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Wedding days fly by faster than ice melts on a Southern summer night (trust me!), and are filled with so many wonderful moments that it’s hard to choose a favorite. Reading through each interview, I’m always so amazed at how different and incredibly touching each couple’s favorites are. I tend to cry reading each one, but I haven’t cried in about a week. Well, that record came to an abrupt stop because Josh’s favorite memory just got me good! He said “In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me.” Swoon!

Now can we talk about Ms. Melody and her amazing style? Between the top knot and the fur stole, I think she took chic to another level, not to mention, made me question my haircut choice last week!

Hugs to the darling Courtney Dox for capturing such a pretty day!

She’s working it–what a beauty!

Describe your wedding flowers. This was one of my favorite meetings I had while planning my wedding. Josh actually didn’t attend, which I was thankful for, as he was a VERY involved groom! My planner, Ashley, and I had the opportunity to create some surprises for him with the wonderful Sara York Grimshaw of SYG Designs. Josh and I both loved the rustic look of The Cotton Dock, and Sara was able to create the romantic, rustic atmosphere I wanted with beautiful blue hydrangeas, white anemones, and pinecones.

Bookmarking the photo below for our annual favorites posts–that cotton!

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? We both decided early on that we wanted to do a first look. Josh was so nervous about messing up the vows and he knew that if he could just see me first, he would be able to say them mistake-free. It ended up being emotional for both of us, so it was nice to have some time to ourselves before the ceremony.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? I grew up outside of Charleston, and always wanted to get married at plantation. Boone Hall was a perfect location and had everything we were looking for–Southern charm, rustic appeal, and plenty of opportunities for us to create a wedding that was better than we could have dreamed.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? From Josh: We did not. I would have been even more of a mess if I had to memorize anything!

Getting married at a historic Charleston plantation definitely gave us the perfect backdrop for a fairy tale Southern wedding. We tried to incorporate several things we love about the South for our out-of-town guests to soak in. We had an oyster bar with freshly shucked oysters from various regions, boiled peanuts on our bar, and a Southern classic for our signature drink–Coca-Cola glass bottles with a runner of Jack Daniels on top. Josh also offered up his homemade jalapeño dill pickles to be served with our BBQ sliders, and we had hot spiced wine to help keep our guests warm by the fire!

Our favorite detail of the wedding would have to be the decor. We were stunned when we saw how the lighting, flowers, and furniture all came together. Each table was decorated with flickering candles, sparkling mercury glass, and gorgeous floral arrangements. Rustic Edison bulbs dangling from the ceiling gave the whole venue a totally different feel then when we saw it at first.

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My MOH, Mallory Imlach, took charge of all of these items and it was a complete surprise to me! She gave me a new sixpence for good luck that I wore in my shoe. My blue item was a “bride” tank to wear en route to our honeymoon. My something old was so special–it was a photo of my parents on their wedding day that she tied to my bouquet. Along with their photo, she tied a little piece of her wedding dress to it. My something borrowed was her cuff bracelet she wore on her wedding day that had the saying “And she lived happily ever after” inside of it.

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cake was a beautiful three-tiered cake by the amazing Jim Smeal. He used our color palette of blues to create a stunning ombre ruffled cake with three large flowers to add a little more detail. I chose all the flavors, as Josh is not the dessert type–key lime coconut, chocolate kahlúa, and pecan praline. I would be lying if I said the thought of opening up our anniversary cake a little early hadn’t crossed my mind a time or two!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We were so lucky on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, when we bumped into each other at a local pub. Introductions were made by a mutual friend and I instantly knew this guy was something. Ten days later, at the Carolina Cup horse race in Camden, SC, Josh made it “official” and we have been together ever since.
Tell us all about the proposal! Josh always had a special place in his heart for fall. One beautiful day in October, we made plans to meet our long-time friends outside of Greenville at a farm that had a pumpkin patch. We started walking through the pumpkins, looking for the perfect one. Little did I know, a few steps away, Josh had arranged to have “M-A-R-R-Y-M-E-?” painted out on on a row of pumpkins. Just as he got down on one knee and I said yes, a hayride of people went by and joined in our excitement with cheers. It was perfect!
When did y’all get married? December 28, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 130
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. During a last minute trip to visit my matron of honor in Greenville, SC, she surprised me with a trip to look for dresses. We walked into The Poinsett Bride in downtown Greenville and I just had a good feeling. A few dresses later, I had found the dress! With the help of the amazing seamstress at The Poinsett Bride, she and I were able to customize a one-of-a-kind dress that I absolutely loved. We added thin spaghetti straps and deepened the back to give the dress a little more drama, while still being classy and elegant.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. Honestly this was the last thing on my mind. All I cared about was the handsome guy standing at the end of the aisle! But, to make sure everyone heard lovely sounds, we had a guitarist and my cousin played her viola. Our first dance was picked out by Josh, “To Love Somebody” by The BeeGees/Michael Buble. When he played it for me for the first time, I just melted. It was perfect!
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The guest list! This is the hardest thing people don’t always tell you about. We decided early on that we wanted a smaller wedding, and after we had our lists from both sides of the family, the hard work began.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? I think one way we really saved so much was hiring a wedding coordinator. I know there is a cost for this service, but I also know without a doubt that we would have spent more without the help of Ashely Wenz, our incredible planner!
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? Cru Catering did all of the food and drinks at our wedding. It was fantastic! We wanted Southern-inspired food and drinks, and they really took that notion and ran with it. They were able to blend classic Southern dishes with some flair–like collard green wontons, pulled pork sliders with Asian slaw, and shrimp and grits that were to die for!
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Melody: The moment I saw Josh for the first time is my most cherished memory. His face was just so priceless and the time we got to spend together, just the two of us, took all the nerves away. My second favorite moment was when my Daddy and my uncles serenaded me, barbershop quartet style, with a song they had written together all about me! It was a complete surprise and it was so sweet and unexpected–absolutely something I will never forget! Josh: My most memorable moment would have to be when I saw Melody coming down the aisle toward me. Even though it wasn’t the first time that I saw her in her wedding dress, it was the first time that everything sunk in for me. In that moment, I knew how lucky I was to call her my own for the rest of my life. In such a gorgeous setting, time stood still as she walked toward me. Even though we were surrounded by our family and friends, it was like it was the two of just us.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s easy to immediately agree to a lot of additions and extra things you want, but things add up. There were a few things in our planning process that we thought we couldn’t live without, but when the day finally comes, you will be surprised by how easily you forget about them. At the end of the day, its about being in the fellowship of your closest family and friends, and celebrating the commitment you just made to one another.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Right now, we are enjoying spending time with our two puppies, and in the future, we are planning on buying our first home and starting a family together.

Photographer: Courtney Dox Photography / Planner: Ashely Wenz of Boutique Planning / Venue: Boone Hall Plantation / Florist: SYG Designs / Wedding Cake: Jim Smeal / Caterer: Cru Catering / Rentals: Snyder Event Rentals / Lighting: Technical Event Company / Band or DJ: Nu South Playas / Bride’s Gown: “Gobi” by Watters / Bridal Salon: The Poinsett Bride / Paper Products: Spencer Syfrig / Hair and Makeup: MiKel Rumsey / Bride’s Shoes: Loeffler Randall / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Gardenia” by Watters / Men’s Attire: Jos. A. Bank

marissa Written with love by Marissa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Their most memorable moments are so incredibly sweet! Also can’t get enough of their style–the bow ties, the hairstyle change, her dress…I love it all!

  2. avatar Robyn Van Dyke reply

    Oh my word, I LOVE this wedding!! Everything is absolute perfection and the bride is soo beautiful~! I love how she changed her hair to party at the reception afterwards too! :)

  3. avatar Julie reply

    May I ask, is there any way to find out what kind of wedding dress this is? I absolutely love it and am having a hard time choosing one… Thank you!

  4. avatar jessica reply

    This wedding is BEAUTIFUL! I love your take on a guest signing book/board. Where did you get this from?!

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Oh these two, y’all! There are so many reasons I am delighted to share this V5 wedding from the talented Lauren Larsen! From the minute we saw Lauren’s images, we were all struck by how the emotion of the day sang through her lens. She has a great eye, doesn’t she? On the other end, we were tickled pink that Hailey + Rhet flew all the way to North Carolina for our Release Party – it was so great to hug them in person, and we all swooned over Hailey’s dress! (It was a black + white striped Kate Spade!)

Be sure to check back soon for part two of this gorgeous affair, filled with details that Hailey + our friends at Eventology dreamed up!

Can y’all believe we’ve had two pink wedding gowns in two days on the blog? If it’s a trend, then I’m on board! Hailey herself described her dress as “oatmeal-colored” — doesn’t that sound glamorous and homey feeling all at the same time? Not to mention she looked absolutely stunning!

The fabric heart sewn into Hailey’s dress belonged to her sweet grandfather, who always wanted to dance with her at her wedding but sadly passed away before he had the chance. I love that she found a way to incorporate his presence into her big day anyway.

My mom and I went shopping and I chose several white dresses that I thought were beautiful. My mom pointed out this oatmeal colored dress, and coaxed me into trying it on. I humored her by putting it on first. To my surprise, it was the one! Because I had such a large wedding party, I didn’t want my bridesmaids to have matching dresses. I chose the color ivory and let my very stylish friends each pick their own dress. They did a fabulous job, and they all came together with hand-made belts I gave them as a gift.

My inspiration for our wedding came from my desire to express my personal style and make sure everyone felt welcomed. I threw in a splash of mattress ticking, vintage pocket squares and my mother’s creative eye. My favorite element was the big, fat, white garden flowers!

Our flowers were plump, lush, ivory blooms with touches of blush. My bouquet had all ivory peonies with burlap and pearl wrapping. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were white and dusty pink roses with scabiosa pods and geranium leaves. The boutonnieres were scabiosa pods with willows.

Hailey and Rhet chose to take post-wedding photos at the Billy Reid shop in Houston — an unconventional choice, but one that seems to fit this handsome couple just perfectly! The gents also got dressed at the shop!

Our groomsmen wore tan suits with blue Sperrys. They each chose their own plaid bow-tie to fit their character.

Love these sweet little seating tags to mark reserved spots for loved ones!

I co-wrote the ceremony with our dear friend, Rhet’s colleague and mentor. He became ordained in order to serve as our officiant and shared several personal stories about both of us. His wife read a verse from Ecclesiastes, and one of my college roommates shared a quote from the book we read during our pre-marital counseling to honor our love and faith.

Such gorgeous photos from Lauren!

How did the two of you meet? Tell us your story.  We met at a party when I was dating one of Rhet’s underclassmen from med school. Eventually we broke up, and I kept running into Rhet in random places. It seemed like it was meant to be.
Tell me all the basics of your wedding!  Our wedding was held on May 5, 2012 as summer was just approaching. We chose the Gardens of Bammel Lane in the River Oaks area of Houston, Texas. I instantly fell in love with the charm and uniqueness of the gardens and conservatory and the enchanting details the venue had to offer. The wedding was held at 5pm, so we could enjoy the golden hour before sunset in the gardens. Bammel really touched my heart because it reminded me of my grandmother’s lush California garden, where she taught me an appreciation and love of flowers.
Three adjectives that describe the day are: Personal, intimate, enchanting.
What was the weather like on your big day? Sunny and hot
How many guests attended your wedding? 140

marissa Written with love by Marissa
7 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Oh my, I love this wedding! All the photos are just gorgeous, but for some reason I particularly adore the one of Hailey slipping the ring on Rhet’s finger, and of course I love the last one so much!

  2. avatar Kelly Balfour reply

    Hailey & Rhet were an absolutely delightful couple to work with! And mama Karey was a dream!!!

  3. avatar Jordan Thompson reply

    Ohh my goodness…. that dress!!!

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