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When it comes to weddings, and many other things for that matter, I’m a firm believer that simple is often best. A few carefully chosen, purposeful, beautiful details that can stand on their own without being cluttered by too much “stuff” can have such an impact, and more importantly, this approach leaves guests the mental space to focus on you and your new husband, rather than be distracted as they try to take in countless activities and displays. Lauren and Jeremiah are a perfect example of this lovely restraint–they selected a naturally beautiful venue, accented it with a few meaningful touches (the lily of the valley bouquet Jeremiah had sent to Lauren’s bridal suite, and the strawberry shortcake they cut into that nodded to Lauren’s childhood tradition, to name a few), and focused on enjoying their day with their many out-of-town guests. I can only imagine what beautiful memories they have of the time they got to spend with the ones they love on their wedding day!

Thank you so much to our Blue Ribbon Vendor Perry Vaile for sharing this day with us!

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I was looking for a combination of delicate, classic, bohemian, and breezy. The designer Rosa Clara really unified these aspirations and included the subtlest hint of sexy. Miraculously, during a weekend off, there was a Rosa Clara trunk show in Raleigh! I was completely enamored with the second dress I tried on. My mother and sisters live in Michigan, so we had to resort to FaceTime for their approval–which was unanimous.

We chose to do a first look because we wanted to maximize our time spent with out-of-town guests. Many of our family and friends traveled from the Northeast and Midwest to North Carolina to celebrate our wedding. It was the perfect choice for us–I do not believe I could have waited until the evening to kiss him!

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We had both our ceremony and reception at the spectacular Merrimon-Wynne house. It was important to us to provide our guests with an easy experience, due to the fact that many had traveled to share the weekend with us. I looked at a number of places and none could compare with the elegance and glamour of Merrimon-Wynne. The clincher was the insanely gorgeous bridal suites (yes, there are two!), where we primped and preened all morning.

There was beautiful sunny and breezy weather throughout our wedding day, until the moment I walked down the aisle. When our reverend began speaking, the skies opened up and poured rain! The wedding party scurried inside and we completed the marriage ceremony in a cozy, ornate hallway, surrounded by our loved ones who were spilling into rooms and peering around staircases. The intimacy of the ceremony reinforced that marriage is ultimately about love and family.

Describe your wedding flowers. We chose a miscellany of shades of green and white. The flowers were free-flowing and loose, with ample herbs incorporated. My mother and I purchased a variety of mercury glass vessels and used them to make the centerpieces. Jeremiah has a green thumb and filled the vases with potted sage and lavender. He also gifted a lily of the valley (my childhood favorite flower) bouquet to the bridal suite, which perfectly matched our color scheme.

Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Jeremiah’s siblings are incredibly talented musicians and vocalists, and they kindly performed a song by Kishi Bashi called “Q&A” during our ceremony. The song reads like poetry and lent itself well to an acoustic performance. Our first dance was to “Falling Slowly” by Glen Hansard, performed by the Vitamin String Quartet. The movie “Once” was the first movie for which I stayed awake for the entirety of the film, so it had some playful meaning, and Jeremiah thought the tempo lent itself well to a foxtrot.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We first crossed paths during my Tufts Medical School years while Jeremiah was completing his residency program in Otolaryngology. There was a definite attraction, but we were very work-oriented during those years! Our romance (inconveniently) began when I moved to North Carolina to start my own surgical training. After one whirlwind and surreal travel weekend, we both knew there was something special between us that was worth the effort and occasional pain of long distance.
Tell us all about the proposal! Jeremiah and I had a standing Friday night champagne date to treat ourselves after travel. The evening started like most others–he had to work late, so I fell asleep on his couch. We were casually enjoying our bubbles on the couch when he completely surprised me by bending down on one knee and promising to make my smile his lifelong goal. After I tearfully and happily agreed, he whisked me off to a romantic French dinner in Cambridge, followed by a romantic getaway weekend at a cabin in Maine. The weekend was complete with skis, lobsters, and rare sunny Maine snow!
When did y’all get married? May 9, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 125
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? We did not write our own vows, but we crafted our entire ceremony with Reverend Renteria. It was an enjoyable experience to pick and choose the different aspects of the ceremony together. Our mutual favorite phrase was a playful and all-encompassing quote from George Bernard Shaw: “You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day’s wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallion fellow vagabond, my tempter and star.”
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. My family has a long-standing tradition of enjoying strawberry shortcakes on summer evenings, and since strawberries are in season in May, we opted for strawberry shortcakes with lemon cream and thyme. To simplify our lives, Posh Nosh Catering created the dessert as well as our dinner.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Time! I did a lot of wedding planning in the early morning hours between consults and responded to emails between surgical cases. It was a nightmare to schedule my dress fittings during regular work hours!
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Try to make the experience as playful as possible, because it can easily become very stressful. I accomplished this by convincing my fiancé to walk in the woods or head to a brewery so we could discuss wedding details.
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? I need to finish my residency and Jeremiah is starting a new job, then we can finally embark on a more “normal” life together. We are running a marathon and share a mutual enjoyment of hiking and adventuring.

Photographer: Perry Vaile / Venue and Planning: The Merrimon-Wynne House / Florist: Watered Garden / Caterer and Dessert Baker: Posh Nosh Catering / Rentals: Party Reflections / Band: The Reckless Brothers / Bride’s Gown: “Ubeda” by Rosa Clara / Bridal Salon: Traditions by Anna / Hair Stylist: Parlor Dry Bar / Makeup Artist: Thuy Larker / Bride’s Shoes: “Landmark Metallic Strappy Heel” by Badgley Mischka / Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic / Officiant: Reverend Robin Renteria

Perry Vaile is a delightful member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

lisa Written with love by Lisa
2 Comments
  1. avatar Julie reply

    Hi! Your wedding pictures are gorgeous! My daughter purchased the same dress and is getting married in June! I am a seamstress and trying to figure out how to bustle it. Can you send me a picture of the back bustled up.? I see it from the side and it looks beautiful! Thanks!!! Julie

  2. avatar scott reply

    What a lovely spot to get married, Under the tree out the back! Nice photography too.

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Lindsay and Ridge wanted a destination wedding that was easy for their guests to travel to, and when they visited Grandfather Golf and Country Club and saw the breathtaking backdrop, they simply knew it was the place. Even more special, since they had spent time in the Grandfather Mountain area with Lindsay’s grandparents, it was not only the views that had them hooked, but also the sweet family memories they would be adding to with their wedding day. Lindsay and Ridge worked with their florist, Kelly of Philosophy Flowers, to incorporate combinations of white and green florals that complimented, but didn’t compete with, the natural beauty of the setting. I, for one, am sure glad they did because I adore how the simple color palette makes Mother Nature look all the more amazing! Guests were invited to change into flip flops, walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains. Anyone else have a bit of wedding guest envy?

Big hugs to Natalie Watson for sharing this dreamy day with us!

I let my bridesmaids choose their own white dresses. I know it’s not typical for anyone other than the bride to wear white to a wedding, but I wanted everything to look simple and natural (and not take away from the beautiful setting). I also wanted the dresses to reflect each girl’s individual style, and for them to be able to wear them again.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I had always wanted to wear my mother’s wedding dress from her marriage to my father in 1979–it was my dream cap-sleeved vintage dress! My twin sister had made minor alterations to the dress to wear for her wedding in 2009, and I knew I wanted to continue the tradition. I had my mother’s seamstress cut out the back of the dress to update the design and to make it fit me more comfortably. I tried the dress on for the first time with my mother and my grandmother, and it brought us all to tears!

We decided not to do a first look. This was one detail of our wedding that we both felt was important to stick with tradition. Our reception site was located within walking distance of the ceremony site, so we knew we would have ample time after the ceremony for pictures together, without missing too much time at the reception.

Ridge’s cousin, a local pastor, was our officiant. We both wanted traditional vows and he made a recommendation that we thought was very reflective of our faith, vows, and love for one another.

What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Ridge and I knew we wanted a destination wedding that was convenient for most of our friends and family. I spent many years in the Grandfather Mountain area with my grandparents and it holds a very special place in my heart. The backdrop at Grandfather Golf and Country Club is breathtaking. There is an amazing view of the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains above a lake with a sandy shoreline! We felt it was the best of both worlds: elements of the beach and the mountains in one place. The day we visited the site, we knew it would be perfect for our ceremony and reception.

Kelly Perry of Philosophy Flowers was amazing! I wanted to incorporate colors that complimented the natural beauty of the setting, so we chose to stick with mostly white and green combinations. She suggested a circle of white petals for us to stand on during the ceremony, as well as vibrant greenery draping the arbor. I wanted to soften the outdoor reception venue with greenery, a combination of whimsical arrangements, and ample candle light and vintage votives. Kelly’s vast botanical knowledge, combined with her creativity and artistic abilities, helped to create the most gorgeous setting!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The setting. We wanted a fun party in a relaxed and unique environment. June 6 was the perfect early summer day in the mountains and Grandfather Golf and Country Club had just completed renovations on their Beach Club Pavilion. People were able to change into flip flops to walk on the shoreline, dance under the stars, and watch the sunset over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met through a mutual friend at a big Christmas party in December 2007. The following night, we ran into each other at our favorite local pub and I re-introduced myself (in case I did not make a big enough impression the night before!). We ended up exchanging numbers and meeting up almost daily over the holiday season. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! Ridge loves to ski and planned a last-minute trip to Vail, Colorado for the two of us in January. On the last ski day of our trip, my legs were exhausted, so I decided I wanted to head back to the hotel a little early. Ridge asked a photographer to take our picture before I skied down the mountain. I was a little puzzled because it was snowing so hard that you couldn’t see any scenery! As we posed for the picture, he got on one knee and asked me to marry him! I was shocked and it was perfect!
When did y’all get married? June 6, 2015
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 200
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. I spent an afternoon with my mother listening to wedding songs on YouTube and we picked our favorites that would fit with the relaxed, but romantic, setting and sound good played by the cello and violin duet: “Butterfly Waltz” for the seating of mothers/grandmothers, “Ave Maria” for the musical interlude, “Canon in D” for the processional, and “Trumpet Voluntary” for the bride’s processional. Ridge and I chose to dance to “Stuck on You” by Lionel Richie. I have been the biggest Lionel Richie fan for most of my life! It reminded me of the past, our goal of sticking together for so many years, and how the wait was worth it!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed my mother’s diamond earrings, and wore her sapphire and diamond bracelet for my something blue. My wedding dress was old and my shoes were new (they were wedges–my husband is 14″ taller than me!).
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The timeline. We got married three months to the date after picking our reception venue. I had always wanted a summer wedding and was too excited to wait another year! After seven years of dating, we were more than eager to take the next step. The limited time forced us to make big decisions very quickly!
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? The look on my husband’s face as I walked down the aisle. I’ve never seen him so happy!
What’s next for you as a couple? What memories are you looking forward to making together? We are currently looking for a new house! We look forward to growing our life and family together in the city where we met (Charlotte, North Carolina).

Photographer: Natalie Watson / Venue and Caterer: Grandfather Golf and Country Club / Florist: Philosophy Flowers / Cake Baker: Ugga Mugga Bakery / Band: The Company Band / Hair Stylist: Jacquelyn Buckner of Borealis Salon / Makeup Artist: Bryn Golob of Shear Shakti Salon / Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka

marissa Written with love by Marissa
4 Comments
  1. avatar Natalie Watson reply

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. avatar Jennings King reply

    just love this bride & groom! lovely wedding and Natalie did an awesome job capturing it! love – Jennings

  3. avatar Beth Zagst reply

    What a great day it was. I loved to hear about the dress and its nostalgic touches. Thank you for including the cake in this amazing blog. Great job capturing the magic of the day in print!

  4. avatar Greenery White Wedding Inspiration – KnotsVilla reply

    […] Cake by Ugga Mugga Bakery | Photo by Natalie Watson via Southern Weddings […]

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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