Shamrock Shooters via […]

  10. avatar Al reply

    Where did ya’ll get the Bow ties?

  11. avatar INSPIRATION BOARD | CITRON & GRIEGE | Reverie Magazine reply

    […] Image Sources: Monique Lhuillier dress // Little kids // Yellow bouquet // BHLDN shoes // Yellow boutonnière // Drapes […]

  12. avatar Mood Board – Puppy Love All Grown Up » A Colorado CourtshipA Colorado Courtship reply

    […] | Bouquet | Necklace | Cardigan | Bride’s Shoes | Dress | Groom | Hair | Utensils | Save the Dates | Check Yes or No Card | Spoon Tag | Centerpiece | Lemonade Bar […]

  13. avatar Carnton Plantation | whimsical gatherings reply

    […] wedding  in Southern Weddings Magazine Volume 5 and featured in two parts on their blog:  Part 1 & Part 2.  After keeping this sunshine and happiness under wraps until its publication, we […]

  14. avatar <!–:EL–>Παλέτα Χρωμάτων #30<!–:–> | Sensyle | | Sensyle reply

    […] Design: Flowers on the Vineyard Fabric Flag Banner – http://www.etsy.com/ Groom – http://iloveswmag.com Decor – […]

  15. avatar Margaritas en las bodas – la flor silvestre reply

    […] 4.Photographer: Jamie Clayton / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Mr. and Mrs. Weddings & Events via Southern Weddings 5.via Once Wed 6.Photographer: Jamie Clayton / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Mr. and Mrs. Weddings […]

  16. avatar Bunting Banner Bonanza « Wedding Ideas, Top Wedding Blog's, Wedding Trends 2014 – David Tutera's It’s a Bride’s Life reply

    […] 2, Invitation 3, Aisle 1, Aisle 2, Aisle 3, Escort Cards 1, Escort Cards 2, Portrait 1, Portrait 2, Portrait 3, Reception 1, Reception 2, Reception 3, Cake 1, Cake 2, […]

  17. avatar Nashville Wedding Planning | Carnton Plantation | Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Nashville Wedding Planner | Stylist | Custom Wedding Invitations Stationery | Lifestyle | Inspired reply

    […] also love this cheerful wedding that was featured on Southern Weddings! The pops of yellow and turquoise are so happy and really convey the emotions that should be […]

  18. avatar Color Series #13 : Yellow + Grayed Jade | Cherryblossoms and Faeriewings reply

    […] and flowers decor, Grayed Jade laser cut gown details by Ermanno Scervino, Yellow jeweled necklace, Bride and Groom in grayed jade bicycle-for-two, Bridal […]

  19. avatar Color Series #13 : Yellow + Grayed Jade | crazyforus reply

    […] flowers decor, Grayed Jade laser cut gown details by Ermanno Scervino, Yellow jeweled necklace, Bride and Groom in grayed jade bicycle-for-two, Bridal […]

  20. avatar Blue and Yellow Wedding Inspiration | Amber Housley | Nashville Wedding Planner | Designer | Nashville Wedding Planner | Stylist | Custom Wedding Invitations Stationery | Lifestyle | Inspired reply

    […] Invitation Suite | Bouquet | Bride and Groom | Custom Cornhole Set | Table Setting | Custom […]

  21. avatar Inspire Blog – Casamentos » Casamento Alegre e Colorido | Azul e Amarelo reply

    […] {Fotografia: Jamie Clayton, via Southern Weddings} […]

  22. avatar Claudia @ Felizes4Ever reply

    Really nice couple. It’s really good inspiration for my own wedding. :)

  23. avatar Spring Wedding Inspiration reply

    […] Floral hair comb (top right) – Affordable Elegance Bridal |  Grooms yellow attire – Southern Weddings | Groom in waistcoat – Ruffled | Floral bridesmaid dress – Inspired By This | Lace […]

  24. avatar How to Use Custom Fabric Decorations For Your DIY Wedding | Spoonflower Blog reply

    […] Caroline, the bride pictured above, shared, "My absolute favorite design element of our big day was the bunting. While sitting there and tracing the triangles, cutting them out, cutting holes, and stringing it wasn’t the most fun thing my mom and I have ever done, I LOVED the way it turned out! We decided to have it behind the altar, and I love the way the pictures of our ceremony look! We put the bunting so many places: behind the guest book table, around the cake table, behind the biscuit bar table. I think it looked so great and it reminds me of our fun, casual personalities!" – Tennessee Picnic Wedding, SouthernWeddings.com […]

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!

Reply to:
close
Top