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Peaches are such a beloved staple in Southern agriculture and cuisine, and for couples like Ashlee and Tom, who live right in the heart of Georgia’s peach country, they take on an extra special meaning. From bridesmaids outfitted in mismatched peachy hues to the flavor of the ice cream Ashlee and Tom enjoyed during their first look, peaches played an important role in inspiring the look and feel of every detail of this sweet celebration. Ashlee said it best when she said, “Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.”

We’re so grateful to Haley Sheffield for sharing Ashlee and Tom’s beautiful wedding with us!

My first memory of Tom is from an Easter party in second grade; I’d found the “prize egg” during the hunt, and Tom came up behind me and stole the egg from my basket. Thankfully, one of the other guys in our grade wrestled it back from him. Tom swears he stole it because he had a crush on me, but I’m not quite sure if I believe that. We still laugh about it! Years later, when I told my parents that I was going on a date with Tom, my mom’s first reaction was, “the punk that stole your Easter egg?!” My parents adore Tom now, but he did have a reputation to overcome. Tom and I dated for eight years before we got engaged in June 2013.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, Tom and I did a first look and I’m so happy that we did. Our ceremony was at 7:30 P.M., so we wanted to do our photos before the official festivities began. I also wanted the first glimpse to be private and secluded, instead of in front of a large crowd. We saw each other on the front porch of the Lee Pope House and spent an hour walking through the peach orchard and venturing over to Pearson Farm to get peach ice cream, which is one of our favorite things to do together.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We wrote our vows together and repeated them after our officiant and close friend, Zack. My favorite phrase from our vows would have to be, “I vow to reach for your hand through any crisis and to turn to Christ through any trials.” I love how that phrase unites us with the Lord and is a gentle reminder that although we may lean upon each other, we ultimately look to Christ above all.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. The music at the ceremony was one of my priorities. I chose to walk in to “Baleen Morning” by Balmorhea, which moved me to tears the first time I heard it a few years before our wedding. We also asked our guests to sing along with us to Steve Moakler’s song, “Holiday at Sea.” The lyrics to that song hold a deep meaning to us and remind us that this earth is only our temporary home.

Three days before our wedding, my lab, Odie, suddenly passed away. I was devastated and worried that I wouldn’t be able to put on a happy face through all the festivities that were about to take place. On our wedding day, I found comfort in the ordinary. Instead of anxiety, I looked at the crowd spread across the lawn at Lee Pope and I saw love. Instead of imperfect details, I saw the countless hours that everyone had pitched in to make that day perfect. I felt calm in the gentle breeze that day. I took deep breaths for the first time in months and felt thankful for the unseasonably cool temperature. As Tom and I slipped away, hand in hand, to share some peach ice cream, I found contentment in the simplicity of it all. For the first time of our 14-month engagement, I was able to see what that day was truly about. Although it was by far the most challenging part of our wedding and something most brides hopefully won’t have to face, I am grateful that it gave me the vulnerability to realize what a sacred day our wedding day was. I’d become so wrapped up in every detail being perfect that I’d neglected to focus on the real meaning behind the day.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Our ceremony venue and reception venue both hold a very special place in our hearts. Our ceremony venue is a house near our family’s farm that holds so much farming history. I have a special connection with the Lee Pope House, and I knew immediately that there was no place I’d rather join our lives at than there. Tom and our families spent over a year fixing up our barn for the reception.

Tom is a farmer and I wanted our entire wedding to represent that tradition. Our wedding was centered around peaches–what this small county in Middle Georgia is famous for. Our goal was for our guests to be able to take a bite of a peach and to taste the peach ice cream, and, if just for a moment, be taken back to a time when life was much more simple than it is now.

Don’t miss Ashlee + Tom’s video from Hampton Road Studios!

Tell us all about the proposal! I was in North Carolina photographing a wedding and Tom decided to come with me. He mentioned that he’d like to stay an extra day, which I found odd, because Tom is usually itching to get back to work on the farm. We went to visit Tom’s brother-in-law, Stephen, who is also a photographer. Stephen told me that he was “rebranding” and that he needed a new headshot for his website. The three of us went to a mountainside park close to Stephen’s house and I began taking photos. After we were done, Stephen somehow convinced me to let him take a few photos of Tom and me. He positioned Tom a few feet behind me in the background and then told me to look towards Tom. Tom was down on one knee holding the most beautiful ring, and all I remember was telling him he was “making a scene.” Those pictures are so special to us.
When did y’all get married? August 2, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 250
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I wanted my dress hunt to be very simple and relaxed. I took only my mom with me and we made a fun girls’ day out of it. We found my dress at the first shop we visited, The Sentimentalist in Atlanta. I loved how light and breathable it was. I’m a very low key person, so I wanted simplicity as well as comfort, and the Elizabeth Dye gown provided both. I selected a gold scalloped belt to accent the waistline.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $50,000-$75,000
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Directly after the ceremony, Tom, Haley (our photographer), Aphid (our dog), and I snuck away for about 20 minutes. Tom took us to the edge of a field that overlooked the entire county–a gorgeous view. We caught the tail end of the sunset and it was the first time we’d gotten to be alone that entire month, really. It was so quiet and I felt so at peace at that moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We purchased a 100-year-old farmhouse and are knee-deep in renovations. Married life is so fun. I love not having to say goodbye at night. When he leaves for work in the morning, he kisses me on the forehead–he thinks I’m still asleep, but I’m not. I love that. I just love sharing this life with him.

Photographer: Haley Sheffield / Videographer: Hampton Road Studios / Planner: Molly McKinley Designs / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Lindsay Coletta Designs / Cake Baker: Jan McCord Catering / Caterer: Leon Holloway / Rentals: Southern Vintage / Band: Celebration Band / Paper Products: Emma Torrence / Bride’s Gown: “Tempest” by Elizabeth Dye / Bridal Salon: The Sentimentalist / Hair and Makeup: Sarah Elisabeth Makeup Artistry / Bride’s Shoes: “On the Floor” by Seychelles

Haley Sheffield is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
3 Comments
  1. avatar Atlanta Wedding Planner & Designer | Peach-Inspired | Atlanta Wedding Planning & Design reply

    […] special thank you to Southern Weddings for featuring this sweet fete. You can view their feature here. Also, make sure to check out their amazing wedding day […]

  2. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Those wedding videos get me teary every time! I really like how they incorporated a line from Oceans into their day :)

  3. avatar Victoria reply

    Hello!

    I’m a bride who is looking for mix and match dresses, and these bridesmaids dresses are gorgeous! I know that they are most likely no longer on sale, but I just have no idea where to look for this kind of style. Comfortable, breathable, and slightly more casual. Could you direct me to a place where I could find that? Thanks!

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Caitlyn’s advice to decorate in the style you like, choose food that you find delicious, and play songs that you love, even if they’re not “cool” at the moment, is a great reminder for all of us planning a wedding! Using that mantra as a guideline, Caitlyn + John’s Arkansas wedding at the Pratt Place Barn came together beautifully and joyfully, on what appears to be a gorgeous spring day. Make sure you scroll down to see their chair decor — my favorite detail! — photographed to perfection by Daniel Kim.

Isn’t Caitlyn’s lace gown gorgeous? It was my mother’s dress, and after I got engaged, she mentioned that it was still in the closet. I was more than willing to put it on, and in the first fitting I knew it was perfect. No alterations needed to be done except for taking off the sleeves and adding a “capped sleeve” look to the dress — otherwise, it fit like a glove!

Did you write your own vows? Yes, we used a mix of traditional vows and our own vows. My favorite line was when we promised to sacrifice ourselves for each other’s joy.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? John’s dad read Psalm 16.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding. I walked down the aisle to “Sea of Love” by Cat Powers. Our first dance was to “Living of Love” by the Avett Brothers and the father-daughter dance was to “You got a Friend” by James Taylor. We also played “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.

This photo and the one below it are so jubilant! Love.

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. John and I met our first month of college. His friend (who ended up our best man) had a crush on my roommate, and so they would find excuses to hang out with us. We were friends for a year before we started dating, and then were together all through college and got engaged the year after graduating. We were long distance when John was in graduate school in Massachusetts and I worked in Arkansas, and then we got married the following year.
Describe the proposal. For the proposal, John took me on a tour of our relationship. We had dinner where we said I love you, danced in the field where we danced for the first time, painted a picture in the office where we spent our time in college, and then he proposed where he asked me out and we had our first kiss.
In what month did you get married? May
How many guests attended your wedding? 170
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Yes. We felt as though we would be less nervous if we saw each other before the wedding, and we wanted keep the amount of pictures after the ceremony minimal so that guests would not be waiting for us.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: My favorite detail was the Mexican banners that were hanging from the ceiling.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Our biggest challenge was that we were planning our wedding long distance. John was living in Massachusetts, and I was in Arkansas. Our goal was to make a lot of the decisions together, and the distance made that difficult.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? $10,000 – $25,000
What is the one thing you are most happy you splurged on? My splurge was our photographer, Daniel Kim. He was amazing, and really captured the memories of our wedding.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The thing that we remember most was simply having all of our friends and family in one spot.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Our advice is to enjoy the process, and don’t let planning your wedding get in the way of enjoying your engagement and the days leading up to your wedding. Also, decorate, have food, and play songs that you enjoy, even if they aren’t “cool” at the moment.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you looking forward to in the future? We are moving up north to Massachusetts, where John will finish his graduate degree. We plan on enjoying the New England area, especially in the fall.

emily Written with love by Emily
10 Comments
  1. avatar Caroline D reply

    such lovely pictures, john and caitlyn! glad you’re up in NE to enjoy the fall now… :-)

  2. avatar Jennifer reply

    I adore the groom’s look! Any information on the shirt?

  3. avatar 33 Chair Swag & Wedding Chair Decoration Ideas | Confetti Daydreams reply

    […] from I Love SW Mag, here’s another fun and vintage interpretation of the “Mr and Mrs” chair […]

  4. avatar On writing our vows… « My autumn dream reply

    […] in front of everyone and tells personal, romantic stuff to each other. Photo by Daniel Kim in Southern Weddings. Via […]

  5. avatar On Writing Our Vows… | Weddingbee reply

    […] by Daniel Kim on Southern Weddings via […]

  6. avatar Arkansas Barn By Daniel Kim Wedding | Wedding Idea Spot reply

    […] Wedding Idea was found by: JaneMarie4 Wedding Idea From: http://iloveswmag.com/2012/08/23/arkansas-barn-wedding-by-daniel-kim/ Photography: Daniel Kim […]

  7. avatar Occasions In Print reply

    Great advice, Caitlyn! At the end of the day the wedding will be your memories. Make it what you want them to be!

  8. avatar Inspiration | Coral Summer Wedding | Katie Lyn Photography reply

    […]  [Image Sources: Jen Huang Photography via Style Me Pretty,Michelle Lange via Style Me Pretty, Elisa Bricker via The Wedding Chicks, Jemma Keech via Project Wedding, Jen Huang via Southern Weddings, Daniel Kim via Southern Weddings] […]

  9. avatar Tessi Adams reply

    Absolutely in love with the Mr. & Mrs. Chair cover. Where can I purchase them for my wedding?

  10. avatar Jackie reply

    Looks like a wonderful wedding! intrigued by the gorgeous Mr & Mrs Chair Banners, are they ivory and gold color, and any indication where i might buy? kind regards, Jackie

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I’ve read a lot of wedding interviews in my time at SW, but can say, without a doubt, that none have been sweeter than Taylor’s account of how he met and eventually won over his lovely bride. (If you don’t usually, you’ll definitely want to read this couple’s sweet story!) After a whirlwind two month engagement, Laurie Anne + Taylor exchanged vows at the Aldridge Gardens, with Stephen Devries on hand to document their intimate service. The bride, in a Bella Couture gown, pulled out all the stops when it came to planning to outfitting her wedding party: pearl gray mix-and-match frocks from J. Crew with coordinating wraps (my favorite), cowboy boots and crisp gray suits for the gents. Laurie Anne’s veil was a Charlsie and Linda Designs creation, and Carol Riley of Lillie’s styled arrangements of lush blue hydrangeas. We’ll see you back here for Part II!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story. (From the groom) We met in ethics class our junior year of college at Auburn University. I was already in class our first day when I saw Laurie Anne walk in. We quickly became close friends that semester. We both liked each other, but I was moving back to Birmingham and she was staying in Auburn. We lost touch and I spent the next three years trying to get over her. By this time I was living in NYC and thought she was out of my life for good. I had deleted her number from my phone and cut off all connection with her in an attempt to really move on. Next thing I know, I have a Facebook message from Laurie Anne telling me she is coming to NYC for a work trip and that she wants to hang out. So here is where I really tried to move on from her. I messaged her back, finally telling her how I really felt and have felt about her since the day we met, fully expecting her to respond like, “Sorry, I had no idea.” But instead her message back to me was a confession about how she has not been able to get me out of her heart, either. We talked on the phone for hours and within two days, she had a plane ticket to come visit me. That was easily the best give days of my life. Somehow the city was practically empty everywhere we went. Several times throughout the weekend we had stumbled our words and almost told each other “I love you,” but had managed to catch ourselves. But after a ferry ride to Staten Island, while sitting at the harbor looking towards Manhattan, I finally told Laurie Anne that I loved her. From there we had the greatest long distance relationship possible. Jesus blessed us with a very generous amount of sky miles, free plane tickets and time off work to where the longest we went without seeing each other was only three weeks…which was torture! A month and a half later, I had quite my job and was returning to Birmingham to get my bride.

Describe the proposal. Since Laurie Anne and I worked together, it made surprising her with a proposal a little tricky. I would pick her up on the way to work and after work would hang out with her until we got tired and then I would head home. So there was really no time to surprise her. I figured my only chance to catch her off guard was the only time we were apart: while she was asleep. The night before, I had been praying about how to go about this proposal and the Lord told me to open my Bible. I randomly opened to a very familiar chapter I had been dwelling on for the past year and began to read. I woke up before the sun, and planned to get to her house at sunrise. I snuck into her room at sunrise, knelt down at the side of her bed and woke her up. I read my promise to her and asked her to marry me. She said, “Yes!!!!”

Written with love by Katharine
5 Comments
  1. avatar laila reply

    really it is a sweet love story.hope you the best Laurie Anne

  2. avatar Taylor and Laurie Anne: Featured on SWS blog! | Stephen Devries Chronicles reply

    […] Woke up this morning to Taylor and Laurie Anne’s wedding featured on the SWS blog!  So excited for them and to be featured again…check out part one on SWS HERE. […]

  3. avatar Jennifer reply

    This is such a sweet love story! Congrats!!!

  4. avatar Courtney reply

    Such an incredibly sweet story! I wish yall the best!

  5. avatar Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] week: Laurie Anne + Taylor had a sweet reception backed by a sweeter love story. See the wedding here and […]

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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